7 Steps to Fulfill Your Desires in 2018

fulfill your desires

Here we are finishing the first month of the New Year. How’s it going for you? Are you on track to fulfill your desires?

If you are like most people, things are the same as the were this time last year, in other words, “same stuff, different day.” You probably realize that making resolutions isn’t a good way to fulfill your desires. I read somewhere that only 8% of those that make resolutions actually keep them.

To fulfill your desires, there are definite steps you need to take to manifest what you want in your life.

Setting Goals and Intentions: The Key to Fulfill Your Desires

  1. First of all, you need to subscribe to the belief that you CAN get what you want, that you are deserving, worthy, and able to fufill your desires and dreams. You must believe that the Universe, or God, or Infinite Intelligence  has your back. Nothing will happen if you believe that you can’t do it, or that you should be punished, or that it’s not worth the hassle, or that God doesn’t want you to fulfill your desires and dreams. If you need help with this part, you should click here.
  2. Next, to fulfill your desires, you must KNOW what you desire. You need clarity about what you are serious about manifesting.  This takes time and reflection. Do you want to lose weight? Buy a house? A new car? Get a new job? Take a yoga class? Create a new website for your business? Have a better relationship? Take some time to journal/write or having a discussion with someone you trust.
  3. To fulfill your desires, you must write down your goals and desires. This step is where most people get stoppedEvery accomplishment, great or small, started off as an idea in someone’s mind. The trick is to turn that intangible idea into something that happens in physical reality, something you can feel, hear, touch and share with others. Writing your goals and dreams down is an essential step to fulfill your desires because it starts the process of bringing your desires into the physical realm. If you do it on a computer, print it out. You can have goals for business, family, household, health or spirituality. Have a number of different goal sheets for different areas of life. Keep them in a notebook or folder where you can easily find/review them.
  4. Next, set target dates or timelines that indicate when you plan to have your goals and desires accomplished. As opposed to “someday I’ll have this/do this…”, instead, write down exactly when you plan to achieve the goal or fulfill your desires. If it is ongoing, then create a timeline or series of benchmarks. What needs to get done and by when? Put pressure on yourself with deadlines and target dates.
  5. Create action steps. Break down your desires/goals into specific things that you will do to achieve them. For instance, “Call John to discuss proposal” or “Research yoga classes in my area” or “Purchase materials needed.” Nothing will happen without taking action!
  6. Reinforce the goal/desire on a consistent basis. There are a many ways to do this. Review goals weekly or monthly. It’s easy to set a goal and then forget about it, easy for our dreams and desires to get covered up by the busyness of life. Life is a moving parade, so to fulfill your desires, you must stay focused on what you want. it’s  Set a time and a day every week or every month when you will do this and review your progress, keeping your desires top of mind. In addition, use positive statements about your ability to fulfill your desires, goals and dreams. These are called affirmations. Say them/read them right before bed with your mind is very suggestible.
  7. Finally, celebrate when you accomplish something! Set rewards for achieving your desires, such as a trip or vacation, or buying something you want, or just a day off. Reinforce the good feeling of accomplishment that comes when you fulfill your desires.

Get Your Subconscious Mind On Board

Remember, your subconscious mind, (88% of your total mind, according to one theory)  wants everything to stay the same. To the subconscious, the unknown represents pain. If you don’t have it yet, then what you desire is an unknown to your subconscious mind. Since the subconscious avoids unknowns, your subconscious mind will often sabotage your efforts and try to keep you where you are now, because that is what is known, and the subconscious like what is know and familiar, even if you conscious mind wants something different.

The key is to use the steps above to get your subconscious mind familiar and comfortable with what you want: the desired result, the fulfillment of your desire, the compelling outcome. This will take organization, planning and time investment. If you are not used to doing this, then start small with an easily achieved goal. It’s worth it! You can do it! If you need help, contact me by clicking here.

The only language the Universe understands is Faith + Intention + Action. It’s said that God helps those that help themselves. Claim your desire, declare it to to world, then start putting one foot in front of the other to fulfill your desires in 2018.

Have a great year!

Ted

How to Avoid the Fog of Overwhelm Part II

Overwhelm

In my last post, Avoiding the Fog of Overwhelm Part I, I discussed the state of overwhelm, what it is, how it happens and how it affects us.

To recap briefly, overwhelm happens when there is too much information (message units) coming into our conscious awareness. Our minds only have a certain capacity, like a cup that you can only pour so much water into. When are minds are filled to capacity, and stuff keeps pouring in, we lose the ability to cope.

At this point, our ancient survival mechanism, that good old fight or flight, gets triggered. When that happens we become what is known as “hypersuggestible” which means that we are susceptible to whatever is coming into our minds. We are actually in a state of hypnosis, but the suggestions we are giving ourselves are not positive, like the positive suggestions you get in a hypnotherapy session.

Usually, when we are overwhelmed, there is an accompanying state of stress; the conversations we are having in our heads are usually negative conversations. So, when we are overwhelmed, we can literally be programming ourselves for negativity and fear and we end up with a reinforcing cycle of overwhelm.

Each persons’ response to the state of overwhelm varies, ranging from a complete shutdown where someone might just slump into a chair and begin to cry, to irritability or anxiety, or to a feeling of being disoriented or “spaced out”, which I call the fog of overwhelm.

The end result is the same: we become ineffective in dealing with the challenges of life. We may lose the ability to be focused and on task, turn to avoidance or procrastination, or begin to feel anxious or depressed.

It’s important to note that for many of us, the modern American lifestyle lends itself to consistent feelings of being overwhelmed.

So what can we do to avoid the fog of overwhelm? Most of the things we can do involve basic self care.

  1. Get adequate sleep and take naps if you need to. Remember how your mind is like a cup? Every day it gets filled up with tension, pressure and the stress of living. Sleep is the time for your mind to empty the cup. Strive for a healthy sleep schedule and avoid stimulants such as caffeine, electronic devices, and working out just before bed.
  2. Don’t skip meals. Some people are prone to anxiety and overwhelm due to low blood sugar. Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is the main fuel for your body. Your brain uses more glucose than any other organ in your body. Do you ever get that feeling of lethargy or lack of focus in the late afternoon? Take a break and eat something with protein.
  3. Take breaks. Taking regular breaks throughout the day allows your mind to process incoming information more effectively. Breaks are scientifically proven to boost productivity and focus. Consider working in hour or 90 minute spurts, then taking a short five or ten minute break. This includes taking regular vacations and days off.
  4. Exercise. I know, you’re tired of hearing it, but exercise allows our body and minds to release tension and stress. If nothing else, get up and walk around.
  5. Meditation, yoga and other mindfulness practices. Powerful ways to feel more calm and more focused more often.
  6. Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking can create overwhelm. Your focus is sharpest when it’s narrow and concentrated. One thing at a time: first this, then that.
  7.  Keep your vices in check. Alcohol and marijuana are hypnosis inducing drugs, not only when you are under the influence, but the next day as well. Check in with yourself to see if you need to make some changes in these habits.
  8. Count yourself out of hypnosis/overwhelm. When you find yourself overwhelmed, and starting to stress out, count yourself out of that negative state. Say out loud to yourself, if you can, “12345 Eyes open wide awake!” Clap or rub your hands together to get back into your body and out of your head.  This really works.

Take some time to go down this list and see what you can tweak and make better. You’ll find that you’re happier, more focused and productive, and a lot nicer to be around.

Having trouble sleeping? Challenged by anxiety? Need motivation to exercise? Click here to contact me for a free 30 minute consultation. 

Photo by Sb2s3

Avoiding the Fog Of Overwhelm Part I

fog of overwhelm

An example of overwhelm: driving in the worst fog I’ve ever encountered, many years ago. I couldn’t see anything except the two red brake lights of the car ahead of me. I couldn’t see the lines of the road, and I dared not pull over to the side of the road for fear of being hit by another car. All I could do was keep my hands on the wheel, pray that the car in front of me knew where he was going, and hope that I would be able to see the sign for my exit.

I had no point of reference. I was overwhelmed by the fog and unable to do anything but hurtle through the mist, wishing for some clarity.

It reminds me of the time I was at IKEA, the furniture store, for the first time. They had the coolest stuff I’d ever seen. I wanted to see everything but apparently so did everyone else because the place was packed with people. However, after 2 hours, all I wanted to do was get the hell out of there. I literally wanted to run for the door, shove aside anyone in my way, and go find something to eat. I was getting more and more irritated by the minute and I felt like I wanted to scream, but I also felt like I was going to shut down at any minute. Ever felt like that?

I was overwhelmed. If you’ve ever felt this way, then you have experienced the fog of overwhelm.

Are you saving enough for retirement? Are the tires on your car in good shape? Have you called your mother yet? Are you ready for that event? What about taxes? Have you returned that phone call? When are you going to clean your house, fix the faucet, call the insurance guy, talk to your boss, pay that overdue bill, and schedule a physical? What are you going to fix for dinner tonight if you ever make it off this damn freeway?

This is the overwhelm of modern life.

From the time we wake up, to the time we manage to lay our heads down, we must think, remember, plan, manage time, deal with people, get lots of stuff done and hopefully, eat three meals and try to breathe.

There’s a potential cost to this: we spend our lives in a haze, irritable that we can’t see our way out, lost in a fog, stuck on a track with no scenery, with little choice to pull off because we’re too tired, too confused or too uncertain.

Here’s why: your mind has a certain capacity; like a cup, it will only hold so much. Continue to fill it past it’s capacity and you’ll have a big mess.

From the time we wake up, our minds start getting filled up. Our minds are designed to handle many incoming messages. Let’s call each bit of incoming information a ” message unit.” Your mind also has a filter (critical mind) that is designed to disregard things that don’t matter.

What determines how many message units our minds can handle? Many things: how much sleep you get, what you eat, your health, your level of organization, your level of confidence, your past, your genetics, to name a few.

Let’s say you went to bed too late, and woke up late for work. Now you are rushing around, no time to eat breakfast. You’re running late, and traffic is terrible. You try to text your boss but you almost hit the car in front of you. You arrive at work and there’s an important meeting that you are supposed to be in. You need a cup of coffee but there’s no time to get one. You end up working through lunch and now you are starving, tired, and headache cranky. That’s a lot of messages units coming into your mind.

What happens when you are in overwhelm? 

Your mind cannot take in more information because you are incapable of dealing with the onslaught of message units. You are experiencing the fog of overwhelm.

At this point, your critical mind, the part of your mind that is designed to deal with incoming message units,  is failing. You no longer have the ability to critically deal with what’s coming at you. You are now running around like the proverbial chicken without a head. Message units are flowing into your mind unchecked, like a dam that has burst. Guess what happens next?

Your flight or fight response, that ancient survival mechanism designed to prepare you to run or fight, kicks in. Congratulations, you are now in hypnosis. 

The technical definition of hypnosis is: an overload of message units, disorganizing the critical mind, triggering the fight/flight response, creating a state of hyper-suggestibility, creating access to the subconscious mind.

However, this is not the good kind of hypnosis where a nice gentlemen like myself is speaking to you gently using positively wonderful suggestions while you recline in a comfy happy chair.

Nope. This is the bad kind of hypnosis where you can’t think straight, can’t see straight, can’t make a decision to save your life, and you are giving yourself positively dreadful suggestions like “I can’t stand this, how did I get here, I want to kill someone, I’m so tired, I’m so angry and irritable, I hate this, and all I want to do is run screaming out of here before I punch someone out.” (Did I mention that in this state you’re hyper-suggestible which means super open to suggestions?)

It’s quite difficult to be effective in the fog of overwhelm because there is no clarity and you are like a zombie. Difficult to make the right decisions, difficult  to keep your cool when someone gets snarky with you, because you are now reactive rather than pro-active. But it’s easy to forget stuff, let things slip through the cracks, and easy to allow negativity or anxiety to overtake you.

Think about how many people are in this state on a daily basis. 

So what can we do? How do we handle the fog of overwhelm when we are so turned around we’ve lost our bearings and there are no signposts available? I’ll talk about this in my next post “The Fog of Overwhelm Part II.” Stay tuned. 

p.s. Check out my podcast Ted In Your Head Episode 21 “Are You a Zombie?”

 

 

l

Liberation from You

Liberation

Bob Marley (photo by Euli Frey)

Liberation. The word is inspiring and filled with history and meaning.

Look up the phrase “independence”  on Wikipedia and you’ll get a definition about countries, nations and states and self government.

Look up the word liberation, and you won’t get much. As a definition, three words, actually.

Why so much about freedom but so little about liberation?

I think it’s because when we’re in a prison cell, or in a dictatorship where we’re unable to travel freely,  we know it. Those things are obvious to see and easily trigger a desire to be free from them.

What is not so obvious is when we are a prisoner to our own mind.

Liberation: What we really want but don’t know it.

People can get comfortable living in a dictatorship. Prisoners can become accustomed to and even comfortable with prison life. “This is how it is. We just have to make the best of it” is how we might come to acceptance of these conditions. But we don’t deny the fact that we aren’t free.

Not so when it comes to our minds. We have the capability to live our whole lives imprisoned by our beliefs, thoughts and feelings, and believe the whole time that we aren’t. This is called delusion.

This is what we all truly desire: liberation from the things that keep us from happiness, health, and prosperity, including the inability to see them for what they are.  We seek liberation from unhappiness, unease, discontent, and discomfort. We want liberation from emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt, regret, and fear. We want freedom from bad habits, patterns of thinking that don’t serve us, and lack of self worth and self esteem.

At our core, we all seek liberation from what holds us back from what we want. What is required is liberation from being blind to the fact that the biggest thing that holds us back is ourselves.

The problem is that we can get pretty chummy with those things that imprison us. We can become so comfortable and so accustomed to living in fear, anger and sadness that we come to accept it as how it is.  This way of being can become so pervasive that if given the key to our own liberation, we will give it back and say no thanks. Then, we will blame something or someone else for our inability to step through the door.

True liberation, true freedom, is being able to see what is true and act accordingly. The truth will set you free.

The truth is that most of us will never completely  escape the emotional landscape that surrounds our humanity. We will be subject to  grief and sadness, anger and resentment, guilt and regret, unease and discomfort.

Our liberation comes from seeing this truth with stark clarity and exercising our freedom to choose how to respond. To be liberated from ourselves is to see clearly that we don’t need to be slaves to our emotions,  desires, regrets, or habits. We can at least acknowledge that the chains that bind us to an unfulfilled life are illusory, and like wisps of smoke, can be blown away at any time.

But it’s not easy. Most people need some help. The best that most can hope for is to achieve liberation from the heaviest chains, and only you know what they are.

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.” 

~Bob Marley, Redemption Song

Ted

You can hear the podcast of this blog at TedMoreno.com, or Soundcloud, or iTunes.

 

Once Upon a Time, There was You, Making Up Stories…

Making up stories

Do you have a habit of making up stories? We know some people who have a tendency to exaggerate the truth. We think we know what is real. But do we really?

Something that happened to me this morning:

  1. I was out for my morning walk when a police officer pulled up alongside of me in his car. He asked me my name and for my ID. He said that they had been looking for a missing person that had the potential of hurting themselves and that I fit the description. I gave him my ID, told him I wasn’t the one he was looking for and he drove away.

Now, let me tell you a story.

  1. I was taking a walk, minding my own business, when a police car passed me. I nodded to the officer. A few minutes later he came back because he had nothing better to do and decided to harass me. He demanded my ID, and made up some story about looking for a missing person. I know he just wanted to mess with me because I nodded to him and they don’t like when you do that.

What really happened?  Which is real? What is reality?

We can spend days talking about reality, so why don’t we just try to stay in touch with reality. We want to deal with what’s real don’t we? We don’t want to waste our time dealing with what’s not real. Yet, the truth is, we do that all the time.

I would suggest that that #1 is a description of what happened and that #2 is a story of what happened. See the difference?

Those who study quantum physics have concluded that there is no objective reality “out there.” That means, that for there to be reality, there must be you to describe it.  (Check out this video about the paradox of Schrodinger’s cat.)

So we could say that reality is what we perceive, or experience. However, is it possible for two people to perceive the exact same thing, but have a different reality of that thing? Absolutely.

The fact is that we each have our own individual reality. The reason that our personal reality can be so very different from someone else’s reality is not because of what we perceive, but because of what we make it mean. The meaning comes from us, making up stories. One of the defining characteristics of human beings is that we give meaning to just about everything by making up stories about it.

In my work as a hypnotherapist, I help people see that we are all making up stories about what what happens to us. Because we are always making up stories, we believe them, and we can become “hypnotized” by them.

Our reality consists of two parts:  There’s what happened, and then there’s us, making up stories about what happened. There is perception, and then there is interpretation.

In my case, there’s what happened, (a police officer stopped me and asked my some questions) and then there’s my story of what happened (a police officer harassed me). The problem is, it’s really easy to get the two confused. We believe that our story about what happened is what happened, and that becomes our reality. Then we make decisions based on a story that for the most part, is made up.

Meaning Making Machines Making Up Stories

The fact is, humans are meaning making machines. We are always  making up stories about what happens to us, we can’t help it. That’s what gives each life its unique flavor. What that flavor tastes like will depend on what kind of stories you are making up. “My business failed, that means I’m a failure” has a pretty bitter taste. On the other hand “Because my business failed  I learned something that will help me succeed next time” is a little more palatable, as well as being infinitely more useful.

Stuff “happens” all the time.  Most of the time, we can agree about what happened. Up to a point.

We can agree that the weather is hot. But we’re not going to stop there; we are always making up stories about the weather!  We have to make up a story about what happened, it’s our nature to do so. For example:

  • What happened: The temperature outside is hot.
  • Your story of what happened might be: I’m going to suffer today because I hate the heat. Or, if you are a kid, you might make up a different story: It’s hot so we get to swim in the pool!

Sometimes though, the stories we make up can be really lousy:

  • WH (What Happened): I asked mommy to buy me a pony and she didn’t.
  • SWH (Story of What Happened): Mommy didn’t love me.
  • or
  • WH: I don’t live in a mansion like the people on TV.
  • SWH: I’m a loser!

One of the biggest obstacles people have to personal happiness is that they are making up stories that are really crappy about what happened to them!

It’s very easy to believe that what happened and the story of what happened are the same thing, but they rarely are. And if we tell this story over and over repeatedly, we can “hypnotize” ourselves into believing that the story is what happened, and that our story is reality, when all it is us making up stories which may or may not be accurate.

If that’s not bad enough, we act as if our stories are real. In other words, we base our behavior on a made up story, sometimes with dire consequences.

For example:

  • WH: Mommy didn’t buy me a pony
  • SWH: Mommy didn’t love me.
  • Behavior based on your story: I resent my mother and we don’t talk. (I want to make it clear that this is just an example. Of the eight kids my mom had, I’m her favorite. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)
  • WH: I don’t live in a mansion like the people on TV.
  • SWH: I’m a loser!
  • Behavior based in your story: Since I’m a loser, I’ll break the law to get what I want.

One of the most important skills we can learn is to distinguish between what happened, and our story of what happened, because the stories that we make up will affect our lives, for better or worse.

The quality of our lives is not determined by what happens to us, but by the stories we tell about what happens to us. What we do in our lives will in a large part be determined by the meaning we attach to our life’s circumstances. If we can become aware of those stories and how they affect our lives, then we have a choice. We can begin making up stories that empower us, instead of making up stories the dis-empower us.  The meaning of our lives is made up by us, so it’s all invented anyway. We are the creators of our lives. The only question is, what do you want to create?

Much of my work with my hypnotherapy clients involves helping them identify stories they are telling themselves that are disempowering and downright scary. These stories rob a person of confidence, self esteem and aliveness, while perpetuating fear, doubt and unhappiness. The first question I ask of them is: “Ok, something happened to you, but what’s the story you’re making up about that, and what is that doing for you?”

I help people to stop making up stories that do nothing for them and I use hypnosis to help people’s minds become comfortable with making up stories that speak to their courage, strength, intelligence and ability to overcome challenges.  It doesn’t take that long to start telling a new story. It all depends on how invested you are in your old story.

 So the next time you feel anger, or fear, or doubt or sadness, ask yourself: What is the story I’m telling that makes me feel this way? You can choose to tell a different story, or you may want to keep that story for now, and that’s ok. It’s your story, after all. We all have one.

In conclusion, let me suggest that you don’t believe a word I’ve written. It’s just my story, and it works for me. I hope at least some of it works for you as well.

Ted

To here the podcast version of this blog, go to www.Tedmoreno.com/podcast or www.tedmoreno.com/soundcloud.

Stop It! 43 Things To Stop Doing NOW

stop
  1. Stop saying “I hate _.” That makes you a hater.
  2. Stop acting like you’re the only one with problems.
  3. Stop complaining to people that can’t do anything about it. They don’t want to hear.
  4. Stop complaining if nothing can be done about it.
  5. Just stop complaining, already!
  6. Stop wishing that what is, isn’t and that what isn’t, is. Deal with what is real.
  7. Stop watching so much television.
  8. Stop calling yourself bad names. You are what you say you are.
  9. Stop comparing yourself and your situation to others. Compare and despair.
  10. Stop buying crap you don’t need.
  11. Stop equating your self worth with your net worth.
  12. Stop  caring what other people think about you. Most of the time, it’s none of your business.
  13. Stop trying to get more done in less time. Life is not about doing.
  14. Stop being so attached to who’s in what political office. Most of the time, it doesn’t matter.
  15. Stop acting and talking like your favorite celebrity or tv character.
  16. Stop caring about what happens to Kim, Lindsay, Justin, JayLo, or any other celebrity. You have more important things to worry about.
  17. Stop worrying so much.
  18. Stop believing everything you hear.
  19. Stop believing everything you read.
  20. Stop believing everything you see.
  21. Stop believing everything you think.

  22. Stop pretending you don’t care about that thing that you say you don’t care about. Because you do care.
  23. Stop wanting today to pass quicker than it is going to. That just makes it take longer.
  24. Stop believing that it’s either this or that, black or white, right or wrong. It all depends on who you are, where you are and what year it is.
  25. Stop eating so much junk.
  26. Stop being so mean to your beautiful body. Yes, you.
  27. Stop arguing for your limitations.
  28. Stop believing that there is nothing you can do about it. There is always something you can do about it.
  29. Stop believing that what always was will always be.
  30. Stop saying that you will try. Yoda said “Do or do not. There is no try.”
  31. Stop trying to change people. Change yourself instead.
  32. Stop believing that God is interested in punishing you. She told me last week that you’re good at doing that all by yourself.
  33. Stop thinking that you deserve to be punished.
  34. Stop shoulding all over yourself.
  35. Stop being so fearful. Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.
  36. Stop pretending that you have nothing to offer or contribute. If you’re still above ground, then you do.
  37. Stop being so afraid of other people. They are just you in a different body.
  38. Stop hanging out with people that want to keep you down. “It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you are running around with pigeons.” -Les Brown
  39. Stop holding back what you need to say. It’s bad for digestion.
  40. Stop holding on to your stuff so tightly. It’s making you constipated.
  41. Stop worrying about money. That’s why you don’t have more.
  42. Stop worrying that people will find out how smart, talented, gifted, funny, weird, nerdy, sentimental, warm and fuzzy and what a freak of nature you are. It takes all types, and it’s all good, my friend.
  43. Stop hiding your light under a basket. We need it now more than ever.

p.s. Don’t believe anything I’ve written here. 

Ted

Want to hear the podcast version of this? Go to www.tedmoreno.com/podcast

 

Happiness and The Hypnosis of the Culture Part II

Happiness

Here’s a parable that I think speaks to the topic of happiness and the hypnosis of the culture.

One day a monk stopped by the house of a wealthy man and found the owner busily filling a large steel chest  with gold and silver coins. Puzzled, the monk asked him what he was doing.

The man replied, “Sir, you have no cares. The faithful feed you, and if they do not, it doesn’t matter because you don’t care what happens to your body. But it is different with us householders. We must hoard some of our wealth so that we will not go hungry in time of need.”

The monk’s reply was to invite the rich man to visit him the next day in the hills outside of the city. When he arrived he found that the holy man had dug a pit in front of his hut and was busily filling it with small round stones. He had been working since dawn and had already amassed quite a pile.

“What are you doing, sir?” the man asked. “The mountain behind your hut is covered with these smooth, round stones. Why are you collecting them?”

“For time of need,” the monk replied. “It might happen that all these mountains are washed away, and so I am collecting these stones and hiding them in case I need them.”

“That’s crazy,” the wealthy man replied. “It is not possible for this mountain to be washed away.”

“And it is not possible that Life will fail to lay your food before you,” the monk replied, jumping out of the pit. “It is foolish to waste your precious time hoarding gold and silver. Your task in life is to know yourself at every level. Hoard your energy for accomplishing this noble purpose instead of frittering it away  on petty cares and anxieties.”

I’ve had this little parable for years on a page of magazine print. I can’t even remember where I got it from. I’m surprised that I kept it because it didn’t make a lot of sense to me at the time. Was the message that you shouldn’t be concerned about the future? That saving for a time of need was not important? How can you have happiness without abundance?

I found this filed away recently and I read it again, but now, I get it.  Let me tell you what happened in 2009 that allowed me to understand this story.

In 2009 my wife and I had just purchased our house in the middle of the great recession. House prices were down and so was my business. Many people were losing their homes at the time.

Shortly after moving into my house, I became very afraid. Most of my life I’ve had no desire to buy a house because of the commitment. Now I had a big commitment in the form of a monthly mortgage. I started to worry that if business didn’t pick up I might lose my house just as quickly as I bought it.

The fear began to grow. My business phone was deathly silent. I started to have pictures in my mind of packing up our stuff and moving out.

One night, as I lay in bed unable to sleep, I looked back over my life. I realized that most of my life, I had been without any substantial amount of money or material goods. This made me feel even worse.

But then, something else occurred to me. I have never been homeless. I had never lacked for food. When I needed a car, I was able to get one. I was always able to buy clothes if I needed them. Yet, in spite of all this, I had always been worried about money.

That night, for the first time in my life, I knew I could always count on myself to get by, but more importantly, that Life would provide for me. If we lost the house, we would always have a place to stay. I realized that worrying about it was paralyzing me and keeping me from doing the things I needed to do to attract business. And this worry was stealing my happiness.

My key to happiness was to transform doubt and fear into faith and gratitude.

To break free from the hypnosis of the culture and fully understand that who I was is not defined by my house, my car, or my bank account, but instead, by who I declare myself to be and how well  I am able to live up to that declaration.

I felt gratitude that for the fact that at least that night, I was sleeping in a house that I owned. That my two children were healthy and strong. That my wife was healthy and had a good job which she enjoyed. I felt happiness growing within me as I fell asleep.

I like nice stuff as much as the next guy.  I don’t want to just get by, I want to thrive and I am. But I’ll tell you this, I’ m ever vigilant of the hypnosis of “more and bigger” and it’s ability to infect me. My goal is to explore what it means to be human and  to be present to and grateful for the opportunity to live in this place at this time.

I’m not sure that I could write this if I was homeless, or suffering a tragic loss.  I am not arrogant enough to assume that whatever blessings or good fortune I’ve had is soley the result of anything I’ve done.

In addition,  I don’t know why I got so lucky as to own a home, have a healthy family and a job that I love. I’d like a mansion and Ferrari but I sure as hell don’t need one.

But if I am able to manifest that, it’s not going to happen by looking with envy at what the other guy has and feeling like a failure or less than. It’s going to be by declaring myself incredibly wealthy and blessed right now. These thoughts bring me happiness.

Shortly after that night, the phone start to ring again and my business picked up. I got some  help from coaches and mentors, some who were very generous with their time. The economy seemed to be getting better. Or maybe the only thing that was getting better was me.

Ted 

To listen to a podcast of this blog, go to www.tedmoreno.com/podcast

Photo by Skye Moorhead

www.skyemoorhead.com

Happiness and the Hypnosis of the Culture, Part I

happiness and hypnosis of the culture

You might’ve heard the story of the guy walking down the street and sees another guy looking for something by the side of the road. “Hey” the first guy says,”What are you looking for?”

“I’m looking for my keys”, says the other guy.

“Let me help you! Where did you see them last?”

“In my house.”

“Um, so why you are looking for them out here?” Read more

Scaring Away the Dark Side of Change

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Ever wonder why we wear masks on Halloween? Why we dress up and disguise ourselves as ghosts, witches and monsters?

The modern holiday of Halloween has its roots in both the Celtic celebration of Samhain and the Christian holiday of All Saints Day. Samhain (“the end of summer”) celebrated the end of the “lighter half” of the year and the beginning of the “darker half”.

The name Halloween comes from All Hollows Even, meaning the night before All Hallows (Saints) Day.

The ancient Celts believed that the veil between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing both harmful and harmless spirits to enter into the realm of the living. Good spirits of deceased loved ones were invited in while harmful spirits were scared off by wearing costumes and masks.

As a hypnotherapist I help people change, and change is not easy. The “dark side of change” means leaving what is known and comfortable for something unknown and uncomfortable.

Our minds are powerfully drawn to the familiar and comfortable (habits), even if we’re aware that it’s no longer working for us. Our current way of being is rooted in our mostly deeply held beliefs. For change to occur,  new beliefs must be formed.

The ancient traditions such as Halloween help us understand the nature of change. To begin the process of transforming ourselves, we must remove the mask of who we feel we are and try on a new mask (or identity) that’s more in line with our vision of who we want to be.

The new mask will be uncomfortable and foreign, but the wearing of it scares off the dark side of change, or the spirit of the old behavior, which harms us by holding us back from our true power, our “good (god) spirit”. When we don our new identity, we invite that helpful spirit in.

There will be conflict as we try to get comfortable with the new idea of who we are. We will be tempted to put the old mask back on, and at times, we will. Yet, we must continue to wear the new self perception, getting comfortable with it, making it a part of our life. We must remain diligent to not allow the harmful spirit back into our thinking and behavior.

Quite often, while you are letting go of the old behavior and adopting the new, you’ll have to deal with the darker half, or shadow side of yourself, which will attempt to sabotage your best efforts.

You’ll be challenged by the dark side of change, and you’ll be tested. You’ll think it’s too hard and want to give up. Just ask anyone who’s tried to quit smoking or lose a significant amount of weight. They’ll tell you, “It’s like there’s two parts of me, one that wants health and the other that wants to destroy me.”

The best way to scare off those nasty spirits is to enthusiastically (enthusiasm: en theos, or “the god within”) keep pretending to be who you want to be, in your language, in your thoughts and most importantly, in your behavior. You must continue to hold on to your highest value, or highest vision of who you want to be.

Come to believe in and hold a vision of  your life that inspires you (inspire: “the spirit within”), so that  you can ward of the ghosts of your past and triumph over the dark side of change. 

Interesting that All Saint’s Day was originally celebrated on May 13th, in the spring. This date coincided with the ancient feast of Lemuria, where the harmful spirits  of the darker half of the year are appeased and exorcised.

As you move into the darker half of the year, take time for introspection. Go deep into the dark places of self knowledge and acknowledge and accept the masks that need to be discarded. Can you keep their negative influence away with your new face? Can you scare off the dark side of change with powerful trust and belief in your new vision?

All traditions have their origins in the human experience. Our desire to release the old and welcome the new and is in accordance with the seasons of life, that ongoing cycle of birth, growth, death and reinvention.

 Ted

 Photo by Skye Moorehead
www.skyemoorhead.com

You, on The Hero’s Journey

 

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I like Star Wars. “The Empire Strikes Back” is my favorite movie. When I hear the word transformation, I think about Luke Skywalker, and unless you’ve been living in a cave since 1977, you know that he is the hero of the first three Star Wars movies.

Here’s a guy that goes from being a whiny, irresponsible young farm boy to becoming the powerful Jedi Knight that brings peace to the universe by bringing down the evil Galactic Empire. Only in the movies, right? Well, not quite.

The story of Luke Skywalker is a story as old as time. (as is the story of the Hobbit Frodo Baggins) It is known as the Hero’s Journey, and it is found in  myths and legends from around the world. The roots of the hero’s journey go back to the ancient wisdom teachings from the earliest of civilizations.

George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, has acknowledged that he owes a debt to mythologist and author Joseph Campbell, whose theories about the hero’s journey have influenced numerous writers and artists.

Here’s a chart from Wikipedia under “The Hero’s Journey”:

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In his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces” Joseph Campbell describes the hero’s journey. (Click here for a really cool video regarding the Hero’s Journey and “The Matrix”)

According to Wikipedia: “Campbell describes a number of stages or steps along this journey.”:

  • A call to adventure: The hero, in the ordinary world, receives a call to enter an unusual world of strange powers and events.
  • A road of trials: If the hero accepts the call, he must face tasks and trials.
  • Woman as temptress: The hero will be tempted and must survive a severe challenge. If the hero survives, the hero may gain a great gift, which often results in the discovery of important self-knowledge.
  •  Return to the ordinary world: The hero must then decide whether to return with this gift , often facing challenges on the return journey.
  • Freedom to live: If the hero is successful in returning, the gift may be used to improve the world.

What’s interesting is that this chart looks very similar to another diagram that I am quite familiar with:

TheoryoftheMind1

Coincidence? I think not. Any substantial change or transformation means stepping into the unknown and facing the enemy inside.

Let’s examine the hero’s journey from the perspective of Theory of Mind. The top part of both  circles  is the ordinary world,  the realm of our conscious minds.

As we mature, we are called to adventure. This call is to take responsibility for our lives. This may involve going away for school, getting married, starting a career, or having children. This is a call most of us are willing to answer. Of course, there are challenges, sometimes major.

At this point there is a threshold to cross. We can choose to play it safe, sticking with the known and familiar, stuck in behaviors that don’t serve us, stopped by fear of the unknown. Or, we can choose the path of growth and transformation in an effort to create our lives.

We can choose to delve into the unknown, making a conscious choice to continue along the road of trials in search of a life that is meaningful and worth living, even if the path is unclear. We may realize that we cannot do it alone, and search for guidance in spirituality or religion, seeking out mentors, or being open to help from powers unseen.

In our  journey to create a life, we encounter the road of trialsloss of innocence, loss of love, rejection, disappointment, failure, intense pain, illness. At this point we may be made aware of our own character defects that brought us to this rocky road. These defects can be bad habits or addictions,  mental or physical laziness, or values that are lacking, not clearly defined or not adhered to.

Now we are in the abyss, the realm of the subconscious mind. We may have to fight demons that arise to keep us from moving ahead. We come face to face with our fears and doubts. Our primitive mind will kick in with fight or flight as a last ditch attempt to protect us from the unknown. We will want to turn back or quit altogether.

If  we choose to continue on the path to transformation, a part of us must die. Campbell calls this “Atonement with the Father”. Luke Skywalker,  in his battle with Darth Vader (“Dark Father” representing the evil part of himself) loses his hand and throws himself into the abyss, choosing death instead of surrender to the Dark Side. What dies in us is our identification with our ego, who we think we are, our limitations, our physical bodies.  We become present to who we really are: infinite energy, light, spirit.

We can now enroll our subconscious minds as a helper, as we work to get comfortable with new ways of thinking, behaving, and relating to ourselves. Our true powers are revealed to us: trust, faith, intuition, courage. We have acquired the gifts of wisdom and  foresight. We’ve developed clearly defined values that guide us and that are not negotiable.

We are now transformed, born again, and as such, we may seek to share our learning (the gift) to the world as we incorporate and synthesize our wisdom back into ordinary life.

The hero’s journey is humanity’s struggle to bring order out of chaos. Each of us walks the path of the hero’s journey, whether we realize it or not; in our daily lives, we seek transcendence over the mundane, the petty and the ordinary.

We are all continually called to action, to be great, bold, courageous. We will shy away from this call, yet it is unceasing. Transformation happens when we go boldly where we have not gone before, to quote a phrase, and trust that the universe conspires in our favor.

See yourself as the hero when you feel stuck, beaten, or paralyzed to move forward. You are fighting the same battle that each person fights, travelling the same journey as every human that ever lived. It is the struggle to become more than what we are.

Ted

 Photo by David Johnston
www.dk9studio.com