We’ve all heard it said many times and in different ways, to “Let go of the past and live for today.” It sounds great. But how are we supposed to do that when we are the culmination of all of our past experiences, and not even only our own experiences; we also carry family and cultural experiences as well. We use those memories as justification of who we are and why we do what we do. We put all of that into the mix that we call “Self.”
But, is that really you? Now, right here in this moment?
Have you taken any time to really think about the idea of who you are? Have you ever thought about evaluating whether or not you are in fact the sum of your collective experiences? Or are you more than that? Are you more than a collection of memories and ideas? More than a set of long held beliefs that may no longer serve you?
That is a good place to start when wanting to learn to live in the now. Perhaps this sounds like a huge undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. You can keep it simple. Perhaps start by just paying attention to some of the choices you make every day and seeing if they are really your choices, or if they are learned.
Let’s look at a simple example. Perhaps you never order broccoli because you say you don’t like it. But do you actually know that you don’t like it? Have you tried it? Or maybe your Mom didn’t like broccoli so she never ate it, or served it to the family and always commented that she didn’t like it if the subject ever came up. So you learned not to like broccoli. Your dislike of broccoli may not be genuine. It may be an idea that you adopted from your mom and is not really your truth.
My point is to look for your automatic responses and to take a few seconds to evaluate them to see if they resonate as true for you now. In this moment. Whatever they are about. Food, the kind of books you like to read, or the television shows you like to watch. Even whether or not you like to attend sporting events or participate in them personally. Take a few seconds and see what is genuine for you in each moment.
This is an easy, yet powerful way to get in touch with now. With the you who you are now.
When you find a learned response, you have a wonderful opportunity to find out the truth of it, to see what your genuine thoughts are right now. Take a moment and see if you can remember where the response came from and then you can honor it for how it served you to this point. Then you can decide if it is really true for you now and let it go. If not, then perhaps embrace it even more if it is true. You can let it move forward with you into the future if it feels comfortable, because now you know you can re-evaluate any response at any time and see if it is still true.
The funny thing is, you may find out that you don’t know how you really feel. You may need to test things out a bit to find out what is true for you now. You may choose to order the broccoli steamed, or with cheese sauce, or sautéed with slivered almonds. Who knows what you may discover?
But when you take a moment to look at your responses, then you can make an evaluation and find your truth. And then you are living in your now.
Have you ever found yourself stuck? You have so many things you want to do, and some of them are really important to you, yet, you don’t do anything about them. Why is that? If something is really important to you, you’d take care of it, wouldn’t you?
Sure you would. At least you want to tell yourself you would. But take a moment and do a quick mental check. Is there something important you want to do, maybe start a new hobby, write a book, or take a class? Something you think about quite a lot. Maybe you even daydream about it. You really want to do it. Yet, you do nothing to move toward it.
Take another minute to look at it again from an emotional stand point. And look at it from all sides. What is motivating you? What will it take to accomplish and how do you feel about that investment of time, money, or energy? Will it take time from your family? What will you have to do to make it happen? How does that make you feel?
Often times we do not allow ourselves to investigate our true motivations and feelings around our desires. We are unaware of our internal conflicts, and conflict is crippling. The problem is that the dominant emotion wins. Every time. Without fail.
Take example wanting to write a book. You’re really excited about it, you have a great concept. You’ve shared your idea and received an overwhelming positive response. You know you can do it. You’re going to do it. You’re going to write that book. You are.
But when? Something always seems to get in the way. Everything else is more important and you never quite get around to even making an outline for the book. Weeks, months, maybe even years go by with no action toward writing your book.
Take a look at your feelings around the idea and find your internal conflict. Does a part of you feel like writing a book is selfish? Maybe you feel like you are abandoning your family is some way. Taking time to write takes time from them, and that makes you feel bad about yourself. You feel like you won’t be a good partner, spouse, or parent if you do that. But wait, another part of you feels like you need to write the book because you have something important to share. Oh, so it’s all about you? No, it’s for them, too. For other people, too, and your family will benefit from it. Won’t they?
Does that brief internal dialogue sound familiar? That’s internal conflict. If you don’t resolve the conflict, you’ll be crippled. You are not going to let yourself be “selfish” if you are devoted to your family and writing a book feels like you are not taking care of your loved ones. If that is the case, or something like it, then you will never write the book because being devoted to your family is more important than writing the book.
I’m not saying that writing a book is selfish; I’m saying you need to look at how you feel about it. If it feels like you are being selfish and you that feels bad, then you won’t write the book. You feel better not writing the book because devotion to your family makes you feel better about yourself. You may also feel bad about not writing the book, but not as bad as you’ll feel if you “abandon” your family.
As a hypnotherapist I see this kind of conflict quite often. We all have conflicting parts that keep us from reaching our goals and keep us stuck in a rut. To break the cycle, you have to take the time to find out what is really going on with your feelings and what is important to you. In the end it is our feelings and what we believe to be true, regardless of whether the belief is protective or self-destructive in some way, which defines our behavior and motivates our actions.
Sometime the action is action, and sometimes the action is staying stuck.
So take the time to look at what is important to you. Then take the time to look at your feeling and find your internal conflicts. Then, do some clearing, make peace with yourself. Ask yourself if the belief or beliefs that you uncover are serving you today or keeping you stuck.
Then do the work to transform the beliefs. Find a trusted advisor to help you in necessary. A friend, a family member, or a professional, but remember, in the end, you are the one who gets to choose.
You do the work. You make the change. You get to clear and move forward.
As published on 7/28/14 at http://consciousshiftcommunity.com/the-dominant-emotion-wins/
“Be in the present moment.” We hear this often, but have you ever wondered what it really means? Or how you do it? If you’ve tried this idea of present moment awareness, you may have found yourself a bit distracted. Or confused. How do you stay present, in this moment, engaged in the now, when everything else is swirling around you? It’s a moving target!
It’s also seemingly a paradox.
And that’s the magic of it.
To me, living life fully engaged is to live with present moment awareness. As often as possible.
It is not as difficult as it might appear to be. You can do it in a split second. The trick of it is to just do it. Be aware and do it. Take a second to stop and breathe and let the chatter in your mind quiet down briefly. The power of one breath is remarkable.
Close your eyes. Focus inward. Be aware of your body. Draw in a full and complete breath. Feel it. Pay attention. Notice how your chest rises as the air fills your lungs. No other thoughts. Just your breath. In this moment. Now. The world will wait for just a moment. Trust me, whatever it is that is on the other side of this breath will still be there when you open your eyes again.
Now. Exhale. Slowly. Deliberately.
There. That’s better.
Once the chatter, or the chaos, or the crazy has been suspended for a moment and you are aware, you have the power to change it. That’s the next step. Be aware of what is happening now. Right now.
For just a moment don’t think about what’s for dinner, or whether or not your son passed his math test. Or the growing mound of laundry you just can’t seem to get washed. Or if you’ll ever have enough money to retire. Or any other of the thousands of thoughts that race through your mind on a regular basis.
Just stop. Bring your thinking mind here. Now. Then stop thinking and take a breath.
Disconnect from all the actions and distractions and engage in the moment. In you. In the now. In the present.
Remember, you get to choose. You get to choose how to use your energy, your creative force. Are you using your energy for your good or to your detriment? Taking a breath and engaging in the present moment gives you a moment of clarity. It’s an opportunity to take a quick mental inventory and make a choice. Peace or chaos. Happy or mad. Serene or sad.
Now, don’t misunderstand. This is not about judgment, or making yourself, anyone or anything else, wrong. It’s about awareness. Be aware so you can make a difference.
Making present moment awareness a habit changes your perspective. It allows you to be engaged in your life from the inside. You may notice that you become aware that you have a dominant mental state. And if that mental state is not the one you prefer, then you can start to change it. Once you are aware, you have choice. You are no longer a hostage to learned behavior, to habits of thought or actions that you may not have ever really taken notice of before.
Then life begins to expand. It gets fuller. And that is part of the paradox. When you pause to take note of a moment, the moment expands. Your life seems to slows down. You stop to start. Disengage to engage.
How cool is that?
We benefit from reading a great book. So I’d like to recommend on of my favorites: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. If you have read it already, great! I recommend that you read it again! This is one of those books that offers continued wisdom with each reading.
This powerful little book is aptly promoted as “a practical guide to personal freedom,” and I completely agree.
The basic tenet of the book is that you live by the following four agreements:
Be impeccable with your word.
Don’t take anything personally.
Don’t make assumptions.
Always do your best.
When you accept these four agreements and live by them daily, it is amazing how quickly your perspective begins to change and how quickly your life improves.
Today I choose to be happy.
Happiness is a choice. And today I choose to be happy.
It’s a gray and cloudy, rainy day as a cold front moves, yet I choose to be happy.
My darling boyfriend is in the midst of some mysterious health concern, yet I choose to be happy.
My beloved Mother is in the hospital with a diagnosis of lung cancer and a tumor in her throat, yet I choose to be happy.
Am I happy that my Mom is ill and suffering? No. But I can still choose to be happy. Am I happy that my boyfriend is not well? No. But I can still choose to be happy. Am I happy that it’s a gray and cloudy, rainy day? Yes. Actually I am, yet my choice to be happy is about me and not the weather. Weather is weather; it has no emotional charge with me.
However, the same holds true for what Mom and boyfriend are experiencing now. My choice to be happy is about me and not about the circumstances in which I find myself. If your happiness is attached to external events and experiences, to the happiness or well-being of another person, or even to a pet or place, then how can you ever truly be happy? How can you be happy outside of yourself?
Happy has to happen within. And the funny thing about it is that once you get that, once you really get that in your gut, that happiness comes from within, then you get to experience it on a whole new level. And you begin to express it outwardly. It is a naturally progression. So within, so without.
Sounds great. But how do I get there, you ask?
Take out the garbage. Throw away the stuff you don’t need anymore. Spring clean your soul. Look at your attitudes, behaviors, habits, your long held beliefs and ask yourself, “Do I really need this anymore? Is it serving me to my greatest good?”
And if the answer is no, if it doesn’t fit anymore throw it out like last year’s fashion or the pair of shoes that are just not comfortable anymore. Let it go and move forward.
I know, I know. Easier said than done. So get some help. Join a group. Tall to someone. Start taking better care of yourself. Read self-help books, or listen to them while your jogging or working out. Then do the work they suggest. Find a technique that can help you, write in a journal, do EFT (tapping), meditation, or hypnosis, but DO SOMETHING!
You can choose to be happier tomorrow than you are today. You can choice to be happier in the next moment. I hope you make that choice.
And remember….no one else gets to decide what happiness is for you, only you get to define what happiness is for you.
Trust can be strong or fragile. It’s one of those intangible things that slips out of your grasp like quicksilver if you try to define it. It’s a feeling, a knowing, a certainty at times and a mystery as well. It is certainly not one size fits all. Sometimes you feel like you can trust someone right away, and others it take so long before you do. Trust is hard to obtain at times, and yet, so easily lost. And once lost, not ever really returned to its original state. That how it seems to me.
Mostly I’ve been thinking about trust in other people. Who do I trust? And on what level? I trust some people with my opinion, that they wouldn’t use it against me, but would I give them my checkbook? Or the keys to my house? It’s an interesting thing this fluidity of trust.
I’d like to think that I trust easily, but if I’m honest about it, I’ve had to work at trusting easily and that seems like a contradiction to me. So now I’m thinking in circles again. That happens a lot. Thinking in circles. Because everything and everyone is connected.
Trusting someone else involves a measure of trust in myself. And in the Universe. And now I’m back to Faith. I have Faith that I can Trust. Hmm. How interesting. I trust that all will be well and that all is how it should be, including me.
Is anyone else hearing echoes’?
You have to have faith, right? We’ve all heard that. But what is it that you have faith in? Yourself? God? The Divine? The Universe? Your family? Friends? Co-workers or business associates? Maybe all of the above? Or for some, none of the above. Which is disheartening. Faith is a powerful force. And I believe that we need to use our power for good. Therefore a lack of faith or faith in lack, serves no purpose.
You’re going to invest your energy in something, so why not invest it positively? Why not have faith in yourself and know that somehow, when you “keep the faith,” things work out. You have to let go of the details sometimes, and allow things to flow. And, maybe, you have to ask for a little help. That can be difficult to do, yet I find that once I remember that I really can’t do everything by myself anyway, and I reach out for a little assistance, things get better immediately.
I’ve done that lately and I’ve experienced a renewed faith because of it. And in this case, it was faith in me. But I can’t really say that it is just in me, because of my beliefs, it’s also a renewed faith in knowing that the Universe has a way of working things out. And the people I have in my life. I’m always cared for and I’m reminded of what the Rolling Stones told us, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you might find you get what you need.”
And so, with a renewed faith, I’m venturing forward. I don’t have all the answers and I certainly still have lots of questions. But I have faith that all is as it should be and that includes me.
January 1, 2013!
Another new beginning. I spent most of the day in reflection. Looking at the things in my life that are working for me and that I am happy about and also at the things that I’m not so satisfied with and then deciding what I can change. Not so much by making New Year’s Resolutions, but more from the stand point of being aware and deciding where to put my energy.
Energy flows where attention goes. Isn’t that quote? It makes sense and I know it’s true. So with all my reflection today I came to the realization that one of my biggest frustrations is in keeping my attention focused. So along with all the things that I want to affect a change to in my life, the most important change is with myself! (of course! No surprise there. We all know that we cannot change another person, we can only change ourselves.)
I’ve realized that I have so many things that draw my attention that sometimes I feel like a six year old with ADHD. So I also realized I need a tool. Nothing earth-shattering. I also know enough about myself to know that I have to take things in manageable steps, so I’m starting with the obvious. I’m writing down the things that are most important to me that I want to maintain my focus. Sounds simple enough, right? But there is a step two. I need to review the list daily, perhaps even several times a day. That is what is going to be the new behavior for me. And have to do it in short bursts. Like a sprinter, not a marathon runner. I’ll have to work up to the long distance endurance. And keep the list small so I don’t get overwhelmed.
So after my day of reflection, I’m feeling confident that I can keep myself on a more focused track. I’ve enlisted the help of my life partner. He is good at seeing when I am veering off track. And the best thing is, that I also have an amazing tool to assist me further if I find that I’m not being as effective as I’d like to be. Yeah, you guessed it. Hypnosis. Self -hypnosis or enlisting the assistance of one of my colleagues.
If you find, like me, that you may need a little extra help achieving your goals, perhaps you’ll consider hypnosis. It truly is the fastest way I’ve found to make lasting change. And now that I think about it, I don’t think I could have been as painfully honest with myself today as I was if I hadn’t had hypnotherapy myself and removed some of the major blocks in my life that were holding me back.
I keep reminding myself that there is always another layer to clear. There’s always more work to do, something else to do better. I’m so grateful that I have a resource to not only help myself, but to be able to help other people as well, and in a life-altering lasting way.
Sending out Love and Light and best wishes to all for the Grandest 2013 that we can experience!
It feels so good to be back in Pinellas County after almost a 15 year absence spent living in a more northerly Florida county. I love this area and feel like I’ve come home. I wasn’t born here, but I was born in Florida, and after living in various locations across the state, I’m very happy to be in St. Pete now.
I’m really excited to have my hypnotherapy office here and to be able to offer my services to help empower people to become their best selves. With my extensive training at the Florida Institute of Hypnotherapy, I have so many more tools and techniques to bring to my practice and share with my clients.
I’m looking forward to meeting new clients, each one of you, one heart at a time.