Archive for the ‘Self-knowledge’ Category

Uncertainty

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

The most difficult thing about uncertainty is the anguish we feel to find an answer.  It’s almost suffocating at times.  There is always the temptation of asking someone what they think about it and follow their advice instead of listening to what your wise self wants to tell you.

Most people you ask will tell you that you are smart, capable and that you should just go for it.  You are then stuck with a project or an idea that confirms all the wonderful qualities you have because others told you so.  Sometimes a project that will confirm just how clever and inspiring you are is simply not right for you a this point.  And it hurts to let go.  The idea is just to perfect.  It matches your story, your experience, it might even bring you a lot of money; it’s just what you should do.  Or is it?

Resist the temptation to search for answers outside of yourself.  Look inside, let go of the story, understand that you are intelligent, smart, inspiring and you don’t need a project or an idea to prove it.  If you decide to go for it, do it for your own reasons, in order to stretch yourself and not because you should.

Be patient with the quest.  It might take a while until you feel you are ready to let go of the idea/project or to embrace it.  The most important thing is to know that you decided for yourself.  You are a winner when you take your own side.

With energy,

Ana

What I’ve Learned So Far…

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

A few days ago, the sunset was painting the sky orange in beautiful Istanbul as I was lingering at the airport waiting for my flight to Hong Kong en route from Brazil.  I began to focus on the changing colors in the sky and I felt so grateful for having the life I designed for myself!  My life includes traveling, partnering with others in their growing process and witnessing their success, being married to my best friend, living in the city I chose and love, being in good terms with my family, pursing my spiritual growth freely and without restrictions…  Truly, I cannot ask for more.  Being able to achieve all that is a direct result of many important lessons I’ve learned.  I am very grateful to The Infinite One  and to all the teachers that I’ve had in my life so far.  So, going back to the sunset at Istanbul airport, I felt inspired to write down a list of the lessons that have made a big difference in my life so far and I thought I would share it with you.  They are not numbered by their order of importance.  It’s just what came to me first, second, third and so on.  They were all equally crucial for what I consider to be a successful life.

1.  TOO MUCH OF EVERYTHING IS TOO MUCH. – This was probably the first life lesson I learned.  My nanny taught me that and I never forgot it.  It seems to apply to everything in life; from food, to money, power, prestige, holidays, work, etc.

2.  THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY OUT OF EVERY SITUATION, EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF DEATH AND EVEN THEN, IF THE INFINITE ONE WANTS IT, THERE IS A WAY OUT! – This I learned from my mother.  It stuck with me and I’m always sure that I’ll find a way for every problem I face.  Later on, I realized that it’s not up to me to find a way; the way will find me.

3.  SAVE THE DRAMA FOR YOUR MAMA! – When I became a coach, I learned that drama is like rust, it corrodes our lives, our relationships, and every situation.  As a coach, I listen to my clients and focus on the issue minus the drama.  They are extremely grateful when I mirror the situation back to them without the drama in it.  It’s amazing how much of the “fog” in our lives is caused by our addiction to drama.

4.  IF YOU BELIEVE IN IT, YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN. – That I learned from my passion for swimming.  I strived for excelence and always wanted to become the best swimmer I could be.  I chose a school in the US that was ranked in the top 10 swimming schools in the country.  I was far from being a swimmer at that level and I decided that I would get a scholarship there.  Two years later, I was on their squad with a full ride scholarship.

5.  THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A DAY AFTER ANOTHER AND A NIGHT IN BETWEEN. – The first part is a famous Brazilian adage and “the night in between” was added by me.  Sleep does wonders for me.  If something bothers me, I feel the feeling, acknowledge it, and go to sleep.  The next morning everything seems clearer.

6.  KEEP MOVING. – This one has two meanings.  The first one is that no matter what happens we need to move forward.  The past belongs in the past and we belong to the present.  The only way to create our future is to ground ourselves in the present and keep moving forward.  The second meaning is that moving our body creates energy.  I always find solace and clarity while exercising.

7.  BECOME FINANCIALLY AND EMOTIONALLY INDEPENDENT. – These two are deeply interrelated.  We want security and money brings us the illusion of security.  Once we believe in this illusion, we become emotionally dependent of money and of who/what provides it to us.  Learning to master the energy of money and fulfilling our own emotional needs is a great way to get on the path of freedom.

8.  FIND YOUR SPIRITUAL CENTER. – My connection to The Infinite One centers me no matter what I am going through.  Whatever way you find your spirituality, that is the true gateway to your core.  There will be no more running away from life and from yourself.  You will find peace because you will find the place where your true essence meets the essence of the Divine.

9.  LEARN TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST. – As an athlete, I knew this one naturally because without food, rest and focus on my goals my body would not perform.  Later on, as I became a coach, I learned the importance of focus on myself in order to become aware of my own power and in order to become stronger to share more with others from a place of abundance.  We can only give what we have.

10.  BE GRATEFUL FOR EVERYTHING; EVEN FOR THE TRIALS IN YOUR LIFE. – My personal belief is that everything that happens in our life is always for the best.  It’s hard for us to see it right away because we are very close to our own lives and to what is happening at the moment.  However, as time passes by, we look back and recognize that whatever happened was the best thing for us.  This realization brings us a tremendous amount of faith in life.

So there you have it!  What have you learned in your life?  Share your lessons with me and I will post them as well.

Let’s learn together!

With energy,

Ana

What’s China Got to Do With It?

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

In the beginning of this week, right after the most sacred day of the Jewish calendar – Yom Kippur, my husband and I took a trip to China to see the famous terracotta warriors.  I was on cloud nine since I had just cleansed my soul with the 25 hours fast of food and water we observe during Yom Kippur that is meant to remove us from our earthly self and connect us with the Divine.  I felt like I was ready to face the world again renewed and filled with new insights.

When I got to China and began experienced the unfamiliar enviroment and the clash of the cultural differences, I reminded myself in a very ‘coach-like’ way, that their way of doing things works for them just as mine works for me.  Children were peeing on the streets, cars were honking non-stop, people were trying to get just another dollar out of us,  and that was all part of the experience.  We were there to see the warriors and to have a good time.

Here is when the Yom Kippur liturgy came to mind.  We were called to repent, change our ways and get back to the right path.  It’s one thing when we are inside the comfort of our synagogue, surrounded by people who are committed to the same experience.  We are all Jews and used to more or less the same culture.  While walking on the streets of Xian and being surrounded by Chinese people who do things differently, think differently and behave in ways that challenge my notion of cleanness, politeness and what’s the right thing to do, now that’s another thing!  How can I change my ways here?  How do I not judge and feel like we have all the answers as my lovely husband argues in Mandarin with the taxi driver about where he is taking us?  It turns out he was taking us to the right place and we were the confused ones!  Mind you, this is not my first time in China.  I’ve been there many times and knew very well what I was going to find.

The rubber hits the road when we go out of our comfort zones and are called to walk our talk.  For me, going to the heart of China one day after Yom Kippur was the best experience I could have had.  It dawned on me that I had just asked G-d to have mercy while judging my actions during the past year, and here I am in China having no trouble judging their ways without an ounce of compassion.  Ooops, that hurts…

The great thing about it all is that awareness, which is the first step to growth, played its part beautifully.  The proximity of Yom Kippur rang a bell louder than I could bear and my actions where immediately steered toward finding the commonalities between me and all my fellow Chinese.  As I showed compassion, understanding and gratitude toward people, I got the same and more right back; a friendly smile, a free mocha from Starbucks, bread and apples from the hotel to take on our trip to the see the warriors, an immense amount of courtesy and refreshing cold water from our guide/driver.

All our faults are only opportunities to achieve more, all our not so wonderful traits are challenges offering us opportunitites to grow and choose to do better.  It is all for the good.  Keep feeding your awareness with the clarity that comes from knowing yourself!  It will never fail to show up when you need it.

With energy,

Ana

Human Beings vs. Human Becomings

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

joy1Rabbi David Aaron, a person I deeply respect, coined the term ‘human becomings’.  He explains that because we are constantly moving forward, always changing and hopefully, always growing, we are not really human beings; we are actually human becomings.  It is a learning process to become a human.  The process is much more important than the destination. 

As I meditated on it, I realized that there is a part in all of us who loves to grow, loves a challenge, an adventure and loves the journey.  There is also a part of us that is afraid of risks, that avoid challenges and resists growth.  The magic happens when we acknowledge that life is a challenge – and that the challenge itself is what makes it fun!  Only then life becomes a dynamic process of growth; an exciting adventure!

During the dynamic process of our lives, everything is always changing.  That’s the whole bit about being ‘human becomings’ and not ‘human beings’.  That’s our role in the world and the reason we were created.  If we accept that, we will understand ourselves better. 

The moment when we actually reach our goal flies swiftly; it is fleeting in its essence.  The goal of life is to be one with it; to live inside its rhythm and to bask in the human experience with gusto.  To experience and to enjoy the unique challenges and opportunities that each situation has to offer.  So life is also a becoming. 

Choose to become and to enjoy the process!

With energy,

Ana

The Surprises of Re-Inventing Oneself

Monday, December 7th, 2009

immers1Looking into the future is a fantastic game.  The process of re-inventing oneself is one of building a vision for one’s life honoring his/her past, choices and present.  This a much more sustainable and inspiring way of changing than the motivation based on the fear that one is not good enough and needs to change in order to fulfill the expectations of others.  There is a huge difference in taking the pro-active step of re-inventing oneself when the inspiration comes from a desire to better perform his/her mission of service and share his/her gifts with others most effectively.  It’s fair to say that sometimes the process begins with a major crisis and the need for change can no longer be ignored.  However, in order for this ‘wake-up call’ to be sustainable, it needs to be followed with deliberate actions. 

Whatever the initial motivation for re-invention is, the process has steps.  I want to share with you my own process of re-invention which I am currently undergoing.  So far, I have been able to recognize a few steps.  Here they are:

1.  Making a choice to undergo re-invention.  This has to be a concious choice.  In my case, it has certainly been fueled by our recent move to Hong Kong.  It has been a clear choice to go beyond what I’ve been doing, to grow and answer a higher call.  I remember what the call sounds like from my days as an athlete.  If I wanted to get to a higher level of performance, I needed to answer a few hard questions and take action toward the goal.  Did I want it bad enough?  Was I willing to sacrifice physical comfort and emotional security and take a leap to a different life?  Was I committed enough to re-invent myself and become a better athlete?  I chose to say yes to these questions and to take the actions.  Now the time has come once again to say yes to become a higher performer.  The biggest obstacle that impedes most people to take this step is that there is no map to it.  The road is dark and one can only see a few meters ahead.  It requires faith in oneself to move forward.  Once the decision is made to go ahead with the process of re-invention, there is hardly a choice to go back.

2.  Evaluating where I am in life.  This step involves a deeper look at my present, values, choices, surroundings, my chosen companions (partner, friends, family), my view of the world and of my spiritual path.  This step requires a lot of ‘listening’.  It’s not an easy one, let me tell you.  However, once I entered this stage, I began to notice the messages.  They were coming from all over; people, circumstances, moments, words, e-mails, dreams and books.  All of these mediums are coming together to show me a path.  As I was trying to make sense of it all, I realized that it was best not to try to make sense at all!  There is a clear call of  ‘letting go’ of control and of expectations.  I recognized that most of those expectations were coming from outside of myself.  The need to control is fueled by fear of not being good enough and the expectations are a collection of ‘shoulds’ that the outside world gave me and I took in willingly.  I am working on letting go.  It has proven to be quite the task and one that has no specific end in sight.

3.  Letting go.  Lately, there have been many opportunities to let go of things, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and fears that are present in my life.  I am taking actions that facilitate the process of letting go and I am pleased to report that the results have been amazing!  The more I let go, the more I learn.  The more I let go, the lighter I feel. 

There you have it!  That’s how far I’ve come.  I will keep sharing the journey.  My hope is that you also feel inspired to take the leap and re-invent yourselves with gusto.  Someone once said that “the only thing that is constant in our lives is change”.  By choosing to re-invent ourselves we accept this truth and become better equipped to let go of what we no longer need.  Life becomes lighter and we become freer.

With energy,

Ana