There are only 3 things that can make your dreams come true: your thoughts, your words, and your actions. ~Mike Dooley
I am in charge of my life. No one else is in charge. I cannot expect others to make me happy or to make my dreams come true. It is all up to me. I need to clearly set my intentions on the dreams in my life and then focus my attention on making those things come true.
I need to pay attention to what I think as negative thoughts are not helping my dreams come true. Mike Dooley also says, “thoughts become things, choose the good ones.” So, when I am aware that I have thought something negative about a situation, or myself, I quickly change it to a positive thought.
I pay attention to what I say. Many times it is better not to say anything if I am not adding to the content of the conversation in a meaningful way. Many times, my ego just wants to add something and it is totally unnecessary.
The final thing I pay attention to are my actions – what am I actually doing and is it bringing me closer to my dreams. It is important for me to set my intentions and attention daily so that my dreams come true.
How do you make your dreams come true?
Do you rely on others to make your dreams come true?
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade and ask for salt and tequila!” ~unknown
To me, life has become a series of reframing situations that I used to label as “bad” into opportunities for growth. This is not always easy, but with practice it continues to become easier. This week, I was teaching classes and a person dropped out because the class didn’t meet her expectations. My first reaction was to be upset with myself and of course my ego and pride got involved that I wasn’t good enough and just as I was about to spiral into all of the self-doubt thoughts, I became aware of what I was thinking. I stopped the cycle and asked myself, "what I should learn from this situation?" The “me from my twenties” would have blamed the other person, but at least with age I have become wiser and now take responsibility – I understood that the other person was correct. So, I realized that the communication in my email and flyers was not clear. So, in the future I will be more conscious about what I communicate. I know what I am doing, but it obviously wasn’t clear to others in my communications. Instead of hours and days of beating myself up, I learned something and moved on.
But, the great news is that I journaled about it and I opened myself to the world of infinite possibilities and realized that the lesson was not only to learn to be clearer in my communications, but that people want to have classes with longer meditations and time in silence. So, the creative juices started flowing about creating a daylong class about going within and I am really excited about future classes. What I had originally seen as a flaw in my character was a lesson to take my meditation classes in a new direction. Not only did I make lemonade out of the lemons, but I am enjoying the party with tequila. So often before in my life, I never saw my mistakes as something to capitalize and grow from, but saw them as just more proof that I am an unworthy person. This philosophy of looking for what I am supposed to learn from mistakes and challenges allows more doors to open and to see life from a different perspective. I am grateful to this teacher in my life. I just have to stay open to see and learn.
How do you make lemonade from the lemons in your life?
“The future, the worry, the regret, the anxiety – these are all mental events that do not have to be part of the difficulty of life; these can be transcended here and now.”
The here and now is all there is and ever will be and this is a lesson that I seem to keep needing to learn over and over every day. I know that I continually work on living in the present moment and that I am getting better at it. I am more fully engaged when I chat with others – I really listen to them and don’t plan the next thing I am going to say. I live in the present moment when I am doing things I love like painting, gardening, taking a bath and doing anything creative.
However, I catch myself not living in the present moment when my thoughts drift off to worrying about things that might happen. I stop myself and ask, “is anything bad happening in this moment?” and the answer is usually no. But, my ego drifts off and thinks, “something bad could happen” or “maybe because I did this, people are going to be upset.” Yes, something bad could happen and if it does, I will deal with it then. And yes, I will do things in life that may upset others, but I have no control over how others react. I only have control over what I do and I am doing the best at making conscious decisions that will positively impact me and those effected by my decision. I want to live in the present moment and leave these mental events that cause suffering behind. There is only this moment.
How much time do you spend living in the mental world of worry, regret and anxiety?
What can you do to live more in the present moment?
Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust
In our lives we hopefully all have friends who are in our corner, who support and love us for who were are even with our traits and flaws. I am so blessed to have so many friends in my corner who are my cheerleaders and are there for me when I fall down. One of the major things that I have learned in life is that I don’t have to do things alone and that there are people there to help me pick up the pieces and support me when I am not my strongest.
I was struggling with a situation and the universe came to my aide with a friend who called just at the right time and I shared my situation. She was a good listener and helped give me perspective to remember that I am a good and worthy person doing the best I can. No one can tell me what to do or how to proceed (although there are always times in life that I would just like to say – please tell me what do to); I know that is my responsibility. But I am grateful to be able to ask the “charming gardeners” in my life for help as soul blossoms again.
Who can you call upon the help your soul blossom in times of need?
How can you help others during times of need?
“No one can rob me from my happiness… No one can drive me crazy unless I accept the passenger seat.” ~ Alan Cohen
In life, we will all experience situations that we perceive as adverse or unpleasant. We may work hard and others will be critical. We are never responsible for what others think of us, but we are responsible for our reactions to what they say or do.
I have determined that I need to have a plan for entering situations that in the past may have been unpleasant. First, I need to let go of the past, it happened, it doesn’t mean that it will happen again. So, I set a positive intention. For example, for an upcoming meeting I have set the intention for a positive experience filled with love, learning and creativity. I envision myself filling the room with love and positive energy. I set the intention, but I let go of the outcome.
Usually after the meeting, people will come up and tell me things that I view as criticisms. I remember that I choose how I perceive these comments and now I set the intention to view them as suggestions and not criticisms. When they are offer suggestions, I will thank them for their ideas. I will truly listen and be grateful that they care. I will reflect on them at another time and see what needs to be acted upon. But during the meeting I will breathe deeply and not let my ego take over and react with anger. I will remember that all acts are an expression of love or a call for love. I will choose to send love. I will come from my highest spiritual self.
Do you let others rob your from your happiness or drive you crazy?
If yes, what can you do change how you perceive the situation and have more peace?
“One must always be aware, to notice—even though the cost of noticing is to become responsible.”
~ Thylias Moss
One of the key things that I have learned after attending numerous Chopra Center programs is the importance of developing the witnessing awareness. Just stop for a minute and witness who is reading this blog entry. Look at yourself as if you are watching yourself in a movie as you read the blog and begin to become aware of yourself and what you are doing. You can develop the witnessing awareness with a mindfulness practice where you observe your thoughts, emotions, and sensations without judging them as good or bad.
It was important for me to practice this on everyday normal activities so I could apply this technique during challenging opportunities. Now, when I become angry or upset, I stop before reacting and saying anything I will later regret and notice that I am upset. I ask myself “who is upset?” and “who is offended?” I take a deep breath and come from a place of heart-centered awareness and respond from my highest self instead of the person who wants to yell back or give a snarky and sarcastic retort.
Then I find time to journal about this and see if I can get to the bottom of why my ego is hurt. Does it go back to issues I have with abandonment or feeling like I am not good enough, or is it another issue that I still need to resolve. Once I process the situation, I let it go and move on to the present moment. You must understand that I work on this and sometimes I let go within an hour and other times it may take me a day or longer. But, I let go much faster now than I ever used to in the past and with practice I know I will get even better. Developing the witnessing awareness has helped me come from a more positive and peaceful place during stressful times. However, because I am aware of what I am doing, saying, and thinking, I know that I am responsible for my actions and I consciously make more reflective choices.
How can you develop your witnessing awareness?
Are you responsible for your actions, words and thoughts?
“One has not only an ability to perceive the world but an ability to alter one's perception of it; more simply, one can change things by the manner in which one looks at them.” ~ TOM ROBBINS
I decided to continue with the concept of seeing without labeling and apply it to how we view people and situations. Once, I spent some time in nature and practiced seeing without labeling it became easier. I was just able to “be” in nature and didn’t have to label the beautiful sunsets, flowers, animals, or anything else, because in actuality, there are not really words that do it justice. I am now more serene and just experience the present moment.
In terms of seeing people, I am working on being non-judgmental and not labeling them based on race, gender, sexual preference, height, weight, style of clothing, attitude or the other myriad of ways that we judge people. Awareness is the key to realize how often we label people. Take one day and just practice awareness and see how many times you put a label on someone. We don’t know these people; we don’t know their story or situation. Who are we to judge? Now, when I catch myself applying a label to a person, I acknowledge that I have done that (I don’t beat myself up as that never helps) and I silently send that person love and light. The interesting thing that I have noticed is that because of this practice, I find myself judging and labeling less.
The final part of not labeling for me is not labeling situations as “good” or “bad” or with any other judgment. This is easy to do when things are going well. But, when something happens that I did not plan on occurring, I try to accept that this is the way things are at this moment. Acceptance and surrender makes life so much easier and I don’t waste energy being angry or upset. Because sometimes, those things I would have labeled as “bad” end up being a lesson I needed to learn or have a much better outcome than I had planned for in the long run. It takes patience and practice to stop labeling, but I am reaping the benefits of the process.
What happens if you stop labeling people?
What happens if you stop labeling situations?
Peggy Steffens is an artist and Chopra Certified Meditation Instructor
My goal is to build a community with like-minded individuals who want to grow, share and learn from one another. Please post comments to enrich the experience for all.