Stronger Than You Think

I am ever amazed at the resiliency of human beings. pexels-photo-169906-medium

Five mornings a week I teach English and settlement skills to refugees and many other newcomers to Canada.

In my role as teacher, I have heard some of the most horrific and heart wrenching stories. On a day-to-day basis I witness the struggle that these newcomers have adjusting to a new life in a new land were almost everything is strange and often incomprehensible.

Despite the hardships they have faced, the separation from family and friends, and the daily struggle to learn a new language, life and culture, the students arrive at school with a smile and an amazingly positive attitude.

I often wonder what it would be like to be torn away from family and friends and then shuffled about from country to country to finally end up in a place where you were to begin again. You are alone with your nuclear family or perhaps not. You no longer have your family support system. Your friends are either dead or in another country.

I cannot even begin to imagine what goes through the minds of my students.

What I do know is what they have taught me.

  • To go to work every day with a smile.
    To be grateful for everything I have right now.
    To trust that everything will work out.
    To know that in each of us there is a deep reservoir of strength and resilience.

 

As human beings we have an enormous capacity to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and keep going.

This is an ability each one of us has. To a greater or lesser degree, each one of us at some point in our life has had to pick ourselves up and keep going.

As you begin your day today smile and spread joy wherever you go. Look around you and be grateful for everything you have in your life at this moment. And know, that you are so much stronger than you think you are.

Those dark clouds that you have in your life will pass and the sun will shine again. You can help those clouds move away more quickly by knowing that no situation is permanent and that a slight change in thinking can make a huge difference in your reality.

Let us all show our greatness today and bring the sunshine back into the world.

In Joy,
Carolynne

Fear the Darnedest Thing!

At times everyone is gripped by a some level of fear.fear

You know that tightening of the stomach, the inner dread, the tensing of the body, the sweaty hands or the extreme case of ‘which way do I run’.

Fear can be overpowering and debilitating.

So, what is fear?

First, there is the real fear of personal safety. This is our natural built in fight or flight response. A healthy thing to have in extreme cases where your personal safety is in jeopardy. In these rare cases, thinking stops and your natural inner wisdom kicks in to guide you. You might not agree with me. However from the safety of this moment, most people think they know what they will do but, I can attest from personal experience you will do the unexpected.

But what about all the fears that are built around the “what if” story? You know, the story that begins with: “What if I don’t know what to say? What if I make the wrong decision? What if it snows? What if she doesn’t like it? What if I fail?”

I bet you can come up with your own list of “what if’s”.

This kind of fear is only a thought. It has no form, it has no substance, it’s nothing but the creation of our own thinking.

Most fears arise from the unknown. They are aimed some future event that may or may not ever happen. They are fears based on shadows created through thinking. We are create a story through thinking and then believe it. Once we believe this thinking our body, which doesn’t know the difference between real physical fear or a thought created story, reacts by going into fight or flight mode, hence the physical sensations.

The result of these stories are stress, staying stuck in repeated patterns, and an inability to move forward.

But there is a way out!

Every time you notice yourself caught up in a “what if” story, pause, take a deep breathe and then ask yourself where is the fear.

As you begin to notice your ‘what if’ stories, you may also notice that you are less stressed and are able to take steps towards a different way of being.

Don’t get upset or beat yourself up if these stories keep popping up. That is normal. I know that if you keep watching the stories they will disappear all by themselves. You don’t have to do anything other than pay attention one step at a time.

If you are ready to go deeper into an understanding of the 3 Principles check out my one-to-one mentoring, join my monthly talks (Edmonton), come to a full-day workshop or book me for a full-day workshop.  

Until next time,
Be in Joy one step at a time,

Opening the door for fresh new ideas!

I notice at the end of the year I was in a very low place. I was tired, grumpy, unhappy and ovdoorerall miserable. Intuitively, I knew that something had to change. But as often happens when we are operating from our thinking rather than from the spacing between the thinking, we feel that we can’t make a decision.

For me it was no different, I played around with different scenarios. I batted around the pros and cons. I stirred up financial insecurities. I even played the “what if” game.

An interesting aspect of all of this, is that I was bouncing between tired and miserable versus loving what I was doing and enjoying it. I was actually watching myself fluctuate between the highs and lows of my thinking.

About the same time I was introduced to Michael A. Singer’s book The Surrender Experiment where he shares his experiment of surrendering to the flow of life. As the saying goes, when a student is ready the teacher shows up. I feel that this was the case with Michael Singer’s book.

After a particularly difficult week where I reached an all-time low, I decided to stop trying to figure it out and let the universe show me what needed to happen.

I had to get myself out of the way.

I verbally made a declaration to the Universal wisdom that I was ready for change and that I was handing everything over for ‘It’ to figure out.

I was not longer going to try to control the situation and I was open to whatever flowed my way, even if that meant continuing to do the same thing.

The moment I did that I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.

Almost instantly my mood shifted to one of expectation and excitement. Nothing had changed with my situation but, my thinking around the situation had changed.

I began the New Year in exactly the same position I was in at the end of December. My days were very full and I was still juggling many responsibilities.

Two weeks into the new year I attended a holistic networking meeting and came away with a renewed sense of what I wanted to be doing. As I drove home that evening I wondered where I would find the hours to pursue these new opportunities. These thoughts appeared briefly and then moved on.

I was not longer in control.

The next morning I received a text message from a colleague asking me to contact her as soon as possible. I called my colleague and in her words I received my answer from the universe. Due to some changes within our organization, I was going to have to give up some of my responsibilities. I had two weeks within which to make a decision.

I would never have dreamed of this scenario.

In an instant, I knew what my decision was going to be. Later that afternoon, I had a meeting with our director where I indicated what I was ready to let go.

Within the next couple of weeks several things in my life shifted and new opportunities presented themselves. The moment I let go of my thinking blockade and stepped back into the flow of life the path cleared for new opportunities to present themselves.

In the past this process would have been a huge drama with much agonizing, analyzing and discussing. I used to think I had to make things work and know what was best for me. Now I know that if I am in a low state of mind I am caught up in thinking and that I can let those thoughts go which creates space new fresh ideas.

Do you find your self agonizing over decisions and losing sleep over them? Would you like to have clarity of thought? If you answered yes to either questions send me a message and we talk about your options.

Where did that come from?

pexels-photo-mediumEvery one of us have had moments when something happens and we ask, “Where did that come from?”

Perhaps it was an idea, an unusual solution to a problem, or a knowing something you hadn’t seen before.

Or maybe you have faced a difficult situation and had to act quickly but did so with clarity and precision. It could have been a dangerous situation where you noticed you were unnaturally clear and grounded?

In these situations you are anchored in the moment. Your thoughts aren’t racing back to the past or into the future, you’re fully focused on what is happening right now. What happens in these moments doesn’t arise from thinking or planning it comes from somewhere else, from your own inner wisdom, Divine Intelligence or the Field.

This happened to me when I was living in Lesotho when I was mugged by three young men in the middle of the day. What I recall most sharply from that incident was how calm I was, how aware I was of everything in the vicinity, and how I knew what to do. It happened in flash. Before I knew it, the lads were running down the street with their money and I was on my way home with my backpack containing a few things that I asked to keep. After all these years I still can’t believe I negotiate with these guys holding a knife to my neck. Where did that idea come from?

My example is one of the apparent danger although it didn’t feel dangerous. I am sure you have examples where you did something that later may seem foolish but in the moment it was the right thing to do. It is only later that you berated yourself for taking these risks and yet it all turned out just fine.

During these times you are not clouded by overthinking, over analyzing and judgment. You do what you sense is right at that time and in that place.

This doesn’t only happen in difficult or dangerous situations, it happens every day. If you stop and think about it, you could probably make a list of all the things you do in a day effortlessly and intelligently without having to think about them. When you don’t fuss and worry about everything, they show up as something to do and before you know it they are done.

But exact opposite happens when you get caught up in thinking, worrying, and trying to figure things out. When in this state of mind accomplishing any task takes a lot more effort and stress.

Have you noticed this? That it takes a lot longer to do something when you are stressed and over thinking about something.

What do you think life would be like if you could get grounded, stay calm and accomplish everything you wanted to easily and effortlessly?

Understanding how thinking works and that you have a built-in system for success can easy your stress and increase your productivity.

If you are ready to find out more send me an email and we can talk about your needs.

Or you could join me in Peru in April for 14-days experiencing the sight, sounds and taste of Peru as well as deepening your understanding of the 3 Principles.  You will find all the details in Services.

Step back, wait and see!

photo-1441448770220-76743f9e6af6This past week I had the joy of watching the natural flow of events transform someone. It began with a client sharing her ability to step back and not get wrapped up in the stress associated with making the decision to move and trying to control the outcome.

It revolved around her desire to move closer to work which lead to her house hunting. She found one and really wanted it, but she was one of 6 interested in renting. After talking with the owner, she was asked to wait without any assurances. Instead of her usual mental mind games and need to push things forward, my client stepped back and allowed the process to unfold. The waiting became stressless when she let go of the outcome and any thinking around the house. She marvelled at how easy it was to accept that it would be what it would be. Several days later the house was hers.

When we spoke over coffee later she was in awe. Her previous pattern of worry and trying to manipulate the situation didn’t even arise. She had discovered a whole new way of being that was less stressful and more open. This experience took her from an understanding of the Principles to a knowing.

For many us, when we find ourselves in similar situations we immediately get into the indecisive question mode that runs something like this: “What if I don’t get this house? What will I do? Will I be able to find another one like this? How can I get the owner to decide in my favour? Would it help or hinder the decision if I call, just to check?”

Most of us have been taught to believe that in order to get what we want we to have be in control, take action and get things moving. However, if we are up against something that isn’t ready to happen no amount of pushing, guiding or manipulating is going to make it happen. When our efforts are met with resistance it is best to step back, wait and see.

I don’t see this as giving in, rather taking a breather. When we step back from the situation and calm our mind we often see a different way to progress or a whole new way of approaching the situation that is better than the one we initially envisioned. At other times, when we get ourselves out of the way and withdraw our expectations events unfold seamlessly without assistance. It’s as if, once the effort is removed the way is clear for things to happen.

I have seen this happen countless times in my life. Most recently with a decision to once again take groups to Peru. I have been deflecting this request for a couple of years, but recently decided I was ready to lead a journey to Peru with a 3 Principles group. In the past month, I have had moments when I was unsure and saw only difficulties. In those moment I would step back, wait and see. Inevitably, the answer would arrive in some form, someone would appear with help or a totally different door would opened.

Understanding the 3 Principles and how they form the foundation of life relieves us from the stress we create when we keep using strategies that no longer serve us. Seeing with a different perspective requires a clear and quiet mind to tap into Universal Mind, the source of our inner wisdom. This is what my client discovered last week.

If you want to learn more or are ready to go deeper contact me and we can discuss your needs.

If you are interested in the Peru trip, the details will be on my website at the end of this month.

In Joy,
Carolynne

Home Away From Home

I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.  ~ Maya Angelou

 

Last weekend when I was driving toward my vacation condo, I had a flash of insight about the concept of home.home

The first flash was a reflection of all the places I have called home: a luxury apartment, a run down farm house, a townhouse, a spacious 3 bedroom bungalow, a room in a guest house, a trailer, to name a few.

Following came the realization that I felt completely at home and at peace in each of these places. I would enter, have a look around and make it home. Then when it was time to move on I did so without pulling on the strings of attachment. These places where mine to use for a while before something else came along.

In this moment, I truly understood the saying that home is where the heart is. Because I was at peace and comfortable with myself, the building I was living in didn’t matter. I would bring my peace and contentment into each structure. I didn’t let my thinking get tied up in judgements.

As look around I see many people attached to the building they call home. But a home is never the building, it is the energy that comes from those who reside there.

Too often there is a mistaken belief that a house or a building is a home. This house comes with all sorts of attachments and strings that tug and pull until it possess the owner. The owner ties their identity with the building.

There is nothing wrong with having a lovely dwelling. It is our thinking about the dwelling that is the problem. The building is only a form that our thinking transforms into something greater or lesser. Without this thinking any dwelling becomes a home and one is free to stay and enjoy then let go when it’s time to move on.

There is so much freedom when we can put judgements aside and enjoy what is before us.

How do your thoughts affect your perception of home?

Just show up!

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

life

While engaged in the “Creating the Impossible” course with Michael Neill, he used a phrase I’d never considered before. The phrase was ‘showing up’.

Initially, I wasn’t sure what he was getting at. I was showing up each day by waking up, going to work, taking care of my family and all the other little details of a busy life. I tried to keep my life balanced and positive.

But the more I listened to him, I began to understand what he was getting at. I was getting up, going to work and doing all the other things, but half of the time my mind was some place else or focused on an expectation.

Let’s take work example: I showed up every day, not really liking what I was doing, but I liked the pay cheque. I showed up with the sole purpose of monetary reward and went through the motions of productivity. I did what was required to get the reward, but gave little else. Much of the time I was tangled up in my thinking around liking or not liking the job/the people/the company. Or, I would drift around ‘been there done that’ so why am I here again, and the one going schemes for moving on.

When I saw this, I realized that I had been doing this for much of life. I had a huge list of hidden agendas for doing what I was doing, all of them lofty and designed to get approval. There appeared to be a hook at the end of all of my actions.

Then there is Michael’s version of ‘showing up’ that stems from the inside. This showing up comes from inner guidance. When you show up in this way you are open to whatever. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, where you are or what the conditions, you give it your all.

You leave your judgements, expectations and evaluations behind and give your attention to whatever is before you in that moment. This is what it means to show up to life.

As Eckhart Tolle says, “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.”

When I began to show up, with my full attention and understanding that I chose this, everything changed.

I began to realize I could be happy anywhere, doing anything. I saw how the power of my thinking pulled me away from the present and was the result of so much of my unhappiness.

In addition to this, everything began to be easier. I was getting tasks done in record time with no stress. I was more creative and opportunities began to appear. Most of all, my actions came from a place of joy. The joy of doing a great job without strings!

Yes, I appreciate the pay cheque at the end of the month, but that is not why I do what I do. I see money is an expression of appreciation (a term borrowed from Robert Scheinfeld) for my showing up with joy! Life is so much simpler.

Life happens, that is inevitable, but how I show up for each situation is up to me. I know that if I am struggling I have stepped away from the moment and inner awareness momentarily. All it takes is a breath and an awareness of the moment to bring me back to centre.

I would love to hear from you. Did this article generate an insight or stir up some questions? Let me know.

In Joy!

A Hole in the Sidewalk.

Life is like a hole in the sidewalk, this metaphor running through Portia Nelson’s poem simply describes how our thinking keeps us trapped in repeated patterns/habits.

This poem could be my autobiography. I would find myself in a situation, blame everyone but myself. Play all kinds of mind games. Finally, my awareness would expand to the point where I could see the hole ahead and choose another path.

This poem represents the 3 Principles in action.

How does it speak to you?

An Autobiography in Five Chapters 
by Portia Nelson

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost….I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the side walk.
I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I fall in….it’s a habit…but my eyes are open.
I know where I am. It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down a different street