Tag Archives: Responsibility

Own Your Choices Instead of Playing the Blame Game

christmas_snowy_road-1809I love this quote by Wayne Dyer:

Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible for every decision and choice you make. Period.”

This is a powerful comment about owning our lives; we are accountable for our choices. However, the comment he doesn’t make is that our choices are directly influenced by our degree of consciousness – by how aware and present we are to the moments and events in our lives. The more aware we are of our situations and ourselves, the more information we have and the more intentional we can be about making wise choices. Otherwise, we feel like victims and though we have choice, our choices don’t seem very powerful.

We are each the product of every relationship, event and circumstance that we have experienced right up to this very moment. Each of these influences how we think, see, feel and act in context of our world.

We may have had a bad relationship and now we can’t seem to be but a little suspicious and apprehensive of being in another relationship – so we blame our past and let it hold us back from starting again.

Our family may have had money problems when we were younger and we now always feel we never have enough of it, no matter how much we have; we constantly worry about money and are not generous with the things we have.

We have a manager who is cheap with praise and is always critical; we decide we can get back at him by doing just enough not to get fired. We wonder why we are always passed over when it comes to promotions or advancement.

We blame these events or people in our lives.  We allow ourselves to play small, to get even with another, hold ourselves back in our careers, and live life in the “just enough” zone. We believe the world to be cold, harsh and unfair. We believe that people are selfish, pushy and not worth our time.  We say that others made me feel this way; others make me angry; my life is tougher than others. Though we think the problem is outside of us, it is actually within us because the problem is our perspective and not realizing that it is our choice in how we respond to what the world sends us.

So, how does blaming others for the things that are not working in our lives improve or change things for us? They don’t. The only way to change is to take ownership, realize we choose our responses and be intentional about moving forward. We can be happy or unhappy. We can be grateful or ungrateful. Both are choices. One may be a more difficult choice at times, but they are still both choices.

So as we look at the world and how it plays out in front of us, I find it so empowering to know that I have the choice to decide how it will be for me. I can’t always create the circumstances that I want but I can always remind myself to be conscious enough in each moment to remember that how I respond is up to me.

I can be intentional about choosing things that serve me instead of those that don’t. I can choose to find the value, lesson and wisdom in tough times and choose to learn instead of blame. I can also choose to be completely impressed by the majesty and magnificence of our world instead of see what is lacking. I can choose. And today, I choose and intend to be fully involved in life, accepting what comes my way and choosing to show up as my greatest self, grateful for the opportunity to share this planet with so many others. 

5 Things to Consider Before Taking Your Relationship to the Next Step

By Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D.

love addictionThe beginning stages of love are phenomenal and exciting on all levels, but these stages can make us almost delusional as to who our partner is in reality. The truth is that all people, in time, become real people who are not perfect and have flaws. That is part of being divinely human. We are all perfectly imperfect. When things get real in a relationship is when we have the opportunity to get the best view and understanding of our partner.

5 things to look for before becoming more serious

1) Does your partner have self-love?: All positive relationships are born out of the love we feel and have for ourselves. We can tell if someone is self-loving by if they are happy, if they take care of themselves physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually and if they have compassion for themselves and others.

2) Are they responsible?: Does your partner have an organized life with their own passions which they are responsible for? Responsibility is synonymous with maturity. If you partner is responsible their life will be clean and there will be less chaos to argue over. It also eliminates your need to help them pick up and/or run their lives. We each have a life to lead and we will want a partner that is successfully leading their own life. This makes them interesting, attractive, dependable and exciting.

3) Is there a basis of friendship?: Friendship is at the core of love. Romance alone is not sustaining but if there is a genuine friendship underlying the romance it renews itself forever. Those who play together have a greater chance of staying together. Friendships are based in communication, experiencing life together and equitable sharing.  If this is there with your prospective partner, then you have a keeper.

4) Can and do they communicate with you openly and honestly?: Things change, people change and all relationships will face this kind of chaos. The most essential glue to keeping love alive is a firm foundation of honesty and communication. If you and your prospective partner can maintain honesty in your communication then resentments will not build and an open quality of flexibility can help you stay connected during more challenging times.

5) You both must want the other to be happy: Wanting each other’s happiness is of the upmost importance in the relationship and in life.  Happiness is sacred because it is an expression of love. When two people are genuinely happy they only stand to love each other more. A genuinely loving partner, one who is serious in their love and commitment, would love you enough (and vise/versa) not to stand in the way of your personal needs for happiness, even if they were not perfectly matched up with their own.

These five qualities are undeniably about each person being individually embraced and committed to their own happiness. When your partner is self-loving then they have love to give, they have love to share and they will possess the flexibility to bend around change and differences in desires, opinions and habits.  If your partner provides these five qualities then you can be assured that you have found a love that will stand the test of time.

Little life message:  Bring your individual passion and happiness to the table of love, this way you have something to share.

***

Dr. Sherrie Campbell is the author of Loving Yourself and is a licensed Psychologist with more than nineteen years of clinical training and experience. She provides practical tools to help people overcome obstacles to self-love and truly achieve an empowered life. Click here to get her free article on Five Ways to Make Love the Common Ground in Your Communication.   She is a featured expert on a variety of national websites and has a successful practice in Southern California. Receive free insights from Sherrie and to be involved in her Facebook community of others looking to improve their relationship. For more information visit http://www.sherriecampbellphd.com.

 

 

Don’t give your power away.

take-responsibility

 When I say: “pain offers understanding, suffering happens when we lose ourselves in pain” do you think I am blaming suffering on people’s attitude towards pain?

Some do.

I don’t.

 I do not blame anyone for suffering, but – and this is a very big “but” – I do believe everyone is responsible for it. Everyone who suffers. Everyone who is in pain.

Why do I say that? Is it because I am a cold-hearted, apodictic bitch devoid of empathy and without an ounce of compassion? Possibly, but even if that’s the case, still there is more. There is that it is by taking full responsibility for the pain, the suffering, that we achieve the power and the freedom to heal it.

As long as the pain is something that happens to us, that has been done to us by others (whether other humans, faith, destiny, God) there is little we can do to change it.

And yes, sometimes the pain is overwhelming and sometimes it is excruciating and sometimes it is unbearable and even so – what’s so is what’s so. I can only heal and transform that which is mine to heal and transform.

Before I can affect it – I have to claim it. As mine.

My Box: A Reflection on the Limitations of Our Reality

livinginabox-1I don’t even know where to begin, where I begin anymore, where it begins and where it ends and how I fit into any of it anymore and for that matter (lol – matter!) what it even is.

I’ve just arrived back in the box I call home that is a box within a box, surrounded by millions and millions of boxes after having spent 3 days filming interviews with some of today’s leading minds on consciousness, physics, metaphysics, mysticism, and religion, and my mind is blown.

Okay, just so you know I am making another BLEEP. It won’t be out for another year… it will be released for the 10-year anniversary of the original. It will be a completely new film, and it won’t be what you expect, it’s certainly not what I expected. But after 43 years, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to what I think I know, and what I realize I don’t, which is why my carefully created reality is currently in the midst of being blown up. Because one cannot explore the great questions about us, the nature of us, the nature of reality and the meanings we attach to all of it without having your mind blown. Without having your foundation shaken and waking up to the realization that everything you were worrying about before you opened your mouth and asked the question really means…nothing.

Before I headed out to film these interviews, my life was full of: how am I going to pay the rent, why hasn’t that guy called, my kids need new shoes, and the dog seriously needs a bath…Even as I experienced a sense of awareness about how those things impact my experience in life, it certainly didn’t stop me from being boxed in by walls I build in order to feel grounded in something, even if it is, worry and fear. I am human living the human experience after all.

But somehow, tonight, as I arrived back on my doorstep of my old reality, none of that seems to mean much anymore. As I opened the door everything that was once known about this place felt unknown, and I feel like I’m not sure I belong here. It’s not a bad thing, I could make it that, but I know now that this is what it feels like to expand my sense of reality, to see and experience more than what I was before I went down that rabbit hole.

This expansion of my awareness actually started a few weeks before I started doing interviews for the new film. It’s an on going process, but this little jump in wakefulness began as I finished my next book. It’s complicated to explain, I will do my best to put words to an experience that probably doesn’t fit our current language. This is one of my present quandaries, language…and how I use it and if I’m actually using language that truly reflects the experience I am having. Is there a word that can accurately describe it? I will try using the only language I have at the moment.

One night after writing for hours about how we humans work, how we attach meanings and pick up beliefs and how they rule our reality, writing about my box, I suddenly felt drained, more tired than I had felt in a long time.  I couldn’t write another word, I could barely carry myself into the house to sleep. I finally made it to bed, but even as exhausted as I felt, I could not sleep. I lay there staring at the ceiling. I should add that I recently moved into a new house, one with very small perfectly square bedrooms.

So I laid there looking up at my brilliantly white ceiling, and I noticed I could actually see all four corners of my room, and at the same time I could feel all four corners of my bed and I realized I was laying on a box, within a box. I contemplated my box, both literally and figuratively, the box outside and my box inside. I closed my eyes and took myself up and saw my new house, which is essentially a box, each room a box within the box that is my house, the center of my universe, so to speak.

I rose higher into the sky and saw my house, situated within a fenced box that was my yard, and as I rose higher and higher into space I saw that we had all, all of humanity, for the most part, built boxes so that we could live in them. We drive around boxes and shop in boxes and eat in boxes and out of boxes, and that we spend most of our time trying to get out of the box, but how could we if we had surrounded ourselves with them.

We had, in fact, created a reality of boxes seemingly so impossible to break free from, that no wonder we feel constrained and locked in and unable to expand. We spend most of our lives worrying about the mundane because it fits nicely into our box, the one we built around ourselves, it holds the pictures of our past, meticulously hung upon the walls of our boxes to keep our minds firmly rooted in their memory. Locked safely in our boxes.

And then I went away for the better part of a month, away from my box, away from my pictures and the stuff that makes me feel safe within my box, so familiar it’s scents, it’s sounds it’s quiet hum of the air conditioner that I am lulled into a false peaceful slumber. With my worries and my stress and my fears all tucked in and snug within my box causing me to forget that there is magic and wonder in my world, if only I would look outside my perfectly square windows to see it.

For a long time in my life I thought I was expanding my box, but alas, I was simply rearranging the stuff in my box, the box was still small and encapsulated in many many other boxes, but it always felt claustrophobic and with too much stuff, which made it harder to move. I have over the last few years, cleaned out my box, sold off some of my stuff, and accumulated less stuff to replace the stuff I had sold off. But the room was still small, and I could always see the corners closing in.

So while I was away, I began to question the box I had built, I considered all I had let go of, that although my box was pretty empty, it was still a box. What does one do next I wondered? Is it possible to get out of the box? And then I sat for hours and days listening to and talking with such great minds about the magic and wonder, and after hearing how amazing this reality is and the possibilities for us, I came home and my box felt small, and alien, I couldn’t cross the threshold back into the box of my past. I examined all the stuff in my box, my pictures and things that held the frequency of my past and while I still felt in a very tiny part of me connected to them, I understood that I could no longer allow them to hold me in my old state of space and time, I closed my eyes as I entered my house and saw my box expand, I felt the walls push outward, it felt roomier, it felt….hmmm I just can’t think of a word, maybe there just isn’t one yet.

It’s interesting to me that I still saw a box, I am not yet ready to declare “I’m out of my box!” And that’s okay for now. It is a process, the opening our boxes. I will delight in the unwrapping of them, a gift in each new understanding, with every opportunity to expand into the it that is…

8 Ways to Beat the Sunday Night Blues

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 11.31.52 AMThey were tell-tale signs of any weekend coming to an end: sunshine was fading into darkness, Mom was sitting on the couch reading the Sunday paper before bed, and the infamous “dun-dun” music was signaling the beginning of another episode of Law & Order SVU. Sunday nights were always fairly routine in my house, especially the always-timely buzz of dread I felt from anticipating the week ahead.

I’ve always struggled with what my mom called the “Sunday Night Blues”: you know, that feeling of anxiety or unrest in the pit of ones stomach when they haven’t checked their work email all weekend, or when that little red exclamation point that marks an “urgent” message feels like it was branded onto your brain before you left the office on Friday. When I was a kid, the anxiety was always related to something going on at school the next day. Now, it’s really mostly about the anticipation of my inbox on a Monday morning (no one should ever, ever have to deal with the site of my inbox on a Monday morning.)

After years of Sunday night struggles, I put a list together of the practical things I’ve learned over the years that help calm the waters when infinite emails await:

1. To steal a line from The Eagles, Take it Easy. This is the basis for all other Sunday night blues remedies. Snuggle up on the couch, do things that soothe the soul, and try to run all the errands on Saturday if you can. Make this a day where it’s at least an option to do absolutely nothing.

2. Prepare for the week ahead. Yes, I know: I just told you to take it easy. But being prepared is a big part of taking it easy so that you’re not taking it crazy during the workweek. Make it so Monday morning can be as serene as possible: do the dishes, leave out whatever you need for the next day so you’re not scrambling when the alarm goes off.

3. Speaking of alarms, set the alarm a little earlier than usual. I’m sure a few eyeballs just popped out of their respective heads, but give me a moment to explain. I’m a professional snooze-button-pusher, but come Monday morning, all bets are off. Here’s why: I think it’s important to give yourself a little more time than usual for you when the week begins. Whatever it is you like doing – working out, writing, just sitting with a cup of coffee – give yourself time before the week begins to just reconnect with yourself. It makes the week ahead much easier, and helps you get in touch with whatever intentions or ideas you want to put into action during the 9 to 5. 

4. Clean house. Clean spaces make for clear minds. In an effort to have a clearer mind myself, I try to keep my spaces as clean as possible to avoid the anxiety caused by clutter. Things like cleaning my desk before I leave work on Friday, getting the crumbs out of my car seats and de-cluttering my apartment make all the difference in the world when it comes to maintaining my serenity.

5. Take responsibility only for what’s yours. In a workplace environment, where people are often individually responsible for a whole lot at once, it’s important to remember what’s actually your responsibility and what’s not. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve checked in with myself about what I’m so frantic over and realized it actually falls under someone else’s umbrella of responsibility. It’s easy to get caught up in the game of making sure no stone goes unturned to save face, but if the impending crisis that awaits on Monday really has nothing to do with you, than try to remind yourself that you’re not solely responsible for holding the whole world together. There are tons of forces out there working in your favor: let them do their job while you see to doing only the one to which you were assigned.

6.  Ask yourself what you’re really afraid of. Usually, what I think I’m afraid of isn’t really what I’m actually afraid of. When I get to the core of what’s worrying me, I try to come to terms with that fear actualizing itself. If I can visualize myself at peace even in the “worst case scenario”, I can remember that no matter what happens, I’m going to be okay.

7. Plan things to look forward to. The week doesn’t have to be all about work – in fact, it shouldn’t be. Make time to see friends throughout the week and plan gatherings or activities with yourself that put a spring in your step.

8. Hand it over. I have something I call a “God Box” (you can call it a “universe box” or whatever floats your boat) that I use to let go of everything I’m afraid of. After writing down all of my worries on individual pieces of paper, I’ll put them in this box next to my bed and give them over to the universe. It’s my way (and many others’ way – I did not come up with this ) of letting go and letting God when there’s nothing I can do about something that’s troubling me. Many times, months after I’ve written something down, I’ll pull it out of the box to find it’s been resolved in some way I never would have expected. Doing this over and over serves as a great reminder that everything will be okay in the end…

…because as we’ve been told over and over, everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.

(Authors note: Yes. This even applies to Mondays.)

It is not about blame

responsibility-blame

Yes, I did write this story out before, yes. Many times in fact. I know.

And yes, I know it must be boring by now but it is the best story I have about a terrible thing that has happened to me. There were more terrible things in my life possibly, but this one was the most startling, most shocking and most sudden.

True, I did not get raped. I did not lose a limb or find out I had a tumor and weeks left to live, but I did get dumped by my husband. I was told suddenly, without warning and with not much preamble that he did not want to be with me anymore. We were married for five years maybe, give or take a year. He was my only family in California, in America in fact. If he left I would find myself all alone — no parents to move back with, no childhood friends, no one. Just me. Just myself.

And I thought then that that’s just it: it is me. It is just myself. It is my life. It is my marriage. It is my pain. It is all me and in me there is an answer to what happened, and why.

See, it did hurt, it hurt a lot and it was my pain. Chris did things, did not do things, whatever it was he did or did not do ceased to concern me once he decided to leave, because he was leaving and his problems were not my problems anymore. His actions were not my problem either. He was not my problem.

I was.

And yes, I was told that I am being too hard on myself. I was told that it was not all my fault. I was told that I should not blame myself. I was told that I was not responsible for the relationship falling into pieces and it sounded terrible, all of it. It felt terrible to hear those things because if I were not responsible — then I was helpless.

If I was not responsible for the pain I felt then there was nothing I could do to heal it. If I was not responsible for my marriage crumbling then there was nothing I could do to prevent it from happening again.

If I was not responsible, then there was nothing I could do.

But I was, I knew I was. The responsibility was mine, the choice was mine and that life, that painful terrible life was mine as well. I knew that for a fact and just as surely I knew that if I created one life I can create another, that if I created pain I can create joy, happiness and bliss.

It was all me, it was all mine. The pain, the disaster, the drama and the responsibility for it — it was all mine to mold and change and heal and design in any way I wanted to.

It was all mine, and I could do anything.

Deepak Chopra: How Can We Live With Least Effort?

How can we live with least effort? In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak lends his advice on effortless living. It doesn’t mean that life suddenly becomes easy, but rather that you are in perfect harmony with the rhythms of the Universe. Take a look:

The law of least effort is based on the idea that nature’s intelligence functions with effortless spontaneity. Even Jesus mentions this in the New Testament. What is the law, really?

It means harnessing the forces of the universe and becoming aligned with them. There are three components to this. The first law is acceptance of yourself and everybody else. This removes the great burden of judgment. The second is responsibility – the ability to respond creatively without reactivity. you reach a higher plain of creativity and imagination if you are not reactive. The third law is defenselessness. This strips away the need to defend your point of view. When you give up being right, you ultimately get what you want.

Living a life without resistance and going with the flow of the forces of the Universe requires the least effort, when you live your life.

 

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and harness the effortless spontaneity of the Universe!

Radical Responsibility

radical-responsibility

 

“Why would God allow this to happen?”

I heard this questions, in many forms, in many variations many, many times. At last I responded. This time it was about a five-year old girl who was raped with an iron rod and died. Why would God allow this to happen?

“Maybe because God considers humans to be responsible adults who don’t need supervision, but can make their own choices, design their own lives and create their own reality” I responded “maybe because God acknowledges their freedom to do so. Humans are free to choose, some choose pain, others don’t — all create their experience of life with their choices.”

And the inevitable response came:

“But the 5 year old little girl didn’t choose all of this for herself. What does God have to say about that?”

 And … and it gave me pause. It gave me pause not because I didn’t have an answer to that – I have an answer and it is a good one — but because I was not sure my answer would be an acceptable one. I was not sure it would be a hand-able one.

I said:

“God might say: you choose your own faith, you create your destiny and your life in ways you don’t yet understand. You chose where and how you will be born and you choose how, and when, you die. Your life is called ‘your life’ not ‘God’s life’ for a reason. That you are not aware of choosing and creating doesn’t mean you don’t choose and create.”

Is that too much? Is it too much to say? Is it too much to expect from a five year old, from a fifteen year old, from a fifty year old?

But, you see, God just might see humans differently than humans do. God just might know the unlimited power humans wield and with which they create their reality, their world, their life. God might know that there is no limit to what humans can do, to what they can be. God might know that the human world looks and works like it does because humans say so, believe so, relate so.

God might know, at last, that it is nothing more than an outward projection of humans themselves. A name, a concept to which humans assign that which they, themselves, truly are — the ultimate, unlimited creators.

All humans, even those who are five years old.

Is this too much?

Elephant in the Room: How to Get More Respect from Family

22/365 - Doing the DishesDear Cora,

I am from India and am wondering what shall I do when my family people keep on nagging me to do something? For example, if I am cooking, my mother may ask me to go to a relative’s house. If I explain that they are not close to me or I will go at some other time she will never stop and keeps on insisting. Most of the times I try to avoid the conversation and focus on my work, but she will follow me wherever I go and she won’t stop until I obey her. I face this kind of behavior from most of my family people. I don’t know how to handle them and keep my life cordial and happy. Please help.

Thanks,
Family Girl

~

Dear Family Girl,

Thank you so much for your question. Family troubles are trickier than most because there is no escape option – you have to deal with it head on and you have to face the consequences that are sometimes long and arduous. However, that also works in your favor because for the most part it means your family is still going to be there no matter what you do.

I grew up with a very strict former-military father. My older brother and I were the only children in the house, and because I was the girl I got the most strenuous attention. He used to watch me cross the street until I was 15 to make sure I got to the other side all right. I got my driver’s license three years after the rest of my friends because his rules about when I could drive, how I could drive and who I could drive with were so ridiculous it just wasn’t worth it. “It’s just because he loves you so much,” my mother would say to try and comfort me, but it didn’t feel like love – it felt like strangulation.

It continued into college. For my 21st birthday I wanted to go out with my friends at midnight to have my first legal drink at a bar. He invited himself to go along and said I could hang out with them by myself the next day. This was the final straw in a very large pile of straws. As intimidating as my father was/is I sat him down and told him plainly that the “midnight drink” was a rite of passage – one that parents are not included to partake in and he needed to let me do it by myself. You would have thought I had run over his childhood puppy, and I felt horrible, but it needed to be done. I went out with my friends and had a good time, he joined us the next day and it was great.

From what I’ve learned about Indian culture, family is often very important, and part of honoring that means respecting your elders. However, I think that your family pesters you to do all of these things because they know they can get you to do them. That’s not to say it’s your fault, but it is only you who can make them stop. And the answer is simple – you literally tell them to stop.

There is a respectful way to do it. You don’t have to raise your voice or get angry, but you have every right to use the word “No.” Don’t give them an excuse or promise to do it later, tell them no and stick to it. It will be shocking at first, and you may have to have the conversation several times (just last month I had to remind my father that as a fully-grown adult I can travel to visit whomever I want without him flying out to inspect my car before I did it). This is an exercise in empowering yourself. Be prepared for hurt feelings and for them to say things that will make you feel guilty – don’t cave. This is also an exercise for them in learning to respect you and your personal time more and you are going to lead by example.

No matter how uncomfortable it is at first, if you stick to your guns the end result will be your own peace of mind and a family that knows they can’t take advantage of your kind nature and willingness to be helpful. They’ll have to get used to it and in the long run I think you’ll feel much better.

Best wishes,
Cora

* * *

avatar-NO-BKCGRNDSubmit your questions, troubles, and predicaments to Cora via editor [at] intent [dot] com or in the comments section below. The Elephant in the Room advice column will be published every Friday – a blend of humor, compassion, and wisdom specially tailored for our Intent audience.

Responsibility Will Set You Free

responsibility-freedom

 

“How was it for you after you came to understand that even consciousness was not real? What happened at that particular moment? Did something very unusual happen?”

“What a good question!” I thought as I read it. It was asked of me, presenting me with a golden opportunity to share my deep wisdom, to reveal my profound insight, to astonish the audience (of one, admittedly) with my subtle and precious understanding of the sacred and marvelous Universe, and what did I do? I started talking about my divorce!

No godly words came to mind. I have not spoken of “awareness,” “consciousness” or any other “sacred” stuff.

Instead, I spoke of responsibility.

And as I wrote my answer, much to my surprise, I realized that it was right: responsibility is what changed me, what changed my life, what changed the world.

All the sacred teachings I heard and read, all the mysteries of meditations, ceremonies and various spiritual adventures, all the wise words spoken by others were nothing. Absolutely nothing if they did not lead me to responsibility. Responsibility for myself, responsibility for life, responsibility for everything.

It was in that moment, when I said: “I am doing this. This is me and I create” that I understood that even consciousness was not real. And how was it for me after this moment?

The world changed after this moment. It became my playground, my wonder and my creation, because I have claimed for myself the most sacred, most holy and the deepest of all deep and mysterious powers:

responsibility.

More art by Pausha Foley:

I Am a Ghost

Choose Yourself

Creating what is.

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