How The 5 People You Meet in Heaven will change your life

5 people you meet in heaven

 

 

“That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind.” – Mitch Albom, The 5 People You Meet in Heaven

There are those books you read that seem to stay with you forever. They sit permanently in the back of your mind, forgotten until some small thing, a word, a song, even a smell, recalls them to your thoughts. One such book for me is The 5 People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I remember the hype around this book and his other most famous novel, Tuesdays with Morrie. It seemed every one and their mother had read them and were praising Mitch to the sky and back.

I’m not usually a joiner at the time a trend happens, so I didn’t read either until much later. (In fact, I still haven’t read Tuesdays with Morrie, yet.) The reason the love 5 People is because it beautifully hits the range of all the feelings that death and transformation bring. The disbelief, anger and resentment, even the wonder of it all.

It reminded me that every interaction in this world is a miracle.5 people you meet in heave

Now if you haven’t read it yet, then I hope I’m not giving anything away by saying it’s about a man who dies and goes to Heaven. There he meets 5 people. With me so far? 😉 I won’t tell you much more than that because it is something that has to be experienced firsthand. The way that Mitch introduces each newcomer to the story is clever and sublime. Some of them are easy guesses, most though are not so much. But each person the main character meets has an important lesson to impart in order to help the him continue on his journey.

After I read it the first time, I did have to wonder who I would meet in heaven or in the next life. There are some people I’d dearly love to talk to and some I want to finally get some answers from. When my mother passed away several years ago, I desperately wanted to ask her all the unanswered questions in my life. Why had she made the choices she did? Why couldn’t she have been the mother I wanted or needed? I wanted finally to let her have and scream at her that her selfish, weak choices (in my eyes) ruined so much of my life. I wanted to finally drop the pretense and get really real and frankly really mean.

Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from the inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade, And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.

St. John's Hospice I remember clearly the last day I saw her. I cam to visit her in the hospice where she had been taken a few days before. She was sleeping and I didn’t want to disturb her rest. So I went out to the little garden area in the back of the hospice and sat on a bench for a while. There I envisioned all the things I had wanted to say for years. Venting all my anger, frustration and confusion at an entity that was hovering between life and death. I didn’t get the actual, factual answers I craved but I finally found a sense of peace for having spoken my feelings.

Though we want to learn why some things happened as they did, the bigger lesson to be taken from this book is that that we’re truly all connected.

Lives are changed through missing friends, loved ones and even strangers, who are but “family we have yet to come to know”. All lives intersect in a painfully beautiful and unimaginably intricate web of life and energy. What we choose to do with our time in this web is what makes it a glorious adventure.

You don’t have to believe in the traditional heaven to get something profound out of this book. Whatever your beliefs are about the afterlife, one thing I think most people can agree on is that there is much more than we could possibly imagine. I believe Mitch Albom did a fantastic job of imagining his version of heaven. And the final, perhaps best, lesson to take away from this small but mighty novel is that “’Life has to end, she said. ‘Love doesn’t.’”

What 5 people would you like to meet in heaven?

Book Review: The Power of TED

power of Ted

This week I’m going to do things a little differently. Because I read nearly constantly and I often recommend books to friends and family, I thought it’d be helpful to my readers here to get in on the action as well. Starting from now I’m going to do a monthly book review of some of the most influential books in my collection. To kick off my book review series, I’m starting with an oldie but goodie. I’d like to tell you a story about a little book with a big message – “The Power of TED” by David Emerald.

If you read my guest post last month on Sage Grayson’s blog, then you may already know a bit about this book. But to recap, I had started going to a counselor several years ago when I was struggling in many areas of my life. My counselor at the time recommended I read The Power of TED. Written in old school parable form, a middle aged man meets an older gentleman on the beach one and they strike up a conversation. Another character comes in later to help explain the main message of the story as they continue to stroll together. Teaching and learning in a storytelling and conversational style.

The book is about taking the infamous drama triangle of victim, rescuer and persecutor and turning it on its head to create what Emerald dubbed the “Empowerment Dynamic” (aka TED). This new triangle of relationships transforms victims into creators, rescuers into coaches and persecutors into challengers. Thus taking a more proactive view of difficult situations. After all, you can’t wallow in inaction mode if you’re now a creator rather than a victim.

As Emerald states, “I can tell you from experience that living from the Creator Orientation is actually more challenging. In the Victim Orientation, I didn’t have to exercise conscious choice: I just reacted to my circumstances.The Creator Orientation requires considering and choosing my response to everything that happens; taking many, many Baby Steps that eventually lead to manifesting my envisioned outcome.”

The casual tone of the book belies the profound message it contains – that we are all co-creators of our lives. We can choose how to react to situations, and even preempt the situation by taking a proactive role in creating it. This was a massive shift in the way I had been relating to life for the several years before I read the book. Somewhere along the way of my journey, I lost the belief and the power of knowing I can create my life as I wish. Instead I had become trapped in the Dreaded Drama Triangle, feeling utterly hopeless and powerless.

After reading The Power of TED, I started to create my reality again. I began by following one of his principles of taking baby steps in regaining my creative power back and getting out of the Victim Orientation. It was how I created my Daily Empowerment Ritual (available for download here). Doing this ritual every day helped me to see that the world wasn’t all against me and that I had a say in how things unfolded. This led to making better decisions from a new perspective that wasn’t desperation and hopelessness. And this has made all the difference. No longer am I tossed about on a sea of other’s whims and blaming them for my misfortunes.

So get your copy of The Power of TED today and start creating your future as you wish! And don’t forget to download the Daily Empowerment Ritual for free right here.

How has it helped you shift your perspective on dealing with difficult times? Let me know in the comments below.

What a difference a year can make!

difference of a year

“It’s already November!?” I’ve heard that refrain all over recently, including from my own lips. It always seems surprising that a year comes to its end and yet we experience it annually. But I have to say, this past year has been quite the roller coaster for me. From starting my own business and quitting my full time job to my Italian matriarchal grandmother passing and me traveling again a lot, things have been happening to keep my on my toes. And I have to say that a lot of the good stuff all started from one little decision I made about this time last year.

I decided to really and truly create a vision board.

It all started on a trip to Seattle to visit a friend in October of 2014. We had been talking about doing some vision boards for about four years. But between her time spent taking care of her little ones and my constant moving around, nothing seemed to come of our talks. Last year though – I was determined to get a vision board done for real!

So I researched a little about doing them (I’m a big fan of some good old fashioned research) and got started on creating mine. If you haven’t heard of a vision board, it’s basically a visual representation of your goals and dreams. Usually created with clippings from magazines to create a coherent collage. It’s crafting with a purpose. I however decided I was going to go high tech.

See, I’m not a big magazine reader and never seem to connect with the images as much as I’d like when collaging, so rather than spending $4 a pop for a magazine I’ll likely never read or use again, I searched on google images to find exactly the right image for what I had in mind. It worked like a charm! Instead of thinking of collaging as this interminable search for something not-quite-right, I got just what I was looking for in a matter of seconds and could download, print, cut and paste on to the giant poster board I got from the craft store. And it made the whole process faster, fun and more enjoyable.

Looking at my vision board now, which hangs in my bedroom where I see it all the time, brings me great joy and I’ve really created a lot of what is on there. I’m traveling more (I even got to snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef!) and I now have a job and business I truly love. I’m bringing more spirituality into my life on a daily basis. And I’m working on creating healthier habits, through exercise and healthy meals. I don’t have all the things I wanted to get this year, but there are definitely much bigger strides than if I’d just gone on with the business as usual mentality.

Looking back on where I was one year ago, struggling in a job I wasn’t enjoying, feeling lost and frustrated with my life. And feeling like my life was passing me by as I went to marinate in a cubicle all day. I’m struck at the profound difference of my life now. I work from home with my adorable cat companion as co-worker. I go take walks during the day to re-energize and be in nature and I get to help others create the lives they want. It’s just astounding to me how much can change in about 300 days. I hope your new year brings you beautiful, remarkable changes. And one way to help that along is to create a vision board.

What changes would you like to see in your life in the New Year?

Leo and vision board
Bonus photo: Leo “helping” me with my vision boarding.

P.S. The style of vision board I used was “The Sea of Life” map from an article by Martha Beck in O Magazine. I liked this better than having just random pictures placed all over a poster board. It feels more action-orientated as well as inspirational.

 

 

I made it to the Life Editor big leagues! (Guest post edition)

IMG_0792Hi all! I’m extremely proud and honored to be showcased on Sage Grayson’s blog today.

Click here to read my interview.

I want to give a big shout out to all of you who are new to me. Welcome!! I’m Dacia Dyer – a tarot reader and life coach. I call myself an Empowerment Guide because I guide women to find their inner wisdom and power, allowing them to reconnect to their soul’s purpose and live their passionate life.

 

 

Here are a few fun facts about me:

  • I grew up and currently live in gorgeous Colorado but I’ve also lived in Europe for several years (specifically England, Russia, Northern Ireland and Ukraine)
  • I love cats and have my own little cat companion, Leo. He keeps me entertained as I work from home. Here he is being adorable while keeping me company on my desk…20150813_142428
  • I love to crochet and hope to get better at knitting. I’ve been known to crochet bookmarks for stocking stuffers – so if you want one in time for Christmas, let me know! 😉
  • I am a scifi-loving-hobbit-rooting-windmill-chasing dreamer who is just as happy at a StarCon or Renaissance Festival.

Want to know more about me and my coaching? Check out my most popular posts below. And don’t forget to get your free copy of my Daily Empowerment Ritual here.

My most popular posts:

And if you don’t know Sage Grayson – you need to! She’s a Life Editor and helps her clients edit their life. Whether you want to create a business, or improve your health and wellness or if you just need a dose of encouragement and gentle butt-kickin’ – she’s your lady!

Click here to read my guest post on Sage’s blog and hear how I started slowly to turn my life around in a simple and easy way that created BIG results.

Thanks to Sage for all her support and tips on editing my life to its fullest!

At the Corner of Dichotomy and Juxtaposition

At the Corner of Dichotomy and Juxtaposition

As many of you know from the last post, I’ve recently returned from Stratejoy Summer Camp, hosted by Molly Mahar. It was 5 days of ridiculous fun, light-heartedness and deep reflections – just my kind of vacation!

The timing of the trip was very interesting for me. In a way it was just right, as I was dealing with a very recent death in my family (more on that here), and needed some space to sort out the vast array of emotions I was feeling. But it was also a rather difficult time to be on vacation as the guilt of not being at home at such a hard time kept rearing its head.

It took me the first night and next morning to begin reconciling my guilt over the death and my joy for being at camp. It was one question asked at our first morning reflection session that helped me bring peace to my tumultuous heart. The question Molly asked was, “Where am I not allowing myself to be a juxtaposition (being and “or” instead of an “and”)?

At the time I couldn’t answer it and left that space in my journal as a “TBD” entry. Then we had our “quiet hour” where we couldn’t talk to anyone else and just had to sit with whatever thoughts or emotions the reflection session brought up. I have to say I LOVED quiet hour!!

(ASIDE: As a naturally quiet and contemplative person this was probably my favorite time of the day and I highly recommend everyone to start instituting something like it during your day. Even a quiet 15 minutes will bring more peace to your life.)

Anyways, during my first quiet hour, I felt something unresolved in my heart and had to figure it out before I could be completely immersed in the joy of summer camp. I finally realized that it was my conflicted feelings of my grandmother passing.

Obviously, I was horribly saddened by her death and couldn’t believe she’s really gone and at the same time I was glad she is no longer suffering. I was also glad to be enjoying my time at camp rather than waiting and watching for her final breath (as I had been a couple weeks before).

For some reason my head couldn’t combine all those feelings in to a coherent concept. I thought that if I was glad at her passing then I was a horrible person for wishing her dead. But if I’m only sad at her death then I’m completely selfish for wishing her to still be in this world but in great pain. How can you choose between that?! Either way I sounded like a total bitch.

Then I had a moment of clarity and decided to just talk to grandma and let her know what was up. I spoke to the wind, knowing she hear it, and said something to the effect of: “I’m so sorry you’re gone but I’m glad you’ve moved on to the next world. However, I can’t focus on that sorrow right now as I have this thing to do and I want to enjoy it while I can.”

And not so surprisingly I heard her reply (she always was one to get the last word in). She told me to do what I had to do and not to worry. I had permission to be both incredibly sad and deliriously happy. It was all okay.

It was okay to be “and” instead of “or”. I didn’t have to choose then and I don’t have to choose now. I can be saddened by her passing and glad that the agony is over for both our sakes. Other contradictions I now reclaim are: that I can love being in nature but not a hard-core nature girl. (Five days of camp was quite enough for me, thankyouverymuch!)

I can love to sit and watch tv or read books for hours, but also love getting up in the morning to do yoga or walk or dance even. I can be sentimental and keep all these little keepsakes but also detest clutter and keep a clear and organized home.

As Amin Malouf points out in his wonderfully complex book, In the Name of Identity:

None of us has to choose to just be a mother or an employee. A wife or a daughter. A businesswoman or an artist. We are always all of these things. Yes, sometimes one will take precedence over the other, but they don’t ever exclude each other entirely.

So now it’s your turn… where have you not been allowing yourself to be a juxtaposition? What “or” in your life do you wish to turn in to an “and”?

Here comes Death – the Beauty of Transformation

Ukemochi - Goddess tarot

I’ve been reading tarot for about half my life, when my hippie aunt gave me my first deck. One of the cards I find most fascinating is one that usually elicits extreme anxiety in other people – The Death card. Now, if you’ve ever had your cards read, I’d hope the reader would’ve told you that Death is Not Literal – despite what the tv psychics tell you. It’s symbolic – as are most things in Tarot. It simply means a transformation.

The best description I’ve heard of this card comes from my Goddess Tarot deck. This deck is awesome because all the major arcana cards are goddesses from various world cultures. The goddess on the Death card (in this deck appropriately called “Transformation”) is the Japanese goddess – Ukemochi.

The little guide book reads:

“After her death, the Japanese food goddess Ukemochi’s body transformed to supply food to humanity. Her head turned into cows; grain sprouted from her forehead; rice plants sprouted from the goddess’s belly—and so, life was transformed from death.”

Ok, so this is a little bit more intense of a transformation than we usually deal with in life. In my latest transformation, I recently quit my 9-5 job in order to build up my coaching business. This was a definitely a death of sorts. For the first time ever, I was leaving a job but I wasn’t moving anywhere. Which is usually the reason I quit a job. My last day was very strange as it was a “goodbye, see you around”, rather than a “goodbye, come back and visit some time”. I haven’t even moved to a new apartment. Same place, different work. That’s a transition in itself.

Beyond that, the whole structure of my day has changed. Now I do have time to work out in the mornings before work – because I decide when work starts! I can also run errands or take a longer lunch, or work past 5 without worrying about overtime. It’s a whole new world for me. And though it’s a welcome change, it’s still really rather difficult to wrap my head around sometimes. I keep thinking – I should be working more hours… shouldn’t I? Because the world of 9-5 was all I knew for a long time. Redefining anything is a mind-bender. Redefining your life while everyone else is going about their usual routines is seriously trippy stuff!

Whenever there’s a major adjustment to your life, whether it is new work, a new home or relationship, or even especially a literal death, you need to remember to be patient and kind to yourself. It will take time to adjust to the new situation, and inevitably there will be some kind of grieving. For me, it was leaving the friends I’d made at my former workplace. I know that no matter how much we stay in touch, it won’t be the same as seeing them every day and bonding over that annoying client or the latest crisis to be dealt with.

So remember that transformation, although often welcome, comes with a great deal of shifting, both mentally and sometimes physically. Rather than just being frustrated or angry at these changes, try to embrace them, while acknowledging how you feel. You can be angry if you get laid off, for sure! But don’t let that blind you to the new opportunities out there for you. Even Ukemochi, through her death, was able to feed her people and thus gave her sacrifice meaning.

What transformations are you going through now? What helps you to keep perspective during the transition? Let me know in the comments below!

You’re not just what you do! 5 Tips to Balance your Work and Life

One of the things I loved most about teaching English as a second/foreign language was the schedule. I taught primarily afternoon classes, so I could get up at a reasonable time for me (self-proclaimed night owl) and still have time to prepare for my classes before heading to the school. There were a few more hours of work after classes but then the evening was all mine. I soon realized that somehow my work was bleeding over in to the rest of my time and suddenly I found myself working nearly non-stop throughout the day. Finally sick of constantly working and not enjoying the few free moments of my time, I took a few simple steps to differentiate my work from my life and found myself not only more productive by also happier overall.

Get a time clock app

The first step to creating separation between life and work is to track when you’re actually working. If you work from home part or all of your day, it’s vital to clock that time just as you would in an office. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in a task or project and not realize you just spent 3 hours on one thing and still need to do all the other errands and chores in your life.

For my purposes, I downloaded “My Work Clock” to my Android phone. It had a great widget that I could easily click to “punch in”, “punch out” and “take lunch.” It wasn’t quite as satisfying as hearing the hard click of an old-school punch clock, but it certainly helped with tracking how much I worked. You could also review your punches in a daily or weekly report. Without even knowing it, I had upped my work from about 30 hours per week to nearly 60! That all changed when I was able to actually track my work and set clear limits on my time.

Focus on the task at hand

Another terrible habit I had developed was multitasking throughout the day. As lovely as multitasking sounds, it actually creates more problems than solves because you’re not able to focus on one project with as much efficiency and high quality work. So I decided I was no longer going to allow myself to grade tests or essays while watching my favorite shows.

This helped not only in getting the grading done faster and with more accuracy, but it also allowed me to have time to enjoy watching my shows. Rather than having to rewind a scene to pick up what I missed, I could fully focus on what was going on the first time around. Also, it helped me bang out those tests easier because I wasn’t starting and stopping to watch the show, then having to find my place on the test again.

Have a set space to work in

Obviously it would be fabulous to have a full office all to your own for work purposes, one that you could decorate with inspiring art or organize to your heart’s desire. Sadly, we aren’t all that lucky. However, that shouldn’t mean that your kitchen table doubles for eating space and home office. That’s another trap of multitasking in which different uses for a space aren’t really separated and thus it’s hard for the mind to switch from one gear to another.

Although I didn’t have a separate room for an office, I at least had a larger than needed living room. So I set up one corner with my desk, computer, printer and bookshelf with all my teaching materials. It was literally just behind the couch, but somehow having that specific corner for that specific use helped me focus better than dumping my planning notebook on the kitchen table. And I treated it like its own office space as well. I would “walk in” to my office through an imaginary doorway and settle at my desk as if all the other things in the room didn’t exist. Except my cat of course, he would never be ignored anywhere. So I gave him his own little bed under my desk where he could manage my work in comfort.

Take (quality) breaks frequently

In an office it’s fairly easy to take some breaks from your computer screen, whether it’s going to get your third cup of coffee or going to pick something up from the copier and then stopping by to talk with a co-worker. Working from home can be a blessing and a curse in this sense. Sure, you won’t get as easily distracted by the day’s gossip from the co-worker you can’t stand, but then you also don’t have anything forcing you to take a quick break and rest your mind.

Breaks are necessary to keep productivity up. Your mind, like any other muscle in your body needs to rest now and then in order to keep going. So set your alarm, “punch out” on the time clock if you need to, and get up to walk around for a few minutes. Be sure to take quality breaks though. Surfing Pinterest or Facebook for 10 minutes isn’t giving your mind a break, it’s just switching it to a different kind of work. Instead, take a walk around your house or apartment. Or take the dog out for a ten minute walk. He’ll love you more and you’ll get some exercise in as well. Win-win all around!

Have a set stop time and keep to it

Unless you get paid by the hour or are just a major workaholic, nobody wants to stay past their time. When I worked in an office, I had everything shut down at 4:58 and I was out the door at 5 on the dot. You should treat your work from home the same way, but maybe not leave the house, unless you want to. Set another alarm for whatever your pre-determined time that you want to stop working and be sure to punch out then!

When I taught, it was easy to stop my work in the morning as I had to actually get to class to teach. But after classes, I didn’t have anything stopping from working my night away. That’s where I had to set a specific time to finish everything up and if it wasn’t done that night, it could wait until the morning – just like in your office job.

Don’t be afraid to shut your computer down. All that work will be there for you again tomorrow. Trust me. But your precious time to go to dinner with friends or learn to crochet or whatever you want to do, that’s time that you can’t get back. So use it wisely to make sure your life is more than just what you do to earn money.

I’m participating in the Startup In 60 Blog Party! Startup In 60 is a time management course for busy women for are ready to finally start their own businesses whether they’ve got 60 days, 60 minutes, or 60 seconds. Click here to join the program.