“If there are no ups and downs in your life, it means you are dead.”
A few years ago I was doing a trek in Nepal, and on the first day we were walking along the valley floor and the guide pointed upwards and said, “That’s where we are staying tonight.” My heart sank, to see the height of the hill/mountain we had to climb. But there was no alternative and we had chosen this particular route so that we could see the sunrise from the ‘top of the world,’ the next morning. And what an experience that was, with hundreds of others from all parts of the world, joined with one common exciting purpose. So the contrast was amazing! Yes it would have been easier to just walk along a flat path, but we would never have had that fantastic experience.
Life is also like that. How do we get the contrast of light and shadow, of good times and ‘bad,’ if we only ever have one basic experience? Life would become monotonous. The rich tapestry of special moments wouldn’t be treasured, if we didn’t have some challenges to gives us the contrast. Maybe even some pride in ourselves when we have overcome something that perhaps we didn’t know we could do. It takes acceptance of both the good points we have and the points we would rather hide, to make us who we are and what we have to offer the world.
Enjoy staying alive with both the ups and downs in your life! Robyn
“Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.” Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn is one of my favourite personal development trainers. He usually had a different way of looking at life or putting things in a way that would help the listener reframe the way they were looking at life. I used to listen to his audio tapes. Yes this was before even the days of CDs. I am in the middle of putting a programme together and at the moment talking about Dreams. To achieve our dreams we all need to grow, so if things are easier to achieve or we have less problems or challenges to overcome, then we don’t need to grow. But we don’t actually achieve the outcome to the same level of greatness.
Where in your life are you wishing that life was easier instead of learning the way to handle the situation in a better way to achieve at that higher level? Where are you wishing for less problems because you are tired of constantly putting out fires? But if you learned more skills it would all seem less stressful because you would now know what to do. Where in your life are you wishing for less challenges, rather than having the wisdom because you have put in the work? It is often human nature to want to take the easy route, the shortest route, not realizing that we have a lot of growing to do, that it is about the journey not the destination.
Enjoy learning to be better, to be more skilled and to have more wisdom
“Our brain is only a receiver. In the universe, there is a core from which we obtain strength and knowledge from.” Nikola Tesla
This is a concept that the world of Quantum Physics has brought to our attention, but if you read some of the books on personal development written at the beginning of the 20th century, you will see that it is a concept that they ‘knew’ about back then. In his book, “The Science of Getting Rich,” Wallace D. Wattles talks about the Formless Stuff or original Substance that the universe is made out of. His belief was that there is, “no limit to this ‘stuff.’ This Original Substance fills in the spaces between the forms of the visible universe.” (In other words all the physical things in our lives and our physical bodies is surrounded by this stuff.) So he’s not only saying that we can gain strength and knowledge from this ‘substance’ that surrounds us, but also those things we get knowledge about can become physical.
Nikola Tesla has used his understanding of this concept to create all the innovations he has come up with so far. He is a modern day figure. Einstein had the same beliefs back in his day. He knew that there is no problem for which there is no answer, so he would get into a meditative state, and let the answers come to him and design his next, ‘whatever.’ We could read back then and now in modern day and find the same thoughts being repeated, that the universe is always working to express itself more fully. It is okay for you to give gratitude for what you have, but at the same time want to grow and be a bigger better you. Wattles says, “Nature is formed for the advancement of life; its impelling motive is the increase of life.”
Enjoy increasing your life by obtaining strength and knowledge from the ‘Core Original Stuff’ around us.
“The 3 C’s of Life: Choices, Chances, Changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.”
“Here you go again talking about choices,” I hear you saying. Everything we do is a choice whether it is conscious or not. Whether to have that cup of coffee even though you know you’ve had enough, what to wear in the morning, and so it goes on. Often we make choices subconsciously. Things that have become habitual, that you give no thought to because you’ve always done something a certain way, are beneath the conscious radar. These things happen by default rather than by design or choice. If you were to look at a normal working day, how much would you estimate is being done on auto pilot? Do you have the same breakfast every day, or do you consciously choose to mix it up a bit? Do you hop into the car at roughly the same time & drive the same route? These sorts of things area ok to do without worrying about them too much but what else in your day could you change?
Do you need to take some chances on trying something new? It doesn’t have to be major, it could be as simple as deciding to watch ½ hour less TV tonight and read a good book or actually talk to your spouse about something meaningful. It could be to find out how you could start an exercise regime to feel better about yourself. It could be to eat differently at lunchtime. What chances have you got to step out and do something differently TODAY that will make changes in your future life? Remember that every second of the day is the beginning of the rest of your life. Every second, every decision will impact your future. So what would you like to change now that will impact your future in the way you would like?
Enjoy being mindful of your choices!
“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.” Dr Seuss
Even if you don’t actually laugh at the rhymes of Dr Seuss it’s hard not to feel that lightness in our energy as we follow along with his quirky sense of humour. I recently had to produce a ‘Tall Tale,’ for toastmasters and I realised how serious I must be. I found it quite difficult to tell lies as I saw it. I agreed to be involved because I believed it would be good for me. Often we can open up to the ‘fun’ side of ourselves when we interact with children. I wonder why we don’t do that with adults. I read once that 4 year old children laugh 400 times a day whereas we adults can only crack out 15 times a day. Why is this I wonder!
Too busy, must do this or that before we can relax at lunchtime, after work, the weekend. You get the picture. Life has to be serious, we have to worry our way through life, don’t we? I mean what would happen in the future if we didn’t worry about what might happen and therefore hopefully avert whatever it is. Do you feel you would be judged as an airhead or something similar if you were to bring lightness to your day – and everyone else’s around you I might add? Just think what it would do to our energy and therefore our physiology if we were to bring some lightness to our current situation. Imagine what ideas might come to light to solve your present problems if your brain’s cells got woken up with some fun and nonsense!
Enjoy walking on the light side.
“I failed in some subjects in exams, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.” Bill Gates
We are constantly being told to follow our dreams. For some people that doesn’t mean sitting exams and getting good marks. However if Bill’s friend wanted to be an engineer, loved the learning process and did well, then his path is obviously meant to be, ‘down the study and get qualifications path.’ I’m sure there are others who follow their passion to be an engineer but take a different route learning through the experience of a job and gaining respect for what they achieve that way. What this story tells me though, is that if I want to do something then I can just get off my butt, follow my dream and I will get there.
The big catch that I have talked about in the past, is, believing that I can achieve my desires. I just watched the movie, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” last night and was captivated by Freddie Mercury’s will to get where he wanted to go, no matter what. He certainly believed that he had what it took to woo the audience to love him and his music. Despite that, there was an undercurrent of the story about his relationship with his father and how desperately he wanted to prove to his father that he was trying to live up to the values that his father had instilled in him. Like a lot of things, that came at a price, until right at the end of the movie, he connected with his father and we got the feeling that all was forgiven. I’ve gone off track here a bit. School exams wouldn’t have necessarily made Freddie a better singer.
Enjoy following your dream and achieving what it is you are here to do!
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in; their true beauty is revealed only if their light is from within. Elizabeth Kubler Ross
My 96 year old mother recently died and we held the celebration of her life ‘service’ over the weekend. In preparation for this I was searching through quotes and poems that spoke to me about what I felt my mother represented. This was one that I kept aside, but decided in the end, to use a couple of longer poems. It can be easy to be positive and easy to get along with when things are going well, when the stress levels are lower. This is because the chemicals in our brain that relate to positivity, connection and empathy are being released. However it can be a different story once the stress centre of our brain is stimulated to release the chemicals that shut down the part that is good at connecting with other people or seeing the bigger picture.
My Mum was brought up in a time and a household where it was stressed that we live a life putting others before ourselves, and she did this to the end of her life, even in the rest home offering us and the carers a cuppa when she was offered one. Her life revolved around seeing to our needs, the needs of the grandchildren and subsequently great-grandchildren. Those caring habits of a lifetime shone through even when she was in the darkness of dying. This habit of giving first is gaining a lot more recognition again these days. There is a chemistry to giving in both the giver and the receiver that has been measured to improve our physiology, which in turn makes us feel better about ourselves as the giver. However I have concerns, a belief, that in the joy of giving, in the addiction of feeling good, in the putting of others first, that we don’t devalue ourselves. I have clients who decided at a very young age that to be loved or appreciated they had to be selfless and in the process don’t love or appreciate themselves. We have to work through the shadow of being ‘selfish.’ We all have a part of us that can be selfish and if we acknowledge that part and love it because it allows us to do some things that may also impact others as well as ourselves in a positive way. So where in your life are you being selfless or selfish and can you let your light shine in both places?
Enjoy experiencing both ends of the spectrum!
“I believe in the imagination. What I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see.” Duane Michals
Napolean Hill wrote the book ‘Think and Grow Rich.’ He devotes a chapter to the imagination and says the imagination is, “the most marvellous, miraculous, inconceivably powerful force that the world has ever known.” And Einstein agreed. He said, “imagination is more important than knowledge – that logic will take you from A to B, but that imagination can take you anywhere.” Children have great imaginations especially from the age of 2 onwards when their brains have been shown to be operating from the same wave pattern as an adult just before they go to sleep – that stage when our imaginations are at their most fertile.
Everyone is creative, not just artists and musicians. The word creator means, from within. In our busy worlds, most of us don’t sit still long enough to allow this part of us to extend our creativity beyond planning our day, or business ideas. Everything physical around us is a manifestation of someone’s thought – their creative thought – their imagination. Even the lady altering the hem on a garment for me said she gets people coming in with several pictures saying they want, “the neck like this, the seams here and so on.” They are using their imaginations to envisage what the garment could look like when finished. Like anything we can develop our imaginations by using them regularly. How does that work for you?
Enjoy developing your imaginations!
“We’re so afraid of failure that we would rather be hit by a car than make mistakes in front of others.” Matt Lieberman Ph.D
I’m not sure how you’ve all been brought up and what the expectations have been from parents and other care givers, siblings or grandparents. These expectations create beliefs about who we are, about our self-worth and whether it is okay to make mistakes or as some would say, have failures. Some people accept mistakes as just part of the learning process and an essential part of learning anything in this life. In fact I have heard of Leaders in big companies believing that it is important that all their staff have had an opportunity to ‘fail,’ that they don’t actually want to let go of staff that they have just spent a lot of money training & giving them a chance to ‘fail forward’ as they say.
But is this your reality? Have you been encouraged to learn by the experience of things not working out as you would have liked, or as others have expected? Do you honestly feel there would be no judgement, criticism, or negative consequences if you didn’t get the perfect result that your spouse or boss would have liked from you? It can be hard to stay out of the trap of shame especially if our belief has also been one of an expectation of a perfect job done. Do you actually do the judgement and criticism of yourself? How long are you going to have to keep putting the red pen through your work, to allow the critical self to have a field day or allow the self-worth to slip a few more notches? It’s time to speak to that inner critic and ask it to let go of the need to be perfect, and be ready with some positive affirmations that you can believe. I’ve made this suggestion before, to put up post it notes that say empowering things. We only learnt the negative through repetition, so why not do the repetition thing around positive thoughts and self-talk.
Enjoy feeling okay about ‘failing!’
“Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…to choose one’s own way.” – Victor Frankl
This quote of Victor Frankl’s came from his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning.” This originated from his life in a Nazi prisoner of war camp, when everything was taken from them. He noticed that those who had an attitude of survival, did survive. He chose to focus on being one who did survive, and what was going to happen when the war ended and he was released. He knew there was no one else in his family alive so it could have been easy to give up, but he chose to think about the things he enjoyed doing, he focused on playing the piano and he practiced in his head and with his fingers as though he was really playing. He also chose not to let his captors see how much it hurt when they took things away from him – for example his wedding ring.
Where in your life could you change your attitude to the life you are living? Where in your life at the moment does it seem too hard to change? Where are you choosing to ignore the pain of the reality you seem to be living and changing how you would like to see your life evolving? This sounds simple and it is, but it isn’t easy. We have to be committed to making the changes. We have to change the thoughts we have in our heads, the beliefs we have, that our life has to be a certain way that is not what we want, or then the emotions we experience because of the thoughts and beliefs. Noting how we are feeling is an indication of what we might be thinking or what beliefs we have about our relationships, career, money etc. So I repeat, where in your life could you change your attitude to the life you are living?
Enjoy changing your habitual dis-empowering attitudes!
“Don’t just read the easy stuff. You may be entertained by it, but you will never grow from it.” Jim Rohn
This quote is true not only for books but for everything that happens in life. WE do our best growing from the hard experiences that we have had to deal with throughout our lives. If we just sailed along there would be so many things we missed out on. Whether it is some medical condition or whether it is being bullied at school, these are opportunities for growth. Often these ‘setbacks’ give us the courage to stand strong for ourselves. Often they set us on a course for our purpose in life. How many times have you heard of people who have found their ‘calling’ from what could only be described has hard, traumatising experiences?
A few years ago I read a book titled, “Thank God I…” This was compiled from a lot of different people, each writing a chapter, who had had experiences that could only be described as traumatic or very stressful, by most of us. They were encouraged to find the ‘gift’ in each of their situations and all the ones who had written for the book seemed to have achieved that goal. So often that incident or experience had set them on a new path to a fulfilling career, to a more loving relationship or leading a movement to right the wrong that had been done. They had all reached a point where they could say, “Thank God I…” The mere fact of showing gratitude for the things that have happened in our lives can do wonders for our physiology. If you are not doing that, give it a go, even for the little things that happen on a daily basis.
Enjoy challenging yourself so you are not just entertained by life!