I've spent a fair amount of my life angry at or disappointed by other people. When I read in Greg Baer's book, "Real Love," that both anger and disappointment indicate a lack of real love – unconditional love – I got mad at him and put the book down, none too gently! Mad because I knew it was true. And, mad at myself because I live so far from unconditional love so much of the time.
Thank goodness I'm a pragmatist. One day it dawned on me that being mad at someone else and being mad at myself don't give me the life I desire.
Even when I don't love as fully as I would like, how does loving even less – being mad – help me love more, live more?
What if I quit blaming? What if I practice acceptance and compassion when I feel disappointed by others? What if I notice that feeling disappointed by others always indicates disappointment with myself? What if I then remind myself that I am devoted to a life of love, freedom, generosity, expression, acceptance, compassion and joy?
I am reminded of a line from "A Course in Miracles," "everything is love or a cry for love." What if, moment by moment, day by day, I use any anger or disappointment as a reminder to do what works? Choose love instead.
How about you? Care to join me?
Simple. Not always easy. With the pause of a deep breath, possible.
Post your own reflections, comments or spiritual
growth progress in the comments . . .
Steve Chandler writes extensively on the distinction between victim and owner. Recently, within a few days, I gave myself the opportunity to look in this mirror several times! I noticed myself behaving as a victim when I thought, "nothing can be done." I felt myself take ownership when I began to create a possible new way.
How often do we hear victim language:
"I can't because . . .
. . . of the economy."
. . . he/she wouldn't like it."
. . . I don't have the money."
. . . I'm not sure of my schedule."
Victim language and mindset is the norm. Most people live from the victim mindset without even realizing it.
Perhaps 5 to 10% of people consistently live from the Creator/Owner mindset. Which explains why far less often do we hear:
"I'd love to, you can count on me because . . .
. . . people need my services more than ever in this economy."
. . . I'm excited about this project and I'm committed
to making it happen."
. . . I will get resourceful and find/create the money."
. . . I will make the time. You can count on me."
The newest addition to our family, Jasmine, teaches me every day about being the creator of her life! My spiritual growth involves allowing her to choose the great outdoors most of the time - even when I notice she rarely looks both ways before crossing the street!
My life and business are getting better every day as I continue to expand my awareness around the times I'm still living from a victim mindset and I make the shift to Creator/Owner right in that moment. I recently realized that judging myself when I notice myself speaking or acting as a victim is a subtle way to stay in victim! When I am in Creator/Owner mindset, I am compassionate and accepting of what is, even as I am "upgrading" what is!
How would your life and business radically shift if you made a commitment to yourself right now to step fully, with both feet, into the shoes of the powerful Creator/Owner that you truly are?
After writing last week about how to live on 24 hours a day, I learned that the 43-year-old sister of one of my former clients had died unexpectedly.
What a poignant, bittersweet, neon-sign reminder to live each moment fully. I had never met her sister, but my client talked of her often. She had two sisters, I have three. We often shared about our activities and trips with our sisters.
Me and my sisters on one of our annual Sister's Ski Weekends - maybe 8 or 10 years ago. (Left to right: Jenny, Cathy, Julie, Ann.) 2010 was our 19th year. I had gotten out of the habit of taking pictures. My spiritual growth: I am now rededicating myself to capturing more beautiful present moments . . .
I can only imagine the depth of her grief. My heart goes our to her. And, I immediately called my own sisters to touch base and tell them how much I love them.
In the days since then, I have been so aware of the importance of our relationships. Our love for, caring about and connection to others defines the quality of our lives.
I have rededicated myself to my spiritual growth of being more fully present with the precious gift of whomever is right in front of me – one of my sisters, a client, my sweetheart, a friend, my barista, a stranger on the street corner, a new acquaintance at a meeting . . .
I have also rededicated myself to reaching out more. Loving more. Letting go of anger in a moment, rather than days later. Choosing to replace judgment with compassion.
Here’s to living each moment more fully present to the love that I am and taking the time to recognize the love in those around me . . .
"You wake up in the morning, and lo! Your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of the magic tissue of the universe of your life. No one can take it from you. No one receives either more or less than you receive. Waste your infinitely precious commodity as much as you will, and the supply will never be withheld from you. Moreover, you cannot draw on the future. Impossible to get into debt. You can only waste the passing moment. You cannot waste tomorrow. It is kept for you."
- Arnold Bennett
From the book, "How to Live on 24 Hours a Day"
Spiritual growth gems in the book "How to Live on 24 Hours a Day" by Arnold Bennett
After hearing myself say one too many times, "I would love to, but I don't have the time," I decided there must be a better way. So, I am in the process of applying powerful spiritual growth gems from this little book written a century ago and still completely applicable to our spiritual growth today.
Here's a couple of his spiritual growth gems I'd like to share with you now.
Get Out of Bed Early
Wake up a bit earlier than has been your habit and capture the quiet, creative, clear-mind energy. Through the summer, I've been getting up an hour to two hours early. I am often more inspired and get more done in that time than I do the rest of the day!Concentrate Your Mind
What would you like more of in your life? Love? Wealth? Happiness? Great work? Fun? Vibrant health? Then bring your mind to bear on that one thing more frequently.
Strengthen your focus on love. Think about love. Behave lovingly. Notice and express gratitude for love. Be love. Write love. Live love. Eat, sleep, drink love. Love what you're drinking. Love what you don't love. See only love. Be only love.
Same with wealth, happiness, great work, fun, vibrant health or anything else you'd like to engage in with your precious 24 hours! Allow this concentrated spiritual growth to transform any area of your life.
Here's to living opulently on your precious 24 hours a day . . .
This weekend I attended a one-day event in Boulder with one of my mentors, David Neagle, and one of his clients, Suzanne Evans.
They are calling it the More Life Tour. Boulder was city number two of eight. I highly recommend you attend one of the remaining.
The whole day is about helping coaches and other service professionals exponentially grow their businesses.
I was a little concerned that the low ticket price of $57 would mean a day-long, back-of-the-room sales fest. They did sell at the back of the room AND they delivered fantastic, usable content. And, I met some wonderful people - including David and Suzanne!
Ann Strong with David Neagle and Suzanne Evans at the More Life event in Boulder, Colorado. July 31, 2010.
How fun to meet my online mentor in person . . .
Do something great for yourself, your business and those incoming clients just waiting for you and get yourself to one of these events.
Sign up today to be one of the first 25. I did and the VIP reception was a fantastic Q & A with David and Suzanne - more than worth the price of admission . . .
Step out from behind the computer, dear one!
A question to ponder - ask yourself:
"Who would I need to be to exponentially increase my coaching business income?" Ask yourself each morning upon waking and each evening as you fall asleep and listen for guidance.
Take that new awareness to the More Life event that you attend. I'd love to hear your experience . . .
Recently, I've had no patience for conversations about authentic marketing, authenticity in social media or authenticity as a value. This seemed strange to me since I deeply value living and working authentically.
So, I got curious about finding the disconnect.
And, I am thrilled to have been richly rewarded.
At the beginning of my recent mid-summer trip to Phoenix, I complained bitterly to all who would listen about the oppressive wall of heat. Then, I met one of my clients, Doug Hecker,
for lunch. He politely and firmly told me, "We don't talk about the heat. There's nothing we can do about it, so we ignore it and focus on what we like.”
And, how great to have clients who teach me so much!
Let me explain: The authenticity of my personality required me to complain about the heat because I am a person who hates heat.
The authenticity of my Self, the part of me who's made in the image and likeness of God, involves focusing on the good and a positive mental attitude.
My main purpose for going to Phoenix: to meet my coach,
coach Steve Hardison
– one of the most remarkably authentic people I’ve ever met – more than worth all my heat discomfort. And, oh, the delicious chilled cilantro-lime crab dip at The Herb Box
and the yummy sweet potato and zucchini fries at ZinBurger.
And the amazing people I got to spend time with - including two married couples who have been married more than three decades and still adore each other and love spending time together! And, oh, the gorgeous desert views from my friend, Judy Flynn’s
rooftop – which I enjoyed each morning at sunrise when it was only a cool 90 degrees!What a powerful spiritual awareness to realize that the most authentic me comes from my Higher Self, not my personality! How freeing to enjoy this stupendous view from Judy's rooftop deck in Scottsdale even though I think I feel too hot!
Wow! Did I get a visceral experience of choosing my authenticity from a higher place! Who knew there even was such a thing?
I’d love to hear your experiences. In what specific situation might you have noticed yourself living authentically from your personality rather than your Higher Self? In that kind of situation in the future, how can you shift to living authentically from your Self?