“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!
New Zealand has made some tough decisions in the past 24-48 hours. Being an ’island’ country it is easier to control our borders to try and contain this virus that has got the world in its grip. Have any of you read the ground breaking book by Bruce Lipton, “The Biology of Belief”? it was written about 15 years ago by a doctor who taught medical students about the basics of cellular biology, but when he started looking at the quantum physics of the world, he realised there was more to life than he had been teaching. His research shows that all the cells of our bodies are affected by our thoughts. It is not only the life around us that causes stress but also our thoughts & beliefs. Regardless of how stress is caused the result in our bodies is the same, and stress causes about 90% of illness. The stress response in our bodies releases cortisol which shuts down the immune system to conserve the bodies energy to get away from whatever the perceived threat might be.
Fear is a big ‘turn-on’ of the stress response. The media, the pharmaceutical companies and governments are making sure we hear of the deaths. From all accounts these are mainly from people with compromised systems already. I don’t want to down play the loss for the families of those people, but those losses are a small percentage of reported cases & not a lot bigger percentage from the normal flu. Take all the precautions you need to, that are being promoted everywhere. Do everything you can to boost your own immune system to fight off any bugs you get whether the Corona virus or not. These all relate to good health practices – eat healthy foods, drink good water, meditation, exercise and a good night’s sleep. Avoiding fear and stress may mean reducing the amount of TV watching or Facebook scanning for the latest news.
I will leave you with a quote from Dr Bruce Lipton. “Please remember the truth of quantum physics, the most valid of sciences on the planet. Consciousness is creating your life experiences! Are you being conscious of disease… or of health? Wishing you all Health, Happiness and Harmony.”
Enjoy attracting health!
“Victory is knowing that you’ve done your best. If you’ve done your best, you’ve won.”
If you’re training for the Olympics & you don’t come away with the Gold medal when you expected to get it, it can feel disappointing even though you may have done your best. On the day though your best wasn’t good enough. I recently heard an Olympic hopeful talking about the sorts of conversations she had in her head. The sort that we can all have, regardless of what it is we are striving for. The ups on a good day of feeling you definitely have a chance and the downs on a not so good day when everything just seems too hard. In those moments the conversations of the committee in your head are about how useless you are, how you are not good enough and the questions relating to who do you think you are to be in the ‘race’ any way. The ‘race’ may be as simple as doing a presentation representing your company, learning a new skill that is outside your comfort zone or standing up for what you believe in.
On the other side of the coin, this young Olympic hopeful talked about walking the tight rope of believing in yourself so that you had a chance of winning, but at the same time bracing yourself for the loss so you can still hold your head high when things don’t go according to plan. An acceptance of the self who has done her/his best at the end of the day. These days children are all given certificates for participation. While this sounds great especially when they are younger, it can give them a sense of being a winner when actually they are far from it. When my children were little I can remember a drama teacher having no hesitation in telling these young kids what a bad job they had done, if indeed they had. I remember being quite shocked with some of the blunt comments that were issued. But I got the impression that the kids ‘got it.’ They understood they need to do more work or something differently if they wanted to advance up the ranks. But I do think it is hard when they are being judged from a subjective point of view. It’s not like they just didn’t run fast enough, it’s more about the judgement that on some level the ‘examiner’ doesn’t like me or my work.
Enjoy feeling the victory of having done your best today!
“I’m bold enough to use my voice and brave enough to listen to my heart and live the life I’ve always imagined.”
Does this quote speak to you at all? Do you feel like maybe you are not being heard or you in fact are not saying what you want to say? This may not be out there in the big wide world, but even if you’re not saying what is inside you to the people who matter – your family, friends, work colleagues, primary love of your life! If you’re speaking your truth, why do you think that is? Have you a fear of spoiling the relationship, a fear that you might upset someone or it just feels too hard to say what you want and have the other person understand you.
In the past few days, I have been asked in face book groups that I belong to about the wins I have had in the past week. Sometimes we have been brought up to believe that expressing something good that has happened to us, to strangers, is blowing your own trumpet, tooting your own horn. Would you feel brave enough to tell the others in the group what has gone well for you, or would something stop you or cause you to water it down? I mean you might show others up, it doesn’t do to show off, what other reasons might you come up with that cause you to back down from sharing?
Are there times in your life when you are not really listening to what you heart is telling you? I had a situation recently where I was feeling uncomfortable. I had made a decision about this situation, but it had obviously not been the right decision for me to take. Having been brave enough to listen to the message my heart was giving me, I had to be bold enough to use my voice to step back from that situation which then enabled me to change direction and step into some new possibilities. Are there things going on in your life at the moment where you should be listening to the intuitive nudge, and giving voice to something you are really wanting to express?
Enjoy expressing your truth!