There is a subtle yet vast difference between being content with who you are, knowing that there is so much more that you can be, and being dissatisfied with what you have and never being enough. The difference is in the balance of being aware of your strengths and weaknesses and being able to go beyond yourself with each milestone you reach – whether it be for the stars or a personal limitation, what are your motives? Is it ego-driven or for the highest good? A healthy ego will comprise a balance of courage, confidence and a benevolent desire to do good, with the satisfaction in accomplishing the end result. Contentment in the knowledge that you’ve arrived here and now, and there is so much more to go.
Archive for the ‘Self-Help’ Category
Diet and exercise – such a cliché; brings to mind such a struggle for weight-loss and the misery of having to avoid the foods you love, yet so important in maintaining health and well-being. You have to be motivated to exercise and wade through the sea of confusion of these new healthy and boring foods you’re supposed to eat! But wait – we’re told that exercising creates endorphins and other good neuro-transmitters, and learning about the properties of everyday whole foods in their natural state can promote all sorts of better health conditions.
So really, have we just been understanding the concept incorrectly, perversely and erroneously? How is it that in the past and I’m sure presently for so many people, most diets are a success for awhile and then became a total failure after? And now, whether because of a fad or just feeling fabulous, we have come to incorporate it much more smoothly into our lives. How is it we used to toil with having to expend a few calories, treading with feet of clay on the treadmill or the track? And now we enjoy the processes that allow us to feel good.
Yes, we have changed our outlook on this old cliché; we have redirected our attitude and learnt more about what our minds and bodies require. There are still many who regrettably, associate with this in the old way – and yes, it is a mental association. Many wait in dis-ease until symptoms manifest into diseases like diabetes, hypertension and various forms of heart disease, muscle atrophy and bone and joint difficulties before reluctantly having to make major life-style changes. But then, it is just that mental switch that needs turning on that will change everything.
So, I started thinking… diet in the way we generally understand it doesn’t really exist, and exercise isn’t really an arduous task of huffing and puffing without the pleasurable senses of delight and exhilaration. Healing your body by giving it what it requires (and often times having to painfully ask for) is really giving it the right foods in the right proportions, so it can do its job properly, and is well – our responsibility for having one. That also includes being able to have all the foods we love – just knowing when and how much to have. Participating in activity, getting our organs and muscles, our nervous systems, our endocrine and adrenal systems going—that helps our brains make good chemistry, and is well—how we keep happy and relevant to ourselves.
So now how about taking that old Diet & Exercise aversion syndrome and looking at it this way… Old Diet & Exercise = New Healing your Body & Making Good Chemistry = keeping you feeling Full-Filled! Have fun with it. Let your mind lead you through pleasant pathways and your body will follow. Cheers to your good health! A votre santé! Alla vostra salute! A tu salud! L’Chaim!
The Cosmic Page-Turner
What is it about unforeseen circumstances that seem to unapologetically pull the rug from under us, leaving us stunned and sometimes even paralyzed to even fathom that such events could even have the audacity to occur? Whether it is the loss of a job or status, having to give up a residence or relocate comfortable surroundings, the physical death of a loved one, or a life-changing illness – these are all life-altering events – many traumatic, that each of us have gone through in some form at some point in our lives, propelling us towards the “new normal”.
Inversely, there are countless happy life-changing events that occur daily that go unrecognized, the constant magical moments in our days that offer us the opportunity to exceed our expectations, stay fulfilled in a continuity of balance, weighing the positive and the negative within our life cycles. Yet so many choose to focus on what we perceive as the ‘bad’ and become miserably attached to and defined by – bad things that happen. As in everything, and sometimes we may only witness it later, there is also good within the bad, otherwise known as learning experiences.
“I never lose. Either I win or I learn.” – Nelson Mandela
I as one of many, who have experienced in my life what would be considered the incomprehensible, am surely able to turn around and look at the events that have transpired since, to see the path of my journey. While there are many paths from which we can choose, whether or not we believe there are choices, when we make the best decision in the given moment as a step towards the answer to “what is the Universe telling me?”; we seek to answer the burning questions, what are we supposed to be doing in this life we have been given? What are the messages we are sent? What part does each person play in our lives?
The truth is every significant event is an opportunity for growth. Every game-changer teaches us and propels us forward – if we choose to take it as such. Each time the incomprehensible – at least in that moment—happens, marks a new chapter we are to embark on in our lives. They are not just things that happen randomly. Yes, our actions are the cause and effect. Yes, oftentimes we ourselves seek the changes that become the catalyst for greater change in our lives, and as we breathe through it all, the highs and lows, the joyous and the more ominous ones, all the while curiously asking the question, what’s next… what do I do with this? The answer invariably presents itself. Sometimes not the one we thought, or were even hoping for, sometimes the appropriate one or the one that gives us further insight to what is right. Mixed in with a bit of our passions, and connected to each of our individuality, and linked to our core, we are given surprising guided direction and confirmation within appropriate timing.
In hindsight, when I think of how far the distances I have traveled at different phases of my life to embark on new chapters, uprooting, each time leaving behind loved ones, and welcoming new ones, where my life has taken me, the most amazing relationships I have made and unequivocally kept, the impact of each person—even the ones with whom I have lost touch, but never forgotten, the things I have learnt and grown from, my evolution—I would be hard pressed to say that each of these momentous life landmarks have not been the Cosmic hand turning the pages to new chapters.
So, when in the past swimming through the seas of the unexpected, attempting to clumsily adapt to our “new normal”, how about to now gracefully journey through the new chapters of our lives, periodically checking in with our cosmic partners and appropriately repositioning our internal life GPS? Embrace the page turners, boldly navigate your new new chapters – at the end of it all it will be a sensational story and really good reading on the way!
“Today I choose to be the grandest version of the greatest vision of who I am.” – Neal Donald Walsh
Flip Your Brain is finally back from an over 3-year hibernation! Mainly getting through the sudden untimely death of my husband Jeff Schoener, I had been thrust into a tumultuous rollercoaster of changes, upheavals, vulnerabilities, courage, turning points, personal growth, achievements and, throughout—the tremendous love and support of family and friends. Yes, I had to do some major brain-flipping constantly.
Many times, I would feel compelled to put thoughts and feelings to paper (or screen…), yet ultimately feeling directionless through a barrage of unsorted thoughts and emotions as if I were simultaneously running a myriad of programs in my brain that seemed unending, with loops that were never closing.
So now, what better time to get it started again in a new direction, than during my pre-Passover holiday cleaning. Historically this period – until the end of the 8-day holiday is specifically a time to embark upon a spiritual and emotional cleansing within, in addition to the prescribed cleansing of unpermitted foods from our physical environment. Just as the ancient Israelites went from slavery in Egypt to become a free people in the land of Israel, albeit within a span of 40 years–so do we experience within the 8 days of this holiday, a newfound liberation through introspection from what had previously held us hostage.
While I myself have personally gone through a hell of a lot of letting-go, I find myself still having room to be freer, lighter, softer, stronger and with a greater capacity for so many things to live and strive for. I mean, don’t we all? Sometimes writing or teaching helps us along in our own path to growth, so wanting to share this, from all I have benefited – this is a good time to ask, what enslaves you?
It is important when taking stock of what we may feel a prisoner of, to know the distinctions between instinct and intuition. This is the difference between our gut feelings and energetic higher knowing. Sometimes these can be confused not only with each other, but also with learned behavioral patterns and beliefs that are running inside of us. It is important to know the difference so we can actually make the ascertainment of what may be a true warning sign and what is a learned program operating that may no longer serve us.
Oftentimes we allow bad or uneasy feelings to cycle through us over and over without having a way of letting go. We think we have to live with them and just deal with them while letting other things distract us for the time being. The situation does not have to remain. Some would prefer the ongoing discomfort of the situation to the temporary discomfort of change, or fear of the unknown – and while I know that some of these may be uncomfortable to face, there is nothing quite like that delightful feeling of a heavy weight being lifted.
Unfortunately, there are many who would hold on to these negative issues than realize a life of freedom without them. One of the most profound things I had learned in my life was about secondary gain. What is secondary gain? It is a situation that is used for underlying benefits – usually not positive ones. For instance, you may know someone who would keep complaining about a problem, health issue or even a fear, but will constantly make excuses about trying out different options to resolve these. They deem that the temporary sympathy and attention they seek to receive is far more gratifying than being free of whatever it is keeping them stuck. It could even be their own ‘poor me’ internal thoughts that keep them there. However, being a martyr is not the best option while you are alive and have a life to live!
So with that, what if any, would you identify at this moment as incongruent to your happiness? What have you allowed to get in the way? What holds you hostage? A job? A personal loss? Grief? Your lifestyle? A relationship? The lack of one? Maybe it’s those feelings of frustration and desperation of feeling stuck – whether it is a phase in your life, a person or a fear, a behavior or emotion – know that it is temporary. What would you do if you knew what the outcome of this would be and how it would affect you? Well you can – and it’s not a psychic gift or magic…although the process can be infinitely magical in and of itself. So, allow yourself to play the movie out to the end – not only with playful creativity and a vivid imagination – give yourself the permission to play out the different scenarios with a full sensory experience. The visuals, the sounds, the feelings, the smells and even the tastes, if necessary. Make it crazy, make it funny, make it realistic, make it serious…you will know the actual from the made up of the ‘what could be’. Deep down, you know that you know… Which actually negates the whole ‘I don’t know’ part of the self-imposed paralytic cycle!
I must admit that I too have found myself unexpectedly spending a lot of time on a situation that at first fun, now seeming to take much of my thoughts, energy and sometimes even my emotional well-being. But through this cleaning of my house I decided on a cleansing of this thing which has surprisingly bothered me a great deal from time to time and let’s just say I would rather it not. It is obvious that we can become a slave to our own heart and emotions and sometimes we just must put into perspective all that we have been through, grown from and become stronger with to be able to keep in perspective how we would rather feel than revert clumsily back to situations and patterns from which we had long evolved. When you know this, you can switch easily and comfortably back to a state of mental clarity, strength and resolve.
You have the freedom to learn and practice the skills to make these changes with ease, whether they are mental process skills or energy healing skills – or both, in order to rid yourself of the gnawing discomforts of what keeps us stuck and to replace them with the freedom for what you would rather have in your life. Make your way through your own unique journey from bondage to freedom, from plodding through with weighted shackles to dancing through delightful enlightenment.
And what better time than NOW?
with Jeff Schoener, the NLP Wordsmythe
While the medical PR community comes up with new disorders on a continuous basis, before we get sucked in to the new millennium’s version of hypochondria, remember this vital information given from an insider in the medical profession: These disorders are merely new names given for symptoms not yet deciphered by the medical community in order for pharmaceutical companies to sell their wares. There are so many self-diagnosed disorders today that, much like the communities of wordsmiths, NLP and other brain language and belief experts, it would behoove us to make use of the etymology of language before we fall into the traps. Getting to the root of the language may actually also help us get to the root of our so-called disorders.
I would like to use as a newly common example, Body Dysmorphic Disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which you can’t stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance — a flaw that is either minor or imagined. When you have body dysmorphic disorder, you intensely obsess over your appearance and body image, often for many hours a day.” Now, can you think of how this perceived disorder goes far beyond the physical? In fact it goes beyond how one sees themselves; it’s also what we tell ourselves – how we talk to ourselves, what we hear, how we feel.
Physical dysmorphia may not just be seeing ourselves in a warped view. How do we “see” ourselves? In the physical – pretty, ugly, average, gorgeous, plain, nice but flawed? As a person – intelligent, stupid, kind, confident, shy, a success, a failure? How are we telling ourselves that we are these things? What and whose voices do we hear? Our own, a critical parent, sibling or other family member? Our old school-mates, friends, bullies, teachers? How do we feel when we do this? If it makes us feel crappy, why do we do this? Would you ever define yourself as a masochist? Most wouldn’t, yet if we break it down, sadly many of us are.
I still remember one of the very few Dr. Phil advice or techniques that I have ever agreed with. A guest on his show had issues with motivation, self-esteem and was constantly in bad relationships, come to find out her father was verbally abusive to her as a child. However her father had long been deceased, but she kept replaying his words in her head. Finally Dr. Phil said to her, “He’s been gone for many years and you are an adult woman; STOP continuing on his abuse for him!” Are we standing in our own way to well-being, success and the life we desire? Interestingly enough, I also remember many years ago, I found myself saying something negative about me, when my husband Jeff retorted to my surprise, “Hey! Nobody speaks to my wife that way! Not even you!” That woke me up and I began to pay closer attention to the conversations I was having with my Self!
When Jeff works with clients within this range of issues, he finds that,
“When perception and illusion are out of balance, attempting self control based upon internal perception leads individually to distress and depression cycles. The more the individual attempts to either control the cycle or avoid the cycle the worse the symptoms seem to get. Do not attempt to get a handle on this. In many cases my clients are battling the emotions not the issues that begin the cycle.“
So what can we do consciously to become more aware of our unconscious self-talk and beliefs about ourselves, and what can we do to change that?
- Regress in order to egress. Taking note of what you do, see, hear or feel before you ‘see’ yourself in ‘that way’ will offer you greater insight into what this is truly about.
- Pay attention. Most of the processes that drive these behaviors and emotions begin just outside of your conscious awareness. If you were to pay attention to how this cycle is triggered, the better chance you have of making it a thing of the past.
- Have faith. What occurs behind our eyes is far more important than what we think we see. Our eyes are designed to invert an image onto our retina. There is a direct translation process that happens in our brain. Seeing is not always believing, for many believing is seeing.
- Stop the blame game. If you or someone else caused this cycle, blaming will only serve to distract from the cycle and fed into the emotional drama that helps keep you stuck.
- Be more forgiving and be kind to yourself. The more anger, anxiety and frustration occur, the more one becomes locked into their emotional drama. This is not the source of the issue, only the result.
- Gain perspective and release control. By becoming more a friend to your Self, many of these issues become just a little less important.
Begin following these tips and you will start getting more accustomed to paying attention to the language used by you and by others. Using appropriate language and finding congruence between your mind, body and spirit becomes the basis of making better brain chemistry and resulting in making healthier decisions. It goes like this: The better things you tell yourself, the better your brain chemistry, the better decisions you make and the better things turn out – it’s a happier cycle! Doing the opposite will give you adverse results. So keep practicing, keep healthy and stay happy!
For your viewing pleasure…here’s a more direct and humorous approach!
I’ve often heard folks talk about habitual events, occurrences and other strange phenomena that run within families as a “family curse”. From infertility to financial predicaments there are those who believe they are in the state they are because it runs in the family. There is deep rooted belief that the “sins of the father” are attributed to a kind of family karma that now plagues the descendants as generational curses. Parents and other family members even share in great detail about why certain things within their family are the way they are, and what can be expected in the future with great vindication. While it is apparent that events may seem a certain way, do they stem from something supernaturally inexplicable, or are they self-fulfilling prophesies? What if these were merely beliefs that were held so strongly, they were passed down to generations as inevitable truths?
Depending upon the belief or “curse”, statements such as “…money doesn’t grow on trees; our family has always struggled” and “all her husbands died untimely deaths, she must be jinxed” to “cancer or heart disease is hereditary in our family” can have strong holds and powerful effects on those being handed this legacy. Do we really grow up believing the doom and gloom inevitability and then fulfill them? What about inspirational stories we read and hear about someone rising above and against all odds and changed the path of their supposed destiny? That is a belief too. There is actually something to be said about polarity responders who are in the habit of reversing suggestions that seem forced upon them– “Our family is destined for mediocrity??? Not ME! I’ll show THEM!”
When someone puts a suggestion into the mind of a youngster, they do grow up believing it. People stuck in a negative belief will make decisions that are desperate and fear-based. And while the repercussions of these decisions may seem random, adopting behaviors of our role-models merely continue the pattern, thus “running it within the family”. When a child is told with equal conviction, “you can be anything you want” they usually grow up fulfilling their dreams. There is this lovely lady who apparently is constantly winning prizes and lotteries and she believes she is extremely lucky. Why is this? When she was a child she was constantly told what a lucky little girl she was because her parents were Holocaust survivors. So then good fortune also runs in families as “blessings” from healthy beliefs handed down in patterns – the antithesis of the “curse’.
So then, understanding this, why live our lives around the negative and damaging beliefs? Knowing that we not only change the odds through our actions, that we also can change them through personal belief and intention, breaking a destructive pattern could be as easy as believing that some ritual performed has broken a long-time curse. Believing that things have now changed, we begin thinking and doing things differently because we believe the outcomes can now be to our favor. Very different from, “what’s the point? It’s only going to be the same anyway!” Changing a belief from negative to positive may be a bit more challenging without certain validation, but it can be done, usually with readiness, willingness and unequivocal intent.
When we begin to look at a situation or series of events which originally happened with someone other than ourselves and realize that we are not them and that we don’t have to adopt the same patterns, mentalities and attitudes we can begin to focus on who we are and what will make us happy, and then how to go about getting there. Having a wish list doesn’t have to be mere fantasy that we believe we can never really achieve, it could be a to-do list for our goals in bringing about our true desires when we believe we can do them. We don’t have to feel like we’re bound to someone else’s version about how their lives took shape. Each of us is a blank canvas just waiting for us to create the life we want.
After quite a hiatus from blogging, with traveling overseas and reorganizing, I’m pleased to be back with more perspectives and thoughts about social cultures, mentalities and attitudes. Spending time in one of my favorite countries and cultures, Australia always seems to offer a delightful take on everyday life. “How ya going?” and “G’day, mate” may seem typical Downunder colloquialisms to us living Up-and-over, but it really is a part of the everyday greeting in their everyday mindsets. Even as a majority Christian country, the quite common conversation closing of “Bless you” is heartwarming to anyone of any religious belief or practice.
While Jeff and I were there for a family wedding, we were also fortunate enough for Jeff to be invited as a guest speaker on stress relief and coping skills for a Caregiver Support group, or Carer support as they call it. As my sister had been my mother’s carer while my mother was alive, she had become quite a fan of our Caregiver Relief Kit audio program and of course turned out to be a great spokesperson for its benefits to her Carer Support friends. Quite happily, this product had become popular locally to her, which also lead to these speaking engagements that we were both so honored to be a part.
So maybe it has to do with the general Aussie fairdinkum disposition, maybe the polarity of the region makes them respond differently, maybe they’re well-fed with 5 daily meals (the addition of morning tea and afternoon tea, both involving a required intake of cakes, biscuits and pasties!); or perhaps altogether another reason, it is refreshing to observe a very different audience interaction than what we had become accustomed to for our American caregiver support networks. With a willingness to play along with the light-hearted mental exercises and asking poignant questions relevant to their particular circumstances, it was gratifying to see an audience with a “how can I make this work for me” attitude. In this we understand that the value of what we teach lies within the value that the recipient places upon themselves, regardless of whether it is given for free, or whether for a nominal fee or even greater. What is even more gratifying to us, the provider of the information is to witness first-hand, appreciation for a new learning versus the “throw-away” mentality of those who deem a gift of service as “let me see if your information is worth anything, but first let me see how much free stuff I can really get and then I’ll decide if I even want it.” A sad and jaded state, but valuable education nonetheless, for those of us who provide transformational teaching models.
This now brings me to a related point that I have noticed in a lot of self-help information floating around. While many of the information available is highly helpful, it’s not the actual informational content that got me thinking, but rather the reader or receiver comments, now widely public, following the content is what I am most interested. Most recently something that I had read had to do with practical tips for living and 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself. Good info and much that I agree with however, cursory at best. While the content of the article dealt with 30 things not to do, it also went ahead to name what normally happens when we do them. Many identify with the scenarios following those actions. For many of us who are used to introspection and making changes and adjustments, replacing useless habits and patterns with better, more useful ones is easier done than those who internalize and say, “yes I do that and that’s exactly what happens; so how do I change it?” In this case telling us what not to do is easier said than done.
The responses following the online article were just that. Great info… it’s exactly what I needed to hear… everyone should read this… that is so true… Hardly any on, how do I do otherwise? What can I do to change this? So as in standard talk therapy, where identifying the issue and how and when it was created occupies so much of its mass, those engaged in successful change-work know that identifying and stopping do not work without replacing the old pattern with something better, more useful, more fulfilling; otherwise filling the new void with yet another unhealthy, yet rationalized pattern will happen quicker than we know.
So then, are most of us just comfortable with the knowing, but yet uncomfortable with the changing? Do we not want to do the work involved to actually create something better? Do we want to take the responsibility or do we just want to talk about it and commiserate with others on similar issues? Do we just feel better for the moment before going back comfortably into our uncomfortable patterns? Maybe it’s personal attitude, maybe it’s cultural traits, maybe it’s regional mentality, the reality is change does not always have to be uncomfortable, and if we have the right change and coping tools it can be one of the most fulfilling rides of our lives!