Crossroads: What Happens Next In Our Lives?

It is the choices we make at each crossroad that will determine what happens next.

Do we follow the path of highest resistance or continue with the norm? Do we allow the universe to guide us on our path by following our intuition or continue to control? Do we remain guilty and conflicted or become fearless to drive our own success? These are all key questions that we must ask ourselves at each crossroad to determine what happens next.

The art of saying no is one of the most important steps you can take to achieve your goals. It may be a vendor pushing to partner with you, or an employee who creates drama but is really in need of a therapist. It could be a family member who guilts you for not coming to the latest family gathering. Perhaps you have a needy spouse or child who craves constant attention.

Saying no is not being selfish. It is being wise. Saying no is not a reflection of who you are. It is reflection of who you can become. It is the only way to open the door to success. Without it, we will fail to flourish to new heights. As an entrepreneur, the inability to say no inhibits our creativity. How can anyone think clearly when our brains are on fire with noise?

We have an enormous price to pay with an increasingly dependent digital age. How others react to our Facebook posts or twitter feeds may determine our happiness. Some may be driven by daily affirmation on social media as a reflection of their self-worth. Many of us are prisoners of other’s beliefs, thoughts, needs, and emotions. We fail to own our emotions. We have become reactive souls, at the mercy of external gratification. We are solely driven by the world around us. The key is to become proactive to drive our creativity instead of reactive to the world around us.

For 2 decades, I single handedly raised 3 children from birth, nearly died 1-week post-partum, saved my husband from his demise, saved our family from the travesty of divorce and lifelong emotional abuse, ran a household, cooked gourmet meals for the family, launched a company, wrote a book, and are writing a screenplay with Hollywood producers for a movie. Do you think I have time for the PTA? Probably not but I did manage to launch my seven-year old’s book club. My incessant go-go mentality finally caught up to me. I forgot to stop and smell and roses. I’d lost 2 decades governed by the needs and opinions of others.

A fight or flight sensation governed my being. I’d grown accustomed to reacting to life threatening situations. Homeostasis no longer existed. I’d lived 2 decades waiting subconsciously for the other shoe to drop. I unknowingly lived through my husband’s worst manic and depressive episodes. After the danger subsided, my mind was still anticipating more destruction. While the stressors had become less intense, our primitive crude mechanisms for managing life’s turmoil have largely remained the same.

I’d forgotten about the panic attacks, and emotional and mental abuse from an untreated spouse who suffered from his own demons. I’d forgotten self-love. I’d forgotten to heal my own trauma. As a result, my body began to break down. Slowly, my anguish led to the physiological destruction of my entire being. Over time, I suffered from high blood pressure, weight gain, adrenal fatigue, a hernia, and hypothyroidism. Continuing this path would have led to adrenal failure, stroke, or even a heart attack.

How do you move forward? Each one of us has past trauma in our lives, whether that is a personal loss, a tragedy, an abusive relationship, a failed marriage, or a dysfunctional childhood or family. Have we healed ourselves? Have we healed our inner child? Have we recognized our own trauma? We cannot be a good mother, spouse, friend, caretaker, or business owner if we are still suffering internally.

I turned to spiritualism to begin my own healing journey. I’d opted for meditation daily to reach my higher self. I turned to a spiritual healer. I started meditating an hour each day.

Through my journey, I’d come to understand that our brains never stop changing. Neural connections are made and broken in accordance to our beliefs and experiences. A concept known as neuroplasticity. All these years, my neurons had been misfiring. I’d use guided meditation and a spiritual healer to learn how to re-program my brain. My mindset and the way I perceived the universe, had to change. I’d learn how to manifest and envision a future filled with success and promise. Everything began to make sense. I became less reactive to my environment and the actions, words, thoughts, and beliefs of others. I had previously been in a state of consciousness to respond to any negative behaviors around me. I had been a prisoner or “slave” to others, whether it was my employees, my spouse, my children, or my parents. I had been programmed that in-action was failure, as my in-action to Jay’s illness several years ago had led to our family failure.

Others may opt for another strategy that works for them. Any outlet that is away from the noise would be helpful. It could be a hobby, writing (a form of cathartic healing), exercise, religion, spiritualism, meditation, deep breathing techniques. Others may also need extra downtime away from the family through salt baths, scented candles, or foot massages.

After we have used our own mechanisms to heal, how do we view our own trauma? Do we continue to see ourselves as victims or do we value the lessons learned from those experiences and move on? We can spend our days wallowing in self-pity in hopes that someone will repeatedly like our sad Facebook posts, or we can create change by learning the most valuable lessons from our own failures with self-reflection. We can either use negative words to put others down, thereby artificially propping ourselves up, or we can look within ourselves for answers.

The next question to ask ourselves is “have we followed the path of highest resistance?” An entrepreneurial spirit would say yes. Go against the grain to lead the way. The worst direction is alongside the path of others. If you are constantly following the herd, you cannot expect to stand out from the crowd.

The same path will always lead to the same outcome. When my husband Jay filed for divorce, left our home and 3 children, was recklessly manic and abusive, and refused treatment, the entire world assumed it was hopeless. It is never hopeless. Don’t ever let others rob you of your hope. Against all odds, I fought hard to save Jay and rebuild my marriage and my family. Jay fought hard to save himself. You too can always fight hard to pursue your own dreams, whether that is your career, your marriage, or anything else that leads to your fulfillment on this planet.

The last step is to become fearless and drive your own success. Success can mean different things for each person. It might be one’s career aspirations, a new company launch, or a partnership. It may mean writing a book, being a good mother, an amazing cook, a caretaker, or re-designing your home. The first and most important thing is to bring your fears to the forefront. Recognize them for what they are. When we fail to acknowledge our fears, they will ultimately be the roadblock to success. The only way to regain control and power over your fears is to recognize them. When we are driven by our own fears, we lose confidence in our abilities. We imagine the worst-case scenario. Come to terms with all potential outcomes. Chances are, you will realize that the worst possible scenario isn’t so bad after all.

Every single human being has the capacity for their own greatness. Majority of people fail to achieve greatness due to a lack of pursuit, nothing more. For inspiration, watch Netflix series, Maids.

If you are always tethered, how can you set sail?

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