01 December 2006

Are You Giving Fear or Love?

In its most simple form, the choices you have come down to this – Fear or Love. You can choose to view anything from a context of fear or a context of love. And the only evidence you have of where you are coming from is how you feel and what you “know’ deep inside. Whatever the situation, circumstance or event – you can choose love instead of fear. When you choose love as your primary filter, it’s easier to accept things as they are, not as you expect them to be. When you remember that love is the main game, you move yourself from a place of fear -which manifests as anything from anxiety to terror - to a more resourceful, creative and peaceful place. And when you choose love moment by moment all your communication and thus all your relationships take on a softer, more expansive energy.

During this holiday season, where I, like many of you, will be spending time with family and friends I know that giving love to myself is just as important as giving it to others and that my willingness to let go, accept and allow also includes me – something I tend to forget when caught up in the whole Christmas ritual. So relax and enjoy giving and sharing love.

Wishing you and your loved ones peace and love and joy.

01 November 2006

Who Says It Has To Be Done By Christmas?

that time of year again. The summer holiday season is fast approaching here in Australia and a Christmas/New Year holiday break is integral to many Western Cultures across the world. A time of “good cheer and goodwill towards men” is often seen as the finish line to reach before falling in a heap and having a “break”… until next year. Whether it’s meeting a deadline, catching-up with friends and family, achieving a sales budget or cleaning out the office – this arbitrary deadline can have you feeling stressed and under pressure to “get everything done before Christmas”. Not to mention all the extra energy needed to do all the things that have to be done for the holiday season.

Say’s who? When did this time become any more urgent or important than any other? Granted the whole “end of the year” thing is a convenient marker for letting go and starting fresh. And if that’s how you choose to view it and choose to use the start of the year to start something new for you, go for it. At the same time you could also choose to stop for a moment, take a breath and relax…that’s right… R…E…L…A…X. You can choose to have this “time of year” be as peaceful and flowing and productive and nurturing as any other. It’s your choice. You can choose to agree that time is the arbiter or you can choose to remember that you are!

So the next time you find yourself thinking/feeling “it has to be done by Christmas” ask yourself…”says who?’ and then choose.

15 October 2006

Are You Being With It Or Agreeing With It?

Whatever is happening you always have a choice – you can be with it or you can agree with it and your next experience will occur out of the choice you make.

Agreeing with it means you engage in the seductive dance of deciding things mean what you think they mean out of judging and evaluating what occurs according to your past-infused beliefs about good and bad, right and wrong, ok and not ok. When you agree with it, you get stuck with it. It feels “really real” so the next urge usually is to “fight it” or “flee from it”. Struggle with it, work at it, or bury your head in the sand and enjoy a little denial. And the kicker – reacting, behaving and/or acting out of what you agreed is true from your judgement like it’s really real! Whew! When you agree with it, the game becomes fight or flight – and not much choice.

When you choose to be with whatever is going on, you will experience more peace and joy in the process of being and allowing and accepting. Energy flows and things change just in the process of life itself. Being with it means that you accept who you are as “cause” of your reality, it means accepting that whatever is occurring is how it is and allowing all the thoughts and feelings without doing anything about any of it and accepting the perfection inherent in this moment. Acceptance means the willingness to be with it rather than wanting to, having to, needing to change it, alter it or do something about it. When you be with it, energy flows.

So when something occurs, accept it, allow it, be with it and inevitably, something else will be.

01 October 2006

Can You Really Handle 100% Truth?

What would the world be like if everyone told the truth? I mean 100% of the truth, 100% of the time, 100% of everyone...what would it be like? I personally think it would be great – eventually. With all truth on the table there would be nothing to fear. Imagine that!

However, the pervasive paradigm we live in says: “It’s a nice ideal BUT you can’t really tell the truth 100% of the time about 100% of everything to 100% of everyone. It’s good to be honest but sometimes you have to lie (withhold, deny, pretend, not say anything) or people would be saying things and hearing things that may hurt or cause conflict or outright aggression etc.”

And there you have it. The reason you can’t handle 100% truth is two-fold: you have decided that others can’t handle it (because of what they might feel) and the real kicker - you are scared of what you might feel. As long as you stay scared of what everyone might feel, as long as you continue to react to another’s truth as if it is a personal attack the game of “I am open and honest….(except when I’m not)’ will continue. And not much will shift.

So next time you have an opportunity to really be open and honest - open up your heart (not just your head) and connect with 100% truth: the “stuff” that’s going on, your feelings and what you know - then communicate (give and receive) from love (rather than fear) and respond to whatever comes up and keep responding until you feel the energy shift – and it will when you go for 100%.

01 September 2006

Self-Doubt Is A Traitor!

“Our doubts are traitors that make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt,” William Shakespeare

When I first came across this quote it struck a deep chord within me. The idea that “doubts are traitors” made me realise that every time I get a clear, intuitive or gut response to say “yes” to something, I “win the good” when I take the leap of faith and choose before I know what’s going to happen. And when I doubt myself and what I know, when I decide to question what I am saying “yes” to, I am betraying my own magnificent self and what is possible for me and I “…lose the good…by fearing to attempt”.

Think about it. Whenever you get a clear signal to say “yes” to something and act before you think too much, I bet things work out better than you could have ever planned. Yet when you get a clear “yes” and rather than acting on it, you distract yourself with in-depth analysis of the data and facts and pro’s and con’s and trying to work out all the angles (i.e. the “right” choice to make) – you end up stuck in confusion, indecision and endless wondering not only what to choose and what to do but also how it’s all going to occur and how you are going to handle it.

When you choose to go with your heart, gut, soul – whatever you call it - and act before you think too much, you will experience being in the flow of your life, being the “cause” of your reality rather than “at the effect” of it. And when you choose first and trust your ability to respond, the “how to” shows up in unexpected and delightful ways.

I invite you to say “yes” to something today - before you “think” about it too much - and see what happens!

01 August 2006

What Are You Responsible For?

Every human being, irrespective of race, colour or creed, has the right to enjoy loving and nurturing relationships. Yet many relationships are torn apart by conflict because you look to the other or others to change so you can have what you want. It doesn’t work (just look at the world stage!) and it never will. Time for a different choice:

Declaration of Personal Responsibility for Relationships

  1. I am responsible for loving and being loved.
  2. I am responsible for expressing my truth and being heard.
  3. I am responsible for being happy and experiencing joy in my life.
  4. I am responsible for being safe in all aspects of my life.
  5. I am responsible for being the best me I can be every day.
  6. I am responsible for being respectful and being respected.
  7. I am responsible for trusting and being trustworthy.
  8. I am responsible for my own satisfaction and fulfilment.
  9. I am responsible for giving and receiving.
  10. I am responsible for ensuring all my needs are met.
  11. I am responsible for everything I feel.
  12. I am responsible for making time to nurture myself and my relationships.
  13. I am responsible for my own sexuality and safe expression.
  14. I am responsible for acknowledging my uniqueness and individuality.
  15. I am responsible for my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.
  16. I am responsible for sharing myself and my experiences with others.
  17. I am responsible for determining my own values and fulfilling them.
  18. I am responsible for my own growth and development.
  19. I am responsible for the effect that I cause in all my relationships.
  20. I am responsible for everything in my life, my world and my universe.

You are responsible for the quality of all your relationships. When you take responsibility for yourself and how you show up in relationship to everyone and everything you are actively participating in creating a world at peace.

15 July 2006

Judgement Is Repulsive!

A few weeks ago, I turned 50 and was showered with acknowledgment, love, flowers, well wishes and beautiful gifts, one of which was a gorgeous silver ring from Tiffany & Co. When I opened the blue box I was in raptures! It was perfect. - perfect shape and design and although a little loose, I wore it anyway. (You probably know what’s coming…) Five days later, it slipped off my finger and when I realised it was gone I had a brief moment of certainly it somewhere in my house then the self-judgement started: “stupid”; “irresponsible”; etc and things got very ugly and very stressful.

With the old paradigm “not good enough” running the show, I frantically searched everywhere. No ring. I tossed and turned through the night and the next day I asked a colleague for some support. He helped me see that I was agreeing with my self-condemnation (not good enough again!!), that (obviously) I had become attached to the ring yet had not really let myself “have” it; and that the whole truth included that I wore the ring when it was loose because I loved it and wanted to enjoy it (not that I was “just stupid and irresponsible”)!

It took a while to process all my feelings and become aware of the whole. And then I got it: every time I judge myself (and others) I push away. When I remember I am responsible, that I am “cause”, that everything is always happening perfectly, when I accept and let go, things shift. When I accept rather than judge I feel at peace.

Two days later I spotted the ring under my bed (where I had searched before!) and I let myself fully receive it. And yesterday I took it back to Tiffany where it is being resized!

01 July 2006

You’re Overreacting!

How you are never upset for the reason you think you are.

Overreacting. You know what I mean. That moment when someone says or does something or something happens and you find yourself in the midst of an intense, overpowering, emotionally, charged full-blown reaction! A reaction that seems disproportionate to the situation – yup, you’re overreacting!

Have you ever wondered why it’s called overreacting?

Because you are reacting to something from the past, to something that is over. Reacting now as if it’s happening again - reacting now to something that is as over as yesterday yet you are still emotionally attached to it. That’s why you over-react. Because you have not yet fully responded to (or released) whatever it was in the past, the subconscious memory of which is being triggered in the present and – wham! The emotional maelstrom starts.

So next time you find yourself overreacting, ask yourself “What’s really going on here?”; “What does this really mean to me?”; “When have I felt like this before?” and listen to yourself. You’ll know when you get to the source of your upset, and then you can respond – this means acknowledging what’s really upsetting you, dealing with it and letting it go. Respond, release and move on.

15 June 2006

You'll Never Get To Be Good Enough

So you might was well stop trying.

Your pre-occupation with doing more and doing better so you’ll feel good enough is driven by the false belief that who you are is not good enough…yet. You think you’ll get to be good enough one-day-some-day-when you do and/or have whatever it is you think you need to do/have to be ok. You hope that by doing enough, doing more, doing better, one day you’ll somehow feel good enough ie: valuable, worthy, loved, supported, cared for, recognised etc. And then you’ll be ok, you’ll feel ok.

That day never comes! Feeling good enough is fleeting at best because the context you are operating from – that who you are is not good enough, not really lovable and valuable - is a lie. It’s not true and you can choose to let it go and accept a new belief anytime you choose.

The truth is that who you are is magnificent, loving, powerful and creative. That’s who you are. And what you do is simply what you do. Who you are is lovable and valuable simply because you are. Your intrinsic value has nothing to do with what you do or don’t do. What you do relates to your growth but not your value. Your value is assured because you are you. When you accept the truth about who you are, rather than continually “trying to be good enough”, you’ll “get better” naturally.

You’ll never get to be good enough because who you are is, always has been and always will be completely perfect. Now isn’t that a relief?

01 June 2006

Death Is Hard For The Living

One of my dearest friends died a few weeks ago. When it came, it was quick though not completely unexpected. For her I am glad. She is free from the pain of her body and I know she is at peace. It’s hard for those of us still living as we have the human stuff to deal with - the memories and thoughts and feelings and emotions – the process of letting go and grieving.

Saying goodbye takes longer than leaving and right now I feel as if it will continue for evermore. I also know that this is a process and I always have a choice about how I feel and how I deal with this powerful event in my life. As well, I feel no need to hurry up and “get over it” or “get on with it” and am really focussing on being ok with where I am right now. As I ride the waves of grief, sometimes gentle and soft, at other times huge and harsh, I have been amazed by the force of my feelings and emotions, uncomfortable with how quickly I am in the middle of a huge wave with tears spilling and my heart squeezed tight. It’s as though the whole of my life is condensed into a few moments of this feeling experience and there is nothing else. Nothing else to do but to ride the wave and allow – no assistance, no resistance, allow, allow, allow. As I allow myself to move toward the feelings and be where I am at any given moment, I experience the peace that comes as each wave ebbs and then flows again. And I am very glad that I learned more about how to be fully present in the last few months of Deb’s life – at least when I was with her. I have no regrets where our relationship is concerned, nothing left unsaid, nothing left undone. And through it all, I am receiving support like never before. I feel completely embraced by compassion, comfort, kindness, care and simple acts of friendship everyday – more than I could possibly list here. I am deeply grateful for the outpouring of love I constantly receive via the phone, email, mail and in person. Thank you all, it makes a huge difference.

01 May 2006

Nothing Is Certain

(Before you read on, take a moment to acknowledge how you are feeling)

Nothing is ever certain, except change … In fact, the only think you can be certain of, is change. This doesn’t mean you have no choice, in fact you have lots of choices in the context of change. You can choose what to change and do something wilfully to make it change. You can choose to fight change and hang onto the past, the way it was with the relentless ‘woulda-coulda-shoulda” conversation in your head. You resign yourself to change and tell yourself you have or had “no choice”. You can accept change “and make the best of it”. All stress making options! Or you can simply be here now, in this present moment, enjoying whatever is so for you, safe in the knowing that everything will change … eventually. And it will keep changing - no matter what you do (or don’t do) and no matter how you feel!

Change must occur for life to go on. No matter what you think, feel, know, do or not do, change is inevitable. So relax, enjoy this moment because it will not come again. See it’s already changed! (Check in again, how do you feel right now?) I bet it’s changed too!

01 April 2006

Welcome to the first issue of Fundamentals*, a regular newsletter to remind you how to create profound fundamental shifts in your communication and relationships. I say remind because somewhere inside you, you already know. My intention is to provoke your thinking, stimulate your awareness and help you remember what you already know so you can make whatever fundamental shifts you choose. And when you make a fundamental shift - it sticks.

You Are A Liar

Calm down, I am not attacking you, I am merely stating a truth … well … that’s not entirely accurate. It would be more precise to say: You lie. In fact, everybody lies. Not necessarily with malice and a conscious desire to deceive but rather you lie unconsciously and sometimes unintentionally. You probably think you are honest and you probably accept that others are honest too. Yet what I know about human beings (myself included) is that we all lie, sometimes. And mostly what we lie about is how we are feeling.

Not communicating your feelings causes more problems in relationships than any other single thing. Think about it. Not acknowledging your feelings is a form of lying called withholding. If you do not acknowledge the whole truth when you are communicating ie: what you are thinking, what’s going on (the stuff) AND what you are feeling, then the other person cannot give you a whole and satisfying response. You can transform your relationships by including what you are feeling when you communicate.

How are you feeling right now? Chances are you will answer in one of three ways:

  1. You will tell me what you are thinking - eg: “I’m wondering what’s the right answer?”
  2. You will tell me the stuff that’s going on - eg: “I am really busy and having a few problems with my staff …”
  3. You will tell me what you have concluded about what you are feeling - eg: “I feel great/good/fine/ok/not bad/flat/down/upbeat/positive/negative … etc”

All of these responses come from the chatter in your head and they are not feelings. Feelings occur in your body. That’s where you feel things. So check in with your body. Right now, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself: “So what am I feeling right now?” Answer the question with a feeling/emotional word - eg “I am feeling happy/sad/anxious/ frustrated/calm/excited etc.” The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

So the next time someone asks: “How are you?” or “What’s going on?” included the truth of how you are feeling in your response - you’ll be glad you did.

*Explicit Concepts was called Fundamentals for Issue 1