Self Improvement: Getting Beyond Habitual Conditioning

Consciously choosing is one of my core values.  So is loving kindness.  Yet, in some situations, I’d like to respond to someone with loving kindness and I instead hear myself defending my ego or reacting from programmed conditioning.  In these moments, I realize how automatically and ready are my ego and my conditioning.

To go beyond these ingrained habits, I use one or all of my “Choosing” tools:

  • As often as I remember, I affirm, “not my will, rather Thy will.”  This reminds me to choose from God/good consciousness.
  • In tough situations, before I speak, I take a breath.  This gives me a moment to actually choose a response rather than habitually and automatically reacting.
  • If I do react, I apologize and ask for a re-do.  This allows me to consciously respond even after I’ve reacted.
  • I actively listen for inspiration and guidance.  And, I follow it, even if I don’t fully and logically understand it.  This accesses the inspired path, rather than the habitual one, because I already know where it leads!
  • I remind myself to allow grace and miracles.  This chooses for me far greater outcomes than I ever could have imagined.

If we don’t consciously use choosing tools, we react as we’ve always reacted and get what we’ve always gotten!  Feel free to use my tools liberally and I would love to learn and try your tools, too . . .

Spiritual awareness: I’m capable of so much more than I think . . .

As I am integrating all that I learned from both speaking and exhibiting at the Career Management Alliance annual conference last week, I am struck by how well I did both jobs at essentially the same time.

I’m more introverted than extroverted and incapable of multi-tasking.  So, I actually had no idea how I would do both jobs well, back-to-back for two days. 

I do love to be at the front of the room.  My presentation was short, just 45 minutes.  I looked forward to speaking, but thought I wanted to spend the rest of my day alone in my room or take a self-guided walking tour.

Yet, I had to be at my booth the day before and the rest of the day after my presentation, talking to folks about my coaching services and coaching courses.

Thank goodness I usually sooner or later remember to practice what I preach!  I set an intention to show up fully with each person in front of me by being present, connected and playful.  I even practiced with my seat mates on the airplane on the way to the conference.

I had so darn much fun, thoroughly enjoyed all the people I met, rocked the house with my talk and went out to dinner on the second night with 11 of my new best friends.

Not a bad two-days work for an introverted single-tasker! 

Spiritual clarity: Allowing flow

“Imagine that you could plug yourself into a socket that would tap into the electric current of the universe.  Because source energy is indivisible and boundless, this would give you access to an unlimited supply of energy that only you could limit or stop its flow.  Well, in fact, you are plugged in, and you are responsible for the level of flow you experience.”

– Ernest Chu
From the book, Soul Currency

Oh what rich balm for my spirit as I realize I have been limiting my own flow recently!  While meeting with my coach, Peleg, I heard myself telling him about the “burden” of all I have to do in my business right now.  And, I was talking about things I love to do – like writing this blog, speaking, teaching.

Somehow playing on Twitter had become comparing myself to everyone on Twitter.  I wasn’t “doing enough,” I wasn’t offering anything new, I was just adding to the noise.

Don’t go down that road.  It doesn’t go anywhere any of us want to go!

By synching up with this comparison monster, what I really did: cut myself off from my flow, from source, from my spiritual clarity, from the deep knowing of the intrinsic value of my unique contribution. 

With this realization, I am BACK!  Back to me, back to my flow, back to my source, back in my own power, without concern for how I “measure up.”

Thank God!  Thank you, Peleg.  Thank you, Ernest.  Thank you, Ann. 

My on-going spiritual coach training: the antidote to fear

Recently a client asked me, “what is the opposite of fear?”  I used to think it was love.  While I still believe that’s part of the answer, the meaty answer that gives us something to work with is: trust.

Let’s try it on.

If I fear my neighbor is going to make my life miserable, I’m not trusting myself to handle the situation.  If I trust I can resolve an issue with him, let go of the issue or even move to a better place for me, then I have nothing to fear.

If I fear the Earth is getting too hot, and I hate heat and I have no where to go, then I don’t trust that God never gives me more than I can handle or my ability to keep myself cool or acclimate to heat.

If I fear I won’t have enough clients next month or next year, I have the opportunity to trust my ability to attract clients, to reach out to new potential clients and to serve from my heart.  I also need to trust that regardless of how many clients I have at any given moment, I am creative, resourceful and whole and I have an entire Universe on my side conspiring for my good!

If I fear my memory isn’t good enough to keep track of all that’s important, I’m not trusting the inherent messiness of life.  I have the opportunity to trust I’ll remember what I need or have a way to retrieve something when I need it.  

If I fear I won’t ever meet my beloved sweetheart / life partner, I have the opportunity to trust myself to first be in great relationship with myself and my friends and loved ones.  Then, I have the opportunity to follow my intuition about inspired action as to when or where I might meet him. And, I get to trust the process and God in the process.

I realize that in every one of these situations, I have many “opportunities” to trust.  Because of my life-long commitment to my own spiritual growth and spiritual coach training, I’m going to take on these opportunities as sacred callings.  It’s too easy to let opportunities slip by.  Of course, my life becomes so much richer and more fulfilling the more I answer a sacred calling, yet sometimes it seems easier not to answer.  Today, I commit/recommit to answering! 

What about you?  Where in your own life is trust the antidote to fear?  I’d love to hear from you.

Spiritual inspiration: from within (day 18)

This morning as I was listening to a Michael Beckwith recording I noticed myself scanning his ideas for something to spark my blog post.  Then, I read an ezine from my friend, Tama, with the same thought in the back of my head.

Finally I noticed the spot of anxiety inside me.  Instead of taking in Michael and Tama as nourishment for my soul, I was busy looking for something amazing to share with you.  As if that amazing thing had to come from outside of me.  As if nourishing me isn’t enough.

The anxiety has subsided as I realize offering you a slice of my process is way more than enough!  Please enjoy this slice as you revel in YOU being way more than enough . . .


Self improvement: the irony of becoming a better person by doing something I do so poorly (day 14)

Driving home from yoga today, I realized that I am a much more patient, kind, compassionate driver on the drive home from yoga than on the drive to yoga.

Even though my yoga studio is a mile from my house, I almost always drive. And the past few weeks, I’ve tended to run late. I don’t fully stop at the stop signs and I’m impatient at the lights. And annoyed with myself for running late.

Taking the same route home, I’m present and fully stopped at stop signs, allowing others at four-way stops to go first. I enjoy the time at the red lights and praise myself for giving myself the gift of yoga.

Having practiced yoga for only a few months, I have yet to be able to do a pose exactly how it’s suppose to be done or for the full length of time. Quite humbling for a girl who likes to be great at everything! So, somewhere during each class, I let go of judgment, impatience and the need to be great. I surrender to whatever is. Even when it looks ugly and hurts – two of my least favorites!

And then I drive home in that surrendered bliss – how great is that?!?

Positive mental attitude – not just a concept (day 3)

While listening to Michael Beckwith this morning, the concept of choosing my reality soaked into my bones a bit more.  He said something like, “Circumstances don’t create our reality, our attitude does.”

This may be the thousandth or ten thousandth time I have heard or read this or some variation of it.  Yet, today I got it that I want to choose my attitude even when it’s more challenging for me. 

I almost always have a fantastic attitude with my work – except if something technological malfunctions, or even hiccups.  Then I am sure my world as I know it is coming to an end.  I almost always have a superb attitude in my personal life – until my sister or my sweetheart says or does something I don’t like, or worse, something I judge.

So, what if I took the opportunity with a technology hiccup to breathe, know that all is well and take a short walk?  What if I focused on the opportunity to learn about that technology or the opportunity to connect with the techno genius helping me?  What if I focused on the opportunity to love even when I don’t like?  What if I examined my judgment of another to see what is crying out for love in me?

What if I consistently and consciously make the choice for freedom, rather than bondage to situations that don’t seem to be going “my way?”

Twenty-five years ago, when I read Victor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, I first came to understand the importance of choosing our focus and thoughts.  If he kept himself alive in a Nazi concentration camp by focusing on hope for the future, surely I can hold a positive mental attitude when my email goes down for a few hours.

I’m now challenging myself to override my initial, knee-jerk reaction to consciously choose a positive mental attitude every time I start to fight something/someone. 

Ah, that may keep me busy for awhile . . .