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Archive for February, 2013

It has occurred to me over the last while that for a very long time I had been looking at things all wrong.

Shocking I know.¬†ūüėČ

I had spent a lot of time believing the hype, the quotes and I suppose the movies and thought that we all must be searching for our own very special, very important answers. 

It was shown, insinuated and flat-out told to me that this was what it was all about.  Finding that answer; that truth which would set us free, make us happy and make everything make some freaking sense.

Looking back on this now I think I was aware on some level that there was an important link missing from this.questions-and-answers

An answer would be great sure…but what the heck was the question?

Nobody ever talked about that part.  Certainly no one ever told me what the questions were or should be.  Most importantly, no one ever talked about how to figure that out.

This realization hit me one day and it took a long time and a lot of other little wake up calls to really understand what this meant.

Go on..ask yourself.  What is the question you are trying to answer? 

For years I felt this pull, the need to look for something.¬† I begain to learn about different religions and cultures.¬† To look at different aspects of the human condition.¬† I studied psychology, sociology, biology, geology, ancient cultures,¬†linguistics,¬†the greats of literature, ¬†mental health, special needs…the list goes on.¬†¬† I found some peace and connections here and there, but never could really put it all together into this mythical ‘answer’.

I think it made me a better teacher though; such a wide variety of interests. My thirst for learning rubbed off on some of my students I hope.

But yet, here I am.¬† Realizing that the reason I could not find my answer, even among all this different formal learning, and life experiences was simply mind blowing.¬†¬†And it was this¬†–¬†I didn’t know the question I was trying to answer.

The answer? That may not be what is really important after all.

Perhaps the real key in life is not in¬†finding all the¬†answers.¬† It’s asking questions that matter to you and exploring them.¬† Truth is, you may not find the answer to your original question.¬† The truth is you may only end up with more questions.

But that’s good.¬† Self discovery, life…it’s about figuring out what matters.¬† There is no magical¬†final answer out there.¬† Each answer can only lead to more questions so it makes sense to pay attention to the questions you are asking.

Ask the right ones and you are going to end up on a path that will lead you to yourself.   Questions bring light and understanding to your heart and soul as much as they do to your mind.  GOOD questions lead you further into a topic or idea.  There is no end to that kind of discovery!

How freaking exciting is that?

My suggestion is to we need to spend more time on figuring out the question.  You may find you already hold the answers you look for.

What questions have you been asking?

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I read an article yesterday about some scientists who wanted to see if “The Secrets” self-help technique worked. Unfortunately I am not convinced the scientists actually read the book.¬† Or if they did I don’t think they quite ‘got’ it.¬†

To quote the article their premise was:

“The researchers wanted to see how people cope with four different challenges that life throws at us: getting a job, finding a partner, doing well in an exam and undergoing surgery (hopefully not all at the same time).

Across four studies the researchers examined how people thought about each of these challenges. They measured how much they fantasized about a positive outcome and how much they expected a positive outcome.”

They claimed that¬†fantasies before¬†attempting¬†a goal,¬†made people actually find less success.”¬† That said they really didn’t explain what success was.¬† Sure I may have accepted a lower salary job but perhaps it offered opportunities that others didn’t.¬†¬† They said participants who used visualization applied for less jobs¬†as well¬†– that could makes sense.¬† When you know what you want why would you waste your time?¬† I think life just isn’t as simply measured as these scientists think.¬† They forgot to look at one very important factor…the WHY.

“They then tested the participants’ blood pressure — which indicates how much energy their body is giving them to perform a certain task — and found that people who were induced with fantastical thoughts had lower levels of energy than those who weren’t.”¬† This was assumed to mean that participants were feeling like they didn’t have to try hard anymore thus explaining why they didn’t do as well (ie. applied for fewer jobs, accepted less salary).¬† I think the assumptions may have been jumped on here.¬† Calming the body is a good thing when you are in a high stress situation. I myself have used visualization when I was competing in races and I know many athletes who use this to focus – successful ones.

Putting yourself in the correct mindset can change everything.¬† Fantasy doesn’t do that.¬† Self awareness and choice does.
 
I don’t think using real manifesting and visualization techniques in a lab is a true test.¬† It takes a lot of time and practice and mindset shifts to truly shift your energy.¬† One go at itknowyoruself certainly won’t change much.¬†
For the record, Fantasy and visualization are not the same thing.¬† Expectations¬†of success can be wildly different and change often.¬† Add into the fact that no one who has a clue, has ever suggested that simply thinking about a ‘new boat’ will make it magically appear. You still have to DO THE WORK.¬†

Manifesting your life is not about sitting around and fantasising and pretending. 

It is about choosing where to put your thoughts, your energy and your focus.  

It’s about changing the energy that your internal beacon is giving off so that you attract things into you life that you want to be there.

It’s about awareness of your actions and the opportunities that come your way.¬† It’s about recognizing those opportunities for what they are.

Sorry guys but I think your premise is lacking and your testing is missing some key important elements.  Personal experience also has taught me that when used properly visualization is a powerful tool towards transformation. 

Interestingly enough they did find that what they call positive thinking made for a happier person overall – but not success.¬†¬† I had to shake my head.¬† If being happy in your life today, as it is, isn’t success…then what is?

 

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Ooh..I haven’t had¬†a good rant for a while.

I’m not sure what’s been going on lately, but boy I’m getting tired of people who act like they are a victim in order to be horrible to others.¬† Justifying your crappy behaviour by acting like you have it so hard or that you are¬†so much better or smarter or whatever and are trying to ‘help’ ¬†doesn’t make it any better.¬† It just doesn’t.

I know, I know…some of you might be saying “that’s what you see if you spend¬†enough time on the internet”.¬† I wish it was just some crazy post on the net.¬† While that might be true I haven’t seen this many people unable to ‘hear’ themselves for some time both on and off line.

The nice girl part of me wants to apologise for this rant but I’m not going to.¬† It’s¬†probably going to stir up some uncomfortable feelings for a few people and that’s good in my opinion. All I ask is that you try to hear the message.¬†¬†

I’m fed up with folks who call out others for ‘picking on them’ and in the same breath¬†try to knock¬†down someone else.¬† Really?¬† Listen to your self!¬† I’ve had too many examples of this lately I don’t even know where to¬†start.¬†¬†

I suppose a perfect example of this is what a few of my friends have posted on Facebook.¬† Fox¬†had some of its newscasters bash and mock Wiccan and Pagan religion.¬† (You can see the video here) In¬†the same breath the female reporter complains that she isn’t supposed to say Merry Christmas and infers at the plight of Christians.¬†¬† Sigh.¬†¬† I have to say I¬†was aghast that these people were not taken¬†to task by the network, but more importantly I¬†was flabbergasted that they couldn’t see the conflict¬†in what they were¬†saying.¬†

Or the¬†case of listening to some adults make fun of a woman and her child because their clothes were worn and outdated.¬† I kid you not.¬† And in the same breath these women complain that they have such a hard time keeping up with their own childrens’ clothing wants.¬† I’m pretty sure they saw me looking at them in confusion.¬†¬†Guess who is making that¬†trendy clothing thing¬†an issue? ¬†

And this sort of thing¬†has happened a fair bit lately.¬† Or maybe I’m just aware of it?¬† I’m not sure, but it’s really bugging me.

You know it’s like when people say ‘No offense but…” and then they are really offensive?¬† But think it’s okay because they¬†qualified it with ‘no offense’.¬† ¬†For the record…It Isn’t Okay!

Aggg!¬† I get so frustrated when I see people so afraid that they might be diminished if someone else is able to hold their own differeing thoughts, opinions and beliefs.¬† Truly if yours are so shaky they can’t handle it perhaps you need to look at that.¬† If you¬†feel so afraid to be the real you that you must cover it all up with “I’m a victim” and nastiness perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror and decide what it is you want to see.

Reminds me of the kid who isn’t winning and so takes his ball and goes home in a huff.¬†¬† Belief systems, opinions, ideas¬†are not about winning.¬†

Or the adult who says “but I only stated the truth” when saying something that is out of line or harsh and un-needed.¬† Please, there is truth and there is pointedly trying to seem better than everyone and make someone feel like crap.¬† Yes you are entitled to your opinion…but you can keep it to yourself.¬† My grandmother used to say be kind or be quiet.

To tear down another person does not elevate you.   It never has and never will.   Be it about what someone is wearing, their faith, their job or whatever.  Listen to what you are saying!

You know you can either give someone and hand up if you have the resources, or you can give them a push up if you only have love to offer.  Both of those things lift everyone up and the world gets better.  Rip them down and the word of hurt you are creating is the same one you have to live in.  Choose.

Ending rant here.   

Be_kinder_than_necessary

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Relationships…we¬†live in them, from them and for them.¬† We fight¬†for them, we hurt because of them and we¬†hardly ever look any closer than that.

Whoa…I just slipped that in there didn’t¬†I?

I know this Valentine’s Day many people will be celebrating with their partner the love they have cultivated with one another.¬† Others will be lamenting over lost loves, bad relationshipsbroken and the lack of any ‘good’ people left.¬† They might even beat themselves up and figure there is something ‘wrong’ with them (there ISN”T).¬†

Listen, you have to know that when you are younger your relationship expectations were learned.  The problem of course is our experiences were rather limited. 

Imagine if the first person you ever crushed on was the one that you ended up basing all future expectations of what a relationship was like on.¬† Ohh…right…you kind of do.

Wait..it gets better.¬† It actually goes much MUCH further back.¬† (How far back it’s up to you to admit *ahem)¬†

You see, most of our belief systems were established while we were quite young.¬† There are differing opinions on how young and I think that’s fair because not everyone matures at the same rate or has experiences the same.¬† Still, most agree that certainly before we are 5 years old we have established a firm set of beliefs.

These are the what we filter our experiences through to gain understanding and purpose. 

Holy crap…think¬† about it!¬† At best, a¬†FIVE year old is telling you how to see and interpret things!

It’s time to take a really strong look at what we do in our relationships and the dynamics that are there.¬† We don’t have to keep them the same or continue to repeat patterns that don’t help us.

challengesOne of our first and most influential influencers is of course our parents or primary caregivers.  We are all aware of course that they teach us many things, but did you know they also teach us what will are willing to accept from a partner later on in life? 

How they do that is not simply direct talking.¬† I hear a lot of concern over how we talk to our children and rightly so.¬† I”ve noticed a lot¬† of parents who don’t seem to understand that children take everything to heart; they don’t have life experiences to understand sarcasm or jokes or to infer mommy is tired and when she snapped at me it wasn’t personal.

That said, the thing that really brings home how to treat others and most importantly BE treated is by watching the dynamics between the adults who are around us.  Kids learn far more by watching what you do then they will by listening to what you say. 

Watching parents who have no empathy for each other, who talk badly of each other will give us this idea that it’s what people do and how they act.¬† We might find ourselves unable to apologise, needing to be right and controlling.¬† We learn to be accepting of this for our selves and we learn to treat others this way.¬† The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way.

So, here we are with a bunch of beliefs about how relationships work Рboth the give and take.  Ever look at them?  Ask questions like why do I think that? Or does it have to be that way?

I think it’s time we did.

Grown up relationships should be based on very different things in adult hood from when we were kids. 

If you’re not getting what you want in your relationships perhaps it isn’t that there aren’t any ‘good’ people left out there.¬† Perhaps you need to look inward and do some work.¬† Maybe tell that 5 year voice it’s grounded or to go play outside.¬† Whatever works.¬† Just know you don’t have to keep those beliefs; not one bit.

Time to step into your right to have matured, learned and be loved in a way that is good for you.

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 **Valentines Day is about celebrating love.  Might I suggest you take the time to celebrate the love you have for yourself?

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Life and love…they are messy!¬† And that is one of the things that makes them so amazingly beautiful and so frustratingly difficult.

You know what else I know?¬†¬†Far too often we are killing ourselves with stress over things that don’t really matter and are already good enough.

I had to learn the hard way that sometimes ‘good enough’ is perfectly good.

Early on I got taught this lesson by my first true love Рmy boy Jackson.  He was a golden retriever who I was blessed with when he was 12 weeks old and I am still so grateful for all the lessons he taught me in his far too short life.   Honestly, he must have been the easiest puppy to raise ever (as I later learned with my next boy lol). He was completely house trained by 4 months old without any problems at all.  Nice right? 

Real love is perfect!

I was used to a certain routine in the morning before I ever brought a puppy into my house.¬† I used to not leave the house without my hair done and at least a bit of mascara and lip gloss.¬† Clothes were ironed and fur-free.¬† Heels..loved ’em!¬† I thought I needed to look like I had it together you know?

Enter a puppy who needs to go outside to pee at 4am.¬† Or even the same puppy at 7am on a Saturday.¬† You see where I’m going right?¬†

I started to have clothes for dog walking and re-kindled my love affair with hats and rainboots.¬† There was no time to prep and primp¬†to walk a puppy.¬† He couldn’t wait around and I had to adjust.¬† Totally worth it and you know what? I learned to relax about appearances.¬† The neighbours I saw could have cared less how I looked; I mean, have you SEEN a golden puppy?¬† And let me tell you with all sorts of unbiased opinion that Jackson was the cutest of the cute!

Later on, I had my next big lesson around letting go of worrying about things being perfect.¬† After my car accident, my injuries made day-to-day life pretty difficult.¬† I couldn’t do many things and certainly not up to my usual standards.¬† And when I say couldn’t, I mean could not physically or mentally – not just that it was hard.¬†

So I either learned to adapt or I spent my life miserable. 

A great example to explain this¬† is around food.¬† I mean, I had to eat.¬† Big full meals were not in my scope at all.¬† Good enough meant throwing vegetables into the crock pot for soup and letting the crock pot do the work.¬† I might have soup to eat for 2 or 3 days but it was healthy and manageable.¬† Back in the day I’d have to make dinner rolls or fresh bread and salad too.¬† Maybe even fancy up the soup.¬† That wasn’t going to happen at that time.¬† Heck…some days making a bowl of cereal was all I could manage and ended up being ‘good enough’ for that day.

Good enough became what I strove for.¬†¬†Fabulous, wonderful and certainly perfection were not in my mind at all anymore.¬† I wasn’t trying to impress anyone, I was simply trying not to lose my sense of being enough and to be able to keep getting better instead of getting stuck.

Good enough also¬†meant I let others do things to help,¬†even though they may not do it my way.¬† For example, my boyfriend may have done a load of¬†laundry for me and I¬†learned that it was good enough that I¬†had clean clothes, even if they weren’t folded the way I prefer…or at all lol.

Good enough also works into being grateful for what we already have.¬† I think we get so caught up these days in having the latest, greatest, biggest or smallest thing that we forget that what we already¬†have is pretty great.¬† The day I realized that I not only found a great deal of peace within, but stepped out of that race.¬† My iPhone is old sure, but it works just fine and I see no reason to spend hundreds of dollars for a newer one.¬† Drives my techie friends crazy!¬† I simply tell them that if it doesn’t serve a purpose or create beauty I have no useyou-are-good-enough for it in my life.¬†

We also need to stop beating ourselves up when we don’t achieve what we want right out of the box.¬† Life is about attempting, growing and learning. It’s not about only ever being perfect or making¬†people think you are.¬† You are more than good enough right now and right here.¬† Your failures are attempts and for this moment that is also good enough.¬† You learn from new experiences even when they are not what you expected and that is fabulously good enough.

I think we¬†need to let go of wasting so much energy on perfection and embrace good enough¬†for some things.¬†¬†Life doesn’t care about perfection after all.¬† Life isn’t perfect.¬† But when you let go of the need to make it so, you learn that it is actually pretty freakin¬†beautiful¬†in all its messy wonderfulness.¬†

Think about it…good enough by its own definition is (shockingly) good enough!

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Strength. 

What is this?  I mean we hear it all the time right? 

  • Get Strong
  • Be Strong
  • Inner strength

I think most of us think of someone who’s strong and we thing BIG.¬† We might even think aggressive.¬† Some of us might think powerful.¬† This might all be true when talking about physicalpopeye strength I suppose; but¬†of what about that pesky topic of inner strength?

Unfortunately, many people think that it means the same thing.  Stong, aggressive, powerful people must have great inner strength.

I used to think  that this was true; that powerful, prominent people must have a great deal of that inner strength.  These days I wonder about that belief.

I’ve realized Power does not equal strength.¬† Not physical nor inner strength.¬† It doesn’t mean you don’t have both, it just means one does not automatically mean you have the other.¬† I mean Mother Teresa may have been physically weak,¬†but my goodness didn’t she have incredibly inner strength?¬† On the other hand people in power often don’t have the kind of inner strength and values we might hope for.¬†¬† Just look at so many of our politicians!

Inner strength is an odd thing.  What some of us think shows true inner strength, upon closer inspection, really does not.

There are a lot of really angry people out there in the world.¬† They feed off of their own angry emotions.¬† They project anger and their belief that the world is ‘out to screw them over’ into the universe.¬† Their belief seems justified to them when they find more situations to be angry about coming their way.¬† Of course they do…they are attracting them with their own beacon of emotion and thoughts!

They think they are being strong when they are defensive and quick to anger.¬† They believe this is where the power to ‘survive and thrive’ comes from.

Truth time!

I have to share something here and it may shock you, it may surprise you or it may just hit home.  But these people are so very wrong!

Being gentle, kind and compassionate with others takes far, far more strength then it ever did to be angry and blame them.

angerofthepastIt’s relatively easy to blame, be angry and lash out.¬† It takes the pressure off of you when you act like that.¬† After all, if the world is out to screw you over – it can’t ever be your fault or up to you to change it!¬†

This is a victim mentality.¬† It’s based in fear and defensiveness.¬† It isn’t healthy for you to live this way.¬† Not mentally, physically or emotionally.¬† It takes a huge toll on your body to have this kind of stress constantly present.¬† Anger is an emotion that is normal and sometimes quite healthy; but it shouldn’t be a lifestyle.¬†

I’ve had these people in my life and they are not fun to be around.¬† They are emotionally cut off from the good stuff in life which is not only heartbreaking and painful for those who care for them but wears them out as well.

Being loving is painful sometimes.¬† You get hurt, you hurt for those you can’t help and yes, you are vulnerable.¬† It is a risk every time you bring open doors¬†of¬†love to the game of life instead of building walls and turrets.

You want life worth living?  Then you must be prepared to understand some things.

  1. You are not perfect so know you will need to apologise at some point.  This is a strength, not a weakness
  2. You might get hurt.¬† But you can’t cut off one emotion without putting a lid on all of them.
  3. Life is meant to live forwards so let go of past hurts.  Assuming these will be repeated ensures they will.
  4. It takes more strength to let go of anger than it ever will to keep it.
  5. You grow and show true inner strength by living from your values

Anger and a defensive, closed life have the sort of strength that pushes others down and away. It diminishes you and those around you.   

Compassion and gentleness are the sort of strengths that pulls others up and embraces them.  It enhances you and those around you. 

Choose.

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