“I’m Not Supposed to Feel This Way”

not supposed to feel

Do you ever get surprised by thought “I’m not supposed to feel this way”? Do you think that you’ve outgrown a feeling or have healed and moved on only to be sneak attacked by old frustrations? What’s going on? Let’s take a look at some possibilities.

You’re More Self Aware

Sometimes being more self aware or less guarded means seeing what you didn’t see before. Perhaps the underlying feelings were always there, they were just covered up by busyness, avoidance, not being completely truthful with yourself, or just not being aware. Now that all that is relaxed, it’s easy to see what was once hidden. If you’re more self aware, great! It’s a fabulous time to finally deal with old issues once and for all.

You’re Less Self Aware

Sometimes we stop using our skills and are less mindful. Maybe things are going well and we don’t need to think about being skillful. Maybe we just get lazy. This can cause us to go back to old behaviors that create old feelings. For example, when we go home for the holidays, we may feel like we’re in the same dynamics that we lived in as a child. This can make us revert to our childhood ways of being. If we are not careful, our mindful skills will go right out the window.

Everything Is As It Should Be

Sometimes feeling the way that you used to feel just means that you’re engaging in life. We never get to a point where things don’t hurt, we never get angry, or we don’t need a reality check. When we are growing, we move through life in a circle. We feel the same old things, but in different ways or different circumstances. It doesn’t mean something is wrong. It just means we are living. When we are trespassed against, we get angry. If we are afraid, we can cower, fight, or run. When we’re happy, we smile, laugh, and are easy to be around. It’s just what people do.

Perhaps the first thing to do when old feeling arise is to just sit with them. Feel them. Let them speak to you. It could be that nothing else needs to be done. They just want to move through. If it seems that you’ve got some work to do, attack it when you’re ready. Everything is just feedback. Your feelings are just helping you get a sense of where you are and where you need to be to get back in alignment with your center. Cherish them. As long as you are feeling, you’re human! That’s cause to celebrate.

Living a Spiritually Debt Free Life

debt free

As a facilitator of past life regression, I can tell you that the number one thing that comes up in any session is spiritual debt or unfinished business. When you leave this world in debt, you don’t get a “get out of debt free” card. You accumulate debt. So when you come back again, you have to deal with the old stuff again. Only this time the burden is heavier. What do I mean?

Examples of Past Life Debt

Ineffective Emotional Patterns

Things like resentment, guilt, shame, low self esteem, feelings of unworthiness, superiority, and being stubborn come back with you. That might seem silly because why not just get a fresh start? Well, we might get a fresh start, then something kicks off that old pattern and we fall right back into old ways of being. It could be that a relationship breaks up that you never get over. Or maybe you get tired of being passed over for promotion and just give up. Or it could be an illness or birthday is a turning point. If you have made a sincere effort to shake an emotional pattern and nothing seems to work, it could be because it didn’t originate in this lifetime. Taking it out at the root is always more effective.

Sacred Vows

Be careful what you say! Words have amazing power that last beyond this lifetime. When you make an oath or vow to someone or something, it can tie you to something that you no longer want. If you lived in a monastery and took a vow of chastity, this could show up as a fear of sex or inability to find a romantic partner. If money is an issue, you may have taken a vow of poverty in a past life. This could have been due to church service or because you lived a life where money ruined your life. Some people who have trouble speaking their truth, singing in public, or have actual problems with their voice could have a past life vow of silence. Again this could have been made in service to the church or maybe something you said got you or someone else in hot water. Maybe you were a traitor who sold secrets. You could have said something in anger that you regret. More common sacred vows are informal things like “I will never leave you,” “I deserve to be punished,” or “I’m going to get you.”

Unrealized Dreams

Mark Twain said, ““Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” This is true. We can carry these regrets with us beyond the grave. When we return, they can feel like passions or a ball and chain. If you have a drive to do something, live somewhere, or a fascination with a time period, it could be the old you trying to revisit that old passion. So live your dreams now while it still matters to you. Don’t pass it off to someone else.

The point of most past life regression is to reveal and resolve this past life debt. Our old selves will pressure us with sleeplessness, dreams, or other attempts to get our attention until we do what we have to do to set them free. Those old soul fragments can’t rest in peace until their unfinished business is complete.

Fortunately it’s pretty easy. Once the vow is known, you don’t have to actually hold yourself to it. You can simply release yourself from it and move on.  It might be something as easy as doing a little forgiveness or it could take some effort like practicing other behaviors. The biggest part of this healing work is desiring the change and believing that you deserve it. If you want to punish yourself for a past life crime, you can do that until you’re ready to let go of it. Or perhaps it’s resentment against someone else for something they did to you. Either way you’re in control over your sacred vows.

This means you’re also in control of your spiritual debt from this life. If you want to live well and die well, meaning dying debt free, do a daily assessment. Where are you today? What are you holding on to? Who do you need to forgive? What do you need to let go of? What dreams do you need to pursue now? How is your heart? Release all that you need to release today. Don’t wait until tomorrow or for retirement to do that cruise. Write that gratitude letter today. Call that counselor or coach now. Exhale.

None of us are promised tomorrow. Dying doesn’t relieve us of our soul debt. When you live a spiritually debt free life, every day is a good day to die. And we all want to live and die well, don’t we? So take inventory and start paying down that debt now.

Gasp! What Will People Think?

what will people think

Do you spend time worrying about what will people think? Does it immobilize you? If so, you’re probably giving too much of your power away.

If you want to stop worrying about what people think, here is a suggestion that can work for most situations. Show them what to think through your behavior.

We teach people how to treat us, and this is one of the ways that we do that. If you act confident and secure in your decisions, other people will usually either agree with you or will at least give you the benefit of the doubt.

So let’s say that you did something embarrassing or that you’d rather people not know about. It happens, right? So, what do you do? If you own up to it and act nonchalant about it, people will either not make a big deal out of it or they will gossip until they find something juicier to talk about. Either way, there is no lasting damage to you. When the type of people who want to see ugliness don’t get a rise out of you, they will go where they can get the response they want.

If you worry about your mistakes or try to hide them, you give energy to the situation. This keeps it alive. The fact that you want it to stay hidden shows people that it’s something shameful. They will probably respond to this by telling others, judging you, and having negative feelings about it.

Life is what you think it is. If YOU think your behavior is shameful or that something about your is wrong or bad, your life will reflect that. There are many possibilities happening at all times, but your mind will reflect the one that you choose. So choose things that are life giving and healthy. Choose affirming beliefs. See compassion. Live in forgiveness and love. Choose acceptance. If you see that, others will too.

 

We Teach People How To Treat Us

teach people

Whenever you’re having problems with other people, it’s time to ask yourself, “What am I putting out there?” While it’s true that you can’t control the thoughts, feelings, or behaviors of other people, you do have influence over how they treat you. Why? Because we teach people how to treat us.

Yep, that’s right. To see what I mean, look at the patterns of your interactions. Are you a people pleaser? How about a conflict avoider? Does it feel like you’re always the one getting left out? Do people speak to you with disrespect? Do people lie to you? Guess what? You have some control over that.

Let’s take a look at what I mean.

Do your friends and family whine, cry, threaten, and manipulate to get you to do things for them or give them stuff? If so, they aren’t getting their way because of who they are. They are getting their way because of who you are. You are telling them that you are a push-over and that you don’t have healthy boundaries. Your behavior is saying that the relationship, peace of mind, or something is more important to you than saying no. This can cost you money, lost sleep, self-esteem, lost time, inconvenience, anxiety, material goods, and all sorts of other things.

If you are a giver by nature and you can give with an open hand, that’s one thing. If your giving becomes a burden, it’s no longer generosity. You are hurting yourself.

Do your friends, family, and co-workers keep things from you? How about getting half truths? Or maybe they just lie outright? If so, it could be because you don’t respond well to the truth. If you punish people for the truth, get emotional or dramatic, refuse to hear it, or withdraw when you hear it, you’re not likely to get it. You have to decide what is more important to you: truth or illusion.

Relationships are always reciprocal. We all want what feels good and avoid what feels bad. No one wants to say something that will make another person feel bad, so telling the truth can often be a “lesser of two evils” choice. If the listener can hear it well, the giver is more likely to offer the truth.

That said, people who experience trauma or abuse may have learned that it is not safe to tell the truth. They may lie regardless of your ability to hear the truth. Still, how you respond to lies will influence whether or not you are lied to again.

There are a million examples of how this can look. To find your work, pin point a pattern that recurs in your life that you’d like to change. Ask yourself, how am I teaching people how to treat me? What I am doing? What message am I sending? How I am rewarding undesirable behavior? What can I do to change this?

It’s not about assigning blame. It’s about empowering you to create a difference. You can change other people by changing yourself. You can also change what sort of people you attract into your life. Here are some suggestions on how to do that.

  • When you say no, mean no. You don’t have to explain or justify your choice. You don’t have to have a lengthy conversation about it. All you have to do is stick firmly with your no. Once you do that habitually, people will stop harassing you to change your mind.
  • When things are heated, calmly ask people for the behavior that you’d like to see. If something doesn’t change immediately, stop the contact. This means get off the phone, stop emailing, or walk away. This is not meant to be a threat or escalation, but a calming down. If it’s appropriate to say something like, “We can talk about this later,” you can do that. Just don’t carry on a conversation when the emotions are out of control.
  • If you encounter situations that are unfair or unbalanced in some way, calmly explain your point of view. Then ask for what you want. If you continue to feel left out or slighted, stop giving your energy to that person or thing. You can’t be treated poorly if you don’t participate.
  • If someone wants to attack or blame you for something, allow them to have their opinion. You don’t have to accept it, defend it, or even respond to it. This can teach them that people can agree to disagree. There doesn’t have to be a winner or fight to the death. Each person can have an opinion.

The person who is being disrespectful or unfair may not mean to hurt you. She may just be acting out of habit. So there is no need to approach this with hostility. It’s not an issue of other people being disrespectful. It’s an issue of you not stepping into your power. If you’ve ever seen a toddler push adults around, you know what I mean. Kids don’t have enough cunning to be that manipulative at that age. They are taking control because someone has to and they sense that no one else will do it.

People are connected. When you change, the other person must change. Sometimes this is easy. Other times you get pushback because we all like what is familiar and comfortable. So people will resist change. This means you may lose people. This is a natural part of growth. If you can accept that, you can be on your way to a healthier life now.

Five Ways to Deal with the Meantime

meantime

What do you do when you’re in the meantime?

What’s the meantime? It’s that space between becoming and being. It’s the difference between where we are and where we want to be. Here are some examples:

  • working at a job you hate while waiting for something else
  • being a student instead of a professional
  • that space where you’re making efforts to make new habits, but aren’t quite there yet
  • being single and wanting to be in a relationship or vice versa
  • waiting for something to kick in so that you feel better
  • being a teenager- no longer a child, but not yet an adult

Embrace It

The best thing to do with a meantime that is an in-between space because you don’t like it is to embrace it. Fully live it. Every season has its blessings and lessons. If you check out, complain, or resist it, you won’t experience them. Can you blossom if you haven’t first had a period of rest and gestation? How do you harvest if you didn’t blossom?

We’re always in a place of becoming. Even if we are at the top of our game in our work, something else in our life is in decline. Something else is in its infancy stage. If you see this as natural and normal, it’s easier to be here now. Evolve consciously.

Make Space

Clean up your environment. Update your ideas or attitudes. Release friendships and acquaintances that no longer serve you. Reduce your obligations. All these things create space. If you’re so full of what doesn’t work, how can anything new come in? If your life is too complicated, allocate or downsize.

Continue Learning

Maybe this looks like taking a class, getting counseling, reading, or talking to a mentor. Sometimes the meantime is created by a lack of knowledge. Or maybe it’s created by believing in your own expertise so your mind is closed. When you learn and grow, you can gather the skills and ideas you need to get to the next level.

Practice Healthy Self-Care

You are never going to be top notch if your mind, body, and spirit are not healthy. You have to give time and attention to these things. Nothing runs on auto pilot. You have to put energy into it. Fresh alive food, sleep, mild exercise, prayer, meditation, and a healthy social life are necessary ingredients for a healthy life. In fact, neglecting yourself can even create a meantime.

Practice Beginner Mind

The meantime is full of “I don’t knows.” This can be really scary if you need the security of having a plan and knowing all the answers. There are times when that’s just not available. If you can look at these times as an adventure and engage your curiosity, that paralyzing fear diminishes.

How Do You Escape?

how do you escape

How do you escape? Do you know? It may not be anything you spend a lot of time thinking about, but it’s a really important thing to know about yourself! Why? Because many people don’t know what they are doing when they are doing it. When your mode of escape is conscious, it can be a more effective tool for coping with whatever you need a break from.

This may make more sense with examples, so let’s start by looking at some ways that people escape. Here is a short list:

  • doing nothing
  • doing too much
  • playing sports
  • playing video games
  • procrastinating
  • dancing
  • shopping
  • becoming ill
  • gambling
  • playing music
  • sex
  • using intoxicants
  • cheating
  • gossiping
  • watching tv

So, let’s say that my mode of escape is playing video games. If I am not aware that this is the function that playing video games serves for me, I might just think that I am a lazy, antisocial slacker. This could make me feel ashamed and want to hide or defend my behavior. If I see playing games as adaptive, I may interpret my reaching for the Xbox as a sign that I need a break. I may indulge in game playing fully so that I give myself a chance to feel restored. I may actually spend less time playing games because now I view it as purposeful. So I may stop once I realize that the purpose has been achieved.

Playing video games is certainly not the worst thing in the world, but let’s say that my mode of escape is something more destructive. Maybe it’s cutting or unleashing a torrent of verbal abuse. There are some really negative consequences for those behaviors. One is self-destructive. The other destroys others.

If I become aware of the underlying need for the behavior before it happens, I can choose something that is a bit more healthy. I can honor my feelings without indulging in things that hurt. Let me give you an example of how you can transform an unhealthy escape pattern to a more adaptive one.

Before – The Unaware Escape Pattern

Ron asks Dave when he will receive the estimate that Dave promised him yesterday. Dave starts to feel frustrated because he feels Ron is pushing too hard. Dave screams that Ron doesn’t understand the amount of work Dave has to do each day or how hard it is to get his people to perform. Ron yells, “I want that estimate by the end of the day!” then storms out. Dave turns and yells at his employees before going into his office and slamming the door behind him. Instead of working on it, Dave starts checking his email. At the end of the day, Dave finally remembers the estimate and gets wound up all over again.

After – The Mindful Escape Pattern

Ron asks Dave when he will get the estimate that Dave promised him yesterday. Dave starts to feel frustrated because he feels Ron is pushing too hard. Dave tunes into his body and his feelings and realizes that he could use an escape from the pressure. He agrees to get the estimate to Ron by the end of the day. This is a totally reasonable timeframe, but Dave is too keyed up to work on it right that moment. He knows he will feel better if he can get centered first, so he consciously chooses to switch gears and responds to some emails. After about fifteen minutes, he realizes that he’s no longer anxious and can work on the estimate. He turns his attention to that and gets it to Ron well before the deadline.

Stress happens. We all get tweaked by big and little things. We all need to escape from time to time. Sometimes we just need a few minutes. Sometimes we need a few days! The person who is aware that he needs a break is more likely to take one in a healthy way. The person who has no self-awareness may do whatever he can to relieve the pressure – even if it means creating a trail of destruction along the way.

If you know, “I do X when I am stressed,” you’re more likely to acknowledge your sensations. You are also more likely to view your stress relieving activity as something beneficial. You may even be proactive about reducing the frequency or intensity of the trigger that is creating the stress in the first place.

Mindfulness has many practical uses. Using it to learn how to cope with stress and escape in a productive way is just one of the ways it can help you.

It’s Not About You Unless You Say It Is

about you

When someone cuts in front of you when you’re driving, is that about you? If someone sees you walking towards them with an arm full of groceries and doesn’t hold the door open for you, do you get offended? If it’s sunny all week then rains on your day off, is the world against you?

No matter what happens in life, it’s not about you unless you say it is. None of these things has anything to do with you. The erratic driver is driving that way because of what is going on in his head.

Let’s say the person who allows the door to close sees you. Let’s say she’s aware that it would be helpful to hold the door and chooses not to. Even then, it’s not about you. That’s about the person who decides not to help you out.

As for the weather, well, sometimes it does seem like it plots against you, but I assure you, the weather doesn’t care. Whether it snows, rains, or the sun shines, it’s completely random. It’s not about you.

When you see other people’s words and actions as being about you, you’re always at the mercy of something outside of yourself. You get offended when someone say something you don’t like. You get angry when someone does something you don’t like. You can even get thrown off balance when arbitrary things happen – like a ball rolling into your path or a squirrel building a nest in your engine. That’s a lot of responsibility! Why not set that all down?

When you take the “it’s not about you unless you say it is” attitude, you never have to get offended. Bad things can happen and you can just roll on with your happy day. Being upset or hurt becomes a choice… a choice that you can say “no” to. We all feel more in control of our destiny when we feel we have a choice. So, why not give yourself that advantage? It’s as simple as adopting the belief of “it’s not about you.”

How Do You Stay Safe?

stay safe

We all have ways of staying safe. They are our go to strategies for keeping life from spiraling out of control. Sometimes we make them ways of living. Sometimes we reach for them under stress.

Some strategies are more adaptive than others because they help us and others around us. Some strategies are good for short term problem solving, but not long term survival. They get us out of hot water, but may disrupt our lives, relationships, or keep us from growing. It may make more sense if we look some common strategies in more detail. So, let’s look at how do you stay safe.

Intellect

People who use intellect to stay safe find safety in data. They need to understand things. If they can understand data, they can make sense of the world and feel that things are predictable, controllable, and stable. Sometimes intellectuals are nervous because they don’t trust the data. They keep checking it, learning more, or asking more “what if” questions. Some intellectuals trust the data and find peace with it. In fact, they may also learn more and more things because it allows them to understand more. That understanding creates peace.

Emotional outbursts/Sensitivity

Some people create safety by developing sensitive feelers. These feelers pick up real and perceived threats faster than your average person. They can react with emotional outbursts to throw the aggressor off the scent. The emotions are used to confuse and diffuse so that the issue is never directly addressed. This can create safety in the moment- but at a high cost. The emotional episodes are very draining for the person experiencing them and people around them. The issue that was avoided also doesn’t get resolved.

Zoning Out/Numbing

There are times when we’re all overstimulated. We live in an society of constant sensory overload. So it’s understandable if you feel the need to zone out every now and then. When used as a coping strategy, it probably indicates that there has been a high degree of stress over a long period of time that hasn’t been resolved. It does get you through the crisis, but it leaves you emotionally numb. This can be deceptive because it could appear that you are pretty chill. If you are never really feel anything intensely, you could be numb.

Fighting

An obvious coping strategy for stress is fighting or becoming verbally aggressive. This strategy helps you to stay safe by intimidating the other person to back off. It can make you feel powerful and in control. That also makes you feel safe. Sometimes fighting is required, like if someone wants to manipulate you into paying more for something that you should or if you are being physically attacked.  You don’t generally want to do this with people you intend to have an ongoing relationship with however. Fighting tends to deteriorate relationships as you take away the other person’s power. Who likes that feeling?

Passive Aggressive Behavior

Passive-aggressive behavior is when you feel like you want to stand up for yourself, but can’t do it directly. So you do it in an underhanded way. This doesn’t really provide safety, but it may make you feel like you got revenge for being trespassed against. It may leave you feeling like you got revenge. Of course, what you send out comes back to you, so this is not a healthy strategy at any time.

Playing Small

People who over apologize, make themselves the butt of the joke, and put others ahead of themselves stay safe by playing small. Playing small makes you more of a target by others in some ways. In other ways, it makes you more of one. If you come across those who need to feel powerful or are the type to take advantage of others, you’re more likely to be taken advantage of as a soft target. This could make your self-esteem even lower.

Loving/Giving

Some make themselves safe by being lovers and givers. These people tend to be really nice to be around. They smile, hug, provide warm chocolate chip cookies, and make things look pretty and comfortable. They are the teddy bears of the world. Very rarely are they ever attacked. The problem with this strategy is that while these people are really good at anticipating the needs of others, they are rarely in touch with their own. They can get mad when they are not given the same consideration that they give others, but they aren’t good at receiving it when they do! This is a no win proposition!

Succeeding

Ah! Nothing succeeds like success, eh? What could be wrong with staying safe by being a success? Attainment is great. It doesn’t matter if the goal is sports, art, education, business, or teaching. You learn along the way, grow in strength, and in confidence. There is nothing wrong with that… unless it’s a way to avoid the conflict that comes with messy things like emotions and relationships. You can’t hug a trophy. Your yacht won’t love you back. It may feel really lonely and unfulfilling to achieve success without the warmth of someone to share it with.

Bulldozing

We laugh at the “I do what I want” memes. Some of us really live it. They avoid fear and stay safe by bulldozing anyone who gets in their way. They live through power and domination. It’s not that they push everyone around all the time. Sometimes they don’t have a dog in the fight. When they do, they are hard to reason with and don’t consider others. We might be envious of such courage and strength, but being on the receiving end of it usually isn’t pleasant. This can create loneliness.

What to Do Instead

Most of these strategies can work for some people some of the time. The problem is when they are over used or used to the point of making your life unbalanced. What works better is to step into your power, but don’t take more than what is yours. Everyone has power. Everyone needs power. If you give yours away, you hurt yourself. If you take more than is yours, you hurt others. We’re all happier when we neither hurt other nor hurt ourselves.

Live mindfully. When you are here now, things that may trigger you when you are in a reactive state could pass by unnoticed because you see that they aren’t harming you now. When you are present, you are also more reasonable and can reach for more effective skills. For example, if my go to skill is to smash someone with my wit, I may realize that what I might gain is not worth the effort. So I may let a slight pass.

Living mindfully may also help you to be more self-aware. If you become aware of what tweaks you, it gives you a starting point for working to diffuse that thing as a trigger. If you get defensive or scared when someone implies something about your looks, manner of speech, or clothes, perhaps your ego could use strengthening. If you go into defense mode when someone appears to want intimacy, maybe you have trust issues. Whatever it is, it’s a lot easier to address the issue head on than to die a hundred little deaths each time the issue comes up.

Cultivate balance. Succeeding is great. Everyone wants to reach their goals. If you make it about the journey instead of having something to prove, you may enjoy it more. You may also find that you have time for relationships, relaxation, and developing other things that make life enjoyable.

The Magic of the Gratitude Letter

gratitude letter

When I was in high school, matriculated students would routinely come to my choir class to visit with the teacher. It was easy to see that he was the kind of person who made an impact on people’s lives. He often sought out the kids who didn’t have good grades, might have problematic home lives, didn’t have great self-esteem, and didn’t have a lot of reason to come to school. He made them literally and figuratively sing. He wasn’t just a teacher. He was a healer. Through love and song, he created an award winning choir and gave kids something to belong to. He gave them a reason to feel good about themselves. And they returned to say thanks and show him that they made good in life.

Most people go through life never knowing the big and small ways that they positively impact others. You can let them know with a gratitude letter.

I started assigning writing a gratitude letter as homework years ago when I first heard about it as a form of practicing Positive Psychology. Positive Psychology is different in that it focuses on what makes a person happy and well vs. what makes them depressed and anxious. Expressing gratitude is one of the hallmarks of happy folks. You can’t be grateful unless you can see things in your life that you are thankful for. If you are thankful, there is less space for resentment, disappointment, and unhappiness. This not only positively impacts you. It positively impacts people around you as well as the environment.

Despite knowing this on an intellectual level, it wasn’t something that I did until years later. It wasn’t until I did it that I felt firsthand the impact of it.

I chose someone whom I had known for a very long time, but had never had this type of interaction with. I painstakingly chose a heartfelt card. Then I hand wrote a letter to accompany it. I included specific memories of how my life was made better by this person. I included how this person’s presence in my life made me feel. I then invited him to lunch to present it to him and watched him read it.

His face lit up. If his smile were any bigger, his face would have cracked. He was almost brought to tears. I got a tremendous boost from it too. Our relationship has been forever changed by this. It took very little time, yet it yielded such huge rewards. It was so dramatic that I made a habit of doing one once a month. It’s especially meaningful when I have to search for things that I am grateful for.

Gratitude is most powerful when it becomes a daily habit. Yet, there is something profoundly powerful in writing it down and sharing it with someone. If you are feeling down or just need a boost in your life, I recommend making gratitude a habit. Write a gratitude letter. Start with someone easy. Someone who has no expectations of you. Then just watch love happen.

Work your way up to the people who have disappointed you, the people who have hurt and wronged you. You may find that the thing they gave you makes it easier to forgive. Even if it’s a letter that can never be sent because the person is dead, it would be inappropriate to make contact, or you just have no way of reaching them, write it. As long as you do it for you, not for what it might do for your relationship, it will have a positive impact on you.

Here are some tips on how to write a gratitude letter.

  • Write from your heart. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. That’s not what this is about.
  • Keep it to a single page. Focus on one or two incidents, not your whole relationship. This makes more of an impact.
  • Make it concrete. Don’t just say, “You were so nice to me.” Be specific. When what is? What happened? How did you feel? How has this impacted you since then?
  • Hand write it. You will feel the difference in this by doing it.
  • If possible, make an effort to make it pretty. One client wrote a poem and framed it. It was absolutely gorgeous! You don’t have to make it that elaborate, but pretty paper or a card can make it more special.
  • Present it in person. Emails, texts and phone calls can be impersonal. Presenting it in person gives it the importance it deserves.
  • Stick only to gratitude! This is not the time to make apologies, accusations, or share blame. That will dilute the impact of the letter. Sticking to what you are thankful for may lay the groundwork for future conversations that can lead to apologies and healing, if they are required.
  • Release any expectations for positive results. It’s not about what you get. It’s about what you give.

 

You Are the Problem. You are the Solution.

you are the problem

Take a look at your life. What’s wrong? Whatever you answer, know that in truth, you are the problem and you are the solution. How you identify the problem is simply how the imbalance shows up in your life. This might sound like a “blame the victim” approach. It’s not. It’s actually empowering. When you decide to “be the change you want to see in the world” you take control away from someone else for creating your solutions and empower yourself to be the master of your universe. How does this work in reality?

If you are having relationship troubles, it’s easy to say that it’s because the other person doesn’t listen, is mean, doesn’t give you what you deserve, etc. When you are the problem, it could mean that you are withholding, controlling, over giving, not asking for what you want, or don’t value yourself. What does this perspective do for you? It’s provides you with a way out! If you change what is within your power to change, your partner may miraculously change too. If she doesn’t, maybe you will change enough that the things that used to bother you don’t matter anymore. Or maybe you will have a different mindset and will feel strong enough to leave without it being a great hardship.

If you are having money troubles, it could mean that the economy is bad, your boss is stingy and won’t give you a well earned raise, or that your lack of a degree is holding you back. Or you if you see your lack of money from a “you are the problem” perspective, it could mean that you learned beliefs that don’t support abundance, it’s time to change jobs, it’s time to get higher level skills, you’ve spent too much, or you haven’t saved enough. Those things are all things you can do something about, aren’t they? This gives you a place to start in changing your luck.

When you look at life’s obstacles from the point of view that you are the problem, it’s almost like you are issuing yourself a challenge to grow beyond your current skills or think creatively. When you look at it this way, challenges are a means to growth. If you have a growth mindset, it can almost make life’s challenges fun.

When you are the problem, this doesn’t mean that you are bad or that you’ve done something wrong. It just means that something isn’t working in your life or it’s time for something to change, and you are taking responsibility for making that happen. You’re not content to wait for the good luck fairy to fall over you, for the lottery to hit, for God to bless you, or for someone else to change. You’re charting your own path. With this tactic, you’re much more likely to be happy because you are its creator.

In other words, you are the creator of your reality. If you don’t like what you see, start by changing your mindset. Function like a successful person and you will find a way out. Nothing is impossible. Every day people overcome huge odds and turn their relationships, businesses, and lives around. You can too.