Who or what defines you? An ancient proverb says that, 'The self is the self's only friend. And the self is the self's only foe.'
- What beliefs have you held that have held you?
- What decisions have you made that have made you?
- What stories have you told yourself ?
Have these beliefs, decisions, and stories become the story of your life?
- I'm not smart enough
- I'm not good at that
- I'm too old for that
- Life is a struggle
- I don't like that
- I don't have enough money
- I'm too heavy
- There's not enough time in the day
It's all the things we think we are, all the things we think we can or cannot do, all the abilities we think we have or have not. Truthfully, it is the decisions we made over the years that create the habits that determine the life we are living now.
They are the decisions we made and the stories we told ourselves repeatedly over the years until we believed them. Then we defended them as if they were the sacred self-evident truths about who we are and what we are capable of. Maybe these are the sacred cows we have to forfeit in order to discover the truth.
All of these statements limit the dimensions of a dimensionless being. We are infinitely capable, wondrously magical, remarkably more than we ever thought ourselves to be.
You are a being living in a body and this body is on loan to you for the duration of your visit on planet earth. You are the being that animates the form. You are not the form!
You are not the small limited individual that you have identified yourself as. That identity is an illusion. You are one with the timeless reality and that reality is without limitation.
When you embark upon the journey of self-discovery and become a student of the self, a window opens to another world. It is the world beyond our beliefs. It is a world of infinite possibility. And it whispers of the mystery of who we really are.
I encourage each and every one of you to become a student of the self. Step up to the window and see what you can see. Look out beyond your beliefs and attitudes and gaze upon the greatness and grandeur of the self.
- List your self-limiting beliefs, the ones that stop you from doing what you want to do, being who you want to be or having what you want to have.
- All the "I cant's"
- All the "I'm not able to's"
- All the "not enough's"
- For every limiting belief - write a reframe
Here's a few examples from above:
- I'm not smart enough --- I'm learning and growing every day!
- I'm not good at that --- Up until now I haven't been good at that but I'm learning more every day
- I'm too old for that --- 70 is the new 50!
- Life is a struggle --- Life is a challenge but I see the opportunity in every challenge and I'm on it!
Have fun with this. Rewrite your script and you rewrite your life!
About 30 years ago I studied the work of Dr Irving Oyle. Dr. Oyle was an MD. He was one of the first physicians who parted company with the medical professions' belief that illness was purely a physical phenomena.
Long before it had become a popular concept, Dr. Oyle spoke of the mind-body connection. He said that repetitive negative thoughts and emotions can be detrimental to our health. Further, he said that positive thoughts released positive chemicals in the body that led to enhanced health and well being.
Dr. Oyle left the medical profession and went on to speak about these concepts as early as 1978. He coined the phrase 'Joy Juice' as the chemical release that accompanied happy thoughts and emotions. I thought the phrase so appropriate that I've used it ever since.
What is your joy juice factor?
- What do you really enjoy doing?
- What makes your heart sing?
- What nourishes your spirit?
- What replenishes your energy?
- What are you grateful for in your life?
I invite you to join me in this exploration. Using these questions as a guide, make a list of all the things that bring you pleasure and joy.
My short list includes:
- Watching the sun set every evening
- Going for a long slow swim in the afternoon
- Reading books on everything from neuroscience to leadership
- Driving cross country
- Talking-story with my dearest friends
- Sitting and just 'being' with family
- Calling my mother for a chat
- Sitting in a hot tub under the stars
I could go on.... But what's your Joy Juice list? Just hit the talking bubble at the bottom of this blog and let me hear your JJ list! And remember that Joy Juice is the secret to long life and well being so do something or some things that make you happy every day.
Whatever or wherever your birth, it is not your birthright! You were born to be far more than you are and to go farther and do more than anyone had ever conceived you to be capable of. We are remarkable beings with the power of free will.
We usually sense this every year when we make that New Year's promise to ourselves. However, we often get caught in old habits, habits of thought that keep us on the treadmill of our old ways.
Scientists tell us that the average human being thinks approximately 50,000 to 65,000 thoughts a day and that very few of these thoughts are ever really new. In fact, they say, if you study your thoughts you’ll begin to notice that at least 95% of what you’re thinking today, you were thinking yesterday. If you continue to trace your thought patterns through time, you will notice that most of them have been recycled year after year ad infinitum.
Because our patterns of thought have seemingly been with us forever, and because we rarely study our thinking, our thought processes, for the most part, remain unconscious. Thought are things! These unconscious thought patterns control and direct our behavior. That is why old habits can usurp your goals for change.
Have you kept the flame of your New Year's Resolution burning or is only an ember of the fire left. It's January! There is still time to recommit!
Remember to remember that your life circumstances do not determine your life: YOU DO! We are great beings bound on a mighty adventure, the adventure of our lives. Remember that the only decision that matters is the one you make right now! Then enjoy the journey.
I am bound on this great journey with you. So all of this is also a reminder to myself! My own resolution was to take one more step in improving my listening. I vowed to stop the mental chatter, still my mind and be fully present when I'm being with someone.
Because listening isn't a product. It can't be done and then ticked off. It's an ongoing process so every time I'm in an interaction, I have to remind myself to be still, let go of my old perceptions and just be with the person.
And I have to remember that the only moment that counts is the one we are in right now and the only important decision is the next one we make!
You are not your body. But you are living in a body. You are not your mind. But you have a mind. So it's best to understand how to manage it for best results! And understanding the power of habits can help a lot!
If we didn't have habits, we'd get up in the morning... or we wouldn't. Then we'd go to the basin to brush our teeth... or we wouldn't.
When a 2 year old doesn't brush his teeth, he's in a learning mode. But when a 30 year old doesn't brush his teeth, he has a social problem!
We need habits - healthy habits, that is, because healthy habits set us free!
Healthy habits give us time for higher order thinking. How often have you found yourself planning your day on the drive to work... or thinking through a conversation you want to have with your spouse as you're on your way home from work... or mentally walking through how to broach an uncomfortable conversation with one of your people at work while you're taking a shower.
Putting certain repetitive behaviors on automatic while the brain goes on a private vision quest to plan or find solutions to problems is how our body-minds conserve time and energy. If we had to think about every single thing we do every day, there would be no time for higher order thinking - ever!
Instead, we go on auto-pilot every day at some time or other. When our habits kick in, our brain goes on a creative adventure - whether strategizing, visioning, or problem solving. And in this way, automaticity provides for greater creativity.
This isn't new information. We all know that we should form healthy habits. In fact, most of us know how to make our lives better - more happy and successful. It isn't that we lack knowledge. It isn't even that we lack execution.
We decide what we want. We see it. We feel it. We can almost taste it. Notice the 'almost'. We take a stand for the new vision. We launch the exercise program. We start the diet. We start like a steam engine. We roar ahead with vigor for the vision and then we lose steam.
Most of us don't quit intentionally.
But when the evidence doesn't show up quickly enough, when the going gets tough or we aren't in the mood, we just kind of peter out. When we don't get the immediate feedback we need our enthusiasm dwindles. Our passion evaporates. And we stop just before the miracle.
So here is the secret that leads to success:
- Take a stand for your vision. Start your exercise program. Or take up the new hobby you've been thinking about. Take the first step; do something!
- Do it with no expectation of an immediate result.
- Even when there is no evidence of a change, keep doing it. Know that you are laying new neural pathways in your brain and that it takes time.
- Eventually, the new pathways will become deeply entrenched. And as they do, the old neural pathways will begin to prune themselves from disuse.
- It is then that the evidence will begin to show up.
So what is the difference between mediocrity and brilliance?
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Neuroscientist tell us that there is more neural real-estate allocated to negativity than positivity. This means there is more brain mass and there are more connections in the brain dedicated to spotting danger.
Obviously this was important when we were tribal wanderers. However, now we're living in cities and the dangers are less catastrophic! At least you probably won't lose your life over them.
Now consider this; thoughts are things. Every repetitive thought that we have, begins to lay neural networks in our brain. The more the repetition, the more complex and intense the network.
So what is an affirmation? It is something you continually affirm. This is especially important to understand when you realize that the brain has a natural proclivity to look for danger rather than the fun stuff. So we could be affirming more of the negative than the positive.
Think of some of the repetitive thoughts that flow through your brain. Do they fall into any of these categories listed below?
- Fear of success
- Fear of failure
- Procrastination - or failure to act
- Self limiting beliefs
- Fear of being judged
- Fear of losing love or not being loved
So the question is - What are you affirming on a daily basis? The thoughts may not even be strong thoughts. They may be whispered messages just at, or even below, the level of consciousness.
Our subconscious mind drives our behavior. So if your subconscious mind is loaded with negative affirmations (things that you have affirmed repeatedly), you will tend to sabotage your results or settle for less than you want out of life.
It's time for some core training for your brain! Follow the steps below to your true personal freedom.
- List the 5-7 top thoughts that affect you in a negative way.
- Write a powerful positive affirmation that counters it.
- Put the affirmation in a place that you can see it every day.
- Read it daily and as you do visualize and feel it as if it were already so. And so it shall be!
The brain doesn't know the difference between an imagined event and a real event. To the brain it is all real. So by doing this 4-step process you will begin to lay new positive neural networks in the brain. As you continue your daily praxis (action Vs theory), the brain will then prune the old unused neural pathways.
Core training for the brain is your path to freedom. Walk it... Or run it with me!
Thoughts are things! And the biggest barrier to manifesting the things that we desire, is the inner critic or self-judgment. Planet Earth is a giant classroom. As human beings, we weren't made perfect. The planetary training is a training in self-growth.
It could be said that we are perfect in our imperfections. If we embrace our imperfections, we accept ourselves just the way we are and the way we are not.
There is something truly wonderful in this. Thoughts turn into things! And because thought energy is extremely powerful. It both turns into things and attracts things to us.
To take this one step further, the thought energy of resistance causes persistence. Said another way, 'what we resist persists'. If we resist our limitations and imperfections, we get more of them.
If we embrace ourselves with all our foibles and release our resistance. Then the 'Law of Allowing' kicks in. The law of allowing says that when we stop resisting and accept what is, blocked energy begins to flow.
Stop self-criticism and self-judgment. Accept yourself just the way you are and the way you are not. Let yourself be okay with yourself and energy will start to flow.
For myself, everything shifted the day I accepted myself just the way I am. It was my personal watershed event!
Einstein said, "The only question pertinent to mankind is, 'IS THE UNIVERSE FRIENDLY?'
Well I decided that the universe is friendly and that I am loved by some force greater than myself. If I am loved by (The Force), then how dare I not love myself?
Go on a one day self-judgment fast:
- Breathe - Be aware of your breath.Practice conscious breathing during the course of the day.(This changes the firing of the neurons in the brain and anchors a moment of self-awareness.)
- Pay attention to your attention. Ask yourself, 'where is my attention now?'
- In these moments of conscious awareness, embrace everything that is happening in that moment. Accept the moment and yourself in that moment, just as it is without adding your opinions or judgment to it.
Remember to remember - You are loved! And as you do, everything changes forever. Accepting that you are loved makes the heart happy and a happy heart causes the energy of life to flow again attracting all good things to you.
If thoughts turn into things then your mind is a great 'manifestor'. When viewed in this way, were it not for our negative subconscious programming, we would be incredible intention generators.
Let's put that another way. We already are incredible intention generators. However, what we are manifesting maybe less than EXACTLY what we want because all of the subconscious programming that gets into the mix along with our pure intention.
It's as we went to bake chocolate chip cookies. But when they were done they tasted like a combination of hazel butter and chocolate chips because a few hidden ingredients got into the mix. And although the result may taste good, it isn't quite what we intended.
Our life results sometimes appear that way. Like something strange got into the mix and it turned out to be our lives.
Now here's the good news! There are so many new clearing tools and methods available on the planet at this time. These allow us the opportunity to take responsibility for much of our own subconscious clearing and transformation. Many of these provide us with never before known avenues of self-healing.
One such avenue available over the past 25 years is something called TFT, EFT or Meridian Tapping. The original work was done by Dr. Roger Callahan. From the time of its inception, it has gone into the hands of hundreds of credible therapists who are now teaching it all over the world.
Here is a little private introduction to EFT by Dr. Tate Rolfs. Dr. Rolfs demonstrates a method of relieving stress by balancing the parasympathetic nervous system using EFT or Meridian Tapping. This is a very informal sharing but I wanted to share it with you.
Thoughts are things!! Every repetitive thought that we think eventually becomes reality.
Our brain is magnificent! In fact, neuro-scientists tell use that the human brain is the most powerful processor and solution generator on the planet.
We know that human intention can and does influence material and properties in a significant way. We are all equally powerful in our ability and our creative capacity to shape the world around us and to have a direct impact on our planet. We affect the world around us whether we are consciously intending to or not.
When we we utilize our heart and combine our thoughts with our feelings, scientists tell us that this energetic combination is more powerful than a radio transmission. With constant random thoughts and repetitive patterns of thoughts and feelings we are accidentally or unintentionally creating our reality all day long.
It is time to practice a higher heart wisdom and practice mind management.
Remember to remember that you will rise to the level of the visions that you hold and the conversations you have with yourself. Consciously or unconsciously, your inner visions and your inner voice direct your reality. So lets be conscious!
- Envision the life you would like to have.
- Create a powerful positive present tense mantra that states that you already have it
- Repeat the mantra every morning, every evening and whenever you think of it.
- Energize it with gratitude that this new reality is happening now.
- Continue to do this every day and your world will begin to shift from so-so or even good, to sublime
Here are two simple examples:
- I am so thankful and happy now that money is coming to me consistently and on an ever increasing basis from various sources.
- I am ever grateful for my personal presence and energy in working with my team as I inspire them to achieve our team goals.
So there it is! Keep your heartfelt emotions and thoughts positive. Create a powerful positive mantra for your success in an area (one at a time). Repeat the mantra as often as possible. Act as if it already is what you want it to be. "So be it as I speak it," is the thought that activates and attracts the energy of success!
Just because we don't see our thoughts, doesn't mean they aren't real. As we discussed in the last post, some of the most powerful light waves are not visible to the human eye. Thoughts fly out from our minds in the same way that sound travels out from its source. And, the more emotion you add to the thought, the more powerful it is.
Now let's go back to the phrase that set off this discussion. Let's consider the possibility that Thoughts might be things.
If thoughts were things, then I would definitely want to stop my
judgmental as well as my negative thinking. After all, we all know we make a difference. But these 'I make a difference team ' words have become merely a catchy phrase and we often tend to skim over its deeper meaning.
As a leader, my thoughts permeate the environment. At the level of leadership, I have to be responsible for my thinking regarding each member of my team as well as for my thoughts concerning the results we want to achieve. The power of our positive intention affects the department and/or the organization. It also affects the energy of the team and how our customers view us.
Not only do we make a difference, we ARE the difference. Begin to observe your thoughts and you will begin to notice the impact these thoughts have on those around you. Do a bit of mindfulness training and start with a commitment to keep your thoughts positive for just one day.
Make a game of it and keep a calender on the fridge or at the office. Track each day, but only commit to one positive thinking day at a time! See how far you can go in the process.
Try this thought: "For just this day, I will keep my thoughts positive in every way." Remember it takes 24-30 days to change a habit. So every time you think a negative or judgmental thought about anyone or anything, including yourself, take it from the top and start again.
Let us know your results. I'd love to hear.