Freedom, Listen

Suffering is Ironic

When I was a young adult a very wise person gave me a loving jolt, a call to wake up if you will.  I was caught up in my own suffering, complaining about how terrible and hard life was for me.  I had it with all the injustices I witnessed at work, in the world and was deep in the blame game of why I was so miserable.  Of course, it was all someone else’s doing.  It was the government, it was corporate America, it was the American culture, it was….  Well it was anyone and anything’s fault but mine.  I could not see beyond my suffering to see any other options.  Suffering was just life and it was all because someone else was doing something that stepped on my toes and kept me from being where I wanted to be.

Well, this wise person finally had enough of my suffering and mindless musings.  She abruptly interrupted me and asked: Do you think you are the only one?  You cannot possibly think you are the only one who has a hard time in this life.  Everyone struggles with something and you are here sounding like you are special and the only one who ever had it rough.

Not only was that a shock to my system, but it shook me out of the bitterness I had been holding on to.  She was right about many things, but the one thing that it really made me look hard at was the fact that yes, I did think I was special.  I thought I was the only one who saw these things and I wanted to put a stop to it.  I realized my suffering, my musings about the injustice of it all were mindless and would never solve anything. The reality was I thought I was so special that my complaining would get someone else’s attention and they would do something to change it and save me once and for all.  Ironic.  While I sat there and complained that it was everyone else’s fault I also deeply buried a belief that it was also someone else’s responsibility to help me and to stop these terrible things from happening to me.

In moments such as these, we all have to make a choice.  We can continue to complain and suffer and hope someone comes to our rescue or we can see that the ownership lies with us.  We are not special we are not unique in this world filled with differing opinions.  We all suffer in our own way and it is by our own doing, not anyone else.  We are all looking for solutions to the same underlying problem.  We all want to feel a sense of freedom to be in this world, but we have allowed someone else to stop us.  Read that line again.  It is we, the individual who have allowed someone to stop us.  No one can ever make you think or feel a certain way.  Choose to be in this world.  Choose to see your own ability to feel and think for yourself.  And finally choose to see it all starts and stops with how you choose to see yourself and this world.

Thank you to the wise woman who jolted me awake.

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Freedom, Listen

Define Your Needs vs Your Wants

Here we are. Most of us find ourselves staying home for our own safety and for the safety of the world. For many this is a new experience, not being able to go where we want to go whenever we want to go. With any new experience comes new insights, new opportunities to see things not seen before. Without the constant movement, distraction and demands of life pulling you in all directions, you are most certainly going to uncover some valuable truths that have been waiting patiently for you to discover.

A truth you are probably seeing for yourself what you actually need in this life. This is somewhat the same for all of us – the need for safety, food and connection. But the underlying items that create these can vary greatly from person to person. Now that you are in a situation that is forcing these realities to surface do yourself a huge favor for your future: write down what you need versus what you want (those nice to have but not going to break without).

Here is what I came up with for myself. I need sunlight to not only feel a sense of connection but also a sense of safety. For me, opening my blinds to let the sun rush in gives me a reminder that life is still out there, still going strong and provides hope. This has been a must have in my life I discovered many years ago when I was battling depression. Sunlight makes me feel safe and gives me a feeling of connection to all of life itself.

Another great focus area is on food. Food is a source of life. There are so many choices out there today, but which foods are an absolute must for your continued health and sense of well-being? Personally, I love popcorn. But popcorn is not a need, it’s a nice to have want on my list, a luxury item if you will. A need for me is vegetables: spinach, onions, tomatoes and bell peppers are a must have in my pantry.

What about connection with others. Now that we are “social distancing” and sheltering in place what do you feel like you need more of when it comes to connecting with others. Do you need a daily phone conversation with someone, watch a live stream, have a video call with a loved one? What does that look like for you?

You have this opportunity to uncover what your needs are at a very real level. Do your future self a favor, identify these for yourself so you can bring these into your life moving forward. This can be a real game changer.

If there is any support you need from me, please do not hesitate to reach out and ask.
With much love,
Elizabeth Roberts

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Freedom

Now is the Time

Now is the time.  The time to be the person you have always wanted to be.  That kind, compassionate, loving creature you know you are that you have been hiding deep down.  The world needs you to step into yourself completely now more than ever.

You may have heard a trend in many of my writings encouraging you to be yourself.  Now more than ever we need you.  We need everyone to be themselves.  If you look deep within, you will find how beautiful and lovely you are and how much you have to offer.  That offering will be different for each of us, but that is exactly the point.  Each of us offers a piece of the whole.  When we finally embody our piece others can begin to move into their piece that will then nudge another to move into their piece.

We have been living in a world where we thought it was better to be like everyone else.  In times like these it becomes apparent that is not the case, nor was it ever the case.  We were only locked into a way of being that got us by.  We may have gotten by but the overall feeling from the individual level all the way to the collective whole has been that feeling of just getting by.  We aren’t here to just get by, to simply survive, we are here to live.

So, now is the time. Now is the time to live your life.  Now is the time to be who you are without having to look around you to see what everyone else is doing or who they are being.  We have moved into a moment of time where we are being asked to take a deeper look, remove the distractions, and finally get real.

We have all been invited into a new way of looking at life and a new way of being in this world. I hope you will join me in this adventure.

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Freedom, Listen, Uncategorized

How to Win a Fight

If you prefer to listen click the link to the audio

Have you ever used the phrase fighting fire with fire when it comes to an argument with another person?  I always picture someone spewing a ball of fire from their mouth into an already out of control fire only to see the fire completely engulf both people bringing them both down. Yet I see this mindset and strategy used all the time when human beings are engaged in a battle.

The term fighting fire with fire originated from a 19th century fire fighting method where small fires were set in advance of a larger fire coming to reduce the “fuel” in the larger fire’s path.  The concept seems great but it gave rise to other issues.  Without a way to put out the smaller fires before a larger fire approached, the whole strategy backfires resulting in fire completely devastating the area.

What can we learn from the 19th century fire strategy?  One, we don’t even use is correctly when we fight. Iit’s not a very smart strategy when it comes to human behavior.  And two, why start additional fires when the goal is to put the fire out?

If we are only starting fires, elevating our own anger, in the face of someone who is already angry we are only successful in intensifying the anger in the room.  With both parties now angry, and fuming, no one can see above the flames.  No one is in a state of mind to reduce the heat and hear the other person.  We are now in a battle to out anger the other party and create even more destruction.

More Fire = More Anger = More Destruction

Fires don’t put out fires.  Fighting doesn’t create peace.  An eye for an eye doesn’t bring about vision.

Instead of bringing more fire to the fight, try to understand why the person is upset to begin with.  Try hearing them out.  That’s really all they want.  They want to feel heard.  They want to calm down too and not feel they have to fight their way through life.  To win a fight you must first stop fighting.  Then you can hear what needs to be heard and you will see the fire, the anger, the fear in the other person turn down and end its destruction.

If you find this helpful or know someone who needs to hear topics like these, please be sure to share.  Be a life changer. You never know what may change the course of someone’s life.

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Freedom

This is What You Were Made To Do

Click here to listen to the audio

We are made for change.  We are literally creatures built to adapt.  Look around you and take notice that nothing, not the trees, the people, your thoughts, the temperature, your mood, nothing ever remains the same.  We are here for the experience of each and every moment.  That means we are made for change.

Even the cells of your body are changing as you read this.  If you are ever changing down to your very cellular level then you must see you are built for change.

There are times it doesn’t feel like we are changing.  This is only because you are holding tightly to a story, afraid that if you let it go you will no longer be.  But here you are.  While everything around you is changing you hold tightly to something that no longer exists and you only grow frustrated, scared and unable to experience this moment.

Allow yourself the experience of the moment.  See what it holds for you.  Experience it fully and completely so you can let go and move into the next moment. It’s what you were made to do.

If you find this helpful or know someone who needs to hear topics like these, please be sure to share.  Be a life changer. You never know what may change the course of someone’s life.

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Freedom, Listen

What To Do When You Let Yourself Down

If you prefere to listen, click here for the audio recording

We all know the feelings of guilt and shame when we let ourselves down.  Sometimes these feelings can be overwhelming and can feel like we are carrying a boulder with us everywhere we go.  While many may be holding on to old events in our life that gave us a feeling of guilt or shame, it doesn’t mean we have to keep carrying this around moving forward.

One of the quickest ways to eliminate guilt and shame from our minds is to begin by keeping our promises.  Especially the promises we have made to ourselves.  Think about it.  We all make promises to ourselves, usually promises that give us hope for a better life. Things like our famous New Year’s resolutions, the promise to do better this year than last, the promise to take better care of ourselves and to do better with others.

Whenever we break these promises to ourselves, we tend to spiral down into guilt and shame.  That hopeful, flying high feeling the promise gave us is quickly replaced with crippling doubts about who we are and what we are capable of doing.  Don’t let those crippling feelings take away the hope that had you feeling so high on the possibilities of life.  Those possibilities are still there, it’s only your thoughts that would have you believe otherwise.  You can still get back to that hopeful feeling and keep that promise to yourself.

Whenever you get that feeling you are carrying around a guilt or shame boulder, stop and ask if it’s keeping you from your promises.  If it is, then you have an awesome opportunity to bring that promise and hope back to life.  It means you still want it. We all take steps back on our way to what we want, but this is no reason to stop.

Children make mistakes all the time on their way to learning anything.  We don’t tell our kids to stop when they come up against an obstacle or allow them to wallow in misery about an innocent mistake.  We help them understand what happened and encourage them to keep going because it’s worth it.  You can do this for yourself too.

Once you have noticed that your feelings of guilt or shame are keeping you from what you want, take a moment to identify what prompted the feelings in the first place.  This will help you find where you are making yourself feel like you did something wrong.  Now that you know what it is, ask yourself what you can do to either make it right or what you can do to move forward.  Maybe you just need to slow down, give yourself permission to learn along the way, adjust the timeline or even make adjustments to the original promise.  It is in our mistakes where we learn what it is we really want and can then make the necessary course corrections to get back to it.

You can do anything you put your mind to when you allow your mind to work for you, instead of you working for whatever your mind says.

If you find this helpful or know someone who needs to hear topics like these, please be sure to share.  Be a life changer. You never know what may change the course of someone’s life.

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Freedom

How to See No One is Here to Harm You

If you prefer to listen click here for the audio recording

There is not a single person on this planet who was born to hurt or harm you in any way.  People cause harm out of a reaction to their own fears.  Fear for their physical safety, emotional safety and even fear of feeling safe in their own psyche (mind).  That means if a person perceives a threat to their well-being in any way, they will choose to take action that will protect them or move them away from that perceived threat.

What does that mean for you?  It means another person is not reacting or doing anything because of you.  It has nothing to do with you.  They are acting from a place of fear, a perceived fear.

Haven’t you ever been in a situation where you acted on what appeared to be a threat when it really wasn’t?  Think back to a time where fear took you over.  Was it the person or your perception of the situation that pushed you to act? Often, we are too quick to act when we need to take a step back to question our perception of reality in a given situation.

Yes, fear can be a good thing.  When you are faced with emanate danger such as a tiger or bear chasing you. But in these modern times, the likelihood of encountering these types of dangers is pretty slim.  Most of our modern-day fears stem from a mentally constructed, fabricated illusion of danger. It is our perception of reality that is dangerous.

So, what can you do now that you know this?  Before you act, stop and ask yourself if there is a real threat, are you really in danger, or are you just triggered by the words someone just said.  Words cannot cause harm.  It is only the meaning, the perception of those words that you assign that can cause you any pain.  No one can cause harm, only your perception can.

If you find this helpful or know someone who needs to hear topics like these, please be sure to share.  Be a life changer. You never know what may change the course of someone’s life.

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Freedom

The Core of Being Human

We are all the same.  All of us have the same needs and desires at our core.  We all need a sense of safety – shelter, food, love, acceptance.  These aren’t just desires we want fulfilled for ourselves either.  We also want these things for the humans we care about as well.  I have found this to be true no matter where you are on this planet.  As human beings we are all the same deep down.

How these needs and desires play out may look a little different from human to human but that is only because our life experiences have been different.  What we each consume and take in, from media, family, friends, religious teachings, books and the outside world, influences how we see and then behave.  No matter what we face or take in from our experiences we never lose our basic humanness: our desires to feel safe, to feel love and to love others, to be accepted and to understand the people and world around us.

Know that this is what it is to be human. Know that we are all the same.  Keep this in mind as you go through your day and interact with other humans.  Yes, we are all the same.  It is only the experiences that make us seem different.

If you find this helpful or know someone who needs to hear topics like these, please be sure to share.  Be a life changer. You never know what may change the course of someone’s life.

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Freedom

Answers For Who Will You Become

Click Play if you prefer to listen.

We spend a great deal of time and energy thinking about what we want from life and how we don’t have it yet.  Being caught up in our desires for the future, we forget to look at today.  We have forgotten to cherish the experiences of the moment that always let us know how we are doing and how we are making progress toward a future of our dreams.

Are we striving so hard for a “future” we don’t even pay attention to what we are creating today?

In order to design a life you want to live, you must first see and experience the moments of today.  No one has your unique set of experiences, desires, group of people or even outlook on life quite like you.  If you are trying to fit yourself into someone else’s formula for the good life you will always feel a bit out of place.  Perhaps it is time to come up with your own answers and create your own formula for living your best life.

The answers are only in one place.  The answers are inside of you.  Deep down you know who you are and who you want to become.  Instead of looking to the outside for the answers it’s time to look inside and remember who you are.  Looking to the outside only gives you the “shoulds” our society would like to see.  To live your dream life, you will need to shake of those “shoulds” to reveal the life you were born to live.

Finding the answers starts with the asking yourself the right questions. Spending time listening to yourself in quiet contemplation is necessary on the road to your best life.  If you are not sure what to ask, here are some sample questions from my book, A Year of Questions.

  • What is your overall dream for your life?
  • How would you describe yourself? What makes you, you?
  • What are your values?
  • What reoccurring thoughts do you have that keep you stuck?
  • What would you like to think about yourself, others and the world you live in?

Take some time to come up with your own personalized answers to those questions.  You never know where they may take you.

If you find this helpful or know someone who needs to hear topics like these, please be sure to share.  Be a life changer. You never know what may change the course of someone’s life.

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Freedom, Listen

Looking for Some Understanding?

If you want to know a person, seek to understand them.  We all want to feel like we are, at the very least, being heard so someone can understand where we are coming from.  Isn’t this why we continue to argue our case and make our point known?  Yet in our efforts to make our point we often don’t extend the same to others.  Our need to be right, our need to hold tight to our point of view and our need to bolster our sense of self keeps us from the very things we desire:  to be understood and to feel a sense of connection with others.

How can we demand someone understand us when we do not strive to understand others?  We can’t demand what we ourselves are not willing and capable of doing.

So, if you would like to know someone, seek to understand them.

Start with the people closest to you. The people you actually want around in your life. It’s easier to start with these people as you already have a genuine desire to really get to know them. Begin with the simple act of listening. Not what you are currently doing as listening, but begin to listen with you whole mind and heart. That means clear your mind of your own inner dialogue and judgments while they are speaking in order to actually hear what they are attempting to reveal to you. You can’t understand someone if all you have in your mind is a list of ways to dismiss what they have to say. If you really want to know someone, get curious and listen to them completely. This may take some practice at first but in time this will become much easier.

Remember, leave judgement behind.  You can’t possibly know what led a person to where they are, with the decisions they are facing and the life events they find themselves in at any moment.  All of us have gone down some rocky roads at some point in our life and only wanted someone, anyone, to understand and accept us for who and where we were in that moment.  This is an example of what love looks like every day.  A genuine desire to understand and accept where people are, not to judge, shame or kick them when they are down.

As you become more comfortable with this new style of listening, you will start to notice a few things.  First, you will begin to gain a better understanding of people.  You’ll see what they want from life, what they value in the world and what makes them tick.  Secondly, as you have a greater understanding of someone, you will find yourself naturally compassionate toward them.  You may also find they trust you more as a byproduct.  And this could lead to them wanting to understand you better.  Now that you have given them an example of what understanding looks like in practice, they too can start to listen to you with the goal of understanding.

If you find this helpful or know someone who needs to hear topics like these, please be sure to share.  Be a life changer. You never know what may change the course of someone’s life.

 

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