Freedom, Listen, Uncategorized

How to Win a Fight

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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

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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

Answers For Who Will You Become

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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

Beyond Our Thoughts

Are you living a life that you get excited about?  Or have you found yourself living a life they say you should live?

We all begin in life with everything we need.  As child, you followed your intuition and your instincts.  You knew who you enjoyed being around and you knew what you wanted to do moment to moment and you did it.  But somewhere along the way you were pushed to question our own inner wisdom. From that questioning, you find yourself living a life out of alignment, leaving you feeling confused, bitter at times and wondering if this is all there is in this life.  You are not alone.  This is part of being human, it’s part of the process of experiencing this life. You don’t have to stay stuck here.

If you have found yourself walking down a path in life where you feel lost, unsure of where you are going and just not feeling like you are yourself, don’t worry.  We all veer off our path from time to time, but we can do something about it and make a course correction.

Begin by noticing your thoughts.  Are your thoughts your own?  Meaning do they feel true to you or do they leave you feeling like a bad person, an unworthy person or someone who is stuck with limited options?  When the majority of our thoughts beat us down, it’s time to look at them and question them.  Where did these thoughts come from in the first place?  Did I pick this up from a parent, a friend, a teacher, the media or a religious institution?  Are my thoughts fueling me to be the best version of myself or are they keeping me stuck?

Just the simple act of noticing your thoughts without having to buy into them is life changing.  You will create an awareness within yourself to listen deeper, to uncover the truth and to experience yourself without being a prisoner to your thoughts.  It is possible to see beyond the thoughts we have in our mind and see there is much more wisdom waiting for us to discover.  Imagine what is possible when you don’t attach yourself to every thought that comes into your mind.  Imagine a world where you get to live a life guided by an inner wisdom that knows how to keep you feeling alive, curious and knowing that anything is possible.   Unlimited possibility, passion and excitement awaits just beyond our limiting thought patterns.

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

 

 

 

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Freedom

What is Your Disatisfaction Trying to Tell You?

Spring is officially here!  This is my favorite season because it brings so many reminders of how everything can come back to life and it is even more beautiful than I remember.  As I look around at the sudden vibrant life in the trees and amazing colors of the flowers it reminds me about the purpose of seasons and the cycles of life.  Spring is the season of renewal and rebirth.  What once seemed dead and is now renewed and filled with life.  The seeds buried deep within the Earth were merely lying there preparing for the new season.

I see this as a metaphor for our dreams and desires.  When I was a young girl, I had dreams and desired to make an impact on people.  I wanted to infuse people with hope and to encourage them to follow their heart.  I saw and heard the potential in people and wanted nothing more than for them to follow their heart so they could to bring that dormant potential to life.  There was a time in my life when I thought that dream was dead, as life had taken a much different turn.  The season turned to survival then into a wonder into wilderness where I ended up buried under all of life’s demands.

Years passed by, as my dreams and desires lay dormant, or so I thought.

One day I noticed this nagging in the back of my mind that kept hinting that I was supposed to be doing something else with my life.  No matter what I did – work more, acquire more stuff, stay busy, numb it away, even just trying to flat out ignore it as crazy – it didn’t go away.  It was as if something was starting to wake up inside of me and there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it.

All those dreams and desires never really go away.  They are always somewhere inside.  If you take a look around you will see little hints of them trying to come out.  Perhaps they show up as that voice in your head gently reminding you that you are not doing what you have been called to do, you find yourself questioning, is this really all there is to life.  Maybe it shows up as a consistent and very persistent annoyance in the world around you that only you seem to notice.  Or you find yourself in certain situations over and over again.

I was blessed with the trifecta.  All of the above were screaming at me loudly right before I finally admitted I couldn’t take it anymore and started seriously exploring what was going on. I felt misplaced, disconnected and my overall mood was one of anxiety sprinkled with sadness that I just could not shake.  I knew there was so much more to life.  I was so annoyed by the lack of listening that was taking place everywhere I went – from seeing friends completely ignore their friends, parents cutting off their children to leaders and co-workers too busy to pay attention to each other.  It really ate me up inside.  In addition, I was placed in situations over and over again that put me in position to be an example of the very thing that annoyed me.

If you are fed up with the way your life is, not fired up or just not excited about anything anymore you probably have dreams and desires inside of you trying to get out.  All of us have desires that were planted deep inside that are meant to grow.  You don’t have to keep them buried and you don’t have to wait until you hit the trifecta of clues to do something.  Please don’t wait like I did or you run the risk of that dull sadness turning into depression or the worry taking over into anxiety.  You can bring your dreams and desires back to life.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by dreaming on purpose.  Spend time allowing yourself to think about things that get you excited, things that make you feel connected again.  Get a journal and just write out all the things you loved as a child, these are great pointers to the desires planted inside of you.  It is springtime, the season of revival and new beginnings.  Let’s get into the spirit and start growing into your life.

 

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Freedom

Life is Not Difficult

There is a message out there about getting what you want.  It always seems to be delivered with the idea, the assumption, that getting what you want or making a change is hard and has to be difficult.  But does it?

Of course this life will be hard, when we aren’t living the life we were designed to live. When we are continually chasing after the very things that will never fulfill our individual soul.  We go out, follow someone else’s plan and think somehow, we will get a life specifically designed for our own personal happiness and fulfillment.  This conditioned way of thinking that tells us life is hard, getting what you want is hard, living itself is hard is nothing more than a way to keep people distracted and doing life in line with someone else’s agenda.

We MUST see, once and for all, that one person’s idea of success, one person’s vision of the “good life”, one person’s path to a life of joy is NOT the path, vision or idea for everyone.  Our need for acceptance, connection and love has been used and exploited to convince us that there is only one way for every human on this planet to have a successful and happy life.

Following someone else’s formula has led to the state of the world we find ourselves in today.  We are experiencing the highest levels of depression, anxiety and misery today more than any other time in history.  Following someone else’s idea of a well lived life has denied us the greatness that is lying dormant in each and every one of us.

When will we see that our desires are unique?  They are ours to discover and uncover, not something we can be can told.  We are put here to listen and to develop and to experience who it is we really are.  When will we shift into a knowing that who we are is easy, fulfilling and creates the passion and the drive to be just that?

The next 3 years of your life will look like the previous 3 years of your life only if you buy into to the notion that getting what you want is hard and there is a certain prescriptive way to get it.  It’s only when you decide you want to change, decide you want to develop yourself and decide to see that you are able, capable and designed to change that you will.

 

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Freedom, Uncategorized

No Need to Hide

Listening is one of our most powerful tools to invoke change in this world.  In a previous article, Listening is an Act of Love, we talked about the life changing power of listening and some ways to develop that power in your everyday life. I challenged you to take the concept out into the world by turning down the dialogue in your mind (judgement, formulating a response and thinking of your to do list), turning off distractions (phone, computer, television) and tuning into the person right there in front of you.

This week the focus is on what happens when we don’t listen.  How does that really impact who we are and how we show up in the world. Not listening has far reaching implications not just in our lives but in the lives of those we interact with as well.

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement” – Brene Brown

When we simply listen to another, we change lives by allowing people to express themselves fully and honestly. These types of expressions let us fully process, heal and emerge into the people we are were born to be.  In contrast not listening causes harm and in many cases devastating damage.

When people do not feel heard, they shrink, hide and become someone they are not in order to gain acceptance.  People who do not feel understood tend to exhibit anger, resentment and bitterness.  We put on masks that become hard to remove.   The longer we put on the masks the more misunderstood we feel because we stop showing up as ourselves.  Our hearts become hardened the more we feel unheard and misunderstood.  As this downward spiral continues, we find ourselves in a state where we can’t even hear our own voice and you certainly can’t hear the whisper of inner wisdom.  We value who shows up in the world less and less because we show our true self to the world less and less.

Don’t be that person who causes people to hide.  Be the person who shows up every day, open, curious and willing to hear.

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Freedom, Uncategorized

Listening is an Act of Love

The simple act of listening holds the power to change lives and the world we live in. The power comes in many forms: the power of connection, the power to uplift, the power to hear and the power of understanding. Listening gives each of us the power to change our own lives and the lives of others.  Imagine creating a world where people feel heard, understood and accepted so they are free to become who they were born to be.

Every single one of us has a need to feel understood and accepted.  We desire to connect and to feel safe around others.  When we are vulnerable enough to speak our truth from our heart, we are looking to fully express who we are.  Sometimes we get what we are looking for, that feeling we have been truly heard, and other times we are left feeling crushed, saying never again will I show my true self.

Let me offer some reassurance to those who feel misunderstood and feel they need to hide.  You don’t need to hide; you just need to find the right people who can hear you.  Often we go to people who are not properly equipped to really hear us.  This is not their fault; they just don’t know how to effectively listen or how to hear you with the aim of understanding you.  It is not that they desire to harm you in any way; in fact, most people believe they are helping you.

None of us will make it through this life without running into people.  Sorry you can’t hide.  You need people in every area of your life and people need you.  Your friends and family deserve your attention and understanding.  If you are married, you expect your spouse to hear and understand you and they expect the same from you in return.  Children need us to hear and understand them as they grow so they can fully embrace who they are to live a boldly awesome life.

To Listen is to Love, it is part of the package to living a fulfilled and joyful life.

Even at work, every person has thoughts, desires and hopes beyond the workplace.  Humans are not made to compartmentalize their lives.  We bring all of us to every situation and environment. Whether we realize it or not, even at work we need to feel heard and understood so we can bring our best performance and motivation to the environment.  True leaders know and understand this, they lead by understanding and they understand through listening.

Learning to listen will open a whole new world to you.  Your stress will decrease, possibilities and answers will be revealed to you, relationships will be renewed and even strengthened, you will raise motivated confident children and if you happen to own a business or hold a leadership position, you will have employees who love to work with you because you make them feel valuable.

Do yourself and your loved ones a favor, be an example of what it means to listen.  You can do this by simply being present for another person.  Remove distractions.  That means you will need to put the phone away, turn off the television, walk away from the computer so you can give them your attention.  It also means focusing with the intent to hear and to understand.  The mind can only focus itself on one thing at a time.  We can’t really hear someone if we are distracted with our own thoughts, judgement or if we are busy formulating a response.  Practice turning down the volume on your own thoughts so you can tune in and hear other people.  It is only when you can tune into others that you can trust yourself to know what to say and when to say it.

My hope for you is to shine a new light on what it means to listen so you can be the example of what it looks like to listen with the aim to understand. Take the insights and concepts into your home, workplace and even to the grocery store and you will start to see the life changing power of listening.

 

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