February 04th 2013 - I find myself talking a lot and teaching about various things that I’ve personally learned on my own spiritual journey. So I’ve pulled together the essentials that worked well for me to reduce limiting behaviors and negative thinking.
Attitude is Everything
I was at the chiropractor the other day and saw an inspirational poster. It said Attitude and then had this quote “A pessimist complains about the wind. An Optimist expects the winds to change and a Leader adjusts the sails.”
When I read the poster, I thought how true. I learned this early on from the angels that I needed to maintain a fairly positive attitude in order to heal and get in touch with the real me. Your attitude about anything is actually a choice. I didn’t use to understand that because I was living my life as a victim.
Example: waking up on the wrong side of the bed...”it’s going to be a crappy day, I just know it.”
You are not your Ego
I like to call the ego our “inner know-it-all”. When we are triggered by change or something else in our life, our ego can try to use our intelligence to rationalize continuing to cling to old unhealthy habits or stay on a path that isn’t working well for us.
I have learned over the years to cultivate a level of flexibility in the Ego and how I do things. We limit ourselves a great deal when we hold an inflexible view of the world, ourselves and other people. To me flexibility means to learn to go with the flow of whatever is occurring in our life rather than resist it or reject it.
I think it’s important to remember that even the humblest & self-less person can be tripped up by the ego. I know we equate a person’s ego with what we can see is an egotistical person, but the ego has other ways it gets in the way in a more subtle fashion.
Some people often ask me, so how do I know if my ego subtly has me?
• You often have arguments with yourself about common things or situations. (Often these little fights within you are about what is either right or wrong OR internal discussions about what you should or shouldn’t do). These little self-arguments also can contain a justification (rationalization) for feeling a certain way or going against your wisdom.
• You often reach a decision about something just fine but vacillate on whether or not your decision is the right one.
• You automatically dismiss or reject (without even a little consideration) the loving advice of others --believing that only you know.
• You often resist things that are better for you.
• You talk yourself out of things that get you out of your comfort zone or even that you enjoy.
• You rationalize or often choose things that you know are not good for you.
Don’t take everything personally
I used to be a person that took everything that happened in my life that I felt was negative as a personal attack. Of course, when I saw the world this way, my life was miserable. I felt all alone and abandoned for so many years.
I believe that, because of our woundedness, we feel that the actions of others mean “this or that” but the actions of others’ are not about us at all. Other people are not to blame because they act differently than we think they should. The other person and their distressing behavior get created because of their emotional trauma. Remember it really has nothing whatsoever to do with you. When we are carrying trauma, the ego takes everything personally and feels that everything that happens in the world around you is all about you.
Much of the time there is a flaw in our perception
Sometimes, well in reality much of the time, it can be so hard to admit that we perceived a situation incorrectly. But what happens when we do? We can easily shift to a more truth oriented view of ourselves and others when we can just admit that our past can affect how we see the world. No big deal really.
I learned to experience my life from the view that I can accept that I change my perception as I see and understand new information. After working with this pearl, I can now accept that my perception is meant to change over time and that it’s okay to be incorrect.
We always have a choice
When my life was very stressful, I felt like I never had a choice. But, I have learned that in life we always have a choice.
For example, in life we can feel pressure from a job, someone we love or another source. I always felt like I was being forced to do this or that in my daily life. I found out later that I cannot control my emotional reactions to things or being triggered, but after that initial reaction, I ALWAYS have a choice about how I move forward from that moment. You only think you are stuck or don’t have a choice when you see yourself as the victim only.
Fear is not Failure
There was a time that I thought fear was wrong and I that I had failed somehow for being afraid. This is not at all true. It’s never helpful to deny our fear. Overcoming fear doesn’t happen instantly or automatically.
It is the result of your deliberate intention, and conscious action towards doing things that are out of your comfort zone. As a result of overcoming your fears, you grow as a person, and expand the possibilities that surround your life.
You cannot make a change without accepting wherever you are
This one came up while talking to a good friend. Acceptance has been a central theme of the angels in my life. I learned that I often rejected myself, my experiences and so on. However, we don’t accept where we are, then we are still in denial about something. It’s pretty hard to make a positive change without all of the information we need if you think about it.
Anger is not necessarily the Enemy
I have a funny story about this pearl. When the angels first showed up in my bedroom that fateful day, I was super-charged by the spirit inside me. I felt I should always take the high-road and become love all the time. I sincerely thought this was a correct view. It made sense to me at the time because our divine nature is unconditional right? Because I could not see what I needed to, the angels thought they’d teach me a small lesson.
One day I was sitting in my living room and I heard. “You know CJ…we wanted to tell you that you make the most amazing angel we’ve ever seen.” Of course I said thank you to them for that nice compliment, but I wasn’t prepared for the next comment from them which was, “But, you make a pretty lousy human being.”
I immediately got so upset that I stormed around my house. I had all kinds of reasons that the angels were WRONG! When I calmed down finally, the angels said, “See getting angry wasn’t that hard, was it?”
I chose a sense of humor about it after that moment. I realized that they had to show me that I was only allowing part of my emotions to express and suppressing those that I had deemed “undesirable”. Now I truly understand that part of being human is the full range of emotions and that what I thought was “rising above” my emotions was just AVOIDANCE.
Separation is one of the most hurtful illusions
This one I saw clearly about 5 years ago. Much of what can hurt our feelings, make us upset and cause us emotional discord is because we feel alone or abandoned by other people. Our ego sees us as separate and unique from others and creates a sense of control to feel more secure. Yet we crave more connection to others, more emotional intimacy and so on.
Yet it is our choices and actions that can unwittingly buy into this view of being isolated. In my work with Akashic Field Therapy revealed to me that all of this sense of being disconnected from other people really comes from an original trauma that is created when we are born into the human world. Our true trauma that eventually gets externalized to the world outside ourselves is really an illusion that we are Separate from Source. Yet I learned very well that we are NEVER, EVER separated from the source despite what our ego tells us. It’s just not possible to be disconnected from where we come from.
Learn to Forgive Yourself
Earlier in my life I looked at the train wreck of my life and that is what fueled my self-judgments on a constant basis. I could more easily forgive those that had hurt me, than realize that the true person I needed to have forgiveness for was ME.
Whenever I started to better about myself or my progress, my second thought would be about something that I felt guilty for. I’d rob myself of happiness all the time.
I was finally able to forgive myself when I realized that it was OK to make mistakes. I understood that was not being challenged to be a perfect human and that I was here to learn. So after many years I finally let myself “off the hook”.
Control is Over-rated
When we try to control too many things in life, we get all caught up in hanging on to the “plan”. Try letting others make the decision, or have the last word; drive in the fast lane or have the first place in line.
Practice letting go of concepts that your life is a state of being in competition with the rest of the world.
Be realistic with your goals and what can be accomplished
I remember how I used to be with this one. I was so gung-ho to change my issues that I’d make a huge list for myself and then wonder why I kept failing time and time again. I didn’t realize that I had a big issue from childhood with perfectionism.
I didn’t have realistic goals at all. In fact I often set goals that could never be attained. I was just setting myself up for failure. I was always reinforcing that I wasn’t good enough.
Recognize when you aren’t in the NOW moment
The best way to do this is to practice staying in the present moment as much as possible so that you can encounter each experience as it comes, rather than giving into anxiety about uncertainty.
When you begin to worry about the next day and so on or find yourself dwelling on the past, make a choice to let it go and return to the present.
I have practiced this very diligently for almost two years now. I can tell you that the more you practice this, the more and more you can always be fully present in the current moment.
Change is Inevitable
I had to understand that change in life is an inevitable part of life. I don’t mean rationally understand this, but deeper toward acceptance of change in its many forms. Nothing lasts forever. I think I knew this one intellectually, but for many years my ego was so resistant to change UNTIL of course the angels showed up in my bedroom about 14 years ago.
It’s good to challenge yourself from time to time
Making a habit of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is really important. Choose to do new things and try new experiences. If you are afraid of groups, attend a seminar you are interested in.
Listen to your inner wisdom
Whether you believe that you can “hear” the voice of your wisdom from day to day, I promise that you can. Trust your instincts to guide you. If you are trying to move a direction, but your gut says no. Try to listen more and act accordingly. If your wisdom directs you differently than common wisdom, steer your own course.
Our expectations can be a setup for failure
Do you have control over another person your life? We may rationally answer no to this question, yet we are faced with disappointment a lot aren’t we? If we are fully present in the moment and open to whatever possibilities arise, then setting expectations isn’t an issue. Again the ego plays a role here, we assume that things will go a certain way or we expect them to. We can expect others to validate us, but when they don’t we are upset.
This again is a control issue but is definitely a harder one to release. It requires that we accept everything as it happens without pre-planning an outcome in our mind, without any resistance.
Stop your assumptions about others
This one is also called stop thinking for other people. We are always evaluating the actions of other people whether we realize it or not. We may think that they are unhappy with us or judging us based on something they said or did. How often do we think someone feels this way or that way only to find out we were mistaken? Our ego’s just love to “fill in the blanks” for others.
An example of this would be, let’s say that your friend is looking stressed out or has a funny look on their face or anything you feel is out of the ordinary for them. You have a short discussion with them and then walk away.
Once you are on your own, you start to think about the friend’s face and behavior, so you make up a story that goes something like this: “She didn’t like what I said probably. Now she’s mad at me. I bet she really doesn’t want me around anymore. Yep, she’s tired of me and I’m bothering her too much.”
We all do this, but this type of assumption or making up stories in your head comes from your ego. “You cannot truly think for anyone but yourself. You simply cannot know at all what is going on inside another person’s head or what may have happened before you spoke to them and so on. This is just taking things personally first and then taking it to another dysfunctional level!
There of course are many more pearls of wisdom I could share, but these are the main tools I use each and every day. They make a huge difference in the quality of my life and my level of joy and happiness.
Many blessings and I sincerely hope that these help you on your journey!
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