Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘Problem Solving’

Stop Worrying!

Have you ever met someone who seems to have nothing but good luck or conversely nothing but bad luck? We may wonder to ourselves, ‘how do things continually happen that way to them?’ The truth is that these folks simply expect things to happen in a certain way and sure enough they do. Think of the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. One sees the cup as half-full and the other half-empty. Same amount just different perspectives. Their energy is either increased or decreased by the feelings and perceptions that they are allowing themselves to generate.

To become happier in life it takes a bit of work, a bit of focus and a belief that you deserve to be happy. Let’s start with your belief. Do you feel you have the right to be happy? We are all here to learn lessons but nowhere is it written that our lessons need to crush us or stop us in our tracks. When a challenge presents itself we can either perseverate on it and cause it to become bigger and more pervasive with thoughts such as ‘This always happens to me’ or we can recognize it for what it is … a MOMENTARY setback and decide on a course of action. When we are actively working on solving an issue the weight of our emotional baggage becomes lighter. We are being proactive rather than reactive. Making a list can help. It slows down our thinking and helps us gain control of our overactive emotions and imagination.

Recognizing that challenges happen to everyone and that we have not been personally set up by a force bigger than ourselves to be the fall guy for anything and everything in life helps to keep things in perspective. It’s NOT PERSONAL. You do not have an inherent flaw that causes negative issues to surface in your life. The only personal part is the time you choose to spend either worrying about it or developing a plan to address it. The more you worry the greater the challenge becomes due to the negative energy you are drawing to you. Worry doesn’t work but a plan does – is it time to write one?

We get out of life what we consciously and subconsciously expect – nothing more and nothing less. The energy in a simple thought reverberates out to the Universe like a magnet which then attracts more of the same back to us. Change our thinking and we change our life.

We have the power to create the world we want and it starts with our thoughts, words and actions. Happy people were not simply born that way they just learned early on that when confronted with a challenge address it and move on – no worry, no drama just action.

Have a great few days!

Are We Listening or Telling?

In my last blog I talked about three things- judge not, fear not, resist not. Let’s go a bit further into the topic of judging. When we judge others it actually means that we feel we have THE answers not only for ourselves but for them as well. Judging actually demeans the other person and short circuits their capacity to work through their existing life challenges. When we demonstrate this behavior the real message – what we are truly saying to the other person is that we – and we only – have the knowledge, skill and attitude to be all knowing.

In the spirit of humility that is beyond possible. If we had all the answers we would be perfect. Have you met anyone that qualifies as such? Of course not! We are all growing, developing and becoming all that we can be at this time in our lives. If we look at it another way, we have only walked in our own shoes and chosen our unique journey. What would possibly allow us to think that we could tell another person what they should say, think or feel – regarding their situation? That type of thinking is way out of my comfort zone!

It is true that people come into our lives for a reason, season or lifetime. Often it’s because they simply need a listening ear. We only have the capacity to direct our own journey by learning from our own missteps along the way. We have our hands quite full learning our own lessons which take a lifetime to master.

Everyone wants to feel valued. When we choose to tell rather than ask is says way more about our inability is listen and give them the gift they are seeking – a caring ear. Allowing ourselves to tell others what they should say, think or do is way above our experience or pay grade on this earth.

The most loving thing we can do for another person is to ASK them how they feel about a situation and then truly listen as they process through their present dilemma. The time we give them by asking – and not jumping in with our take on the situation – is the greatest gift we can give them. We are, in essence, offering unconditional love and acceptance. We give them that boost of confidence by showing them they are capable of working out their own life challenges. Just think – this all happens when we stop telling and start listening! Basically this is why a therapist asks questions rather then short changes their clients by simply giving them answers.

When we catch ourselves thinking … ‘If they do this or that their life would be better, easier, more productive’ let’s just stop and exhale slowly and realize that this type of thinking actually causes more harm than good. If life were that easy we would all have it under control. Just as we cannot simply explain to a young child how to walk and expect them to do it we need to allow them to try, fall, get up and keep trying as we encourage them with a loving heart. Listening rather than telling is a form of cheering others on from the side as they fall, get up and brush themselves off.

The actual motivation behind the topic of judgment is one of control. I have yet to meet a person who wants to be controlled. Why? Simply put, the message behind control is that ‘you can’t do this on your own – you NEED me to tell you how to handle it. Not so much!

Stepping back and asking the Universe to help us be strong enough to listen, without judgment, and to give others the benefit of our confidence in them is a gift that keeps on giving. When we love ourselves enough to accept that we can not change others and accepting that they are on their own unique learning path we go along way to bringing more light into their world.

Have a great few days!

Developing Self Confidence

Is it hard for you to let go and let others figure out a solution to their latest crisis or drama? If you answered YES! to this question you are not alone. For instance, the number of adult children in their 20’s, 30’s even 40’s still living with their parents or being supported by them is both surprising and sad. We can’t simply blame it on the economic times but we can see it for what it is, a feeling of entitlement, low self esteem and the development of a new norm of expectation. Entitlement can run deep in many relationships. I have had the chance to talk with people recently about the entitlement mentality and I thought it important to share their collective thoughts. Although they remain hopeful that ‘tomorrow will be better’ deep down they feel both burdened and resentful that there always seems to be a new crisis that they are called upon to fix. One person offered an analogy that describes it quite well. “At first I saw them limping and offered what I thought was a temporary crutch but now they seem to be permanently on crutches and expecting me to fix their latest issue. They have a permanent limp!”

Look closely at the human dynamics of your situation. If you notice an entitlement behavioral pattern that has developed in someone you have a choice, to feed into it and fix their latest crisis once again or say, ‘I can’t rescue any longer.’ It takes all the courage you have to change your own enabling behavior but my question to you is, ‘Are THEY worth it?’ By continually rescuing others it lowers their own self worth and becomes emotionally crippling to them. They lose confidence over time and begin to slide into the ‘poor me’ mentality. Consequently, they don’t accept responsibility for the result of their own choices but are quick to say someone or something else caused the latest crisis in their lives. The truly sad part is that continuing this mentality causes them to experience even more challenges because they are not learning their own life lessons that are continually being presented to them. We know that at first the Universe whispers, then talks and eventually shouts – repeatedly – to them through ever increasing challenges in their lives until the day they decide, ‘If it’s going to be it’s up to me.’

The good news is that they can and will step up to the plate if and when you remove yourself as the perpetual ‘Rescuer in Charge’ of their latest crisis. Even if there is a generational pattern of dependency, positive change over time can happen for them when they are forced to deal with each challenge that they create. The first step is a big one but over time it gets easier.

The issue is about so much more than money. With the 24/7 news coverage we experience we often see the children and family members of the incredibly rich demonstrate this rescuer/dependency cycle. Just look at the research on the lottery winners. One year after winning large sums they are no happier than before. Why? Because their self confidence and self esteem wasn’t increased – only their bank account. They didn’t put in the effort and self discipline to learn their life lessons and achieve something, they simply won money, not self esteem, and it is an empty win.

Success is experienced when a person faces life head on, accepts responsibility for their latest challenge and figures out a way to handle it ….without you. Is it hard to stand by and watch them struggle – absolutely! Do you have enough faith and love for them to let them figure out their own solutions? Unless you want to see them at 60 years old still struggling to learn independence you must be strong, even fearless when the next crisis happens and allow them the human dignity to figure it out on their own.

In my next blog I will be talking more about this topic. It takes time to internalize our own lessons and change our enabling behavior. Just remember saying ‘No’ doesn’t mean you don’t love them but that you love them too much not to say it.

Have a great few days!

12 Minute Meditation That Works

Loss, stress, and aging take a toll on our mind and body. We all have moments when we can’t remember something. At first we may dismiss it and think that we have too much on our minds. However, when the frequency of memory lapse seems to be increasing, it is time to get serious and do something about it. Fortunately, there are leading neuroscientists discovering ways that can increase our memory function, attention span, information processing, problem solving and social decision making skills.

A proactive way to increase brain function is explained in the book, How GOD Changes Your Brain by Andrew Newberg, MD and Mark Waldman. It is called Kirtan Kriya meditation (KKM). A short synopsis of the technique is that it involves 3 things; breathing, sound and movement. The four sounds of sa, ta, na, ma, are chanted or sung out loud to whatever notes you want to give them. While you are singing each sound, touch your index fingers to your thumbs for ‘sa’, middle fingers to thumbs on ‘ta’, ring fingers to thumbs for ‘na’ and little fingers to thumbs for ‘ma.’ The authors recommend doing this daily for 12 minutes before getting out of bed in the morning.

As I started practicing this type of meditation I noticed that it quickly stops that monkey chatter in my mind. You can learn more about this through Newberg’s book, or googling Kirtan Kriya. There is even an 8 minute YouTube video demonstrating the technique.

In addition to all of the other benefits, meditation helps us become more in tune with the Universal Energy source and can further open our channels for hearing, seeing and feeling from our loved ones on the other side. In my book, Just Behind the Door, I have shared a decade of conversations I have had with my son, mother and sister who have passed on. During my book talks people have asked me how they can learn to communicate with their loved ones. I feel that the Kirtan Kriya meditation technique makes sense. I know it works. Give it a try- even for a week- and let me know what you experienced.

Have a great few days!