In her article ‘’Oprah reveals how to fight your fears’’ Oprah Windfrey worte, ‘’As author Neale Donald Walsch says, So long as you’re still worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them. Only when you require no approval from outside yourself can you own yourself.” These words struck me when I read it last week. I am committed to reaching my full potential and being my most authentic and powerful self, but somehow I hold back in business and procrastinate taking actions that would benefit me, I felt blocked and frustrated but I didn't know why. Suddenly I realized how my fear for what others think of me has subtly affected my decisions and actions in my life particularly in business.
Worry affects significantly the quality of our life, it makes us tense and nervous, prevents us from living fully in the HERE and NOW. Our fatigue doesn’t really come from the work, it’s the worry that consumes our energy! Consistent worry can also make us sick, those who do not know how to fight worry die young.
Over the years I’ve learned various ways of eliminating worrying, they worked well for me in different phases of my life, I hope they will also help you to live a more worry-free life.
Louise Hay (founder of Hay House) has found that there is only one thing that heals every problem, and that is: to love yourself. When we start to love ourselves more each day, it’s amazing how our lives get better. We feel better. We get the jobs we want. We have the money we need. Our relationships either improve, or the negative ones dissolve and new ones begin.
Let’s begin to love ourselves NOW. Here are 12 Commandments suggested by Louise to help you learn how to love yourself:
I've been studying and practicing Abraham Hicks' Law of Attraction for a while and found the teachings of Abraham truly profound, inspiring and uplifting. A simple evidence of the Law of Attraction is: Birds of like feathers flock together; like-minded like-hearted people are attracted to each other. According to the Law of Attraction, whatever we give attention to we will attract to us. This might not seem true at first sight, as we all have/had experiences that we desire something for long but it's not manifested in our lives. What we don't understand is that the Universe is based on inclusion (instead of exclusion), this means: when we say ʺYESʺ to something, it comes to us; when we shout "NO" at something, it comes to us as well! The Universe only knows what we are focusing on; it cannot differentiate YES or NO.
I learned to suppress anger as a very young child, it’s such an automatic response that for almost my entire life I was unaware of the anger that exists in me. However emotions need to be acknowledged and expressed, they reside in our body when suppressed, and then from time to time we lash out at someone or something without even understanding why. Anger held a long time become resentment (hot or cold), which eats away our bodies and contributes to diseases such as cancer and arthritis. Suppression of anger and resentment also leads to feeling hopeless and powerless over time and eventually depression.
It’s important to see things from different perspectives; I learned this through my interactions with others and my relationship with my body. For several years I suffered from severe back pain and neck strain, although I know it’s psychosomatic – the discomfort appears when I am tense and tight and disappears when I am relaxed and peaceful, I still blamed my body and saw it as a burden which had trapped my spirit and hindered my progress on my path, but things got only worse over time. A coaching session I had last year made me realize that I could well see the discomfort as a warning signal from my body to remind me of staying balanced and peaceful, that marked the beginning of the healing process of my back and neck.
Many people don't really understand the importance of being peaceful, they ask "Does peace pay my bills? Does peace bring me a wonderful job? Does peace move me forward in my life?". Most of the time they drive themselves to do more and accomplish more, they feel the need to have circumstances under their control, which often indicates lack of trust and fear for uncertainty.
Life is really simple, whatever we believe about ourselves and life becomes true in our personal experiences. I used to hold many limiting beliefs about myself and life, such as life is not easy, lessons are supposed to be learned in the hard way, I need to work hard to earn money etc. Over time I've realized the detrimental effects of these beliefs had on my life before, and I've been working continuously on cultivating unlimited powerful beliefs.
I came to know Bronnie Ware’s work of <<The Top Five Regrets of the Dying>> during the annual Swiss Professional Learning exhibition last week. It is so inspiring that I would like to share with you, also I want you to reflect on your own life and see what changes you can make in your life. Here are the five regrets:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
Recently I’ve been working on releasing the past completely from my life. It is heavy to carry any emotional baggages from the past, I want to travel through life lightly. When my thoughts are occupied by the past, be it tough/painful or sweet/happy moments, and no matter how magnificent the experience was, I am thinking the same old thoughts. I want to think only new happy powerful thoughts that create a wonderful bright future; I want to be fully present in the here and now; I want to be open and receptive to the new wonderful experiences that life will bring me.
Every moment we are shaping and creating our lives with our thoughts. What we think is much more important than what we do. What kind of thoughts would you like to think? What kind of future would you like to create? To many of us our thoughts seem to be beyond our control, we feel that our mind runs the thoughts on its own, but that's not true, we do choose the thoughts we want to think.
I believe that we create our own life through our thoughts, beliefs and consciousness. No person, place or thing can have any power over us because we are the one who owns our thoughts and beliefs. According to the law of cause and effect in the Universe, for any outer effects there's a cause inside. I don't mean to suggest that we blame/criticize ourselves for the mistakes we made and for the undesirable life situations we are in (it's very important to forgive ourselves in any situation and be loving and kind with ourselves no matter how), I simply mean that there's a solution to any outer effects if we look within, it is in our own hands if we want to take full responsibility of our life.
Many people look up to others for love and approval, they thought they would like themselves when others like them, and they would be then happier and more lovable. The truth is that
change starts from self-love, others are only a mirror of us. You see in others only what you have. When you love and approve of yourself, others will love and approve of you. When you do not
love and approve of yourself, you will see that in others as well.
There are many people in this world who like to complain, from the weather to the politics, from the traffic to the economy, the list of complaint is endless. I've encountered people who are so negative, they can drag you down from the moment they start to speak, and it takes some energy to shake off this negativity and bitterness.
Many people have difficulty saying no to other's requests or demands for fear of hurting their feelings and letting them down. It's human nature that we want to please others, but it's also our responsibility to listen to ourselves, respect our own needs and wants, and be honest with ourselves and others. There is huge power in NO. The ability to say no is a major factor in our subjective well-being and our sense of satisfaction. Only when we are capable of saying no, our "yes" is meaningful and reliable.
The only true security is what is inside us. Many people are unaware of this and they look outside for their security. They rely on their spouses, parents and friends for security, only
feel hurt and betrayed when things don’t go the way they wish. They rely on their bank account and investment for feeling happy and secure but only find themselves more afraid of losing their
job, money and living standard.
Most people know the importance of health to satisfaction. As Herophilus wrote, ʺWhen health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot become manifest, strength cannot be exerted, wealth is useless, and reason is powerless.ʺ However, how many of us truly listen to the needs of our body and take responsibility for them?!
You’re the most important person in your life and the only person you can completely please, love yourself and trust yourself. Continue to build your self-confidence and self-love by looking at how far you’ve come and what you have overcome instead of from what others think of you and their recognition. It’s really not about what others think of you, it’s about what you think and believe about yourself. You don’t need to prove anything to anybody!
My experiences made me believe that honest communication is the most effective communication which cultivates intimacy, trust and appreciation. The story behind the massage seat cover I’m sitting on is just one of my many experiences demonstrating this.
Is your desk piled high with papers on various matters (e.g. unanswered mails, reports and memos etc.) that haven’t been looked at for weeks? Does the mere sight of your desk make you feel tense, worried and confused because it constantly reminds you that you have a million things to do but no time to do them? Worse even, it can not only worry you into tension and fatigue, it can also worry you into high blood pressure and heart trouble!
There’s an old handicapped man who works for a Migros supermarket near my flat, one of his responsibilities is collecting and returning the shopping carts to the right place. Every time I see him he looks happy and motivated and has always a friendly genuine smile on his face. He has a crippled leg but he walks more briskly than many normal healthy people. He radiates a kind of simply love and gratitude for his work and for life, which has always deeply touched me.
Spontaneity is the quality of living in the moment and truly following our energies, moving fully and freely with the life force. It’s a wonderful feeling to allow ourselves to be totally spontaneous at times. However, our culture and society values structure, planning, and discipline over spontaneity. As adults we are expected to behave in a rational, contained manner, many of us have lost our connection with our true spontaneous spirit.
As human beings, we all need love, support, connection and closeness. However many of us consider feelings of dependency negative, we want to be self-sufficient, it’s shameful for us to admit how much we really do need, especially emotionally. In the worst cases, some people have totally suppressed their true emotional needs and resort to drugs, alcohol and food etc. for avoiding the pain of unmet emotional needs, which is unhealthy and dangerous. Our needs are what make us human. We have to learn to honor them, not deny them. Then we can begin to get our needs met.
The other day when I as taking a walk along a clear stream near home, head on came a little girl and her mother. The little girl was 3-4 years old and crying loudly, holding her small hand up towards her mother and trying to get her mother’s attention and response and to keep pace with her. The mother was apparently overwhelmed with anger and resentment (perhaps her own stuff) and she deliberately looked away and ignored the little girl. I didn’t know what happened but my heart hurts seeing that the little girl was rejected by her mother and imagining how the poor little girl would learn to suppress certain feelings in future in order to get the approval and love of her mother.
Being and doing are two important polarities and energies that we need to balance in order to live a balanced and fulfilling life. Being is the ability to be fully present in the moment with an open, receptive awareness – simply experiencing. Doing is the ability to move through time with focused attention to accomplish a specific task.
Last week I had a closing session with a client, for my own learning and development I asked for her honest feedback about the coaching process. Hearing the sincere compliments and encouragements from the client, I felt uplifted, more confident in myself, my coaching and my positive impact on others, and I felt more confident and motivated to face the challenges along the way of developing a successful coaching business. I find such moments in life deeply touching, satisfying and encouraging, my heart can’t stop singing. I am also happy that without thinking I expressed my appreciation of working with her and the positive impact of her words on me.
Friday afternoon while we were working hard on the customer samples and getting the instruments work, a colleague came in with a big smile on his face and vibrant cheerful voice, immediately the atmosphere in the lab lightens up. He tapped on my shoulder and said: ʺHey, smile, be happy! ʺ. I could do nothing but smiling and thinking that he’s absolutely right, his presence made me feel happier and more alive. Such is the contagious effect of a big genuine smile and a positive mental attitude!
Last week we (several colleagues and I) went out for a nice Frauenabend (Ladie’s Evening), I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, the tasty Italian food and our interesting discussions. One of our topics was ʺmen and relationshipʺ. It’s not surprising to discover that many women have difficulty in understanding men and have little confidence in finding a right man particularly after failed marriages/relationships (vice versa). I noticed a clear ʺscarcity mentality’’ - there are few good men out there and I need to compete with other women. I fully understand these thinkings/attitudes but I would rather believe in something different.
Norman Vicent Peale, a minister and a progenitor of positive thinking, said: ʺYou are not what you think you are; but what you think, you are.ʺ His words have truly inspired me when I first read them many years ago. Back then my issue was feeling unhappy and powerless and indulging myself in self-pity, these words have made me realize that by choosing the right thoughts I can create a new self and a new life, this marked the beginning of my conscious journey of positive thinking.
Every day is a fresh and new day and we have no chance to live this precious day again. It is important to live this day with awareness and participate in life fully. Every today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. The power is in the NOW.
I believe everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we may see clearly the reasons behind what happened, more often we might not know why the challenges in life happen at the time they happen, only months or even years later when we place them in the panorama picture of life we realize how our life has been shaped by what happened.
The following speech by Nelson Mandela (which he never gave!) was originally written by Marianne Williamson. The words have deeply touched me, I hung them on my kitchen wall and they encourage me to love myself as I am and face any challenges in life fearlessly. I hope the words will inspire you as well.
I see very few people in this world truly love themselves. We feel we are mistreated by the world,
and we will feel happy when others start to respect and love us. What many of us don’t know is that others will not respect and love us unless we respect and love ourselves
first. It does not start from others, it really starts from us.
Often I hear people complaining about their work situations and today’s economy culture, I have the impression that they’re unsatisfied with their current situations, but the fear to leave their comfortable/familiar area and the uncertainty about the future hold them back from initiating necessary changes. I understand that the modern technological culture and fast-paced life has made things more challenging than ever, but I also think that taking a victim attitude, expecting someone else to rescue you or expecting the unpleasant situations will change/disappear on their own over time is not a responsible attitude to ourselves and our life.
I find slowing down and relaxing has improved dramatically the quality of my life, my creativity and my appreciation for myself, others and life in general. My mind is clearer, sharper and more fluid, and I receive more intuitive insights and inspirations from within.
Those hectic employee days now seem to be so distant to me even though it was only a year ago. Back then I was often facing a long must-do list (whether it made sense or not), artificial emergencies (resulting from the fear/panic of some people or human conflicts due to lack of respect, trust and cooperation) and subtle power/ego games. A big part of my energy was consumed on overcoming the negative/depressive influences of the environment in order to remain cheerful, positive, calm and to live by my own principles and values. I loved my leisure time alone when I could relax and replenish my energy, still I felt I was chronically drained as there’s never enough time for rest and recover. My spirit was suppressed, I was more in a survival mode rather than a relaxed and creative mode.
Whenever possible I don’t give myself time pressure. I usually ask my subconscious mind to arrange the tasks for me and then follow my spirit spontaneously, I find it works well and have deepened my trust in the subconscious mind significantly over the past year. I plan enough time for rest between appointments and always leave early for appointments. Some might think that the time is wasted, but I see it differently. When I take time, I can much more efficiently use it for reading, thinking and relaxing, and I’m more present for the upcoming task hence perform my best. On the contrary if I’m in a rush, I lose energy and my calmness, and need extra time to relax and center myself, in the end this always impact my presence and performance negatively.
The development of modern technologies has offered us numerous possibilities and conveniences, we’re supposed to have more time and flexibilities to enjoy life, however, it seems to work in the opposite direction. The work schedules and expectations get more demanding than ever, we’re expected to be reachable seven days a week through email and mobile phones by our family, friends, or even our boss and customers, and to response immediately to the received requests. We are always in a rush and in constant activities, barely have time to stop and breathe, let alone relax, reflect and live. Slowing down and relaxing has become a real challenge to most of us.
I discovered the following letter written by an anonym when recently reading the book <<The Soulmate Secret>>, and couldn't wait to share it with you as I find the words permeate with truth and wisdom, it's truly inspiring! I typed it into a word file and printed out several copies - one copy on a piece of light yellow paper is now hanging on the wall in my kitchen, one copy on my bedisde table, and another copy in my handbag. And I read it at least once every day J. Enjoy it!
My biggest challenge is the relationship with my deeply depressed mother. For almost my entire life I felt her expectation for me to take care of her feelings and free her from her struggles and unhappiness, and I was carrying the responsibility for her life. Often I felt overburdened, exhausted, and felt like escaping from her world. In recent years I started to feel being manipulated and taken for granted, but I felt uneasy and guilty when I had such ''irresponsible'' thinkings/feelings and when I took distance to protect myself from being drained. Several months ago, eventually I realized that sustaining myself and putting my own needs above those of my mother (or anyone else) is not an option for me, instead it is my first responsibility. I was now able to step back, release the guilt and judgments on myself, accept and appreciate that part of me which is self-centered and carefree. To me this marked the beginning of my true unconditional self-acceptance and self-love.
For a couple of years I was still struggling in sadness, self-pity, pain and anxiety for future, I couldn’t even imagine how lasting happiness might feel like. I don’t remember how exactly I started to read Buddhist psychology, I think I was like a drowning person grabing anything that could save my life. Then I became aware of the light moments in the midst of suffering, I learned that if I stayed with the painful feelings without holding tightly on them, they would eventually go and make room for the lighter feelings to flow in. By letting all feelings come and go I started to experience more happy free moments.
It’s my belief that unconditional self-acceptance and self-love is essential to living a deeply satisfying life filled with love, peace and joy. When I take care of my own needs, when I accept and love myself as I am, my heart overflows with joy and love, I’m happy seeing others happy, I give from my heart and out of spirit expecting no rewards. In fact I receive what I give, I attract love and heart-based connections into my life. At times when I accommodate the needs of others sacrificing my own needs, generally I feel reluctant, suppressed and sometimes even resentment. I don’t believe that we can give away things we don’t have. When my own needs are not met, I have no capability to give and love. Giving out of reluctance, guilt or duty is empty, I believe it doesn’t benefit anybody.
Spending time in nature is an important part of my everyday life, living in Switzerland makes it possible and I’m truly grateful for this privilege. I love this beautiful country, the mountains, snow, lakes, woods, meadows, flowers, cows and lovely houses. I travelled to and lived in different countries and places, but I feel more at home here than any other places, even my homeland.
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