“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
“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” Marianne Williamson
I belong to a group of senior entrepreneurs. Last week we were talking about this very thing. One of our members had been biking some years ago when some little old lady drove into him. He was pretty badly beaten up and as he was headed to the hospital in the ambulance he had a choice to harbor a grudge or forgive her. Sometimes I think we can forgive after some time has passed and we’re tired of the pain we are suffering from holding on to the negative thoughts. But this guy made the decision to forgive her then and there, let go of the blame for causing all his fractures and concussion.
He still has one leg that doesn’t work that well but in making the decision to forgive her, he allowed the maximum healing to take place with the highest vibration he had. He had to change his career and what has developed has given him his raison d’etre. He is enjoying his change in direction. As Marianne Williamson says in this quote, if we don’t forgive, we continue to feel a vibration that doesn’t feel good, so there is no peace. Looking at this I immediately thought of the forgiveness for others, but sometimes we do something that we have trouble forgiving ourselves. So this rule applies to the person inside your earth suit. Until we can forgive ourselves for something we have been conditioned to believe is not OK, there can be a lot of negative emotions like blame and shame. While in this state our hearts are not beating with coherence and we open ourselves up to disease.
Enjoy forgiving yourself and others!!
“Life has its seasons…..and regardless of the season, the sun always shines.” Melissa Malueg
I know this could sound a bit like Polyanna and for some reason she seems to have a bad rap these days. Somehow it’s not seen as though it’s authentic if you are always putting a brave face on everything. Some of this could be because so many of us grumble & moan about our lot in life. Although we don’t like the word ‘victim,’ when we are allowing things outside of us to take the blame for what is going wrong in our life, we are effectively putting on the victim’s hat. We can all feel this from time to time, but to live from that perspective means that we very rarely see the sun shine. We don’t see the good things that are happening in our lives.
Any of us who have been up in a plane know that once we get above the clouds the sun is indeed shining up there (as long as it is daylight). I have a couple of smiley sun images around me at home to remind me of just this very fact. To remind me to have faith that just because I can’t see something with my physical sight doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. I need to remind myself of this when I’m going after a goal, to remind myself that just because I thought I should have achieved my result by NOW, doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen. I need to remind myself that even grumbling to myself, is not going to open me up to the opportunities that are there all the time like the sun. I just have to be open to the possibilities and I’ll see the sun wherever I look. The part of the brain that is looking for these opportunities to prove I’m right will find them, so the more belief I have that the good things will happen, the more they do.
Enjoy being open to the good!
“If you don’t like where you are, change it, you are not a tree.” Jim Rohn
I have always liked the simplicity of Jim Rohn’s pearls that he peppered throughout his presentations, his CDs etc. Not all his own of course but to the point, never-the-less. All our thoughts create feelings and whether those feelings are of pain or pleasure will initiate an activity that will push us away from the pain or pull us towards the pleasure. Just knowing this fact is not enough. We have to be aware of what we are feeling to begin to notice what our thoughts are. Only by changing those thoughts are we able to change our circumstances. I teach my clients to do a tune in, which is like a short meditation that can become as short as a breath or 2 as we scan the body for what we are feeling physically and emotionally. If we don’t like what we are feeling then as humans we have the ability to change.
This is a form of mindfulness which is gaining a lot of traction because of the thousands of studies that have been done that prove its worth. Schools are incorporating mindfulness into their daily timetable. I follow the work of Mark Waldman, a neuroscientist. He is regularly talking about the power of yawning as a mindfulness technique. He cites academic studies suggesting that yawning plays a key role in arousal, stress reduction, pain regulation and possibly empathetic communication with others. This is one very small change you can make to your daily timetable, and keep up with what your children may be learning at school to calm them down. Mark suggests once every 20 min stretch and yawn – you could set your computer or phone…. to remind you.
Enjoy making this small change in your life!
“There is a saying, that decision & discipline weigh ounces; regret weighs tons. Whatever decision you can make that seems right to you today – use just a little bit of discipline to bring it about.”
Oh boy this is a good one for me today as I reflect on some of the decisions I have made that don’t necessarily show a lot of discipline. I love my food & I don’t always eat what I know I should, I……. This could have been a very negative email as I realistically look at what I do and don’t do. Am I not meant to be the coach with all the answers blazing my trail, guiding my readers to be bigger and better? I am human with frailties like everyone else. We all have the shadows I have talked about, that hijack our stress response and cause us to do things we may regret later.
But if we can all have the intention to be disciplined as much as we can each day, we will day by day reach a point where we feel good about ourselves more often, because we have shown some discipline and therefore have less regrets. What is it you would like to have some discipline around today? Choose one thing and be conscious about noticing when you are straying to habitual behaviours that you don’t like or are not proud of. Look into why that is. Is it because of something one of the family ‘committee’ said years ago when you were little? Examine that and check whether that is something you need to adhere to now in 2019 when you are an adult. Keep choosing that one thing until you feel you can accept that in yourself and then you may find you aren’t having to use as much discipline.
Enjoy letting the regrets go!
“Pain pushes you until a vision pulls you.” Michael Beckwith
When I first saw this quote I thought that I didn’t entirely agree with it. But there could be 2 ways of looking at it. Most people use their vision as their WHY to move past the pain of the setbacks, the failures, the things that aren’t working. The stronger we can see the vision and the possibility of it happening, the easier we find the determination & resilience to fight through. This is what the Law of Attraction tells us we should be doing. We should be putting out the idea of our dream with emotion, with the belief that it will happen, because the Law of Attraction is working all the time for everyone, just like the Law of Gravity. But the pain we have to go through, the beliefs from our past, the doubts and uncertainty put out energy into the universe that is saying the exact opposite. So we need the strength of that vision or dream to pull us along and stay resolute to that aspiration of a new life.
On the other hand Abraham, through Esther Hicks keeps telling us, that it is these painful experiences, these negative thoughts and awareness of what we don’t want, that gives us the nudge to find out what we DO want. This is how the vision or dream of a different life comes into fruition. That idea may not come immediately, but if we stay with the problem long enough, as Einstein taught us, then the new idea springs into life and gives us the desire to move towards that. I really feel for people who come through my coaching sessions who have forgotten how to dream because they haven’t been encouraged as they’ve gone through life. I am also seeing students who are in that earlier stage of life who haven’t yet had their purpose pop up, so they don’t know what career path to take. It can be painful when we stay stuck and don’t know the path to take.
Enjoy finding your path and leave some of that pain behind!
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” Mark Twain
So often we are seeking outside approval in order to feel worthy, accepting and happy with who we are. This may be a parent, a boss, a spouse, a friend, or in cases I have seen, from a child. This all tracks back to earlier years when perhaps the messages we got made us believe that we aren’t good enough, that we can’t do anything right, that we are not as good as a brother or sister, the list goes on. This message could have come from a parent or a teacher, in other words a significant adult. They may not have even said anything to us but we witnessed that we were being treated differently. We all have filters that we are seeing the world through and the observation that we are being treated differently, is seen through those filters. Those significant adults had no intention of hurting us and making us feel ‘less than,’ those around us. We see them get praise, we don’t notice when we get praise, because at some point we have set our system to see the majority of the negative comments ahead of the positive ones.
I was at a function last night where I was talking to a mother who was raving on about one of her children and noticing the negatives of the other 2. I said, “We all have our strengths.” But oh no, this mother disputed that about her son in particular. We all deal with those silent messages we are getting day in and day out from others and we can’t please everyone, not even your mother, I was seeing. I hasten to add that when I talked again to her later she repeated her comment and in her explanation I could see that it was coming from a place of concern for his future wellbeing. But you can see that we ‘can’t please everyone all the time.’ So how about reframing that and concentrating on pleasing yourself. Notice the positive, good things that you do, reframe the negatives e.g. “That’s not like me, I don’t usually behave like that, respond like that…… “ whatever works for you. Praise yourself when you do even a small thing well. Remember if we wait for others to give us approval we could be waiting for a while and if they do give it, they can also take it away. Do you want to wait for that?
Enjoy lifting your own spirits!
“Life and Death Are in the Power of the Tongue” Proverb
This may have been a proverb but now it is being proven to be so true. Through the amazing abilities of the functional ‘Magnetic Resonance Imaging’ (MRI), we now how true this is. This technology is able to show what areas of the brain light up when feel we are being judged, excluded or limited in some way. This is usually the area that has been called the Amygdala which is the stress centre of the brain. It is responsible for pumping out chemicals. You are probably all familiar with cortisol and although we all need some cortisol to get us out of bed in the morning, we don’t want the amounts that are going to shut down the part of our brain that is called the executive brain. If we are stressed enough that will happen, and we won’t be able to reason well, to empathise with others or create a good connection through conversation.
If on the other hand we are treated with appreciation, celebration and we are included, the front part of the brain, the Pre-frontal Cortex pumps out a chemical known as Oxytocin. This is also called the Bonding or Hugging Hormone. The heart feels good, and we open up to the other person we are communicating with. We trust the other person and we are able to co-create a conversation that is healthy for both people. It may not be literal death with cortisol or life with oxytocin but it can feel very different to hear words of inclusion and appreciation, than it does to hear criticism and judgement. How can you mind the power of your tongue going forward?
Enjoy seeing the results of ‘Minding Your Tongue!’
“I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” Kahlil Gibran
Have you heard of shadow work? Debbie Ford wrote a great book, “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.” In it she talks about how we all have aspects of ourselves that we don’t want others to know about because we’ve been brought up to believe that those aspects are not acceptable in some way. However my beliefs about unacceptable behaviour may be completely different from yours or other cultures. My parents & their parents have been brought up with certain beliefs about different behaviours and these have been instilled into us over the years. This may not be conscious but when we see it in others it may ‘trigger’ us or ‘pushes our buttons.’ This awareness can actually be a lesson for us to examine why we have such an aversion to their behaviour. What is it about what they are doing that we wouldn’t want others to see in us? Debbie went on to write a second book called “The Shadow Effect,” with Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson. They both wanted to lend their weight to the topic that they think is so important to us all.
And strange as it may seem, there are ‘gifts’ in those shadows that emerge as we shine the light on them. The gifts that Gibran talks about. There is a Law of Polarity that says, there are 2 sides to everything, so if you can be intolerant you can also be tolerant. The joy is in being able to accept that you could be something you absolutely don’t want to own, we all could be. In the same way, that if you notice some great things in others & don’t believe you can be that either. This is called the Light Shadow, and if you don’t acknowledge this then you are shutting yourself off from living from the full spectrum of emotions & behaviours. Start noticing what is irritating you in others & check in to where are you, or could you be that & what is the gift! Also notice when you see something you admire in someone else & feel into whether you could be that as well.
Enjoy finding those gifts!
“If you meditate deeply, sooner or later you will start feeling tremendous love arising in you that you have never known before. You want a love that is born out of meditation, not born out of the mind.” Osho
Meditation can be a word that carries feelings of resistance. When I first came across meditation, I wasn’t even prepared to look at the concept, because the picture I had in my mind, was that of people sitting cross-legged on the floor, humming a mantra and of course they were able to clear their minds of the thoughts, constantly tumbling around in my mind. However a few years later when I was on a wellness course, I was introduced to the notion that anything we did to create the relaxation response, rather than the stress response, was going to be good for us. We were taught a variety of methods, and what got me hooked, was the fact that we would feel better if we accepted the transgressions of the mind and accepted that minds keep flitting. The Buddhists apparently call this unwillingness of the mind to stop, as ‘jumping monkeys.’
Research has shown that even 5-10 minutes each day, of focusing on the breath as it goes into the body can be beneficial. It can often be just a matter of remembering to carve out this small amount of time, and then follow it up with the odd deep breath, and letting go of the tension as you relax with the out breath, during the day. You’re waiting for someone to answer the phone, take a couple of breaths to the bottom of your lungs. The lights are red and it’s tempting to allow the frustration to amp up when we’re running late, instead take a couple of breaths and drop those shoulders. When we’re in this place of relaxation, it is easier to feel gratitude for the people in our lives, to feel the love in our hearts that will help us respond in a way that makes everyone feel good.
Just trial getting up 10 minutes earlier, sit quietly and focus on the breath, with no other agenda than to ‘be’ and enjoy!
Our attitude is the crayon that colours our world.” Allen Klein 1931-2009, Businessman and Talent Agent
Over the years I have been writing these thoughts, I have talked about how our thoughts create the feelings we have. In other words creating our attitude, creates how we feel. What is important to understand is that our feelings are felt in our bodies not our minds. Becoming more aware of what we are feeling in any given moment will give us an indication of what we are thinking. What we are feeling will then cause us to take some action on that thought, in either a negative or positive way depending on how we are feeling in that moment. Often I will talk about the ‘what if’ concept in a positive direction rather than the negative. This can change our thoughts or attitude into a chosen positive vibration which then by the Law of Attraction can attract those more positive experiences into our lives. There has been some study done on which colours calm people down or hype us up. Different colours have different levels of vibration & like our thoughts can change our vibration to attract different experiences.
So if you are wallowing in feelings of fear and worry your body will reflect that – may be with a sense of anxiety butterflies, or maybe you have developed a physical joint pain for no apparent reason. Whatever it is, you know where you hold the tension or feeling in your body. Ask yourself is this what I want to feel, what thought or condition has allowed that feeling to arise, and what would I rather be feeling. Don’t expect others to ‘make’ you feel better. Only you can do that. Damn! That might involve some work on myself! It may, however, be as simple as choosing to feel the preferred option.
Enjoy noticing the feelings in your body & what you want to change!