Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Two Lessons On Self Help

Written by Kate • July 5, 2019 •
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A Woven Bust at the Yoga Barn

I’ve a lot of “work” on myself, taking so many classes in self help and personal development and reading a lot of books. I’ve followed and learned from Pema Chodron, Steve Pavlina, Brooke Castillo, Christine Kane, Sara Wiseman, Erin Pavlina, Byron Katie, Eckhart Tolle, Kyle Cease, Tony Robbins, Lissa Rankin, Tonya Leigh, Martha Beck, and so many more. Two things that stand out for me after following all of these spiritual/ personal development leaders for year:

1- Actually Do the Work

No matter how much I learn, if I don’t actually practice the lessons/do the work, then I’m not making any changes and really haven’t learned anything. Kyle Cease says it best. He says, it’s like going to the gym and talking about getting on a treadmill and how best and how often to to use it, and learning about all the benefits working out on a treadmill will bring. And then going home without ever having gotten on the treadmill. Talking about the treadmill will not increase your fitness. You won’t know how your body responds to the treadmill and you certainly get no benefits from only talking about it.

I take all of this to mean to two things-

  • I must practice what I’ve learned and actually do the work and;
  • It’s better to stop seeking more knowledge than I need

By actually doing the work, I sit with my triggers and my habitual patterns and implement what I’ve learned. And then the inevitable failure to implement the new behavior patterns follows. So I know I must keep failing at it and starting again. Soon enough though, the new thought patterns stick.

In doing the work, it also means I have little time to keep seeking more knowledge. By seeking out more and more knowledge, I’m not actually accessing the inner wisdom nor fully implementing the new behavior. In the past, I’ve gone from mentor to mentor hoping for someone to help me relieve the pain of being the me who isn’t in authentic alignment with her true self. And seeking help outside of myself for an inner issue is going to fail, until I sit with myself and access my own deep wisdom and truths.

I will soften this statement by pointing out that many of the teachers are saying the same thing but in their own style. For example, maybe Esther Hicks and Abraham work for you and you just get their ideas on manifestating. Or it turns out that no matter what you do, you can’t really quite grasp their teachings. It’s then you can turn to a different teacher. Then maybe Mike Dooley at TUT or his books may help you more easily consume the teachings. This was certainly the case for me, that after trying to learn from Esther and Abraham for a while, listening to Mike Dooley’s Infinite Possibilities made more sense and it just clicked for me about intention and visualization.

And no matter, which teachers you work with, of course you still have to practice the lessons and you have stop seeking the wisdom and knowledge from elsewhere.

2 – Learning About and Following My Own Yes and No

Another realization, one that’s been so helpful for me to constrain my focus is that I simply love the idea of the Mystery. I love the idea of intuition, of an unexplainable knowing, the Mystery of Life. That by shrugging off all the striving and the pushing and the “making things happen”, there is a surrender to what arises. And if you surrender long enough, if you listen to the small voice in the stillness, a river of magical and perfectly timed coincidences and synchronicities will flow through your life, to astonish and support you. I want this. I want this with all that I am, an internal YES screaming so loudly that it’s apparent whenever this thought arises for me. I want to marvel at the mystery and weep with gratitude of how amazing life can be, even when it’s not “going my way”.

Some of my teachers utterly embrace the mystery and some are very logical and level headed about the step by step instructions about how to achieve certain outcomes. Now that I have acknowledged my preferences, I know I prefer the mysterious. I’ve dropped any teacher who doesn’t allow for the synchronicities to arise. Now I follow that small, clear voice that says yes and the other one, which can be louder at times, that says NO. I love allowing the Mystery.

There have been times in life where I have pushed against walls, pushed boulders up hills, tried so hard against what is a clearly a NO for me. And there are times when I’ve tried something and gotten the clear NO from life and I’ve immediately dropped the effort. And still I can be surprised when much better results arise.

An Example of a Ridiculously Clear NO

Sawyer in his happy place, making us want to move to the beach
Sawyer loves the beach at Echo Beach, Canggu

A recent example of this occurred just a few months ago here in Bali. After making the decision to leave Ubud and try a coastal town so that the kids can have more beach and more playgrounds, I thought Canggu in the west was THE place for us. I got a short term rental while I searched for a longer term rental. [My partner was traveling 6 days a week and was leaving all the details to me.]

Sunset at Echo Beach, Canggu

Prior to moving to Canggu to stay in the short-term rental, I found a long term rental that we were going to stay in for about 6 months. It was going to be a great little house and the twins loved the pool, and the view was great. My partner had looked at it prior to his next trip and thought it could work. I had a small inkling that maybe it wasn’t the place for us but everyone was happy so I just put it out there to the Universe that I wanted this place if it was meant to be. And then I tried to rent it through Airbnb. And the transaction didn’t go through. This had happened before on Airbnb, so I gave it a few days. It happens. Not everything is a sign. I tried to book the villa again and this time, the discount wasn’t applied correctly and then after a ton of effort, the discount was finally applied . And then this transaction would not go through after so much effort to get the discount applied. It didn’t go through again. What? Now, I’m starting to have a stronger inkling that I was getting a No about Canggu. Meanwhile, we moved to Canggu into what I thought would be a sweet, short term rental.

The short term rental was a disaster. DISASTER. Mold in the living room. A bizarre sweat box of a bedroom that made it uninhabitable. The twins getting bitten in their beds so badly that they couldn’t sleep in the other room so we all slept together in my room. We changed our 16 day reservation to 3 days. Pretty obvious to me that I got a clear message saying “GET OUT” (a la Eddie Murphy’s show back in the day).

And as all this was happening and I was trying to find us a place to land after moving from the toxic, short term rental, I decide to have one last go on the long term rental for Canggu. I tried again with the same card and then a different card and still the transaction would not go through. It was a totally mystery as to why I couldn’t get the rental to go through on a card. And yet, I knew. I was getting a huge NO from the Universe about Canggu.

I wrote to the owner of the long term rental and was honest about the reason why I wasn’t renting: that I was freaked out about how I couldn’t rent her place no matter what I did and I felt it was a sign. She was deeply disappointed and a bit angry.

No matter her anger and disappoint, that decision to not take the house and give up Canggu as our future home felt deeply right. I therefore didn’t second guess myself and I moved us to Sanur.

Sanur Beach [with Mt. Agung the volcano in the distance]
The beach at Sanur, with Mt Agung in the clouds in the distance

And in allowing the mystery, everything just clicked. I found the cutest long term hotel rental in Sanur, the Bali Bubble, two bedrooms and a sitting room at a massive discount. Something like $800 less than the house in Canggu was costing us for the same amount of time. And we fell in love with Sanur and it was a joyful, happy almost three weeks in Sanur before we had to leave for our visa renewal trip to Kuala Lumpur. It turns out that Sanur was everything I was hoping for from Canggu and we spent a further two months there. Life flowed smoothly in Sanur. It felt right.

And by the way, I don’t always feel the need to know why I’m being blocked by the Universe. Sometimes I think that it may be the other thing would have been bad and in surrendering to the Universe and feeling my way through the Yes and Nos of life, I am not experiencing the catastrophes that could have occurred had I not followed my intuition and allowed the mystery to unfold.

Sticking with It for the Best Results

Because I have spent much of my life ignoring my own yeses, I still am not very proficient about feeling into the yes or the no. In the past, I’ve muscled my way past the quiet, small voice that says yes to something inconvenient and no to the convenient. But I renew my commitment to saying Yes to my authentic self as often as I notice I’m not. I won’t have the most authentic, best life for me without following my true Yes.

What have been your biggest lessons? Best results?

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What Do They Think?

Written by Kate • September 14, 2011 •
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Image Thanks to Christian Revival Network

I was on the phone today with a friend who is making some decisions in his life. He knows what he wants, he knows how to get where he wants to go, and he’s got a plan. The one thing that is holding him back is the worry and fear he has for what “they” will think. Will “they” think he’s being silly pursuing this dream? Will “they” still be his friends? Will “they” disapprove and think badly of him?

“They” have a lot to say and “they” can rule your life if you let them.

Who are “they”, though?

“They” are voices you hear in your head that are, in fact, all the worries, fears, criticism and negativity you’ve ever encountered, both from yourself and from others in your life, that has stuck with you. “They” are the thoughts and ideas that keep you living small.

I had a run with what “they” thought recently myself and I was glad to experience it again so I could banish it from my mindset.  I got a speeding ticket in town the other day. I was trying to play an audible book on my iPhone and I wasn’t paying attention. After I got the ticket, I drove away and realized I was feeling a surprising sense of shame about the ticket.

So I examined my thoughts, as Byron Katie would advise, and I realized that I was thinking about what “they” would think. As in, “they” will think badly of me because I got this ticket. I shook off the belief by going through the exercises below, pulled another part of my power into my own solar plexus [having unknowingly left this little bit external to me for too long], and continued on my way, stronger for the experience. I was actually happy I got the ticket. How else would I have known I thought that?

If you realize that you care too much about what “they” think, here are some tips I’ve used to overcome the feeling that I’ve just failed to live up to some unknown rule:

#1.- Ask yourself who “they” are.  Sometimes the voice of what “they” would think is actually something I would imagine my mother, my friend, my sister, my partner, or some specific person in my life would say to me if they were with me physically in the moment.  It can help to know you’re channeling your mom’s voice from 20 years ago, for example.

And once you know who they are, you can actually have a conversation with that person [in your head] and let them know that they no longer have the power to control your actions. And ask yourself if “they” would really want you to live your life in small and unhappy ways based on something they said but that you interpreted differently than what they said. And if the answer is no, then you can wrap yourself in the feeling that really, “they” want you to be your best. And if the answer is yes, they do want you to live small, then it’s time for you to do some work on being OK with disappointing people and removing the power they have over you. You’ll have to do that at some point any way. So why not now?

#2.  Ask yourself why what “they” think is more important that what you think. This one may seem obvious but what it really does is get at your need for approval, your deep fears of rejection or not being good enough, and your sense of personal power [or lack thereof]. The answer to the question about why what “they” think is more important than what you think is a true sign post to what’s going own with you and your power center.

#3. Feel where the power of worrying about what “they” think is. You can almost feel that when you worry about what “they” think -or a specific person in your life- you’ve given your power away. Your power over the situation is external to you and that’s why you feel so shaky about going against what “they” will think.  Once you’ve gone through the thought exercise of points 1 and 2 above, imagine absorbing the power that had been outside of you right into your third chakra, your solar plexus, and owning the decision on how you’ll proceed.  With this act of pulling your power into you, you’ll feel surprisingly more powerful and grounded than you had.  It can be a bit of a rush!

 

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Love Where You Are

Written by Kate • August 22, 2010 •
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Photo used with permission by EG Focus

I’ve read so much about how it’s best if we can be happy about where we are, even though we’re not in our perfect job, or if we’re drowning in debt, or dealing with a serious health issue, or any of the millions of things that normally choke us and make us feel unhappy. These things make us feel so unhappy right now, in this moment, because life in this moment is NOT GOING WELL [yelling for emphasis on how it feels at times like these].

I’ve been in this place more times than I’d care to admit. Overweight, in debt, hating my job, I had them all. So I have often wondered how on earth we’re supposed to be happy or grateful about where we are. This attitude was really beyond me in the panic and the fear I felt with abundance of lack I was encountering. Boy, was there lack! Not enough money and my job is so very much unfulfilling and not where I want to be.

Despite my situation, I was able to put in place then many of things that make me grateful and happy now. I moved into a lovely home. I have space, quiet, and country surrounding me on a daily basis. I can see the stars and moon each night as I enjoy my surroundings [well, when it’s a starry or moon filled night. Otherwise I enjoy the night sky!] I have erased most of my debt and see the way forward to a near future when I will be debt free. How wonderful!

And so here I am, still with all my remaining issues, especially about my job. But somehow in the past several weeks I’ve been able turn my perception around about my job so that I’m truly grateful for it and if not happy with it, I can see now that it is exactly what I asked for at the time- read that again – it is everything I requested it to be-; stable, well-paying, not something I’m wrapped up in so I walk away each night and leave the office at the office, and with enough time that allows me to figure the what it is I want to do with my life,  to see  the way forward. So even though I’m in the exact same job I’ve been in for so long that literally at times made me despair of myself, my future, and my ability to be happy, I am truly grateful for my job. I’m not pretending to be happy about it because it doesn’t make me happy. But by letting go of the hate, despair, and total 100% resistance to what is, I find myself with a lighter step, an outlook that allows for deep gratitude and therefore great peace, and I find myself now intending outcomes from that same place, which is of gratitude, more peace, and a lot of acceptance. It’s been a lovely change and one that I wish for you all.

I was able to find gratitude and acceptance of my job by listing the positive things about my jobs. My first attempt at this was essentially a bust but another attempt elicited a few things, like an income and new friends. Further attempts at finding the positive made me aware that this job was exactly what I asked for at the time. So how could I not accept it and be grateful for this job that it showed up when I was asking for it, even if I didn’t know at the time what the effects of asking for this would entail. I certainly can manifest my desires!

So if you’re in that spot, where you could drown in the despair of one more day of getting up and going to that job, that it and life are nearly intolerable, consider this. You have some choices. The first is that you can quit. Just walk away. The second is that you can stop resisting that you have brought this job in your life. You can get to a place where you have some peace, some acceptance of what is. It’s best to begin to manifest or intend new outcomes from this place rather than from despair.  By sitting with myself and honestly listing out the things that I like or at least find good about my job has gotten me here, and it’s a place I hope you can get to too.

So start small. What are the things you love about the job you’re trying to leave? Can you come up with 1 thing?  That’s a great start for today.  And tomorrow, can you come up 3 things? And next week, how about 10? Try it today and see if it brings you any change in mindset, or additional clarity.

I think you’ll find that by listing out and focusing on these positive aspects of your job, you’ll find a lightness in your heart and as resistance slips away, you can get to the place where you want to be; grateful, at peace, free of resistance.

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