Who is running your “belief” system?

We have all heard the news….. it’s not just a niche concept anymore!  The news can be heard from the airwaves of television talk shows, late night radio, news and magazines, and the latest and hottest self-help books.  The news has gone mainstream and is becoming widely accepted to be a new way of relating to the world around us.  What is this “News”?

Our thoughts create based upon our belief system.  We are constantly creating and magnetically attracting experiences, opportunities and people who mirror our inner beliefs.  Yikes, some might say!  And there is a genuine reason why many may want to dismiss this news altogether…… it’s not good news to know that we have SO much responsibility over a reality that we aren’t satisfied with.

Solution?  Absolutely!

First,…. get in touch with what beliefs are surfacing and running much of your life.  Are they even your beliefs, values and thoughts?  Are they your mothers, or dominant great aunts?   Are they outdated versions of yourself?  Are you still reflecting on your post college ideals of your potential success 15 years into your career?  Check these out!  Question them and put them to the test to determine if they are even a part of your ever-developing sense of self.  If not, let them go and let them go BIGTIME!

Second,…. take a moment to do some real inventory of what latent fears lurk deep within you.  What concerns are lying just under the surface?  Are you secretly running a program in the backroom of your mind that your partner is too good to be true and just waiting patiently for a sign of betrayal or rejection?  Perhaps you carry concern that the next promotion shouldnt really be yours regardless of your seniority and effort because it would rock the boat with your friendliest of colleagues… let someone else shine and remain peacefully well-liked? 

Fears are often revitalizing and provoking those outdated and foreign beliefs that don’t serve you.  They are the beliefs that may never have been truly yours, simply adopted from an influential family member or respected mentor that is now keeping your growth on many levels at bay.  As a matter of fact, regardless of the work that you pursue to make conscious change these are the very thoughts that may sabotage you from real break throughs again and again!

Sit down and take a genuine and unabashed inventory…… what have you got running the show in there?  What is running amok?  How does it feel to get a glimpse of the fears lurking in the darkness of your inner consciousness?  Uncomfortable?  Off-putting?  Don’t ignore them…. make friendly with those fears!  Gently encourage them out of the darkness and into a more enlightened view and gently examine them from many angles.  What’s there now?  Have they lost some of their solidity?  Do they seem less reasonable or less likely? 

Look again.

And after the excavation and dissection….. SHAKE THINGS UP A BIT!!!  I mean, why not?   Have a ball…. throw a party and celebrate that you know what you have been fearing and it is no way as frightening as you had allowed yourself to feel!  Claim your renewed freedom and gently and lovingly retrain yourself to allow that fear to exist without feeding its silent, sucking momentum.  You know the truth and the truth is, it really will ALL be OK.

Whenever a new belief fed by a latent fear rises to your attention from your new openness,… welcome it compassionately.  Shake it’s hand in a warm greeting and be a good, yet temporary host.  Get to know it for a while and then see it clearly from all sides.  Watch it shrink in its stature through its revealing of itself, just like a formidable foe that has come into need of you and somehow becomes less threatening in its weakness.  Beliefs and fears are exactly the same.  They need YOU to be fed.  They require your focus on them to even be real.  Gently strip back their power through your familiarity with them. 

Celebrate the moment you are in right now….. and take time every day to see and feel how many aspects of your life are just RIGHT!

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Misunderstood vs. Intention……

Is there any greater frustration than being misunderstood?  Is there something more agonizing that being pigeonholed in a clouded opinion of one who cannot see and hear you objectively?  For me this IS the greatest of pains and the most difficult to rise above!

Years ago I was asked by two family members what I considered to be the largest personal challenge to my ego.  I knew it immediately and the answer I gave them then is still the same answer I would give today…… being misunderstood!

My upbringing was entrenched in moral referencing, codes of ethics, religious underpinnings and lists of do’s and don’ts for which I made ridiculous efforts at being fastidious.  I was actively aware of what was expected of me and my 6 siblings and also what living this immaculate lifestyle was meant to somehow guarantee in future reaping.  There were covenants and promises built into this system of living, so by following this simple subscription I was bound to find eternal happiness.

We all grow into the adults that we were favored to become.  Most of that growth came by great trial and effort and often many pitfalls and failures.  The self-criticism born out of those failures is the first hurdle in the encounter we have with misunderstanding.  We ask, “Did I misunderstand the rules”?  “Could I have misunderstood the rule makers”?  “Could I have over-estimated my ability and misunderstood my own strengths and weaknesses”, and worst of all, “Is the judgment that I feel from those observing me my failure or their misunderstanding of my intentions and best efforts”?

I have severely failed to meet the expectations built up for me by those who reared and molded me in childhood.  It has been made perfectly clear to me that judgments around the results of my choices are concrete in the minds of my jury and regardless of my personal soul shaping and growth, the intentions behind my experiences are veiled in cloudy, half-formed and often absent perception from those attempting observation from the outside.

Isn’t that true on some level for every one of us?

The shaping of our sense of self may be riddled with these moments of self-inquiry, self-doubt and external misunderstanding.

“The teacher didn’t see the kid behind me flick me in the back of the head and is now punishing me for turning around in my seat”!

“The officer didn’t see the pothole in the road and pulled me over for swerving with a warning”!

“The surprise birthday I painstaking planned only annoyed my spouse rather than being appreciated for my efforts”!

“My inability to show up for my childs second parent/teacher conference this year due to work constraints has been misperceived by the teacher to be poor parental involvement and a disinterest in my childs academics”!

We all have our personal and painful lists throughout our lives and these disappointing moments are not likely to always remedy themselves with certainty.  Some of these deep misunderstandings linger and destabilize commitments, break down trust and destroy relationships.

While we cannot shape the opinions and perceptions of others what we can do is to hold a special kindness for ourselves in these moments and deeply acknowledge our genuine intentions.  Yes, our best intentions.

No one will ever maintain a spotless record of successful communication, execution and completion without ever failing to be perceived from the intentions of their heart.  Human nature and communication in all it’s complexities guarantee that.  Consider the many angles from which one can read and understand a casual text.

TEXT:  “Why aren’t you here”?   It could be a frightened cry,… it could be an antagonistic inquiry,… it could be a formal scolding,.. and it could be a casual question.

When we acknowledge with gentleness that our best intentions may miss the mark and be subject to misinformed judgments, we can hold ourselves harmless and exhibit kindness to ourselves for what we consciously meant to see manifest.  This awareness within ourselves simultaneously opens us to the compassionate posture of seeing others intentions more clearly.

In a recent wedding that my spouse and I were honored to be witnesses for, the bride and groom had chosen to write their own vows.  Included in the deeply personal vow exchange was the inclusion of the commitment to “Patiently forgive one another for personal failings in communication and execution of anticipated duties and to acknowledge their best intentions first.”  Beautiful!

So what standard to you hold yourself to as a spouse, parent, employee, devotee, neighbor, friend?  What do you hold others to?  Compassionate inquiry and acknowledgment of our own and others greatest of intentions frees us from harming ourselves and those we love and respect.  It honors who we are becoming and draws us closer to heart based relationships where forgiveness is found and relationships flourish.

Intend understanding.

Staying True to Course…..

Upward and onward!  Being in a state of flow is not entirely an automatic experience for many of us and getting ourselves into the right state of mind, feeling and being may require taking deliberate action.

But first…. where is your internal energy level?  Do you have the reserves to fuel your intentions?  Do you know how to re-fuel your being sufficiently?  Have you fed yourself well, provided your body the kindness of a nap?

I was misled early in the rebirth of my career, into believing that multi-tasking was a fantastic skill to master and the more tasks I had spinning around me the more I would be accomplishing.  We have all heard the term, “kill two birds with one stone”.  It’s been part of our cultural heritage to believe that stillness is often idle and multi-tasking is productive busy-ness.

So when energy wanes and intuition runs scarce between intervals of activity along life’s path… what is being called for? 

“Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain un-moving
till the right action arises by itself?” ~ Lao Tzu

Often we forget that when a void of activity and vision arises, it is indeed time to refill our wells.  It is time to nap,.. to dream.  What is being called for is a “divine data download” meant to revitalize our efforts and bring new meaning to our happenings. 

Running full force will burn us out.  Being “ON” in a fixed and permanent way is the fastest path to fizzling out.  Or should I say turning “OFF”?  Quiet time is necessary and today as I take quiet reflective time I recognize that this is the way of all of life.  It is the way of the earth and the seasons.

Remember to take restful and replenishing seasons and respect yourself enough to embrace them when they arise.  Life will unfold. 

Why not show up well rested, refreshed and at your very best?

Messages everywhere!.. But who has time to listen?

My Totem had a message for me……

So once you make a decision to listen more earnestly to your inner longing, create new expectations, make major shifts,…..the challenges arise.
My life’s experiences have taught me that the Universe is always listening… and is always speaking to me.  As a matter of fact, the “Universe” is always desperately trying to get the attention of each and every one of us!
We take the methods for granted, write them off as coincidences, accidents or merely our imagination, but let’s be honest,.. sometimes, deep down we JUST KNOW.  Every one of us is inherently intuitive. We just don’t trust ourselves enough to look for it. We are blind to how quickly our questions are anwered, how immediately our guidance comforts us, or notice that we instinctively feel into the most ideal choice when presented with many.
So when our focus is set to fine tune our objectives, set goals and achieve milestones, it is then that unforseen “challenges” knock us flat on our lovely derriers.   What do we do to keep upright?
It’s so very easy to get hard on ourselves.  Tough love comes up and internal disciplines rattle on in our brains about how we should be sucking it up, moving faster, being more productive and why on earth did we let ourselves get derailed in the first place?!
Ssshhhhh……… mhmmmm.  Sshhh.  Sweet childhood flashbacks of youthful frivolity and inate safety roll through me like a warm chocolate bubble bath.  Ahhhh, that felt so yummy!  Can I stay here?  Uh,…nope!   Back in the saddle again, nose to the grindstone, tasks at hand, people to please… go, go go!
As I raced down the street, multi-tasking and purposeful I nearly run over a small family of deer, leeping unexpectedly into the road!  Whoa!  Good grief!  Good thing I am a skilled driver and was looking… that was certainly inconvenient!  Upward and onward!
And then a very similar scenario took place two more times in less than 72 hours.
Yes, I live in a heavily wooded area of the triangle, but when the Universe masquerading as chance places a symbolic message in front of me that many times in short order, it’s what many refer to and I like to call, a totem.
It’s a message from the Universe, using the only tools the Universe has to get our attention in a physical world,… the world itself.  Animal totems were highly regarded and deeply understood by native people and were taken into account when brought to attention in a profound way.  Now don’t go looking up totem meanings for your pet shih zhu because you may have tripped over her in the night.  This is where intuition comes in.  You instictively know when an event or symbol out of the ordinary shows up for you.
So, the message of the deer is as follows:  “Deer’s medicine includes gentleness in word, thought and touch. The ability to listen, with grace and appreciation for the beauty of balance. Understand what’s necessary for survival, power of gratitude and giving, and ability to sacrifice for the higher good and see alternative paths to a goal .
From the deer we can learn that the gift of gentleness and caring can help us overcome and put aside many testing situations. Only love, both for ourselves and for others, helps us understand the true meaning of wholeness.
Deer has entered your life to help you walk the path of love with full consciousness and awareness, to know that love sometimes requires caring and protection, not only in how we love others, but also in how we love ourselves.
People with this power animal are often described as being swift and alert. They are intuitive, often seeming to possess well developed, even extrasensory perceptions. Sometimes their thoughts seem to race ahead, and they appear not to be listening, to be somewhere else. Anyone with power animal has latent clairvoyant and clairaudient abilities. 
Deer teaches us to be gentle, to touch the hearts and minds of wounded beings who are in our lives. Don’t push people to change, rather gently nudge them in right direction, with the love that comes from deer. Love and accept people as they are. The balance of true power lays in love and compassion.
When a Deer totem enters your world, a new innocence and freshness is about to be awakened. New adventures are just around the corner and there will be an opportunity to express the gentle love that will open new doors for you.”
So the generous guidance, that is mine, attempted to speak to me with the loving and gentle rush of innocent memory but I only basked in the feeling momentarily and missed the depth of the message.  Three near fatal encounters with the local deer population and I am finally waking up to clear the mental fog and listen.
Yes, the goals that I set and the milestones that I achieve are very important.  But what is equally necessary is for me to be mindful of the process with patience and gentleness.  I am blessed to hold the innocence alive within me and mirror the same acceptance of imperfection and unconditional love I aspire for within myself, to all those journeying around me.  I am lovingly cautioned to trust my intuition and embrace the messages it holds for me.
Challenges will arise.  Events may derail me.  My heart may sink with frustration, fear of failure, pain of loss.  And,.. all the while, I am supported.  If I will but only listen.