Mar 21 2017

Power to Change

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How can I fix this problem? How can I make the issue (the pain) go away? Tell me what to do!

These are common questions I hear from clients who have identified something they want to change, such as bad habits, core patterns, or unconscious fears. “Now that I see it,” they ask, “how can I make it stop?”

There are two important powers required for personal change. They are:

The power to Notice
The power to Choose

First, you have to catch yourself in the act. To do that, you must be on the lookout – constantly. The power to change begins with your ability to notice. Then, once you notice, you must stop doing that thing. Easier said than done at first.

The more you practice noticing, the more you discover new options, new solutions, new thoughts, feelings, behaviors. That’s when the power to choose enters the picture. In order to cause change, you must make different choices.

**Transformation happens when you apply your awareness.**

As an example, let’s look at a common issue: Fear of Rejection.

Prepare: It’s a good idea to give yourself a list of things to look for. What are the symptoms and clues of your unconscious fear? Some options to consider:

  • People pleasing – if I’m nice enough, maybe you won’t reject me
  • Proving – if I’m good enough, smart enough, ________ enough …
  • Clinging – if I hold on tight enough …
  • Behaving – if I am perfect, if I “behave” (act right, talk right, dress right, etc.) …
  • Rejecting – if I reject you, then you can’t reject me

 

Notice: Be on the lookout for your identified symptoms/clues. When do they show up? How often? What triggers them? What do you do, feel, think when triggered? Are there others?

Explore: The deeper your understanding of the issue, the more authority you have over changing it. What is the fear telling you? What is there to know about it? Remembering that Pain is Medicine, how is this part of your growth? Our issues are the enemy of true power. At the same time, they are access to power as we learn to overcome them.

Options: Look for new solutions. Ask yourself, “If I could get beyond my usual reaction, how else would I handle this? What other options are there?” or “If I had self-certainty, how would I respond?” or “If I trusted that this person were not out to get me, then what would I do/say?” Come up with as many options as you can. Use your imagination. Get help when needed. 

Choose: Once you have determined appropriate options, start acting on them. Try them on to see what happens, what you learn, how you grow. Get support to help build the strength to do what might be difficult at first. For example, those with a fear of rejection often have a hard time setting boundaries – people-pleasing sets in and self-care goes away. External support can make new choices easier to act on.

There are a myriad of things we must address in order to grow into the full potential of our personal power. Examples:

Bad habits: complaining, codependence, perfectionism, taking things personally, awfulizing

Core patterns: guilt, shame, lack of self-confidence, self-esteem, self-certainty – all lead to emotional reactions. No power in that.

Unconscious fears: rejection, abandonment, failure, criticism, being unlovable

Every time we repeat old programming, we reinforce it. Many are ingrained, having been around for a long, long time. In order to change, we must train ourselves to choose differently. Training takes time and practice. The deeper the pattern, the more practice required. You will have good days and bad days. Keep going!

We live in a world that frowns on failure. This attitude thwarts growth. I give you permission to fail!! We don’t learn to walk without falling down a few times. In the process of change, passing and failing doesn’t matter. Intent does. Your determination, persistence, and whole-hearted intent to improve is your access to personal power, inner authority, joy, freedom.

Last point: It is possible to change. If you find yourself stuck, it is probably a matter of something you’re not seeing, or choices you haven’t defined yet or have not built the strength to act on. Keep looking, keep practicing, keep going, keep growing!

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Sep 30 2016

Beyond Illusion, a Vedic Perspective

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Analogy: A guy is walking down a dark street at night. He spies an object in the middle of the road. He screams, “snake!” and runs away. Another person comes along behind him with a flashlight. He shines a light on the object and sees that it is just a piece of rope.
 
Moral: In our unawareness (darkness) we see snakes when there is only rope. This is called projection, or superimposition. We do this everywhere: at work, with friends and family, and especially in our love relationships. And we do this in two ways: we either see snakes where there are none, or we attract snakes and snake-like experiences.
 
One main purpose in life is to shine the light (awareness) to discover the truth. Problems occur when we see others as snakes (things we are afraid of facing) instead of rope (a reflection of aspects we need to heal). Remember, we are meant to be Bazooka-Proof, so we will attract what we fear until we don’t fear it anymore.
 
From a Vedic perspective, Maya relates to things that are temporary/illusory, such as experiences, thoughts, and feelings. It can show up as the “snake,” a change of behavior but not of mind, or a change from one superimposition to another. Whatever the form, you can tell it is Maya because things may look different but still stay pretty much the same. A good example of this is ending one bad relationship only to enter another. The face and the name have changed, but the experience is the same.
 
Brahman (God), on the other hand, is permanent, and it is the essence of our spirit being. We connect with this by coming to know the reality of our Higher Self, and by seeing our projections and striving to move beyond them. This develops within us an inner strength that is immutable. Once internal transformation has occurred, external life then alters to match that change.
 
Some see Maya as something bad. Not true. Maya is a form of Brahman, an emanation of Brahman, an inherent quality of Brahman. However, if we always/only look at the form, we will always/only see fragments and our experiences will reinforce that fragmentation. This causes us to see things as a duality – right/wrong, good/bad, me/you – and it separates us from ourselves. When we have forgotten Brahman, we have broken from our truest reality. We then live life “begging for pennies on the streets” when the real treasure is inside of us.
 
Even though Maya is not bad, it is antagonistic to the knowing of reality, truth, Brahman. Maya exists as superimposition, known in psychology as projection. It has three aspects, or powers:

  1. Projection
  2. Concealment
  3. Revealing

 

Projection is illusion – we behave, act, react, based on a superimposition, which is often in error.
Concealment is delusion – rational thinking and search for truth stops because of the superimposition.
Revealing is balanced action and thinking – it arises from the wisdom within that is developed through meditation, contemplation, curiosity, and the sincere search for truth.
 
For example

  1. Projection is false identification: “It is a snake!”
  2. Concealment is denial: I’m not aware of the true identity (rope), or that I’m projecting a false identity (snake)
  3. Revealing is connecting with inner wisdom/strength, allowing one to face the unawareness and to learn and grow from each experience, therefore increasing wisdom and strength in never-ending cycles: I don’t know what it is, but I will check it out and see what I learn.

 

Another example

  1. Projection (false identification): “He’s cute. I’m in love (even though I just met him and don’t really know him).”
  2. Concealment (denial): I am not able to see that I don’t know him and that I’m projecting my fantasy onto him.
  3. Revealing (wisdom, learning, growth): I don’t know him but he seems interesting. I’ll check it out and see what I learn.

 

Snakes can be

  1. Work: the boss is just like your controlling mother
  2. Friends: you hear criticism when there is none
  3. Marriage: your spouse is “making you feel” unloved, unlovable
  4. Everywhere: fear of rejection, abandonment, disappointment, etc.

 

Life experiences provide for soul growth (the development inner authority and self-certainty), and that growth requires a shift in perception. In each perception there is a primary cause and a secondary cause. To grow, we must move beyond the primary. Removing the secondary but not the primary will simply produce other secondaries. And, the primary is always some form of fear. Not knowing the truth of oneself generates fear and attracts things to fear. Fear comes from superimposition and causes superimposition.
 
The only way to grow is to change. Two types:

  1. Temporary: water to ice is a change in form. It can go back from one to the other with no change in nature.
  2. Permanent: milk to yogurt is a change in nature. It can’t revert because the essence of being has been altered

 

We can change our behavior, words, thoughts. But if we don’t alter our inner being and achieve dominion over our fears, results will only be temporary. To move beyond our illusions, we must name the snake for what it is, a projection, and begin to understand the rope, the opportunity to heal.

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Aug 17 2016

Thought for the Day

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Thought for the day, aka Patty’s Perspective About The Planet:

I met with a client yesterday who has been working with me for almost seven years. Being with her reminded me of the importance of PERSISTENCE and DETERMINATION.

When she first came to see me, she had low self-esteem, her marriage was falling apart, and she was facing a number of other difficult problems. Today, she has a great job, a relationship that’s fun and fulfilling, and she feels good about herself and her life. There were times when it looked like this would never happen, that she would not be able to get to this great place. But she stuck with it and worked as hard as she could on her issues. It took time for things to turn around, and now she’s living a whole new life.

MORAL of the story: What is is, what ain’t ain’t, the only way through it is through it, and it takes as long as it takes.

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Aug 8 2016

Be With Me

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We teach others how to be with us. Our behaviors and words are cues as to how we want to be treated and what we are willing to put up with. We communicate energetically as well. Whether behavioral, verbal, or energetic, our unconscious patterns attract certain treatment without our consciously asking for it. When those patterns are unhealthy or distorted in some way, what we are teaching others is usually not what we intend or want.

If you find this happening to you, here are some areas to explore.

Boundaries – Much has been written on the importance of setting boundaries. This is one of the first and most essential ways you teach others how to be with you. When you don’t say “no” to unwanted or inappropriate behavior, when you don’t say “ouch” when something hurts, you are covertly saying yes and implying that it’s ok to treat you that way. Another way to look at it: if you are not standing up to the bully, you are complicit. Finding and using your voice is a key aspect of personal power. If you have trouble speaking up, there is work to do.

Needs – It is a huge mistake to expect others to know what you need. Doing this is a set-up for disappointment and a surefire way to sabotage relationships and jobs. Others might guess, but no one can truly know without your making specific and responsible requests. Identify core needs and be intentional about getting them met so that they do not run your life and relationships. Be sure to cover all three levels – physical, emotional, spiritual – or else you will always be left wanting.

Neediness – Not to be confused with needs, neediness is related to codependence. Neediness, codependence, looks for an exchange of dependency with another person – “I am not fulfilled, therefore I need something in you to fulfill me. You are not fulfilled, therefore you need something in me that fulfills you. But because neither of us is fulfilled, we both still end up empty.” Obviously, this is also a set-up for trouble. Healthy people are not attracted to unhealthy behavior. If you want a great life and great relationships, you have to deal with whatever vestiges of codependence you embody, and most of us have it to some degree.

Values – Everyone has intrinsic values that they must express in order to be their best Self. Needs are the “food you eat” in order to be able to function. Values are who you are; principles and standards you are compelled to be or become. If you are not living them, you will be out of sorts and you will invite others into your life who are out of sorts as well. This usually causes problems. Examples of values are: beauty, contribution, discovery, and compassion. Like attracts like. Live your values and watch what shows up.

Bottom line: If others aren’t treating you well, then *you’re* not treating you well. It all boils down to self-awareness, self-certainty, self-respect, and self-care. When you don’t know who you are, you will send mixed signals at best, and the wrong ones at worst. Self discovery is first step toward lasting change.

 

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Jul 4 2016

Independence Every Day

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It’s pretty amazing: 2016 marks the 240th anniversary of having declared ourselves a liberated nation, free from the tyranny and oppression of monarchical rule. 240! Wow, right?!!

As a nation, it is true, we have a substantial amount of freedom. What about as individuals? The individual freedom I’m talking about is inner peace and personal power. If we are not happy, joyous, balanced, and strong most of the time, we are not free.

Who/what are our tyrants and oppressors?

Internally, we can be ruled by self-criticism, self-pity, pessimism, insecurity, low-self-esteem, fear, anger, shame, and the like. Some symptoms of these are complaints, resentments, helplessness, lack of faith in the future, disappointment, and drama.

Externally, we can be overpowered by needing and seeking approval from others, getting pressured to do things we don’t want to do, and feeling overwhelmed by our circumstances, for example.

Most of us experience some of these some of the time. That’s just what it is to be human. When they are chronic, however, life is not fun, and they cause problems. Problems such as painful and chaotic relationships, and unpleasant and unmanageable work situations.

Our outsides are a reflection of our insides. Meaning, tyrants on the outside are usually an indication of tyrants on the inside. That is why we must seek personal independence. Meaning: inner authority, inner strength, inner peace. These give us the ability to respond to life in ways that are affirming – to life, self, and others. The problem is, when we are not well-versed in independence, it can be confusing.

What’s the difference?

Codependence is an unhealthy form of attachment. It is an exchange of dependency – I am not fulfilled, therefore I need that something in you to fulfill me. You are not fulfilled, therefore you need that something in me that fulfills you. Neediness draws people together and creates less-than-happy situations.

Counterdependence is an avoidance of connection, usually seen in the Lone Wolf Syndrome at best and bullying and narcissism at worst. As a society, we are highly codependent. Any movement away from that can feel like counterdependence. It is not, but that’s why independence can seem so confusing.

Independence is freedom from being controlled by other people as well as by one’s own motives, senses, thoughts, and feelings. It is a powerful, confident, centered, and balanced state of being. When we are truly independent, there is automatically a high degree of respect and generosity for self and others – the hallmark of healthy relationships. (Yay! Fireworks!)

Interdependence is the ability to interact in a couple or group without losing oneself. Strength of inner authority combined with respect and generosity allow for relationships that work, that are wonderfully fulfilling, effective, nurturing, productive, and empowering. This is true at home and on the job.

The quality of our lives is directly related to the quality of our relationships, and the quality of our relationships starts with the one we have with ourselves. Now that’s the freedom I’m talking about!

——-
Ready to experience Personal Independence? Join me for my next Serenity, Power, and Freedom

 

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Jun 15 2016

Yakkity Yak – DO Talk Back

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We were taught as children to obey our elders and to not “talk back.” Where I grew up, it was called “sassing,” and we got in big trouble for it. This may be a reason why we have such a tough time dealing with our inner demons. Once we give them authority, we don’t talk back and they run (ruin) our lives.

Do you ever get stuck in a negative headspace? More than you’d like, perhaps? Look to see if any of these inner demons sound familiar.

No one cares about me.
No one wants to hear what I have to say.
God must be punishing me.
I am not meant for a promotion (or better job).
Life will always be this way (difficult, less than desirable, lonely, unpleasant).
I’ll never have what I want (a great relationship, a fulfilling job, self-confidence, good friends).
This is too hard. I can’t do it.
I don’t trust (men, women, people, life, God).
People always let me down.
I’m bad (a bad parent, partner, student, person) – or – I’m stupid, I’m an idiot, I’m a failure.

These are some of the many sentences I hear from my clients. I mean that literally – as in a verdict, a prison sentence. Whether it’s done consciously or unconsciously, when we repeat such negative phrases over and over, we reinforce whatever it is to such a degree that we condemn ourselves to its punishment. Especially when accompanied by feelings such as sadness, depression, self-pity, shame, guilt, fear, and anger, our prison term grows and the pain increases. It becomes “the truth,” and then we have to live with it.

We stay stuck in this prison of our own making until something inside says, “Enough!”

If you’re in that place and don’t know how to get out, I have a suggestion. Be sassy! Talk back! One way to do this is by using the “What if” tool.

What if …. whatever you are telling yourself isn’t true? What if …. things could be different?
What if you are lovable and there are people who do or could care about you?
What if you’re not meant to be single, or underpaid, or unhappy at work?
What if life isn’t so hard?
What if there are trustworthy people out there?

Once you stop putting a period at the end of the sentence (or for many, an exclamation point!), and start asking questions like “What If?”, life will turn around. That’s because this kind of thinking engages a different part of your mind and heart. When you put yourself inside the What If, your mind unconsciously starts looking for solutions. Lights come on in the darkness of your prison cell. Answers, people, situations that you would not have encountered before begin to present themselves.

Our negative sentences drain us of hope, zap us of strength, and close doors to new opportunities.  What If can provide faith, resilience, and receptivity. We have the choice as to how we define things. If you’ve been defining your life with negativity, you can What If your way to a new definition, and by that, a new future. Then, you can come up with new mantras such as “I can change!” or “Life is good!” that inspire you to walk toward that vibrant new future.

And what if everybody did this? It is clear by the extreme negativity of recent US and world events that a shift in consciousness is urgently required. What if our commitment to creating small individual shifts could add up to one large global movement? What if the world could be a better, more loving place?

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May 28 2016

Our Many Marriages

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I had the honor of officiating a wedding recently. It was lovely, and witnessing the ceremony was a reminder of how significant this particular activity is. I also see how applicable it is to other parts of our lives. Yes, it applies in the union of two people in holy matrimony … and… to the many ways in which we commit ourselves throughout our lifetime.

For example, it is common to hear, “That person is married to their job.” This usually indicates an extreme focus on work, sometimes to the exclusion of most everything and everyone else. However, I want to suggest that this statement is also indicative of the “union” we make whenever we say “I Do.” It can be applied to anything – a person, job, hobby, goal, whatever.

This is not to downplay the importance of the wedding ceremony, which is a holy sacrament. I consider marriage one of the most special and empowering things we can do, when done with the right intention and effort. And, if we look at external life experiences as symbolic of things internally significant – principles to be attained, qualities to be strengthened, habits and patterns to be done or undone, for example – then we can most certainly apply the symbolism of marriage to other areas.

Commitment provides a playing field in which to explore. Any promise we make sets limits, boundaries within which we must operate or else we then break that promise. In making a promise, we give our (little s) self over to something greater, which allows an opportunity for the growth of the (Big S) Self.

What are the things to be gained from our commitments? Let’s look at a few.

  1. How many people resolve to diet every January 1? Qualities needed to reach a goal like this are: discipline, determination, patience, persistence, and steadfastness, to name a few.
  1. What principles can be strengthened when we say “yes” to a new job or promotion? Leadership, creativity, courage, reliability, responsibility, helpfulness, confidence, industriousness, organization, and aspiration.
  1. And the promise of marriage? Done well, we develop such things as compassion, generosity, humility, respect, self-containment, loyalty, flexibility, adaptability, harmony, devotion, and cooperation.

 

Our problems lie in letting our commitments go bad. How does that happen? We break our promises when we practice the opposite of the virtues listed above. For example:

  1. Diet: instead of discipline, we express impatience. Instead of determination and steadfastness, we give in, give up, and rationalize.
  1. Job: instead of leadership, there is pride, greed, aggressiveness, laziness, and lack of cooperation.
  1. Marriage: such things as selfishness, control, indifference, resentment, rigidity, drama, and unfaithfulness.

 

We gain wisdom only through experiences that nourish the soul. We can’t read about it or dream about it and expect to grow. How you live your life determines whether you experience pain and suffering -or- serenity, power, freedom, and growth.

Expressing the virtues brings joy; living the vices brings hardship. Virtues strengthen; vices weaken. When you don’t live into and up to your commitments, or when you’re not even willing to make them in the first place, you weaken your Self.

Ultimately, the most important commitment we make is to Divine Order, to God’s Will. In keeping with that, we are meant to develop ourselves into our greatest potential and to share our light with others. Our commitments, promises, and “I Dos” are a human expression of that higher connection, and as such they help us fulfill on that supreme promise.  

 

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Feb 14 2016

The Three A’s

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Three things that can nurture, support, and/or transform any relationship – three things most of us need a more of – are Attention, Affection, and Appreciation.

While always true in romantic relationships, the Three A’s can be helpful in any situation involving a fellow human being. In today’s fast-paced, chaotic, and ever-changing world, more Attention, Affection and Appreciation can make a huge difference in the quality of everyone’s life.

Attention
Attention is first and foremost the art of showing up. We can’t have a relationship with someone we never connect with.

Once connected, attention is then the art of listening well, listening often, and responding with the other’s perspective in mind, not just ours. We must remember that just because we are looking at the person who is speaking doesn’t mean we are hearing what they’re really saying.

There is a difference between hearing and listening. We listen with our ears, but we hear with our heart. Real attention, real hearing, involves putting yourself in the other person’s world: What is it like to be that person? What are they saying? What are they NOT saying? Can you read between the lines? What do they need? What are they feeling? What are they committed to? What’s really going on for them? How can you contribute to them in this moment, not from your head, but from your heart? Practice discovering the answers to these questions when you’re in conversation with someone else. This will help you develop your ability to pay close attention. You will know you’re doing well when they feel heard and understood.

Sometimes people are good at paying attention, but they just don’t do it often enough. For example, even if you’re the best listener on the planet, it’s not enough to sustain a fulfilling interpersonal relationship if you only do it once a year. If the person is important to you, you will want to make sure that you’re giving the right kind AND the right amount of attention.

Other aspects of attention include events that take place over time, such as remembering and honoring things that are important to the other person, and taking action based on what you know. Sharing aspects about yourself in ways that improve your intimacy and connection are also part of this important A.

Affection
The term affection usually brings up an image of physical tenderness, like a hug, a kiss or a caress. This is especially true in the context of romantic relationships. However, physical contact is essential to our personal well being, emotional well being, and our relationship well being, and today many people are touch-deprived — even those who are married! One simple cure is to give lots of hugs. Cuddle up when you can! I once heard another relationship expert recommend getting a minimum of 8 hugs a day. I call that getting your minimum dose of “Vitamin H”. Our bodies need contact to thrive. So do our souls. Whenever you can, go for the hug.

The good news is that physical contact is not the only way to show affection. We can’t hug everyone we come into contact with, especially at work. Simple acts of kindness, using a caring tone of voice, offering support rather than criticism, and providing help when appropriate are other ways to express caring for another. If you’re really committed to getting an “A” in this A, try coming up with new and clever ways to show non-physical affection.

Appreciation
Last but not least is appreciation. We know that children thrive and grow when praised; adults are really no different. We all want to experience being loved. Do you regularly tell the people in your life how much you appreciate them? Do you acknowledge what it is you love about them, what you think is great about them, what they do that positively impacts your life? Are you willing to be public with your gratitude and your praise? Appreciation is very important – one of the most important relationship activities there is. Do it often!

A Firm Foundation
There is prep work to do if you are going to be good at this. **You can’t give what you don’t have.** So, the secret to being good at the three A’s is to start with yourself first, and then be sure to include God/Spirit/Higher Power as another extremely important Primary Relationship. Give yourself and your Higher Power daily doses of Attention, Affection and Appreciation, and watch your life unfold!

Once your personal and spiritual three-A buckets are filled, then you can truly take care of the people in your life. I encourage you to do this with everyone to the degree that is appropriate, from parents to lovers to friends to co-workers to the cashier at the check-out counter. Any interaction you have with another human being is an opportunity to practice the generosity of the Three A’s.

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Dec 30 2015

Word

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If you could choose one word to represent your focus/wishes/goals for next year, what would it be?

Borrowing this clever idea from one of my fabulous clients, I want to recommend an alternative to the traditional New Year’s Resolution. Consider that resolutions are about doing. Word is about being, about how you are living. What Word would you like to live into this coming year? Some examples:

Grow
Forward
Adventure
Enthusiasm
Stability
Strength
Love
Leadership
Courage
Kindness

Once you have chosen your focus, it will help to define it. What does your Word mean to you? How can you apply it to all areas of your life? Look at: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual; work, home, and play; friends, family, significant other, coworkers, etc. Anything and everything you can think of. Even more, imagine what life will be like as you live your Word. What will change? How will you grow? What will that be like? And how will you know you’ve become what you’ve set out for yourself?

As quickly as time is flying these days, and with all the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, it is easy to forget even the most important things. So, how will you stay true to your Word? What reminders and structures can you put into place that will help you keep your focus front and center all year long? Whom can you enlist for support, and how else can you set yourself up for success?

You can still have your “doing” resolutions if there are things you would like to accomplish. And, utilizing this new “lens” will add momentum to whatever you are up to.

Good luck, and may the new year bring you many blessings!

Word.

 

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Dec 3 2015

Authority? Or Control?

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I have some questions for you. Do you like to be controlled by other people, manipulated to do or say things you don’t want to do? Does it feel good when someone tries to force you into something that’s not right or welcomed, or bully you into doing things their way?

Of course not.

Bobby Drinnon in Petitioning Reality with Faith says, “If you have power within yourself you have no need for power over anyone else.” (Or anything else, for that matter.)

You may not like being controlled, but are you doing that very thing yourself? Are you expressing inner strength, aka authority, or are you trying to control your world? Beware! We fool ourselves! We think we have authority, but more often than not we’re just controlling.

For example, it might seem as though we are managing our lives and it may appear that things are going well, but we often have to hold on to, manage, or control in some way people, situations, and things to make them/ keep them the way we want. Keeping things under control is not the same as expressing authority. And as you may well know, it is not possible to control indefinitely. Relationships, jobs, life: nothing is supposed to stay the same. Control is guaranteed to create chaos, because things must and do change.

This is what happens in a lot of relationships. We try to control issues/feelings/the other person in order to get along, in order to feel safe and secure, and in order to gain acceptance and approval. At some point we can no longer maintain that, and things explode or fall apart. However, when we come together in our own authority – when I stay balanced and you stay balanced and we as a unit stay balanced – that’s when relationships go well, and that’s when we allow them to do their job: helping us grow our authority by showing us where it’s missing.

The biggest mistake we make in relationships is thinking that they are going to make us happy. Relationships are meant to make us stronger, and it is from that strength (authority)that we gain our greatest happiness.

When we have authority, we are not reactive because we have a sense of self-certainty and are constantly growing, following our evolutionary movement. That’s when life and relationships are the best, and that’s the difference between striving and struggle. Struggle is control. Striving is authority. When we try to control, we have to struggle to maintain that control. Striving is much more than that. It is having strength to stay aligned in the flow of life whether times are good or bad. Striving is thriving, struggling stays stuck.

Authority/Control
A: Sets goal, works to reach it, learns fm experience
C: Forces outcomes, struggles to “win”

A: Strong enough to go with the flow
C: Must have things a certain way

A: Recognizes their impact on others
C: Focused on self (gratification, security, approval)

A: Willing to negotiate
C: Resists, puts up walls

A: Deals directly with issues
C: Avoids, denies, complains, blames

A: Asks respectfully for wants, needs
C: Cajoles, manipulates, intimidates with guilt/anger

A: Able to take calculated risks, step into unknown
C: Stays stuck, uses excuses to not move forward

A: Balanced and centered in any circumstance
C: Reactive

When you travel, the scenery does not stay the same along the way, does it? Control says “I like the the woods. I only want woods, I want them to be this way all the time.” That’s not moving forward. At some point you get tired of looking at the woods, or the woods get tired of looking at you. Then chaos ensues because you have not been moving forward and life has to step in to get you going.

Authority is the strength and freedom, even when difficulties occur, to keep moving forward and keep growing. And that is my Christmas wish for you!

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