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.

 

Stop It! 43 Things To Stop Doing NOW

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  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

dark-half

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

 

Untitled-12

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”:

398px-Heroesjourney_svg-298x300

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

Why You Need Discomfort!

 

 discomfort

One hot summer day found me at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I was on a  river rafting trip with Arizona River Runners and 30 other people. My buddy Brian was driving the boat on this 9 day trip down the Colorado River.

One evening after dinner while  people were pitching their tents, one of the passengers came running up to tell us that there was a rattlesnake near the tents. Brian grabbed his “snake tool” and we headed off to capture the snake and relocate him to another part of the beach. A few of the passengers were quite fearful because they had never seen a rattlesnake.

Try as we might, we couldn’t get close enough to snag it. The snake preferred to stay deep in the brush. We assured the frightened  passengers that snakes would rather avoid people and that this snake would try to get as far away from us as possible.

On the last day of the trip, a woman approached me and Brian and confided that she was so uncomfortable with snakes that she had decided to stop drinking  water. Her plan was to get so dehydrated that she would have to be helicoptered  out of the canyon. Temperatures at the bottom of the canyon can get as high as 120 degrees in the summer, so if you don’t drink water you can get dehydrated bad enough that you’ll have to be flown out to the nearest hospital. Cost: $1500 for the ride.

She had a choice: possibly risk her life  by dehydration and pay  for evacuation from a trip which she had already spent a good deal of money, or face her discomfort in order to experience  a once in a lifetime adventure.

She chose to stick it out. She realized that to experience the beauty and majesty of the Grand Canyon from a boat on the river,  she would have to endure some discomfort. Like any wilderness expedition,  a river trip down the Canyon involves blazing heat, sleeping on the ground, no shower or public facilities, and an array of wildlife including poisonous snakes.  At the end of the trip, she shared that it was one of the most incredible experiences of her life. She decided that she could endure some discomfort.

How many opportunities for growth have you passed up because you wanted to avoid some discomfort? How many exciting adventures have you missed out on? How much of the juice of life have you left behind because it might involve discomfort? 

T. Harv Eker says in his book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”:  “The only time you are actually growing is when you are uncomfortable.” Where you are now in your life, financially, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, is within your comfort zone. To grow, to learn and to change, you need to step out of that comfort zone and get uncomfortable.”

It’s not easy to do something you’ve never done before. It won’t feel right, you won’t be doing it perfect, you will feel out of place, it’s not what you thought. However, with a little consistency and by doing it regularly,  something interesting happens: It starts to get easier. If you persist, something amazing happens. It becomes very comfortable to do it and possibly uncomfortable not to.

This is how habits are formed. You give your(subconscious) mind time to get comfortable with something new by walking through the initial discomfort. Think about the things you want to do but haven’t, like starting an exercise program, taking a class, going on a trip, introducing yourself to someone or joining a club or organization. Is it the discomfort of the unknown that’s stopping you? If you want to move you in the direction of embracing discomfort for growth or learning, here are some things to thing about.

Why Discomfort?

  • Life is not always comfortable. Discomfort will come along for no other reason than the fact that you are alive. Even if you could stay in your jammies  watching tv all day,  you’d still get hungry, bored, etc. What kind of life is that anyway?
  • There are areas of your life where you already accept discomfort because there is a great payoff in doing so. Example: getting up to go to work, going to the dentist.
  • Discomfort by itself won’t kill you. It might make you grumpy, angry, scared, or nervous, but rarely does anyone die from discomfort.
  • You need discomfort. That’s how life gets your attention. You are forced to take action even if you don’t want to. For example: ” I don’t have time to eat but I’m so hungry I can’t think straight.”
  • Discomfort makes like worth living. There is discomfort in uncertainty. But if all you ever had in your life was certainty, you might do something to  screw it up just to make it more interesting. (People do it all the time, for example, creating drama.)
  • You can feel uncomfortable and not let it stop you. When you are uncomfortable in a new situation, simply acknowledge that to yourself. “I’m uncomfortable but I don’t need to let it stop me.”

The reason hypnotherapy is effective in creating change is that it helps your mind become comfortable with the new and unfamiliar. Try this on: every time you feel uncomfortable see it as an opportunity for growth. Embrace discomfort! Welcome it! If you are uncomfortable, it simply means you are alive and growing.

If you just can’t stand the discomfort but have decided that you need it, I can help you. Contact me by clicking here.

Ted

p.s. Feel free to share this with your social media networks using the buttons below. 

Being Grateful for the Things that Went Wrong

 

Train_wreck_at_Montparnasse_1895

As we approach Thanksgiving, much will be written this week about gratitude, how to give thanks, counting blessings, how not to stuff yourself like a tick, etc.

I’d like to suggest being grateful for things in your life that went wrong. Things that didn’t go according to plan.

Now before I go any further let me say that, sometimes when stuff goes wrong, some really bad things can happen. It would be hard to be grateful for losing someone you love in a sudden terrible accident.

Still, many people that I speak with who have lost a loved one, often say that it was a wake up call for them; they realized that they were not being grateful by taking their lives for granted and resolved to live with more passion and love.

Recently, I was watching 127 Hours, the movie about Aron Ralston, the guy who survived a hiking accident by amputating his arm which was stuck under a boulder. Seems being grateful that would be really hard to do. Still, he gave a speech (he’s paid up to $37,ooo for speeches) “about how he did not lose a hand, but gained his life back.”

I had really bad back problems as a young man. Somedays I couldn’t get out of bed. But it got me into a habit of daily stretching that continues to this day that has kept me lean and mean (at least I think so). I’ve also been challenged by severe eye problems that necessitated shots in my eyeball. I asked the doctors “What can I do to keep this from happening again?” They said “Walk everyday.” Being grateful for those problems is easy because I walk daily and I love it. Better than a sharp stick in the eye.

Now when something goes wrong in my life, it’s a bit easier to ask myself “What is the lesson here? How can I grow from this?” Being grateful for the tough times is a little easier while they are happening even though the thanks sometimes comes grudgingly.

Can you look back and feel gratitude for:

  • The pain you’ve felt?
  • The disappointments you experienced?
  • The sadness you felt?
  • The loss you felt?
  • That time you got fired?
  • That time you got sick?
  • The times you got taken advantage of?
  • The time(s) you got dumped?
  • The time you were broke?
  • The time you lost your job?
  • The time someone told you the cold hard truth to your face?
  • The time you lost?
  • The time you failed?
  • That special once in a lifetime love who got away?

You might be thinking “How can I possibly be grateful for ____?”

Well, did you learn something? Did you become stronger? More compassionate? Wiser? More honest? More loving?

Did you find some tough stuff within that you didn’t know you had that still serves you to this day? Were you able to draw out  some courage or cleverness that allowed you to get to the other side?

Were you humbled? Did you get closer to God or your fellow man or woman? Was all the superficial, artificial, surface glitter and glam stripped away to reveal the real rock hard diamond deep down inside?

If so, then you’ve got something to be grateful for,  my friend. Doesn’t mean you liked it, or want to go through it again, it could just mean that you can say “It happened, I got through it, and I got something of value from it.”

If there is anything in you that is good, strong, right, and true, anything powerful and bold, any small measure of grit and bad- assedness, I’m not sure you would have it without those experiences.

It’s called a re-frame. You pull that dusty old stuff out of the basement, that junk that has been sucking your self esteem and self worth out of you, and you polish it off, hang it up and display it like a badge of honor, even if you’re the only one who sees it. You say to yourself “Yeah, I was flat on my back, I was down and out, I was crushed, hanging by a thread, written off, forgotten, humiliated, burned out and close to dead but dammit, I did not die! I am here to tell the tale! Yes it was tough but I was tougher!

That’s what I’m talking about. Being grateful for every little bit of it. It means you’re alive.

Ted

31 Scary Questions to Ask Yourself

 

It’s all about scary this week as we approach Halloween and Day of the Dead. 

It’s a time when it’s fun to be scared, as long as we know that it’s just a movie, or someone dressed up as the walking dead.

Truth is, there are plenty of really scary things out there.  But by far, the scariest things are those that we hide from ourselves, the things that we are afraid to deal with.

Unresolved issues that haunt us, pain we can’t seem to release, resentment that traps us in unhappiness. These are the monsters under the bed, the goblins that we spend so much energy keeping locked in the closet, for fear of what they might do if looked at them.

Of course,  once we turn on the bedroom light, look under the bed and throw the closet door open, we find that there is nothing to fear.

Shining the light of our awareness on those things that we don’t want to deal with allows us to see them clearly.Then we can take the opportunity to clean them up or straighten things out.

Asking yourself a few scary questions can help you transform an unseen ghoul into Casper the Friendly Ghost. (Who really just wants to lend a helping hand.)

Ask yourself these 31 scary questions and see if any of them make you a little freaky. If so, perhaps you are starting to exorcise some demons! Keep asking yourself those questions and see what comes up.

31 Scary Questions to ask yourself.

  1. Am I happy?
  2. If I’m not, am I waiting for something to happen to be happy?
  3. Is it possible for me to decide to be happy now?
  4. Do I know what I want?
  5. Have I given up on getting the things I  want that are truly important to me?
  6. What fear keeps me from living the life I want?
  7. Have I become cynical, negative, or resigned?
  8. Do I like myself?
  9. Am I able to quickly name 10 great things about me?
  10. Am I taking care of myself?
  11. If no, do I feel I’m worth taking care of myself?
  12. Am I getting the love and attention I want and need?
  13. Do I have fun regularly?
  14. Do I have fulfilling social interactions?
  15. Am I expressing myself honestly and authentically?
  16. Is there someone I need to forgive?
  17. Is there resentment burning inside of me  that I need to resolve or express in a healthy, productive manner?
  18. Is there a negative belief that I need to  release or let go of?
  19. Is there a change I need and should make NOW?
  20. Why am I here?
  21. Is there a valid reason for the things that I am doing that are stressful and overwhelming?
  22. Am I giving me the me time  I need?
  23. Do I have regular moments of peace, calm and tranquility?
  24. Do I have frequent feelings of gratitude?
  25. Do I complain a lot?
  26. Do I hang around negative people that bring me down?
  27. Is my work meaningful and fulfilling?
  28. Do I compare myself to others and find it creates despair?
  29. Am I caught up in a lifestyle that I  feel is not meaningful to me?
  30. Am I happy with the answers I have to these questions?
  31. If not, what can I do today to change?

Perhaps a few of these scary questions brought up some stuff. You might not be able to answer some of these scary questions in the way you feel you should or would like to.

If so, copy those scary questions and paste them into a word or notepad etc. document. Delete all the questions that don’t have an emotional charge for you. Keep deleting until you have about 5 or 10 of the biggest, baddest scary questions that are giving you the heebie jeebies.

Now keep these questions where you will see them. Maybe write them down on a 3×5 card and carry them around with you. Keep asking yourself these scary questions with awareness so that you can move beyond fear, negative self- judgement and shame and into the possibility of changing the answers.

For instance, to the question: “Do I like myself?” you might answer “No! I don’t! And it really sucks! I hate that I don’t like myself! 

See if you can move into non-judgement: “OK, I don’t like myself. I’m probably not the only one. I’m not a terrible person because I don’t like myself. But I want to like myself. So what can I do to begin to like myself?” 

See how many of those scary questions you can bury by committing to some action. Bless and release old ways of being that no longer serve you and that are ready to be laid to rest. Then continue on your journey, a little more confident, on your way to an attitude of gratitude.

Need some help on your journey? You can contact me by clicking here.

Ted

The Power of Your Beliefs

The power of your beliefs

Once there was a young man sitting on a park bench worried sick. He owned a business and had gotten himself into a huge amount of debt.

He could see no way out of his predicament. He was being harassed by his creditors and his vendors were demanding payment.

Suddenly, an old man sat down on the bench next to him.

“You look like you have the weight of the world on you, young fellow,” asked the old man. “What’s wrong?”

Happy to share his problems with someone, and with nothing to lose, the young business owner told the old man about his dire financial situation as the stranger listened in silence.

When he was finished, the old man said, “I believe I can help you… what’s your name?”

Quickly pulling out a checkbook, the old man wrote out a check and pressed it into the hands of the young business owner.

“I’ll meet you here in exactly one year and you can pay me back then. I believe you can do it!”

With that the old man slipped away as quickly as he’d come.

The young business owner looked closely at the check. His jaw dropped in disbelief as he realized that it was a check for $500,000 – signed by John D. Rockefeller – at the time, one of the richest men alive!

The young man knew that check would erase his money troubles in an instant! But after thinking about it for a moment, he decided he would put the un-cashed check in his safe for the time being.

Just knowing that he had a check for $50,000 gave him a renewed feeling of optimism and energy about saving his business.

With a huge boost to his confidence, he renegotiated the deals with his vendors to buy some time.

He negotiated with his creditors as well for much lower settlements than what he owed.

Now that he had a little breathing room, he closed several big deals. Within a year, he was back on his feet again and was running a successful business.

Exactly one year from when he met the old man, the young man went to that same park bench. In his hands was the un-cashed check.

Right on time, the old man also arrived at the park bench.

“Dear sir” began the young man as he started to hand over the un-cashed check to the old man. Just then, a nurse came running up behind him.

“I hope he hasn’t been bothering you,” she exclaimed. “He keeps slipping away from the rest home and telling everyone he’s John D. Rockefeller! I’m SO sorry!

With that the nurse led the old man away, leaving the young man completely  flabbergasted.

For an entire year, he had been wheeling and dealing with faith and power because he believed he was backed by half a million dollars – given to him by one of the world’s wealthiest men!

Of course, it was simply his renewed sense of confidence that gave him the power to achieve his goals.

Where did this renewed sense of confidence come from?

  • Not from more money in the bank.
  • Not from a radical change in his skills or talents.
  • Not from anything outside of him changing.

His renewed sense of confidence came from the only thing the old man gave him: a new belief which replaced the belief that he was defeated.

This belief was not based on reality. It was not a belief he cultivated nor consciously chose. It was given to him in the form of a useless piece of paper. But because of this belief, he was able to radically change his life.

You just have to stand in awe of the incredible power of beliefs.

Like the young man, most of our beliefs are given to us. We did not choose them. They are hand- me- downs. And we take them for unchangeable truths. But the nature of beliefs is that they can change.

You’re going to believe in something. That’s the nature of who we are as human beings.

The only question you have to ask yourself is this: “Is this belief working for me?”

Today is the first day of Spring, so why not do a little spring cleaning? Ask yourself:

  • “What beliefs about myself do I need to rip up and throw away?”
  • “What new beliefs about myself do I need to create to get what I want/need?”
  • “What beliefs about life don’t work for me anymore?”
  • “What beliefs can I create that will give me a happier, more fulfilling experience of life?”

If there are blocks holding you back from what you want, they are usually outdated beliefs. If you need help identifying then and letting them go, give me a call. I believe I can help you.

Ted