Lisa Robbin Young

[Note: this is Day 11 of the Be Your Own Guru series. It's a poem that came to me when I was researching a quote that's often attributed to Bruce Lee. "I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, And you are not in this world to live up to mine." is actually a line from the "Gestalt Prayer" by Fritz Perls. It let me to think about how much stuff we don't say or do because of the expectations of others. This poem was inspired from there.]

There are words you want to say that remain unsaid.

Why not just say them instead?

Sometimes the truth is painful and hurts,

but I'd rather truth flow freely, than in spurts

that stop and start, or ebb and flow.

When the truth is irregular, how will you know?


People wear masks of perfection or shame. (more…)

[Note: This is Day 10 in the Be Your Own Guru blog series. And this is about the time when people start to feel overwhelmed, "behind" or they just feel like quitting in general. Is that you? If so, read on!]

There comes a point on every journey where you need to decide if you're going to stand up for what you say you believe, or quit.

"It's when things seem hardest that you must not quit." is the closing line of Whittier's famed poem "Don't Quit."

That's easier said than done sometimes.

Most of the time, actually.

See, there's a relief that comes in quitting... in letting something unravel so that you can walk away.

  • Maybe it's a difficult relationship with your teenage child.
  • Maybe it's a business that feels like it's evolving at the speed of light (and you can't keep up).
  • Maybe it's a problem rooted deep in your marriage.
  • Maybe your spiritual beliefs conflict with the people closest to you.

Maybe, like me, it's more than one of those things - or all of them at the same time. I've let things unravel a few times in my life. I moved across country when things were too lonely at college. I moved back home, cross country again, when things got too hard and lonely out West. Each time, I left stuff behind for other people to clean up. And don't get me started on the number of houses I've moved out of since I've been back in Michigan. I've left plenty of things behind I wasn't willing to deal with anymore. It was just to much/overwhelming/hard for me to sift through all those old things/memories, and decide what to keep. So I just let it all go.

I've even done it with a business or two. It got too hard. My heart wasn't in it. I was looking for relief.

But now, I'm standing in a space where hard is pressing in on all sides, and it's the kind of hard that tests my mettle. It's a situation (several, actually), where I've been called on the carpet and my beliefs are being put to the test. If I really believe in what I say I believe in, I must behave in a certain way, otherwise, I'm just paying lip service to what I say is my truth.

Ever been there?

This is when things get HARD!

Shoot! It's even hard to just quit - I mean you've already invested a ton of time, (more…)

by Joy Holland

[Editor's note: This is day 9 in the Be Your Own Guru series. Joy's post is a timely reminder that once we have answers from our life, we need to act on them - by fully living our best life.]


We spend so much time attempting to analyze and understand;
yet, when we simply feel into the energy,
we find we are living our answer.

I like to write in reflection, using my personal example as something you can tap into if you wish, instead of a “lecture” format. I believe there are myriad ways to move, and I love learning from the variance in those ways. This is simply one way for you to consider.

“Be Your Own Guru” implies a depth of wisdom, knowledge, and life experience. Simply reading this sentence feels restrictive, constrained. For how do I know I am acquiring “enough” or the “right” knowledge and experience? Is wisdom based upon the amount of years I have lived or what I have lived in those years? How shall I earn the trust of myself to be my guru? All of this feels very external, and out of my control—I am striving, reaching, vesting energy to, something outside of myself.

When I go beyond what I know to what I feel, I (more…)

by  David Stanley

[Editor's Note: This is Day 8 of the Be Your Own Guru blog series. Dave and I go back a few years, having appeared together in a local production of "The Who's Tommy" in 2007. Every time I talk to him, I learn something new about him. Today's post opened my eyes to how deeply spiritual this guy is - and how his life lessons can help you with yours.]

At age 54, I have worn many career hats; bicycle racer, retail management, financial guru, teacher of science and English, coach of skiing, soccer and fitness. Throughout my life, one theme has been a constant. I have always been an educator and my first client has always been myself. I have never asked more of my athletes and students than I did of myself. I have never asked those in my charge to do anything that I didn’t try on myself first.

Early on as a coach, I developed the notion that athletic success is a three-legged stool: fitness, technique and tactics.

From a soccer perspective:

FITNESS – Can you run hard for the ninety minutes of a game?

TECHNIQUE – Can you consistently perform the skills of the game, e.g. direct your headers to a teammate?

TACTICS – Can you, on the fly, identify an opponent’s strengths and weaknesses to defeat your opponent?

For maximum athletic success, the three are closely intertwined. For instance, at the end of a long soccer game, if one is able to identify a weakness in the opponent’s defense, one must still be strong enough to use proper technique to complete a pass to a teammate for a scoring opportunity. Lacking a leg, you will surely lose.

levitating guruLife, too, has three legs: (more…)

[Note: This is Day 7 of the Be Your Own Guru blog series. When you've been strapped to baggage for years, sometimes it feels like you'll never shake it Today's post gives you a context and hopefully some inspiration to begin shaking your own baggage.]

I've never been the tiniest supermodel on the runway. I don't think I'm ugly (I've done a lot of work on my self-esteem over the years), and still I recognize that my weight has never been where it's "supposed" to be. As a young child, I was the tallest kid in class. When the boys started passing me, I quickly became the "biggest" kid in other ways. As I got older, I tried lots of things to lose the excess baggage, but it was just exactly that.


bathscaleI'm what you might call an "emotional eater" - though I couldn't find a strict definition among the various eating disorder websites that matched how I deal with food. Essentially, when I'm stressed I eat... and eat... and eat. The same for when I'm sad, or even really happy. Instead of people, my emotional extremes have always been met with food of one kind or another. (more…)

By Heather Shafer
[Editor's Note: This is Day Six of the Be Your Own Guru blog series. Heather is putting her mad skills as a Dream coach to the test today, to help you decode the little messages your life is giving you every single day.]
Hello Inspiring Souls! Very happy to be able to connect with you all! 
Do you believe that your life gives you messages? I do.
I believe we are constantly getting messages from our lives, but so often we are tuned into what we think things should sound like, that we are missing what they are actually saying now.

whispers of your soulI believe that our lives speak to us in many different ways, some more subtle than others. (more…)

by Katrina Hawley

[Editor's Note: This is Day Five in the Be Your Own Guru series. Katrina lives in Hadley, MA - just far enough from Boston to not be in Lockdown, but close enough to recognize the danger at her door. She submitted this post before the tragic happenings of the past few days, and it's a fitting reminder that sometimes, the best way to make forward progress is to go backwards.]

We spend so much time in our lives looking forward, moving forward, and dealing with things in front of us. It’s almost as if our bodies are trapped in tunnels - constantly moving forward, unable to shift direction. We forget to check the periphery of our space or of our lives. We lack time for exploration.

And heaven forbid that someone should move backwards…

Literally, and especially figuratively. All of this "forward motion" leaves us without awareness of so many parts of our lives - both in movement and beyond. We stop rotating our spine to see the world around us. We forget to look up. Our breath gets stuck in our sternum, our oxygen levels decline, and our necks tilt forward. Even our spines compress, as a gradual shrinking forces our bodies into the tunnel of forward movement. (more…)

By Amy Wright

[Editor's Note: This is day four of the Be Your Own Guru series. Amy's got a keen eye when it comes to leveraging your time. She pulls no punches today when she shows you just what you're missing out on by trying to do everything yourself.]

Maybe you’re lying to yourself, following conventional wisdom that says you’re “saving money” or “paying your dues” while you do everything in your business yourself.

It’s all crap.

Unless you are a business owner who isn’t yet producing consistent income, you should absolutely, undeniably be outsourcing your non-income producing tasks.

timemoneyLet’s pretend that you’re a life coach of some sort (feel free to insert your profession here). You make roughly $100 hourly while you’re coaching. Let’s also pretend that, like most business owners, you have insane amounts of email, billing, scheduling, phone calls, social media and marketing that you do every week. Let’s say that those administrative tasks take you about 15 hours each week, and that’s only because that’s all the time you have to commit to it.

Now let’s say (more…)

by Stu

[Editor's Note: This is Day Three of the Be Your Own Guru blog series. Stu gives us a clear understanding of What a guru really is - and where to find yours today.]

I never thought much about "Gurus" until I was in school.  I had a teacher that would tell us entertaining stories about her retired teacher. They would always end with, what I found to be, the strangest comment: "I'm on a never-ending search to find my new Guru." I would think, Hmmm... being in a school, you would be surrounded by gurus, right?"

I was right... but I found that out later, at the bottom of a rabbit hole.

The Guru

levitationAnyone on a path to wisdom, to finding the secrets of life, has come across the notion of a Guru. We inevitably hear about this Guru, that Guru, or even "my" Guru.  It conjures up images of a half-in-this-world-half-not levitating apparition.  But who is your Guru? ... and what exactly IS a guru?

It's insane to ask that question!

A Guru is someone who has the answers to your questions, possesses a wisdom of unfathomable proportion, one with knowledge not of this earth. Sounds fantastic!  But...

Can there possibly be one person with all and total knowledge?  Can one person know the right and perfect path for every other person?  No matter your belief system, possessing all knowledge = not being human... or being nailed to a cross. So what do they have... these "Gurus"? (more…)

by Kadena Tate

[Editor's Note: On day two of the Be Your Own Guru Series, Kadena Tate helps us get clarity on embracing our own definition of success - even when others think it might be a little crazy.]

Crazy! Everyone offers a different brand of crazy. The question is “How can you unleash your brand of crazy in a manner that touches hearts and expands minds?” In my experience, it is easy once you embrace three beliefs as the foundation of your life and work. The three beliefs are actually quotes and that have blessed my life and my brand:

  1. First up is a quote by the late martial artist Bruce Lee “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine.”

  2. Second is a quote by the poet Ms. Maya Angelou “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

  3. Third is a quote by an unknown author. It reads “When you believe in your dreams, they may come true, but when you believe in yourself, they will come true”.

Now, let’s engage in a bit of “mindset mastery” so that you can unleash your kind of crazy in a wildly wonderful way.

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine.” – Bruce Lee

Young Girl Playing By HerselfWhen you finish reading this article, you will have learned that you must be your own guru.   It will be extremely difficult to achieve any level of success if you crave the advice and opinions of others. It is essential that you look within and see only worth, value and goodness.  Looking in the mirror and saying things to yourself like “I’ll never be, do or have enough”, is a sure-fire recipe for failure. It will be nearly impossible to assemble your gifts, talents, strengths, abilities and the lessons learned from your life experiences into marketable and monetizable products and services if you are running here and there asking everyone “What do you think?” (more…)