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Archive for May, 2011

You Want WHO to Change?

“The most efficient pathway to God is through a committed relationship”

Ram Das

  

The word committed in the above quote is important because a committed relationship can be in any form, but it is one you don’t leave. It is one where you commit to work things out through thick and thin. Anybody can quit a relationship and walk out, or avoid in other ways like stopping talking, avoiding confrontation, being unwilling to listen or change. That’s easy and growth will not happen. But when one is committed, one takes on the challenge and opportunity to grow immensely because one is challenged to face problems and breakdowns head on and is especially challenged to face one’s OWN life lessons.

Most people think that if the other person in their committed relationship would only change then everything would be fine. We hear ourselves say, “If my husband would just come home when he says he will” or “If my employees would only work harder” or “If my kids would just stop fighting.” They launch into a campaign to “fix” the other person, but to no avail because,

No matter how hard you work on the wrong thing, it makes no difference!

Those of you who have worked on relationships with me have heard me say many, many times that we attract the perfect people to teach us the lessons WE need to learn in this lifetime to spiritually grow and evolve as human beings on this planet.

For example, have you ever been irritated at your partner for dawdling or for being late or for repeating the same silly mistake over and over? Perhaps your lesson is patience or acceptance.

Has your partner ever been irritated at you for dawdling, being late or repeating the same silly mistake over and over again? Perhaps your lesson is to be proactive in your planning, or to keep your word or to stay conscious.

To have a committed relationship “work” (as a marriage, a friendship, a parent-child or work relationship) you will be required to learn these lessons and every time you do, you will grow as a spiritual being.

By spiritual, I don’t necessarily mean religious. I know plenty of people who claim to be religious who aren’t spiritual. The spiritual part of you is the part that walks the High Road. The part that is all forgiving, all loving and all accepting – the part of you that stands for justice and truth. We are all familiar with that side of ourselves yet, if you are like most of us, you can slip off this path pretty easily and many times it is because of a breakdown within a committed relationship. When you find your emotions being triggered by another person, what is it you need to learn about yourself? If your wife makes you angry (maybe you need to learn understanding or self control). If your husband pushes you around (learn to hold your personal boundaries). If your boss makes you want to gossip (learn loyalty or minding your own business). If your children make you yell (learn patience or more effective ways to communicate). If you stop talking to a friend (learn forgiveness or a willingness to confront difficult conversations). I don’t know what it is for you personally, but when emotions are triggered, ask yourself, “What is the lesson here for me? What do I need to learn?”

A lesson will be served until it is learned. Have you ever noticed yourself having the same negative reaction over and over? Have you noticed how you are repeatedly upset with the other person in your relationship because they are doing the same irritating things again and again? That’s because you haven’t learned YOUR lesson yet. As soon as you do, the problem will go away. Notice I didn’t say the OTHER person would change. They might. They might not. I simply said the problem would go away.

Lessons are never ending. As soon as you learn one lesson, another will soon follow and your perfect teacher will be there to serve it to you. If you resist learning this reality of life perhaps your lesson is: humility or to surrender and accept. It is what it is. Your path to spiritual evolvement won’t change and it won’t stop sending you lessons. Ever.

 

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Five Monkeys in a Cage

 

 

Five Monkeys in a Cage 

  

"If you start with a cage containing five monkeys and inside the cage, hang a banana on a string from the top and then you place a set of stairs under the banana, before long a monkey will go to the stairs and climb toward the banana.  

As soon as he touches the stairs, you spray all the other monkeys with cold water. After a while another monkey makes an attempt with the same result ... all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put the cold water away. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and attempts to climb the stairs. To his shock, all of the other monkeys beat the crap out of him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be assaulted. 

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys, replacing it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment... with enthusiasm. 

Then, replace a third original monkey with a new one, followed by a fourth, then the fifth.  Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him up have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs. Neither do they know why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey. 

Finally, having replaced all of the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys will have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, none of the monkeys will try to climb the stairway for the banana. 

Why, you ask?  Because in their minds...that is the way it has always been!

                                                                                        Author Unknown

 

What you love, you empower, and

What you fear, you empower, and

What you empower, you attract, and

What you attract becomes your reality.

                                                                                        

Look around you. What negative, self-limiting behaviors might you be demonstrating?  What and who are you continually attracting into your life? Is it positive or negative? Based in abundance or scarcity? Trust or fear? 

Do you find yourself complaining a lot? Do you try to engage others in complaining, too?  Are you upset or angry at someone?  Do you talk about or think about that person frequently? What negative belief have you unconsciously "bought into" that would have you act this way?

Observe yourself and notice the amount of time and energy you spend focusing on what you don't like or on what you are afraid might happen. Do you realize that this focus is actually empowering those same things to be drawn to you? Do you realize that when they do enter your life, you get to be right?  But you may not even know what you are getting to be right about!  Many of our beliefs and behaviors are unconsciously driven by patterns we have adopted from a variety of places: from the past, from things we have heard from others or from unjustified fears, and we go on "automatic pilot".  We simply continue with the same self-destructive patterns and habits and before long we become addicted to them.  They run us.  We don't run them and they are to our detriment.

Time to wake up.  Stay conscious.  To make a positive change in your life, what do you need to focus on with all of your energy? What do you need to let go of?  What fears do you need to move through?  What are you pretending not to know?   What are you unconsciously doing that is hurting or limiting you and those around you?

Always look TO the positive, look FOR the positive, look for how it is ALREADY generating itself in your life and work space. Breathe life into it and watch it grow. You are more powerful than you ever imagined to be able to remove negativity from your experience. What you put out comes back to you. You are literally generating your own reality. 

 

Surely, we are smarter than monkeys. 

 

How can knowing this change your life?

 

 

Thank you to my friend Rebecca Lane for sending this story to me

 

  

 

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Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden

“I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.”

Jessica Dovey

Like everyone else who stands for freedom and justice, I am relieved to know that Osama Bin Laden has met his fate. He chose the game, he took the risks and he ultimately lost. That’s what happens when you play win/lose. So be it.

I am proud of the Navy Seals. I am proud of my President and the dignified manner in which he managed the entire operation and I am proud of the way we handled Bin Laden’s burial which was in keeping with his Muslim religion

But I cannot celebrate. This win/lose mentality simply fans the flames of hatred and makes people take sides. It is the same thinking that has divided our country for the past several years. We, who have access to at least some form of enlightenment within ourselves, have a responsibility to think and act differently.

I don’t need to see the graphic pictures and does the world really need to see more blood? He’s dead. Let’s rise above the theatrics and move on. There is far more power in our decisive actions than in our drama. Whether it’s the pathetic rantings by Charlie Sheen, the sad demise of Lindsay Lohan, or a world event such as this, we the people are the ones who feed upon this continuous outrageous sensationalism driven by the press.

Instead of celebrating someone’s death, let us simply acknowledge a job well done. That alone sends a clear message to others who intend to threaten our safety. Dragging out his death only diminishes us and makes them want to hurt us more. Let’s stop the cycle now.

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Are You Co-Dependent?

“Who Am I?

If I speak, I am condemned.

If I stay silent, I am damned.”

Les Miserables

 

 

Codependency

I think it started with my mother.
Is she happy? Is she sad?
Did, once again, I make her mad?

And my father…
Am I good enough?
Is he proud?
He tells me, what, out of life, I’m allowed.

Friends are my company and what will they think of me?
What will I wear?
What will I do?
It seems to always be up to you.

And my lover, too dear.
Losing you is my greatest fear.
I’ll follow to the ends of the earth!
You tell me what I am worth…

Can I do this?
Will you do it too?
May I have that? (I haven’t a clue…)
And when I’m unhappy,
I get to blame you.”

valerie wilhelm ©1992

Taking accountability (100% ownership) of one’s life – one’s actions, reactions,
inactions and the results they produce, is one of the most frightening yet
freeing experiences one could ever face. How desperately we cling to the
limiting beliefs and fears. How dependent we are on the victim we believe
ourselves to be and how we are repeatedly attracted to the same
self-destructive relationships over and over again. Given how unwilling we are
to step out of the darkness into the empty space of possibility, it can be no
other way.

People complain bitterly about the pain yet refuse to let it go. For who are they
without it? They’ve been doing it for so long, they have forgotten who they are. People allow fear to keep them from facing fear and so once again it runs their
lives, blinding them to the answers that have always been right in front of them.You know all of this and you know you know it but have you have been pretending that you don’t? All you have to do is let go . . .  and you will be free.

“What are you pretending not to know?”

 

Thank you to Valerie Wilhelm, my friend and former student for her poem

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