Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Voice from the Past

I hear her voice so many times, the one woman in my life that meant more to me than any other.  I don’t know much about the life she led when she was young.  I know that she grew up on a farm in Wisconsin.  I know her mother passed away and that her father remarried.  I know she felt left like a step-child at times.  I remember stories about kittens in the barn when lightning struck, spinning doughnuts in the car on the ice back in Wisconsin when the lakes froze over and I remember her telling stories about playing with her sister Lucile.  But I never knew much about her life.  I wish I had paid more attention.  No longer is she here to tell me stories.  My Grandmother Julia was an incredibly strong woman.  I owe her an incredible debt of gratitude for the love and kindness along with the stability she brought into my life.  I owe her my strong work ethic and my integrity.  I owe her my independence and my strength.  These are all amazing things she gave to me whether she knew it or not.

I see pictures of her like the one attached below.  I have another in my living room.  I don’t know if she ever knew how much I loved her.  Things got so chaotic for me in the last years of her life.  I wished I had taken more time to know her as a woman, ask her to tell me more of her stories, more about what she thought and cared about.  I don’t even know how she met my Grandfather.  He passed away when I was very young.   I regret that I didn’t take more time but one thing is for sure, she gave me so many beautiful gifts that I treasure.  Her legacy of strength, integrity and kindness lives on in me and I’m most certain those qualities live on in my children.   She was more than my Grandmother.  She was selflessly a mother to me as aggravating as I’m sure that was.  I was no easy child to raise.  I was head strong as the day is long but she let me be that and she did so with gentleness and quiet observance.  I’m sure sometimes I must have driven her crazy but I knew that she always loved me.  That mattered a lot to me.

It’s important to pay attention to some voices from the past.  Especially, the ones that fill us with love, wonder and respect.  There are amazingly influential people in our lives and I’m so grateful that she was in mine.  As I look back at what she gave to me, I am very conscious now of the legacy I must leave behind—the gifts that I must leave for my grandchildren and their grandchildren.  I hope above hope I can live up to her standard and keep those beautiful gifts passing on down through the generations that come after I’m gone.  It’s something I want to do for her.

Who was influential for you growing up?  What legacies did they leave for you?  Are you passing those legacies on in a good light?  This time we have is only borrowed time.  This place we walk will one day be a gift to our children’s children.  In times as tough as ours, it seems we might want to be more mindful of what we leave behind us as we make our way through the Earth school. 

Where ever you are Grandma, I'm sorry for being such a pain at times and I want to thank you for the love you gave me anyway, for the strength and for everything else you blessed my life with.  I love you!

Exposing Judgment

I’ve got to talk about this subject again. A post from one of my favorite authors this morning, reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to write about. Marianne Williamson posted just this morning on Facebook, “Whoever you judge you are giving the power to hurt you.” The same is true for whoever you attempt to control and whoever you unwittingly or even knowingly attempt to hurt, control or manipulate. To take it a little further, and trust me, I do speak from extensive experience here as an Adult Child of an Alcoholic, you are judgmental, controlling and manipulative in the first place because you are hurt and fearful. Period. I’ll tell you something else to think about, today with the vast knowledge we all have through 12-step programs, counseling and a literal sea of self-help books, every time you openly judge someone, attempt to control them or manipulate them, you are telling the whole wide world through your actions directed at those in your immediate environment that you are deeply wounded. Think of it another way, the individual who first throws a punch is himself wide open while engaged in the action of offense. Martial artists understand this--boxers understand this.

I don’t mean to be so in your face with this concept and if you argue it, there is another word that most folks will immediately see, “Denial.” Now, most descent folks, myself included would take no amount of pleasure in seeing someone else’s wounds or pain. If you had a run in with me, I’m likely to be very quiet and let you speak. You are likely then to get a boundary or compassion but I would not engage in your drama on a topic where you have become judgmental, controlling or manipulative. Hurt people, hurt people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said this. We have more choices than we ever realize. We can choose judgment, control and manipulation to exist—to keep those around us from hurting us or reinforcing old wounds, OR we can get real and authentic with ourselves, we can speak from the heart instead of trying to force or coerce others into doing what we want or feel we need them to do. Instead of judging and taking everyone else’s inventory and throwing it in their face to derive pleasure from someone else’s pain even if unconsciously, you can instead focus on your own inventory and what it might take to make you feel better at the source with a lasting and peaceful effect rather than focusing on judgment of others which is like a short-lasting high with a huge crash at the end. There is a reason the Bible says, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Judgment is too much for most of us humans to handle in the fragile state we are in here in the Earth school. Every action we take is filtered through pain we have attempted to protect ourselves from. Who among us is free enough from pain and wounds to accurately and objectively judge another anyway? Very few, I’d say.

Another thing to note here is that hurt people need compassion and love, not vindictive reactions to get back at them. If someone is wounded and they engage in hurtful behavior, protect yourself in healthy and appropriate ways by dealing with them authentically regardless of the wounded person’s response. Your only accountability is your behavior and your actions. Having had run ins with a number of wounded people throughout my life, I will tell you that I feel so much better when I do not engage in retaliatory behavior to hurt them back and instead focus on my own behavior. I try always to keep my focus on my actions and do my best to quell reactions. With actions, I am exercising discretion and choice. With reactions, I am giving them the power to control, manipulate and hurt me. It’s just not a good place to be. It really makes a negative interaction that much more painful and energetically draining. So, think before you speak. Act instead of reacting. Choose authentic behavior. At the end of the day, vengeance and getting even is also like a short-high that will soon leave you down and worse for the wear.

For all the walking wounded out there, I send blessings for enlightenment to their true self-purpose and healing. I pray that they are lifted up and out of the trauma that forces them always and ever to react. For those dealing with the walking wounded, I hope you find the strength to choose your actions, that you can react less and not be thrown off your center by someone else’s inner drama. May you all find a measure of love, compassion and peace!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Manifesting and Moving Project Update

Well, hmmm, WOW!  That sure didn’t take long.  Just after I last wrote, I put my desires very specifically on my prosperity board.  I wanted a 3 bedroom 2 bath place with a garage between 1700 and 1900 a month.  I wanted it by September and I wanted a low deposit.  So, scroll forward just a few days later and I noticed a truck parked on the street just down the street from my house.  The sign said, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo for rent.  I called the number and left a message.  2 days later I received a call back that the place would be available in August and it is in the price range and it even has an extra bathroom, tennis courts, pool and playground within the complex.  It’s smaller than what we’ve got but I decided it was time to let go of so much stuff and will be spending the next few weeks readying lots of stuff for the Salvation Army!  I sign my lease tonight!!!!  So, the power of positive intent does most definitely work—and the money/moving part – even stuff I had thought about and didn’t write down, well, everything is going to be taken care of.  While I was at it, I had thrown another item up on the board (to loose that Christmas weight finally – LOL  So it’s almost August, whatever!  Well, the pounds are miraculously coming off too!  Whoo hoo!)

Sometimes when there are things that we really want and there is all sorts of anxiety around what we want—you know, the little nagging worries, what if’s and so on...nothing is deadlier to the manifesting and attracting process than the negative energy of worry and anxiety.  A wonderful woman shared with me a really cool idea (thanks Helena!!!!).  When you have those nagging worries that just won’t go away, get yourself a little box and call it your God or Goddess box.  If that doesn’t suit you, call it a transformation box.  Whenever one of those nagging worries crops up, write it down on a little piece of paper and put it in the box knowing that worry will be transformed and be removed from you.  I swear this works.  I’ve saved myself many sleepless nights lately by sitting down before bed and writing down all the little nagging worries I had and stuffing them in the little box.  As I was putting the worry in the box, I called on my faith and trust in myself, in my purpose in life and in my Maker to help me find a way to transform that worry and move past it.  It has gotten me right to sleep very soon after wards every time.

It’s important that when you are consciously working on manifesting and attracting that you feel good about what you are attempting to manifest or attract.  You cannot hold worries or doubt or you will tell the universe to give you more to worry about and more to doubt.  You must hold positive thoughts that will welcome those things you are attempting to manifest or attract.  Spend some time seeing what you want and enjoying receiving it.  Picture it clearly and get very excited about seeing and then just trust that you will do the right things to bring about the opportunity for it to manifest and the universe or your Maker will bring those things to you that you really want and need. 

A word about manifesting and this is my own personal insight and you do not have to share it.  When I am working on manifesting, I’m reasonable in my requests.  There are so many in the world that need things and do not have them.  I do not make outlandish requests and I feel like because of that and the fact that I keep it simple always, the universe always gives me what I need.  I have no need of a sports car to make me feel good so I do not attempt to manifest one.  I keep my manifestations real.  So, if you are new to this concept or process, start small and work on something.  Keep it real, keep it simple and test out your ability to manifest.  You might be very surprised and what comes right into your life!  Make your lists, visualize and feel good about what you want or need and don’t give up.  Never give up.  Faith and trust are a big part about changing your perspectives and holding what you want to manifest in focus.  My good friend Jon told me anything was possible if you focused on it.  Due to my own belief system and abilities, I had to start small with simple and realistic things that wouldn’t create any disbelief for me.  You know what, those things have come to pass and more is in the works.  My little prosperity board is full!  And, lots of good things are happening—thoughts outside the box are coming to me and when I act on those, I bring the things I want to me.  I can see the process working and am so excited.  Each time you have a success at manifesting something, celebrate and feel so very good about it knowing it works.  When you do that, you can lend even more positive energy, faith and trust in the next thing you wish to manifest!

Keep on thinking positive.  Use tools to help you ditch your worries and disbeliefs and keep on going in a happy and positive light.  Life is meant to be enjoyed so do enjoy!  Many blessings!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Explorer of Silver Linings

So, I’ve done a lot of studying for many years on the power of positive thinking. There is one thing I’m certain of, when you are thinking negative—feeling like a victim, thinking that the only kind of luck you have is bad or none at all—life sucks to put it bluntly. There is an unending stream of negative things to pull your attention, steal your hope and destroy all faith you might have in life and living. I’ve been there and done that. It was a long time ago. It wasn’t until I changed my thinking and started to become an explorer of silver linings that things started to change for me. Then, there comes all the positive thinking and manifestation books. I won’t list their titles here. As a normal and rational human being, I really struggle with these books some times. Although I understand the concepts and have employed them most of my life, I can’t help but wonder if you just plateau some times.

Honestly, I think there is a reason for everything. I won’t belabor here but I’ve had some real challenges lately with money not coming in "easily and often" and what does come in is gone with not enough left. Taxes are getting higher, new ones all the time, unexpected expenses and now being forced to watch every penny…UGH! Bad place to be. The more you focus on lack, the more the universe brings you lack but I’ll tell you—even though I’m a really positive person and I turn every thought around with a positive thought—I do visualization and still very little changes are taking place. So, I’m attempting to head in a certain direction that seems to be the holy grail to resolve one of my current challenges…well a couple things—one with a good solid long-term solution that I’m really happy about but the other seems so simple and yet nothing, nothing, nothing. Quite simply, the economy and some bad decisions on my part a few years ago is going to force me to move from a home that I love. I’m not being foreclosed on, I’m just renting so no big deal. But, what I need is taking it’s sweet time to manifest and it isn’t so outlandish or unreasonable, the desire I hold. I just don’t understand. So, the negative natural side of my mind thinks, “you’re being punished for those bad decisions and your just going to be stuck—too bad, so sad.” But, the other side of my mind, the silver lining explorer says, “You have put out there what you need along with the time frame, you just need to trust that it will happen and feel good---don’t get discouraged.” I feel torn!

Everything in life happens for a reason. I guess I just have to trust that the timing is out of my hands only because the perfect place is not yet available to me. I have to trust that this perfect place will be affordable, with a reasonable deposit, a good location and a landlord that is good for us to deal with. I have to trust because if I don’t, I think I will overdose on my own adrenaline! LOL So, I’m putting these power of positive thinking tactics to work in a much better way than I have been. I have what I call a “Prosperity Board.” It’s a little cork board I’ve covered in green construction paper. On that board are all of the things that I wish to manifest in my life right now. I’m going to put my new location needs on there today and every night and every morning I will spend some time visualizing all the things I need concerning a new affordable place to live. I’ll update you on my progress. As I'm writing, I can feel the former negative thoughts about this starting to slip away! Yeah!

One of the things we have to do when manifesting anything we deeply desire in our lives is to trust it will happen as we see it. We have to have faith that its coming and be completely open to receiving it. I’ve somehow lost touch with such good thoughts I see and will bringing myself back on track. I can’t tell you how many other things were on that board that have manifested in my life! Strange thoughts have popped into my head on some of those things—things I hadn’t thought of or tried before and following those new thoughts and possibilities without shooting down the ideas have lead to some great solutions to resolving problems that were seemingly out of my hands. Gosh, it feels good to remember these things. I have to really count my blessings and successes for all the things on that board that have come to fruition. The rest, I really do trust and believe they will come to pass. Patience! Learning to be at peace with the process of manifesting and getting really excited about the coming outcomes is such a good thing.

What things in your life are you trying to manifest? Have you thought about putting together your own prosperity board? Gosh, even listing those things you truly desire on a piece of paper taped up in your room where you see it constantly will work. See the list, feel good about those things on it and just trust that your openness will encourage the universe to bring it to you. All those books out there are not just a bunch of baloney! Really! They are on to something and I speak from experience. I guess on one thing lately I’ve let the stress of life and the distraction of anxiety deter my faith a bit. Time to get back on track and believe, and be open, and see, see, see the possibilities. There are no limits except the ones we allow to enter our minds. You can argue the finer points on that thought all you want but the reality is…all that will get you is stuck right where you are!

I'm taking my own advice here on a somewhat complicated situation. Having read the words I just wrote, I'm letting go of limits, I'm letting go of punishing and negative thoughts and instead I'm going to believe what I need will come and at the perfect time and in the perfect way! I hope this article gives you some food for thought concerning troubling things you're trying to resolve or good things you are trying to manifest. With these words, I am lending some strong positive energy for you so that you may remain positive and become open to receiving your truest desires! Many blessings and good thoughts to ya!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Failure - Fire the Judge!

What a fun topic huh?  Who wants to think about failure?  Nothing creates more anxiety and even fear than when we are facing our own failure in something.  It’s hard to deal with the fact that no matter how hard we attempt to be perfect, those thoughts pushing the attempt have already set us up to fail.  See, we are not perfect and were never meant to be.  Perfection isn’t even something we should ever strive for in this frame of existence.  Making progress in our lives is the best you can hope for …and the one thing you should find a way to become satisfied with.  That’s not to say that you shouldn’t attempt to better yourself or your situation when you feel the need arises.  It’s just that you need to understand what you can and cannot do or be and perfect is something that should just not be in your list.

So, failure…hmmm, having dealt with this topic this week a lot, I really need to write about it.  Somewhere in my head a long time ago this judge was born.  This judge inside of my head prods me on in good ways but sometimes it screams at me in unhealthy ways for making mistakes.  No parental figures in my life have ever belittled me for making mistakes.  Oh, I’ve gotten into plenty of parental trouble for certain mistakes as we all have but I was never belittled.  Unfortunately, that judge was born and lives and breathes inside of my head waiting for me to make a mistake…that judge inside my head generates more anxiety and disappointment and even anger sometimes than anything else in my life.  The funny part is that its so silly.  It’s a very lame tape that plays and sometimes, when I’m aware and pulling out of that insane state, I laugh hard and gently tell the judge to shut the heck up!  LOL

That judge can drive you mad.  If you wonder whether or not you have a judge inside of you wreaking havoc with your self-esteem, consider this…do you walk down the street and hear that voice that wonders what THAT guy was thinking when he put on plaid Bermudas with black soxka and oxfords?  Do you see the very heavy woman with a big gulp and wonder if it’s a diet soda?  Do you notice the person who is obviously having a bad hair day and silently think they should have spent more time in front of the mirror?  If not, you’re either in really healthy shape mentally or you are in complete denial.  Here’s the thing…when we judge others so harshly, we are judging ourselves harshly.  It’s not our job to judge other people…it’s our job to judge ourselves and to do so in a healthy way.  So, when it comes to other people making mistakes, do you attack or do you cut them some slack?  When you make mistakes, do you beat yourself up over the idiotic failure or do you cut yourself some slack?

The beautiful thing about failure is that you have a unique opportunity to learn something about you.  Something as simple as “How did this happen?” is a good question to ask yourself.  If you’re dealing with addictions or twelve-step programs, you learn to look at this a little more deeply…not so you can beat yourself up some more and give yourself another reason or excuse to dive back into whatever your addiction might be.  Instead, you look back to understand where you might have gone wrong…you learn to forgive yourself and love yourself any way and then try with all of your might to learn from the experience so that next time you can do better and be happy about your progress.

This week I’ve dealt with many failures that hit me all at once due to some work I am doing.  They all have a similar source and now that I’ve gone back to look at the source, I now understand my failures as something I need to learn from…work to remedy to my own satisfaction (which does not include any form of perfection) and then go on…striving ever to do better the next time.  During the process of examining my failures, I had to understand what was within my power to control so that the next time something comes up, I can exert better control.  I also have to learn what was not in my control, why it wasn’t in my control  so that next time something comes up, I can exert better acceptance of the circumstances so that I’m not spinning my wheels attempting to control people or situations that are just not within my realm of control.  Sounds  simple enough right?  Not really.  It takes time and patience to work the emotion through but the thoughts bring on the emotions and we can always control our thoughts.  The judge will throw craziness at us some times but each time that happens, we can shut the judge down.  We can re-message the words we hear inside of our heads so that they are more healthy and deliberately positive and gentle.  You’ll gain so much more success if you can fire the judge in your head berating you for failure and instead instilling the voice in your soul with the power to speak encouraging words like a loving and compassionate parent.

Instead of feeling mortified for having made a mistake, step up and own anything you did wrong in terms of dealing with other people…apologize if that is called for, remedy the mistake if possible or decide whatever it is just cannot be fixed.  You have to apply the logic to your own situations gently.  So, for me, I now see a certain string of failures I have to deal with.  Some I can remedy, some I can’t.  Where some people are involved, I will have to find a way to make amends and do my best to do better the next time.  Where situations are just out of my control…all I can do is all I can do and I have to be satisfied with that.  The reason being is that negative thoughts, berating and belittling thoughts do not a perfect person make!  Positive thoughts, positive self-talk and being loving with yourself are the only things that can help you get back on a good track of progress in your life.

So, embrace failure in a healthy way and instead of considering it the end of the world, try to see it as an opportunity to choose more wisely the next time…settle up any consequences that may result from failures or mistakes (don’t hide them or lie about them) and just strive to do better.  Some people like it when we fail because they feel like it gives them power over you.  Well, it doesn’t really…not if you don’t give your power away by allowing yourself to become mired in negative thoughts about your failures.  Do what you can do.  Admit what you can’t do.  Get help if you have to.  Try again if that makes sense and doesn’t fall into the insanity definition (doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results). 
I tend to be a little overly perfectionist with myself.  That in itself is a mistake I’ve decided to work very hard on correcting.  I can only correct THAT failure if I allow myself to see it for the opportunity that it is.  I can only do better the next time if I strive for progress and not waste my energy or attempting to be perfect.  I can only do better the next time if I am honest about my failures and get help where necessary.  So, I’m doing all of these things and it isn’t easy but I’ll tell you what, it sure beats beating myself up for failing.  I won’t do that anymore.  It doesn’t help and it doesn’t change what happens.  I choose to focus on the positive and not become mired in the judge’s toxic thoughts.  My judge is being fired from this set of perceived failures.  I did the only things I knew how to do at the time.  Now I know better.  Next time, I’ll do better.  That’s all I need to know.
Many blessings to you~