The Boggy Marsh

The Boggy Marsh

I recently posted this map of Lake Sojourn, the territory in which the story of Fallen unfolds, on my Facebook page and asked people to pick a location they felt drawn to so I could tell them something about the meaning of that place. It turned out to be an engaging post. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, every location but one was chosen.

Nobody, apparently, wants to be in the Boggy Marsh.

Who would? The full name of this place is actually the Boggy Marsh of Fear. It’s a noxious, smelly, sticky place where one can be too easily trampled by beasts or torn up by talons. Nobody in their right mind would CHOOSE to be there.

Except we do. All the time. It seems like most of us, myself included, spend a lot of our time there, stuck in the muck of our inner fears or the fear de jour being fed to us from the constant stream of political and media messaging that permeates our awareness.

Like the leaf characters in Fallen, we wail and moan, we tremble in fear, we voice our outrage while we wait helplessly for the next calamity to strike. We grow numb to it and, as our feet sink deeper and deeper into the mud, we become paralyzed. We lose consciousness and when we lose consciousness, we are no longer in our right minds. We lose our power to choose.

Ah, but there’s opportunity here. Opportunity to name the beasts of fear that plague us, to observe their patterns and habits, to call them out, to stand up to them, to resist. We can help each other out with this. Lift each other up.

The hero of the Boggy Marsh is the one who says, “Enough!” and learns to harness the wind of self-determined action. One by one, we can leave the Boggy Marsh of Fear and set a new course. The map is full of unexplored territory, full of possibility.

Fuel Your Story With VPGs

Fuel Your Story With VPGs

20 Ways to Change Your Story

17. Fuel Your Story with VPGs

To thine own self be true.

Shakespeare had it right when he wrote those words. Being true to yourself is not being selfish! Your best contributions to the world will come from being in integrity with your authentic self.

To live your very best story, you need to be authentically YOU. Your authentic self knows what will make you happy, knows what you came here to do, knows how to keep you healthy, and carries your creative spark.

The fuel efficiency of a vehicle is measured in miles per gallon (MPG). You can measure your story’s efficiency by how in tune it is with your VPGs — Values, Passions and Gifts. VPGs are the core of your authenticity.

Only struggle, discomfort and unhappiness can come from trying to live a story that is in conflict with your VPGs. It’s like putting water into your gas tank instead of fuel. Your engine will stall and your story will take you nowhere. You’ll feel frustrated and stuck pushing a story that no longer serves you uphill.

Filling your tank with VPGs is like using high octane Personal Power fuel!

It will feel fun and exciting to climb behind the wheel as your engine roars and carries you swiftly and powerfully into your biggest and best authentic story.

Know what you value (what’s important to you), what your passions are (what inspires you), and what your gifts are (what flows easily through you) and let the synergy of those things fuel your life. This will bring you personal fulfillment AND raise the quality of life for those around you and for the world!

Let’s take a look at VALUES.

What do you most Value having?

  • Is it more important to you to have freedom than money? Or is the reverse true?
  • Is it more important to you to have fun? Or to have inner peace?
  • Is it more important to you to have a sense of belonging? Or to have self-respect?

Besides having Values, there are also being Values. What do you most value being?

  • Is it more important to you to be honest? Or to be polite?
  • Is it more important to you to be decisive? Or to be flexible?
  • Is it more important to you to be creative? Or to be organized?

There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ answers. And, of course, there are many more things you might value having than the few examples above. It’s important to identify and prioritize your top values because, as the above examples indicate, values can be conflicting. If you know your top three to five having and being values, you can recognize when your current story may not be honoring or supporting those values. And, you can make choices and claim new stories that favor them.

Let’s take a look at PASSIONS.

What do you most love doing?

  • Do you love to travel, dance or create art?
  • Does time disappear when you’re tinkering with mechanical things or solving complex puzzles?
  • Are you happiest when you’re in the kitchen baking?
  • Does taking care of children lift your heart?
  • Are you fascinated by the study of bugs, or photography, or Egyptian history?

Are there causes that speak to your heart and rally you to action?

  • Are you fired up for ecology and conservation?
  • Do you want all homeless pets to find forever homes?
  • Are you called to march on Washington for the protection of gay rights?
  • Will you simply not sleep until there’s an end to world hunger?

These are your passions, and passions carry massive energy to move us forward into new chapters and stories in our lives. When we bring our passions into action, we bring joy into our lives and often into the lives of others as well. Take some time to identify a handful of things you are most passionate about and make sure your new story is full of them.

Now, let’s take a look at GIFTS.

Your gifts are the things you’re really good at, things that come easily and naturally to you.

  • Does music flow through you easily?
  • Are you incredibly intuitive?
  • Do you have a knack for building things?
  • Are you a natural athlete?
  • Does writing come easily to you?
  • Do you mesmerize crowds with your oratory power?
  • Does everything you cook taste amazing?

These may be your natural gifts, the abilities and aptitudes you were born with. Which is not to say it won’t take training and practice to hone those skills. Just that these things seem to come easier to you than to most. Emphasizing these natural gifts will assure that your story unfolds with more ease and grace.

Put all of these Values, Passions and Gifts together and you’ll have some seriously high octane fuel in your tank. So take the time to discover and act on your own VPGs and watch your new story go from 0 to 90 in no time at all.

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This is the 18th post in a 21-post series sparked by Chapter 9 of Fallen, The Adventures of a Deep Water Leaf, in which Lizard suggests that Alora change her story.

#20WaysIn20Days, #ChangeYourStory, #Fallen