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Friday, December 31, 2010

Thank you notes.....great exercise for appreciating all the help you have

In my last post, I mentioned a tweet that I received fro Tom Peters about using the normally slow week between Christmas and New Years to hand write 25 thank you notes to individuals that helped me this past year. What a great idea, so I bought 25 thank you notes and sat down to start writing. The usual suspects came to mind quickly, but I was distracted somewhat......which is my way of telling myself I was not fully aligned for this task. So I do what I always do when I recognize any resistance and got quite and cleared my mind and got curious to see what might emerge. A list, just like that, the thought came to make a list to insure that I included everyone that had been of help to me this year. Now I know a list is not earth shattering for many people, but I could tell there was a very good reason for making a list, I could feel it.

Well, "The list" now required another twenty five thank you notes. I'm fortunate to have a lot of people that were willing o be very helpful to me this past year. Once I had my list of peeps to thank, I began writing the notes and for each person that I wrote to I was reminded of great effort, sometimes sacrifice and always good will offered in interactions I had with them. Talk about a rampage of appreciation!!! The process took several hours but very enjoyable hours.

Appreciation is for you more than it is for the person or thing you are appreciating. I intend to appreciate things much more in 2011, and so should you. Appreciation is a good place to be, when you are appreciative your setting the tone for more things to be appreciative of in your future. By the way, I appreciate each of you readers for the views this year, you in Russia, you in Sweden, Slovenia, Germany, China, The United Arab Emerates, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and of course throughout the US.

In case you are interested, the most viewed post was "Ending of a relationship" followed closely by "Aligned Parenting". Have a great New Year and make it what you want it to be.......You can, you know!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

You chose to be here at this time in these circumstances

Do you believe that? That you chose to be here right now with the intention of experiencing everything that is going on right now? At the end of the day, most people don't believe that. Do you believe that you are a divine, eternal being and that you are experiencing this world but are not of it? If you are like most people, you do not. Now how can I say that most people do not believe these statements? Look around. We get what we are, and not necessarily what we want!

Most people act as if they believe life happens to them, that life is bigger than they are and they have very little control over the experiences they have. It would be very difficult to believe you chose to be here right now if you believe life happens to you. On the other hand, in one moment you can change your perspective and embrace the knowledge that you in fact did choose to be here right now. And that everything that you have experienced so far was for a reason. Which perspective is more empowering? Which perspective is adding to life and not subtracting from life? Which perspective is coming from Love and which is coming from Fear? Which perspective is expansive and which is contracting? Which perspective is deliberate and which is happen stance? I think you get the picture!! At least I hope you do.

As we come up on the new year, 2011, I challenge you and myself to be much more deliberate in creating the experience that you live on a daily basis. Even on a momentary basis, just think "Is what I am doing right now adding to the expansion of life in general?", and if not rethink why your doing it and if just changing your perspective can make it so. It can, you know!!

For instance, I got a tweet from Tom Peters (one of my favorite people) this morrning that said to use this normally slow week of the year to hand write 25 thank you notes to people that have helped me in some way this past year. BIG IDEA!!! Tom is full of BIG IDEAS!! Think of how each person will feel, especially when I articulate how what they helped me with meant to me? And better than that, how good I will feel?

Get deliberate about what you want to accomplish in 2011, and think about what you want to be, then be that!!

In the meantime, one of the things that I want to be in 2011 is more deliberate and proactive in giving back in a meaningful way, and I am soliciting ideas for projects that can accomplish this.......could be an existing charitable organization that needs some help in accomplishing their mission or it could be a completely new project that can contribute in some meaningful way to peoples lives.........I'm looking for ideas, so let me know any ideas that you may have, I plan to pick the one that resonates most with me and my highest goal and then set out to make it happen and using this forum to report on the progress being made.........so get creative and forward me ideas, please.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What are your thinking habits?

"Even people who are not geniuses can out think the rest of mankind if they develop certain thinking habits" ~ Charles Darwin

What are your thinking habits? Most people I talk with never even think about their habits of thought. Their thoughts have them rather than the individual being deliberate and having thoughts that support their desires. Why is that? Because we are lazy and sloppy when it comes to thinking. Yes, that's the bottom line, we are lazy and sloppy. But the good news is that lazy and sloppy can be transformed to deliberate and focused. The key to the transformation is what you believe about yourself, which is nothing more than habits of thought.

The woman that I wrote about in the last post that was trusting in fear rather than trusting in Love, had a habit of thought that she couldn't trust, even though she was in fact very trusting, she just trusted in fear rather than Love and well being. When she realized this, she was amazed and could not understand why someone would do that to themselves. I told her that she was engaging in another thought habit that was not serving her, that being victim rather than owner. She got a little miffed at the victim comment until I said, "Just own it, don't ponder it or devote time to wondering what is wrong with me that I would do something so lacking in self respect". We discussed that her trusting in Fear could actually be a springboard for her experiencing a Love and well being that she could have never imagined because she now knows the opposite of that Love and well being.

I asked her to think about a relationship in which her partner was not verbally, emotionally or physically abusive and talk about what happened. She said that her relationships were always abusive in some form. I probed a little more and asked her to tell me about one that was not physically or verbally abusive. She related that her partner was having an affair and it was devastating when she found out. I asked her how she found out, and she said she never actually caught him but he had many female friends and she knew he was being unfaithful, she could feel it. He was not emotionally or intimately available for her, and she felt betrayed. She said the moment she realized it, she had always known that it would happen.

I asked her "what if it were not true? What if he was not having an affair, and he was committed to you?". She just shook her head "no". What if it was just your trust in fear creating a reality for you that was in fact not accurate? She finally, conceded that If that were true, then she and her trust in fear created the emotional abuse that she relegated to her partner. I told her that regardless of the fact that he was having an affair or not didn't matter, because she did not know for a fact, but she created the experience based on her thoughts that she was being abused again and that is what she got.

At this point she asked, "but if I just trust blindly in Love and trust, aren't I just opening myself up to be hurt again?". I told her there is nothing blind about trusting in Love. When you rest in Love and know that Love is what you are and that it is expansive and creative and where growth comes from, there is no room for deceit or abuse. Those situations don't exist in the presence of love, but they very much exist in the presence of fear, and mostly in your thoughts or perceptions. Just think about it, what seems more reasonable, trusting in Love or Fear? And trusting in each, what kind of thought environment are you creating?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Brazil's economy.....what global economic crisis

Most people wouldn't know it but Brazil has an economy growing at 7% a year, practically full employment and a two term president that has a fourth grade education! That's right a fourth grade education. Twenty years ago, Brazil had 2000% inflation. Today, full employment and the third largest GDP in the world. Oh, and did I mention, they have not fought in a war since 1870?

How does a country do that? Alignment, that's how. No conflicts in over 140 years is a good start. In general, the collective of Brazillian people are chill, "let's go to the beach" is a mainstream attitude. They don't get caught up in stupid stuff that takes them out of alignment. They don't worry about stuff and they don't care what other people think about them.

For instance, the outgoing President, when he first took office 8 years ago, the first thing he did was give the poor a stipend of $150.00 if the parents took their children to doctors and made sure they attended school. His critics said it would never work, they said the parents would buy drugs and kids would not go to school. He proved them wrong, kids went to school, and the parents gave the economy a huge jolt because they began buying goods with the money and not drugs.

The President was true to his own feelings about what the country needed and acted on those feelings, most of the time in direct conflict with the pundits and some of his advisors. He wasn't worried about politics or if he would be reelected, he just did what he felt needed to be done and the country is thriving, though still not without it's critics. Oh, and this is the President with a fourth grade education that was labeled a socialist. He jokes now that for capitalism to work in Brazil, it needed a steel worker socialist to make it work.

So, what would you do if you were not worried about what others think? What would you do if you followed your intuition or your gut feeling rather than what you are expected to do? Try it on one small thing and see what happens.

You don't get what you want, you get what you are. Be true to yourself, not to what the norm is or what your expected to be. If you are compromising on what you truly want because that is what is expected, your only getting a fraction of the life you deserve. Be real and be true to yourself. Period!

Last week I was talking with a lady that said she was having trouble trusting men. She had been hurt and betrayed in past relationships and knew that in order to have true love she needed to be bale to trust and let a man in. She said she was most frustrated by the fact that she couldn't trust. I Told her that wasn't true, that she absolutely could trust and she was actually trusting every moment of everyday. She looked at me like I was crazy (which can happen occasionally). I told her that she was trusting in the fear of being hurt and having history in her relationships play out. She was stunned as she realized that in fact was the case. She was getting what she was not what she wanted. By being afraid and actually trusting in the fear of being hurt, that is exactly what happened. Sometime by the men she was involved with and other times by her sabotaging the relationship. She got exactly what she was, a woman that trusted fear rather than Love.

It all comes down to perspective, and the solution is always the same as the problem. As in trusting in the wrong thing when you don't think you can trust. Or not following conventional "wisdom" on economic reform. If your not getting what you want, ask what beliefs you hold that are getting what you are getting and how they need to be changed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

We see things as we are!!

Anais Nin said "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are" and she was right. And what you are is what you believe to be possible or what you take to be real. And what if what you take to be real is not true......better yet, what if what you believe does not serve you? Change what you believe to be real.

This truth about how life works came up in a conversation I was having with a friend who was lamenting about politicians in Washington. If you know me, I couldn't care less about politics, but the political arena does provide great examples of how we get what we are and not necessarily what we want. My friend was talking about how the two political parties don't work together for the betterment of the nation. So I pointed out that the reason for that is, what they are. They are anything but what they want. They are not confident in their ideology.

I used Barack Obama as an example. He campaigned on bringing the two parties together for the people of the United States, that's a little simplistic, but that's what it came down to, governing to improve the lives of Americans. I'm not judging him, but he has lost his credibility with the Republicans and many of his own party as well. Take the Tax breaks enacted by the Bush administration that are set to expire this year. He caved on what he wanted, which was to extend the tax breaks for the middle class but not the rich. Why did he do this? Because he did not believe he could make it happen. He postures that the middle class were being held hostage by the Republicans, so he accepted extending the tax breaks for everyone including the rich. He got what he was and not what he wanted.

In contrast, take Ronald Reagan back when the air traffic controllers went out on strike. He told them to report back to work by Friday or he would fire them all. And he did just that, he fired everyone of them that did not report back to work. What was he? Reckless with no regard for the flying public? No, he was confident that they could be replaced with little disruption to commercial flying and he was right. But more important, was the fact that politicians sat up and gave him respect on difficult issues that he dealt with as the President. I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that the Soviets looked at him a little differently as well. The iron curtain came down while he was in office in the midst of the cold war.

Clinton did the same thing, basically said he would let the government be shut down if the budget wasn't balanced, and what happened? Not only was the budget balanced, but it was the last time we had a surplus. He was a leader and confident in his decision making. He got what he was which then resulted in getting what he wanted. Don't confuse his leadership of the country with his indulgences with an intern.

Sounds like I'm taking political stances, but I'm not, Reagan and Clinton from two different parties provided great example of creating from the context in which we come from. Seeing things as we are rather than what they are. Obama, same thing but from the opposite end of the spectrum.

Your life experience everyday, every moment really is the sum total of what you believe to be possible, as it is Obama, and was for Reagan and Clinton. Make sense? So what do you believe to be possible? Look at what you are experiencing right now, that is your answer. If it's not exactly what you want, ask what beliefs need to be changed in order to get what you want?