Monday, June 30, 2014

Peace In, Peace Out

Peace In, Peace Out

Being a grownup is nice. I trust that I make good decisions now. My life is full of wonderful, kind people, I flow with my life most of the time. I know how to relax. I feel peaceful at my core most of the time. Life is pretty effortless and fun. Most of the time.

Why am I peaceful? What makes me feel relaxed? How am I present?

When I flow with my life, it’s easy. When I flow with my life, I am relaxed at my core. I am curious and engaged. My daily life may seem simple these days, but it is exceedingly rich, and deep, and luscious.

Part of that is because of that peaceful feeling. I am able to be much more present when I feel peaceful than when I feel taxed, or stressed, or clenched.

What I found for me was that I had to practice choosing peaceful. It was not a place I could get to inside me very easily. Not only that, but I had some wacky ideas about what peace meant.

I used to think that feeling peaceful meant wearing long robes and walking at a snail’s pace with my hands tucked into my sleeves, eyes half closed and a weird smile. Huh. I don’t know where that image came from.

Peaceful meant no excitement, no passion, no adventure. It was all tofu and herbal tea.

I am so glad I was so wrong.

How do I choose serene? What makes me calm? Why do I enjoy my passions?

Turns out, peace is at my core. I feel it, even when I am laughing my head off because you are so hilarious, because it is part of my natural life.

When I am there, my life unfolds as it does. I don’t spend time fighting it or arguing with the Universe about it. My life brings me interesting things, wonderful people, the help I need, things to feel bliss about, joyful, and curious. Oh, I do like to feel curios.

Peaceful means that I remember compassion for me, and for you. I remember that we all have our unique set of gifts, talents, and skills. I remember that everyone has had stuff happen that challenged them, and that we are all doing our best..

Peaceful means that, when I encounter my pockets of resistance in the world, I can take the time I need to integrate them and move on.

Peaceful means that, if I don’t sleep well tonight, I know that will change and I can choose to feel awake. If I have some physical discomfort, I know that experience will shift around, and I can let it go. If I have sorrow, or anger, or fear come up, I can feel them, let it go, and get on with my life.

When I relax, I get peaceful. When I relax my emotions, the sense of peaceful deepens. When I relax my thoughts, peaceful draws me in.

When I feel peaceful, you like to be around me better. I like that.

How have I changed from feeling uptight to choosing peaceful?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 06302014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Easy Peasy

Easy Peasy

One of my most favorite questions EVER came up this morning, namely, Why is it so easy?

I love this question, because I am finding that it is, indeed, so easy. Just about anything I do can be just so easy.

It’s all up to me.

What makes it easy? How could it be easy? Why do I enjoy easy?

All I have to do is remember to go there.

When I choose  easy, I remember to relax, not just my body, but my thoughts as well. Relaxed is how easy feels. When I choose easy, I see more beauty, I see more kindness, I see more opportunities. I am present in my life.

When I choose easy, I am going with the flow of my life. That is effortless. I don’t have to earn it. I don’t have to work hard for it. I don’t have to do anything, just choose it. When I choose easy, I give up struggle.

Choosing easy can be weird when I have struggled to work hard and earn it my whole life. Now, let’s say we have a habit of struggle, of striving. We don’t believe that choosing easy could be that easy. We totally believe we have to do something to earn it, to work hard for it. So we have to unchoose those beliefs, and then choose easy. It helps to remember that easy is mostly a feeling, and we create our feelings with our thoughts.

Why would I choose easy? What makes me positive? How do I feel light?

Once I start to notice that I think something is hard, or difficult, or that I have to work at it, I can ask, “How could it be just so easy?” I can give up feeling clenched, or up tight, to use a very descriptive old bit of slang. I can also ask, “How do I feel when it’s just so easy,” and let the feeling wash through me.

Easy, for me, feels peaceful. It feels soft, it feels excited and curious. I have been paying attention to curious a lot lately. Curiosity is one of the flip sides of fear. When I am curious, I open up. I look for possibilities. I look for hidden treasure. Curiosity engages my best self. Curiosity is easy. Curiosity is powerful. Curiosity is a damsite better than scared.

Sometimes all I need to do is pay attention to my breath, and unclench my clenchy muscles. Sometimes all I need to do is stop for a moment, and regroup. Or count something. Sometimes all I need to do is reframe something. That means to look at what’s going on with a different point of view. Just that, the simple act of look at X from over there instead of over here can change it from hard, or dark, or icky, to a blessing, a gift, an opportunity.

Sometimes, what I need to do is find the humor in the situation, and crack wise about it. When I put on my smartypants, life is way more fun. I like to imagine what my smartypants look like. That is often just the disruption I need to lighten me up.

How have I changed from heavy and dark to feeling light and easy?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 06292014

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Beauty in the Mirror

The Beauty in the Mirror

Who do you see in the mirror? Do you see a divine and infinite being? Do you see someone whose beauty shines through? Do you see a beautiful human?

I know you are going to find this hard to believe, but some of us look in the mirror and don’t like what we see. We disapprove of our features, we disapprove of the person who wears them. Poor we. We see our image, and we make a bad face, or have a bad feeling.

How do you think it makes us feel when we scorn ourselves like that? Yeah, kinda rotten.

Why do I like my looks? How do I feel attractive? What makes me so good looking?

This is another one of those things that’s all about attitude. When I don’t like me, I won’t see my self, but only my dislike in the mirror. When I don’t like me, the tiniest flaw will balloon into a deformity. When I don’t like me, I can take my own, lovely body and face and transmogrify them into something I see as hideous.

Saying no to my own self is the ultimate in resistance, the big clench. It is so hard for me to relax when I am rejecting my own body, the home of my spirit.

Why do I love me? What makes me appreciate my appearance? How do I like my face?

When I start seeing who I am when I look in the mirror, when I start seeing my own, sweet self, I start seeing that beautiful person looking back at me. And she often smiles a wonderful smile at the sight of me. I see a person who has thrived through many challenging times. I see a person who has cultivated a loving heart and positive outlook. I see a person I have come to love.

Many of us have physical stuff that often leaves us feeling disgruntled. What we do then is take it personally, as though our bodies are doing this to us, and we don’t like it. I hear some of us saying, “How am I not to take it personally? This is my body.”

We have bodies to support us. We wouldn’t get very far without them. Each of us has things to learn as we go through our lives, different things at different times, and our physical circumstances are here to help us learn some of those things. Seriously. When I can look at my physical situation dispassionately, with a little distance, not taking things personally, I can start to consider what my lessons might be.

Do I need to learn something about humility? Or acceptance? Is this an opportunity to practice going with the flow of my life? Or to love me as I am? Is it about spending more time being present? Or perhaps I need to pay a little more attention to my own well being. Only I can determine what my lesson or lessons are, only I can learn them.

When I look at the current situation as an opportunity for growth, everything changes. I am not saying don’t feel what you feel. Feel it, then let it go and get on with living. Notice your language. Be kind and respectful of the situation,

How have I changed from disapproving of my body to loving it as it is?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 06282014

Friday, June 27, 2014

Are You Engaged?

Are You Engaged?

Sometimes we get a little complacent. We get comfortable, and start thinking that we don’t like it when things shake up. We start trying to insulate ourselves from situations and people who might make things happen in our lives. .

If we aren’t evolving, we’re devolving.

If I am not doing things to push myself a bit, to grow up, taking steps to my best self, I don’t stay where I am, I lose ground. We don’t stay still.

So I engage with my life, with the opportunities that come to me, with people I encounter. I make choices that help me engage with my life, with new things, with you.

When I engage, things happen. A lot of cool stuff, but sometimes interesting things happen.

When things happen, I have choices. I can say, “Grr! I am angry that this thing happened.” I can say, “Yikes! I am scared that this thing happened.” I can say, “Wow. How interesting that this thing happened. I wonder what I will discover.”

I’m not talking about our instant reaction, because sometimes stuff happens fast. Feel that feeling and then move on to curiosity.

Why am I curious? What makes me interested? Why do I choose to engage?

When I shift into curiosity, I can feel excited about what is going on. I can make choices about how I think about my new situation. I can notice if dark thoughts come up, and then I can use my tools to transform those thoughts into supportive thoughts.

When I shift into curiosity, I look for things in the situation that bless me. I look for opportunities to try out new ideas and skills. I look for ways to relax into the situation, since I know that resistance only hurts me. I practice my skills, I apply my tools, I use my Creative Questions, to engage with my life in this perfect moment.

When I practice this stuff on a regular basis, I form new thought-habits that support my well being. Perhaps things happen on a small scale that require me to ask for kinds of help I don’t normally need. Then when I need big help, I can receive it with joy. When I go to curiosity by my choice, I am in the habit of looking for how this situation will benefit me, and then when a big one happens, I look for the benefits almost automatically.

I notice my language. I notice when I am saying negative stuff like, “It’s going to take me a long time to work through this.” Or “I can’t handle this.” Or “Bad stuff always happens to me.” When I talk like this to myself, I am creating more situations that do not support me. When I use words like problem, sickness, loss, fear, poor, can’t, won’t, never or always, I am setting myself up to move into an emotional hole, and those can be challenging to recognize and to climb out from.
How do I know I can? How do I experience abundance? Why do I go with the flow?

Engaging with life, flowing with life, choosing to live fully under our current circumstances changes everything. We find blessings and gifts in unlikely places. People whom we would never expect, come through for us. We find resources of strength, of creativity, of competence and capability we might never have found otherwise.

How have I changed from hiding out to engaging with my life as it is?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 06272014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Relaxing to Purpose

Relaxing to Purpose

How is your life meaningful? How do you share your gifts? What makes you feel on purpose?

One of the things I love about my life is that feeling of living intentionally. I like that I have found this means of sharing my gifts with you, and that sharing with you hones in me the skills I talk about practicing. All that practice I’ve done on the little stuff makes using my skills on the big stuff pretty much automatic.

I wake up each day looking forward to writing and publishing my appreciations, and these contemplations. Seriously. It makes waking up worthwhile for me. Clicking post and send is satisfying. Knowing that I’ve done my best to tell you stuff that has helped me, helped a lot of other people, live more enjoyable lives feels wonderful. Purpose.

I like that the phrase “on purpose” has two meanings. I love the sense of being on track toward my best self-expression, and I love the sense of intentionality.

Why am I intentional? What makes me follow through? Why do I like what I do?

It took me a long time to own my purpose. I was kind of doing it all along, even if I didn’t recognize it. It’s like that for many of us. We almost can’t help doing what will give us the most satisfaction, but until we own it as ours, we might not even enjoy it. We might even feel burdened by it. I sure did. I’ve been helping us find our way since I was about four. As a kid, it seemed like way too much. People just seem to show up, tell me their secrets and ask for advice. It was one thing when it was my peers, it was very different when it was adults. Still,  I always did my best in that role, even when it was scary.

Being on purpose is what makes our life meaningful to us. Flowers are pretty and smell nice to draw the attention of pollinators so they can make more flowers. But not everyone wants to be a flower. We each come to our purpose through our particular gifts. It is effortless, just what we do. We may resist owning it, like I did, but it is much harder for us to resist doing it.

I remember considering my purpose, wondering what it was, and discounting what I did as not important enough some how. I had to relax a lot in order to accept that the easy, inconsequential thing I did was my purpose. Oh, what a wonderful difference that made in my life; both the learning to relax about stuff, and the owning of my purpose.

Why do I matter? How do I make a difference? Why can I relax?

If you are on purpose, you already know. If you are looking for your purpose, look to your past at the thing you just can’t help doing, and try that on. If it doesn’t feel important enough, or feels scary, try relaxing and see what happens.

Each of us has a unique purpose, special to us. Owning that purpose, working in it, can bring us joy and satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, and contentment. For some of us, it may be a people thing, for others of us, it may be a building or designing thing, art, music, family. There is one for you.

How have I changed from drifting to living on purpose?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 06262014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Supporting Wellness

Supporting Wellness

Why am I healthy? Isn’t that a nice question. How do you think about your health? Do you have health or do you have sickness? That, my dear, is a very powerful distinction.

The concept of walking on the sunny side of the street has been showing up for me a lot lately. I like that song, and have since I was a kid. The sunny side is often just a step or two away, but so often we think we can’t get there because we have X.

I am not my behavior. I am not my body’s behavior, either. I am a divine and infinite being. I impose limits on that all the time with my thoughts, and many of those are unconscious. So what do I do about that?

Am I having a lot of emotions about physical discomfort? Fear, anger, sadness, disgust, contempt; each of these, when we are feeling them about our bodies for any length of time, will bring a flood of hormones that cause our bodies to have stress reactions on top of whatever discomfort we are experiencing.

Experiencing our feelings as they arise, and then letting them move through, keeps us clear. When we ignore those feelings, they will build and build, and actually turn into physical symptoms.

I watch my language, for one. Am I using wellness language or illness language? There are some interesting subtleties in our language around wellness. The same way that Creative Questions have results built in, words have experience built in. When I have a problem, I start from a disadvantage. When I say my sickness or my disease, I own it and that means it is mine to take care of on some level, like a sofa, or a puppy. It’s one of the reasons we talk about taking out the trash rather than our trash.

How am I well? Where do I feel good? Why would I choose health?

One of the curiosities of our minds is that we can’t do everything at once. When I am fully engaged in a task, for example, I will often forget that I have a hurt. Where did it go? Why did it cease to trouble me? This gets easier when I have not laid claim to the situation, to stop attending to it, that is.

How do I enhance my wellness? What makes me strong? Why am I so resilient?

Choosing our health care providers is another biggie. Does my provider want to treat my illness? Look at that phrase. It’s the same one we use when we are going out for ice cream or a massage. If anything, I want to treat my health!

Providers in many modalities will have a wellness or a sickness propensity. It is up to me to notice whether this provider understands that I enjoy more wellness through positivity. Treat my wellness, and mitigate the discomfort. Lavish my health, help me banish the imbalance in my body.

When I choose to own my wellness, I step over to the sunny sun. I can have more fun, I can enjoy more, I am less dictated to by the current imbalance in by physical being.

How have I changed from supporting sickness to enjoy the health I have?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 06352014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Heart Me

I <3 me="" span="">

There are so many things we can do to make our lives more fun and satisfying to live, little things that we change deep inside that will create big changes on the outside. Trust, forgiveness, compassion for ourselves, and each other, self-responsibility, just to name a few, are things that, as we practice them, make each day nicer and help us live our natural lives.

One of the biggies is self-love.

Why do I like me? How am I valuable? What makes me a gift?

When I begin to own my core self, my past, my gifts and talents, my experience, and appreciate them, things change. I relax. A lot. Because I practice forgiveness, I have accepted my past and let go. Because I trust, I use good Creative Questions during my day, and expect that I will see how things work out for me. Because I am compassionate, my interactions with others tend to go well. Because I am responsible for my own behavior and thoughts, I am strong and competent and capable.

Because I own my core self, I see things about me that I like. I feel respect for who I have become. I value my accomplishments. I appreciate my body as it is.

I love me.

This is not narcissism for one simple reason; the more I love me, the more I love you. This is about opening my heart to my life.

What a nice equation that is. Because I accept me as I am, because I flow with my life now, rather than fighting it, I can accept you as you are.

Because of these things, my life is already nicer, and way easier. Because I understand that I am the only one I can change, I put my efforts toward my growth. Because I understand that I can control my thoughts, and behavior, I stop trying to control the world. Now I have more energy for fun, more energy for tasks I find rewarding. And because you are no longer “my project,” I can relax and enjoy your company, or leave you alone, as I wish.

Why am I contented? What makes me satisfied? How am I joyful?

Loving myself doesn’t mean I never annoy me. It doesn’t mean I am always happy or always peaceful. Sometimes I am sad, or mad, or even scared. So I feel those feelings, and that means that I get back to peaceful faster. It means I can let go more quickly.

Loving myself doesn’t mean I never make mistakes, or screw up, or even sometimes hurt my loved ones, but it does mean I forgive and don’t harbor resentments toward either you or me. It means I look for the gift in my mistakes, and move on.

Loving myself doesn’t mean I stop growing. I understand that, while I am perfection in this moment, I have more to do, more to learn, more to accomplish. My life gets bigger, my relationships grow deeper and warmer, I have more fun, more satisfaction, more peace.

How have I changed from being my own worst critic to loving who I have become?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 06242014

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mind Treasure

Mind Treasure

You know I believe I live a life of luxury that most of the kings in the history of the world would boggle at. My comfy home with climate control. Refrigerated food in an amazing variety. Electricity that brings me light, music, movies, instant communication, cool breezes on a hot day, warm breezes on a chilly day. Amazing friends around the world. Lovely clothes in all my favorite colors. Oh, and shoes that feel good to wear and that I think are cute.

But there is one luxury that I often take for granted. I bet many of us take it for granted, too. Do you wanna guess?

Each of us has the luxury of thought.

Why can I choose? How do I decide? Why would I choose happy?

Each of us can think whatever the heck we choose. Whenever we want. Great googly moogly. We can think beautiful thoughts, we can think dark thoughts. We can imagine whole worlds, make up relationships, imagine different lives.

We can use our thoughts to change our lives from the inside out, and that means lasting change.

While I can’t change you, and don’t have much control on the outside, I have a huge amount of control over what I think.

The people who do this sort of measuring say that 88% of our thought is unconscious. That means we have 12% that we can notice. And of that those same folks say that 90% of our conscious thought is habitual. I don’t know if those stats are true, but I do know that, once I started paying attention to my conscious thought, I found that I did run thought loops, and that many of them weren’t very nice.

So how to I start indulging in the luxury of thought?

My first step is to start noticing how I’m thinking. We have different ways of expressing our thoughts. Some of us see pictures, we visualize stuff. Some of us hear words or sounds. We prefer auditory thought. Some of us feel sensations of all sorts. We prefer kinesthetic thought.
Each of us using each modality, just to different degrees.

Now I can start paying attention to what I am thinking, and can assess the thought. Is it habitual? Do I always think this thought when I am driving in traffic, for example. Is this thought light or dark? How do I feel when I think this thought?

When we think dark thoughts, we get corresponding dark feelings. Dark thoughts can leave us feeling tired, scared, stuck, unmotivated, lonesome, and worse.

I can use my good Creative Questions to change those thoughts. And as I rehearse and practice my good Creative Questions, they get into my unconscious mind, and start making those wonderful changes that change my life.

Why would I be positive? What make me feel uplifted? How am I the boss of me?

How have I changed from being a prisoner of my thinking to luxuriating in my thoughts?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 06232014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Understanding Forgiveness

Understanding Forgiveness

The card I pulled today is a biggie: Why do I forgive? It’s a biggie for the obvious reason, that is, forgiveness is a simple thing we do as we grow up to set ourselves free. But it is also important because we sometimes do weird things with it. Oh, yes, I said “weird things.”

We can get a bit obsessive thinking about forgiving the wrongs we think have been done to us. We start out thinking about forgiveness, and end up thinking about the wrongs, and get ourselves all riled up about ‘em.

Thing is, the more we rehearse that stuff, the more we are hurting ourselves. At this point, of course, it’s all in our heads, if you see what I mean. That outside hurt happened, and then we think about it over and over. The other person isn’t hurting us now, we are.

Why do I treat myself with kindness and respect? How am I good to me? Why would I let go?

By rehearsing the hurt, we stay stuck in it, and when we are stuck, well, we can’t move ahead. We end up feeling helpless, sometimes even hopeless. When we try to get help from that place, we often think that there is no help, or it’s the wrong kind.

And so we can let go, which is all forgiveness is. I need to let go of the hurt. Sometimes I need help with that, to work through a situation. I need to let go of my harsh feelings toward the person. Sometimes I need help with that. I don’t need to choose to have them for a bosom buddy, but resentment is a clench inside me. And I need to let go of the habit of rehearsing the hurt on their behalf. That is a wonderful place for me to use my good Creative Questions.

Why am I strong? What makes me capable? How am I competent? Why do I trust?

I don’t need to trust untrustworthy people. I have gotten myself into a lot of trouble doing that. I have learned to discern degrees of trust, how much I can give someone. And trust is not the same thing as love. I can love someone to pieces and know that I might not want to tell them a secret, for example. Or that I might not want to rely on them for X, but can certainly rely on them for Y. This is about paying attention, being aware, and really listening to someone, noticing how they are from a place of compassion.

The more I let go, or forgive, the less time I spend thinking about my old hurts, and the more room I have inside for the nice stuff. The more I let go, the more relaxed I get. The more relaxed I get, the more peace I have inside, and the less outside stuff can hurt me.

The most important person on my list of people to forgive is myself. I need to stop beating myself up for the time I spent around people who were hurtful to me. I need to stop beating myself up for not forgiving me sooner. I need to forgive myself for the time I spent re-hurting me in my memories.

As I let go of old hurts, it becomes easier for me to not let hurtful behavior hurt me, and to find compassion for the hurter. As a dear friend said to me the other day, “Hurt people hurt people.”

Letting go is a way to more freedom inside. The more internal freedom I have, the less I need to pretend to control outside stuff. And boy, howdy, do I like that feeling of serenity that comes right along with letting go.

How have I changed from rehearsing the hurt to feeling free?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 06222014

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Colors of Fear

The Colors of Fear

One of my dearest friends has a very simple motto that she lives by: Fear or Faith. It reminds her to choose the sunny side of the street. When she first told me that I loved it. And I realized I had a  version that was just slightly different: Fear or Curiosity.

The point is simple, fear sucks the life from us, faith and curiosity fill us with spirit. I live a life of adventure. One of my heroes is Indiana Jones, master adventurer. My journey of self discovery feels like an Indiana Jones type adventure full of danger, and scary times, and priceless discoveries. the best of which is love and respect for my very own self.

My teacher pointed out that I had already survived the danger, that I was looking at the left-over shadows of it. That let me feel curious about what I would find. Sometimes I discovered things that changed the way I felt about someone, but it also gave me the opportunity to bring up a lot of unpleasantness to the surface where I could address it, and let it go, and forgive. Can’t do that when it’s all unconscious.

Why am I curious? What makes me interested? Why do I want to know?

When I choose to let fear run the show, I am saying no to life.

Life is fearless, life is curious, engaged, interested. Life wonders what is next, and accepts what comes, no fear. No matter what, my circumstances are interesting because they are tailored to me. They provide me with information about what I can learn, about where I can go, about what I can accomplish.

Worry is a kind of fear. When we fret about our loved ones, or ourselves, we are sluicing our lives with a negative energy, and then we have to slog through that negativity. We feel heavy and sad, and often don’t know why. Worry is a Coyote emotion, a trickster. It makes us feel like we are doing something useful, while it feeds on our spirit. Ew.

Guilt is another kind of fear. When we feel guilty, we fear that we will get caught. We fear being found out. We fear reprisals. We fear losing the little thrill we get from the behavior we feel guilty about. Dang.

Strangely, procrastination is often another kind of fear. The two biggies of procrastination are fear that we won’t do X perfectly and fear that something big will change if we X. It’s not that it will change for the worse, it’s just that it will change. We fear the loss of our status quo, even though it is always shifting around.

Negative moral judgments are yet another kind of fear, fear of the different.

When I decide to go with curiosity, with interest, with faith and trust, my life blossoms. Events have significance because they happen to me, for me. I seek out the nuances, I seek out the value. I seek out the benefit to me.
When I get that little thrill of anxious feeling, I choose to ask myself, “Why would I be excited? How is this fascinating? Why do I engage?” The feeling of excited and the feeling of anxiety are so close that asking my good Creative Questions can flip my experience in a wink.

How have I changed from choosing fear to feeling curious?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 06212014

Friday, June 20, 2014

Reflections on People

Reflections on People

One of the most wonderful things about this way I choose to live is how my opinion and feelings about people has changed. You guys are nothing at all like I used to think.

Why do I like people? How do I get along? What makes me see the good?

In the dark ages, I thought people were pretty much out for themselves, others be damned. Wrong-o. I thought people were basically cold, hard to get to know, full of deceit, and kind of dangerous. I thought that there were a few good people, but they were the exception. More wrong-o. Turned out, I was projecting me onto you. Ick. Sorry about that.

Turns out, I was projecting me onto you.

I didn’t dare tell you the truth about me because I knew you would hate me if I told you. Projecting. I didn’t dare show you me, so I lied a lot about stuff, I hid my feelings, I pretended to be someone I wasn’t. Not sure I was dangerous, but I sure was off.

What makes me compassionate? How to I connect? What makes me engage?

The way I feel about me is often the way I feel about you. So when I didn’t like me, well, you can see where this is headed.

It’s a curious thing, so much of whether we like or dislike ourselves is based on our attitude, not on facts.

We all pretty much want to live a nice life. Some of us have opened to the universe of resources available to us to help us get there. Some of us have opened our hearts in compassion for what we’ve been through without going to self-pity. Some of us have owned all the effort we have put into living a life we feel good about. Awesome.

We all have stuff and things that we’ve been through and made it to the other side. We have things we’ve done we may not feel proud of, maybe even ashamed. We all have things we wish we could have a do-over on. Everyone does. Because we are grownups, we choose to forgive ourselves for our screw-ups, and make amends where we can. Because we are grownups, we choose to view our former selves with gentle compassion. We’ve identified things about who we are, how we operate that we like, even admire in ourselves. We do something about the things we don’t like.

The amazing magic that happens is, as we do those things, we start to like ourselves. We recognize our own value, our own contributions. And then we find that we can do it with other people, too. We forgive them, especially our childhood adults who, for whatever reasons, messed up with us.

Why do I forgive? How do I open my heart? What makes me care?

As I choose to like me, and choose to like you, more amazing stuff happens. I see the good in you. I can find ways to feel compassion and respect for you, and my world transforms from a sad, dark place, to a place of connection, of mutual compassion, and joy.

How have I changed from hating me and you to feeling compassion and love for our human-ness?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 06202014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

True Believers

True Believers

So here’s a Truth for you, something that is true for everyone. No one can change my beliefs but me. That’s important because our beliefs create our reality, the world we respond to. Our beliefs are pretty soft, pretty fluid, for the most part, once we start poking around in ‘em, and that means that we’ve got some powerful control over what we choose to believe, over the kind of world we live in.

Now, I believed for a very long time that what I believed was true for everyone, that my beliefs were a fact, like air, or breathing. I didn’t think about them, I just reacted to them, and wondered what was the matter with you that you believed something else.

Oh, poor little former self.

I believe that we are meant to live our natural lives; relaxed, peaceful, passionate, satisfying, contented, blissful, joyful. I believe all of us are an expression of the divine.

I know I am right, because that’s how we feel about our beliefs, just the way you know you are right about what you believe.

The question is, do my beliefs support me in living my best life, my natural life?

Why do I choose? How do I know I am right? How am I wise?

Because I am wise, I know to look at my beliefs. When I first wanted to find out how to know what I believed, I felt kind of stymied. I had a lot of help. One of the most useful things for me was to pick a big topic, like “people” or “money” and write down everything I think about that topic. Then I can look at those thoughts, and see the shape of my belief, the places where I believe supportive stuff, and the rest of it.

As we practice looking at our beliefs, we can start to poke at ‘em. We can pull out the parts that say, “I can’t, I don’t get to have.” We can start to notice what we say to ourselves, and tease out our beliefs that way.

“Life is hard, things never go my way, people are all this way, I can’t get ahead, nothing ever changes,” and on and on, we rehearse our bad beliefs, and know we are right.

These are answers to bad creative questions, and the way to shift ourselves out of these beliefs is with good creative questions.

How do my beliefs support me? Why do I decide? How am I positive?

Because I am the boss of my mind, I get to choose what I think is right. Because I am wise, I get to look into what might be a bad belief. Because I am compassionate, I know that you may have beliefs that don’t support you, and that you know you are right, just like I know I am right about the ideas I have that don’t support me.

That knowledge means that I can relax a lot about you. Since I know that you believe you are right, I don’t have to convince you of anything, and, on the other hand, I can look to be a role model for the joy of living my natural life.

How have I changed from being wedded to my beliefs to choosing to believe what supports me?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 06192014