Starting Fresh

Offer no resistance to what is, take action or don’t and do not become attached to the outcome. Eckhart Tolle

When you think of packing for your summer adventure, your fall education, or new job, here are some items you might want to consider leaving behind. They are very weighty, cumbersome and can cause a great deal of stress. If you choose to take these items with you notice how often you feel you have given your power away.
1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong even at the risk of ending friendships, losing opportunities and creating opposition and strife among colleagues. What’s right for you is quite often not right for anyone else. So pay attention when you feel the urge to wield your “rightness”. Ask yourself this instead: “Is this really worth my time and effort? Is my ego really this big?” This will eventually show you that there is nothing you have to prove but can instead keep your very own thoughts without having to change anyone else’s mind.
2. Give up your need for control by blaming others when it doesn’t go your way. Why would you want to try and I do say try, to control more than yourself and finding a way to place blame when something doesn’t go your way? This drives others crazy so instead choose to really throw yourself wholeheartedly into this amazing new adventure so you can be open to experiencing new ideas, foods, philosophies, music, cultures, etc. which may change your way of thinking and doing things. Do not go with preconceived ideas of how this adventure should, would and could unfold. Instead enjoy each experience by allowing everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better behaving in the manner will make you feel about your growth and the adventure. Just do it once and you are on your way.
3. Give up complaining, criticizing and labeling others. Give up your constant need to complain and criticize others about those many, many, things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy; no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to deal with it. Never underestimate the power of making a different and interesting new choice.
4. Give up your need to impress others, create labels and be afraid to change. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you and then labeling them with inappropriate names to help you feel better about yourself if they don’t. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, representing and presenting your Personal Brand you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly. Change will happen whether you want it to or not so embrace it and absolutely do find a way to make lemonade out of lemons. Be creative and enjoy the journey – don’t resist.
5. Give up on your fears and stop making excuses. Unless you are in real physical danger, the fight or flight kind, know that fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. We are each afraid of something different and these fears tend to paralyze our natural instincts to try something new. And this is where we start making excuses and getting stuck in our comfort zone. We lie to ourselves about why we are choosing to either do or don’t do a task or involve ourselves in the adventure or not. Step up and jump in. Making mistakes and failing is the only way we learn anything. Then you can always adjust as you go. Feel the fear and do it anyway. This is a sure way of making your excuses go away.
6. Give up the past. The quote at the beginning of this blog is the key to it all. “Offer no resistance to what is, take action if necessary or not and do not become attached to the outcome.” This then makes the present much more doable, fun and easier. It allows you to embrace the present because you did what was appropriate and proper for that moment. Here’s another great saying about this that goes something like: the past is gone, the future hasn’t happed yet and all we have is right now. That is why it is call the PRESENT. I know, I know. Change is hard and requires boldness and courage. But do you want to continue doing what you have always done because if you do, you will get what you have always gotten. Find the kind of path you want to embrace, sample it, test it, appraise it, and then notice what kind of outcome shows up in your life when you do take that risk. Do you like what happened, the results? If not make some changes, adjust whatever needs to be tweaked and move on. And I think you would be very disappointed if you had to live each day like the one before and stay only in what has become the past. It would be boring and tedious. Act “as if” as you face each new day.
7. Give up living your life for someone else. To be truly happy within and successful, you have to love what you do. Never ever believe that anyone else knows what’s best for you. You get to try different paths until you find the one that works for you and makes you happy. Often when you grow and change others may try to distract you by pulling you back to where you were before. Growth means change and often others are threatened and scared by that idea. This means they might have to grow and change as well if they want to have you remain in their world. Show them that this is not the truth by inviting them to be part of your life as you continue to be more of who you are at your core than you have ever been before. Own what you choose to do with your life. Doing anything else dulls your own inner muse and then it’s easy to give your life and power away. It’s your journey and your choice, so make it worth your time, energy and money.
Have a wonderful summer. Let me hear from you on my Facebook page:
Avanti, Carol

Carol Kirkpatrick

For as long as she can remember, singing and performing have always been in Carol Kirkpatrick’s blood. From her beginnings in a small farming town in southeastern Arizona, through her early first-place triumph at the prestigious San Francisco Opera Auditions, and subsequent career on international stages, Ms. Kirkpatrick has thrilled audiences and critics alike. “A major voice, one worth the whole evening.” (The New York Times) Since retiring from the stage, she continues to be in demand as a voice teacher, clinician, and adjudicator of competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  Combining her knowledge of performance, business, and interpersonal skills, she has written the second edition of her highly regarded book, Aria Ready: The Business of Singing, a step-by-step career guide for singers and teachers of singing.  Aria Ready has been used by universities, music conservatories and summer and apprentice programs throughout the world as a curriculum for teaching Ms. Kirkpatrick’s process of career development, making her “the” expert in this area.  She lives in Denver, Colorado.