Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Overcome Resistance

How often does a problem in your life seem to hang around forever? You stew and fret about it. But it doesn't budge. You dig in your heels and tackle it head on. But it won't go away. You try everything you know to resolve it. But it refuses to move.  The more you push, the bigger it gets. So what's going on? Well, there's a saying: Resistance breeds persistence. Is is possible you're giving it gas it needs to keep running?

Everything in the universe is energy, and our minds are more powerful than we realize. Every thought produces energy, positive and negative, and it affects our inner life and our outer life. Each time we have a thought, the energy produced has to go somewhere and do something. The more we focus on a problem and resist it's presence, the more power we give to it over us. It's like pouring coal into a furnace instead of allowing the fire to die out.

When a problem enters your life, of course it needs attention. You can't usually ignore it. But pushing against it doesn't work. Accept it's presence for as long as it's with you, while you're doing all you can to resolve it. This doesn't mean giving in without a fight, but take your fight to the solution--not the problem. Ask for guidance, and ask the problem what you need to learn from it for your own personal growth. It's there to teach you, and it won't leave you alone until you've learned, sometimes only on a subconscious level.

How can we grow without those challenges to expand us? Our journey is a series of glider rides and river rapids. Enjoy the rides, and concentrate on the paddles when the rapids get big. Practice non-resistance, do what's yours to do, and grow through it bigger than you were before.

I wish you happy rides through life.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Free To Love

As we go through life we sometimes take our relationships with those close to us for granted. Nature designed us to connect, to belong, and one of our greatest blessings is those people we share our life with. But sometimes we label each one who and what we design them to be, and we encounter conflict or disappointment. How much are we willing to let them be who they really are and still love them? Love flourishes when it's free to blossom according to it's own nature and not be constrained by our own human perceptions and requirements.

Until a few years ago I thought I knew the people in my life, and I took my perceptions of them for granted. Then one day I was struggling with a stressful situation, and I went to a friend looking for understanding, compassion and support to help me cope. I was very surprised when my friend half listened to my feelings and began telling me what I needed to do to fix the problem. I already knew what to do. I needed the strength to do it. But she didn't hear me. I was devastated, and felt even more alone.

I went to my minister, where I should have gone in the first place, and she explained something about people and relationships that I have always remembered and learned to use in my life. She said every person is given certain gifts, and we're all different. Some people are good at repairing broken items, some are good listeners, some help clarify, some make us smile, and some tell us how we should fix the problem. I hadn't noticed that my friend was a fixer. I thought I knew her. My minister advised me to take a second look at the people in my life, figure out what each one is able to give, and go where I know I will receive what I need. And figure out my own gift, and give that. Then I understood my friend's response to me. She gave what she had to give, and she loved me in her own way. After that I began understanding the people in my life better, and my love for them became more unconditional.

I think the following poem by Clifford Gessler says it well:
                            Let us know how not to ask too much of each other,
                              share who we are without giving up our freedom,
                                              love without trying to absorb,
                                        be kind yet not smother with kindness,
                              walk together but neither retard the other's pace.
                              I would not lead one who did not choose to follow
                                     or follow one who demanded that I be led.
                              The spark of selfhood, that high and precious thing,
                                      let us not dampen it with scorn or blame;
                                         each his own master and the two of us
                                                  richer, dearer because of it,
                                         but neither sunk passively in the other.
                                                    That alone is true loving.  

I wish you freedom to love.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Review: Stage Climbing

Today I'm pleased to present a review of Dr. Michael S. Broder's book, Stage Climbing: The Shortest Path to Your Highest Potential, a book that could change your life.

About the author

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D. is a renowned psychologist, executive coach, bestselling author, continuing education seminar leader, and popular speaker, with outstanding education, training, and experience. He has appeared on Oprah and the Today Show plus more than a thousand other TV and radio appearances, and hosted his own radio program for many years. He has also been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, and hundreds of other publications. He conducts seminars, talks, and presentations worldwide in addition to training thousands of mental health professionals. Dr. Broder's heart is in his work, and he has helped millions find the way of life that we are meant to live.

Stage Climbing 
In Stage Climbing Dr. Broder guides the reader with compassion and understanding through a new and innovative process to life at its highest potential. Although his model integrates established psychological theories, his approach leads readers to greater insights into their own individual thoughts, behavior patterns, and life situations at the deepest levels. This journey is a challenging and rewarding adventure in self-discovery, understanding, empowerment, self-healing and subsequently positive change, opening up a new way to find meaning and fulfillment in all area of one's life.

At first, the concepts and process seemed somewhat overwhelming, but as I read through Dr. Broder's preliminary Quick Start Guide, I relaxed into a fascinating understanding of the tools he uses in his approach to help readers discover their own inner resources as he skillfully guides them through the change process--to move from an "I should be" attitude to an "I am" realization. The Quick Start Guide supplies a glossary of terms, basics of the 7 life stages, a short stage climbing drill, instructions for Parts I and II, and a section regarding living life at the target stages, or where one's life is at the highest potential and most authentic. Just this preliminary reading brought my own life into deeper focus with motivation to go on and understand where I am now and where I want to go from here.

Dr. Broder's approach is presented in a clear, concise manner in which you are led step-by-step through your healing and change process. This process will sort out questions you may have about your life, and as you gain personal insight and understanding, you will see different areas of your life in a new perspective. You will learn strategies for moving forward to whatever life changes you choose to pursue, given your own story and individual needs. With Dr. Broder's guidance and your participation, this book could change your life.

Learn more about Dr. Broder's work, his audio programs and previous books.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

You Can Forgive Yourself

Forgive your life. It can't help it that it's not perfect.  Unknown

Life's road is bumpy enough without the pain of guilt. Yet we all live with some degree of guilt inside. It's hard to forgive, because we don't want to look at it in the first place. We hope it will just go away someday or we'll lose it in the basement of our mind. But we know all along it's still there.

I remember when I was 8 years old, I stole a candy bar from a store and stopped in a gas station restroom on my way home to enjoy getting rid of the evidence. But my mother had taught me well. With the first bite, I felt guilt gnawing in my throat, and I had to spit out the loot and run home, feeling like the epitome of sin. Just a candy bar? Yes, but it was stealing that was way more important than what I stole.

From the time we're children, we develop a self-image and set standards for ourselves. And when we say or do something that triggers our conscience, or fail to say or do something we think we should have, something deep inside reminds us of our own imperfection. And that hurts. But of all the people in the world, we're the last one to be forgiven. We may wish we could go back and undo what we did. But we can't go back. The only way out is forgiveness, and we don't feel like we deserve that.

It's easier to forgive another person than to forgive yourself, because you don't have to live inside the other person or be responsible for their actions. But you have to deal with your own guilt, and you're the only one who can heal that pain.

To get to forgiveness, we first have to work through the painful experiences that require it. Christiane Northrup.

You may want to push whatever happened further back in your mind, but before you can forgive, you must do the inner house cleaning.
1  State your firm intention to heal past wounds and let them go.
2  Acknowledge and honor your pain. And allow yourself to fully experience it.
3  Accept responsibility for what happened. Own the experience.
4  If someone else was involved in what happened, and it seems appropriate and feasible, tell them you're     sorry, and ask for their forgiveness. If not, tell them in your mind and let them go.
5  Express love and forgiveness for yourself. You have suffered enough, and you deserve to be released.
6  Express gratitude to the guilt and pain for leaving.
7  If the guilt returns, repeat the process.

Open wide the window of your heart, and find freedom in forgiveness. Know that you've stepped across another threshold in your life, and have gained strength for challenges in the future.

I wish you a peaceful heart.