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…Well, young Skywalker, it has EVERYTHING to do with it!

(Yes, I’m a Star Wars fan!)

“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.”   – Marianne Williamson

Yeah, I know, talking about “love” especially in professional settings can feel inappropriate or “soft”. But, is it really? What is love? What does it represent to you?

For me, when I think of people I love (including those I work with), I think about how much I respect them, how much I learn from them, and how much I enjoy being around them. Perhaps they lift up my spirits, or give me tough love and show me how to be a better person and leader. What’s so soft about that?

Now, let’s take a look at fear. What does it represent for you? I fear people because their values are opposite to mine, or they represent what I want to become one day and that vision is scary to me! Of course, fear also represents true danger – situations that put me or those I love at risk in some way.

When we talk about the personal choice we have and can make at any moment, if we pay close attention, we can see how ALL OF OUR CHOICES, whether conscious or not are either based in LOVE or FEAR. If you are practicing your awareness then you can begin to make more choices based in love (or similar emotions, like compassion, caring, appreciation, concern, excitement, joy, synergy, etc.)

Doesn’t love feel better than fear? It does. And, I can tell you that in the world of energy, love resonates very high (attracts/expands) and fear resonates very low (repels/breaks down). It’s very simple, when we choose fear we get stuck and stay stuck. There is no growth, no health, no vision, no risk, and lots of worry and stress!

Let’s play with this a bit. Here’s a scenario some of you may be familiar with:

There is one promotion available in your department and it will be offered to someone from within. Several of your colleagues are also interested in the promotion and are going for it. When you hear this, you can feel excited or scared, challenged or angrily competitive. You can think in your mind… “Wow! Can you imagine if I get it? If they see in me what I’m worth and how I can grow and develop in this role?” You can also think…. “Damn that Sally! I knew she would go for this, that B_ _ _h! She can’t get it. I won’t let her!” Do you sense the love and fear in these thoughts? You should be able to because thoughts and emotions are directly linked. You cannot have one without the other. So, I pose this question to you?

If you could make more conscious choices based in loving thoughts rather than fearful thoughts, how much more joy, peace and success would you feel in every moment?

Here’s a simple request… Just take one day to track all of the decisions you make (or avoid!) —large and/or small—and investigate if they are based in love or fear and how you feel.

You can change your choices and you can shift the fearful ones immediately with awareness and practice. Love is one of fear’s worst enemies! Douse your fear with love! I know you will feel better as a result. If you need to do it privately, that’s allowed too! No one needs to know! Now go do it.

Wishing you a life well led!

Monique

 

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Change S_ cks!

September 6, 2011

Change is good. Change happens. Expect change. Yada, yada, yada!!

Change sucks!!!

There, I said it, so you wouldn’t have to.  However, I would encourage you to say it just as passionately. It’s freeing! In fact, acknowledging change as “not always so great”, is probably the best first step to leaning into it and feeling more comfortable with it.

We talk about change all the time, yet when we need to make a critical change in our lives, it doesn’t feel good, or easy. Nor is it always obvious. Sometimes, the need to create change hits us like a tornado– completely unexpected. Most change happens around us daily, forcing us to shift ever so slightly or change our perspective in order to “deal” and keep living. But, when change effects us directly,  it’s down-right difficult, and sometimes very painful. Change is hard. And as we all know from past experiences, anything that causes us to grow is hard.

There are different types of change, and even the change that makes us tingle (the really good, exciting kind), causes us to connect to a place deep within that allows us to say good-bye to something or someone. Sometimes it is with a part of us (i.e., habit, career, relationship) that doesn’t serve us any longer. That departure can be bittersweet…both sad and exhilarating. With change we always expand, even if we don’t sense it.

We can deconstruct change for hours, as there are many kinds–both good and bad. But, since the average person has a negative view of change,  or simply feels uncomfortable enough to describe it negatively, I’m choosing to focus on the kind that truly tests us. It’s the monster that consistently shows its ugly head and laughs at us. Get me? The one that tells us “you’re never ready,” “you’re not strong,” “you’re not worth it,” “you’re comfortable”.  Let’s be clear about something…the monster sucks, not us! We can quiet that monster through our choices, however.

Some of the signals that show up time and again to advise us it may be time to make a change include sadness or depression, a feeling of not having any passion or purpose, frustration or anger, lack of energy or motivation, and/or exchanges with others that are not fulfilling, or creating happiness in our lives.

Here’s the thing, too…most of the time we know deep down the change must come, but we don’t want to face it. We agree with the ugly monster instead of feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

What is the worst change can bring us which we are already handling and experiencing?

How much longer are we willing to live without that foundation of joy, happiness and positive growth (if that’s the case)?

Here’s the next important thing…we always have a choice. We are making choices all the time. But, are we making them consciously?

We have a few choices to make when it comes to change. As long as we are consciously choosing one of them we are owning our decision. When we do this we are not powerless.

Our choices as I see them…

1. Choose to continue with things as they are. Here, we decide we are not ready to take any steps toward change. Tip: own your decision to do nothing and don’t feel badly about it. It’s okay sometimes to do nothing. There is still power in this decision. Here, we can keep our eyes and hearts in the moment and try to be open to new things; more positive things presenting themselves to us.

2. Choose to take small, calculated risks. Here, we are choosing to live higher up on the “shift” readiness scale. Tip: each week decide what small step you can take toward making the change happen. Don’t allow fear to get the best of you. Celebrate your successes; forgive the set-backs. 

3. Choose to go all out. This is Internal Armageddon! Here, we decide to become that person the monster fears. We look in the mirror and say, “Today I choose to own my power fully, take that bold step forward and deal with the consequences!” To be clear…this doesn’t necessarily mean we are making a huge change. It can be a very small one that has been extremely difficult to make. Change is different for each of us.  Tip: write down what you expect to happen and be ready for the unexpected. What scenarios have you not thought of? Draft a pact with yourself; date it, sign it, and stand by it!

Change is hard. Yes, it is. But, no matter what your choice, you can grow within your decision by continuing to be conscious about it. When the path is difficult we can journal, or have a conversation with a trusted friend, family member, therapist or coach. Even your pet can fill these shoes!

Change sucks…sometimes.

Here’s what I know for sure…living and choosing consciously softens the blow that is change and quiets that ugly monster within us.

As always, may you enjoy purpose in the process. 🙂

Namaste,

Monique