I Surrender

The Universe does a good job of keeping me humble.

It’s not lost on me that I’m scheduled to present information to colleagues next week on being empowered to choose our responses and twice in the past few days I have not shown up as the best possible version of me.

Yesterday, in fact, was pretty much a textbook example of first victim and then anger responses.

Good show Universe! Good show!

Seriously, I really do appreciate the mirror and the opportunity to clean up my own act. If we are not aware of how we are showing up, how can we change?

This is one of the purposes of stretching, growing, and evolving. Each step gives us the opportunity to become even more.

But it’s up to us to take that step.

I suspect I could fill you all in on the details and get at least most of you to agree that I am “right.” That my point of view is clear and logical, and that the path I point to is the “best.”

But the inner world is not the appropriate arena for consensus. Agreement will just keep me stuck in the destructive, negative catabolic emotions, and that truly benefits no one.

It negatively impacts my body, mind, and spirit. And that destructive power reaches out and brings others down with it. Righteous indignation is not the same as right. Rather, it is a sign of being out of alignment with Who you really are and that more introspection is needed.

You can think of it as a coin. On one side of the coin is the problem and on the other is the solution.

If you are stuck on the problem side of the coin, all you will see is the problem. You will talk about it, rail, and rant against it, and get people to rail and rant with you, but when you are on that side of the coin you will not see the solution.

Switching sides of the coin means switching the mindset with which you look at the problem.

Einstein expressed this beautifully when he said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Instead of looking at a problem and feeling apathy or anger, it means shifting our mindset to being hopeful, open, and curious.

So how do you shift you mindset from the problem to the solution?

Here’s the process I have gone through so far:

Distract yourself—When you are in the throes of an angry, catabolic reaction get off the topic so that you can cool down. Last night, my husband David and I chose to watch a movie so that I could focus on something else. This was great as it enabled me to go to bed and get some sleep.

Feel the emotion—When my eyes popped open at 3:30 a.m., I actually felt OK. But as soon as I turned my thoughts to the topic, the catabolic emotion sprang back to the surface in a powerful way. I got up and let myself fully feel it. Often people avoid their powerful emotions, but that just prolongs the pain and catabolic energy.

Meditate—Once I was calmed down, I was able to focus on clearing my mind, which helped raise my energy and mood.

What’s at the root?—From this more constructive, anabolic place I was able to look at what was really going on. What was I really reacting to? What made me feel the need to dig in my heels? How important was it really?

Surrender—There is nothing to gain here by holding on to my one “right” way. The sooner I let go of this, the sooner we can find the solutions.

Trust—I use Jerry Hick’s mantra that, “Everything is always working out for me.” What I really want is on its way to me. My path—and the solutions—will be clearer if I just focus on that, and let the rest unfold.

There is no one “right” way to do anything. When you surrender and release the painful emotions, the solutions will be clearer.

Together we can do it!

Dang That’s Judgmental

One of the things I love about stepping outside my comfort zone is that my shadow side may show up. That’s the part of me that is insecure, defensive, judgmental—you get the idea. It’s an amazing opportunity to practice showing up as authentically me—regardless of the people or situation.

The authentic me is loving and accepting. The authentic me sees my value—and the value in each person and situation. The authentic me knows that there are no mistakes and that the diversity of people and opinions is what makes the world go round. The authentic me knows that speaking my truth with ease and grace will be a gift to others, even if it doesn’t seem like it in the moment.

If I am acting out of anger, frustration, defensiveness, fear, judgment, or condemnation, I’m not being authentically me—and I have the opportunity to make a difference choice.

The onus is on me to stay connected to my Higher Self (God, All-That-Is, Universe, Source—whatever works for you) and to pay attention if I am coming from a place of love or a place of anger, a place of appreciation or a place of fear.

One way for you to stay authentic and maintain your connection to your Higher Self in relationships—particularly if you have a history of pushing each other’s buttons—is to actively focus on all the good qualities of the other person. To literally practice seeing them in the best light.

There are a couple of ways to do this.

Create a list of all the things about the other person that you appreciate, and read and add to it every day.

Practice a visualization. See yourself bathed in a golden light that feels like joy and love, and then expand that light to include other people. First extend the light to the people you love and get along with easily. As the light grows brighter and more powerful, expand it to include more challenging people.

You may think that it’s the other person who needs to change so that you all can get along, but you are contributing just as much to the difficult dynamics. It’s up to you to show up differently.

The only person you can control is you. Choose now how you want to show up.  Practice showing up authentically.

And if you do react in a less than ideal way—as I guarantee that you sometimes will—the primary thing to do is forgive yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. Just pick yourself up and keep practicing being the best possible version of you so you show up more authentically the next time.

Together we can do it!

Don’t Hold Back

Woo hoo! After two days of giving my squished foot some rest, I got in an upper body workout this morning.

After taking a moment to pat myself on the back for getting back on the exercise wagon, I took a look at the quality of my workout.

Hmm. I definitely held back. Out of curiosity, I asked myself “why?”

The answer was fear. Fear of hurting my foot and fear of the pain I might create.

“Perfectly normal,” you might say. After all, I did just give my foot a pretty significant whack with a grooming table.

But as Bruce Schneider likes to say, “Normal does not mean necessary.”

In this case, the most discomfort I had was putting on my shoe. Sure, I had some touchy moments here and there, but once I established a way to do each exercise comfortably, why didn’t I give it my all?

Recognizing that I was acting from the fear of the pain I might experience was one of the “ah-ha” opportunities from this whole situation.

How often have I held back from life not because of the pain I was experiencing, but because of the fear of pain?

The answer is “a lot,” and I don’t think I’m alone here.

One of the first things we often do when reaching for something new is to throw a bunch of “but what if” scenarios in our way. That can easily stop us right there. That worst case scenario is just too big a risk–and creates too much fear.

Most of the time, however, we aren’t really risking that worst case scenario. Sure, theoretically it might be possible that I could lift so heavy a weight that I could damage my foot and extend my recovery time, but how likely is that? Not very. Particularly without the warning signs of some significant pain. There’s a big difference between “Youch!” and “that hurts.”

Letting go of the fear of pain and actually embracing the pain we are facing is one way we master life. Truly living fully includes those painful moments. By limiting or trying to escape or control painful situations we limit the joyful and exhilarating moments in our life, too.

And ultimately, do I want the foundation of my life to be fear or love? I believe the stronger foundation for my actions—and therefore my life—is love.

The quickest way to shift from fear to love is to change the underlying thoughts.

For me, that means changing my thoughts about what I can do and rethinking what I am capable of. It means encouraging myself to test the limits more and not just hold back without knowing them. And it means accepting and embracing any pain I might encounter, rather than seeing pain as failure.

And these are lessons I want to take beyond my next workout.

Together we can do it!

Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

Mastering the Game of Life

There’s a part of me that thinks, “I don’t want any obstacles in life.” I’d like everything that I do and face to be easy, and everything that I want to immediately be given. In fact, I’d like to just skip along and have everything magically appear, thank you very much.

But I think the gift from All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source Energy, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) is that life doesn’t always work that way.

The bigger part of us wants challenges and obstacles because that’s what makes life interesting, and gives it texture and interest. If everything was too easy, it would get pretty darn boring and we might start poking things with a stick to see if we could stir up some trouble.

I’m learning to embrace the blocks or challenges that I encounter as the opportunities they truly are to make the journey to fulfillment more fun and interesting! It’s the journey where life is happening, not the destination or the goal achieved.

Think of it like a chess game or tennis match. If you’re a really good player, it’s not very much fun to play with people who are less skilled than you. Really good players seek out players who are even better than they are so that they continue to learn, grow, and evolve. The exhilaration is in the challenge of the game, and the reach to learn and Be just a bit better.

But the problems and obstacles of life can sure get our attention. They distract us from the beauty of the path we‘re walking and the really wonderful things that are all around us. We kind of glance around and acknowledge that there are bunnies, butterflies, and sunsets. We sort of see the flowers and feel the gentle breezes on our cheeks, but mostly we try to get everyone else to focus on this horrendous problem we are facing and how horrible it is that we have to deal with it.

Even little problems can distract us. In yesterday’s blog I wrote about dropping a grooming table on my foot the night before. The fabulous news is that it’s healing amazingly quickly. Really, it’s pretty miraculous just how quickly and effectively my body is dealing with this little injury.

Interestingly, I woke up this morning way more focused on what I can’t do, rather than what I can. I had to consciously shift my mindset away from not being able to work out and engage in my normal routine for a couple of days, and instead focus on the peace of the morning, how sweet it was to have all four of our pets circled around me, and how nice it is that I get to have a bit of lie-in for a few days. Those are gifts that I can fully enjoy, or I can miss because of being focused on the problem rather than the opportunity.

Where are you more focused on the problem or obstacle you are facing, rather than the opportunities being presented? How could shifting your mindset and focus change the experience? What difference does that make to how much you’re enjoying the journey?

Together we can do it!



Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net


I’m Healthy and I Know It!

Last night after brushing our very furry Keeshond dogs, I picked up the grooming table to put it away and dropped it on the ball-joint of my foot. To say it hurt is an understatement. It hurt so much, in fact, that I thought I had broken it.

After hearing the crash and racing up the stairs, my fabulous husband found me writhing on the floor with my foot already turning dark shades.

Remembering the RICE rule (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), David immediately got me up on the sofa to ice and elevate my foot. Once the initial wave of pain eased, I hobbled into the bedroom where I remained for the rest of the night.

For about the first 20 minutes, I lay there trying to think about how I could alter my exercise routine to work around my injury. As I pushed myself up to a sitting position to take some Advil, I realized I’d also hurt my hand.

As if reading my mind, David said, “I think it’s safe to say this is going to impact your workout routine.”

In the past, this is where I would have started freaking out. Visions of backsliding and weight gain would have filled my mind. I would have been totally focused on the worst-case scenario.

Ahh, I love how much I have changed.

Instead, I made peace with it, started looking for the opportunities, and invited in wellness.

My thoughts went something like this:

This is temporary. I will heal and recover and I will be working out to full capacity again in no time. And there will be a lot of opportunities to get creative with how I move my body. Just because I’m injured doesn’t mean I can’t do anything. And just think about how much I will appreciate my feet during this time.

And I know the amazing power of All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source Energy, Higher Coach—whatever works for you.) The moment that I hurt my foot I was asking vibrationally for healing and a return to wellness, and I know that when we ask, it is given.

My wellness will return as rapidly as I am open to receiving it.

I then took 30 minutes to meditate and used any time I was awake during the night to relax into my wellness.

After awaking at my normal time, I asked my body if it would prefer me to get up and try to do some kind of workout, or if I should sleep. An immediate jab of pain in my foot seemed to answer that rest is what I needed, so I turned over.

When I did get up, I was amazed to find that the bruising and swelling was almost completely gone and while still tender and sore, I can walk fairly easily. While flip-flops will be my footwear of choice for a few days and I will want to continue to rest, ice, and elevate, my hand and foot are going to be back to normal in no time.

Even better is that I feel great this morning and am ready to embrace my day. With different thoughts, I would have woken exhausted and pessimistic.

How we respond truly makes a huge difference in how we experience life. What can you do to change your thoughts about a “negative” situation? How does that change your experience of it? What might be the value in continually reaching for a more “positive” perspective?

Together we can do it!

Photo of our dogs Buffy (left) and Willow by Hansje Gold-Krueck

What An Opportunity!

One of the empowerment principles I love is, “There are no problems. There are no challenges. There are only opportunities.”

As you begin practicing this, it’s easy to see how true it is.

While it can be challenging at first, when you stop yourself from negatively reacting to something and shift your mental focus from the problem to how you can use the situation to learn and grow, your mind shifts in the direction you are pointing it and provides the things you seek.

To make the shift, you may have to let go of all the things that “could” go wrong and ask yourself how the situation might actually be helpful—for you and others—how you might be able to see things differently, and how you can trust that things are unfolding just as they should.

In other words, you rationalize your way out of fear or anger. It’s a fabulous tool for shifting from negative, catabolic energy where you are at the effect of people, situations, thoughts, emotions, and events, to begin looking for and seeing the solutions and potential.

As you practice releasing the catabolic energy by moving away from your well-rehearsed and automatic reactions, you connect with higher levels of positive anabolic energy that truly help you see not only the opportunities in every situation, but how the solutions can benefit each person involved.

It is the Yin/Yang of the Universe—for every problem there is an equal and proportionate solution. The opportunity and solution are always there, but you must first raise your gaze from the memorizing specter of the train-wreck that is the problem, and look for the opportunities.

As you practice making this mental shift you begin creating new reactions to problems so that one day, you bypass the rationalization step and your automatic response is to see all the opportunities and solutions. You no longer have to dip down into the catabolic energy and then turn your focus towards digging your way out of the morass. That frees up mental and physical energy that you can use to help create the life of your dreams.

What can you do to begin—or to practice—looking for the opportunity in every situation? What benefits might there be in experiencing more positive anabolic energy? What difference would that make to your life?

Together we can do it!

Photo by scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net