Archive | May 2013

Cultivate the Love Within

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The conversation outlined below occurred between Wayne W. Dyer and an audience member sitting in the front row at one of his seminars. Dr. Dyer was using an orange to illustrate a point about getting squeezed by the daily stresses of life and what comes out of us under challenging conditions.

It is a very enlightening exchange and a great reminder that we can’t fool ourselves or others about what we hold within us because sooner or later it will be shown outside us.

“If I were to squeeze this orange as hard as I could, what would come out?”

“Juice, of course.”

“Do you think apple juice could come out of it?”

“No!”

“What about grapefruit juice?”

“No!”

“What would come out of it?”

“Orange juice, of course.”

“Why, when you squeeze an orange does orange juice come out?”

“Well, it’s an orange and that’s what’s inside.”

“Let’s assume that this orange isn’t an orange, but it’s you. And someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, says something you don’t like, and offends you. And out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, fear. Why? Because that’s what’s inside.”

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We have a choice on the thoughts, feelings and beliefs we hold inside us, unlike an orange which doesn’t get to choose its contents.

Good food for thought!

When you get squeezed, what is your first response?

Action Step:

If you want to feel and respond more lovingly, then cultivate tender thoughts and feelings within you through affirmations, meditation and good self-care. These practices go a long way toward growing the love!

Banish Boredom

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Only boring people get bored.”
― Ruth Burke

The quote by Ruth Burke above may sound harsh but it can also motivate us into action and get proactive in our lives. Often, when we feel bored it can be tempting to make outside circumstances the cause and passively wait for circumstances to change. However, if we are taking ownership of our lives, then boredom is a helpful symptom that lets us know we are living in predictable ways, and are not exploring anything new or differently.

If we feel bored, then it is up to us to do something about it, and not wait for someone or something to happen to get us excited again.

This doesn’t necessarily mean an entire life overhaul but it might mean going a different way to work, eating at a different restaurant, changing up our exercise routine or taking up a hobby. It might also mean reconnecting with some goals or passions we have stopped doing or striving for, or ceasing thinking and talking about the same things in the same ways.

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We are the author of our own life and this quote is a call for us to make some adjustments. If we were reading a book, and it had predictable story lines and it was the same information chapter after chapter, we wouldn’t finish the book or would be bored throughout. Not that every word or page has to be fantastic but we would want it to be interesting, leading somewhere and have some exciting surprises along the way as well.

Well, we can do that in our own lives too. We can approach and create each day as if it is a novel we are writing. We can spend our time creating an exciting, informative and interesting compilation of thoughts, and experiences.

Any previous days or chapters are in the past but this is a new day that we are writing. We can use the old manuscripts as a reference point, and apply any lessons learned there into our current novel.

As in any interesting novel, there are unexpected plot twists, characters and events that occur which can suddenly move us in a whole new direction. We may not have control over these occurrences but we do have control over our responses and general attitude.

Being open and optimistic about each day and our hopes for the future creates joy and flexibility, whereas, being pessimistic creates boredom, depression and rigidity.

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Psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman explains a pessimist to be someone who uses the three P’s below to explain themselves and their lot in life:

Personalization: “It always happens to me!”

Pervasiveness: “It happens to me every day in every way!”

Permanence: “It will never end!”

As we can see, pessimistic thoughts won’t get us where we want to be. We all get lost sometimes and get writers block on occasion, but when we jump back into life and take some new and exciting actions, our creative juices will start flowing again.

It is exciting to think that today is evolving in this moment, and our present choices can help make it a joyful one or not. Now is the time to fully participate in our current relationships, careers and individual pursuits for better daily experiences, and leave boredom behind us.

Action Step:

If you are feeling bored today, than do one thing differently than you normally do.

Embrace Goal Setting

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Many of us have a negative association with setting goals, as it feels like a lot of work to write down what we would like to accomplish, and then take the actions necessary toward their fulfillment.

Ironically, it actually takes less energy to have a written strategy in place, then to leave our desires open ended. When we keep our desires loosely undefined in our head without any plans in place toward their completion, it doesn’t motivate us to put any goal setting processes in motion. Consequently, they remain an unfulfilled wish and longing.

However, when we see our goals in black and white, with an assigned time frame for their completion; it generates excitement, momentum and a willingness to go for them, as we see they can become a reality!

We don’t want to worry and obsess about fulfilling our goals though, as that would create unnecessary pressure and stress; while ruining any joyful feelings that come from accomplishment.

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We can, however, make this a fun process by putting a goal chart on the wall, and listing specific and measurable goals we would like to complete. Upon completion, we can check each one off, and have some other celebratory reward system along with it.

We can start with relatively small items on our goal chart, and then build up to writing bigger and better dreams as we accomplish each one.

What motivates you to take action toward your goals?

Action Step:

Fill out a goals chart, and then slowly complete each one over a 90 day period.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Enjoy all the helpful and uplifting quotes below by Wayne W. Dyer. Make this and every day a celebration!

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

“Friends are God’s way of apologizing for your family.”

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”

“With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”

“You are not stuck where you are unless you decide to be.”

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”

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“When the choice is to be right or to be kind, always make the choice that brings peace.”

“Your reputation is in the hands of others. That’s what the reputation is. You can’t control that. The only thing you can control is your character.”

“You have everything you need for complete peace and total happiness right now.”

“Conflict cannot survive without your participation.”

“Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.”

 “I am realistic – I expect miracles.”

“Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make, not a place you must find.”

“Your children will see what you’re all about by what you live rather than what you say.”

“You don’t need to be better than anyone else you just need to be better than you used to be.”

“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.”

“In any relationship in which two people become one, the end result is two half people.”

“When you’re at peace with yourself and love yourself, it is virtually impossible to do things to yourself that are destructive.”

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.”

“Each experience in your life was absolutely necessary in order to have gotten you to the next place, and the next place, up to this very moment.”

“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame her, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.”

 

Change Your Story

Katie responds to a question from a participant at the Forgiveness Workshop in Ojai, California in Sept. of 2009.

Byron Katie, the author of Who Would You Be Without Your Story? says that,

All the suffering that goes on inside our minds is not reality; it’s just a story we torture ourselves with.

Many of us have a story we’ve created about who we are and what is possible for us in this life. Often, we will want or need something but reject the idea because of a story we tell ourselves about why we can’t have it.

Some examples of stories we tell ourselves:

I’m too fat to have a great relationship.

I can’t be happy because I had an unhappy childhood.

I’m too old to try anything new.

I don’t have time to work out.

I’m not smart enough to get a good job.

Nobody appreciates me, so what is the use of trying. 

I’m not good looking enough to be successful.

And many more…

The stories we tell ourselves determines our feelings which affects our actions, and ultimately creates our whole life!

They become self-fulfilling prophecies!

Therefore, in order to get rid of the suffering and improve our life, we have to find a way to disconnect from our story.  

This starts by questioning our thoughts and beliefs; realizing that we don’t have to believe everything we think.

Katie suggests we write down our stressful thoughts, and then ask ourselves the following four questions:

  1. Is it true? Ask ourselves if the thought we wrote down is true.
  2. Can we absolutely know that it’s true? Open our mind and to go deeper to find the answers that live beneath what we think we know.
  3. How do we react, what happens, when we believe that thought? Begin to notice how we feel when we believe the thought and the level of disturbance it causes us. 
  4. Who would we be without the thought? Imagine how our life would be different if we didn’t have the ability to even think that stressful thought and how we would feel!     

 Action Step:

Ask yourself, what is my story? How is it holding me back?

 

 

Expand Your World

Rear view of a couple sitting on beach

Many of you, who have read my book, and frequent this blog, are familiar with the self-care and personal growth tools mentioned within them.

It is a pleasure sharing with all of you, and receiving such wonderful wisdom in return. I appreciate the exchange of information, and recommendations we all provide for expanding our world.

With that in mind, I am happy to introduce a very informative magazine entitled, Scottsdale Health. In it, you will find helpful articles and tips for improving your life.

Though it is a local publication in Arizona, it has a lot of universally applicable advice.

I am honored to be a part of their May issue which appears on their website today!

Hope you enjoy reading this delightful wellness magazine!

Best,

Cathie