fotolia © Gina Sanders
The 3 A’s: Acknowledge, Awareness & Appreciate
We all want the best in life, right? Seems to me that most of us want the same things. To be happy. To be healthy, to have enough time and money to do the things we want to do. To love and be loved. That would be a Triple-A life. The way in which we personally experience these concepts looks drastically different from one person to the next. Yet I think we can all achieve them using three easy, no-cost, easy to learn, ideas: awareness, appreciation, and acknowledgement.
fotolia © egokhan
Awareness is so simple, yet so overlooked. It costs nothing. At least not monetarily, yet you do need to pay attention. That’s all. Pay attention. Perhaps you have heard it said that energy flows where attention goes. Be aware of yourself and others. Be engaged in what you are doing and what is happening around you. Get your nose out of your phone and look up to see what is actually happening around you. And pay attention to what you are doing. Are you doing things just out of habit because that’s the way you have always done it? Or is it really the best way to accomplish whatever you are doing? Is there a way to be that is more in alignment with who you are now? Stop and be aware and you may get a big surprise when you see what you are actually doing, or what others around you are doing.
fotolia © egokhan
fotolia © egokhan
Next is appreciation, which is a key component in a life well lived. You need to appreciate the good things in your life for more of those things to show up. Appreciation is a form of gratitude. When you appreciate something you are experiencing the vibration of gratitude, and as the Law of Attraction states, the essence of that which is like unto itself is drawn. Appreciation is born on the heels of Awareness. Once you are aware, you can then appreciate. And it is so easy! There are millions of things you experience every day for which you could feel appreciation. You could appreciate a colorful sunrise or majestic sunset. You might appreciate the way the crossing guard takes care of the children she helps to stay safe at that busy intersection you travel though each morning on your way to work. What about appreciating the craftsmanship in a well-made suit or the mastery for an amazing engineered vehicle? Or even the way the car wash team detailed your car? How about the way your mom takes the time to cut the carrots for her chicken soup just so and fills the pot with her love for the family?
fotolia © egokhan
fotolia © egokhan
And once you become aware and feel appreciation, acknowledge it. Maybe just to yourself. Acknowledge the excellence of your new suit and appreciate how well it is made and how the fit is perfect for your body. Allow yourself to feel the emotion of the appreciation as you express your gratitude. And if you really want to pump up the volume in your life, start expressing your appreciation to others. Maybe even to that crossing guard. Can you imagine how good you and the crossing guard would feel if you stopped for a few seconds and just told her you appreciate the way she is getting those kids across the street safely? Or if you gave the car wash team a really nice tip and looked each of them in the eyes when you said “Thank you, I really appreciate the good work, guys.” What about asking to speak to the chef so you may express your appreciation for your perfectly prepared meal? And you know how much your mom would light up if you told her how much you appreciate her and all the little things she does to take care of the family.
These three seemingly small ideas, when adopted as a regular way of being, offer enormous transformative power in your experience of happiness and prosperity. Each of them is important and powerful, yet added together, the sum of the parts is far greater than the whole.
As published in Conscious Shift Magazine:
Possibilities, Peaceful Beginnings and Great Expectations for The New Year
The New Year is traditionally the time of year we reflect on what we want to change in our lives. In my experience, most people focus on negative things they want to stop doing such as: smoking, eating junk food, being a couch potato, or losing their temper with their kids, spouse, co-worker, in-laws, etc. We tend to focus on removing the negatives. Sometimes it is just easier to look at the negative instead of trying to create what a new way of being might look or feel like. But it is not the strongest point from which you can affect a change.
What if you flipped the script on that old way of thinking and started focusing on the positive things you would prefer to experience?
Some people think it is the same thing, yet it really is not the same at all. We bring about what we think about, so whatever you focus on expands. Consider that for a moment. What you think about expands. It seems simple enough, yet a majority of people discount the importance and that truth. What you think about expands. Think about negative things and negative things blossom. Think about positive things and positive things blossom.
In other words, you get more of what you think about all day long. So where are you focusing your attention? On the undesirable things in your life? Your bad habit of smoking? Overeating or eating in an unhealthy manner? Have you ever noticed that when you start beating yourself up over it, you tend to do it more? There you go. What you think about expands. Thoughts have energy and energy collects. Things that are alike, are drawn to each other. This is not a newly discovered scientific fact, it’s ancient knowledge. Have you ever heard that birds of a feather flock together? That what that means; like attracts like. And if you stay in the negative energy, it begins to affect you negatively.
So if you want to change something, why not focus on the positive aspect of the desired behavior? What to quit smoking? Focus on being smoke-free instead. What to quit eating junk food? Focus on eating healthy foods. What to get off the couch? Think about the activity you want to participate in. If you want to stop losing your temper with people, focus on being present in the moment and being kinder and perhaps more patient. When you stay present, you are not bringing up the past to cause more upset, or projecting into the future to produce worry.
Take a moment and do a little experiment for yourself. Think about something you want to change, perhaps you are often late to work or meetings, and it is really causing you problems. Close your eyes and take several cleansing breaths and then focus negatively on changing your situation, i.e., “I need to stop being late to work and meetings all the time.” Now notice how you feel when you think that to yourself. Let yourself experience that response for a short while, then let it fade. Take another three breaths to change your state and return to a more neutral space, then focus positively on changing the situation with an affirmation of the desired way of being, i.e., “I am now managing my time better and arriving on time, or early, to work and meetings.” Now notice how that response feels different than the first one.
This is an easy way to begin to gently shift yourself into a more positive space and start to create a more positive you!
What Do You Choose to Believe?
We hear so much about freedom of choice, yet how often do you stop to think about it and what it means? Seemingly, most people correlate the idea of choice mainly to material things like the vehicle they buy, the way they wear their hair, their clothing, their job, or where they live. But doesn’t it go far deeper than that?
What about choosing how you feel?
How many times do you hear someone say that another person made them angry? Or someone hurt their feelings? How many times have you said something like that? Although it may feel true at that moment, it really isn’t. No one can make you feel anything. In the end, it is up to you how you feel. Ultimately, you choose how you react or respond to any situation.
You may balk at the idea, but before you choose to get upset over it, let me explain further. Choosing how you feel is an extension of our free will. Each of us create our emotions based on how we perceive things. In other words, what we believe. Things happen, we form beliefs about ourselves and life based on those experiences, then those beliefs spur our emotions and drive our behavior.
If a person believes that they are stupid, then when someone says they are or even hints that they are being stupid, the person usually gets quite upset. Yet getting upset is a choice. One could choose instead to ignore what the other person said, or better yet, simply take it as an opinion. Someone thinking you are stupid does not make you stupid, nor does it mean that you need to get upset over it. After all, the truth needs no defense.
In other words, when you know (believe) you are smart, then another person saying that you are stupid no longer upsets you. It could only upset you if you chose to be upset. Yet, believing you are stupid, even just a little bit, you are most likely to choose to be offended. Hearing you are stupid scratches at a hidden belief that you are stupid, which makes you uncomfortable or outright angry and may lead to you lashing out.
The empowering part is that you could choose to look at your upset and see it as an opportunity to clear any false or hidden beliefs you have about being stupid. Take a deeper look at your feelings and the false beliefs about yourself the situation stirred up. Does a part of you think you are stupid? Maybe just within a certain parameter. You may feel stupid when it comes to math, yet you are a genius at carpentry. Have you been denying that part of you that feels stupid?
Once a false or hidden belief is uncovered you have the opportunity to shift it or release it entirely. In the end, it is a matter of choice. You may choose to shift it or you may choose not to if you feel it is still serving you in a positive manner. Just know in the end, if you choose to keep it, you will likely still be offended and that is your choice.
As published in Conscious Shift magazine October 13, 2016: http://consciousshiftcommunity.com/true-get-choose/
Tune into your quiet inner voice and trust your gut instinct.
We all have it. That quiet little voice that whispers a warning to us. That gut instinct. Your intuition. The voice that works to give us guidance and wisdom, if we will only listen.
The trouble is that even though it is YOUR inner voice unless you know what it sounds like, what its’ language is, you cannot hear it. Your inner voice, your intuition, does not speak to you verbally like a friend, family member or counselor does, by actually explaining what actions you should take or what to do next. Intuition does not carry on a conversation with you, at least not in the traditional way of conversing with the spoken word.
Intuition does speak to you, however, and it has a lot to say if you will only be aware of how it is informing you. If you are not actively tuned into your intuition you’ll need to practice communicating with it to develop an easy understanding of it and to learn to hear its’ messages clearly.
For me, the easiest way to begin to tune into your intuition is to use the wisdom of your body. In hypnotherapy training, we were taught about the felt-sense and a rule of mind called “Organ Language.” “Organ Language” states that the body responds to your thoughts whether they are conscious or subconscious. So, even if you are unaware of your thoughts, a response can be felt in the body, or felt-sense. Felt-sense is the place in your body, from about your chin to your waist, where you notice a physical response to a thought or idea.
I find that intuition uses your physical body in the same way as the subconscious mind. (Of course, it can be argued that your intuition IS your subconscious mind, yet for the purpose of this discussion, let’s stick with calling it intuition.)
While the intuition does not limit its’ vocabulary to physical responses such as causing your skin to run with goose-flesh, or flip over your stomach like it’s a pancake, those are the easiest communications to learn to become aware of as you learn to “talk” with your intuition. You do not need any special training or equipment; just your body and your thoughts.
Start by taking a couple of deep cleansing breaths and then focus on a negative experience that still has some charge left in it for you, something you can still easily get upset about. Now as you remember that unpleasant memory, notice how your body is responding to the memory. Is your stomach tight? Does your breathing change? Do you feel your throat tightening? Are you involuntarily clenching your fists?
Don’t worry about being wrong. You can’t be wrong. Whatever you notice is perfectly right for you. You don’t have to stay with the memory for long. The idea is just to begin to realize that you can feel responses in your physical body. The feeling that came up could very well be your unique way of experiencing a “No” or some type of warning from your intuition. Your intuition could use the same kind of sensations that you have experienced in unpleasant times to warn you that what you are about to do will also be unpleasant.
Now, take another couple of breaths to clear way that memory and response and then focus on a really happy or pleasant memory and as you do, once again became aware of your body’s physical response. Does your heart or stomach feel light? Does your breath slow down? Do your shoulders relax? This feeling could be your way of experiencing a “Yes” or a “Go ahead” signal from your intuition.
You can get a heads up in any situation once you have discovered at least one way in which your intuition is communicating with you. Test it and run an idea through your mind and see if what you think you want to do feels more like the “No” or more like the “Yes” response you got in touch with earlier. Follow the signal and see what happens.
The more you tap into your intuition, the easier it is to hear it and then you can use it automatically to help you in any given situation.
fotolia © graletta
Have you ever noticed how some people don’t receive compliments well? It’s interesting how differently people respond when complimented. And how sometimes a person receives a compliment about their attire quite well, yet when complimented on the quality of their work, they seem to lessen the compliment with disparaging remarks.
When I was a teenager, my mother told me once that the graceful way to receive a compliment is to simply, feel grateful for the compliment and say thank you with no need for explanations or to back away from it by rationalizing. Just smile and thank the person.
That short conversation has played in my memory often. I only recall her telling me that on one occasion when she was with me and a teacher of mine complimented me on my appearance. The compliment embarrassed me and I tried to shake off the uncomfortable feeling by verbally batting the nice words away with a lame comment about how I couldn’t possibly look that nice, I was too big of a girl to really look that nice.
“No, really,” she said, “you look very nice in that dress.” I stopped babbling and just looked down at my feet. My mom started talking to the teacher and after a moment the teacher walked away and it was time for us to leave. As we were making our way to the car, my mom shared her small bit of wisdom with me to take compliments gracefully with a smile and a heartfelt thank you. I remember I didn’t say anything back to her. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t think I could do that. It just felt so uncomfortable when someone told me I was pretty or I looked nice. I didn’t understand how I could just smile, thank the person, and then be done with it. I preferred not to be complimented in the first place.
It would be quite a few years before I really began to understand what my mom was trying to teach me, and I realized that she didn’t receive compliments well herself, yet she wanted me to be different than she was and feel good when I received a compliment. I began to learn that gracefully receiving a compliment could be accomplished when you no longer felt uncomfortable with being complimented. Once you actually believed what the person was telling you, then you could receive the compliment.
I did quite a bit of sewing when I was in middle school and high school and made some of my own clothes, and when someone would say they liked my outfit, I could accept the compliment with a smile and thank them. If it was a friend of mine, I might even proudly announce that I had made it myself. Yet, when in the same outfit, someone would say that I looked nice in it, I would push the compliment away.
During my early adulthood, I slowly began to notice the difference, yet I didn’t know what made the situations different. Now I can see that I was okay with being complimented on something I did, something I accomplished, but if the compliment was about me being pretty or attractive in any way, I couldn’t accept that. I did my best to answer the way mom told me, yet I still felt uncomfortable if the compliment was about my appearance.
Another component on my path to learning to accept a compliment was when a dear friend of mine, who was old enough to be my mother, told me not to steal a person’s blessing by demeaning their compliment. She said that when someone compliments you, they are giving you a blessing and when you push it away, you are stealing their blessing. That was the first time I considered that giving and receiving is a balance of sorts. And it was the first time I considered that me not being graceful in accepting a compliment could be upsetting in any way to the other person, even though I had experienced someone doing that when I gave a compliment.
The final piece to my greater understanding was when I went through training to become a hypnotherapist and I learned about how the subconscious mind works and things like situation self-confidence and self-esteem. How we receive a compliment has to do with our programming and for the most part we are taught, or programmed, that it is better to give than to receive, and that if you are too confident then you’re bad in some way. I began to see where I was experiencing situational self-confidence.
I needed to clear a lot of my early childhood training before I could honestly receive a compliment about my appearance. Once I truly felt comfortable in my own skin, I was comfortable with someone else complimenting me on my appearance.
Perhaps there are times you, too, notice that you take a compliment well, and other times when you do not. Take a few minutes and begin to take note of those times. Then you could possibly start to discover the negative programming from which you are responding, and begin to change it.
Then you can comfortably receive compliments and share blessings gracefully.
As published in Concious Shift Online Magazine
fotolia © Aaron Amat
As we were planning our weekend celebrations for America’s Independence Day, I wonder how many of us really felt independent. I’m not talking about the religious freedom or freedom of speech that we enjoy in this country, but rather the freedom from our own anxiety producing or tormented thoughts.
Do you compare yourself to others and then suffer because you feel you have fallen short? That you’re not good enough, smart enough or never be as good as they are? Perhaps your suffering comes from finding yourself superior in the comparison and then thinking that it makes you better than that other person?
Maybe you are too self-critical and your thoughts are filled with how you should do better. How you messed that project up and you just know you’re about to get fired. Or how you have convinced yourself that you are never going to meet someone to have a meaningful relationship with.
Does your mind race wondering how someone else sees you, if they think you are nice enough or smart or good enough?
Wayne Dyer advocated that we live “Independent of the good opinion of others.” And while I whole-heartedly agree, I suggest that we take it a step further and also live independent of our own good opinion.
I say it is time that all of us stop considering our self-worth based on the degree to which we measure up to someone else. That we stop listening to the recurring loop of thought in our minds that sounds just like our disapproving parent or teacher and stand up for ourselves. It’s time to break the chains holding us down and free ourselves from the emotional bondage created by our critical mind.
That sounds great, doesn’t it? Everyone wants that, right? If we only knew how to do it, though.
It doesn’t have to be difficult, yet it does take persistence and commitment. There are a lot of practitioners that offer a variety of change work to help, I do myself as a hypnotherapist. And while I believe that hypnotherapy is the fastest and most effective way to experience long-lasting permanent change, I also understand that not everyone is in the place where they can or want to do that kind of work with themselves.
So what to do? How can you begin to shift your thinking and start freeing yourself from your own enslaving thoughts? What is one small, manageable action that you can take to begin to shift your thoughts?
fotolia © BillionPhotos.com
You first have to train yourself to be aware of your thoughts. Now don’t get overwhelmed, I’m not talking about being aware of each of your thousands of thoughts that run through your mind all day long. I’m just suggesting that you start listening for the ones that are holding you back or producing ill effects in your life. The ones that make you start experiencing any kind of nervousness or anxiousness.
Once you hear yourself think something negative about yourself, just stop and consider that thought. At first it may seem true, but really look at it. Is it even your thought? Did it actually come from you or is it simply regurgitated judgment or negativity that you heard as you were growing up? Does it even really sound like you, or does it sound like your Mom, or your Dad, or your ninth grade algebra teacher? Or anyone of the many people that could have influenced you as a child.
You see that’s the thing about our thoughts. Almost all of them are not actually original thoughts. They are ideas or beliefs that we accepted from someone else and they are completely false or invalid in our lives today.
Once you start becoming aware of your thoughts and start looking at them you can begin to consider their origin and you have a chance to transform them or just let them go altogether. We have thousands of thoughts every day and while some of them are innocuous, some of them can be extremely damaging and for the most part we don’t even know it.
So when you hear a thought that is not in your best interest, take a moment and ask yourself if it is serving your greatest good to continue to give this thought any credence. If the answer is no, then re-frame the thought in your mind to one that is supportive.
Say you are walking through your office with a stack of papers in your arms and you stumble a little and drop the papers. You might mutter to yourself as you start to collect the strewn documents, “Oh, Man! I always do that!” That is the moment to make a change. Look at that statement and ask yourself if that is really true. Do you always drop your papers? ALWAYS? If there has ever been a time that you walked across the office with a stack of papers and did not drop them, then the statement is false. While it may be true that you have dropped a stack of papers in the past, or done something similar, it is highly unlikely that it happens every time you carry a stack of papers.
Now you get to re frame the thought. Take a breath and just stop for a second and be aware. You might re-frame the thought “I always do that,” to something like “I have been known to get the dropsy’s at times and now I am becoming more aware and graceful.” Be careful not to make your re-frame complete opposite of the original thought. Doing that could cause your mind to completely reject the new thought. Make it one of small change. One that is easily accepted by that critical part of your mind. Now every time you head across the office with a stack of papers you can affirm “I am becoming more aware and graceful.”
You can use that same technique when you hear yourself put yourself down. Re frame the “I’ll never succeed” thought to “I have had some difficulties in the past, but now I am stringing my small successes together and improving my life.”
And in doing so you will begin to set yourself free.
In quantum physics, the term “quantum entanglement” refers to a physical phenomenon that occurs when groups or pairs of particles interact so that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently, and instead a quantum state is created for the system as a whole. In other words, one is affected by the actions of the other. They remain connected. The actions performed by such particles, even when separated by great distances, was called “Spooky Action at a Distance” by Einstein.
This concept of spooky action, one thing affecting another even when separated by great distances, is at play in the broader spectrum as well, not just at the quantum level. Perhaps this is why when I have thought of someone and wanted to talk to them, moments later my phone rang and I found the caller to be the person with whom I was longing to speak. Because on some level, that person and I are connected.
Some might call this connection extra-sensory perception, and perhaps it is ESP, yet where is the extra-sensory connection made? Deepak Chopra would say that my friend “got my message in the field”. The field being that state of infinite possibilities. That intangible conscious energy field where all things are connected at the smallest level.
But what about the tangible? The connections that exist on a grander scale? In the broadest sense all people are connected simply because we are people. The human race. We are connected by that commonality, but what about other things? Are we also connected to animals? To plants? Insects? The sky and the wind? The rivers and oceans?
I believe we absolutely are. In a spiritual sense, I believe we are all connected through the idea that there really is only one of “us”. There is no separation. A flower and a farmer are one in the same in that everything is an expression of the same Source, the same Light, or Love, or Oneness. But even for those who are not spiritually minded, the connection, the commonality, of all things still exists.
Science has sown us we are breathing the same air Christ and Buddha breathed. We swim in and sail upon the same oceans as our ancestors. We stare at the same sky at night and wonder at the same stars that guided their journeys. And we are all made up of the same material as those stars. There exists a finite number of elements that are mixed and matched in infinite ways to create the Universe.
So with quantum entanglement and its spooky affect, are we not all inextricably connected to all of creation? Each of us a particle whose actions affect the other particles with which we are entangled, regardless of the distance between those particles and the elements they comprise.
A good first step could be to decide to take the time to evaluate things that are no longer working the way you’d like them to. I know, at first this may seem like a pretty big task, yet it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. You could simply decide to be aware of the next time you begin to feel stuck or stifled in some way, or when you start to feel like a hamster running its’ heart out on its’ spinning wheel just to get nowhere. The point is to identify something in your life that you ‘d like to improve and then take a long look at the situation. What is working and what isn’t? You don’t necessarily need to make a drastic change and chuck the whole thing. Actually, if you did think that chucking it was the answer, you may not really take such a drastic step right way because it could be too big of a change.
What I’m talking about is to look at the small steps you can take. Start with the easy stuff. You know, the low hanging fruit. You don’t have to make it into a big deal, writing list and comparing pros and cons, or asking your friends and family members for their ideas. Trust me, they are more than happy to tell you what you need to fix, but this is not about what anyone else thinks you need to improve. It’s about what you think needs to be improved.
And be kind to yourself when starting this process. Start small, even if the thing you want to change seems difficult like losing weight or getting in shape, or getting along with one of your in-laws better. Just look at one little thing you could change, then imagine how applying that change could positively affect your experience. Maybe you stop drinking soda after dinner every night, or you park farther away from the door so you must walk a longer distance to get to the office or go into the store, or maybe you could consider looking at things from your brother-in-law’s point of view. He could have a point, you know.
This short evaluation process could become a new habit of thought for you that could make a huge change in your life right away and even more so over time. It may not seem like you are really doing anything at all, which is actually the point. It doesn’t have to take a lot of effort to make a positive and lasting change. Just a small adjustment can make the biggest difference over time. Think of it as a very small course correction in your flight plan. A small adjustment gives you time to easily settle into your new flight plan, and once more comfortable, you can readjust as needed. Remember, even a change of just a fraction of a degree applied over the course of miles will lead you to an entirely different destination.
As seen in Conscious Shift Magazine May 13, 2016
Have you ever stopped to consider that most of the amazing technology achievements that we take for granted in our daily lives were considered impossible just a few short years ago? The computers, gadgets and devices that we use daily? The medicine and life-saving surgical procedures advancing life spans? Even the innovative food and entertainment options we have these days is incredible.
Each of these amazing, mind-blowing, incredible things came about because someone dared to think “What if?” Two small words that change the world and the way we live in it every day.
Two small words that can change you. Are you in the habit of asking yourself “What if…..?” What if I found a new route to work? What if I took a walk every day at lunch? What if I took an online class? What if I go to a MeetUp group about Art History? Or meditation? Or baking? Or hang gliding? Or Pottery throwing? What if I did something different than I am doing now?
Would your life change? Probably. Maybe not in a huge way, but then again, it could. The smallest step can be the beginning of the longest journey. Have you thought about the possibilities? How making just a small change could help you to move into all that you want in your life. How maybe, just maybe the impossible is possible.
Some times people have a hard time thinking in a new way, so let’s play a little game. Answer the following questions with your first impulse. Don’t think about them and look for the right answer. Just let the answer come out of your imagination without judgement or question.
What if I made more money?
What if I lost twenty pounds?
What if I could get along with my brother? (Sister, Mother, Father, pick any family member that may apply.)
What if I knew how to speak a second language?
What if I took up a new hobby?
What if I were to apply for that promotion at work?
What if I went somewhere new on vacation this year?
What if I bought a new car?
What if I dyed my hair purple?
What if I got a pet?
What if I started participating in the monthly staff meeting?
The list of “What if’s” could go on and on. And it’s likely that not every what if question here pertains to your life, yet the idea is to give yourself a moment to start thinking differently. To start moving the lines that you habitually think within and expand the playground of your imagination.
If you want to create a better experience for yourself, you first must imagine it. What would it look like? Feel Like? Be Like? What color is it? What shape? Dare to imagine it. Some people have a really hard time allowing themselves to imagine. They are fearful that if they admit that they want something, then if they can’t make it happen, they will be disappointed. That could happen. Yet, if you never let yourself imagine the thing, then you surely will be disappointed because you will never experience it.
To show yourself the power of your imagination, just take a small idea. Maybe the idea of someone offering to buy you lunch. (This idea could help you expand your idea that there is abundance every where, by the way.)
You might start with asking yourself “What if someone offers to buy me lunch this week?” Then let yourself imagine what that might look like. In your mind’s eye, take a few minutes to just imagine that someone offered you a free lunch. Maybe a family member or a co-worker. Maybe it is something that they bring from home and offer you, or maybe they take you out for lunch. Don’t decide how it has to happen, just be open to allowing it to happen. How many different ways might it happen? Be open to any of them and even to a way you may not have thought of yet. Notice how you feel about the idea of someone giving you lunch and hold those good feelings in place when you think about it.
If the idea of someone offering you lunch is too difficult to imagine, make it something smaller, something you can easily accept, but not something that happens to you all the time. You want to start to understand the power of how you can begin to create things in your life by using the power of your imagination. When you get comfortable with imagining things like a free lunch, you can step into bigger things and possibly even dare to imagine the impossible and see the possibility come true.
Give it a try. What if it works?
We all find ourselves at times waging an emotional war against ourselves. One part of us wants one thing and another part wants something entirely different. Perhaps like when your apartment lease renewal date is looming and part of you really wants to move and another part wants to renew for another year. You just can’t decide. You are confused and frustrated. How can you want to move while you also want to stay where you are?
Once you realize your internal conflict, you can start working towards bringing both sides to the table for peace talks. While you may understand that internal conflict is a normal human experience born out of the opposing belief systems held in our subconscious mind, you may not know how to begin the process of bringing the warring factions in your mind into alignment with each other.
First, identify the combatants. In this example, there is a part that wants to move and a part that doesn’t want to move. Many times the conflict is that black and white. But, if your conflict is not as clear cut as this, begin by paying attention to your thoughts and conversations (with yourself and others) around this subject. You will most likely hear yourself think or say something like “Part of me wants to move but part of me just wants to keeping living in my current place.” It may take some expanded awareness of how you are really feeling to clearly identify the opposing desires, or parts of you. Once you have gained some clarity you can begin to move into changing things.
Remember, each part has a strong desire for you to make the decision in their favor, yet, what they really want is what is best for you. Using active imagination you can imagine interviewing each part. Pretend you are in a room with another “you” and have a conversation just like you were talking with a friend to help them solve a problem. You may do this while in a relaxed state and hold the conversation in your mind, or you may want to write it out and let the answers flow onto the page without editing them. You want to let the information come up from your subconscious mind, not the analytical part of your mind.
Your part is like the other person even though it may look exactly like you. Ask it the same thing you would ask your friend about their desire to move. And also ask the part what it wants for you. And why it wants that. For example, the part might say it wants you to live elsewhere because you are bored where you are now. Ask it why it wants that. Keep asking until you uncover the core reason; a reason that has to do with an emotional response instead of an action. Ask until it says something like “because I love you.” You will uncover that the part thinks it is acting in your best interest. Be aware of hidden motivations as well. Like the part wanting to move because it is trying to help you avoid something. You are looking for things you are not consciously aware of and keep in mind these parts are often created in our early childhood so they very well may think like a second grader. Their responses may not make a lot of sense to you, which is fine, just keep uncovering as best you can to get to the emotional response.
Be sure to be just as diligent with the other part. You will discover that each part is doing its’ best to help you in its’ special way. Perhaps you find that the part that wants to stay put is trying to protect you from the unknown. There is too much danger out there; it wants to stay put so you don’t get hurt. Yet, you really do want to move to a new city for good reasons. With no hidden motives uncovered, this conflicting part is causing difficulty.
Next, start discussing with the parts what needs to happen so that you can start making plans to move and elicit the conflicting parts’ assistance. You see how strong it is, so give it another job to do. Something perhaps that will still let it use its’ strengths of keeping you safe, yet not holding you back. Or, see if the other part, in this case, the part that wants to move, is willing to work with the frightened part to help it along instead of being in opposition to it.
With understanding and sometimes compromise from one or both parts, you can resolve the internal conflict and get your parts working as a team to help you reach your goals and be at peace.