When I find myself thinking the circumstances of my life are insurmountable or unfair, I think of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of my favorite, inspirational historical figures.
I can only imagine where we’d be if he had thought that the circumstances of institutionalized racism in 1963 were an immovable, insurmountable, unfair life sentence.
What if Martin Luther King, Jr. had thought:
We are powerless.
We can’t do anything about this.
This will never change.
If he did think those thoughts (and he very well could have in his hours of darkness), he didn’t let them have the final say.
Dr. King was a New Thought Creator Extraordinaire.
A shining example of this is his “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on August 28, 1963, which was teaming with nearly 60 faith- and hope-producing new thoughts that galvanized his people and a nation.
He shared with the nation dozens of brilliantly conceived new thoughts which were needed in order to fuel abundant action designed to end legalized racism:
Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.”
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
I teach my clients to design and choose to think the most abundant thoughts that they 100% believe. Dr. King’s speech exemplifies the pinnacle of abundant thinking, especially in light of the circumstances that triggered them. Believing 100% in one’s new thoughts is key, and there is no doubt that Dr. King believed with every fiber of his being in the thoughts that he was sharing.
He gave the nation a new perspective, painted a new picture, and offered replacement thoughts for anyone who might be weary from the circumstances of 1963. To people who might have been thinking of resorting to violence or those whose faith was waning or who were ready to give up entirely, he delivered the gift of a host of new thoughts as if to say, “Here. I have just what you need. Think these thoughts instead!”:
We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. …
Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning.
Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. …
I have a dream that one day my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. …
By tuning in to these thoughts and many more that Dr. King provided in his speech, millions felt inspiration and hope which caused them to march and boycott and join together to peacefully protest racism in America – ultimately resulting in its demise.
Further, Martin Luther King, Jr. was future-focused rather than being mired in negative thoughts about the past or thinking that the past equals the future. He knew that changing his thoughts now to abundant ones and showing the nation how to do the same would change the nation’s future. He infused his speech with images and descriptions of the future he saw so clearly and invited others to see it, too.
Given the circumstances, Dr. King could have easily had a Thought Model that looked like the following:
Circumstance: Institutionalized racism
Thought: This will never change
Feeling: Futile, hopeless
Action: Give up
Result: This never changes
But (thank God Almighty) Dr. King’s Thought Model was simply this:
Circumstance: Institutionalized racism
Thought: “I have a dream…”
Feeling: Faith, hope
Action: “Work together, pray together, struggle together, go to jail together, stand up for freedom together”
Result: “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
If Martin Luther King, Jr. could think abundant, empowering, inspirational, future-focused thoughts about his circumstances, then I can think abundant, empowering, inspirational, future-focused thoughts about mine.
And I’ll bet you can, too.
For the full text and audio of Dr. King’s speech, click here.
Originally posted 1/27/2011
Do you believe in Santa Claus?
I’ll bet the answer is no.
But perhaps there was a time when you went through what over two billion people have gone through:
Believing in Santa Claus.
Believing that a rotund man in a red velvety suit with a white beard and spectacles circles the globe on a sleigh pregnant with gifts, propelled forward by a herd of flying reindeer.
You might have even written a letter to this fictitious character or left him cookies and milk with a side of carrots for the reindeer as my nephews have. Or perhaps sat on his lap and gotten your picture taken with Santa himself (as I have), believing you were in the presence of the great and mighty Santa Claus, giver of gifts to children nice but not naughty.
As I began to learn about my mind and my thoughts and I came to question limiting beliefs that I had long held, believing in Santa Claus came to mind.
So often my clients and I can cite “proof” for our point of view – whether that evidence comes from the agreement of friends and family members, the popular culture, the nightly news or events in our lives.
But let me just say that right now there are millions of children who believe in Santa Claus and think he is as real as the toys they play with or the clothes they wear.
Santa Claus is as real to those children as your “horrible boss” or your “controlling mother-in-law” or the belief that “life is unfair” or “there’s never enough time” might be to you.
Those children dream of Santa Claus, think of him fondly, talk to him in their minds or at the mall, want something from him, think that he will be landing on their roofs this Christmas Eve, and that they will be opening gifts personally delivered by him on Christmas morning.
But do those beliefs make him real?
Not to me.
But he sure as heck is real to the children who believe in him.
Just as the outdated or limiting beliefs we hold are real to us.
So when you’re working with your coach. And she questions one of your limiting beliefs:
If I weigh _______, I’m a failure.
If I owe ________, I’m a loser.
The reason I don’t have or can’t have _______, is because of _______.
Just because you’ve got a lot of proof and agreement for your limiting and possibly (very) painful beliefs, doesn’t mean that what you believe in is any more real than Santa Claus.
Originally posted 12/23/11
Life Coach Jam held our fantastic tele-class yesterday.
We forgot to record it.
Which is only important because we said we’d send the recording out to those who signed up for the class.
Life is like that sometimes.
Over an hour of content.
That we’ll be re-recording next weekend.
Sometimes we have setbacks.
Let’s say we’re at a party. We indulge. The next morning we’ve gained a few pounds.
We feel disappointed, frustrated, dejected.
Then we indulge in all or nothing thinking and throw in the towel.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Sometimes we don’t get the result we wanted or expected. Or don’t behave the way we were hoping to.
We gain a few pounds. Over-drink. Buy that new purse even though we’ve resolved to get out of credit card debt.
We waste so much time and energy when we think we have to do it perfectly.
We derail our progress when we use our own imperfection as a reason to stop or throw in the towel.
“Nearly every person who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.”
Being imperfect is how we humans roll.
When we tell ourselves we have failed, we tend to think that is the end of the story.
There is no recourse.
Nothing else can be done.
It’s the end of the line.
I mean, we did FAIL, after all.
But usually what we call failure is just a matter of our results not meeting our expectations.
And when we use that as a reason to say, “Screw it” and “Why bother,” we can turn gaining a pound or two into 20 pounds, and a dismal blind date into swearing off dating for. ever.
One of the greatest expectations of all is to expect ourselves to keep going.
Failure is like a typo. Just correct it and keep toyping typing.
Oh, the pounds I never would have gained if I had treated my weight loss “failures” like “typos” and just kept going.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
― Thomas A. Edison
To receive our fantastical re-recorded “Gift of Peace” call and learn how to keep going when you want to say “Screw it!”, shoot me an email and I’ll send you the recording.
Enjoy the process of creation, of achieving your goals. This is the lion’s share of the experience.
When the manifestation shows up, the thrill of achievement will last what seems like a whopping split second in the scheme of things.
Often, you think it’s going to be the cure all. But life keeps going.
And your ongoing management of all of the above.
You get that promotion, have a big celebration, then it’s Monday morning and time to get back to work (often with higher stakes as it turns out).
You reach your goal weight, buy a new wardrobe, and the work of being able to continue fitting into that wardrobe has begun. Oh shit!
On and on it goes.
You can slog away (sometimes for years), achieve your goal, be excited for a moment, then disappointed at your craptastic ratio of slogging to celebrating.
Or you can enjoy the delicious full-bodied experience of setting your aim, deliberately and consistently applying yourself to your goal, doing all the personal work of managing your mind, thinking on purpose, and eventually knowing it is on its way to you.
You can enjoy anticipating and expecting its arrival, like a good meal after it’s ordered at a restaurant, and then enjoy its actual manifestation.
You avoid disappointment because you are so in tune with the process of deliberately creating your desires, and you simply continue on with all the delicious creations you have in progress, knowing that more and more desires are hatched continuously all the time.
Try the second version.
It’s way more satisfying.
Not to mention more fun.
On a recent Sunday night, I felt myself bracing, clenching, getting ready to suck it up and endure five days at work so that I could get to the next weekend.
I felt dread.
And I realized that I was working this equation:
Five Days of Dread + Two Days of (Attempted) Joy = One Week of Unhappiness
Can you relate?
I realized there were a few glitches with my math.
1. You cannot go from dread to joy in two seconds flat. It’s just not possible.
You cannot direct and train your thoughts, energy and actions in the direction of dread for five days, and then expect to leave work on Friday night and feel instantaneously joyous, nor go to bed and wake up Saturday morning light as a feather, ready to do the Happy Dance.
You cannot expect to predominantly experience emotions that are way down on the Abundance Scale (from depression at one end of the spectrum all the way to joy at the other end) and then expect to leap effortless up to the top of the scale as soon as you clock out on Friday night or wake up Saturday morning.
2. Even if you could go from dread to joy in one fell swoop, the ratio of 5:2 is really shortchanging yourself.
Five days of unhappy for every two days of happy is really selling yourself short. Is this how you want to live? For some, it seems this is the way we HAVE to live.
We always have a choice.
We get to choose our perspective. And that changes everything.
Instead of 5 Days Dread for Two Days Joy…
What if you could have Seven Days Awesome?
And it starts with your decision for it to be so.
When you don’t even think it’s possible…
When you don’t even make it your goal…
When you set your sights so low that all you can hope for is to endure five bleak days in order to get to two wonderful ones…
Seven Days Awesome will never happen.
Instead you’ll get Five Days Dread and then two days of trying to be joyous, happy and free but actually only feeling mildly better than dread because you can only incrementally improve your feelings in the short time span of 48 hours…especially when you’re anticipating five more days of dread.
You feel me!
How about this equation:
Continually managing your mind Monday through Sunday = Seven Days Awesome
Your feeling good is THE most important thing. It is your point of attraction. It is the point from which you will attract more feeling good, more manifestations, circumstances and conditions that add to you feeling good.
Conversely, if you are in a state of dread, you will attract more conditions, interactions and circumstances that will prompt you to feel more dread.
When you decide to feel good and become willing to constantly train your mind and focus your thoughts toward ones that cause you to genuinely feel good (or at least better than you are feeling in any given moment), then you will lead yourself in the direction of Seven Days Awesome.
And when you decide to feel good…
1. Hey, you GET. TO. FEEL. GOOD.
2. Feeling good is its own reward…RIGHT. NOW.
3. Feeling good pays dividends. It attracts more feeling good in your future.
The way to start conditioning yourself toward feeling good and creating Seven Days Awesome is to begin thinking a thought that produces a better feeling than dread and that is true for you. In other words, you actually believe it. It’s not a bullshit mantra that your mind kicks to the curb.
From the list below, find and focus on the thought that feels ever so slightly better. Create your own if you don’t find one that suits you. Look for the sweet spot of relief without any hit of resistance from your mind.
Rather than “Oh crap, I don’t know how I’ll get through this” when you think about your upcoming week. How about:
At least I have a job. Some people don’t even have jobs.
I like having a job.
I am glad to be employed.
This job allows me to pay my bills.
I like paying my bills.
This job makes it possible for me to live here (in your apartment, condo or house).
This company contributes to people’s lives in this way: ____________. I contribute to this company and its customers. Therefore, I contribute to people’s lives.
I like working with this client or customer.
I like doing a good job.
I will focus on what I like about the people I work with and come in contact with because it feels better to me to do so.
I will consciously bring the best of myself to my workday.
And ask yourself this:
Wouldn’t it be nice if this week could be Seven Days Awesome?
Raise the bar for yourself. For your own sake. Work to feel good SEVEN – count ‘em SEVEN – days a week.
Manage your point of attraction because the Universal Law of Attraction will bring you more of the chronic, dominant emotions you feel. And if you’re creating Five Days Dread, guess what your chronic feeling state is?
Seven Days Awesome is always available to you (always has been).
If you want it, create it.
There is some kind of trigger…
Something your boss or your spouse or your kid or a friend said.
A relationship that is not going the way you want it to.
More traffic than usual on your commute home, a “bad day” at work, an emergency, something unexpected, a disagreement.
All you can think about is how hard you’ve worked, how much you’ve done, how he or she doesn’t understand you, how life is so hard.
You’re stressed. Upset. Uncomfortable. Insulted. Depressed. Feeling hopeless or futile or sad.
Or maybe the trigger is a “positive” trigger.
You get a promotion, are proposed to, are going to a celebration (wedding, birthday, anniversary).
You accomplish a big goal. It’s Friday. It’s Saturday! Someone is graduating. It’s New Year’s Eve.
You deserve, after all, to celebrate.
Enter Poison Thought #1.
I deserve this…
What you are saying to yourself is that you deserve a reward and, therefore, don’t have to think about the consequences of your actions. Any consequences are trumped because you think…
“I deserve this and should have it.”
For those who overeat, this translates to “I deserve to eat whatever I want and how much I want.”
These types of thoughts are poison because they look deceptively pretty. They are cloaked in a costume of self-care. They make it seem that you are being “good to yourself”, that you are treating yourself with love and respect.
But the truth is…
Hidden in these pretty, yet poisonous, thoughts is a complete lack of regard for yourself.
These poison thoughts completely miss the point that food does not have the capacity to actually make you feel better on any significant or lasting level.
When you find yourself thinking you deserve a reward, it usually sounds something like this:
I worked hard today. I handled all those problems. No one knows how hard I work. I deserve a reward. I shouldn’t have to restrict myself or diet or pay attention to what I eat.
It’s my birthday, and I am going to celebrate and have a good time. I deserve being able to let loose and do what I want.
Which all boils down to…
I deserve to eat anything I want.
And now it’s on.
In this frame of mind, you will eat anything you freakin’ well want.
You will throw all caution to the wind.
You have given yourself license to eat anything and everything.
Body and self be damned.
All bets are off.
You will eat in spite of your body’s signals. In spite of everything you know about nutrition and calories. In spite of any promises you made to yourself to lose weight and “watch what you eat”. In spite of your body’s signal to stop.
You are having what you deserve, damn it.
And no one can stop you.
Not even yourself if you continue to think, “I deserve this.”
But when the eating is done, now you physically feel bad, bloated, uncomfortable, full, like you might blow.
You’ve zapped your energy, and are on a rampage of self-loathing to boot (I did it again. I’m out of control. I’ll never figure this out).
Next time you find yourself thinking “I deserve this,” tell yourself what you really deserve.
You deserve to not feel bad.
You deserve to not feel bloated.
You deserve to not feel extremely, uncomfortably full.
You deserve to feel better than this.
You deserve to feel light, energetic, sated.
You deserve to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re sated.
You deserve to listen to your body and truly care for it.
You deserve to stop eating because your body is done. It does not want or need anymore food.
You deserve to address your emotions through managing your thoughts, not overeating – which does not address the cause of your feelings. at. all.
You deserve peace.
Here are some twists on “I deserve…” thinking.
I deserve to relax (which can lead to over-drinking, over-sleeping, over-TV-ing or over-ice creaming).
I deserve to do something nice for myself (which can lead to over-buying, expensive vacations, clothes you don’t need and won’t wear, a new car, a box of cookies).
But sleeping in and ignoring your life…
Drinking yourself silly…
Zoning out surfing the internet while watching mindless TV…
Buying three new outfits when your closet is already over-stuffed and you want to pay down your credit card debt and justifying it by saying “I deserve this”…
…is not truly relaxing or truly doing something nice for yourself…(and frankly you deserve better).
(If you don’t know how, I can teach you.)
And think thoughts that truly relax you, that bring you peace.
(I can help you create and discover them).