My Inherent Worthiness

Note to Self about my inherent worthiness.

Image by Still Unique Photography

Image

Is Yours an Innie or an Outie?

Image by Still Unique Photography

Image by Still Unique Photography

No, I’m not talking about belly buttons, I’m talking about success. Where do you get yours from? Are you an outie who believes success comes from reaching specific goals, making money, being popular, receiving approval, or having power? This is definitely how our culture defines it. We are constantly striving for more likes on our Facebook page, more followers on our blogs and websites, more customers, increased sales, more supporters, higher test scores, more income, higher ratings, more recognition, and more…. Success is determined and measured by getting something from out there, and there is a great deal of external pressure to ‘make it’.

Or are you an innie who believes success is about personal fulfillment? If you are an innie, you’re focused on following your heart and believe that you are successful when you’re true to yourself and doing what you feel called to do, regardless of the outcome. True happiness and satisfaction come from following your inner passion, not from extrinsic rewards. There is a great freedom being an innie because your success isn’t measured, defined, or determined by others. It is totally an inside job.

While it isn’t easy to change from an outie to an innie, it can be done, even without surgery. All it takes is desire, commitment, confidence, and patience. And when you find you’ve slipped and your innie has popped out, just take your finger and push it back in!

A Success Story

Image by Still Unique Photography

Image by Still Unique Photography

I’ve been thinking a lot about success lately.  And what I discovered surprised me.

In the beginning, all I had was a yearning, or perhaps it was more like a beckoning:  to nurture my creative side by pursuing my passion for photography.  This yearning soon expanded to writing insightful messages about my photographs, which expanded yet again to wanting to share these with others.  Following my bliss and doing what I felt I was meant to do, filled my soul to the brim with joy and peace.

Soon, however, a little nagging voice emerged saying that if I really wanted to experience fulfillment and satisfaction, then I needed to have a “real” purpose; one that involved something of true value and worth, such as earning money, helping others, and receiving recognition.  As I listened to this voice and believed it, a hole in my soul began to develop, and so down that path I went trying to fill it up.

I enrolled in an on-line “start your own photography business” course, got a logo, a Facebook page, a website, an Etsy shop, a Pinterest page, a blog, and hooked up with Fine Art America.  I read books about how to create the life you desire, took on-line courses, and read blogs and articles about how to get noticed in web searches and promote your business.  The more I learned, the more I realized how much I needed to do if I wanted to be successful.  I felt like a rabbit hopping quickly down the path chasing a carrot on a string that is always just out of its reach. I set goals, visualized, affirmed, and believed. I reached deep down and felt what it would feel like to be a successful still life photographer and blogger.  I did my part daily and trusted that the Universe was working in the background pulling it all together.  I believed that success was just around the corner, and that I would one day “get” there.

In the meantime, the hole in my soul grew wider. The joy and peace I once felt was slowly leaking away, until one day I woke up, empty.  Fulfillment and satisfaction were replaced with anxiety and inadequacy. I looked around for my motivation, but it was nowhere to be found.  I realized that my enthusiasm, joy, and contentment had suffocated in my pursuit of success.  Right then and there, I stopped, looked around and sensed that I might be on the wrong path.  As I contemplated this, several questions surfaced:

  • What is it I really want?  A deep sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction
  • What is my definition of success?  Attaining specific goals such as making money, helping others, and having a certain number of Facebook and blog followers
  • What is the relationship between those two answers?

Wait a minute….didn’t I experience personal fulfillment and satisfaction in the beginning when I was following my heart’s desire and doing what I enjoyed?  I wasn’t making money, helping others, or receiving recognition.  Right then and there, I realized that I had been duped and was on the wrong path!  I had bought into our culture’s definition of success.  I fell hook, line, and sinker for the belief that fame and fortune are not only more important than following your heart, but are also the true pathways to peace, fulfillment, and joy.  Not wanting to venture down this path any further, I quickly  gathered up my camera and tripod and headed back home.  To my surprise, when I arrived, I found my passion and my authentic self waiting for me.  As I wrapped my arms around them and held them to my heart, I knew I was exactly where I needed to be and my soul was once again filled to the brim with peace and joy.

From time to time, I believe we all wrestle with success.  What is your success story?

The Man with the Plan

The Plan

Image by Still Unique Photography

It is very clear that if I want to succeed then I have to relinquish all control to the Man with The Plan.  I am not in charge of this creative endeavor; I’m a volunteer. It’s for my own good that I don’t know the whole Plan because I would very likely rush ahead and try to make “it” happen as quickly as possible, skipping essential steps along the way.  Because I am a problem solver and figure-outer, in no time I would be heading down the path toward frustration and failure.

So who is the Man with The Plan and why should I trust him?  First of all, it is not a man. I only chose that word because it rhymed with “plan” and I like the way “the Man with The Plan” sounds. It is really the wisdom within, the Divine, my true Self, God, my higher Self, the all-knowing Presence, the eternal perfect essence of who I really am. It is where love, truth, and power reside.  It is my deepest authentic self and it is who I am created to be.  It is limitless abundance.  It is what fashioned the universe and the rose.  It is the positive energy that manifests all things into existence and it holds all the knowledge and power to the fulfillment of my dreams.

Most people would agree that in order to succeed at anything, one needs a good solid plan. Although I started with one, I soon realized that this endeavor was way bigger than I had anticipated.  I also realized that the passion and desire I had was coming from a place much deeper than my little ego self. Inspirations and ideas would arise almost by themselves instead of me trying to create them or figure out how to get them.  At this point, I understood that something greater than my limited perception of myself was involved here, and a Plan grander than mine was evolving.  I realized that if I wanted to succeed, then I would need to relinquish my leadership role.

Like all successful endeavors, mine too, has a very specific and detailed plan which is kept here in this box. It’s a fool-proof plan guaranteed to manifest into a successful fulfilling experience.  Like many employees in a company, I didn’t create The Plan, I don’t know all of the particulars of it, and I don’t manage it.  However, I trust the One who did and I trust The Plan He created. I let go of having to know the whole picture.  I am never left in the dark as each day I am given something from the box to accomplish.  My job is to focus on this next step, and to do what is mine to do.

When I forget about The Man with The Plan, then I start thinking I need to figure everything out and am easily overwhelmed.  When this happens, I’m like a tired swimmer caught in a riptide.  I’m barely able to keep my head above water, as I’m being slowly pulled further and further out to sea. I begin to lose hope, start doubting myself, and entertain all kinds of negative thoughts.  I feel tense, small, limited, and ineffective.  As the leader and creator of this undertaking, I feel completely inadequate (which I am).  This box helps to remind me that there is a specific Plan and something greater is in control.    I may not know exactly where I am going and I definitely don’t know how I am getting there; but I do know what I need to know to keep moving forward.  And what about all the rest? ….. The Man with The Plan has it all under control.

Success Is….

Passing along a positive thought for the day….

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Image by Still Unique Photography

 

Success is knowing that you are doing the right thing with your time on earth.

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