Sunday, August 30, 2015

Choosing the Choose

Choosing the Choose

I pulled the ¨Why do I choose?¨ card this morning. I just pulled it recently, so I tucked it back into the deck and tried again, and got it again, and a third time! I know when I’m licked, so here we go!

This is my favorite card, my favorite Creative Question. I think that it is the beginning of a most amazing, dynamic, powerful life.

When I decide to start consciously choosing, a lot of good stuff happens. I start paying attention to what I am doing. Wow. Just that single choice can make a world of difference in my life. As I pay attention to what I’m doing, I start to notice what I am thinking. Isn’t that interesting! Wow! As I start to pay attention to my thoughts, I begin to bring up my unconscious thoughts. That is amazing. Now I have the opportunity to make some compelling changes in my thinking, in my ideas about stuff, in my beliefs. Wow!

Why can I choose? What makes me decide? Why would I pay attention? How do I know I can change?

When I decide to choose, I am choosing freedom. I am choosing to own my own power, choosing to respect myself. When I decide to choose, I am deciding what I want rather than being buffeting by whatever is coming along.

When I decide to choose, I decide what I want. Knowing what I want makes life so much easier. How do I like to spend my time? Who do I like to spend time with? What do I enjoy? How do I want to live? How do I feel productive? What do I want to achieve? Where is my passion? What do I want to learn? What kind of an example do I wish to be?

As I practice choosing, I find more and more things are actually in my control. Wow. So many of us feel powerless deep inside, and so act in controlling ways to the people in our lives as though that will give us a sense of power where we need it. It never does, so we get more and more rigid, more demanding, more damaging to our relationships.

As I practice choosing, I notice my behavior more, I notice how my behavior impacts the people around me. And I find that I can choose to change my behavior. That’s power. When I cease to feel like my behavior is ¨just the way I am¨ and realize that it is the result of my thoughts and beliefs, I can choose to change those thoughts and beliefs to ones that are aligned with what I want, what I choose.

How am I powerful? What makes me strong? How do I know I am competent? How do I know I am capable?

When I decide to choose, I may find that I want to choose a teacher to help facilitate my transitions. It has been my experience that often just the act of deciding I want a good teacher will bring that teacher to my awareness.
When I find my good teacher, I do what they tell me to the best of my ability. I have had a lot of trust issues, and learning to trust a good teacher was a wonderful way to start choosing trust.

How have I changed from feeling I can’t decide to enjoying the freedom to choose?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2015 all rights reserved 08302015

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Closing the Harbor of Resentments

Closing the Harbor of Resentments

I am continually amazed by how much unhappiness, misery, and suffering I can bring down on my own head. All by myself. It’s easy. I just have to think certain thoughts, believe certain things, act certain ways and I can suffer to my heart’s content. Isn’t that weird?

One beautiful example of this is resentments. Holding a grudge is a great way to feel crummy. Self-righteous, but crummy. The dynamic is really simple; it’s right in the word, ¨resent.¨ The word literally means to feel again, and that’s exactly what we have to do to harbor a resentment; feel it and feel it and feel it again. Oy!

Scientists say that most of our thoughts are both unconscious and routine. That is, we mostly think the same stuff over and over again and don’t even know we are doing it. I don’t know about you, but that freaked me out a little. I mean, I like to think that I know what I’m thinking.

We can get a pretty good idea of what we are unconsciously thinking by looking at our lives. We are living the results of those thoughts. Am I living a life I like? Or is the life I am living hard, or crummy, or full of misery and pain?

I get to choose what kind of a life I want, regardless of my circumstances. I start by paying attention to my thoughts and bringing those unsupportive, unconscious thoughts up to my conscious mind.

If I feel like I deserve justice for a hurt and that justice will make me feel better, chances are good that I am harboring a resentment. This keeps me stuck in the past. It makes enjoying my days more challenging. Feeling that hurt, re-feeling that hurt, takes a lot of energy.

Why do I forgive? How do I feel when I forgive? How do I naturally let go?

One of the super cool things about Creative Questions is that they work on our unconscious mind. The unconscious mind loves to find answers to things, and Creative Questions are very dynamic things.

As I have lived my most recent year, I have from time to time found myself resenting the bad things that have shown up in my body. I blame my body for making them. And then I don’t treat it well. Interesting how that works, isn’t it. When I notice that I am not eating, or taking my supps, or doing my loving movement, I know that I am re-feeling that blame. I change my bad creative questions for good Creative Questions.

Why am I interested in what I am learning about me? Why is this moment perfect for me? What makes me love being alive? Why would I embrace my circumstances?  How do I take care of myself?

By asking myself Creative Questions like these, I am giving my unconscious something else to do besides re-feeling that old hurt. This is a very effective way to let go. Catch the thought, change the thought. Feel good about taking care of you and your mind!

How have I changed from harboring resentments to choosing to be free?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2015 all rights reserved 08282015

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ties That Bind

Ties That Bind

I am a gregarious introvert. I have taught myself to be sociable and love it. At the same time, I still recharge alone. In the olden days, I believed that engagement with you was exhausting. I believed that engaging with you was dangerous. In fact, I had this very icky split inside of desperately wanting attention, and being terrified of being noticed for fear of being raged on. Heh. Not very comfy, I must say.

Why do I like to engage? What makes me choose to connect? How do I feel included?

As I began to get some help, to find some good teachers, I found that I could better determine if connecting with you was a good idea for me. I found that it became easier and easier, and it was nicer and nicer. For one thing, I stopped feeling lonely.

Now, I have made a distinction for myself between lonely and lonesome. When I feel lonesome, I can fix that by going where there are people and having some interactions, like at a coffee shop. When I am lonely, I need to reconnect with me. This distinction was life-changing for me. I thought that the black-hole feeling of lonely inside was somehow your fault, that if you loved me correctly the hole would disappear. Hoo, boy. I was so wrong. I am the only one who can close that hole, and I have to do it by engaging with me, by caring about me, by loving and valuing me my own self.

As I get better at connecting with myself, caring about me, I get better at connecting with you. I worry less about you paying attention to me and enjoy paying attention to you. I enjoy collaborating with you more, I enjoy working as a team more.

As I get better at connecting with myself, my curiosity is engaged. I find myself interested in what I think, what I believe of the world, how I perceive stuff, and how I could change those things to make my life nicer. I get curious about how I feel about stuff. About how I make things harder for myself, and how I make things easier for me.

My curiosity about you grows, too. How do you see things? I am fascinated by how differently we may process stuff even when we are so close. It helps me to remember that my way isn’t the only way. By really listening to you, I learn so much. I become more compassionate. I find it easier to love! How fun is that! And by loving more easily, it is easier for me to feel it come back to me. Well. That is delightful.

As I get better at connecting, other cool things happen. I start to feel like I am involved, I feel a sense of belonging. Oh, my. That was almost overwhelming, as that feeling in me grew. Feeling disenfranchised was so sad. And when I feel involved, I feel like my contributions are worthwhile, and I feel satisfied! Holy buckets!

Here’s the really nice thing. Our natural lives are available to us all the time. Living my natural life is effortless because I go with the flow. I am peaceful because I trust that I can manage, that things go my way, that I am capable, competent and strong. I am productive because I am choosing well for myself. I feel connected and engaged naturally and with an open heart. Compassion for you and me is just there. I am satisfied even while I am finding ways to make my life more fun.

How have I changed from shunning connection to embracing engagement?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2015 all rights reserved 08272015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Just the Way I am

Just the Way I am

We all want to live lives we love. We want to feel satisfied at the end of the day, we want to feel accomplished, productive. We want to feel loved and loving, to belong somewhere. We want to feel good about being ourselves, about being in our bodies, about who we are.

A lot of us don’t. We have a lot of reasons explaining why we aren’t living that life. ¨It’s just the way I am¨ is one. Breaks my heart every time I hear it. ¨Life is just hard¨ is another one. Things never go my way, I only have bad luck, I’m doomed. The reasons go on, and we buy into them from a very young age.

How could it just be so easy? Why would my life be easy? What makes it all so easy?

I have had an unusual  year. Four surgeries, two with complications. A ferocious round of chemo, and more coming up. Radiation! Steroids! Fatigue! Well, you get the idea.

I’ve made some choices. I decided to choose health. I don’t identify with ¨sick¨ or the ¨c¨ word. I am always a bit shocked when someone says to me, ¨you have cancer.” It’s a label that is filled with fear, and anger, and expense, and death. Screw that! What is right in my life? Why do I choose alive? What makes me vital? Yeah! That’s the way to go, daddy-o!

I decided to choose grateful. I publish my appreciations every day on Facebook. I write them, for the most part, first thing every morning while I am drinking my first cup of hot beverage. I think about the previous day and what made me smile, what made me feel light, what gave pleasure. I have been practicing this for a few days short of two years and it makes everything easier. I spend more time noticing nice stuff, I actively seek nice stuff. I smile more because I find so much beauty, so much kindness, so much that is gentle and good and powerful in the course of a day.

I have chosen easy. Easy gets a bad rap. We are told from the time we are tiny that life is hard. Great. When I reframe that to ¨life is challenging¨ stuff shifts. Why do I enjoy challenges? How do I value my challenges? What makes me rise to a new challenge? ¨Life is hard¨ is like dropping a rock in the sand. Thunk. Everything stops. Rising to a challenge is dynamic; I change, I grow, I evolve.

I have chosen easy. This means that I recognize stressors as neutral events that I put judgments on. The more I do this, the more I can flow with my life as it unfolds, waxes and wanes. I do put judgments on events; I am aware that I am doing so, and will consider those judgments.

A nice example of this messes with the thought that ¨nothing ever goes my way.¨ Ick. I remember feeling like that, my sense of entitlement betrayed. When I shift that into a good Creative Question, ¨How do things go my way?¨ everything changes. I start seeing the benefit to me in a wide range of circumstances. I become more open to opportunities I would have missed in days of yore. I feel more good at the end of the day. I like that.

Things start to feel easier. If I allow my life to flow, I release the drama and things feel easier. I know that’s a biggie for many of us. We love the drama. It makes us feel important. It makes us feel engaged. It pumps things up into technicolor events so we are more excited about stuff. It’s only a paper moon, as the song goes, grease paint, sets and props. It’s not real, it just seems like it because it is so big. As we can let go of our love of drama, everything gets easier.

How have I changed from loving the ¨just the way it is, hard drama to embracing the deep bliss of easy?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2015 all rights reserved 08252015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Taking the Conn

Taking the Conn

There are universal truths. They way you know you have found one is that it is true for everyone everywhere. People breathe to live. That is a universal truth, but did you know that there are scientifically documented cases of people who never eat or drink and are perfectly healthy? Amazing.

I believe that choice is a universal truth. I believe that we all can choose. I do think that many of us choose not to choose, and brother, does that make trouble for us!

In the course of a day, we make a thousand tiny choices. Each one of those choices points us in a direction. Is it a direction we want to travel in? Am I choosing activities and thoughts that support me or harm me? Am I choosing activities and thoughts that promote my goals and solidify my dreams, or hamper my progress? Do I even know what I want?

How do I know what I want?

I think it is remarkable how many of us don’t spend time thinking about what we want beyond, perhaps, very general things like good health, more money, nice relationships. If I don’t know what I want, chances are good I will be disappointed regularly, that sort of vague sense of dissatisfaction.

What stops us from deciding what we want? It can be a sense of resignation; I never get what I want anyway. We may have a feeling of not deserving, or of wanting too much. The thing is, we get what we put our energy into. If I spend time thinking about how I never have enough money, that is the ¨vibration¨ I put out and what I get back is not enough money. If I often think about how unhappy I am, I get back more of that feeling. If I am focused on not feeling well, I get more sick. We can call it the Law of Attraction, or we can think of it as just filtering our reality.

What happens if those thoughts are out of our consciousness? Creative Questions to the rescue! Because they are dynamic questions, they go to work on our unconscious minds. We can look at our results to see what the bad creative questions are that we are asking. We can then set up our new Creative Questions to get the results we want, but we do have to know what we want.

When I think about how I want more money, I could find a penny and that would count, but it’s not really what I mean. If I think, I want my income doubled, we have a measurable goal. That is something I can make a Creative Question from. I need to put the actual dollar amount in the Question. If I am making forty thousand dollars a year, I can start asking: Why am I making eighty thousand dollars a year? How am I making eighty thousand dollars a year? What makes me have an income of eighty thousand dollars a year.

If I am spending my time focusing on my aches and pains, that is what I am filtering for. The more attention I give them, the bigger they get. That’s how filtering works. I could use a Creative Question like, Why do I feel great? but that might not get me far enough away from attending to my discomfort. Asking a Question like, Why do I live a joyful and vibrant life? can get me deeper into living, helping me to focus on the activities that bring me joy. When I bump into objections, I will put the words would or could into the Question, Why would I be happy today? How could I feel joy today?

By paying attention to what we are choosing as we move through our daily lives, we can take charge of our thinking, and steer it into the directions we want to go. By spending a little time thinking about what we actually want, we can make those corrections much more easily.

How have I changed from drifting in dissatisfaction to directing my life as I choose?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2015 all rights reserved 08232015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Finding the Soft Spot

Finding the Soft Spot

You know I like easy. You know I like simple. There are so many ways I incorporated those values into my daily life. One of the perhaps unexpected ways is in being vulnerable.

This is such a huge change in my life. In my days of yore, I would do anything to feel protected. I was always fine. I did spend a lot of time talking about my misery, but it was never what I was really miserable about. I was so well-defended that I had that truth hidden even from myself. It took years of the gentle ministrations of a wonderful teacher to help me get at my own truth. I had to learn to identify what I was feeling as an adult. Wow.

Why am I intimate? What makes me feel close? How am I safe to be vulnerable?

Many of us get the idea in our head that to be vulnerable is to be weak. We think that asking for help makes us less than. We think that feeling our feelings, letting them flow through and out, is childish. Oh, we are so wrong. This is such a big and common mislearning.

Our feelings, like our physical symptoms, let us know when something is happening in our thoughts. We may be aware of that something, but as often as not, it may well be unconscious. When I feel healthy and happy, chances are good that my thoughts are wholesome and supportive. When I feel unhappy and unhealthy, chances are good that my thoughts are dark and unsupportive.

A lot of nice things happen when we open up. We feel more integrity. When we say, ¨Fine,¨ when we aren’t fine, we feel dishonest. As we change our answers to match our insides, we feel more congruent within ourselves. My new favorite response for many days has been, ¨Good enough.¨ I like it because it reminds me that I have a lot of latitude in how I can feel light and peaceful.

When I tell you that I am feeling scared or angry, ashamed, or guilty, you may choose to respond to me. I have good friends who will often repeat back to me what I am saying and it sounds ridiculous out in the world, while in my head, well, it can be enough to make me sick!

When I choose to be vulnerable, to be open, I am choosing simple. I am choosing easy. I don’t have to censor, or edit. I can just say. When I do this, I consistently feel more love, more support, more compassion both coming and going.

Sometimes we think we are being vulnerable by ¨telling it like it is¨ but we are wielding our vulnerability like a bludgeon, almost daring others to challenge us. Perhaps we are feeling victimized by our feelings or physical stuff, and so we lash out with our truth to punish the world for our discomfort. Usually, we have something buried in our unconscious memory that is influencing this behavior. Getting help to find out what this is, addressing it and finishing it up will allow us to release the topic and enjoy feeling vulnerable instead of being afraid.

Sometimes we think we are being vulnerable when what we are doing is saying the same thing over and over, rehearsing our misery almost by rote, like playing a recording again and again. We do our recitation but feel no compassion coming back to us, no love, no support.

If I think I am being vulnerable, but I am not feeling more connected, more engaged, more love, and so on, there is a good chance that I have something else going on. It’s a good time for some self-inspection.

How have I changed from feeling closed off to feeling open and soft?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2015 all rights reserved 08202015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Deporting the Demons

Deporting the Demons

How do you wake up in the morning? Do you drag yourself out of bed, feeling duty bound to get the day going, to get to work or to do your routine? Do you feel overwhelmed before it has even started?

Or do you wake up with a smile, excited to see what the day will bring, eager to engage with your life, feeling light-hearted and joyful?

Sometimes we have a problem, an issue, a topic that comes up in our lives and it seems overwhelming. Our inclination may be to try to push it away, to avoid it, to deny it. We start asking, often in our unconscious mind, How can I avoid my problem? And we start answering with answers like I can leave, I can shut down, I can be sick, I can die.


These aren’t little topics. These are great big hairy topics. Sometimes we know what that topic is, but sometimes it is deep in our subconscious mind. Sometimes we are willing to address our topic, but often we step into denial about it, preferring to expend our life-force holding it down rather than deal with it and live fully and joyfully.


Why am I alive? How do I feel my life-force? What makes me enjoy living?

We know we have a topic like this when we are sick, or emotionally shut down, when we are depressed, when we want to leave. When we want to die.

We all have stuff. It is our birthright. I believe that part of our job of living, part of the meaning of life, is to address our stuff, to work through it, to clean out our emo basements so that we can be our best selves.

There are things in our way. We may be afraid to look at our topics, afraid of what that examination might do to our relationships, to our beliefs, to our daily lives. Sometimes we are angry and resentful and we want to stay there, seething in our own sense of self-righteousness. Sometimes we are sad and get locked into the habit of grief.

What do I want? Do I want to live my own life, clean and full of joy, a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of purpose? Or do I want to nurture and provide safe harbor for old hurts and traumas, using my precious life-force and spirit to keep me back, to hold me fast to old traumas, old hurts, bad beliefs, and mislearnings?

Why would I choose to live fully?

This choice is one of the most powerful we can make. Choosing to let go of the past, to complete our painful experiences so that we can release them, choosing to face our darkest topics will only bring us more life, more room to experience joy and peace. Taking this leap of faith may be the only way to achieve true peace at our very core.

How have I changed from protecting my demons to exorcising them in favor of being fully alive?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2015 all rights reserved 08172015