To Cultivate Wonder

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
To Cultivate Wonder
Wonder is one of the arts of reverence. It is always very close to the surface, just behind the eye, below the tongue, in between the beats of a waiting heart. It’s a subtle resource that requires our welcome to show its full strength.

To Cultivate Wonder

As a teacher, parent, partner, friend, even as a stranger meeting other strangers, our noble charge when meeting another is to cultivate wonder.

We have only a few seconds to love the wonder out in the open or those we meet will swallow it. Seconds to warm the wonder into the air where it will merge with the living Universe it comes from to reveal the kinship of things. Seconds to let this timeless resource come into our knowing so it can save us from the brutality of surface living.

If, out of insecurity or pride or an effort to achieve prominence, we assert our own authority, the wonder will go into hiding like a wounded animal. The living authority of being that resides in all of us needs to be affirmed, not asserted. Only safety, honesty, and welcome — the servants of encouragement — can create a hothouse for the soul. And then in a flash of Spirit, the wonder, like a common, irreplaceable flower, will make blossoms of us all.

Question to Walk With: When are you most open to wonder? In what environment does wonder grow out of you?

For more poetry for the soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.

4 Ways to Make Over Your Love Life Today!
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Our makeover begins within us. We may think it’s the other person, but it’s not all on them.

Sure, we may pick people who have no intention of fulfilling any of our needs, but why do we choose them?

Or what if we’re choosing no one?

Is it fear? That’s one reason. it can stop us cold in our tracks based on past hurts and disappointment.

Perhaps, it’s our old limiting beliefs about what we actually believe is possible for us? We may not have awareness of how little we think we can have and how hard we think we must work to have a relationship.

How easy is it to change what’s going on inside, so the outside yields better results? It takes a bit of courage.

Making over our love lives starts with the following:

1. Commitment. It’s the act of committing to ourselves the promise that we’re ready for a real relationship. Most of us think we want one, until we’re confronted with someone who may truly be compatible with us; it’s then that all the little sabotaging demons come out to play! It’s better to communicate our neurosis rather than acting in off-putting ways toward the other person.

Check in and see what’s stewing inside when you decide to commit to the idea of having a healthy, committed relationship.

2. Rejection isn’t about us. It’s hard to understand when we’re the person who’s on the receiving end of rejection. When we really understand our true value, we don’t want to settle for less than someone who is truly into us. We don’t want to convince someone that we’re worthy of his or her love and companionship. Instead, it’s to accept ourselves as we are right now. It makes it far easier to handle that sometimes we’re not a match and in no way is it a statement about us as lovable human beings.

Look at every bit of yourself, especially the parts you want to hide. Let em’ loose and love them as much as you possible can, so somewhere out their your match can find you!

3. Smile and Be Open. Yes, this one is really that simple. How disconnected are some of us as we conduct our everyday lives? Out in a crowd are we looking down or away from the throngs of people? Are we checked out and in our private Idaho? Paying attention, being present and smiling like we mean it, is an instant reward. Most people smile back and we get that little boost of energy that someone has seen us and we feel connected.

Even if you’re shy, it never hurts to smile at all people and be open to the experience. Don’t judge, be skeptical or label it, otherwise you’re making it an excuse to close up. Stop yourself from over-thinking it and smile at everyone you see.

4. Getting clear on what we really want. When we know what the 3 or 4 basic non-negotiables are in a relationship, it’s an opportunity to look at ourselves and see if we’re giving those “non-negotiables” to ourselves? Sometimes, we have a list of what we want, but it’s not our list, it’s one we concocted based on what we’re supposed to want. So, if we place kindness on the list, are we being kind to others and ourselves? If not, what can we do today to change it up?

Spend some time really understanding what it is you require in a relationship emotionally.

Know if you need affection to feel good; kindness, communication, compassion, etc…and really look at your own ability to offer it to yourself.

As an example: Do you communicate with kindness clearly and freely? If not, what is stopping you? What fear is holding you back? What belief about your worthiness means you don’t speak kindly to you? Now start to change that dialogue today, get closer to what you want to attract by being those characteristics too.

This is a starter list, if you want more tips, stay tuned!

Photo Credit: Tracy Crossley

We Are Reason-Making Machines
As humans, we are reason-making machines. We have reasons for everything! There’s a reason for why we ran out of gas, overdrew our checking account, missed a mortgage payment, ate too much ice cream… and the list goes on. When it comes down to it though, the reasons don’t matter. Focusing on what I’ll call the “what’s so” can dramatically change your life.

For example, as a financial planner, I hear all sorts of reasons about why people’s finances are the way they are. Do any of these sound familiar?

We have $10,000 in credit card debt because my wife lost her job.

My credit score is terrible because I couldn’t make my monthly student loan payments for five years.

I lost a lot of money in my 401(k) because I didn’t know my investments were too aggressive.

I robbed a bank because I really wanted to go to Hawaii.

These are all valid reason. (Well, except for the last one of course. I’ve never actually heard that one, nor do I hope to in the future. I just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention.) Sure, certain actions could have been taken that could have potentially changed the way things are, but so what? The circumstances are the way they are. What’s important is that we acknowledge them as such and take action to change them.

Many times, when we actually deal with our circumstance, our initial reaction is to get frustrated and say something like, “that’s not fair… I haven’t been given an opportunity to ______ (fill in the blank).” At this point, it is our job to realize how much that reaction is simply our own “machinery” acting up. This is what we’ve been programmed to do our entire lives. It’s a protection mechanism. When something isn’t ideal, there is ALWAYS a reason why. As I mentioned above, the reason could be valid, yet it doesn’t change the fact that what’s so is so.

Whether the topic is finances, weight loss, lack of time with family or any other circumstances you can think of, I invite you to take a real look at that area. Be honest with yourself about what’s so and forget about the reasons why it’s the way it is. Reasons serve to make us feel justified about why something is the way it is. That’s all they are good for… so drop them.

Once you actually acknowledge that a particular area isn’t working, you immediately have access to what’s possible in that area. If I continually got caught up in my clients’ circumstances, I would have no access to help them transform their financial lives. And then what good would I be?

It doesn’t take much to put this process into practice. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

1) Identify an area that doesn’t work for you (e.g., your finances).

2) State what it is that doesn’t work.

3) Acknowledge that it is the way it is (this step may sound unimportant, but it’s imperative, as it grounds you in the “what’s so”). Don’t let those valid reasons creep in here!

4) Brainstorm actions you can take to alter the circumstances. (Don’t limit yourself to what you think is possible. Writing down actions that sound ridiculous might actually expand your thinking and open up new pathways to get results.)

5) Choose the most appropriate actions and get to work! (Appropriate actions are the ones that will alter the circumstances the quickest. Be direct and don’t avoid certain actions because they make you feel uncomfortable. Those are typically the most effective actions to take.)

The above action plan is simple, yet we don’t always follow this process when it comes to areas that may seem overwhelming. Most times, we would rather just ignore them, which causes more stress.

Check in with yourself and identify an area in your life that you’d like to work on. Follow the above process and see how it goes.

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