How I Stopped Hating Money!

Producing the Abundant Mystic Series is providing me with wonderful opportunities to look deeply at the remaining abundance blocks hiding in my subconscious mind. While I’m thrilled to be playing in the realm of the Abundant Mystic I’m relatively new to this space. Until recently I was experiencing the ups and downs and financial struggles that so many Modern Day Mystics seem to face. So I’m excited to be learning (right along with you) from the 28 abundant mystic guides and mentors over the next 10-weeks!

This week though, I had the opportunity to look at a lingering and tenacious abundance block. It was actually an attitude I had towards money that was working under the surface of my awareness to keep money away.

no-moneyIt was a feeling of hatred towards money. Now that may sound strong, but it came from a very profound experience that happened a LONG time ago and has managed to stay hidden but still active within the core of my being.

This hatred towards money came bubbling up into my awareness in the last few days when my biological mother, grandmother and brother came to visit for my daughter’s 10th birthday.

Whenever my bio mom comes it’s an opportunity for me to peel another layer of the onion of my belief systems, to let go of what is ready to be released and open to what is ready to be awakened within me.

This time, because I’m preparing for The Abundant Mystic, the energy of abundance and money along with the beliefs that I hold about them are very much alive for me. So it’s natural that any old beliefs or attitudes in that arena would come up.

Sure enough, working with my coach the other day, I tapped into this deep-rooted hatred of money. There is a place inside me, a part of me, if you will, that hates money and wants to have nothing to do with it.

Where does this hatred come from?

When I first met my biological mom, at age 23, I asked her – as I’m sure all adoptees do – why she gave me up for adoption. The reason she gave me was money!

At that time, as a young, single, pregnant woman, she believed she didn’t have enough money to raise me on her own. She felt as if she would either have to move back in with her parents or live on welfare. Neither of which were viable options for her.

So on a core energetic level I internalized a belief that money was the cause of our separation. To that part of me, money was the reason that I was taken away from my mother. That core part of me has held onto the anger, resentment and hatred towards money all of these years, blaming it for our separation and seeking to keep it away.

Now, obviously, something you hate is not something you are going to be very excited to attract more of. So while I (the conscious part of my mind) have been doing everything “right” to attract more money and step fully into the realm of the Abundant Mystic, that energy of hatred towards money has been doing everything it can to block the flow of money into my life.

This is a perfect example of why the Law of Attraction and other manifestation methods don’t always work. When you have deep-rooted, subconscious beliefs that are working at cross-purposes to your vision and intentions, the subconscious beliefs almost always win!

It’s said that our conscious minds are like the tip of the iceberg, comprising about 10% of our total consciousness. That means that as much as 90% of our consciousness is hidden from our awareness and working from the shadows.

If the conscious you (10%) wants to go one way and the subconscious you (90%) wants to go another way, guess which way you’re going to go!

So how do you shift your subconscious beliefs and energy?

There are many simple, powerful tools and techniques that can shift, transform and even transmute the contradictory subconscious beliefs and energy. That’s one of the reasons why I am so excited about The Abundant Mystic series that begins next week. Every one of the 28 mentors, guides and teachers will be sharing practical tools and processes for doing just that. I can’t wait to learn from them right along with you!

In this case, I chose to work with the simple but powerful Ho’oponopono technique, an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.

In this practice you repeat four simple phrases while holding an image of the person or thing you seek to forgive (and seek forgiveness from) in your mind. This process brings about a sense of forgiveness, peace, harmony and love within you and others. You can use this process in your relationships with other people, things, experiences, beliefs… anything that you feel holds some “stuck” energy for you.

Even if you don’t feel an energy of “hatred” towards money, if you are not experiencing as much abundance in your life as you would like, try this process with the energy of money. Here’s how.

First center yourself and call up an image or symbol of money. Hold that image in your mind while you repeat the following phrases:

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

I love you.

Repeat those words as many times as needed to bring a deeper sense of peace and harmony. After a few repetitions you will notice your body relaxing as you come into a deeper more open connection with the energy of money.

You can do this as many times as you want. The more you do it, the “cleaner” your relationship with money and abundance will become.

Go ahead and give it a try and let me know what you notice. Leave a comment on the blog post here.

And if you’re excited to learn more simple and powerful processes for clearing your subconscious blocks to abundance, be sure to register for The Abundant Mystic series. It begins next Tuesday!

14 Success Strategies For Highly Sensitive People

This is the second article in a series on Highly Sensitive people.

What does it means to be a Highly Sensitive Person? Do you want to know if you qualify… read this article: 23 Signs That You Are A Highly Sensitive Person.

And to get more information and tools to help you thrive as a Highly Sensitive Person, get my free report:

The Energetics of Attraction:
Understanding and Applying the Harmonics of Human Awareness to Compose the Life You Desire

Just enter your info below and you can immediately download the report.

How do you thrive as a Highly Sensitive Person?

Here are 14 Success Strategies for Highly Sensitive People!

1. Accept your sensitivity
Your sensitivity is a gift. I know it doesn’t always feel like it. But it is. I spent more than half of my life denying that I was highly sensitive. Until you acknowledge and say “yes” to your sensitivity you cannot begin to learn the tools that will help you leverage that sensitivity into a positive benefit.

2. Empower your sensitivity
It has taken me many years to get to the place where I can truly claim my sensitivity and use it as a powerful tool on my journey of self-discovery and deliberate creation. As a Highly Sensitive Person in an often over stimulating world, dampening your sensitivity sometimes seems like the best solution. And while that may be helpful, and even necessary, at first, ultimately you want to empower your sensitivity and turn it into a powerful ally in the creation of a truly brilliant life.

3. Connect with other sensitive people.
It is very easy to get caught up in the stress and overload of our frenetic, chaotic world. Sometimes it seems as if there is no one else as sensitive as you. And from that thought it’s a short slide down the slippery slope into feeling like you are crazy or weird or strange. So find some other folks who are highly sensitive and create a support group where you can go for encouragement and to remind each other that you are not alone and that you are not crazy. One important note on this: This group is not a complain and whine group! The point is not to compare notes on how horrible and insensitive the rest of the world is. You connect with other Highly Sensitive People in order to know that you are not alone and discuss ways to leverage your sensitivity to create positive changes in your lives!

4. Hang out with successful, not-so-sensitive people.
I know this seems like a contradiction of the last one. But I have seen it happen (in myself and others) where a sensitive person basically says “screw you” to the rest of the world and all of the less sensitive people and finds someplace to curl up in a little ball and hide. While this can certainly be a beneficial and sometimes necessary short-term strategy, it’s not an effective long-term solution. Those of us who are highly sensitive can learn a lot from people who are not sensitive. So find some not-so-sensitive people who are successful and begin hanging out with them. Observe them. Learn from them. Watch how they move through the world. Not so that you can dampen your sensitivity but so that you might learn how to bring your sensitivity into the world in a balanced manner.

5. Have a regular practice of “mindful exercise.”
Exercise is important for everyone. But especially so for Highly Sensitive People. Moving your body helps to get any environmental, emotional and energetic toxins out of your system. While any type of exercise is beneficial, workouts that incorporate your mind, body and spirit can be especially helpful. Try things like Yoga, Tai Chi, Akido. and Pilates. Dancing and rock-climbing can also be great opportunities for the body, mind and spirit to move. The bottom line is to find a form of exercise that touches YOUR body, mind and spirit.

6. Find successful HSP role models 
Do you know any Highly Sensitive People who have learned to not only survive in this world, but thrive in it? What lessons can learn from them? What life strategies can you emulate? If you can’t find role models in your own life, look in the wider world. What teachers, authors, artists, and entrepreneurs (yes there are successful AND highly sensitive entrepreneurs) can you find? Once you find them, again look for lessons and strategies that they are using to leverage their sensitivity into success.

7. Gently push yourself beyond the level of your sensitivity
Your sensitivity is a gift and strength. But in order for this gift to be of any value to you and to the world, you must learn how to put it into use. That means you have to stretch yourself and bring your sensitivity with you into places and situations where it feels uncomfortable. Just as you build muscle mass through resistance, you increase your ability to bring your sensitivity into the world by practicing and exercising.

8. Know your limits
Don’t push yourself so far that you blow a fuse! Become aware of the internal signals that let you know you are reaching maximum capacity. And when you notice them back off. You want to push yourself and strengthen your sensitivity, but not to the point where it causes you to blow a fuse!

9. Set up a consistent self-care routine
As a sensitive person you need more self care than others. Don’t compare yourself to less sensitive people. Get clear on your needs and take steps to ensure that those needs are met. If you need a massage every week, get one. If you need to take a bath with sea salts every night, do it. Your sensitivity is of no use if you are not able to function in the world!

10. Connect with nature as often as possible
If there is one consistent theme I have found among sensitive people it is the restorative capacity of nature. Even if you live in a city get outside every day. Connect with a tree. If you don’t want to look strange, pretend you’re leaning up against it waiting for some. But while you’re there, feel the restorative, grounding energy flowing through that tree.

11. Create safe spaces
It is very important for sensitive people to have safe spaces to go to when the world gets overwhelming. You need to know that no matter what is happening in the wider world, that you have a safe space, a sanctuary to which you can return and restore yourself. Ideally, your home is your sanctuary. If it’s not, start by taking a small space and turning it into a safe, private, sanctuary where you can go when you need quiet and solitude.

12. Limit your exposure to news
In some ways, this one suggestion may be the easiest and most powerful success strategy for Highly Sensitive People. And yet, I find it amazing how often this suggestion triggers people. They feel that if they don’t read the newspaper they’ll be missing out on important information. My response is that if reading the newspaper makes you feel like crap what good does that information do for anyone. I would much rather see you feeling great and doing positive things in the world, than see you feeling depressed and hopeless because you’re reading too much news.

13. Explore energetic healing modalities.
Try acupuncture, homeopathy, Reiki, energy medicine, flower essences and other forms of energetic healing. When you find one that works, schedule regular sessions.

14. Learn how to create positive energetic boundaries.
There are wonderful resources that can teach you to setup positive energetic boundaries. Read books by Caroline Myss, Donna Eden, and others. Once you venture into this world you will be amazed at how easily you are led to the information and teachers you need to get learn how to thrive in this world!

If you are a Highly Sensitive Person, I encourage you to begin using some of these strategies. Look through the list and pick one or two of these that resonate with you and begin integrating them into your daily life. You may be surprised at how quickly and dramatically your life can change when you actively employ success strategies specifically designed for Highly Sensitive People.

Please leave a comment below and let us know which of these strategies you already use and what other techniques you use as a sensitive person in this world.

And if you want more information, inspiration and techniques to help you thrive in this world as an empowered sensitive person, I encourage you to read my new report: The Energetics of Attraction: Understanding and Applying the Harmonics of Human Awareness and to Compose The Life You Desire.

The report is free and you can download it instantly by entering your name and email in the form below.

23 Signs That You’re A Highly Sensitive Person

Sensitive male role models were hard to find growing up in the seventies in a middle-class Boston suburb. So for most of my life I considered myself a fairly thick-skinned, typical guy. “Sensitivity” was not a trait encouraged in men. Stability, strength and steadfastness were more like it. All good traits, but often it seemed like an either or equation rather than a both and.

So I followed in the footsteps of the male role models I had; mostly stoic, emotionally unavailable, intellectually focused men.

That worked for a while but at some point during the past 18 or so years that I have been actively and sometimes intensively engaged in personal growth, I have discovered that behind the walls and under the layers of distance and detachment lives a highly sensitive person.

This awakening sensitivity has, sometimes, felt more like a burden than a blessing. But ultimately, and only quite recently, I have come to accept my sensitivity as a gift and a powerful ally on my journey of personal evolution.

When I began this journey, the term Highly Sensitive Person was not widely known (if at all). But as more has been written about Highly Sensitive People and the concept has gained wider (though certainly not universal) acceptance I have come to recognize and accept myself as a Highly Sensitive Person.

It is estimated that 20% of the human population would test positive for what Carl Jung called Innate Sensitiveness. This innate sensitivity has been well researched and the term Highly Sensitive Person was coined in 1996 by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. and explored in her book, The Highly Sensitive Person: How To Thrive When The World Overwhelms You

Wikipedia has this definition of Highly Sensitive Person:

A highly sensitive person (HSP) is a person having the innate trait of high sensitivity (or innate sensitiveness as Carl Gustav Jung originally coined it). According to Elaine N. Aron and colleagues as well as other researchers, highly sensitive people, which would represent about a fifth of the population, process sensory data much more deeply and thoroughly due to a biological difference in their nervous systems. This is a specific trait with key consequences that in the past has often been confused with innate shyness, inhibitedness, innate fearfulness, introversion, and so on. The existence of the trait of innate sensitivity was demonstrated using a test that was shown to have both internal and external validity.

While the idea of highly sensitive people is still shrugged off by the mainstream press and health-care community, I have no doubt that, just as people have different levels of visual acuity, hearing, intelligence and physical grace, there are also varying levels of what I call vibrational sensitivity.

In my observation there is no diagnostic device presently available that is as sensitive as the human body. When properly tuned, our physical bodies have the ability to perceive and respond to our environment with an accuracy that far exceeds the capacity of our present technology. And some of us have bodies that are naturally tuned to be more sensitive to our vibrational environment.

So, for better or worse, that puts highly sensitive people in the unenviable position of being the canaries in the coalmine. Our sensitivity to the auditory, environmental, and vibrational pollution that is prevalent in our world means that we often display physical, emotional and vibrational symptoms long before others less sensitive than us.

That’s the bad news.

But fear not, there is good news! If you are a highly sensitive person, your sensitivity indicates that your body is more highly tuned than most people’s. And, with a bit of effort, training and regular practice, you can learn to leverage your sensitivity to create success and take your life to the next level. I have! More on that later.

For now, let’s look at some of the “symptoms” of highly sensitive people because, if you’re like I was, you might not even know that you’re highly sensitive. And when you don’t know that you’re highly sensitive it can be very difficult and uncomfortable to live in this world filled with less sensitive people who don’t understand why you have to cover your ears when an ambulance goes by, or leave a restaurant that smells like bleach, or sit under a full-spectrum light during the winter.

So if you have ever wondered if you are highly sensitive, here is a list of signs that could indicate that you are a Highly Sensitive Person. (I’ve added some personal notes to a few of the items on the list).

1. Can you hear things others cannot, especially high-pitched sounds?
Do you hear sirens long before anyone else? Does the high-pitched hum of a partially dimmed light fixture get under your skin when no one else seems to notice? Does the whirring fan in your computer distract you? Is it difficult for you to sleep in the same room as a refrigerator? Do you need to cover your ears when a loud siren passes by? Do you use earplugs at concerts or on planes?

2. Do you notice smells that others miss?
I have a weird olfactory sense: When it comes to nice, natural smells such as roses and lilacs, I have to put my nose right into the flower in order to smell it. But when it comes to not-so-nice smells I am highly attuned. I can smell cigarette smoke from 50-feet away when I’m outside and the wind is blowing in the opposite direction. When I walk into a restaurant that has just cleaned up with chlorine bleach, I often have to turn around a leave because the smell is overpowering. And don’t get me started on some of the unnatural perfumes that have nearly made me… well I think you get the idea!

3. Do you know what other people need before they ask?
This post, Intuition or Observation & Analysis, provides a great example of this.

4. Do you notice the flicker on older computer screens or older fluorescent fixtures?
I’m still amazed at how often I used to sit down at someone else’s computer and wonder how they were able to work on it with the refresh rate set so low. If they were not looking over my shoulder I would usually go in and quickly increase the refresh rate which took away the flicker and provided me with some relief.

5. Do you get “overwhelmed” by joy when you experience great beauty: A beautiful sunset, an incredible musical performance, the smile of your child?
High vibrational sensitivity is not always triggered by “negative” experiences. Positive, beautiful, sublime experiences can also awaken that sensitivity. But again, the difference and occasionally the difficulty for sensitive people is the intensity of the experience. Highly sensitive people can be truly overwhelmed by a beautiful experience, which is fine if you are alone on the beach watching a spectacular sunset, but may not be so great if you happen to look out the window at work just at the peak moment of that beautiful sunset.

6. Do you feel threatened or uneasy in large crowds or big cities?
Sometimes I enjoy going into San Francisco, and other times I just can’t wait to get out. But no matter how I’m feeling while I’m there, I always notice a distinct sense of calmness descending upon me as I leave the City. It’s as if I’m passing through an invisible energy boundary as I cross the Golden Gate Bridge.

7. Do you have “emotional radar” that picks up on what others are feeling?
Do you know what people are feeling before they tell you? Do you ever walk into a room and sense that there has been an argument?

8. Do you pick up physical symptoms from other people?
Have you ever been feeling great and then run into a friend who had a headache and suddenly noticed a headache coming on? I once massaged a friend’s knee after she tweaked it during a yoga class. When I was done, she felt great, but I could hardly walk!

9. Does reading or hearing about bad news have a dramatic impact on your mood?
Once upon a time I was a news and information junkie. Knowing what was happening in the world was important. As my sensitivity awakened, however, I began to recognize that the news is almost exclusively low-vibration information and had a dramatic and usually negative impact on me. A few years ago I did a week long news fast to see if it would make a difference. It did! Soon after that, I stopped watching, listening to or reading the news on a regular basis. And while I still don’t watch or listen to the news, I am now able to read the paper or gather snippets of news from the Internet without noticing a dramatic effect on my mood.

10. If you see a bad car accident does it affect you for the entire day?
Most people have a reaction when seeing an accident but for some highly sensitive people the effect can be dramatic and long lasting.

11. Have you been diagnosed with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and/or do you experience a noticeable drop in your energy and mood during the winter?

12. Have you ever had a transcendent or mystical experience?
Highly sensitive people are naturally more open to experiences of bliss, ecstasy and spiritual awakening.

13. Do you have a strong reaction when you drink caffeine or when you attempt to stop?
Everything we put into our bodies has both a physical and energetic effect. For most people the physical effects of caffeine are not that dramatic. But sensitive people also feel the energetic effects of that caffeine and the combination can be quite powerful.

14. Do you have food sensitivities or allergies?
Most of us are putting stuff into our bodies that was never meant to go there. This is fine for people who are not highly sensitive (not really!) but if you are highly sensitive your body may tell you, in no uncertain terms, what you can and cannot put into it.

15. Do you have allergies or asthma?
As with food allergies, environmental allergies can indicate that you are reacting to allergens on both a physical and energetic level.

16. Are you a “lightweight?”
A friend of mine used to say that I could “get drunk from sniffing the bottlecap!” And she wasn’t that far off. My karate buddies nicknamed me Ed “No Mas” Mills because of my tendency to get a little rambunctious after a couple of beers. If one glass of wine puts you under the table you might be highly sensitive.

17. Are you sensitive to over-the-counter, prescribed or illegal drugs?
Can you take half the recommended dosage of a drug and experience a noticeable effect? Have you had an overwhelming experience when experimenting with other drugs?

18. If you have ever had surgery, did it take longer to recover from the effects of the anesthesia than from the surgery itself?
For many sensitive people anesthesia can have a long-lasting and powerful effect. Anesthesia impacts not only the physical body but also the energy body by putting you into a completely unnatural state. It’s a neither here nor there state that can wreak havoc on a sensitive person’s system.

19. Is being in a calm, peaceful environment very important for you?
Does clutter, stress you out? Do harsh, disharmonious colors fluster you? Do you feel at peace in a beautiful garden? Is it important for you to create a “sanctuary” within your home?

20. Do you get claustrophobic when you spend too much time indoors?
For many sensitive people, being inside for too long leads to a feeling of claustrophobia, lethargy and/or irritation.

21. Is it important for you to spend time alone?
Highly sensitive people often feel better when alone. In extreme cases, this need to be alone can be debilitating to the point where being around others is almost impossible.

22. Do you experience dramatic mood swings, sometimes for no apparent reason?
Have you ever been sitting at work, or on the bus, or in a café, feeling pretty good, and suddenly, for no apparent reason, started to feel sad, or angry? Highly sensitive people are more sensitive to both their own emotional content as well as the emotions of those around them. So if this happens to you, you may be connecting with something happening inside of you, but you might also be unintentionally “tuning in” to the emotional content of someone else.

23. Do you know when people are lying to you?
Have you ever just known that someone is telling you a lie, even when you have no “logical” reason to believe that to be so?

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. These are examples of possible “symptoms” of high sensitivity. If ten or more of these experiences rang true for you, it’s highly likely that you’re a highly sensitive person. But even if you said “Yes” to just a handful of these you could be highly sensitive. In fact, even just one or two of these, if they are very strong for you, could indicate high sensitivity.

Ultimately I believe that being a highly sensitive person is a gift. It certainly has become a gift to me! And, yes, I know, it does not always feel that way. It can feel like a burden and a curse. But when you learn how to put boundaries and systems into place you can begin to access and harness that sensitivity and use it to create the life you desire.

Tyler Perry’s Lesson in Forgiveness and Abundance

Terry Gross interviewed Tyler Perry on Fresh Air a few weeks ago. I almost changed the station since I didn’t have a strong connection with Tyler other than knowing that he put his name on all of his movies and – to be quite honest – imagining that he must be fairly egotistical to do that.

Tyler PerryBut something about their conversation hooked me and I listened to it all. It turns out that Tyler is an incredibly articulate and thoughtful person and he shared a story that beautifully expresses the connection between our inner and outer worlds.

You’ve likely heard the phrase “get the inside right and the outside will follow.” The idea is that our inner landscape is reflected in the world we see around us. So if we want to change the outer world we need to begin by changing our inner world. The story Tyler shared is one of the most powerful examples of that concept that I have heard.

Tyler launched his career in 1993 with a stage show that he self financed. It bombed! He lost everything. Fortunately someone in the audience loved the show so much they invested in him so he could do it again. Next time… it bombed again. Over and over he showed up and over and over again the performance tanked.

Then, in 1998, it became a huge hit, an “overnight success,” selling out multiple shows.

What happened? What was different?

On the outside, nothing was different. He had made minor changes to the script but nothing big enough to explain the difference.

Could it have just been persistence? Or maybe something shifted in his chart that opened the way to success!

Perhaps.

But there was another factor at work. During those 6-years of “failure” Tyler had been working on his inner world.

The show was about the power of faith in overcoming old wounds including child abuse. It was based on Tyler’s own experience growing up with an abusive father. But even though there was forgiveness and redemption in the play, during those first few years, Tyler had not found that forgiveness in his own life.

Here’s a quote from Tyler:

“I think that’s why the show wasn’t doing well up until ’98, because I hadn’t forgiven [my father] up until that time. There was so much anger and frustration, and I was self-sabotaging so many things without even knowing it because I hadn’t let that go. But once I learned that, [I was] free to go on.”

Tyler goes on to say, “It’s simple: when you haven’t forgiven those who’ve hurt you, you turn your back against your future. When you do forgive, you start walking forward.”

From 1993 – 1998 Tyler had been producing that show with anger, resentment and hatred in his body, mind, heart and soul. The results of the show reflected his inner world. But as soon as he found his way to a place of forgiveness the energy of peace and love from within fueled the success of the show in the outer world.

Now, it’s safe to say that the forgiveness Tyler Perry found has fueled a lot more success. His movies, books and plays have touched the lives of millions of people. Using humor and caricatures he has addressed themes that are often difficult but important for us to look at.

And his work has also become a source of great personal abundance as well with Tyler now one of the highest paid people in the entertainment industry.

Tyler did the work to “get the inside right” and the outside certainly followed.

Where in your life are you feeling stuck? If there is something in your outer world that seems difficult or frustrating or challenging it may be time to shift your focus from the external experience and put some attention on your inner world.

Perhaps if you get the inside right the outside will follow easily and gracefully.

I’d love to hear your stories about the times when you have gotten the inside right and watched the outside follow. Leave a comment below!

 

Jack Canfield is Wrong: “So What” Doesn’t Work

There’s a lot that Jack Canfield does right. But there’s one thing he said in the movie The Secret that has been bugging me ever since I first saw it back in 2006.

Do you remember when he said this?

“… most psychologists believe that about 85% of families are dysfunctional, so it’s like, all of a sudden you’re not so unique. My parents were alcoholics. My dad abused me, my mother divorced him when I was six… I mean, that’s almost everybody’s story in some form or not. So that’s just called, ‘So what’.”

It’s that “So What” that bugs me.

Maybe so what worked for Jack… and maybe it works for some people. It hasn’t worked for me… I tried getting “So What” to work for about 20-years: Never did.

Now maybe I was just too messed up… or maybe I just wasn’t ready to let go of my wounding… maybe I was one of those victims Jack was talking about when he said: “You know, a lot of people feel like they’re victims in life, and they’ll often point to past events, perhaps growing up with an abusive parent or in a dysfunctional family.”

Could be. I’m willing to accept that there may be some truth to that.

And… I’m also clear that “So What” was NOT an effective path to wholeness for me. And, from what I can tell, it’s not an effective path for a lot of people including most of the people I’ve coached and guided through courses and retreats.

It took me a long time to let go of “so what” and look for another path, another way out of the cycle of wounding that held me back and holds so many Modern Day Mystics back from creating lives of True Abundance.

A new path appeared for me when I started working with a Somatic Experiencing practitioner. The doorway to a new possibility opened when she saw and acknowledged and reflected back to me the depth of the pain I was holding in the cells of my body.

She could tell by the way my body moved when I entered the “trauma vortex” that my trauma was early, birth and even pre-birth. She was able to see and clearly and compassionately reflect what I had been holding in my body all my life.

My “story,” as Jack would call it, is about adoption . It’s a story that doesn’t lend itself to being a victim because the trauma is pre-verbal, pre-cognition. There is no abuse involved and looking in from the outside there doesn’t seem to be much trauma at all. In some ways you could call it a “silent trauma.”

Try explaining to someone who has not been adopted that being separated from your mother at birth feels akin to death – your death and the death of the one person in your life that you need, in that moment, more than anything – and that the memory of that “death” is encoded in the cells of your body. Most people will nod their heads and say, “that’s interesting.”

So I tried, for most of my life, to get to that place of “So What” since that’s what the world seemed to be reflecting back to me. So What, Edward. Get over it and get on with your life.

Well intentioned advice that completely missed the target.

“So What” wasn’t what I needed. It didn’t help me.

Working with the SE practitioner I finally understood what I needed and what would have helped me. And maybe hearing this – even though the specifics might not be the same – will help you!

If I could go back to my younger self, when I first began my journey of self-discovery, knowing what I know now, here is what I would say:

“Wow Edward, I can see how deeply the adoption experience impacted you. You hold a profound pain inside of you that most likely will never completely go away. It must have been so painful to have your mother let you go at the moment of your birth. I can sense the deep emotions, the grief, anger, terror and helplessness that you’re holding in the cells of your body.

“You will always carry the memory of that experience in your body.

“But you know what else? You can learn to let go of the pain and release those deep emotions so that the experience doesn’t control you. You can acknowledge it. You can learn to accept it as a part of who you are. In time you may even come to appreciate it for the role it has played in shaping you into who you are and who you are becoming.

“And when you do that, Edward, when you acknowledge, accept and even appreciate the experience it will no longer have power over you. It will no longer control your thoughts and actions from the shadows.

“This experience has defined you but it has done so on a subconscious level. Now you get to choose to bring this experience into your conscious exploration of who you want to become. How will you choose to interact with this trauma. How will you choose to let it activate you, open you, awaken you, catalyze you to create something and share the unique wisdom and insights that you carry because of it? That is your choice and that is the path you must walk.”

Now I hope you can see that this is not meant to give any of us license to be a victim or to get stuck in our woundedness. Rather it is an invitation to be deeply witnessed in your wholeness… and your wholeness includes the wounds and past traumas that you carry.

When you are witnessed in those places, when you allow yourself to be seen and accepted in your wholeness you can begin to reclaim the power from the wounded places and bring that power into the light, into your life… and into the world!

So consider this article my way of acknowledging you, of witnessing you in your wholeness, of honoring the pain you carry from whatever traumas you have experienced in the past and of inviting you to bring your power into the world!

I’m Making Up A Story That…

On Thursday and Friday of last week I had the privilege of interviewing some of the most successful conscious entrepreneurs in the world. It was part of the Shift Network’s Enlightened Business Summit. Earlier in the week, Chip Conley, the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, interviewed many of the most successful conscious business people on the topic of Emotional Fluency.

It was an incredible week of insights and aha moments. And the most amazing thing for me was to see how much of the information being shared by these high level business executives, authors and experts in the field of Emotional Intelligence could be applied to areas other than business!

Fyi: If you haven’t had a chance to listen, the replays are available through the end of the week.

One of the biggest “AHA” moments for me was during Chip’s interview with Café Gratitude founders Terces and Matthew Englehart, authors of the book, Sacred Commerce. At one point Matthew was sharing one of the communications techniques they use in the restaurants when there is a conflict or tension between employees.

As the two, or more, employees share what they are thinking they begin with the phrase, “I’m making up a story that…”

It is such a simple technique and yet the power in those 6 words is incredible.

Think about it: How many times have you made up a story in your head about someone or a situation that ended up having absolutely no connection to reality?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably done it once or twice… or maybe like a few thousand times! ;)

This technique struck me as such a powerful way to diffuse the charge that builds up when our minds start spinning out in a direction that usually is not based on anything other than a limiting belief.

I know that I make up stories all the time about being abandoned. That’s my “core wound.” And it’s very easy for me to spin out into a detailed storyline about how I’m being abandoned by my partner whenever she does something that activates that wound in me.

Since hearing that interview last week, I’ve made a commitment to myself to use the phrase, “I’m making up a story that you’re pulling away”… or “you’re getting ready to leave”… or, well you get it.

Using that phrase does two very important things:

First, for my partner, it lets her know I’m aware that I’m speaking from the wounded place in me and that I’m not saying this story is true and I’m not saying that she’s doing anything wrong. When I speak from that place it allows her to hear me without going into defensiveness.

Second, for me, it immediately diffuses some of the charge around the story. By using those words I’m letting myself know that it’s just a story. As with most stories, there may be an element of truth to it, but it is not the whole TRUTH. And when I’m able to take that step back from seeing the story as TRUTH I am more able to listen to and really hear my partner’s experience – even if something she says seems to confirm my belief in the story – and feel her love and our connection.

It is a powerful technique that can be put into use in all relationships, work, romance, friends, family. And it’s a tool you can use on your own.

Again, if you’re like me, you’ve got an imagination that loves creating stories. The next time you catch your mind going into that cycle see if you can stop yourself and say, “I’m making up a story that…” You might find that just recognizing that you are creating a story will help you come back to the TRUTH.

Try it out today and let me know what happens. I’d love to hear your experience with it.

The Secret to Controlling the Weather

He stood on the outcropping overlooking the drought-stricken valley below. Crops were withering from the heat and lack of rain. He could smell the smoke from the not too distant fires burning their way through the dry forests and fields.

He stood, feeling the fear of his people, the pain of the farmers, the hunger of the children. He let this fear, pain and hunger flow into his awareness, fill him up, take him over. He allowed the memories of past droughts and the grief they left in their path swallow him. He let the fear, pain and sadness of his people awaken the places of fear, pain and sadness within himself.

He focused on the sadness: Of the mothers who could not feed their children, the farmers who could not provide for their families and communities. He let this sadness grow inside. He let himself open to the cleansing that needed to move through him.

Soon the tears began to flow, just a trickle at first as he opened his heart fully to the sadness and welcomed in the cleansing. And as the tears began to flow, those watching from below saw clouds begin to gather. Slowly at first, then more rapidly, the blue sky turned grey. Darker and darker the sky became until a shout was heard, “Rain!”

Soon others joined in, shouting with joy and gratitude as they, too, felt the drops of rain beginning to bring their cleansing, regenerative power to the land.

Before long, the people in the valley below could no longer see the Rainmaker standing above. He was lost in the rain and clouds. But still, he stood, finding the places within himself that needed to be cleansed, opening himself up to those places where sadness and grief lived within himself so that he could call forth the cleansing rains and bring healing and hope to the land and to the people.

Scientists have told us that it’s impossible to control the weather. There are too many factors and variables. But for millenia, the mystics and shaman of many traditions have demonstrated that it is possible to influence the weather.

Possible. Not possible. Who can really say. All I know is that there sure seems to be a correlation between my emotional state and the weather. Now there is the chicken and egg question that can be asked here: Which comes first, the rain to help remind me that there is some place inside me that needs cleansing or the places inside me that need the cleansing?

It doesn’t really matter, although I admit it can be fun to imagine that my emotional state influences the weather!

What matters to me is that I don’t just dismiss the weather as an unrelated external factor. II believe there IS a connection between what is happening inside of me – and YOU – and what is happening in the world around me, including the weather.

We are all interconnected. You’ve heard the phrase “as above so below” or “get the inside right and the outside follows.” Our inner world and the external world that we see and experience are intimately connected. So whether or not my internal state has an impact on the weather, I have begun looking at the weather as more than a random external circumstance. Instead, look at the weather as a literal barometer and reflection of something inside of me.

For instance, this morning I woke up to a dense fog. Instead of moaning and complaining, I asked myself, what is this fog here to remind me?

The answer came back immediately: “You don’t need to know the outcome, just take the next step.”

So often I find myself wanting to know the outcome, the final destination. I want to be able to see where the path in front of me is leading. There is definitely a bit of that happening in my life right now. Lots of changes and unknown variables have left me feeling a bit off balance and uncertain about how to proceed. In fact, I had a difficult time falling asleep last night because my mind was so busy trying to figure out all the possible permutations and twists and turns in the road in front of me.

This morning, the fog reminded me, in very clear terms that I don’t need to know what happens beyond today, or even what happens beyond this very moment. I don’t need to see where the path I’m on is leading.

I only need to take the next step. And when I take that next step, the step after it will become clear. If I just continue taking one step at a time, putting one foot in front of the other, I know that I’ll get to where I’m going… even if I don’t know where that is!

So, if you woke up to fog this morning, let go of the need to know where Life is leading you and ask yourself what the very next step is that you can take in this moment.

If you woke up to rain, ask yourself what places inside of you could use a little cleansing.

And if you woke up to a beautiful, sunny morning, enjoy the vista, know that you are in a place where you CAN see the possibilities and potential that awaits you as you move forward. But remember, you still have to take that next step… and the one after that… in order to get to where this incredible Life is leading you.

And remember, it really IS possible that YOU are controlling the weather!

Don’t forget to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about your experiences of controlling the weather!

You Are NOT Alone!

Have you ever felt alone?

If you’re like most of us, the answer to that question is a resounding YES!

How about when…

  • the teacher called on you in school and you didn’t know the answer?
  • or coming home to an empty house after a breakup?
  • or someone you love has passed on?
  • or a friend is late (or forgets about) a meeting?
  • or someone you love forgets your birthday?

Sometimes, even standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, surrounded by hundreds of people, a feeling of aloneness can creep in and we find ourselves retreating further into the perception that we are alone.

To some extent we all feel this aloneness and it impacts every aspect of our lives.

Eckhart Tolle speaks of Alienation, which the dictionary defines as:  Isolation from a group or an activity to which one should belong or in which one should be involved.

He writes:

“Most people are alienated from who they are… Alienation means that you don’t feel at ease in any situation, any place, or with any person, not even with yourself. You are always trying to get “home” but never feel at home.”

I can relate to feeling ill at ease. Here’s one of the strange ways that feeling has shown up in my life. You know those signs in some stores that say, “Please check your bags at the counter?” For many years, I felt so out of place in this world that if a store didn’t have a bag check I would ask if I could leave my bag at the counter anyway. If they said “No,” and I had to walk around the store with my backpack, I would feel paranoid the entire time that they thought I was going to steal something. And no, I don’t have kleptomaniac tendencies! ;)

It was just one of the quirky ways that my sense of alienation manifested.

Now, obviously that particular expression of alienation didn’t have a huge negative impact on my life. But when that deep feeling of not belonging in the world showed up in my relationships, it did!

Because I believed, so deeply, that I am alone, I acted in ways that helped prove that belief. I kept people at a distance. I pushed people who loved me away. I resisted deep connections and intimacy.

Not the most effective and enjoyable way to live!

And while I have gotten MUCH better at opening up to people and loving them and allowing them to love me, I still do catch myself, from time to time, acting from the belief that I am alone.

Now, when I notice myself pushing someone away or holding myself back from a connection, I stop and remember that it’s the perfect time to love myself and feel into the truth that I am deeply and intimately connected with all that is.

Remember that “Contrast” – the things in our lives that we don’t necessarily like – shows up to point out something obvious that we’re forgetting. When I catch myself relating to someone else in an unloving way, it’s time for me to stop and find the place inside myself that feels unloved or unlovable.

The more I do that, the more open I become to truly deep, intimate, loving connections with others… as well as with myself and, most important, with Source or God.

So the next time you feel alone or you catch yourself pushing someone away, I encourage you to take a moment to stop and find the place inside you that is asking for love, that is asking to be welcomed home.

The more that you can remember your connection to all that is the more you’ll shift that feeling of Aloneness to ALLOne Ness!

Stop waiting for your starring role

Do you want to make a difference in the world? Do you want to be a catalyst for positive change?

The desire to contribute to the highest good of all is strong in most modern day mystics. We see the problems in the world. We feel the pain and suffering of those around us as well as those far away. We resonate with the Earth as she experiences the sometimes devastating changes that our actions create.

In the face of such seemingly overwhelming “problems” the desire to make massive, positive changes can be quite strong. We want to make a difference. But not just a little difference… we want to make a BIG one!

Ironically, it is that very desire to make a BIG difference that paralyzes so many modern day mystics! We wait until the moment when everything feels right and our ducks are all in a row and the guidance or inspiration for action comes and we KNOW that we’re going to make that BIG difference.

But when will everything be just right? When will we feel strong enough, healed enough, focused enough, enlightened enough to make a difference that is big enough? We won’t. Which is why starting NOW is so important.

Have you ever acted in a play? I acted in high school and again after college in several community theater performances. And even at that level it was interesting to observe how we all wanted the starring role!

Let’s face it, most actors dream of being the “star.” Very few people go into an acting career with a vision of making a career as a “walk on” or even a supporting actor for that matter. They want to see their name in lights and be listed first in the credits. That’s a great dream!

But, more often than not, they WON’T get a starring role. It’s just a numbers game: Think about how many starring roles there are versus how many aspiring actors there are!  There just aren’t enough opportunities for everyone to be the star – at least in Hollywood!

And while it can be a bit romantic to imagine that the big stars we see on screen were “discovered” the truth is that most of the big name actors have worked their butts off getting whatever parts they can and showing up fully in the best and biggest way they know how… even for those small and in some cases insignificant roles. They knew that the more fully they showed up for the small parts the more likely it is that they would get noticed and get invited to audition for a larger part next time.

Eventually, if they keep showing up and keep playing those supporting roles in the biggest and best way they know how, they MIGHT get one of those starring roles they’ve dreamed up.

Life is like that. Most of us want to be the star. We want to play a big, important part in this performance that we call life. But the truth is that if you look at our “roles” through our cultural lens of importance, there are very few “starring” roles.

On the other hand, if you look at your “roles” in terms of what really makes a difference, you have the potential to be in a starring role all the time! In fact, no one else in the world, no one else in all of time and space, can play the part that you have been assigned. No one else has the same unique mix of qualities, insights, talents, skills, experiences, and gifts. Only you can be the star in the part you have come here to play.

That part is yours and yours alone. And whether our culture sees it as a “starring” role or a supporting role doesn’t matter. Because, in the end, you ARE the star of YOUR life and you have absolutely no idea how the role you play is going to impact the course of this world.

Native Americans tell us that our actions impact the next seven generations. Can you see seven generations from now? Can you know the potential power of your actions as their impact, like the ripples from a pebble thrown in a pond, grows and spreads out through those next seven generations? Probably not!

What if a simple smile that you share with someone changes the course of their life? What if you smiled at a young man walking down the street, not knowing that he was feeling down, despairing, confused and uncertain what to do next? And what if your smile, for whatever reason, gave him hope? What if that was exactly what he needed to take his next step and enroll in college and get his science degree? And what if he goes on to a PhD program and becomes a core member of the team that discovers the cure for cancer?

And what if you will NEVER (in this lifetime) know that you were the one who gave him the strength and courage to take that next step.

We can never know the impact of our actions. A friend of mine, Liz, recently celebrated her birthday with a Purification Lodge Ceremony. While the fire was heating the stone people, I was talking with one of her friends who had been a student of mine seven or eight years ago. As we talked, she reminded me that she and Liz had actually met at that class and have since become close friends. And she told me that what she had learned in that class continued to influence her work and life and that it had been a key factor in her decision to enroll in a master’s program in transpersonal psychology.

It was eye-opening for me to hear. I had quite literally forgotten about that course and it made me realize just how easy it is to underestimate and even disregard the impact of our actions.

Look, life doesn’t care if you are the star! The truth is, to Life you ARE the star in each and every moment… no matter what you are doing!

The point is, don’t wait for your “starring” role since it might never come. Jump in and give all you’ve got to whatever role you are playing right now. This IS your starring role! The part you play in this life, whether large or small, is absolutely needed. You hold a piece of the puzzle that no one else does. Don’t wait. Don’t squander your time here waiting for the call to come. Get out there and make yourself count no matter how small or insignificant you feel your part is.

 

You Can’t Find What You Already Are

There I was, looking for my glasses. I knew they were around since I had definitely taken them off in that room. At least I thought I had. But the more I looked, the more I began doubting and questioning. Maybe I had left them in the bathroom. So I went and checked there. Nope.

Are you groaning now, waiting for the punchline that I found them on the top of my head?

Well I’ve done that with sunglasses, but in this case it was actually much more ludicrous than that. I suddenly started hearing the song, “I can see clearly now…” And it dawned on me to wonder how I’m able to actually look for my glasses without needing to squint and bend down close to the places where I’m looking.

D’Oh! I’m wearing my glasses.

That’s a true story. It’s happened to me more than once, fortunately, not in quite a while!

It really does happen. If you wear glasses it’s probably happened to you once or twice!

It comes down to belief. In that moment, when I was searching for the glasses that were actually on my face, somehow the belief that I have misplaced my glasses is strong enough to make me overlook the reality that I can actually see – which means that what I’m looking for is actually right here.

Beliefs are extremely powerful, so powerful that they have the capacity to obscure and distort our “reality.” By now I’m sure you’ve heard the story of the indigenous people who were unable to “see” the three-masted schooners anchored in the bay. The possibility of that type of vessel existing was so far outside their belief system that reality actually distorted to make those ships invisible to them.

It was not until the Shaman of the tribe had meditated and done ceremony to expand his belief system and open up his vision to that possibility that the other members of the tribe were able to see the ships.

True Abundance is like that. You ARE True Abundance. That is your nature. It is all around you. It is within you. It is the very essence of who you are. But the belief that you are NOT True Abundance has you convinced that you have to go find it. So you look around, always looking, always seeking, never realizing that what you seek is actually right here, right now, within you.

That which you seek – Abundance, Joy, Love – is what you truly are. It is not out there somewhere for you to find. It is your essence.

You don’t find TRUE Abundance. You ARE TRUE Abundance. Rather, you remember it. Just as I didn’t “find” the glasses I was seeking, I came to realize or remember that I was actually wearing them, you can’t find what you are, you can only realize and remember it.

Take a moment to let go of the belief that abundance is something ‘Out There.” Let go of the idea that Abundance is something you attain. Open to the truth that abundance is something you ARE, right now. Yes, even in this moment. Even with your fears and doubts and worries, abundance is here, right now. Breathe it in.

Stepping into TRUE Abundance is as easy as “finding” the glasses that you’re already wearing. It is as simple as letting go of the belief that has you convinced that you can’t “see.” You can see. You can feel. You can KNOW and experience TRUE Abundance right now. All you have to do is believe. All you have to do is trust… All you have to do is remember that you are already “wearing” abundance.

Stop looking for it and start LIVING it. Start living as if you can see the abundance all around you. Start living as if you feel the abundance flowing through you. Start living as if you can recognize the abundance in every situation and all the people who come into your life. Start living as if there is nothing but abundance. For abundance is truly all there is. And you are truly abundant.

You are already wearing the glasses you seek. The lens of abundance is already in you. It IS you. Now go out and live your life of TRUE Abundance!

Your partner in TRUE Abundance

Edward