Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How to Be the Experience You Wish to Have

Ever have one of those moments, events, or days when it appears if it can go wrong it seems to? Were you pleased with how you managed yourself, and the outcome?

The event was one I not only looked forward to, but carefully planned for. My handouts, business cards, and artificial bonsai tree were packed and ready to go in my wheeled suitcase the day before the event. It was scheduled to start at noon and last until two o’clock; which meant I needed to be at the site for 11:30 so I could set up my table. And, I’d been told to expect about two hundred people to attend. I was ready!

The morning of the event, I went through my usual meditative routine, and included my mantra, used especially when I have to commute or travel: I’m always in the right place at the right time with the right action and the right people.

Using the subway on a Saturday means you have to allow extra time for a slower commute; for me, about an 80-minute ride to my destination. If I left by 10a.m., I’d have enough time for the ride and to walk to the site. I didn’t leave my apartment until almost 10:15. Pulling my weighted suitcase on the bumpy sidewalk, I made it to the subway station, a 15-minute walk without a suitcase. It was roped off . . . being painted is what the person I asked told me. I’m always in the right place . . .

I repeated my mantra as I quickly pulled my suitcase the eight blocks north to the next subway stop, also roped off. My brain went into gear: There wasn’t enough time for me to keep walking north until I found an open station. I didn’t carry enough cash to take a car service as far as the site, nor did I want to pay around $70 for a ride that cost $2.50. And, that was just one way. A note on a post caught my attention: shuttle bus. I crossed the street to where others stood at a regular bus stop. A woman explained what I had to do. I checked my watch; it was 10:40. The bus pulled up, I got on, and asked the driver if he was taking us to the next transfer station where I could catch the train. “It’s not running there. You have to go to the transfer station after that one.” Only 18 blocks, but to my ego, it seemed like 18 miles. I’m always in the right place . . .

I hurried down the steps to the subway platform. An express train was there and I flew through its doors and got a seat. At the main transfer station, I changed to the express train that would take me to my stop on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It was 11:20 and I was at a station in Lower Manhattan when I realized there was no express service in the city on Saturday. We’d make every local stop.

Understand I wasn’t upset or losing it, though I was bemused; then I was amused as I realized this was an opportunity to really practice what I preach. There was no way I could arrive frazzled and tout coaching to get peaceful, poised, on purpose, and empowered. I quietly laughed to myself and believed it would all be fine. I chose to have an inner and outer adventure that I’m always in the right place . . .

I arrived at 11:45, ready to get set up and meet and greet the people. The room wasn’t ready, and everyone hosting a table stood around looking not too happy. We didn’t get our room until 12:15. It took no time for me to set up, so I started helping everyone who said they needed extra hands. I was the only one there who seemed to be in a good mood; everyone else seemed stressed. I activated my clown chakra and got some of them to smile and several to laugh.

The two hundred people turned out to be about twenty; and I spoke with every one of them. No one bought any of my books, but I coached another host (I love when the “ah-ha” moment happens for a person), coached one of the attendees, distributed my handouts, met some amazing people, and got an insight. Actually, I got more than one insight, but got a great business-building insight.

At first blush, it might have appeared that lots of things went wrong. However, every time something seemed to go awry, something terrific followed it. And, I was always in the right place at the right time with the right action and the right people.

I chose to be the experience I wished to have.

Do You Possess Your Life or Endure It?

It may seem like we’re watching things crumble and tumble around us. What if we, even as and especially as individuals, now stand at the threshold of expanding our personal power and potential, no matter what? What if expanding this inner power is the very thing we should do? Are you in?

I read a line in a novel by P. D. James, “. . . preserving always the same look of puzzled acceptance of a life which had to be endured rather than possessed.” Many people probably feel this way these days; but they can feel another way, if they choose to.

In our most challenging moments you or I face, we tend to ask, “How did I get into this situation,” or “Why is this happening?” These are understandable questions, but they aren’t necessarily helpful.

Every day, each of us endures something even if it’s an inconvenience of lesser magnitude. Some people endure much more than most of us ever think about having to. When we find ourselves facing a challenge we believe we can do nothing about, we can still take possession of it. When we take possession of something, we generally take care of it or care for it; or, at least, that is the idea.

How many of us feel we are in possession of our lives? In order to feel this way, we have to also feel in possession of our thoughts, words, feelings, and actions. We have to possess or own the choices we’ve made and the outcomes they created. We have to decide if what we experience causes us to endure life or live what we desire.

There are things about our lives that only we can change. There are things we cannot change, so must find a way to come to terms with them. Whatever you feel challenged by at this time, find a way to take possession of it, even it it’s just your attitude about it. To paraphrase Ernest Holmes, fear is misplaced faith; a belief in two powers instead of one.

Though I’ve had a lifetime of successes (depending on your definition of success), several years back, I clearly saw and felt something was missing. I could have taken the approach many do and learned and mimicked a lot of external actions to produce outcomes that would cause others to call me or my life a success. I could have done that, but I didn’t. Instead . . .

I decided to expand my personal power, to see what I’m truly capable of, primarily from the spiritual perspective. I knew my path was going to cause many to shake their heads or feel frustrated with me. When challenges appeared I’d wonder if I should abandon this path and take the one more traveled. Then, I’d remind myself of my desired outcome and keep going, no matter what. T.S. Eliot said, "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." However, I feel there is no “too far” in expanding personal power in connection with Spirit and the truth of how reality works.

There were times when my world seemed to be crashing down around me; but like the Tower card in the Tarot, the seeming destruction was so a new, sturdier, and more splendid structure could be created instead.

Here is the process I take myself through to feel peaceful, empowered, and free even in times of perceived chaos.

I acknowledge that where I am is where I am and allow it. I own my part in creating it. Resistance creates struggle; and if I’m using this process, I don’t need more struggle, I need to shift it.
I acknowledge that maybe I can shift it today and maybe I can’t shift it until “tomorrow,” but I can shift how I feel now. This is especially important to me since I know that like attracts like. If I allow myself to feel even a bit better (raise my energy), I allow for things to shift with greater ease. This may sound like New Age hype, but its importance is huge and its effects immediate.
I agree to be on my timetable and no one else’s. This is my personal journey.
I remind myself that if I focus on the situation as it is, I sort of superglue it into my reality. Focus on my desired outcome shifts my energy, attracts more of what I want, and just feels better.
I ask Spirit to show me what to do, including how to open myself to feeling more of what I want to feel. “Show me what I need to do to feel (xyz),” is one of the best ways to kick this into high gear.
I look at which beliefs serve me and which ones don’t. The foundation of every conflict is a belief. Some beliefs have been with us so long, we form an attachment to them, even though they’re toxic. We may even call them “facts.” They have to go if we’re going to make a real shift. They have to be replaced with beliefs that support desired feelings and outcomes. I’ve had to recognize that my beliefs are the stories I repeat to myself. I can choose my stories.
I find some measure of truth in a new belief statement because we can’t fool ourselves. If we don’t believe it, we cancel it out.
I choose to get out of being so much in my mind and more into my feelings. Our feelings give us honest information. How we act from there becomes a measure of our greater understanding about the bigger picture and our role in it.
I affirm there is a way and I will find it, that Spirit always assists me. There’s a reason so many say to leave the how in the hands of Spirit: no one can do how better. I pay attention and take action as needed.
I focus on something else while I wait for the answer, solution, next step, or shift. It’s coming to me; it always does. I know from experience to expect it.

I am an ongoing process (so are you). I’ve learned to determine what is authentic for me even if it differs from what others may think or believe is the way things should be done, or is “how things are.” I experience how joyfully powerful and peaceful it is to take full responsibility for my thoughts and thought patterns.

If you depend on external matters to feel peaceful and empowered, you’ve agreed to enslave yourself to the whims of externals; and, you will feel fairly powerless and often frustrated as a result.

Life is to be possessed, not endured. We can choose between enslavement to externals or freedom through personal empowerment; but, they are inner experiences first. Which do you choose?

How do I Find or Define My Life Purpose?

What is your motivation to discover or define your life purpose? Is this influenced, in any way, by the opinions of others?

Someone I believe to be in her forties, shared that amid the busyness of her life, she’s trying to figure out what to do for the rest of her life (I suspect she really meant life purpose). I responded maybe she doesn’t need to figure out what to do for the rest of her life, just what she chooses to do with the next piece of it. This made me wonder at what age that question, the way she stated it, becomes the right one.

I’ve experienced, and have heard from clients, the belief that whatever we do, it needs to be something others can label grand, special, or worthy of their admiration. (A life purpose should fulfill this requirement, shouldn’t it?) This energetic imprint is all around us, including most of the email announcements I’m signed up for.

Question: What is the message ads (and email ads) bombard you with repeatedly, even if only implicitly?

Answer: You have to be or do something Big. You have to become the next guru of something, make a gazillion dollars, and you’re only a success if you do this by . . . 5p.m. Tomorrow Evening!

How’s this working for you so far? How does it feel?

Is my intention here to motivate you towards mediocrity? Of course not. My intention is to motivate you to listen to Your Self, Your Truth.

Maybe your truth is you do want to live big, bigger, biggest. Great. I hold that intention with you. However, if that path feels like a burden, like a heavy weight on your life, could it be it’s not for you? Maybe you need to define what success and purpose mean for you.

I recall hearing about a young man whose passion was military history, specifically uniforms and weapons. He’d watch contemporary war movies; and if he saw costume and weapon inaccuracies, would write to the studios. After a number of letters to a particular studio, they hired him as an expert.

We’re influenced to believe we’re failures if we don’t have the brass ring. Who decides what the brass ring is for you? What if your life is not about one brass ring, but a succession of rings, and you decide their value. Maybe your platinum ring is an inner experience like conscious awareness, of living as an Awakened being.

A question often asked by those who guide others to find their life purpose is, what did you love to do as a child? There was one thing I loved to do as a child that applies to how I view my life experience now. It was a game called Let’s Pretend. For me, this fits perfectly with how my life has played out so far and continues to progress. I now see how each stage of my life represents my imagining (or imaging) what it would be like to play a particular role and immerse myself in it for a while, even if I wasn’t aware this was what I was doing. Looking at my life this way is opening my sense of freedom, energy, focus, and personal power as nothing else has before.

What if life purpose is to choose a role, step into it, and expand it as far as we wish, until we choose another . . . but do it deliberately, mindfully . . . whether it involves a lifetime or a moment?

What if life purpose includes being on purpose today and every day, whatever role or roles you choose to play?

Do These Time Wasters Affect Your Life?

Activities we usually name as time wasters are too much TV viewing, daydreaming, or anything that isn’t a productive use of minutes and hours. Here are a few more to consider.

Gossip. What’s the point, really? Conveying needed information to the appropriate person or people is useful, but negative gossip is a misuse of time and energy; and as Gandhi said, a form of violence. Each of us does the best we believe we can to make our way through our lives and challenges even if others don’t see it that way. Unless you must tell someone something they really need to know, speak about others’ accomplishments, strengths, courage, kindnesses, and generosity. This lifts your energy and the energy of those you speak with. Manage your damage (and damnage).

Criticism. Constructive critiquing can be useful; criticism is usually just a way to vent about something we haven’t addressed in our lives or ourselves. It often reveals more about us than what or who we criticize. If you feel the need to criticize, ask where or how you feel restricted then change it so you feel better. One way to manage this habit is to consider the possibility that people are mirrors. If triggered by another person’s behavior or action, ask in what way this reflects something within you. It may appear somewhat differently or in a lesser degree in your life, but you can see it and address it. I find that when I observe behaviors in others and feel compassion, it means I’ve dealt with similar issues and appreciate what their experience might be like for them. [This works for seeing the good in others, as well.]

This also reminds me of something Wayne Dyer shared with an audience during one of his PBS specials. He recounted working with a client who went on and on about his conflicted relationship with his mother rather than address what he could do in his own regard. Wayne finally told the client to go get his mother. The client asked why. Wayne said, “Go get her and bring her here. I’ll talk to her, and you’ll get better.”

Repetitive dwelling on what others do or did. Unless your motivation is to understand or appreciate something, you can use up a lot of time (and energy) re-running an imaginary film or recording about what someone did or said. If what happened doesn’t directly impact you in a way that requires your current attention, wish them well and get on with creating the life you wish to experience. If it does directly impact you in the now, handle it then let it go. If a re-run attempts to play once you’ve taken care of it, remind yourself, “I’m grateful my memory cells work, but I’ve already managed that.”

Worry. You’ve probably heard that most of what we worry about never happens; and the things that happen, we usually aren’t given time to worry about. If you can shift something to make a situation better, do so. If you’re not sure what to do, pause until you are. If you’re unable to shift something at the outer level, shift it at the inner level by looking at it differently and focusing on what you wish to expand. Another way to shift this is to ask, “Am I dealing with this right now, where I am?” If you’re watching a movie (or supposed to be) and worrying about something else, watch the movie or get up and do something to shift what your concern is.

Choose your conversation topics. I went for a haircut several days after my father’s funeral. The hairdresser and I were enjoying our conversation. She asked if I’d had a good Fourth of July. It so happened that July 4 was the day after we laid my father to rest. I made a choice to answer yes rather than shift the energy we were sharing. There was truth in my answer: I was with my family and it was good to be with them.

Do something that makes you feel better. For some people, this includes prayer or meditation. For others, it’s exercise, a relaxing bath, or even a nap. Maybe soothing music or a funny movie will do the trick. A walk in the park or around the neighborhood may be just the thing; or a visit with a friend (but don’t have a pity party). The better you feel, the better the events and people you attract into your life are.

We all have moments when we are out of alignment, and we feel bad. You are not obligated to hang onto feeling this way, even when it seems logical. Yes, you may need to vent or cry or express your feelings, which are all healthy things to do; but you don’t have to stay in that place any longer than necessary. Nor do you need to use up your moments in the less productive and ultimately harmful expressions listed above.

What you focus your strongest feelings on, you experience more of. This isn’t just a Law of Attraction premise: revisiting negative thoughts and emotions with no intention to move forward isn’t much different than repeatedly hitting your head with a hammer.

One last suggestion is to allow that if you currently do any or all of the bolded items, it’s likely they’re learned (and well practiced) behaviors. The ones that create negative feelings have “remedies” listed that are ideals to strive for. Realistically, you’ll do them again; but perhaps when you find yourself practicing any one of them that doesn’t lead you to feel the way you desire to feel, you’ll remember that there is another way, and shift what’s going on. It’s about choice to self-empower as you go, not about never doing any of them again. Perfection is a painful illusion. Choice is a powerful tool.

Do You Keep Beating the Same Drum?

Have you found a philosophy or technique you believe will lead you where you want to go: specific feelings and desired outcomes? It takes a while to realize you can’t get there, unless you travel the path to that destination.

So much of what we do is habit we don’t recognize it for what it is. This is especially true with thoughts, words, and actions. What kinds of stories do you repeat to yourself and others? Are they ones you want to experience, to encourage? Each time you follow the well-worn path of habitual thinking, speaking, and action-taking, it’s like beating the same old drum over and over--kind of hammering it into your reality.

One particularly good thing to keep in mind about yourself is that if you do seek or have sought information that can lead you to experience more of what you truly desire, to feel about yourself more the way you know you can, you’re open to another way. That’s always the first step towards any destination.

Robert Scheinfeld has this significant paragraph in his “Busting Loose from the Money Game” book, which actually refers to the Human Game (note the second to last sentence):

Then, one day, after applying The Process extensively to those fears, I had a revelation when my Expanded Self said this to me in a mediation: “As long as you understand about breathing your abundance but don’t actually start breathing, you’re saying ‘My Infinite Abundance isn’t really there,’ or ‘It may not really be there’—and you continue to feed power into your financial limitation eggs. At some point, you’ve got to make a decision about what’s real and what’s not, draw a line in the sand, cross it, and never go back. You can’t stay in no man’s land and fully open to your Infinite Abundance.”

Don’t limit this to just abundance. See how it fits lifting any limitation and moving into the fullness of who you are. Also, as I kept seeing the words Infinite Abundance, it registered for me that money was only one small piece of what that meant. I now use Infinite Creative Consciousness, for my personal satisfaction, instead.

As Robert goes on to explain, and is important to remember, it may take a while before you’re ready to draw a line in the sand and cross over it about a significant inner shift or desired way of being. It makes sense, really. Maybe you or someone you know decided to start a health or weight-reduction program, a program that involved going “cold-turkey.” We know how well that works.

It’s just that it can be or feel easier not to take the steps. After all, the old way is the one you know best, even if it doesn’t create the outcomes you desire. If you’ve ever experienced an important inner shift then tried to return to the old way, no matter how uncomfortable or disquieting the new, unfamiliar way was, it didn’t work. The old way no longer fits. You can feel you’re in a virtual limbo, not sure where to land. If you can allow this as part of the moving-forward process, you’ll move through it more effortlessly. Limbo is not a negative place to be. It’s a place where you can ask yourself questions you maybe never asked before.

If the old answers don’t really work for you, ask new questions. While you await new answers, maybe stop beating the same old drum.

Be True to You at Your Crossroads Point

Have you ever stood or are you standing at a crossroads now, not positively certain which path to take? What technique do you use to choose?

You may turn to family or friends for their thoughts and ideas. This is one tactic if you’re looking to brainstorm for ideas, methods, and techniques to consider. Some who are well-meaning may say, “Let me tell you what you ought to do,” or they use the dreaded word “should.” When this happens, nod politely, but stay true to yourself.

Crossroads are opportunities to aim at the target(s) that help you create your desired reality, even if it’s just to do something different and you aren’t quite sure what yet. That happens. Such times may cause anxiety; but that’s usually because somewhere at the back of your mind or deep in your heart, you wonder, “Can I or should I really go for it?”

If you have a dream and you share it with others, you risk hearing opinions that fall anywhere on the gradient between highly useful and not at all useful, depending on who you speak with. Nor can you let anything anyone says from their own perspective (and fears) cause you to question your worth or the worth of your dream or goal. Not everyone will feel excited about or share your enthusiasm, because it’s your dream, after all, not theirs. Sometimes you have to amp up the power of your dream by staying silent about it until the right moment. And, you want to put your energy into taking action, not talking about taking action.

One fear you may have is of (pardon the repetitions) coloring outside the lines or thinking and acting outside the box. But what if your unique way of doing something, or the way you’d like to but hesitate about, is exactly what some are waiting for?

Here are some questions to ask when you’re at a crossroads (answer them in order, and don’t limit your answers with logic—be honest with yourself):
Who would you really like to interact with? This could be clients, customers, readers, team players, group members, etc; but who would your favorite “playmates” be?
Why them?
What about them or their lives will be different as a result of engaging with you?
What are the ways you might do this with or for them? Which of these ways really jazz you? Which one could you begin to develop and move forward on now?

You cannot live your life trying to mold yourself to opinions or expectations of others. They may be happy if you do, but you’ll be miserable. A dialogue line in a movie called “The Movie Hero” is, “...you can either die trying or die wishing you had.” Of course, you can succeed while you live. It’s also a success to go for your dream, whatever the outcome. Better to say, “I gave it all I had (and enjoyed every second),” than, “I never gave myself the chance.”

It’s best to ignore anyone who believes you can’t get there from here. There’s always a way whether it’s a metaphorical jet, boat, car, or your feet. If you have a dream, don’t just wish it, intend it. Commit, be flexible, and stay true to yourself.