Category Archives: Personal Empowerment

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!

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.

Meanies and How They Ruin a Perfectly Good Day

Congratulations, person who wanted to be mean and hurt my feelings.

You were successful.

Big_Fat_Meanie

Your comment about me to my boss not only hurt my feelings, but made me question myself.  And made me cry.  Not the Ugly Cry but tears, nonetheless.

You took a day that was going better than average and turned it on its ear.

I’ve been doing what I do for a really long time.  To say that I’m comfortable in my abilities and social skills, would be an understatement.  But when I receive out of the blue comments about my less than great attitude or my unwillingness to be helpful, it throws me off my game for a bit.  To my benefit (and the benefit of those around me), my age and the spiritual work I’ve done allows me to bounce back pretty quickly.

There is a musing I heard quoted (I don’t have the original quote) about if you are going to suffer, then SUFFER.  The inference is that you need to really feel the hurt and the pain and move on.  Don’t dip your toes in the suffering pool a little bit at a time and prolong the agony.  Jump in, feel the feelings and get the heck out!

We’ve all heard the Buddhist proverb “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”  I think we’ve even used it several times in this blog.  Living life hurts, but you don’t have to suffer the hurts longer than you want to.

From BUDDHIST SANGHA OF SOUTH JERSEY

First Noble Truth – Right Understanding

The Path begins with the Right Understanding of the Four Noble Truths:

· There is suffering in life.

· Suffering comes from ignorance which leads to craving, grasping and clinging.

· We can become free from suffering and achieve happiness.

· The way to become free from suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path

I like the first point a lot.  Because as much as I would like to claim that I am above choosing to suffer the pains in my life, I’m not.  Sometimes I sit back and lick those wounds over and over.  Was there something I could have done differently, better, that would have let me escape the sting?  The first point clearly states — there is suffering in life.  It happens.  Denying the suffering doesn’t help anyone.

Point 2 – suffering comes from ignorance which leads to craving, grasping and clinging.  Oh!  Sound familiar?  If I’m suffering from words spoken, then I’m the only one suffering.  The person who spoke them has moved on.  They are not suffering.  I’m in ignorance of the motives and standing in conscious ignorance to my own higher beliefs.   I’m left craving answers, grasping at the what-if’s and clinging to my injured ego.

Wounded people, wound others.  Angry people share anger.  Misery loves company.  For some reason, humans try to hurt each other but it is my REACTION to the pain which creates my suffering, not the event itself.  When I rise above my emotions and clearly see the other person in this situation,  I can see that they are unhappy in their world and desperately trying to defend their actions by putting the blame on someone else.  I’m not discounting their comment– maybe I was snippy to them once — but why wait YEARS to provide this feedback?  If you want to be helpful in providing feedback, it should be timely and clear.  By waiting so long, they are now evidence gathering as to why they are “right” in making the decisions that they are making.

Point 3 – we can become free from suffering and achieve happiness.  I could choose to carry the hurt for the rest of the day, week or month.  There is a high likelihood that I will see this person again.  How long do I feel justified in carrying my hurt?  I could be cold in our next encounter — but doesn’t that just confirm their opinion of me?  They will probably have forgotten their words and only  remember the feelings.  My being hurt and miffed in their presence isn’t going to clear up the situation one bit.

John & I were just talking about the analogy of suffering being like someone throwing garbage in your car and you refusing to clean it out.  You drive around with this smelly, awful mess — suffering the whole way — and they don’t even remember throwing trash in there.  I choose to release the suffering and thereby free my energies up to be happy.  Ultimately, this person has nothing to do with my everyday life and I should not make their opinion so important that it colors my world into gray.

Point 4 – I know nothing of the Noble Eightfold Path but I do know that choosing not to suffer and learning the skills to live in a non-suffering way is a journey!  You pick up one skill at a time and practice that until it feels less hard and then you are ready for another one.  Each time you practice a higher thought process you learn something about yourself and the process.  And you trust the process a bit more.  Berating yourself for not handling the process better does not help.  You must accept that you chose only to suffer a day this time and that is better than the three days you suffered last time.

So, in the midst of my suffering, while I was wiping away the tears of hurt, indignation and pride, I remembered to breathe.  I say that a lot — breathe, breathe.

The very act of taking a conscious deep breath connects my mind and body.  By taking another one, I feel my body settle into that place I know is safe and firm.  The anxiety leaves me and my feet start to feel very planted in Spirit/God.  Another breath, and I feel connected to my higher self.  From this higher place, in the calm state that simply breathing deeply has provided, I am able to see/claim that this hurt is not mine to carry.  I am able to have perspective and even understanding.  I feel the suffering slipping away as quickly as it came to me.

My father says “forgive but never forget!”  I always laugh at him when he says this because I couldn’t possibly carry around all the perceived slights in my lifetime — nor do I want to.  But there is some truth here.  It is our work to discern what comments/feedback are said to help us wake up and realize that we’re not showing up as we want to, versus the ones that are just thrown out there to wound.  Besides, forgiving is a much harder requirement.  Forgiving means no chip on your shoulder, no what ifs, no plans for future action.  Forgiveness is that I understand that you are human making your way on your path and our paths intersected and that I’m not going to knock you down just because I can.

Meanies are just part of this earthly experience.   Take a moment to recognize that the experience of a meanie hurt — temporarily.  You don’t need to suffer it over and over and over again.  Move on.  Claim the higher perspective.  Wipe away your tears and breathe.  Claim the joy in a good day.  Because they all are good days, even if there are meanies in them.

Dinner Schminner — Life’s Ruts

joyofcooking

I’m in a dinner rut.

It’s ugly.

I don’t want to make dinner.  I’m uninspired and not motivated.  Cereal sounds too good (and easy) to go through the effort of thinking of, prepping for, cooking and cleaning up.  Bleh.

I actually like to cook.  I like taking care of my family and being creative with recipes and ideas.  I have a fully stocked freezer, pantry and utensil drawer.  I have a bunch of cookbooks with various lilts and several websites bookmarked which are filled with many other recipes to tempt me.  My pots and pans sit at the ready to be heated and filled.  I HAVE everything I need to create a meal.

And yet….

My kitchen is quiet.

<sigh>

Newton’s First Law:  An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts upon it.

Hence, those pots and pans aren’t moving themselves.

As I  contemplate this dilemma, I am struck with how similar this is to our journey.

We HAVE everything we need to live a better life.  And if we don’t, there are millions of books, websites, spiritual leaders, and classes to help move us in the direction we imagine.

Are you like me…..stuck in a rut?

Your prayers have become more rote, less heart centered.  Meditation time, while time well spent, just isn’t as inspiring as you think it could be.  You look at the stack of books you couldn’t wait to read and sigh the sigh of disinterest.  The projects that used to move your heart aren’t moving anywhere and feel heavy to complete.

It’s kind of like going to my fully stocked pantry and declaring that there isn’t anything to eat.

It’s not about what’s available to us, it’s about our inner motivation.  Or lack therein.

So, what can we do to reclaim that spark of interest in nurturing our spiritual selves?

Perhaps you have a friend with whom you can talk about spiritual stuff.  What are they reading?  What awareness have come to them lately?  You might find that your friend is so excited about learning something that you catch a bit of their fire of excitement.

Think out of the norm.  Go to a bookstore — brick & mortar or virtual — and browse through the spiritual/religious area.  Is there something there that catches your eye — especially if it’s something you wouldn’t normally pick up — check it out.  I’m often amazed how reading one thing makes me think that I need to explore the author more, then that leads to something different and all of a sudden, I’m caught up in the learning.

Go to trusted public mentors’ websites.  Fan of Oprah?  She is a wealth of different inspiring books, quotes, practices.  I’m loving Brene Brown right now.  Joel Olsteen’s I Declare is one of my favorite go to books for a pick-me-up.   Have you seen Who Have You Come Here To Be?  I use this book so often it’s falling apart.

Go for a walk without the music in your ears.  Connect with nature and your surroundings.  Plant something, tend something.  Fully engage with your pet.  Throw the ball for your dog until your arm hurts and then sit back and really look at his face.  He’s all in.  He’s fully with you right now.  Sit in the sunshine and soak in that warmth and energy.

Mostly the answer is move your feet.  It’s doing something even though you don’t feel like doing it.

It’s stepping forward in faith knowing that if you do your work, Spirit meets you there with more inspiration.  And when you get that sweet taste of accomplishment and relight the fire of curiosity, you will feel better and more motivated.

Newton’s first law doesn’t apply well to humans.  Yes, you can apply an external force to a human to make us do something or refrain from something.  However, it’s only when the motivation comes from within that we change our lives.  We don’t have to wait for an external force.  We can find the spark within us and move to claim who we want to be.

Just sharing these ideas and my cooking rut has energized me!  I’m feeling connected and motivated.

Now, if I could only figure out what we’re having for dinner………

 

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!

 

Why Are We Here?

Starting off with an easy question today………

Hands touching a globe

Have you ever wondered what your purpose is?  Why are you here?  Why did you have to experience that awful time in your life?

Sometimes the answers to really big questions fall in your lap and you have a moment of clarity so strong that it takes your breath away.

It happened to me today.

A number of years ago, I was in a really hard part of my life.  Broken first marriage, beginnings of a new relationship, a shattered child who took on many other issues, a full time job with heavy responsibilities and a household to keep up with.  There were days when it took all of my strength just to put one foot in front of the other — and it never seemed like I was in balance or had it all together or even was close to enjoying it.  I don’t actually remember asking “why me” but I’m not saying it didn’t cross my mind.

It was SUCH a hard time.  There weren’t any instruction books — just lots and lots of opinions freely offered, of course, by well intentioned people in my life.  I made decisions that others didn’t like and that I wasn’t 100% sure of, but I made them because I was following that voice of internal guidance that I kept praying for.  I listened to all the advice and took away bits and pieces, followed threads that lead to new schools, new ways, new thoughts, and new practices.  We did more than survive those years, all of us have grown and now thrive in our lives.

So WHY did it have to be so hard?

Today, I was talking with someone who I’ve known casually for 17 years.  We connect because of our sons.  While he is experiencing different issues with different players, the emotional toll it is taking on him feels incredibly familiar to me.  I see the sadness in his eyes.  I feel the heaviness in his parental heart as he has to make really hard decisions about his son’s future.  I hear the words he’s using to distance himself from those hurtful opinions of others.  I know his internal battle well.

And then clarity hit.

With one breath in, my world came into focus so clearly that I thought he could hear the snap.  My back straightened, my heart oozed support, and I heard myself calling him out of his darkness.  I heard my voice telling him that he must take care of himself so that he can care for others.  I felt the power within me, borne of the fire of trials, surge towards him.  You are not in this world alone.  I hear you.  I see you.  I give you my strength and my knowledge and my understanding.

Why are we here?

We are here to claim what has happened to us and to turn it into reasons to understand another.

We are here to listen and really hear.

We are here to lift up, encourage and shine as examples of triumph.

We are here to connect, heart to heart.

Do that.

Be that person.

Shine a light in someone else’s darkness.  Lift your light high enough that it shines upon another’s path and makes their next step more visible.

You have everything within you right here and right now.

 

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.

The Story of the Two Cats

I’m fighting the urge to call this The Tale of Two Kitties.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times……. Tao1

We currently have two cats and a dog.  We lost a cat earlier this year and recently decided that the time was right to get another cat.  Tao, our existing cat, is a lovely little creature who never learned to be a lap kitty.  She was originally a stray and still maintains that “I can fend for myself” air about her.  She used to like to run the hallway and stalk the other cat but since losing him, she’s not done much of the running and obviously, no stalking.

We thought maybe a new cat would be a bit more cuddly to us and would give her a playmate.

Well, it hasn’t worked out quite as we had imagined.

We found a seven month old cat whose family turned up allergic to him.  He’s very sweet.  He wants to sit with us and be in the same room with us.  He’s very social and misses us greatly when we’re not around.  And Tao does not like him.

Tao is the princess cat.  She has that air of royalty that is entitled but doesn’t get her hands dirty.  And she’s always been the Alpha animal.  Since the day we brought her home, she’s been the ruling animal personality in this home.

Stitch, the new cat, doesn’t understand that she’s the Alpha and he’s making a serious play for the position.

The position isn’t open and neither one of them can make the other understand that.

But here’s what has struck me:  In a very real way, Stitch has claimed the dominant role.

Stitch doesn’t realize it yet.  He’s still trying to engage her in a battle.  He spends a great deal of time looking for her and watching her and then plotting his attack.  He waits until we’re out of sight before making his move.  It’s difficult to reconcile the very sweet, wants to be loved cat with the mastermind who has figured out how to get to the other cat.

Meanwhile, Tao spends her time growling at his intrusion into her world.  She spends a lot of time under the bed, or under the table, huddled into a pissed off ball of fur.  When engaged by Stitch, she lets out this unholy scream of indignation that lets everyone know that not only has her bubble been breached but she’s not going to stand for it.

It’s a very interesting dynamic that has become all consuming.   If they are in the same area together, they are stuck in this drama and thus, so are we.  If Tao would concede her authority, she’d figure out how to play with him and would have a companion.  If Stitch would stop trying to take the authority, he’d find himself with a friend and someone to share the toys with.  For all intents and purposes, Stitch is dictating the relationship right now and with that, has gained the upper hand.  But he doesn’t see it.  And so the cycle continues.

Neither one of the cats is fully happy.  Even though they have a nice home, with clean litter boxes and good food that they didn’t have to buy, open or catch, they are not happy.  They are consumed by the other one’s presence.  It’s blocking their ability to see and appreciate all the wonderful things in their world.  And it’s blocking us from being able to give them even more love because we feel apprehensive and divided.  Which, of course, they pick up on and are quick to act on.  It’s a really vicious cycle.

If either of them realized that that their world would not change no matter who “has the power” , maybe the title wouldn’t matter so much.  They both will still be fed at the same time by the same hand in the same house.  The toys, beds, cat perches are all still available to them.  They are safe and warm and tended  to.  But they cannot see it because they are so busy suffering their positions.

This situation has made me wonder what similar situations could be in my life.  Where am I stuck in a dramatic power play that is taking over my thoughts and energy?  What relationships have I decided should go a certain way?  And if that relationship doesn’t fit 100% into what I think it should look like, am I plotting and harassing my way through it? Or am I screaming with indignation?

If I were to realize that power is an illusion and claim the reality that my world doesn’t really change if I change my stance, what could my relationships be?

Something to ponder.

 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”

 

Stitch