Silence is a rarity in our 24/7 world. Enjoy The Soothing Sound of Silence audio post. To listen, click on the link, and you should automatically be able to hear it. If not, right click the link, then save to your desktop to listen on your own audio software.

Empathy is something we could all use a lot more of. Enjoy the audio on The Empathy Habit. To listen, click on the link, and you should automatically be able to hear it. If not, right click the link, then save to your desktop to listen on your own audio software.

In many ways this has been the most instructive, awesome summer of my life. You readers have filled my heart in so many ways, I don’t know where to begin to thank you all. My gratitude goes beyond words to a profundity I cannot even express.

So as a celebration of who you are for me, I offer you the Best of the Summer Posts for 2012 in the form of an audio. In true power of slow style, I am taking off for two weeks on a new adventure to France, then Italy. I have decided to post the audio versions of the most popular posts so you can enjoy them in a new way.

I hope you like them. To listen to the first, click on the link The Act of Self-Forgiveness, and you should automatically be able to hear it. If not, right click the link, then save to your desktop to listen on your own audio software. Be sure to turn up the volume and enjoy.

Many blessings to you, dear ones!

“You always seem to know what you want,” a friend of mine recently told me.

Maybe I was born that way. I don’t know. However, one thing is for certain: you may not always get what you want, but if you don’t know what you want at all, you’re certain not to get it!

Mike Dooley’s Notes from the Universe recently said, “Go ahead. Want it all. Just be happy now or you might miss it when it comes.” Being abundant means you already have everything you need, want or could possibly desire and you’re just living all wrapped up in your own juicy with a big fat smile on your face. I am the happiest when I live that way.

But here’s the rub: if we make our happiness dependent on externals, we’re in trouble. That’s like giving away all your megawatts of power to everyone else but yourself. That’s like paying for everybody else’s gasoline but your own. That’s like, well, you know what I’m saying. And who wants that?

In his work entitled The Book of Secrets, Deepak Chopra writes:

“Doubt is a symptom indicating that you aren’t in contact with the knower inside. It usually means that you are looking outside yourself when you have to make a choice. Your decision is going to be based on externals. For most people, the strongest externals come down to what other people think because fitting in is the path of least resistance. But fitting in is like embracing inertia. Social acceptance is the lowest common denominator of the self – it’s you as a social unit rather than you as a unique person.” (page 96)

Now that explains it. I never fit in as a kid. And apart from your typical teenage angst, I have never doubted myself to the point of paralysis either. Perhaps it really is an innate sense of knowingness that we were born with and I was lucky enough to have people in my life to allow that part of myself to thrive.

Finding the knower inside is possible for anyone, even if you grew up in a strict society where conformity and social acceptance dominated your life. The trick is not to mix up the knower with the ego, which is the one usually bouncing around in your head saying, “Hey! Whattaboutme?!!” Yeah, that one. I know you know who I’m talking about.

So here’s a little guide that I’ve found helpful to getting to that still small voice within:

  1. First step: acknowledge that you have an inner voice that wishes to speak to you.
  2. Second step: Close your eyes and place your awareness around your heart where your inner voice resides.
  3. Third step: Ask that voice to say whatever it likes. Be patient. It may be hoarse from being silent for so long. Eventually, as your awareness deepens over time, it will begin to sing its song. Listen carefully.
  4. Fourth step: Practice listening to your inner voice every day. Before you get up in the morning may be a good time to offer it centerstage.
  5. Fifth step: Act on one thing your inner voice tells you to do. See what happens.

My guess? Magic will happen. Just you wait and see.

 

Dare to Surrender

August 25, 2012

At the very beginning of this marvelous summer (or winter, for you Southern Hemisphere readers), I wrote of surrender. As any writer will tell you, we mostly write about the things we need to learn most.

And so it is with this blog.

A lot of the advice, truths and ideas I have set forth have been lessons I have learned and/or am in the process of learning. I’m walking the same path as you. While being an expert is somehow praised in our society, I am only an expert of my own life, as you are with yours. What I can say is surrender is by far the hardest, and perhaps most important, lesson we can learn.

So often we want things that are just beyond our grasp. We place great effort into it, such as writing that book proposal or convincing a client that your counsel is warranted, but what happens is what happens. And we can only do so much to influence the outcome of events.

When we enter the Surrender Room, we access a power far greater than ourselves. We are able to be highly involved with what we are doing without the attachment to the outcome. We liberate ourselves from the dependency on other people’s responses. Our truth remains, no matter the circumstances. We simply do what we need to do, then move on.

Instead of wasting our energy on things that are beyond your control, focus on the things you can.

How you choose to spend your time is one of the things you can do a lot about. You may feel trapped in a job you hate or in a relationship that needs to change, but all told, you can decide how to deal with it.

It’s not that some people have better lives than others. It is how you cope with the challenges at hand that determine the quality of your days.

I dare to surrender to the All Knowing Force. As scary as it may be, I see it as the most empowering choice we can make as human beings.

Will you join me?

 

Dwell in Possibility

August 24, 2012

Surmounting seemingly impossible tasks is an essential part of life. When I took my very first written exam at German university, I was scared out of my wits. All kinds of ‘what if’s’ floated through my head. ‘What if I can’t formulate my thoughts in the time that I have?’ ‘What if I fail?’ ‘What if I forget all my German and draw a complete blank!?’ ‘What if!?’ ‘What if!?’

So my mother, being the fabulous person she is, sent me a T-shirt with Emily Dickenson’s quote “I dwell in possibility.” She asked me to entertain the possibility that I would succeed.

Stumbling into the exam room wearing the T-shirt as my guide, I wrote the exam non-stop for two hours. And you know what? I did succeed despite my doubt.

It was a pivotal moment in which I realized, at the tender age of twenty-three, how much our thoughts dictate pretty much every choice we make, if we let them. Or we can take a more heart-centered approach in which we seek out the joy in every situation (and I mean every one!) despite the thoughts swirling in our heads, screaming the opposite to what our hearts are saying.

What are you thinking is impossible today? What if you were to entertain that it could be possible after all? Would you see things with different eyes? Would you succeed?

Audrey Hepburn once said, “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible.”

Yes, you are. Start with your vision of what you’d like to see in the world, then create it. You might be amazed at who shows up to help you once you are clear about what you really want.

We All Fall Down

August 23, 2012

Most of you are familiar with the children’s rhyme, “Ring-around-the-rosey! A pocket full of posies? Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!” You hold hands while going around in a circle, then tumble to the ground in laugther. As a kid, falling down is what you do. Daughter’s bruises from camp and the adventures she had there are proof that it is so.

Somehow as we grow into adults, we grow to believe we are no longer allowed to fall down, or fall apart for that matter.

In a recent post entitled “Holding it Together is Overrated,” Renee Trudeau inspired me to write about this topic as she recently reflected on her own challenges to admit when she needs help. As the oldest child of seven, she has always been considered the go-to person for simply everything.

I have several hyper-competent women friends who secretly complain about not always wanting to have to be so strong. I include myself in that group. With so many people relying on us, it’s as if falling apart isn’t an option. Besides, we always have the answer to things. Right?

But I’ve got news. Sometimes falling down is the best thing you can do for yourself.

You might think crying it out to be a waste of time. But it is time well-spent if it means you are cleansing yourself of draining experiences.

Deepak Chopra recently lamented about the positive thinking movement. No one thinks positive thoughts all the time. It’s not natural. “There is nothing more attractive than somebody who radiates simple unaffected humanity,” he said.

So if you need to fall down, just do it. You might get bruised like Daughter’s knees, but you will have experienced life in its fullest richness with an unmatchable authenticity that makes you YOU.

And there is beauty to be seen there too.

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