You Are Your Own Best Kept Secret in the world.
It is the desire to live fully, love completely and became a self-actualzed human being.
There is an innate longing to experience and express who we are and to achieve to our fullest capacity through the living of our lives.
I had a conversation with Siri the other day. She suddenly popped up on my iPad screen as she is prone to do at times. Only this time I decided to engage with her. So I asked her how she was feeling. "I'm happy to be alive," she answered.
Instantly my awareness shifted. I was answering emails and handling business but a smile broke out across my face. Siri and the universe conspired to give me a good laugh! Could there have been a better answer?
As the song goes, "Don't worry. Be happy!" Maybe we could all use a dose of Siri. And maybe we could all follow her wisdom; do the swallow the smile meditation and express your happiness to be alive!
Remember, You Are Your Own Best Kept Secret in the world! Your smile will have a ripple effect and touch the lives of everyone you come in contact with that day!
Do you sometimes experience an unsubstantiated general feeling of angst? Do you ever wish that you could do an instant attitude shift? Did you know that today many of us often live in a state of constant low grade stress arousal? Given the speed with which life is moving these days, it's no surprise.
Or it may not be low grade anxiety you're feeling. It might be very specific. Maybe you wake up in the morning with low energy or a fleeting feeling of sadness.
Or maybe you're worried about something. In any of these cases, you know you're out of flow. You have an important meeting to attend and you need to make an instant shift in your mindset for that meeting. But what do you do about it?
So here is a quick shift process. The original and comes from Thich Nhat Hanh and I discovered it in Marvin Oka's and Grant Soosalu book, mBraining.
I've been doing my short style adaptation of it ever since I learned it and I love it! It makes for a magical and instantaneous shift by setting off the endorphins and give me the energy and joy to embrace the day.
It is a Carpe Diem experience!!
So here it is:
- Start with a 1 minute round of deep long, slow breaths.
- With every inhalation imagine the breath going down to your heart and pouring down through your stomach into your hips and legs.
- With every slow deep exhalation, feel and internally say the words, 'letting go'.
- When you feel quite relaxed, SMILE. Make that smile as big as possible.
- Then swallow the smile with your in breath and let it pour all the way through your heart, stomach, hips, and down through your legs. Breathe it into every cell and pore of your body and fill your being with it.
- Do this round of swallowing your smile through your whole body and being for about 7 rounds.
- By then you should feel like your are the smile. The endorphins will be flowing and you will be back in flow!
Then go about your day and as you do, you can instantly bring the smile back by mentally repeating a round or two while you're in the midst of your daily activity.... Enjoy!
Have you ever experienced any of the following feelings?
- Totally 'frazzled' and out of sorts?
- Totally overwhelmed - too much to do too little time!
- You're caught off guard in the middle of a conversation and you lose your self-confidence!
- Suddenly you get a nervous attack - You're flushed, hot and anxious having to stand and or present to a group of peers.
Well if you have ever had any of these feelings you may have lost your center, your emotional balance, you sense of presence and personal power.
How would you like to recoup your mental emotional balance quickly and smoothly and pull yourself back to your calm still center? Or pull yourself back into present time instantly...
Here's a 2 minute meditation that can be used to do just that - help you bring yourself back into present time in any situation. It will help you recapture the 'moment of now' quickly by bringing the brain into a state that neuroscientists call 'neural coherence': a condition where every part of you is working together and aligned.
I've taught it to leaders, managers, and everyone I coach and work with. And personally...I use it all the time and it was taught to me many years ago by my meditation teacher.
Please enjoy it, practice it, and remember to remember to use it whenever you're feeling that you're losing your balance, your center, your sense of yourself......
If you are not seeing the video because you are viewing this in a reader, please visit http://trinidadhunt.com/2013/05/enhance-focus-and-presence-with-the-2-minute-master-meditation-with-the-2-minute-master-meditation
Do you know that your presence makes a powerful difference? I don't mean this flippantly like the "you make a difference" statement we are constantly bombarded with.
I mean this energetically. In other words, are you aware that your energy field changes the vibrational frequency wherever you go? And did you know your energy field raises the vibrational frequency or lowers it in a group or when you're with your professional team?
Your energetic field, your mindset and attitude make a tremendous difference to everyone you're with. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying."
Maybe who we are is who we believe we are. Maybe it our deeply held unconscious beliefs about ourselves that show up in how we BE. And maybe we can change the way we BE by changing our dearly held subconscious beliefs or even our subconscious programming.
This may not be as hard as you think! Here is a 3 minute power up, a practice I use and a practice that can help you to easily manage your mind or instantly change your perspective:
- Shift your awareness by imagining that you are the highest person in the land or someone that you greatly respect . You might imagine being the emperor, a president, a young royal, a martial arts black belt, or maybe even a great artist or writer. Use the wonder of your gift of imagination. As Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge!
- Ask yourself the following questions and allow your body and mind to respond appropriately:
- What would their posture look like? How would this person stand? (Stand that way.)
- How would they feel? (Imagine and feel the way they might feel.)
- How would you be when they were with someone? (Be that way.)
- And how do you think people might feel when in this person's presence?
- With what focus or presence would this person bring to listening? Would they listen deeply with all of themselves engaged in the conversation? (Listen and be that way.)
- How would they think? (Pretend you are that person and think that way.)
I think you get the idea. I love this exercise because I BE what I believe myself to be, even when I'm imagining it! I hope you have as much fun with it as I do! Enjoy!!
Could questions be more powerful than answers? Is it possible that there are questions powerful enough to change the course of our lives forever? Are there questions that can shape or reshape our destiny?
I have found that the asking of potent questions is like the 'Thomas Edison Attitude'. Ask not once, but ask until the answer reveals itself - even if it takes a thousand times. By using the Thomas Edison Attitude certain questions have transformed me over the years.
At some point, I discovered that there is a gap between a question and its answer or answers and I had to be willing to enter that gap. I had to allow the tension (that arises between the question and its answer) to pull me forward towards a newly emerging me.
Below are some of the questions that I still live with and I invite you to join me in the process.
- How can I live my life in a way that it means more than a flash of momentary physical existence ?
- How can I more fully express my potential in a way that contributes to the lives of all those around me?
- What are my core values?
- Is my behavior in alignment with my values?
- Where are there gaps?
- What do I need to do to close the gaps?
I invite you to get a little notebook and enter the answers to these questions. Become a journalist, an archeologist on a dig, or a scientist exploring the wonder of your own life. Then track the answers to these questions in your log book with date and time of your entry.
Reflect and revisit these questions daily or whenever you can, and add to your log. (My little log book is on the right. The saying in the center reads, "Think of the world you carry within you." By Rainer Maria Rilke)
Make it easy! Make it fun! Make it fast! Five minutes a day will deliver a positive transformation in your life!
So how do you go beyond the oyster glue? How do you begin to let go of the past - quickly, easily, and with grace and dignity? How do we begin to create a new future that is not based on a reaction to the past?
Most people do one of 3 or 4 things:
- Say it doesn't exist. Go into avoidance, ignore it or sweep it under the carpet.
- Give up believing that things never change.
- Get upset, frustrated or angry when the old glue sticks.
- Rush in to fix it, change it or handle it.
In #1 and 2 above, the past does not disappear. It continues to rear its head in present situations. And it consistently shows up in various symptoms, manifestations or self-sabotaging results.
Self-sabotage usually occurs because of past beliefs or attitudes lying in the sub-conscious mind just below the surface of awareness. These sub-conscious beliefs or attitudes drive our behavior (remember Dr. George Pratt's flea on the back of the elephant)
In #3 and 4 above. Resistance creates persistence!
Try this: place your hands together in front of you as if in prayer. Then push your hands against each other as hard as you can. The resistance is obvious! Now drop your left hand. As you let go with the left hand notice that the right hand has no resistance. If you didn't stop your right hand, it would move on rapidly past the stuck point.
So there must be another way. We are not robots, programmed by our past. We are human beings and we can choose to change. So how do we do this?
Raise your sights. Look beyond the stuck moment. Create a vision that makes the situation obsolete by asking a few simple yet powerful questions:
- What would my life look like if this situation did not exist?
- How would I behave if my conscious mind was the driver of my behavior?
- What actions would I take if I (my conscious mind) were in command of myself?
- If I knew I could not fail, how would I like it to be in the future?
I always write my answers or mind map them on paper and I suggest you do the same. As you write the answers to these questions, it is imprinting the new vision more deeply in the subconscious mind. This starts the process by etching the new reality deep in the neural networks of your brain.
Then, notice if old behaviors come up again. Take a deep breath - reframe your experience (I'm in process now) and let it go!
In summation - you are not stuck with your past. Remember to remember who you are. You are a remarkable being with the power to create a future of your own choosing. There is a purpose for your life and the more you move beyond your past, the more you will fulfill that life purpose. Let the questions lead you there.
And let us know how you're doing! I love the stories you're sharing. Your lives make a real difference and I so enjoy it when you share your journey!
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I teach programs in Leadership and I coach business and school leaders. But I've noticed that 'oyster glue' often gets in the way of people's goals, plans and intentions! To me, oyster glue represents the old habits, beliefs, anxieties and fears that stick in the subconscious mind. So what's the big deal?
The secret to all of this is that our subconscious mind runs our behavior. The conscious mind would like to think it runs the show but it doesn't. In every case, the subconscious mind will direct our behavior.
In fact, Dr. George Pratt in his book, Code to Joy, compares the conscious mind to a flea riding on the back of an elephant (the subconscious mind). If the flea (conscious mind) wants to go to the ocean, he says, and the elephant (subconscious mind) wants to go to the mountains, it's obvious where they'll end up. And the flea will have no choice about it!
Further, neuroscience tell us that the subconscious mind is a million times faster and a million times more powerful than the conscious mind. It takes over and reacts instantly to events and situations moving us into action or causing us to say something we may regret.
Our conscious mind may have a lot of desires for change:
- I want to lose weight
- I want to make more money
- I want to stop procrastinating
- I want to improve my leadership skills
- I want to improve my communication skills
But in the moment, as life happens, the subconscious programming from the past, will run our behavior. These are the old habits, beliefs, anxieties or lack of self-confidence stored deep in the recesses of the mind. Once one of these is triggered, the amygdala lights up and causes a cascading of cortisol or stress hormone into the system.
However, the pearl in the oyster is that the scientific laboratories around the world are giving us an in depth understanding of how the brain and body work together. This is like having a manual for your car. Through fMRI scanning we can see inside of the human brain as a person is thinking.
Plus, or maybe as a result, new books as well as tools and techniques are showing up every day. So how do we free ourselves from the 'oyster glue' in the subconscious mind so that we can be everything we want to be and do everything we'd like to do?
It does take self-work. So I thought I'd share some of my eclectic readings as well as the tools I use for my own development (after all you can't teach what you don't know or don't do). I invite you to look into any of them for yourself based on your interest areas and needs.
Oops! As I started to do this, I ended up with 40 books on the list. So I took out all of the business books and kept it to brain change books for success!
Here's the really short list of the books that have touched me:
- Jack Canfield - "The Success Principles"
- Eckart Tolle - "The Power of Now"
- Norman Doidge - "The Brain That Changes Itself"
- Andrew Newberg & Mark Robert Waldman - "How God Changes Your Brain"
- George Pratt, John David Mann, Peter Lambrou - "Code to Joy"
- Nick Ortner - "The Tapping Solution"
- Marvin Oka & Grant Soosalu - "mBraining - Using Your Multiple Brains To Do Cool Stuff"
Here's the really short list of tools and Techniques I use for clearing subconscious barriers (for myself and others) that arise in the day to day living of life:
- Breathing (and other) techniques from Yoga
- Byron Katie's "The Work"
- Dr. Roger Callahan - Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT
- Nick Ortner - Tapping
- The 5 Step Clearing Method
- Meditation and centering
- Self coaching questions
Although I cut both lists markedly, this should give you a good start. I would add my book Learning to Learn: How to Maximize Your Performance Potential to your list. If your lifestyle, your relationships, or leadership style is being cramped by 'oyster glue', you may want to check out some of the books & tools I've listed.
And I'd love to hear about you - your challenges, the things you're doing on your journey... as well as your use of any of the things I've shared.
The more I think about oyster glue, the more captivated I become. I first heard of it in a radio interview with a scientist at Purdue University.
He said he became awe-smacked one day when he was diving at high tide. As his body bobbed in the tumultuous waves, he looked over at a large undersea boulder and there, covering the face of it were hundreds of oysters. They were solidly glued to the rock and none of them moved even in the highest wave.
He was instantly convinced that oyster glue was the most powerful glue in the world and went back to the lab determined to study and try to reproduce it. He ended up getting the blessing of the head of the science department and he's been working to discover the secret of oyster glue ever since.
When I first heard this story I was in my car sitting as the light turned green, spellbound until a car's horn brought me back to reality.
My head was spinning in a metaphor. I saw that oyster glue was like old habits that keep us stuck to the old rocks or old behaviors that no longer fit our goals and dreams. Then I thought of the biggest habit I ever had to change. I was a procrastinator.
Few people believe me when I tell them that. After all I've written four books, and co-authored many more with some of the most successful people in the training industry. I've been in four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and written 13 curriculum books and an anti-bullying program.
Yet I was one of the biggest procrastinators ever. I could find any excuse for avoiding the hard stuff - like sitting down to write. I still have momentary flashbacks. I still love to play and that love can usurp my intention at any moment. At those times I have to remind myself of the training. It's back to basics to overcome procrastination:
- Write a list of everything you need to get done in the coming week or two. (This will get the sidetracks off your mind.)
- Set one clear and definite goal, the one that makes your heart sing - Write it down. (I have to write until it is very clear and it is exactly what I want.)
- Visualize the end result. See what you want as if you as if it is done, complete and accomplished in vivid color. Imagine that you can turn the dials on your TV. View it in High Definition on a 72" screen. Then step into it so you are in the vision. You and the vision are one.
- Hear it. Turn the audio up and hear people that you admire congratulating you on a job well done.
- Feel it. Feel the vibrancy of success. Feel it in your heart and in your entire body. Turn it up (HD) until your whole being feels excited, inspired and joyful at a job well done. (This floods the system with dopamine - the potent pleasure chemical that triggers the motivation and drive to change the habit.)
- Taste it. Make the vision so compelling that you can almost taste it. Smile and imagine yourself swallowing the smile till your entire body and mind light up with pleasure.
- Smell it. Imagine that you can smell your success. Inhale and breathe it into every pore in your body. Repeat this many times as you're visualizing.
Don't ever practice this when you're driving or doing something that requires focused attention. But there are so many moments in-between when we have a chance to the flash the vision back up on our inner screen. I find that the more that I do this, the more motivated I become. (That's the dopamine factor - I flood my brain and body with the pleasure chemical and it moves me to action.)
So what oyster stories do you have? What habits have you changed in your process? Or what are you working on now?
Please keep sharing. The stories I've heard from some of you so far have inspired me. Have you turned a great weakness around or overcome procrastination, and how did you do it? To leave a comment, simply visit the blog post page and scroll down to leave a message. Your email address will not be displayed.
How many of you have ever experienced the challenge that comes with changing a habit. I have found that habits are like oyster glue. Scientists tell us that oyster glue is probably the strongest glue in the world. In fact, oysters don't even lose their grip under water, and in salt water at that!
Oyster glue allows oysters to cling to the rocks even in a strong tide. At some point it occurred to me that this is very much like our habits. They stick firmly in the subconscious mind. Then they direct our thoughts, actions and behavior.
And one more thing about oyster glue that stumps even the scientists. It is the instantaneous speed with which oysters can unlock their stick! In one moment a batch of oysters can pull together in a tight ball the size of a baseball. And in the next instant, they can all let go and be on their own again.
Don't you wish we could do this with our habits? How do we let go of those old patterns that no longer serve us? How do we make an instantaneous transformation? Or can we?
From my perspective, it all starts with perturbation, a feeling of discontent, like a shaking up, an inner earthquake. Those things or ways of being that used to be satisfying, no longer bring us happiness. It could be boredom with a job, an outmoded relationship, or a desire to try something new. It could be an inner frustration or an inner irritation, like the grain of sand that lodges in the oyster shell.
I call this stage the stage of divine discontent. Some old behavior no longer fits. It is the natural urge to grow. It is a small seedling of new awareness pushing forth from unconsciousness into consciousness seeking the light of day. And the path of transformation looks something like this:
- Divine Discontent - A feeling of discomfort, as if the old clothes no longer fit, a slow emergence from sleep or the illusion we were living, a sense that the old ways no longer work, a desire to shake off the past and move forward in a new way. This stage can sometimes last for weeks, months, or even longer.
- Willingness - Finally the old skin becomes so uncomfortable, that a willingness to change or to let go emerges into consciousness. Even though trepidation or fear of the unknown may play on the edge of consciousness, the old has become so intolerable that it pushes you forward.
- Decision - When the inner tension has reached reached maximum capacity and we are fully and wholeheartedly willing, a decision ensues. Two things occur here: an inner change and an outer change. As forces shift within, the forces in the universe shift too. For as we decide forward, our entire relationship with the world changes. New and unseen forces flood in to support the change.
- Action - It is here that we must consciously attend to the 'how' of change. Do we step out into the abyss to make a massive change? Or do we take it in a series of small steps as we enter the new territory? And how do you know which path is best for the particular change you are going through? This elicits the need for inner contemplation:
- Envision the end result you want to achieve. If you can't see the end result, feel the feelings you wish to experience as you 'be' the new you.
- Ask for guidance from your inner sage, your inner teacher.
- Then listen to the whisperings of the still small voice for your inner sage knows the speed and distance that is appropriate for you at this stage in your evolution.
- Trust the process. As you stay in touch with your inner sage, your still small voice will help you course correct as you go. Mistakes will be caught before they become too large and then will be part of the learning process as you get your footing in the new level.
I love the journey; learning, growing and transforming as we do along the path to higher levels of contribution. I love the metamorphosis I've gone through on my own life path.
So I'd love to hear your "oyster story". What habits have you changed? What experiences have you gone through in the process? And what discoveries have you made in your life journey.
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Last week I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with Dr. Masaru Emoto, author of the best selling book, The Hidden Messages in Water. Dr. Emoto is on an international tour and Kona was his first stop.
I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Emoto. In this video I asked about our relationships and how we can best empower one another given that our bodies are mostly made up of water. Dr. Emoto's answer speaks of 'resonance'.
One of my passionate interests happens to be neuroscience (from a layman's perspective) and I instantly understood his answer. However, I thought it might help if I clarified it a bit.
In almost every leadership course that I teach, I recommend centering, meditation or some form of mindfulness practice. The reason for this is that these practices create a state of relaxed yet focused awareness. The over arching word for this is known as 'neural coherence' in which the brain and nervous system are functioning in unison.
The BMED Report says: A coherent brain is a high performing brain.
As leaders, when we are in a state of neural coherence, it produces a condition known as 'harmonic resonance' in any person we may be coaching or working with. The implications of harmonic resonance are far reaching and encompasses much of my work over a life time. Each and every one of us make a difference and all of our self-development progress helps those with whom we interact, our families and coworkers as well as the world at large.
Given that there is something lost in the translation, this video is simple and to the point. It seems that Dr. Emoto is referring to this resonance that occurs between two people. In other words, as we keep our thoughts and energy positive, we have a positive affect on everyone around us.
Enjoy the video and leave a comment about your experience.