Our family has a 9-10 year old female corgi/golden retriever mix. We got her from the shelter 2 years ago and she has turned out to be a great dog for us. This afternoon when I returned home she met me half way up the stairs as I was coming down. When we reached the bottom she gave me a quick bark. Roughly translated, I need to go out and I want you to take me.
And then this is when it gets good. Once she gets the signal that I am going to take her out (I get the leash) she gets all excited and starts jumping around with all kinds of enthusiasm. You would think she was getting the biggest juiciest piece of steak in the world (though she could not chew it if she did), but no, she is getting to go outside to relieve herself. In her excitement she is letting me now how much she appreciates me taking her out.
What a great expression of gratitude. And a great side effect, regardless of my mood prior to that moment, I get a smile on my face.
Gratitude. It does not have to be hard. It can actually be FUN.
Fear, it can feel so debilitating or overwhelming, creating avoidance in our lives. There are times when fear and avoidance is good. It keeps us from getting hurt in some way (e.g., stepping in front of a moving vehicle), physically or mentally. And then there are those situations when avoidance can be debilitating and we need to do the thing we are afraid anyway.
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Take for example a conflict at work or in your family. Someone has spoken something to a third party that is either not true or negative, without benefit to anyone and likely hurtful consequences to someone. Addressing a situation like this could be very scary for some people. In other words, addressing conflict=BAD. And yet, leaving this situation unaddressed is very likely more hurtful to everyone involved. It is negative and only lowers the energy of those that are affected and even beyond.
Stepping up and facing into our fears (versus avoiding) in these situations can turn the fear into positive influence, such as re-establishing integrity, building trust, reducing negative influences and developing the courage to take of ourselves. There are many other examples we could mention in the home or at work. It is about facing into the fear that is tide to doing what is right, not what is easy.
Here are 5 steps to make it easier to address situations you may be avoiding.
1. Stop and be willing to acknowledge and be in integrity with your fear.
2. Look to see if you have made up a story about the situation that is making the fear bigger than it needs to be (e.g., she will just turn me down if I ask her out…I am not good enough for her…she is so much better looking than me, etc., etc.,).
3. Now remove the story from the situation. Look at the facts of the situation.
4. Ask yourself how might I feel about myself if I don’t step into and through my fear. If you are honest you will see you would likely feel less confident, less secure, less than, etc.
5. Now ask yourself how you might feel if you do step into your fear and this situation. Again, if you are honest with yourself you will acknowledge that you might feel more self respect, more confident, more capable, etc.
Although this is not a step, it is one of the most important things I can share with you regarding this process. There is no failure.
Regardless of what you choose to do, it is only information. Do it, don’t do it, do it and it feels hard or gets messy. These are all outcomes that we can learn from – versus judging ourselves as good or bad. Keep this in mind, it is a powerful principle in life’s journey.
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Many of us spend a significant amount of our energy “not wanting things to be the way they are”. We want it to be different. It can start out looking like “I want X and I don’t have it and I cannot create it”. For example, “I want more business and I don’t have it”, “I want to be skinnier and to look better”, “I want to be noticed by others, I feel ignored”, etc., etc.
Each of these statements, these wants that we continue to hold onto are like boat anchors. As long as we hold onto to them, we create a resistance within our selves to creating what we want. If we can let go of the feelings associated with these wants we will release the energy we are bottling up keeping these wants in place. We can have a want and let go of the “need” or “should” that we attach to the want. Have the want and let it go.
Four Steps to Release Your Resistance:
1. Identify something that you have acquired some emotional attachment to.
2. Now allow yourself to really feel the feelings associated with this want.
3. Now ask yourself if you are willing to let go of this want, or the need or should associated with this want.
4. If so, purposefully let go of the feelings related to this want.
By following these steps you release the energy which you bottle up to hold onto this need or should. By releasing that energy you now have more energy to do what you want in your life.
I have adapted my approach from Hale Dwoskin and his book “The Sedona Method, Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-being.” This is a great book and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in living a happier and more successful life.
Enjoy Achieving Goals by Releasing Attachment. When I first came across this idea I was in a bit of disbelief. In my mind, you set a goal and then you pull out all the stops to achieve it. It may cause pain, it may even cost you relationships – but if you are worth your salt you achieve your goals.
I would talk to my one time mentor about this pain I had in my chest. I felt run down, sad and depressed. I was achieving plenty in my life and, at the same time feeling empty. The analogy he gave me was that a bow needs to be unstrung periodically or it will loose it’s potency. It will have nothing left to give.
What I came to see is that I held goals as things “I had to achieve”. I had become so attached to them that they defined me, my happiness and sense of self. It was not a choice, but a must. I needed them, had to have them, should be achieving them or – I FAILED.
What I want you to get, you can have a goal and pursue it with all the same zest but without the possessiveness. Set your goals and let them go. Follow your intuition and do those things that you feel in the moment will move you the most in the direction of your goals (but without the stick that says I am so attached to achieving this goal I will need to flog myself if I don’t achieve it).
Allow their to be flow, the natural up and down movement forward of the waves in the ocean. If you find yourself stopped in the movement of your goal it might be time to move on to things that do inspire you.
Does this concept make sense to you? Have you held goals in a similar or different way? What is your story?
Ever have that thought, “they’re getting ahead of me”, “they did what I was thinking about doing”, “they are better at it than me”, “I’ll never be as good as them”…the list goes on. You may not say these things, but do you have some parallel thoughts of your own?
So someone is already doing what you thought about doing, great! They are doing it better than you judge you could do it, great! They are way ahead of where you are at – GREAT!
What I experience in my life is continually expanding opportunities. There are so many facets to parenting, to running a business, to growing roses, to making love – the list is endless. Some of those ideas might be an idea that changes how the world works, others may not or may not in a big bang way.
My point is – don’t spend a lot of time comparing. Do a little homework and then follow your intuition. The world is always expanding into new frontiers, from the pony express (days, weeks, months, years?) to electron mail that is in (milliseconds, seconds, minutes).
Move forward. Take the risk. Copy if you have to – but get out there and then really listen to your intuition so you can make course corrections if beneficial to you and the world.
This is a simple post, in length, in concept and presentation. This picture was taken in Colorado on January 2, 2012. Since November we have had 2-3 snow falls and consistent temperatures down into the teens overnight.
Something I have noticed over the years, many Oak trees keep their leaves (dead/dried) through the winter, most Pine trees have needles year round and Aspen trees lose their leaves in the fall.
Why do some trees keep their foliage while others lose theirs? I don’t know. What I do know, a Pine grows to be a pine, an Oak an Oak, and an Aspen grow to be an Aspen. And I would guess that each of these trees is best equipped to support whichever foliage they grow.
Now if we went and started plugging pine needles into an Aspen I am guessing with enough attempts to “change” the Aspen it would wither and die. Chances are, the Aspen is likely to grow into a magnificent tree all on it’s own, if left to grow as it was meant to be.
But isn’t that what many of us try to do, change ourselves (or even change others). We go around trying to plug pine needles into ourselves, trying to imitate others, when the foliage that we have brings out the best in us.
Where are you putting your energy? Or are you? Is it flowing, impacting the world around you or blocked up and withdrawn. Which is more likely to create a life of joy and satisfaction?
What if you could choose when to stop and when to expand out? Of course the answer is you can – but do you?
Is there someone you want to call but continue to put off calling? An activity that is about expanding versus withdrawing, going unconscious?
Stop – Make the call. Spend 15 minutes really talking and connecting to your son, daughter, mother, father or friend. Stop and connect with you – feel your own heart. Connect with you and then connect with someone else.
Happy New Year to you.
So, what exciting things are you intending for 2012? What really sounds good to you versus what you “should” or “have to” do? I know, you may have things you don’t want to stop doing because of the impact on your life style. But what about the incremental steps you can start taking today to move you in the direction of what you really want to do and experience in your life? Dig down and dream, feel the excitement that comes with putting your ass on the line. Dream big and then take it step by step.
Go for it!
Have you ever found yourself thinking, “I feel good things coming my way”, and then wallah, good things start popping up? I had to laugh this morning as I found myself thinking about the “good” things that have been happening in my life. What made me laugh was that recently I have been expecting good things to happen – and low and behold, good things begin to pop up in my life.
What if they were always there but we are continually looking at what could be different, the gap between what is and what we wish or want it to be? What if we just appreciated what is and loved the unfolding process?
I put “good” in quotes because maybe it is all “good”!
It’s a festive time of year. Lots of energy and excitement. Gatherings. Celebrations. Travel. For many this time of year is packed full of activities, events and parties. For others it can be a quieter time, more alone or even feeling secluded.
My point to this post – I find being in relationship and spending time with people I want to be around can be very enjoyable and nourishing. Can you imagine relationships as being nourishing?
If you can, set an intention and make a commitment to connecting with others over the holidays.
If you can’t, why not take a chance and give it a try this month. Set an intention to spend time making a phone call, getting together for coffee, for dinner or for a hockey game.
The point is, go for connection this holiday with individuals you want to connect with. You will be giving to yourself and others at the same time.