Category Archives: self-improvement

Accepting the situation in front of you, changes everything!

There are many opportunities to change unhappy situations around us.  I guess we just don’t know that we have that power!

Somehow we have come to believe that the only way to change a situation is to fight against it.  It appears that when bad things happen, we spend the majority of time talking about it and shaking our heads in confusion.  We talk and read about things we don’t like and we are confused how these things continue to escalate.

This happens with world current events and it happens in our world.  Situations present themselves to us; we may not be aware that it is our response to the situation that holds more of the same or changes everything.

I am speaking about situations that are within your present moment awareness.  If you think about it, there are millions, no billions, no an infinite amount of situations taking place at any moment.  You are aware of only one of these situations at a time.

Interesting perception! Only the situations that are within your awareness are the situations you believe as true.  But to another person, even a person in the same room, this very situation that holds all of your attention may not even exist in their world.

So what is it about situations that have the power to enthrall us or crumble our confidence?  What really are situations?  What part of a situation is an illusion? How can situations change in time? Where are we, anyway?

More interesting questions! Here are my answers for now.  We may be amazing beings who are able to create situational moments that are so detailed they can fool even ourselves.  We create these situations to objectify our thoughts.  We can expand as we see what we want and what we don’t want, and even what we want to explore further.

This type of perspective can be very helpful in changing situations that are unpleasant to us.  We now have a way to move on to the next lesson when we accept the situation in front of us.  We don’t have to respond to it or necessarily suffer from it.  The suffering may be coming from an illusion we desire to experience.  Why would you want to suffer, you ask?

I do not know.  I do know, however, that if I don’t want to suffer, and I believe I do not need to suffer, I will begin to live a completely different life.  It may seem like a miracle.  It may seem like a brand new door appears from nowhere, and opens up a new reality.  It has the power to surprise and delight me.

By accepting the situation in front of you, by keeping your heart open with optimism and love, great things can emerge.  Think about it.  You have  probably already experienced moments of exhilaration at one time or another.  Can you remember a lovely situation that completely embraced you?  You may have sustained the experienced the happy situation for hours, even days.  Then, you become a little uneasy and questioned whether this kind of well-being was a bit naive  You may have closed the door and entered another irritating situation that felt more familiar.   But it was miserable.  Hopefully, this article will open more doors to happy situations.  The first step is to allow or accept the door as it presents itself.  There is paradise on earth.  It is up to us to find and allow it through trial and error.

The sooner you realize your inner power to create your reality, the sooner you will be able to break the cycle of pain and suffering.  I welcome your thoughts on this topic.  Life can be just as amazing as us!  It is up to us!

Peace!  My upcoming blog hopefully can give some practical ways to change your situations through acceptance.  I look forward to seeing what will come out of these fingers!  Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

 

For the love of Mother’s Day

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Love expands.  It is movement, change, rearrangement and development. Love can withstand heat and cold, and when it does, it can change everything within and around it.  Love can soar above, below and within.  Love exists before, during and after our time here on earth.  Love is a good word we can use to hold everything together and apart. When I allow and trust in the dynamic nature of love, I am in awe.

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and I have these thoughts in relation to my conception of love.  Everyone has a mother, living or not, living locally or separated for whatever reason.  Usually we hear stories about how selfless our mothers were and how much of themselves.they gave to us.  We dutifully send our words and tokens of appreciation for their life of sacrifice. If we currently don’t get along with our mothers, or even if we do, we may feel discomfort and confusion with this day.  It may be even harder for those of us whose mother has passed away. We may wish to avoid Mother’s Day altogether.

A new attitude towards our concept of mothers may be able to help. A new attitude may permit everyone to celebrate with ease!  How do mothers think about themselves?

Do mothers  think about their state of motherhood as sacrifice, as selflessness?. I wonder if mothers have any time to think about themselves as an object of reverence, an idol of sorts. I wonder if mothers are comfortable with these misleading comments in greeting cards and news stories about mothers. Mothers are pretty busy just  being and doing and occasionally, sleeping!  They have learned that the less they think of themselves as beings who have been placed on pedestals, and more like human beings who enjoy the ups and down of their family, they flourish happily and with more ease.

I have experienced motherhood and grand motherhood . I don’t think it is at all helpful for me to think about my life as a mother in terms of selflessness.  For me, motherhood is  the vivid participation in movement, development, and growth in family living that makes me especially appreciative of being a mother.

This expansion and engagement of spirit makes motherhood so desirable. Love energizes us to go beyond what we imagined we could do.  Love moves us forward and outward.  Love creates.  Love enjoys.  Love continues to breathe  even when things appear stressful.  Love takes the higher view or sometimes appear to take no view at all as it mysteriously unfolds to new possibilities.

For me, motherhood has always been the privilege of participation.  It is delight in playing with Life itself, the planning and executing, the meltdowns and the ah-ha moments.

Whether you have been a mother or not, this year Mother’s Day can be a celebration for mothers and for children.  Yes, it singles out one player in the family, but hopefully, it can be a celebration of how love can expand our relationships beyond what we thought.  Hopefully it will be a time to listen and share with our mothers, in person or in thoughts. Ease up on the one-line speeches that can cut off the loves energy.  Instead, enjoy interaction with the family you are with, just the way they are now!  Whatever you presently feel about your own mother, take time to celebrate the current of love that continues to hold all of us together!

What is it about receiving advice?

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Up to now, I was uncomfortable with people giving me advice!  I still have that little toddler living within me, I want to do it myself! attitude.  I stopped listening when I heard someone tell me what I should do.  Up to now, I have not liked people assessing me.  It has made me feel uncomfortable and I closed my ears to remarks from these people as quickly as I could to protect myself.

Of course, I am not particularly aware that I am judging others or, as I like to say assess,ing, situations and people around me.  I was taught from a young age to be discerning: to judge whether it is safe or when is it foolish to proceed. Opinions on how I view better ways of doing things, roll off my tongue.  This ability to judge can be to my advantage.  It can also become a roadblock to any happy, working relationship.

Families talk about other family members all the time.  They assess each other’s well-being, or lack of it. They might not label these conversations as judgmental, but judgments are made.  Many offer advice stemming from their judgment.  They do this out of love, of course.  Unfortunately, these good intentions can lead to hurt feelings, misunderstanding, and moments of asking forgiveness. When people give you advice don’t you notice that sometimes you can become defensive and hurt, without even realizing it?  Do you ever feel like they have underestimated your abilities?  Or, do you feel the friend you thought you had does not even know you?  Advice-giving is a tricky thing.

Perhaps we cannot stop people from giving us advice, as they offer judgement to the soundness or insanity of our actions. Yet if we are willing to be less defensive when advice comes our way, we can benefit in ways we could never benefit alone.  Perhaps deep down we know this.

Those who judge us, do so in light of their own perceptions. This is especially true when they are specific to you.  The advice-givers are unique, and that means different from who you are. It is helpful to remember that they cannot see your reality from your eye level.  And here lies the potential for conflict and misunderstanding.  When your family or friends share their point of view, you may feel that you are asked to accept the advice in its totality regardless of whether you agree.  You may interpret these remarks to be a kind of intervention, an ultimatum. This is where the defense conflict begins.

A well-meaning friend or family member makes a comment and you respond by defending yourself. The advisor then becomes frustrated that their comments are taken in such a negative light. The conversation heightens as you quickly reject the intended gift. You see their frustration and escalate their advice to a level of an insult.  As each continue to exchange words, it becomes apparent that the subject needs to be changed. The advise-giver is distressed as well as the recipient  So what can you do to accept insights without conflict?  Oh, oh, here is my advice:

  1. Can you accept that others share from their present personal situation?  A person usually reacts to your apparent cry for help,  by watching your body, your body language, and so much more!  To complicate matters, the one who is sharing advice may be speaking after having had a stressful day themselves, and may be surprised by your sudden cry out for help.  The advisor may be in the supportive let’s fix it mode and is giving the best shot at fixing your present problem.  And here lies additional challenges.
    1. If you take the advice in its totality and follow it without question, you are disconnecting from the one who knows the most about how to make the fix, and that is yourself!  Immediately, you will feel the emotions of the disconnect. And it doesn’t feel good.
      1. Disconnecting from self shows itself in uneasy feelings, like despair, weakness, anger, fear, guilt, impatience, etc.
    2. Acting out of negative feelings, usually brings you to your imagined defensive knees of separation, and the conversation goes to areas of conflict that were never intended.
    3. If you can take a step back and pause when someone offers advice, you will realize
      1. You complained of something in your life and sounded like you could use some help.  You asked for help.
      2. There may or may not be gold in the advice that is given.  That is up to you to discern.
      3. Whether advice was delivered loudly or softly, awkwardly or with finesse, there may be value hidden within.  Statements may sound like:
        • You shouldn’t be thinking about spending money on big projects now!, or
        • Here’s something I learned about financially planning for future surprises.  If you like, I can share some articles with you.
      4. These comments are still from the advisor’s point of view.  They are given to you from their hearts but it is always from their perspective.
  2. Accept the assessment at face value.  Thank you, I will consider your comments carefully.
    1. Remember that when someone gives suggestions about how to run your life situations, your ego translates what is said.  You may be fighting the memories of years with parent’s rules and over-protectiveness.  Your friend’s advice may be complicated by you with feelings of parental defensiveness.  When this occurs you cannot hear the attempt to share goodwill now in the present moment.  You may be triggered to interrupt and fight back.
    2. When you understand you are a complex human being with a history, you will  stop, pause, breathe and appreciate the opportunity of the present moment before reacting.
    3. A remark that can provide a good atmosphere of interchange could be:  I love that you care enough to say this.  You are a good friend. 
    4. If you find yourself arguing, explaining why you don’t need to do whatever is advised, you are in a parent/child-relationship moment.  This realization may be embarrassing to you. It is what it is.  Step back and reconnect with the beautiful positive person you are.  Change your attitude to allow the your way of relating to an adult-to-adult conversation.
    5. You’ve heard it before, don’t take it so personally.  Try to sort through advice like you would sort through a smorgasbord of goodies.  Some are not to your liking; some are.  It is for your pleasure to take whatever is helpful and let go of what is not, with gratitude, with whimsy and delight.

There are times when you may want to hide from others.  It is uncomfortable to defend against what we perceive as attacks of judgement.  We can easily become fearful of assessments that judge our appearance, our actions, our achievements or lack of achievements.

If you continually hide, you may miss out on a robust view of life.  Opinions from loved ones can be an opportunity to see beyond your view.   Remember, you don’t have to take advice in its totality or at all.  But listening through you heart can be an enlightening experience. What do you think?  Is it better to hide out away from advice-givers or is it more helpful to listen carefully and see what parts fit and what parts of the advise can be dismissed.

Accept the love that is intended for you when people share their opinions.  You may be able to appreciate each time family or friends try to help.  Enjoy open communication and allow your personal expansion.  Receiving advice can be beneficial after all!

Improving Your Thought Process

Quiet Acceptance

Can we really train our thought process?

Since writing Creating Thoughts That Serve You!, I have been more aware of the thoughts that are going through my head.  At first it was a little shocking .  I consider myself to be one of the most positive people in the world.  Yet here I was, thinking thoughts of how people don’t want to be around me.  Pretty silly huh?

Not really.  The untended mind’s thoughts are free to roam around to any subject or replay any past experience  unless I reign them in.  I could think of thoughts as horses.  Wild horses.  Brilliant and beautiful wild horses.

I can make friends with a horse and gently train her to serve me.  I can eventually guide her toward an adventure along the mountain  narrow paths of Yosemite.  In this way the horse serves me.  Similarly, thoughts can be gently trained each day to serve.  Who knows where that might lead to.  Who knows where my thoughts might take me?

Three Steps to guide the thought process?

  1. Journalling with abandon! Writing allows thoughts to flow from my hands.  It is an amazing mystery.  A thought with no physicality becomes physical as it appears on an empty screen or paper.  Even more mysterious is how thoughts can turn into events.  An important book, Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, recommends writing three pages a day.  It is suggested that these pages are written with free abandon. In the three pages,  am not trying to impress anyone or anything.  As I write and let my thoughts trust me enough to flow, I build a relationship with my mind.  And, something else happens.  I begin to realize that there is another “someone” observing these thoughts.  I begin to realize that there is a bigger me than the wild untamed me.  I begin to see a me (the sane one) and a me that is my ego (the crazy one, or I would like to say, the lesser of the sane ones).  Writing 3 pages a day is a wonderful exercise and almost a meditation in the mystery always evolving within.
  2. Blogging with consistency! It is so easy to give up writing, especially when you think no one is paying attention.  Yet, blogging can be a personal growth process.  When I write this blog, I can only imagine who will be reading my thoughts.  You are reading, but I don’t know much about you.  I can’t tailor my thoughts to what I perceive you want to hear.  I do know you are human and so with a new sort of abandon. I offer you my heart.  There is something else  I wish to communicate from my best self, so I work a bit harder in writing to you and edit what I write.  In this attempt, I am more aware of my thoughts and the progress I am making in guiding them to serve me … and others.
  3. Taking a good look in the mirror!  I pass a mirror so many times a day without using it’s power.Thoughts that do not serve me, easily appear:  Am I fat?  Do I look old?  Wish my legs weren’t so bowl-legged!  I don’t look so bad.  Yeah, I look pretty good! These are the wild thoughts that are freely roaming about, making me feel good or bad about myself without my consent.  These are the thoughts that may not serve me.  With a little bit of consciousness, I can use a mirror to meet up with the sane one .  I can look right into my eyes and have a moment of great humor, spark, joy, confidence.  I can also gently guide my mind to understand that these are the types of thoughts I prefer.  I can become aware of thoughts during the day and gently guide my mind back to harmony within me!

Today is my 72nd Birthday. So much fun!   I look forward to an eternity of expanding thoughts into wonderful creations.  Thank you for sharing part of my day.  Hope these comments are as helpful to you as they are for me!