Archive for 2010

30 dec

Complete the Year Consciously

MikeRobbinsNewThese few days before the start of the New Year have a magical and sacred quality to them. I appreciate the lull in activity that often takes place this week and the opportunity we have to reflect back on the year that is ending, as well as to create new possibilities and intentions for the year that’s about to start. It often seems more exciting to focus on our “resolutions” for the coming year than it does to look back. However, before we jump ahead and start making our goals for next year, it’s essential that we complete the year that is about to end consciously.

As much as I personally love this completion process, I usually have mixed emotions reflecting back on the year. There is often excitement, gratitude, and joy for all of the wonderful accomplishments, experiences, insights, and more. There is also sadness, disappointment, and sorrow over the things that I didn’t accomplish, the people and things I’ll miss, and the places in my life where I struggled or failed.

This is as true as ever as 2010 comes to a close. This past year I’ve experienced some really big highs and some painful lows. I’m truly grateful for all that I’ve learned and experienced. And, while I have lots to appreciate from this past year, I’m also glad to see it end! How about you?

Due to the common mixture of emotions we experience and especially with a year like 2010 which created a lot of growth opportunities for most of the people I know and work with, it’s essential that we embrace and practice the art of completion. Completion is a conscious process we engage in whereby we do and say whatever we need to in order to create a true sense of closure to an experience (in this case, the year that is about to end).

Because we often have resistance to authentically celebrating and appreciating ourselves, reflecting honestly on our accomplishments or our failures, acknowledging our real results or lack thereof, grieving loss with depth, and more – we usually just roll through the end of things and either avoid completion all together or move onto the next thing as fast as we can. When we do this, however, we miss out on a sacred and important process.

Completion allows us to bring things to a close with a sense of gratitude, reverence, and peace. When we allow ourselves to experience a sense of true completion, we move into the next phase of life bringing with us the gifts, lessons, accomplishments, experiences, and more from what we’ve just been through. When we don’t take the time to truly complete something, we end up carrying baggage, regrets, fear, and unresolved issues into our next experience. These things don’t serve us and often end up undermining our success and fulfillment.

As we get ready for 2011 and begin to think specifically about what we want to create and experience in the New Year, one of the most important things we can do is to complete 2010 in a conscious and powerful way.

Completion Questions

Here are some questions you can ask and answer yourself, as a way to create a sense of completion for 2010:

1) What were my biggest lessons in 2010?

2) What am I most proud of from this past year?

3) What were my biggest disappointments in 2010?

4) What am I ready to let go of from this past year?

5) What else do I need to do or say to be totally complete with 2010?

As you take some time to think about and write down your answers to these questions, see if you can reflect on this past year with a sense of appreciation and empathy. The word “appreciate” means to recognize the value of (not necessarily like, agree with, or want to experience again). Whether your year was “wonderful,” “terrible,” or somewhere in between – we each have so much we can appreciate about this past year. And, it’s important for us to have as much empathy as we possibly can for ourselves (and those around us), especially right now.

If you’re anything like me, you probably had some big failures or disappointments this past year. When we can remember that we almost always do the best we can with what we have in each moment of our lives, we can hopefully let go of our feelings of shame, guilt, or embarrassment over any of the things that didn’t go as planned for us in 2010. And, you probably had some incredible things happen in your life this past year as well. It’s important that we acknowledge ourselves for all of it – the highs and the lows.

See if you can create some sacred time in the next few days to share your answers to these completion questions with some of the important people in your life (and maybe ask them to answer these questions as well). By creating a conscious intention for completion, you will give yourself the gift of appreciation for this past year and in so doing, allow a space to open up in which you can create your goals and intentions for 2011 with a sense of peace, power, and clarity. And, as you ponder these questions, you may realize that there is something important you want to do or say in order to leave 2010 behind and step into 2011 with freedom and passion.

Have fun with this. And, congratulations on completing another year of this magical, bizarre, wonderful adventure we call life – what a ride!

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Mike Robbins on December 30th, 2010 in New Directions | No comments

23 dec

Destined Encounter – Part 2

MotiRonitFor me, in order to connect to the mystery, signs and synchronicities, I need to be in silence.

This connection occurs when I take a walk on the beach listen to the sounds of the ocean, feel the sunshine, feel the immense power of the waves as well as the gentle tide by my feet, or listen to the birds chirping. It can happen when I watch a sunset, a sunrise, feel the wind, and the rain; or even when I look at the moon, when I am in the desert, or walking in a forest among the trees.

My first powerful connection I remember happened was when I lived in LA, owned an international boutique in the late 70’s called Fiorucci, and had 20 people working for me. I received a lot of media exposure, and became busy with PR and marketing at that time. I was in my early 30’s, had been married for 10 years, and birthed 3 children. We had a couple working for us to help with driving the kids, taking care of the big house, the cooking and errands. As a result, I ran a busy, stressful life with great ego attached to it.

One Friday morning, I decided to go away for the weekend by myself. This has never happened before. With the top down on my little red 1962 Corvette, I drove to Santa Barbara. I checked into a small hotel called San Yasidro Ranch. (I heard JFK stayed there at one time.) My cozy cottage had a fireplace, a sitting room and a comfortable bed. Cell phones didn’t exist at that time, but there was no TV and nature surrounded me.

In the morning I went on a hike to explore the land, found a small creek among the trees and sat down. I sat for a while. As the sun peeked through the tall trees and birds chirped, I saw a leaf falling from a tree into the stream and watched it flow down the stream until it disappeared. There were little flies there. I heard a frog making his funny noise. At that moment, I felt held, wrapped, and supported by something greater then myself. Awed by the beauty and the magic of this place, I felt this sacred moment! I felt God. As if something came over me, I got up and started running down the hill back to the ranch. I had to share what just happened! I met a young man who was taking care of the horses and I shouted” I FOUND GOD.” He smiled, and I felt he knew what I was talking about.

Over the years, I have been told to “love yourself.” I did not quite know the meaning of that statement. I thought, “I love myself.” However, I was not really connected to my essence yet.

Then one day I received a book as a gift entitled, You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise L. Hay. Inscribed on the front page there was a dedication: “May this teacher help you discover the place inside of you where you connect to the part of you that recognizes your true worthiness, the place in you that is all love and self acceptance.”

One of the chapters talks about how we are all part of the awesome creation, a miracle, and we are divine beings.

As I read, this concept resonated with me: if I looked at the world from above, from a higher perspective and watched myself in the world, I would understand that I am no different then the beautiful flower I admire, the powerful trees, and the rocks. I am no different then the ocean, the sun and moon, animal world, Mother Earth, and Father Sky. I am creation, perfect just the way I am. Just like the trees don’t compare themselves, the rocks, the birds, and the cows. They are magnificent just the way they were created.

Wow, what a relief! I finally learned what it means to love myself; it is to be love. Love is to show up every moment mindful, present as if it is the only moment with gratitude, humbleness, and surrender.

I offer my story to you in the hope that it will open a small window where skepticism lives, to allow the awe, wonder and the mystery to unveil.

When you are in nature, ask what is in your heart. Ask for the answer and trust that the answer will come. It will come from the deep knowing that is part of you, part of the divine presence that resides in us all.

Ronit Rinat

For more information on Dr. Moti and Ronit Peleg, Ego to Heart workshops, their Oprah Show appearance and their upcoming book, Destined Encounter, go to www.ego2heart.org.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Moti & Ronit Peleg on December 23rd, 2010 in Personal Stories, Relationships, Spirituality | No comments

16 dec

You Have a Dream Inside of You!

DebBattersbyThis holiday season with your permission I’d like to remind you of your special gift.

You have a dream inside of you that the world would love to see you make real. I know you can do it because this dream came to you. You are its owner and it’s your power and potential that is required to make it manifest. Doubt, fear, dead ends, delays and setbacks can make you feel like it’s not meant to be, but I’m here to tell you you’d be wrong. To quote Marianne Williamson, “you are powerful beyond measure.” Your light is meant to brighten this world.

Nine years ago I had a dream, literally. It emphasized the need to teach the children differently. The result of that dream is finally tangible in my first book, The Magic Mirror and The Grandma Message. Many times over these 9 years I abandoned this project only to be drawn back to it. I share this with you not to brag but to beg you to take your dream off the shelf, the back burner or out of the closet and breathe your passion back into it. It is your dream for a reason.

And now, 9 years later, my dream – The Magic Mirror and The Grandma Message – is published!

This book arose from a practice that I began with my own grandchildren: The Grandma Message practice. It’s all about telling the children in your world how amazing they are, that they are loved and cared for at all times, and they don’t have to do or be anything to earn your love.

Can you imagine what a gift such a message would be for those you love – big and small! What a difference it could make in their lives and yours.

So this holiday season give yourself a blessed gift; recommit to your dream. It’s waiting for you and only you can fulfill it.

Deborah Battersby, creator of the emMatrix Coaching System, and trained by Tony Robbins and other leaders in the field, is a coach known for innovative solutions and dramatic results. She’s helped thousands increase their incomes and take the joyful journey to more abundant living.

Her book, The Magic Mirror and the Grandma Message, is available now at www.themagicmirrorbook.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Deborah Battersby on December 16th, 2010 in Family, New Directions, Personal Stories | No comments

14 dec

Destined Encounter

MotiRonitFinding our full essence as individuals and as intimate partners.

“The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all science. The one to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wander and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms.” -Albert Einstein

A DATE WITH DESTINY

On the morning of November 14 2007, my life changed forever. I was a guest with my wife Ronit on the Oprah Winfrey show on ABC titled, “The Greatest Love Story Ever Told”. (See ego2heart.org). After Oprah described my love story with Ronit as “A Date with Destiny”, I awakened to the realization that the path leading to our destined meeting with Oprah was already scripted deep in me, early in my life. It dawned on me that all my life I followed interactive signs and synchronicities with intuitive feelings that guided me without full understanding. The signs often signaled to an approaching destined event, a culmination of interactive situations leading to my destined encounter. It is as if I unconsciously participated in a motion, unaware fully of the entire script that has shaped my life. Our appearance on Oprah was no different. It was a significant event in our life that was meant to be.

Three years earlier, destiny united me with my wife Ronit. As a 17 year old boy, I watched the newly crowned Miss Israel (Ronit) in a magazine photo and I felt mysteriously connected to her sad green/blue eyes. Those eyes beckoned to me from afar. Without understanding it, I knew I would connect with her some day, and I did forty years later. In retrospect, whenever I interacted with people and situations that lead to my destined encounters, I always felt like I was drawn without full clarity to something bigger than myself, like a calling of the divine. Today as a psychologist, a soul mate and an intimacy communicator, I still wonder what would have become of my life had I ignored destiny’s magic of hidden possibilities and the power of my dreams.

LOOKING FOR HAPPINESS IN THE WRONG PLACES

People everywhere around the globe, regardless of their various life situations, yearn to feel happy. They strive every day to find opportunities that would bring them closer to feeling good through achievement, material success, recognition and love. Ironically many people feel disconnected from their true feelings, from which they truly are and what they ultimately are destined to fulfill as individuals and as intimate partners. Throughout their lives they continue to crave happiness through the superficiality of ego-driven recognition and prestige. Nevertheless, destiny lurks deep inside each one of us, demanding happiness through the full expression of our spirit. Thus the question remains, if happiness is the overall, most important life purpose, why is it difficult to open ourselves up to the mystery and wonder of destiny?

DESTINY IS INSIDE OF US–THE PARADOX

To understand this dilemma, we need to first explore the concept of destiny and the destined encounter. Destiny is the ultimate meeting with the fullness of our being, with our true purpose. It is inside each one of us. From the time we are born, everything we need to fulfill our lives is built within us including abundance and happiness. Paradoxically, as we grow and mature, we are encouraged to deny our true self, embracing the egotistical belief that our very essence is tied to material possessions. Ironically, we feel cultural validations define us, as well as the power we falsely believe we can acquire from outer sources such as accomplishments, recognition and fame.

We derail our opportunity to encounter destiny when we cannot connect with our soul. We disconnect from a part of us we lost, left vulnerable to the external forces that feed our demanding ego. Yearning for love, as explained by Kathy Freston, is virtually a search to reunite with spirit, with that lost and disconnected part of ourselves, which we always desire. Love thus entails an individual as well as a relationship search, to become more complete and whole. Through a soulful bond, love requires us to actualize who we are, rather than who we think we are. Love is a destined encounter with our true self that encompasses the divinity within us.

DESTINY BEYOND THE SHADOWS

Deepak Chopra and Robert Ohotto stress that our soul is a pure entity within our being that contains the inscription created for our life and this is the blue print of our existence. When we learn to listen intuitively to our soul’s whisper and silently observe the signs and synchronicities of our surroundings, we become conscious of our life’s story and further able to fulfill our destiny.

Ironically, at the beginning of our life we possess a pure life force, and it gradually becomes inhibited by the toxicity of emotions such as shame, anger, guilt and doubt. Inevitably we become further inhibited by experiences of childhood traumas and adult life distresses. And subsequently, holding back these emotions prevents us from realizing our birth right’s gift, our innate potential.

REACHING DESTINED ENCOUNTER

How do we change this human condition and how do we emancipate ourselves to connect with our life’s purpose? According to Chopra, when we learn to live from the level of our soul, we then are able to recognize that the most luminous part of ourselves connects to the mystery and the rhythm of the universe. Thus, we discover the journey to reach our “Destined Encounter” within our self, and we increasingly are able to meet our destiny and live our purpose as individuals and intimate partners. While listening intuitively to our inner voice and to the surrounding signs and synchronicities, we make it a practice to visualize our dreams and inner wishes. Practicing stillness and daring to address the shadows that hold us back from our true self is vital in clearing the way. The shadows within cause us to hibernate through the years and remain fixated in our comfortable and self imposed interactions with our significant others, our intimate partner and the universe. Through an honest discovery via authentic listening and communicating, we address and embrace the wounds, making it possible for the light behind the shadows to emerge. We uncover the gifts that manifest our deepest capacity to be loved and to love.

AN INVITATION

I would like to invite you, the readers, to connect to times in your life where an experience intrigued and overwhelmed you, an experience you could not explain but later led to an important event in your life whether with a situation, a person or an encounter of any kind.

“We have to trust that seemingly isolated events and hard to rationalize decisions that are like musical notes that eventually form the melody that reveals the divinity of our lives.” -Nurriestearns

Dr. Moti Peleg

For more information on Dr. Moti and Ronit Peleg, Ego to Heart workshops, their Oprah Show appearance and their upcoming book, “Destined Encounter,” go to www.ego2heart.org.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Moti & Ronit Peleg on December 14th, 2010 in Relationships, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in , , , ,

14 dec

Grandma’s Magic Mirror: A Letter to Grownups

DebBattersbyI have long been aware of the power of words to uplift or deflate, inspire or demoralize. Your words not only create your reality they shape the reality of the children and/or impressionable souls around you.

On some level, words of encouragement and discouragement have molded your beliefs about life, about yourself and about what’s possible.

Knowing this, I wondered, how can we help kids grow their confidence and belief in themselves? What came about – and what I’m so excited about! – is a children’s book which has just been published.

This book arose from a practice that I began with my own grandchildren: The Grandma Message practice. It is offered here as a strategy for intentionally instilling healthy, empowering beliefs in those you love and influence.

The practice is simple. It’s all about telling the children in your world how amazing they are, that they are loved and cared for at all times, and they don’t have do or be anything to earn your love.

My granddaughters Rowan and Sylvia were three and four when we started the daily phone calls that became The Grandma Message:

“You are smart and clever, brave and strong.

You are amazing, gifted and complete.

Today you can make a profound difference.

You can BE and DO anything in the whole wide world.

All it takes is practice and believing.

I believe in you!

I am! I can! I believe!”

Making the calls became a habit. Some days the girls were cranky and didn’t want to talk, so I’d leave a voicemail message. They’d sometimes whine, “You always say the same thing, it’s boring.” Chuckling, I said, “I’ll always tell you how amazing you are and how much you’re loved.” What’s funny, though, is that the girls were quick to remind me if I forgot something they particularly liked. Rowan would say, “What about brave, Grandma? We’re really, really brave.” Sylvia loved “smart” and “beautiful
and made sure I always included that part.

Within weeks, the girls started giving Grandma Messages to each other. Sylvia gave one to Rowan when she was crying and didn’t want to go to preschool, reminding her how brave and clever she is. Rowan gave several to Sylvia to keep her from quitting in her efforts to cross the monkey bars. “You’re strong, practice and believe,” she nudged.

Their dad got his share of Grandma Messages too. Once he called home saying he’d be late due to a problem at work. The girls knew what to do. Daddy needed a Grandma Message. Stephen swears it did the trick. He called back a few minutes later and said he was on his way.

One morning, after a sleep over, Rowan asked to call her mom. Secretly dreading she was going to cry and ask to go home, I handed her the phone only to hear her say, “Hi, Mommy. You’re beautiful, brave and smart. You can do anything in the whole wide world. What do we say?” My heart melted, tears streamed down my cheeks; unprompted, a three-year-old was passing it on.

Giving the messages was simple, easy and apparently contagious. I wished I had done this for my children. But wait, they’re still my children; I could still do it. So I called them. My husband was next. I called his cell phone and got voicemail. I left his Grandma Message anyway. Three weeks later it was still saved in his voicemail.

Getting sincere words of love and encouragement for NO REASON seemed to appeal to everyone. Even impromptu messages to friends resulted in immediate replies of: you have no idea how much I needed this.

A friend, concerned about her seven-year-old grandson whose parents were divorcing, needed a way to give him extra support. She started her practice; now they’re having a great time, enjoying the precious minutes shared each day.

Can mere words help someone feel loved and special? Can your words help the people in your life see their value and worthiness? Can hearing your words of encouragement make a difference to someone you care about? If you believe they can, then join in The Grandma Message project. Empower someone daily with the gift of your words of affirmation. Consider the ripple effect of these messages circulating throughout the world every day. If one life is inspired, you have changed the world for the better.

Let’s “teach the children differently.”

Deborah Battersby, creator of the emMatrix Coaching System, and trained by Tony Robbins and other leaders in the field, is a coach known for innovative solutions and dramatic results. She’s helped thousands increase their incomes and take the joyful journey to more abundant living.

Her book, The Magic Mirror and the Grandma Message, is available now at www.themagicmirrorbook.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Deborah Battersby on December 14th, 2010 in Family | No comments

14 dec

Stay Grounded During the Holidays

MikeRobbinsNewThe holiday season is now in full swing. If you’re anything like me you probably have mixed feelings about the holidays. I love the excitement, parties, decorations, rituals, music, gifts, connections, and more. However, even these fun things can wear on me. And, the stress, drama, consumption, obligation, expense, and more that often come along with this time of year are not on my list of “favorite things.”

In addition, I often feel like I’m not doing enough, not on top of my “list,” and I sometimes worry that I won’t get everything done in time to make the people in my life happy the way I want to. Can you relate?

This year, especially with all that’s going on around us in the economy and the world, what if we each made a commitment to appreciate the holiday season and enjoy the whole experience – regardless of our circumstances or any external pressure we may feel? Appreciating the holiday season, as with anything in life, will make it much more enjoyable and much less stressful.

Instead of rushing around in a high state of anxiety and worry about crossing every item off of our never-ending to-do list, we could choose another way – one which will make this holiday season enjoyable, fun, and peaceful for us and those around us.

Here are a few things we can remember this holiday season to make things more fulfilling and less overwhelming:

1) Take Responsibility for Your Experience. It’s important to remember that the stress we experience during the holiday season does not come from the holidays themselves, but from us. We’re always the creators of our own experience and the more we can remember this and live our lives from this perspective, the more empowered we are. When we stop thinking, speaking, and acting as if we’re mere victims of holiday madness (or anything else in our lives for that matter), we can dramatically enhance our enjoyment and lower our stress.

2) Remember That You Are at Choice. We always have a choice about how we engage with anything. This holiday season we can choose to be annoyed by family members, obligations, forced work gatherings, crowds, prices, or anything else. Or, we can choose to enjoy the magic and fun of this time of year. We may not always get to choose the people and circumstances around us, but we always have a choice about how we relate to them. Our experience of the holidays (and of life) is up to us, as it always is.

3) Focus on What You Appreciate About the Holidays. Consciously choose to focus on the things that you appreciate about the holiday season the most. Tell the truth about this to yourself and to those around you. If at all possible, don’t participate in work or family gatherings out of obligation. But, regardless of where you are, what you do, or whom you are with – make a commitment to appreciate what’s happening, the people around you, and the many blessings of this season and in your life right now.

Even and especially when things are challenging, we always have so much to be grateful for. At this time of the year, we can take a step back, breathe deeply, and experience the gratitude we have for our lives, the people in it, and for ourselves. If not now, then when?

While there are always things for us to do, gifts to buy, gatherings to attend, and much more going on at this time of year; we can choose to have this holiday season be one that is filled with authentic peace, gratitude, and joy – if we’re willing to look for, find, and focus on what we appreciate.

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Mike Robbins on December 14th, 2010 in General | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , ,

07 dec

Auto Accidents and Survival Energy

EmilyVanHornYour body may still be in “survival” mode even though an accident is over.

Every year millions of Americans are injured in auto accidents. Studies have shown that most car accident victims showed symptoms of PTSD. Even a simple fender bender can have a great impact on the nervous system.

After a car accident, many people suffer a wide range of symptoms: feeling disoriented, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, anxiety, anger, depression, physical pain that can’t be explained, fear of being in a car, or driving past the accident site, etc. Symptoms may not surface for months and may seem unrelated but can be directly linked to the trauma suffered during your car accident. If you have lasting symptoms and can’t find relief, the solution may be found in treating the trauma in the nervous system.

What happens during a car accident, or any situation that feels overwhelming to the nervous system, is a surge of survival energy comes up in order to help the body cope. When that intense amount of adrenaline floods us and doesn’t get released, parts of us can remain in survival mode. Trauma is a result of the deregulation of the nervous system not the actual event itself.

The good news is that you can learn how to use your body’s untapped resources to help regain wellness. In Somatic Trauma Resolution Therapy, (STR) a skilled practitioner incorporates cutting edge techniques from traditional medical, psychological and physical therapies with the goal of healing the nervous system; helping it to discharge shock and trauma in a safe and gentle way. Treatments for the physical body like chiropractic and acupuncture can go more easily when combined with STR, and healing can happen in a relatively short time and can leave a person even more resourced and empowered than before the accident.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Emily Van Horn on December 7th, 2010 in Health, Uncategorized | 1 comment Read related posts in , ,

04 dec

When You Fall Down, Get Back Up

MikeRobbinsNewHave you ever seen a small child learn how to walk? If you have, you know what a remarkable experience it is. I’d heard about this, but had never witnessed it first hand until Samantha, our (almost) five year old, took her first real steps when she was just over a year. She and I were playing in our family room one night and although she’d taken a step or two here and there, and could get around okay while holding onto an adult or a piece of furniture, she hadn’t really “walked” yet.

That night I was holding her hands and pulling her across the room with me, as she took some steps. I decided to let go to see what would happen. I did and she took a step or two and then fell down, face first, on the soft carpet. She was fine. She looked up at me and although she couldn’t speak, she made it very clear that she wanted me to pick her up so she could try again. I did and this time when I let go she took about four or five real steps and then fell down. I screamed, “You did it!”, started clapping wildly, and yelling for my wife Michelle to come into the room.

Michelle came running in. Samantha and I went to the far end of our family room. I held her hands to steady her, started walking with her across the floor, let go, and then it happened – she really walked – all the way across the room, by herself. When she fell down, Michelle and I were so elated and moved, we both burst into tears and joyous laughter at the same time. Samantha, so proud of herself, began to shriek with excitement and to clap her hands as she was lying there on the floor. And, of course, she wanted to get back up and go again.

We all know how to do this – fall down and get back up. Assuming we know how to walk, which most of us are fortunate enough to be able to do, we went through this specific and miraculous experience ourselves when we were very small. We’ve also gone through it in a figurative sense many other times as we move through the ups and downs of life. The question isn’t whether or not we’ll fall down; the question is will we be bold enough to get back up again? Too often, sadly, we fall down and then decide we can’t get back up. Boldness is about having the courage, willingness, and commitment to get back up when we fall down – even if we’re scared or don’t think we can.

Resisting, complaining about, or even feeling sorry for ourselves about the “bad” things that happen is totally normal and what we’re often encouraged to do by people around us and our culture in general – whether we do it out loud with others or just in our heads. However, these things, while understandable, don’t address the real issues, the emotions we’re experiencing, or make things better for us. Facing difficulties in our life can actually be an incredibly rewarding and positive experience for us – if we choose to allow our challenges to be opportunities for growth.

Below is a list of some things to appreciate when we “fall down” in life. Obstacles, failures, and challenges can:

- Give us important feedback about where and who we are

- Provide an opportunity for us to be courageous

- Allow us to wake up and notice all the good things that are happening that we hadn’t been paying attention to

- Give us a great opportunity for learning, growth, and improvement

- Allow us to learn to appreciate ourselves, even when things don’t turn out exactly as we want them to

- Give us an opportunity to get in touch with, take responsibility for, and express our real emotions in an authentic way

- Challenge us to play bigger, make adjustments, or re-think our approach

By learning to see our challenges as opportunities, we take our power back from the situations, circumstances, and outcomes of our lives. Our ability to appreciate difficulties, learn from them, and use them to our advantage, gives us an important insight into who we really are and how to create success and fulfillment in a conscious, deliberate, and authentic way.

Being bold, going for what we want, and living with authenticity doesn’t in any way mean we won’t fail, struggle, or fall short. In fact, if we aren’t failing or facing any challenges at all, it’s probably a good indication that we aren’t playing all that big in our lives. It’s important for us to make peace with the fact that we will fall down many times throughout our journey. However, when we make a commitment to ourselves to get back up, dust ourselves off, be real about how we feel and what happened, and not let it stop us from being who we are and going for what we want -we tap into what true power, boldness, and authenticity are all about.

As Mark Twain reminds us in one of his many famous quotes, “Dance like nobody’s watching; love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like nobody’s listening; live like it’s heaven on earth.”

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

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Posted by Mike Robbins on December 4th, 2010 in General, New Directions | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,

30 nov

Heart’s Destiny

MotiRonitWhen Oprah Winfrey Show producer Hilary Jane Robe searched for couples for the show’s “Greatest Love Stories” she discovered a story about Dr. Moti and Ronit Peleg in a New Jersey newspaper.

Not only are the Pelegs destiny-driven soul mates with an incredible love story, but they’re also humanitarians whose Ego to Heart workshops emphasize heartfelt listening and communication between other couples.

It started when a 17-year-old boy became smitten with a magazine cover of the newly crowned Miss Israel of 1964 — Ronit Rinat.

Moti said, “There was some kind of spirited glow in her.” He stressed her eyes beckoned to him, and he kept that photo, feeling they would someday marry.

Meanwhile, Ronit married a physician from the United States at age 19, and had three children.

“I went to college and opened an international store in Beverly Hills,” she said. But Ronit said her husband was neither a communicator nor spiritual.

“We went to a workshop for couples called “Flesh & Spirit” and it was just what I was seeking: to be listened to without judgment, to be spoken to from the heart and, most of all, to listen to my own heart before I spoke.”

She studied for five years under Dr. Jack Zimmerman and Dr. Jaquelyn McCandless, certified in the couples’ intimacy practice. She brought this counseling method back to Israel in 2002 and became the founder of “Council” in Israel.

“Council” helps one openly explore, offer heartfelt expression and learn to listen attentively. It is said to be the gateway to intercultural understanding and the non-violent exploration of conflict.

After her husband’s death, Ronit was empowered to continue with a full life.

“I have trained, mentored, spread the practice all over the country (Israel),” she said, “it is recognized as a way to reduce violence in schools, empower women, men, and children — to build community and connect through dialogue between Arabs and Jews.”

Simultaneously, Moti came to the States in 1970. He received his psychology degree from Queens College, got married and had two children.

“Sadly, my wife and I didn’t have communication skills,” he said. “We struggled with fears and insecurities that eventually drew us apart and caused us to divorce.”

Peleg completed his Doctorate at Yeshiva University, and has been a psychotherapist and psychologist for more than three decades, specializing in traumatic stress associated with pain and relationship issues.

However, his desire to meet the girl with the eyes that seemed to signal him remained constant. So in 2004, a friend called Ronit to say he had someone who wished to meet her.

At first, Ronit thought it was a joke, but realized this man’s voice seemed truthful. Moti communicated with Ronit via phone calls, e-mails, love letters and songs.

“The lyrics and songs talked to my soul,” Ronit said. She flew to New York and visited Moti.

For the first three hours of their visit, Ronit asked Moti to join her in “Council.”

Ronit said, “We shared deep stories from our past, our childhood fears and dreams.” After two years, they were married. The “destined” couple combined their counseling methods to form “Ego to Heart”.

The workshops enable people to listen to the “voice of the relationship,” thus eliminating the ego of “me,” transforming it to “we”, which diminishes the power of ego that reduces a heart’s connection,” according to the Pelegs.

“The results of respect, humility and compassion, allowing a person to be seen as perfect in their imperfections, without judgment … empowers each one of us and the relationship,” Ronit added.

They provided workshops in New Hope, but realized the location did not have the karma and warmth they sought. Once more, destiny called the Pelegs to the Hudson Valley, where Moti’s son, a construction engineer, came upon a place in Esopus.

The 10,000-square-foot mansion with heart carvings throughout the structure overlooking the Hudson River was called “Heart’s Ease” and served as a labor school for newly arrived immigrants. By working with the Esopus Historical Society, the Pelegs’ research revealed that one of America’s greatest humanitarians, Eleanor Roosevelt served on the board of the labor school.

Architectural heart-shaped appointments, the name “Heart’s Ease” and the grand humanitarian connection? This certainly seems like destiny. And if historical renovations and construction go as intended, by August 2011, the couple’s destiny will be fulfilled.

For more information on Dr. Moti and Ronit Peleg, Ego to Heart workshops, the Oprah Show video and their upcoming book, “Destined Encounter,” go to www.ego2heart.org or visit their blog at motiandronit.wordpress.com.

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Posted by Moti & Ronit Peleg on November 30th, 2010 in New Directions, Personal Stories, Relationships, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in , , , , ,

28 nov

How to Have a Great Thanksgiving

MikeRobbinsNewWith Thanksgiving upon us, I’ve been thinking about my own love/hate relationship to this great holiday. It can be a wonderful celebration of gratitude, appreciation, and family connection. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving also tends to be about feeling obligated to spend time with the people we’re “supposed” to, eating too much food and feeling guilty about it, and pretending to be grateful when we’re actually annoyed and stressed out.

What if we could make this Thanksgiving less stressful, more fun, and actually be able to enjoy ourselves, appreciate our family and friends (even the ones who drive us nuts), and focus on what we’re grateful for in a genuine way?

Here are some important tips you can use to make this year’s Thanksgiving one you truly enjoy and remember (in a good way):

1) Be you – Instead of trying to be who you think you “should” be with your family, friends, in-laws, or guests – just relax and be yourself! So often we put undue pressure on ourselves to be a certain way, impress people (even those we know well), or do or say the things we think others want us to. When we let go of trying to please everyone and we’re able to be true to ourselves, we create a genuine sense of freedom and peace. This also means that we think about what would be fun for us and our immediate family to do for Thanksgiving and communicate this to everyone else (in-laws, extended family, etc.), even if it may upset or disappoint some of the people involved.

2) Look for the good – Make a commitment to focus on the things you like and appreciate about your friends and family members, instead of obsessing about the things that annoy or upset you about them. We almost always find what we look for in others and in situations. When we let go of past resentments, we’re able to see people with new eyes. As the saying goes, “holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Whatever we choose to do on Thanksgiving and whomever we choose to spend our holiday with, if we make a conscious decision to enjoy ourselves and to look for the good stuff in an authentic way, we dramatically increase our chances of having a positive and pleasurable experience.

3) Make it fun and easy – Do whatever you can for yourself and those around you to make the planning, food preparation, clean up, and the whole Thanksgiving experience as easy, fun, and stress-free as possible. This means we keep it light, share the responsibilities, ask others for help, and do the things that we enjoy doing – instead of burdening ourselves and feeling like a victim about it all. Too often we spend and waste our time and energy being uptight, doing things we don’t truly want to do, feeling resentful towards others, and creating a lot of unnecessary stress and frustration. Thanksgiving can be lots of fun, if we’re willing to go with the flow and make it easy on ourselves and for others.

4) Express your appreciation for others – One of best things we can do for other people (on Thanksgiving or at any time) is to let them know what we appreciate about them in a genuine way. Acknowledging others is a true “win-win,” as we always get to keep what we give away to others when we appreciate them (i.e. the good feelings are shared by us and those we acknowledge). There are many ways we can appreciate people on Thanksgiving:

- Write “I’m thankful for you” cards and give them out on Thanksgiving (or mail them beforehand)

- Pick someone at the dinner table to acknowledge, and then ask them to “pay it forward” and appreciate someone else in the group – go around until everyone has been appreciated

- Pull people aside on Thanksgiving (or give them a call) and let them know what you appreciate about them specifically and genuinely

5) Count your blessings – Remember that in the midst of all the commotion, stress, and activity of the holiday season, Thanksgiving really is a time for us to reflect on what we’re grateful for – in life, about others, and especially about ourselves. Take some time on Thanksgiving to focus on what you’re grateful for, the many blessings in your life, and the things you appreciate about yourself. A great way for us to remember and to celebrate the many blessings in our life, especially on Thanksgiving, is to take some time during our meal and allow each person at the table to talk about what they’re grateful for in a genuine, specific, and personal way.

This year, especially given all that has been going on in the world, the economy, and our personal lives, let’s challenge ourselves to make Thanksgiving more than just something we get through or even simply a nice holiday; let’s have it be a time of reflection, connection, and a celebration of the great fullness of life.

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

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Posted by Mike Robbins on November 28th, 2010 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , ,