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How to Cultivate A Life You Love – Part 2

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In the last post I asked, “Are you ready to be a Cultivator?”

If you are then…

What do you want to cultivate?

You can cultivate any area of your life on your journey of cultivating a life you love.

You can cultivate relationships in terms of your friendships, marriage or partnership, parent/child relationships, work relationships, connections to your tribe.

You can cultivate your life’s work.

You can cultivate your personal style.

You can cultivate the fulfillment of your dreams.

You can cultivate having more of what you want whether it’s a quality you want to embody, a mindset, an experience, a feeling, or a lifestyle.

You can cultivate anything that isn’t working in your life to make it better.

You can cultivate the legacy you want to leave.

So what do you want to cultivate?

Is it MORE love, joy, freedom, fun, success, abundance, empathy, patience, creativity, generosity, faith, or fearlessness? A relationship? A different career? A significant lifestyle change?

I know many of these resonate with me.

But here’s the challenge.

I often beat myself up for not already being more patient, creative, fearless and successful.

In fact, I’m often frustrated with myself for not living up to the highest vision I have for myself and for not having accomplished or acquired more of what I want for myself and my family.

And I’m sure many of you often feel the same way.

Our impatience is most likely a reflection of the instant gratification syndrome meaning too many of us want what we want right now or yesterday for that matter.

We want nicer things, a bigger house, better relationships, instant success in our careers or business, amazing vacations, slamming bodies, thousands of followers, a healed past, more freedom to do what we want when we want, a quick rise to the top and to have our bank accounts overflowing. And we want it NOW!

But I have learned through years of suffering and struggle that life doesn’t work that way. We’re not always ready to handle having everything we’ve always wanted or thought we wanted.

This is due to another challenge most of us encounter at some point in our pursuit of happiness, which is self-sabotage due to what Gay Hendricks calls the Upper Limit Problem (ULP) in his life-changing book, The Big Leap.

The Upper Limit Problem is essentially one’s limited tolerance for feeling good, for joy and fulfillment – whether in work, love, wealth or health, which basically guarantees we will sabotage our life in some way to keep us from reaching our full potential.

Gay explains the ULP this way:

“Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure. Unfortunately, our thermostat setting gets programmed in early childhood, before we can think for ourselves. Once programmed, our Upper Limit thermostat setting holds us back from enjoying all the love, financial abundance, and creativity that’s rightfully ours.”

So it’s vital that you stay aware of any tendency you may have of sabotaging your success and the good fortune you’re cultivating when things start to appear to be too good to be true, especially if you hold the unconscious belief that you don’t deserve to be happy, fulfilled and successful.

You also need the tools to stay the course. In other words, cultivation is about the journey of becoming, doing, having more of what you want and in order to successfully navigate that journey you need to have what I fittingly call a G.P.S. system. Growth (mindset). Purpose. Self-love.

G for Growth (mind-set)

“Growth is an unavoidable part of life. Whether we mean for it to happen or not, our bodies continually nourish and regenerate themselves, our minds continually learn and expand, and our lives continually evolve. We have the power to craft our growth the way a landscaper crafts a majestic garden, or we can leave it to chance, allowing it to unfold wild as the weeds that spread across a vacant lot.” ― Scott Edmund Miller 

In order to cultivate something and grow you have to have a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. Those who have a fixed mindset believe that their success in life is based on some innate ability that is fixed, in other words, either you have it or you don’t; whereas those who have a growth mindset believe they can improve, learn, grow, get better with hard work, practice, and persistence.

Carol Dweck is a psychologist who discovered this idea of a growth mindset as it pertains to intelligence and talent. It’s also a life principle that can be applied to how we grow and transform as people in general and how we go after anything we want to be, do or have.

As we embark on this journey of becoming who we want to be and cultivating a life we love we must adopt a growth mindset and believe we can and will become more and more of who we want to be and that our lives will get better and better as we practice a new way of thinking and being that serves our highest good. This is not an overnight process of transformation. It takes time, effort, practice, and grit.

Perhaps you already have a growth mindset but just aren’t seeing the progress you want to see or maybe you feel you should be further along than you are, or maybe you are feeling stuck. If this is the case I want to remind you that none of us are doomed to stay stuck in mediocre lives. You can shift your life into a space of ever expanding joy and fulfillment if you do the work and stay the course, if you keep the faith and stop resisting the natural flow of your life.

Cultivation is about expansion, elevation and evolution over time. We never stop growing, expanding and evolving. If we do, it means we’re dead or soon to be. Therefore, cultivation is an ongoing process that technically has no end, because growing into your full potential takes lifetimes.

“Apply yourself both now and in the next life. Without effort, you cannot be prosperous. Though the land be good, you cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation.”– Plato

You cultivate what you want to be, do and have one authentic and inspired step at a time, one lifetime at a time.

This clearly requires a deep level of…Patience.

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“Flowers do not force their way with great strife. Flowers open to perfection slowly in the sun. Don’t be in a hurry about spiritual matters. Go step by step and be very sure.” – White Eagle

Years ago I heard a quote from A Course in Miracles that has always stuck with me, which says, “infinite patience produces immediate results.”

In other words, you cannot force an outcome because there is already a perfect plan and outcome unfolding that you cannot always see nor control but that requires faith, patience and a knowing that all is in divine order. You simply have to surrender, go with the flow, and let nature takes its course. Your highest good is already destined if you are willing to see it through one patient step at a time.

Life is a marathon not a sprint, a journey not a destination.

You may not be moving forward and cultivating the life you want as fast as you want but the good news is that every step you take brings you closer and closer to the fulfillment of your true intentions and vision. Just remember that slow and steady wins the race.

You can’t rush the progressive blooming of your life. You simply have to trust and know that when your life is moving forward at even a snails pace its still progress. And that’s what we’re here for – to make progress, to grow and evolve, to cultivate each step forward no matter how small – that’s the immediate result. Because when you look back and add up all the tiny steps you’ll realize you’ve taken a huge leap forward.

P for Purpose

You need to know what you’re actually working towards and why. You have to know your mission, your intention.

Ask yourself not only what do you want to cultivate but why? What is the true intention of your journey?

If you’re confused about your what and why you’re going to just be aimlessly wondering around, never quite being on track or on the right path towards the highest expression of yourself.

But you won’t have this problem if you do the work to discover your passions, your wants and needs, your desired feelings, your values as well as your ultimate life vision, purpose and dreams.

All of these things will point to what you should be cultivating in your life and give you the compelling reason for devoting your time, energy, and resources on navigating this journey towards your highest expression.

Don’t just cultivate something because everyone else is doing it, or because someone said you should. Have your own compelling reasons. Know what you want and why it’s important to you.

The next and final element of our GPS system is such a big one I’m going to make it Part 3 and save it for the final post in this series.

If you missed Part 1 of this series check it out here.

NOTE: Most of what I am sharing in this series are inserts from my upcoming program, The Flow Mapping Sessions – A Course for Cultivating a Life You Love, and Discovering your Sweet Spot where you are Living in Your Flow, Nurturing Yourself and Fulfilling Your Dreams, which will be available NOW in December.

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