A Life Coaching Blog: Helping You Help Yourself
Subscribe Now! Inquire about a personalized life coaching session.
One of my clients had a truly remarkable experience with his coaching and felt so strongly about it that he suggested that I share it. I worked out a list of questions for him to answer and this was the result:
1. What caused you to seek out coaching? Why online coaching?
My marriage was in ruins and my wife started seeking out another man, I was unhappy and didn't know why, my life seemed out of balance, everything seemed to fail apart at exactly the same time.
2. What was the process you used in choosing the life coach you wanted to work with?
I first went to a traditional counselor for a few months with weekly visits. This seemed to help, but I wasn't able to understand why I was doing what I was doing, and why I felt the way I felt. I found Ewa on some marriage help forums. Someone recommended her on these forums, and I contacted her to start some sessions up.
3. What fears or concerns, if any, did you have about online coaching?
The distance was a concern. I was also concerned how the process would work, and was I just wasting my money. I was worried I wouldn't get what I needed to correct my stuff.
4. What were your expectations about how you might be helped?
I didn't have too many expectations. I guess I went into the process thinking it would be like any other counseling services I had received. Since Ewa came highly recommended, I made the assumption she was just a little better than the next counselor. I was wrong, and it turned out to be a life changing experience.
5. Was the coaching process as you imagined or did it take a different course?
It took a different course. I think with traditional counseling, change takes time, a lot of time. Many times you don't really get to the root of your problems, your limiting beliefs, where your fears are coming from, or why your doing what your doing. Ewa jumped right in during our first session and started pointing things out to me like no counselor or coach had ever done. I could tell right away that this experience would be different. Within just a few sessions I started to notice a dramatic difference in how I view things and how I felt, and within a few months my life changed completely.
6. How were you encouraged to apply the new information and tools directly to your own life?
Ewa and I worked on the tools that I learned over and over until I got them. Sometimes I needed more clarification, and sometimes she had to hold my hand through the process and re-explain things to me, or point out bits I was missing. I was encouraged to continue using what I learned in my relationships and report back to Ewa what I experienced and from there we made adjustments as needed.
7. At what point did Ewa's words of advice to you start to create changes for you? How did they do that?
Within the first session there was changes. I started to see things differently. My perspective on the world around me, myself and my relationships all shifted and the way things impacted me changed. Overtime I realized that I was in coaching to save myself, and not my marriage. Saving my marriage came as a result of saving myself first. Today I love myself like I have never known possible. I'm happier than I've ever been.
8. How have your relationships changed as a result of this work?
All of my relationships have changed, yes all of them. My marriage is better than its ever been, my wife has changed 100% also, all as a result of my changes. It was almost like a chain reaction. I started to see myself differently, my perceptions shifted, how I interacted with people changed, how I viewed my experiences and what I got out of them changed, and in turn how I perceived everyone I know changed. As a result I have healthier relationships and a deeper love and compassion for those I'm closest with. I have chosen to "move on" from a few of my relationships, but I have no hard feelings about those choices, I simply removed the toxic parts of my life.
9. How has your relationship with yourself changed?
Yes, again. completely changed. I lost 40lbs during my transformation because I started taking care of myself. I stopped being so harsh on myself and turned to loving myself and accepting myself for exactly who I am. As a result I'm more productive than I've ever been. Before I started coaching with Ewa it was exhausting just to work 40 hours a week and be married and have kids. I wasn't doing anything above and beyond, I wasn't growing as a person, I was lost. Today I still work the same job, but I'm back in school finishing my degree and working towards a graduate degree. I probably do more around the house than my wife these days, I'm deeply involved in my children's lives, I work out multiple times a week, I have deeper, better relationships, my finances have improved, even my sex life is better. I realize this probably sounds like an infomercial, but it's real. Almost everything in my life has changed for the positive. Oh, and I quit smoking. after 13 years of a pack a day. My life is full now.
10. What were some unexpected benefits that you got from Ewa's approach?
I discuss these in the question above, but there was really collateral changes as a result of everything. Originally I went into coaching with Ewa because I just wanted to save my marriage, along the way my entire life changed.
11. If you were to give advice to others seeking out help, what would that be?
Don't quit the process, stick to it. Be fully honest with yourself about your "stuff". There is only truth, you need to get to the root of your issues or you will keep yourself in a state of fear. Also, your exactly where you need to be right now. Stop looking into the future and judging yourself of where you want to be or what you "should" be doing. Spend time in the current moment. As you unravel the layers within yourself, you'll discover there is nothing left but love inside of you.
12. On a scale of 1 to ten, how satisfied were you with the overall experience and why?
10. I plan to use Ewa in the future to work through anything I need. However Ewa has given me the tools to navigate my life and work through my own issues as they come up in the future. I trust Ewa and I know she could help me with whatever I needed in the future. Many people die everyday without ever living their lives that is congruent with who they really are. I was able to stop being who I thought I was, and start living my life as who I actually am. I can't begin to express the amount of gratitude that I have for Ewa and what she does.
13. Why would you recommend Ewa's services in particular?
Change your perceptions, change your life. Ewa will help you to do that. Ewa will help you to live the life you want to live, the one you were meant to live, before all of your programming and limiting beliefs.
My focus is now on creating Facebook entries and interacting with people there, where it is so easy to add your thoughts and comments. I look forward to seeing you there!
As such, the ability to post comments on this blog has been disabled, though I still welcome people's comments and questions on any part of the blog, any time by email. There are multiple years of blog entries that you can read, so please take advantage of them. There are also many Ezine articles and archived Free Life Coaching sessions that you can access from the navigation bar on the left.
I now have a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/EwaSchwarzLifeCoaching. You can Like the page through the link or by clicking on the FB link at the top right of any page on this website. Then you can get all my comments with short, unique thoughts to ponder, to help you in your personal growth and spiritual journey.
(Update to this post..I lost the comments I refer to and was only able to recover one.)
There have been quite a few postings here recently so I want to say a few words about them. First, hello to everyone! I appreciate all of you taking the time to post your thoughts and comments on my blog. I do prefer to address people's requests for help in a general sense so that all readers can benefit from it.
To address Mya's comments, any thought that you have in your head cannot be controlled it must be redefined. Any time that you have a fear based thought or a thought that does not make you feel good, then you need to first recognize this as an invalid thought, second to be curious about it as to it's validity, and then third to redefine or change the meaning of what you believe.
But if you attack yourself at any step of this process, whether it is anger, frustration, or any type of upset, you end up unknowingly validating your fears. Your mind can and will learn what you want to teach it, but it takes time and needs to occur on many levels. When you attack yourself you sabotage your minds ability to learn because any form of attack will trigger a fight or flight (FOF) response. You then go into tunnel vision, hearing, and understanding with yourself!
So, step by step..to identify if your thought is not valid, do a simple litmus test. If it feels good, keep it, if it doesn't feel good, then that belief is not valid. The next step is to ask: why am I thinking this? What is my belief based on? Your mind is misunderstanding something, so see it as a simple goal to clear up the misunderstanding, which is easier to do than changing your thinking. The last step is to choose a different belief, which you can test by going back to the first step.
All misunderstandings are based on an assumption that something is true that is not. Ultimately we all have to decide how we choose to define our value. All the work that we all do in changing our thoughts or changing the meaning of something is to finally learn that our self value is inherent and lies underneath all the different ways in which we misunderstand ourselves. So keep working at learning how to be curious with yourself, with your own thoughts. Curiosity equals safety for the mind.
Whenever we see a behavior or hear/see words, if it brings up any fear or anxiety, that is because your mind has created meaning for it that is not real. This meaning is based on an assumption. If you teach yourself to recognize this, then that meaning leads you to the assumption, which leads you to the invalid belief, which you can then change. You can teach yourself this through trial and error and lots of practice! Read all the information on my website for additional hints as to how to do this.
I left Wowgoldvut's posting in the blog, even though it is not a real one. Whenever I see strangely worded comments like that one I search it on the internet. Frequently I will find the same or similar posting done hundreds, or thousands, or even hundreds of thousands as is the case with this one. I usually delete these kinds of posts.
The purpose of my leaving it in the comments is to illustrate how we readily believe what people say. We forget to first think: now why would somebody even say that? For that matter, why do people even ask me what they do? To in fact ask these questions of all people when we communicate with them. Most importantly to even ask ourselves: Why do I feel the need to say what I do?
You see, when you ask yourself that question, you realize that you frequently say what you do for reasons that have nothing to do with the content of what you say. We talk because we want to be heard, to be valued, to be seen, to mitigate some form of fear. When you finally recognize this in yourself, you will see this in others as well. When you learn to be curious about what you see and hear, your communication completely changes, and then so do your life experiences!
To address Sarah's situation, the need for all of us incorporate how to be curious into all communication is just so incredibly important to learn. We are so busy talking or thinking that we have lost all sense of what is really happening around us. We judge what we see on the surface and end up missing being able to address the true issue.
The issue is never the behavior or words of the other person. The true issue is always the question: why is that behavior even there? Whatever judgment instantly comes to mind is only your interpretation based on your past experiences, which is usually invalid.
A person either acts out of love or out of fear. Many fear based behaviors are easy to spot, but far more behaviors are not. Whatever a person says or does is an opening for everyone to practice asking: why do you say or think (repeating whatever they just said, using their exact words) or what do you mean when you say (repeating whatever they just said)? To even ask why are you asking me (their words)?
If you can't ask these simple questions with an open heart then that means that your fears are active, that your mind is giving that persons behaviors meaning that is not there for them. Being curious not only gets people to start to think about why am I saying or doing this, but it also acts as a boundary when the answer brings up the truth for them.
Yet how you ask something is critical. If you ask out of frustration or anger then you really aren't being curious. Imagine asking in an angry tone: why are you saying THAT (or using their words)? Well "that" implies that they are doing something wrong and you are really judging them. Being curious means that you really want to know why they say or do what they do. You must practice this and your results will tell you if you are being curious or not.
If you are ever afraid to be curious with someone, then you are very clearly being shown your own set of fears and assumptions. You have forgotten that being curious is an innocent yet integral part of your being. Without curiosity you really cannot evolve and learn and grow. Practice being curious in safer situations first and very slowly work your way up into more challenging ones.
Now finally to Lulah, it is so easy at a young age to misunderstand why parents act the way they do and to make it personal about you! What else could it possibly be? Your parents must know the truth, don't they? Well, let me ask you a question. Why is it that you can understand that some of their behaviors are not quite right, that they don't make sense, that even at your age that you can see that something is off.
But then at the same time you turn around and somehow think that what they say and do in regards to you is somehow true, that it is somehow about you? This is the age when you really have the opportunity to choose new beliefs. I am not talking about being contrary to your parents, to argue with them, or even to tell them what you think. This is not a solution at any age.
What you have is an opportunity to understand your life so very differently than you have. To understand that even with a crappy life, with the challenges that you have had, with the pain that you have experienced, that your parents really have done the best that they could with the tools they have. They really don't have the tools to be any different with you. But when you make assumptions about them, you are unknowingly repeating their behaviors and showing your misunderstanding.
You are only observing what they learned and how they are repeating what they learned. You are seeing what they understand and what they misunderstand. You just happen to be there when it is all happening. If you really understand that their actions are not about you, then you will start to feel better about yourself.
And you can learn the tools to be different with them, to change your understanding of them so radically that you can see just how much fear they live and how much misunderstanding affects their decisions. They are already far older than you and have not learned what they need to learn yet. So you have an advantage here.
At this early age, don't start to "question authority", but instead develop your sense of curiosity. You will not be at home forever, so use this time to learn and grow. To learn that love is really about how you understand people. To start to be curious about your parents. If you question, they will feel threatened.
Even if all of your outside world was different, feeling love is something that can only come from inside you. It does not come from anyone else. That is an illusion that you have been taught to believe. As you are growing up you depend on your parents for security. They can only love you as deeply as they love themselves? So can you use this information to change your understanding of their love? They really are giving you all that they have. Be curious about what limits their expression of love, of how their fears and insecurities affect them.
Being curious is something that you still remember how to do. There is no reason not to apply this same type of curiosity to everyone. When you stop being curious, you stop feeling alive. Your body, mind, and soul need to be in a constant state of learning about everything. Being depressed is what happens when you stop learning and stop feeling alive. Getting mad or frustrated yourself just means that you are missing some information, so get out there and find it!
Start by reading my blogs, Ezines, archived sessions, and follow my Facebook page. If you keep rereading it AND also practicing the suggestions, you will find your own solutions. Be open to all sources of help..just know that the help you need is changing what you think you understand. At any age.
The current understanding of how to make changes in our lives and changes in our relationships is backwards. Most people struggle to try and make things work, yet the same or similar problems persist, or there are ongoing challenges, one after another. Some move from relationship to relationship not understanding that their unhappiness is an internal issue, not the result of the partners that they are with.
This is critical to understand if you want to have a different experience in life. How you feel is a result of what you think. What you think, that is your thoughts and beliefs, are what create what you feel. Contrary to popular opinion, other people do not make you feel anything. They only act as a reminder for what you already believe. You are being held captive by your own beliefs.
Many people feel like they are victims to other's people's behaviors. There are also many people who don't feel they are victims, but still blame others for how they feel. Then there are many people who don't blame others, yet still feel that if life were different they would be happier. There are people who don't feel that life needs to be different, but still don't understand why they are not really happy.
If you look at all of these scenario's the commonality is that the focus is externalized. That how a person feels is dependent on what happens to them, on how they are treated by others, on what other people say and do, on something out there somewhere. The focus on wanting change is everywhere but inside oneself.
I wish there were an easy way to explain how this external focus creates people's pain. I wish there was a way to just wave a magic wand of understanding so that everyone could have an aha moment of realizing that there are no answers in all these different directions. There are no real, lasting solutions because the true source of the problem is not being identified and therefore not addressed.
Yes, there is a problem, and it is inside each and every one of us. It doesn't matter how great of a person you think you are or aren't, or perhaps how much you think others aren't to be trusted or you try to trust, or anything that you think and believe. The bottom line is that if you are not experiencing peace of mind and happiness on a daily basis, in ALL of your relationships, then you have a problem and it is inside of you.
I generally steer away from labeling something as a problem, yet sometimes using more nuanced words goes right over people's heads. Most people are so caught up in what they currently believe, in what they mistakenly think will "fix" their problems, that they can't hear any other voices, never mind grasp any nuances.
There is a giant problem that few people have the understanding or wherewithal to look at. For the few that do recognize that the solution, the path to everything that you want, lies inside of you..just recognizing this is half the battle. It will likely be the biggest challenge of your life. Thinking everything and everyone should change is the hardest belief to let go of. You have no idea how deeply this runs in you.
There is a very simple question to ask to see if you have truly embarked on this journey or not. And that is..do you have any dramas left in your life? Is there anyone that you do not get along with? Is there anyone that you don't like? Is there any pain or suffering in any form in your life? Do you ever wish for happiness, contentment, or peacefulness?
If I had asked a room full of 100,000 people to all put their hands up before I asked those questions, and then as I asked each question to put their hands down if the answer to any of those questions was yes, then at the end I might see one or two hands up. We are a world of misguided and misunderstood souls.
When you finally make this decision to fully go inside yourself, this decision must be made over and over and over for every second of the day for years on end before this decision takes root and over time results in a completely new tree growing into maturity within you. This is the freedom and liberation you unknowingly seek.
You learn how to develop full accountability for how you feel and as you do so, magic does begin to happen. Your life changes. All your relationships change. How you perceive life shifts into something that is fully in your control. You start to steer your own ship of how you feel. You are no longer at the mercy of the winds around you.
When I say to fully go inside yourself, it is a vague concept that you must somehow find a way to grasp. Nothing exists "out there". All of your experiences come from deep within your mind. You currently think that you live life on an external basis. This means that your focus of your experience is actually what happens outside of you.
You drive a car, you speak to people, you hear what is said, your eyes see all this visual input, you eat a variety of foods, the experiences all seem to be from the outside coming in. But there really is only one source of all that you experience, and that is inside of your mind. It isn't even your thoughts, that is simply another layer between the world as you experience it and the center of your being.
The center of your being is your awareness of Self. In this center, in this awareness, there is no external experiences, there is only that center. You still live life, but the focus is only in this space; you experience life from inside yourself. You still have all the experiences from your senses, but you have them from within this space. This space is where your peace of mind and your happiness lie.
When you make choices and take action when you have this internal focus, your energy is no longer scattered about in reaction to all the external stimuli. You have a full sense of self no matter where you are, who you are with, or what you do. When you interact with others, because your energy and focus are not longer "out there", people cannot pull you out of this center and engage you in anything that was previously hurtful to you. People who are externally focused (almost everyone) are subconsciously looking for other external focuses to interact with, which are prevalent and easy to find. You fly under the radar when your focus in inside you.
By remaining internally focused at all times, it is like you become invisible to the creation of all drama. It may swirl around you, but you stop being a part of it. It stops being directed at you. This internal focus, from which you experience all aspects of life causes you to make entirely different decisions than if you had an external focus. It is not only peaceful, it is powerful and liberating.
The challenge for all of you over the next few days is to simply observe yourselves, to see how when you experience life, when you interact with others, you lose your sense of self. That you forget or don't realize how when life happens, you are pulled out of this center to experience whatever you experience. When you are centered, you are fully aware of yourself having the experience!
It may sound like having this kind of centered focus narrows your awareness, but the reverse is true. Your awareness expands exponentially. When you have external focus, your focus in on one thing at a time and most of your time is spent putting out little "fires". Your awareness goes from point to point to point. But when you keep your awareness on being inside of you, it is like an open flower, like the opening on a lotus blossom. You see in 360 degrees.
Practice what you are being told by first just recognizing how externally you live and experience your life. Keep practicing by reminding yourself to then remember to go inside yourself. But beware, thinking is not going inside yourself, it is also external, as your thoughts are almost always about the past or about the future, yes?
Being centered is not thinking, but experiencing and being. If you have thoughts about something being good or bad or right or wrong, you have been pulled out of your center in order to think that thought. Then you emotionally react to your own thoughts! Your focus cannot be inside of you when you think thoughts like this. Try it for yourself. You cannot be at peace within yourself at the same time as thinking those thoughts!
When you finally do start to live life from within yourself, you will see people around you change. This change can only happen when you change yourself in this way. When you start being and acting differently, from within this space inside yourself, that is when others act differently around you. This is when miracles happen.
Sue wrote a comment: "I KNOW I am suffering from fear. I have identified it but am struggling getting past it."
One of the missing components in our personal growth is patience. So many people expect fast results or quick fixes to lifelong issues. The reality is that changing yourself, changing your psyche is a long, slow process. It must be kept slow in order to keep your mind feeling safe and for the changes to last.
One of the key points in what Sue wrote is that she identified fear as something to suffer from. We always have to choose how we see something, to see what meaning we place on what we experience. If something is hurtful or does not feel good, then that means that there is meaning that needs to be changed.
We really do experience what we believe, which ends up being what our minds focus on. You cannot expect to be able to focus the 95% of what is your subconscious mind with that tiny 5% of your conscious mind. What you are aware of right now cannot possibly steer that giant ship.
What does create change is to identify and further understand your beliefs in order to change what your subconscious mind focuses on. In this case it is that Susan believes that she suffers from fear. Fear is what it is. And what is it? It is the emotional reaction or sensation experienced in response to a potential perceived threat. We are not "filled with fear", we simply react a lot to that which we do not understand.
Can you see how if you see fear as suffering it is then overwhelming to contemplate changing it? Just the thought of suffering is exhausting! How does a person even begin to approach it? How do you identify what the problem is that needs solving? You can't just tell yourself not to be afraid!
So you instead redefine or change the meaning of whatever you see your issue as being. You look at what fear really is so that you correctly identify the problem, and from there you can take effective steps to find the solution. Now that we have redefined or changed the meaning of fear from being something you suffer from to it being an emotional reaction to a potential perceived threat, we look for the thoughts or beliefs that cause or trigger this reaction of fear.
What are those exact thoughts that you have; what do you believe? The answer generally comes in your repeated thoughts and beliefs. You look at them one by one and gently look at whether they are valid or not. This can be tricky because if you believe what you believe, how do you even know what or how to question?! Be curious about everything is the answer. If what you think doesn't feel good, that is a sign that something is being misunderstood. Change it or change the meaning of it.
The other change in meaning or perception that Sue will need to make is that getting past fear is something that a person struggles with. I reality it is something that you practice doing. It is a trial and error process the requires patience, understanding, and compassion for yourself. Sometimes it will be easy and sometimes it will be hard. It all depends on how "safe" your mind feels.
If, when you try to change your fear based thoughts, you judge yourself, call yourself names, say or think anything negative at all to yourself, that is a form of self attack. What happens when your mind feels under attack..it gets afraid! That is a big reason why people get stuck when they try to change.
Be gentle and loving with yourself. That is all you really need to stop struggling and to stop suffering. Changing yourself is a process of developing self awareness and really not just changing the meaning of what you believe, but moving towards not having any meaning so that you can see more clearly, to become a clear observer so that you can make different and better choices. Be patient!
July/August 2011 Coaching Blog
A young girl, a teenager contacted me about the emotional stressors involved with being overweight and these are some excerpts of what she wrote:
I am very emotional. My family thinks I'm 'fat' & they keep saying lose weight or fatty & big self. I cry every night. I used to feel happy with my looks. But now I feel hated, like I got nothing else to do in this world. I feel like if I talk to the closest person in my family that I wont get any help, they wont listen or just say "Oh okay.". That they wont say anything like "I am sorry". I feel useless. I thought by ignoring them every thing would just be forgotten. At school some people call me 'fat' & when I come home, I expect for someone to say "sorry" or something. But all I get is a "Lose some weight" or "you're really fat!".
I'm sick & tired of people judging me and calling me Fat. I had all of this bottled up inside for years now. But now I'm tired of all the insults and people judging me by my looks. While I'm writing this email right now I'm crying. If I talk to my best friend about it, I feel like she wont understand. Sometimes when I cant take it anymore I run to my room & get under my covers & cry & my family hears me cry but they wont say "what's wrong", "are you ok".
And since school is about to start just because we went to 2 stores & I couldn't find jeans my size, they started complaining & saying " She's too fat" or "She's really big that's why nothing fits her!". & All I did was just say "yeah..". I some times think of starving myself or committing suicide. But I think about it & not do it, but this time I'm sick & tired of it. That's why I need your help.
Please help me! -An Anonymous TeenAger.
There are a couple of issues that really need addressing and being overweight is actually one of the last things to address. The main issues are communication with yourself, communication with others, and most importantly, understanding yourself and other people differently. That is where anyone can begin to address this issue.
Having extra weight is a result of something completely unrelated. What happens for a person is that they are so sensitive, yet the dialogue that goes on in their own minds about themselves is typically very harsh. There is a lot of self criticism for a variety of reasons, only some of which may relate back to their weight.
If you take the model of the subconscious mind's directive to keep a person safe, that directive is being violated over and over. When anyone has any negative thoughts about themselves, that is a direct self attack. What does the mind do when it senses a potential perceived threat? Go into fight or flight of course.
When a person goes into fight or flight, stress hormones are released in the body. This makes a person hypersensitive, keeping them on at least a chronic low level state of alert. This is exhausting to the body and mind, perpetuating this cycle.
So, what does the body try to do to compensate for the energy loss? Turn to food is one way. Yet it is not just a physiological response. It is also an emotional response. Food is one way of many to help a person get that sense of safety that they are lacking emotionally within themselves, within their minds.
On a physiological level, eating counters the hormonal demands placed on the body and it creates that external sense of feeling good that the mind really does need for it to be balanced. This is not just an emotional state that I refer to, but a state of mind that is required for a person's well being and peace of mind.
Some people eat, some drink, some take drugs, some seek to have emotional needs met externally through affairs. Some people seek to feel good by gossiping, by (over) giving, by the roles and titles that they have, by their accomplishments, etc. This list is endless in its variety. But it all has the same external focus.
The mind needs to feel safe. The only way for the mind to feel safe is through the thoughts and beliefs that you have. Let's not kid ourselves. The steps to get from there, wherever that is for you, to here, to that peace of mind that can only be achieved through a strong, safe sense of self, only happens with a lot of work.
For this young girl and others like her, being overweight is something that they need to understand from the emotional perspective. Of course diet and exercise have a bearing on this, but to really deal with this and other issues, you need to be able to look at the thoughts that you have about yourself.
What you will find is a series of negative thoughts, self judgments, and criticisms unique to you. They are what keep you feeling unsafe and seeking to feel safe from the outside in, which provides temporary relief, but in reality is an endless, vicious cycle. But these thoughts are really only how you misunderstand yourself.
Imagine that, that there is actually nothing wrong with you. That all those hurtful thoughts that you keep having, all those things that you keep hearing in your own head are just ways in which you misunderstand yourself. Doesn't that sound like something that you could deal with? You can always change a misunderstanding!
And then there is the guilt, which we will not go into here as many of my posts talk about the effects of guilt on the psyche and how it keeps a person stuck. The key is understand yourself in this different way, to raise your level of self awareness to see what you can change from the inside out.
As you do start to identify the hurtful thoughts that you have, the beliefs about how you are (not) this, that, or the other, be curious about what you see. Train yourself to question each one: really, why do I think this thought? What is my belief based on? Is this really valid? Says who?! You learn to look at each thought one by one to undo it, to finally see that it is based on an incorrect assumption.
If, as you approach each one of your hurtful or judgmental thoughts, you come across one that you are sure is true, then you have to dig a little deeper. Because that thought is based on an even deeper thought that is not true, but you don't know that yet. This is what self doubt is all about, thinking that something is true when it is not, but you can't yet see how it isn't true.
But if you do this, thought by thought, you can teach yourself how to get rid of them one by one. But only by being curious about your mind and why does it think what it does? It was empty when it was born, now it is full of all sorts of things, much of which is not true and you are the only person who can change that.
In terms of other people saying not nice things to you, you need to also understand why that is happening differently than you do now. People say what they do for a few different reasons. The most important one is that they obviously do not understand you! They only show you their own level of misunderstanding.
When a person says something to you, whether it is about your weight or anything else at all, just try this very simple approach. Ask them: "why are you saying that?" If you want to get really fancy, use their words back to them. In our example here, you would ask "why are you saying that I am fat?"
The fact that they say this really doesn't mean anything unless your own mind gives it meaning. But what is important is why are they choosing to say that to you in that moment? What is their intention in conveying those words to you? What are they really not saying? What do they not understand about themselves that they are choosing these words?
For example, are they saying this because they are concerned, but don't know how to help you? Are they wanting to say to you: "we can see that you are sometimes unhappy, afraid, lonely, etc., but we don't know what to do?" Let's face it, people are very odd in how they communicate sometimes. Especially when they are not self aware, which most people are not most of the time.
Just as an aside, if anyone disagrees with the last sentence, please do write me to tell me how you are aware of the 95% of your subconscious mind in a way that you are more aware than you are not. I am sure there are numerous scientists and other professionals who would love to study this never seen before phenomenon! We are all mostly unaware of most of our subconscious minds.
When other people call you names, you also have to take the time to think about why are they saying something like that? Forget about the "to me" part, because you know what, even though they are saying it to you, they are only showing you their level of misunderstanding. They are showing you a lot more too.
They show you how they react when they are in fight or flight. You see, a secure person would never say something like that to another human being. Insults, names, etc. are only used as part of the subconscious mind's protective mechanism. They try to keep themselves "safe" by lashing out or pushing other people away. They "attack" first to distract you so that you don't see the chaos in their own minds. Understanding this is step one.
Step two is then to not defend yourself against something that doesn't exist (remember that a whole world is going on in their minds that only exists in that one place!), but to be curious with them. You see, no matter what you say to a person who is in fight or flight, who is in tunnel vision, hearing, and understanding, they will only be hearing that you are attacking them. They cannot hear reason.
You cannot "talk" to a person who physiologically is prepared for battle. Their mind has hijacked the resources that would normally go to the senses and they cannot hear you. Let me repeat this. They CANNOT HEAR YOU when you speak. This is how arguments happen, because as soon as a person (you too) thinks that they are right about what they think, it is too late, fight or flight has started.
This is where being curious can be an incredibly powerful tool. To simply ask: why do you say that? Then, when they answer, to simply ask it again. As an example: "you are fat" "why are you saying that I am fat" "because you are" "but why are you telling me this" "stop asking stupid questions" "I just wanted to know why you are telling me that I am fat" "yeah, whatever". Safe communication, no conflict.
Of course this is just a made up example and each and every moment is unique. But what happens when you only remain curious about why a person says what they do, what happens is that asking them some form of why helps you to put up a safe boundary. They really do, at least in their own minds, start to ask themselves that same question and generally do not like the answer that they see or sense.
What then happens is that the next time they see you, they don't want to be put in that position again. Let me emphasize that as long as a person is in some form of fight or flight, which if they are name calling, telling them what you think is guaranteed to create a backlash and escalate their state. Ignoring it is not an option if you want the behavior to stop.
Before I finish off this long post, I do want to tell you what curiosity is not. You are not being curious when you ask: Why did you say that to me? Why would you say something like that? Why are you calling me fat? Each of these questions is more defensive than curious. The difference can be very subtle. In each of these questions there is the element of you have judged me and now I am judging you for judging me.
Every person who tries this must use trial and error to see how this approach works. You can work through this on your own very simply. If you practice asking why and you start to see different behaviors, you are doing it right. If people are getting defensive with you and escalating their attack, you need some fine tuning in your questions, so try different versions.
Good luck and with practice you may even eventually find that you even have fun!
A guest left a comment that I would like to address. Naveen said: "tell us what should a person do if he dont love anything, anyone, even himself". I would like to use this comment as an example of how we can identify an issue that we would like to address, but we really don't know or understand what the real problem is.
The tendency is to see what needs to get fixed, but to not understand that we are so narrowly focused on what we think is the problem, that we do not see the true source of the problem, which is where the true solution lies. We try to fix what we see on the surface, leading to inevitable failure, which reinforces the problem.
So, if a person does not love something, anyone or himself, the issue may appear that a person does not love, but that is not the real problem, it is only describing the symptoms of what is seen and experienced. I will show you what the real problem is and how it can be addressed in a general way without help specific to Naveen's personal situation.
When a person feels that they no longer love, there are a couple of things you need to do. First you want to trace back to what is the source of this lack of feeling love, looking to see how the emotional body is overwhelmed, over stimulated, and the result is a feeling of numbness.
The second step is to look at what is deeper than the emotions. Since all emotions stem from the thoughts in the mind, the origin of the lack of feeling love will come from the mind, from the thoughts in a persons mind.
Now the third step is to understand that the mind is split into two levels, the conscious and the subconscious minds. That then means that a person who is not feeling love is only aware of 5% of what is in his or her mind, since awareness means that you are only aware of what is in your conscious mind.
This then leaves about 95% of unknown factors that contribute to not feeling love. That can be daunting if you don't have the tools to even sort through what you do know. But amazing things can happen when you can make sense of what you are aware of. And in this process your awareness grows, uncovering what you could not previously access. Let me take you further in understanding this.
In the 5% of a mind that is not feeling love, what is happening is that there are simply so many blocks to love, that you have stopped being aware of it's existence within you and around you. These blocks are your unresolved fears, doubts, and insecurities. As you work through each one in turn, you can then remove and release what is blocking your experience of love.
It is important to understand that love is always there. It is not something that comes and goes, it is the core of our being, it is the God within us for those who are spiritual or religious. It is who we are. There is only love or a cry for love and if you are not feeling love, then you are looking to reconnect with yourself.
In order to do this, you have to examine every single thought that you have. You have to check the validity of every belief to see if it is real or not. Yet the catch-22 is such that if you are in that space of not feeling love, your mind really does believe that what you are experiencing is all there is. Yet that is not the truth of what is happening for you.
What you are experiencing is how you are misunderstanding yourself, it is a mistake in your perception and in what you think you know and understand. You see, any mistake can be corrected, but only if you are willing to do the work of examining every thought that you have.
How do you do this? By taking one thought at a time and working through them with being curious about each one. Let's use the belief "I can't feel love anymore". You would ask yourself: why do I think/believe that I can't feel love anymore? Perhaps you would answer: because I just don't feel anything.
Then you would ask yourself: why do I think I am not feeling anything? Perhaps the answer would be: because nobody loves me/I can't trust anyone/I can't be myself/people reject me/I just keep getting hurt/I feel angry and I don't want to show it/I'm always misunderstood/I don't want to be disappointed anymore/etc.
Just in this simple act of exploring, you generally will uncover multiple thoughts and beliefs that you have, that you really believe are true. Yet if you were to be even more curious about each thought, why you think it, what it is based on, etc., then you start to get closer to the real issues.
Taking this example one step further, if you were to ask yourself "why do I think that nobody loves me", you would list out every reason that comes to mind. Then for each answer, you would again ask yourself what is each thought based on?
As an aside, when you look at your answers, what you will start to see is a list of how people misunderstand you. You will see how you take their misunderstanding as an attack on you and how you use it to then doubt yourself. But ultimately, all you are seeing is how everyone is misunderstanding each other.
What this process does is it starts to show you the contents of your mind, generally a mixture of the conscious and subconscious. When you explore, you must do this in the role of the observer. As soon as you start to judge yourself for what you see, your mind will slam the door shut into your subconscious.
Self judgment is personal attack on yourself. It makes you unsafe in your own mind. In order to sort through anything that you want to work on in yourself, you must choose the perception that you are misunderstanding yourself. You can always correct a misunderstanding, but good luck trying to change a self judgment, that just usually leads to frustration, more judgment, and more attack!
This simple process is what leads you back to feeling love. A gentle exploration that does not judge you, but just looks for how your mind misunderstands things so that you can correct them. As you release each misunderstanding, it is like lifting weights off of a balloon, your sense of self becomes buoyant.
I say a simple process, but it is a lot of work, requiring a lot of persistence and a lot of patience. There are no shortcuts, there are no easy answers. This work is both practical and also spiritual. But you do not have to have any beliefs one way or another for this to work for you. It gives you a better life experience.
From a spiritual and religious perspective, you are doing the work that you came here to do. Forget anyone else, work on yourself. There is a big gap between who you think you are/what you understand and what the reality of what is in your mind. This applies to every single person that is on this planet (including myself!).
Until we all experience a sense of peace and love 24 hours a day, there is still more to learn. You cannot be open to learning if you think you already know. The reality is that the more you know, the more you realize that you don't know. It is an ever humbling path of growth, but one that leads to finding ever further depths of love.
Naveen has given us a big gift in his query, to learn to wonder about why do we feel or not feel the way we do, to ask what do you do in these circumstances? The answer will always be the same: to explore your thoughts, your current beliefs.
Always do a litmus test on each thought, if doesn't make you feel good, then that is a red flag that it is being supported by false beliefs, showing you how you are misunderstanding yourself. That is what will always lead you back to love.
4th JULY dont drink till you are crazy or ruin soemone else fun
July 04, 2011
after living with a binge drinker for 10 years i asked him and forced him to leave 6 weeks ago and used court to force it when he threatened to kill me if i packed him another bag the fact is he made that threat the morning after returning from another long night out hiding a drinking session, its along story of lies anger and every other problem i have read about alcoholism , this story for me ended like this when the recovery started three years ago, he said he could stop and admitted a problem and the drinking cut down to almost just once in a while like every 3 or 4 months then it started to increase again, so i insisted aa and get help or get out so he did he went to aa came home with the bible and seemed excited to be getting help and meeting others like himself but after a 90 day dry he lapsed he begged another chance i said yeas and another 180 days then again it dropped , then again lots of days i lose count and gave up the diary i lost faith in him and aa again and thks tike i realised no help would work and so i just went along and watched it get to monthly then twice a month then once every 10 days then weekly then every 3 or 4 days, and right there that puts me where i am now. He is court order to stay away with no contact he texted me ten times today and i just answered after 6 weeks of no contact and i am so mad with myself as i type this to realise i just gave in, i dont believ he is getting help his son lives with me and is at sixth form we seem to manage ok but of course he needs his dad and i dont know if the contact or support from him is ok , i dont ask or push him to talk about his dad as i dont want to share my problems with him , he has school and living to deal with his mom is away in another city and has her own problems so i am trying to keep some stability for him. right now i need support for myself and have just had call from my daughter at university overseas who is 19 and has got pregnant and wants to keep it she goes back for her 2nd year in october and will be 5 months pregnant by then i live thousands of miles away , can life get any more complicated she is on her own so i just sent a ticket for her to come stay with me for the summer so i can support her. i dont believe in having it so young and so alone without a partner but she is adamant that she doesnt believe in termination i know i am struggling with my separation from the alcoholic and when she comes really hope i can support her i have a very busy business and am self employed with a lot of my time buried in the work . finally i want to say that typing this feels good just to let off my chest that i hope i can handles everything on my plate i normally do but think i might be missing life and will wake up one day and have missed out on that I am 45
July 09, 2011
tell us what should a person do if he dont love anything, anyone, even himself
July 15, 2011
Hi HC and Naveen, thank you for your comments! The blog is intended to be a source for personal growth tools that can be used by everyone, regardless of what their personal situations may be. There are numerous discussion boards and forums where people are more than happy to share their opinions about a person's specific situation. HC, you obviously have a lot on your plate and many challenges to work through. If you would like my help to work through them, coaching sessions are available for that purpose.
Understanding all forms that fear comes in
September 26, 2011
I KNOW I am suffering from fear. I have identified it but am struggling getting past it.
June 2011 Coaching Blog
To get back into the swing of blogging after a break, I am going to answer the recent comments posted to my blog this month. I am going to use each of these postings to show you how to be curious and what kinds of questions you can ask yourself. Just remember to keep being curious and asking even deeper questions about your thoughts to find out why you think what you do and what assumptions you are unknowingly making.
Nikhil wrote: i am a student of 25 years and i am having an affair with a girl who is in love with me but i am not interested in her but i have promised to take care of her by saving that i am in love with her. please help me, i want to leave her but i don't want to break her heart
To Nikhil I say: ask yourself why you first started dating her? How did it make you feel to get that attention? What emotional needs did she fill for you? When you say that you are not interested in her, what do you really mean by that? What are your assumptions and fears? What does it mean about you if you do leave her..how are you judging yourself by what you are afraid of being judged for?
Why do you think you told her that you were in love with her? What does love mean to you? Why do you think that, what is it based on? Why is this true? Why do you think you can break her heart? Does that not imply that you think you are stronger than she is, that you are then better than her, know better than her? Why do you a person can have this kind of power over someone, to make or break their heart? You are unknowingly trying to create value for yourself by comparison.
Her fears that you see reflect your subconscious ones that you need to become aware of and explore. Examine your belief that you can break someone's heart, as that is how you misunderstand her. She will only repeat patterns from her past that have nothing to do with you. She already has a broken heart inside of her that you are assuming you can somehow heal or protect from reoccurring. That is an illusion. When you change the meaning of what you have been thinking, you will see that your fears of hurting her are really your fears of being judged.
JMC x wrote: From past experience if you lie to her it will hurt her even more, you need to be honest and tell the truth she'll be able to pick herself up and move on then. I'm in her sort of situation at the moment and its been going on for like 8months now and when he's told me the truth about something which I haven't wanted to her I was able to get the tears out and accept it, where as when he's lied he's left me wondering and worried and more hurt at the thought that I wasn't even worth the truth
To JMC's comments I say: you are correct that truth is needed, yet on a deeper level than you would imagine, to understand that another person's actions and thoughts are not about you at all, they can only represent their experience of the world, which they then project onto you. When you consider what you did not want to hear, ask yourself why you did you not want to hear it? What were you ignoring? Why were you ignoring it?
What did it mean to you when you heard what you did? Why did it mean that? What did it mean about you? When you become curious about all the meanings, how can you then change those meanings? Can you see how the old meanings show you what you misunderstand and how you doubt yourself? Always ask if what you think and believe is even true? Says who?
When you sense that something is off, rather than try to pry it out of them or try to change our own behaviors to try to please the other person, be curious, find out: why do they think and say what they do? Your assumption is that he lied because you weren't worth the truth. Can you see how your meaning was one that doubted you? This is your clue on what you need to work on, your self worth.
Stu wrote: So true. I think we can jump to conclusions based on our past interactions that may not have been so positive.
To Stu's comments I say: While I thank you for visiting and reading my blog, I prefer that you find other ways to try to promote yourself and your website. I took off your website address and last name from your posting. All the best to you in your endeavors.
Rachel wrote: Ok!. I'm not happy with myself- and i know being like this i won't make anyone happy.. I slept with my ex husband cousin-and I don't regret it because, i have feeling for this person. yet I feel i did something wrong n is killing me. I wanna cope, be able to move on and let go but i don' know how? I ex decide to work things out with my son's father (my ex) but every day i think that im here just because is the right thing to do.. I really want to alone be able to heal n close chapter in my life. and stop acting in emotions. I really need guidens. I have told my son's father that i want to separated. but he doesn't really where am coming from. I feel sorry, bad, because am afraid am not making the right decision. How can you live feeling guilty? for something you wanted. and how can you move on and stop thinking about other people feelings. Having my heart like this in can enjoy life, my marriage, my kids, PLEASE HELP.
To Rachel's comments I say: Until you are fully honest with yourself, you can't find happiness. We all have to be fully accountable to ourselves in terms of our thoughts and actions. That can only happen with deep self honesty and without judgment. The guilt you feel will only be shifted when you do the work to understand the real reasons why you acted the way you did and forgive yourself.
So these are the questions to ask: what feelings did you have for this other man? How did you feel when you were with him? What was missing when you weren't with him? These are all clues as to how you do not fill these emotional needs for yourself. How do you feel that you do not deserve to feel these things on your own? How did you judge yourself before you slept with this man?
To remove guilt, you have to find your own innocence, to see how deeply your fears run that they caused you to act the way they did. When you are curious about your own thoughts and feelings and look at why you wanted this, the safety you create allows you to see all the ways in which you doubt and judge yourself. When you learn how to fully love yourself, your needs change, your choices, change, and your self love continues to grow, guilt free.
June wrote: i'm with my boyfriend for five years now, but over the past few years i had my son i have become obsessive over him i feel like i cant do a day without him call, i have 2 know his where abouts, if he doesnt call or text me back in time i will get on with him ..he says he love me but he cant stand my ways. i tried 2 stop but i just keep going back at it...please help
To June's comments I say: What you are experiencing is classic chronic fight or flight, where your mind is looking to feel safe in any way that it can, but of course you cannot find a sense of safety through another person. The fears and insecurities lie within you and you have to go within to resolve those fears.
As an example of what to ask yourself: what fears come up for you when he doesn't call? What thoughts run through your mind when you feel the fears? How does your own mind blame you for why he doesn't call? How do you then use your own thoughts to doubt yourself? What do you assume he means when he says that he can't stand your ways? How is he misunderstanding you?
Are you aware that when you have any negative self talk that you are attacking yourself? That you are unknowingly creating an unsafe environment in your own mind, so much so that it is unsafe just to be you? Every thought you have about yourself needs to be looked at, for you to be curious about: why do I think that about myself? What is that thought based on? Why should it be true? Says who?
This is actually a good way to teach people how to teach themselves. By seeing the kinds of questions that you can ask yourself, even in this general form, gives you an idea on how to be curious about the thoughts that you have so that you can question their validity in a safe way and then change them.
One of the biggest issues in most relationships is that we think we know our partners or others. It is a cause of so many different kinds of problems. But there is no way of knowing or understanding how another person's mind thinks. You may be familiar with certain behaviors and the patterned responses of others, but that does not qualify you to believe that you "know" them. Let me explain.
What drives all human beings is that about 95% of the mind, the subconscious. The nature of the subconscious is that we are unaware of what is in it. So when you observe and interact with someone, given that they don't know what is really in their own mind, you can't possibly know what is in there from the outside.
Every person has the ability to learn more about what is in their own minds, but we can never be privy to that process in someone else. To think that we know another person only shows how little we understand of the human mind, and especially how little we understand how our own minds work.
Let's say for example, if I were to make the assumption that I "know" my husband, what happens is that I will then see him based on what I think I know about him. Anything that he says or does, I will end up applying my own meaning to it, because I am so convinced that I know him based on my own thoughts.
Yet how many times have every one of you stated what you think you know about a person to that person only to end up in disagreement, the other person reacting to what you say, or even ending up in conflict? That is because what you think you know about the other person is not their experience.
The danger here is that you may be convinced that you are right and that the other person just can't see them themselves. You know, the old saying that you can't see the forest for the trees. But what you see on the surface is there for far different reasons that you think. The what is not nearly important as the why.
Why a person acts or reacts in that same way each time, the action of which you do observe so clearly, is not what is relevant. That is not enough information for you to truly know another person. In order to really understand another person, you need to know why they act the way they do.
Some people may say, I now why, it is because that is what they learned from their parents and a culmination of experiences since their childhood. While on the surface this seems to be a irrefutable answer, ponder this: every moment is unique. Every time you see the exact same behavior, in the moment that behavior occurs, it is not the same as any of the other moments from the past.
In that one moment, a series of input goes through a persons brain that could not possibly have ever been duplicated. That unique sequence of inputs does have a trigger buried in it somewhere which results in the behavior you are familiar with, but the overall experience is different every single time.
So why the person acts or reacts in that familiar way is something that you can never know, nor can that person really. Yet we are all taught to incorrectly put labels on the behaviors we see. It justifies our own emotional reactions and gives us an excuse to say, look it is the other person that has caused me to feel this way, giving us the perfect excuse not to work on or be accountable for ourselves.
You certainly don't know yourself. I don't even know myself and I have been working on raising my awareness for decades! The more I learn the more I realize that I don't know. Perhaps I have raised the average 5% of my conscious mind to 7% or even 9% or if I am very, very lucky a little more!
But each little bit goes a very, very long way. :)
Thinking you know your partner leads to deadness and lifelessness in any type of relationship. You both get so worn down from trying to explain yourselves, you get so tired of being misunderstood, that you drift apart. You actually push each other apart with what you think you know about the other.
Some of you look for the attention you crave elsewhere with other people. Some of you just bottle up your sadness and frustration. Some explode from it. Can you understand the gravity of the error in thinking that you know a person and why they are the way they are? But let me give you some of the benefits of choosing to change your own set of beliefs about the people that are in your life.
When you see a person without thinking you "know" them:
1. Your relationship feels fresh and new in each and every moment without that burden of thinking that you know what something means.
2. You will always feel compelled to explore your partner, as if he or she were brand new to you. No need to seek the freshness of a new relationship!
3. You will stay in a state of appreciation and wonder at the amazing person that your partner is, that you have forgotten about.
4. You will be more creative and spontaneous, as your mind has so much more resources to focus on what you want to create.
5. You will have more energy for your own life given that you are no longer dragged down and consumed by your own mistaken thoughts.
6. Your communication will be superior to what it is now, where both of you feel increasingly safer to talk to each other about anything.
7. You will both be able to help each other through those tougher times, now that you have stopped misunderstanding each other.
8. You will be happier in general, happier in your relationship and most importantly happier with yourself. This last part is what makes your partner happier too.
9. The two of you will work together as a team, focusing on and finding solutions for any issue and to create what you both want in a harmonious way.
10. You will feel love and you will feel loved. You will feel understood. You will feel and know that you and your partner are equals.
Whoever you were thinking about when you read this blog entry, now go back and read it again with all people that are in your life from this list: your father, mother, sister, brother, children, all other family members, partner, acquaintances, friends, coworkers, employer, employees, strangers. Then, do this with anyone else that you ever come into contact with that is not included here.
We all have a lot of work ahead of us to unlearn what we think we know!
June 09, 2011
i am a student of 25 years and i am having an affair with a girl who is in love with me but i am not interested in her but i have promised to take care of her by saving that i am in love with her. please help me , i want to leave her but i don't want to break her heart
June 10, 2011
From past experience if you lie to her it will hurt her even more, you need to be honest and tell the truth she'll be able to pick herself up and move on then. I'm in her sort of situation at the moment and its been going on for like 8months now and when he's told me the truth about something which I haven't wanted to her I was able to get the tears out and accept it, where as when he's lied he's left me wondering and worried and more hurt at the thought that I wasn't even worth the truth
June 14, 2011
June 14, 2011
So true. I think we can jump to conclusions based on our past interactions that may not have been so positive.
June 20, 2011
Ok!. I'm not happy with myself- and i know being like this i won't make anyone happy.. I slept with my ex husband cousin-and I don't regret it because, i have feeling for this person. yet I feel i did something wrong n is killing me. I wanna cope, be able to move on and let go but i don' know how? I ex decide to work things out with my son's father (my ex) but every day i think that im here just because is the right thing to do.. I really want to alone be able to heal n close chapter in my life. and stop acting in emotions. I really need guidens. I have told my son's father that i want to separated. but he doesn't really where am coming from. I feel sorry, bad, because am afraid am not making the right decision. How can you live feeling guilty? for something you wanted. and how can you move on and stop thinking about other people feelings. Having my heart like this in can enjoy life, my marriage, my kids, PLEASE HELP.
June 21, 2011
i'm with my boyfriend for five years now, but over the past few years i had my son i have become obsessive over him i feel like i cant do a day without him call, i have 2 know his where abouts, if he doesnt call or text me back in time i will get on with him ..he says he love me but he cant stand my ways. i tried 2 stop but i just keep going back at it...please help
May 2011 Coaching Blog
I like to check in with my clients periodically when I haven't heard from them in a while and this is what one person replied (used with their permission):
"Things have been going really well. I have continued to be curious about why I feel the way I do when certain things come up and I have figured out more and more that it really has nothing to do what I originally think I am upset about. Even though things still bother me or I still feel sad/upset about things, I now am able to fall into those feelings, think about why I am feeling the way I do and come up with a sound/reasonable solution to them (whether that is talking it out, getting some alone time, or just letting it go). It is a great feeling of calmness and relief. I am feeling good. Thank you for all your help. It has really opened me up to a new way of feeling and thinking."
The reason why this is relevant enough to write about is because it is important that everyone understands that in order to make changes in your own life, it is not enough to just read what I write, you have to apply it to yourself. You have to take each and every situation that comes up and to be curious about your own thoughts. There is no other way other than to actually practice using this with yourself, a hands on approach.
Anytime you do not feel good about something that somebody says or does, you have made an assumption about what it means. Only by identifying and then being curious about your belief about what you think it means or why it happened, can you then dismantle it. Note that I say be curious, because that is a gentle, non judgmental approach.
If you question yourself, that by nature involves doubt. Actually, let's look at that in detail. A question is defined as an expression of inquiry that calls for a reply. That is fine. But a question is also defined as interrogative and a subject or point open to controversy, uncertainty and doubt. To question someone, something, or yourself is to put a question to, to examine by question. To interrogate. To express doubt about; to dispute. To analyze and examine.
Well, I don't know about you, but I have had far too many instances of being questioned in my life. If you are approached with the intention of being questioned, instantly the hair goes up on the back of your neck and your spine stiffens. It puts you into an automatic fight or flight (FOF) reaction because the persons intentions radiate perfectly clearly. To find fault with you.
Let's look at how most people experience questions. As a child, when your parents thought you had done something wrong. In school, when a person in authority felt you had done something wrong. By siblings or friends, when they had thought that you had done something wrong. By your own children if you have any, when they had thought that you had done something wrong. By your partner when..do I really need to go on?
We have a very negative association to being questioned and for good reason. That is why I espouse being curious. Curious by definition is eager to learn more, inquisitive, marked by a desire to investigate and learn. Arousing interest because of novelty or strangeness. Being curious, when the only thing that you assume is that you really do not know why a person says or does what they do, implies reaching out for new knowledge.
In all fairness, curiosity can be taken to an extreme when a person has an agenda and it can be turned in being "prying or meddlesome", another definition. That is when a person uses curiosity from a place of fear or judgment. In my opinion they are really not being curious at all, which is asking for the sheer purpose of wanting to understand something differently than you do now. To be in a space where the only thing that you assume is that you don't know what something means. You don't know the subconscious reasons.
When you are truly curious with yourself and with other people, but not questioning, you get the results that this client got. This is the litmus test to know if you are being curious or questioning. There is a distinct difference and your results clearly tell you what you are using. When you think that how you feel is the result of what another person says or does, you cannot be curious, because your assumption is that you feel the way you do because of the other person.
But how you feel is a result of the meaning that you give their behaviors. The more you personalize (make it about you) as to why they act the way they do the more it hurts. People largely exist in a vacuum. It is an illusion that we interact with each other with any semblance of true awareness of others. What we experience has nothing to do with other people and their experiences have nothing to do with us. Your thoughts are yours and only yours. Their thoughts and your thoughts do not cross over into each others vacuum. You are deeply unaware of each other.
It is your thoughts that create your emotional experience. Without your thoughts there is no meaning and no hurt. If you have not experienced this then it is difficult to understand it. That is why I encourage that you just practice being curious, because by doing so, you create that experience for yourself and before you know it, you have changed the way you feel, almost as if by accident, by magic, by a miracle! You change your thoughts, your feelings change with them.
But the thoughts that you are largely changing are your subconscious ones. The 95% or so of your mind that you are unaware of. This is why doing this work is so significant. I actually don't like to call it work, but have not come up with a consistent better word. It is a practice. It is a process of trial and error and learning as you go. When you diligently practice every day, all day long, rather then becoming something that is like work, which is usually considered to be a hard slog, it becomes incredibly freeing. It even eventually become fascinating and fun. It becomes a game to see how quickly you can catch those old subconscious thoughts that no longer serve you.
The best part is that over time there are less and less thoughts that you even need to be curious about! The bottom line is that you start wherever you are right now. Lightly and gently just be curious about the why's of everything. When you stop focusing on what is happening and start to look underneath, to see why something happens, differently than what you think you know, to identify the fear or misunderstanding, then the what's can be resolved.
You cannot resolve an issue from the perspective of looking at that issue. The issue is there because something is being misunderstood, because of how fear is affecting a person. When you choose to take just a little bit of focus off of being upset over the action/words and look at why they are happening from this perspective of being curious, you will also find the solutions.
So, in my clients words, open yourself up to a new way of thinking and feeling, and you can achieve that great feeling of calmness and relief for yourself!
I am so far behind on my blogging and still am pressed for time, so I am repeating an old but very valuable blog entry. There are people who will actually say that they don't have any fears, that they are not afraid, so the whole concept of looking to see how fight or flight (FOF) applies to them doesn't make sense.
Until you look at the many different forms that fear comes in of course! Even for those who do recognize it in themselves, it is always a good refresher to see just how prevalent the FOF response is in everyone. It is at epic proportions in society and we need to do what we can to minimize it, starting with ourselves.
The following is from a posting that I did almost 2 years ago, so I don't mind sharing this again!
It occurred to me that there are people out there who do not fully understand the different forms that fear comes in. So I thought I would clarify and show how it can appear in your life. As you read this, you will understand more of why it is so important to raise your self awareness so that you can work through some of your fears yourself.
There are the obvious forms that fear comes in, such as: phobia, dread, anxiety, panic, angst, insecurity, stress, depression, etc. Then of course there is fear of change, confinement, constancy, death, pain, illness, loneliness, not having a (good) source of income, etc.
Then there is anger, annoyance, bitterness, hatred, resentment, prejudice, judgment, being "right" (as opposed to conviction of beliefs..a topic for a future posting!), any belief that causes you to feel a negative emotion towards another person is fear based. Underneath any of those labels is a fear of getting hurt, being misunderstood, having been wronged, or of somebody being that much different than you (our partners being no exception..).
People can also have fears of beneficial aspects of life: love, commitment, self actualization, public speaking, the future, success, etc. Fear can also be subtler and come in the form of doubt, needing to be liked or admired, in how you look, what other people think of you, needing to please another (at home, work, socially, etc.), getting older, irritability, etc.
Even the most "successful" and "powerful" people experience fears. How we define our value is a prime breeding ground for fear. If you define your value externally and feel your value lies in being a good partner, parent, in your accomplishments, physical abilities, your looks, etc., what happens when your circumstances change and you no longer have those qualities with which to judge your value? How many of you have experienced fear or doubt about your value?
How about speaking the truth about how you feel in all situations? This includes your relationships, with family, at work, with friends, in social environments, etc. Do you have a fear of conflict? How do you handle an aggressive personality? Are you what you would call a peacemaker for others? What subtle or not so subtle fear is underneath that?
I can imagine the thoughts and comments already..but being a peacemaker is a "good" thing. Well, not the way most people do it and usually for the wrong reasons if done out of any form of fear. How self aware are you and how honest are you with yourself about this?
There is a simple test to tell if what you are feeling is a result of some form of fear, obvious or subtle. Is what you are thinking or feeling making you feel good or does it make you feel bad? If it is the latter, then you have some form of fear at the root of what you are thinking and feeling.
Keep exploring and looking to identify what that fear might be. It is only then that you will have the power to make a different choice. Notice what you do when you are not feeling good. How do you compensate for it? How do you tend to "deal with" what you feel? Do you numb out, overeat, over stimulate yourself, block out, over analyze, zone out, go into avoidance, etc?
As you make these observations about yourself do you use those observations to then beat yourself up? That is even more fear. We fear that we are not good enough in some way and then feel the need to punish ourselves, creating that cycle of guilt, punishment, and sacrifice.
This prevalence of the different forms of fear is why it is almost an obsession of mine to help other ferret out the different forms and bring a sense of peace into peoples lives. It is, without a doubt, a passion of mine!
I was asked to cover a particular topic in my blog, of the contradiction that a gay person experiences when their religion condemns homosexuality. This is both a sensitive and tricky subject to talk about, but I will do my best.
When a person is generally put in a position where their religious beliefs contradict their experiences, for whatever the reason, typically you do your best to learn and grow from your experience. If you punish yourself, if you live in a state of guilt, it actually stops you from learning and growing.
The whole purpose of learning and growing from your experiences is to continually evolve as a human being. Guilt and punishment inevitably stop that from happening, because of the focus on judgment, on something being "bad".
Yet I think that even the most devoutly religious people would agree that making changes is of primary importance once you identify something that you would like to change. So I think that we all can agree that perhaps instead continued punishment and guilt that a person is better off focusing on that change.
Now I am not here to discuss what people view as right or wrong or the value of their opinion. I am here to help the individual work through their personal pain, to help them find tools to deal with where ever they are at right now.
Some people believe that being homosexual is something that is controllable that can be changed with the right influence, teachings, support, will power, desire etc. Well, can't the same be said for people who experience just about any issue? Obesity? Anger? High blood pressure? High cholesterol? Stress? Stop nagging, stop being emotional, stop being like this or that?
There are hundreds if not thousands of conditions which so many people seem not to be able to control, whether it is choosing to exercise, have a better diet, manage emotions, does it really matter what it is? Can we just agree that there is more going on than meet the eye for all these issues?
It is a simplistic and unrealistic answer to say that the solution is simple just do this or that. Hasn't everyone figured out yet that this does not work or we all would be using it? Why put labels on the people who are struggling with something, whatever it is that their personal struggle is about?
The form that our struggles come in is unique to all of us. But the one commonality that we all share is that the solution lies within us. It does not lie with what other people say or think, it does not lie with what you are told by any one else. It lies one hundred percent within you.
Your relationship with God, regardless of your beliefs, is personal to you. Your relationship with God is not your relationship with your religion. If you are gay and your religion condemns it, you too have to go inside yourself. You do not know why this challenge has been given to you, but unless you look inside, you will never find out why and what it is that you are supposed to learn.
While we can connect externally with other people regarding our religious beliefs, while we can seek God and express ourselves in those external environments the ultimate temple, the ultimate place of worship is within your own mind and within your own body. How do you honor yourself is the question that you need to ask?
Whoever you are, whatever you are, you have been given life through the breath of God. You are an extension of God's creation in human form. Exactly the way you are right now. Just because your behaviors are condemned, God cannot and does not condemn any part of Himself. The whole concept of forgiveness lies within you not in how others may or may not forgive you based on their beliefs.
It is so interesting that when we feel that there is something wrong with us, that our focus is almost entirely on that small little point. I read a lovely example of this from Papaji that essentially said if a teacher draws a tiny white mark with his chalk on the blackboard and asks his students what do they see, almost all will reply that they see the tiny white mark. But we are the blackboard.
How does it make sense there is so much good inside of a person, but all that is observed and focused on is that tiny little white mark? Don't let somebody else who has their nose up to the board define you through that. You define yourself.
Can you forgive yourself? Can you still live with the love of God shining brightly in your heart no matter what? That is what you are supposed to be learning and sharing with others. If your challenge or whatever it is dims that light, then it is up to you to clean off that light so that it shines brightly to lead the way for others.
But that is not done by condemning anyone else or yourself. For any reason. Ever. We all have pain, hurt, guilt, so much that it covers up our strong and brightly shining lights of God's love within us. We feel we do not deserve to let it shine. We even at times judge that somebody else does not deserve to feel it?! How does that make sense? That anyone else shouldn't for any reason?
Or that you "deserve" to feel it while someone else doesn't. That also creates guilt deep within you. You don't have to be aware of it. It is there. All people are children of God. Equally. I like to think of it some just have a lot more growing to do than others! :) But really it is not something to be compared amongst ourselves.
Judging others creates guilt within you for feeling or thinking that another person does not deserve to feel and express God's love. That the form that they are in is unacceptable. Every time we do this to another human being, we dim some of our own light. Even if you feel or act righteous it erodes your self esteem to do so.
Then you end up needing to point out the next "sin" that you witness to make yourself feel better or more valued in the eyes of God. But we are not in a position to judge how or why a person makes the choices they do. We either help them to a healing light or we push them away. You have to choose how you live, and then you have to live with your choice. Always with forgiveness.
If you are a gay person who lives in this external contradiction of your religious beliefs, you also have a choice. You do not need to discard your beliefs about your religion, but you do need to evaluate what you believe about yourself. About what your value is. Are you going to see yourself as that white mark or finally and fully understand that you are the vastness of that chalkboard?
This is your challenge, your obstacle that has been given to you in this lifetime. This is what has been placed between you and God. What will it take for you to fully ask Him into your heart? What will it take for you to say to God: I don't understand what or why your plan is for me, but I accept it with love and faith.
To say: all I do know is that I must find the brightness of your love within me. That is what needs to become the primary objective for every human being. To find out what stands in the way between you and God within you. To examine every thought that you have about yourself, about others, and about why you think that you do not deserve to be loved in an infinite manner.
Why would God reject Himself? Why would He reject the reflection of Him within you? Do not try to justify anything contrary to this. Only ask yourself for yourself, not for anyone else. If you come up with any reasons whatsoever as to why not, then you are looking at your life's path. Find and remove the obstructions to His love.
You are infinite love. Follow your religious dogma the best that you can. When you cannot, go within and seek to connect with God internally. You have punished yourself enough. But you cannot do that and feel loved at the same time. If we are a reflection of God's love, then we are meant to shine it outwards onto others.
You are the battery for that light. You are the one charging it up to shine out from inside of you. Understand that as human beings there is not one person without some form of "sin". The biggest sin is to ever think that you do not deserve God's love.
That is the ultimate form of rejection of Him. Remove all such obstacles.
My blog entries are usually based on one simple idea that I have and then I allow the thoughts to just emerge. This is how I allow my understanding to develop and evolve, even as I talk to you. I don't know what I will say until I write it! While the blog is obviously intended for my readers, it is also a strong venue for the development of my own intuitive and creative process of understanding.
This prelude is here because the idea that I have chosen and want to expound on today (I write them down in a list as I think of them or I forget them!), is the question: why do we even have thoughts? What is the purpose of them? Since I have never even contemplated this concept before, I am assuming that it will be challenging to write about. So here goes!
First, what is a thought? Okay, it is a series of words that go through our minds. But, why do we have them? Do we really even need them? We obviously need words to communicate with one another at this point of our evolution, but I am not fully clear on why we even have thoughts. Let me explain why I think this.
We experience all of life through our 5 senses and some would argue that there are even more, but that most of us are unaware of them. So we get tons of sensory input, far more than what we could ever consciously translate into words. We actually inherently understand this input if we are open and aware of it.
More often that not, our thoughts impede our understanding of all this sensory input, almost all of which is processed through our subconscious minds. We apply meaning to what we experience without thinking about it. Thoughtless thoughts?
Technically, the definition of thoughts is that they are our ideas and opinions. Okay. So what is an idea? It is "a concept or mental impression". It is "something, such as a thought or conception, that potentially or actually exists in the mind as a product of mental activity". So wait, then is an idea is a conceptual thought? Is then a thought a conceptual idea? It is not clear as to what a thought really is.
Last definition of idea: "any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity". That's a little better. That makes a lot more sense to me, given the intuitive understanding that I have about thoughts.
Moving on..opinion: "A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge". Okay, that just made me laugh and my readers would very well know why! Here are a few more: "The beliefs or views of a large number or majority of people about a particular thing." "A belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty." "Belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge".
Very interesting. So you would think then that we could reasonably conclude that thoughts are typically really not based on much of anything at all. Okay, maybe I already believed this much before I started to write this! The surety that we have about the truth of our thoughts is really an illusion. But I still want to understand why we even have thoughts at all.
My premise is that we can exist pretty much without thinking..until we choose to think, to create an idea, to understand or explain a concept, to explore new information. The ridiculous number of thoughts we typically have per day is up to 60,000 thoughts (as low as 12,000 or so). Really, what a waste of precious resources!
For arguments sake, lets say that half our thoughts are negative, while half our thoughts are positive. (For some people the number of negative thoughts are probably closer to 90%!) That the negative thoughts consist of fear, worry, or doubt in the past, present or future. Do ya think that quality of life is reduced here?
What if you could restructure how you think so that you reduced the negative thoughts, that you retrained your mind to not worry or be in fear, but to put all that talent and energy into finding and creating solutions? Into being curious.
Now here is a little tickler for your mind. How many of your so called positive thoughts are really as positive as you think? How many times have you told yourself something positive, only not to believe it, to doubt it, and even attack it?
How many have used "positive thoughts" as lies to others? To possibly try to make someone feel better, to hide something, to distract someone, etc. How else are these so called positive thoughts misused? Oh yes, to try to create happiness.
I want a million dollars. I deserve a beautiful house. I need a better partner. Ooh, I just thought of a good one. Comparative "positive thoughts. This is better than that. That person is better than that one. Telling one person that you like something about them, but are you telling everyone what you like about them..all the time?
Trick question! If you are, then why are you? Thoughts are not motivated for the reasons that we would think that they are. In fact, my belief is that most thoughts are unnecessary and redundant. What we experience is what is relevant, but without meaning. Always wonder what purpose your own thoughts have for you.
Aim for a completely thought less existence. That is not the real goal, but by overshooting our goal, we are likely to fall closer to it, because it will be the most ambitious goal of your lifetime, should you choose to accept this mission!
Funny how we are taught that being thoughtless in the traditional sense is such a negative thing. "Not showing consideration for the needs of other people" "Without consideration of the possible consequences". Taking this apart would require a whole new blog entry, so I will leave this alone.
Your goal is to remove thoughts, not to add more or to find "evidence" for why you have a negative thought about another human being. You either understand why people act the way they do (that you don't like) based on their fears, or you don't understand and you take it personally. There is no gray area.
You either understand or you don't. And ironically it appears that we need many thoughts in order to support the things, behaviors, and words that we don't like and don't understand. So perhaps the number of thoughts that we think evolved with our misunderstanding of the why's of human behavior.
When you really understand human behavior, you free yourself from thoughts. You become fully free to experience this thing called life. To fully experience your unique self expression. The thought less form of you. The new and improved version if you will!
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing this and sharing the process of how my thoughts evolve in an intuitive and creative manner! My conclusion? This is one of the best entries yet where I can share my experiences with you to learn from! Open source knowledge. :)
HELP ME WITH THE PROBLEM NEED SOMEONE I CAN TRUST AND GIVE ME
May 05, 2011
I WOULD LIKE TO START I HAVE A BEIGE DRINKING PROBLEM AND SOCIALIZING WITH GUYS THAT WILL ACCEPT ME FOR WHO I AM NOT MY DISABILITY ,IM HANDICAPPED AND IN NEED OF SOMEONE I CAN CHAT WITH AND HELP ME WITH THESE THINGS.
Breathing for life
May 09, 2011
My ex wife complained to me that she didn't like the way I breathed when I slept! What was I supposed to say to that? Guess thats why she is my ex wife now. Have been taking coaching with this place lately and found is helping with a few other problems . (website link deleted) Irene is great
May 09, 2011
Hi Karen, a blog comments page is not an effective way to get help as the comments tends to be about the blog content as opposed to a discussion page, chat, forum, etc. where people gather to help each other. People come here to learn and grow using these tools on their own, and if they want more detailed help with a specific issue, they generally sign up for a coaching session with me. If you cannot afford coaching, there are many sources of free coaching. Just type in "free coaching" in your internet browser window and choose the one that best suits you.
Congratulations to Irene and her partner on launching their new website in April of this year. However, you may want to promote your business in more upfront ways than by placing a link to your new website in the comments section of other people's blogs! :) Out of curiosity, how is divorcing a partner a good solution to an situation that obviously points to a resolvable deeper issue? Wouldn't you want to instead promote yourselves as providing solutions?
21th may 2011
May 21, 2011
what to do when you cant be with the one u love?
May 22, 2011
what will you do when you can't trust your lover any more. for always lying to you.
May 26, 2011
Hi tt and manu, are you the same person? I suggest you go to the Ezines page and read my article: What Can You Trust When You Can't Trust Trust. Lying is a deep form of fear, a learned response from childhood to fight or flight. When you misunderstand why a person lies, the underlying issues cannot be resolved. Lying is never about you, but about their fears and misunderstanding. It is not about trust at all, trust has nothing to do with your partner's lying. If you look for a solution through "trust" you will never find it.
Love really is not something you experience with or from another person. You are confusing love with neediness. When you can't live without someone, what you really can't live with is the hole in your heart. The other person masks that for you. Love is something that you already have in your heart that is shared with your partner, and with all people for that matter. You do not love one person more or another less, even strangers. You choose to share your love in your day to day life with a particular person. Your partner will always show you what you need to work on in yourself.
breathing for life
May 31, 2011
if your ex-wife complain about your sleeping pattern let advise you on what to do, since you once shared life together
May 31, 2011
bad habits are hard to break but i believe you just have to love yourself for other to follow.
May 2011 Mechanization
June 04, 2011
Hello Ewa: I love the check list after this article. I realize I do this all the time.. I think I "know" someone but I don't! I have been told that my behavior is so predictable, because I am "known." This article helps me understand why being told this feels wrong. I don't want to be told I am all figured out. and I need to not do that to others too. It's so simple, it's hard! Yesterday someone who has said she can "figure out" people had to admit that I did not behave in a way that she assumed I would in a recent stressful situation. But then, I am wrong to assume she is always trying to figure people out. right? Ha! The challenge continues!!!
June 08, 2011
Hi Esther, I am not clear about your first entry, especially since it is your ex I am not sure of the relevance of her opinion to you now! But thank you for reading my blog. Your other comment brings many thoughts to mind. You are correct that loving yourself absolutely does cause you to act in ways that other people will follow in terms of how they see you and respond to you. It really does work that way.
But the one shift in perception that I would suggest is that rather than see yourself as having bad habits that you need to break, choose a view of yourself that is easier to work with. A "bad habit" is something that your fears or insecurities can latch onto to tell you that you are lacking, not good enough, are a bad person in some way. It puts pressure on you that your mind then resents and resists and fights you about.
Instead, see a habit as something that has developed as a way to try to keep you safe from a potential perceived threat. It has become an automatic response that you want to first take the time to observe without judging yourself for what you see. Understand that it is simply a coping mechanism for something your mind misunderstands about you and your needs.
Then, what you do is find creative approaches to filling those needs in a different way. It is all about listening to that little voice inside you. It is actually a very loud voice that we have been taught to drown out with a thousand distractions. It is muffled, hog tied, buried, ignored, doubted until we forget it is still there. But there is always a solution.
Hi Skylark Singer, having insight into your own behaviors and the people around you is the first step. Congratulations on it! Until you can clearly identify aspects of yourself..without judging it..change is difficult. The thing is, even the parts of yourself that you would like to change really have no meaning. It is neither good nor bad it is just a lack of awareness.
Consider seeing yourself as a jigsaw puzzle with the pieces in the wrong place. Then you can stop and entirely remove that piece that you have been trying to jam into your puzzle. In fact, more likely than not, the piece that you have been trying to make fit your puzzle is from somebody else's puzzle to begin with that didn't fit for them either!
No wonder it doesn't fit, never has, never will! There is such freedom in just noticing this, because when you know what the real issue is, you can then address it. As you start to remove all these pieces that don't belong to you, and none of the hurtful ones do, a miracle happens. You realize that your own puzzle is already complete.
You just cannot see this from your current perspective. You can only see these pieces that don't fit. They are what make you feel uncomfortable. There is nothing wrong with you, there are only pieces that you have been told that are part of you when they are not.
As you pointed out, doing this is simple, yet hard. But only in the beginning. The more you find and remove these pieces that are not the real you, the more you start to glimpse your true self. This is the biggest reward and the biggest motivator. You also become more patient and forgiving with yourself because you know it only gets better!
April 2011 Coaching Blog
One of the questions that occasionally comes up in a coaching session is why can't a person just take on new beliefs to replace the old ones, why do old beliefs need to first need to be identified and removed? Well, a good analogy is as follows.
Your old beliefs have deep roots in your subconscious mind. Most of them have been there for decades. They have had a lot of time to grow big and strong. They have been reinforced by others who share the same beliefs and by how you unknowingly keep finding "evidence" to support those beliefs.
For people who are reading this and are not sure what I am referring to when I talk about old beliefs that need to be identified and changed, I am talking about some of the fears, insecurities and limiting beliefs that you may be aware of. But mostly I talk about what is deeply buried in your subconscious mind. What you are aware of is also typically only the tip of the iceberg.
So if you just add another idea or a new belief, you are trying to plant a seed that cannot compete in a thick, tangled forest of far older and stronger beliefs. Usually in this forest there is barely any room for new seeds to take root and grow. If a seed somehow manages to grow into a seedling there is little sun, water, and nutrients available for it. It simply has too much competition and dies.
We also are so used to the beliefs that we have that we consider our day to day thoughts to be the norm. Why even bother questioning them? The bottom line is if you live in any form of emotional pain, if you ever get hurt emotionally, if you ever get angry, annoyed, resentful, etc., then you have beliefs that could use a little pruning! Or a lot for most of us.
So if you have tried to take on some new beliefs and don't understand why the new habits and beliefs aren't being translated into action, this is why. You have a very thick and tangled forest in you subconscious that you need to contemplate having a look at. This is how you will be able to create effective and lasting changes.
Typically what happens is we try and try and try and when it doesn't work we get frustrated, get angry with ourselves, give up, blame others, etc. More often than not, this actually feeds the very fears, insecurities, and limiting beliefs that we are not fully aware of and need to change.
We may think we are lazy, stupid, ineffective, a slacker, don't try hard enough, lack will power, whatever it is that you say to yourself, you end up attacking yourself in some way. And you know what, you have just fertilized those trees in your forest!
This type of change takes time and most importantly self awareness. When a new belief doesn't take root and grow easily we tend to give up. But nothing or very little will happen until you do the work with the old thoughts that first need to be uprooted. You have to create room in your mind, you have to create the fertile space and environment for new growth.
As you read what I write, does it occur to you at all that you can really only understand what I mean based on where you are at, and not necessarily from what I intend? When I speak of self awareness, does it not make sense that you can only be aware of what you are currently aware of? That the nature of awareness means that you can only understand what you currently see?
So conversely, what you can't see, you cannot possibly be aware of. This is so important to understand in your own personal journey. What I intend when I write may be understood by you on a completely different level and manner, depending on what you are aware of! Tricky spot isn't it?!
Just as there will be people who do not yet have the kind of awareness that I am guiding you all to, there will also be people who read what I write and have a far deeper understanding than I do. But it is not about comparison. This is strictly about how do each of us as individuals gets to the next point within ourselves and within our personal journey.
That is the only thing that should be of interest to you, your only focus in life really. The less focus you have on others, the faster this journey is. Anytime you have a reaction to someone else you have pulled your own focus away from yourself. Your own set of beliefs even act to pull you away from yourself. This work is a discipline, a practice that requires much dedication and proportionate self love.
In this way, it becomes a spiritual practice, a journey inwards to your connection with Self, to your connection with God. This brings you into full integrity with yourself. Whether or not you are religious, spiritual, atheist, or none of the above, it does not matter because this journey brings you happiness and a far richer and happier experience of life.
Learn how to look fearlessly into your own forest.
Being happy and joyful. Sometimes it seems like a tall order and sometimes it is just there. We so appreciate the moments when we are joyful for seemingly no reason at all. Those are the times when we simply have no blocks to experiencing it. It is not something we have to seek, it is a natural state of mind within us.
When we are sad, angry, stressed, or distracted by some worry or fear, we cannot experience happiness or joy. They are obscured by what our mind is focusing on. That is why it is so essential that we always keep up the practice of removing all the obstacles to this natural state of being that we wish to return to.
This journey is accomplished by changing the thoughts in our minds, in what we choose to believe. On one hand it really is that simple and on the other hand, it can be a lot of work to change beliefs that you weren't even aware needed to be changed, especially if they are buried in your subconscious mind.
Once you become familiar with the process of learning how to identify and change your beliefs using the tool of curiosity that is mentioned in many of my previous posts, you start to increasingly experience more joy and peace of mind.
Your communication becomes clearer, your relationships become more peaceful, you start to get more of what you really want to create in life, not what your fears and doubts used to create. Yet there is another very important step that needs to be made in terms of what you choose to believe.
This is what you choose to believe about your past. Your past can easily become a story that you hang on to that you unknowingly are allowing to adversely influence your current experiences. It is a very subtle yet powerful effect that I will explain.
We all seek to be happy as much as we can. Yet there is this illusion of time that we experience, so in order to fully experience happiness, it is not enough to want to be happy in the future, or it will remain in the future, just out of our reach. We are try to be happy in the current moment which is the ultimate goal, but there is a common pitfall with our pasts, which most people are not aware of.
You must also shift your perception of your past experiences so that what you retain from every singly reference to your past is happiness as well. I cannot even begin to explain how immensely powerful this is. if you do not train your psyche in this way, your happiness will always inevitably be interrupted by unhappy or bad memories from your past.
Many if not most people have experienced a lot of hurt in the past, whether it was in childhood, as a young adult, in relationships, it doesn't matter. As long as when you remember your past, you even once think about how you were hurt, you will not be able to sustain happiness in the current moment on a consistent basis.
This will be a very challenging step for many people, because we define who we are based on our past experiences. Our past gives us stories to tell, a way in which many people communicate who they are, by their experiences. It becomes a common sharing point where two people feel they have a common ground.
This is not such a good idea if you seek to be happy, joyful, and to have peace in your heart. When you think about any part of your past, you will need to place your focus on the happiness, joy, and peace from your past, not the hurt.
In my own personal journey, I could see how easy it was to think about the times that I was hurt in so many different ways from childhood up through adulthood. So many different stories. And as a reference point, if you have ever spoken about the hurt from your past more then once, then it has become a story that you tell.
It is how you identify yourself from a perspective of hurt and pain that you are actively bringing it back into your life over and over every time you tell a story about how you have been hurt. If you just think for a split second about being hurt, you have interrupted your own quest for happiness.
Yet we all also have so many memories from our pasts that are filled with love, with moments of joy and laughter. How often do you think of those, versus the ones that hurt? Can you see the disproportion already? Yet really, why think about the hurt times at all? You can't give me a valid good enough reason.
So, how do you teach yourself to bring forth the good memories, the happiness, joy and laughter that you experienced? For every person, this will be slightly different. It depends on what you loved, what you cherished, what you looked forward to.
For me, I discovered that I could do this through the many food related memories from my childhood, and not the one where the timer was set to eat everything off of my plate, regardless of how much my stomach hurt from being full or I would be punished! See how easy it is to have a "story" of hurt to reference?! :)
In my childhood, as a general rule when it came to food, there were so many moments of love, of sharing, of laughter, of joy, of connectedness. Just thinking about can bring joyful tears to my eyes to have had those experiences. What a gift in my life. What moments do you have in yours?
I consciously use these moments to refer to my past when my mind wants to think about the past. I don't fight my mind, I just offer it gentle suggestions and redirection. I have the goal of experiencing happiness in the past, present and future, and this is yet another way in which I can control my day to day experience.
When I have a challenging day or have some sort of frustration, when my mind wants to look to my past to find something similar, to possibly find the evidence for a potential perceived threat, doesn't it make sense that what I would want it to unconsciously find is happy moments to compare to instead?
Not moments from my past when I was unsafe, but moments when I was safe, when I felt cared for, when the people around me had moments of joy as well. You can train and condition your subconscious mind to do this. It is, like everything else we do to recondition our minds, both simple and yet difficult to start with.
Yet if you persist and you practice, practice, and then practice some more, you stop having to try to do this and your mind starts to remember to remember the good times on its own. Imagine stepping onto a seesaw, whose seat is on the ground.
You slowly take one little step at a time, carefully balancing yourself along the way. When you reach the center, the fulcrum, the next step starts to take the weight off of the length behind you and then as you take the next few steps that seat finally starts to lift off the ground. But not before then.
You actually have to travel a fair distance before you actually see and feel the results. At any point along the way, it is so easy to look behind you and think that nothing has changed, especially if you have never seen a seesaw work before!
But eventually the seesaw does start to move and eventually you do train your mind to perceive your past entirely differently. Not only that but you actually develop new neuron pathways in your brain. In this process you create new pasts that are entirely based on the sense of happiness, joy, and peace of mind.
To me that is a true miracle that we have this ability. We all have it.
I came across a great article by Sonia Barrett last year about the importance of our breathing habits (yes, how we breath is under our control, even if the breathing itself is not!), which is linked to the autonomic nervous system, affecting our health in numerous ways. With no further ado, as the article speaks for itself, I would like to introduce:
Breathing for Life - Are We Suffocating Ourselves? by Sonia Barrett
I didn't breathe during most of my 20s -- or at least I didn't breathe fully.
I had no idea my chronically tight shoulders, constricted intestines, insomnia and unyielding jaw tension were so closely related to my limited breath. To regain my health, I had to relearn how to breathe. And, though I still have to remind myself to do this from time to time, I understand how healthy breathing supports the body's ability to heal itself.
Breathing is a process still categorized as "unconscious" by most medical texts, yet many of us need to relearn how to breathe properly -- both consciously and fully. It is our unawareness of this life function that may sap us of life-giving energy.
Breathing involves the whole body, our whole being, in fact. The word "inspiration" comes from the Latin root "spiritus," meaning not only breath, but vitality, the animating principle, the soul. To breathe is not only to inspire, but to be inspired, to nourish our body and our spirit, to take into ourselves the vitality that is our birthright and to feel the creative energy that is our life force.
"Every breath is a sacrament, an essential ritual," says environmentalist David Suzuki in his book The Sacred Balance. "Air is a matrix that joins all life. As we imbibe this sacred element, we are physically linked to all our present biological relatives, countless generations that have preceded us and those that will follow."
If breath is so essential, then why don't more of us do it correctly? Sure, we all know how to breathe, or rather, our bodies do. But breathing occurs on several levels. The autonomic function creates the basic urge to breathe -- something governed by our nervous system. But often even this essential function is reduced to a series of shallow breaths if we're stressed, tense or nervous -- the makings of a typical day in today's society. Over time, this becomes a learned pattern so that even when the stressful situation has long gone our body is still functioning in shallow-breath mode, taking in a fraction of what it needs to be fully nourished.
Old Mechanisms, Modern World
The shallow breathing pattern we often fall into is associated with the "fight-or-flight" response, when our body senses imminent danger or attack. Stress directly provokes this response: we feel under attack, though there's no direct predator, only an on-going feeling of having to "fight" or "flee" from the source of our stress. Since we don't confront our "attacker" or have the opportunity to feel safe from the perceived threat, our nervous system remains on constant alert, limiting our breath to help divert blood away from certain organs and into the muscles to prepare us for action. We are modern creatures reacting with age-old mechanisms to perceived threats.
On top of our biological responses, we get other messages, subtle and not-so-subtle, to hold our breath. We're told to "suck in our guts," we multitask without having time to "catch our breath," we're not expected to express too loudly and we learn to numb out what's raging through us. We're bombarded daily with demands from work, household and family. We have to process incessant input in the form of noise, visual stimuli, smells and pollution from all kinds of sources. Why would any body in its right mind want to take all that in?
Don't Hold Your Breath
Breathing incorrectly for three minutes is enough to lower the amount of oxygen to the brain and heart by 30 percent. If this goes on for years, there's an increased risk for conditions ranging from chronic headaches, digestive disturbances and neck, back and shoulder pain, to more serious illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma and chronic fatigue. In fact, some experts estimate that improper breathing can be associated with 50 percent to 70 percent of all diseases.
Emotional reactions also affect our breath: fear, anger, sadness and low self-esteem can make us hold or limit our breathing patterns. However, breathing fully can have a positive effect by helping move these emotions through the body, instead of allowing them to constrict our breath, tighten our muscles, and affect other systems and organs in the body.
"Every inspiration is an opportunity to resource and replenish ourselves," says Montreal musician and composer Étienne Larouche, who has worked with voice and breath since a young age. "As we inhale, we can release, so energy can come into the body, making our breath always available, without forcing."
We may not think of inhalation as release, as that is normally associated with exhalation. But, breathing fully is precisely about release -- release not only of tension, but of control. Conscious breathing is not about controlling the breath, but about increasing our awareness of the process. It should leave us feeling revived by allowing us to completely take in the oxygen we need to nourish our blood, muscles and brain as we inhale, and completely expel accumulated toxins and stress as we exhale.
Full, relaxed breathing can, among other things, improve our resistance to stress, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, ease pain, and help release muscular and emotional tension. And, it can calm and focus us. Studies have shown that when the breath is relaxed, brain-wave patterns change, the mind quiets and the body relaxes.
Conscious breathing is not only calming, it has distinct effects on our blood chemistry and immune system. Studies have shown that the level of white blood cells, related to our immune response, actually rise when we are in a calm, relaxed state. A recent study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that participants who used techniques such as breathing, muscle relaxation and visualization had a 26 percent to 39 percent increase in their immune response.
Such techniques have also been of benefit to pre- and post-surgery patients -- reducing anxiety and pain, improving recovery times and reducing length of hospital stays. Women who learn deep-breathing techniques and apply these during childbirth have shorter labor times, less complications during delivery and faster healing post-delivery.
Be Here Now
A Pennsylvania study examining brain-wave patterns demonstrated we can hold one thought for the length of one inhalation and exhalation, with each full breath, a new thought enters. This is one of the basic principles of meditation: single-focused attention, slow, full breath. Even a few minutes spent following our breath in this way -- breathe in, hold one thought, breathe out, release the thought -- can have dramatic changes on how we cope with stress and its effect on the body and the mind.
Beyond the physiological perks, there's an emotional and spiritual benefit to conscious breathing. We can use it to remind ourselves we are here now, in this body and in this moment, not ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. There's peace to be found in being present for ourselves: as we focus on our breath and our bodies, we can focus on our emotions, we can regain perspective and then take action from a place of calmness.
Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thick Nhat Hanh, who has written numerous books and lectured worldwide on meditation, peace and mindfulness, says: "Our breathing is the link between our body and our mind. Sometimes our mind is thinking one thing and our body is doing another, and mind and body are not unified. By concentrating on our breathing, we bring body and mind back together and become whole again. Conscious breathing is an important bridge."
It's a bridge many of us would benefit from crossing, a place of great perspective and of life-giving breath.
Breathing in the Moment
A full breath involves the whole body. On the "in" breath, the belly distends slightly and the lower ribs move up and widen, while the shoulders and chest are relatively still. This should be a relaxed action, without gasping or gulping in air. Release control of the action. Feel the air come into your body and realize that this happens quite naturally, without forcing. The "out" breath should involve no effort whatsoever; it's simply a release, like a sigh. Our lungs do this on their own, without us having to "push" the air out of our bodies, and the ribs and belly will gently fall back into place, preparing us for the next inhalation.
"Incorrect" breathing is shallow breathing from the top of our chests, or breath that's held too long or with uneven inhalations and exhalations. Next time you're trying to catch your breath, speaking too quickly, or feeling tense or anxious, notice what happens to your breath and you'll have a sense of how it's limited, not moving fully from belly to chest. Then take a deep breath, to the count of four, from your belly (place your hand there, if it helps keep the focus), letting it rise through your ribs, up to your shoulders, and then release it, like a sigh, to the count of four. Take a few more breaths like this, relaxing your body from your feet through your legs, torso, hands, arms, shoulders, neck and head. Follow your breath (in to the count of four, out to the count of four) without forcing or insisting: just the breath, just for now, just this moment.
The author: Sonia Barrett’s work is an embrace of science and spirituality as one in the same. She is the author of The Holographic Canvas; The Fusing of Mind and Matter. Her curiosity and persistence since childhood has guided her to a greater understanding of the veils behind which collective conscious is shrouded. She has lectured and written extensively on the programming of humanity and the process of decoding the human design. She stretches the mind even further with topics like time travel, immortality, ascension and the science of past lives www.spiritinform.com. She is the Host/Producer and founder of Sovereign Mind Radio, sovereignmindradio.com and publisher of Sovereign Mind Magazine.
I would like to revisit the concept of how "your thoughts create your reality" or how "you create what you think about" from a different perspective. It is really important for you to understand just how this works so that you don't think it's mumbo jumbo or new age hype.
It is not enough to just be aware of an idea or a different way of thinking, you need to know how it works and then how to apply it to yourself so that you can make different choices. It is in making those different choices that you start to change your "reality".
The basic premise is what you believe is projected onto what you see, so then what you see is what you projected. To explain this in more detail, whatever you believe, those beliefs actually become a bias. Your mind is always looking for confirmation of your beliefs, whether you are aware of it or not, which usually you are not.
Before you say: no, I don't do that, look at the last paragraph again, this time bringing into the picture that your subconscious is what drives about 95% of your actions. You are only aware of about 5% of your mind. If you are lucky perhaps you might be aware of more. You simply cannot know until you raise your awareness.
So to continue the explanation, whatever belief you have will cause you to have a filter, a veil, a paradigm, a bias, whatever it is that will help you understand this. It is similar to putting a colored filter on the lens of a camera. If you have a pink lens, everything has a pink tinge to it. You cannot escape it until you take the filter off.
If for example, you believe that you can't trust anyone, you will always find evidence for why people can't be trusted and how you are regularly betrayed. You eventually project your beliefs about being hurt onto everyone and over time you will have the experience that everyone will "hurt" you in some way. You will see what you have projected onto others.
Yet of the people that have "hurt" you, most will tell you that they have not done anything to hurt you and at the very least their intention is certainly not to hurt you. When you see what your belief wants you to see, you really are at the mercy of it, you are not able to see or to experience anything different.
Your first clue for checking for filters is do you have similar things happen over and over to you? Are you repeatedly hurt in similar ways? Then you have a filter on. The most frustrating part of this kind of growth, is that you cannot easily see or identify the beliefs that you have that are causing your "reality" If you could you would simply change them. Most people need some assistance in how to do this.
If it is normal for you to see everything as pink with your pink filter on, you do not understand that there even exists a world that is not at all pink. You cannot understand that there is a world out there where you do not get hurt. Until you experience it, you simply do not believe that it exists. You keep unknowingly projecting what you see and seeing what you are projecting.
You can see how this becomes a catch-22. But, as you learn how to start to safely and gently question a belief, a fear, or an insecurity which acts as a filter for what you experience, you then can finally start to open yourself up to new and different experiences. You stop being "hurt" by others.
You develop different and effective communication skills. As you become more aware of why people act the way they do, you become more open to creatively resolving issues before they turn into problems, before things get to a point where you are "hurt". As you change your beliefs, your experiences stop being based on your past and you stop repeating your past.
Really, ideally we stop having any beliefs at all and just experience life. We can do so in a manner that allows us to safely navigate through all obstacles, to flow freely through life, instinctively knowing when to dip our oars in to steer us, to slow down, to speed up, to stop collisions and most importantly, to stop us from being hurt.
In a nutshell, this is how your thoughts create your reality and how you create what you think about.
I have not written about movies in a while because I simply have not seen one with an interesting enough message. This movie finally has broken the dry spell! "Inception" has a unique plot that makes many suggestions about the subconscious mind that are applicable to the way we experience life and to illustrate how the subconscious mind may work.
I say may work, because we still don't know much about the subconscious. There are many sources online that explain the plot in detail, so I will jump right into what I saw that relates to real life, to our experience of this world.
In the movie the characters would enter into a state of induced dreaming, which they would control. Then from within that dream, they would induce another level of dreaming, a dream within a dream. They then did that for a third level of dreaming, a dream within a dream within a dream.
The danger of so many levels was not being able to wake up and ending up in limbo, where one forgot that one was dreaming and was lost in the dream forever, unless one was able to remember that it was a dream and take the necessary action to wake up. In the movie, dying in a dream accomplished the act of waking up.
In our current lives, we really do live in dreams within dreams within dreams. This represents the depth of our subconscious minds and how much we really are not aware of in our day to day lives. Simply being born into this world is the first level of dreaming. Our souls, our awareness of our true selves is put to sleep to have this human experience. We are unaware of our true nature.
The dream within the dream occurs as part of our learning process as children, we are told what to believe and pretty much not to question it, to accept it all as is. Our parents, family, friends, and society become the "architects" for our dream. We never think to question if what we are told is real or not. We live life according to the beliefs that we are given.
The next level of dreaming, the dream within the dream within the dream, gets created by our fears. The more we experience life through the veil of fear, the more fear builds a world within our minds. We become one more level removed from our experiences, because we unknowingly view the world from our fear based past experiences, creating ever more self perpetuating fear based experiences.
Fear causes us to have very painful experiences from this blurred and hazy level of misunderstanding. Ask anyone who has been emotionally hurt and they would stake their lives on the belief that their experience is real, that the pain is real, that being hurt is real. They are unable to see otherwise.
When a person is so deeply invested in their beliefs, in the hurt, in separation from other people, in their emotional experiences as being true, that the beliefs cannot be changed. That is limbo. It is a living hell. Of innocent souls confined to living in an intermediate state and condition of oblivion and neglect
In order to leave limbo, a part of you must die, and that is the fear based beliefs that you have. You cannot wake up from your dream unless you are willing to let that part of you die. You are completely unaware that the world you are living in is not real. In the next 2 paragraphs I used references from wikia.com to help with explanations of limbo from the movie.
People get "lost" in this space, accepting it as reality until their "minds turn to scrambled eggs". In the movie, limbo is a shared space where any mind can make drastic alterations. People can build an entire world in limbo, accepting it as reality that they will "create and perceive simultaneously", with no understanding that they are constructing within a dream space.
The point is that the longer time is spent dreaming, the distinction between reality and dreaming becomes harder to make. Your awareness continues to diminish, making you even more susceptible to other's ideas. In the movie, inception itself is the act of planting an idea in a persons mind.
As long as you experience emotional pain in your world, you are dreaming within a dream, which is within a dream. Seeds of thought are being planted in your mind on a regular basis which perpetuate your painful experiences.
Allow this seed of thought to be planted in your mind. You are dreaming. You are dreaming within other people's dreams. Wake up. Your world is not real. Allow the part of you that is deeply invested in your current beliefs to die. Let this be your personal inception, the moment of a new beginning.
Many times people will focus on a goal that they want, yet have fears and doubts that will interfere with achieving those goals. Most people do not understand why it is essential to work through the fears and doubts, that otherwise their fears will cause them to act in ways that contribute to those fears becoming real.
How this happens is actually very logical when you look at the subconscious mind and how it influences a persons behaviors. Given that the minds primary objective is to make sure that a person is safe, it is constantly looking for potential perceived threats to avoid. This is what drives all people's behaviors.
So when you want to achieve something or want to work towards some goal, if you don't get there, the reasons why it doesn't happen or that you perceive as being the result of a failure is only a surface judgment that has nothing to do with the real reasons why you do not get to a goal.
None of the following are true for anyone: giving up, procrastination, laziness, being incapable, not open to new ideas, not being good enough, can't do it, or any other reason that you have ever thought about yourself or anyone else.
The truth of the matter is that as long as there are conflicting thoughts or beliefs in a persons mind that are based on fears, doubts, or insecurities, that is what will be prominent in a persons subconscious mind. And all obstacles on a deeper level can be traced on a deeper level to one of these three influences.
Since the primary directive of the mind is to keep a person safe, it must first address these potential threats; it is the mind's priority and nothing will supersede that. So no matter what the goal is, the mind will hijack a persons focus off of their goal and cause a person to act in ways that contribute to the fears becoming real.
Can you see the inevitable pattern that evolves with every person who has ever tried to set a goal and not succeeded? It is not a failure, it is simply how the subconscious mind works. Yet people are completely unaware of this influence.
When they don't succeed, they label themselves as failures, further eroding their self esteem. You can't just ignore your fears and insecurities or suppress them, hoping that they will go away, that with enough effort that you can overcome them.
How long will you keep trying the same thing over and over hoping for different results? Another factor that people do not take into account is that any time a person has any form of fear or insecurity, it triggers a low level fight or flight (FOF) response in the body, releasing stress hormones on a chronic basis.
Sometimes it is such a low level response that you may not even recognize it. But the cumulative effects are the same. The FOF response is only intended for short occasional bursts to outrun those saber toothed tigers! It is an incredibility inefficient emotional response.
The body cannot get rid of the cumulative stress hormones fast enough and the result is tiredness, eventually leading to exhaustion. The irony is that the FOF response then becomes self perpetuating, because just being tired causes the mind to feel that you need to be protected, and stays on perpetual alert for those potential perceived threats.
So now you become increasingly hypersensitive to triggers, it takes less and less to set you off, the mind becomes increasingly alert to keep you safe and you end up in a dysfunctional catch-22 where you are always tired and feel like your emotions will just so easily explode. It is all about achieving that sense of safety for your mind.
So if you want to be successful at achieving your goals, then be prepared to do a little groundwork to address any fears, doubts, or insecurities first. Then you will clear the path to the obstacles that you have in your own mind, so that you can more easily take the steps to finally being successful at reaching those goals.
It is such a logical path, doable by anyone!
April 05, 2011
Hi Ewa. Not sure if you are aware of this, but the footer is overriding your first post. Only tested in safari and firefox. Great job on these blog entries, really informative.
April 08, 2011
Thanks..this looks really interesting. I am looking forward to having my says!
April 14, 2011
Hi Kenneth, thank you for the heads up, I am troubleshooting the issue. Thank you Bob for your comments.
April 14, 2011
April 14, 2011
I did some things in the past that have made my boyfriend not trust me completely. Now he has a hair trigger and fights a lot with me on nonsensical issues. I see this as his subconscious protecting himself from me. Interesting,
April 16, 2011
Hi Dawn, yes, your boyfriend's subconscious is trying to keep him safe from potential perceived threats based on his past experiences. But they have nothing to do with you personally. Whatever you did in the past is based on your insecurities and unresolved issues, which are up to you to address. He has his own set of insecurities that he can now say are a result of you, but they existed before he even met you. I can guarantee you that he misunderstands the real reasons for why you acted the way you did. I suspect that you may not even be aware of your own deeper subconscious motivating factors. Keep reading the blog and other articles and use the information to help guide you deeper into your own mind or feel free to book a session with me for more personalized help.
April 17, 2011
Great Explanation Ewa!!!! I'm passing this on! Love You!
April 25, 2011
Most of the April comments were lost when the hosting company for my website switched servers.(Update: the hosting company helped me retrieve the postings!)
Thank you Brooke for your heartfelt words. I am so honored to have you as a friend in my life and love you very much too!
April 30, 2011
I stumbled on your site years ago and have followed your monthly newsletters and now your blog! As one is seeking a higher plane of living in this great life granted to me, I thoroughly enjoy supporting and learning from the thoughts of others who are seeking and encouraging others to understand the abundance of joy set on their path. Keep up the good work. I can never get enough of reading your great thoughts!
May 3, 2011
Hi Evelyn, thank you so much for being such a dedicated reader! Getting validation like this for the work that I am guided to do helps me to stay focused and even energized. I am honored to be given this gift of understanding and to be able to share it with everyone!
March 2011 Coaching Blog
Most people believe that the process of learning, when applied to relationships, communication, or personal growth, is a process one of adding in new information. That somehow the new information will override the old and change will occur.
That old behaviors will be replaced with new ones once new information is added. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way or change would be easy for all of us. This is also why many people are unable to successfully change, despite their best efforts.
To truly change, a person must first unlearn what they thought they knew and understood. A paradigm shift must occur in the mind before the corresponding behaviors can be altered in a permanent way.
People generally get the urge or desire to change when they want to stop experiencing hurt. Yet what most people don't realize is that the emotional hurt that they feel originates from the thoughts in their minds.
Most people mistakenly believe that it is external events that create that hurt, that it is what other people say and do that causes the hurt, but that is not true. It is your thoughts, the meaning that you place on another persons actions and words that hurts you. It is when you make it personal to you that it causes you pain.
This is so difficult to even contemplate, never mind accept when you are in the middle of a situation that is painful to you. You have all the evidence in the world to "prove" the ways in which you have been hurt. Yet all that you will really show is just how much personal meaning your own mind has created that is hurting you.
You can see how just reading that can cause a big upheaval in your mind if this is your current belief system. It is in essence saying to you that you are wrong and I am right, that the person that you believe is hurting you may somehow be given a free pass to continue to hurt you. Anger will quickly arise if this is the case.
Yet that anger is just a fight or flight (FOF) response to a potential perceived threat. That is what your hurt is as well, just another form of the same FOF response. Yet all emotional FOF responses are based on assumptions. They are based on how you take things personally and make it about you.
Even when another person is being hurtful, verbally attacking, can you see that it is their FOF response, that their minds are seeing a potential perceived threat, that they have gone into defending themselves through attack?
Through the misguided, mistaken belief that there is something that they need to protect themselves against. They have also taken something personally and feel hurt, and feel like you are doing to them, what you think they are doing to you.
There is so much misunderstanding in these assumptions, in these attempts by everyone's minds to keep them safe. So, you know that whatever you are doing now is not working. You try and try to change, to change the situation you act this way or that way but nothing really changes. The other person doesn't change.
And nothing will change until you stop doing what you are currently doing. It is not working, it will never work, it cannot work, because you are not addressing the real issue: your own mind. When you finally can't stand anymore, you will be open to trying something different.
When you are finally ready, and for some this step will come much sooner than for others and frankly, the longer you wait, the harder it generally will be. The longer you wait, the less likely you will be successful at saving your relationship, if that is where you are having your biggest challenge.
When you finally take the steps in the direction of changing your understanding, you have to let go of what you currently know, to suspend what you have understood about communication in general and specifically within your relationships. The new information you need cannot coexist with the old, it is so diametrically opposed. When you start to let go, you feel disoriented.
Your whole life has been built upon what you will be asked to let go of. How you understand yourself needs to get undone, released, emptied out. It feels like you get shaken up inside and out, nothing makes sense anymore. Your mind tries to hang on the old, but step by step it is asked to let go to make room for true change.
This process is not only disorientating, is can also be frightening. You lose you sense of self, you lose your understanding of what you thought was real, nothing makes sense any more. You lose your bearings, you feel vulnerable to the world.
Yet in that space, you are washed clean of what did not work, you are led to new pastures, where your soul and mind are sheltered and fed. You no longer need to live on the stormy waters that were previously your life.
Sometimes, in the fear of change, some people run back to what they knew, what they understood, what they were comfortable and familiar with, regardless of how much it hurt. If you can bravely walk through the unknown to the new shores, the disorientation will stop and you will see far more clearly than you ever have.
Allow yourself to fully immerse yourself in the inevitable confusion and disorientation. Because when you do you walk yourself through an open door to the other side of what you previously knew to get rid of that hurt and pain.
Today's topic is very difficult to put into words. It is about the miniscule sense that we have of the world and of all the other people in it. That we are only aware of what is in our own minds, our own perception, our own experiences.
Yet every single human being has their own unique set of perceptions and experiences. My goal today is to get you to start to become aware of this. We live in these sheltered, blind little holes, thinking we are so aware of what is happening around us, but we really are only aware of these tiny little holes.
We are like ostriches with our heads in the sand, and all we see is the immediate grains of sand around us. It is time to lift up your head if only for a moment to see the billions of other bodies with their heads in the sand too!
When you walk around and see other people, you see their bodies and their appearance, how they dress, how they take care of themselves. You unknowingly quickly pass judgment about them. Certain people with certain look trigger likes, dislikes, stereotypes, etc.
If you hear a person speak, they are then further compartmentalized. What they say, how they say it all are scanned by your mind based on your past experiences, giving you impressions of who that person is and what they are probably like.
Needless to say any bad or negative experiences with people are subconsciously applied to anything similar that you see in a person. This is done at the speed of light in your mind, so you are generally unaware of it, you just get the sense of if you like or don't like someone. But it is based on your past.
In an average day, you can pass by hundreds, sometimes thousands of people, depending on where you live or where you work. What I would like each one of you to do is to imagine an event or day or time where you did encounter as many people as you can ever remember, it doesn't matter where.
Now try to remember what it felt like to walk amongst so many other people. To visually encounter so many other bodies, perhaps in a very crowded space, brushing up against each other as you passed by.
Your sense of awareness in this kind of environment is really based on your 5 senses, what you saw, smelled, touched, heard, perhaps tasted. Every single thought in that experience with all these other people stems from one of those senses, triggering existing memories and beliefs that define and influence each current thought that you have.
Yet your awareness of others really is not there, as you are only aware of your experience of others. Do you see this very important difference here? You think you are seeing and experiencing other people, but it is only your own perception of them that you are experiencing, therefore you only experience your own perception and not them at all.
The reason why I want you to get very clear on this is because this is the essence of how deeply separate we all are from one another. We really know nothing about anyone around us. We all walk around in our own little worlds believing that what we see and experience is it, that we know pretty much all there is to know.
Yet every single person around you, every single person on this planet is in this incredibly tiny state of awareness that by nature only includes themselves and their experience. We really are not aware of other people other than from this extremely limited experience.
Yet when we interact with others, we don't realize that every person fully believes that their experience is it. That what they see must be all there is. That what you see and experience is the truth of the experience. But this cannot apply to anyone else but you. Every person walks around in this state of what really is blindness.
This also applies to all relationships. You can live with somebody for 50 years, but you will never know who they really are. How can you when most people do not fully know themselves and you only know them based on your experience of them which is completely different than their experience of themselves. Which, by the way, can change from day to day or even moment to moment.
The next time you are in a crowd, I want you to do the following exercise. Look at the swirling mass of humanity around you. Remind yourself that you know nothing about any person and that each person knows nothing about you.
Look at how every single person is walking around knowing nothing at all about anyone around them. They see, they hear, but they only experience their world, while imagining that they are seeing and understanding everything around them.
Our blindness to each other as human beings is staggering. It is only by taking the steps of truly knowing yourself that you begin to understand that you do not understand anything about anyone around you.
I can already hear the minds starting to chatter about oh, I know my husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, friend, this person, that person, and I just want to scream stop. You only know what you have created in your mind about that person.
You do not know them at all. They are all doing the exact same thing with you. Every person is doing the exact same thing with every other person. We all have no clue who anyone else is. Any conflict or misunderstanding with a person that you think you know easily shows you that you don't know them.
I wasn't kidding that today's topic is hard to put into words! But this is an essential part of all people's spiritual growth and at the very least, a way to learn how to get along, to find inner peace. From the spiritual perspective we cannot be separate yet all be creations of God. We are either all His children or none of us are.
In God's mind (yes, I know I do not know what the universal presence really thinks!) we are all equal, we are all His creations, equally loved and equally embraced. It is we who create division and separation in our own minds.
So look around you in every moment, become more aware of the people around you. See the commonality of all our blindness to each other. See how easily and readily we misunderstand each other based on our current paradigm.
These blinders can be removed and when you do, it isn't just lip service or namby pamby I love everyone. Your experience other people in a completely different way. And your personal experience of life completely changes when you do.
Everyone and everything in your life acts as a teacher in that there is always something to learn from observing and interacting with every person and in all situations. On of the way that we learn best is by observing and copying behaviors and traits that we admire, whether consciously or unconsciously.
As children, we learn by observation in an indiscriminate way as we have not yet developed the quality of discernment. It is only as we get older that we realize that some things are not working for us, propelling us to seek ways to change.
Given that most challenges come from within relationships, we really don't have much for role models to figure out how to make those changes we need. We just don't know how to changes what we want to.
So we look and look and seek knowledge here there and everywhere. Some of it we can apply, but most other times we can't seem to make the changes we want until we address the deep subconscious fears that we may or may not be aware of.
We will also actively seek out teachers, people to help us in our journey. Other people can help us get to the next level, giving us a boost, but ultimately, the teacher that you always come back to is the one within yourself.
Even the best teachers can only take you so far. Even the best teachers can misunderstand what you need to fully grow. This is where it is so important to listen, try what you are taught, and ultimately integrate that information in a way within yourself that resonates fully for you.
What happens when we follow a teacher fully is that we end up trying to copy what we see and what we are told. A natural part of this process is that we take the focus off of ourselves in order to fully focus on what we are learning. This creates a temporary imbalance within us, which is required to shift us out of old patterns.
But after some time, our own energy starts to wane, because we have been outside of ourselves for too long. At some point the shift must be made back to that inner sense of self. You will start to notice this imbalance in a few different ways.
You will not feel fully happy, like something is missing, but you can't quite identify what that is. It is almost an itchiness, a sense of discontent, but without having a specific reason for it. You are not unhappy, but not happy.
You may have things happening around you that you think are causing you to not feel happy, but they are not the reason. You just feel off somehow. You feel out of sorts because you again are focused outside of yourself. At some point you realize this and make the choice to consciously integrate your focus back into yourself.
When you do this you become more deeply integrated, your life force increases, your happiness returns, you feel full of yourself again because of this. As we progress forward in our lives, integrating what we need to learn, the most important lesson to take from this is that we are our best inner teacher.
We know what we need and want, we know what is our best and most authentic expression of self. This honoring of the self is also an honoring of the God within you, of your connection to God. When you feel this fullness, you can then share what you have been given in terms of that self love. It is so powerful.
No fear or doubt can live in this space. You move forward boldly and strongly, yet gently within yourself. Live your life to the fullest by taking the journey of learning within. This is a choice and one morning, at some point in your journey, you will wake up and think to yourself: I know who I am, who I want to be, and where I want to go with my life.
It may not even be a clear picture but just a sense of what it feels like to begin with. This is no one's responsibility but your own, to discover all the ways in which you increase the strength of your sense of self, the one that cannot be disrupted by what others think say or do, even when it is about you.
You reach that ever deeper level of just knowing yourself, being comfortable with being different than others. To honor your uniqueness, whatever that looks like or form that it comes in, releasing others to also fully be themselves in that process.
We are all on a journey of learning and growth, whether we are aware of it or not. We all learn by trial and error and it really it a beautiful thing to be able to fall down and laugh, with the buoyancy of your delight in learning lifting you right back up.
Believe in yourself. Believe in your own love! Believe in your own inner teacher.
I think I can safely say that just about every person has heard this saying at some point in their lives. I would even venture that most if not even almost all people who know this saying believe this to be true. I can't say all, because I don't!
When you contemplate this saying, ask yourself: why do I believe this, what is it based, why should it be true? We take other people's beliefs and automatically take them on for ourselves, without thinking about these very important questions.
So, when I think about a societally agreed upon statement like this, I first think about how it is used. People generally use this saying to express how love blinds a person to another persons faults. Sometimes to an extreme.
Then what I look at is what people are defining as love, how they understand love. In previous blog I have described how love in most relationships is not what we think it is. For most people, love is confused with a deep need. But let me digress.
"I can't live without you" is another sequence of words that we have all heard, yet it is really an expression of the deepest insecurity and fear. How can this be an expression of love? If you really look at what would cause a person to say and feel this, it does not make sense to say this is from love. Your partner, parent, friend, etc. is not required for your existence nor your happiness nor to feel love.
Love is something that emanates from inside of you that you share with other people. It is a consistent state of mind, a consistent state of being. If you look to another person to create and sustain this feeling for you, you are confusing your needs with love. You become at the mercy of others to feel loved.
That outer need to feel loved that you have is being confused with the deeper need to learn how to feel love from the inside out. If you are alone, do you feel love for yourself and others around you? Do you feel this love when you are not in a relationship? That is what you need to honestly ask yourself.
If you do not, then you seek to fill this need by being loved by others. When you fill this need for yourself, you choose to be with a specific partner you don't need to be with them. If you lose your partner for any reason or choose to separate, there is a grieving process as you adapt to the change in patterns, but your feeling of love does not diminish, that remains stable at all times.
Going back to the original saying, it is not love that is blind, it is the fear, the deep seated need to feel love that blinds you. True love itself is burningly clear. Real love is never confusing. When you experiences love from the inside out and share that with your partner, there is crystal clear honesty from within yourselves outwards.
Think about all the cheating and affairs that are so prevalent. Why would you ever even have the need to do so, if you experienced a clear and pure love from within? All your emotional needs are already filled. You would choose a partner who is in a similar state, so all issues are always instantly dealt with, nothing builds up.
There is no need to feel attracted to another and if you are attracted to someone outside of your relationship, you understand that it is only a sign that you need to learn how to meet yet another need within yourself. You are attracted to a quality that another person has, an illusion that they can fill a need for you, that you do not fill for yourself. If you are conscious of this, you increase your depth of inner love.
When you seek love from that place of filling an emotional need to feel loved, it is because of your fears that you will choose to see what you want to see, to ignore and not question the signals that you get from another person right from the beginning. To ignore and not ask about: why do you do this or say that?
We don't even really know how to explore the why's, our fears just see the opportunity to feel loved, to "get" love, and we will frequently do whatever it takes to get it. We jump outside of ourselves and through hoops to get that love. Then, as reality sets in we blame love for being blind to what our fears caused us to ignore!
Yet there is a caveat in what I am saying, because I know that it can easily be misinterpreted and misunderstood. Every human is capable and deserving of this self love. When you encounter another person whose fears are more obvious and apparent, it is not a signal nor a license to judge and reject that person.
It is your responsibility to learn to see that a person has fears and insecurities and to then make choices appropriate for you, but without the drama of labeling that person as bad or damaged or hurtful or whatever your tendency is. You are dealing with another person just like yourself. To be human is to experience fear in its many forms. We all experience fear in our own unique ways.
That is all you are seeing in the people that you do not necessarily want to form a partnership with or even to spend time with. That is all it means. So take care when you encounter people whose fears are more apparent. Is it not for you to judge them and reject them. To do so will hurt you and will in turn create guilt for you.
Instead observe and acknowledge that where that other person is at has no meaning for you. If it does, you have some beliefs that you will want to question within yourself, to see how your past is causing you to think more unconscious thoughts. Question each one of them. The thoughts are what make you unhappy.
Learn to break down every belief you have, one by one. Each time you do so, you remove another obstacle to the self love that is already inside of you, just covered up by all these limiting beliefs and fears. Stay focused on your journey of self exploration. Take the fear based blinders off and awaken to yourself.
This morning I was able to catch up on the details of what has happened in Japan, watching videos of the tsunami, reading about the nuclear explosions. It is absolutely surreal to be sitting in the comfort of your own home, office, wherever you are, seeing and reading about what these people are experiencing.
It is absolutely unimaginable. This is something I cannot comprehend, a situation where I cannot even begin to put myself into someone else's shoes. The shock, the heartbreak, the endless tragedies, the drama and trauma that is still unfolding. It is mind numbing and completely incomprehensible.
Where do they even begin to recover from this disaster? Looking at the pictures of what is left stuns the senses and the mind. While our live continue "normally", we are still affected by these events. Please take the time to send your thoughts and prayers to these people. Our compassion and help is greatly needed.
If you have not already, give what you can and make a donation. Many groups are accepting $10 donations via text message. To donate to the Salvation Army, text “Japan’’ or “Quake’’ to 80888. Text “RedCross’’ to 90999 to donate to its disaster response fund. Text 4JAPAN to 20222 to donate to World Vision.
There is a list below of other options for helping, though there are many more than what is listed here. Please DO NOT response to email requests for donations as unfortunately there are those who will try to take advantage of this situation through fraudulent donation requests.
Sadly, there are so many people around the world, who are living in pure survival mode on a day to day basis, for whatever the reasons. We have almost become immune to it, to the common knowledge of its existence. Somehow, sometime this will all need to change. But one step at a time for now. We will help where we can.
Adventist Development and Relief Agency,
All Hands Volunteers, 919-830-3573, www.hands.org/donate/japan-tsunami
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, 212-687-6200, http://jdc.org
American Red Cross, 1-800-RED-CROSS, www.redcross.org
AmeriCares, 203-658-9500, http://americares.org
Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team, 301-738-7122, http://amurt.us
Baptist World Alliance/Baptist World Aid, 703-790-8980, www.bwanet.org
Brother’s Brother Foundation, 412-321-3160, http://brothersbrother.org
Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, 888-989-8244, www.us.tzuchi.org/usa
Catholic Relief Services, 877-HELP-CRS, http://crs.org
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, 800-55-CRWRC, www.crwrc.org
Church World Service, 800-297-1516, www.churchworldservice.org
Direct Relief International, 805-964-4767, www.DirectRelief.org
Doctors Without Borders http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
Do you know the feeling when somebody says something that is upsetting to you, that you don't like, or that you don't agree with? Did you know or were you aware that more often than not, you unknowingly take those words and use them to question yourself, which is what causes your emotional reaction?
The words themselves have no meaning other than what you give them. They are simply somebody else's idea, thoughts, or opinions. It does not make sense that we get upset about something that, in the act of leaving the other persons head, it has meaning other than that is what that person's thoughts are.
The much better place to be, where you can stay in control over your emotions is to not see or use other people's words as a way to question yourself, but to question other people's words instead. But this is a sentence that can actually be easily misinterpreted so let me clarify exactly what I mean.
First, there will be no emotions that you even need to control if you don't get upset. When you think to ask questions about the information that you hear, you get clarification. If you get upset or do not like what you hear, it is only because you have applied your own meaning to it.
Some people will read this and say so what, I know what I hear, I know what they mean. Well, actually, no you don't. You hear the words, but you do not know the intention of the speaker. And you will not know, you will never know, unless you bother to ask.
And this is not a demanding or angry why did you say that, what did you mean by that, because that is you already having applied the meaning and wanting an explanation for why they did that according to your meaning, to fight to be right about what you think. Instead, you have to stop and actually wonder: what could they possibly mean by that, why did they even feel the need to say that?
That is when you find out that the person speaking really meant when they said what they did and more importantly, why they said it. I would like to say that we underestimate the importance of why, but in reality, we don't usually estimate the why at all when we receive and perceive a person's words.
The way in which we use other's words (or even a lack of words at times!) to question ourselves is by thinking that somehow what that person said is relevant to us, that it is a commentary on us. By why should it be? It is just what is in the other person's mind. Why does it have any meaning other than they misunderstand you?
Even if a person is standing there calling you names, can't you see that they do not get you, that they are misunderstanding you, that they really have no clue who you are? Can't you see that what they are saying has entirely to do with their life's experiences and not yours? It has everything to do with their fears, insecurities, limiting beliefs, and misunderstanding.
It is how they misperceive the world, how they are misunderstanding things. Don't let your fears, insecurities, and limited beliefs become the way in which you in turn misunderstand them. This is what you have 100% control over. So instead of doubting yourself in any way using someone else's words, think to ask instead.
Whenever another person speaks, make it a habit to ask why they say what they do, to find out what their intentions are, to see how are they misunderstanding something, or even how they are afraid of something, which they then subsequently misunderstood. Free yourself from words. Free yourself from hurt.
It occurred to me today that as a general rule, we really don't know our bodies, that we are generally just so disconnected from them. Our bodies act as a vehicle that we drive recklessly, take for granted, abuse, neglect, and even punish at times.
Yet our bodies are an integral part of our being. In a sense, they are like a child, who seeks to be loved, acknowledged, appreciated, and encouraged, like any child would. Our bodies look to us for direction, for guidance and help in their growth, as much as we look to them. This is part of the integrative unit of mind, body and soul.
When we are unaware of our bodies, so to speak, we live in separation from a part of us that needs to be deeply loved. To be part of our daily, hourly, even minute by minute awareness. To know what is it that your body needs in the moment, and just as importantly, why it needs it.
When we are separated from this intimate coexistence with our bodies, that aspect of us becomes very unhappy. Just like the mind can easily go into depression for example when we are separate from ourselves, our bodies also respond in a similar way. We feel lethargic, lack energy, don't want to participate in life, give up, etc.
If you were to look at your hands or your belly right now, do they feel like an integral part of you? I mean from an emotional perspective, as they obviously are a physical part of you. But can you look at them and feel love for them, appreciate what they do, how they do it, what they look like, that they respond so selflessly to your every need?
When you look at other parts of your body, do you see the bits that you don't like about yourself, that you wish could be different, do you see how you disconnect yourself from your body in those very
Wouldn't that child develop emotional issues from the lack of unconditional love? Wouldn't it act out and even stubbornly resist you? Act in ways to get your attention, even if it was through negative attention. Just to force you to pay some attention to it. No child can handle feeling neglected, or even worse, being judged for just simply being and existing. If your body was a child, what is it acting like?
Think deeply about your relationship with your body, no matter what shape or condition it is in. You start wherever you are right now. Your body loves you, it craves your love, it cannot live without your direct love to it. Without that intimate relationship, the strength of your body will fade and wilt in front of your eyes.
Take the time (a few seconds even!) to observe your body throughout the day. Be aware of it, integrate yourself with it, love it no matter what faults you think it has. Those thoughts are irrelevant. You are dealing with an aspect of yourself that is starved for your full love and appreciation. Any thought contrary to it is a lie, simply not true. It is time to question all those types of thoughts.
Breath deeply and slowly and just be with your body. If any negative thoughts about it come in, know that they have only been learned from somebody else, that you need to start to look at those thoughts for what they are, as being hurtful to you. Feel that unique sensation of just loving your body. Of giving it what it needs.
If you cannot do this, then know that you are being given some red flags about an area that you need address. If you want full health: mental, emotional, and physical, then this is part of your journey. The sooner you address this imbalance, the sooner you will get to have that place of peace of mind and happiness.
So many people now have weight issues and the resulting health issues that arise from them. Extra weight is part of this disconnection with your body. An imbalance that is in the mind, body, soul connection. When you approach the issue of extra weight from this perspective, you find lasting solutions.
You don't need diets and exercise regimens that you hate or don't have the willpower to follow. That just adds to the unhappiness and imbalance that already exists within you. Look instead to find the answers from the inside out. When you learn how to reconnect with yourself you will find that natural sense of balance.
What do you feel when you receive a compliment? There seems to be two general groups of reactions to compliments. One is where the receiver does not believe or doubts the compliment, and the other feels a rush, a feeling of finally being seen for the valuable person that they are.
In the latter group, this type of person tends to generally feel undervalued, that people don't understand them, that finally having somebody see their value is an instant lift to their spirits. This type of person is then easily manipulated.
This person only gets that lift because they really doubt their own value. Even if they think they see their own value, they really don't. Otherwise a person's compliments has no other meaning other than to reinforce what they already know and understand about themselves.
Getting a compliment when you really understand your value does not impact how you feel about yourself. It doesn't make you feel any better, because you are already filled with the self knowledge of your value, of the self love that supports it. You accept a compliment graciously, but it has no special meaning for you.
For the former group, where a person openly doubts their value, the compliment is something that they want to run and hide from. If they were to accept the compliment then they run the risk of being discovered as a fraud, that the person giving the compliment will realize their mistake and eventually reject them.
Getting a compliment is harder than getting a criticism in their minds. Especially since many times, with good intentions, people give compliments in order to try to make a person feel better about themselves, to get them to see the value. But this unknowingly can backfire and the persons sense of value falls further.
I have spoken before how when we tell people things, the person being told usually has fears that will grab onto what is being told and the fear will cause the words to be perceived as an attack on themselves, to doubt the sincerity of the person speaking, highlighting just how much they are not what they are being told.
Yet another dynamic with compliments is that we never think to wonder: why is that person saying that to me? We don't even begin to question what the various possible motivations are for why people even give compliments. So let's explore the various situations as to why compliments are even given.
One has already been addressed, that people give compliments to try to make another person feel better. Some people give compliments because they are simply being polite and that it what they were taught to do it is as automatic as breathing, but does not have any particular meaning to them, not any different than talking about the weather.
Others give compliments because they have a need to be seen a good people, as being nice, thoughtful, considerate, generous, etc., but the motivation is really out of fear. That not giving a compliment would then mean that they are not a good person, that they are not nice, not thoughtful, inconsiderate, stingy, etc. Do you see how the subconscious is at work here?
Compliments can also be give as a fight or flight response, if we believe that giving a compliment will avoid conflict or soothe the savage beast. Yet even there, our hidden intention is frequently misunderstood and the fires get stoked even more.
A very interesting dynamic occurs when really insecure people encounter people who say what they want to hear about themselves. Those insecure people are then easily manipulated. When an insecure person hears about the value that they have (that they really don't believe about themselves) they think they have struck gold. But it ends up being fool's gold, it is not real. This is the primary way in which insecure people enter into hurtful relationships.
So, when you receive a compliment, observe how you receive it and look at: is it filling an emotional need for you that you need to learn how to fill yourself? If it makes you feel better about yourself in any way, shape, or form, you have just identified where you do not yet fully value yourself.
Also look at the possible reasons for why you are being given a compliment. Is the person doing so because of their own insecurity or automatic patterning? Are they hoping to curry favor in some way? Are they valuing you so that you value them for doing so? Pure gratitude and appreciation do exist, but be clear on what is given.
The bottom line is always wonder why a person says what they do, regardless of what they say to you. What a person says really is not that relevant. It is why they say what they do that has all the information you need for clear communication.
We are so overly focused on the what's that we lose balance over and over, but we blame the other person for our own imbalance. To find balance we need to find out why, what is the real motivator for what people say and do. When you start living life in this way, you find a natural balance where you stop living by what is said.
If you want to give a compliment, start to become aware as to why you are doing so before you give it. Let it become a clue as to what you need to further look at and address in terms of your own needs and self awareness.
If you give a compliment to try to make someone else feel better, understand that you are not doing it in an honest way, that you give the compliment with an ulterior motive, even if that motive is with the best of intentions. The person you give the compliment to will sense the hidden aspect and that is what their fear runs with. They misunderstand what is hidden because of their fears and insecurities.
Instead, ask the person, do you see what you value is? Turn the compliment into a question. Find out how that person doubts their value, how they doubt the words and meaning in the compliment. When they tell you their doubts, you can then ask them, but why do think that, what is it based on, why should it be true?
Then you have created a meaningful, open, and honest exchange in a loving way, where a person's fears are brought out into the open to be addressed. This gives them a safe space to start to look within themselves and to wonder and finally question their own subconscious fears.
Recognize a person's wholeness by helping them to recognize it in themselves in this way.
I received some samples of LEDdim dots and blocks that reduce the brightness of LED lights on the numerous gadgets that we all seem to have these days. Since I have reduced and minimized much of my own sensitivities, they are not as relevant for my own use but I do believe that they would be useful for others to try.
These dimming dots (which you can layer) takes the edge off the brightness of the lights, making it easier on the eye. I can also see how using the blocks for some lights would work even better to fully block out the lights.
I have extra samples of the LEDdim dots that I would like to give away to people who would like to try them. Please send me a private email with your name and address and I will happily just send them to you.
Of course ideally you learn how to slowly minimize your own sensitivities and return your body and mind to the natural state of balance that it was intended to have. While this is a good short term solution, you can teach your body and mind how to respond differently to the triggers for your sensitivities!
Everyone has the need to feel heard. Even the need to be understood is almost secondary, because you can't be understood if you are not first heard! But how many times do we speak and still not feel heard or feel that we are not given the opportunity to be heard. It is a common issue.
Yet what is even more important than the need to be heard, is answering the question: do you know why you have the need to be heard? Just as I teach you that when somebody speaks, that what they say is not as important as why they say it, the same goes for your own thoughts.
What you think is not nearly as important as why you think it. That is one way in which you will help to raise your own self awareness, to increase that average 5% consciousness of what is in your own mind. Why do you feel the need to be heard?
Is it because of a fear or insecurity? Are you not fully valuing yourself? In what ways do you not listen to yourself? How do you not hear yourself? What are all the different ways in which you doubt yourself, in which you use other people's words to doubt yourself? Can you even answer all these questions?
If, when you look at this list of questions, your first response is, no, no, no, I don't feel heard because so and so doesn't listen to me, they don't respect, they are this and that, then you are not listening. Something in your mind is pushing people away that you are completely unaware of.
You are so busy thinking about ways in which to support your current beliefs that you have closed your mind to ways in which to find an answer unless it appears in the way that you think it should. If it has not happened by now, your way is not going to happen. Do not insist on your way or the highway or you will end up with a long wide expanse of open road ahead of you. A bumpy one.
The choice that you have right now is to let go of the belief that it is the other person that needs to change, that your problems will then be solved. No, your problems are yours and will continue on with you wherever you go and with whomever you are with unless you address them from the inside out.
Not feeling heard exists because there are aspects of yourself that you are ignoring and putting aside in order to attempt make your current set of beliefs validated. But that can never happen because those beliefs actually cover up the real issues. The issues of in what ways are you still not fully valuing yourself?
This does not just apply to feeling heard. Anytime you have a pattern of repeated results, it is based on a set of limited beliefs that you are currently unaware of. I can't tell you what they are, but I can ask you the questions that will safely guide you through your subconscious mind to find them.
Then, when you realize how you have been unknowingly applying the same meaning from your past to each moment that is giving you results that you don't like now, then you see the power that is in your own hands to make changes.
You get to see just how powerfully the thoughts that are in your mind impact and help to create the results that you don't like. When you finally see this connection, you are well on your way to self empowerment. Change does not lie outside of you, it really does come from the inside out.
Once you try it, and properly do it, I guarantee you that you will like the results!
March 25, 2011
Very Interesting Information! Thank You For This Blog!
March 29, 2011
Thank you Meemimino!
March 31, 2011
Im enjoying this blog..thank you very much.
April 03, 2011
Thank you Erika!
February 2011 Coaching Blog
Self love, schmelf love, who cares about loving yourself. We all want answers and we want them now. Solve the problem, give me the solutions, I want the answer. We actually demand without even realizing it. Our expectations are set at the level where we want this immediate gratification, that we deserve to have it.
Yet this is an approach of child that does not yet understand their own needs. And we all are children when it comes to our minds. The fact that we consciously use so little of our brains is all the evidence we need to understand how little we really know about ourselves. We are still children in terms of human evolution.
Yet how arrogant we are as a human race, as a conscious species. But being only 5% conscious on average does not say much for what we think we know. Our evolution into further consciousness requires that we delve inwards, or there will be no evolution, but devolution.
On the surface, people would argue that the human race has evolved exponentially, looking at scientific advancements, the use of technology, that in general people are supposedly healthier, happier, live longer etc. But this is a very timely topic as we watch the world crumbling apart for so many people.
Look at the sheer number and breadth of health issues, both physical and mental. We live longer, but very few are happier. All these material and technical advancements and achievements have not helped people in this regard.
Even social networking can isolate some people from true relationships, distracting them from the path of self understanding. This too will on some level contribute to even more people reaching a crisis point in their lives. Because the bottom line is that far too many people in general are unhealthy and unhappy. But most of the extent of this is hidden from one another.
So with this introduction we move to why it is so important for each and every human being to take the test of self love. Without self love, you cannot find the balance of health and happiness. Something will always feel lacking in your life. You will be unhappy and/or unhealthy in some way.
So, what is self love, how is it defined? Self love is determined by the state of mind that you are in, that you tend to be in, that you see yourself go in and out of even. What I mean by this is if you get angry, if you get upset, if you emotionally react, get anxious, etc., then you are not in a state of self love.
Self love is a consistent state of being. It is a peaceful state of mind that is undisturbed by events around you. Undisturbed by the challenges around you. Many out there claim to feel self love, but blame their emotional reactions on others. How does this make sense? When you emotionally react, is that love that you are feeling? Didn't think so. Emotions pull you right out of yourself.
When you love yourself, you stay balanced within your sense of self. You are your own place of safety. Any storm can rage around you but you remain safe within this calm, inner harbor..as long as you stay within yourself. As soon as you move out of this space, then you are at the mercy of the winds around you.
But if you doubt yourself in any way, shape, or form, you are not going to spend much time within yourself, but looking for reassurance and safety externally. If you judge yourself in any way, if you have negative thoughts, then you will also not feel safe enough to stay in that internal space. Who would want to be in a space where you are doubted and attacked, especially if this happens from within you.
A very curious aspect is when we judge others we also cannot be within ourselves. The impact that that has on our psyches goes far deeper than you would imagine. As soon as you have a judgment or a negative thought about another person, it is also an attack on yourself because no matter how justified you feel in your thoughts, there will be a small residue of guilt that is left within you.
What guilt does is it causes a subconscious need to atone for that guilt. It says that you have been "bad", that you must then be "punished". Yet as you go through this cycle, your mind then becomes resentful, because you never really intended to hurt anyone, so in response you attack outwardly yet again, because this is the cycle of low self value. Where this cycle exists, there cannot be self love.
So how do you get, find, achieve, locate, discover self love? By removing all obstacles that stand in the way of it of course. By being willing to examine every feeling and trace it back to the thought that was its author. Every feeling is a result of one of your thoughts. Remove just one thought and you get that little bit closer to self love.
This is the direction of true human evolution. Especially as the world exists now it can be very hard work, to undo all those old beliefs, to have to consciously choose over and over the new ones. To learn how to create that sense of safety within yourself as you deal with others. To remove all fear and judgments even when the world and the people around you are filled with them.
To step forward and become the role models for the rest of the world. As more and more people learn how to consciously evolve themselves, they become the role models for others to learn from. The group consciousness slowly rises as a result.
As you consciously, willingly, diligently work at changing yourself, you really are greatly rewarded for this type of work. The peace of mind is in itself an amazing reward, but as you see how you also affect others, you really do see the miracle of this kind of work, of travelling along this path.
Find who you really are through finding your self love.
The whole concept of mirroring, or of how other people's behaviors reflect back aspects of ourselves to us can be easily misunderstood and become confusing. In the worst case scenarios, people use it as yet another way in which to beat themselves up, to feel guilty, to prove their low self worth to themselves.
Yet the concept of how we act as each others mirrors is very accurate when understood correctly. So, for example, if somebody says something "not nice" that you find upsetting, is it the fact that they said something not nice is the aspect that is mirrored, that you say not nice things too? If you also say not nice things back to that person, then yes, you are both mirroring each others behaviors.
Saying not nice things to each other escalates a problem and creates resentments. There are no solutions that will ever be found in this knee jerk reaction. So lets look at that more subtly. What is really being mirrored, underneath the surface reaction of not saying nice things, is the fact that you are both misunderstanding the other.
This is far easier to work with. If you know and understand that what you are really looking at is simply misunderstanding, then you can take the steps to work out true understanding. But as long as the only thing you see are the not nice words, that is your reflection. You have to choose to focus elsewhere in the mirror.
So if a person says not nice things to you, you have a choice: to react to what you see or to be curious about why are they saying not nice things to begin with. Why they do that is because their fight or flight response (FOF) has been triggered.
What this means is that this person heard or saw something, their subconscious mind compared it to an event in their past, found something similar, assumed the same thing was happening now, and then created meaning that is not there.
That meaning, or misunderstanding of the current event, triggered their FOF response to protect them against a potential perceived threat. If, when you experience a person saying not nice things and this is what goes through your mind, then you can become a different mirror back to that person.
You can ask them: Why did you just say that? What just happened that you just said that? What did you possibly misunderstand to become defensive like this? What just made you feel unsafe and feel the need to protect yourself?
Instead of mirroring back to them your fears, you show them compassion, the desire to understand, a lack of judgments, a lack of attack, a lack of punishment, in other words, you show them love. This is how you end up seeing yourself even in a mirror of somebody not saying something nice, that we are using as an example.
This shows you that you see yourself with compassion, with a lack of judgment, a lack of attack and punishment of yourself. How you choose to respond to a situation or to a person is your actual reflection in that mirror.
It is a mistake to think that because somebody misunderstands you and then reacts to their own misunderstanding of you, that their reaction is your mirror. No, you are simply seeing another persons fears, misunderstanding, insecurities, self doubt, and limiting beliefs. But that (fear) is not who they really are is it?
When you make a persons reaction personal to you, then you are mirroring that aspect of them. But if you make the choice to see that persons reaction as a barrier to love, then love becomes your reflection. It takes much trial and error and practice to change your reflection like this.
But when you do, the peace that you experience in the mirror adds to your own self love and self value. Your mirror shines with peaceful understanding, even in the face of other people's reactions. Other people do not react because of you.
If you make yourself feel in any way responsible for their reaction, using the mirror idea to think that oh, if only you were different they wouldn't react, then you misunderstand the mirror idea and are using to further punish yourself, see yourself as weak, feel guilty, inadequate, etc.
Choose what you want to reflect in the mirror of life. Train yourself to see that different reflection, one little step at a time. Eventually your mirror gets clearer and clearer and you become increasingly happier. How can you not love that reflection that is then being mirrored back to you about yourself!
The concept of love as it exists today is very confusing. Is it any wonder that so many people have problems in their relationships, that communication breaks down, that the "love" that both parties first felt seems to change and/or disappear? Perhaps what we understand as love isn't what we think it is.
When we look to our partners to fill emotional needs for us, that is not love. When we look to our partner to make us feel a certain way, that is not love either. When we look to our partners to feel good about ourselves, to feel loved, that is not love.
We really don't fall in love with someone, we become intensely attached to the idea that they will make us feel good about ourselves until the day we die. We look to that person to make us feel what we have not yet learned to feel for ourselves.
This may be a radical concept if you have never come across this before, but this is a very, very old piece of knowledge. We develop strong attachments to the people that we choose as our partners and believe that we are in love.
These attachments come at a big price if we do not then learn and grow from the ensuing and inevitable challenges that will come up, guaranteed. Our partners provide us with the most fertile ground possible in which to fuel our own personal growth. That is actually the purpose of relationships.
What real love is, is a state of being, independent of whom we are in partnership with. Yet if a person does not feel that for themselves, they will seek it from someone else. What most people don't know is that deep intense sense of love is there inside each and every human being.
But it is covered up with the myriad forms of fear, insecurity, and self judgment that all people have. You can't feel love if you are in any form of judgment, either against yourself or against someone else. Real love does not come and go at a whim, or for any reason at all. Real love never wavers. Attachment always does.
Love is not mutually exclusive, where you can claim self love, but not feel it for others. You also cannot claim that you love others, but not love yourself. You are either in a state of love or you are not. There are no exceptions, no one person is loved more than another, there are no degrees of real love.
Think about how ridiculous it sounds to think of love as something that is doled out, as if it sometimes squeezed out like toothpaste, but oh, not for you or you or you, now maybe later if you are "good", I am putting the cap back on..that's all the love I am giving out right now!
That person can have some, but I have none for you. We have become the Love Nazi's, in line with the infamous Soup Nazi episode from Seinfeld. If you upset me in way, if you displease me, if you question me, if you just look at me funny, then no soup for you. No love for you. I will punish you by withholding my love.
Well, sorry but, love is not something that is as conditional as we have learned to believe. Real love is pure, it is a constant, it also our personal connection to God. It is the love of God that exists deep within us, that we have covered up and pretended to fill with the conditional love that we give each other.
If you are going to learn just one thing in this lifetime, learn that what we believe to be love is a vastly inferior product to that state of being of love that we all need to achieve to. How do you get to it? First of all, its source is inside you and nowhere else. You will never find it through another person.
Secondly, all you have to do is to remove all your fears, insecurities, and judgments, one by one. This is not as difficult as you would think once you learn how. You will be shown them one by one for removal.
One of the most beautiful quotes on this topic is from A Course In Miracles, which says:
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find al the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false. Every illusion is one of fear, whatever form it takes".
That is it. The journey to find true love, lasting love, the peace and joy of love is to simply find and remove what stands in the way of it..but inside of you, through your thoughts. When you learn how to change your understanding, one thought at a time, each step brings closer to what you have always wanted, love, but that you have unknowingly misunderstood.
Join me in the journey to love. Start with one small step at a time, wherever you are in your life. Anyone and everyone can learn this, without exception, everyone at their own pace. But that miracle of love is there inside us all. Find yours by changing your understanding of your thoughts. You will then finally find love.
I have written a lot about how to change our communication so that we stop making all those assumptions that we all unknowingly make and to learn how to use curiosity to explore why people act and say what they do instead.
Typically, if we are upset at someone or if we feel defensive, disagree, feel that what someone is saying is wrong, where we get lost is in the act of wanting to address the issue that we react to, instead of finding out why did that person just say what they just said or do what they just did.
We get caught up in that inevitable argument of one person being right versus the other person being wrong, from both sides. What needs to happen instead, is for both parties to becomes curious about the others position.
This means that you have to ask some form of questions. Yet many people do not recognize or understand the difference between what is essentially an inquisition or interrogation versus being inquisitive about what was just said or done.
If you have a belief that the other person is "wrong" for any reason, when you ask questions, you already have an outcome in mind, to gather evidence to prove yourself right and the other person wrong. This is what an interrogation is. You are looking for evidence to support your beliefs.
What you are really looking for is for a confession, right? For the other person to admit their mistake, to seek a mea culpa. Inquisition may seem like a harsh word, even out of place, but when you consider its origin, the Inquisition tribunal was created to "discover and suppress heresy". Well, is that really that much different?
Are you not wanting to "correct" the other person through your questions? As long as you are in this state of mind, then you really are not being curious about what the other person means or really wanting to understand them differently than you do now.
Being curious means that the only assumption you make is that you do not know what something means..that is the innate nature of curiosity. Curiosity is an "emotion that represents a drive to know new things". Not to confirm what you think you know, but to find new information that you did not have.
Daniel Berlyne, a psychologist, did extensive studies on curiosity in the human mind. One of his conclusions was that curiosity is "the brand of arousal that motivates the quest for knowledge and is relieved when knowledge is procured". "Curiosity is a motivational prerequisite for exploratory behavior. Exploration refers to all activities concerned with gathering information about the environment."
From another perspective, uncertainty is necessary for a person to be curious. Curiosity is all about exploring the unknown. If you think you know anything at all about why another person said or did what they did, you cannot be curious, no matter how much you tell yourself that you are being curious.
Thinking you know and being curious are mutually exclusive. How do you really know if you are being curious? You are not in emotional reaction. You can only be in emotional reaction if you have placed meaning on what you just observed. That meaning is what stands in your way of being curious. Suspend the meaning.
Consider this the next time you think to ask questions, to be curious about why another person is the way they are. Clarify to yourself that you want to be inquisitive and want to be willing to let go of the role of inquisitor that we all unknowingly play out the role of on a daily basis.
Dr. Berlyne unfortunately died at a young age before all his studies were completed. One of the premises of his studies was also that there is reward center that is activated when a person receives information from being curious (my paraphrasing).
Imagine that, that you actually feel good when you fully enter a state of curiosity, when you get that different information than what you would have expected had you not shifted out of emotional reaction long enough to ask. You get rewarded for just simply wanting to know something different.
You feel good about yourself when you are curious. The other person feels good for being allowed to truly express themselves. You both find unique solutions through this deeper and intimate level of understanding. We get so lost in the nonsense of right and wrong we have forgotten how to be together as people anymore.
So, as you practice asking questions, you will know by how you feel and by the response that you get if you are really being inquisitive, searching for new and different information as you communicate with others. Use your gift of curiosity.
Have you ever wondered about all those thoughts that you have about yourself that don't make you feel good? All that self doubt, all that self criticism, all that guilt; do you know what all those emotions and thoughts really do to you?
If you have dirty or polluted air, what does that do to your body? When you fill your lungs with air that has particles or chemicals or anything other than pure air, it compromises the air that you require to sustain your life.
Your thoughts and feelings about yourself are no different. When you look at the sheer number of people who are sick in one form or another, especially if it is of the mind, then there are a phenomenal amount of people who do not know how to feel good about themselves. About any part and any moment of their lives.
When you learn how to feel good about yourself in all ways and without any exceptions, you feed your body, mind, and soul. This is not just on a imaginary level, this is on a body and mind functioning level. When you feel good all the correct hormones are released into your body that promote good health. Your organs have the balance they need to function at an optimal level.
Every time that you have a thought or emotion that is anything but fully loving towards yourself, it creates a low level of stress, of tension. If you do this enough, you start to close down to yourself, eventually numbing your emotions, you body start to get sick, and then it gets sicker. You end up in a vicious cycle of needing to feel good in other ways because you can no longer feel good within yourself.
You seek to feel good through your partner, family or friends. Then when you do not feel good about yourself the tendency is to blame this overall not feeling good on events that happen in your life or on what people say and do or don't say or don't do. But the underlying reasons for not feeling good lies within your own mind.
The adjunct to this topic is for people who claim to feel good about themselves, to even say that they love themselves, I need to ask them: does this extend to every single person that you come across without exception? Do you ever have any exclusionary thoughts about any person that passes through your awareness?
Because if you do, there is a subconscious cycle at work within you that you are then not aware of, or perhaps you are. This is the guilt cycle. At some level of your subconscious mind, any time you have a negative thought or emotion about another person, you create guilt within yourself.
All unloving thoughts will make you feel temporarily better, you will feel justified even for thinking what you do, but you are in essence comparing yourself to another person and with that comparison, you make yourself better or worse than that person. This is another form of not loving yourself in this indirect way.
Any time you emotionally react to another person, it creates this ripple of unease in you. Some may know what I am talking about, others do not. But we all try to ignore it. But it is the act of breathing polluted air into our bodies.
The alternative is to learn how to understand ourselves differently than we do know, to learn how the thoughts and emotions that we have can be questioned and replaced. To take ourselves out of our self created toxic environment in which we unknowingly put ourselves, enabling us to make different, healthy choices. When we finally learn how to breath this clean, nourishing air into ourselves, our lives really do change dramatically. But this takes work.
There is no easy solution for this. You have to dedicate yourself to unlearning all these old habits that are hurtful to you. You have to make this your life's goal. There is no magic pill, though I found a resource that said over 5 trillion pills are taken every day. This ultimately avoids and does not deal with this internal turmoil.
People seek out coaches, counselors, psychologists, hypnotists, astrologers, numerologists tarot card readers, psychics, etc., typically with the thought of finding an instant answer. Tell me what I need to know so that my problem is solved. Life does not work like that. You have to put daily effort in applying those new ideas to change yourself. Note the key words here, to change yourself, not the people around you.
Dedicate yourself to finding ways in which to learn how to love yourself. The benefits are enormous. This is something that anyone and everyone can do, regardless of who you are, your age, physical or mental condition, and regardless of any challenges that you have.
Step onto the path of learning how to feel good about yourself, one small step at a time. This is a permanent solution to your mental, physical, and emotional health.
The whole concept of devotion has been rising in my consciousness over the last few weeks if not months. What is devotion? It is not a word that is very commonly used much these days. What does it bring to mind for you?
Is it the devotion that perhaps a parent gives to their child. It could be the devotion that somebody give to what they are passionate about, their music, art, education even. Devotion is typically used to express religious zeal. Such a deep word to express what really is a form of passion.
The way in which I am discovering the word devotion is in somehow both a lost art and a new art, a really timeless art of devoting oneself to God. Before some readers goes running off at these words, consider what I have to say first. :)
The word was recently introduced when my yoga teacher mentioned something about his practice being given to God/source/universe, I really don't remember the exact words. I found the notion interesting, but it didn't mean anything to me.
I study A Course in Miracles and in that book there is always mention in one form or another about giving oneself to God in a way that you are in union with God, but largely through your mind by letting go of all beliefs, to open up to being that clear channel of communication. This is largely what I teach my clients and blog followers, but starting on their communication with themselves and with others.
So this seed that was planted started to grow, causing me to become curious about how our spiritual evolution at some point naturally starts to include that devotion to or "communion" with God. Another very interesting word to look at.
Communion (other than the ecclesiastical meanings):
So without even realizing it, what you have been learning as you follow my blog, is you are learning how to be in communion with other people in your life, to stop the fear, misunderstanding and conflict and to enter into this very deep space of love and understanding. Once you achieve even a small level of mastery of this, it is natural to start to progress and expand into the communion with your spiritual self.
Some people do it from the opposite approach. They find ways to have a deep spiritual connection with God, but have not yet learned how to have, share, and experience their peace with their fellow man. To always be in a state of communion with or even devotion to lovingly understanding their fellow man if you will.
So lets go back to the concept of devotion. Where this ties into communion is that as you become more at peace within yourself, it is not enough, you somehow need to progress further as growth is never static. There is this intense curiosity and expansion of the self, where you discover how to ground that self within God.
Your every in breath breaths God's love in, while your outbreath breath out your love for God and for everything and everyone that He has created. Every motion of your body, when you remember of course (!), is an expression of that love. Every space in your mind becomes consumed with that freedom that being in a state of love brings to you. You typically don't talk about it, you just live it.
There is no fear or doubt in this space, there is only the beginning of the true sense of self. You would think that this would be a very powerful space to be in, but surprisingly, it is very humbling, it is powerful from the inside out, expanding your inner experience as well as the outer if that makes sense at all. You really do start to enter a state of awe.
So in my recent experiences it has been occurring to me more and more to be in this state, which I realize is a state of devotion. You can say that it is a devotion to God, a devotion to helping others, but it is a devotion of my being to God. And yes, it is something that you can consciously choose.
As I write this it occurs to me that I typically focus more specifically on tools to help change beliefs. So this is a bit of a venture outside of my comfort zone to talk about this. Not so much about "what will people think", but a space of "is this something that people want to know about"?
Will my description of my own self discoveries help somebody else understand the transitions that they will be entering, are about to enter, have entered, or what they need to focus to enter it? All I know is, life is really working for me. The peace of mind that I had found that I had thought was the cat's meow has now been vastly surpassed. And I am really, really liking this space.
A common misperception of spiritual growth is that things suddenly becomes serious, boring, that devotion is like being on a pilgrimage, you have to give things up, that the life changes on this "path" are too risky, etc. This used to be one of my misunderstandings as well. There is no need for sacrifice anywhere in my life!
My life is so much fun, but there is great balance. It is so full of adventure and joy. Falling into this space of devotion has further decreased any worry or insecurities (allowing me to enjoy even more)! They frequently lift away the instant after they try to enter my mind. Of course there is still much more work as this space is not yet consistent, but it grows stronger every day. Life is meant to be fully enjoyed.
So start to pay attention to how devotion is at work in your life, be dedicated and loyal to your own growth, commit to feeling that "ardent" love within yourself, without the need to love or be loved by another, which is really only attachment to the need for the love that you are not giving yourself.
Devote yourself to you and somewhere in that journey, it becomes far more.
Yes, new word, I quite like it. I consider it to mean the act of creating facts as seen fit to suit ones beliefs, whether through scientific study or any other means. For all these years we have been told that we lose up to 1% of our muscle mass every year as we age. That muscle tissue in older people decreases in quality and ability. That our aerobic capacity diminishes in midlife by up to 10% per decade.
I am thrilled beyond pieces to announce that that has been debunked. The studies that were done that "proved" this to be fact, were focused on sedentary older people. When these same studies were performed on active older people, they got completely different results with negligible differences between older and younger muscle tissue and aerobic capacity. Why is this not front page news?
I am beside myself at the nonsense we are taught to mindlessly believe. We then act in ways to confirm those beliefs. But let me point you to the article that I got this information from, by Gretchen Reynolds. It is titled: Super Athletes: Older competitors are defying the laws of science and aging..
In fact here is the link to the article, because this is a must read: http://pubs.aarp.org/aarptm/2011 0304_PR?folio=52#pg54. This is the type of information that should be going viral, lifting up the hearts of every person on this planet. To change how we perceive ourselves.
To stop thinking that we are weak or lose value as we get older. To finally see our bodies for the incredible vessels that they are. That aging is not what is the issue, it is the societally held beliefs about getting older that is the scourge of humanity. This is obviously a very passionate issue for me as I turn 50 this year!
It just makes so much sense that with the proper care and a loving attitude towards our bodies and minds, that our life from birth to death is meant to be an amazing experience. That we get to take all the knowledge and wisdom that we gather over the years and are be able to fully celebrate our existence.
It did not make any sense at all that God would create anything less than this. I am just so grateful to be at the point of the journey in human understanding where this knowledge is found and "accepted" by science as fact. We are on a journey of empowerment. This is a very important piece of the puzzle.
In this article, the one thing that is says is that we do need more of is rest as we get older, which is not yet understood as to why. I personally believe that that is offset by needing less sleep! The better I maintain my body, the healthier I eat, the less sleep I need to regenerate healthy cells. So I don't mind needing to rest more to allow my muscles and other tissues time to heal as they are being built up.
Oh yes, it is off to my yoga class I go this morning!
February 17, 2011
I have been coaching professionally for some time now but I still found this reminder very crucial. It is forever timely
February 22, 2011
Hi Garima, Thank you for your feedback, we all help each other with reminders on many different things, don't we! I took off your website name and put in your name instead. I would have also happily added your last name if it was on your website!
Find yourself again
February 22, 2011
Thank you, I am going to try and do this! I think by identifying this characteristic in ourselves we can begin to feel better and then others will see we are happy and want to be around us too.
February 22, 2011
Hi Miranda, It is amazing how much you can accomplish even on your own when you set off in the right direction, the one that works for you to unravel all the misunderstandings that you have about yourself! Happiness is buried inside of all of us, underneath all that other stuff. It is not found anywhere else. Yes, being happy draws people to you, because you are drawn close it yourself in your self love.
February 24, 2011
how do you get someone to clean up for you, when he is retired.
February 28, 2011
Hi Patty, if you look at what it means to you that he does not clean up, you will see the judgment that you carry about him, which is a form of attack. Really observe your thoughts around this issue, because the ways in which you are critical of him for not acting a certain way, are what push away what you want.
January 2011 Coaching Blog
Last week I was doing an exercise to explore any unloving thoughts that I might have. With all the work that I have done I have learned about how not to judge others, to see everyone's innocence, and to love equally, but I was curious as to where I was really at within myself. What I found was remarkably revealing.
If you were to ask me: what is your perception of yourself, do you love yourself you would have gotten a resounding yes, of course, what is there not to love! But there were a few clues that perhaps this was not really true if I dug a little deeper.
The way in which I unearthed any unloving thoughts was to first think about those quick little moments in which I wished that a part of me was different. For me it was around my physical body, but for you it could also be around any aspect of yourself.
I started to look at the automatic thoughts that I periodically had and added them all up, I was horrified to see the extent to which I really did not love and appreciate my body. It really was a thing that I used for a means to an end, somehow separate from me. Starting with the top of my head my assessment went like this:
Oh I wish my hair wasn't oily and same for my nose. Gosh my ears are big. My nose could be just a little bigger. Oh look at those wrinkles on my neck. Not another blemish! Why doesn't my face tan evenly? Hmmm, my eyebrows are thin..is my hair doing that too? Look at how dark my hair is getting as I get older..is that happening to my lips too? On and on this inventory went.
And this is just the periodic thoughts I have had just from the head up! I don't need to give you the rest of the sordid details. It was so shocking when I realized that all these occasional thoughts added up to what was really so much self criticism.
We all have to look for how we unknowingly do this to ourselves. When we have thoughts like this, we are subconsciously devaluing ourselves. We are rejecting parts of ourselves without even realizing that we are doing this. This is a form of self attack. You will feel neither safe nor happy in your own skin if you do this.
As I completed the exercise about the unloving thoughts I realized how truly unimportant they were in the larger scheme of things, of self love. From this perspective it was easy to choose to love myself by simply not entertaining these thoughts anymore, that these thoughts do not at all reflect who I really am. That is all it takes. Those types of thoughts are not you at all.
Now skip forward to my yoga class that I finally did yesterday. If you have read my January 21 entry, you will know that I had started the journey then to understand my body better, or differently than I did before. This is the related update for it.
I tried a number of things to resolve the pain that I was experiencing back then. I tried this, that, and the other. I did and I did. What I didn't do was to just be. I tried so hard to do the "right thing", that I managed to make things progressively worse on a day to day basis! I even went to a chiropractor and to a massage therapist.
Through them I learned some very valuable information. In my initial efforts I had so deeply overworked (through various means) the knotted muscles that I ended up increasing my own pain. That I needed to stop doing, to stop trying so hard, and to just listen to and gently care for my body, whose voice I do not obviously hear.
When I stopped trying to make things happen, my body relaxed and started to heal itself. Even just changing my pillow decreased my neck pain. I finally went to my yoga class, understanding that I needed to start to pay attention to what my body was telling me it needed, wanted, and was capable of doing in every moment.
For anyone who has ever tried this, it is difficult to be in touch with our bodies at all, since we are trained to "do", to try even harder to get to where we want to get to or to be who we want to be. But what we really need is to allow our bodies to help guide us in this journey, to be aware of and trust in our bodies wisdom. To become more aware of your own physical body.
In the course of the class, while focusing on the breathing and gently trying to listen to my body, I experienced a very unique sensation, only for about a minute or two, but in that time I knew that I "got it". It was a flowing feeling of self love. It flowed through me and around me and guided me in my movements. I had never felt that before. It was wonderful.
In that moment I wasn't trying, I was just being. Fully integrated in being who I am from the perspective of the body. Our journey is about integrating body, mind, and soul, even though the focus has been on healing the mind in what I teach you here.
Now I know how important it is to have that balance of not just self awareness of the mind, but also of the body. That there is a completely new set of learning and understanding to develop in terms of who we really are.
Start to learn how to love your body and to allow it to be an active part of your life. You only have one body. It is an integral part of your journey to find that balance within. Start to become aware of how you can love and listen to your body so that you can further that goal of finding peace and balance within you.
In our day to day lives, we unknowingly live most of our experiences outside of ourselves. When we live with that outward sense, we really do live without ourselves, without our sense of self, away from the truth, and away from the reality of what that experience really is.
When you live from within yourself, it is a space of knowingness, where you have those exact same experiences that you normally would, but with a strong sense of self. I would like to give you an exercise to see what this difference is.
First I would like you to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Just watch your breath moving in and out of your body. Feel it moving down through your throat, into your lungs and even the sensation of the breath being carried into your belly. Feel it as it move out of you as well.
This focus that you experience is very close to the sense of self that I am talking about, but instead on being focused downwards into your body, it simply exists evenly throughout your body and mind. You are simply highly aware of yourself. You may even feel a sensation of a subtle energy in you and around you.
Now, anytime one of your 5 senses are activated, you are typically drawn outside of yourself. Somebody says something to you, you are eating or smell something, you hear something or your sense of touch is used. Your awareness shifts from inside of you to that outward activation.
You literally and figuratively leave yourself behind as your mind automatically follows this sense. You step outside of yourself to experience and gather the information that you receive from this. This is where you become ungrounded. As an example think about the phone suddenly ringing or somebody suddenly speaking to you as you read this. It jolts you outside of this awareness of self.
Even as you read this, you are likely outside of yourself, as you do not yet know how to use your senses from within you. We are taught to follow wherever our senses lead us. So to practice what it feels like to have one of your senses activated while still staying within, please do the following.
Start to read these words while being aware of a point in the center of your chest, in the very middle of your body, front to back, side to side. Do so gently, as you cannot "make" yourself feel this. Keep reading as you maintain this focus.
Rather than using your sight like you normally would, you are now doing so anchored from within. When you do this, you do not have the time or the ability to think about what you read, the information from the reading enters you, drawn in from that space and into that space that you are focused on.
Your reading slows down as you first try this, because you are not used to doing this. Now close your eyes, stop reading for a moment, refocus on that space and then come back to the words. Can you feel your sense of self a little better this time around? Stop and just feel what that feels like for you.
It is a gentle space, yet it is also infinitely powerful. This is where your connection to God is, your connection to your true self. The purpose of doing this exercise is to get you to realize just how much you are not in this space when you go about your day to day life. Yet to find that inner peace, this is where you must eventually go.
When you live life from within, you will find that you are never without. You have everything you need in that moment. There is no misunderstanding, there is no hurt, there is nothing but that purity, that sense of peace. That is where the source of your happiness lies as you go deeper within.
When you live life from without, every sensory input pulls you in every direction. Your psyche and your being became shattered into little sharp pieces in every direction that you are pulled. This makes you very unsettled, unsafe, and unhappy. When you are not within yourself, you easily react and misunderstand the input, or the information that enters into your mind.
Our bodies are built for sensory input, yet we are out of control with it the way we live now. We live without our connection to ourselves and we do not like the results. But when you learn how to live within this connection to yourself, the results will far more than speak for themselves.
Everyone has had the experience of being told what to do, zoning out, groaning that you are being told, getting angry at being told, or any of a number of reactions, with the end result being that the information being discarded or considered to be irrelevant. Whether it was in school, from a parent, family member, friend, partner, stranger does not matter.
We are all teachers by nature, as we are all students by nature. We are always learning and then sharing what we know. It is in our nature to do both. Yet our concept of teaching is what we have essentially experienced through our parents and through the current scholastic system.
You are told what you need to learn. But that is not the intrinsic way for a human to learn. The most natural and most effective way of learning is through exploring and imitation. We easily apply these characteristics to children, but that really does not change at all as we get older. So why are we so fixated on telling what we know?
We actually tell what we know, because like a child, we frequently want others to perceive us as having value or importance, as having knowledge. This points to an imbalance within ourselves, where we do not fully understand our own value. When information is given with this unconscious intention, the receiver reacts to that undercurrent. This is a source for many arguments, conflict, and misunderstanding.
So when you can see what is so obvious for another person that they need to learn, how do you go about filling the role of teacher? By activating that persons inner teacher, to get them to be curious and want to explore what they need to learn. If you don't want them to tell you how to think, feel, or be, you better start to stop doing that with them if you want them to imitate you!
To teach another person, first help them to feel safe enough to explore what they currently think. A new thought does not automatically replace an old thought. If it were that easy, we would no longer need countless books filled with affirmations.
The old thoughts remain until they are explored, seen for the misunderstanding that they are, and then replaced in the subconscious mind. You cannot do this for another person. They need to be encouraged to discover this on their own..without being told that they need to do so.
When you tell someone something, they only hear how you are right and they are wrong. Pull up from your own experiences how that feels and what happens from there. I do not need to explain that to you. What I do need and want to explain is what you can do differently.
When you have information, cut short your desire to just share it. Instead, ask the person why do they currently think what they do? "Why do you say or think that?" "What is it based on?" Even "why do you think that that is true"? Very basic questions that press the on button for their own curiosity to explore their thoughts.
You really do not need to know their answers, because the first step is like planting a seed of thought. Learning is a process, not an instant moment. Let go of your vision of how another person should learn. Instead back right off of what you want, because when you teach, it is no longer about you. Get your ego, what you want, what you think should happen completely out of the picture.
If you do happen to get an answer, the knee jerk reaction is to then offer your opinion on what you hear. Please refrain from doing so! If you do, you instantly step into telling and the door will slam shut that was just miraculously nudged open. If you feel you must respond, then train yourself to ask another question.
When you teach by asking questions, with yourself being entirely out of the way, the other person has a safe space in which to explore their own mind. Instead of feeling judged by you for not knowing something (that may seem obvious to you), they can finally look at why, why do I really think or say or do that? From there they can feel safe enough to also examine their options.
Eventually, after learning how to effectively use the basic questions, you can progress into more complex or even leading questions. But if you start with more advanced questions without knowing how to fully remove yourself, you will not get good results. Fully removing yourself means not giving what the other person says any meaning at all other than observing that this is how they unconsciously think.
The bonus part of teaching in this manner is that in doing so, you get a better sense of self. Any time that you remove your ego from the picture, any time that you stop giving something meaning, you clear your own mind so that you become more open to seeing deeper levels of misunderstanding.
Put in the opposite perspective, you have one less incident of misunderstanding. You have one less incident of feeling hurt, of feeling misunderstood yourself. This goes such a long way in feeling better about yourself.
The ultimate gift comes from a spiritual perspective, where you have let go of judgment of another human being. When you do this, you open the way for the light of true understanding and compassion to come through you. This is how you also develop a deep sense of value. A gift that is given to you, because you have first given it to another.
A common mistake that all people make is to try to find solutions while in the process of blaming others or the self (for anything at all) or while feeling guilty or laying guilt on others (for anything at all). What happens is that the subconscious mind becomes so acutely focused on these processes that there is not enough room left to see the solution.
Think of it this way. Have you ever been on your computer and something happens where either a program or a webpage that it gets hung up and you have to either close that program or hit ctrl-alt-del in Windows to bring up the task manager to manually close the program that is no longer responding?
That program or browser window has taken up too much of your computers resources in attempting to do whatever it is that it is trying to do. That is because the programming is somewhat off. To really stop that from happening again, the code would need to get rewritten or slightly altered to run smoothly.
This is what happens in your subconscious mind when you feel either blame or guilt. Your mind is so preoccupied with this "programming" or misunderstanding or misperception if you will, that that is exactly where your mind will remain, and that will be your continued experience.
If you really want to have a different experience, it is as simple as being willing to just dive underneath what you currently see. You don't even have to let go of your belief in blame or guilt just yet if that is what you really want to firmly believe in. You just need to be willing to consider that there a multiple layers to what you see.
When you only see from the perspective of blame or guilt, you are unknowingly stuck in your own mind. To your mind, it makes such perfect sense that you currently cannot even contemplate that there is a solution other than the blame or guilt. But why would you hang on to your "solution" that will never happen?
When you insist that your thoughts of blame and guilt are correct, what you are in essence doing is standing in a room with one door, that you have walked into, walked to the opposite wall, and angrily declared that you must get out through the wall that you are facing. Can you see how ridiculous and impossible this is?
Since you are so heavily invested in being right about your current experience, I suggest a gentler step, one where you still get to be right, but where you just turn your head away from the wall to see what I am suggesting, so that you can see the door for yourself and then when you are ready, to make that choice to turn your own body and choose to take the steps yourself out the open door.
This shift in perception come from simply being willing to contemplate that there is more going on than meets the eye to what you currently think you are experiencing. That while what you are seeing on the surface may be well be true, that the relevant piece of information that is missing is why a person acts the way they do, different than what you think now.
A person can only act out of fear or love. If it is not love, then that fear is always, without exception manifested through some form of fight or flight. That person in your life with whom you experience blame or guilt either to them or from them, that person is not attacking you, but defending themselves. It is not about you, you are not the center of their world, they are not acting that way because of you, it is 100% about them feeling unsafe.
When you really understand how a person feels unsafe and then misunderstands you or other things around them, that is similar to closing the program in your mind that has stopped running properly. You reboot your own mind to see a little more clearly, to see things clearly enough to find a true solution.
You start to turn your head and open your eyes to see that oh, maybe the answer or the door is not where I am insisting that it is. You open your mind to looking for that different solution. Whatever your problem or challenge is, it is only still there because you are looking for a solution in a way that your problem cannot be solved in that manner.
Be willing to consider that there is more going on than meets the eye. That there is a deeper level of understanding than you currently have. You don't have to see yourself as right or wrong. The first step for you is just to be willing to deepen your level of current understanding to include a little more information.
Once again I have a great example of how easy it is to misunderstand something in our lives. Whether it is physical pain or emotional pain we have this image of pain being bad. We steer away from it, we judge it, we are afraid of it. But keep in mind that fear causes you to act in ways that will contribute to that fear becoming real.
Case in point. About a month and a half ago I started to attend an Ashtanga yoga class. For myself it is an ideal practice to help further integrate my mind, body, and spirit into a cohesive unit to be better able to help others. I consider it a big bonus that it will help to keep me strong and healthy as I enter the latter half of my life!
But let me get to the point of my experience with pain. It was inevitable that I experience soreness and some pain as I asked my body to do movements that I had not done in years or had never done. I knew that my muscles would need time to adapt and change to these new challenges.
A few classes in I noticed that one side of my neck was really sore. A few classes later I got a painful knot on that side of my back, inside my shoulder blade. The next class I had a matching knot on the other side plus another one on the outside! Being in constant pain of any type can wear a person down without realizing it.
While this is happening, I am hearing a variety of different messages about pain. Oh no, don't do that because that is what makes people get hurt. Be careful because you don't want to injure yourself. You are pushing yourself too hard. If you keep doing that you will end up at the doctor's or worse.
If you had not noticed, all these messages are fear based ones. Not a single one addressed what would help to eventually get to the solution. Everyone's intentions were to try to be helpful, but you cannot address a painful issue in your life by focusing on the pain, whether it is physical or emotional.
Bear in mind that with all this fear, I was trying to "protect" my body from the pain. Being frustrated with it made me tense. Do you know what happens when you tense up? You get more pain! Fear causes you to act in ways that will.. riiiiight!
So think in your life about what is hurting you now. You have a choice to follow all these well intended but misguided messages that you receive from others as well as the messages that you currently have in your own mind, that you learned from somebody else at some point in your journey.
Or you have the choice to be curious, to stop seeing the pain as something to be afraid of, something to shrink away from, to run from, to fight it, to blame somebody or something else for. If you stop being afraid and stop applying meaning to your experience, you free yourself to be curious about it instead.
What will you learn from being curious? I don't know! That is the point of curiosity, for you to personally explore and learn and find out of course. But I will continue with my story to give you an example of what you can get out of it.
Yesterday, as I thought about going to the class, I went through a number of fear based thoughts. Massages on the knots from my caring husband and the old tennis ball against the wall had minimal impact. All those thoughts above were also running through my mind. My only conclusion was that I was trying too hard and would have to back off of my yoga practice, maybe even skip some classes.
Now keep in mind that because of the pain, I was hardly doing anything at home, because my belief was that I was too sore to do much if any yoga at home, so I avoided what might aggravate it. I thought I would ask the yoga teacher about it as well, expecting my conclusion to be confirmed.
With this perspective in mind, I actually felt quite sad, disappointed in myself, disappointed in my body, frustrated that I could not just surge ahead with my brilliance! :) I really felt like I had to give something up, that in a sense, I was not as "good" as I thought I was.
Well, when I did get to class and asked my teacher, what I heard was pretty much that it is going to happen when you are starting your practice, get used to your body reacting in different ways to all this new movement. That no, I should not back off of my practice, but to simply let my breath guide me more through it.
I am sure his words had far more useful information in it, but being fully honest, I was expecting confirmation for my own conclusion, so I really was not being open at all! That is what having predetermined meaning does to your ability to hear. So with a bit of disappointment and a little bit of dread I went back to my mat.
Now I know that I had full choice as to how to do my practice and decided to place more focus on the breathing as suggested and let the rest fall into place. It was a challenging session as usual, but what letting go of meaning and just focusing on the breathing and keeping me in the moment did was that I started to pay attention to the signals that I received about my pain, but in an indirect way.
There are certain positions that I currently do not have the strength to do fully. This has been something that I have assumed would just fall into place the more I did the sequence of positions. The teacher also pointed out for a second time how tight I was in the chest area and that I needed to work on that at home. Hmmm.
I made it to the end of the class with a new painful spot and again I had a choice of what to think of all of this. The teacher spoke to the class about our bodies and how important it was to love every aspect of them, not to just focus on how pretty the face is, but to love and appreciate all of it. That it was all infinitely loveable.
It was as if the pinball hit every bonus on the way down in the pinball machine! Of course, I was going about this all wrong, as is typical when done from a fear based perspective and from misunderstanding. My body was trying to talk to me, well yell to get my attention really, because I had been ignoring it for so long.
I was not weak, getting older, prone to hurting myself, trying too hard, or whatever those old thoughts were from the past, I was simply out of balance. When I put together all the clues about where I was lacking in strength along with the teachers suggestions on what to work on at home, it just made so much sense.
The solution will come through paying attention to the signals from my body. I need to focus not on the areas that hurt and reject my body, but to focus on the areas that I have neglected for so many years. There are actually a number of different choices that I have made since then.
First I am working on getting used to different sleeping positions where my shoulders are no longer hunched together while I sleep for so many hours. I have adapted my work area so that I no longer hunch over my computer as I write for hours each day. I am sitting on a ball instead of an uncomfortable chair with my shoulders properly aligned with my spine.
First thing this morning I started to work on those areas of my body that are out of balance, strengthening my core muscles, and stretching out those tight chest muscles. Paying more attention to what my body tells me that it would like to be done. It is still a subtle voice that I can barely hear. But I have to start somewhere.
This is not a "miracle" cure in terms of the pain, which is still currently there and moving around. I know that it will take time and my personal effort to find that balance. The real miracle however is in the shift of thinking, of how I was perceiving this, to shift out of old, fear based thoughts, to stop listening to other's opinions.
The healing comes when I choose to listen to my own inner voice, the one that put all the pieces together for me should I be clear enough to hear it. The voice that is curious and want to learn and understand things differently than I do now. I am once again buoyed in spirit, knowing I am moving firmly towards my goals after this bump in the road, what all personal lessons are disguised as.
How can you shift your perspective and understanding to use the clues in your own life and reach a unique solution for the source of your pain?
It is always a welcome moment in my life when I recognize one of my own instances of defining something based on the past so that I can release the meaning that I have unknowingly created. It goes something like this:
First the general premise. We define everything in the current moment based on our pasts, unless we become aware of it and can release the meaning. The mind, in its attempts to understand the current moment is trained to unconsciously look to the past. It then finds something similar that it relates to and then we unknowingly apply meaning that is really not there.
Now for the details. My upbringing consisted of a strict and heavy religious belief system, driven by intense use of guilt and punishment for sins. This is of course a fear based approach that over time, turned me away from the very religion that sustained my parents. I know that their intention was good and that they were simply repeating what they were taught. That part was easy to get over.
But what it left me with in terms of my personal belief was distance from the concept and use of the word God. For a couple of decades I chose to use the words spiritual, universe and the like to describe my personal relationship with a higher power. I both believed that I was guided and also did not believe fully in God.
So fast forwarding to last week, it dawned on me that the reason why I still was not comfortable with using the word "God" was simply because I was applying meaning from my past! How could I open up to what God really was if I kept trying to apply somebody else's meaning to my experience! No wonder I fought it!
What a revelation! If I were to let go of that past influence and meaning, then where that left me is with the pure understanding that I really do not know what God is. That that can only be revealed to me by being in a complete state of unknowingness. God cannot be known intellectually, but from the heart, by being open to your personal experience of how God works through you.
This openness, or this space of knowing that you really don't know is so powerful. This is the space of letting go and letting God. It is so hard to describe, yet you know it when you feel it. I had a very neat experience yesterday that may help.
I was experiencing what I call "growing pains" (we never really do fully grow up!), with what I know to be times when residual self doubts, fears, or insecurities are working their way out of me. When I have days like this, I can see how my state of mind is generally reflected in the people I encounter.
Normally when I encounter people, there is an exchange of smiling faces, of kind words, of many laughs. On days when I might be struggling, those encounters change, where when I get frustrated, people might also get frustrated with me. It makes perfect sense that the state we are in is always reflected back to us.
So back to my experience of yesterday, as I was driving to the grocery store, I was feeling this frustration, literally these pains of growing. After all this work I have done on myself how can I still be having days like this? I was not looking forward to having this state of mind reflected back to me in the people that I encountered.
As I usually do, on the 20 minute drive up, I was having prolonged discussions with myself. :) Trying so hard to just choose being happy but not finding it within me. Trying so hard to identify how I was possibly feeling unsafe that I felt so guarded. I tried and tried and finally in my frustration I turned my thoughts to God.
I explained and exclaimed my frustration, but at the end I just came to the conclusion that I knew that I didn't know. About anything in that moment. I gave up trying to understand, I gave up trying to change, I gave up trying to be different. I just gave it up to God. With a heavy heart I went into the store, determined to get in and get out as fast as I could.
Yet something really strange happened. From the very first person that I saw, I received a big, warm smile, with that person looking directly into my eyes. Then it happened again. And again. And again. That heavy heart started to pay attention and perked up. And I instantly knew what was happening.
In those moments, God was giving me what I needed. He was showing back to me my true reflection of myself through the loving eyes and smiles of strangers. I did not initiate a single one. But before this could happen, I had to let go of what I thought that anything meant of the struggles that I was having.
That is the key to all your relationships to bring that level of healing into them. To let go of the meaning that you unknowingly carry about each and every person, about each and every situation, that you unconsciously give it from your past. Especially the thoughts and the meaning that you have about yourself.
It is in that moment of ultimate frustration when you give up trying to make sense of anything, where you truly suspend all thinking, all meaning, all past association, that you open up your heart in that moment for God to come in.
As long as you hold a single thought in your mind from your past (or the future), you shut that door to God in yourself. Allow your own understanding of God and how God works through you to evolve within you. Actively watch for your thoughts from the past, how you look at people and think you know what they mean.
As I neared the end of my visit to the grocery store, I felt so uplifted by the love that was given back to me that I forgot all about my worries from the drive up. They literally melted away. I was having such a great time I even contemplated for a moment going up and down all the aisles once more just to have more such encounters! But I knew I had been given what I needed and moved on.
This is how you let go and let God.
One of the messages we have heard over and over in the last decade or even more is live in the now, be in the present moment! That is all very nice and all, but for most people this just remains an intellectual concept. What is missing is how to do this. Without being able to apply this message, it has no real meaning.
So let me explain first how we live in the past without even realizing it. So here you go about your day to day life, probably even doing pretty much the same thing over and over again, day in day out for most.
In your perspective, you are living in the moment. You do what you need to do, minute by minute, so how can you not be in the current moment? In fact, it can sound like a bit of nonsense unless you know what to look for.
Of course we all live in the moment from the perspective of taking action and doing what we need to do. The question comes in when asked: what do you think when you do what you have to do, when you experience anything at all really? What meaning does it have for as you experience every moment of your life, right now?
The way our minds work, they have this odd tendency to always look to the past to create meaning even for the current moment. Far more than the 'been there done that' type of feeling. Unbeknownst to you, as you take part in the events of your life, your mind places meaning on everything that happens to you.
This meaning that is given is a combination of a number of factors. It is what you learned to believe from your parents, what you learned from friends, family, from teachers, bosses, strangers, etc., to the point where you are in life now.
Now add to all that meaning what you learned from societal beliefs, educational beliefs, scientific beliefs, etc. and you have a whole lot more meaning than you ever imagined possible. These are all beliefs that were told to you by others.
You do end up automatically believing most of them, whatever your specific personal sets of beliefs are, unique to you. They are all what contribute to giving events in the current moment meaning and you assume that they are all true, or you wouldn't believe them, would you?
So when you think that you are living in the present moment, your brain is being busy pulling up all the details from this vast conglomeration of knowledge that you have amassed over the years.
As soon as somebody tells you something about their lives or their beliefs, have you ever noticed how you will frequently think..oh that happened to so and so, I know about this from.., and you bring forth what you know, talking about what the other person just said from this personal perspective of yours.
This is actually an example of living in the past. Your brain scans all the information to find something similar to relate to the current moment. In this process, you actually lose sight of the current moment. You are in effect living in the past and creating meaning for that moment based on past information.
More often than not, this is so subtle that you might even say, who cares, I am just relating to what the other person just said. It's not living in the past..I even spoke in the current moment. Sure, but you only reiterated what you learned in the past, putting it together in words that may have been unique, but still from the past.
Where the influence of the past becomes glaringly obvious is when you get into disagreements, arguments, or conflict with other people. That is how you can actually confirm as a fact, that yes indeed, you are not living in the current moment at all. You are not only living in the past, but you are also insisting that your personal experience and understanding of your past applies to this other person.
Why do you think the other person is disagreeing with you? It has nothing to do with you being right or wrong, they are simply trying to communicate that what you say is not what they are experiencing or even believing from their past. Then you do the same with them. Back and forth you argue about your past meanings.
If you really want to live in the current moment, you do so by first acknowledging just how much the past is involved in the meaning that you give to things. Just be aware of how it happens. It is neither good nor bad that we do this, this is simply how our brains have been taught to process information.
Sep two is to remind yourself to be curious. If you don't like what somebody else has to say, if you are reacting to what they say, you have applied meaning to what you hear (or see even) based on experiences from your past. In that moment, you have a choice to either blindly apply that meaning from the past, or to be curious.
You can even be curious after the fact if you forget. Ask the person who just spoke or who just acted in a specific way: why do you say/think that? What is that based on? But remember that being curious means that you first acknowledge that you don't know what something means, or you really aren't being curious at all.
Being curious means that you accept that you do not know what something means and that you are asking so that you do not make an assumption, so that you do not apply meaning from your own past, so that you remain open to why a person acts or says what they do. Then when they answer, ask why again!
This is how you train yourself to be in the moment, to learn how to stop giving meaning to things that you automatically do from your past without even realizing it. This is how you raise your self awareness and with time and practice, you really will stop living in the past. The beauty is other people around you will start to be curious about their own thoughts. Why do I automatically think this?
I haven't mentioned much about the future, but the same premise is there. You also unknowingly apply the past to possible future events. That is what fear and worry are. So use this technique to start to train yourself to stop living from the past and allowing the current moment to unfold for you.
When you do this, you start living more in the now, more in the present moment. This is what will make you happier, simply because it will make you less fearful, less reactive, less hurt when you stop applying meaning from your past. Now that is the way to live!
One of the concepts that can be very helpful in dealing with other people is to deepen the understanding that we really do apply meaning to everything that we see and hear. While this can be helpful at times, we are generally unaware of how hurtful it can be to ourselves without realizing it.
We apply a lot of meaning to everything that we hear and we always assume that we are right. It goes hand in hand that we think that what we think is right just because we think it! But where does this meaning really come from?
If you think about it, any spoken word that you hear is really only a sound in the air. It is a vibration of sound that leaves one person's mouth and that vibration of sound enters another persons ear. We are taught to understand what particular combinations of sound mean. Those are the words that we hear.
Yet it is not that simple, because every sound also carries an emotional component to it. When one person says something, there frequently will be emotions attached or combined with the sounds or words they say. The person listening picks up on not just the words, but also on those emotional components.
The person that speaks does so based on a combination of all their personal past experiences. They will have intention behind their words that is unique to them in that very moment. The person listening can only listen based on their personal past experiences, which by nature must be different than the speakers.
No two people on this planet have the same combination of past experiences. So when two people try to communicate, it is not at all surprising that there are many misunderstandings about what is meant when you take these differences into consideration.
Add to that the very flexible nature of words. The same combination of words can be understood slightly differently by each listener. Depending on your upbringing, your parents used words slightly differently than the next family did.
So when I talk about how we apply a lot of meaning to what we hear, that same meaning that you have is very often not there for the speaker. We hear the words, we hear the tone of voice, and our subconscious mind processes that information and up pops a meaning for us, based on our past.
But we really do not know if that specific meaning is what was intended by the speaker. Think about all the times where you have had an argument with another person, about who is right or who is wrong. Is this picture getting a little bit clearer?
You both were right in your personal experiences of what was spoken versus what was heard. But if you argue, you lose focus of what was trying to be communicated and get stuck on trying to make each of your positions the correct one. You really aren't arguing about what was said at all, but only about whose experience of what was said is the right one.
You can train yourself to take the position that you do not know what something means when you hear it. To always assume that you really don't know what the speaker intended. That is where being curious and asking questions comes in.
When you hear anyone say something, especially any person that you tend to get into disagreement with, ask them what did they mean when they just said what they did? Even ask them why did they say that?
You will frequently find that a person is thinking more than one thing when they speak, that when you ask them why, then they can clarify not only what they said, but why they said what they did, and why it was important enough to bring up.
This very simple understanding of how communication works combined with assuming that you don't know what something means and asking for clarification will go a very long way in decreasing the misunderstandings in your life and creating more peace of mind for you in general.
I wrote out this blog entry yesterday and my computer crashed at the end of it, causing me to lose what I wrote. After my initial frustration, I came to the conclusion that I needed to be in a different frame of mind allowing different words to come through me when I wrote it. So this is version two, the better one!
I don't talk about the spiritual aspect of my work very often as I like to stay more focused on what people can do to help themselves, giving actual tools and showing people how to change beliefs in order to be able to support changes in actions.
Yet the coaching, coaching, support, advice, teaching, whatever you call what I do is largely if not entirely spiritual in nature. It is the process of identifying and releasing fears and misunderstanding that stand in the way between each persons connection to God, universe, whatever you call a higher power.
It all has a common goal of strengthening a persons connection to God by the removal of misperceptions. Most people do not understand that it is their own misperceptions and misunderstandings that cause them pain.
In order to be able to release a fear or insecurity, it must first be identified. The process of releasing it is where the spiritual aspect comes in. I teach you to use questions, to be curious about why you have that belief, to see the meaning that you unknowingly place on it, to ask why it should even be true?
In that process, you release self judgment, you let go of meaning. On a spiritual level what happens is that the Truth is revealed when you in essence hand over your worries and concerns to God, you offer it to Spirit to take care of it for you.
You cannot on your own really know what something really means. It is in the letting go of the old that you let the new into your heart. The new is the God presence within you. It is the act of love for yourself, the act of allowing God's understanding of love to be present within you.
The act of being curious and questioning is also the act of choosing not to believe in fear. It is the act of being willing to let God's love enter and guide you. Every time you take this step with yourself or with another human being, you are one step closer to your personal connection to God. This is how such practically based work has a deeply spiritual component to it.
What I like most about this unique work that I have been clearly guided to do and to develop is that it is applicable and usable by everyone, regardless of what their current belief system is. It is so easy to use once the basic understanding is reached. But it is that first step can be the most difficult for some as it is so unexpected. We really do tend to fear that which we do not understand.
How do you know if this is the kind of work that you can benefit from? Ask yourself this simple question. Is there anyone in your life that you feel can hurt you, that you emotionally react to, that you ever get angry with? Then this work can help you. It teaches you how to see things so differently that you stop getting angry.
Anger is a sign that you are misunderstanding other people's intentions. You may see their surface behaviors clearly, but I can guarantee you that you do not clearly understand their behaviors. If you did, you would not be angry, you would instead simply see what caused that behavior and then deal with it in a different way.
You would see how fear drives people's behaviors, not their intent to hurt you, which is part of the illusion that we are taught. It is entirely possible to live a life free of anger. The evolution of the human beings as a species is finally opening up to this ability. To not need the anger response, to not need emotional fight or flight.
Imagine living your life feeling fully at peace, fully alive with every moment being new and unique. Imagine living life with a feeling of love and purpose, of being fully at ease with yourself, excited about every aspect of life. To have every encounter with ALL other people be peaceful and loving?
How could you not want this depth of connection to self, this depth of connection with God?
It is my understanding that many if not most counselors, therapists, psychologists, etc. use the past in their work with their clients. The past is brought up to be understood and to be used as a learning tool. Yet for many people this is the last thing that they want to do as it also brings up all the pain from the past as well.
In that persons mind, there is no separation of time and all the mind can see is pain in the current moment when it looks at its own past. Yet to heal this pain, it really is not necessary to revisit the past, to rehash all that old pain.
Healing and growth actually occurs in the current moment, not the past. You learn how to understand your past differently as a byproduct of what you learn about yourself now. You learn how to observe your own thoughts in your day to day experience, to understand things on a different level than you do now.
This in turn allows you to then apply what you learn in a cascading effect which moves through your past without much effort. The effort is primarily only needed in your day to day life. When you reach new understanding of that, it pretty much applies itself almost automatically to your past as well.
When you shift a belief, it is shifted in all your experiences, past, present, and future. When you learn to see how and what you are misunderstanding, you create the space to then apply new meaning to everything in your life.
Now, for some people the concept of applying new meaning to things really does not mean very much! It is not until you start to do the actual work that this way of thinking starts to make sense. Then when you apply new behaviors based on your new understanding, that is when your whole experience of life changes.
So if you have been considering getting help, but the biggest concern that has been standing in your way is that you do not want to, can't, or are afraid to dig into your past, know that you don't have to. The work that you do is on what is in your mind right now and how you perceive yourself and others now.
This all ties into my messages of creating a sense of safety for yourself. Without that feeling of safety in your own mind, it is so difficult to do what you need to do to learn and grow. The stronger the sense of safety that you can create for yourself, in your own mind, the easier this work gets.
The stronger the sense of safety in your mind, the faster your growth is. I cannot emphasize enough how much fear we have in our lives that we are not even aware of. Fears that translate into self doubt and that lead us into unnecessary conflicts.
Imagine your life without them!
It is time for some light humor to break up the intensity of my writings! I received these very fun but insightful comments by email that was titled the Zen of Sarcasm. I have picked out the most appropriate ones. Enjoy!
"Laughter is a gift that your mouth gives your ears, and a smile is a gift that your mouth gives your face."
I talk about fight or flight a lot and how it affects our feelings of safety internally. One of the topics that I would like to address is how that ties into being overweight and what happens that people end up overeating.
When a person is very sensitive and also has negative self dialogue of any sort, it creates and intense combination that is challenging to both the body and the mind. This natural sensitivity turns into oversensitivity with time.
The reason why a person becomes oversensitive is because the body has been in a sustained state of fight or flight for so long that the residual hormones create a state of being in constant alert, looking for and protecting against any potential perceived threats. There is a persistent feeling of things not quite being safe.
In terms of the outside world, having extra weight of any amount becomes something that also adds to the sensitivity, because of the fears of being judged for the weight. Yet the fear of being judged was there long before the weight was.
A person that carries extra weight now has to deal with their own negative self image, the chronic stress hormones, fear of being judged, and also falling into a state of being regularly misunderstood, adding to that unsafe feeling.
What most people don't understand is that when you think any thoughts other than loving thoughts about yourself, you are in essence attacking yourself and that is where the primary feeling of lack of safety comes from. You end up unknowingly needing to protect yourself from yourself, but you can't in this vicious cycle.
You are in essence unsafe. Possibly even almost all of the time. What happens in the body and mind is that there is a primary need to create a sense of safety for you, by any means possible. This is where food comes into the picture.
By nature, food is required to fuel our bodies and minds. Have you ever gone too long without food and felt how your body goes into a number of different reactions as it runs out of fuel? I won't go into them here, but your body signals very clearly to you that you need to eat something, it will even go into fight or flight.
As soon as you finally eat some food and your body starts to digest the food, your body and mind come off of their "alert" for you to refuel. You start to feel satisfied and safe. That is the key here, that food triggers that sense of safety for you. Are you starting to get the picture?
So for people who have the combination of challenges above, food becomes the patterned way in which that sense of safety is acquired by the body and mind because it cannot get it internally, the way it is meant to. Yet when this habit grows, it becomes even more of a problem, because like any external means of trying to feel safe emotionally, it does not work in the long term.
The feeling of safety from food becomes less gratifying, much like a drug, and more food is required to trigger that good feeling again. Guilt is quickly added to the equation and as the guilt grows, so do the self attacks, requiring yet a deeper sense of finding that balance again, that sense of safety that food easily supplies.
The weight builds, the sense of lack of safety grows. Is it any surprise that diets and pills don't work, that even regular coaching only has limited results. Unless a person learns how to create that sense of safety in themselves, then the desire, need and habitual response of turning to food for safety will overrule anything else.
This true internal sense of safety can be accomplished by rewiring how you understand your world, both internally and externally. To learn how to create that much needed sense of safety in all areas of your life and with all people. It is possible, it just takes desire, a little bit of effort, and it eventually becomes easier to do than to go get something to eat to feel safe again.
Find that personal freedom for yourself. Find yourself again.