The two of us always share with clients that to create change, you must be open to receiving it.
What’s interesting about the last two years is that it felt like great change came upon the world in a way that seemed so sudden and without warning.
Yet for most of us, the last few years have demonstrated not only how adaptable to change we really are; they also showed us how resilient we are, too.
What seemed like a time of great challenge for many became an opportunity for new adventures for others. For the two of us, the pandemic became a time to really slow down, to enjoy the time, and ultimately make the most of what we already have and be grateful for it.
We optimistically feel that the future is brighter because of the lessons we received from the pandemic. We call these lessons takeaways. Here are the takeaways the two of us received from lock-downs, face masks and vaccines.
Takeaway #1: we will never underestimate the importance of downtime ever again. Our downtime was used to inspire our creativity by cultivating new interests and building on old ones. For us it was cooking every day, filling our home with house plants, coloring, painting, gardening, lots of reading, and of course, coaching.
Takeaway #2: we learned how adaptable to change we can be no matter what the outcome may look like. Though at times it can be difficult to accept; change is constant and inevitable. The sooner we all accept this fact the quicker we reduce our levels of stress, worry, and anxiety. Accepting change is also about making the most of what we have and making the best with any specific challenges we may be facing in the moment. Adapting to change is also accomplished by opening ourselves up to reinventing some aspect of ourselves either professionally or personally. For the two of us, it was about connecting with clients exclusively on Zoom, rather than in person, individually or in the workshop/classroom settings. We’re both so grateful for technology because it allows us to continue to share our wisdom with all of you.
Takeaway #3: we also learned to have more gratitude and a greater appreciation for our health. Every day that we opened our eyes was a gift!
Takeaway #4: just when we thought we knew each other and ourselves, the pandemic showed us otherwise. Being human and enjoying life is always a work in progress. No one really makes it because there’s no it. There’s only the joy of living. That’s the singular goal we all want to have. During the pandemic, we realized that the joy of living IS the one and only true joy. And that joy is in the simple things in life. It is those simple things that assisted the two of us to know ourselves better and appreciate our individuality.
The simple things we have found to have the most lasting, profound, healthy effects on us are: meditating, journaling, exercising the body, and creating good communication channels between us and those we love. The result was the realization that it is the simple things in life that are important, and it is only those things that can give us true happiness. For truth be said: happiness is an inside job, and that was confirmed and reaffirmed for the two of us by the pandemic.
We would love to hear from you about any takeaways from the pandemic that have changed your life in a positive way. Sharing experiences is a great way to assist others to move forward even when options may seem limited. Contact us here.
Many years ago, a wise woman said to the two of us, “Take your cues from nature.”
By taking our cues from nature, we acknowledge and recognize the flow of life that exists in all of Life, which includes each of us.
Every living thing experiences a cycle of change. There are periods of expansion and periods of contraction. There is no exception to this rule: it is Universal Law.
The four seasons are nature’s way of mirroring back to each of us the flow of Life and how it operates effortlessly.
In Autumn, we give thanks and express gratitude and appreciation for abundance. By taking our cues from nature, we can also acknowledge and recognize our own personal flow and expansion.
We each expand and grow; not only physically, but intellectually and spiritually. The results we receive in life are our own personal harvest. What we reap is determined by what we sow. As humans, we have the great capacity to create different harvests if we do not like the one we previously reaped.
The smaller cycles of our individual lifetimes are broken down into smaller denominations or time periods: decades, years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds. Within these cycles are periods of expansion and periods of contraction too. Expansion is growth, creativity, and productivity. Contraction is slowing down, looking inward and rest.
As the nights of October grow longer, it is a cue from nature that we, too, are part of nature and want to respond to the changes in the cycle of Life.
As winter approaches and it appears that all is silent and still, know that nurturing is going on throughout the natural world in preparation for the next cycle of expansion that will occur in the Spring.
Our lifetimes are our Summertime when we each create and manifest countless experiences, situations, and relationships. It is the time of growth. It is the time for your personal growth!
Autumn begins a period of contraction. Much of life appears to be going to sleep; it is now entering a period of apparent dormancy. However, beneath the surface of the seemingly quiet: life continues, resting and replenishing itself for the next cycle of expansion.
Like all of Life, we also require rest. We each experience this daily with a good night’s sleep. On a larger scale, the calendar indicates we may require more rest to replenish ourselves so we can produce a variety of abundant outcomes in our own lives.
Some of the most beneficial and efficient ways to rest, replenish and re-vitalize is through the process of self-care. Self-care is not something you practice seasonally; it is an avocation you want to master on a regular basis to keep your energy levels at peak performance year-round.
Self-care is about nurturing ourselves. How you demonstrate it is up to you. The “how” is unimportant. What IS important, is that you do it.
Here are some suggestions on how to nurture yourself more and provide re-vitalization to yourself at all levels of your Being:
1. Schedule “me” time. You might have to “pencil yourself in” to your daily schedule. This is essential year-round and particularly so during the upcoming holiday season when we tend to sacrifice our own well-being and desires to please everyone else. “Me” time can be anything from exercising, reading, meditating, or enjoying a hobby. Do not confuse self-care for selfishness. They are not the same thing!
2. Consider focusing on “doing” less. When we put too much on our plates, we usually ignore ourselves, deplete our energy and make ourselves sick in a variety of ways: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
3. Learn to say “No” and perhaps delegate more. Focus on the important, not the trivial. This is called: prioritizing.
4. Sleep more. Longer nights provide an opportunity for more sleep. The animal kingdom hibernates and for a very good reason: it knows it is time to rest in preparation for the next cycle of growth and expansion.
By adopting a “taking my cues from nature” approach for living your life, you will witness tremendous benefits. The four seasons are the perfect reminder that all of Life, be it as infinite as the Universe or as minute as an insect, experiences expansion, creativity, and growth, as well as contraction, rest, and dormancy.
By learning to personalize this process you will experience more flow in your life. This will place you in a higher, more vibrant level of Being thus resulting in a more fulfilling and enjoyable life experience.
Light a candle and nurture yourself. Take a deep breath in and blow it out. By doing so you have demonstrated how you are taking your cues from nature. The breath is the greatest demonstration of expansion and contraction. Now, be open to this same process in all the other areas of your life.
One way of providing yourself with the ultimate self-care regimen is to contact us for your complementary coaching session.
Another way is to join our monthly Zoom Book Club called Infinite Possibilities? You can join any time. It is held the second Thursday of each month. You are invited to join in on the conversation whether you’ve read the book of not! Learn more here.
Everyone has a bias towards others people. It’s human nature and how the human mind works. Until we are willing look deep within ourselves and acknowledge this bias, we can never heal as an individual and as a society. Healing occurs when we do some deep truth-telling.
Prejudice, bigotry and bias toward other people have been the albatross around American society since its inception. It’s the one virus that keeps reoccurring generation after generation. It is the one aspect of our democracy that is anything but democratic. It is a symbol of oppression that we have placed upon others and also ourselves.
As long as humans have possessed fearful thoughts, beliefs and emotions, there has been prejudice and bigotry.
As long as fear exists and it controls the human mind, we will remain stuck in a mindset rooted in ignorance, which is the basis for prejudice and bigotry.
In the Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” the ghost of Jacob Marley warned Scrooge about “ignorance and want” being the causes of the woes of the world. He shared with Scrooge that ignorance itself is the most destructive force in any society and will ultimately lead to its’ downfall and demise. Therefore, we each must educate ourselves and others. We do this by changing our minds about how we see the world and ourselves. Instead of being biased and having pre-conceived notions we become truth-seekers.
Being open to admitting that we each have negative biases is the only way we can begin dissolving the prejudices and bigoted belief systems we hold on to. For example: have you ever disliked people who dislike others? Or, do you hate the haters? If you do, aren’t you also being hateful? Contemplating our personal biases allows all of us to uncover some of our deeply hidden prejudices. Don’t say, “I don’t have a prejudice bone in my body!” If you do then you are not being honest with yourself and others.
To heal ourselves of our prejudices and biases we want to understand that we are all conditioned at a very young age to adopt certain belief systems.
Until we question our own individual belief systems, we cannot move ourselves out of prejudice and bias.
Our greatest contribution to the world is for each of us to look in the mirror and get brutally honest with ourselves. Are we perpetuating the problems that arise from prejudice and bigotry by being harsh on ourselves? To create positive change in the world, we must first focus on creating positive change within ourselves. Are we willing to do that?
When we deny any truth about ourselves: be it our “dark side” (our prejudices, biases, dislikes and judgments) or our “light side” (our goodness, kindness, compassion and love for ourselves and others), we disempower ourselves and weaken our overall well-being.
To diminish our own self-worth is no different than diminishing the self-worth of another person. When we don’t feel good about ourselves we are essentially being prejudicial and bigoted toward ourselves. On the flip-side: when we see ourselves from a more positive, uplifting and esteemed perspective, we begin to see others in the same light.
If you are willing to take the initiative to being open and honest with yourself, you will become aware that you, too, possess thoughts and beliefs that are prejudicial and bigoted in nature about both you and the world-at-large.
This truth does not make you or anyone else a bad person. It just means you are human. Being human also means you have the ability to change yourself and the world around you.
Prejudice and bigotry are by themselves constructs of the mind. We all can “change our mind” if we decide to do so.
Here are some ways we believe each of us can begin to dissolve our prejudices and biases that are rooted in fear-based thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that can potentially exhibit and inflict pain and suffering upon ourselves and others:
#1. What beliefs do you have about other people who may appear or act different or perhaps see the world from a different perspective? Write these beliefs down. Be honest! Where did these beliefs come from? Are they absolutely true for every person or group you may feel antagonistic toward and perceive in a negative way? Ask yourself: “Am I willing to open myself up to seeing this person/group differently by understanding that they, too, like me, have a set of beliefs they have adopted. And, they also insist that these beliefs are true for them?”
#2. What beliefs do you have about yourself that may be prejudicial or negatively-biased? Some possible examples might be: I’m too short, fat, ugly, tall, dumb, and not good enough. Again, write these beliefs down and be honest! Where did these beliefs come from? Are they absolutely true? Ask yourself: “Am I willing to open myself up to seeing myself differently and realize that I, too, have adopted a set of beliefs that I insist are the truth?”
#3. Pick a person, a group of people, or even yourself as a “test-subject.” See if you have the capacity to send kindness, compassion and good-will to that person or group. How do you feel when you do this?
#4. Be willing to expand your horizons. Make an effort to learn about other people, their cultures and lifestyles. Then attempt to embrace the differences you may have. See the differences not as a problem but as a celebration of life! Remember, we are all human and are all part of the human family!
Now is the time for each of us to contribute to the emergence of a massive, positive transformation within ourselves and in our society. To do so requires each of us to see and acknowledge that underneath all the so-called “differences” we are really all the same.
When we open ourselves up to considering the possibility of letting go of anything that does not serve us or humanity in a positive way, then the process of positive change begins.
At the end of the day it may be worthwhile to remind yourself that we all have prejudicial thoughts and beliefs and have all exhibited behaviors that confirm this as so. Remind yourself from this point forward that all thoughts, beliefs and behavior that hurt others and you, are all rooted in fear. Remember this: “Hurt people hurt other people.”
Also understand that hurtful thoughts, beliefs and behaviors are different than having personal preferences. A healthy personal preference is not rooted in fear. For example, a healthy personal preference might be: I love Italian food but don’t like Greek food. Whereas, a hurtful thought and belief might be: I like Italians but hate all Greeks. The key is not to use your personal preference as a crusade by attempting to inflict it upon others and condemning them if they choose not to agree or comply with you.
In closing, let us share with you a philosophy that we adopted a long time ago in regards to prejudice and bias. It may assist you on your way to releasing any personal prejudices you may have:
“Just because you love chocolate doesn’t mean you have to hate vanilla!”
Remember, we all want the same thing: to be loved, accepted and appreciated for whom we are!
We are here to assist and guide you to find peace and balance. We can also assist you to dismantle the fears that may be controlling your life. Contact us for a complementary initial discussion.
Many of the Millennials who come to us for assistance are fighting battles with a very familiar common enemy: anxiety and economic instability.
The young people seeking our coaching tend to fall into two camps. The majority, perhaps 60%, feel lost and untethered. They are crushed under college debt, they want but don’t yet have a house or a family, and they work hard jobs but haven’t broken into their careers. The other group has means with a job at a great salary, who can buy a home and start a family if they choose, but it comes with the high price of NEVER being able to take a breath. These people are going 24/7, and they are full of chaos and overwhelmed with anxiety. Some of them are amassing huge amounts of credit card debt to keep up with the Joneses and live the life they were told they should achieve in order to be considered complete.
Both of these people have something in common, and in fact they have it in common with many people across different generations as well: they are being held hostage to what the world has told them is important and worthwhile, and their internal measures of worth are being stifled in the process.
Homeownership is a common thread among Millennials right now, who have largely graduated college and been in the workforce for a while, and are looking to move to the next stages of their life. Many Millennials want to be homeowners, and yet an unprecedentedly large number of them are not compared to their parent’s generation. There are many interconnected reasons for this, but a big one is this:
Millennials were born into a very, very different economic reality than their parents were. Both the economy and the housing market have drastically changed in a few short decades.
Not all that long ago, it was common to afford a college degree as a middle class student with no debt, to easily find some kind of job immediately upon graduation, and to retire with a pension. People born into those circumstances were indeed buying houses by the time they were 30 years old. But as many of you know, those are not the circumstances of today. Mix in a poor job market with little opportunity for new workers, vanishing benefits, and an unfavorable housing market, and it is little wonder that fewer 30 year olds are buying houses than ever. It would be astonishing if they were. The situation may sometimes feel grim, but it is far from hopeless–here’s why.
Once while in Maine, we had a very interesting conversation with some French Canadians on vacation. They were sharing their surprise at the American emphasis on homeownership. They were very confused about why so many people would want to take on the cost and responsibility of managing a piece of property. According to them, they preferred to rent, and have the freedom to go on vacations and have nice dinners. For them, renting was a lifestyle choice that they were happy to make, not a great failure or proof of a hopeless financial situation.
This conversation was fascinating because it reminded us once again about a very basic truth — you can find happiness, success, and self-actualization in any circumstance. To do so, you must first let go of the outside expectations and assumptions that have been holding you back.
We’re often told by Millennial clients that “I should have a house by now” and “they say I should have $x dollars in the bank by the time I’m 30.” Who is “they”? Why is it “should”?
It may be a helpful exercise for some frustrated Millennials to contemplate why they truly want to buy a house; is it because there is truly something intrinsic to homeownership that can provide peace and meaning? Or do you want it because you have been told that you are worthless without it?
You are going to experience pain if you’re looking for a similar outcome with someone that has a different life. Millennials face different challenges and obstacles than the ones their parents faced, and there is no shame or failure in that. In fact, there are some circumstances that are unique to Millennials that hold great opportunity. For one, Millennials have helped build a more progressive and open minded society than existed before. People that were once shut out from society completely are now being acknowledged, valued, and invited to take part.
Millennials also place more emphasis on wellness and the mind-body connection than their predecessors did, and as a result, they are living healthier and more balanced lives for it.
Another recent opportunity is that the path to entrepreneurship is more available now than ever before–tools like Skype and Zoom that have only existed for about a decade make it possible to work from anywhere, and to start a business from home. Many Millennials are taking full advantage of their unique connectedness and adventurous spirit to build thriving online businesses. In our experience, this generation is very grounded, socially compassionate, and interested in caring for and protecting other human beings. They are more connected to the environment, and they want the political policy to care about all people. This makes them incredible agents for change.
Far from being the generation with the least opportunities, Millennials have some incredible gifts and opportune circumstances that they can use to build meaningful, complete lives. To do this, each person must decide for themselves what is important to them. Put another way, a quote from Albert Einstein states: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” The question we have for you at this point of our journey together is, “What is your genius?”
What, indeed, is your genius? What are your talents and natural gifts that are not currently being tapped into? What are your interests? What are your passions? What change do you want to see in the world? You want to decide what’s important to you, not what the world tells you is important.
Sometimes, the way to move forward is by accepting what “is” right now. Accepting a circumstance is a very different thing from being resigned to that circumstance. When you resign yourself to a bad situation, you pull in anger and resentment. As a result, you close yourself off and aren’t capable of seeing the solutions that may already be available to you. When you accept a situation, you grant yourself the inner peace you need to work on changing it. When you are motivated by anger and fear, you don’t get the results you want. If you’re willing to accept what is, you begin to be motivated by optimism and the belief that things can change and we can solve problems. Whatever you focus on tends to expand. When we focus on the problems in our life, we get more problems. When we focus on solutions, we teach ourselves to find them.
What outside expectations have been holding you back? And what dreams are waiting to pull you forward? Contact us for a no obligation no cost coaching session and we will assist you to uncover the answers to these two questions.
When you think of ‘manly’ emotions, what do you imagine? Is it fatherly love? Loyalty, trust, honor, and compassion? Or do you think of anger, rage, the ‘right to be right’, sarcasm, or jealousy?
In America, at this point in time, there is a very short list of ‘approved’ male emotions. Men are allowed to be angry, but not vulnerable. They are allowed to be ambitious and self-serving, but not nurturing. How can anyone truly thrive when being held to such narrow standards that work against everything that Life is supposed to be?
As coaches, we share with our clients that Life is composed of love, joy, inspiration, creativity, and expansion. There’s nothing inherent, or even natural, about living a life that is rooted in anger or fear. None of us are born that way, but we learn to be that way.
There is a ‘Chain of Pain’ that connects members of the newest generation to the dysfunction and self-sabotaging habits of their parents and grandparents. Somewhere along the line, we started teaching our sons that anger was acceptable, while certain expressions of love were not. As a result, men grow up feeling isolation, worthlessness, and a deep longing for the kinds of relationships that can only come from unconditional love.
Gillette ran an adnot long ago that stirred a lot of debate and controversy. The ad showed clips of a boy being chased through the street by a pack of other boys, until a father intervenes while his son watches. The ad urged men to abandon the excuse of ‘boys will be boys’ for violent and exploitative behavior, and adds the tagline ‘we believe in the best in men.’ Some men reacted with anger to this ad, as though they felt threatened by its message. When we feel threatened, it indicates that a vulnerability is in danger of being exposed. Vulnerability may come as a result of the fear of rejection that keeps us from experiencing love fully, or it may come as a resistance to change. By embracing vulnerability rather than shrinking from it, we can transform our lives.
‘We believe in the best in men’ is an interesting tagline. ‘Best’ can be a loaded word–when we strive to ‘do our best’, we tend to inevitably come up short of others’ expectations. But when we learn to BE our best–to release others’ expectations of us, and live empowered in the knowledge that we honor our authentic selves–we can live the lives we were always meant to have.
Some men live without allowing themselves to fully experience love, because they are afraid of vulnerability, afraid of rejection, and afraid of ridicule. The violence shown in the ad, then, does not stem from a political problem, but a spiritual one. Do you want to live in love, or in fear? Do you want to be confined by others’ expectations of what a man can feel and how he should act, or do you want to experience life as your authentic self?
The true process of life is one of ease, of ebb and flow, of peaks and valleys.
Over a decade ago, we both read a small paperback book called ‘Life Was Never Meant to be a Struggle’ by Stuart Wilde. In it, Wilde calls struggle “a programmed response, natural to many who often find themselves struggling without realizing they’re doing so.” He cites that the first step in reducing and eliminating struggle from your life is to identify how it appears in your life.
According to one of our favorite authors, Eckhart Tolle: “When you say ‘yes’ to what is, you become aligned with the power and intelligence of Life itself. Only then can you become an agent for positive change in the world.” Essentially, he is saying that if you resist saying ‘yes,’ then Life will be an endless series of struggles and, in response, it will not say ‘yes’ to you.
As children, most of us can recall hearing statements like, “You have to work hard if you want to be the best or want to succeed!” “Life isn’t easy, that’s just the way it is!” “You gotta do whatever it takes to make it happen!” “No pain, no gain!” The list of messages goes on and on. Inherent in all of them is the underlying theme of struggle. Beliefs about life and what we are to expect from it, have been passed down to each of us from previous generations. Each of us has his or her personal recollections of how the struggle mentality and belief system was instilled in us at a very young age.
Are you struggling today just to get through the day itself? Does struggle have a significant presence in your life? Are you stressed, anxious, irritable? Do you greet each day with excitement and anticipation?
Your responses to these questions are excellent indicators of whether or not you see life as a daily grind that contains the component of struggle in it.
Here, in America, our beliefs about life are deeply rooted in a set of standards called the Puritan ethic. The basis for this ethic is that if you’re not hard at work, miserably toiling away, you are living an immoral, impure life. The value and worthiness of everything we do or don’t do, say or don’t say is measured by this standard.
When we are conditioned by a set of standards such as these, we are voluntarily committing ourselves to having struggle present in our life. For many, struggling has actually become a habit, an addiction.
Believing that life is hard, a challenge, a constant uphill, upstream battle, we set ourselves up for a less than joyous life experience.
Here is how struggle may manifest itself in someone’s life: pessimism, sabotage, setting unrealistic goals, playing the victim, the martyr, or the damsel in distress.
Here is a coaching tip that allows you to objectively witness and begin to let go of the presence of struggle in your life. Be open to noticing if any of the following aspects of your life have a component of struggle built-in to them: 1. your emotional state, 2. your physical body, 3. your relationships, 4. your finances and/or career, 5. your attitudes, beliefs and habits, 6. your ability to handle challenges and 7. your spiritual connection.
Thriving is an “inside job.” Incorporating it into your life experience requires you to possess the willingness to add it to your of your daily routine once and for all!
Understand that struggle, whatever form it currently appears, is inherently linked to the past. Early on we were somehow convinced that struggle was natural and had some special value that must play a significant role in our life.
Any struggle, be it with finances, health, relationships, whatever, possesses an underlying negative emotion that justifies the struggle mentality. We can all create a new habit by asking ourselves, “What is the underlying emotion that I am experiencing now that is enabling me to feel like a struggler in life?”
Like any unhealthy behavior, struggle can go undetected for an entire lifetime. By identifying and acknowledging its’ presence and the unhealthy purpose it serves, we are shedding light on it. This is how we can begin to thrive.
We are all intended to thrive, be optimistic, joyous and open to all the good that the Universe, in its’ infinite abundance, has to offer. May you thrive and enjoy!
If you are experiencing any type of struggle in your life, know that you are not alone. We can assist you to move through your struggle and get to a point where you flourish and thrive! THAT is how life was meant to be lived.
As we open a new year, we are each afforded infinite possibilities; the opportunity to make different choices and achieve different results.
If you truly desire the new year to look and feel different than last year, it is important to become aware of your current energetic position and your current emotional perspective.
Your energetic position is your personal orientation in regards to time. Time, in your mind, is either past or future. To be in the present moment, is to be out of your mind. To be out of your mind in this case is a good thing. You want to live in the present moment. Your emotional perspective is determined by your capacity to live from a place of courage or a place of fear. You want to live courageously.
“When we live in the past or are anxious about the future, we typically feel low, sapped and depleted energetically. And we typically get the same results we do not want, over and over again.”
When we live in the present moment there is a greater tendency to be energetically grounded. We are more connected to our true nature and the world around us. We are more willing to trust each moment as it comes. We are essentially freeing ourselves from the negativity of our past and are being pulled in the direction of our future. This is what is called our ‘destiny.’
Each of us has a destiny; a future pull so to speak. The speed with which we reach our destiny is determined by the level of our energetic position (how much time we live or do not live in the present moment), and by our emotional perspective (how much time we live in fear or courage).
“It takes courage to live each day in the present moment. Before courage; however, we must consciously choose to be free of the past: energetically and emotionally.”
One of the quickest ways to live in the NOW is to get in-touch with our bodies. This allows us to feel the Power that lives within us. Conscious awareness of this power automatically allows us to experience presence.
Meditation, yoga and being out in nature are just some of the ways we can learn to live in the present moment. Right NOW is the only time we each have. The NOW is also the portal to your brighter, happier and joyous future.
As you embark on a new calendar year decide to become more present, more of the time. Letting go of the past is the one step you can take to create a different future. Your future is calling you now! Last year is history; a bundle of memories in your mind. This year is your clean slate. It is your time to free yourself of the past if that is what you truly desire. Let us know if it is. We would love to hear from you about the results you want to achieve this year!
“Your Power is in Your Peace!” These are the words I heard my success coach speak 15 years ago at a seminar he hosted in New York City. “Your power is in your peace.” I had never heard such words ever spoken until that time. Yet, it is those very words that have transformed my life, Chris’ life and the lives of many others who we have guided over the years to live life authentically and on their own terms.
The late Dr. Wayne Dyer (one of my personal heroes on this journey called “the human experience”) wrote a book called “There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem” (and I highly recommend it!). The title of this book is not just an opinion presented by the author; it is a statement of absolute truth. Your mind may attempt to refute it and even deny it. The truth is however, whatever the challenge: be it physical, emotional, financial or relational, the solution is always spiritual.
A spiritual solution is different than a religious solution. Religious solutions are predicated on dogma, laws, and long-standing rites and traditions. They may or may not serve a purpose in your life. Regardless, they are decidedly different than spiritual solutions.
“Spiritual solutions come from within. No one is excluded from accessing them. They are all of ours for the asking. All we need to do is ask.”
So, where does your peace fit in to all of this? The answer, from my own personal experiences, is that peace plays the primary role in our quest for receiving solutions to all of our worldly “problems.”
As a spiritual solution, being at peace simply means we live in the present moment. We are unfettered by the mind chatter: the onslaught of thoughts presented to us by the voices in the head.
When we are present, we live in the now. We become open vessels to receive inner wisdom: a spiritual solution that provides each of us with a plan of action that can remedy any challenge we may face.
If you find yourself challenged with understanding the concept of the present moment or experiencing its’ enormous power, have faith that you can understand and experience it. If you cannot do so now it only means that you, like most people, are at the mercy of your thinking mind.
To spiritually reclaim yourself, to be truly who you are, requires a commitment to experiencing inner peace. Without this commitment, you will continue to be at the mercy of what happens all around you as a victim of circumstance for the rest of your life.
Most of us, over a lifetime of hurts and disappointments, have developed a “hard shell:” an unseen protective coating that we each build around us to stave off physical, mental and emotional pain. This “shell,” in reality, actually prevents us from genuinely experiencing life passionately. It also prevents us from experiencing our true nature which is essentially composed of peace, love, compassion, kindness and good-will.
To experience the power of peace therefore requires us to realize that “what happens” to us has nothing to do with “who we truly are.” This realization is spiritual in nature. It is also a process that requires perseverance, patience, courage and faith.
Your power is in your peace. Peace is the greatest gift you can give yourself and to the world. You see, when you are at peace, your presence becomes infectious in a really healthy way. People love being in your company. They feel your higher energy. They want what you have and the truth is you can share your peace with them by being present for them when they, too, are faced with the challenges and rigor of every day human existence.
Ask for and receive the Gift of Peace. Remember, it is a power that lives within you. It is always accessible to you. All you have to do is ask and be open to receiving it. Commit to making inner peace a priority today.
How do you measure success? What are your parameters? Do you focus solely on your finances, status and getting and having “things?”
If you do, then it is likely you spend much of the time feeling stressed, disappointed and anxious. Perhaps it is time to experience a life that is more balanced and harmonious?
By believing in, and placing our faith in the commonly accepted version of success, we are bound to suffer. Success defined by money, status and materialism places happiness outside ourselves. This continuously puts us at the mercy of hoping that we will get what we want so we can finally be happy. When we don’t, unhappiness, disappointment and despair become the normal and dominant emotions we experience.
We can also suffer when we tend to live our lives based on the parameters set by others. The result is an eventual disconnection with our authentic identity. It is this authentic self that defines success for each of us. It is more than likely that no one ever asked you, or recommended to you, to define success for yourself. Left to your own devices, you may have simply “followed the herd” or “threw in the towel,” or still trying to figure it all out. When we live our lives by the rules and devices set down and invented by other people, we suffer.
So few of us will ever achieve this kind of programmed success for a variety of reasons. First, by the time most of us reach adulthood our sense of self-worth tends to be at low levels because we have been meticulously brainwashed to strive for a level of success that seems unreachable and unattainable. We are told to ‘do your best.’
By the way, has anyone ever defined ‘the best?’ It is the longest running mystery in man’s history. Hint: There is no way to define “the best.” The best does not exist. It is an objective abstraction based solely on individual opinion of constructed in the mind.
It is also highly likely we have spent much of our formative years with individuals (namely our family members) who are already disenchanted and tarnished by the so-called inequities and injustices of life. The message here is ‘life isn’t easy, let alone fair.’ From these perspectives, success becomes some far-off destination not likely to ever be reached. The chance of achieving success with this model is slim to none and results in disappointment for most.
The two of us were fortunate enough to awaken to the possibility that the so-called way to achieving success and the symbols of success were not necessarily success at all. On many occasions, for example, we have coached clients who seem ‘to have it all,’ yet at the deepest emotional and spiritual levels, feel truly unsuccessful, as well as unworthy, undeserving and inauthentic.
Years ago we developed a new model of success, incorporating other areas of your life where you can be successful such as having good health or a loving relationship. Our model suggests that success is a process and not a payoff. More so, it is a state of consciousness: success is emotional!
By shifting success from a payoff to a process, we have witnessed real transformations of individuals who committed to what we call ‘the process of creating success from the inside-out.’
When we feel successful first we are able to define success on our own terms. Success becomes a state of being. Feeling successful becomes your dominant emotion. When you feel this emotion you will truly wonder where it has been hiding all these years.
Here are some ways to get you started with creating your own personal internal blueprint for feeling successful:
Know your intentions! To feel successful and receive what you want requires the use of the power of intention. Behind each and every intention, clarity, discipline, resolve, commitment and an action plan must be present in order to achieve what it is you desire. Your intentions are the fuel that energizes the process of achieving results. Know your intentions!
Truly successful people focus on what they want, rather than what they don’t want. What you focus on expands, so consciously be aware of who and what you give your attention to as often as possible.
To feel success is about “tricking” your mind that you already have what you want to achieve. There are a variety of techniques that allow you to do this. One way is to begin a new healthy habit of speaking in the present tense when referring to the results you want. For example, if you’re looking for a new career that you love, affirm: “I am so happy and grateful for this incredible career that I absolutely love!”
Successful people never worry about the “hows” of life. They always focus on the “whys.” The “why” is why you do what you do in life and why you want to achieve the results you say you want. This gives you clarity.
Embrace a new level of thinking that is more willing to create positive change. You can never create positive change with the same identity that creates negativity and undesired results. “Attacking” your “problems” with the same mind that created them will never get you the results you want. A quick way to initiate positive change is by asking yourself “heart-felt” questions like “What would it feel like to me to be happier and more successful in all areas of my life?”
True success is about envisioning the results you want and less about setting goals. When you can actually feel the result and re-enact it in your mind on a regular basis, your likelihood of physically experiencing it increases dramatically.
According to the late Art Linkletter, success in any life is defined as “finding what you love to do and then spending your life doing it with people you like to be with.” Can you imagine living your life with that kind of success?
Being successful and balanced requires you to nurture, treat and feed your mind and body with love and respect and becoming your own “best friend.”
Acceptance is the key to inner peace! One of the great lessons of my life has been to not hold on to disappointments: they act like a heavy ball and chain.
So many may be deeply disappointed and disheartened by the events of the 2016 US Presidential election.
I have found that the best antidote to disappointment is acceptance. Without acceptance we stay mired in the unchangeable and stuck in the past. With acceptance we can move on and create different results and brighter tomorrows. It is only with acceptance that we can see the silver lining in the cloud. It is only with acceptance that we can grieve the disappointment and begin to let it go.
With acceptance we begin to dissolve our anger, resentment, rage and disillusionment. We move from “why did this happen?” to “this happened for a reason and I am open to seeing it through and learning what that reason is.”
Acceptance falls into many categories: acceptance of yourself, of others, of outcomes and of situations we cannot control. Acceptance does not mean that we do not set boundaries, do not care or become apathetic. Acceptance is something we do for ourselves so that we can gain a level of inner peace and calmness. By accepting a situation as “temporary,” we can create an inner space where desired outcomes become reality.
There is a reason the events of November 8, 2016 happened. It serves a purpose. In fact, it can have multiple purposes. The biggest purpose that I see (and I have discussed this with others over the last several years) is that our country still contains a highly racist and bigoted collective.
Truthfully, friends, the events of this day are a golden opportunity for each of us to look in the mirror and take responsibility for what we truly believe. Being prejudice and bigoted doesn’t mean someone is bad; it means they are in some way deeply wounded. Prejudice and bigotry are aspects of fear.
There is a saying that goes something like this: “you cannot give away what you do not have.” In other words, if you are full of hatred, anger, resentment and feel left out, you will project how you feel onto the world. On the other hand, if you feel love in your heart, possess compassion, empathy toward everyone, and genuinely appreciate all that you have and who you are, then that is what you will share with the world.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of each of us to be open and willing to look within and see what we find. Sometimes we don’t like what we find, yet when we get deeply honest with ourselves we can begin to clean up our inner “house” and create real change for ourselves and the world.
One of my heroes, Mahatma Gandhi said it best: “Be the change you want to see.” If we want America to be the shining star that everyone looks up to we must look within and see where we need to shine the light. As a nation we have not yet done this. We continue to sweep under the carpet our darkest feelings toward others both past and present.
Until we get brutally honest with ourselves as a nation: bigotry, prejudice, hatred, resentment and blame will continue. We have made mistakes, both individually and collectively. It is time to admit our mistakes and shortcomings, take responsibility for allowing them to misguide us, and then let them go once and for all.
We will see what unfolds in the coming days, months and years. This is my appeal to each and every one of you who reads this: look deep into your heart. Stop waiting for someone else to change. The truth is our politicians are not our leaders, they are paid servants of the people. We the people are the leaders; therefore, we as leaders must lead by example. What example are you setting for the rest of us? I have great confidence that it will be one that exemplifies the highest values and virtues: compassion, ethics, integrity, kindness and good-will to everyone. Bless you all!
We all possess unique natural talents and gifts. Each talent and each gift serves a purpose for higher good for us individually as well as for other people.
Too often, too many of us are not tapping into, using, or sharing the talents and gifts we possess. We call this “withholding.” At times, we have all withheld our talents and gifts either consciously or unconsciously. Sometimes we are even unaware of the talents and gifts that we possess.
When we truly have tapped into our personal resources and express and share our talents and gifts, we are “on-course.” Being “on-course” is about fulfilling one’s destiny. Being “on-course” is about being and feeling “on-purpose.”
Living life “on-course” is typified by a feeling of enthusiasm.
We feel inspired. Creativity seems effortless. As a result, we not only give joy to ourselves, but through sharing, we give joy to others.
How many lives you positively affect by expressing and sharing your gifts and talents is of no real consequence. In fact, you can, if you so choose, simply share your talents and gifts with yourself.
No matter how you express yourself, if it gives you a true sense of satisfaction and joy, then you are “on-course.”
For example, we both love to cook and to garden. This doesn’t mean we have to start a catering service or landscaping business (although they could be a possibility). It does however, demonstrate other ways, besides coaching, that we stay “on-course.” We are enthusiastic and inspired by both cooking and landscaping. The joy we feel is similar to our experiences we have when we assist you through coaching to be “on-course,” too.
So how does anyone know if he or she is “on” or “off” course in life? To figure it out is pretty simple: if you are enthusiastic about your life and its’ content, most of the time, then you are “on-course.” If, however, you are lacking enthusiasm, then you are likely to be “off-course.”
Here are some ways to get back on track and on-course in your life:
#1. Write down everything you love to do and are passionate about. Don’t worry about how good you are at “this” or “that” or your level of expertise.
#2. Now write down how you can apply these talents and gifts in ways that enrich your lives and possibly the lives of other people.
#3. Next, write down every excuse you can come up with that tells you to not express yourself through these talents and gifts. Don’t emotionalize this; just write it down.
#4. At the bottom of your “excuse” list write the following: “I now choose to believe that I can achieve whatever I desire if I follow my heart. By following my heart I will always live my life “on-course.”
#5. Return to item #2 above and select one item that resonates with you and commit now to incorporate it into your life by pursuing it enthusiastically. You have nothing to lose and quite possibly a lot of joy to gain.
Who decides whether or not we are happy? Who decides whether or not we feel at peace with ourselves? Who decides whether or not we see ourselves as successful contributors in this world?
The answer, for each of us, to all of the above questions, is “I DO.”
We are each responsible for our own happiness, peace of mind and success. It is when we refuse to take responsibility for our happiness, peace of mind and success, we suffer emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Most people, rather than take responsibility for their life, choose to blame. They blame other people and circumstances for their unhappiness, stress and so-called failures.
Let’s face it: it’s easier to point fingers than it is to take responsibility for where we are today and where we’d like to be tomorrow.
The truth is that life happens. It is part of the human experience. It’s what we all signed up for.
The challenge most of us face is that we are trained and conditioned to focus on what’s wrong with our lives rather than what could be. As children, we hear adults whining and complaining about how bad things are, what’s wrong with other people and how life is one struggle after another.
Bad attitudes and negative mindsets are contagious. The good news, however, is good attitudes and positive mindsets are contagious, too.
There is only one thing we each have to “do” to change our attitude and mindset: create what we call a “Permission Manifesto.” A manifesto is a declaration. When we declare anything, we put it into motion and our lives begin to change.
You see, until we give ourselves permission to be happy, be at peace and experience success, they will all elude us.
A permission manifesto is like your own personal decree; like your very own Declaration of Independence.
And what are you declaring your independence from: feeling down, being stressed and anxious, the past with all of its’ regrets and resentments?
A permission manifesto is a starting point where we all begin to live our lives on our own terms. It is where we give ourselves permission to develop the qualities within us that will allow us to shine, express our talents and gifts, and live our lives with greater zest and intensity.
We have written on numerous occasions that “happiness is a decision” and that we are each one decision away from experiencing it.
By giving yourself permission to experience happiness, inner peace and success, you will literally change your genetic makeup and DNA. Don’t take our word for it: scientists are now identifying this as verifiable fact.
A permission manifesto will make you feel better, look better, do more with less effort and create an all-around positive energy field for you.
Creating a permission manifesto is easy. All that is required is deciding how you want your life to be, how you want to feel most of the time and then allowing yourself to experience what it is you desire.
To get you started, here are some generic permission manifesto statements that almost everyone would want to experience in their lives:
“I now give myself permission to be happier.”
“I now give myself permission to experience more loving relationships.”
“I now give myself permission to do what I love and love what I do.”
“I now give myself permission to experience more inner peace, calmness and serenity.”
“I now give myself permission to thrive and prosper in all areas of my life.”
These are just a few examples you can include in your personalized permission manifesto. We challenge you to create your own permission manifesto. Read it daily. Print it out and place it strategically around your home: on a bathroom mirror or the refrigerator door.
Share your permission manifesto with a friend, a mentor or someone who is uplifting and encouraging. Share it with the two of us! We’d love to hear from you!
We all know someone who has an addiction: a spouse that drinks too much, an overweight child, a parent who lives on painkillers. Or a friend that shops and spends in excess and can’t seem to stop.
In our lives, we have both personally experienced a variety of addictions. The content of our past addictions is really secondary. We have each openly discussed our past in various lectures and talks, radio shows, articles and blogs so we won’t go into details here.
What’s primary is why we experienced these addictions. What caused us to seek pleasure outside ourselves? And, consider this: are these actual addictions or are these simply symptoms of one addiction that most humans suffer from?
Ask yourself, ‘Why do I seek out external pleasures that I usually regret, am remorseful about or hate myself for?’
Could the answer to this one loaded question be ‘because I am addicted to unhappiness?’
From our own personal stories, the two of us can clearly see the truth in that statement. We are all raised to some degree to believe that unhappiness is ‘normal.’
Unhappiness, which is a result of suffering, is seen as noble. We have been brainwashed to believe that playing the victim and being at the mercy of life circumstances and events, is somehow our karmic destiny. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Actually, the opposite is true. To be happy is our birthright. It is our natural state. Being unhappy, therefore, is unnatural. And because unhappiness is unnatural, it adversely affects our total well-being in our mind, body and spirit.
In our attempt to numb, deaden and even eliminate the feeling of unhappiness, we seek happiness outside ourselves. For some of us the pain is so intense, we choose dangerous alternatives such as drugs or alcohol. For others, it’s physical or emotional abuse or dead-end relationships that reinforce the addiction to unhappiness. And still for some, it is about sabotaging any good when it comes our way because happiness feels so alien to the ‘unhappiness addict.’
We are suggesting something of great significance here: that all your so-called ‘problems’ stem from an addiction to unhappiness. Now, we will back up for a moment and say that ‘yes, life includes suffering!’
We all suffer because we somehow cannot accept that everything and everyone, including ourselves, is temporary in nature. Life, in all its’ forms, is transient and always changing. We fear the end result which we call death. Acceptance of our temporary nature is the first step that allows us to break away from the addiction to unhappiness.
Being happy doesn’t mean you never experience sadness. It does mean, however, you develop a greater sense of gratitude, appreciation and love for others, yourself and Life as a whole. A shift from unhappiness to happiness changes your whole life for the better. You ‘go with the flow’ so-to-speak. You rise above any situation, experience and circumstance. When you experience let-downs, allow yourself to feel sad. Grieve , if necessary. Yet, at the end of the day, realize what happened to you doesn’t define who you are.
The addiction to unhappiness takes years to develop. Through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood, we each experience suffering in a variety of ways. This is the human condition. It is inevitable and inescapable.
Yet, we each possess the power to become addicted to happiness. Like our addiction to unhappiness, this addiction will take some time to establish itself in your life.
In order for happiness to become your new norm, you must fulfill some requirements that allow you to exchange an unhealthy addiction for one that invigorates, inspires and ignites a spark of magnificence in you.
Here is a list of processes that we recommend for making happiness your new addiction:
1. Be open to being happy. Without an open mind and an open heart no one can create lasting positive change.
2. Believe that being happy is possible and can happen to you. Without belief, you cannot change your reality which includes your experiences, circumstances and situations.
3. Take full responsibility for your life. No one can truly be happy if they refuse to take charge of their own life. Being responsible is empowering and being empowered is being happy.
4. Learn how to ‘accept what is.’ Life happens! Every moment presents us with a new set of obstacles and challenges. Instead, see them as opportunities. Through acceptance, we open the door to solutions. We can then move with Life rather than being at its’ mercy.
5. Embrace the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the only remedy for unhappiness. Forgiveness frees us from the bondage of all our suffering inflicted upon us by others and by the suffering we inflict upon ourselves.
6. Become a living example of happiness. To experience happiness requires you to embrace it. This means being open to it, believing it has value and being responsible for the form it takes in your life. It also means you are willing to forgive, let go of the past and begin each day with a clean slate.
Right now, in this moment, you may see your life situation as a problem; an enemy of sorts. This is not the case! Consider that your one and only problem is your one and only addiction: unhappiness.
When you really ‘get’ what the two of us are saying here you are on the road to recovery! Unhappiness no more! The road to recovering your life is making happiness yours!
Beyond your current circumstances lies your true power. That power is your true purpose. Nothing or no one will ever provide you with your true purpose because your one and only purpose is an ‘inside job.’
‘Tell Me My Purpose!’ These are the words that we have heard so often from coaching clients. These are the words of everyday people, from different backgrounds and with different careers. Yet, they all expressed feelings of inadequacy, emptiness and most of all, a lack of purpose. We have all thought at one time or another: ‘What is my purpose in life?’ ‘Why am I here?’ ‘There must be more to my life than just this!’
Truthfully, we all get caught up in the routines that life offers us on a daily basis. In fact, we tend to get so caught up into this frenzied vortex of being busy and anxious, that life seems to exist without any real significance.
You may feel like ‘my life is passing me by.’ Or, you may feel trapped: in a dead-end job, a struggling relationship or a difficult financial situation.
You may be obsessed with doing, doing, doing and not seeing the results of all your ‘hard work.’ Or, you may feel bored to death with your life and the daily grind.
You may believe if ‘I had more money my life would have a greater purpose.’ You could do more and have more. Or, you currently have financial prosperity and security, yet, feel unfulfilled. Your life lacks meaning.
“Each of us has the same inner purpose. It has nothing to do with what we do or what we have. It has everything to do with who we are. And, who are we?”
There is no absolute answer to this question. We can only say in relative terms who we think or believe we are. This is where you may get ‘tripped up.’
Some of you may say, ‘I am a spiritual being having a human experience.’ Someone else will say, ‘I’m a child of God.’ Another person may chime in, ‘I am part of the hologram that makes up the entire Universe.’ And, we may even hear these words, ‘I don’t know who I am.’
Relatively speaking, these responses to the question ‘Who am I?’ are all true. Yet, it is interesting to realize that striving to discover who you are may very well be the cause of your ‘problems’ and emotional turmoil.
Could giving up the need to know who you are lead you directly to your true inner purpose for being alive right now?
You may be skeptical; however, the answer is a resounding ‘YES!’ Your purpose, like everyone’s purpose, is to awaken. What does it mean to ‘awaken.’
To awaken implies that on some level we are asleep. To awaken is to become aware, to become conscious. Aware of what? That you have been asleep and now is the time to wake up. This is the ultimate realization of the human experience: remembering that you are part of the whole. And what is the ‘whole?’ For lack of a better term, let’s call it ‘Universal Intelligence.’
You’re struggling with your life, your relationships, your circumstances and situations for one reason and one reason only: you have forgotten that you are a piece of the Universal Intelligence.
We are like amnesia victims who have forgotten their names and the memories of their life experience. Yet, this type of amnesia goes beyond this lifetime or any lifetime for that matter. The goal then, is to realign yourself with the Intelligence that lives within you. This is a process, an inner journey. In spiritual terms it is called ‘coming home.’
When you allow yourself to reconnect with this power within you, your life takes on a whole new dimension. Rather than living a life that lacks purpose, you begin to live a new, refreshing life that is on purpose.
Typically, this inner journey doesn’t take a day or two to complete. How long it takes is up to you. The process is about seeing yourself and the world differently.
You can call it a ‘shift in consciousness.’ We like to simply call it ‘awareness.’ When we become aware of ourselves and the world and our essential nature as Universal Intelligence, a profound change occurs.
This awareness, however, requires presence. Presence is the letting go of the past and the ceasing of worrying about the future.
And now you may be thinking, ‘I have so much stuff to let go of from my past and my life is such a mess. So, how can I not worry about the future?’
“If you are overwhelmed by your past and future, it is because your mind, like all minds, can only think in terms of past and future. To know yourself and your purpose requires you to move away from thinking and being trapped by the voices in the head to having greater awareness and presence.”
When we have presence we live in the ‘now,’ this moment. We are no longer oriented or attached to the past or the future. That is thinking. Thinking is highly over-rated. With greater and heightened levels of awareness, you begin to think less. Does that make you nervous?
If it does, let’s look at it this way: your best thinking got you to where you are today! If you are unhappy and dissatisfied with the results, perhaps it is time to consider an alternative approach.
Awareness is essentially the absence of thought. Imagine your mind no longer experiencing the endless chatter, the never-ending stories, scenarios and nightmares that have seemed to plague you as far back as you can remember!
It is possible! This, friends, is true empowerment. This is your one and only purpose. Empowerment is the joy of being, regardless of what is happening all around you. It is what Einstein meant when he declared, ‘I want to know the mind of God! The rest are details.’
What is the ‘mind of God?’ Consciousness. And, where do you find this consciousness? Look within. Who possesses this consciousness? You do, and so does everyone else.
“When you become conscious, you will be living your life’s purpose. What you ‘do’ beyond that can be called your outer purpose. When you awaken and become aware from within, your outer purpose becomes less significant than it was before. And why is that?”
Because, when you realign yourself with Universal Intelligence your life will be infused with joy, enthusiasm and a new zest for living life on your new, empowered terms. Now, how would that feel? Can you imagine living life this way?
Living your life this way is available to you right now. There are no steps to get you there. All that is required of you is this: a willingness to awaken, the courage to go through the process and the patience to allow your inner transformation to occur on its’ own time schedule.
So, you wanted to know your purpose. To joyfully experience life is your one and only purpose. What you do throughout your day is a result of the joy you feel. What happens to you will likely change over time, yet your experience of being aware, conscious and realigned to who you are will never change…no matter what ‘happens.’
Knowing your purpose is ninety percent of the journey. The rest of the way is simple, yet not always easy. The only roadblocks are the ones your mind creates. We call that ‘resistance.’
For now, be open to giving up resistance. Your willingness is enough of an accelerator at this point to create positive changes in your life. Open your arms! Get ready to receive. Experience the peace and joy. Now, tell us, do you know your purpose?
Are you ready to learn more about living your life on purpose and being more joyful, enthusiastic and happy? Contact us for a complementary ‘Live Your Dream Life Coaching Session.’
If you’re like me and are consciously focusing on your own spiritual awakening, then you are familiar with the term ‘letting go.’
It’s been talked about, written about and made to be the ultimate goal for all spiritual seekers.
Yet, what exactly does the term ‘letting go’ mean? What is required of each us as we go through and experience the letting go process?
I have found that for so many, the process of letting go seems daunting, scary, frustrating and endless.
I’ve been asked countless times: “Does letting go have to be so difficult?” My answer is always a resounding ‘no!’
“When we begin to realize that we each are in control of our own destinies and the choices that we make, we awaken to the truth that we can decide in any given moment to let go.”
And, what is it that we are letting go of? The answer can be long. Too long, in fact to write about it; however, the process of letting go is always about giving up one misconception that most of us have about ourselves.
And that misconception is that there is something ‘wrong’ with us. That somehow, we are fundamentally flawed.
So letting go is simply the process by which we awaken to who we truly are. The truth that we are all special and awesome is scary for most of us, especially when we have been lying to ourselves for so long.
And what are the lies we tell ourselves? For starters: not good enough, something wrong with me, not good looking, not smart enough, not rich enough. Get the picture? The lies we tell ourselves are always about some deficiency or lack that deems us less than worthy: of happiness, success, joy and love, just to name a few items that seems so unattainable and of which we believe we are so undeserving.
Letting go is about surrendering to the truth which coincides with giving up the lies we tell ourselves or the lies others told us and we bought into.
The process of letting go challenges us because it is not a physical process; it’s an emotional one. Now that’s what scares us!
Most of us would sooner deal with being challenged physically than being challenged emotionally. And why is that? Because our emotions are directly linked to our thoughts and beliefs and our thoughts and beliefs are who we think and believe we really are. This is called our identity.
When we let go of our thoughts and beliefs, which includes our entire history, we can actually fear our own annihilation. It is like a death of sorts, only you do not die in the physical, bodily sense. What dies are the stories and along with that is the dissolution and disappearance of all our negative emotions like anger, despair, apathy, fear, anxiety, the right to be right, to name just a few examples.
“The truth is that no one can create anger, resentment, worry or any other negative emotion within you or me. Only you and I can do that by virtue of how we process the world.”
Letting go is available to each of us. This is every human’s karmic destiny and path. You can walk the path courageously or take a lifetime of detours that cause you a great deal of pain and suffering.
To begin to let go requires your willingness. For some of us, that willingness may not come easy. After all, we each invest so much time and effort into our identity and who we think we are. The truth is, who would you and I be without our identities?
Who are you without your name, your social security number, your job, your family, your possessions? Scary questions to ask, aren’t they? Maybe not. When we begin to peel away the layers of conditioning which includes so much negativity and self-limiting beliefs, we begin to realize that who we think we are may not be who we truly are at all.
Surrendering to the process of letting go is like a peeling-away process. I have likened the process to peeling an onion. Try it sometime and notice how many layers the onion has. We humans are very similar. We have many layers to each of us; in a real sense we are multidimensional. Yet, much of that depth and complexity is clouded by a multitude of misconceptions and misinterpretations.
When we live our lives this way, we are misled to believe that this is who we are and that this is just the way it is. Nothing is farther from the truth!
Letting go is magnificent! Letting go is spectacular! Letting go is experiencing true inner peace. What would you rather have? Anger or peace? Anxiety or peace? Despair or peace? Being right or being at peace? The more we let go, the more peace we experience because we spend more of our life being present rather than living in the past or future.
These are decisions we each have to make when we choose to consciously participate in the ‘letting go’ process. It is about choosing inner peace as your one and only goal. Despite where you are now and how you may be feeling, know that inner peace is your true natural state. With inner peace we experience love and with love we experience the joy of life. The sages call this ‘heaven on earth.’
I am passionate about personally experiencing heaven on earth and assisting others to experience it, too. Above all else, when I do experience it, I know that all other experiences are simply poor imitations. As I let go of the stories and all that is attached to them, I know who I am. Who I am and who you are is the same. We are all one and all connected. When you can absolutely get that concept at the deepest level of your being, you have completed the ‘letting go’ process.
You believe you have challenges. You believe you have problems. You feel pain. You suffer. Like you, I have challenges, problems, pain and suffering; however, I no longer identify or confuse myself by equating the situations in my life with who I am. This is my wish for you! Can you, no, rather will you, like me, make that distinction about who you really are? When you answer ‘yes’ you have begun to understand and experience the process of letting go.
The stirring and unrest of mankind continues. It will do so until more of us begin to realize that violence and unrest is the result of the violent thoughts and unrest that exists within the minds of men. It exist within each of us.
Terrorism may be a recent term to describe the current rash of unspeakable, heinous acts, but it is as old as the history of mankind. Churchill called history, “one damn thing after another.”
Acts of violence begin like any other physical experience: they come from a thought, an idea in the minds of men. These thoughts, which are seeds that germinate in the human mind, have been passed on from the beginning of history, from generation to generation. It is like a chain, one link connecting to another link through the ages. Now more than ever, it is time to break this chain of violence and pain.
The solution to ending this on-going planetary turmoil lives within each of us. You and I both have the power to break this chain of violence and pain. We can do so by ‘changing our minds about our minds’ and the relationship we have with them.
On my own personal journey and the journey of countless others, I have come to learn that who I am, let’s call it my essential nature, and my mind, are not one in the same.
How do I know this? I know this because in my life I have had thoughts of committing acts of violence. In fact, during my childhood, I did experience and participate in fights as a way of protecting myself and surviving.
That may have been in a school yard, yet the root of that conflict comes from the same mind that commits terrorist acts of violence.
Through personal transformation and awakening, I began to recognize a power within me that knows the ills and inappropriateness of violent acts.
We all possess this essential nature that knows morality. There is no exception to the rule. Within every sinner resides a saint. Even terrorists, who we may deem pitiful excuses for men, possess it, too. The greatest challenge we face, is the brainwashing of great populations of individuals who believe that violence is the key to their survival. Too many on our planet have been convinced that the credo to live by is “kill or be killed.”
It is this core belief, rooted in thoughts of survival of the fittest, that has poisoned the mind of mankind. It is a belief that those who possess the most weapons of destruction are the ones who will survive.
Thankfully, there is an antidote to this poison which permeates the mind of mankind. The antidote to violence is of course, peace. Peace in our world can only occur when we literally lay down our arms.
We can, I believe, only lay down our arms when we lay down our arms in our conscious minds. When you and I and everyone else on this planet makes peace with himself or herself, peace will then come to our world.
I know this is a tall order. It is asking for the stars when we have the moon. It is asking for the mother of all miracles. Yet, I believe it can happen. Do you?
The only way it will not happen is if you and I wait for the other guy to change so we can be at peace. Do not wait for the other guy! The human race has been waiting for the other guy to change for nearly 10,000 years.
Do you want peace? Then, be it. This is your only true power. Defending ourselves through acts of violence only destroys what we seek to create.
Ask yourself, “What do I want to create?”. Examine your thoughts and your overall mindset. Is it positive, uplifting and loving? Or is it negative, fear-based, angry and resentful?
Do the words of Gandhi, Dr. King or Jesus reside in your thoughts? Thoughts of love, peace, compassion, hope and integrity? Or do you feel like you have to fight for what you want because if you don’t get ‘it’ someone else will?
Be brutally honest with yourself! This is the only way we can change how we see ourselves and our world. And it is the only way we can effectively turn the tide toward peace and move away from violence.
“There is no way to peace because peace is the only way.” Global peace is the only way. Global peace begins with inner peace.
The current state of affairs of our world is simply an out-picturing of the state of our collective mind.
I cannot change your mind and convince you to take the high road of peace, love and compassion. Nor can you convince me of it either.
The only chance for global peace begins with the commitment to inner peace. The good news is, it doesn’t require the entire world population to achieve a state of inner peace.
By possessing the power and miracle of inner peace, we positively transform the lives of those we come in to physical contact with.
The number of people you and I can positively affect cannot be accurately calculated. We cannot begin to even imagine how many lives were changed over the centuries by Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed.
Their essential nature resides in you and me. Seek that essence within you. Know that it is there. With patience, commitment and a willingness, you will find it. And when you find it, the world will be a better place!