Thursday, March 22, 2007

When Looking for Inspiration Becomes an Escape

My associates and I were having one of those really deep, insightful conversations about our own work habits and the ways we have historically sabotaged our progress. The wonderful thing about working with people you trust is that together you can help each other change ineffective habits into more effective ones.

Since we all help people eliminate blocks in order to create more meaningful, fulfilling lives for themselves, we were aware of our own tendency as well as a tendency among some of our clients to seek inspiration when action is required.

Sometimes the next step we need to take is down-right scary, so one way we avoid getting to that step, while tricking ourselves into believing we are still on track with our work, is to continuously seek more inspiration. Subconsciously, we may be trying to convince ourselves that with just the right inspiration we will then have the courage to do what we know needs to be done.

It is brilliant because on the surface it looks as though we are continuing to educate ourselves and prepare. So we convince ourselves and everyone around us that we are making progress—all the while the step needing to be taken to generate real progress is being avoided. What a way to escape taking right action!

Because my associates and I are aware of this tendency, we help each other by remaining action focused. Oh, we love inspiration, and indeed there are times when we need it. However, gathering lots of inspiration without taking action is a clue that we are avoiding our next step.

We have discovered the best inspiration comes when we sit down with our other associates and address the fear that is keeping us from taking the next step. With their support and encouragement, we are soon focused on solutions, and preparatory action tasks that get us ready for the next step.

With all that energy behind us, it is difficult to chump out. And when we do take that step, we know we can count on our associates to celebrate with us the real achievement of overcoming our fear.

Monday, March 19, 2007

One Prayer for Your Life.

I was getting ready for a ceremony that was to take place in a few days. I was listening to the instructions of my elder when she said, "And this is when you will offer your life prayer."

My hands were getting sweaty and my blood pressure was going up and I wasn't even sure I understood what she was telling me. "What is a life prayer?" I asked.

"That is a prayer of commitment for your life's work," she replied.

"Ok," I thought, "I was right. She really means for my whole life."

Considering I had no idea at that time what I was here to do, I had no idea what commitment I was willing to make for my entire life. I don't make those kind of commitments lightly, and now I was being asked to to make such a commitment in ceremony.

I suppose I could have told her I wasn't ready to do this, but the truth was I wanted to know. So I spent days just contemplating quietly what commitment I could offer my life to. I thought about all kinds of options, but I was waiting for that feeling telling me this is it—this is my life's expression.

I decided to simply wait for the moment and allow it to come from deep within me. When I finally said the prayer, it was so obvious, profound, and it was a pure and an authentic expression of who I am.

That single prayer brought tremendous focus to my life. When I'm confused about what I need to be doing, I reflect on that prayer. The details of who, what, where, when and how I fulfill that prayer have proven to be much less important than keeping my vision firmly fixed on the intention of that prayer. I have discovered that one prayer for your whole life is a lot to live up to.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Playing It Safe

Have you ever thought, "Maybe I shouldn't go so far out on a limb. Maybe people will be turned off by what I think and what I have to offer. Maybe my purpose is my own journey and doesn't have anything to do with anyone else."

Have you ever listened as your self talk convinced yourself to play it safe, when deep, deep down inside you just wanted to be authentically you doing your true life's work?

A dear friend and client recently came to me torn between doing the same old coaching work she has always done, playing it very corporate and very safe, or going out on a limb to do the kind of coaching she really wants to do with passion and fresh perspectives. She figured she might lose some of her clients if she showed up with more of her edgier approaches, which include a dash of spiritual view-point.

I suggested she might actually attract more clients. In fact, she might even attract clients she would enjoy more—clients with whom she might make a greater impact. She could see the truth in what I was suggesting, but the fear of rejection was still looming.

"Listen," I finally said, "you aren't here on earth to help everyone. You are here to serve those who want to be served by someone who sees life the way you do. And there are plenty of people out there who want to do business from their own spiritual integrity. They are the ones who will appreciate you. The rest will simply need to find another coach."

I know this fear so well. Being authentic is challenging work. I don't know anyone who is fond of rejection, and yet the more we define our true voice in the world, the more likely it will be that someone isn't going to like our point of view.

The biggest benefit in staying true to our authentic view of the world in our service to others is that we meet people and help people who are on the same wave-length with us. That makes life a heck of lot more fun, satisfying and fulfilling.

When it comes to our life purpose, playing it safe, is more like playing it stuck. Playing with honesty and passion, true to ourselves—now that's a way to enjoy our purpose.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Transcending Doubt with Truth

Isn't it amazing how your doubt can seem bigger and more real than your desire?

I have been fascinated by my ability over the years to put more credibility in my fear than in my hopes and dreams. It has been so easy to see my shortcomings and far more challenging to recognize my abilities.

What I discovered I needed to rattle me out of my doubt was a big dose of truth.

Recently, I had a client who was sharing how immobilized she felt in her career by a man in the industry who seemed like a threat to her. She was concerned this man would sabotage her efforts. We carefully dissected the threat only to discover her fear wasn't founded in the actual events of the here and now. Her fear was coming from this man's daunting similarities to her oppressive father, who has been deceased for some time.

Once she was able to look at where her fear was really coming from, she was able to make some business decisions with confidence, freeing herself from her temporary paralysis.

It has been my experience that behind doubt lurks fear, and fear is often based in something that happened some time ago, or something that could possibly happen in the future but hasn't happened yet.

When you pause long enough to look at what is really happening in the moment–the current truth of the situation–you are better able to discover the actual source of the fear. When you know the source, you know what to change.

In my client's case, she decided to move forward with her best plans, affirming she would receive full and complete support in her endeavors. She decided to reduce her fear of sabotage in these ways:

1) Acknowledge the truth that while her father did have authority over her, this man does not.
2) Affirm with feeling each day that she only attracts people who support her work.
3) Whenever she feels her doubt or fear creeping in, she will stop what she is doing and affirm a supportive reality until she feels calm and secure.

The moment you stop listening to the doubt and uncover the truth, you are preparing your way to manifesting your desires.

Next: Playing It Safe

Monday, March 05, 2007

Transcending Doubt

A dear friend and mentor once explained to me every time you doubt yourself and linger in that doubt, you set yourself back several steps. "Imagine," she said, "you are playing a baseball game. You are making great progress as you stand on third base, ready to slide home. The batter hits the ball and you start running but you doubt you can make it. Your doubt will become your reality. In life, it might mean you are set back to second or first base, but you will now have to make up the distance your doubt created."

Here is the nagging reality. It is really easy to doubt. At some point, in any act of creation, you are probably going to wonder if you are on the right path, cut out to do this, capable, or truly worthy. Your fears grab hold of you and there you are sliding backwards.

Many of us try to ignore our doubts. This usually proves to be unfruitful at best and down-right dangerous at worst. Fears that aren't addressed tend to rule your life. They lead you toward failure and you wind up wondering why your plans aren't working and your dreams aren't coming to fruition. Yet, have you noticed identifying and addressing your own fears can be very difficult to do?

This is one of the reasons people acquire coaches, therapists, counselors, and consultants. Sometimes it is wise to get help so you can get to the core doubt keeping you from success and address it with new perspectives and insights.

Associates you trust can also provide great assistance in helping you identify the fears and doubts holding you back. Once clearly identified, a doubt is often easier to reverse than you might imagine. The initial key is in accurately recognizing the limiting belief and the intense feeling accompanying the belief.

You can also get to limiting beliefs by questioning yourself about your limits. I have discovered I have to keep asking myself challenging questions until I feel the tears welling up inside of me. When I have gotten to that point, I am usually sitting on the edge of my fear. Another question or two beyond that point is frequently at the core. I have learned to feel it, uncomfortable as it might be, until there is a release or catharsis. At that moment, I am ready for a new belief or perspective.

Next: Replacing Doubt With Truth

Friday, March 02, 2007

Feeling the Healing, Becoming the New You

Whether you are creating healing, wealth, right relationship, meaningful careers, or fulfilling your soul purpose, you have to be able to feel what you are creating in order to experience it.

A good friend of mine recently tripled her income in one month. We were talking about how she did it, and she said she believed the trick was in keeping a clear focus while keeping her energy up. We explored this further and I came to understand that "keeping her energy up" meant feeling her success.

Of course, there were times when her doubts and challenges created interference between her belief she would succeed and the feeling she would succeed. I remember a few phone calls when she was feeling down and unsure about her ability to create her dream. Immediately, we got her attention on something she could do to help her get her energy back up.

Like my friend, you may find you need a boost from time to time. You might restore your energy by getting some time out on the Mother Earth, taking a much needed break, offering a prayer or chanting an affirmation. Some of you are restored through exercise and others by giving yourself a meaningful task to accomplish in the direction of our desire. And you might find expressing your creativity is an excellent means for getting yourself energized again.

Doing what works for you to keep your energy level up–feeling your success–is a key in being in the creative flow. The need for clear focus and feeling yourself well are definitely significant in healing yourself from illness or depression.

One of my teachers taught me if I could visualize the injured part, see it completely well and sing to that wellness for 10 seconds, the injury would be healed. Ten seconds sounds like nothing at all, doesn't it. Try it. Try to keep your focus clear and energized for 10 seconds. It takes exceptional skill to do this. No wonder creating in life can be so challenging.

Yet, this is the art of spiritual practice in healing and fulfilling your soul purpose.

Next: Transcending Doubt