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, 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, 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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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

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

The Pleasure of Life

There is nothing more pleasurable in this life than living it fully yourself, fully authentic.

It is truly remarkable how life unfolds with all the ups and downs.  How it feels like waves moving us along, guiding, pushing and pulling us toward some things and away from others.  In the moment we don’t know exactly what is going on or where we are going, but that isn’t the important part we need to know.

What is important then?  It is recognizing what feels true for you in each moment.  Allowing that truth to guide you into the next moment without denying or judging it.  Truth is truth and it is unique to every person.

No two of us are exactly the same.  We each have tendencies toward something in each moment. We are not all attracted to the same outcomes, people or experiences.  We are each here to experience something in our own way and in turn, to help others experience their truth in ways we will never know.  To deny or to judge this is to put our life, the lives of others and this world into chaos.

Yet we do that every day.  We question, we fear, we deny, we run away and for what? All because we don’t want to be judged and are afraid we will not be accepted by the people we have chosen to surround ourselves with?

Well, choose to surround yourself with people who can accept you and build you up to fully experience this life and your truth.  If that means spending a little time alone so be it.  It is better than living a life of fear and trying to please people who will never be pleased.

Choose to show up for yourself.  Commit to living a fully authentic life.  There is nothing more pleasurable.

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Freedom, Uncategorized

Where are the Answers?

What if you already have the answer in you?  What if you are just looking in the wrong places? What if there was a way to find the answers that are tailor made for you?

We all have the answers we need somewhere inside of us.  We each have an internal guidance system, we just don’t use it. This system is just buried underneath stress, the expectations of others and society, pressures we put on ourselves, not to mention the feelings of guilt and shame we hang onto.  All of those things interfere with our internal system and cloud our vision, muffle our hearing and ultimately take us off our path.

So, how do we go beyond the chatter and stories of the mind?  Pause and ask questions.  Questions act to disrupt the chatter and pull you out of states of worry, frustration and confusion. They shift you into a place of pure curiosity, honesty and discovery.  This shift places us beyond the mind and into a space where we find all of the answers that line up with who we are and inspire us into action.

Next time you find yourself stuck, stressed or just a little frustrated, just pause for a moment.  Take yourself away from the situation by taking a short walk, go to the bathroom or turn on some music.  A change in environment helps to accelerate the shift and creates space for the honest answers to come through.  Once you feel calmer, you can begin to ask questions. You will find your answers coming from a different place.  If the situation has been going on for a long time a brief walk or pause may not give enough space.  You may need a day or two before the space is there for you to uncover the answers.  It is important that you not force the answer.  Trust the answer is there and it will reveal itself.

As you practice pausing then asking, you will find it easier and easier to access your internal guidance system.  You will find your life in flow and see life is truly beyond the thoughts and stories of your mind.

 

 

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