Posts filed under ‘Conscious Books’

I’ve got’cha right where I want’cha!

Blog…. oh, how I’ve missed you.

Last night I was watching a surprisingly good movie… surprising for three reasons… 1) I’d never heard of it, 2) the biggest name actor in the movie was the mom from Gilmore Girls, and 3) something about the cover and the title looked “typical.”  Also curious, it seemed fairly mainstream for a Sundance Film Festival flick.   It’s called The Answer Man and is really quite funny/clever with a lovable cameo from the guy who played “Buster” in Arrested Development.

Anyway… the premise is this… Arlen Faber, author of the book ME & GOD, while his book is wildly successful cornering 10% of the God market, he himself is a crotchety, angry, middle-aged man still searching for meaning and cornering himself off from civilizational as much as possible in his deceased father’s downtown Philadelphia townhome.  He meets Elizabeth after crawling on all fours into her chiropractic business.  In trying to woo her and through a relationship painfully forged with Chris, the book store owner down the street, he begins to soften, get out of his head, reconnect with people and admit his faults…

ok, so that was a fairly awful synopsis, however… hopefully you get the picture enough to understand the context about what I really want to share from the movie.

The book store owner works out a deal with Arlen… he will take 5 of his books in exchange for every 1 answer to his questions about life.  The questions and answers given really touched me.  Especially the first, as it encompasses the exact question I was living in at the moment I turned the movie on… here it is…

Chris: “Why can’t I do the things I want to do.  There’s so much I know I’m actually capable of and I never do them.  Why is that?”

Arlen: “The trick is to realize that you’re always doing what you want to do.  Always.  Nobody’s making you do anything.  Once you get that you see that you’re free and life is really just a series of choices.  Nothing happens to you.  You choose.”

This answer really made me pause and reflect… “I’m right where I want to be in this moment?”  And then image of a villain in an old western played in my head saying “I’ve got’cha right where I want’cha!”  Could this be true?  Could I have myself right where I want myself?

Part of the reason I’ve been MIA from Blogland the last two months is that I’ve really been exploring the options of “what’s next?” in my life.  Where am I going from here?  What career path should I pursue?  What will meet all of my needs both now and in the future?  Should I be a life coach? a therapist? a writer? a documentarian? a Real Charlotte Housewife? or keep doing what I’m doing?

Often while exploring these questions I honored how good I’ve got it now… how much Freedom, Ease and Abundance I now enjoy and at the same time recognizing that I also have needs for Purpose, Meaning, Contribution, Respect, Appreciation, and Mutuality that maybe aren’t currently being met as much as I’d like.  My problem, as I saw it, was stemming from the fact that I couldn’t see or imagine how to meet ALL of those needs at the same time… it seemed in order to pursue the missing ones, I might create stress or financial strain, or difficulty with scheduling and therefor inhibiting both mine and Sean’s sense of Freedom, Ease and Abundance.  I simply couldn’t settle for that… I meditated, searched, and worked on it with my life coach in order to see a way to have it all… and in the meantime, I was going to do my best to sit tight and appreciate what I’ve got.  So this answer… “what i’ve got is exactly what I want” was a curious suggestion to me.  Could it be, that somehow, right where I am is meeting all my needs?

The entire movie reminded me so much of the Conversations with God book series, that I decided to go pull the two I have off the shelf and read them before bed.  I settled on Friendship with God and flipped open to a page that seemed perfect, of course!  (I love doing that and it happens to me all the time!)   I read from page 104-117, and here’s a quick excerpt from the beginning of that section:

from Friendship with God (pages 104 – 107) – (God’s words are italicized)

And has that been so bad for you?” (I heard this as a question of, is where I am right now been so bad for me?  my answer was “no” and Neale Donald Walsh’s response was “no” as well, with some elaboration, which led to a question from him and the following dialog.)

So tell me, how can I learn to trust?

By not having to.

Help me here.

If I don’t want or need anything from you, do I have to trust you for anything?

I suppose not.

You are correct.

So the highest level of trust is not having to trust?

You are correct again.

But how can I get to a place of not wanting or needing anything from You?

By realizing that it’s already yours.  That whatever you need is already yours.  That even before you ask, I will have answered.  Therefore, asking is not necessary.

Because I don’t have to ask for what I already have.

Exactly.

But if I already have it, why would I even think I needed it?

Because you don’t know you already have it.  It is a matter of perception. (This aligns with ACIM)

Do You mean that if I perceive that I need something, I do?

You will *think* that you do.

But if I think that God will meet all my needs, then I will not “think that I do.”

That is correct.  That is why faith is so powerful.  if you have faith that all your needs will always be met, then technically, you have no needs at all.  And this is the truth, of course, and it will become your experience, and so your faith will be “justified.”  Yet all you will have done is change your perception.

What I expect is what I get?

Something like that, yes.  Yet the true Master lives outside the space of expectation.  He expects nothing and desires nothing more than what “shows up.”

Why?

Because he already knows he has everything.  And so he happily accepts whatever part of Everything it is that shows up in any particular moment.

Wow… all my needs ARE met… just my perception is off.  So as spoken about in Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love, the only prayer I ever need is, “God, I need a miracle,” which is a shift in perception, in essence saying, “God, please help me see this differently… help me see the Truth here.” 
So let’s do it…  “God, I need a miracle.  Help me see the Truth in my life that all my needs for Freedom, Ease, Abundance, Purpose, Meaning, Contribution, Respect, Appreciation, Peace, Beauty, Love, Mutuality and any others I can think of ARE all met, right here in this now moment.  I accept that what is now, is what is best for me now, otherwise it wouldn’t be here.  I move beyond trust and into knowing that I am safe and free and encouraged to be myself.  And so it is.”

To be continued…

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April 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

The Happiness Project

I haven’t read the book, but the website is awesome and full of BLISSSfix remedies!

February 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm Leave a comment

The Rule of Agreement

Last night I blogged about ACT – Acceptance Commitment Therapy, and tonight I had an interesting conversation with my friend, Christine, about the Rule of Agreement highlighted in the book Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell.  Christine swears that this one concept revolutionized her work life and continues to improve her relationship to others today.

“One of the most important of the rules that makes improv possible, for example, is the idea of agreement, the notion that a very simple way to create a story – or humor – is to have characters accept everything that happens to them. … Bad improvisers block action, often with a high degree of skill. Good improvizers develop action.”

Christine asserts that by learning to “agree” with everything that comes her way and then simply add to it, that creative energy continues to flow in the brainstorming process.  It applies in business and in every day life.

The moment I internally or externally say “no” to someone or to my own thoughts, it is as if a door to resourceful creative flow closes and refuses open again until the “critic” is at bay.

I noticed this happen internally today as I was experiencing a slurry of funny ideas for a project I’d like to collaborate with a few friends on.  One after the other, ideas were flowing, so many I couldn’t get them all down… three were on the tip of my tongue (or pen in this case, as I was jotting them on paper) and I noticed that I thought, “oh, I can’t use that idea, it’s too negative.” and wooosh! like magic, the other two ideas were gone… I never remembered what they were to write them down.  And they were good, too!  Ever had that happen?  It made me see the value of allowing all thoughts to come and then letting the best ones rise to the top.

This reminds me of ACT simply because agreement with everything is another way of saying accepting everything that comes into my life without judging it.  It also relates very strongly to my training as an Inspired Learning Facilitator.  The Inspired Learning Foundation acknowledges that for learning to take place a safe space of acceptance must be present.  Just think of how many students are labeled ‘stupid’ or ‘learning challenged’ to use a PC term and remain trapped in below average performance because they are simply shut down.  It reminds me of a story told by Catherine Cadden, author of Peaceable Revolution Through Education, when a teacher belittles a child for coloring a banana brown saying, “Everyone knows bananas are yellow,” when in reality, bananas do turn brown when they are older, and they are brown when dipped in chocolate, and perhaps they are brown in low lighting.  If only that teacher had read Blink, perhaps she would have been open to bananas of all colors and that little boy would still feel safe in the creative process.  I digress…

So I’m curious… What is your experience with this?  What memories does this conjure?  Have you noticed any ways that you currently are blocking the flow of creative energy in your work, home or life? What strategies have you successfully used to open that creative flow back up? I’d love to hear any stories you have about practicing this Rule of Agreement and the results!  Please comment below!

January 28, 2011 at 3:51 am 1 comment

ACT – Acceptance Commitment Therapy

A friend just loaned me this book about Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT).  While I wish the authors had chosen a different title that didn’t get a cheesy 80s song stuck in my head and I wish they had done a better job of editing the book to streamline it, I enjoyed learning about ACT, which is summed up fairly well at Wikipedia.  In short it suggests that human suffering comes from attachment to and identification with our thoughts. (This reminds me of Buddhist teaching as well as ACIM).  It suggest awareness/mindfulness as a way to realize that we have choice in how we react to situations and circumstances.  It reminds me of the phrase, “don’t believe everything you think.”  I really enjoyed some of the exercises they suggest in the book to illustrate their points. I shared them with friends like parlor tricks. 🙂

I did notice after reading this book for several days that I was able to ‘watch myself’ react to things, bringing more awareness into the present moment, which was new for me and helpful.

There were also elements of the Law of Attraction scattered through out the book as scientific fact without them every calling it by name.  Simply acknowledging with documented studies that we get what we focus on.

All in all, I wish I could have anchored the “how to get into your life” part of the book a bit more.  I’m interested to hear if anyone out there has any other suggestions for good reads on this topic of mindfulness or awareness.

January 27, 2011 at 3:31 am 1 comment

Human Potential Classic – Lead the Field by Earl Nightingale

My Aunt JoAnne gave me this human potential movement classic, Lead the Field by Earl Nightingale, in cassette tape form more than a decade ago.  I used to listen to it on my Walkman as I exercised around my neighborhood.  It was the beginning of my journey into self-improvement.

Not only is the message delivered delicious and inspiring… the voice dispensing this wisdom is equally warm and comforting (think James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman).  I listen to Earl Nightingale’s baritone resonance and I’m instantly at ease like a young child having her grandfather reading her favorite bedtime story.

Since I no longer own a Walkman or cassette player of any kind and I have no idea where the cassettes are… I decided it was time to restock.  At first all I could find were cds $20 or more, but then I found this mp3 download for only $5.99!!!  What a steal!?!!   This is 4 hours of fabulous advice on how to improve your life colored with memorable stories and examples, all dictated by a voice that could melt butter!  I promise you, this is the best $6 you’ll ever spend.

If you don’t believe me, try this FREE download first…

Mark Victor Hanson, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, is so kind to provide a free download of The Strangest Secret, and hour long recording of Earl Nightingale’s ‘top hits’.  It’s basically a 1940s version of the Law of Attraction, but so lovely to hear it again from such a practical angle.

I love both of these recordings and listen to them regularly.  Enjoy!

And let me know what you think!  I’d love to hear success stories of things you accomplish after listening to these two classics!

January 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm Leave a comment

BLISSfix Journal – A Commitment to Personal and Profound FREEDOM

Well… Jan 10th and I’ve already missed 2 days on my original New Years goal of blogging every day of 2011. I suppose shyte happens. But, I’ve begun the book Blogging for Bliss and there I have been instructed to 1) be real and honest, not perfect. ( ie. don’t create too faux entries and pretend I didn’t miss a day) Check!  and 2) that blogging should be fun, and not feel like work.  Tara Frey, the author, recommends that I blog at least 3 times a week if I’d like to have listeners/readers.  She also suggests posing questions to the readers and encouraging comments.  This may come as a shock, but I had never thought of that.  What’s so funny is that I have vehemently opposed pulpit like behavior of one person standing before many acting like a know-it-all, and here I’ve been carrying out that very act on my blog and not realizing the vast resources of allowing other people’s brilliance to shine through in the comments. duh.  geez louise!  anyway.. I’m cured.  and to prove it…

Got any other great blogging tips? Got any other blogging books or websites I should check out?  Comment below! She can be taught folks!

My husband asked me how I was liking the books (as I checked out 9 on blogging from the library) and I confessed to him, and now to you… world… that sometimes reading about all these people who are out there blogging successfully triggers insecurities and makes me feel like I’m ten years late to the prom.  The evolution of this blog and of my life has been very unpredictable and sporadic, and as a member of productive American, go-getter society… I’m embarrassed.  Shouldn’t I be ‘doing something’ with my life?  Shouldn’t I “be” someone by now?  Shouldn’t I be branding myself, creating a marketable product and be earning a good living off of my offerings?

The truth is I’m happiest when I am serving in a loving and free way.  I love helping people and I’m very gifted in lots of different areas, so I often find myself floating in and out of people’s lives as needed and moving on where I’m needed next, no payment or title necessary.  Kind of like a less exciting, Jill-of-all-Trades super hero.  In fact the second someone offers me money or a job, I freeze, panic and split.  I run my husband’s photography business with great success, yet something in me yearns for greater expression and fuller reward.  Something to call my own.  Yet how can I create that and still have my precious freedom?

Freedom from what?  Freedom to change with the wind and move as Spirit moves me.

I told Sean tonight that I keep receiving the message of needing to commit to something, see things through… what-have-you.  He suggested to drop the ego-brain ‘should’ and commit to mastering freedom… commit to being the Jill of all Trades blessing.  And then the question comes… How can I be this flit-floating, versital hero who doesn’t like getting paid for her good deeds and put money on the table… shouldn’t I force myself to learn to receive in kind?  But what really feels natural to me is simply being cared for by Life… not necessarily receiving directly from the person I’m giving to, but trusting that paying it forward will always bring my deserts from one direction or another.  Perhaps a bit like my chant as I leave the house late… “I always arrive at the perfect and right time.”… perhaps I need to come up with a new chant, “I am always am cared for by the universe in direct and abundant proportion to the level of care I give.”  I love contributing and I love receiving… I just like them to not be directly related to one another.  For whatever reason, it most often feels like entrapment to me.

As Sean made his suggestion, one thought did come to mind though as I contemplated what a commitment to true freedom might look like… “true freedom comes from releasing all thoughts of fear, doubt and worry.”  Now that is a doozy of a commitment!  Perhaps it’s time to commit to meditation.  I believe it would help me gain clarity and improve my ability to direct my thought to create the life I want to live.

Anyone got any great ideas on how to meditate effectively?  I’ve tried many methods… monkey brain still reigns.  I’m willing and ready.  I’ll continue to post my progress to the cloud.  Thanks for listening.

ps. just started snowing outside… a rarity in NC.  enough to get excited about and raid the grocery stores of all milk and bread.  (only I stopped eating those two things, so I stocked up on fruits and veggies!)

January 10, 2011 at 3:30 am 2 comments

BLISSfix LOVES Lynn Twist

A year and a half ago, I wrote about Lynn Twist’s book The Soul of Money after picking it up for the very first time. Tonight after many re-reads, I am listening to the abridged audiobook version. I enjoyed her meditation in the final 30 minutes of the recording that focuses on Great Fullness (gratefulness).

At this moment I’m finding myself in an internal tug of war that pulls between the idea of the world I want to live in, and the world as I see it now. I would like to live in a world where energy healing is the primary solution to any physical ailment, yet in the world I see around me my good friend who has been a Reiki Master for 15 years is suffering from diabetes and loosing parts of his body. I want to live in a world of sustainable communal support and giving, but after hosting two people and two kids in my home for two months, I question whether that is possible on any scale. I want to live in a world of harmony with plants, animals and people, but watch any nature show and it is clear that we do live in a panther eat gazelle world. It does seem in this world of duality, for harmony to exist, its opposite, discord, must exist, as well.

I have danced between the feelings of “not enough” and “more than enough” a lot the last few months. Almost enough to question whether or not I’m suffering from a personality disorder. At times it felt so good to share our space and our abundance with our house guests, and at times I felt burdened, frustrated and scared. I was being challenged to live my ideals and something about it was challenging the core of everything I believe.

To end this battle, I remember I have been taught in the law of attraction, that life is not about finding one right way of living for everyone to conform to, but about deciding my own preferences and moving toward what I want and away from what I don’t want. I want harmony, sufficiency, sustainability, great fullness, wellness, ease, grace, hope, peace. Perhaps that’s not what others have chosen, but I want the best of the best experiences on this planet. I realize I draw them to me through recognizing they are already here… and while at this moment that feels challenging, something about Lynn Twist’s audiobook helped me feel peace on the subject. That perhaps the zero point field lies in sufficiency and enoughness… that perfect balance between the two poles I have been dancing between. Tonight I will rest there.

January 3, 2011 at 10:26 am Leave a comment

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