“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” Oprah Winfrey
Merry Christmas to all of you reading this rejuvenating letter!
I thought this quote could be taken in more than one way – as a lot of them could be depending on our perspective and how we are feeling on the day. With Christmas coming up I thought of the number of children who are writing lists to Santa and excitedly pointing out what they want in the local toy store. But this is also true of us as adults. Do we expect our loved ones to be mind-readers, or do we expect them to remember the hint we put out at the middle of the year. We could be opening up the whole situation to disappointment. Luckily my partner makes it easy at birthday time and Xmas by asking me what I want. I know it takes the excitement and surprise out of it but it also takes out the disappointment.
Another way of looking at this at this time of the year with 2019 fast approaching, is asking the Universe for what you would like to manifest in the New Year. It is up to us to set a clear intention of what it is we truly want and as I’ve said before, feel it, remind yourself about it often, and believe that you can manifest it with the help of the universe. This belief part is the tricky part for some of us. We may have beliefs from childhood that are telling us the opposite, so it’s hard to get clear. And like an order at the restaurant, what sort of meal would you get from the kitchen if you kept giving them different instructions every five minutes. Make your decision and stick to it until you either achieve it or you really want to give up on it, after giving it a good chance. Being clear about what you want, believing it is yours and not being afraid to ask for it, is key!
Enjoy using some of your holiday for reflection on what you really want in 2019!
“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That is where your power is.”
There is an organisation called the Institute of Heart Math that you may have heard of. They operate like a non-profit and have a lot of free stuff on their website if you are interested in having a browse. One of the key markers they use is what happens to the heart rhythm when we show an emotion. If we get angry or irritated the heart rhythm is irregular. However if we feel love and compassion the rhythm becomes even and what they call coherent. When our heart is in a coherent state we are able to think better, we connect with people better and we find it easier to respond to life’s challenges better.
At the start it takes some mindfulness. Mark Waldman, a neuroscientist, says “Acting on anger, or expressing it, is very disruptive to healthy brain function. But if you observe it and suppress the impulse to act out, you’ll develop greater calmness and emotional control.” He added, “If I were to put you in a brain scan machine and flash the word ‘NO’ for less than half a second, a dozen stress hormones will be released throughout your brain. And if you chronically worry or ruminate on negative thoughts, you’ll begin to damage your memory circuits. Anger is particularly dangerous because it interrupts the frontal lobes where logic and clarity take place.”
Enjoy being mindful when with family over Xmas!
“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!’