Week 19 – What We F.E.A.R.

What is FEAR? Some have coined the acronym for FEAR as False Evidence Appearing Real. While this statement makes sense in certain cases, it diminishes the emotion of fear itself as a real powerful force to motivate us into action.

FEAR is an emotion we experience with regards to a thought or reaction of real or imagined stimuli. It is the feeling, for instance, that my friend expressed when she found out an operation was necessary to remove cancer growing in her kidney. It is the feeling a parent experiences when a child runs out in front of a car. It is that feeling which keeps us paralyzed from moving towards our dreams when we perceive the risk is too high or the actions necessary are beyond our comfort zone. Fear has many faces…both real and imagined.

Haanel states…

“Fear is a powerful form of thought. It paralyzes the nerve centers, thus affecting the circulation of the blood. This, in turn, paralyzes the muscular system, so that fear affects the entire being, body, brain and nerve, physical, mental, and muscular.” ~ The Master Key – Part Nineteen

20160117_163503_001Last January my husband, Rick, and I took an anniversary trip to Hawaii. We spent one day hiking the Pololu Valley on the Big Island. Our hike took us up and down three cliffs and valleys through the rain forest for more than half a day. Many times the trail passed narrowly around side cliffs that dropped 30-200 feet below. I was so paralyzed by the view and perceived danger that loomed 5 feet away from me that I could not move past the gentle sloping terrain of the trail right beneath my feet. It wasn’t until Rick stopped to give me a hand that I felt brave enough to walk past the drop off.

The fear I felt hiking along the cliffs was very REAL to me. If I slipped I could fall 20-40 feet with little to stop my slide. When I had something to focus on the fear subsided and I made head way. Staring at the cliffs was paralyzing while keeping my focus on the trail beneath my feet lent some freedom to move one step forward.

Whether your fear is a REAL threat or imagined is solely up to you20160117_154619r perspective. The fear of falling and getting hurt or possibly dying created a block for me to move forward. For my husband the fear of dying or falling was not evident and he easily hiked those parts of the trail that were harrowing without skipping a beat. In fact, it seemed to be more exhilarating for him to be on the edge and fueled his passion for hiking even more.

Rope1In one section of our hike there were ropes to hold. The trail was steep but the security of having something solid and strong to hold onto eliminated my fear. I turned my focus and attention to moving methodically, hand over hand, down the steep slope holding the rope, step by step like a gentle rappel. The rope turned my fear into courage.

The metaphor in life is that when I am paralyzed by moving outside my comfort zone…I NOW ask myself, “Who or what lifeline can I throw myself to eliminate the desperation I feel at this turn?”

This question has made all the difference for me. I don’t have to be brave alone. It is OK to follow my dream, be on the cliff, and ask for wings to fly!

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Week 18 – The Franklin Makeover

Makeovers are all the rage. House makeovers, career makeovers, body makeovers, hair, skin, nails, teeth, you name it we can make it over. What’s truly inspiring about the Franklin Makeover is that you don’t need to spend a dime and you will increase productivity, resources, happiness, and gain all that your heart desires.

Juel-Salon-Curly-Hair-Makeover

Forget the hair…let’s see if Franklin’s makeover glosses over real change or gets straight to the root of the problem.

I started my 13 week makeover thinking about and looking for examples of specialized knowledge. Giving yourself a Franklin Makeover requires some effort and attention. The first day of being on the lookout for “specialized knowledge”, the first of my 13 virtues, my attention wandered to the point of not seeing a single example all day long. Day 2 – ditto. Day 3 – again, nothing. OK… I needed to double my efforts (that wouldn’t be hard since my effort so far was next to nil). If I was going to catch someone in the act of using specialized knowledge I had to remember to put my attention there. Day 4 I actually wrote down “Specialized Knowledge” on a card and carried it with me. With each encounter, phone call, and interaction I began to SEE specialized knowledge in ACTION! It was so cool and it was everywhere!

As soon as I put my attention on “specialized knowledge” I began to see it everywhere. The bank teller who had specialized training to deposit my checks in a timely and efficient manner, the cell phone operator who helped me fix a problem I was having, the cashier I asked for information on how to find what I was looking for. Everywhere I turned I was seeing people with specialized knowledge. You know what happened? I began to appreciate each person for the gift of their knowledge and how I was benefiting from that knowledge. I also saw where I was gifting my expertise to others and how I play an integral part in the circles I hang with. By the end of the week I was saying “thank you” more often and being specific in how I was thanking each person. I truly felt more gratitude which put me in a better mood, which in turn allowed me freedom to express my specialized knowledge in ways that were appropriate.

On week two of the Franklin Makeover I looked for kindness. Again, because this is not a habit for me yet, it took great effort for me to remember to look for kindness and to acknowledge it. After a few days I again had a better outlook on humanity as I saw how kind people were to each other.

My list of virtues goes on with “enthusiasm”, “self-discipline”, and this week (week 18) “pleasing personality”.

I had a harder time seeing “pleasing personality” as I was looking for genuine pleasantness from people, not people trying hard to “please” other people for the sake of “fitting in” or “brown nosing”. As I contemplate those people who I genuinely like to be around I realized that those are the folks who have the most pleasing personalities. They are genuine with me. When I started noticing how they respond to others I could see that they possessed self-discipline and kindness in their word choices and what they chose to talk about. Rarely did they talk about themselves, they seemed to always be edifying others. You could say they were “positive” in nature and their enthusiasm for life was evident.

So far, I like the person I am becoming with this makeover. I know that what I see in others I possess myself. What I choose to focus on I also tend to do more of myself. Where I see a kind act I exhibit more kindness myself, where I see self-discipline in others I am inspired to practice more self-discipline in myself.

This realization got me thinking about Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world” and I’d like to add an addendum to that, which is…

“In order to be the change, you must first see the change you wish to be in the world”.

Open your attention to what is already around you and the world changes.

Week 17a – The Hero’s Journey

It truly takes a hero to
walk in your own shoes. To meet your self at the crossroads of change and take the road less traveled takes courage, strength, and persistence. What I’m experiencing is that the old me, the one comfortable with status quo, is not going down without a fight. Procrastination, feelings of inadequacy, and my messy desk are staring at me as I write this blog. I just have to sigh and remind myself that I promised to move forward regardless of procrastination, feelings of inadequacy, and my unruly desk. I understand in theory how to overcome these forces. Get the BIG ROCKS done first! I even understand from experience as I’ve overcome these obstacles before. It seems that they are as persistent about sticking around as I am persistent about getting rid of them. So the battle goes.

herosjourney

In the fight for my right to an abundant life of living my dreams I have built an arsenal of tools:

  • Knowledge about how peptides work and how to make new neuro pathways that support me in my dreams.
  • Give more of what you want, get more of what you need
  • Service = Love = Growth
  • Seven Laws of the Mind
  • I am Nature’s Greatest Miracle
  • Focus in the SIT (Still In Thought)
  • Letting go of what I don’t want in order to have what I want
  • Master mind group that supports me in my quest
  • Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude – shout it from the roof tops!

And so many more insights during the MKMMA experience. This week we talked about the story of Jonah and the Whale. Jonah was a reluctant hero. He refused the call, and what did God do? He sent a Whale to swallow Jonah up so they could have a heart to heart chat. Jonah came out of that whale and went after his calling. His refusal at first is not unlike what each of us experience as we are called to live our dharma. We hide, run away, slink back into the comfort of the known. Yes, I’m guilty. It takes work, effort, and stepping outside of the known (aka trusting) to get after our dreams.

So I’m having a heart to heart with God. I’m letting go of the banana in the jar aka:

  • Not being true to my word
  • Looking for excuses
  • Judgement
  • Giving up

As I proceed forward on my Hero’s Journey…Do it. Do it now.

Week 17 – Permission Granted

Who gives you permission to do what you do? I believe this is a question worth asking. As children this question may elicit a different response than when we are adults. As an adult we may take it for granted that we don’t need permission…or maybe we mistake approval from others AS permission to do or be something. We end up being or doing to please others instead of being and doing what our heart desires. That is not what permission is. Seeking approval outside ourselves gives away our power. We surrender our will to that of another.

Here’s why I LOVE this fabulous word…PERMISSION…

Introduced in week 17, Mark J. gave us a 30 second exercise to, out loud, give ourselves permission to do or be what was in our heart. Simple exercise. Profound effect. For some reason taking the time to give myself permission really felt freeing!

I began by saying out loud “I give myself permission to be happy!”

A smile crossed my lips.

“I give myself permission to be wonderful!”

Grinning with affirming tingles down my spine.

“Permission granted to be quirky and different and smile big, give hugs to strangers, dance in the living room, shout for joy, compliment a loved one, laugh out loud, be courageous!”permission

I finished with, “You have my permission to pursue your dreams, making the world a better place to live in!”

Whew! It was like coming out of the fog and being able to see clearly. Who knew? Such a simple exercise…30 seconds and BAM I’m out of the old blue print and into the new.

Life gets easier when we drop the conflict within ourselves…the constant excuse making that fights against our true happiness. Conflict that comes via the voices from the past…from my childhood and from others…shutting me down. That’s why I’m really in love with PERMISSION! There is no one telling me I can’t live my dream but me and my old blue print. HA! I’m giving myself permission to attract those people into my life who support working together with me on projects that are for the greater good. Because I give myself permission to enthusiastically pursue my dreams with laser focus I am supported at every turn!

Master Key 17:25 says…

“Remember that fundamentally the subconscious is omnipotent; there is no limit to the things that can be done when it is given the power to act. Your degree of success is determined by the nature of your desire. If the nature of your desire is in harmony with Natural Law or the Universal Mind, it will gradually emancipate the mind and give you invincible courage.”

Well bring on the courage because I’m giving my subby the power to act…

I feel like I’m my own Fairy God Mother….”Linda, I grant you permission to follow your heart’s desire without hesitation and with enthusiasm!” Sweet!

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Week 16 – Ahhh The Virtues

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” ~ Ralph Marston

I clapped my hands when the virtues were introduced in week 15. Our assignment: to study and focus on one virtue a week for the next 13 weeks! Yippee! Seriously I feel as giddy as a school girl. This is one of my favorite subjects.

There are over 600 virtues found in the collective religious and sacred traditions of the world – according to Dan Popov PH.D., co-founder of The Virtues Project™. Dan and his wife Linda Popov discovered that virtues are at the heart of meaning in every culture and belief system, from indigenous oral traditions to the world’s Sacred texts. How about that for unity!christian_virtue

This week our MKMMA group was to be in harmony in looking for kindness in everyday people.

Time to RAK ‘em up! (RAK = Random Acts of Kindness).

What’s so powerful about kindness is that the giver gets as much out of the RAK as the receiver…sometimes more!

How do we incorporate these heart centered characteristics into our everyday?

In the master keys master mind alliance the practice of incorporating these virtues is simply this: watch, look, listen, open up, observe, and NOTICE when you see the practice of these virtues in yourself and others. What I found is that when I focused on kindness, for instance, I started seeing it everywhere…the cashier, the lawn care person, the mail man, even my husband. As soon as I acknowledged the kind acts (however small they seemed) in my husband, I felt light-hearted and my husband was all the more eager to lavish another kind act for my enjoyment. A testament once again that what we put our attention on we get more of.

I’ve heard it said that we are able to see virtues in others because we possess those virtues in ourselves. Looking for and acknowledging these qualities in others serves merely to solidify that virtue in ourselves.

Why then do I sometimes default to finding fault? Habit? Cultural influence maybe…or negative bias…all guilty.

I’m enjoying practicing the opposite – to choose to see people in their beauty, in the light of Christ, Buddha Nature, or whatever else you want to call it. Truth is, the more we choose to see virtues in others the more we will develop and see those characteristics in ourselves. This is certain to improve our tomorrows.

Week 15 – Excuse ME…Not!

I don’t mean to brag but…

I am natures’s greatest miracle! It’s true, and so are you! So says Og Mandino in Scroll IV of “The Greatest Salesman”. 

I am unique…just like everybody else.

Reminding myself of this truth, everyday, 3 times a day is the antidote for excuse making. I’ve made excuses my whole life. Excuses like…

  • funny-quote-for-making-excuses“The reason I’m not famous like so and so is because I was born into a poorer household with little opportunity.”
  • “I don’t have time because I’m a busy mom.”
  • “I’m not wealthy because I don’t have the support I need.”
  • “I’ll try my hardest but I’ll never be the best because I have so many other interests competing for my time.”
  • “I can’t be as good as that person because he/she was lucky and had an easy life.”

Excuses, excuses! You get the picture. Even as I write these down they sound hollow and false…yet, I find myself entertaining these thoughts on more than one occasion a day.

Truth is, an excuse comes from a place of lack. it excuses us from being great – it’s the master of mediocracy. It is the outward comparison of ourselves to another’s gifts and talents and assuming that their talents were somehow easier to achieve than ours. We fall short every time. It makes us feel inferior and that our talent is not worth giving to others. A dangerous place to be in the world of an entrepreneur.

The opposite of making an excuse involves two things…

  1. Acknowledging our uniqueness
  2. Appreciating our circumstance

This is what Og Mandino writes about. Deciding to come from a place of strength and celebrate my own unique experience no matter how small or insignificant I may feel is the road to success. It leads me down a path of believing that I can and do have something to offer.

I got this aha moment in dance rehearsal last week. We were on the bar, as we are every week, doing pliés and tendus. I was thinking to myself, “this is so hard at age 52. I’m too old to be as good as these younger women.” I caught myself mid-sentence and realized I was selling out to lack! Yikes! and Yuck! A huge aha moment for me. Something inside me said,

“You love dance! Just do it and go full out!”

I did. My spine straightened. I felt my core tighten. I gave myself permission to go full effort – and you know what happened? It was FUN! I felt FREE! I danced better than I thought I could. At that moment I felt a responsibility to myself and to the dance company to treat this moment like a performance. Then these words came to mind…

That which we practice often we perform amazingly.

The lesson: Replace complaining with appreciating…no excuses! It works like magic. In every instance. When we excuse ourselves from our dreams we open the door to shame, unworthiness, and lower vibration feelings. When we appreciate who we are unconditionally and take responsibility for our course in life we open the door to greatness! We are natures greatest miracle. Excuse me not, I’ll take greatness!

Week 14 – Got Me Thinking…

Charles Haanel boldly states in Part Fourteen of The Master Key that “all thought is creative.” Not just some thought…all thought.

What does that statement mean? Haanel goes on to say that if you deny the conditions in your life that you are not happy with that you literally up-root or sap the vitality of those conditions leaving them to wither and die. The opposite then stands to reason that what we put our attention towards and think about more often (and complain about) will persist with us, orgrow (seventh Law of the Mind).

You can see this played out when you’re around Uncle Ned or Aunt Petunia who can’t shut up about all the problems that are in their favor. You just think…”Nothing changes with that man/woman, bad luck seems to follow them everywhere.” They are literally creating the bad luck through their constant watering and nourishing of the very conditions that they are unhappy about.

This got me thinking…what if we are so comfortable in our misery that we don’t want to have those problems go away? Or…what if those conditions we deem unfavorable are actually blessings in disguise would we recognize them and change our habitual complaining about them?

This concept hit me hard.

I’ve been nursing an emotional hurt (brought on from a business partnership breakup) for over four years. It seems to come up every time I make a bold move in my business life. It’s as if I’m reliving the pain of that failure over and over and it feels like I’m paralyzed to take a risk. Is it a self-sabotaging mechanism in order for me to stay in the safe and known world? When I reach outside my comfort zone I feel every anxiety and hear all the unworthy gossip about myself replay in my head.

Time to stop the replay!

I CAN substitute a negative thought for a positive one…my choice (Law of Substitution). I can also CREATE whatever feeling around that failure that I want (Law of Dual Thought). JUICY!

After talking about this life changing business fallout to two separate individuals in the same week, I received some very insightful advice which came in the form of an inquiry…”What have you gained from this experience?”

That question simmered around in my head for a few days.

Then the flood gates gave way and I could no longer hold a container of resentment.

My mind poured out instance after instance of all the opportunities that opened up and have shaped my direction in the last four years. I could see that every workshop, class, seminar, or other business venture that I had either been in or taught in the past four years was a direct result of that fateful business failure. All the friendships and people that I’ve met because of or in spite of this failure count in the 100’s. Tearfully I realize that I would do it all over again in a heartbeat and I’m grateful for that past experience. The thought I had created about that business venture being a failure is NO LONGER THERE. It is replaced with a new thought and feeling…one of deep and sincere gratitude. I’m grateful for the experience. I’m grateful for the failure. I’m grateful for all the growth that I’ve experienced.

You could say that the light has replaced the darkness. I have blossomed into a more soulful, authentic, real version of myself instead of working in a business with someone else’s dream.

I find Haanel’s writings to be very liberating. The idea that I can CREATE the condition around an event that is either out of my control (or perceived to be so) is redemptive. Moreover, the study and practice of training my mind to create the condition and see that it is within my control is freeing. I believe Haanel is DEAD ON with his summation of our power to create conditions. To deny this is to deny responsibility for our fate. It is to say that it does not matter what we do in this life because ultimate reward is out of our control. This is not so. We indeed have more control over our lives than we give ourselves credit for.

The very thought that MY thoughts are the cause of the events that take place in my life has got me thinking…what else is possible?9060-Audrey-Hepburn-Quote