“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
“Before you try to change others, remember how hard it is to change yourself.” Bill Bluestein
Covid-19 has certainly sorted us out. Those of us who always work from home anyway and nothing much has changed; those of us who have had to bring our business home, our kids and their schoolwork home and our partners trying to work from home as well, creating a stressful chaotic time; those of us who have decided to make the most of the stay home enforcement and spent time in nature, doing the yoga provided on TV, and generally spending time looking inwards. Whatever our circumstances there may have been things that have cropped up, that boldly stare us in the face and tell us it is time to change.
When looking at the conscious and subconscious minds the conscious part is like the piece of iceberg above the water. It is with the conscious or intellectual mind that we make our New Year’s resolution or other statements from our will. However the subconscious is the part under the water that actually controls everything we do. It remembers everything we have done and said. It wants to keep us safe from repeating things it sees as a mistake or failure from our past. So when we try to work on a new habit it keeps telling us there is no point because we messed up last time, or whatever your story is. We may need to look beyond the obvious when we have difficulty changing some of those habits. E.g. eating too much, smoking!
Recognizing those unhelpful or limiting beliefs are there, and that they no longer hold true, starts us on the road to making the changes we really want to make. We probably have our work cut out to spend that time on ourselves rather than focusing on the habits of our closest and dearest. Before thinking about what needs to be changed in others it may pay to take a long hard look in the mirror.
It may also be helpful to realize, that what we have noticed in others, is probably something we would recognize in ourselves if we turned the attention inwards. And strange as it may seem, if we make those changes within ourselves what then is reflected back to us has changed. Which takes me back to the quote I have on my website, “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”
Enjoy making the necessary changes in yourself!
“Even better than ceaselessly pushing that boulder to the top of the mountain, is letting go of what you no longer need to carry.” Author unknown
Sometimes we cling on to a situation we really don’t like, because it is familiar & it is too scary to take a step into the new direction. We fear the unknown more than a future in a life that is not nurturing the development of our life’s purpose. A life that is frustrating, because we keep repeating the same job, the same relationships, the same mindless activities & we’re not living with the passion we were born with. Pretty much everything that aggravates us is something we are free to leave behind if we choose to. And now is a time a lot of us are having to make the change, we no longer have the choice, it has been forced on us. Unfortunately you may not feel you can get support from others around you because we are all going through some form of discomfort, upheaval, cr..!
So now may be the time that the universe is asking you to step up, to do something maybe you have been wanting to do for a while but haven’t chosen to do that YET! I was hearing yesterday that it took an acquaintance to be electrocuted to jolt her into the reality of her situation. She hasn’t looked back. Once we are through whatever and we look back we realise that whatever that horrible situation called us to do has actually been one of the best things that happened to us – they say hindsight is a great thing.
But maybe Covid hasn’t changed a lot physically, maybe it has changed your thinking or your perception of the parts of your life that you unhappy to stay in and you want to let go of. If you’re struggling with a goal, a job or relationship it could be a sign that you’re being called to make new choices & head in a new direction. I think back to when my children were small. They often got cranky just before they made the next milestone. Have you heard the phrase, “Whatever you resist, persists?” What is it going to take, to let go of your past beliefs that are holding you back, causing you anxieties & fears?
So what can you let go of to lighten your load?
Enjoy lightening the load!
“You only have control over three things in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize and the actions you take. And how you use those three things determines everything you experience.” Jack Canfield, Author and Speaker.
Most of us have heard of the quote that says we become what we think about or what we focus on most of the time. The thoughts we have, cause us to feel a certain way and those feelings in turn cause us to act in a certain way and become the results of our lives. This then can become like an endless circle and unless we break the cycle at the thought stage it will be pretty much impossible to alter our feelings and actions. If you watch someone’s behaviour you can work out what they have been thinking. And what we are thinking now affects the future. At the moment a lot of people have been feeling fear and anxiety about what is going on in the world. The fear can be about the basics of life – having to walk closer to someone than we’ve been told is safe. But usually we consider that fear is about the future. So if we do walk too close to someone what could happen down the track if they pass on some infection to me? Unless we do something to change it, that low grade anxiety can hum along and affect our ability to think clearly or make good decisions. The other major emotion that is affecting a lot of people is grief. Grief is not only about ‘loosing’ a person, it can be about the loss of our job, our connection with other human beings, especially family and friends or it could be about the loss of our way of life as we have known it.
We have the choice about the thoughts and emotions we have, and we can choose to change them at any given moment and therefore change the outcome of our feelings and actions. If you are feeling low, you are the only person responsible for that. Yes something may be going on around us that we are blaming but we can choose to not allow ourselves to get sucked into that negative vortex. So often those low thoughts are not truths, so ask yourself is it worth thinking them if they are going to make you feel so blue. I have talked before about energy levels that we are broadcasting out to the world. Those vibrations are going to depend on how you are feeling in that moment. None of us knows what is going to happen in the future so why not think hopeful optimistic thoughts rather than the low energy thoughts. Just think how much better you could feel if you didn’t think those particular low energy thoughts.
Enjoy changing the gears of your thoughts!
“The brain is designed for one purpose: to get whatever it needs from the environment to grow stronger and bigger. And that is not a definition of happiness, it is a definition of wealth.” Mark Waldman
Mark is a neuroscientist, researching all the time to find out how our brains work and why that is important. Information that we were given 10-20 years ago is being re-written. We have much better tools for testing, including functional MRI. We can see in real time what is lighting up in different areas of the brain when certain emotions are felt or when certain words are said. Years ago I had an aversion to the word ‘faith’ because of its connection to organised religion. And I have spoken to others who feel the same way. We all have choices to decide how we are going to handle that discomfort we feel when others use a word that has such deep connections. Last week I was talking in a group who were on the same training as I was as we worked towards certification in Conversational Intelligence coaching. At the moment I’m hearing the word ‘hope’ a lot so I asked the group what their take was in the difference between hope and faith. We all agreed that hope was more like wishing whereas faith gave more of a sense of certainty.
One of the other women has also had an aversion to the word faith. I had worked through my discomfort by accepting that the word faith didn’t really have anything to do with religion as such and I was reminded of a quote, “faith is the sound that the song bird makes before the dawn.” The other women has virtually taken the word faith out of her vocabulary and replaced it with trust. We know from our training that trust is experienced in the front part of the brain where we can see the big picture, where we make decisions, where there are mirror neurons that cause us to feel empathy for others and where the hormone oxytocin is produced. However distrust is in the part of the brain that has the stress response and it puts out cortisol that shuts down the part of the brain that houses TRUST.
Why is this important? I feel our new world is about connection more than ever and most of us have felt the truth of that while ‘hiding’ in our bubbles. We have had to get creative to find ways to make those connections we feel are worth continuing. And this trust part of the brain needs to be firing for us to make meaningful connections, the hugging hormone oxytocin needs to be flowing, for some more than others depending on the type of person we have biologically been born into this world to be. No 2 people have the same reasons to find happiness or wealth – and this doesn’t have to mean money, there are so many ways to feel wealthy. Let’s acknowledge that, be grateful for that and shore up those connections that make us feel happy and wealthy with TRUST!
Enjoy the choices you are making as the world turns on its head!
There’s no difference between a pessimist who says, “Oh, it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything,” and an optimist who says, “Don’t bother doing anything; it’s going to turn out fine anyway.” Either way, nothing happens. – Yvon Chouinard
When “The Secret” went viral there was a huge up-swell in the belief that all we had to do was ask for something, believe it would happen, and it would turn up on your doorstep. There was not enough emphasis about the action that we should take to move us in the right direction. Certainly every thought we have, has its own vibration that goes out into energy ‘soup’ that is around each and every one of us. Quantum physics has shown that the ‘energy field’ as it is called, is influenced by everything we think or believe. If you think about when someone you know isn’t feeling well, or when they’re excited about something, our energy interacts and you know it. Something in you is triggered or affected. You may go into a group of people and have unexplained feelings that something isn’t quite right. This is you responding to vibrations of other people around you – and if it doesn’t sound too woo woo – they don’t even have to be that close to you. We’ve all had those phone calls from someone we have just been thinking about.
So what has this got to do with pessimism and optimism? Everything! Those beliefs and feelings are constantly going out and influencing what is being attracted back to us. I’m sure you all know someone whose energy is very heavy, and they’re tiring to be around as they are constantly expecting the worst or awfulize every situation. If however you are around an optimist, their energy feels light enough and if they harness that positive energy they get lots done, what they want seems to come their way. However if an optimist doesn’t follow through on that belief that “it’s all going to turn out fine anyway,” the energy field will get mixed messages. Yes, all is OK but they’re not prepared to do their bit. Maybe it’s because they’ve been told by someone that it should be easy – they shouldn’t have to work as hard as they do. Maybe it’s something in their belief system that is getting in the way or stopping them from following through with some inspired action? Have you a sense of whether you are in either of these groups or are you an optimist who takes action?
Enjoy being an optimist taking inspired action!
“Communication is critical to developing mutually beneficial and mutually enjoyable relationships. Relationships require trust, and one of the best ways to develop trust is to focus on helping the other person feel heard and understood.” Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
Communication has always been essential, but now more than ever, when we are cooped up with family members and everyone is getting on everyone else’s nerves. When that happens we can revert to behaviour that has been there forever that really doesn’t serve anyone. Maybe you’re the woman in the household, trying to do some work, be the teacher & keep the place running as usual. Maybe you’re the man of the household worrying about the financial situation because your hours have been cut or you have no work at all. Either way, this is a time of stress for most of us, and we may then take it out on the ones we love, with the words we use. In other words, how we communicate.
A couple of core limiting beliefs are that I’m not good enough, this maybe in some particular way, or that I’m not heard or understood. Where they came from, is immaterial at this point. They are there and creating barriers to having a loving, compassionate relationship with those we love. Jack Canfield talks about Trust in his quote. Trust is at the base of all good relationships. If we are stressed we struggle to access trust because the 2 of them live in different parts of the brain. Stress releases hormones that shut down the part of the brain where trust lives, and we have more difficulty relating and interacting with our family, friends and co-workers. Because stress is also the culprit in so many of our health concerns, not the least our immunity, it is crucial that we learn how to ‘manage’ it. Uncertainty is very closely allied with stress, but don’t use that as an excuse. Most people are in the same situation. The media is reminding us all of how we can reduce our stress levels, and this may be the time to learn some new skills by following and practising what the various groups are offering on TV or our computers.
From this place you will find it easier to feel compassion and love for those around you who are also struggling. Where the trust lives is also some neurological cells that help the connection with others. It is also the area where the hugging hormone is released. This may then help you to ‘be present’ with those around you. This means listening with 100% attention. Maybe even have a conversation when things are a little ‘quieter’ to reach an agreement as a family that everyone is going to work on this. This listening skill is essential to make a good connection. So make it a goal to ask questions that encourage a conversation and actively listen to their reply – really listen, not waiting for your turn to jump in and say what you think. This will help your friends, colleagues and loved ones feel validated. Knowing that someone is listening to us in this way, helps to develop trust. What if this was something positive to come out of this imposed isolation for you and your family?
Enjoy helping others feel heard and understood!
“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin from “Winnie the Pooh.”
I didn’t remember this quote even though I loved the Pooh Bear stories. I think I love the Pooh Bear stories even more now as an adult than I did as a child. I think the humour was often lost on me as a child. Poor old Pooh his emotional self-worth didn’t seem that wonderful & I’m sure he was a binge eater, don’t you agree? How many of you are feeling that this enforced jail sentence is playing havoc with your mental and emotional state. I’m finding that I’m doing a lot more reminiscing than I usually do. Yesterday while in the garden I made a connection with the resurrection of the Sunday of Easter and the resurrection that we are hopefully going to be seeing off the back of this strange time in history. My garden will certainly have a look of something new, after me spending so much time out there. I usually like walking along the beach and grounding myself that way. Instead my garden now looks loved and I’m not ashamed of how it is looking. Shame is a very low vibration. There are other emotions that also keep us down which the mainstream medics are now acknowledging lowers our immunity.
So what are you managing to find time for that will keep your energetic vibration high – we know when that is, because we feel good? Are you aware of feeling good when you have listened to the wisdom from within rather than giving that power away to others and doing whatever it is that they say? It is our conditioned mind that might say, “Oh bear of little brain.” For all his faults I think Pooh would have been a good coach. He was human after all, he listened to what Christopher Robin asked and considered the questions to help Christopher Robin come up with the answers himself rather than relying on Pooh to have the answers. We all have the answers within us, if we sit with the question longer enough. That’s what Einstein said was the reason for his success – he sat with the problems for longer than most of us and believed that the universe would give him the answers. Like all of us, our potential is infinite, so hold on to that while feeling the situation around you is feeling upside down. Believe that this time is teaching you something about yourself that you hadn’t known before.
Enjoy waiting for the answers that will make you smarter than you think!
“Obstacles will not defeat me. Even the most difficult of situations will yield to my resolve, persistence & determination.” Leonardo da Vinci
At the beginning of last century Napoleon Hill wrote the ground breaking book, “Think and Grow Rich.” He said in the very first paragraph of the book, “Truly, ‘thoughts are things’, and powerful things at that, when mixed with purpose, persistence and a burning desire for their translation into riches or other material objects.” These words are still true today. Today when the world needs us to be passionate about our collective purpose – not just our own materialistic ideas. Today when we understand so much more about the energetic fields around us from the science of quantum physics. Today when we need to be persistent and not give up on the common good for mankind and the generations who are coming behind us.
Anyone who is ‘successful’ in some way, will tell you they have had to overcome some sort of challenge or obstacles along the path & often many times over. If you think about learning to walk. If we have normal physical anatomy, we would never have considered giving up on the idea of walking, we had to be persistent & overcome some knocks before we became proficient. There would not have been any question about achieving that milestone. We all have it in us to believe in the future and work towards bettering ourselves, bettering circumstances for others aspiring to lofty universal ideals.
Think back to some time in your past when you have been tested & when you have come out the other end, you realize that your character has grown, leading to a strength you may not have recognized previously. From this growth, comes a confidence and optimism that your future could be all you think, as long as you are persistent and consistent. Think of a time when you have successfully overcome an obstacle because you have stuck with it, you may have had to reframe, refocus and redirect . Realize that in those instances you were a victor & not a victim! Make a resolve that you will use those inbuilt strengths to persist & surmount this new challenge yet again.
Enjoy being victorious!
“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the façade of pretence. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” Adyashanti
Wow! This feels a bit like the world at the moment. The crumbling of all we have known in recent times. The uncertainty, as things that we have taken for granted are no longer allowed or even exist. Most of us clinging to a past that wasn’t actually serving our needs any more, but because it is all we have known we are having trouble letting go. We are resisting the change in a world-wide frenzy of fear and panic. This is not only the fear of the virus itself but the fear of the unknown, a world that may strip us of certainty, of a sense that we only have to work harder, spend more hours away from the family chasing a life that we have believed is the only way.
Suddenly we are thrust into time with family. For me this is online as I am in my own wee bubble with no one risking, because of my age, to cast a shadow on the threshold. I too have worked hard. Not only physically, but on my health, my fitness and my inner understanding. But at the end of the day I am human, I have expectations that I am invincible, it’s not going to happen to me. Energetically I have been feeling the collective unease, so I have enrolled in a programme, which fortuitously goes over the month we are in lockdown. We are having deep meditation sessions which is really grounding me and helping me to accept that things are as they should be even though that can be a struggle at times, as so many things we have known could be eradicated.
Enjoy connecting to that part of you that never dies!
“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” Carl Sandburg
I wrote about this quote 5 years ago & today I have a different perspective. All my life, I have felt the truth of this quote, right to the core of my being. Because of that I have filled up every moment with doing, believing that time was too precious to waste. This is still true, but with advancing years I’m realising that my time doesn’t have to be filled up with things I see I have achieved. Instead, I can see that connecting with my inner being is as beneficial & fulfilling. I went on a 2 hour call in the weekend that was titled, “Unwavering Stillness.” We were taken through 2 or 3 methods to drop into the serenity that is in all of us. I say 2 or 3 because we weren’t allowed to write notes as that would bring us into our physicality. Whenever I experience these types of group calls I leave feeling very ‘chilled,’ with a realisation that I need to do this more often.
I meditate most days and that definitely helps me cope better with what is thrown in my direction. But this is another level that I want to do more of – now that we’re going to be at home more, this might be the answer for me. I will still walk on the beach as long as the weather doesn’t turn nasty as it did on Saturday. I will still use some of my days to do some much needed sorting out of accumulated ‘junk.’ Actually my mother started sorting out her ‘stuff’ at about my age. I hope I don’t take as long as she did. It certainly can be a balancing act, balancing the yin or nurturing side of us and the yang or activity based side of us. Balancing what we want against what others want. Learning how to tune into our own body’s wisdom so we KNOW what we want rather than always doing what others want – setting some boundaries. Each one of us has our own journey that no one else has the right to try and live for us. Are you aware of the difference? Do you really KNOW when you are living your life on purpose? How do you know that? We all need time with Self to feel whole, to feel self-love and feel that sense of purpose.
Enjoy spending your coins of time getting to KNOW you!