The mind's eye
To get to the root of our most difficult personal challenges, it's sometimes necessary to open our minds to new ways of exploring our lives.
In your own private ways, you've probably studied psychology, you may have worked with a counselor or coach, and you might have examined philosophical or spiritual approaches to finding solutions. We all want so desperately to move forward and feel good about ourselves.
But did you know that many of the answers we seek come from willingly exploring realms that are outside the "socially acceptable" and conventional norms?
We are extremely complex beings. While we come into this life with the faculties to create a magnificent life for ourselves, the challenge is that those faculties alone are not sufficient to answer all of the important questions and overcome each one of our personal hurdles. We have been influenced by many sources, not only the ones that are readily apparent to us.
Metaphysicians work with the non-physical world, meaning the world of possibilities that we cannot see, touch, nor explain with certainty. The word "metaphysical" literally means "outside the physical plane". To many this is considered strange and having no validity.
Yet two questions remain:
1) Are the approaches you've used in the past still working for you?
2) If not, how willing are you to open your mind to whatever will work?
Food for thought.
Live your purpose, Live in peace.
-- Rachel Naddor
"Just do it." - Nike
Years ago, I was talking to my boss on a jobsite in Los Angeles and he said, "Rachel, hate to tell you this...sounds like you've got analysis paralysis."
Nike got it right when they told us to "Just do it."
"Just do it" means take action. Take a risk. Put the fear aside and do what you know you should do to advance your life. Don't let anything or anyone get in your way, especially your self-protective thinking. Your life is about being on a mission, so just plow forward, take the risks, and keep moving. Never stop and certainly never give up!
Our world is in the process of being transformed; everyone can feel the shift that's taking place across the globe. We're going through an evolution on many different levels.
What this means is that it is time for change! It's time for a fresh start to life! It's time to grab the reigns on your life and do what you came here to do!
My dear friend and hero, Ed LaPorta, is about to turn 95 in a few months. Nothing has ever stopped Ed from going after what he wants, and he would tell you the very same thing...live life to the fullest! Dare to live your dreams. Be strong, be brave, and don't worry about a thing.
Just do it!
Live your purpose, Live in peace.
-- Rachel Naddor
Going after what they want
Yesterday after I spoke about the upcoming Realizing Your Dream workshop, someone came up to me to ask me why it's being held on a Sunday afternoon when it might be a pretty day. Could we have class outside?
To turn dreams into realities, you have to go after what you want. First, you need to be clear on what it is that you really want, you need to be able to visualize your dream, and then you have to put work into it...a lot of work. In fact, this is by far the hardest work you'll ever do.
You have to chase it, pursue it, obsess about it, and put every ounce of your energy into it.
Realizing dreams isn't for the faint of heart. Dreams are realized by reaching within yourself for all the courage you can muster, having conviction about your goals, and doing whatever it takes to achieve them. You need to be willing to go to any lengths for your dream.
Recently I wrote a Naddor's Notes* titled "What are you willing to give up?" Realizing dreams involves an exchange. In order to receive, you need to give. And this giving involves releasing something that you may hold dear, something that is familiar and comfortable for you, something that makes you feel safe.
Disappointment and regret in life come from placing too much value and focus on worldly things and simple pleasures, rather than the things that will ultimately bring you the greatest joy, satisfaction and peace.
The greatest joy, satisfaction, and peace come from knowing why you are here and taking action towards making it a reality. This is the path to your purpose.
Are you willing to do the work?
Live your purpose, Live in peace.
-- Rachel Naddor
*To subscribe to Naddor's Notes, please visit the "Subscribe" page.
Flowers are always at peace
Recently I wrote a "Naddor's Notes", my weekly inspirational email, about trust. In it I stated that ultimately, the person you must trust is yourself. (To subscribe to Naddor's Notes, please visit the "Subscribe" page).
We trust people when we believe they are speaking the "truth". The words "trust" and "truth" have the same root.
So here is my truth about why I have created this organization to help people find purpose and peace...
When I was 5 years old, in 1971, my family moved from the US to Israel. My father was Israeli, and he decided to take a sabbatical from Johns Hopkins to teach in Tel Aviv.
I spent one year in Israel and attended kindergarten ("gan", in Hebrew). I quickly learned Hebrew and spent my time with the Israeli children...my best friends from gan were Naomi and my "boyfriend" Alon. We spent our play time outside the house where I lived. My happiest memories, though, were of gazing at the beautiful wild flowers such as the tiny red tulips or golden cactus blossoms in the open fields.
Though we spent time "having fun" as children, I realize today that I was a child who was extremely sensitive to the energies around me. Sadly, much of that energy was very negative, with a lot of (as you might imagine) animosity and resentment in the air. There was very little "positive talk" around me. Hence I became a very anxious child at a young age. I was afraid of the world...it was a scary place to me.
My parents had challenges, my older brothers were busy, so at age 5 I began my quest for peace. Out of necessity I became my own best friend, and while I have always had "best friends", I've always been top of the list.
My life since age 5 has revolved around overcoming negativity, obstacles and fears to find peace. My formal training began at age 18 when I went to my first "shrink"...since then I have spent my life exploring the realms of psychology, spirituality, transcendentalism, metaphysics and mysticism, all of which have helped me understand the truth of the world today and turn my dreams into reality.
As Kermit the Frog once said, "It ain't easy being green!" but today I see that my lifelong challenges have not only made me the person I am today, but they've also given me the tools to help others trying to overcome the same challenges. Our greatest challenges are actually our greatest gifts, if we choose to look at them with a positive mindset.
I am determined to bring peace to as many people around the world as I can during my lifetime. Ultimately, I wish to use my gifts to bring peace to those living in the Middle East, since that is where my quest began 40 years ago. I believe with all my heart, and I continue to see in my own life as well as those of my clients and friends, that when we are on the path to our purpose, that's where we find our greatest peace.
So why should you trust me? Trust is a choice, and the choice is yours.
-- Rachel Naddor
What do your roots look like?
I've always been fascinated by plant roots. Some are white, some are brown; some are thin, some are thick; some grow down, some grow sideways...yet they're all aiming for 3 things: nourishment, stability, and growth.
The visible part of a plant, the part above the surface, usually gives a good indication of the condition and characteristics of its roots.
Our roots make us who we are. They also give us clues about our greatest potential in life. And what's really neat is that if you've had a difficult life, or your parents had difficult lives, or your grandparents had difficult lives, this means that you have the possibility of overcoming major hurdles to create a most magnificent life for yourself! I have a friend who once told me, "The greater the life challenges, the greater the potential for success." So true!
You need to examine your roots, especially your childhood, and the childhoods of your parents and grandparents, to get the clues you need in order to identify your precise life purpose. Who were these people? What were their challenges? What were their successes? What made them unique?
Use your understanding of your roots to create your dream life. When you're clear on where you come from, it's much easier to know where you need to go. Take a look back and get on the path to your purpose!
Living your purpose means living in peace.
-- Rachel Naddor
Rachel age 5, back row, 3rd from left
Your unique life purpose was revealed to you at a young age.
Think back in time...what were the significant events in your life? How were you different from others? What was your family like?
It's the things that have made you different from others that give you clues as to your ultimate purpose in life.
While we are really all very similar, there are aspects of us that are 100% unique to us. Look at your history and you'll see that there are so many things about you that no one else in the universe shares. That's the great thing...that means that no one else has the same exact life purpose as YOU!
Part of our purpose is to experience the abundance of life. There is enough of everything in the universe to go around to everyone: money, health, happiness....these aren't just reserved for a few special, lucky people. We live in an abundant universe, and the universe wants you to experience the best that life has to offer.
The challenge is that most people don't believe this! And what we believe becomes our reality. You may choose to believe in the potential for a rich life - "rich" meaning an abundance of good things - or you may choose to believe that having what you want is never going to be possible. The choice is yours.
But I'll tell you this: once you have thoroughly examined your set of life experiences, and once you have identified your life purpose and begin acting on it, you will understand why everything you need and want will always be provided for you if you stay on the right path.
It all begins with some travel through time, gently revisiting your past, understanding your roots, and seeing the truth of who you are and why you are here. And the more you live your purpose, the more you will find peace.
-- Rachel Naddor
Rachel Naddor age 11
When I was a kid, I was taught that what you do is who you are. Your grades, your school, your major, your degree, your employer, your profession...those were the things that defined you...those things were more important than anything else.
And that's what many people around the world have believed, too.
But holding that type of belief is no way to live. It can almost feel like being locked up in prison. To be who you are means to live freely, to follow your heart, to listen to your intuition. It is your intuition that truly knows what's best for you.
The way you think, the way you communicate, the way you behave, and things you do are all essential ingredients to living your ultimate purpose, which is your ultimate life. Knowing "how to be" so that you feel peaceful, and knowing "what to do" so that you feel peaceful, both have to be worked on at the same time.
What are the thoughts that are holding you back from living your ultimate life, which is your purpose?
"Free your mind, and the rest will follow...." These aren't just En Vogue song lyrics, this is the truth about getting onto the path to your purpose.
-- Rachel Naddor
Graduation day at Duke University 1988
A few weeks before I graduated with my civil engineering degree from Duke University, I admitted to one of my professors that what I really wanted to do was own a flower shop. I wanted to be a florist, not an engineer.
Professor Biswas responded to me, "Rachel, if that's what you really want to do, DO IT NOW!"
Did I listen to him? NO!
But thankfully I didn't wait too long. 2 years later, I quit my stable, lucrative job as an environmental engineer with Exxon, and immediately took a job that paid $5 an hour as a cashier at a local plant nursery as my next step. I ran the register, I swept the floors, and my boss was a girl who hadn't finished high school. I had some savings and I had a plan.
That is called being on the path to your purpose. Owning a flower shop wasn't my ultimate purpose, not even close to it, but working at that plant nursery was the next stepping stone. Boy, they even sold stepping stones there!
So how about you? Did you ever really want to be or do something but the world around you gave you a million reasons why it was a bad idea?
If there's something you really want to do, DO IT NOW! Don't let your life slip by. Find your courage and take that next step on the path to your purpose.
Abraham Lincoln in contemplation
I've learned something from everyone I've ever met. But here are a few of the historical figures whom I consider to be my heroes:
- Abraham Lincoln - The Dalai Lama
- Dale Carnegie - Henry David Thoreau
- Frédéric Bastiat - Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Martin Luther King - Mahatma Gandhi
What makes these men my heroes? Abraham Lincoln suffered from a nervous condition, yet he overcame the inner discomfort consistently to rise above his condition and serve as one of the greatest leaders of all time. Dale Carnegie, the self-improvement master, taught that to conquer fear we must do what we're afraid to do over and over again. Frédéric Bastiat, the French theorist and political economist, understood the cost of pursuing high ideals, and he spoke his mind with every breath in his lungs. Martin Luther King saw only the insides of people, and he wanted his followers to look deeper into those who surrounded them. The Dalai Lama spends hours a day in meditation and contemplation; without taking quiet time to still the mind and examine life, we cannot make real progress. Henry David Thoreau found immense pleasure in a simple life and in the small things, like savoring each morsel of food and just being alone. Ralph Waldo Emerson understood faith: when we trust our Creator, we can rest assured that all is well. And Mahatma Gandhi instilled that we must always "be the change" and lead by our own example. When we practice what we preach, others will see the value in our words.
These are all steps towards peace.
What have you learned from your top 8 heroes? How are you implementing those lessons? When we change our daily actions to reflect the greatest lessons we've learned, we grow into the person we want so desperately to become.
Spreading a message of peace
Abraham Maslow, one of the founders of humanistic psychology, stated: ''Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves. What human beings can be, they must be. They must be true to their own nature. This need we may call self-actualization.''
What this means to me is that if I want to be at peace with myself, I have to "be all that I can be." I must be using all of my gifts...not just a few of them, and not just once in a while. I began developing my gifts as a child having to overcome obstacles, and these gifts include an ability to connect soul-to-soul with anyone, an intuitive understanding of the roots of people's challenges, an ability to help others find peace by improving their relationships with themselves and others, a willingness to adapt to new cultures and ways of thinking, an ability to learn languages quickly with minimal accent, as well as a knowledge of how to combine the worlds of science, psychology, spirituality, transcendentalism, metaphysics, and mysticism to create a better life. These are the gifts that make me the unique life purpose coach and speaker that I am.
The same is true for you: you must be aware of each one of your gifts and you must be applying each one of them to the best of your ability, working towards the biggest scale possible. That is what self-actualization is all about. Through a step-by-step process, you must get each of your needs met (financial, social, health, etc.), and at the same time you must take action towards being of service to the world in the way that only you can do. There are people who need you, they are waiting for you, because you are the only person who can help them in your own, special way, with your special gifts which you've accumulated your entire life.
So back to the question: What must you be?