Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Are You Sitting on the Sidelines?

It seems like everyone these days is shouting about change, but the lines are drawn, and the battles are being waged on social media, in the news, on the ground.  It’s a shouting match that no one seems to be winning. 

We all want change. We desperately need change! But what does that change look like? What should it look like? 

What I would like to see is a change that brings about peace, common sense, and responsibility to one another and the world we live in.  But how do we get there with everyone trying to out shout everyone else, in a world full of agendas and fake news, at a time when everyone wants something, but few understand the cost of anything, be it freedom or financial? 

I believe the first steps we must take is working on transformation within ourselves and in our own lives. 

In the next few weeks I am going to focus on a serious of steps we should think about in making the transformation from where we are to where we want to be. 

The first step is to Focus on YOU!

You’ve heard the saying “be the change you want to see in the world”. Honestly, this is the very foundation on which to build a happier and more fulfilling life. The first step for transformation and creating a more fulfilling and happy existence is by changing our own thoughts, patterns, negative behaviors. 

Seriously, what do we have control over other than ourselves? Our thoughts, our emotions, our actions. 

First our thoughts. When we focus on the little things in life that make us happy, we find more things to be happy about. When we are grateful for small blessings, we realize that we have so many more things to be grateful for. When we have faith that everything happens for a reason and start to believe that things will work out the way they should, our paths and our purpose become clearer and we begin to let go of the fear that is holding us back. Stepping into faith is a powerful tool.. use it!

Another thing we must focus on is our emotions. Happiness is easy when things are going great. But what about when things aren’t going as planned? How do we deal with difficult situations and people in our day to day lives? What is your go to response when negativity hits you squarely in the face? 

One key idea that we must learn and accept is that we cannot control other people or situations. We only have control over how we respond. Notice I didn’t say react, I said respond. Reacting implies that we do not place any thought into how we interact in a negative situation. Responding with a clear understanding of our limitations in changing the situation or mindset of the other person indicates that you have done the work on yourself and have a firm understanding that what you do next will determine the outcome.  Sometimes a peaceful discussion, understanding and compromise will work. Sometimes agreeing to disagree or even simply walking away is the best response. It doesn’t matter how you choose in that moment to respond, what matters is keeping your emotions in check and moving forward in a positive direction. 

Understanding how we judge others and limiting that behavior will go a long way in improving your relationships. Do not approach anyone or anything from a place of judgement, because that really says more about you than it does the other person. Our judgements are born within ourselves. Understanding that we all come from different backgrounds, no matter how similar we appear to be, will go a long way in acceptance and understanding, and peaceful co-existence. 

Finally, it is in the actions we take that we will find our happiness. The above 2 principles are part of that action. We focus our thoughts, we keep our emotions in check, but we must also take action on a regular basis to make a difference in the world.  If you see someone struggling, give them a hand. If you come across someone who is feeling sad or depressed, be a shoulder, and an ear if they need it. Don’t try to fix it, just be in the moment with them and follow their lead.

Speak up about the positive changes you want to see in the world, rather than fighting against what you don’t want. Support the causes you feel passionate about in a positive way so that the light you shine on them will draw more positive attention and support to it. Walk your walk! 

Always remember to live authentically. Be honest in your interactions with other people, in your conversations, in your work, in your life.  Be mindful of sharing thoughts and ideas. Are they kind, helpful, honest, true? The more authentic you become, the more you walk away from negativity, the more the people in your life will change. Those who tend to be negative and bring you down will start slipping away and slowly be replaced with those who support, uplift, and encourage you. And that’s ok! Let the changes occur. As certain people start to drift away say a silent thank you for what you have learned from them and wish them the best. 

In learning and practicing these simple steps, you will begin to see the positive transformation you are seeking.  It’s a journey and there will be other lessons, but the work must first start with you. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Turning The Page in Your Book of Life

Sometimes you just have to turn the page to realize there is more to your book of life than the page you are stuck on. Stop being afraid to move on.

This is a common theme throughout a lot of my readings. The person I’m speaking with seems stuck. They want to move forward. They don’t know why they are stuck. The truth is, they are not looking forward, they are looking back, or are even simply standing still in the present. 

Sometimes the person says “well I burned the bridge…. I’m done, but…”  “Is there a chance that we will get back together?”  “Is there a chance that he/she will have a change of heart?”  And all of a sudden my reading will turn into a coaching session. 

Sometimes you just have to turn the page to realize there is more to your book of life than the page you are stuck on. Stop being afraid to move on. Great advice.. but how do you do that? What do you do when you want to move forward but you are stuck in the “Is there a chance” place? 

Often times I first point out the situation. You may have burned that bridge, but you didn’t turn away from the fire. You are like a moth and you’re allowing yourself to be drawn back in, watching and waiting for the flames to burn out. That will never serve you. You MUST turn around and walk away from the heat or you will continue to get burned.

My next question would be why. Why did you burn the bridge? What brought you to that decision? I believe its necessary to go within and really think about it, really get to the bottom of the decision. Go back to how you felt and what you were thinking when you made the decision to burn the bridge, and then take some time to be in that space. Feel it. Really feel the feelings that made you make that decision, even if it feels all yucky and awful. How did it make you feel? Name it, give it an image. And once you can clearly see it and define it, visualize yourself physically removing it from your life. Tear it up and chuck it into the flames as you walk away.

Then I might ask, “does that make sense”, and 9 times out of 10 I’ll get “yes, but…” 

The next thing I will address is fear. Fear of the unknown, or of being alone. “There is nothing or no one else out there. I have no options available to me.”  FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real or Fear Everything And Run. When you are in a state of fear nothing seems possible. But when you realize that it’s false evidence, then you can muster up a little courage to stick your head out the door. Once you take those first few steps, you begin to feel better and you can continue to move forward. "Face Everything And Rise". It’s work. We all are a work in progress, but you are worth it!

There are two quotes by Wayne Dyer that I LOVE! The first one is “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” And the second one is “You will see it when you believe it.” When you make a decision to face your fear, and believe you can walk forward into your future, you will begin to see how wonderful that future can be. 

Create a new goal of actively being positive. Read positive quotes, follow positive people. Watch positive and or funny shows. Replace the negative people and situations in your life with positive ones whenever possible. And learn to speak to yourself in a positive and supportive way. No one speaks to us more harshly than ourselves. Don’t allow negative talk from yourself or anyone else.

Every morning when you open your eyes say “Thank You, this is going to be an awesome day!” At the end of every day find something that you are grateful for and say “Thank You” when you close your eyes to sleep.  Even if you don’t think there is anything to be grateful for, there is. It may simply be something like {I made it through the day.} There is always, always something to be thankful for. 

And as I often tell my clients, if you don’t believe it, pretend. Fake it til you make it!
Once you start clearing the space where negativity and heartache live, you will find that happiness and new relationships are easier to move in. Its your time to make the space and take a chance on YOU!

p.s.. If you are interested in more information about Wayne Dyer, click on the above quotes for links to a couple of his books. He was my first (and current) favorite inspirational author / teacher / speaker. He is truly missed.