Archive for February 2009

Accepting What Is

February 18, 2009

This week’s article definitely falls into the category of “we teach best what we most need to learn.”  For much of my life, and especially recently, I have struggled to accept certain things about myself, others, and life that I don’t like.  Being someone who is committed to change and transformation, the idea of “acceptance” has always seemed weak, wimpy, or like the admission of failure or powerlessness to me – although I have pretended to understand and believe in the power of acceptance for a long time.

The truth is, I have been scared to embrace acceptance – worrying that if I truly accept aspects of myself that I don’t like, things about others that bother me, or circumstances in my life and in the world that aren’t okay with me, then somehow I wouldn’t be motivated to change them in a positive way or, even worse, I would get resigned about them and they would always stay the way they are – which, of course, to me would be “bad” or “wrong.”

The famous quote by Carl Jung, which I have quoted in both of my books and find myself saying all the time comes to mind here, “What you resist, persists.”  It seems that I, and so many people I know, work with, and talk to, are constantly “resisting” (more like fighting against) the way things are in our lives.  Whether it’s with our body, our work, our spouse, our family members, our friends, our co-workers, our money, the state of the world and economy (especially these days), or many other things – we’re often arguing with reality instead of accepting it the way that it is.

Even though it can be scary and counter intuitive, acceptance is the first step in transformation.  It’s very difficult and quite stressful (as I know from a lifetime of experience) to try to change things from a place of non-acceptance.  Acceptance is not resignation or agreement; it is simply telling the truth and allowing things to be as they are.  When we accept ourselves, others, and life the way it is – we can create a real sense of peace and let go of much of our suffering.  And, from this place of peace and truth, we’re more able to not only appreciate life, but also to manifest the kind of circumstances, relationships, and outcomes we truly want.

Action:  What You Can Do

Make a list (in your mind, in your journal, or on a piece of paper) of some of the things in your life right now that are causing you the most stress, pain, or anxiety.  These things may have to do with people in your life, your work, money, health, things happening in the world, or anything else.

As you think about or write these things down, ask yourself if you’re willing to “accept” them as they are right now.  You don’t have to like, agree with, or want them to be this way…but, if you can start to accept these things, people, and situations in a genuine way – your ability to be at peace with them (and your life) and ultimately to change them in a positive way will be enhanced significantly.

What can you do to accept things as they are in your life right now?

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How to Date Like a Grown-Up

February 13, 2009

With Valentine’s Day upon us – many people are stressed out, annoyed, or even depressed.  This “holiday,” which I actually to enjoy even though it was made up by the greeting card companies or something like that, is funny in that it tends to cause a lot of anxiety.  For those of us in love relationships – there is both pressure and expectation, which are often not met or dealt with in an effective way.  And, for people who are not currently in romantic relationships, it can be a sad, depressing, or even embarrassing time of year.

While I understand and have compassion for all of these feelings, and others, associated with Valentine’s Day, I do think it is time for many of us to get real, speak our truth, and grow up about the whole thing – regardless of our circumstance or situation.

For those people who are looking for a new relationship (whether you are optimistic about it or not), my friend and bestselling author Lisa Daily has just written a great new book called How to Date Like a Grown-Up: Everything You Need to Know to Get Out There, Get Lucky, or Even Get Married in Your 40s, 50s and Beyond.

This fun and informative book offers realistic, counterintuitive advice that will help you finally find the relationship you deserve, including: where and how to meet better men, 5 easy tips to chat up any stranger, what you may be doing to make yourself a magnet for losers, little-known secrets to dramatically improve your dating odds, and the one simple thing you can do in the bedroom to make a man speed up his marriage proposal.  (It’s not what you think!)

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Focus on Good News

February 3, 2009

As someone who is very interested in current events, politics, sports, and more – I pay a lot of attention to the news (sometimes more than is probably healthy for me). I read newspapers, check the Internet, watch TV, and listen to the radio. With all of this news and information, I am often struck by how little of it is “good news,” especially these days.

While there is probably a certain amount of negative stuff that is important for us to know about, if we spend time checking in with most of the “mainstream” press, it’s easy to get the impression that life is really scary, negative, and that there are lots of terrible things are happening all over the place.

In recent months with all that is happening around the world and in our economy, there have been some genuinely negative things happening. These things do have real impact on real people – and on many of us personally. However, what about all the good news? There are literally billions of positive things happening all over the planet at this moment…most of them we will never hear about or know about. Think of how much good stuff goes unnoticed, unacknowledged, and un-communicated even in our own personal lives on a regular basis.

What has been happening in our country, our culture, and our world is a reflection of what is going on within each of us. We can get caught up in the “doom and gloom” of the moment, obsess about all of the issues and challenges facing us today, and allow the bad news coming at us from every angle get to us on a personal level…or we can choose something else.

While I am not advocating that we bury our heads in the sand, pretend everything is “fine,” and just ignore what’s happening…I do believe that now more than ever, we must be conscious about what we watch, read, and listen to. Nobody forces us to read the paper or the Internet, turn on the TV or radio, or get caught up in the mass hysteria of how “awful” things are. We each do that in our own personal way.

Here are a few things you can do to focus on more good news and not let the negative news get to you so much:

  • Limit the amount of news you consume. If you’re honest about it, you don’t need to watch, read, or listen to as much as you do in order to stay informed. If this is an issue for you, create a specific time limit per day and have others in your life support you and hold you accountable.
  • Choose news sources that you respect and at some level make you feel good. In other words, notice how you feel personally and emotionally when you watch a particular news show, listen to a someone on the radio, or read a newspaper, magazine, or website. If you notice that after watching, listening, or reading you don’t feel so good – maybe you can find another source for your news. This is about honoring yourself!
  • Seek out good news. Whether it’s in the media or in your life personally, now more than ever we must look for and find things to be grateful for, happy about, and excited about. There’s lots of good news out there; it’s up to us to find the good stuff and also to talk about it to others.

What are you doing or will you do to focus on more good news these days?

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