Posts tagged with ‘freedom’

17 may

The Importance of Live Conversations

MikeRobbinsNewHave you ever had a conversation, disagreement, or conflict escalate over email? Do you sometimes find yourself engaging in difficult or emotional conversations electronically because it seems “easier,” only to regret it later on? If you’re anything like me and most of the people I know and work with, you can probably answer “yes” to both of these questions.

In the past few months I’ve had a couple conflicts with important people in my life get blown way out of proportion, mainly because I engaged in them via email, instead of talking live to those involved. As I look back on these and other similar situations I’ve experienced in the past, I can see that it was my fear to connect live and my poor judgment in using written communication that contributed to the increased conflict and lack of resolution.

Why do we do this (even though most of us, myself included, know better)? First of all, email (or other forms of electronic communication – texting, Facebook, Twitter, and more), tends to be the primary mode of communication these days for many of us – both personally and professionally.

Second of all, it can sometimes seem easier for us to be honest and direct in writing because we can say what is true for us without having to worry about the in-the-moment reaction of the other person.

And third, electronic communication (or even one-way verbal communication, i.e. voice mail) takes way less courage than having a live, real conversation with another human being (on the phone or in person). When we talk to people live we have to deal with our fear of rejection, fear of being hurt, and our tendency to “sell out” on ourselves and not speak our full truth. Avoiding the live conversation and choosing to do it in writing sometimes feels “safer” and can allow us to say things we might otherwise withhold.

Regardless of why we choose to engage in important conversations via these one-way forms of communication (email, text, voice mail, etc.), it is much less likely for us to work through conflicts, align with one another, and build trust and connection when we avoid talking to each other live about important stuff.

Anything we’re willing to engage in electronically can usually be resolved much more quickly, effectively, and lovingly by having a live conversation, even if we’re scared to do so. The fear may be real, but most often the “threat” is not.

Here are some things you can do to practice engaging in live conversations with people more often and, ultimately, to resolve your conflicts more successfully.

1) Be clear about your intention – Before sending an email, text, etc. (or even leaving a voice mail), ask yourself, “What’s my intention?” If you’re about to engage in something that is in any way emotionally charged, about a conflict, or important on an inter-personal level, check in to make sure you’re not simply sending the message to avoid dealing with it and the person(s) involved directly. Tell the truth to yourself about how you feel, what you want, and why you’re about to engage in the specific type and form of communication you’re choosing.

2) Don’t send everything you write – Writing things out without a filter and just letting all of our thoughts and feelings flow can be a very important exercise, especially when we’re dealing with a conflict or something that’s important to us. However, we don’t always have to send everything we write! It’s often a good idea to save an email in your drafts folder and read it again later (maybe after you’ve calmed down a bit or even the following day).

3) Request a call or a meeting – Before engaging in a long, emotional email exchange, it can often be best to simply pick up the phone or send a note to request a specific time to talk about the situation live. Face to face is always best if you can make it happen, but if that poses a big challenge (i.e. you’re busy and it might take a while to set up) or is not possible (i.e. you don’t live close enough to the person to see them easily), talking on the phone is another option. A great email response can simply be, “Thanks for your note, this seems like something that would better to discuss live than by email, let’s set up a time to talk later today or this week.”

4) Speak your truth, without judgment or blame – When you do engage in the live conversation (in person or on the phone), focus on being REAL, not RIGHT. This means that you speak your truth by using “I statements,” (I think, I feel, I notice, I want, etc.). As soon as we move into blame or judgment, we cut off the possibility of any true resolution. Own your judgments and notice if you start to blame the other person(s) involved. If so, acknowledge it, apologize for it, and get back to speaking your truth in a real way, not accusing them of stuff.

5) Get support from others - When we’re dealing with emotionally charged conflicts, it’s often a good idea to reach out for support from other people we trust and respect. If at all possible, try to get feedback from people who will be honest with you, won’t just tell you what you want to hear and agree with you no matter what, and who aren’t too emotionally connected to the situation themselves. Whether it is to bounce ideas off of, get specific coaching or feedback, or simply to help you process through your own fear, anger, or tendency to over-react (which many of us do in situations like this), getting support from those around us in the process is essential. We don’t have to do it alone and we’re not the only ones who struggle with things like this.

Living life, doing our work, and interacting with the other human beings around us can be wonderfully exciting and incredibly challenging (or anywhere in between). Conflicts are a natural and beautiful part of life and relationships. We can learn so much about ourselves and others through engaging in productive conflict and important conversations.

The ultimate goal isn’t to live a conflict-free life; it’s to be able to engage in conflict in a way that is productive, healthy, kind, and effective. When we remember that live conversations, even if they can be scary at first, are always the best way to go, we can save ourselves from needless worry, stress and suffering – and in the process resolve our conflicts much more quickly, easily, and successfully.

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 May 17th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,

20 apr

You Have More Than This Requires

MikeRobbins96I had a powerful conversation recently with my good friend Theo. I was telling him about some of the intense challenges I’ve been facing and my underlying fear that I simply can’t handle all that is going on (and what I fear may unfold in the coming days, weeks, and months). Theo listened to me with empathy and compassion, and then said something simple, but profound. He said, “Mike, it’s important to remember that you have more than all of this requires.”

As I took a step back and allowed what he said to resonate with me, I was touched by a few specific things. First of all, I appreciated his acknowledgment and reminder. Second of all, it allowed me to take inventory of some of the adversity I’ve overcome in my life, and, in doing so, it reminded me that I am quite resilient. And, finally, over the next few hours and days after Theo and I had this conversation, I got to thinking more and more about the power of the human spirit.

In just about every situation and circumstance in life, we really do have more than is required to not only “deal” with what’s happening, but to thrive in the face of it. As the saying goes, “if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.” And while I don’t believe that we have to necessarily suffer and struggle in order to grow and evolve in life, one of the best things we can do when dealing with adversity or challenge is to look for the gifts and find the gold in the situation as much as possible.

Think about how this plays out in your own life and how it has played out in your past. Often we have things happen that initially we don’t think we can handle – sometimes these are things we consider “bad” and sometimes they’re things we consider to be “good.” Feeling overwhelmed is feeling overwhelmed, regardless of what it is we’re feeling overwhelmed about.

However, as we look back over the course of our lives, we can probably find many, many examples of times we were able to overcome challenges, deal with fear, rise above limiting beliefs, and deal with things we didn’t initially think we were capable of. Another great saying that I love is, “circumstances don’t define you, they reveal you.” Ain’t that the truth?

Here are a few things to think about and do so that you can remind yourself, especially when things get particularly difficult or scary in your life, that you do, in fact, have more than the circumstances or situations of your life require.

1) Remind yourself of all you’ve done, experienced, and overcome. Take some inventory of your life from the perspective of resilience. Think about all the times you’ve dealt with change, loss, newness, fear, pain, disappointment, failure, etc. – and been able to work through it. You’ve also probably had many experiences in life where wonderful things and exciting opportunities showed up for you and you were able to step up and take your experience of life to a whole new level. Even though we’re all unique, our stories are different, and we have varying personalities and life experiences, most of us have done, experienced, and overcome a lot in our lives up to this point, and by remembering this and acknowledging ourselves for it, we can create an even deeper and more authentic sense of self confidence.

2) Remember that you have a great deal of support and you can reach out for it. One of the things that can get in our way when life gets intense, is that we sometimes think we’re all alone. No one understands me. No one really cares about me. No one has time to support me. Regardless of our circumstances, relationship status, or family situation, just about everyone of us has some important and powerful people around us who we can lean on and who would be happy to help us – if we’re willing to ask for and, more importantly, receive their help. This one can be tricky for many of us, myself included, but when we remember that other people love being of service and our request for help is not a sign of weakness, but a clear indication of self care as well as a beautiful opportunity for people to serve, it can empower us to reach out and tap into the incredible amount of resource we have around us.

3) Focus on what you appreciate about yourself and your authentic power. Self appreciation and self love, as I write and speak about often, are the cornerstones of self confidence and authentic power. Having a fundamental belief in our own goodness, power, and beauty are essential to us living an empowered and inspired life. While it’s not always easy to do and can sometimes seem downright counter-intuitive, selfish, and arrogant, self appreciation is truly the “key to the kingdom” when it comes to personal empowerment and resiliency. Remembering that we are good enough just as we are and have all that we need within us and around us to deal with the stress, challenge, and uncertainty that is somewhat inherent to being human in today’s world, is essential to our well-being and overall fulfillment in life.

Regardless of what you’re dealing with in your life right now – however hard, easy, challenging, or wonderful things are – you truly have more than is required by any of the circumstances and situations of your life. And, the more we remember this and live from this perspective, the more freedom, power, and peace of mind we’ll experience.

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 April 20th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,

01 jan

2011: Gateway of the One

SkySheridanA decade of the 21st century come and gone, and what science and spirit both predicted and prophesized have come true. Looking back at the turn of the millennium it is hard to believe we didn’t see the worst financial global crisis coming, a killer Hurricane Katrina, devastating tsunami or astronomical earthquake in Haiti that would wipe out hundreds of thousands of lives in an instant. We didn’t have Youtube, Wikipedia, iPhones, Facebook or Twitter and Google, our search engine lifeline, was just getting started. Y2K, the technological media myth, wasn’t the end, and we finally got to party like it was 1999.

After 9/11 (a code that we dial in for help and that contains the powerful number 11) the words “Terror” and “War” constantly struck fear into our hearts and worry into our minds. We were so consumed by giving our personal and collective power over to outer authority and outside sources that 2012 was only a blip on the temporal map and was only seen as some Mayan tale of the end of time. It felt separation would rule us all.

Here and now, eleven years later, time seems to have ended as everything became instantaneous. We have screens and technological devices wherever we go, miniaturized, plugged into our ears, tapped into our touch, connecting us all at speeds quicker than light through our thoughts. The world is literally at our fingertips and in our hands now.

We are starting to see, we are the power. The first African American president was elected because we decided we are ready for “Change” and that “Yes We Can”. A global financial crisis has pulled the veil over our eyes and the truth has been revealed about a monetary system that controls our world governments and seeks to make profit even at the expense of people and the planet, so that the few can have so much, and so that the many have nothing because of it.

Everything has been amplified, exponentially accelerated, including our consciousness and connection to each other. We have gone beyond the information age, and into the age of awareness. 2012 is just a year away now, and happens to be one of the most talked about and researched dates of our time. Depending on which side of the 2012 coin we focus on, is the one we will empower. One side is descending into destruction while the other is ascending in creation. It is our choice.

Even with as much destruction and chaos occurring all around and within us as the whole system feels like it is imploding, many are taking their power back and are starting to be creative, new and sustainable, not just for ourselves, but for the hope, integrity and joy of our posterity. Truly, we now know, that we are the ones we have been waiting for. No one is going to save us, or give us the power we don’t already have ourselves. 2011 is our time to become, to step out of the perception of what we’re not, and see what we already are.

Lets focus a second on the number 11. It is going to come up a lot this year. It is considered a master number, which just means that its purpose is to raise spiritual (inner) awareness for higher conscious. It is a number that drives us to serve altruistically. So this is the year that companies and consumers have an opportunity to make people and the planet the product that profits. 11 is known as the number of transformation. Like a butterflies wings on either side, it is our call to start to fly.

Eleven is also contains two number 1s, representing the two sides of duality, you and me, us and them, right and wrong, black and white. It is the end and the beginning, the Alpha and the Omega. The significance of two sides, or souls, standing together in unity, represents our inherent oneness and the path to our greater good. That no matter how separate we continue to try to be, the truth is we are all connected.

Graphically, 11 looks like a gateway, or a doorway. 2011 is a portal year that we are passing through, and it is calling us to recognize our unity, and to come together to restore power to the people. It is time to invoke the yogi’s “Namaste” and see yourself in every other, and in the world, like a constant mirror reflecting back to you your inner state of awareness and power.

The number 11 shows us that we must come together to create a consciousness that extends beyond the limitations of self, and to embrace our interconnection and interdependence. These are the keys to our thriving future, one that knows no limitations of inequality, poverty, hunger, war, dis-ease, and the endless destruction of our home and resources, Planet Earth.

Together, we have an great opportunity this year to use all the technology, all the connection, and the new business opportunities to shift into a creative paradigm that honors that place within you, that is also within me, which is perfect, powerful and divine. It is time to walk through the gateway of our oneness and unleash our human potential that has been kept from us through our own choice of fear, separation and limitation. This is the year to believe in possibility, to bring love to every part of our lives, yes, even into the marketplace, where the love of power is being replaced by the power of love.

The great cosmic cycle is almost complete. Our sun is aligning with the galactic center of our Milky Way. New energies are flowing through us, and all around us. It is now time to allow the number 11 to activate our hearts as one, creating a gateway where we will pass through, leaving behind our fears and all of our small, myopic beliefs, to emerge on the other side of 2012 with love as the predominant vibration on Earth. Love is the only energy, or currency, that is worth our time, and priceless in value. 2011 is our invitation to transform our lives into conscious gateways, for ourselves, and for the world. It is time to be here and now, and to wake up to the truth that we are the ONE.

Read More at www.Called2Create.com

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Posted by Sky Sheridan on January 1st, 2011 in General, Global/Social Change, Spirituality, Technology | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

20 may

Sacrifice: Choosing the Sacred Over the Profane

ScottSchwenkNot too long ago I tweeted, “When I know what I’m saying ‘Yes’ to, it’s easy to say no.”

Sacred. Profane. What do these words really mean? Is it about standing on some moral higher ground that assures belonging, safety, and the necessities of life? Paying homage to some being or group’s values out of fear of being on the wrong side of the law?

What if there’s a point of view that’s not peering out from the bowels of some dank cave of insufficiency and insecurity built by ego’s fear of future suffering rooted in the pain of the past?

What if there are no such absolutes as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’?

Sacrifice at its root is about recognizing something as sacred and acting in accord with that recognition. Sacred isn’t set in stone, and it certainly isn’t about feeble attempts at self-deprivation. Self-deprivation is just an insecure ego’s attempt to feel better about itself by being extreme.

What’s sacred for you may be completely different from what’s most aligned with my inner compass. They don’t have to agree to both be of immense value.

Recently I had occasion to be in a private meeting with a teacher who embodies a kind of unfettered freedom and liberation I’ve always sensed as possible, but had never met face-to-face. I was given fifteen minutes to use in any way I wished, with the intention of bringing this liberated perspective to pressing concerns or questions.

Knowing about the meeting nearly two months in advance gave me plenty of time to obsess about coming up with questions that would really matter, make some long-term impact on my walk through life.

It wasn’t until the final five minutes of the meeting that the most core concern I’ve lugged unknowingly through every corridor of my life surfaced.

“I have this irrational fear that I could do something which would irrevocably land me in eternal damnation, and it’s at the back of every place where I have fear and get controlling. It makes no sense to me logically that I even have it. No amount of logic seems to make any real difference in releasing it’s hold,” I said, both surprised and supremely grateful that it revealed itself.

It’s these kinds of not-yet-recognized fears that create factions, power struggles, wars, inner division, and separation from the very love we seek with each other, and ultimately within.

It’s likely that this core fear is a teacher for me. It will reveal itself in various forms and circumstances, giving me the opportunity to hone my clarity, self-awareness, confidence, and trust. Versions of it are likely to be faithful companions, becoming the weights I use in the gym of my life to build the muscles of discrimination, detachment, focus, and Awareness of Truth that transcend morals and survival.

So as I willingly grow through the days, weeks, and beyond with the help of this ancient form of resistance, knowing why I walk ahead, what I’m saying ‘Yes’ to, is fuel for the walk.

I’m saying yes to freedom from any form of suffering.

I’m saying yes to that same freedom for anyone in the circles of my life.

I’m saying yes to being unshakably rooted in the clear and embodied knowing of What I am.

When the mind starts to get agitated, looking to control some situation or person to assure my safety and survival, simply taking a long pause to breathe and recognize that I am safe, whole, and free (to refocus my attention on what I’m saying ‘Yes’ to) is enough to create some space in my experience. It’s enough to relax my body. It’s a choice to feel that peace is more valuable (sacred) than control.

Know what’s most valuable to you.

Know what can distract you from what you most value. This, for you, is the profane, and to be released.

Align your attention with what you most value and cherish.

Forgive yourself when you forget, and realign your attention with what you hold sacred.

Let the seeming wins and losses guide you into deeper core strength with the practice rather than being defining moments of your worth or lack thereof.

Let it be simple.

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Posted by Scott Schwenk on May 20th, 2010 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , , , ,

17 mar

The Power of No

mike_robbinsHow do you feel about saying “no?” I notice that saying “no” to certain people and in some situations can be challenging for me. Sometimes I find myself saying “yes” when “no” would really be more authentic. More covertly, I also find myself at times giving “half-truths” (which is quite an oxymoron if you think about it) to people when they present me with opportunities, engage with me about connecting, etc. You know what I mean, you run into someone and say, “We should really get together sometime,” but you really have very little interest in or commitment to making that happen. Does this ever happen to you?

What is it about saying “no” that many of us have a hard time with? For me, it comes down to a few specific things. First of all, I get scared that people will get upset or disappointed if I say “no.” Second, I’m not a huge fan of hearing “no” from others myself, so being the one saying it can be difficult for me. And lastly, I consider myself to be “yes” type of person. I pride myself on being open, willing, and ready to say “yes” at all times. In other words, “no” often seems like a failure, an admission of weakness, or just an overall negative thing to say.

However, saying “no” is one of the most important aspects of living a life filled with balance, integrity, and authenticity. Our ability and capacity to say “no” with confidence is one of the most important aspects of creating peace and power in our lives. This is about creating healthy boundaries, honoring ourselves, and being real – it’s not about being closed, cynical, or unwilling.

The majority of people I know, especially these days, live their lives with a feeling of “overwhelm” that either runs them or at least gets in their way from time to time. If you think of the aspects of your life where you feel most overwhelmed, stressed out, or ineffective – there is probably a theme going on – you haven’t said “no” when you needed to. If you also think about any relationships in your life where these is stress, struggle, or conflict – you saying “no” with honesty and kindness is also probably missing.

When we don’t say “no” in an authentic way we end up feeling burdened, resentful, and even victimized (although, ironically, we forget that we are the ones who said “yes” in the first place).

Saying “no” does have real consequences. Sometimes we will upset, disappoint, or annoy people. We also may have a significant amount of fear about saying “no” to certain people (our spouse, boss, co-worker, friend, child, etc.) or in certain situations (at work, with clients, with our in-laws, and more).

However, there are huge benefits to us enhancing our capacity and comfort with “no.” Tapping into the power of “no” creates freedom, liberation, and a real sense of trust with the people in our lives. When we’re someone that says “yes” when we mean it and “no” when we mean it – others know they can count on us to be real, tell the truth, and come through.

And, when we “no” with confidence, honesty, and compassion, we do one of the best things we can possibly do to honor and appreciate ourselves.

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 March 17th, 2010 in New Directions, Relationships, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , , , , ,