Thank you. Merci. Gracias. Tak. Kiitos. Mahalo. Shukriya. Danke. Grazie. Dhanyabaad. Shukran. Salamat. Just some of the many languages in which I've had the privilege of learning how to say, "Thank you". Giving thanks is an expression of gratitude, which is a critical step in the giving and receiving cycle—it completes the loop.
What is the loop, you ask? The loop is the cycle that begins and completes the flow of conscious creative energy. In other words, the act of manifesting a unique experience through the process giving and receiving. But do all our these experiences turn out to be happy and joyful? Not so much. Well, at least not a first... but therein lies the role of gratitude—it allows us to change our perspective. Many times I practice the "it could be worse" perspective which allows me to be thankful for what I already have. This can be a quick way to reframe a potentially negative situation and realize it's really "not that bad after all."
We often think of gratitude as spontaneous, but we can practice gratitude. Since thankfulness is rooted in positive feelings, feeling and expressing gratitude creates more positive energy. Being thankful generates a spirit of genuine appreciation, and feelings of goodwill always inspire more of the same. Gratitude is like a “thank you” card—a gift back for a gift given. When we take time to show our appreciation for someone’s gift, we make an exchange of spiritual energy. Gratitude allows for this spiritual connection to occur. This exchange adds to the foundation of our relationship and strengthens the bonds of trust and respect. Expressions of gratitude are seldom forgotten.
During this Thanksgiving holiday we have the time to remember those people and the gifts of our lives we are thankful for. I also encourage you to pay attention to those opportunities and moments which disguise themselves as frustrating, aggravating or hopeless, and give thanks for the awareness these opportunities are providing you. With a gentle shift in your perspective, you, too, may be able to say "thank you" in any language—especially the language of your heart.
Speaking as someone who loves to celebrate, this time of year can be most exciting. The holiday season gives us opportunities to be thankful, giving, and ring in another new year. With all of these reasons to act in exceptional ways, this time of year can also cause many of us to lose our sense of equilibrium. Stress, expectations, and "waiting until the last minute" to get something done can push us out of alignment and affect our natural balance.
As the holiday season is moving into full swing, here are some quick tips to help us maintain better balance in our mind, body and spirit while we celebrate this exciting time of year:
Get plenty of rest. The holidays always include extra activities and will take more energy than usual, so getting adequate amounts of rest will let us join in the fun!
Drink lots of water and other fluids (including hot teas). This will keep us properly hydrated and less prone to holiday germs.
Eat healthy foods high in vitamins and minerals. Most of us will eat some holiday treats (candy, chocolate, etc.), but be sure to keep it balanced with healthy portions of proteins, fruits and vegetables. Too much sugar will lower our energy and can cause headaches and fatigue.
Help stop the spread of holiday colds and illness. By covering our mouths when we sneeze or cough, and washing our hands often we lessen the spread of germs. Carry extra tissues with you if your nose is runny or throat lozenges if you have a cough.
Get plenty of exercise. Even a short walk in the mornings or evenings will help keep our blood moving. Exercise and stretching helps improve circulation and promotes faster healing!
Take time to spend with people. Visiting with our family and friends during our holiday time off and taking the time to reconnect with those we love strengthens our relationships, boosts our immune system and reconnects us to ourselves.
Unplug a little. Take time off from the busy hustle and bustle: Turn the ringer on your phone off and let calls go to voice mail; take a few days off from Facebook & Twitter—the world won't end without your updated status; don't read email for a couple days; turn off the TV and pop in a classic holiday movie—unplug from the world and plug back into a good book, the people, the music, and the nature around you. It's all there waiting for your attention!
May this holiday season allow you time to relax, refresh and "recharge" your batteries, and provide you with the opportunity to connect to the natural balance within you.
Get my book, 21 Days to Better Balance, for 25% off through Dec. 14th! Just use Coupon Code: BUYMYBOOK305 at check out.
“If you don’t know the answers, wait until you do.”
When used regularly, silence is a powerful tool. The mind, body, and spirit are designed to be active and engaged, but they also require downtime for balance and refreshment. In moments of silence, we can reconnect with ourselves and gain insight, focus, and clarity. Silence can bring us into alignment with our thoughts and feelings and help us to hear the quiet spiritual voice of our intuition.
In order to find silence, we may have to create space for solitude—simple, but not always easy. Taking time for silence is a critical step for moving into alignment. In silence, we can quiet our thoughts, acknowledge our emotions, and relax into our bodies. In other words, we calm our human doing. Whether we use meditation, prayer, or any other type of inner-focusing activity, moving into silence allows us to reconnect with our spirit—our human being.
Silence helps with problem solving and decision making. If we are unsure how to respond to a problem or situation, we can stop, find a quiet space within us, and wait for an answer. As we are waiting for answers, we can develop a calm demeanor, soften our stance, and experiment with patience. Often the answers to our most difficult questions lie in stillness. Silence reminds us to begin within.
Silence allows you to develop a deeper and
more balanced connection with yourself.
Silence is like a spiritual retreat or a healing center—a place where we can go to be alone and reconnect with ourselves. While most traditional counseling is healing for the mind and physical therapy is healing for the body, silence is healing for the spirit.
We can create a space for silence by simply unplugging from the world and turning down the noise. TVs, radios, computers, and mobile phones are powerful means for connecting with others, but the point of silence is to connect with yourself. At first it may seem like you are missing out, but unplugging for periods of time will raise your frequency—and over time, can significantly strengthen and enrich your personal connections. When we lower the volume on the outside of our lives, we raise the volume on the inside. In silence we can discover the true benefits of being still and listening to the calm rhythm within.
This week think about spending some time in silence and experience the benefits. By practicing a little bit each day, my hope is you will soon learn to appreciate the value of silence.
According to my favorite web site, dictionary.com, a paradigm is, "An example serving as a model or a pattern". Our world is filled with many types of paradigms: social, cultural, and most importantly, personal, and these paradigms become the framework and filters through which we experience the world. Our personal paradigms form the foundations for our belief systems and whether we realize it or not we live our lives according to the paradigms we've created or subscribed to.
As a lifelong learner and seeker of my own interpretation of truth I often seek to challenge the paradigms I'm currently experiencing whether they are mine or others. Why? Because I can. In my willingness to resist the status quo and seek out my own answers and meaning behind the pre-existing structures and beliefs in my world, I exercise my ability to explore options and "buck" the traditional system... and to experience being truly present. To be willing to challenge what I "know" in lieu of potentially discovering something new about myself keeps me learning. And if I'm learning, I'm having fun.
As Leonardo da Vinci expressed, "Everything connects to everything else." If my belief systems are, indeed, connected to my experience, then paying attention to the results of my experience will allow me to decide whether changes in my beliefs are necessary. According to the Teachings of Abraham, "a belief is only a thought you keep thinking." If a belief no longer serves me I can choose a new thought--create a new belief. This is part of gift of choice and the power to create ourselves. After all, "Life isn't about finding yourself; life is about creating yourself." (George Bernard Shaw). You can read more about Abraham from Esther and Jerry Hicks, authors of the Law of Attraction.
So what does this all mean? To me it means I have the power to choose and change my paradigms. Challenging our paradigms is just one example of taking control of our lives and allowing ourselves to play larger--to step further into our potential. If you are not happy with the results your life is showing you, choose again! Connect with your mind, body and spirit; align your thoughts, feelings and intuition; and activate your power of choice and begin to truly bring more balance to your life. It's your choice.
"It's mind over matter." "Do you mind?" "Make up your mind!" "Oh, never mind..." Just think about how frequently the "mind" enters our daily conversations. Our minds are an integral part of our three-part being: Mind, Body and Spirit. We often associate mind with our head, thought, and logic. But despite the form in which we imagine our minds to take, let's take a closer look at a few of the different roles our minds play. Do you mind...?
Our mind is an amazing and complex Teacher. It re-minds us when we’ve forgotten facts or figures and helps us through a challenging intellectual conundrum—whether it’s an academic test or the birthday of a family member. Our mind as a teacher causes us to think carefully when we need to make a decision, and uses our previous experiences as a references in order to make what we consider "sound" decisions. It keeps a record of everything we’ve ever thought, said, and done, giving us the gift of contrast (“been there; done that”). It sends us signals that something might be awry and we need to pay attention to it. It is the reflective and supportive adviser—helping us weigh the pros and cons from changing our internet service provider to changing our views about the importance of diet and exercise. Our mind as a teacher is with us every day, every hour, every minute, and doesn’t like to be shut off. But once in a while it will allow us to be out of it—maybe for a minute, an hour, or a day—and then when we reunite it feels like "plugging in" and booting-up to the world again. No bad; just predictable.
Our mind is an amazing and complex Creature. It creeps around and waits for the opportunity to jump out and scare us, or sneak over and steal the cookie off our plate when we’re not looking. Our mind as a creature walks around with a mirror and tries to make us look into it so it can tease and ridicule us about our appearance, our attitudes, or our behaviors. It is the constant critic carrying around a big fat history book of every mistake we’ve ever made, said, and done—and it takes our ideas, words, and actions, twists them, misinterprets them, and uses them against us like a court of law where we are guilty until proven innocent. It has a pocket voice recorder and plays back every negative word that every person has said to us that stick like those little thorn bristles we get on our socks when we run through a dry field (damn things are always hard to pull off and they poke you—ouch!) Our mind as a creature keeps us up at night, wakes us up with a headache in the morning, and won’t stop running. And we’re tired of chasing it. Sometimes we’d rather be without it. It controls our manners when we’ve been scolded and is told to "never mind” when something has been disregarded. It makes us feel crazy and out of control. It causes us to spiral downward. It can bring us down to circling the drain.
Our mind is an amazing and complex Companion. It is there when we need to remember where we parked the car in the parking lot or re-minds us who we really are when we forget. It’s there to provide a history of everything we’ve ever thought, said, and done, and re-minds us about our progress and how far we’ve come. Our mind as a companion plays back the recordings of anyone who’s ever thanked us, praised us, or shouted our name as we raced toward the finish line. It allows us to take a moment to pause and reflect upon a fond memory triggered by a beautiful song or the smell of fresh-baked cookies. It’s there to help us stay calm amidst a crisis or speak a kind word to a friend in need. It is our constant friend, confidant, and partner. And it always answers when we call. Our mind as a companion is there to motivate, encourage, and inspire us, and becomes the coach encouraging us to "hang in there" and just keep swimming. It reminds us that it’s okay to make mistakes, and it forgives us every time—no exception. It loves and accepts us as we are. It is our best friend and our family. It holds us when we are alone and reminds us that everything will be okay.
Question: Is your mind the Teacher, Creature, or Companion today? Depending on the situation it could be one, two, or all three... but the most important fact is that it’s your choice. We are not a product of our minds; our minds are a creation of us. And we have been given the power to choose how our minds work for and with us. When our minds are working for us in positive and supportive ways, we better connect with our bodies and spirits to bring more alignment and consistency to our lives—and that’s the key to finding more balance. Reconnect with yourself and reconnect with your power.
This week, become aware of your thoughts and remember you have the power of choice. Then choose wisely… for it is, truly, “all in your mind”.
Relationships are an essential part of our lives. Through our relationships we learn to heal, grow, and find the reflections of our best selves in those around us. But there are also some common beliefs about relationships that get us hung up, so let's take a moment to explore a few of the biggest myths about relationships. My hope is that you will see your relationships in a new light and remember that you are, indeed, creating your life experience.
1. There is only one person for you—one love.
If this was true then you would still be with your second grade crush! This is one of the greatest myths and the one that causes so many relationships to turn bitter, ugly and sour, or in the worst case scenario keeps people together when they are miserable.
In reality, we don’t only get “one” person, we choose the person to be with in our life when that relationship is the most loving, fulfilling, and purposeful. Life is in constant motion, and since life is constantly changing, we also change. In relationships we change individually and we also can change together—in so, we make a choice. We can continue to choose the same person over and over again, but we are not obligated to stay in any relationship that’s not adding to our growth. Healthy relationships are always based in freedom, not obligation. If your relationship is starting to crack, look at where you need to be more flexible, loving, and understanding. Communication is the key here. Listen to one another, ask for what you need, be respectful, and always keep both of your best interests in mind. Relationships are, indeed, a two-way street!
2. "I’ve had a tough life, and a relationship will help heal my wounds."
Good luck with that! While it is true that our relationships will bring up everything in our life that is unhealed or broken about us (emotionally or spiritually), you do not want to use your relationship/partner to heal you—that is something you need to do for yourself. If you rely on your partner to fix you, you’ve not taken responsibility for yourself and when our happiness relies on someone else we cannot ever be truly happy. Happiness begins within.
3. Being in a relationship is better than being alone.
Not if it’s a bad relationship! Remember: relationships are vehicles for us to connect with another like mind and spirit in order to understand more about ourselves—to explore our potential for more love. If you are using a relationship to mask loneliness (which is based in fear, not love) your relationship may allow you to temporarily forget your loneliness, but loneliness will still be there. Being in relationship with yourself and happy with yourself reduces loneliness. Also, by staying involved in a relationship that's not helping you grow you cannot attract a healthy relationship—you already have that vacancy filled. Only when you have created the space for something healthy can it step into your life.
4. In relationships, opposites attract.
Opposite personalities may attract at first, but they rarely sustain. Having a range of different qualities and interests can certainly be appealing, especially when first meeting someone, but in the long run you will need to find more common ground on which to walk together. Use your differences to teach one another more about aspects of yourself you have yet to explore, and use your relationship to mutually help each other grow. Focus on your differences as strengths, and whether you agree or not always be respectful.
5. "I’ve tried being in relationships, but I always seem to mess things up."
We will get what we intend. When looking at past relationships, examine why you went into the relationship in the first place. To fill a void in your life? Take the place of something you didn't have? Find someone to take care of?
Entering a relationship out of "lack" will just bring more of it. Develop a relationship with yourself before going into a relationship with another. If you're already in a relationship and need to find more balance, take time out for yourself—find peace with yourself, your past, and your decisions. If you believe that you will “mess up” a relationship, your beliefs will automatically program your attitudes, actions and words into sabotage mode and, in time, the relationship will, indeed, fail—it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Set your course for success! Believe that you deserve and will have positive, loving relationships.
As we enter into this fall—this time of transition—choose to create healthy and happy relationships in your life. After all, it's your choice.
Creating and maintaining healthy boundaries is a critical component in all relationships. Boundaries are limits created by you that protect your values and communicate to others which behaviors you will, and will not, accept from them. Creating healthy boundaries supports stronger self esteem and demonstrates respect for ourselves and others.
For the sake of argument (and to have a little fun), let’s go medieval for a minute and equate personal boundaries with visiting someone’s home—their castle. When you are in someone’s castle you need to be polite and respectful while you are there. Why is this so important? For starters, being allowed to enter into someone’s castle shows they respect you enough to let you into their personal space—basically, they’ve let down their drawbridge. If you can appreciate this fact, you will already feel respected. But if you don’t appreciate it, you may meet an undesirable fate (see below).
So now that you've been let in, it is critical that you follow the “Rules of the Castle”:
Rules of the Castle
1. Do not steal. This includes taking ANYTHING that isn’t yours to take including physical objects, thoughts, ideas, or attention. Remember: it’s not all about you. 2. Be polite. Always say “Please, Your Highness,” “Thank you, Sire,” “As you wish, Your Excellency,” and “You’re welcome, Your Grace,” (insert correct salutations and titles, as necessary). 3. Always ask if you are unsure. Assumptions lead to expectations, and expectations become seeds of disappointment. Asking questions is practicing humility. 4. Pick-up after yourself. When you are done working or playing, pick up your things (books, toys, swords, etc.) and put them back for the next time or the next person. 5. Don’t be selfish. This includes any type of greed and possessiveness. Share and share alike. Remember the Golden Rule: to do unto others as you'd do unto oneself. 6. Play nicely. Be a good sport, demonstrate good showmanship, do your best, and give others the benefit of the doubt. Remember: you are the guest. 7. Take time to appreciate. Make a point to stop what you are doing and observe what is happening around you. Learn to appreciate the people and your environment. Develop respect for this opportunity; cherish the experience; savor the moment. 8. Treat this castle as if it was your own. Take pride in it and be as respectful as you would be in your own castle—if not more so. 9. Be generous. When cutting cake always offer the bigger slice to your guest or host. 10. Bow or curtsy in a graceful manner. When making closing salutations always pay proper respect to the Master of the House and express your sincerest gratitude. Expressions of gratitude are seldom forgotten. Those that cannot follow these rules will be shown the catapult!
When looking back on the events of our lives we often recall memories that carry an emotional charge. Feelings evoked from memories can be positive: happiness, joy and enthusiasm; but they can also be negative and bring back memories of pain, anger, and resentment. So how do we use memories to serve us rather than hurt us? We learn to reframe.
Often, our memories serve us well. Through the process of reminiscing, recall of positive memories can aid in healing depression or just lift our spirits! We can use positive memory triggers such as a pictures, songs, or old love letters to invoke feelings of happiness and contentment. By being in touch with our “sentimental side", we are able to invoke memories that bring us continued happiness and a feeling of well-being.
Our memories can also be sources of pain and turmoil. Negative feelings from memories are often a result of unresolved issues or unexpressed emotions associated with an event or person, and since these issues have not been resolved they carry a large burden of repressed emotions connected with them. These memories may be from childhood—a time when we were not mature enough to understand how to deal with event or circumstance—so the lack of maturity and insight may have caused us to feel like a victim, whether or not we actually were. By nature we conjured up the human “fight or flight” response, in which our bodies automatically protect themselves and moved into a state of denial. This denial only caused the associated feelings to be repressed in the mind and body where they will stay until eventually released... or not.
People spend millions of dollars each year to open old wounds and revisit painful memories trying to make sense of them. Many methods such as counseling, meditation, rebirthing, hypnosis, and traditional therapy seek to uncover the roots of repressed memories and apply present wisdom to help release and heal them. Whichever method(s) you choose it's important to release memories which have been repressed in the mind and body, for unexpressed emotions are the root of dis-ease.
Once we have released our repressed emotions we can learn to look at events in a new light through reframing. Reframing includes revisiting an event, remembering the words that were said and actions that took place, our reactions and thoughts playing through our minds at the time, and then remembering the conclusions we made based on our observations. With that knowledge we can check to see if we may have been hasty in our assumptions or conclusions. We are suddenly allowed to examine those assumptions and see if they're still valid. If they aren't, we can now change them. For example, we may often assume that we were at fault for the outcome of an event when we actually weren't at fault at all. By reframing the event with an enlightened (present) understanding, we can see the a clearer reality underlying the event the whole time.
Above all, reframing lets us learn how to accept. Acceptance is a critical step in personal evolution as it honors the relationship between you and the rest of the world. To learn how to accept events and people as they are will be a catalyst for your continued growth, and reframing will allow you to understand the memories of your life with an attitude of acceptance, appreciation and gratitude—no matter what events are or may have been.
This week, take the opportunity to think about where there are opportunities for reframing in your life. Could reframing help you to move beyond past pain and into present resolution? If so, perhaps it's time to release that pain, guilt, or shame. It's really your choice... you just need to start. Give it some thought.
Last week I had an interesting coffee conversation with a friend about "what kind of a lives" we were living. Especially in these times of economic uncertainty it's quite common for each of us to re-examine our lives and think carefully about our priorities, so this conversation was both timely and apropos. We both shared highlights about our current life events including our careers, relationships, special projects or interests, and also our hopes and dreams for the future—a good time to pause and ponder, something I truly enjoy doing as much as possible!
When I returned home I saw something that perfectly complimented our conversation. It was a small article from a newspaper written by an 85-year old woman about how she was reflecting back on her life and the things she'd wish she'd done if she could live her life over—a simple letter to prompt the reader about the importance of opportunity and appreciation. Somehow I'd kept this clipping for many years and this piece of paper managed to make the journey along with me. I usually ended up hanging it somewhere within plain view to remind me what's important when I'd forgotten—the things that make me happy and bring joy.
This week I'd like to share that small, yet powerful, letter with you. May you also be reminded to take the opportunity and say, do, and experience what truly makes you happy. After all, it's your choice!
Peace and better balance,
The Ambassador of Goodwill
If I Had My Life to Live Over
I'd like to make more mistakes next time.
I'd relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier
than I had been this trip. I would take fewer
things seriously. I would take more chances. I
would climb more mountains and swim more
rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but
I'd have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly
and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've
had my moments, and if I had it to do over again,
I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have
nothing else. Just moments, one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I've been one of those persons who never goes
anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water
bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had to
do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot
earlier in the spring and stay that way later in
the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride
more merry-go-rounds, I would pick more daisies.
Until a few years ago, I would often feel disappointed when a decision I’d made produced an outcome I hadn't planned. I felt I'd made a "wrong" decision and I would focus on how I should have chosen differently. This was until I realized every decision that I make is, indeed, always the “right” decision at the time—it all depends on my perspective.
So how can that be possible? Because life is a process of growing, learning, and making new choices, and making mistakes is an essential part of that process.
The basis for this belief is respecting ourselves. Whether we make (what we consider) good decisions or not, we need to respect and support ourselves—believing that we’re making the best choice with the information we have at the moment. If, later down the line we realize we didn’t make the best choice (i.e., the outcome of our decision did not turn out favorably), we have the opportunity to learn how to accept the outcome as a learning experience.
Love and accept yourself as you are—but also love and accept yourself as you were… even if who you were caused you disappointment. You cannot know what the future holds; you can only choose what feels best in each moment with the information you've been given. After the decision has been made you can choose to be disappointed by the results or you can accept them and treat them as life lessons—a necessary part of your journey. For without decisions with “less than desirable consequences”, how would we have the opportunity to know what not to do?
The next time you are faced with the unexpected outcome of a decision think about what you choose to believe—think about your perspective: Crisis or catharsis? Obstacle or opportunity? Instead of blaming yourself for the decision, think again—accept your decision and the undesired consequences as signals to learn from your choices and find the “lesson in the learning”. This is a perfect time to love and accept yourself and your decisions as necessary steps on the road of creating yourself and your experience. Besides, once you learn to accept yourself you will have the capacity to accept others—and that always brings us better balance in our lives.
To Your Better Balance!
The Ambassador of Goodwill
Remember to download the *FREE* e-book of 21 Days to Better Balance until August 21st at http://bit.ly/n0bnkO
One of our biggest gifts is the ability to choose. In every moment we choose what to give our attention, focus, and energy—and most importantly, our reactions to what is happening around us. The outcomes of our choices, in turn, create our reality. Our choices stem from our thoughts and feelings, and as Neale Donald Walsch states in his brilliant book series, Conversations with God (a major read-recommendation, btw), "Feelings are the language of the soul."
Stop and think for a moment about the connections:
Feelings form thoughts;
Thoughts form words;
Words form actions;
Actions form character;
Character forms our life path;
Our life path is our reality, as we perceive it.
If we are, indeed, choosing in every moment and we are creating our reality in every moment, think about what life path you are creating? Is it a happy story full of joy, fun, and adventure, or is it a tedious tale of anger, stress, and disappointment? The power of choice allows us to create the reality we truly want regardless of what is happening around us—and don’t we all want to be joyful, happy, and fulfilled?
Here’s a simple 3-step process to help you consciously activate your power of choice and begin to create a reality for yourself that contains what you truly desire:
1. Decide. Think about what you really want and begin to make choices that are in-line with those desires. So many of us are on autopilot and we're not taking the time to decide what we want. If you continue to accept your life events "by default" then stop complaining when things consistently don't turn out the way you intended. You need to decide what brings you true joy and happiness!
2. Declare. Start talking about what you'd like and what you want to create—tell your friends and family members. Just like fire, intentions spread and grow when you start talking about them. Stating your intentions kick-starts the process of creation and gives you the momentum and passion to achieve what you want.
3. Demonstrate. I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "Fake it 'til you make it"? This act is part of becoming and moving into your reality as you create it. Demonstrating your intention by acting as if you already have what it is that you truly want puts you in line with receiving it—by thinking the thoughts of what you want, you will start feeling it, speaking it, acting it, and eventually it must appear in your reality. That is the process of creation!
As an important follow-up and a key step before and during the creative process, remember to be grateful for what you already have. Gratitude is a vital part of completing the circle of creation. Be thankful and appreciate whatever it is that you do receive, for every gift is a step towards your next creation.
By focusing your attention and making deliberate choices you are creating your reality in every moment. Practice your power of choice and create a reality for yourself that you truly want—for it is, indeed, your choice.
I recently changed my paradigm about my emotional well-being. Until this point I had been using the old analogy of comparing my emotional state to that of a roller coaster—up and down, up and down. When I was up I usually felt happy, alive, and free; when I was down I usually felt unhappy, discouraged, or gloomy. Over time this just felt too judgmental—up always felt “good” and down always felt “bad”. I had heard this roller coaster analogy when I was younger and had been using it for many many years believing it was a sound metaphor for me... that is until I decided to changed my paradigm—I flipped it. Instead of using a vertical orientation, I decided to associate emotional well-being to a horizontal orientation. What did that mean? How did I translate my emotions to this new scale?
Since vertical orientation was up and down, horizontal became in and out. Instead of equating my emotions to feeling up and down, I began to associate my emotions with feeling more compressed and expanded—like breathing. When I feel expanded I feel open and free—like exhaling; when I feel compressed I feel closed and constricted—like holding my breath.
The difference between feeling compressed and expanded doesn’t feel as extreme to me as feeling up and down did. I don’t feel any of the judgment with my new horizontal orientation as I did with vertical—I just feel “larger or smaller”, instead of feeling “good or bad." And it feels better. I can allow myself to feel expanded or contracted without judgment, just observation. That in itself is a more balanced and gentle approach to understanding my emotions.
The next time you feel like you’re on the emotional roller coaster, perhaps you can try flipping it and see if you start feeling differently about your emotional well-being. After all, you don’t need to take your feelings to the extreme to notice them—save that ride for the roller coaster at the amusement park.
My name is Michael Thomas Sunnarborg and I'm happy that you've landed here! Before we get started, here's a few things you need to remember:
1) About the book: The book is scheduled for public release August 1, 2011. You can order both the printed book and e-book beginning August 1st at 21daystobetterbalance.com. Be sure to revisit the web site often for updates and special offers!
2) A free promotion: During the first 21 days of August, download a *free* copy of the e-book at 21daystobetterbalance.com and return later to order additional copies of the e-book and/or printed books for your friends and family.
3) Add this blog page to your favorites, bookmarks, or RSS feed and follow my updates as I blog my stories and adventures about the 21 Days... book series.