Winning the Game of Life

Often, when we are excited about an idea, goal, or project, we expect the way forward to open easily before us. We feel so good that surly people will want to be cooperative, events will play in our favor, and we will sashay into the winners circle instantly without even breaking a sweat!

But is the joy of an easy win really all that satisfying? How many times do you play a game that’s too easy to play and win? For instance, how long did you want to play Tic Tac Toe (also called noughts and crosses in some parts) after you discovered that putting an X in the center almost always guarantees a win or draw?

What if our winning the game of life was so certain that to make it interesting, we voluntarily agreed to lose that knowledge so playing would become an act of faith? And what if our intention was to face limitations and obstacles so that the game would be challenging, and thus more fun?

Don’t poker players up the ante, thus upping the risk? Don’t golf and tennis players seek out better players to improve their game?

Why would the game of life be any different?

It can feel not so fun, however, when we lose sight of our unlimited potential, and so believe the falsehoods perpetuated by our inner Gremlin who tells us we’re not good enough and a society focused on fear that we buy-in to our powerlessness, lack, and limitations. We see problems and challenges as blocks we are powerless to navigate instead of opportunities to learn, grow, and evolve.

As a result, we can become depressed and overwhelmed instead of feeling passionate about playing the game.

What if the pain of being powerless was actually our Higher Coach letting us know that our thoughts and beliefs about how we’re playing the game aren’t accurate? And that all we have to do to engage in the game and have fun again is to align our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs with our actions?

Would you want to begin examining your thoughts and strive to focus on what feels good, and thus head where your Higher Coach is directing? Would you work to align your choices and actions with your inner values so that you were guaranteed of making decisions that move you towards who you truly are? Would you begin looking at every problem as an opportunity to engage rather than withdraw?

How would making those changes feel? What direction do you think that means your Higher Coach is encouraging you to go?

Your potential is unlimited. Use the blocks you encounter as opportunities to make the game of life more fun and interesting.

Together we can do it!

Photo by healingdream / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Believe It or Not!

Do you believe that optimal wellness is possible? Your answer will determine whether you can achieve it or not.

Beliefs are interesting—and powerful—things. When they are in alignment with who we want to be, they can enable us to achieve things that others believe to be impossible. When they are based on inaccurate thoughts about ourselves, other people, situations, or events, they can block us as effectively as a brick wall.

Take running a four-minute mile as an example. Lots of people do that regularly now, but in 1954 it was believed that running a four-minute mile was not only impossible, it was dangerous. Roger Bannister saw those limitations as an opportunity, and on May 6, 1954, he crossed the finish line in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. Once he did it, others believed it, and less than two months later another runner broke his record. Just a few weeks ago, Marathoner Patrick Makau averaged about 4 minutes, 43 seconds per mile, lowering the marathon world record by 21 seconds.

If you don’t believe something is possible, you may not even try to achieve it. If you do try, you aren’t likely to give it your all. There will always be a part of you holding back. It’s like having the parking brake on and wondering why you aren’t getting up to full speed.

My favorite definition is the one offered by Abraham-Hicks, “A belief is just a thought you keep thinking.”

When we examine our beliefs and look at the thoughts behind them, we can often determine if those thoughts are serving or hindering us. By shifting those limiting thoughts to ones that support us, we change our beliefs—and significantly improve the chances that we will achieve our goals.

Go back to the question I asked at the beginning of this blog. If you answered “No,” look at the reasons why you believe that. Where did those thoughts come from? How accurate are they? Has anyone else ever had a different outcome? What effect has that belief had on your life? Is that belief in alignment with who you want to be or how you want to live your life? How could you shift your underlying thoughts to support you in creating the life of your dreams?

Believing it is the first step in achieving it.

Together we can do it!

The Message in a Perfect Pair of Jeans

Clothes shopping used to be a nightmare. And nothing was worse than shopping for a pair of jeans. I might literally try on 50 pairs of jeans trying to find the one that didn’t emphasize all the wrong places. There were many shopping trips that I ended up in tears.

I can pinpoint when this started to change. This time last year, after losing about 30 pounds, it was clearly time to invest in some smaller clothes. I could wear my size 6 jeans from 20-odd years ago, but even though they hadn’t been worn much—I never stayed at a size 6 for very long—I thought this time I deserved a new pair.

While I was excited, those old negative thoughts about shopping started to bubble up. By the time the weekend shopping trip came around, I was in a full-blown panic. Sure enough, the first store I went to didn’t have anything that I thought looked good—even though I was fitting into size 4 and 6 pants. That alone should have sent me over the moon!

That old sense of dread returned as my husband drove me to a department store, and I was tempted just to go home and order some pants online—my old standby. Why put myself through this torture?

As we walked up to the front doors, I realized what I was doing. I was just creating the same old reality with all this old negative thinking. I was in such a state that even if I tried on the perfect pair of jeans, I probably would have thought they looked terrible. I couldn’t see anything other than what I was expecting.

So I took a deep breath and reached for a better feeling thought. “They have lots of clothes here. There’s bound to be something that makes me look and feel good. I am wearing smaller sizes than ever before and my body shape has changed. Maybe I just need to try a different style than I normally wear.”

It wasn’t a huge mental shift. But it didn’t have to be. It was enough of a change in my thought process that I felt a sense of relief. That was all that was necessary.

My husband, David, went with me to look through the pile of jeans. They were having a sale, which is always a bonus! I was selecting a few pairs of jeans to try on when David handed me a pair of Levi’s. They were a style that had never looked good on me, so I was skeptical, but I told myself to remain open to possibilities, and took them to the dressing room .

Surprisingly, all the jeans I tried on looked pretty good. But as I slipped on the Levi’s, they fit perfectly! I turned and looked in the mirror and for the first time maybe ever I loved what I saw! Woo hoo! I had finally found the perfect pair of jeans!

I learned right there that just because I’ve had a bad experiences in the past doesn’t mean that I am destined to repeat that same scenario for eternity. But it took me shifting my thoughts, beliefs, and expectations even just a little so that I could see the experience as new.

Now, I actually enjoy shopping and it doesn’t take me long to find many things that look good. I’m not sure that I’ll ever be a shopaholic, but it’s definitely fun!

A few weeks ago, I pulled on those jeans after of summer of wearing shorts. It felt awesome to have them still fit perfectly.

Together we can do it!

Stressed Out! Moving from Victim to Empowered

“Stress isn’t something that happens to someone. It’s something someone feels about what’s happening. Your capacity to deal with any outer situation is based on your inner perspective. . . How we see ourselves determines everything.”

Bruce D. Schneider, Energy Leadership

Are you a victim of stress?

I used to believe stress was created by the situation I was in and that I was powerless to do anything but get through the stressful situation as best as I could.

Now I know that if I see myself as capable, confident, energetic, empowered, and engaged, I will not have the same stress reaction to a deadline, conflict, or anything else in my life that I would if I see myself as overworked, limited, tired, overwhelmed, unappreciated, and unworthy.

The only thing that is different is my perception of where I am in relationship to what is happening.

We are so much more powerful than most of us realize. And we are the creators of the limitations—and the success—that we experience. All it takes is a slight shift in how we see ourselves.

Now when I am feeling stressed, I recognize that I have limited self-thinking going on and can look for ways to shift that faulty belief.

Because I am capable, confident, energetic, empowered, and engaged. And so are you! You just have to find it inside of yourself, and believe it.

Together we can do it!