All posts by John

Grow Beyond The Bully – You’re Not Two Anymore

Anger, frustration, disappointment, fear, unmet-expectations.  The healthy human will experience all of these which we often label as “negatives”.  As children, when these surface, we might lash out with a physical expression in an effort to communicate how we feel.  Perhaps this lashing-out is because we haven’t yet learned how to form the correct series of words to express just how we feel. Perhaps it’s because the words we have used in the past aren’t working to our satisfaction.  Perhaps it’s learned behavior because we’ve seen someone in our own tribe use this effectively – and we follow in the footsteps of those who have the “power” in a relationship.

As we use the physical expressions, some of us will find success with them and others will continue to fail their efforts to communicate this way.  Those that find success with physical outbursts will rejoice and seek to further that skill-set – often to the detriment of developing their intelligent problem solving skills.

What sets adults apart from children is that as we age, we form the capacity to develop intelligence around problem-solving. Unfortunately, some of us forgo learning how to apply that intelligence when dealing with others with whom we share the planet.  Granted, we all have the capacity to feel so deeply about an unmet expectation that we allow anger to rise to the surface – resulting in a severe physical expression. The flip-side are those who prefer to use such outbursts in an attempt to control a situation – i.e.
“to get their way”.

If it sounds like I am describing a temper tantrum, you’re spot-on. If it sounds like I’m also describing a bully, well you are correct their also.

The bully within

We all have one inside. The ugly part of our personality that yearns to control a situation with physical, emotional, or verbal abuse.  Some of us hold it closer to the surface. some of have learned to control it, some have learned to suppress it,  some have learned to ignore it, and others have come to a state a peace with their inner bully and it remains silent.

The emotionally intelligent and intellectually wise person will have developed a skill set that allows them to nurture a situation in a direction that exceeds their personal desires. This nurturing inspires others to do great things because of an internal desire to perform.  The bully, like the two year-old, uses abusive behavior and language in an effort to force others to comply to their personal will. The end result is of course, doing only what needs to be done to avoid being  abused.

The supreme teacher in this struggle is our ego.

Egoic attachment is the root source of many of our emotional responses including the anger, frustration, disappointment and fear that lead to the Bully Expression.  Even the adult ego is like a two year old in that if it doesn’t get it’s way, it more than happy to throw a temper tantrum one that will range from mild to extreme.

Ditching the inter tyrant

With ego being at the root center of Bully Expression, some suggested steps in ditching your inner bully are:

  1. Accept that you have an inner bully.
  2. To become okay with that fact – avoid using it as a whip to punish yourself for past actions. Their in the past and you can’t change that.
  3. Do your forgiveness work. This is not to seek justification for your actions, but to seek to live in a space where you see your actions, what led up to them and how they affected others and yourself in disappointing ways. Then forgive yourself, resting in the knowing that from this moment forward, you will live differently and have greater meaning in your life.
  4. Work to be okay with not getting your way. Allow others to have their successes.
  5. Learn to nurture people in a situation, not command them. Playing dictator stifles those around you and limits your own life successes. Nurturing gives room for outcomes to exceed what our own minds thought to be possible by allowing for synergy.
  6. Discover your anger.  When anger is triggered, make note of it so you may work on it at an appropriate time. If you are too angered to act rationally, calmly ask to be excused for a moment so you can calm down and become rational. Only another bully would deny you of that opportunity.
  7. Heal your triggers. Meditate on your triggers. Connect the dots as to why this triggers anger in you. This can be the most fulfilling phase of growth. You get to learn the ugly and the beautiful truth about you that was previously masked behind egoic responses. Then you get to let them go and work to change them. You get to life the weight of all that horrible bagage you have until now, insisted on carrying around.
  8. Be prepared to lose some friends and gain some new ones. Chances are very high that you have encircled yourself with others who think like you used to. It’s easy to see that a majority of them are bullies. As you release yourself of your Bully Expressions, you’ll clearly see those old behaviors in others and want to get away. Your friends egos will work diligently to hold on to their present state of being and do their best to bring you back to their side of the street.  It’s a trap, but now that you know it’s coming you’ll see it and can avoid it.  Eventually they, or you will give up on the relationship. Do your best to be okay with that.

With your new self emerging, you will become attracted and attractive to people who just like you, are changing their ways in life. You’ll begin to see the world with a heightened state of clarity. You will see things that have been their all along, but were masked behind your old personal need to micro-manage the universe around you.  People will desire to lift you up – let them. They’ll actually desire to do things for you instead of doing them out of fear  – let them.   When we allow people to express their good in the world, good change happens. When we try to force people to do our will, we limit the outcome to our own personal will and miss amazing opportunities for greater outcomes – outcomes that exceed all expectation.

No matter how “well intentioned” a bully my be, wrong-action for the right reasons will never result in a better outcome than the right-action for the right reasons.

The bully around you.

Change comes hard from some. For most, change will only be triggered by a pain that takes them far removed from their comfort zone.  Bully Expressors won’t feel a need to change, as long as their behavior is getting results.  Hey if it works, why change it, right?  What the bully doesn’t realize is that they can reach their goals faster with greater efficacy with the intentional assistance of others.  They’ll get more done when people actually want to help them get there instead of people just doing something to avoid dealing with the bully’s anger.

We certainly can’t force someone to desire internal change, but we can lead them in that direction by demonstrating a better way.  Bullies are blame-casters. If something goes awry, they’ll throw someone else under the bus long before admitting their own deficiencies.  If it something goes right, it’s theirs to take credit for – if it goes wrong, it was the fault of someone else and often because that person didn’t do what the bully told them to do.

Through our own personal demonstration of self-accountability for our actions,  nurturing people and situations, we can hope that the onlooking bully will eventually witness how your successes come with ease and grace.  Perhaps they’ll begin to see how people will do amazing things when they are allowed to make their own decisions and learn from their choices.  Potentially, the bully will discover that despite how your preferences weren’t met, a great outcome happened anyway and your not just okay with it, but excited about it.

That bully might eventually “get it”, or maybe they’ll never see it. Either way, that needs to be okay with you. They are not your responsibility to change. Trying to force change upon them just makes you the bully too.

If your relationship with a bully is too toxic to bear, you have a right to make the personal choice to make a change in your life, but not theirs. Maybe that choice is to walk away from the relationship, knowing that that bully might resist your efforts to control your own life. Perhaps if you are an employer, you choice is to attempt to counsel them through HR and get them help, or to release them from their commitment and send them on their way.

Respect yourself. Bully Expression is an unfortunate physical and desperate expression of limiting thought in action.  If you seek to be all you can be, you need to release the limitations in your life manifested by the Bully Expression.

Live baby, live!

Namaste.

Monkeys Are Brainwashing Us!

The monkeys have been your puppet masters

They are whispering in your ear at every turn, you just don’t know it yet. They are everywhere you are, in your home, at your work, in your dreams – everywhere.  You want to do things one way, they command you to do it another. They want to keep you under control by suppressing your will to be something greater.  They are devilishly sneaky and have controlled you by manipulating your emotional hot-zones with cunning, and razor sharp skill.   Today, we blow the lid off of their clandestine nature and bring to light the truth of their evil monkey ways.

 

Life can be hard, at least until we make the conscious decision to live with ease and grace.  Being human comes withsome conditions and challenges that can’t be changed – such as the need for food, water and shelter.  From the time we are born we develop traits that serve us for a while, but then those traits expand to become hurdles, roadblocks and burdens that drag us down and make life difficult.  They are like little monkeys that jump on our backs and cling like Velcro. The more monkeys we carry, the heavier the burden and the slower we move through life.  These monkeys whisper in our ear and tell us lies about ourselves and these lies control us in unhealthy ways.

Do you want to control of your life, or let the monkeys do it?

Losing the monkeys is just a matter of convincing them that their lies are wrong. Do that and they will fall away.  You’ll be lightened and astonished at just how much each monkey slowed you down.  Start living your journey with greater ease, grace, peace, and more empowered conscious control.

Tell the Monkey it’s Wrong.

The monkey’s role is to tell us lies about ourselves.  It might chatter in our ear that we are unworthy, fearful, unintelligent or lack some skill or attribute to make us successful.   We silence the monkey when we convince it that it’s wrong, and we can do this by affirming the Truth of who we really are.  An ideal pathway to this end is through the power of affirmations.

An affirmation at it’s simplest is a statement of truth that you wish to ingrain into your consciousness through reading and/or speaking.  Affirmations work by telling our subconscious the things we want to change by convincing it they have already changed.  – basically stating: “this is now the way it is. ”

We are in essence, reprogramming our mind to behave in a manner we want it to. This is a great pathway to get unstuck from old patterns that no longer serve us, or that we find to be unhealthy or toxic in our current conditions.

The concept is quite simple.  We craft a sentence or two that states what we want to change in our minds so it reads as if it has already changed and how it might look in application. Please try to include the words now and always in some context so the mind understands your intention clearly.  For instance, if we want to take  self doubt out of our minds, the statement might look something like this:

” I am now filled with confidence in every situation and make every decision with the knowing that the outcome will be perfect and serve me in the highest. ”  (every substitutes always in this context)

-or-

“At every encounter or decision crossroad, I am brimming with healthy vibrant confidence that guides me to make correct decisions and take proper action. This or something better now manifests in me ~ thank you God!”

There is another form of affirmation that we use here at Empower-Yourself.com, and we find it to be more powerful in our own lives, the combination of denials with affirmations.

The affirmation tells our mind what we are to become, the denial tells the mind what to release so it does not creep back in. Metaphorically , we are taking out the trash before we bring in the new.  By removing the old muck we are clearing the obsolete reactions while creating the new and this has proven to be more effective for us.  The denial part of this is not what most of us might think of when we use that word, after-all, denying that we have a condition when we do is a little crazy. What we deny is a conditions ability to control us – we deny it’s power over us and thus are re-mind-ing our conscious and subconscious that we are indeed in control.

A well crafted denial will list the condition or conditions you seek to change, and either it’s inability to control you, or that it is no longer a part of your experience.

“Self-doubt is no longer in control.”

Combined with the affirmation we sweep clean the old and bring in the new thusly:

“Self-doubt is no longer  in control.  I am now filled with confidence in every situation and make every decision with the knowing that the outcome will be perfect and serve me in the highest. ”

Keep your denial affirmations to one topic at a time unless they are directly linked as in this example with fear doubt and worry:

“Fear doubt and worry have no power over me.  At every encounter or decision crossroad, I am brimming with healthy vibrant confidence that guides me to make correct decisions and take proper action. This or something better now manifests in me ~ thank you God!”

Now let’s add a final finishing touch with an action you will take should the “demonic monkey” try to creep back in.

“If I ever feel fear, doubt or worry, I place may hand on my heart, gently breath and remind myself that I choose love, peace and confidence. ”

Altogether now:

 “Fear doubt and worry have no power over me.  At every encounter or decision crossroad, I am brimming with healthy vibrant confidence that guides me to make correct decisions and take proper action. If I ever feel fear, doubt or worry, I place my hand on my heart, gently breath and remind myself that I choose love, peace and confidence. This or something better now manifests in me ~ thank you God!”

 

Practical application

An affirmation should be used at least three times a day for at minimum 32 days.  If you are experiencing change after those 32 days, you may include another denial affirmation for another issue, but continue the first denial affirmation until you know the change in you is complete.

If you are new to affirmations, having reminders can be valuable to your success. Simply knowing the technique is not enough, you must put the treatment into practice for it to work.

  • Set a reminder in your smartphone
  • Pick specific times during the day that you will remember such as before you eat a meal – you can treat it as or include it with your mealtime blessing.
  • Set Google calendar daily reminders.
  • Use a cheap digital timer from the dollar store.
  • Find a partner who is doing affirmations and arrange to remind each other or to do them together.
  • Additionally, include your affirmation in your prayer times.

You may find it handy to print out a little card you can carry in your pocket or purse. If you are using Google calendar,  you can put the text right into the event and it will show when you get the reminder.

Remember the affirmation by heart so you no longer need the card, this can make the treatment more effective.

 

Summary

The more we empower ourselves, to more we realize that it we always had the power, we just used it in unhealthy ways.  We were choosing old ways often because we simply didn’t know any other way.  Affirmations are an excellent way to ease into change over many days or several weeks.  If we chose to make a change before we are forced to change, we allow ourselves to side-step the cosmic 2×4 and the pain that comes with it.

If  you have questions or would like some assistance, let us know in the comments below or reach out via our contact us page.  We hold all consultations in complete confidence.  Please feel free to share your affirmations with our readers!

Namaste!

Overcoming your HOA Fears

 

Post Updated 12/23/2013 7:30 pm Mountain Time.

 

Fear Triggers

We are all unique, so we each have our own set of things that trigger fear.  Your exact triggers are up to you to discover, but we can talk a bit about how those triggers got there.

From the moment we were born we began to learn how our actions create behavior in others. When we cried in the crib, mommy or daddy came to comfort us.  From that point on we knew we could elicit attention by that certain action and it became programming. If we wanted attention, we activated the cry program.  The more it worked the more solid the program became part of our nature.  At some point in our development roles would reverse and we began to learn from other’s actions how we should behave.  If you as you were asked, an adult might treat you with some kind of reward.  Or if you did something they didn’t like, you may have been punished in some way.

It may sound simplistic, but raising a child does have some similarities to training a pet.  Do something right and there is reward – do something wrong and there are consequences.  Eventually the rewards for doing right fall away because the right behavior just becomes expected of you. The majority of feedback we then receive is on the negative side.   This leaves room for development of a lesser desire for the reward and a greater desire to move away from the painful situations.  Rather than strive for the rewards we tend to keep our heads down and just try to stay on the lookout for possible trouble and steer clear.  This is to say that we now put more focus more on what we do wrong than what we do right.

This focus on our potential wrong-doings is a huge confidence killer.  Without the confidence that we will have a successful event, there is room for thoughts of potential wrongdoing and this leads to our fear.

During the HOA we address some questions around the fears some of the panel and audience have around live streaming.  If you pay close attention, there is a common thread of “wrong-doing” in each concern.  I won’t know enough, I’ll make a mistake and hit the wrong button, I won’t be prepared, I’ll stumble, someone else won’t meet my expectations…

To my point of view, each of those concerns has fear that is rooted in judgement. Either judgment of others or personal judgement about self.  So the fear is not about making the mistake, the fear is about being judged for the mistake.

Let’s do an exercise: Take a moment to breath, close your eyes, breath some more an imagine a situation where you have made an error in front of someone of authority in your life, such as a boss.  Try to really see the event in your minds eye. From the moment the mistake was made, through the discovery of the event and on to your boss’ reaction and your reaction to them.

 

Were you able to feel an emotional response from someone realizing the mistake? Shame, embarrassment, fear?  If you were, you are far from alone. Most of the population is able to do exactly that – feel negative emotions for events that were in their heads.  Is it odd to know that you felt judged by your own day-dream.

Some say that dreams aren’t real. I say that’s bogus.  They are real, but perhaps just not tangible for others. You experienced it in your head so there is some level of reality if only as thought forms.  I am sure you would agree that your thoughts are real – yes?

If we are focusing more on watching out for trouble and combine that with the reality of thought forms and the emotions they create,  we have begun to piece together origins of this thing we call fear.

Maybe you were this kid in class – the one who refused to read out loud.  It may have been a horribly paralyzing fear of being judged by others that silenced you.  Children can be cruel. They’ll laugh at the stumbles of their peers, mock them heavily and just generally be mean.  As grown-ups, hopefully, we have learned to be more nurturing and forgiving of others, but unfortunately much of that childhood programming remains.  There may exist in us a deep down absolute resistance to doing anything in public because we falsely expect a room full of people to treat us like they did when they were nine years old.   Are you comfortable with the idea of erasing that old crappy program and installing a fresh update to something better? Then read on. Here are a few bullet points to ponder. Try not to just blow through these. Take your time to read them one by one and sit with each for a minute or two and really think about them.  I’ll grab a cup of coffee while you read and experience.  When you are done with these bullet points, take a break, walk around a bit and breath.  Then we’ll get on to some day-dreaming exercises.

  • We allow ourselves to be subject to past programming of influences in our lives.
  • Fear is triggered by negative thoughts of things that may have happened in our past and we have associated them to things that have not yet occurred anywhere but in our mind.
  • We don’t fear the past or the present, only the “horrible” possibilities we conjure up about the future.
  • We can compound fear by imagining others reactions to those conjured situations.
  • Others around us might be supporting us in our fears rather than in our true abilities.
  • We have developed the habit to imagine the worst possible scenarios.
  • Like any training, we can replace habits that no longer serve us with habits that do.

 

 

 

If you have come this far, I suspect you have made a decision to reduce or eliminate irrational fear.  Congratulations, you’ve done the really hard part already – you have gone through life with irrational fears that have held you back. That’s a pretty hard way to live, so the exercise below should be a cake-walk for you.

Room for Discovery

Create a quiet environment free of distractions where you can be alone with your thoughts.  No music, no TV, just you and your thoughts.

Getting Into Your Head

  • Make a list of what you would call your perfect scenario.
  • Get imaginative and get into the day-dream.
  • What are people saying to you and what are you saying back?
  • What things are going right
  • How those things feel

Let’s Kick Fear’s Butt!

  • Now make a list of all the things you fear might go wrong.
  • Include your reactions to the events
  • What would be the worst possible outcomes

OMG!

In any of those fear-based scenarios:

  • Did you die in real life?
  • Were you injured in real life?
  • Did you or your family suffer irreversible harm in real life?
  • Whew!

Change it up

  • Take any one of your fear-based scenarios back into your day-dream and look at ways you can react differently in a positive direction.
  • Remind yourself that it’s okay to make a choice that is outside of your past programming.
  • What changes the outcome is how you choose to react to fear.

Let’s recap

What we think, eventually becomes who we are. If we think about fear, we become fear. If we focus on doing things with clear intention,  we activate our actions towards clear intention.

  • Every action or reaction begins with a thought
  • Change your thoughts – change your actions and reactions
  • We can only think about one thing at any one time – choose wisely.

By learning to shift our thoughts away from fear and in the direction of proper action, we leave no room in our thoughts for fear.  And yes, it takes practice. It took you a life-time to get here, so it will take a bit of work to reverse things. Be patient with yourself, take small sweet steps in the right direction. As long as you create motion, you’ll see some changes that can keep you motivated to keep moving.

Practice

  • Practice is required to release old habits by developing behaviors that become new habits.
  • Some habits were developed at childhood. You have a lifetime of bad practice to overcome so be patient with yourself.
  • Use a reminder tool to change your habits such as a bracelet, ribbon or watch you can move from wrist to wrist when you catch yourself in your old ways. Strive for going 31 days without changing it over.  Remember, you have a lifetime of pain and programming, you’ve done the hard work, this should be easy by comparison.
  • Be patient and be kind.  Don’t judge yourself if you don’t get it right away. Judgment got you here to begin with.

Bonus Tip!

If you want to speed up the process, stop judging others and you will cease to feel judged by them.  What we do, we become. What we focus on expands. The easy path to stop any negative behavior is to replace it with it’s positive mate.  To stop judging is to begin complimenting. Look for the positive in others and tell them you noticed.

As always, let us know how you get on with the exercises and feel free to drop comments and questions below!

Namaste!

On the Dark Side of Setting Goals: Live Interview by David F Leopold

Entrepreneur advocate and expert David F. Leopold hosts a daily online discussion focused on providing sound and powerful advice to the entrepreneur. David, who flys under the moniker “SmallBizDavid” was introduced to our post on The Dark Side of Setting Goals and being intrigued reached out to me via my account on Google Plus and immediately scheduled an interview. Here is the video of that live event. And thanks David, I had a great time!

 

You can find a full list of David’s interviews and reach out to him on his Google Plus page by clicking here.

Is attachment at the root of global violence?

Like most of us, when I heard about violence committed at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, I was deeply shaken. Many months later I am still very very saddened. It is my own personal belief that God brings only good into the world and and it is we as humans through free will and error thinking that bring what society calls “evil”. I also believe that through every terrible act, God is pouring something good our way if we are just willing to look for it and embrace it.

If you have been watching main stream commercial media and social media, no doubt you have seen plenty of video and plenty of pictures worthy of night-mares. Yes, they are hard to look at, yes they are shocking and yes some are downright disgusting to look at. Hollywood, television, internet streaming, video games and even mainstream authors are all quite adept at bringing fictional violence into our living rooms and bedrooms 24/7 and on demand.  All this has had quite the effect of desensitizing people of developed nations to the horrors of real violence. It has become all too easy to turn off our caring nature when something real and tragic happens – even in our own towns.  A while back, a very graphic photo was making the rounds on Facebook. Three dedicated individuals desperately pushing a wheelchair occupied by a man who had both lower legs ripped of flesh from an I.E.D. The image of ragged. splintered exposed bone and missing extremities shook me. Instinctively I went into prayer and prayed for this man, his family and those who would be affected by the image as it unexpectedly unfolded before them when they opened their Facebook news feeds.

A little bit of text at the lower left of the image read “like = prayer”  and the image had accumulated thousands of likes and 204 comments.  The supportive outreach in the comments were often heart-felt and they came from around the globe in dozens of languages. There was a smattering with a direct tone of how America deserves this for their atrocities and plenty of “how dare you post this!”  What struck home for me were the two pointed reminders of how this stuff happens around the world every day and every hour,  and how it appears that we in America don’t care until it happens to “us”. The missing comments I longed to see were those that reached out and said: “This is real – this is what happens when humanity commits violence against humanity – this is NOT Hollywood makeup – this is genuine suffering and this needs to come to an end.”

Our mainstream media is practiced and plished at not showing reality in such graphic detail – to protect our “sensibilities.”   Indeed what would happen to society if we were to see what the reality of violence looked like? Perhaps we would grasp a deeper understanding for what others go through daily and become compassionate. Perhaps we might wake up and demand of our leaders to stop the aggressions.  Perhaps we might get the clarity to see that there is no “us over here and them over there”  – there is only the universal us. We the people of the United Earth.

Cities, states, countries – they are all imaginary lines drawn on maps or in the sand that we commit violent acts to defend or change. Much of politics are opinions. If someone doesn’t agree with the opinion and conversations won’t change their mind, then let’s bully them or beat them up. And violence in the name of religion is just plain twisted. At the root of all great religions is compassion. If someone worships differently than we do, why do we have aggression instead of compassion? Why are we so eager to look for what is wrong with their beliefs instead of what might be right?  Instead we are willing to kill to make our opinion the dominant opinion. And yes, what belief system you agree with is a matter of personal opinion, and until that belief system can be “proven” it will remain as such.

Maybe the answer to all of this is to release our harmful attachments.  When we are so completely fixated on the attachments of: being right, having the most power, land, money,  _____(fill in the blank)____, that we are driven to willingly harm one another, we are operating at a deeply dysfunctional level.  And all because of our refusal to release.

Many people have said that the human condition is at it’s greatest level of evolution thus far, and yet we still throw such violent tantrums. Unfortunately, adult tantrums can reach catastrophic levels of foot stomping, and instead of hurt feelings, people die.

 Divine Spirit, today I affirm that I release all unhealthy attachments in my life. I am freed from their limiting grip and am empowered by that freedom to choose greater outcomes for myself and the world. When confronted with the attachments in others, I honor them where they stand, yet stand myself as an illuminated example of living an attachment-free powerful life.  ~ Amen

Share your thoughts on attachment with us!

 

The Dark Side of Goals – Does having a preference hold you back?

Most of us have grown up hearing that one must have a goal to succeed.  While having goals gives us a target or a direction, does that very step towards success have a darker side – one that potentially limits our success?

Goals have a long history in our culture of being the mother of all of signposts on our path. Hitting our goal was, well… the goal.  Meeting that particular expectation might be seen as a successful milestone on the path to our “complete” success – the Holy Grail if you will.  If  one could just hit their goal, then all would be perfect in their world. We have blogged in the past on how that is backwards thinking.  But this is not to say that goals are a bad thing.  Just like anything in our world, there is a light and a dark side – a Yin and Yang.  Anything we label as “good” can swing the opposite direction if misused.

Having a preference provides a target for your goal but your attachment to how the end result should look may cause you to miss out on what could actually be the best possible outcome. If you are too fixed on things looking a specific way, you might miss out on better opportunities that pass right in front of you. Your awareness has been fixed and you see only the things you have expected to see, and that is a form of limiting thought.  Yes the very goal you set to expand your possibilities is, if misused, limiting thought. It’s limiting you to the standards you set rather than leaving the door open for more.

Let’s assume for a moment that your goal is a $250,000.00 per year job in your chosen field – one that would give you options to help others well beyond your present abilities. The Divine wants the very best for you and the world and has greater good in store for you. Perhaps there is a $750,000.00 position that is just waiting for you, but it’s in a different field. You are supremely qualified for it, and the job listing was right there on the very same page of the job site you were looking at, but you chose to avoid reading that column because it’s a field, title or description that is not in your goal plan. The CEO is looking for someone like you, with your experience and your values, but she never gets to meet you – because your focus is too narrow and you see only what you want to see.

Perhaps the right and perfect connection was the person in line behind you at the coffee house. You know, the one you let in front of you, because your that kind of person, only you chose not to respond in your best-self to their light-hearted chit-chat. A choice you made because they were dressed in an old t-shirt and ratty jeans. After-all what could that person do for your goals?  Turns out, Mr. T-Shirt was looking for the connections you could provide and in helping him, something magical would have opened up for you and your “goals” through someone you introduced him to.  But he obviously wasn’t part of your plan, so for now we’ll never know for certain.

“God Laughs at Our Plans”

We like to think we’re under control. That when we plan things, they will fall in place like perfectly stacked dominoes. Honestly, how many times have your plans actually gone exactly the way you expected? If you were all alone on a deserted island, you might have a shot at it, but the more individuals you invite into your day, life or event, the greater the likelihood that their thoughts, plans and actions will redirect what you had envisioned.  On the other hand, there are countless stories of great things happening to people when they least expected it. But just because they did not expect it, does not mean that they weren’t awake enough to take action when it came along. What if these people chose to say “No thanks, it’s not part of my goal”.    Is it enough to learn to expect the unexpected, or should we learn to look for the unexpected?  Now move in close and pay attention here as this is the secret: you absolutely must be willing to take action on the unexpected. Without action, it may as well have gone un-noticed and without willingness, the mind will learn to tune it out and go back to the old ways. Taking action does not meen a commitment to the new direction, but it should at least lead to having a good look at it’s potential.

“A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.” ~ Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Truth is, any action we take cascades through our physical world and the potential results are so vast that a mere shift in your awareness, a simple change of mind or differing decision can and will cascade into untold numbers of shifts in your life and the lives of others. The entire human condition today – all of it – what we eat, where we live, the languages we speak and even our religious views are the result of thoughts, actions and decisions made by countless others who came before us.  Imagine how different things might be if Christopher Columbus had decided “Meh…enough of this ‘New World’ talk, lets hit the pub for an ale instead!” One decision, or a few negative words have been enough to bring down Presidents, Kings and nations. On the other hand goals and courageous actions have resulted in some pretty amazing shifts in our world, and yes, built a great nation or two.

 

Shift your awareness to a broader view. As you set your goals, make room in your thoughts and actions for something greater. Be open to see more, do more, and receive more than what your goal includes.  As you awareness expands, so will the outcomes.

 

We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so please share in the comments area below.

You can watch a live interview on this topic here.

A Path to Peace – Forgiveness

How to forgiveDistrust, anger, frustration, depression, restlessness and others are forms of being that restrict peace in our lives. It’s amazing how many physical symptoms manifest from lack of motion in areas of our life that are crying out for change. And few areas scream for change and healing like forgiveness. Forgiveness healing is not about releasing yourself or the other person from accountability, but about allowing yourself to move on from the transgression. Choosing not to forgive is playing the victim and as we have stated before, being the victim is surrendering your power to change your condition.

Yes, there may be some things in your past that you still carry anger for, and perhaps you feel justified in this anger, but carrying that anger toxifies your life, not the life of the other person. I once heard a metaphor that choosing to not forgive is like driving your car around on a hot day with the windows rolled up and filled with other peoples rotting garbage. You are living with their stink and all you need to do is pull over and get out.

Three Steps to Forgiveness

The first step is to be willing to let it go. If you unwilling to release the transgression, then peace will not come. If all you can see is your “correct-ness”  or their “wrong-ness” in the situation, or your need for vengeance, then you have not reached a place where you are ready to let it go.  If you are tired of living with it, saddened by the loss of a friend or simply over being upset about it, then you are ready to find a release.  Sometimes we just want to be angry because we want to be angry, and that is okay. Just do your best not to splash your attitude on and around others while you sit in your pity-party.  It’s your party and you can sit there a long as you like, but know the longer you sit, the more you live with the pain and the stress and the less you move on. Be very aware that there are those around you who will gleefully help you stew in your pain, affirm your “correctness” and generally keep you from healing under the guise of supporting you.  These people are rarely thinking from their highest realm of being and will do their best to keep you thinking on a lower plane.

 

The second step is to become aware that none of us know the full picture. There is always more to any event than we are allowed to see.  I like to say that there are three sides to a story, your side, their side and the truth.  Knowing that neither of you know the full truth can go a long way to helping you release. Perhaps you don’t know what the other person had going on in their life at the time. Or maybe they had a traumatic experience in their past that this event reminded them of and they lashed out. Or perhaps, your actions were actually out of line and you just could not see it.  Regardless, know that you don’t know the entire story, and neither do they. The past cannot be undone, but present conditions can be healed.

 

The third step in finding forgiveness is seeking to find what buttons have been pushed in you. What was triggered and why was it triggered?  Find the button , then look for the source of why the button is there in the first place.  Peace work is about repairing YOU, not about attempting to fix others.

When you are ready for step three, here is an exercise you can try:

Find a quite place, perhaps your favorite meditation or reading space,  sit in a calm stillness and breath, just breath. Focus only on your breath until you feel calmed.  Now the work can begin.  Let’s look at how you could have handled tins differently. We will look at what your part was in the situation and what you could have done differently. Remember, we can only change our own reactions, our own mindset and our own actions. We cannot change the thoughts and actions of others.  That is up to them and them only.

Go back to where you think things began to go awry. What was said or done by the other person that you reacted to in a harsh manner? Why did you react that way? What caused those emotions to boil up inside you?  Bear in mind that our reactions today are a result of our past experiences – your present reactions often have little to do with the current situation and everything to do with something that happened in your past. You have been “trained” to react a certain way and if we can uncover this, we can release it to a new and better truth of who you are.  Now go through that scene in your head again and look for ways you could have handled it differently. from a place of higher wisdom rather than pure instinctual reaction. What might the other person have said if you had phrased things differently?  Move through the situation in your head using these steps of discovery.  I am not asking you to take full responsibility, as I believe that all persons involved will have some level of contribution, but please don’t look for what the other person did wrong, just look for how you could have handled it better. Remember we are looking to empower YOU to become better.

These confrontations are an opportunity for us to remember our true nature – that of a loving spirit having a human experience.  Sometimes our humanness just steps in the way.

As you discover ways that you could have reacted differently, you naturally begin to heal your heart. You begin to understand that you can choose to see it as the other person and the event have shown up in your life as a teacher.  You can choose to learn from it. You can choose to grow from it. You can choose to see higher potential for your life in how you react in future events. You can choose to come out of this a better person!

You may have an amazing healing the first time around, or your healing may require several “sessions” before you get there.  Just know that you WILL get there. The bonus: as you work through your forgiveness, you will find you need to forgive less often. There will naturally be fewer transgressions in your life, in part because you no longer look for them in your life, and in part because you see how minor most transgressions really are and they no longer trigger you.

“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”
~Catherine Ponder

Fell free to share your paths to find forgiveness with our readers in the comments below.

Who else wants God to stop testing them? – A Path to Peace.

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The good news is that the Divine One does not test us – at least that’s my take. Allow me to explain.

God is Love. Love has no need to test — it believes in you completely. God does not lead anyone into temptation, into failure nor into something you are not prepared to handle.

Our master teacher Jesus tells us that God does not judge.

We are all equal in the eyes of the divine. There are no favorites.

God granted us free will. Not kinda-free will, not sorta-free will, not partial-or-when-I-feel-like-it-free will. To say that God has put us in a situation goes against what I understand the Christian Scriptures tell us. Feel free to comment on this or any part of this post below if you have a different interpretation or understanding you would like to share.

The only one testing you is… well, you. Testing is a human concept for the demonstration of understanding. If you believe that the Divine is capable of knowing what is in your heart, then would any test be unnecessary to satisfy God? The actions of Jesus do not appear to support the idea that God tests us. His example appears to be to the opposite. When one or more of the disciples were unsteady in principles, his comments were more around: “Have you no faith?”, “Where is your faith?” The tests were always about them and by them. It was seemingly about their perception of the events combined with their personal faith. Did Jesus say, “this is The Father’s test for you”

We come into alignment with new Truths when we are ready, and if it feels to you like a test, it could be that you are still in a stage where conscious effort is required to apply the new understandings. If it’s not second nature to you yet, don’t sweat it. Be grateful for the opportunity to practice and move through it with grace using the fullest expression of the Truth that you can at that moment.

We may think of it as a test merely because the new awakening or the condition is something that is freshly in our awareness. The opportunities have been there all along, we are just now awake enough to see them. We might think of it as a test because we lack faith in our own understandings. If we doubt ourselves, there is room for some false perception of failure. With the idea of failure in our consciousness, we may unconsciously go looking for opportunities to practice our new understandings. Perhaps ego may be at the heart of this — putting us into situations where we can fail in our growth so ego can survive.

We live truths to the extent of our willingness to do so. Sometimes, for whatever reasoning, we are not willing to step fully into a principle. So we step into a situation where that Truth is to be expressed, we embrace it halfheartedly and the outcome isn’t as wonderful as we would like. Much like when we were a child and were asked to clean our bedrooms. If you weren’t into doing it, and how many of us really had a ‘passion’ for cleaning our rooms, the end result my have been “okay” on the surface but we knew in our hearts we could have done more. We just wanted to get on with it and get back to play time.

To my way of thinking, “test” is merely a label we apply to events in our lives where we feel unsteady. Events where we have a chance to practice understandings that we feel are not our strongest. Have you noticed, when applying a principle becomes second nature, you gradually stop calling it a test? What changed? Well you did, at the very least, your point of view changed. You decided to stop applying the label. If we get to make the call on when it stops being a test, then is it really God submitting the test?

 

So here is your take away:

We here at Empower-Yourself.com always honor your perceptions on your path. It is YOUR path and you are your own best guide and you certainly get to chose how to walk it. Regardless of your views on life’s “tests”, the ideas below may assist you in bringing personal empowerment and peace into your life.

To live more fully empowered: Stop labeling events as a test. If you are seeing it as a test and have the mindset of “this is for a grade, I better do good”, then you are coming from a place un-empowered – perhaps even a place of fear. If you “do the right thing” because you have chosen to, now you are living empowered. I suspect we all understand how much we prefer to do what we want to do over what we have to do. Feel the difference? Coming from the empowering space makes room for joy, passion and a life of happiness in everything you are doing.

To live more fully in peace: release the idea that events are some test that was manufactured for you and see it for what it is. Just another event in the continuous, unbroken and overlapping string of events we call life. Work through it with the integrity you have and all the Love you can, and you will come through the other side with the highest and best outcome possible to you at that moment.

6 Incredibly Useful Ways to Stop Making Mountains out of Molehills

Dartmoor Diary St Olaves D200 Apr 2013 099Over inflating our responses can become such a distraction, we fail to see the truth of the situation.  When we step away and allow ourselves to see conditions from heightened clarity, we are in a much better place to make good decisions from an empowered space. Here are six useful ways to stop making mountains out of those molehills.

1) It’s only big if you make it big, so stop making it bigger than it really is: One man’s hill-side is another man’s mountain-side. The difference is perception. If one had only lived on flat ground, then a 300 ft. high hill might appear mountainous. On the other hand, growing up in the Andes on a 14,00o ft. peak, a man might think of a 5,000 ft. peak as a simple hill. In neither case did the size of the hill change, only the perception of it’s size, and perception is a creation of the human imagination. Change the way you think and you change size of the obstacle. Even the largest mountain is traversed one step at a time.

2) Stop stacking it on: When we see a small obstacle as a large one, we sometimes begin piling new obstacles right on top that give us “excuses” for not moving forward.

  • Fear leads to inaction
  • Lazyness leads to inaction
  • We gather evidence that “excuses us from action”
  • Guilt develops for not dealing with it right away
  • Frustration as deadlines loom
  • More Guilt – for lack of action
  • More Fear – now that it’s bigger
  • More Frustration – “Now how will I EVER deal with this?”

3) Commit to stop seeing obstacles as problems and begin viewing them as “projects”: Any obstacle can be overcome when steps are taken — just like it takes a series of steps required to complete a project. When we label something as a ” problem” we put an imaginary burdening weight on it that can freeze us in our tracks like a deer in the headlights. Start viewing it as a project and the freezing oppression is allowed to fall away. Then our thoughts and efforts are available for motion.

4) Take action in a constructive direction – any action. Just MOVE: Don’t wait for the perfect plan to fall into place. If there was such a thing as a perfect plan, it wouldn’t stay perfect for long anyhow. As we move through the “plan” unforeseen changes are going to arise and alter our course. Knowing this allows us to expect change and this tells us we must remain flexible. And knowing we must be flexible allows space for us to stay out of panic when changes arise. Anticipate change and you have nothing to fear. So stop nit picking a plan and just move! As long as you have forward motion, it will work it’s way out however it needs to regardless of any “planning” you might do. Cease motion however, and the molehill will continue to expand.

5) Stop the whining. Complaining serves only to tell yourself and those around you that you are too weak to change the situation. After all, if you actually had the power to change things, wouldn’t you be putting your efforts into actually changing it? Complaining does nothing but deepen your conviction that something is not going your way and you are powerless to effect change. You DO have the power to change, so empower yourself! Stop complaining and put your mental and physical resources towards a constructive outcome. Constructive behavior leads to smaller hills. Destructive behavior just makes bigger mountains that YOU eventually get to traverse.

6) Multitasking is a myth. We can only focus on one thing at a time. “Multi-tasking” or what I am coining in this very post as: Scatter-Braining™ is merely shifting focus from one task to another and back again – never really putting your best efforts into either one. It’s like trying to run up two hills at the same time, only you have to run back and forth between them to make progress. Just wasted effort. Pick the hill that requires your attention and focus focus focus. When your mind gets going, the mental momentum will build and tasks will get accomplished faster with greater efficacy. Keep flinging your focus around like a sloppy mop and if things do get accomplished, you may find that the efforts don’t meet expectation and you have to revisit them to clean up the spatter. This just means more work and that equals a bigger hill.