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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Listen

Transform Your Relationships with Listening

Are your relationships where you want them to be?  Maybe it’s time for a relationship tune up.  One of the easiest ways to transform a relationship is to simply listen to the other person.  We have become so insistant that others need to listen to us we forget they may feel the same way leaving us in a stale mate.  All parties feeling unheard and bitter.

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.  Attached is an exercise to help you get started on the journey.  Just click on the link to access the worksheets: The Practice of Precense in Listening

Let us know how it works for you.

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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, 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

Break The Cycle

Your past will never dictate your future.  Your past is done, finished and over never to be repeated again unless you decide to hold on to it.  Just like the dinner you had last night, your first kiss or the time you stubbed your toe so hard you cried it’s all in the past.  Your past only provides memories and wisdom as you move forward.  The only reason your past replays in your mind is because you believe it is you.

Memories are not you.  You are always the present moment.  You get to chose who you are moment to moment.

Every moment, every second is another opportunity to do something different.  A chance to see and experience life differently.  You chose what you are right now, not your past.  Break the cycle, break the pattern, break out of your depression and anxiety by choosing to see the present moment.  See it with clear eyes and a clear mind so you can fully take in what is in front of you.

Your past is merely a distraction.  Choose to see this life with fresh eyes and start to live in the moment. Be the author of your life today, tomorrow and for many years to come.

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

You See What You Are

Do you ever wonder why some people react to a comment, a situation or even a commercial and you do not?  Or what about the times you get upset or excited about something, yet the people around you don’t?  The truth is, you see what you are.  You can only relate to those things in the world that represent a piece of you, whether that piece of you is known to you or repressed by you.

Take for example a social encounter where you walk away offended by another person’s apparent lack of social queues.  They interrupt conversations, burp openly without an excuse me or you just don’t like the way they dress.  There is a reason these behaviors rub you the wrong way.  Yet, there were other people in the room experiencing the same offensive person, but they walk way with a completely different impression.  Perhaps they even walk away holding that person in high regard.  Funny how different people can experience the same thing and walk away with different opinions.  Neither more right or wrong than the other.  Each experiencing their own truth.

You can only see what you know.  We can only see what we are even if what we see we do not like. Notice that you are around millions of pieces of information every single day and not every one of those will trigger a reaction in you and many of those pieces of information will not even register consciously with you.  This is because you do not relate or hold that information important to who you are.

Let me put this into slightly different terms that we see and feel to some degree every day:

JUDGEMENT

When you feel judgement well up inside of you it is because you are afraid that part of you may come to the surface.  You are facing what you fear is a capability you have within yourself.  This is something you have shoved down and spent a great deal of energy keeping hidden from yourself and from the world.  You think if that part of you comes out you may be ridiculed, seen as worthless or worse case scenario become an outcast in today’s world.

Our inclination to judge others is only a judgement of ourselves.  We would not feel a need to vilify a behavior, attitude or appearance if we did not recognize this potential within ourselves.  This explains why we find ourselves fighting so fiercely against those things we judge as wrong.  We have been fighting to keep this part of ourselves from surfacing.  Once you can see that what you judge in others is only a fear you have for yourself, you can begin to move forward with an open mind.  Remember what you see as a horrifying trait, someone else sees completely opposite.  Begin to see that your judgement of others is an invitation to take a closer look at what you are hiding from yourself.

ADMIRATION

When you find yourself drawn to someone or something sparks a positive surge of energy through you, know this is something you recognize with yourself too.  We admire what we desire.  We desire what we are deep inside.  We want nothing more than to fully step into the person we were born to be and to be that every day.  When we are presented with an experience of admiration this is life’s invitation to show you what you are that you are keeping from expressing on a regular basis.

Notice the next time you feel that surge of admiration.  It makes you feel good.  You will find yourself saying oh I wish I could do that or I can totally do that.  You would not have the vision to see it, feel it or even speak about it if you didn’t already have that piece inside yourself already.  Take a deeper look at what specifically you admire about a person or a thing and look for all the ways you have shown up in the world with those same traits. Once you know what those underlying traits are, make a conscious effort to be more of that in your day to day.

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

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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