Sep 282012
 

The feeling of uncertainty for many of us can be an overwhelming one. It comes up in all different forms and can be a daily struggle. Some examples of when we may face the feeling of uncertainty include (but are certainly not limited) to the following:

1. You have a loved one (or yourself) who has taken ill and you fear what the prognosis/outcome will be down the road.

2. You’re traveling to a new place and fear all of the possible things that could go wrong.

3. You’re in a job where on a daily basis you’re worried about losing it.

4. You fear leaving your current job to live your passion because you don’t know what that new path looks like.

Let me first say that when I speak of uncertainty I’m not talking about noticing that something could be a little scary and then moving forward. What I’m talking about is experiencing the fear of uncertainty to the point that it stops you in your tracks and/or it’s overwhelming and constantly on your mind. Having said that, I believe that there are some commonalities in the examples I list above and in all scenarios where uncertainty is at play. They include the following:

1. Not staying centered/grounded and focusing on living in the now.

2. Borrowing our future feelings (taking on the feelings of what “could” happen in the future.

3. Fear

A few days ago I read a great post written by someone I’d been following the last few weeks. Leo Babauta writes about living with Zen on his blog zenhabits. If you’re not a regular reader of his blog I highly recommend you check it out. Recently Leo wrote a post titled, “Finding Peace With Uncertainty”.

The piece is very well written (as all of his are) and walks through what he believes is the major obstacle for many people to overcome/surrender to uncertainty. Leo presents that the leading factor for those who struggle with uncertainty is the fear of change. In his article he lists some wonderful tips for working through your own struggle with uncertainty. He touches on other areas of focus but primarily believes that the answer to mitigating the obstacle of uncertainty is “becoming good at change”.

I think from a practical standpoint returning to our flexible nature is something we could all work on doing a bit more. However, I don’t believe that focusing on our flexible nature alone (ie; getting good at change) is the answer we seek. I believe that even if we’re more adaptable/accepting of change there is a deeper rooted issue that, given time, will resurface, and block us from fully surrendering to uncertainty.

From a young age many of us develop false beliefs that we carry well into adulthood. These false beliefs can include the feeling that we’re not good enough, that we’re not attractive, that we’re stupid, that we’re screw-ups, that we’re not lovable, and many others. Carrying these false beliefs with us or as I like to say, “seeing the world through our lenses of false belief” reshapes what uncertainty means to us. In fact, it’s the driving force behind why we struggle so much with uncertainty.

Uncertainty is a fear based feeling. In order to consume ourselves with uncertainty we need to leave our present life (all uncertainty exists in the future), allow our false beliefs to drive the meaning we apply to our thoughts and revel in those future feelings we borrow.

Here’s an example of living with uncertainty when one where’s their glasses of False Belief. In this scenario we’ll assume that this persons false belief is that they are not good enough.

Sarah loves making bracelets at home and has been told by many friends that she should start her own business. Sarah loves this idea as it’s her passion and working from home making bracelets means that she can not only do what she’s passionate about but also spend more time with her family. However, the feeling of uncertainty that overwhelms reminds her that she’s not good enough and convinces her that she wouldn’t be able to make it work. She begins to tell her self a story that it’ll never work because of this and that…so Sarah laughs the idea off as a “nice thought”. She doesn’t look into to seeing what it would take, doesn’t look at exactly how much money she would need to make, or do anything to actually start driving towards this goal. Unconsciously she reminds herself that the reason uncertainty exists and is so powerful (to stop her from pursuing her dream) is that she’s not good enough to do this. She’s been told her whole life she’s not good enough and this would just be another reminder to that false belief.

Now if we assumed the same scenario except that Sarah now sees her life through her IQ Lenses (through her Authentic Inherent Nature) she would acknowledge that this is not only a good idea but the right idea. She may experience some mild anxiety about “changing” and doing something different but it would not stop her in her tracks. She knows that she is creative, flexible, passionate, GOOD ENOUGH, and intelligent. She knows that even though it will be challenging, she is just as capable as any other person who’s actually done this.

This is just one example of how becoming aware of how we see ourselves and the world around us can impact our ability to surrender to uncertainty. Uncertainty can be something that is noticed and acknowledged. It can be something that we feel safe in knowing all the things that are inherently true about us. On the other hand, not being aware that we carry these false beliefs only fuels the fire of uncertainty to the point that it literally stops us from living. We leave the present moment (our life) to focus on the unknown and in our minds predict that the outcome of that unknown will be based totally on our false beliefs.

Until we become aware enough to know what our false beliefs are and understand when we’re using them we’ll continue to live in a state of conditioned response. We’ll make decisions based on our false beliefs, literally, without even knowing it. The next time the feeling of uncertainty shows up do the following:

1. Acknowledge that feeling of fear is there.

2. Point (physically) to where in your body you’re feeling that feeling.

3. Give your body room and space to hold that feeling, taking in deep and slow breaths.

4. Ask yourself what false belief may be in your mind that’s fueling this fear.

This is not a complete approach to resolving this false belief (I’ll write more about that later). Rather, I want us to start becoming aware of the fuel that is igniting our fire of fear. Awareness is the first step in making any change. While learning to adapt to change and return to our flexible nature is important, I believe we cannot fully embrace our Authentic Self without first being aware of that our Authentic Self exists.

With gratitude and appreciation,
Josh

Sep 262012
 

When we talk about forgiveness it has many different meanings for different people. For most of my life, my ability to forgive was actually an internal power struggle where I would decide if I wanted to let the other person “off the hook”. If I stayed mad and held a grudge or resentment I actually felt in control. I felt I had some sense of power after being wronged by someone I likely cared about.

The truth of the matter is that when we hold on to anger and resentment we’re only hurting ourselves. How many times have you held on to anger or resentment over someone who’s not even in your life anymore? I know I have and the reality is the other person isn’t feeling any of that pain that you are.

So who is that anger and resentment serving if not as punishment to those that wronged us?

The only thing that pain serves is our ego. In the process of being wronged by that person our ego was severely hurt. We didn’t deserve that to happen to us and we’re not to blame for the wrongdoing over others. We should feel hurt and we should feel pain. What happens is that beyond feeling the pain our ego tricks us into thinking we are the pain. When that partner of ours makes us feel not-good-enough, not-lovable, and not-important our ego tricks us into believing that not only do we feel that way but we actually are that way. Now we identify ourselves as not-good-enough, not-lovable, and not-important. To hold on to these “false beliefs” our ego keeps us playing victim to those that hurt us – the ones who allowed us to feel this way. We’re victims in this situation because we wait for the other person to change or apologize or whatever before we begin to feel better. Of course, this is a vicious cycle that in many cases never ends.

“Forgiveness is allowing ourselves to resolve from the suffering caused by others.”

Forgiveness does not mean what that person did is okay. It does not mean that the other person isn’t at fault. What it does mean is the following:

I am good enough

I am lovable

I am important

I am not a victim to anyone else including my own ego

I am response-able and making a choice to live without fear, suffering, and pain

I am allowing myself to live in an unlimited and abundant pool of love from which I can share with others

When we forgive others for the wrongs they have done onto us we not only take our power back but we now have more energy to love others. Think of how much energy we exhaust on “hating others”. It takes time and it takes energy. That time and energy could clearly be used to love ourselves and those that are important in our lives.

“It’s not what happens to us in life, it’s how we respond to those things.”

Today, think of any old hurts or pain you are carrying around that was caused by others. Tell yourself you are good-enough, you are lovable, and you do matter. Now show yourself that these statements are true but “allowing” yourself to let go of that pain. Here’s a simple mental exercise (credit: Deepak Chopra) you can do anytime you feel the need:

Make sure you’re in a quiet and comfortable environment and that you have about 5 minutes of undistracted (no cell-phone) time.

1. Close your eyes, relax your shoulders, and take 3 deep and slow breaths.

2. Imagine yourself floating on a soft white cloud.

3. In the distance you see the person who wronged you.

4. You notice there’s a string attached to them and you slowly pull them closer to you.

5. You pull the string such that the person is right with you on your cloud.

6. Let that person know how they hurt you and really let them have it.

7. Once you’ve allowed yourself to unload all that they put on you it’s time to let them go.

8. Gently push them off your cloud and watch them slowly start to float away.

9. Pick up that string and cut it knowing all that stuff they threw on you is now back on them and floating away.

10. Slowly come back to an awakened state and breathe in knowing you’re whole, lovable, important, and enough.

 

With Gratitude and Appreciation,

Josh

Sep 242012
 

Saying, “No” to others can be one of the most common difficulties many of us face on a daily basis. How many times have you said, “yes” or not said, “no” for that matter? I have to admit that for the longest time I had trouble saying, “no”. I know mostly it goes back to esteem issues. I struggled to say, “no” because I didn’t want others to reject me. I also wanted to please others even though in that moment I knew I wouldn’t be able to follow through. The thought of rejecting someone and not pleasing them was too hard to bare. Of course, not saying, “no” meant that I wasn’t being honest with myself or the person I was making false promises with.

I would have trouble saying, “No” in many different situations. I would say, “Yes” (when I meant No) in every day situations like doing someone a favor or taking on a big project. It wouldn’t really matter how important the request was as my inability to say, “No” was not dependent on the situation.

How many times have you told someone you’d get together with them after they asked for plans?

This is a very common thing that happens to many of us. Someone says, “We should get together next week” and you respond, “Oh definitely” only to never follow up. Yes, we argue that we just forgot or that we got busy. The reality is we make the time for things that are important in our life and had we been honest we would have responded differently. Perhaps we would have used one of the following replies instead:

“I’d love to get together with you but next week won’t work. Can we look at our calendars and pick a date that will?”

“It was really great seeing you today. Unfortunately, next week won’t work for me. I’ll email you once I’m able to carve out some time for us.”

“I appreciate that you want to spend more time with me. However, it seems I have a different outlook on our friendship/relationship and I don’t think seeing you again is going to work for me.”

Of course, there are many different ways you can respond to a scenario like this and these are just a few examples. However, you will notice that in each scenario the person responding is acknowledging the request, acting decisive, and most importantly being honest.

A No to you is a Yes to Me.

When I say, “no” to you, it’s really a “yes” to myself. We’re being honest with ourselves when we say, “no”. This was a hard concept to grasp initially but I’ll share a personal experience I had.

One night my wife and I were relaxing on the couch. There was some tension from the day that was still in the air. I’m much more of a touchy feely type of person and was feeling like I needed a hug. I leaned in to my wife and asked her if I could have a hug. She turned to me and in a firm but not harsh reply said, “no”.

I felt myself “in the moment” and realized I was okay. Even though she wasn’t in a place to give me a hug I was still okay. Her “no” had nothing to do with anything lacking in me and everything to do with how she was feeling about herself in the given moment. My wife was protecting her personal boundary in that moment. In fact, what she was doing was self-preservation.

Healthy relationships won’t last unless we can exhibit self care.

If this story brings up any feelings for you like, “She’s your wife, she should always hug you!” or “What’s wrong with her?” note that this is your ego talking. Attempting to personalize and/or take offense to someone rejecting you is your ego reminding you that you’re not good enough. Since we know that we’re all ALWAYS good enough nobody’s rejection of any kind can make us any less than good enough. Therefore, if we’re not any less than good enough why would we get upset? Again, this says far more about the other person than it ever could about you. This is not an easy concept to grasp but once you do your life will be so much happier, I promise.

If we can’t say, “No” our Yes’ don’t mean anything.

Our Yes’ are dependent on our No’s being real No’s. Every time we agree to do something for someone or agree to do something we just don’t feel comfortable doing we make our Yes’ that much less meaningful. As I mentioned this is a very tough thing to change but over time you can. Start with pausing before you respond to people. Those extra few seconds or even a minute can help you ground in what is true. Know that saying, “No” is the most honest and authentic response you can have for someone if in fact it’s in alignment with your true intention. Finally, go easy on yourself. If this is a real problem for you and you want to change it’s not going to happen over night. If you catch yourself saying, “yes” when you really mean “No” that awareness alone is a huge first step and one that will carry you through.

 

Photo Credit: greatashby.org.uk

 

Sep 202012
 

You may have heard the phrase, “It’s none of your business what others think of you.”

On the surface, many of us would agree with this statement. However, many of us also find it very hard to live a life detached from what others think of us. So if we intellectually understand the statement above and actually agree with it than why do we have such a hard time living that way?

I think the first step is in realizing that your support of this statement is from an intellectual point of view. It makes sense logically and adds up to everything that seems appropriate and valid in your mind. Fortunately or unfortunately we’re more than intellectual beings as we have emotions that go along with those thoughts. When we apply this to our life, which for many of us, is led by emotions we can see where it’s harder to put into practice.

What this boils down to is a matter of how we identify and value our own sense of self. When we were born we had all the inherent qualities we’d ever need. We were all precious, valuable, lovable, worthy, and important. Sometime from birth to early childhood (5 to 7) as we began to form our own sense of self identity (separate from our parents) we looked outside for validation. Whether we identified with our toys or our clothes or even the friends we made, all these things were outside of us. The feelings associated with obtaining a lot of these “external things” were really good. It feels great to buy new clothes or that new electronic gadget we’ve had our eyes on. Beyond feeling good we actually self-identify with those objects as well. Ever seen someone have their whole day ruined because they got a scratch on their car? Ever heard of someone committing suicide because they ran into financial troubles and lost their house, car, etc? The latter is an extreme case but one that is all too common and speaks volumes to how some people can literally feel like death after a loss of things in their life.

The sad fact is we’re taught as a society that happiness is obtained through external possessions and attachments. It’s not hard to see how the opinions and thoughts that others have about us are so powerful. When someone thinks ill of us or out-right expresses their dislike/hate for us it is easy to be really affected by it. I don’t mean you’re a little bothered and 3 minutes later you shrug it off. I mean, you go on Facebook and rant to the world about how awful this person is. I mean you go home and take it out on your family. I mean you begin to lie to yourself and remind yourself that you’re ugly, fat, and/or not good enough.

The stories we carry in our minds are actually reinforced through the lenses in which we see the world. When we wear our glasses of false belief everything we see becomes a reminder of whatever our false belief is. For example, I had a false belief that I wasn’t good enough. I always wore my glasses of false belief. No matter what happened everything would filter through those lenses and remind me of that. I could make a mistake and perhaps it wasn’t even that big a deal to the person who noticed it. Yet, I would apologize up and down or really beat myself up reminding myself that I’m a screw up. Maybe I would hold out on doing things that could have been really cool for fear that I’d screw it up. Yes, that totally happened because I saw the world as a place that reminded me that I wasn’t good enough. This is one example of what many of us face on a daily basis.

When we flip this upside down and start our day wearing our IQ Glasses we see the world through the lenses of our inherent qualities. We’re reminded instead that we’re lovable, worthy, important, and enough. If we make mistakes we notice them and immediately move on knowing that being fallible is an inherent quality. When we see a challenge we take it head on having no fear that we’ll screw up.

When we walk through life with our IQ Glasses we need no reminding how “Enough” we are. We don’t need to seek validation, acceptance, and approval from others. We need not attach to physical possessions to know that we’re important and worthy. We also know that we see the world as a reflection of ourselves. Therefore, when someone else thinks poorly of us it’s clear that they’re only seeing a reflection of themselves. They can’t possibly be wearing their IQ Glasses or they wouldn’t have that foggy vision. Knowing then that this is the case we also have to know this says nothing about us and everything about them. Therefore, what others think of us is literally none of our business. For the impact of that knowledge is completely inconsequential. Our sense of self is validated internally and nothing on the outside can change that.

So the next time you find yourself contemplating the negative thoughts that others have of you do the following:

1. Stop and Pause

2. Breathe

3. Take off your False Belief Glasses

4. Put on your IQ Glasses

5. Accept that their thoughts say everything about them and nothing about you

6. Express compassion for that person as the reflection they see of themselves isn’t quite as clear as the beauty you see in yours

 

 

Photo credit: Flickr, Pink Sherbert Photography

Sep 192012
 

Last week we took the kids to the park. It was a beautiful day and we decided to walk instead of drive. There’s a quiet park less than a mile from our house that has a really nice play area for the kids. For some reason as we were making our way I felt some anxiety come over me about getting to the park. The kids would stop to look and/or comment about something. Initially I felt anxious and was even a bit dismissive about their findings prompting them to hurry along.

A few minutes after this feeling of anxiety came over me I realized it was there. Then I realized the anxiety was about having to get to the park, something in the future. After taking a deep breath and looking around me I realized all the opportunities in the moment. Not only in that moment but each moment we had between where we were and arriving at the park. I was reminded that fulfillment need not be found in arriving but rather in the journey.

So what did I find after I was willing to appreciate the journey? In this case, the walk to the park? Here are 5 things I was able to appreciate and experience as a result.

1. Nature: We walked past a house that had a little garden outside of it. In the garden were artichokes. It was fun showing the kids artichokes growing and we all appreciated seeing some veggies outside of the grocery store.

2. Connecting: It was really nice walking past houses where neighbors (whom we didn’t know) were outside. As we walked by we took notice of them and smiled. It was nice feeling connected to others even if the exchange was felt in nothing more than a smile.

3. Patience: It was nice having a relaxing walk where the kids could stop and point out things they found interesting. So much of life can be rushed and allowing ourselves to walk without expectation of time was really pleasant.

4. Abundance: Had I let that anxious feeling get the best of me the end result would have been that we visited the park. The walk itself would have been nothing more than a rush to get somewhere with no value in and of itself. However, once I was able to release those harmful feelings I was able to experience the abundance before me. It was no longer just a visit to the park. It was a beautiful walk in nature, with family, connections, joy, and curiosity all before ever getting to the park.

5. Openness: Being open to experiencing the journey led to many connections and experiences just in a short walk. I left myself open to connect with those I walked by. I availed myself to witness my children as they experienced new sights and sounds. I opened myself to my surroundings taking in the beautiful sky, the smells and sounds of nature. Equally if not more important I expanded my awareness such that I allowed time to focus on breath and present mindfulness.

In every day life we find ourselves in similar activities whether it’s driving to work, grocery shopping, or even waiting in line. It’s so easy to focus on the outcome and completely miss out on the journey. With our short family walk I was able to experience nature, connectedness, patience, abundance, and openness. Imagine what possibilities you will encounter and how much bigger your world will get the next time your intention is focused on the journey.

What ways do you remind yourself to slow down and enjoy the moments in the journey?

 

 

 

*Photo credit: family walking, http://mytripleh.com.au

Sep 172012
 

Original Source, (c) http://studio3music.com

I’m a parent of a 3 year old boy and 4 year old girl. If you’re a parent of a toddler (or have been) you probably have wondered if they ever actually listen to you. How many times have you asked your toddler, “How many time do I have to…”, right? Sometimes you just wonder what it actually takes or when they’ll begin to act based on what you’re telling them.

Recently I’ve been doing my best to get them to stop using the word “mine”. That word has been at the core of a lot of problems, I believe, and sets the stage for how they become “attached” to things external to them, such as toys. I plan to write another post specifically on this topic so I won’t get into it now. However, I believe it was important to mention as it plays in to another important topic I’m working on with them…Giving.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been periodically telling both of my kids (especially my 4 year old) that if we want to get anything in life, we first have to give. I truly believe that the Universe (God) is sending us things all the time. I believe most of us can’t receive these things because we literally get in our own way. I know for most of my life I was so busy trying to get everything I thought was important that I blocked all the things I really wanted and needed from coming in my life. If you’ve ever heard the statement, “we get what we are, not what we want”, then you can probably relate to what I’m saying.

I think it’s important to instill these beliefs the best I can at an early age. Will they get all this at 3 and 4 all the time? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do my best to instill it. Do I ram this down their throats or get upset with them if they don’t comprehend or even follow suit? Absolutely not.

Over the weekend something so special happened though that answered the question, “Do they ever listen?”. We had some friends over for dinner and they brought their 3 year old daughter. It had been a long day for all of us and my daughter didn’t have a nap. Again, if you’re the parent of a toddler then you know the value of a nap (at least for most children at a young age). Typically after a full day and without a nap either one of my kids can be pretty cranky and not their normal spunky self. So it was a huge surprise to me that just before our company was leaving my daughter said, “Wait, I want to give Maddie something”.

After going into her room and rustling through her toys out came a Winnie-the-Pooh doll. I told her how proud of her I was. Then immediately I asked her how she felt by giving Maddie that doll. With a smile on her face she said, “Good!”. We do things that make us feel good and I wanted her to not only be able to acknowledge how she was feeling but also for it to resonate with her. Immediately after she gave Maddie the Pooh Jake said, “I want to give her something!”. He wound up finding a small ball and handed it to her.

Later Jake asked if Maddie was going to give him back his ball. I explained to him that she wouldn’t and that he gave her that ball. I reminded him how good he said he felt and that things were coming his way. I understand he may not totally understand what I’m talking about and maybe doesn’t even fully grasp the concept of giving. However, I do believe starting now will set the groundwork for him in the future. Olivia on the other hand I think really understood it and I’m just so taken back that she initiated it in the first place. I didn’t bring up “giving” anything to anyone today. In fact, it had been at least a day if not a couple of days that I had brought it up.

Possibly what made my heart sing the most was what my wife shared with me. She asked my daughter what made her give Maddie the Pooh doll and she replied, “Daddy”. It meant so much to me that this actually affected her and I know how this will carry her for the rest of her life.

Regardless of whether or not our kids stop touching things after the 20th time we’ve told them not to our words are powerful and they do hear them. Today was an amazing reminder that we can absolutely change the world. If my children grow up being the giving and compassionate people I think they will be there’s no telling how many other people they will affect. It’s amazing how much responsibility and power (not egotistical power but authentic influential power) we have as parents and this weekend was a true testament to the power of teaching, learning, and ultimately giving to others. I know whatever the Universe has planned to bring my children it is that much closer to arriving.

With love and appreciation,

Josh

*heart photo, http://studio3music.com

Sep 142012
 

When was the last time you were worried about something that’s already happened?

How about the last time you felt anxious and nervous about something that happened already?

These feelings are all variations of fear and guess what? They ALWAYS live in the future. At the root of fear lives uncertainty and the unknown and both of them live in the future. We don’t have these feelings over something that happened in the past because we’ve already experienced the past. We know what happened since it’s in the past.

If we know that the past is simply a record of history in our minds and the future lives in our imagination then the only life is now. So if life is right now…as in NOW then shouldn’t we be experiencing life in the now?

Too often we find ourselves living in the past or the future and very little time actually living in the now.

So how do we stay living in the now? We start by not borrowing our future feelings. If we know those feelings are based on things in the future (which is not life) than why borrow them?

How many times have you been worried/anxious about something whether it was a test, a conversation, a presentation, or a meeting only for it to pass without issue? Yes, that happens all the time! Almost to the point that we forget we spent the last 3 days worrying for that 5 minute encounter. We wasted all that precious “life” borrowing our future feelings and when the future came, the fear we had wasn’t even warranted! Now that’s something to be frustrated about!

My mother was diagnosed with Cancer a few years back. She’s been undergoing chemotherapy most of those 3 years. In the beginning my mind would wander all over the place and I was not living in the present. I spent a lot of time with my mind in all kinds of chatter over what could be in the future. I decided that I was literally wasting my life away worrying about the future.

I gave my future back it’s feelings.

I may need to have those feelings again one day but I’ll wait for that day to experience them. For now, I focus on the time I have with my Mom and think about what’s real which is what’s right now. Our reality is not what “may” happen in one month, one year, or even 10 years. Our reality is what’s happening right now, today.

So give it a try…The next time you find yourself making all kinds of noise about something down the road, free yourself. Close your eyes and imagine yourself handing over those feelings into your future. See those feelings leave your hands and float away. You can even tell them, “I’ll see you later!”, but know they’re not coming home with you. Now open your eyes and embrace the love that is your reality knowing that fear isn’t part of it anymore.

With love and appreciation,

Josh

Sep 132012
 

 

We’ve all done it, we see it every day no matter where we are, and it so common place many of us don’t even think it’s a problem.

Blame.

You’d be hard pressed to log in to Facebook today and not see someone blaming others for the things they don’t like. We blame the President, we blame the weather, we blame the school systems, we blame fatty foods, we even blame ourselves.

On the surface, one might argue that blaming is healthy and that it points responsibility at a particular party. I think it’s important for me to distinguish between fault and blame at least as it relates to my post today.

Finding the fault or direct reason for something is completely appropriate and often times necessary for us to solve the issue. When we find the fault of a leaky faucet we fix it, right? Let’s say there was a crack in the pipe that caused the leak. Once we find the fault of that leak, the crack, we become aware, we acknowledge, and we move to resolve.

Blaming takes “fault” to a whole new level. When we blame, it may or may not be placed on the actual fault or cause of a problem. We exert a lot of energy, and negative energy I might add. When we blame, we fixate, and often times lure others into the blame game. Blaming rarely yields to resolve. Most often the following things occur:

  1. Blaming becomes a coping mechanism for the things we’ve convinced ourselves we can’t change.
  2. Blaming is often a defensive response to feeling helplessness and powerlessness.
  3. Blaming forces us into the victim role. When we blame others our hate and fear are locked until the thing we blame changes.
  4. Blaming blocks our ability to forgive ourselves and others.
  5. Blaming gives us false power, especially when we share blame with others.
  6. Blaming, like complaining, does nothing but feed our ego and stifle our growth.

It’s so easy to blame others for the things that we don’t like. It’s sometimes even easier to blame ourselves for things that happen. As we can see in the list of bullets above blaming clearly boxes us in and keeps us living in a small world with little possibility for change.

So how do we go about changing this? I think the first step in making any kind of change is being aware. Simply being aware that we’ve shifted from assigning fault to blame is a huge first step. Find solace in understanding the reason for why things are the way they are. If you don’t know why something is the way it is it’s also okay to just not know. Forgive yourself from the need to assign blame. Allow yourself to focus on resolve and on change instead.

When we become part of the change we want to see in the world around us the world starts to take on that change. When we allow ourselves to get stuck in blame there is no potential and we limit our own ability to affect positive change within ourselves and others.

With Love and Appreciation,

Josh

Sep 112012
 

Picture Credit: Library of Congress, September 11 archive, image 02016v.

September 11, 2001 is still etched very vividly in the minds of billions around the world. Although, today marks the 11th Anniversary of a horrific act against humanity it’s still heavy on our minds and our hearts. Many of us have our stories of how we were impacted, whether we were directly affected, knew someone who was, or were traumatized ourselves from witnessing such an act.

Today is a good day to remind ourselves that it’s not what happens to us in our lives but rather how we are impacted by it. Often times we talk ourselves out of having feelings about something for one reason or another. How many times have you fallen in public only to tell the person who asks, “Are you okay?” that you’re fine when in fact you’re not. Even worse, getting physically abused by a loved one only to convince yourself “it wasn’t that bad” or “they didn’t mean to” or “I probably deserved it”?

Every time we choose to belittle or diminish our own feelings, make excuses for the abuse caused by others, or put up a wall over our fear we abandon ourselves. In every one of those acts we choose to appease our ego instead of the calling to our inherent self. The end result is we take one step further away from our selves (our authentic self) and one step closer to fear, ego, and ultimate misery.

How can we honor the 2,996 people who lost their lives that fateful day?

We can honor them by choosing to live in accordance with our authentic inherent nature. There is nothing more honorable than living in alignment with true self. It’s interesting that many of us naturally turn towards “living authentically” in times of life and death situations. You hear countless stories of those changing their lives “for the better” when faced with disease, devastation, or crime. Yet, we don’t have to wait for this to happen before we make the choice to live authentically.

I didn’t know any of the fallen personally on that fateful day. Yet, I find it hard to imagine that if any of them could talk to us they would say anything less than, “Live your truth” or “Be true to yourself” or “Be the best expression of yourself”. So today, on this 11th Anniversary of “9/11” I invite you to begin and/or continue your journey to authentic living.

If this is a new concept for you or you’ve thought of this before but never applied it you can start right now. Remember those brave, lovable, compassionate, beautiful, and whole men and women. If in that remembrance your body is calling you to tears, have your tears. If it moves you to grief without the tears, have your grief. If it moves you to fear, have your fear. For today marks the 11th Anniversary of the last time those beautiful people had a choice to honor their own authentic nature. Don’t wait another day or another year, honor those that have fallen by honoring yourself.

With Love and Appreciation –

Josh

Loading...
Get your FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge eBook!