Saturday, May 3, 2008

Success = 99% awareness + 1% application

"Life does not happen to us, it happens from us."
-- Mike Wickett

When we have a destructive, addictive habit, the first step towards healing is to acknowledge there is a problem in the first place. Denial of the issue to ourselves and others can be an automatic gut reaction.

But what if the problem isn't glaring or obvious? What if it's something seemingly innocuous or a coincidence, like:

- If we often miss the bottom step of a flight of stairs and repeatedly wrench our ankle?
- If we always attract relationships with people who have the same, negative qualities into our lives?
- If we are always late meeting our friends, for class or for appointments?
- If we can never master landing a lutz jump in skating or never miss the water trap in golf?
- If we can never hold a viable, lucrative job due to different circumstances that come up each time?

Is all of this just plain bad luck?

Would you believe me if I told you it wasn't? Would you believe me if I told you that everything happens for a reason and it's meant to be?

That statement alone will make some of you mad. Why does a baby die who has never had a chance to experience all life has to offer? Why does a relationship of 30 years dissolve "overnight"? Why does anyone have to suffer through a chronic illness? and on and on.

Setting aside discussion of whether Goddess (God, the Universe, Spirit, the Collective Soul, Yahweh, or whoever makes sense in your world view) has a set plan for each of us - let's call that the BIG PICTURE - let's focus on the smaller picture... on you. In virtually all cases, things that happen "to us" are our own fault.

"Well, that's brutally harsh. What do you mean by that? "

I mean we attract what happens to us -- with the exception of the baby dying, in my opinion. In exceptionally few instances, sometimes horrible things happen and we grow stronger learning to handle the emotional and psychological fallout from them. But in almost all situations, you can trace back what happened to a lack of awareness on our part, to an inability to monitor and re-direct what's happening into something constructive.

"OK, now this sounds like pure drivel. What on earth do you mean?"

"Most of us are in touch with our intuition
whether we know it or not,

but we're usually in the habit of doubting or contradicting it so
automatically that we don't even know it has spoken."

What I mean is that if we stopped for just a moment, to pay attention to our mind chattering on, to how our body feels, to what's going on around us, many times situations or bad "coincidences" would be avoided or overcome.

For example, on May 26, 1992 at 10:30pm, I was cycling home from a friends' place in the rain. I turned onto a major street that was empty and a voice that seemed to originate above my head and to the right said, "It is safer to cycle on the sidewalk."

My immediate thought was not, "oh thank you". It was, "hello? it's illegal to cycle on the sidewalk. I could get a ticket" and so I continued to cycle on the roadway, but not for much longer. In less than 60 seconds I was struck head on by a car. I don't remember how it happened. I do remember bouncing on the hood of the car (and I do believe I did a Judo breakfall automatically) and then excruciating pain as I went through the windshield of the car with my head (and I'm only here today because I wore a helmet). After that, I was unconscious for a good 45 minutes. I 'came to' hearing the voice of the doctor who was working on me chanting in amazement, "You are so lucky... You are so lucky... You are so lucky." That's his perspective. Lucky or not, it took me over 4 months to heal my broken bones and bruises.

Now that example is pretty dramatic and extreme, right down to the voice above my head.

"Yeah, swanjames, I never hear voices. I just think you're looney."

When I talked about our minds chattering on earlier, I didn't mean hearing voices, like I did before my accident. What I meant was we need to stop and listen to what we are telling ourselves.

"A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
-- Channing Pollock

We need to develop mindfulness. By that I mean, paying attention to what we are constantly telling ourselves. Just before you glance the 5 ball off the 3 so it slides into the side pocket, are you focused solely on your task, or are you mentally noticing how the guy at the end of the pool table is standing while you tell yourself, "I was never good at this game" just before you miss the shot?

Just before you pick up a phone to try to make a sale or ask someone out on a date, what are you doing and saying to yourself? Are you sitting there, sweating in fear? Are you telling yourself you desperately need to make your mortgage payment this month? Or she probably doesn't even remember meeting me? Without a doubt the person on the other end of the phone will pick up on your energy.

"If you had a friend who talked to you
like you sometimes talk to yourself,
would you continue to hang around with that person?"
-- Rob Bremer

"So, what happens when you catch yourself from beating yourself up, and turn this process around?"

You walk, talk and act in the belief what you want to achieve is going to happen. No question. In fact, it's even better if you act as if it has already happened.

Is this simple?

Is it easy?
No way.

I can only tell you my experience. When I'm feeling insecure or powerless, I think back to the following challenging time in my life and draw strength from it:

My full-time job in hospitality ended abruptly one sunny November 29th morning, with the closing of the hotel I worked at. I went back to school, but after graduation had to admit that the chances for my new career in my hometown were minimal. I had always said I hated Toronto and would never move there - EVER! - but suddenly, it seemed a fantastic place to settle. My boyfriend was happy because he'd wanted to move there for years. So, "ever" was here and we made plans to move at the end of the summer.

Two weeks before we moved, my boyfriend told the company he did freelance work for he was moving. They presented him with a lucrative contract, which he promptly signed. Suddenly, I had a decision to make. I had not yet secured a job in Toronto and so didn't have an apartment either. Without J., should I stay or should I go?

I thought about the lack of opportunity in my field and how I'd have to ditch my recent schooling and start a new career if I stayed. The choice was clear => I went.

I didn't know how I was going to do it, I just knew I had to do it. For the first time in my life I operated from the stance of assurance, rather than from fear I would fail. Over the next 7 months, places to stay, jobs and apartments all fell into place at exactly (and not a second too soon) the moment I needed. Chance encounters ensured jobs; conversations with strangers created places to stay. It was one of the weirdest, scariest, most beautiful time of my life. And one of the most difficult.
It changed my outlook.

This happened long before the book/movie, "The Secret" came out, with all its talk about the Law of Attraction. If I had not already experienced it, I would have attributed that "Law" to a lot of hooey, but I am here to tell you, life is abundant and there is more than enough to go around. Believe it. Receive it. Achieve it.... Just do it.

Make your optimism come true.
~Author Unknown

Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right.
~Henry Ford

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