Tag Archives: personal development

7 Ways to Let Go and Watch Your Life Flourish

if it makes you fly...

By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning. -Lao Tzu

So often we think we need more to be happy, when in actuality we just need to let go of limiting beliefs and erroneous understandings. The following are 7 things you can let go of right now that are part of my continual practice, which I know yield significant results!

1. Let go of living your life for your parents.

From a very young age we seek approval and acceptance from our parents because generally we’d be rewarded if we did what they pleased. As we grow the stakes become higher. If we aren’t careful we end up living our entire lives by our parents expectations without ever understanding what it truly means to be ourselves. Performance is exhausting, and when you are performing you are out of affinity with yourself. Authentic people are happy because life becomes an effortless expression of who they are. Let go of what your parents want for you, and unapologetically be your authentic self.

2. Let go of negativity.

Every single word that leaves your lips has an energy vibration attached to it, and what you put out to the universe comes back to you. We unconsciously complain about insignificant things like the weather, traffic, a plane delay, with no understanding we humans are gigantic energy systems generating a vibration that serves as a magnet drawing things of matching frequency to us. Life is in your mind. Detox yourself from your negative talk, and watch your perspective of the world around you change.

3. Let go of the need be right.

It seems like “being right” has a dynamo PR team spinning the virtues of being right, with promises of love, riches and security in heaping measures to the extent that the idea of being wrong has become so horribly unacceptable. The reality is the need to constantly be right is an external sign that something is very not right on the inside. The need to be stubbornly right is an attempt to control things, which stems from deep fear and non-trust of you. The next time you find yourself going toe-to-toe with someone ask yourself, do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?

4. Let go of judgments.

Judgments are the killer of creativity, and consciousness, yet we judge all the time. We have a very finite understanding of what is right or wrong and we criticize and judge people for being different, and ourselves for not being good enough. If we can take a step back and recognize that 99%of people simply operating off the information they’ve been given, we grow into greater compassion and acceptance. It doesn’t mean we have to agree with them, it just means we see the bigger picture. After all, with all the diverse displays of creation, destruction, action and reaction on planet – as messed up as it seems sometimes – we’re all just trying to be OK. Let go of your judgments, and discover how much happier you’ll be.

5. Let go of your excuses.

I wasted years of my life with excuses! “It’s not the right time, I need some training, I’m not sure…blah, blah, blah.”

Excuses are nothing more than fear of failure. The most effective way I know to neutralize these fears is to simply be the beginner. The moment is NOW. Set a photo directive and start before you’re ready! You and your trusty pal, Google, can figure it out together. There is boldness in action, and when you take action it’s like sending a flare signal to the universe attracting all that you need right to you! Get going!

6. Let go of the past.

The past. Everyone’s got one. Sometimes we run from it and other times we glorify it, but either way it’s like dead weight shackled to our leg. It happened; it hurt, but now what are you going to do about it? You have a choice. When we stay resentful and focused to the past, we carry a victim (poor me) vibration that makes it very difficult to create what we want. When we let go of it and recognize that every single past event led us to here, where we are gaining consciousness to create a life of our dreams, we vibrate in gratitude – which is a spiritual superpower. Let go and claim your power!

7. Let go of externalizing your love.

This is tricky business, my friends, and one I can’t claim to have completely figured out yet. However I know from the spiritual teachers with whom I personally work that it is possible, and they are exponentially happier because of it. To externalize our love means we’ve made something outside of ourselves the reason for our happiness, and therefore we’ve become dependent on it. This dependency on externals is bound to create unhappiness, because nothing in life is constant and things – whether we want them to or not – will change. To let go of this means if our love, dog, home, money, etc. were to disappear, we would still be OK. It means understanding the true source of love and security comes from within, and is not dependent on that which is external to us. This is the unshakable belief to which I am inching closer, but let’s face it…still have quite a ways to go!

5 Attitudinal Traits of Winners

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 11.19.34 AMBy Lyna Jones

“You will turn out to be an alcoholic and a prostitute, just like your mother. You are too stupid to do anything else.”

This sharp statement would resonate in my ears daily for nearly four years. My foster mom apparently didn’t perceive any potential in my 13-year-old self. Ever since that statement, I have been fiercely determined to win the game of life and break the chains of my past. I knew that my strength of will would ultimately liberate me from the ruinous patterns of my family.

Winning isn’t everything. The will to win is, as are the mental tools to become the victor of your own existence.

Here are the 5 fundamental traits of a winner that have permitted me to claim the happiness that I own today.

1. Staunch Perseverance

The only person who holds the chief capacity to get in the way of your goals is yourself.
Anything and everything is possible if we possess the staunch willingness to persevere until we reach our destination. We must recalibrate our mental focus upon our destination every single day. It becomes a personal value that shapes our character and refines our approach to win. Thomas Edison was the epitome of perseverance: He conducted nearly 10,000 experiments before finding a filament that would burn in the electric light bulb.

Perseverance does not entail an obsessive repetition of the same behavior and techniques but the ability to re-assess our approach keeping our end goal in mind. The path of high-achievers is paved by failures, rejection, and discouragement. But the winning mind is simply never deterred by such momentary setbacks. It strives forward with tenacity and resolve.

2. Clarity of Purpose

Do your dreams truly come from the innermost part of your soul or do they belong to somebody else? Our family, environment, peers, and cultural expectations, role models, largely influence us. It is paramount to live up to your authentic dreams. Let yourself stand for your individual truth. Honor and pursue the jolts of your own heart. Embrace your peculiar preferences. We are often programmed to fit into the current societal norms that we loose touch with our unique desires.

My childhood dream was to become an attorney-at-law. I was persuaded that such a profession would automatically earn me the approval and respect of the others. That dream was irrelevant to my soul. It was not carved out of a passion for the law. It was chosen to impress others. Clarify your vision. Write down your burning pursuits and their accompanied reasons. Let go of what is not genuinely yours to create space for your soul to barge in. Let authenticity be the authoritative mark of your dream.

3. Always Learn More

Winners are fully committed to developing their craft. Become a perpetual student to increase your knowledge, your value, and your confidence. A winning mind stays teachable. Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in the world. Yet he works with a coach, Sean Foley, to sharpen his swing.

People with the most information always have an advantage. Develop a system to increase your repertoire of information. I maximize my daily 45-minute commute to work to listen to personal development audio books and podcasts, which is the equivalent of a book per week. My life schedule is extremely tight but I make my free time very productive.

Learn more. Accumulate experiences. Bust through the walls of your comfort zone to propel your growth forward.

4. Look Forward

How do you feel about your future?

You are not your personal history.

Let your past be your mentor for the positive lessons it contains and leave the darkness of the past behind. The elements of your past can be immensely useful if embraced as constructive blocks for a better future. Anything is possible because nothing is certain in the future tense. Winners assume the energy of a triumphant outcome.

5. Core Confidence

You must become your biggest fan.

If you believe that you can, you are right. And if you believe that you can’t, you are also right.

Develop a self-belief so strong that it will ineluctably compel others to support you in your journey. Know that you possess the necessary skills, mindset, and self-concept to prevail in the end. Enough positive self-talk will burst through any obstacle so give up your “I can’ts”. My primary goal since first witnessing my mothers drunkenly fall outside of a bar has been to set my soul on fire in order to teach others self-reliance, determination, and the power of self-love.

* * *

Born and raised in Normandy, Lyna Jones is a Certified Life Coach with a staunch desire to help others step into their extraordinary life. Having endured many grave hardships throughout her journey from childhood into young adulthood, Lyna is equipped with passion and perseverance. Still growing and developing as a writer, she is a passionate individual dedicated to inspire and galvanize each soul she works with.



4 Laws of Success Any Ambitious Person Should Know

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 2.26.57 PMBy Kaihan Krippendorff

You’ve felt it before: you create an intention – you want to leave your job, start a strategic project at work, write a book, start a new venture – but instead of truly living that intention, you are waiting, like a shy high-schooler at your first school dance, for a reason to jump in.

I felt this myself last week. I was burning to get into the game, to finish my PhD and launch a consulting firm. But the usual mental blocks emerged: can I do it when I’ve failed before? Is this really my calling? Will I see it to the end without getting discouraged or bored? Why start today when there is always tomorrow?

And as I sat there on the edge, contemplating these questions, the game was underway without me.

How do you get out of the stands and get in the game?

To answer this, I studied three books – The Four Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling, Ownership Thinking by Brad Adams, and Strategy Maps by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton – and put myself into the Fortune Magazine Gazelles Leadership Conference where I heard from a powerful line-up of business thinkers including Daniel H. Pink (To Sell is Human), Jim Loehr (The Power of Full Engagement), and Jack Stack (The Great Game of Business). Along the way, I also interviewed two CEOs and a naval captain who oversees a big chunk of strategic execution for the Southern Command.

There were four key themes that these books and speakers repeatedly touched on. They are the closest hints we have to universal laws of success:

  1. Create a game: Remove the seriousness from your decision by conceiving it as a game. You play to win, but if you lose, there is another game coming. This frames the game in a series of sprints and provides a healthy dose of detachment, which will have you playing with more energy. I realized my ambition to start a consulting firm seemed daunting because I viewed my new firm as a permanent extension of me, like the only painting I would ever paint. Instead now I think of it as a game called “launch and build in five years the world’s first true strategic innovation firm … something that will live on without me.” Knowing that this game is not the last you will ever play will liberate you.

  2. Name the game: To win the game, you need to always remember you are playing it. This helps if you have a memorable name. Pick a name that is short, fits a metaphor, rhymes and/or evokes a story. Game names I have seen work include “Win the Lighthouse,” “5 by 5,” and “The 180.” We haven’t named our game yet, but I am going to propose “tent pole” – we need four to five core clients to be the poles to our tent.

  3. Pick one score: My 3-year old son just started playing soccer. Now, he doesn’t know off-sides from out-of-bounds, but he does know one thing – the goal is to make a goal – and that drives him around like a bee in search of honey … “Get the ball in the net!” Similarly, your game should have one score. Sure you will have other KPIs (key performance indicators) to track, but in any given year, in any given quarter, focus yourself and your team on just one goal. The most important goal for my consulting firm is pipeline value. Later on we may switch our score to “client satisfaction” or “intellectual property,” but if we don’t win enough clients now, we’ll never get a chance to play those games.

  4. Monitor the board: Nearly every source I read or heard touched on the need to keep the score top of mind for you and your team by reviewing it in a rapid rhythm. I missed a flight once because I was on the phone and didn’t see the boarding notice. My client was visibly stressed out when an hour before I was set to take the stage, they had 500 people seated, but I still hadn’t walked through the door. Everything worked out. The following flight got me in just in time. But now in airports I check the board every three minutes and I haven’t missed a plane since. My team and I have set up a daily “huddle” and weekly “opportunity call” to track our board.

This all it takes to jump into action: create a game, name the game, pick one score, and monitor the board. Do it now. It will take 20 minutes and the results could pay off for a life time.

V is for Vāsanā: Finding Your True Self Through Yoga

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 1.15.34 PM

See the sun?
See what it is telling you?
What did it say to you this morning when your eyes met it for the first time on this new day?
A hundred people can look at the same sun and see a hundred different stories written in it.

In Ancient Buddhism and Vedanta – and in Yoga – this is attributed to Vasana.
A Vasana is a an impression upon the mind that generates a conditioned response.
A memory of behavior that is threaded into the fabric of our being.
A tendency rooted in our consciousness that shapes our inclinations and behaviors.

We all have them.
Several of them.
Several hundreds of them.
Collectively within us they form the basis of our individual world view, our reactions to what we see in the world, our behavior in the world. Our vasanas will drive us to form the opinions we will, take the sides we will, push for the action that we want – be that positive or negative.

And yet, Yoga teaches that the vasanas are not a real representation of our true Self.
The vasanas are actually a disturbance to who we really are.
Yoga teaches us that the vasanas create modifications to our true consciousness that we need to undo to experience and manifest our true Self. Until they are released, those of us who are not enlightened souls, are all imperfect and ignorant, not knowing who or what we really are.

And this is the purpose of Yoga itself – as written by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:

‘Yogaś citta-vritti- nirodhaḥ’  (Chapter 1. verse ii)
‘Yoga is the cessation of the turbulence of the mind’

The practice of yoga takes us back the true Self by weakening the vasanas until they fall away and the Self is revealed.
Yoga teaches us that when we know the true Self, we will be in a space of deep silence, a space of complete unity and a place of non action – because when we see the world from the true Self, we experience that suffering is itself an illusion; we will not see any other as separate from our Self; we will see that what we say of the Other we say of our Self. Because when we know the Self, we know that there is no separation between us and the world we live in: We are One part of One interconnected beating cosmos. We are One.

It is a process. And we will fail many times on the way.
We will fail, and fail and fail.
But with practice, eventually says Vedanta – the Self will shine forth.
I fail several times every day.
I live and breathe in the world. I react to it. I call for action in it. I believe in the need for change.
I try to keep my awareness with my Self.
Sometimes I feel that the the Self is closer.
Sometimes I feel I am far away from it.
Sometimes I see my vasanas get the better of me.
But I always to promise to try again – and let my failures fail at holding me back.
I make my yoga.
I practice.
I always practice.
And I will keep practicing until the Self shines forth.

And You?


Photo credit: lululemon athletica

6 Reasons Why I Love To Be Wrong

When a relationship is at its height, it’s as if the two separate partners merge into each other and become one. This works wonderfully while there is concord and rapport. But when there is discord then we tend to retreat back into our separate selves, communication at a standstill. Shaming or blaming each other causes further separation and conflict. We cling to difficulties, making them more than they are; we replay the irritation in our mind, as the self-centered ego does not want to let go! Hidden resentments, repressed feelings, and the “I am right but he/she is wrong” syndrome flourishes.

We believe we are right, and are, therefore, the wronged one. But are there benefits to being wrong? Can we turn such a situation around so that we can learn more about ourselves? Imagine how boring it would if we were all always right!

1. I need love

When difficulties or misunderstandings arise, we easily make our partner into the ‘enemy’. Yet, when we are in a heated quarrel, what we are very often really saying is, “Love me, I need love.” It’s easier to make the other person wrong than to admit we have such a need, but when we can recognize that we are blaming them rather than owning our own feelings then our so-called enemy can become our friend again.

2. I’m not perfect

We may be able to secretly acknowledge that we have faults and failings, but to openly accept that we don’t always get it right is much harder. The self-serving ego has a very clever way of proving itself perfect, often denying that someone else could possibly be right (note: read with indignation in your voice). Yet, admitting we are wrong develops greater self-acceptance and creates all this space in which we can learn and grow.

3. Weaknesses become strengths

Whatever our weaknesses – for being argumentative, desire to hurt someone, inability to express our feelings, even for chocolate — can only become our strengths when we know them for what they are and can name them. They show us where we are being full of ourselves, stubborn, arrogant, and need greater humility. As a result we become stronger, rather than being a victim of our ego selves. It may take courage to look at ourselves this way, but it is more than worth it.

For instance, many years ago Deb used to look after the mentally disturbed elderly. “After a few months I was psychologically exhausted, but I wanted to be caring, capable, and do it all. When I finally realized that I couldn’t, it was liberating! I was much kinder to myself and, therefore, able to give more.”

4. Making the right choice

Developing greater awareness of our attitudes and tendencies enables us to see that not only are we responsible for our own feelings, but also that whatever we may be experiencing is a choice we are making in that moment. It is our choice to be either defensive or reflective if we are found wrong. It is not as a result of what someone else might be saying or doing. When we step back from the heat of conflict and look at how and why we were wrong, it quickly becomes obvious that it has very little to do with the other person and much more to do with a narcissistic place inside ourselves.

5. More caring and kind

In actuality, those people we have a difficult time with are really our teachers. For without an adversary—or those who trigger strong reactions such as annoyance and anger—we would not have the stimulus to see that we need to develop greater kindness and compassion, for both ourselves and others. So we should be grateful to them for teaching us acceptance, tolerance, and equanimity; we can actually thank them for the chance to learn patience. What a gift!

6. Greater adaptability

As we accept that we do not always get it right, that we have faults and failings, the more fearless we become and the more we can open up to life. Believing we are perfect and right has a brittle and breakable quality to it; knowing our weaknesses and having greater humility has a softer, more adaptable quality. This allows us to flow with each situation, to bend and move, rather than to hold tight.

A great way to reflect on being wrong is through meditation. Insight and clarity becomes readily available, as we make friends with ourselves and our world.


 Meditation Is Not What You Think

A 4-week webinar (on-line course) with Ed and Deb Shapiro on discovering the greatest gift you can give yourself: meditation. Clear your mind, open your heart, and dive into the wonder of your own true self. You can join in and download classes anytime.

See our award-winning book: BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World, forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Jack Kornfield, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Byron Katie and many others.

Deb is the author of the award-winning YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND, Decoding the Emotional, Psychological, and Spiritual Messages That Underlie Illness.

Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: www.EdandDebShapiro.com

New Year, Be You

With the New Year still in its first few weeks, the annual “new year, new you” phenomenon is all around us – in the worlds of advertising, media, self-help and more. And while this time of year can be a great catalyst for positive change in our lives, what if we made a commitment to live our lives in 2012 focused more on who we are, and not so much on what we do, what we accomplish, what we look like, what we’re striving for, and more? One of best things we can do in this New Year is to focus on who we really are, instead of who we think we’re supposed to be.

Who would we be without our accomplishments (or failures), our degrees (or lack thereof), our bank accounts, our experiences, our title, our home, our status, and more? As simple of a concept as this is for us to think about and discuss, at least on the surface, it’s actually quite difficult for many of us, myself included, to genuinely separate who we are from what we do (or have done or not done). These past few years have taught many of us, in some cases quite painfully, how quickly the external circumstances of our lives can change dramatically and things can be taken away.

The deeper question for us to ponder here is really one of the big philosophical questions of life, “What makes me a valuable person?” While this is something we have all thought about to some degree, most of us don’t really engage in this inquiry on a regular basis. And, when we do, we often think that if we just got more done, lost some weight, made more money, took a vacation, accomplished a goal, had more meaningful work, made it to retirement, or whatever, then we’d be “happier” or feel more “valuable.” Sadly, as we’ve all experienced, this is not usually the case and is also one of the main reasons why most of our New Year’s “resolutions” don’t really last.

What if, in addition to having important goals, we could also expand our capacity for appreciating ourselves and being who we really are this year – having nothing to do with our external circumstances? What if just being ourselves, the way we are right now, is good enough?

Being ourselves fully, takes courage, commitment, and faith. It’s a process of letting go of many false beliefs we’ve picked up from the collective consciousness – that we have to look good, be smart, know the right people, say the right things, have the proper experience, make a certain amount of money, and more, in order to be happy and successful in life. Being ourselves can be scary and counter intuitive, difficult and even off-putting, and, at times, lonely.

However, being our authentic self is liberating, exciting, and fulfilling. When we have the courage to just be who we are, without apology or pretence, so much of our suffering, stress, and worry in life simply goes away.

Here are a few things to consider and practice as you deepen your awareness of and capacity for being who you truly are in this New Year:

1) Tell the truth to yourself. Think about and own how much of your self-worth is based on what you do, how you look, who you know, what you’ve accomplished, etc. (i.e. the external stuff). The more we let go of being defined by the external, the more freedom, peace, and power we can experience. And, as we really get honest with ourselves, we may realize that outside of these external things, we don’t really know who we are. As scary as this may seem on the surface, it’s actually great news and can give us access to a deeper and more meaningful experience of who we are.

2) Appreciate who you really are. What do you appreciate about yourself that has nothing to do with anything external? In other words, what personal qualities (of being, not doing) do you value about yourself? The more we’re able to tap into what we appreciate about who we are (not what we do), the more capacity we have for real confidence, peace, and self love.

3) Practice just being you. As silly as it may sound, we all need to “practice” being ourselves. We have a great deal of experience being phony or being how we think we’re supposed to be. It actually takes conscious practice for us to be able to just show up and be who we are. We can practice alone, with people we know, and with total strangers. This is all about awareness – paying attention to how we feel, what we’re thinking, what we say, and how we show up. It’s not about getting it right or doing anything specific, it’s about letting go of our erroneous notions of how we think we’re supposed to be, and just allowing ourselves to be who and how we are in the moment.

Have fun with this, talk to others about it, and have a lot of compassion with yourself as you practice – this is big stuff for most of us. This year, instead of trying to be a “new” you, just be yourself and see what happens.

How can you accept, appreciate, and simply BE yourself in 2012? What does this mean to you? What support do you need in your life this year to step more fully into who you really are? Share your thoughts, ideas, insights, actions, and more on my blog here.

To listen to this week’s audio podcast, including additional thoughts, ideas, and tips, click here.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / Camdiluv ♥

The Average Business Person Misses 60,000 Opportunities To Build Confidence Everyday

 Human beings have an average of 60,000 thoughts a day.  Every one of these thoughts is either confident and effective towards one’s goals, or takes them further away from that success.   From regularly surveying her audiences of thousands of businesspeople, speaker Sharon Melnick, PhD. found that most people report at best only 50-70% of their thoughts are confident and effective towards their goals. 
Thus, for the vast majority of people, at least 20,000-30,000 of their daily thoughts are worried, doubting, or negative.   
The bottom line – these thoughts create stress, interfere with performance in work, and cause unhappiness.  When considered on a scale of millions of people, this points to an enormous waste of human potential.  That’s energy and potential urgently needed to improve the way we do business, foster our health, or role model for children.  
“Each thought is like a command sent down from the captain of a ship to the crewmembers below the deck, says Dr. Melnick.  “And, each thought directs the muscles and cells of your body to act.”  If a person has low self confidence in their work, they won’t have the energy or persistence to succeed at learning new skills.  In their work relationships,  they might take things personally, get reactive, and lose their concentration.  In meetings they will not speak up with valuable ideas.
In contrast, a highly confident person would take the lead and find solutions to problems. They would ask for the fee or the promotion that will help them earn what they are worth.  The result is they will be more financially secure and they will model confidence better for their children.    
With over 10 years of research at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Melnick has developed techniques that give people fast and lasting confidence.  In fact, according to Dr. Melnick, “In the next hour after reading this, a person will have another 2,500 thoughts. With the right skills, they can make a few or hundreds of thoughts more confident – and that creates momentum and positive energy to be even more confident."



Britain’s Next Top Coach Award Winner Dr. Christian Pankhurst Launches Innovative Program To Inspire And Empower People

A pivot in feelings of positivity can just as simple as listening to those who teach it. I find time everyday to just that. For those not aware, Dr. Christian Pankhurst, D.C. is a coach, speaker, seminar leader and author. He is a leading expert in a variety of fields including intimacy building, addiction recovery, emotional awareness, male sexuality, couple dynamics, conflict resolution, stress management and heart-centered communication.
After working as a Chiropractor, Christian studied with some of the most well known leaders in the personal development industry and later founded the ‘Embracing Change Experience’ a powerful weekend event that has touched the lives of thousands of people around the world.
Today, Christian is a sought after teacher and travels extensively sharing his huge heart, clarity and wisdom.  In fact, he recently launched a brand new series of free introductory videos entitled “Removing the Resistance." 
These videos contain the essence of Christian’s unique and profound message and powerful tools that everyone can apply immediately in their lives to make positive changes. 
Through this powerful video series Dr. Pankhurst will teach you how to make the law of attraction work for you. He will give you answers to these relevant questions:  How to remove the resistance that holds you back in life? How to make changes in your life or business? How to change your emotional state instantly? You can learn more about Christian Pankhurst at  http://www.GetToKnowChristianPankhurst.com


Walking with the Wound

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful and fulfilling 2011 and I very much look for forward to our continued work together. I decided to write a longer newsletter than usual as I wanted to share some valuable insights about our wounds and our relationship to them.

From the depths of our deepest wounds emerge our greatest gifts. Similarly, contained within the fate we were given, emerges a destiny when we choose to work with the fate. However, destiny cannot emerge until our fate is submitted to. That means standing back and looking at everything that was given and has happened and asking ourselves where the opportunities for self development and self healing lie. If we come from lack, then discovering the fullness of our being lies as an opportunity before us, if we come from conflict, then peace and reconciliation lies before us, if we come from abandonment and despair, then connection to all life lies before us. Whatever the lack, its opposite awaits us. Therefore the difficult and challenging aspects of our fate give us the opportunity to springboard towards a destiny of our own choosing instead of bemoaning that which is less than desirable.

In submitting to fate, we receive this life and all of its circumstances as a gift and we get on with the task of digging for the gold that awaits us.

So many of my clients come to me saying ‘I have this issue, this wound, this problem, and I want it to go away’. Experience tells me that when we most want something to ‘go away’ or we want to ‘get rid’ of it, it tends to stick to us like proverbial mud.  I tell my clients that the objective is not rid ourselves of the wound, but to change our relationship to it.  When a parent loses a child, that wound never goes away, it remains for life, however, over time, the nature of the wound can change and how it operates in the parent’s life also transforms. This is also true four our own deeper wounds. Our wounds exist in three states: Burden, Teacher, Companion.


We can know when our wound is a burden as we are often still stuck in blame, self pity and invariably allow ourselves to be triggered by others and we invariably view the world through the veil that the wound had placed on our vision of other people and the world at large. When our wound is a burden we take less responsibility for ourselves, our reactions and frequently go either into conflict or withdrawal. We interpret the actions of others through the lens of our wound and we frequently re-create the same circumstances over and over again, often with different people. However, when we step back and look through the eyes of our greater self, the occurrences often have more to do with our reactions that actually what happened. Neutral bystanders will invariably see things differently to our own wounded self.

We become stuck in burden when we need others to change, to give us what we didn’t get.  We remain stuck in burden until the moment we decide to simply give up the need to get what we didn’t get from others and start to focus on self-care and fulfilling our own needs. We remain stuck in burden when we stubbornly refuse to accept that we simply didn’t get what we need – when the fear of facing that painful truth seems far too much for us to bear or to integrate.  We remain stuck in burden when we allow our suffering to continue as a way of demonstrating to others ‘Look what you did to me!’.


This is the next stage of living and working with our wounds. At this stage we are still reacting, projecting, blaming and falling into self-pity, but we have simply become more aware of what we are doing. At this stage we are able to retrospectively view what happened, our reaction, our masks, our defences and reactions with a little more neutrality and honesty. We have become much more self aware and with this awareness we are able to make much more self responsibility and begin to truly address the wound and its workings in our lives.  One of the challenges at this stage is to be gentle with ourselves. If we have come from a family in which children were guided and disciplined through a lot of criticism, then we are likely to beat ourselves up a lot at this stage – which simply piles even more negative energy onto our wound, making it more difficult to reach a solution. Gentle self awareness is what is required here and a reminder that if you have a question concerning your self-healing, the answer is always love.


At this stage our wounds become our friends. In every situation in which we can find ourselves triggered into defence, we become gently aware of our own wounding in the background and we gently make the choice not to go into defence. If we do go into defence or have a reaction, we start to take immediate responsibility for it and gently take ourselves off into more gentle self-healing work that feeds and nourishes our soul.  Whilst it is true that others can hurt us in the present and that our reaction is not always from a place of being triggered by an event in the present that stimulates an old wound, when our wounds are our companions, we react with less voracity. When our wound is our friend, our compassion increases and we are much more easily able to see other beyond the veils of their own wounds and defences. We recognise them for who they truly are and how they are feeling in the moment. When our wound is our friend we no longer blame or push back, but stand with both feet firmly on the ground with an open heart – feeling no need to be forgiven or to forgive, but simply to be in the present moment with what is presenting itself.  When our wound is our friend, we don’t make the other wrong and we can choose to withdraw peacefully until a better opportunity presents itself to deal with the matter at hand in a more constructive manner.

As we embrace our wounds, firstly as teachers, then as companions through life, it is at this stage we begin to submit to our destiny – our childhood and other circumstances are what they are and are unchangeable – with the exception of our feelings and reactions.  In submitting to our fate be begin to see the opportunities for growth inherent within the wound and we start seeing the many opportunities that have been presented to us.  For many of us, it is the very seeking for solutions to our pain that leads us onto a path of encountering our own soul and the much greater part of ourselves – even to the Divine.



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