Bucket List For Baby With Fatal Illness

April 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Inspiring People

(CNN) — Mike and Laura Canahuati’s blog about their nearly 6-month-old daughter, who is expected to die by age 2 because of a genetic disorder, began as an efficient way to keep family and close friends in touch about baby Avery’s health.

But when Mike Canahuati came upon the idea of writing a “bucket list” for his infant child — a list of things to do before death normally drafted for adults — his blog went viral, now with more than 1 million page views…Continued

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How To Feel Centered In the Eye Of The Storm

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Photo By Angie Rubin

Even though we know if we settle down, breathe and center ourselves that our outlook on life will change, we are often so ramped up that we are not able to do it.  Instead we feel like we are being swept up by life or at best trying not to trip while we’re running our perceived obstacle course.

It would be so simple to stop it all by just stopping our brain from jumping around.  But, somehow this simple action becomes unattainable.

As I go through my personal development I realize the three possibilities that play out:  1 – totally lost in life events and having a feeling of no control, 2 – partially lost while a nagging feeling that there is a different way to be keeps tugging at my psyche and 3 – a centered and in control experience.

I am proud to say that feeling totally lost in life events is no longer a reality for me. I now reside in the space between being partially lost and in control.

Getting to this space has taken a lot of self-growth.  I have had to learn to let go of comparing my life to that of others – after all every life is unique – as well as learning about acceptance and compassion.

When we learn to exercise acceptance and compassion toward ourselves we let go of demanding and unrealistic level of perfection.  We are reminded that life’s journey is about learning and attaining wisdom and there is no space for that without trials and tribulations.

Now, when we truly realize that there is no way to compare two people’s existence, as each one of us has a truly unique experience, we also drop envy and jealousy.

So armed with compassion and acceptance while rejoicing in the loss of envy and jealousy, we start to feel a sense of purpose and control over our responses to life’s events.

It is not an easy process.  And it’s not a process without setbacks. But, it is a process worth under taking.  Living as if we are mere leaves blowing in the wind is not the most satisfying way to walk through life.

So when life feels out of control; stop, breathe, exercise acceptance and compassion and see your outlook change.

 

 

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Get Rid Of Your “Should” List

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured

Here’s my confession: “I have a terrible case of SHOULD syndrome”.  In my mind I should be kinder, wiser, fitter, successful, happier etc.  The truth is all these “shoulds” keep me from appreciating who I am and what I have accomplished in my life.  It also keeps me from opening my life up to possibilities that don’t fit my particular “shoulds”.

Now, I’ve known about my self-imposed noose for a long time and have been making strides to loosen its grip.

It all started when I realized the harshest and most demanding critic I had was my own self. While others were ready to pay compliments for the person that I am, I was not. So, I started by reminding myself I should extend the forgiveness and acceptance I had for others to my own self.  I followed that by realizing I always did the best I could and that is all that can be expected from any of us.

Once, I could accept the notion that I couldn’t and shouldn’t be perfect – after all none of us are – I started to relax on the shoulds.

Today, I have a better time accepting that I am as kind as I can be at this moment.  That I’m as fit as I can be with the time and energy I have. That I behave in the best way I can when something comes up.  If later that proves not to be the case then I simply tell myself that my behavior was the choice I could make based on how I felt and what I  knew at the time that it happened.

I still have a long way to go in freeing myself from the scrutiny I put my own self under, but I’m making strides and so can you if you too are a “should” sufferer.

Below is an interesting post by Christy Matta, M.A further discussing the should issue.

Please read on.

10 Beliefs That May Be Keeping You From the Life You Want

By Christy Matta, M.A.

We’re often kept from getting what we want in life by the demands we place on ourselves more so than by the demands of others. Pressure, hassles and tension often come when what we want to do conflicts with what we tell ourselves is “right.” We see a messy house and believe we “should” clean it, or we long to pursue a career we’re passionate about but tell ourselves “I can’t do that.” Continued…

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Learn How To Tap Into Your Instincts

April 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Have you ever been thinking about a friend when the phone rings? “I was just thinking about you! You exclaim.  But, is it a coincidence or were the two of you connected beyond the five senses?

There is much that goes on in our lives that are beyond what we see, smell, taste, hear and touch.  Our intuition is what captures this other type of information and acts as a pool of wisdom for each one of us.  All we need to tap into this great resource is to look within.

Unfortunately, most of us regard this great tool and resource as confusing noise because we simply can’t believe we would actually know what the right answer or action would be.

The way we operate is; we have an instinct, but then we disregard it. “How could I possibly know?” It’s usually our response.

Over time I have come to realize how great my instincts are.  I always know the truth, I – like most – just have trouble following.  So, I have come up with a way to give myself a chance to connect and believe in that which I know.

When something important comes up that I need to make a decision on, I sit quietly and tell myself “You know what to do. You know the truth.”  I then wait for the answer to come.  It always arrives clearly and peacefully.  Once I hear it, I follow it.

In the beginning, this process is a bit scary.  “What if I’m wrong?” pops into our minds.  The way to deal with that is by taking a deep breath and reminding oneself the second the instinct hits consciousness it is always certain.  Holding on to that clarity helps us move forward.

The five senses is how we experience the world outside.  Instincts are how we experience the world from within.  Tap into your greatest resource.

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The Difficult Task Of Going With The Flow

April 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Going with the flow, living in the moment, having no expectations could be the most difficult state of mind to reach as it means letting go of the outcome.

Somehow, somewhere we bought into the illusion that if we have a tight grip on our lives we will be spared from hurt and pain.  That is not so.  The effects are actually the opposite — the tighter the grip, the greater the confusion.

I have been a widow for almost four years now.   A couple of months ago I met someone who sparked my interest.  The first one in many years.  In my mind – and based in my past experiences – I was embarking into a committed relationship.  But, to my surprise my new partner saw things differently.  He truly enjoyed our time together when we were together, but wasn’t ready, didn’t want, or couldn’t commit to only being with me.

At that point, I was faced with a few choices: 1 – change the situation, 2 – leave it, 3 – change how I felt about it, 4 – accept it,  5- become miserable or 6 – make things worse.

My first choice was to leave the situation.  In my mind it was either you’re ready to give this a shot or you’re not.  And staying open to meeting other people did not seem to me to translate into really giving it a shot.   I think in my decision, I didn’t take into consideration my partner’s history, rhythm or way of living.  I actually don’t even know if he was seeing others or was more attached to the idea/possibility of it.

A couple of weeks after me telling this person, I was no longer interested in seeing him under the circumstances he was proposing, I realized I was unhappy.  I missed his company, what we had started building together, the feeling of being connected and the attention he offered me.  I realized being without him at that particular moment was harder than being with him.  So, I called, and we got together.  But, I had stipulations for the new situation.  If he wanted an open relationship then we couldn’t email, text, call as much as we had in the past and we were not to ask each other where we were and what we were doing.  My thinking was this way I would protect myself from knowing something that would undoubtedly upset me.

Well, a couple of more weeks went by and I had another realization.  I wasn’t being spontaneous and thus I wasn’t getting as much out of the experience as I could.  And I still worried about the outcome.

I again ran through the six possibilities I had run through only a few weeks back (see above) and finally realized the only sensible thing to do was to let go of the outcome.  If we will live together happily ever after or if we will stop seeing each other by tomorrow is a question mark, but enjoying each other as much as possible and being in the moment is a certain possibility.

We lose a lot when we don’t accept things as they are.  By doing that we actually get in the way of letting life sort itself out and possibly give us the outcome we wanted.

Arm wrestling a relationship to reflect our needs, fears and insecurities will just lead to pain and hurt.  While acceptance will lead to real experiences.

Of course, I’m discussing a situation that involves respect and mutual liking.  When that is not present then staying means opening oneself up to an abusive relationship.  You must know the difference.

This is a new experience for me, but I do know it is something I must go through now.  And so I check in with myself constantly and ask the same six questions.  When the answer changes, then it will be time to switch my behavior.  In the meantime, I’m laughing and enjoying my moment.

 

 

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Stop Dragging Luggage Around

April 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

We all have history.  We all have baggage.  And we all think we have stored the luggage.  But when things happen that push our buttons, the suitcases come flying out.

Everything that happens to us leaves a mark in your psyche.  Some are good and some are not.

Even when we spend quite a bit of time and energy trying to process our history some residue is bound to exist and it will manifest itself when a similar situation arises.  Let me give an example:  When I was twenty years old, I was married to not a very nice guy.  He was explosive at almost everything that displeased him.  Because of that, even after I had left him, when a situation that would have angered him came back in a new relationship I would have an emotional reaction.  Fear and anxiety were my responses.  Now, I wasn’t responding to the situation at hand.  I was responding to my history with the man I had shared my life with when I was twenty.

When that happens the important thing is for us to differentiate between what is actually happening and what has happened in the past.  Are we responding to the situation at hand or to the past experience?

In order to not burden a new situation in life with our past, we must develop a check and balance system.    Some real honest questions need to be asked and answer.  This is a process that requires a great relationship with the self and a willingness to see reality.  The upside is that we stop burdening relationships with our history.

Tsoknyi Rinpoche, author of “Open Heart Open Mind” suggests asking oneself: “Are you true? Are you based on present conditions, or are you based on past experiences?”

Sitting quietly and asking ourselves this question again and again until a true answer arises, is a good way to assure oneself we are actually responding to our present and not to our past.

We have the ability to see life as a new event at every single moment.  Experience is a good thing to acquire but residue needs to be clean out and gotten rid of.

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Are We Addicted To Struggle?

April 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured

I really like the below post by Mike Robbins. I truly get it.

I have been addicted to struggle for most of my life. Somewhere somehow I became convinced that without struggle I would never get what I wanted. Be a job or a relationship.  Only hard work could bring success and if something came easily, I was immediately suspicious of it.  Thoughts like: “When is the other shoe going to fall?” or “I feel like I cheated because it happened to easily” came easily.

Pretty much I thought without struggle there is no success or happiness.  How wrong I was.  Getting what we want is not a consequence of struggle.  I’m not saying we don’t have to work hard for things, but what I mean is; there is no direct correlation between struggle and happiness. Or struggle and achievement.  In my erroneous thinking I had left out that life has its own rhythm.

Actually, if we stop trying to control life by muscleling for what we want, we might actually be surprised that sometimes 1 – things can happen nicely and easily without struggle and 2 – other doors we had not seen before are there open for us.

If we allow ourselves to relax and to believe we deserve contentment then life doesn’t have to be a never ending struggle.  We don’t have to suffer to appreciate goodness.

What is the most unfortunate is we become addicted to struggle and often don’t feel like we are making progress if we are not suffering.  How can I be advancing my life if I’m not staying up at night?

Changing this damaging mind-set takes time.  Drama is addictive.  Struggle is addictive.  We have to constantly remind ourselves to relax and appreciate the life we already have.  Then we have to embrace the concept that we don’t need to pay a price to succeed.  Success and contentment is already there for us to receive.  We don’t have to prove anything.  We already deserve it.

Please read on…

Are You Addicted to Struggle?

By Mike Robbins

During a session I had with my new coach last week it became clear to me that I’ve been addicted to struggle for much of my life. While I wasn’t super excited to admit this, it has actually been quite liberating to address my struggle addiction directly and to see how it impacts just about every aspect of my life and work. How about you? Are you addicted to (or at least very familiar with) struggling in your own life? Continued…

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Playing For Happiness

April 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured

Elisha Goldstein, in the post below discusses the idea of playing as an important ingredient to happiness. I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve always liked to play.  I remember, as a kid once when I wanted a study session with a fellow student to be over, I pretended I was hearing voices from another realm.  Well, the session definitely ended, although the following day I had to endure all the other students looking at me as if I was strange.  It was fun, harmless and now a fond memory.

Playing gets our guards down and gives our overachieving brains a break.  When we play we let ourselves go without missions or expectations.  It is a release with no goals to be achieved.

As we grow older, we unfortunately equate playing with wasting time.  But, nothing could be further from the truth.  If we play we give our minds a chance to change its tune or perceive things in a different way.

I love to play mummy with my dogs or sit on a step and sing with them (don’t ask). Again, just silly stuff that reminds me I’m not the ever serious person.  After I’m done playing, I always have a feeling of being more alive and energized.

So, let yourself go and be silly.  Laugh loud and big.

Please read on.

The Essential Ingredient You May Be Missing for Happiness

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “Life is routine and routine is resistance to wonder.” As we get older this statement may seem to ring true more often, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

With children, research has shown that play has a significant impact on physical, cognitive, emotional, and social health. Why would it be different for us adults? How do we bring this mental health boosting attitude back into our lives? Continued…

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