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Cause and Effect

When Change is Your Only Option

[ I haven’t posted any writings in the last few months as I am working on another book but recently I’ve had the thoughts below marinating in my mind and felt the need to share ]

what are you doing for others

Changes in life aren’t always planned or even known, sometimes they just occur all of a sudden and turn your world upside down, hopefully it’s a more positive experience rather than negative but what usually follows is a new ways of seeing, thinking, believing and living.

Transitioning into change isn’t always an easy road but it is naturally how the path progresses.  When you are moving from one phase of your life into the next the changes are not just what is around you, but also what is within.  Changing old habits and/or outdated ways of thinking usually manifests after you’ve either been resisting or struggling to move forward, sometimes without even realizing it.

All life evolves, that we all know and how you personally evolve depends on your choices which of course is of your free will to make but transition can be made easier if you choose to embrace it instead of resisting it (believe me, I’m not saying I’ve always done this, quite the opposite at times, but when you know better, you do better).  I’ve learned to recognize that when I am resisting transition (which I haven’t always been able to identify in the past) that I feel scattered, frustrated, blocked like I’m banging my head against a wall without fully understanding why only to later come to the realization, that “aha” moment, when things start to smooth out and make sense.  Clarity and awareness can be a beautiful thing.

Awareness in yourself is a learned experience, recognizing and reading the signs and symptoms in your own personality is an opportunity worth taking advantage of and sometimes necessary.  Rising to your own challenges will advance every aspect of your character and life but only if you are open to it.  You have to be open to it or it won’t work.

I choose to embrace the positive aspects in all areas of life, I do not like to shed light on negativity for too long because I’m very wary of feeding the wrong energy, but unfortunately sometimes (dare I say, too often) the negative happens and it needs to be looked at in order to raise awareness.

Awareness in others is also a learned experience, recognizing and listening to your inner voice.

When something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t!

Every time I have ignored my gut instinct it always comes back to bite me and that moment of realization, knowing I knew then what I’m learning now feels worse for me because I know I purposely didn’t listen.

I’ve seen a few too many in the last little while of those I care about that are taken advantage of because of their kindness and trust.  Too often when your gut tells you something is wrong you silence it, not always because you think you know better but because within the frame of kindness is the benefit of the doubt.  The benefit of doubt is given out of trust and those who do not have good intentions will manipulate and thrive on that because they are not serving a higher purpose, they are serving only themselves.

  • How does one learn to differentiate between the good and bad?
  • How does one learn to trust their instincts after falling victim to such toxicity and ill will?
  • How does one learn to trust others again?
  • Does the benefit of the doubt ever come back to you?

I think these are the questions you end up asking yourself over and over and over again when an event changes your life abruptly.

I wish there was a quick fix, a way to go back, a way to erase the damage, unfortunately there is not.  The quotes always say you have two options, you rise again or you let it define you, but I don’t know if I agree with that.

I believe there is one option, you rise again, become stronger!

The past cannot be changed, there is absolutely no way you can go back and re-write the story, there is no benefit to re-living it over and over in your mind, you are only torturing yourself. 

There is a process though and the only way to get through a storm is to brave it and fight your way through.  In order to move forward you have to feel the range of emotions as they come and let the wound heal in the time it needs to do so.

The lesson learned, the awareness gained will be that you refuse to give up your personal power to anyone again.  It’s not about forgiving someone else, someone who may or may not be sorry, it’s about forgiving yourself for gracing someone with your kindness and trust when they weren’t worthy of it.

The only thing you can do is make peace with it so you don’t re-live it every day in your present or into your future.  As terrible as an experience is, was or feels, the effects of the experience changes you and how that change manifests within is up to you.

Be a warrior for you!

mirror, mirror

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2016 in Blog

 

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I Don’t Care What You Think!

Feeling Vulnerable Without Fear

Sometimes the protective coat of armor doesn’t cover the fear created within the mind.  I think when you’re young, you are most susceptible and vulnerable to the outside influence and/or opinion of others.  So much so that the slightest comment can feel like a horrible criticism directed at you to make you feel inadequate.  I know because I’ve felt that and maybe those that have made the comment may not have realized the magnitude in which they’ve affected me and maybe those that have made the comment meant nothing negative but I just took it that way.  I think that only time, maturity, personal growth and the always “under construction” parts of your “self” as in esteem, worth and confidence is the key to finally breaking away and feeling vulnerable without fear.

tongue has no bones

Growing into the reserves of strength I know we all have is a difficult road and maintaining confidence through your steps and missteps is a challenge in itself.  However you choose to help yourself along through the emotional conflict you’re likely to experience I think that as long as you continue to try to be better than you were the day before then you are progressing, even if it doesn’t feel like it.  I don’t think any of us realize how much inner strength there is to tap into and how much adversity we actually have the ability to withstand.  Until you are really tested, you just don’t know.

Recognizing how far you’ve come from where you were is something you can look back at after some time to mark in your mind and heart of your progress.  Any progress in a positive direction is something to be acknowledged and celebrated because you could have gone in a negative direction and that would have benefited no one.

Everyone wants to be seen and heard and not for any kind of ego boost but because it is a big part of connecting with others, the part that lets you know you matter and the part that lets you know they care.  It doesn’t take a large amount of energy to be compassionate or kind towards others and it will cost you nothing.

So how do you get to the point of saying “I don’t care what you think”?  It’s not really as derogatory as it sounds more like I’ve grown into myself enough to know that what others think of me doesn’t define me, doesn’t make me more or less of a person and isn’t going to change who I am.  It’s not a challenging attitude but rather a more “self” reflected and strengthened version, humbled and content enough to quiet the thoughts of doubt.

I think too often the focus is worrying about how others will perceive and whether or not they will like you, the bigger question is, “do you like yourself”?  If your answer is yes, there is nothing left for you to worry about, you are enough and those that matter will recognize that.  If your answer is no, then I believe self-reflection is the beginning, at some point in your life you had to have liked yourself, find your way back there and re-build from that point.

the roar of freedom

Vulnerability lies in many corners of the heart and mind and at a moment’s notice it can change your nice quiet, calm and contented self into a scared little child.  Of course there are variations of that fear and I think many of us don’t get as far as the scared little child but you get the idea.  Fear and vulnerability or fear of vulnerability, however you want to link the two, they are usually connected in some way.

FEAR:             to be afraid of (something of someone)

                        to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant)

                        to be afraid and worried

 

VULNERABILITY:     easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally or emotionally

                                    open to attack, harm or damage

I think both of these definitions are valid reasons for not wanting to leave yourself open to fear or vulnerability but while you may be protecting yourself from others and the possibility of something negative.  You are also protecting yourself from others and the possibility of something positive.

While you may feel protected and comfortable within the walls you build to protect your heart you are also keeping everything else out.  The most magical things happen outside your comfort zone!

stepping into your greatness

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2016 in Blog

 

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Shutdown, Walk Away!

Or Live to Fight Another Day?

I imagine everyone has come to a moment or feeling like this and the big question to ask yourself is “am I going to let one moment of fear or vulnerability define me”? As much as I’ve always been a go-getter and/or team player I think the part of this that defines me is that I have no intention of ever giving up until I’ve exhausted every last avenue that leads to the road I want to get to.

fall-down-seven-timesI can definitely say that this determination has paved the roads I have travelled in a very big way! Nothing in life is so big that you can’t overcome it, the biggest obstacle in your life in the face of adversity is you, if you let it. There is no reason you can’t change the obstacles in your life to fit you better and by that I mean that it’s not just the obstacle but how you look at it. A lot of times you may give up simply because the obstacle seems too big to overcome not because it actually is but because you’ve allowed it to grow too much in your mind. Have you ever tried to minimize something that is challenging only to discover that your change in thought about it has actually made it become more manageable?

I think the biggest aspect of realizing or minimizing your challenges lie within your gratitude for the experiences, if you cannot find gratitude in the littlest things in life, how do you ever expect to really appreciate the bigger experiences when they occur and really how will you know how to recognize them?

One thing I know, don’t allow the passion in your heart to flame out, don’t allow your dreams to die and don’t allow anyone to determine what your dreams are worth.

Don’t die with your music still in you……Dr. Wayne Dyer

One of my “go to” paths to re-connect with my inner strength is knowing what motivates and strengthens my resolve, I listen to my power song which seems to feel like my anthem, I think everyone has one of those songs. As old as the song may seem, it takes me back to the time when I felt the most determined and willful, I would play “The Warrior” by Patty Smyth, and I would feel energized, of course I was I was 16 then and had no fear, you know how that goes.  I was ready to tackle all that life had to throw at me head on so I could show everyone and prove to myself that I could handle whatever came my way.

What is your power song, the one that you would identify with as your anthem?  If it inspires you and makes you feel strong then play it when you aren’t feeling as determined and watch how it changes your perspective. I think you’ll find that it will build your inner strength back up to task the challenges that lie ahead and more.

Don’t ever allow yourself or anyone else to make you believe you are unable to take on or overcome any obstacle. When you find yourself in difficulty that is time to check in and ask am I going to “shutdown and walk away or live to fight another day”?

Honestly I think we all have the strength we need to carry us through all challenges or difficulties, we are not given more than we can handle and at times we defeat ourselves worse than any other person could. The best chance you can give yourself when in the face of adversity is to get back up and try again, that is the biggest confidence booster and it’s something you can do for yourself. Pep talks are great, inspiring and motivating but the person that makes or breaks you is you!

Don’t be your own worst enemy, be your biggest fan! Find your footing, stand your ground, walk your path and don’t give up until you get everything you want!

never-give-up-ever-picture-quote

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Blog

 

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The Tender Space of Hurt

Where does it all begin?

If you’ve ever been the one to inflict emotional hurt on another you may not realize how damaging your actions are, alternatively if that is your intent then you are very aware and obviously not operating from the best place of your souls’ purpose.

If you have been the recipient of this kind of action you already know the extensive damage it causes on the deepest part of your soul and so do those around you. What you feel and experience has a direct and outward effect on those closest to you.

Ever had a bad day come home and bark at everyone around you? I know I have and it’s not something I desire at all!

Through my own experiences as well as observation of others the tender space of hurt is vast and sometimes long-lasting. I believe the long-lasting effects are significantly reduced when the source of the hurt is acknowledged, validated and the recipient is allowed to have their voice heard.don't let others hurt others

Brushing something off, under the rug, ignorance is bliss, etc., does absolutely nothing to correct or abate the hurt in fact it can only make it grow, sometimes to an irreparable amount.   What follows can be a multitude of negative thoughts which turn into negative attitude, outlook and/or behaviour.

Keep in mind that action, reaction and inaction are all actions, each come with results and consequence. If you choose to ignore or overlook any of these the result may be that it diminishes your ability to connect with others, especially those you may really want to. You may end up closing yourself off from the world whether it is by choice or default because you just don’t know how to communicate or listen.

Awareness is the key to connecting with everything in your life, everything that is meaningful, supportive and loving. It is through your own heightened awareness that you can connect on every level with others and in the form that your soul seeks in finding the greater meaning of life. I think everyone at one time or another has wondered about their purpose, the big picture, the grand design of their lives and what it is all supposed to mean. What do you do when an emotional hurt changes the course of that interest and fills your thoughts and time with negativity?

I’m sure we’ve all been there; having the anticipatory thoughts of conversations, what we want to say to another, how we want to respond, how we expect them to respond. All of this is wasted time in your life and likely never to happen. I know because I’ve been there with those thoughts and honestly not one time have any of those anticipatory conversations ever occurred. Can you believe how much of my precious time I wasted with that when I could have been doing something that was much more beneficial for myself or someone I care about?

I may be wrong but my feeling is that when you keep coming back to a same space of hurt it is because it hasn’t been acknowledged, validated or heard. That is the central source of your emotional pain and even if you dispute that, whether you realize it or not, you are allowing that pain to maintain its residence in your heart and soul. If someone in your life keeps coming back to a specific point, know that that is their pain and if you care you will act, dismissing it only exacerbates the issue and shows them that you don’t care.

This kind of emotional hurt can stunt your progression to higher levels of awareness and connection so how do you get around it, get past it? These are the most challenging and difficult questions to answer.

Getting through or past something that has hurt the deepest part of your soul can only be accomplished by you, and only if you are willing to let it. Of course that’s easier said than done, when something has damaged your soul so extensively repair isn’t always just around the corner because you decided it would be.

I’ve had my experiences that have caused me hurt and finding the best way for you to release it is going to be a trial and error experience, what works for one doesn’t always work for another but it’s important to try and keep trying.

I can offer two options that worked for me and if they don’t work for you that’s ok, just keep trying, you deserve to be happy!

  • I’ve always found that I need to have my say, whether the one that caused me hurt is hearing it or not. Write out a letter to that person (DON’T SEND IT!) say everything you want to say, don’t hold back. Being able to get something out that’s been bottled up is a form of release and once I do that it leaves my prominent thoughts. I will always remember but I allow forgiveness, not for that person but for myself for believing that the experience could have been any different.
  • I have also tried a guided meditation, not just me trying to meditate or listening to a tape but an actual professional that guided me through it and honestly after I was done I felt lighter, more energetic and less interested in letting that experience waste any more of my life.

Sometimes it’s a small adjustment that can change your outlook and your life, sometimes it’s not so much that you’re broken but rather broken open. Being broken open isn’t as awful as it may sound, think about the atom and what was discovered when it was broken open and then imagine the other million things you haven’t discovered about yourself because they were hidden/sheltered behind a wall of protection caused by a mountain of hurt that prevented you from fully living and loving your life.

I do believe that when you are broken open you are at your most vulnerable but within that vulnerability you will discover more of yourself, your gifts, your talents and your hidden strengths. Even though allowing the space of vulnerability can be terrifying, being scared is a good thing because it means you’re on the edge of something great that is about to change your life for the better!

broken

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2015 in Blog

 

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Step by Step

Connecting to Your True Presence of Power Within

Like every goal there are small steps along the way that help you get to the end result you envision and it is no different when you are seeking a more genuine presence of awareness within your life. I think a lot of times you can end up psyching yourself out of trying something because it seems too daunting to begin but when you break it down and go through it step by step, completion doesn’t seem so overwhelming.presence

Staying present in the moments of true stillness that are found within nature or authentic surroundings precede your most beneficial and genuine choices because they are the result of true presence.

One of the best practices you can do for yourself is to find moments of silence/stillness or meditation to connect with your inner presence of power. I’ve found that every time I have I find clarity of thought, troubles that seemed to have no solution suddenly become obvious. I think that following these moments of true connection the reason clarity becomes so abundant is because you have removed the barriers and obstacles that the EGO has used to plague your mind. The EGO has no path to your inner presence which is why a lot of times when you think something is all in your head, it is because the EGO has built it up there.

If you spend too much time with your thoughts in the past or in the future you deprive yourself of the present moments. There is no benefit to re-living experiences from the past, running the reel in your mind of conversations that you’re anticipating and how you plan to respond. I think we’ve all done this, I know I have and when I give precious time away to something negative that could have been better served in any other way I get disappointed for letting myself go there because I know better.

Eckhart Tolle reiterated, during a show with Oprah Winfrey, wisdom from a Zen Master:

“A man’s need to win drains his power in the present”

Really understanding this can be very powerful, when you are focused on only the end result and don’t give your full attention to all the steps needed to get there then it is very likely you won’t realize the end you wish to see. I always find relation to the athletic side of me as I participated in a lot of team sports and I believe it applies to single player sports as well because the mindset is the same. When you are totally “in the moment” in sports you are “in the zone” and that kind of alignment is at one with your inner spirit and giving 100% to that moment. The end result is inevitable because when you commit all that is within you (your presence, your awareness, your power) there is no possible room for anything other than the end result you wish to see. You have thought about the end result but you are not staying there, you’ve seen it but now you are “in the moment”.

This applies with everything you do whether it is work or play related, when you are in the moment you are at one with your true presence of inner power, anything becomes possible!

It is only the EGO that keeps you in a space of discontent when you allow it with either thoughts of past disappointments or future anticipation of negative experiences. This is an active part of humanity that can interfere with your hopes and dreams and when you allow that disruption, it is not because you are weak but because you are not fully connected with your inner presence of power.

If allowed your EGO will wreak havoc with your life, it can either consume and/or control your behaviour or attitude. The EGO controls you by creating fear and insecurity, you must fight it! The EGO does not have your best interests in mind but rather its own and it can only be humbled by you. When you feel inner conflict, like something is off but you can’t quite put your finger on it, know that it is your ego struggling with your inner spirit for control.

Know that you are in control, you have the strength to do anything you want, all you need to do is connect with your inner presence of power and the world will be your oyster!

powerful

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Blog

 

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At the End of Every Storm

Lies the Opportunity for New Beginnings

Our storms in life are the difficulties we experience and through them great change can evolve.same person from the storm

Some storms change YOU so much that you may find yourself going in a direction you never would have chosen, not for any other reason than you weren’t in a place that was in alignment with it before. These new directions are beyond the familiar and can feel scary but at the same time exhilarating at the prospect of what is to come.

Change is not always comfortable especially when it comes to the unknown which means you have to have faith that things will work out as they should and trust that it will be in your best interests. Having faith when you feel a little scared and somewhat skeptical can be a big leap but every time I’ve felt that kind of fear and anticipation it has ALWAYS turned out to be something great, a result that I couldn’t have planned better. I think that kind of anticipatory fear is the “little sign” for me that something big is to come, it may be different for you but pay attention to what your instincts tell you so you can learn when positive change is knocking at your door.

Change can be especially difficult for you if you are headstrong about having control over the direction your life is going, it’s not easy to relinquish it to faith or trust when you are used to being the guide. I can tell you though that it is always well worth it to have faith, even it at first you don’t understand eventually things make sense, so much so that you may wonder how you didn’t get it earlier.

New beginnings, new chapters, new paths all start with new thoughts and ideas and those thoughts are usually brought about by something that isn’t working for you any longer in your life. You may seek to shake up some part or all of your life because you’ve come to a point where feel that there is something bigger you should be doing. That is your purpose calling on you because you are finally within the range of alignment and the Universe assists by awakening that passion within your energy.

I do believe that anyone in search of a better life can entirely change everything around, one can walk into a new direction that inspires and cultivates positive attitude, behaviour and lifestyle simply by making that decision and then by following through. It takes dedication, determination, focus and discipline to carry out and continue on the path you desire and that takes more work than you can imagine but as you know anything worth having is worth working for.

It’s so easy to make a decision to do or change something, it’s another thing entirely to act on it and especially keeping up the momentum to see it through to the end.

I’ve at times made a change and then stopped because it seemed impossible but what I’ve learned is that this fear is created by my ego in an effort to keep me from progressing. Progression like this builds up the strength of your inner spirit and your inner spirit is not in any way connected to your ego. As the inner spirit gets stronger the ego diminishes because it is not needed within the state of inner peace and balance.  Strengthening that part of your being is the best asset you have in helping you succeed in any and all areas of your life.

So in the end, the storms even though they are not desirable, are necessary to your personal growth, awareness and understanding of your soul and the Universe. Know that they are not meant as punishment, they are to provide a higher learning.

Imagine that you are in a boat on the ocean in a real storm, what you learn in that scenario is no different than what you learn through your personal storms, we learn to navigate to survive so we can live another day.

within you is strength

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Blog

 

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To Err is Human

To Forgive is Divine

Forgiveness allows you relief from carrying the burden that causes you to remain present in a moment that has hurt you deeply.

It takes courage to allow yourself to be in a place that helps you to forgive others for feeling disempowered by their words or actions. Vulnerability is a necessary component of all relationships, without it you won’t experience the true connection but with it there is a risk of being hurt. If you take your past hurts with you into your present and future it may provide you with a false sense of security, a wall that you think may protect you from getting hurt again, but it prevents you from truly shining and others from getting to know your heart.

When you’ve been hurt deeply the ego’s logic is to hold onto the hurt and anger in the hopes that it will somehow affect the person that caused you the hurt. This couldn’t be further from the truth, chances are very likely that they are unaffected, unconcerned and/or unaware. That hurt, however, will continue to writhe inside of you until you finally reach the place of letting it go and letting it go you must!

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die

–        Buddha

I absolutely love this quote I got from an Oprah show a while back, it bears repeating again and again until you allow yourself to feel and embrace the power in these words.

  • Forgiveness does not mean you have to accept the person back into your life.
  • Forgiveness does not mean you are condoning what they did or that you are in any way saying it was OK what they did.
  • Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.

Forgiveness is where your strength lies because it allows you to embrace more fulfilling aspects of character like compassion and empathy. That strength says “I’m letting you go so you can’t continue to hurt me with this memory that I’m remembering daily”. By releasing this memory as past and allowing the grief of the hurt to be felt you then give yourself the opportunity to heal and become stronger, strong enough to never find yourself in that same place again. Sometimes the hurt caused by another can feel very personal and intense and to hold yourself in the same place day after day after day can be a way of punishing yourself for letting someone get close enough to hurt you, although I don’t think that is realized at the time.

Forgiveness paves the way for all things beautiful and positive. It gives you the opportunity to see and feel the miracles of life that we often overlook or take for granted. Forgiveness helps you into the state of gratitude so you are able to recognize the blessings you’ve had and those that are still to come.

There are so many before us that have gone through so much more than we will ever have to know because they have lived, their sacrifices paved a better road for us. Without the blessing of their sacrifices, our miracles in life would not be as abundant. Take a moment to acknowledge and recognize history and know that no matter how difficult life may be right now, there are always options, if there weren’t then those before us wouldn’t have been able to provide us with the changes we know in life today.

Your crown has been bought and paid for. All you have to do is put it on your head.

  • James Baldwin

Appreciate yourself and life enough to know that you have every opportunity to pave that path even better for the future of those you do not know and in doing so you may have positively inspired hope in another.

Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.

  • Jonas Salk

how we ran the race

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2014 in Blog

 

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