4 Signs it’s Time to Stop Doing and Make a Change

Have you ever heard the saying “if at first you don’t succeed, then try, try again?”

But should you always try? What if you are performing an activity you are no longer interested in? What if you want to use your time and talents in a different way?

Sometimes quitting is one of the best decisions you can make. I’m not talking about stopping at the 25th mile of  a marathon (26.2 miles) because you’re tired. I am talking about ending a relationship or work situation that no longer satisfies you. There is no point in sticking with something just to be deemed not a quitter.

But sometimes it is hard to know whether to change direction or push on. So, let’s look at some signs that will help you gauge when enough is enough and it’s time to change direction.

1. You don’t like what you’re doing

If you don’t like what you’re doing it is time for a change. Let’s take your job for example. Ask yourself if the stress and discontentment of your predicament are worth it–year after year dragging yourself to work, knowing you have 10, 20 or 30 years to go before retirement. Is that what you want for your life?

Find out what kind of work would make your soul sing and begin putting things in place to achieve that. Do you need to go back to school? Do you need any special certifications? Are there other positions in your company that fit your skill set? An average person spends 8-10 hours a day at work; wouldn’t it be great if those hours were enjoyable.

This isn’t to say there aren’t day to day tasks you may not enjoy doing, like washing dishes, grocery shopping or doing laundry, but those aren’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about those things that have the power to lift your soul up or bring it down in a profound way, like your job, your relationships and activities you participate in.

2. You are too comfortable

Be honest with yourself. Have you become too comfortable in your life? Do you follow the same routine week after week with little or no variation? Do you have the same thoughts or say no to opportunities to grow? Or have you let your health decline by eating poorly or not exercising? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you have become too comfortable and it is time for a change.

Variety is what keeps life interesting. Variety is what keeps passion alive. Variety is what gives you meaning and purpose. Begin to get out of your rut by saying ‘yes’ to opportunities outside of your comfort zone. You don’t want to spend your whole life experiencing nothing more than the 4 blocks around you. I know I’m being dramatic, but I’m sure you get the point. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away” ~unknown.

3. You are doing too much for others

We are taught to give selflessly, often at our own expense. Although giving to others is important, there comes a point when you have to say enough is enough and put yourself first. Many of us struggle with the guilt that follows when we do for ourselves. We grow up thinking caring for our self is selfish.

The word “selfish” is greatly misunderstood and needs replacement. It conjures up negative ideas such as taking without concern for others and being greedy and mean. So, instead of the word “selfish”, use the word “self-care.”

Self-caring is about maintaining your emotional, physical, mental and spiritual well-being.  It means listening to your intuition and acting accordingly. It means finding community, connection, support, security, peace and inspiration when you need it.

And when you take care of yourself, you are better equipped to take care of others. You can equate it to the flight attendant on a plane instructing you to put on your oxygen mask before you attend to anyone else. After all, if you aren’t receiving oxygen, what use are you?

If you really want to fine tune your self caring, you’ve got to use your intuition to gain insight into what you’re needing. Take a look at this video for tips on how to tap into your intuition.

4. You are not happy

Not being content with your life is a sure sign something is awry. Ask yourself why you are not happy. Yes, ask yourself that questions and then answer it. What often surfaces for me is a list of things that I deeply want to do and am not currently doing. I want to be better organized. I want to up explore my psychic abilities. I want to love the work I do. I want peace an harmony. I want to feel passionate. Your dreams are just as important now as when you first had them and should not be denied.

Maybe you don’t have time to do all the activities you come up with, but you can find some way to incorporate at least a small portion of them into your life. For example, if you have always wanted to dance, take a dance class once or twice a week.

You see, many people fill their lives with commitments that bring them little to no satisfaction. Life is too short to be lived this way. While we do have obligations that are necessary for our basic day to day living, we should always make time to take care of ourselves.

What is it time for you to stop doing?

8 Tips to Avoid Massive Project Burnout & Meltdowns

“An obstacle is often a stepping stone. – PRESCOTT”

Over the last several years I have done quite a bit of painting around the house.

I would start out in the mornings nice and strong and full of energy, and as the project went on my energy level would start to go down, and then by the end of the day I would be hungry, tired and would barely have enough energy to clean the brushes–I was burned out.

And then one day it occurred to me that I didn’t have to allow a project to make me feel that way.

Here’s how to complete a project without burning out:

Approach the project with the right attitude

Your attitude towards a project will determine how you feel while you are doing it.

If you approach your project with resentment, it will become difficult to impossible to enjoy, and time will creep by slower than a heard of turtles going through mud after a big lunch.

However, if you approach your project with a positive attitude, not only will time fly by, but you may even find it enjoyable.

If it is a project that you just cannot bring yourself to do consider hiring someone; paying someone else do the work is better than having an unfinished bathroom or deck for example.

Avoid doing too much too soon

When we are excited about a project, we can really get caught up in the excitement of it—especially when we think about the benefits it will bring to our lives once complete. In spite of your excitement, hold yourself back. If you do too much too soon, your chances off becoming burned out quickly go up, and you may find yourself stopping the project soon after you start.

So, before you begin the project, know how long it is going to take, and then decide how much work you will be able to put in each day. Take into consideration breaks, days off and all of those other things (fun and necessary) that you do to keep your life in balance.

Work Steadily

Carry out your project at a steady pace (unless you have real deadline and not one of those deadlines where you just want to get it done as soon as possible). Moving too quickly can cause scatteredness and anxiety which can lead to mistakes you then have to go back and correct. One time in my haste to get a room painted, I spilled an entire can of paint.

I am sure you would rather spend your time doing something else rather than correcting mistakes that were completely preventable had you slowed down.

Take short breaks

Take short breaks to eat, drink, sit down and relax for a little, and yes use the bathroom. Some people can get so focused on the project they forget to take care of themselves. They just want to get it done and then by the end they are dehydrated, hungry, cranky, and just not fun to be around.

I’m not saying any names, but it gets nutty around our house when a certain loved-one (my boyfriend) doesn’t take breaks during a project. Seriously, it is better to take small breaks throughout the project and have it take a little longer–you will be so much happier, and so will everyone else around you.

Take long breaks

If short breaks don’t keep you sane, take longer ones if you can. Yes, there are some times you need to push and grind to meet a deadline, but if you truly can avoid that then do.  Take for example painting a room. You might decide to do the ceiling one weekend, two of the walls on another weekend and the last two on the third weekend with a total project time of 3 weeks.

Splitting your project across multiple weekends will allow maintain your sanity by giving you the time to do other thing you enjoy. In fact, I stained our deck this way. I did one section a day until it was complete and there were even a few days no sections got done.

Work within your rhythm

Consider working on the project according to your circadian rhythm. Are you a morning person, or are you at your best in the afternoon. Knowing this will give you an idea of when you are most likely to feel your best while doing your project. Because I am a morning person I try to get most of my project work done then, so I don’t have it hanging over my head in the evenings and I can use that time to spend with my family.

Entertain yourself while working

Having entertainment can make the project go by quicker. I’m sure you’re no stranger to this. Try listening to music, a book on tape or turning on the television the next time. My favorite thing is podcasts. I love to learn, so I load up the iPod with lessons.

Get help

Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family members for help. Let them know ahead of time so they can schedule and prepare for the tasks ahead. For some people it can be difficult to ask for help. Get over it. If it’s something you’re uncomfortable with, it will be good practice. Depending on the length of the project, consider having snacks or a nice lunch as a gesture of appreciation.

The Manifestation of You. You are Not Your Ego

“We have always been involved in spiritual evolution. We are spiritual beings, we have always been spiritual beings and we will always be spiritual beings.”~ Gary Zukav ~

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you needed something from another person?

Maybe you needed money, time, attention or something else. Were you able to get it from that other person? Most likely it depended on what it was. If you needed help moving, a kind word or a listening ear, probably so; but if you needed help raising your self-esteem, becoming happy or cultivating courage, you most likely had to look within.

I, like you, have been in situations where I thought I needed something only another could give me, only to find out it had to be cultivated from within. There are many people on this planet going crazy, desperately trying to find their soul-mate, without realizing they are the one they have been looking for. That another person cannot make you happy, they can only complement or destruct who you already are. The key to creating the life you want begins with taking full responsibility for the life you have now.

Sometimes we look at “responsibility” as being something to avoid, as it is often associated with restriction. But, it is actually the opposite; responsibility allows for more freedom. Instead of allowing circumstances, family, friends or societal pressures to govern the direction of your life, you make the responsible choice to govern your life yourself.

Making choices and the creation process

Our very power comes from our ability to make choices in our lives, from where we live, to where we work, to who we marry to whether we evolve consciously.

Sometimes these choices are easy and other times they are difficult. Many people have awakened as a result of a breakup, serious illness or loss of a loved one. Our experiences, the way we think and how we perceive the world all affect what choices we deem difficult or easy. Difficult choices often come with the fear we will make a wrong choice, thereby creating a painful destiny.

But, there are no wrong choices, only choices and consequences. I think Dr. Phil put it best when he said “sometimes you make the right decision and sometimes you have to make the decision right.” And if you choose a direction that does not suit you, you can always choose another one.

You always have a choice, even if that choice is how you respond to a predicament you really didn’t choose to be in. Nelson Mandela’s grace during his imprisonment was a shining example of this as was the grace of many others who were wrongfully imprisoned and since let free.

You even chose to be here on Earth at this time even though your mind cannot remember making that choice.  It wasn’t like someone on the other side said, “Hey! Incarnate into that human body or else!”

You are not your ego

One of the hangups with being human is we think we are our egos. You are not your ego! Your ego is that part of you that wants to be liked and accepted more than anything else in the world. In fact, your ego goes out of its way to please others and meet their expectations.

Your ego is that part of you that places high importance on being better than your fellow humans in whatever way you can. Your ego seeks status, revenge, accolades and other trophies.

You can look at your ego as having a  personality of its own. It believes it is real and eternal but knows on some level that it is not and that scares it. Your ego fights to keep itself intact and must be challenged so that it doesn’t take over your life and continue to cause suffering.

If you are not your ego, who are you

You are a student who has incarnated to learn lessons that can only be taught by having a human experience. They are the lessons of love and acceptance, self-esteem, forgiveness and courage. And each of our lessons is uniquely designed for our growth. Some people are met with a lot of joy, peace and contentment right off the bat, while others are faced with one adversity after another.

When we pass away, things will make much more sense to us. But we would like it to make more sense to you now. Think of being human like accessing the Internet — you cannot experience the Internet without a computer or other electronic device, and you cannot experience the Earth school without a body.

Okay, I’m going to get a little metaphysical here, so stick with me. Ghosts or spirits are pure conscious energy that no longer have a physical body. They are not on our frequency range but exist on ranges that are very close to our own, and that is why some people can hear, see and feel their presence. You don’t have to have special powers to have this experience; however, you do have to be open to it.

You see, your physical body oscillates, or vibrates, very slowly. It is also very heavy and dense. This is why we can interact with other slow, oscillating, heavy and dense objects like those here on earth.

So what about our souls?

What is a soul

Our souls do not reside inside our bodies; our bodies are aspects of our souls on missions. Think of it this way: our bodies are the vehicles our souls use to have earthly experiences. Your soul is EVERYWHERE. It permeates every pore, vein, meridian line and thought you have.

When you feel safe and secure, your soul can envelop an entire room; conversely, if you experience fear, your soul will contract to protect the body.

Your soul cannot be seen in the physical world but it is real nonetheless.

Why are we here

We are here to experience who we already are. Did you get that? You are here to experience who you already are. Your ego gets in the way of that—trying to turn you into something you are not. The result is misery and a sense of being unfulfilled.

You will know your ego is running your life if you are more concerned with what is going on outside of you than what is happening on the inside.

As you mature in life, it is natural to begin shedding the layers of your ego. You start to find that things like status, prestige and accolades don’t matter as much as peace, happiness, relationships, love and contentment. This shedding period can be a confusing and tumultuous time for many.

The key is to relax into it and allow love to take over.

I have a lot to say on this topic, and I have much more, but to wrap up this article, I’ll leave you with a quote from Gary Zukav, one of my favorite spiritual teachers ““Eventually, you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.”

The Most Harrowing Night of My Life

“You are stronger than you know.” ― Lori Osterman

It was September 17, 1989, 2 o’clock in the afternoon, and I remember it like yesterday. My sister and I were playing in the back yard with umbrellas. We were pretending to ride the wind like Mary Poppins. We had survived many hurricanes before and didn’t think much of this one.

The house had already been boarded in preparation for the storm and the refrigerator, freezer and cabinets stocked with goods. Candles, matches, flashlights and bottled water were also ready for use. As the day progressed, the wind became stronger and rain began to fall. One hour led to the next until I became weary enough to turn in for the evening. But all attempts to use the howling wind to lull me asleep failed.

You can only do so much

I tried to drown the sound by covering the screen with the blanket that had nurtured me through much of my childhood. I curiously watched for a moment as the force of the wind held it there. I knew if I could just get to sleep, it would be over soon and I would be OK. But that wasn’t to be the case. Not that night.

The blanket I placed over the screen soon became soaked and the rain began to target me. I accepted there would be no sleep this night. The sound of the wooden shutters being ripped from the windows with an anger only mother nature could deliver quickly confirmed this.

Small things matter most

Shortly after I arose, my mom said “We have to leave.” Looking at the ceiling, I noticed wet spots indicating its weakness. I went back for a small bag of sentimentals (mostly items from my boyfriend at the time) and we left. We got into the car and began the 100 yard drive to our neighbors, but fallen trees, branches and downed wires prevented us from getting there.

My mom was in the driver seat. My sister was next to her holding her newly adopted kitten. I was in the back seat behind my mother with my foster brother to the right of me. The car shook as lightning flashed, thunder boomed and debris flew through the air. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. I wasn’t sure if I was going to live or die. As my mom prayed, I slid my hands between the seat and the door and lightly grasped her arm. The warmth of her skin was a comfortable reminder I wasn’t alone.

There is strength in numbers

The eye of the hurricane brought just enough relief for our neighbors to come out and rescue us. Along with 10 others, we spent the rest of the night in a hallway taking turns sitting on paint cans.

The sound was like being in a jungle with every wild animal belting at the top of its lungs. And my ears constantly popped from the difference of pressure inside and outside the hallway. It was like a plane descending too quickly from the sky. Later, I would learn the winds were upwards of 200 miles per hour and during the storm, the island wasn’t detectable by radar.

You can handle more than you think

A beautiful sky greeted us the next morning. My first observation was how clean the house looked. It took a moment to realize it looked so clean because I was looking through it. The doors and windows had been ripped out their frames, the ceiling had fallen and the roof was nowhere to be found.

As I neared the house I could see the cabinets doors had also been torn off, the refrigerator doors were open and the stove was in a different position than the night before. The devastation was more than I could wrap my mind around. It is the kind of devastation that changes you on a cellular level. The kind of devastation that permeates every pore of your body and you know you’ll never be the same.

You’re alive and that’s something to celebrate

The four inch water that covered the tiled floor was brown and smelled like sewage. Bat remnants previously imprisoned by the ceiling, food and other possessions floated by.

The back yard was barely recognizable. Beams, ceiling fans, couches and pieces of galvanize decorated it. As I looked around, I realized the furniture had come from a fallen apartment complex three quarters of a mile away. Coupled with the leafless trees, it look like we’d been through some sort of nuclear war.

The first night was spent at an acquaintances whose apartment was left untouched by the storm. The second was a bed with my mom, sister and on the floor in a hallway of another acquaintance. My foster brother and dad were in a room with no outside walls and two beds that had a clear view of the stars. My mom said if we are going to stay in a place with no roof, we might as well stay home; at least three of our rooms were still roofed, so we went back.

Rebuilding happens from the inside out

Almost worse than the hurricane was what came after. The prison and hospital were destroyed and looters were running free. We had no electricity, running water, plumbing or food.

There was a 6 O’clock curfew on the island that military police from the mainland enforced. In army fatigues, red berets and guns, they also provided us with food and water. We stood in long lines to fill our gallon bottles and receive freeze dried army rations. Sometimes we ate at a school that had been turned into shelter. But not my school–there was nothing left of my classrooms, but the foundation.

But that wouldn’t be the only bizarre thing I witnessed.

I remember being in the kitchen looking at my mother cooking and then looking up at the sky. Seeing galvanize (roofing) wrapped around the tops of telephone poles, miles of downed wires, animals running rampid, overturned cars and massive flooding were others.

For several months we bathed in buckets, ate by candlelight and tried to rebuild ourselves. By December we had electricity and by April we had running water. That August, I left for college.

Every experience teaches you something about you

I was so traumatized by the experience that for many years rain, thunder, lighting and loud sounds would sent me into panic.

But if I was asked if I would erase this experience from my life, the answer would be no. There is nothing like an experience like this put life’s challenges in perspective. The day before hurricane HUGO, I was an 18 year old swimmer, in love, going to school while preparing for college. The next day, I was fighting for my life.