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The Only Guaranteed Thing

1426637_85746838a There is only one thing you can count on for sure and that is change. Everything else might have a good track record but also might let you down. One thing is for sure, you are either coming out of a change, in a change, or facing change. It seems random, yes, it does seem to just smack you upside the head but what if I told you that every change had a message and that you were the author of change in your life. Hmmm. Some things have happened in my world (not to me personally) that were quite big and I just know that the people involved never saw them coming. We rarely do, ask the Romans. What brings change? It is like a complex cake with many strange ingredients.

There are three kinds of changes that I want to address here, the first is what I call “the great balancing act”. I believe that there is an auto-correction feature built into the universe; some spiritual traditions call it karma. I am sure you have seen the Ying/Yang symbol that comes from China – the circle in two halves, one white, one black. Each half of the circle represents the sides of a mountain with the white half being the sunny side and the black half being the side in shade. This symbol shows that there are two types of energy – passive (the black half) and active (the white half), and that these energies must be in perfect balance. This is where karma comes in, or the auto-correction feature I mentioned earlier. If the balance is shifted in any way then nature steps and restores it. This is done in one of two ways – either by taking something away or by adding something. When we add something to our lives (without allowing it to naturally flow into our lives) then nature takes it away. When we remove or deny something in our lives (that nature has not removed or has not vanished due to decay) then nature moves in and adds something. There must be balance. Desperate acts always result in this change. The relationship we rushed into, the rash purchase, the love we deny ourselves, the job we take without thought, these acts of interference bring the turbulence we call change into our lives. The more we force things the more turbulence we experience. The best way to deal with this is to simply relax and allow life to unfold as it will, acting when we need to act and resting when we need to rest. In other words, we need to actively pursue balance in our lives so that nature won’t need to do it for us. The less you interfere the more peaceful life will be.

The second type of change has to do with what is popularly known as “The Law of Attraction” or “The Law of Vibration”. You know, like attracts like. The basic belief is that if we think about money, money, money, then that is what we will attract. If only it were so. Upwards of 90% of the people who attempt to “use” this law to improve their lives fail to do so. It does work, so why do so many people fail? Because they simply do not really understand the law.  The Law of Attraction works in perfect harmony with the principle of balance stated above and you cannot “attract” something that will unbalance you, nature simply won’t allow it. Why is it that you “feel” unbalanced when something “bad” happens then? Feeling sad is does not necessarily mean that you are off balance. I have heard many people say that “I did not attract this so how did it come?” meaning that they weren’t consciously thinking about it. Here is the truth, and listen closely, this may be the thing that changes your life! How do you feel when that “bad” thing happens? That’s what caused it! But wait a minute, I feel that way now, how could I have caused this thing? Can feelings travel back in time? Glad you asked, and it may be that they can (quantum physics suggests as much) but what you are feeling is what has been triggered by the event, in other words, emotional residue that has yet to be processed, in more other words, symptoms of an existing imbalance. What you have been given is some valuable information, deal with (process) that stuck feeling (and coaching will certainly do it) and you will never experience that event again. You won’t need to. You see, the auto-correction feature of the universe reveals our imbalances to us so that we can sort them out, and it will keep revealing them to us until we do. Instead of wallowing in misery, use the information and make some positive changes in your life. The universe cannot reveal imbalances that are not there, so the “cleaner” you are, the less change of this nature you will experience.

The third type of change I want to discuss is one that you cannot do anything about ever! Here in South Africa we are on the verge of Spring (sorry if you are in the North), what I always notice about this time of year (as we face the changing of the seasons) is that the warmth seems to come in waves….warms up…cold front…warms up….cold front. Yesterday it was warm, today it is cold and rainy. It seems that change on a major scale does not come all at once, it comes in gradually increasing waves. This seems to be a pattern in nature as well, the tide doesn’t come in all at once, and since we are a part of nature the same thing happens in our lives. The trick is to see the pattern and not treat the waves as signs of you moving backwards but moving forwards. Drug rehabilitation rarely works all in one go, there are relapses in the forward movement, as there is in any forward movement. Remember this, relapsing is not relapsing, it is nothing more than what a cold front is to the coming spring. Its not that you are returning to old behaviour but that you are layering the new behaviour and adapting to the change. What you find is that the “new reality” starts to last longer than the periods of “old reality” until “new reality” is all there is. Fighting the old or the new will not help you here, it will only make the inevitable uncomfortable. Nature has shown us that there must always be change, constant movement, without it things die. Embrace it, accept it, welcome it. You might not understand this change as it happens, but in time, and with the benefit of hindsight, you will see that you were moving forward and growing, and becoming who you are meant to be.

One thing that is certain about change in its various forms is that perspective on what is happening is difficult to get when the change is happening to you. Sometimes emotional judgements are all we are capable of, so it helps to begin a practice of meditation as this will train you to create space and be able to observe what is happening more objectively and then respond rather than react. Of course, I would always recommend the help of a good coach to enable you to develop inner “technology” that will make you a change wizard.

The only guaranteed thing is change, what isn’t guaranteed however, is that you will handle it in the best way.

Yours, in this ever changing world,

Anthony.

 

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Me, myself, and I, and I, and I

383193_9453I have long suspected that I have multiple personality disorder. Put me in a room full of people and I get shy, put me on a stage and I perform. I am calm in traffic, but impatient when my PC drags. Call it what you will, I am a different person in different contexts. Wierd. I am wrong about one thing though, it isn’t a disorder.

The fact is that we all have multiple personalities. We flow effortlessly from personality to personality as the situation requires, the only time it becomes a disorder is when that flow gets disrupted and we get our personalities confused. You would not be the person you are at work when you are with your kids right? You would be the person you are with your girlfriend/boyfriend when you are with your parents right? Surely this is just the same person choosing different behaviours? Perhaps, but when you understand personality you will see that a rose is not a rose when it is a daffodil.

Personality is nothing more than the unique product of a number of beliefs and values working together. Like the ingredients of a cake they produce the yummy end result, but change an ingredient and you no longer have the same cake. The reason why you are a different person in different circumstances is because you are accessing a different set of beliefs and values to match that environment, you pick the beliefs and values that will produce the kind of behaviour that you think will be the most appropriate. The fact that you sometimes produce the wrong behaviour is not a symptom of a disorder, but rather a sign that you need to keep learning.

Personality, in other words, is nothing more than what happens as a result of learning to cope. It always has a goal, personality is designed to get you something. Think about, you crack a joke, why? You pass an opinion, why? You hold your tongue, why? Personality is a strategy designed with a specific outcome in mind. Think of you computer, it has many programs that are all different, you wouldn’t say that any of them are the same program, yet all a program is is code arranged in a certain way to produce a certain result.

There is a lot of freedom in accepting that your personalities are nothing more than programming designed to get a certain result. It means that if you can learn to design a personality then you can pick one that will get you the results you want. This raises an interesting question, if you are not your personality, then who are you?  For now it is suffice to say that “you” are the one who can observe all your personalities. Try this, take a step back (mentally) and watch the stream of thoughts flowing through your mind, now you are getting closer to the real you. So personality is actually nothing more than a coat you wear, and you can change it at will (although it is mostly done unconsciously). Try something else now, pretend to be happy for a second, go on, try it. Smile, stretch, throw your head back. Now pretend to be cross, knit your eyebrows, fold your arms, growl. You just changed clothes and it was that easy.

Ok, so I know that you simply react in a circumstance, it’s not like you consciously choose to behave a certain way. What starts out as a reaction, if repeated enough times, becomes unconscious behaviour. The same also applies if you choose to respond in a certain way in a circumstance, if you repeat that response a few times, it will become unconscious behaviour. Reacting is basically a fear response, it is fight or flight in action. A life of reaction results in undesirable behaviours. Responding on the other hand, is stopping and thinking and choosing your behaviour – and choosing means choosing the best possible ones. If a certain behaviour doesn’t work, you choose another, and another, until you find one that does. This is how a brilliant personality is formed.

A documentary came out recently that nicely demonstrated this point. “Kumare” is about a young man who decides to grow a beard and pretend to be a Guru, and then film the journey. He “pretends” to be the best possible version of himself (actually not really a version, a whole different personality). The results was that he gained followers, he changed lives, and most of all, he changed himself in the process. It makes a powerful statement about the choices you make and stick with (behaviour wise). I dare you to try it, think of the best possible version of yourself and pretend to be that person. Every time you look in the mirror, decide to be someone you really like and admire. It’s not easy, so just try it a little here and little there. You will be astounded with the results. Actually you probably won’t even notice them, real change is like that, it happens quietly over time.

It’s all in your mind! http://www.imagineif.co.za

 

The Strength of the Weak Tie

1215912_73521777aWatching people is a hobby of mine; it amazes me how people drift through life pretending to be isolated individuals. We keep to ourselves, have few friends, and hide behind the walls that we think are keeping us safe. Ask any individual if he/she wants to be successful and the answer will invariably be “YES!” How about you? Do you want to be successful in any small or large way? If you answered in the negative then you can close this document now and go and get your pulse checked. To love life is to want to succeed according to your own definition of success.

Wanting to be successful doesn’t always lead to being successful though, as I am sure you are finding out. So what is it that makes some people succeed and others stay put? Lots of reasons I am sure but one thing that certainly makes a huge difference is what sociologist Mark Granovetter called “The strength of weak ties”. As pointed out by Malcolm Gladwell in his book “The Tipping Point” it’s not the close relationships that lead us to success but the weak ties we form with people as we go through life.

Weak ties? Let me give you a personal example. When the time came for me to upgrade my phone I wanted to downgrade my account and still get the phone I wanted for “free”. No problem there. The provider I chose didn’t have stock so I went to the competition that did – no problem. I have learnt to form weak ties so I got chatting to the sales rep, asked her name and where she was from ,cracked a joke or two, and when the process did hit a snag (something that I was supposed to do myself) she was only too happy to get on the phone and sort it out. To top it off she waived the charge for a new sim card and said “You are a nice customer.” Everywhere I go I get great service. Why? I form weak ties.

Here is another example from Gladwell’s book,

“In his classic 1974 study Getting a Job, Granovetter looked at several hundred professional and technical workers from the Boston suburb of Newton, interviewing them in some detail on their employment history. He found that 56 percent of those he talked to found their job through a personal connection. Another 18.8 percent used formal means—advertisements, headhunters—and roughly 20 percent applied directly. This much is not surprising; the best way to get in the door is through a personal contact. But, curiously, Granovetter found that of those personal connections, the majority were “weak ties.” Of those who used a contact to find a job, only 16.7 percent saw that contact “often”—as they would if the contact were a good friend—and 55.6 percent saw their contact only “occasionally.” Twenty eight percent saw the contact “rarely.” People weren’t getting their jobs through their friends. They were getting them through their acquaintances.”

The world revolves around weak ties, and the person who learns to forge them inherits it. That’s how it seems to me. For some people it’s a walk in the park, smiling at and chatting to strangers is easy, but for others it requires significant change. It’s a change in an area that scares most people to death. Public speaking ranked 6 out of the top ten fears in a study released by Discovery Health; it’s up there with snakes and getting buried alive. For the same reason we are terrified of talking to strangers.

Change is necessary if you want to be successful. There is a systems law called the “law of requisite variety” which states “the sub system within a system with the greatest flexibility of behaviour will control the system”, forming weak ties is skill that can be learned. The more you learn the greater your influence. Learning this one simple skill will give you an unfair advantage, almost nobody does it. I do advise starting small, you are, after all, dealing with your comfort zone. Try asking the person you are dealing with their name, comment about the weather to a stranger in a queue, or get some personal information, like a birthday, from a colleague you never speak to then give them a card on their birthday, in such ways are weak ties forged. You will be amazed how everyone treats you better when you start doing this.

You will generally find that very successful people have a few close friends but lots of acquaintances, the opposite is true for not so successful people – they have a few strong ties but few if no weak ties. This is what the whole idea of network marketing is about. Those who succeed are those who understand that it is about making weak ties and not about sales. It is the difference between making one sale and making a hundred. You might not sell to the person with whom you make the weak tie, but you might end up selling to the 100 people they know.

Let’s face it, life is about network marketing and the product is you. Spend less time trying to sell “yourself” and start buying into other people in small ways. That would be like getting your money to work for you instead of you working for your money.

Forming weak ties makes you memorable. So few people do it that it really makes you stand out. I get a wave every time I walk past the mobile phone store and I know that if I ever need help with my contract I will get fantastic service. What is amazing is that I know people who deal with the same store and say that the service there is lousy, I just say “Speak to so and so and tell her that I sent you”. The strength of the weak tie.

Why not visit me on my site ww.imagineif.co.za or tune into my weekly radio show on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/zeronaughts

Hide and Seek

910278_47990856aI am working through a book by a spiritual teacher called Gangaji, in this book she tells of how she went to India to study under a guru as she was desperate to find peace. She asked the guru what she should do and he asked her if she was ready to do nothing, this perplexed her and she again asked what she should do, again he said “nothing”. She was to let go of all of her strategies and plans and just face herself in the rawest way possible. I must admit, this stumped me for a while, and like so many spiritual lessons it was something I just had to catch for myself. What strategies? What plans? And then it occurred to, how much do I do in order to hide from naked reality and raw emotion, and how much time do I spend doing it? The answer to both questions is “A lot.”

Let me define what I mean by “hiding”, in this context it means anything you do to numb or distract yourself from the present moment. Why would you want to hide from the present moment? Well here is where it gets a bit crazy, it is when you have nothing to do that you start to think about all the things that scare you silly; bills that need to be paid, conflict that is looming, kids that need new shoes, etc. So you get busy doing something, anything you can do that will get your mind off these things. Hiding. What you have yet to realise is that it is only when you do nothing and simply face reality as it is, and accept it as it is, that it starts to change. Another way to look at it is that your reality is nothing more than a mirror image of what is going on inside of you, so if you ignore reality then reality will ignore you and remain unchanged. To continue with this mirror analogy, does it feel like your circumstances are your enemy? That is because you treat them so by hiding from them, what would happen if you accepted your circumstances with a feeling of love and gratitude? You would experience love and gratitude in your reality.

I will be the first to admit that all of this seems incredibly counter-intuitive. If there is a bear in my garden my instinct is to run like mad, not to put on a pot of tea and ask it about its day, so it is understandable that you want to just get busy hiding from all the pain in your life. Until you realise that the bear is in your garden because you put it there! I think of it as being like going to a restaurant, if the waiter asked you what you wanted and you said “anything”, then there would be an excellent chance that you would be upset with what he brings and the next time you would simply ignore him and then simply go hungry. Until you learn to smile at the waiter and find new and better ways to find out what you really want and then ask for it, you will go hungry.

It is pain than causes you to hide, as the saying goes, “Once bitten, twice shy”. So if reality bites you find increasingly more effective ways to hide, after all, if it bites once it can bite again. When reality bites though, it uses your teeth.

So what does hiding look like? What are some of the things people do to hide? Is it a coincidence that hiding behaviours are also “addictive” behaviours? Lets see: TV, internet (social media), pornography, drinking, drugs, work (that’s right, I said work), shopping, sleeping, charity work – and that’s just to name a few. What can you add to this list? You will note that seemingly “good” deeds can be used to help you hide, and that makes it all the more easier, after all, you are doing a good deed.

Thinking about it, it occurred to me that I couldn’t name one successful and happy person who got there by spending all of his/her time hiding from reality. They all seemed to be fully present in their lives and faced up to their realities, but with an almost insane optimism. This is not to say that they didn’t face challenges, I am sure they did, but they faced them, they didn’t hide from them.

Stress is what we call the fear response that makes us want to run and hide, but accepting reality as it is and allowing it to simply unfold as it will is a tremendously peaceful thing to do. As Peter O’Toole said in the classic “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The trick is not minding that it hurts.” So learning to be fully present in the moment, accepting reality as it is, and not minding that it sometimes hurts, is the key to life transformation. The question is, will you come out of hiding long enough to realise that? Do you even realise that you are in fact hiding? While it may feel better to be in hiding, and downright terrifying to face reality, you need to realise that hiding only serves to perpetuate the circumstances you are running from. Standing in the sun beats freezing in the shadows any day, so recognize your hiding strategies and start making the shift today!!!

For some pretty life changing stuff, tune into Zeronaughts Radio

www.blogtalkradio.com/zeronaughts

 

The Real You

1401872_76470167aDid you know that the part of you that causes all the trouble is not the real you? The majority of the western population is having an identity crisis. All those bad behaviours, that troubling personality, those habits and those things you wished you could change are not the real you.

Would you like to meet the real you? It’s easy, take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Do it again, and focus on the feeling of the air flowing in and out of your nose. Do it a few more times and this time also notice the rising and falling of your chest and belly while you breathe. Carry on like this for a few more breaths and this time also notice what is going on in the rest of your body. Very soon you will reach a place of “no thought” (which is actually the meaning of the word “meditate”), in this silence you meet the real you. The real you IS the silence.

You are the flame, not the candle or the glass behind which it sits, but the flame. People will judge the flame by the glass through which they view it, but if the glass is scratched or dirty, or even the “wrong” colour, it still isn’t the flame.  So you get judged from the outside by people who don’t like the glass, and then you judge yourself from the inside for the same reason. A flame’s purpose is to glow, to illuminate and give warmth; the glass’s purpose is to let the flame do just that. When you live as the glass and not the flame, you block its fire.

So what is the flame and what is the glass? The flame is the eternal energy that is the real you, your higher self, your divine spark, your “I am”ness. The glass is that part of you that experiences “reality” (the reality you have created for yourself) – in other words, your body and your ego. In truth, even though we have made it all that matters, it doesn’t matter what you look like, if you are big or small, if you are perfect or flawed, or if you are a certain colour – your body is merely a container. The real you is none of these things, but when you are living from fear and judgement (afraid of what people think of you and in turn judging others), then you are living as the container and not the flame within. You can never be happy living as the container, the container will never be perfect, and more than this, it is impermanent – it will grow old and eventually reach the end of its usefulness. Entire industries have grown to trillion dollar status by getting us to be obsessed with containers, but the grand irony is that containers are best served by living as the flame and not the container. As one client put it, “I forgot about losing weight, and discovered one day that it had gone.”

Then there is the ego. It’s quite something to find out one day that you are indeed NOT your ego. Ego shifts and changes, and you are not the person you were when you were five, nor are you the person you will be when you are ninety. The ego is no more “you” than the operating system is the computer. Your current ego is just the latest version of Windows, the glass that either allows or blocks the real you. In truth, your personality is just a complex mix of judgements and prejudices and just like the body, it is impermanent. When the body dies, the ego goes with it.

People who live from their egos need a lot of coping skills if they are to survive. The ego is always fighting for survival, and as long as you are afraid and feeling bad, then it is alive and well. If you live as your ego then yours will be a world where you fight for acceptance and deal with self image issues. The ego is always trying to fix things, but the flame just lets things unfold as they will. The ego wants to be right, the flame is peace. The ego sees everything as a potential threat and drives you to be on the defensive, the flame just sees the natural flow of things.

You can choose to let your doing flow from your ego or your flame, and that will be the difference between reacting in fear and responding in love. The amazing thing is that the more you live from the flame, the easier it becomes to do so. The trick is to find out what will work for you – the goal is “no thought” but the route is up to you.  There are a myriad of tools and techniques out there – one of which is my very own meditation program (which I will give you access to if you ask). A simple pointer – if it is fear then it is the ego, if it is love (and peace) then it is the flame.

Tune in to Zeronaughts Radio for some life changing advice – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/zeronaughts

The Way of the Open Hand

460785_99015676aI reckon that if you had to read every self-help book that dealt specifically with the Law of Attraction you would never run out of reading material. The amount of money that has been made peddling this universal Law is truly staggering. I think there are a few main reasons why people are so hungry to learn all they can about this simple Law:

1. They want to demystify it. Because it doesn’t seem to be working for them they figure that there must be more to learn, not realising that there really isn’t but there is a small change to be made.

2. They want more control over lives and they think that the Law of Attraction will give them that.  Yes and no, it does and it doesn’t  What it does do is serve your alignment with your higher self, what it doesn’t do is serve ego.

3. It has been marketed so well. The commercialisation of the Law of Attraction is right up there with what cigarettes and booze can do for your lifestyle. While it can attract anything into your life, the moment your motivation for wanting is because you don’t have then you will be attracting more lack.

In my opinion there is one simple key to attracting more of what you want into your life, and it’s something that I see little of, and when I do see it, it’s not what you think it is. Giving. There is only one route to effortless power and wealth and it is what I call “The Way of the Open Hand”.

True giving is a real let down to the ego. The ego wants to give, wants to be applauded for giving, and then wants something in return. Win, win, WIN baby! This type of giving is the reason why generosity has been given such a bad rap, when you give like this you end up disappointed and with even less than you started out with. In fact, the Bible puts it this way in Matthew 6:2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do–blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth; they have received all the reward they will ever get.”

I can personally attest to the fact that giving is the key to the Law of Attraction, but the secret to it lies in knowing the difference between giving and trading. Here are my personal rules for giving:

1. You don’t give to get. This is called trading, and if you are trading under the guise of giving then you shouldn’t really expect anything anyway. Trading in this way has lack as its motivation; you give to get back what you think you are lacking in. What you get back when you trade in this way is more lack.

2. Don’t give in order to look good to other people. Again, this is trading. The ego is playing the “Hey, look at me! Aren’t I awesome!” game and as the scripture I quoted earlier stated – you have just gotten all the reward you are going to get. The heart of giving this way is lack; you do it because you want to look good in other people’s eyes, and you might for a moment or two, but you will go right back to feeling worthless. Do your giving anonymously.  One thing I like to do is to pay for stranger’s meals in restaurants without them knowing it. It’s not always possible to remain anonymous, but if you can be anonymous then do it that way. Underplay it and avoid attention, make sure that there is nothing (or as little as possible) in it for your ego.

3. Do not judge your gift by the receiver. By this I mean don’t look at a homeless person and not give because “They will only spend it on booze,” or to another person because “They look wealthy enough,” or for any other judgemental reason. If the universe were to judge you as worthy or unworthy to receive by the same standards you use then you would never ever get anything. You have no idea what your gift is going to do in that person’s life. Perhaps their need is physical, perhaps it is emotional, you just don’t know and you really don’t have any idea what your kindness could mean. Perhaps that person has called out to God for help and you are the answer. Who knows? Just give.

4. Don’t play the “I didn’t feel led to give” game. This applies to Christians mainly, the popular thought is that God will tell you where and when to give so if He doesn’t then you are off the hook. God loves cheerful giver, and this is just so begrudging. Besides God told you decide in your own heart to do it (2 Corinthians 9:7). If this is your excuse, then it is just that, an excuse (a lie wrapped up in a reason). You don’t want to give and you are looking for an unarguable reason not to. Giving should be spontaneous and joyful.

5. Don’t give from your lack. “I don’t have enough” may be a valid reason to give less, but it isn’t a valid reason to give nothing. You are abundance, live like it. Living from a place of lack brings more lack, and trust me you always have something to give – it’s important that you give, not how much.

6. Don’t limit your giving. It’s not just about money; people need all kinds of things – smiles, hugs, phone calls, encouragement, a cup of tea etc. If you have it then you can give it.

7. Be grateful for what you have, it makes it easier to share it.

A hand that is open to give is also open to receive. I believe that the universe is constantly looking for channels through which it can express love and abundance. When you open yourself to being a giver you avail yourself to the universe to be such a channel, and you will see such love and abundance flow through your life. That’s what you want, isn’t it?

www.imagineif.co.za

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An Instrument of Peace

1397321_41985058aThe key to true happiness in any relationship lies in being a giver. To complain about giving but not receiving anything in return is called trading, not giving. Too many people make their giving conditional on what they receive, but to give with that attitude is to give from a place of lack. The thing with trading is that happiness hinges on getting a return. So when you don’t…misery.

When you realise that you are a complete person on your own, and reject the myth of needing someone else to complete you, then you realise that you don’t need anything from anyone but are free to give.  I love the Prayer of St Francis that begins with “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace”, if you make this your desire in your relationships, to be at peace with yourself and to bring peace to others, then you optimise your life for positive growth.

It is obvious that if you have failed to learn how to meet your own needs that you will look to someone else to do it, but this does not mean that they are able to. You are responsible for your own needs; it is not the purpose of a relationship to meet them. I believe that a relationship’s purpose is to serve as a mirror and show you where you need to grow and change; the rougher the edge, the tougher the lesson. Trying to change your partner so that you feel better won’t work, changing yourself so that you can be at peace in the situation will. Your environment is a response to you, so change yourself and you will change your environment. Inner turmoil is reflected as turmoil in your environment, inner peace is reflected as all things peaceful in your environment.

Your struggle is not with your partner, it is with yourself, to bring yourself to peace and let that peace transform your reality. A person at peace is a true giver; a person who is needy is a trader. A peaceful person lives in abundance, a needy person lives in need. What will you be?

 

Real change, real easy. www.imagineif.co.za

 

Love is a Verb

1416249_44034605aYou have been deceived. This may come as a shock to you, but Hollywood has not been fully honest with you. The love you see in most movies is not love. So many people base their expectations of romantic relationships on what they see in the movies and on TV, romance is easy to script because then it can be idealised. What you are calling love is nothing more than infatuation, what you may be is in love with the idea of love as you think it is.

Love is hard work. Love is what you decide to do when the feelings fade (and they do) and the romance isn’t rose petals and bubble baths. Love isn’t a feeling, though it can result in feelings. It does not depend on feelings however. Thanks to the fable you have believed in, you may think that when it gets tough and you don’t feel “in love” any more that it is game over, wrong, it’s GAMEON!

Here is the real test though, if you feel like walking away when the feelings have gone, then perhaps you should. The “one” will more than likely be the one you want to stick with when you don’t feel the warm fuzzy. Sadly though, people tend to make all the commitments when the feelings are strong and then discover that when the feelings are gone the person isn’t actually the “one”, oops. My advice is to enjoy the feelings, but don’t take them too seriously, and whatever you do, do not say I do until the “I do” is not in the heat of some fleeting emotion.

If this advice sticks in your throat, ask yourself if you are just in love with the idea of being “in love”. A good sign would be if you are a serial dater, and find yourself losing interest quickly. Real life sucks to the “in love with love” people.  Take it slow, enjoy the fireworks, but get ready for the real work.

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Present and Accounted For

1279418_50347591aIt amazes me how many people tie the knot then fail to show up for the marriage. It’s like marriage was something on their to-do list and now that they have ticked it off they can get on with their lives. Thus begins the pattern of “taking for granted”. To save a marriage you have to start when it begins.

I remember watching a  reality TV show where the characters started off with the promotion and then had to work to keep it, I think it should be that way in a marriage – start off with the perfect marriage and then work to keep it that way. Avoid the trap of getting so used to the other person that you simply stop being present in the marriage, friends and sport (and things like that) should come a distant second in any marriage. The thing is that you don’t notice the slip when it starts happening, you usually only wake up when the distance is great between your partner and you. For a happy marriage you will pay: You will pay with attention, or you will pay with pain. My advice? Start paying attention now.

Notice those little things that are becoming more important that building the marriage, being right is one of them. You can either be right, or you can be happy, you can rarely be both at the same time. It’s easy at the start, when the relationship is new, but just like anything else, you get bored with it when you get used to it. Like a beautiful garden, a relationship needs constant attention in little ways. Letting it go to weed only leads to a battle you can’t win, instead of keeping a garden beautiful you will be trying to keep it free of weeds. You will go from tending to fighting. Pay attention now, or pay with pain.

Life change, the easy way. http://www.imagineif.co.za

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Hurt People Hurt People

303570_8610aThe trouble with emotional pain is that the only way you can be aware of it is when it reveals itself in your behaviour.  It’s not at all like physical injury that you can see or localize  but it lurks deep within and expresses itself through your behaviour and decisions. In the end, you end up hurting the people you love because you yourself are hurt.

I remember seeing a documentary on foxes, an injured fox lashes out at anything that comes near it, no matter how well intentioned the thing is. Its instinct is to protect itself at all costs. You are very much the same, in an emotionally wounded state you will become irrationally self protective and lash out at the very people who love you and want to help you.

If you stopped and listen to the voice of your ego (whose motive really is to keep you safe) you would hear things like “Don’t trust anyone,” “They just want to use you”, and things like that, and you behave accordingly. The trouble with behaviour is that while you will question other people’s actions, you don’t question your own until they have cost you dearly. So the big question is how much of what you do is motivated by the unhealed emotional wounds that you carry? The lashing out and pushing away that feels so rational and necessary is nothing more than an attempt to defend yourself from an imagined enemy.

Taking the time to heal and get help is essential, a wounded person only ends up wounding the people around them (especially the ones that really do care and want to help) and you end up with a victim instead of a partner. How do you know if you are carrying around an unhealed hurt? Simple, how easy is it for you to just be happy and let yourself give and receive love? Not so easy? You may be walking wounded.

http://www.imagineif.co.za