|Anyone noticing the crazy energy around lately? I thought you might like a little heads up to what could be fuelling some of it. Insights into the source of our pain can often help us shift energy more quickly.|
We had a powerful full moon in August (18th) that included a partial eclipse. Full moons themselves throw light on dark and hidden aspects which is magnified when combined with an eclipse. While this was not a full eclipse, many astrologers considered the energy it evoked was significant enough to say it was the beginning of the eclipse season. By that they mean a cycle of lots of high energy, new discoveries and important shifts in consciousness and of course the resultant, often challenging changes. 🙂
I thought you might like to read this excellent article (below) on what to expect in an eclipse as not only are we in an eclipse season. but we have two more coming up in the next few weeks; the New Moon Solar Eclipse on the 1st and then the Full Moon Pisces Eclipse on the 16th.
And, just to add to this Mercury goes retrograde August 30th till September 22nd. Mercury is all about communications and reviewing the past (retrograde means the planet is moving backwards). Generally with that energy around decisions or big changes are best left till she goes forward again and it’s always a good idea to back up your computers. Mercury retrograde is a time that communication can be complicated so, combined with the eclipses, September should be an interesting month.
Go with the flow and embrace the positive insights you receive. As we just entered Virgo (August 23 – September 22) it may be wise to beware of the critical perfectionist inner Virgo – allow her to help you discern what is right – not beat yourself up with what is wrong!
I hope you have a good month and are enjoying beautiful weather where ever you are.
Have a great weekend!
Continuing on with sharing great articles is the one below on relationships. At the moment, as so many people have been struggling in their relationships, I thought it timely to pass it on. Very often these kinds of issues emerge because old issues have been avoided and need talking about or else there are needs that must be recognised for the relationship to continue to grow.
Fights – or silence – begin to dominate the relationship and the beginning of the end is nigh. But it doesn’t have to be so. The article below speaks of the importance of communication in a relationship and how to start those difficult conversations. One aspect it covers very nicely is remembering that you both have your own perspective and neither is wrong. This concept is essential to healthy communication and is often the first thing to go in our need to be perfect and/or our fear of not being perfect. 🙂
Before you follow the excellent guidance it offers I would suggest you take time to confirm you actually want to be in the relationship. This sounds obvious but if you do not have a deep commitment to your partner and the relationship, stepping forward will be difficult. And once a relationship is in trouble all we can do is step forward – the old is done.
When we stay by default, because we are married, or the kids, or the house or it is just too hard to leave we are in a little bit of denial of our own needs which can actually be the source of the conflict. It becomes very easy to feel trapped or a victim or blameful and almost impossible to talk from a clear and loving place.
So before you talk, do your own work to recommit to yourself, your partner and the relationship otherwise when the conversation gets hard you may find yourself saying things that you will regret. Allow yourself to be wide-minded, circumstances may mean you are recommitting to a radically different relationship than what was. You need to decide if you want that.
Which brings us to deal breakers. Be clear what you cannot do. We do not need to justify a deal breaker, they are the boundaries that we need to stay open, loving and empowered. We may be flexible within them but we still need them so we don’t inadvertently hand our power over and end up feeling resentful or taken advantage of.
And set yourself up for success by getting clear about what you want to say, perhaps write it down so you can work it all out. Writing takes a different part of the brain and can help organise your thoughts.
Finally, choose your time. Be relaxed and clear headed. A bottle of wine is not a good start! If you have done the ‘Aum’ balance with me you may like to do some of those before you start. In yoga they say it is the primordial sound of the universe and so takes us back to our centre. Or do whatever you do to centre yourself – that is always going to be a good place to start. 🙂
Hope you enjoy the read!
All the best, Gay
As parents we all want to raise healthy, happy kids with good self esteem. Especially if we have had challenges with our own. This is a great article that explores why it could be a good idea to train ourselves out of saying ‘darling, you are the best ever’ and into ‘great job, kiddo’.
We love our kids and very often do think that they are the best ever. This is sometimes with a parental bias, other times because they really are, however this article suggests that the concept of being better than others leads to narcissistic tendencies.
The concept of superiority (which is inherent in ‘you are the best ever’) is competitive and too much competitiveness is one guaranteed way to shut down whole brain thinking. This is because, in its extreme, nothing matters except winning.
My take away is to consider if my throw away lines imply superiority … hmmmm should I stop telling Wing she is the best dog ever? … 🙂
Hope you have a great day!
All the best, Gay
How hard is it when things don’t go according to plan? Especially if you are a perfectionist, it can be incredibly hard to cope with changes that don’t fit the ˜perfect’ picture. Learning to reframe is a great way to change that.
I know, perfectionism is one of my monkeys on my back! Not to mention the control issues that come along with it. Letting go into the perfectly imperfectness of life has been one of my biggest challenges and, as I have settle into it more and more graciously, I have also settled more easily into not knowing and allowing myself to be organised by the universe.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have the odd tantrum – moving from Highgate Hill on top of the home move did trigger such an event that is for sure!But these days I process the frustration and then let it go much more quickly – which makes me feel much less foolish when the perfect unfolding of the new and unplanned becomes obvious.
What causes us to think we can have everything and should know it all?We develop this mistaken belief in response to societies in-put into our perspective.
Everywhere we look, especially on social media, we see the highlights ofWe see people excelling and living the dream as we are living our ordinary existence. We forget that we are looking at others highlights and feel inadequate and wonder what we are doing wrong. We start to believe if only we try harder we can have it all.
This leads to enormous pain, especially when things don’t go according to plan, like when we are sure about something that doesn’t work out.Or we get so committed to a path that becomes too challenging to continue or we just don’t know what the heck we want.
Changes such as this can make us doubt ourself and and the whole purpose of making plans – why bother when they just fall apart?In fact often it is in the falling apart and unknown that a new and more exciting direction emerges and being able to joyfully step into it is the difference between a life of happiness and one of misery and pain.
The ability to reframe is a great tool to use to joyfully step up no matter what the situation.Perfecting the process of reframing means you can let go a little bit more of that perfectionist streak because you can reframe anything into a positive and perfect experience. This is not becoming a Pollyanna or a way to ignore or negate a learning situation, but a useful way to integrate those more challenging learning times and leave the pain in the past.
A reframe takes an experience, whether it is an event or an emotion or thought, and changing the perspective.Reframing is not pretending it didn’t happen or making it into something it wasn’t but it is looking at the situation from different viewpoint. Done well, it can change memories and our experiences into more positive experiences which will in turnÂ increase our self esteem and self regard.
How to Reframe?
This is best done in a written form so you can re-read your reframed experience and override the old memories.Research shows it is best approached in 2 – 3 minute bursts to stay positive and not get bogged in the old thoughts. For example I did this on my finances a number of years ago. I realised one day that I had definite perspective of lack – not abundance. Yes, it was an actual experience however I was enmeshed in a even worse negative perspective.
I wrote out my experience with money with all its attendant beliefs.Some that emerged were interesting, such as being bad with money and being afraid I would end up with nothing just struggling to survive. As I spent time re-writing my experiences I saw that in fact I was incredibly good with money especially to accomplish all I had and that the life I had created actually gave me enormous abundance in many, many other areas.
As I re-read and practiced this new perspective it gradually became my actually viewpoint.As it did my income and abundance automatically transformed to match it. I still don’t earn the big bikkies but I truly don’t lack in anything. I feel incredibly lucky in my life and make financial choices that support me but don’t limit me.
You can do this same process with anything, a partner, a childhood, redundancy, anything!Of course you don’t do this to make something that is unhealthy or toxic OK – but once something is done there is no need to hold onto old pain.
There is something useful or positive in everything.For example living on little made me very resourceful, it developed my ability to cook with whatever was around (which I love doing!) and repurpose anything which opened up a whole new aspect of my creativity. This process is a very empowering way to change your life.
Start with something easy and play with the process and feel free to get in touch if you are stuck or need a bit of support.And do feel free to share – I love to hear a good re-frame!
Copyright 2016 Gay Landeta This article has been written with the intent of helping you to create the life you want to live. All right reserved.
BTW, If you haven’t down loaded my free ebook you may like to do that. I also developed my on-line programs to help you figure this stuff out so you can learn to let go and create a life you love. To have a look click here.
Many people feel deeply the need to live their purpose, they want to discover what they are here for and then live it. And by living it they usually mean to make their living out of it.
Some people know their purpose from early on and create a pathway to follow with perfect trust. But for many of us it is a more complicated journey. Firstly we may not know what that something is, secondly, even if we do know we also need to earn money, perhaps support a family or a mortgage so we can’t just do what we want to.
Being caught between the need to make money to live and the desire to find and follow a dream can lead to terrible feelings of frustration and disheartenment. But in fact their are many ways to uncover your purpose and live your vocation without sacrificing everything.
Some of us take the journey process, as I did. I started training in counselling and kinesiology to improve my parenting skills and support my children. My work evolved into volunteer work before it became a fully fledged practice 20 years ago. When I decided to do a degree to support my practice I fell back on my previous career in publishing to take the financial stress off. I had to do work around it though, because I felt somehow that I was backtracking, it felt like I was betraying my purpose.
Many people can also feel this stress when confronted by the serious need to create income versus the inner calling to live a life on purpose. Personally, when I finally came to peace with it and could see how perfectly it actually supported me and my work, I manifested the perfect job that not only paid well but also gave me down time in Byron Bay and the space to develop an amazing friendship I would never have had otherwise.
When I think about this dilemma I am often reminded of a photographer friend of mine who chose a more peaceful route. Photography was her passion but she chose to work in hospitality instead of becoming a professional photographer. In that way she could earn good money and, at the end of her shift she was done. She could then devote the rest of her time to taking pictures without worrying about how to sell them or find commercial clients. She chose day time hospitality work and a simple life and so she could follow her dream without any stress. Looking at her life it seemed such a beautiful way to live a life of meaning. She quite enjoyed her day job, no doubt she lightened the day for many people she came across and she could do what she loved the rest of the time without any creative limitations.
This dilemma, of living a life of meaning, of the challenges of having a job, versus a career, versus a hobby, versus a vocation is explored far more eloquently than I ever could in this facebook article by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is well worth reading to find a piece of peace for yourself. I loved it and would love to hear your thoughts. You can also read the original and follow her here.
Question of the day: WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?
Dear Ones –
I get a lot of questions from people who are seeking purpose and meaning in their lives. And I get a lot of questions from people who are seeking career advice — especially about creative careers. And I get a lot of questions from people who are absolutely confused about where their energy is going in life, and why.
For anyone out there who is seeking purpose and meaning and direction in their lives, I thought it might be useful today to define and differentiate four very important words that relate to HOW WE SPEND OUR TIME IN LIFE.
Are you ready?
The four very important words are:
These four words are often interconnected, but they are not interchangeable. Too much of the time, we treat these words like they are synonyms, but they are not. They are gloriously distinct, and should remain gloriously distinct. Each is wonderful and important in its own way. I think a lot of the pain and confusion that people face when they are trying to chart their lives is that they don’t understand the meaning of these words — or the expectations and demands of each word. So me break down what I consider to be the definitions and differences.
1) HOBBY— A hobby is something that you do for pleasure, relaxation, distraction, or mild curiosity. A hobby is something that you do in your spare time. Hobbies can come and go in life — you might try out a hobby for a while, and then move on to something new. I grew up in a family where everyone had hobbies (my grandmother made rag rugs; my grandfather made jewelry out of old spoons; etc) and I have hobbies myself. Gardening was my hobby a few years ago; now it’s Karaoke and collage-making You can tell when something is a hobby because your attitude toward it tends to be relaxed and playful. The stakes are SUPER low with hobbies. Sometimes you might make a bit of money out of your hobby, but that’s not the point — nor does it need to be. Hobbies are important because they remind us that not everything in life has to be about productivity and efficiency and profit and destiny. Hobbies are mellow. This is a wonderful reminder, and the concept should relax you. Hobbies prove that we have spare time — that we are not just slaves to the capitalist machine or to our own ambitions. You don’t NEED a hobby, mind you, but it’s awfully nice to have one. Even the word itself is adorable and non-threatening: HOBBY! What a cute word. Go get one. You have nothing to lose, and it’ll probably make you happier. Also, my grandparents would approve. Back before TV, everyone had hobbies. It’s nice. No big deal.
2) JOB— You may not need a hobby, but you do absolutely need a job. Unless you have a trust fund, or just won the lottery, or somebody is completely supporting you financially…you need a job. Actually, I would argue that even if you DO have a trust fund or a winning lottery ticket or a generous patron, you should still have a job. I believe there is great dignity and honor to be found in having a job. A job is how you look after yourself in the world. I always had a job, or several jobs, back when I was an unpublished, aspiring writer. Even after I’d already published three books, I still kept a regular job, because I never wanted to burden my creativity with the responsibility of paying for my life. Artists often resent having jobs, but I never resented it. Having a job always made me feel powerful and secure and free. It was good to know that I could support myself in the world, and that I would never starve, no matter what happened with my creativity. Now, here’s the most essential thing to understand about a job: IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE AWESOME. Your job can be boring, it can be a drag, it can even be “beneath you”. Jobs don’t need to be soul-fulfilling. Really, they don’t. I’ve had all kinds of weird and lame jobs; it doesn’t matter You don’t need to love your job; you just need to have a job and do it with respect. Of course, if you absolutely hate your job, by all means look for another one, but try to be philosophical about why you have this job right now. (Some good philosophical reasons for staying in a crappy job right now include: You are taking care of yourself; you are supporting your beloved family; you are saving up for something important; you are paying off debts. The list of reasons to have a job — even a bad job — goes on and on, and honor abides within all those reasons.) Don’t judge yourself about your job and never be a snob about anyone else’s job. We live in a material world and everyone has to do something for money, so just do whatever you have to do, collect your paycheck, and then go live the rest of your life however you want. Your job does not need to be how you define yourself; you can create your own definitions of your purpose and your meaning, pulled from deep within your imagination. A job is vital, but don’t make it YOUR LIFE. It’s not that big a deal. It’s just a job — a very important and also not-at-all important thing.
3) CAREER — A career is different from a job. A job is just a task that you do for money, but a career is something that you build over the years with energy, passion, and commitment. You don’t need to love your job, but I hope to heaven that you love your career — or else you’re in the wrong career, and it would be better for you to quit that career and just go find yourself a job, or a different career. Careers are best done with excitement. Careers are huge investments. Careers require ambition, strategy, and hustle. Your career is a relationship with the world. I used to have jobs, but now I have a career. My career is: AUTHOR. That means: Professional Writer. When I think about my work in terms of my career, I need to make sure that I’m building good relationships in the publishing world, and making smart decisions, and managing myself well within a realm that is more public than private. I need to pay attention to what critics are saying about my work, and how my books are selling, and how well I’m meeting my deadlines. I need to tend to my career with respect and regard, or else I will lose it. I need to honor my contracts and my contacts. When I make decisions about my life, I need to think about whether this would be good or bad for my career. If I win an award, that’s good for my career. If I get caught in a hotel room with a pile of cocaine and six exotic dancers, that’s bad for my career. (Actually, now that I think about it, maybe that would be AWESOME for my career! Gotta look into that! HA!) Let me make something very clear about careers: A career is a good thing to have if you really want one, but YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE A CAREER. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going through your entire life having jobs, and enjoying your hobbies, and pursuing your vocation, but never having “a career”. A career is not for everyone. A career is a choice. But if you do make that choice, make sure that you really care about your career. Otherwise, it’s just an exhausting marathon, for no reason. I really care about my career, but it’s not the most important thing in my life. Not even close. The most important thing in my life is my….
4) VOCATION — The word “vocation” comes to us from the Latin verb “vocare” — meaning “to call”. Your vocation is your calling. Your vocation is a summons that comes directly from the universe, and is communicated through the yearnings of your soul. While your career is about a relationship between you and the world; your vocation is about the relationship between you and God. Vocation is a private vow. Your career is dependent upon other people, but your vocation belongs only to you. You can get fired from your career, but you can never get fired from your vocation. Writing was my vocation long before I was lucky enough to get the career of an “author” — and writing will always be my vocation, whether my career as an author keeps working out or not. This is why I can approach my career with a certain sense of calm — because I know that, while I obviously care about career, I am not defined by it. When I consider my writing in terms of my career, I have to care what the world thinks about me. But when I consider my writing in terms of my vocation, I TRULY DO NOT GIVE A FUCK WHAT THE WORLD THINKS ABOUT ME. My career is dependent upon others; my vocation is entirely my own. The entire publishing world could vanish, and books could become obsolete, and I would still be a writer — because that’s my vocation. That’s my deal with God. You do not need to make money from your vocation in order for it to have meaning. Writing had meaning for me LONG before you ever heard of me, and long before anyone else wanted me to do it. Vocation has nothing to do with money, with career, with status, with ambition. I often see people corrode their vocation by insisting that it become a career — and then making career decisions that destroy their vocation. (Amy Winehouse’s career destroyed her vocation, for instance.) The day that I feel my career is destroying my vocation, I will quit my career and go get a job, so that I can protect my vocation. But I will never quit my vocation. Nobody even needs to know about your vocation, in order for it to have meaning. Your vocation is holy because it has nothing to do with anyone else. Your vocation can be anything that brings you to life and makes you feel like your soul is animated by purpose. Tending to your marriage can be your vocation. Raising your children can be your vocation. Teaching people how to take care of their health can be your vocation. Visiting your elderly neighbors can be your vocation. I have a friend who finds his vocation in picking up garbage off the streets wherever he goes; this is his gesture of love toward his fellow man. Searching for light and peace and meaning can be your vocation. Forgiveness can be your vocation. Brother Lawrence was a 17th century monk who worked his whole life washing dishes in a monastery (because washing dishes was his JOB) but his vocation was to see God in everything and everyone, and that is why he radiated grace. (Awesome vocation, by the way. People came from all over the world to watch Brother Lawrence wash dishes, because of the way he radiated divine love in every act. THAT’S vocation.) I admire the Roman Catholic Church for understanding the sanctity of vocation, and for teaching that the purest human vocation is LOVE. A vocation is the highest expression of your human purpose, and therefore you must approach it with deepest reverence. You can be called to your vocation by what you love (for instance: I love writing), or you can be called to your vocation by what you hate (for instance: I know people who dedicate themselves to social justice because of their hatred for violence and inequality.) If you don’t have a vocation and you long for one, you can pray for one. You can ask the universe with humility to lead you to your vocation — but then you must pay VERY close attention to the clues and signs that point you toward your vocation. Don’t just pray and wait. Instead, pray and SEEK. Everyone wants the lightning strike, but the path to your vocation is usually a trail of bread crumbs, instead. Look for clues. No clue is too small; no vocation is insignificant. Don’t be proud; be attentive. What brings your soul to life? What makes you feel like you are not just a meat puppet — not just heard to work hard and pay bills and wait to die? You cannot be lazy or entitled about your vocation, or apathetic, or fatalistic, or calculating. You cannot give up on it, if things don’t “work out” — whatever that even means. You must work closely with your intuition in order to find your highest meaning in life. This is hard work sometimes, but it is divine work, and it is always worth it. (Here’s a possibility, for instance: Searching for your vocation can be your vocation!) You can choose your hobbies, your jobs, or your careers, but you cannot choose you vocation; you can only accept the invitation that has been offered to you, or decline it. You can honor your vocation, or you can neglect it. You can worship it, or you can ignore it. A vocation is offered to you as a sacred gift, and it is yours to care for, or to lose. When you treat your vocation as sacred, you will see your whole life as sacred — and everyone else’s lives, too. When you are careless about your vocation, you will treat your whole life carelessly -— and other people’s lives, too. Your vocation will become clear to you through the act of PAYING ATTENTION to your senses and your soul, and to what in the world causes you to feel love or hate. You will be led to your vocation, though the path is not always obvious. You must participate in its unfolding. Do not fall asleep on this job. Your vocation is hinted at through your talents, tastes, passions, and curiosities. Your vocation is calling you, even when you can’t quite hear it. (“What you are seeking is seeking you” — Rumi.) When you embrace a vocation, and commit yourself to that vocation, your mind becomes a quieter place. When you accept the divine invitation of your vocation, you will become strong. You will know that — as long as you are tending to your vocation — everything will be fine.
My feeling is that people look for purpose in life without understanding these four words: HOBBY, JOB, CAREER, VOCATION. People blend these four concepts, or mistake them, confuse them, or try to have all four at once, or pretend that they are all the same thing. Or people just generally get freaked out and confused, because they haven’t thought these words through, or decided which ones are most important. (Or which ones are most important RIGHT NOW.) People generally want to know, “What am I doing with my life?”, but they don’t slow down long enough to really think about these four different aspects of this question — the four different possibilities for where our time and energy goes. People worry so much about their careers, for instance, that they often forget to pay attention to their vocations. Or people get so seduced by the grandeur of their vocations that they forget to have a job, and so they stop taking care of themselves and their families in the material world…which will only bring suffering. (Remember: Even Brother Lawrence had a job. He was not too proud to wash dishes.) Or people are so busy chasing social status and personal advancement that they forget to make time for the relaxing joy of having a sweet little hobby. And oftentimes people mistake a sweet little hobby for something that they think should be a job, or a career, or a vocation. Don’t try to blend what perhaps doesn’t need to be blended. Don’t mistake a job for a career, or a career for a vocation, or a vocation for a hobby, or a hobby for a job. Be clear about what each one is, and be clear about what can be reasonably expected from each one, and be clear about what is demanded of you with each one.
Here’s another thing I see happening: people get so embarrassed or resentful about their lousy day jobs that they forget to be grateful that they have a job at all — and this causes only more anxiety and confusion, which again, will make them stop paying reverent attention to their vocation, or enjoying their hobbies, or making plans for a career.
We live in a real world that is heavy sometimes with real-life obligations, but we also have souls that deserve care and attention. We can pay attention to our worldly ambitions and pleasures (hobbies, jobs, careers) without neglecting our mystical, otherworldly, beautiful and often impractical vocations. We can pay attention to all of it — but this requires sitting still at times and really thinking things through, with courage and dignity. And it requires an understanding of terms.
The important thing is to be sober and careful and attentive enough to know what you are REALLY talking about when you consider the question, “What am I doing with my life?”
It isn’t easy to answer this question, but understanding and respecting these four different words might be a start.
And when in doubt, at least try SOMETHING. As the wonderful poet David Whyte says: “A wrong-headed but determined direction is better than none at all.”
Good luck out there, brave seekers!
This article was borrowed from facebook with much respect. Buy Elizabeths book. It looks great. 🙂
BTW, If you haven’t down loaded my free ebook you may like to do that. I also developed my on-line programs to help you figure this stuff out so you can feel more comfortable walking in both camps. To have a look click here.
Our comfort zone is a cocoon of easefull-ness that the ego loves to nurture. It is triggered when something unexpected or dis-easeful comes along. At that point we can either take the opportunity to grow or we can retreat more deeply into the perceived safety, and often ignorance, of the zone.
The reality is, despite everything, life, including our carefully made goals and dreams, often doesn’t work out in accordance with even the most well laid of plans. This challenge to our ego will trigger our comfort zone often causing us to make decisions that align with comfort instead of stepping up to our biggest life. In this article I will share how to recognise when your particular comfort zone is triggered and offer tips you can use to step beyond it into all that is possible.
Poet and Spiritual Teacher Mark Nepo considers our plans kindling, that we need them to ignite our fire and that, while they are important, they are actually not our core purpose. Our core purpose is living a life of growth and expansion, a spiritually connected life.
I loved this metaphorical way of looking at a way to live gently in the world – how to connect the commitment of goal setting with the spiritual work of accepting what is. This has been such a huge part of my journey and is so much the journey of many of my clients.
Like many I didn’t really have a plan at school, I skated through and then fell into a job with ‘prospects’ when I graduated. Responding to that I made a plan, started to create a career and save for property but soon realised I hated my job so I took a year off to travel first.
That first summer away was so magical that I gave up all my plans and just started to flow instead. That year became 5 years and ended up bringing me to Australia, buying a house and having babies. I was basically saying yes to everything that was offered. Even my counselling and kinesiology training happened as a response to wanting to be a better parent rather than an intentional career move. My life had no goals and no plans, in fact I actively avoided making any. Everything just happened.
However, without realising it, without intentions I was also without the foundations to flow within the bigger plan of my life. All my learning and decisions were silo’d – solid within themselves but not connected.
When my partner and I decided that it had been great but we were done I realised that those gaps were now stopping me from living a life of choice. If I did not take the time to decide what I really wanted I was destined to be a wanderer – and perhaps end up at a destination I would not be happy in. I needed to take responsibility for my life and choices and become the master of my own destiny.
And so started my journey of intention setting. And then encountering the frustration when
things did not happen as I wanted. My inner control freak tried really hard but, while many goals fell perfectly into place, others (and they always seemed the most important) seemed impossible to achieve.
I wondered if I should go back to what I had assumed was going with the flow but I knew that wouldn’t work. I could now see how my inner control freak had conducted my life and how much I had limited it through confusing the fear of stepping outside my comfort zone with going with the flow.
I could also see that had I followed my original plans I may never have had any of the great adventures of my life. So I realised that I needed to set intentions and create plans within a bigger construct of letting go. Now while this may seem obvious to you, to me it was a revelation. Learning to play with these often conflicting energies, the energy of plans and the energies of flow, became my focus, in my work, on my business and in my life.
Perhaps you, too, may be at a crossroads and wondering how to gather your kindling and ignite your fire? The first step is always self reflection. If you use that time to find out if you are a ‘go with the flow’ type of person or a ‘I have a plan’ kind of person then you may well have uncovered a significant comfort zone – once identified you can use it to help you to step into the bigger part of your life.
The ‘Go with the Flow’ Comfort Zone
If your comfort zone (as opposed to choice) is to ‘go with the flow’ or ‘do what makes you happy’ then you will be happiest when others are happy and may be very uncomfortable charting your own course. You can challenge this by practicing making choices. Even when you are going along with another, make sure you take the time to say “I choose this” and always make sure you are taking action on your choices.
This comfort zone often prefers to avoid choices and follow others thereby avoiding discerning what is their personal Right choice. If this is you then take time to check in if you are taking personal responsibility for what emerges. Often, when we live in this camp, we flow but then can feel anger or regret when things don’t work out our way. We can become blameful that we weren’t supported. Remember that every step is a choice with a consequence – remembering that we are making choices even when we choose to follow others means that there is no one to blame. We choose – or not – and it is what it is. We can then make the choice to change what is.
In this camp we will often stop as soon as things get difficult. We have stories about things not feeling right. Remembering that just because it is difficult does not mean it is wrong, it just might be uncharted territory of growth being encountered. By acknowledging this we can continue to take action, listening to our deep wisdom and changing course as needed instead of ‘in reaction to’.
The ‘I have a plan’ Comfort Zone
If your comfort zone (as opposed to choice) is ‘I have a plan’ or ‘do what you should’ then you may like to examine your goals to see if they are actually what feels right for YOU deep inside. Not for those around you, not for society, but for you. Often when we live in this camp we make plans that align with what seems like a good idea. In doing so we take the risk of waking up one day having created everything we wanted but still feeling unfulfilled and possibly even desperately unhappy.
You can experiment with, instead of relentlessly following a grand plan to the end, taking action mindfully, checking in on how each step feels. Often, in this camp, we barge on determined to make things work despite any uncomfortableness. We can instead start to listen to our uncomfortable feelings. If it feels contracting then it may well be closing us in.
Learning to discern the comfortable uncomfortableness of growth from real pain is especially important for those who live in this camp. Many types of auto-immune illness arise from the overriding of this self knowledge. Learning to listen deeply and stop even though you may have a plan is often part of the life journey of those who live in “I have a plan’ camp.
Both of these journeys require space for inward reflection. A great way to do that is to find some stillness in your life i.e. turn off that phone! And then just sit or write. And see what emerges. Allow yourself to feel what is going on and be curious about what or why it is. Don’t assume you know. Curiosity is our biggest ally in pursuing our own truth. Not trying to solve anything, just being curious about what is. Learning to trust that actually it will be OK. No matter what. And then let go and relax.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this … how do you know you are being stopped by your comfort zone – or conversely when you are pushing on beyond what is right for you? And then how do you take action?
Copyright 2016 Gay Landeta This article has been written with the intent of helping you to create the life you want to live. All right reserved.
BTW, If you haven’t down loaded my free ebook you may like to do that. I also developed my on-line programs to help you figure this stuff out so you can feel more comfortable walking in both camps. To have a look click here.
This time of year many business owners start to consider how they could grow their business, maybe create some passive income or just get more clients.
I don’t know about you, but I can get excited about opportunities and then overwhelmed by ideas. Finding ways to avoid that is always useful. This process that I am about to share is a really simple but very profound process developed by a psychologist friend who is also an ex-engineer.
This process has no place for grey. This can be a challenging way to think as it can feel limiting, however it does help those of us who tend to start projects without enough thought.
Begin by choosing your priority. To do that …
Imagine you are holding a ball bearing skill game. This one is shaped like a triangle. (i.e. one of those little hand held board games where the goal is to get the little ball bearing into the correct hole.)
In each corner of the triangle there is a hole for a ball bearing.
And each corner of the triangle has a label: time, quality or money.
Choose where you want the ball bearing to land. That is your overall priority at the moment. And you can only choose one.
You then choose projects that comply with that priority, i.e. be timely, be quality or save money – you may need to compromise somewhat on the other aspects.
For example if you decide saving money is the priority you may need to sacrifice some quality and / or some time to achieve your budget.
If it is time then that may mean you need to focus on the speed of the project, so it may cost more or the quality may have to be reduced.
Or if you decide quality is the priority then it may take more time and money than you initially thought.
When you have an idea you can check in again to see if your priority is still the same and what the potential compromises may be. This way you can more clearly decide if this is a step you want to take instead of getting caught in a process that takes more time, costs more money or produces something that is of a lesser quality than you would like.
Copyright © 2016 Create the Life. All Rights Reserved.
No matter how much we work on ourself, develop strategies for living joyful lives or manifest all that makes us feel good we will still experience pain. It is the one thing that is inevitable in this journey of being a human being. Some of us will experience more or less of it during our life – but we will all experience loosing someone, things going wrong, physical dis-ease and emotional distress. Learning how to deal with these in a way that DOESN’T magnify the story and increase their impact is one of the most liberating journeys we can make.
The first step is to accept that pain is part of living and when we bump up against it we can choose to not take it personally. We can learn to recognise the emotion and sit with it. Just allow it to be. It is what it is.
If we can do this, remaining present with the emotion that the event stirred, it passes and often more quickly that we expect. Think of a little child who has fallen and is cuddled and kissed all better. The pain fades and the crying ceases. But if that little one then sees blood running down their leg or the caregiver looking worried or scared, the pain magnifies. Instead of soothed, the tears magnify into a howl. The event gained a whole new and terrifying perspective which caused more pain and suffering and possibly even a long term painful memory. We do this to ourselves with our thought processes.
There are 4 ways habitual ways of thinking that magnify instead of soothe our pain. These ways of thinking set up long term limiting beliefs that cause endless suffering and blind us to reality and being present. Yes, the initial experience hurts but it is up to us how we respond. We may need to deal with an issue but these thought patterns make us victims and rob us of the power of change. Noticing that you do them is the first step to changing the way you think and changing your life.
1. Generalising An Experience …..
“I will never learn to ride this bike.” “No one will ever love me.” “I hate my life.” “Life sucks.” All of these may be true at some specific time but they cannot be true all the time.
We need to question the truth of sweeping statements such as these to take away their power and bring back the actual truth in the present moment. “I fell off again, but I am staying on for longer and longer.” “Lots of people love me, he didn’t but there are lots of other he’s out there.” “I am finding everything really hateful at the moment. I am gong to bed. Tomorrow things will look different.” “My life is really not going my way right now. That sucks. But that will change.” All of these turnarounds and re-frames change the way you think and offer so much opportunity for new possibilities and the ability to recognise it for the truth.
2. Black and White Thinking ….
“You are wonderful” “You are terrible” When we use this type of thinking we see others as all good or all bad. It is difficult to see them as a multi facetted persona – which course everyone is.
Practicing seeing all aspects of a situation or person and just accepting that which is difficult can help to broaden this perspective, increase our empathy and compassion and ultimately our connection with ourself. That which we do to others we can begin to do with ourself, learning to accept the light and the shadow of others gives us permission to accept our own.
3. Labelling …
“I am stupid” “I am mean”, yes, you might do stupid things sometimes – we all do and sometimes we also might be unloveable or mean, but labelling ourselves or others as anything creates a finite identity which can become self fulfilling. “I am stupid so I can’t learn anything new.” “I am mean so I can treat others badly.” “They are stupid so I will just ignore everything they say.” “They are mean so they meant to hurt me when they ….” This type of thinking blinds us to seeing reality and staying open to the truth.
Again take time to see reality, maybe you did do something that was a little foolish but bring it back to that resent moment and be precise. “Putting the scissors in the freezer was a really funny thing to do! I must not have been thinking” “Jeez, I could have been more compassionate when my friend told me about that date, my laughing definitely hurt her. It was funny but next time I will laugh with her not at her.”
4. Emotional Rationalisation ….
When we rationalise an emotion into a thought instead of realising that we might be using an old moment of pain to try to make sense of a current feeling we become victims of our thought processes. “I feel rejected so you must be rejecting me.” “I feel ignored so you must not see me or want to be with me.” “I feel unappreciated so you must not appreciate me.”
Recognising the feeling as current and sinking into the notion underneath can allow it to pass through without judgement, leaving us feeling empowered in life. For example recognising that the feeling of rejection may actually be from a difficult childhood and not actually because of a lack of text messages from the new love means we can sit with the old feeling, knowing it is just a feeling. We can then be open when we find out that the phone died instead of having to apologise for an explosion or inappropriate messages triggered by unchallenged negative assumptions.
These 4 thought patterns can be very attractive, especially if they align with a belief that others need to change to make us happy.
Taking back the power and recognising that some of your habitual ways of thinking may be contributing to your misery and that you can change the way you think, starts the process towards more peace and joy and better relationships all around.
This article was written by Gay Landeta with the intention of helping you to Create the Life you Want to Live! All rights reserved 2016.
I love food and always have. I also love cooking and eating in general and still remember learning how to cook Mac Cheese at about 3. I love eating nutritious foods that feel sustaining, like the smoothies my blender makes or juices I squash myself – but sometimes I just don’t want to. I know my juicer together with my yoga practice certainly has been a large part of what has kept me going while this house move has been going on, but I definitely can’t do the same ‘health combo’ everyday – even if it would be good for my stress levels.
Times change and food crazes come and go. I can remember when the ultimate health food was a morning smoothie of raw liver, eggs and wheatgerm! Yuck! But it worked for some. Consciously eating is about being aware of what we put into our bodies and when. Conscious eating bring up the question : ‘what am I satisfying with this?’ An emotional craving? What is right for me physically? What someone in authority says is good for me? What the latest craze is? What someone else will think of me? What will make me loose weight (for others this might be gain weight <sigh>) ? …. Taking the time for self awareness about these questions certainly has helped me to unlock the keys to my personal (pretty well) healthy diet.
For example, for me, moving to Tenterfield is exciting in part because of the bountiful garden we have inherited. I feel a bit Maggie Beer or Jamie Oliver wandering around with a fresh fig as I choose dinner! (Do I watch too many cooking shows?) I do love fresh seasonal eating! But I also know there are family and cultural traditions I love – for example this time of year makes me think of Scottish Shortbread because my mum made the BEST IN THE WORLD.
For me there is a closure to the year in making a batch. Sitting down to a piece of shortbread and a good cup of tea is one way I feel connected to my family traditions and family far away. Even if they haven’t made shortbread for years! And this year, with moving to a place that reminds me a little of my childhood home, I miss my Canadian family just a little bit extra. But I also know that the butter, flour and sugar combo – even if super simple and homemade, is not so great for my digestion – especially if I indulge too much. Let alone for my waistline! So the balance will be to be disciplined and not be swayed by the ‘just one more piece would be so yummy’ mind game! I need to set myself up for success and be kind to myself on all levels, not overindulging or punishing myself. The best way to do this is with awareness and listening in on all levels together with committing to being in charge of my physical, mental and emotional – rather than at their mercy. OH yes, and also to not get caught in what some authority recommends or not. That way I can make a batch of shortbread if I feel like it and enjoy it.
I challenge you to listen deeply this season and find the balance with your food. If you would like to read a little more about the intelligence of following your own wisdom have a look at these articles :
I really like this blog – have a read of this for a really balanced perspective on the current all green smoothie craze …. http://www.thenutritionguruandthechef.com/2013/06/03/why-im-not-that-into-green-smoothies-even-though-im-a-nutritionist
And then have a look at this study that proves that one persons’ nutritious food recipes are not necessarily going to work for another. It really is all about learning about what works for you, only using advice as potential guidance.