Fulfillment Begins Here

Have you seen the new documentary movie, Young At Heart, yet? (If not, don't worry, I won't spoil it). The film is about a chorus group ("Young At Heart") of men and women between the ages of 70 and 92 who sing and perform rock and roll, with great success, all over the world. Essentially, though, this movie is about passion, connection, and living life to the fullest despite obstacles and setbacks.

In spite of fears of how they might sound, or making mistakes, or what others may think, these incredible people get out there, show up fully, and allow themselves to engage in doing what they love. The experience of being part of this group and living so authentically is truly fulfilling and life-enhancing for them. During one powerful scene, the group performs for a group of male prisoners.

I was in tears while watching this, struck by the stark difference between the internal freedom of the chorus members compared to the imprisonment of the inmates. It struck me then that so many people - clients, friends, acquaintances, and myself more often than I like to admit - live their lives more like the inmates than the chorus members. We are not imprisoned behind bars, but by our own minds, our negative thoughts, our fears, our self-limiting beliefs, our self-consciousness and our worries. I know I'd like to live as free as the members of "Young At Heart." However my psyche is not always so sure that it's safe to get out there and play "big.

" What about you? Are you holding back, hiding out, or playing it small? Do you long for fulfillment or to be "out there" playing and living in a more expressive way? Would you like to feel the excitement and passion that comes from authentically expressing who you are? Let me ask you: where in your life are you holding back, perhaps waiting for some imaginary future time to fully engage with yourself and with your life? What are you waiting for? Like many of my clients, perhaps you're waiting until you're thinner or until you feel more comfortable in your body.Or perhaps you're like one of my insightful readers who recently told me that her extra 20 pounds has been her "suit of armor," protecting her from recognizing what she REALLY hungered for. Or maybe you are waiting until you get married, or have kids, or until your kids are older, or until you have more time or make more money, or until you retire.

. . many of us spend a long, long time waiting for that magical moment, mistakenly thinking that when that moment arrives, we will suddenly be able to do what we need to do to be free, happy and fulfilled. The truth is, we are all starving for fulfillment, freedom and the joy that comes from living authentically true to ourselves.

And that fulfillment does not come from the outside, as most of us have been led to believe. As author Laura Whitworth defined in her book, Co-Active Coaching, "fulfillment is about being fully alive. .

.the state of fully expressing who we are and doing what is right for us." Believe it or not, that fulfillment is available right now, in the present, before that elusive time in the future. Rather than being imprisoned by our negative thoughts, our fears, our hopes for the future, or our ideas of how we "should" be, we must recognize that we are the only ones who have the keys to our freedom and fulfillment.

We must take the risk to shed the "suits of armor" that keep us hidden and separate from ourselves and our lives. I challenge you to join me as I live a little bit larger and let my dreams, rather than my fears, be my guide. I would love to hear from you: What things hold you back? What is it you'd REALLY love to be doing? What is that hunger that keeps gnawing at you really trying to tell you? Copyright (c) 2008 Healthy Bodies, Happy Minds.

Karen Schachter is a licensed clinical social worker & certified nutrition counselor who works with women who want to have a healthier relationship with food & in turn, improve their nutrition, improve their mood & energy, decrease their cravings and just generally enjoy life more fully. She helps parents figure out what to feed their children & how to feed their children. Sign up for her FREE newsletter @

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