Saturday, September 26, 2009

When I come to the place of personal responsibility, I'm close to breakthrough!

You cannot let people who don’t want what you do tell you how to act or respond!

We have to be willing to ask ourselves the DIFFICULT QUESTIONS. Without facing ourselves, we cannot change the situations, which consistently cause us debilitating frustration. We have to get to the place where we GET enough information to finally address the issues, which keep us from changing.
If you & I are honest with ourselves, it’s the identical issues, that cause the identical setbacks.
During a conversation with my great friend Cindy, I was approached about fasting on the Day of Atonement: Yom Kippur.
Known as the Day of Atonement the 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer will begin at sundown this Sunday (9/27/09) and will last until sundown Monday (9/28/09) evening.

Two holy candles are blessed and then lit, signaling the beginning of Yom Kippur 9/27/09. Once this has been done, there is no more eating or drinking, no bathing, no using creams and oils, no wearing of leather shoes, and no sexual relations.
Even Jews who do not observe any other Jewish custom will refrain from work, fast and attend synagogue services on this day. This is considered the Day of Judgment, a day to practice repentance, say prayers and give charity in an effort to receive God’s forgiveness for all sins made in the past year.
My choosing to follow Yom Kippur this 9/27/09 got me thinking about our world’s great need for personal, professional, emotional, relational and physical re-calibration of our lives.
This definite commitment causes us to practice principles, enabling us to become one with them.

This sounds so amazing and life changing, yet how does it exactly occur?

Feelings are never going to go away. We don’t have to follow our feelings; we can manage them. There’s this uncanny process which we all succumb to. It is my actions...beliefs...behaviors...consequences which create cycles in my life. I get so consumed (consciously and subconsciously) that whatever I’ve fed takes center stage of my life. Our greatest times of growth are when we do what’s right, when we FEEL wrong…. this sucks; yet it’s the truth for all of us.

The life empowerment exercise I immediately set out to accomplish centered on identifying what I was feeding subconsciously and consciously in various aspects of my life. This is my list:

1) Tradition. I was pre-occupied with wanting things to be a certain idealized way in my marriage & in my professional relationship with one gentleman in particular. The reality is that the idealized marriage I envisioned myself to be apart of didn’t have someone who’d been previously married. It didn’t include anyone who’d been hurt or driven to despair of some sort, causing unyielding mistrust. My working relationships didn’t include an individual who would consider him or herself, before everyone ELSE no matter what. I dreamt up someone who would travail for those they work with; that they’d be this servant-leader that was persuaded to live the ideals they share in corporate emails & during motivational speeches made in the presence of other executives.
2) PROFOUND Sadness & despair. I have wrestled with grief over my relationship with my bonus child and my blended extended family unit. I walked into the 10th act of a horror novel. Everything looked so shiny at the onset. Yes, finally I’d have that big family I never had with unconditional loving well adjusted people who had no issues…WRONG. Rather, the main characters were so adept at “their way” of doing things, & everyone walked with a limp that I shined the light upon. It was the most melodic perfect & worst thing that could simultaneously occur in all of our lives.
3) Trust. Trust that everything could finally stabilize in my life. That all of the crooked places of my existence would be made straight. That everything that I’ve worked to manifest in every aspect of my life could finally take center stage & delightfully be.
4) Celebration. Celebration of all of the RIGHT things I did and am doing got moved to the background of my life. Somehow the first three issues I recounted in this blog sideswiped my life. These successes indeed need celebration and gratitude because they are indeed life changing and serve as the infrastructure of the imminent life-change in store for my and the worlds life as we know it. The way of doing, thinking, feeling and believing will be CHANGED…all because of my being a willing vessel & learning to practice what I preach…in the midst of victory, setback, anxiety, frustration, extreme sadness, pressure, uncertainty, pain, profound loneliness & isolation et al.

Ultimately each of us needs to understand what’s appropriate and inappropriate for our lives.

But how do we turn things around when our THERE seems so FAR away?

To modify things, you & I have to see things differently. We have to begin by making a quality decision to never allow others who don’t want what WE want to be at their mercy.

This is the heart of what atonement is all about. Atonement is calling each of us to RE-THINK every aspect of our lives. Purposefully, we are promising to abstain from the very things, which tend to trip us up & gain enough peace to permanently CHANGE.
In the action of mastering the body for 24 hours, you are believed to
create clarity & direction.
This 24-hour period creates three distinct endpoints: desolation-consecration-restoration.

The immediate results are zoning in on who you are and becoming one with it. Learning to clearly identify everything that grades aspects of my life as opportunities to GROW in peace, resilience, & personal accountability.

This approach lays the infrastructure to do what you can & leave what is best left ALONE.

So many of us brag about having “no regrets.” The problem with this mindset is it inevitably guarantees repeats of the same challenges in the future...because we never fully dealt with the past.
Its imperative we schedule time to regularly reflect, so we can see the ERROR & TRUTH concerning every aspect of our lives. It’s in the mastering of our moments, that we craft the masterpiece of our lives.

The great thing about our lives is that we can atone DAILY. As we become masterful in atoning, we can learn to atone each moment.

Please share your victories, your setbacks & your questions. I swear that none of us is as smart as all of us.

I’m surrendered to the process. I will win. I will continue to master the art of active listening, communicating & forgiving others & myself…. all with intact boundaries.

Each day:

Identify where your thinking went/goes wayward?

Identify the answer and ask yourself why it isn’t working in your life?

Make it your goal to make someone else’s day. Get past all of the good intentions.

Now when life’s three, four point formations (popularly witnessed in football play) come your way, you can handle them.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Got Morpha?

Morpha is the Greek word, which means “something that doesn’t change. It’s a solid form. It’s always the same.”

This word got me thinking about the things in my life that I could actually say have been morpha-fied. As I wrecked my mind the only two things I identified was my love for learning & my desire to witness others change the course of their life. My love for my husband has to change and deepen DAILY, or our relationship couldn't endure the test of time & life circumstances. My work ethic would always have to be tweaked to remain ahead of my counterparts & competitive.
My relationship with my bonus children would always have to be updated so that they knew I listened & cared about what matters most to them.

The thing is many things in life rarely remain the same. We are a trophy on display in need of inner GPS tracking systems. Although this sounds weird, it’s an accurate approach to track the course of our lives. Without regular updates, our trophies will look dated, listless & pretty flabby.

We cannot ever stop getting ourselves together. We cannot ever stop learning and applying what we learn. Without being sober, alert & intimate about every aspect of our lives, we are destined to failure at best & life without meaning at the very worst.

If you’re like me, there are areas of your lives that seem perfect & other areas that seem to tear at the seams due to life’s circumstances. Most of these circumstances you find yourself in began with “I’ll never….,” "Oh I don't have to worry about _____ because I did _____ or planned...," or “I don’t understand how …..found themselves in this circumstance.”
The reality is that life always places us in unique situations, especially those which DURING THE ORDEAL feel eternal, yet are really “schemas.”

Schema means a temporary image. It’s these temporary circumstances, left unchallenged which become the permanent stories, which shape our lives. These temporary situations tend to color every aspect of our lives in the same way a horror flick seems to terrify the entire unsuspecting town.

Once something so horrific overtakes our lives, how can we change?

We need to prepare for WAR in times of peace. We need to strategize our way of escape so we can lessen the blow to our lives. There’s something about each of us that’s rare. It’s that rare commodity which we WILL need to use to change the prognosis of our life CIRCUMSTANCE or at the very least ourselves while dealing with whatever occurs.

I so desperately wanted to believe everything I typed to share in this blog….however the harassment of the IRS, mounting student loans, & relationship trouble were all SMACK DAB in my face.

So after some reflection, prayer & exercise, I renewed my mind and started crafting my YADA solution.

“This is how humans are: we question all our beliefs, except for the ones we really believe, and those we never think to question.” ~ Orson Scott Card

Yada means a very intimate experience.

I knew I needed this experience, because all of the things facing me were zapping my power to think strategically & behave in alignment with my desired goal: to have peace in the midst of ALL this life transition.
This shift in mindset was IMPERATIVE because, neither I, nor you will EVER experience power in our lives without intimacy with life purpose itself.

The marching orders of my plan....

1. Establish boundaries for myself. This included my staying away (or at least significantly minimizing my contact) from people, places, circumstances that tempt me to sabotage my goal(s).
2. When I began thinking about what I didn’t want, I immediately thought about something else. I literally stopped spending endless hours re-living what had already happened, what I didn’t want anymore of & beating myself up.
3. Daily, I would think about my current life circumstance & keep factoring in future plans. I make future planning a top priority. When I get tempted to give up I ponder motivational speaker/trainer John Maxwell’s famous words “ if you want to change something in your life, you have to change something daily.”
4. I practice strict adherence. I make it my priority to remain disciplined. By pre-planning many of my moments, reactions & outline for my intended goals, I more easily remain self-motivated.
5. I regularly listen to encouraging things i.e. cd’s, radio, et al.
6. I regularly declare under my voice the desired result. For instance, when I start feeling like things will never change I might tell myself “Thanks for sharing. Things will change. In fact they already are because I’m thinking about my life differently. The perfect solution is en route to me as I speak;” “God thank you for the promise that you will fulfill all of my plans and inmost hearts desires.”

So now that you get the picture, it’s your turn to create your method of escape. You can do anything that you set your mind, will and emotions to.

To your best life,


Saturday, September 5, 2009

What men want?

We fall in love as a noun (aka feeling). Love has to become a verb (your actually doing something which WORKS positively) if you want the relationship to LAST.

People who remain in love years later intentionally engage….over and over and over; especially when it seems the most difficult.

Dealing with men requires a PLAN, which consists of more than eHarmony.

Guys & Gals can even now get in on the game of love with minimal effort! Just open the laptop & with a few clicks there’s access to over 1500 organizations promising a love connection.

With so much technology at our fingertips, it’s so easy to “fall in”, yet EXTREMELY difficult to remain in love. So to get the answer to the way to a mans heart for keeps, I looked online, scoured the shelves of the bookstore, magazine racks, discussed the issue with several male friends, et al. It pretty much boiled down & echoed Scott Andrews compiled list:

1. Men want a fun and exciting (female) companion.
2. Men want great sex (consistent, frequent, and passionate lovemaking score high with men).
3. Men want to share meals with their woman companion (especially when she cooks for him).
4. Men want you to support them in their work and boost their confidence.
5. Men want you to look great, keep in shape, and express confidence about your body.
6. Men want you to listen to them and treat them with respect.
7. Men need private time, to unwind, to engage in sports and hobbies, and to spend time with other men.

Can this be done?
Based on your perspective this list will be a cinch or a cause for massive anxiety. Think of this list as something that’s a cinch for anyone who’s committed to mindfulness-an unending desire for servant-hood.

So how might we master mindfulness to make love last?
Always treat someone better than they deserve. The goal isn’t to be right. It’s to remain passionate about the success of the relationship.

Always express interest in what interests others. Yes, you have to actually do something other than BE. For instance, I’m all about adventures that take place in temperatures that hover in the 70’s (81 degrees max) & the luxuries of life…that includes shopping for BARGAINS! I’m eternally joyful for treats, great restaurants & meaningful conversation.
On the other hand, my husband is the selective frills type. Give him Lake Havasu, death wrenching heat, his boat, fishing, silence and he’s satisfied….oh yeah with numbers 1-6 complied by Scott Andrews available like a Hoteliers Concierge & he’s a happy camper.

What I define as misery, he defines as heaven on earth & vice versa for my love of shopping & his blatant disdain for what I love to do….SHOP!

The game changing play…
Practice mutual submission. Do this regularly & you’ll become the quarterback for the relationship. No one in the relationship becomes more important than the other. Sure I have to allow my husband to take responsibility for leading the relationship, however there’s no bossing.

From this moment onward, lets opt for relationship over selfishness. LIFEPOINT: You can’t demand what you want & still get what you deserve.

You can be right, yet will ULTIMATELY lose what you value most. Your relationship!

So men, did I leave anything out? It’s your opportunity to school us women. We want to get it right, so we can get & keep the prize…

Women, take the ideas for a test drive & share the favorable results.