So often when I am working with clients, I find that they are making life difficult for themselves. These are just some of the ways:
Here is a distinction that can help you in your decision making process, and in your post-decision self-affirmation responsibilities…
Decisions are about Right Choice, not “the right choice”…
Many of you will be getting together with family…I’m sure most of you look forward to it, and I’ll bet that many of you, at least somewhat, dread some of the, let’s say, less-than-fully-functional family interactions!
Well, here’s my wild suggestion…
To understand that every event that comes into your life is a *perfect* reflection of your thoughts and state of being, such that you can treat it is a *perfect* learning opportunity, designed perfectly for YOU.
What does this mean in practice?
* You get past the why me, it’s all their fault, this sucks, etc.
* You ask yourself, what can I learn about me in this situation?
* You ask yourself, how might I typically/unconsciously react to situations like this? How could I respond differently?
* You ask yourself, where are my opportunities to love in this situation?
* You ask yourself, where are my opportunities to love myself in this situation?
The result? You stop wasting time and experiencing the same events over and over in different clothing, and start accelerating your growth and learning. You also reduce your suffering, increase your joy, and increase your contribution to the world around you.
Should you choose to accept!
OK, so, it can end up being a little self-defeating to always be “working on yourself.”
There really is nothing wrong with you, you are perfect just the way you are! A constant quest for self-development and/or enlightenment can actually get in the way of your growth.
So, if you are feeling a bit “stuck” why not try one of these backdoor methods? I’ll expand more about why these methods work on my www.CoachMichele.com blog.
All you really need to know is intending to improve these areas of your life will bring a lot of systems into alignment such that in addition to creating something positive in your life, you’ll also be coming to greater holistic health and development as a human being.
- Strive for a very high level of physical fitness
- Learn to be at absolute peace around your family, immediate and extended
- Rid yourself of your “small” addictions (using food, shopping, entertainment, etc. to modify your mood)
- Truly organize your physical environment
- Double your level of intimacy with your partner
Choosing just one of those items, and making it a focus in your life, will bring lasting benefits to all areas of your life!
Michele’s Group Coaching Class last night was a Mastery session — focused on advanced personal development.
It was a Mastery Q&A where we could bring up any relevant topics, themes, issues, or questions.
We began with the question of what it feels like to be centered in our lives versus not being centered — and we came up with a few things…
In terms of being and feeling centered, we came up with these qualities or traits:
— The sense of being fundamentally at peace, despite internal or external challenges
— Being able to maintain a soft gaze or non-defensive stance towards reality — being open to life
— Aware that we are not alone or helpless, despite what we happen to be facing — and that we do not need to completely understand or control everything
— Allowing for the presence of Mystery in our lives and situations
— Willingness to be humble and real
(Our True Self is present and in charge of our personality, rather than our ego)
In terms of being or feeling un-centered, we came up with these qualities or traits:
— A sense of being dis-connected/unconnected (rather than connected)
— A tendency to spin around and around in our negative thoughts, imaginings, and fears.
— Temptation to despair
— A sense of being on auto-pilot
— Behaving in mechanical and contrived ways — wanting to force solutions to our problems, coming up with elaborate schemes, etc..
— Feeling defensive
— Feeling scattered and un-grounded
(Our ego is frantically trying to maintain and keep control; it thinks that it has to manage everything — and everybody.)
After coming up with these lists, we gave examples from our lives of when we felt centered or un-centered. We also explored how — especially during times of stress and challenge — — to fall back into tendencies to worry, fret, or fear, for example…
We then discussed different tools, techniques or things that have helped us to keep our center — or to find our center once we’ve lost it — and here are some of them…
(And please make sure to add what works for you in the comments section below so that we can all help each other with ideas and suggestions!):
1. Take a long two-hour walk in nature — in the trees, woods — on the beach, etc… (this ALWAYS helps! It shifts something — your energy, mood, sense of what’s possible…. you return feeling energized/invigorated/recharged — more calm…
2. Draw up a hot bath, shut off the lights, burn candles and listen to Gregorian chant or sacred music (Mozart Mass in C Minor, Bach Cantatas, the music of Josquin. The cd Messa Paschale/Cozzolani by Magnificat is my new favorite!) What’s nice about this is that it eliminates harsh stimulation of any kind and quiets the mind. Being immersed in the hot water, seeing the flickering candles and the candlelight, and hearing beautiful, sublime, and uplifting music restores the spirit. It is also nice to throw some kind of scented oil into the water — perhaps patchouli or Egyptian musk or jasmine, lavender — just a drop or two; it changes everything! 🙂
3. Spend some time lying out in the sun. This immediately softens and calms the nervous system and slows down breathing… It helps relax the body and mind.
4. Take a 45 minute walk; don’t return until you’ve walked at least 45 minutes. This seems to be the magic number for me. Perhaps this is when the endorphins really do kick in!
5. Set a timer and write for ten minutes on whatever is troubling you at the moment — or whatever question or issue you’re wrestling with. Do not try to edit. Write as fast as you can and as much as you can. Write whatever sentences, words, phrases come to mind . If something really profound comes up and you need to slow down or pause to concentrate, do so. You will be amazed by what insights can be generated on their own from this simple practice. It can really open up the mind.
6. Read a beautiful poem that you like or a well-written short story or essay — or a chapter in a spiritual book.
What’s great about coming up with a list like this is that we can draw from it when we are feeling dull, nervous, scattered, fearful or out of sorts. We can pick one of these things to do, or — by reading down the list — we can think of other options that would more perfectly match our mood and circumstances.
The more centered we are, the better we feel — and the more tuned in we are to Spirit, nature, ourselves, and others. We are also much more open to looking at our problem(s) in new ways and being open to unexpected insights and solutions.
What other centering tools or techniques work for you? I would love to add them to the above list!
I love the new series on the OWN network, Oprah Presents Master Class. The other day I was watching the one with Jay-Z, the rap superstar.
My mouth dropped open when he began to describe flow. Now, he was speaking in the context of creating music (or, as he says, becoming one with the music), yet his words are strikingly applicable to life in general:
“Flow is just becoming one with the music. You find someplace inside the music that you can tuck in, and you don’t get in the way of the groove. You insert yourself in the song as an instrument. You’re just part of the track. You are no different than the horn or the snare or the bass or the hi-hat. You found the place in that track to tuck in and you just don’t disturb the groove. It’s just smooth, and it just flows. I love having that experience.” ~Jay-Z
Replace “music/song/track” with moment and “the horn/snare/bass/hi-hat” with the other people/environment/event and you’ll have an outstanding sensory description of life when you are in the flow, living in the moment, fully present. Dare I even say, replace “the groove” with the Divine/Spirit/Love/Source/Life Force/Universe/God..?…I dare!
Update: Youtube took away the video clip… 🙁 , and they don’t have it on Oprah’s site…Guess you’ll just have to keep your eye out for the episode! 🙂