10 May  2016      

Hello, and welcome to today!  We hope that your day is a very positive one, indeed!

 The Five Barriers to Asking
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

The Ten Signals You're Not Living to
Your Fullest Potential     Louise Morganti Kaelin

Some Important Don't's
unattributed

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The real secret of happiness is simply this:  to be willing to live and let live, and to know very clearly in one's own mind that the unpardonable sin is to be an unpleasant person.

Galen Starr Ross

In those moments when we forget ourselves-- not thinking, "Am I happy?", but completely oblivious to our little ego--we spend a brief but beautiful holiday in heaven.

Eknath Easwaran

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping him- or herself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

  
The Five Barriers to Asking (an excerpt)
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

1.  Ignorance

Many of us don't know what to ask for.  Either we don't know what is available to us because we have never been exposed to it, or we are so out of touch with ourselves that we no longer are able to perceive our real needs and wants.  Some of us have become so numbed out that we are simply unaware of our natural yearnings and desires.  We no longer know what we really want.

Most of us don't know how to ask.  We have never learned the technology of making an effective request.  We have not seen these effective communication skills modeled in our homes and we were not taught them in our schools or at work.

Many of us don't know whom to ask and when to ask.  We have not learned how to identify likely prospects who can deliver what we ask for whether it be a hug, sage advice, or an order for something we are selling.  And many of us have never learned to read the nonverbal cues that people send us that tell us "I'm with you" or "not now."

2.  Limiting and Inaccurate Beliefs

The second barrier to asking for what we want are the limiting and negative beliefs that have been programmed into our subconscious and which now silently control all of our actions.

We are born with an empty data bank that has to be programmed.  Many of us are hindered in our asking for and getting what we want by the negative and limiting beliefs we have taken on from our parents, teachers, churches, peers, and the media.  We can become constricted and even paralyzed by this parental and cultural conditioning.

We are taught that it is better to give than to receive; that if he really loved me, I wouldn't have to ask; and that being needy is a weakness.  We have learned from our failures and our traumatic experiences in life that if you don't want too much, then you won't be disappointed; don't expect too much from men like your father; and it is safer to keep your mouth shut and appear the fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.

3.  Fear

As a result of the negative, painful, and shameful experiences of our childhood, we become afraid to participate, afraid to go after those things we truly want and desire.  We become afraid of rejection, looking foolish, losing face and being vulnerable and hurt by others.  As a result of those fears, we become passive.  We settle for less than we really want and we sit in judgment of others who are getting what we want.  We don't have the courage to ask for or the self-discipline to create.  We end up using all of our energy to protect ourselves against boogey men we have created in our minds instead of using those energies to create what we want.

We face fears such as the fear of rejection, the fear of looking stupid, the fear of being powerless, the fear of humiliation, the fear of punishment, the fear of abandonment, and the fear of endless obligation.

4.  Low Self-Esteem

According to several recent studies, only one out of three of us has high self-esteem.  "Look to your right and look to your left.  Only one of you is okay!" is the standard line we use in our seminars.  One out of three!  We are suffering from a national epidemic of low self-esteem.

Most of us feel unworthy of love, happiness and fulfillment and inadequate to create the kind of life we want.  We suffer from inferiority complexes, neurotic guilt, and a lack of self-confidence.  As a result, we don't believe our needs and wants are important and worthy of pursuing.  We become codependent from our belief that other people's needs are more important than our own--especially the needs of men, our children, our aging parents, our boss, the homeless, and the needy.  We sacrifice our own fulfillment on the altar of taking care of others.

5.  Pride

Many of us, especially men, get stuck in our pride.  We become too arrogant to admit we need anyone or anything.  We will not stop to ask for directions, advice, or help.  We are convinced we need to do everything ourselves--usually perfectly and usually on the first try--or we risk the loss of respect, friendship, and our own sense of adequacy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Think of the benefits of knowing how, when, and whom to ask for everything you want:  fewer disappointments in relationships, more effective team efforts at work, cleaner negotiations at the bargaining table, the money you need to start a business, fewer fights with your parents and children, the extra instruction and support you need, less suffering in the silent despair of loneliness, and the causes you support receiving funding they need to continue their good works.  Literally a whole new world can open up to you and everyone you care about.

You can ask for a hug, comfort, listening, forgiveness, attention, time, intimacy, caring, respect, love, nurturing, a massage, healing energy, prayers, an explanation, loyalty, sexual fidelity and a 100 percent commitment.

You can ask for a helping hand around the house, a favor, someone to keep a secret, help with your homework, the loan of a sweater or jacket, private tutoring, information, help with a project, your kids' cooperation, someone to baby-sit, swimming lessons, money for the movies, participation in a car pool, help with a flat tire, the loan of the family car or compliance with rules.

Don't wait until everything is just right.  It will never be perfect.  There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less-than-perfect conditions.  So what?  Get started now.  With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.

Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask.  Everything you want also wants you.  But you have to take action to get it.  The time for dreaming is over.  It is time to get up and start asking for what you want.  Start slowly and build up; jump right in and start with bold and outrageous requests.  Either way is fine.  Do what feels right for you.  Just get started.


      

Personal happiness.  Creative fulfillment.  Professional success.  Freedom from fear--and a new promise of joy that's yours for the asking.  We have the ability at our fingertips to achieve these things.  It's the Aladdin Factor:  the magical wellspring of confidence, desire--and the willingness to ask--that allows us to make our wishes come true.  The Aladdin Factor helps us by pinpointing the major stumbling blocks to asking--and teaching simple techniques to overcome them.  With inspirational stories about people who have succeeded by asking for what they want, this book shows us how to turn our lives around--no matter what kinds of obstacles we face. 

   

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Ten Signals You're Not Living to Your Fullest Potential
Louise Morganti Kaelin

We talk a lot about living life to our fullest potential, about being our best self.  For many of us, it's the primary goal and focus of our life, to be the absolute best we can be, right here, right now. The most intriguing part of the process to me is that it is a moving target.  As good as I am right now, and in fact, I am the best I've ever been, I know I can continue to evolve and be even better.

Sometimes in the journey, we get stuck at a particular place.  Here are 10 signals you're not living to your fullest potential right now and some ideas for moving out of these "stuck" places.

1.  You find yourself using phrases such as "I wish I could," "If only," "I really ought to," "I should do," "As soon as (I lose weight, find another job, find a mate)."  If thoughts control who we are, then words are the primary tool we have to redefine ourselves. The more you repeat the phrases above, the less energetic and more powerless you feel.

Antidote:  Find new, powerful words to replace the ones that are bringing you down.  A very powerful phrase is "For whatever reason, I am currently choosing to (or not to) xxx."  No matter what the action you are doing or not doing, the moment you acknowledge it's a choice, you put yourself in a position of power. You also put yourself in a position to make a new choice.

2.  You feel overwhelmed, overworked, undervalued and under-appreciated.  In fact, you feel like a victim.  It seems like things are being done "to" you (or a group of people you belong to) and  nobody appreciates you.

Antidote:  These feelings springs from a sense of scarcity, so the best antidote is to start feeling grateful.  Once you begin to feel truly, sincerely grateful for all the gifts you do have in your life (and everything in your life is a gift), your energy levels increase and you start enjoying your life again.  Don't forget to feel grateful for yourself, your strengths and abilities, what makes you uniquely you.

3.  You need to buy a new bookshelf just for your self-help books.  I smile as I write this, since I probably have one of the best collections around.  It's not so much that you have a large library, but that you are constantly seeking for a magic answer, for the one single piece of information that is going to lift you up and put you back on the road to being your best self.

Antidote:  Go within.  Use meditation, journal work and prayer to seek the answers that are already within you.  Use the writings of others as starting points if you will, but recognize that their writings are the answers they came up with when they went inside themselves.  Start with five minutes twice a day if that's all you have, but the peace you are looking for already exists within you.  Become friends with it once again.  The easiest tool I can recommend for this is the 3-Breath Miracle.  Engage your mind in following your breath for three long, deep, slow breaths, holding them as long as possible and expelling air when you exhale.  Pay attention to how you feel once you do this completely.  This is the energy you are going for.

4.  The only reason you go to work is to keep a roof over your head and food on the table.  This has nothing to do with the nature of the work you do, but with how you feel about how you are using your gifts and talents, and whether or not you feel you are doing the best job you possibly can.  Do you feel respected at work?  Do you respect the work that others do around you?

Antidote:  Remember that people around you primarily serve as mirrors for how you feel about yourself.  When you start giving 100% of yourself at work, when you strive for excellence in all you do, and when you value your contribution to the team/effort, others will start reflecting that back.  You cannot find work that you love if you can't find the joy in the work that you currently do.  Again, it starts from within.

5.  You don't have a clear sense of who you are or what you stand for.  You find it difficult to make choices and you feel like you are drifting from one life situation to another.  What seems important one day seems inconsequential the next.

Antidote:  Identify your values.  When you know what you truly hold important in this life and allow yourself to make choices in alignment with those values, you gain tremendous freedom in your life.  Being true to what you believe in is very liberating.  A simple way to get some clarity is to ask yourself "What do I want to role-model for others?"

If this confuses you because you thought you were clear about your values and what is important to you, you may be in a transitional mode where the priorities of your values are shifting. This happens at different times in our lives as we mature, get older and experience different life events.  For example, having children is a time that many of us experience a shift in our priorities, as is getting older and experiencing health problems.  As a rule, allowing yourself to be "in the present" and seeing that you are not giving up on a value, but reassigning it a number will do much to let go of the confusion.

6.  You are more worried about being right than about being happy.  This is an easy game to get caught up in.  We often look for life experiences that vindicate our opinions, and not the other way around.  The lure of being "right" is very seductive and it is very easy to sabotage yourself with this game.

Antidote:  Ask yourself "Where in my life am I letting my need to be right to take over?  Am I willing to let go of being right?  Am I willing to be happy?  What would it look like to be happy instead of being right?"  The key point here is being willing to choose being happy over being right.  Once you make that choice, you will start to notice where your need to be right is getting in the way.

7.  Before you go to sleep at night, you find yourself wishing you had spent your day doing something other than what you did.  If you find yourself doing this on a consistent basis, it's time to look at the choices you are making.  Also, this is different from not getting to something you meant to do because something else required your attention.  This is about doing non-productive things on a regular basis, then wishing we'd done something else.

Antidote:  There are two suggestions for this item.  The first is to not wait until you go to bed to review how you spent your time. Look at what you are doing on an hourly basis.  The other suggestion is, once you are looking at this hour, make a conscious choice about what you want to be doing.  You can choose to watch TV or play on the computer, but at the end of the day you will be able to honestly say you did what you wanted to do.  You can also try to spend five or ten minutes of each hour doing something that will make you feel good to get done.  Allow yourself to build on small successes.

8.  You spend a lot of time doing things that keep your mind occupied (so you don't have to think about you).  While related to number seven, this is the actual activity that keeps you from producing your best effort.  When we are really determined to sit on our greatness, we usually don't get to the point of wishing we'd done something different.  The primary focus of this activity is to not think about you or your life.  Therefore, it must engage our mind and keep it occupied.  It might be TV, the computer, the news, what the neighbors are doing, anything that can grab us and keep us.

Antidote:  Many of these activities are designed to deaden the thoughts that make you uncomfortable (see number one).  Often, when we get tired of the negative messages, our first response is to try to stop thinking.  The more we don't think, the more energy we need to spend on not thinking.  Some down-time is good, even essential.  The key here is when big chunks of time are lost to these activities.  The first thing to do is to give yourself permission to do the activity you are doing.  Again, it's bringing it into the realm of choice.  Then, let yourself make different choices from time to time.

9.  You feel an underlying sense of sadness (when you let yourself feel).  Part of the reason we don't want to let ourselves think or feel is that we are afraid we will be overwhelmed by the sadness. We are petrified to go down that road.

Antidote:  If you feel sadness, something is going on and it is critical to release the tears.  Give yourself an opportunity to cry in a safe environment.  For example, although we may not be able to give ourselves permission to cry about what we need to cry about, we can cry while watching a sad movie.  One of my favorite movies to use for this purpose is "Pay it Forward," but you probably have your own favorite.  It's really important to free yourself from this emotion, and allowing it out is actually the way to not being overwhelmed by it.  Once you allow the tears, don't be surprised if you have a real burst of energy.

10. You keep all conversations at a superficial level.  Safe topics are the weather, the news, TV and movies.  If you find yourself steering all conversations away from you, you may be in emotional hiding.

Antidote:  Find an outlet so that you can allow yourself to go inwards safely.  Try journal writing, writing a letter to God, or some other format for getting in touch with what's going on.
   


Louise was a life coach and inspirational writer who passed away in 2011.  Rest in Peace, Louise!

   

   

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Agape means love for another self not because of any lovable qualities
which he or she may possess, but purely and entirely because
it is a self capable of experiencing happiness and misery
and endowed with the power to choose between good and evil.
The love of humans is thus more than a feeling, it is a state of the will.

Obert C. Tanner

   

Some Important "Don't's"
author unknown

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air.   You name them Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit, and you are keeping all of them in the air.   You will soon understand that Work is a rubber ball.  If you drop it, it will bounce back.  But the other four balls--Family, Health, Friends and Spirit--are made of glass.  If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered.  They will never be the same.  You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.

How?

1.  Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.  It is because we are different that each of us is special.

2.  Don't set your goals by what others deem important.  Only you know what is best for you.

3.  Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart.  Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

4.  Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future.  By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

5.  Don't give up when you still have something to give.  Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

6.  Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect.  It is the fragile thread that binds us each together.

7.  Don't be afraid to encounter risks.  It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

8.  Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find.  The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

9.  Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been, but also where you are going.

10.  Don't forget that a person' s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

11.  Don't be afraid to learn.  Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

12.  Don't use time or words carelessly.  Neither can be retrieved.  Life is not a race , but a journey to be savoured each step of the way.

   

  

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It is the privilege
of adults to give advice.
It is the privilege of
youth not to listen.
Both avail themselves
of their privileges, and
the world rocks on.

D.Sutten

  
An Irish Blessing

May your joys be as bright as the morning,
and your sorrows merely be shadows
that fade in the sunlight of love.
May you have enough happiness to keep you sweet,
Enough trials to keep you strong,
Enough sorrow to keep you human,
Enough hope to keep you happy,
Enough failure to keep you humble,
Enough success to keep you eager,
Enough friends to give you comfort,
Enough courage and faith in yourself to banish sadness,
Enough wealth to meet your needs,
And one more thing:
Enough determination to make each day
a more wonderful day than the one before.

   
  

People take care that their neighbor shall
not cheat them.  But a day comes when they begin
to care that they do not cheat their neighbor.
Then all goes well.  They have changed
their market-cart into a chariot of the sun.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

    

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