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Geting out of the driver’s seat

This one is for my clients who like to dive into the deeper stuff. In this post, we are going to get into the God thing. Maybe you refer to it as the universe, spirit, higher self…whatever you like to call it, I use them all… we are going there.

The way I see it, there are two ways to walk through this world. You are either in the driver’s seat or you are the vehicle that is being driven. Most of us try to sit in the driver’s seat 100% of the time. And you are probably thinking, yes, that is exactly where I want to be. I want to be in control of my life. If I am not in the driver’s seat of my life, nothing is going to happen, I will end up a bag lady and then my life is going to be over…something like that.

But let’s take a closer look at what it really means to be in the driver’s seat. First of all, it’s a lot of pressure. If you are the driver, you are responsible for this whole thing. Your life, I mean. If you think about it like that, NO WONDER people are walking around with anxiety!

When you are in the driver’s seat, it means that you need to KNOW where this vehicle is going and HOW it’s going to get there. Which means you will need to sort through all the possibilities you can think of and narrow them down to ONE path, shutting you off from all the other paths. That is nerve racking! Are you with me? What if you make the wrong choice? You can see why some people choose to settle for a job that just pays the bills…. To avoid this kind of pressure! And then there are some of us that move forward, powering through, micromanaging every single step… Maybe this is more like you? Working hard to get it done! If you don’t do it, no one else is going to do it. Doing it all yourself, because no one else seems to maintain the high standard for perfection that you have? Yes? Sounds exhausting just talking about it. I know this path, because that has been me.

I am going to make a case for choosing to be the vehicle instead. And what I am talking about is stepping out of the control position and allowing something bigger to step in and do the driving. Maybe it sounds good in theory, but not really practical with everything you’ve got going on…. I know. But I am inviting you to let go of what you think isn’t possible and step into curiosity about this…Because I promise you, if you can find a way to put this into practice, you will understand the secret that some people seem to have mastered. You know the ones: they walk around with a spring in their step and peaceful smile on their face even though they seem to be juggling more than you would ever consider taking on in one life time. You think jeez, they seem to be so put together, their life is going so well…and they are relaxed! How?

Now what do I mean, Be the vehicle instead of the driver? Well, I am going to tell you, and then I am going to share a story that demonstrates how it works.

Being the vehicle instead of the driver is about surrender. Surrendering to something bigger than yourself. Whether you refer to what is bigger than your as God, or the universe, the holy spirit, you higher self, doesn’t matter. Depending on who I am talking to, I call it any one of those things. Being the vehicle means, give up on thinking you are in charge and allow something bigger than you to be in charge instead. Now if you hear the word surrender as “giving up”, stay with me. Because it is soooooo much bigger and rewarding than giving up. But yes, it does mean you have to give up your control, but what you get in exchange is sooooo much more than you could ever imagine! There have been many spiritual teachings on this very subject, but do we listen? Let go and let God (give it all up and gain everything). Now, let me qualify here, I am not saying let go and do nothing. No, not at all - you do have a role. Your role is to SHOW UP and be the vehicle! Because without the vehicle, nothing happens.

I love how Marianne Williamson says, “we think if we hand it all over to God, God is going to have some other plan that we wouldn’t want to sign up for.” And to that she says, GOD wants what you want, it’s just that God knows the easiest and most joyful way to get it and you don’t! Yet.

I decided to travel alone to Paris recently. Some teachers I admire were doing a weekend course and I had the inspiration to say yes, so I spontaneously purchased a ticket before I could second guess myself.

Now, traveling alone is not something I do, ever. I am directionally challenged so if I travel anywhere, I travel with my husband who likes to take care of all the details. But I said yes to this. Something inside of me knew I needed to do this. Did I have doubts? Yes, absolutely! And I was terrified! I really didn’t know the first thing about traveling alone and especially to another country where I did not speak the language.

But I had a ticket and I was going!

This was an opportunity for me to work on the very thing I encourage my clients to work on. Let go. Surrender. Have faith. If you are always in control, you are leaving no room for miracles. No room for the “invisible hands” to step in and help. Not only that, you are limiting the possibilities for the outcome because your mind has limited the paths to one and limited your perspective on how you might achieve your desired outcome, which increases the possibility of an undesirable outcome.

There is a daily prayer in the Course in Miracles (which is my guide book by the way) that goes like this: "Where would You have me go? What would You have me do? What would You have me say, and to whom?"

I mean, WHAT A PRAYER! It really takes it all out of your hands, doesn’t it? You are asking to be guided. You are allowing yourself to be used by something bigger than your own ego.

So that is exactly what I did. Beyond reserving my little hotel and getting my outfits together, there was just no time to figure out how I was going to make this happen. I had two weeks! So I had to either trust that I would be guided or to work myself into a control frenzy.

So I trusted.

The first challenge was my flight to JFK Airport in New York being canceled due to snow storms. Here was the bigger something, right out of the gate, showing me I really didn’t have control! Who controls the weather? NOT ME! I was rescheduled on a flight to LaGuardia Airport, two hours before my international flight out of JFK to Paris on a different airline. Yep, my tickets were not even connected to the same airline! And my flight to Paris was not delaying due to weather.

I happened to have a call scheduled with a pilot friend. Though she really couldn’t help me with my redirected flight, she was able to give me the number for her New York cab driver, Anthony. I contacted him immediately and set up a pick up at LaGuardia. He let me know he would do his best, but the weather was pretty bad. He explained I would be landing in a terminal where drivers were not allowed to pick up so I would need to hop on a purple bus and head to terminal K. Uhm, what? Ok.

So I just kept moving forward doing the one next thing and trusting when it came to the next thing I would know what to do. Get to the airport. Check in for my flight. Go through security. Get on the plane. That is how my mind was working. I would tell myself, I have one thing to do. When I landed in LaGuardia I had one mission: look for a purple bus and head to terminal K and call Anthony. As soon as I landed, I bee lined out of the plane aiming for purple. My phone rang and it was Anthony. He told me to go out the side door and look for his van and just jump in without looking around. New one next thing! Abort the search for purple, look around for a side door. I found it, walked out, hopped in a van and away we went. I happened to look to my left and saw the front of a grey bus with these words scrolling across the windshield “Purple Bus”.

The universe has such a sense of humor! The Purple bus wasn’t even Purple!!! I was laughing and crying simultaneously as I thanked Anthony for being my Angel.

So this is how my entire journey to Paris went. My “What” was Paris. I didn’t know the “How”, but I was showing up for each next step of the journey trusting that everything I needed would be available for me right when I needed it. And it was! I had an amazing time. One angel after the next stepped in to guide my way at the very moment I needed a hand.

Now, had I tried to figure this whole thing out on my own… Let me just say, it would have ended up very differently. In fact, I may have even decided to write the whole thing off as a loss right when my first flight was cancelled. Too many things against me…forget it. Too stressful.

Instead, I decided to get out of the driver’s seat and just be the vehicle. Yes, I had to show up in order for any of it to happen! No vehicle, no adventure. And being the vehicle doesn’t mean you don’t get to enjoy the ride. No way! It means you get to enjoy the experience so much more! Because you are not only a vehicle, but you are also a passenger. What a ride! What a ride. And I want to suggest that your whole life can be just like this….if you can begin to unclench your grasp. Let go of the idea that you have to have it all figured out…and instead be curious! Allow inspiration to move you. Because that’s really how god shows up to guide you, through inspiration. Feel your way through it. Keep saying, “Show me. Show me. I am available.”

If this subject has stimulated more questions in you, great! Tell me about it! If you have your own stories about how you surrendered and experienced the miracles, please share! You can email me at cathy@thelifecoachingspot.com. Or you can join my private facebook group The Life Coaching Spot! I look forward to hearing from you. Blessed Be.

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You really only ever have the one thing to do. You can’t actually do more than one thing at a time. Yes, maybe you are making dinner and doing laundry from 6-7, but you are not stirring soup AND putting a load into the dryer at the same time. You are doing one or the other, period. In fact, in my experience, the idea of multi-tasking is a recipe for stress. Why? Because when you are focused on several things at once, you are never giving your 100% to the one thing you are actually doing right now. More likely, you are autopilot with the thing you are currently doing and your mind is busy planning the next thing.

In this podcast, I want to talk about getting in touch with your true power by bringing your focus back to the one thing that you are doing right now. Why is this important?

· NOW is where all the magic happens.

· Now is the only time that anything can ever happen. It doesn’t happen in the future, it doesn’t happen in the past. It all happens NOW. All the action is in the one thing that you are doing right now.

· What I love about this, is that it’s simple. And when it comes right down to it…all the good stuff is simple. The one thing.

So there are 3 important steps that are key to successfully showing up for one thing, that I am going to share before I share my story.

And I hope my story just blows your mind, as it demonstrates the truth in everything I am trying to get across today.

1. Your only job is to show up and be present for the one thing that is in front of you.

2. The guidance you seek from the universe, God, your inner wisdom…you only have access to it NOW when you are 100% focused on the one thing. (if you are busy planning the rest of your day or being resentful about what happened yesterday, you are not here to receive it).

3. To be truly present and available for the one thing, you must let go of your control. It’s a bit counter intuitive, but giving your 100% should feel more like a flow, rather than a struggle. I like to see it as allowing the Divine to move through me. I am more like a vehicle than a driver. This may sound a bit foreign or even off-putting, but I promise you this is an exquisite experience. This is something I have been able to achieve in my practice with my clients for years, and only recently in my personal life.

For now, I am going to tell you a story that demonstrates these 3 elements of the one thing that is only available NOW.

Most recently I decided to travel alone to Paris. There was a weekend course happening and I had the inspiration to say yes so I spontaneously purchased my ticket before I could second guess myself. Now, traveling alone is not something I do, ever. I am directionally challenged so if I travel anywhere, it is with my husband who takes care of all the details. But I said yes to this. There was something inside of me that knew I needed to do this. Did I have doubts? Yes, absolutely! And I was terrified! I didn’t know the first thing about traveling alone and especially to another country where I did not speak the language.

But I had a ticket and I was going!

This was an opportunity for me to work on the very thing I ask of my clients. Let go. Surrender. Have faith. What is it that I am always saying? “If you are always in control, you are leaving no room for miracles. No room for the “invisible hands” to step in and help. Not only that, you are limiting the possibilities for the outcome because your mind has limited perspective on “The How”.

So I followed the exact steps I teach,

Step one: Say yes!

Step two: Ask, “Show me what to do”

There is a daily prayer in the course in miracles (Which is my guide book by the way) that goes like this:

"Where would You have me go? What would You have me do? What would You have me say, and to whom?"

I mean, WHAT A PRAYER!

It really takes it all out of your hands. Doesn’t it?

You are asking to be guided. You are allowing yourself to be used by something bigger than your own ego. And my experience with this, is that it is the most beautiful experience.

So that is what I did. Because it was stressing me out to try to figure the whole thing out. Beyond reserving my little boutique hotel and getting my outfits together, There was just no time. My choice was to either trust that I would be guided or to work myself into a control frenzy.

So I trusted.

The first thing that happened is that my flight to New York JFK on American Airlines was canceled due to snow storms. Here it all was, right out of the gate, showing me that I really didn’t have control! Who controls the weather? NOT ME! I was rescheduled on a flight that took me to laguardia airport, 2 hours before my international flight out of JFK to Paris on Brussels airlines. Yep, my tickets were not even connected to the same airline! And Brussels was not delaying due to weather.

I happened to have a call scheduled with my pilot friend who happens to fly for American Airlines. Though she really couldn’t help me with my flight, she was able to give me the number for her New York driver, Anthony. I contacted him immediately and set up a pick up at the airport. He let me know he would do his best, but the weather was pretty bad. He explained that I would be landing in a terminal where drivers were not allowed to pick up so I would need to hop on a Purple bus and head to terminal K.

So I just kept moving forward doing the next one thing and trusting that when it came to the next thing I would know what to do. Get to the airport. Check in for my flight. Go through security. Get on the plane. That is how my mind was working. I would tell myself, I have one thing to do. When I landed in Laguardia I had my mission: look for a purple bus and head to terminal K and call Anthony. As soon as I landed, I b-lined out of the plane aiming for purple. My phone rang and it was Anthony. He told me to go out the side door and look for his van and just jump in without looking around. Abort the search for purple, look aound a side door, Found it. walked out hopped in the van and away we went. I happened to look to my left and saw the front of a Grey bus with these words scrolling across the windshield “Purple Bus”

Oh God does have a since of humor! The Purple bus wasn’t even Purple!!! I was laughing and crying simultaneously as I thanked Anthony for being my Angel.

So this is how is how my journey to Paris went. My “What” was Paris. I didn’t know how, but I was showing up for the next step of the journey trusting that everything I needed would be available for me right when I needed it. And it was! I had an amazing time in Paris. One angel after the next stepped it to guide my way at the very moment I needed a hand.

This trip opened me up in ways I couldn’t have predicted or planned. Here is what I realized: the universe really does have my back, I just hadn’t been willing to let go and allow it to show me.

1. I was clearly being guided the whole time. And what it showed me, is that I am being guided all the time.

2. Everything I needed was waiting for me at each step of the journey. Not before, but in the very moment I need it. Which is always NOW

3. I had to let go and get out of the way to have access to any of it.

And if you have a story about surrender, or maybe how this topic touched you. Tell me about it. You can email me: cathy@thelifecoachingspot.com. I would love to hear from you!

Blessed Be.

For another podcast about your calling

There are 5 things I want you to walk away with today:

Are you ready?

1. Your only job is to say YES to the “What”

2. The “How” is not your job and not your business.

3. You are exactly where you need to be to get started.

4. The steps will be revealed to you when you are ready. Until then, don’t worry about it.

5. Everything you need will be waiting for you right when you need it. Every step of the way.

There is a line from the course that says, “All are called. Few choose to listen.” And I love this because It is not excluding anyone! All, means you too.

So what exactly is a calling? And how do you know when you hear it? A calling is literally anything that inspires you! That is how the divine speaks to you: Through inspiration. It may be something big or it may be something small. No matter. It is whatever lights you up, turns you on, floats your boat, creates a spark. That’s your calling. Sometimes it’s just your calling for now. Sometimes it’s a bigger calling.

The call can happen multiple times in a day if you are open to it. Or it may be only once in awhile. But I will tell you this, If you don’t make room for inspiration to come through, it won’t. What do I mean by that? Well here’s something: If you are busy filling every single moment with your planning, you are not making room. How do you make room? We will go more into detail about that in a later episode, but a hint (meditate, go for quiet walks, play, stop and do absolutely nothing for several minutes)

So when you get the call, big or small, you have the opportunity to accept it or not.

Often times what happens is you will get the call and maybe you will think, yeah that would be cool, but I don’t know how to do that! Or that is just not practical. Or who am I to do such a thing? So you decline. And that is how it happens, more often than not. That’s exactly what it means, “All are called. Few choose to listen.” So inspiration is an invitation to say yes to the call.

So there you have it:

1. Your only job is to say YES to the “What”

2. The “How” is not your business.

3. You are exactly where you need to be to get started.

4. The steps will be revealed to you when you are ready for them. Until then, don’t worry about it.

5. Everything you need will be waiting for you right when you need it.

So what are you going to do next time inspiration knocks on your door? When you receive the call? Or perhaps you have already said yes to your calling and you are running up against some unknowns. Can you just be willing to surrender to it. Can you just be willing to let go of your tight grip on how you think this whole thing needs to go, and ask, “Show me” “Show me”

Possibly another podcast about “the how is not your business”

Clients will often say things to me like, “I don’t even know where to start”. And to that I will always reply, “What do you mean? You have already begun.” Every step you have taken so far has led you to this moment right here. And look at you, you are sitting with a Life Coach asking meaningful questions about your life path!”

One of my favorite quotes of all time is, “You are exactly where you need to be.” I love this quote because it takes away all of the anxiety that comes with thinking you need to be anywhere other than where you are right now. I hear those words, “you are exactly where you need to be”. And something inside of me just relaxes. I can take a deep breath and let go of the grasping for a minute. Ahhhhhh, I think, I have arrived! Until the mind comes back in with its “but what about this. Or what about that”. Yeah that happens to me too.

Now…if you have that anxious tick in the back of your mind that is telling you that you should be somewhere else other than right here, it’s lying!

The truth is, you started your path a long time ago and you are on it right now! SO if you are ever doubting yourself, just remember that one thing is for sure, you are exactly where you need to be to take the next step. Every step starts with this one, right here. So let’s do this.

Now “The HOW” is not your job. Because that is where you get caught up, right? I don’t know how! But again, “The How is not your job”. Your job is merely to answer the call. To be willing. That is it! To show up for it even though you don’t know how.

Do you think that people who accomplished great things knew what they were doing right out of the gate? NO WAY! They just had an idea that inspired them and they said “YES” to the journey. They were willing. Willing to get curious and ask questions. Willing to wonder. Willing to be guided.

Blessed Be

By the way, I have a monthly drawing for a free 45-minute coaching session with me. All you have to do is fill out this short survey here that offers me blogpost/podcast ideas that are relevant for you! All answers are confidential.