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Maybe you’ve experienced this funny phenomenon as well! I never put much thought into it except to giggle over it, but yesterday it certainly caught my attention. As I was going for a power walk I noticed how all of the lizards on the sidewalks just hang out on the sidelines and only dare to cross the very moment my foot lifts to take another step. It’s actually quite scary, since every step I take I feel like I’m going to squish one of these little guys! However, they always seem to make it across! I’m thinking they’re stupid and careless, but what do they know that I don’t?

My thoughts then quickly shifted to us humans and our tendencies to stay on the sidelines— sometimes for way too long. What is it about lizards that make them act so quickly and go all in when the danger is at its peak?

Well, our “lizard brain” tends to either freeze, fight, or flight when we feel in danger. It’s that primal, instinctive part of our brain that is always trying to protect us. Certainly, those big visions we want to go after can be just as frightening as they can be exciting. And I wonder how throwing ourselves into the perceived danger can get us that much closer to where we want to go, and sometimes, where we know we need to be. Achieving “success” also can be fearful in and of itself, because then we may wonder what happens when we “get there”? We may ask, “How will my life change, and can I live up to that change?” Perhaps, instead, we should be asking ourselves, “What if I never change? Will I be content with my life staying as is?”

If you find yourself in that scenario, like a lizard looking up at a big shoe about to drop, consider asking yourself:

  • What about this fear is true?

  • Is this just my lizard brain trying to protect me?

  • What’s the worst that could happen if I felt the fear and did it anyway?

  • Without fear would it be as meaningful?

How could our lives shift dramatically toward our vision if we actually began to embrace fear, as if it were a marker that we were on our true path?

Gosh…I get excited thinking about It. Do you?

What are you fearing right now that’s keeping you on the sidelines?

I guess it’s no coincidence that lately I’ve been surrounded by so many amazing individuals who are breaking through their fears and finding major breakthroughs on the other side. I find that it’s much easier to go all in when you’re not the only one doing it!

As the amazing Brené Brown says, “You can’t find courage without walking through vulnerability.” You think those little lizards aren’t vulnerable when they jump out in front of a huge, scary sneaker? They survive over and over, and so can we.

Are you fear FULL? Embrace it and move toward your dreams.

Namaste,

Monique

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Acceptance and Love NOW

August 16, 2012

How simple it is to see that all the worry in the world cannot control the future. How simple it is to see that we can only be happy now. And that there will never be a time when it is not now.
-Gerald Jampolsky

Many times in our lives we all will experience unexpected challenges we must confront. Challenges which can pull us back into the past and keep us there, or have us worry so much about what will be.

Just recently I experienced one “of these” during a very unexpected time. But since I teach people how to find joy and opportunity regardless of what life throws them, I found it serendipitous that I was placed at a resort called “now.” If you know me well you know that I don’t believe in coincidences. Each time I saw that word “now” I was forced to bring myself to the present moment and inquire within, “How can I release the worry that I’m feeling right now? And how can I choose a more productive thought or action now?”

We all know that releasing worry and choosing a new thought is much harder than it seems, especially when the situation feels so heavy. Does it really work? My answer is YES, but you have to be just as dedicated to the emotions and truth of the new thought (or the real, love-based thought) then of the worry itself (false & fear-based).

Some of my “gurus” share these strategies…the very ones I did my very best to employ during this challenging time:

Eckhart Tolle– the king of living in the “now” -tells us that if we are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm then we are creating suffering for ourselves and others. For many reasons, my only choice in this specific scenario was to be in a mode of acceptance. Tolle states that  “On the surface, acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it is active and creative because it brings something entirely new into this world.” In that moment I could not choose joy and I could not choose enthusiasm, but I was very conscious of the situation, the feelings of the individuals involved, and to my part and my choices. I chose to accept the whole kit and caboodle. I truly sat with what was–good or bad.

Byron Katie tells us that suffering is optional. Whenever we experience a stressful feeling- – anything from mild discomfort to intense sorrow, rage, or despair (I went through the entire range!)- – we can be certain that there is a specific thought causing our reaction, whether we are conscious of it or not. When we believe our thoughts instead of what is really true for us, we experience the kinds of emotional distress that is suffering.

Katie’s work goes much deeper and stems from her personal pain. Her work helps us do what Tolle speaks of- –  getting to what really is true. Her experience helps to make concrete the TRUTH that everything (including each and every thought, action, belief, etc.) comes either from LOVE or FEAR. If we consciously choose to be in a state of acceptance and love WHAT IS IN THIS MOMENT even if it is painful, our fear dissipates and what remains is love…love for ourselves, for others, and for whatever life brings. It also allows forgiveness of self and others to manifest, something which is very difficult. Katie says that loving what is becomes as easy and natural as breathing.

Finally, Katie shares her simple, yet powerful inquiry process, which I used during this personal crisis. Here it is:

Deeply question the following about the feeling or thought:

1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it is true?
3. How do you react when you think that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?

There is one final powerful step to this process (the turn around), which helps you to take responsibility for your thoughts and really understand their intention, but that would require a much longer post!

Here’s a very brief “on the job” example of using steps 1-4 (with a few enhancements):

Thought: “He is always condescending to me in front of others, and clearly never wants me to advance. I am stuck!”

Ask: Is that true? Really true?

“Well, not always, I guess. Sometimes he can be supportive of my ideas, but I always feel like he will put me down if he has the chance. I guess I also have the choice to leave and not feel stuck.”

Ask: How do I respond when I hear/say that thought?

“I always feel like I have to be defensive; I am really angry for what feels like an eternity. I have seen others act in this way and I don’t want to be this way or be perceived as a difficult person who has to fight all the time.”

Ask: Can you see a reason why to drop the thought?

“Yes. I would like to drop this thought. I guess if I think this way all the time and expect the worst I always will feel defensive, angry, and stuck.”

Ask: Who would you be without the thought?

“I would be more relaxed, happy, and confident in who I am regardless of anyone above or below me.”

Etc…

Try it for yourself with a thought/situation that may be pulling you out of the “now” and into sorrow, worry or pain. Spend time in your own dialogue when answering the questions. You may go back and forth for a bit, after all, Katie calls this process The Work!

How can choosing acceptance and love over fear in the “now” move you forward today?

When you are present in the moment, you break the continuity of your story, of past and future.

Then true intelligence arises, and also love.
-Eckhart Tolle

Show Me A Miracle!

July 9, 2010

This is my final post about Zero Limits and the Hawaiian-born problem solving tool referred to as Self I-Dentity Ho’oponopono. I’ve posted daily this week in an effort to help make clear a process that (without being open to and reading the entire book) can be quite difficult to “get.” As I mentioned in my first post about the book, in order to even begin to understand the potential usefulness of this tool, you must have a good amount of faith and trust in the “unknown.”

I thought it would be effective to close then with a few definitions listed at the end of the book, drafted by Dr. Hew Len.

Here they are:

Ho’oponopono: I am an ancient Hawaiian problem solving process updated for today’s use by Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona Kahuna La pa’au, recognized as a Living Treasure of Hawaii in 1983. I am composed of three elements: repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation. I am a petition initiated by the Conscious Mind to Divine Intelligence to void memories to reestablish Self I-Dentity. I begin with the Conscious Mind.

Repentance: I am the beginning of the Ho’oponopono process initiated by the Conscious Mind as a petition to Divine Intelligence to transmute memories to Void. With me, the Conscious Mind acknowledges its responsibility for the memories replaying problems in its Subconscious Mind, having created, accepted, and accumulated them.

“I AM SORRY.”

Forgiveness: Along with Repentance, I am a petition from the Conscious Mind to Divine Creator to transform memories in the Subconscious Mind to Void. Not only is the Conscious Mind sorrowful, it is also asking Divine Intelligence for forgiveness.

“PLEASE FORGIVE ME.”

Transmutation: Divine Intelligence uses me to neutralize and to release memories to Void in the Subconscious Mind. I am available for use only by Divine Intelligence.

“THANK YOU.”

“I LOVE YOU.”

And, as I’ve already written, when “transmutation” occurs, you are at “zero” and miracles occur.

In closing, nothing speaks more to miracle creation (for me!) than A Course In Miracles (ACIM), which essentially tells us that it is our natural nature to create miracles, but our human error gets in our way. That human error is fear, or expressions of fear, as opposed to love.  In ACIM it speaks to the process of correction (like Ho’oponopono’s problem solving process), which contains these steps:

Know first that this is fear.

Fear arises from lack of love.

The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love.

Perfect love is the Atonement.

See the parallels?


May you send away your fear, and call up your perfect love.

May you see the miraculous being that you are, and always be miracle ready.

May you find your Self I-Dentity.

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

Stay tuned for my next Relaxed Book Club selection. I hope you will join me again. 🙂

Namaste,

Monique

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.