Bliss B4 Laundry Wellness Weekend for Women

I am honored to have been selected to be a presenter for an amazing women’s retreat to be held in Ontario, Canada in October 2014! Bliss B4 Laundry is a wellness weekend for women that encourages women to take a little break from caring for everyone else, and take some time to care for themselves. Below you can find a link to the website for Bliss B4 Laundry, where you can find all the details about what promises to be an amazing weekend. I am looking forward to the experience, and I hope you will consider joining us!

http://blissb4laundry.com/

Many blessings,

Janette

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Keep Listening

 

I often share stories about the things I have learned from my emotional healing work with people who are enduring hardships. Today I’m feeling like my own personal story is the one to share. Although I can’t say that it has been a particular hardship when compared to the things that many people have experienced in life, I think it’s a story that many of us can relate to because many of us have experienced transitions. I have been in a bit of a transition in my life for the past several months. I have been presented with what seems like two distinctly different paths to follow. One of those paths keeps me in the traditional healthcare world, where I have spent much of my career, and is definitely a more comfortable place for me to be. The other path takes me towards a more non-traditional role (for me) where I am relying more on my own capacity to market myself and my holistic emotional wellness services. For some, this sort of marketing may be a no-brainer, and may be very easy. As I am a bit of an introvert (though not to the extreme), this prospect is somewhat intimidating, and has without a doubt led me to make some choices that have kept me “playing small”.

Although I have had many “Aha” moments along this journey, a few recent “Aha” moments have been very enlightening. I had the opportunity to interview for a Nurse Practitioner position with a physician who owns an alternative medical practice which I believed would be a great fit for me. Even in my work as a Nurse Practitioner, I seldom fit well into a traditional office setting where everything is fixed with a prescription for a new pill, and I’m lucky if I get to spend 15 minutes with my patient. This is just not my style. So this office seemed to be the perfect fit…I really liked the physician and the staff I would be working with, it was a great fit for my particular experience in Women’s Health, and the physician even told me during the interview that I was his first choice of the people he had interviewed so far. Everything really felt perfect. Almost. The office was a 45-minute drive from my home each direction. But in my head I’m thinking, “But everything ELSE is perfect!” So I just chose to disregard that whole “90 minutes spent on the road every weekday” thing. 🙂

In the week following the interview, I gave a lot of thought to how I could work this new position into my life. I considered moving a little closer to this office, I thought about how I would handle the commute time and still manage my life, and I acted and thought in every way as if this thing was going to happen. And then…it didn’t happen. The physician sent a very kind email stating that although he really liked me and thought I would be a great fit for the office, he had chosen someone else for the current opening. 😦  I had placed so many thoughts and plans around this one thing happening that it actually took me a day or so to readjust to the new reality, rather than the false reality I had constructed in my mind. I kept thinking, “But everything seemed so perfect, and I thought this was God’s work, pushing me in the direction that I was supposed to go.”

In my process of confiding this to some close friends, one of my friends shared this Bible verse with me:  Be sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Although I have heard many translations of this verse, most of them begin with the word ‘Faith”. (Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the proof of things not seen). I spent a lot of time thinking about this as I was processing through the loss of this position that I so hoped for. How had I lost my faith? How had I failed to expect to have this thing that I wanted so badly?  I couldn’t think of a single way that I had lost my faith. This irritated me even more!

But as I continued to think about this verse, a new interpretation came to me that I hadn’t considered ever before. Being sure of what I hope for had always meant to me that I needed to be sure that what I hope for would come to me. But perhaps it also means that I need to be sure WHAT it is that I’m hoping for. If I am not sure what it is that I’m hoping for, how will I recognize it when I see it? If I’m not sure what I’m hoping for, anything that is in some way better than what I’m experiencing right now will be enough. And that standard isn’t always a very high standard. But if I know what it is that I hope for, and I hold myself tightly to that standard, knowing that I am meant to have it, I behave differently. I can say no to anything that isn’t 100% perfect for me and my life, because I know it’s not exactly what I am hoping for! In fact, I could end up having something that’s even BETTER than what I thought I wanted!  Either way, I don’t have to settle. And if I do settle, it’s only because I have chosen to settle, and not because there aren’t any bigger and better things available to me.

This simple shift in how I thought about faith was enough to lift me out of my cloud of sadness and grief over the position that I wanted. Yes, it was ALMOST perfect. But I know what I hope for, and I know that I DON’T hope to spend at least 90 minutes on the road every day.  So I can let go much more peacefully of this ALMOST perfect opportunity, so that I can make room for the ABSOLUTELY perfect opportunity. It’s out there. And I have faith that it will be revealed to me.

The crucial part of this process is to keep listening. Keep listening to myself. Know myself well enough to know what it is that I really hope for. And each time that I choose to invest my time and energy into choosing exactly what I hope for, I not only get more of what it is that I hope for, but I also solidify my faith that more of what I hope for is coming. In other words, I can be certain of what I do not see…yet. 🙂

If you’re not getting what it is that you really want out of life, I would highly recommend making sure that you know what it is that you’re hoping for. Then, go ahead…be selective! Be VERY choosy…hear yourself saying, “That’s for me!” or “That’s not for me!”  It’s an incredible exercise in faith. One that will be rewarded.

Many blessings,

Janette

 

Seven Beliefs about Money That Will Keep You Stuck (Part 2 of 2)

American dollars

In my last post, I reviewed some of the most common beliefs about money that keep people from reaching their financial dreams. Now let’s review some things that we can do to change those subtle (or perhaps not-so-subtle) negative beliefs about money, so we can begin to create more joy around money.

I was introduced to a way of thinking about money a few years ago that I still practice today to help me to make sure that I’m staying on track with my thoughts and beliefs about money. The idea is to give money a place of importance in your mind by thinking of money as a person in your life. You can give this person whatever attributes you would like to give them. Money can be tall, dark, and handsome…it can be male or female…it can be more of an angelic figure for you…it can have whatever attributes you want it to have, as long as YOU see those attributes as positive and desirable, and as long as you can see someone with those attributes absolutely ADORING you and wanting to be with you. For some people, that means that money is a dear friend, for others money might be a hot and steamy lover. The best thing is that you get to choose everything about what money looks like. Once you have this picture in your imagination, imagine money talking to you, wanting to spend time with you, and enjoying your life with you. Also imagine what you could do in your relationship with money that would make money happy, just as you would do in a relationship with another person. Spend time thinking about what money would like for you to do for it (him/her). Think about some of the ways that you might be betraying money in your life. This often comes up with people who work in healing or in the arts…they think it is more noble to give away too much of their art or their gifts for free. In this way, they can betray money because they aren’t standing up for money in their lives, and they’re not putting enough value on their own gifts and abilities, so money gets a little annoyed with them for not putting effort into the relationship. Imagine money coming with you when you are doing things in your daily life, such as when you’re going out to dinner or when you’re meeting new people. Imagine money being there as your “silent partner”, ready to support you and help you in whatever ways you might need. You can also use this technique when you have a “money slump.” In your mind, imagine sitting down with money and having a conversation, asking what you can do to make money happy, and what you could do to spend more time with each other. Then just listen to what money tells you. You might be surprised how often you can find someplace where you are pushing money away from your life by using this technique. I find it to be a really fun game too, that allows you to use your imagination and “play” with money in a way that can help you to avoid some of the feelings of seriousness that people often have about money. In this way, you can open your mind to the concept of having FUN while you’re having a relationship with money. We so often equate making money or having money with WORK…some labor that is difficult and that takes us AWAY from our joy. We want to think of having money and making money as a fun experience so that we can love what we do while we’re having a great relationship with money!

It’s also important to examine any areas of your life where you feel uncomfortable about money. For instance, if you feel uncomfortable about taking your money figure along with you in your mind when you spend time with your family, this is a clue that there may be some underlying negative belief within your family that is keeping you from having a great relationship with money. If you have difficulty imagining taking your money figure with you when you’re spending time with your spouse or with one of your close friends, this is a clue that something in your relationship with that person needs some attention. All of this self-analysis and analysis of your relationships can take a little time, but it is time well-spent on your journey to having a great relationship with money.

There are also a few specific things you can do to evaluate where you might have some emotional blocks around money. This only requires setting aside some time and space where you can be quiet and alone for a few minutes. You may want to have a notepad and a pen nearby in case you need to take notes. You want to create a space where you can relax and just be still for a while. If you meditate or pray regularly, perhaps you already have a dedicated space for your quiet time. Wherever that space is, make yourself comfortable, relax and breathe for a moment or two, and try to quiet your mind. Then when you feel ready to listen to yourself, go through a few positive statements about money, such as these:

  • I feel safe and secure with my family when I have more than enough money.
  • I feel really good about being kind and generous to others when I have more than enough money.
  • I have close friends and family who love me and support me when I have money.
  • I have great intuition about people and their motives when I have money.
  • Even with my flaws, and even with my past money mistakes, I am worthy of having money.
  • I am capable of making wise decisions AND having fun, even if I have more than enough money.
  • I can love God when I have more than enough money.
  • God can love me when I have more than enough money.

After each statement, take a few minutes to pause and just notice any feelings that come up. Don’t sugar coat your response. What you want is to be honest with yourself so that you can heal these false beliefs. If you try to deny how you really feel about it, you won’t gain any valuable information from this exercise. You can also make up your own statements if you begin to notice a negative feeling around money that is unrelated to these statements. Maybe you want to make it more specific if you have a particular family member that you think you may have a negative money issue with. Awareness is the beginning of the healing process, so try to be very honest with yourself and accept that whatever thoughts and feelings come up are OK for you to think and feel.

After going through these statements as well as whatever other statements you may have created, you probably have at least one or two that held some angst for you. Now comes the fun part…fixing these negative beliefs so that you can start to behave differently in your life! I believe that forgiveness and love hold amazing power to heal these blocks in our minds and spirits. So a lot of my work involves using statements to forgive ourselves, forgive others, and give other people permission to forgive us. To make this simple, I’m going to choose a couple of the examples from above and apply the forgiveness process to them.

Let’s say my false belief is that I can’t feel safe and secure with my family when I have more than enough money, and I have figured out that it’s my sister who I don’t feel safe with while I have money. I may know why. Perhaps it’s because my sister has always been jealous of me. Perhaps it’s because my sister HAS money, and she thinks that affords her a special place in the family that she can’t have if I have money too. The more you can flesh this out in your mind, the more effective the healing process will be. As you say these statements, take a deep breath in and then exhale between each statement. Some examples of a few forgiveness statements based upon this picture would be:

  • I forgive myself for believing that I can’t feel safe with my sister when I have more than enough money.
  • I forgive myself for believing that I have to give up my relationship with my sister if I have more than enough money.
  • I forgive my sister for believing that money is the only thing that gives her value in our family.
  • I forgive my sister for believing that she can’t love me when I have more than enough money.
  • I give my sister permission to forgive me for doing and saying things that made her believe that money is what makes her valuable in our family.
  • I give my sister permission to forgive me for choosing to give up my power with money in our family in the past.

In another example, let’s say that my false belief is that I can’t love God if I have more than enough money. Often the belief around this is that money will replace God or that I won’t NEED God in my life if I have more than enough money. In the statements below, I use “God” as my term for a higher power because that’s what resonates with me, and He is my Higher Power. If you prefer to use another term, such as “The Divine”, feel free to do so. We will use the same pattern as before (forgive myself, forgive others, give others permission to forgive me).

  • I forgive myself for believing that money is more important to me than is my relationship with God.
  • I forgive myself for believing that if I have more than enough money, I will worship money rather than worshiping God.
  • I forgive myself for idolizing money as my only connection to love and happiness in my life.
  • I forgive my Grandmother for doing and saying things that made me believe that people who have more than enough money can’t have a true relationship with God.
  • I forgive my father for doing and saying things that made me believe that people who have more than enough money are evil and separate from God.
  • I give God permission to forgive me for believing that money creates my primary connection to feelings of love, security, and happiness in my life.
  • I give God permission to forgive me for believing that money has the power to separate me from Him.

In each instance, what you’re going for is to create the highest, most loving concept in your mind around joyfully making, having, and keeping money in your life. If you feel stuck around saying these statements, or if it all seems more complicated than what you’d like to work through on your own, that’s OK too! I work with many people who know that there’s something wrong, but they don’t know exactly what it is or how to fix it, and they feel more comfortable working through it with the help of someone else. If that’s the case, I would be more than happy to work with you to help find and correct whatever false beliefs you may have.

Whether you’re working alone or with my help, I do hope that walking through this process will empower you to develop your relationship with money in such a way that you are able to expand the joy you feel around money, now and continuously.

Many blessings,

Janette

(I gratefully acknowledge Dr. Annette Cargioli for her healing work, EPTworks, which provides the framework for the forgiveness statements used above.)

Seven Beliefs about Money That Will Keep You Stuck (Part 1 of 2)

We all have beliefs about money. Our beliefs about money can quietly sabotage our hopes, dreams, and business ventures. I find that it’s good to evaluate our money beliefs occasionally to make sure that our beliefs about money are in line with what we want to create in our lives. Over the past few years, I have worked with lots of people who want to change their way of interacting with money. And through this experience, I have found several common limiting beliefs. Let’s review some of the more common limiting beliefs about money. in part 2 of this series of blog posts, we’ll learn some of the things we can do to shift our negative beliefs to more positive ones that will help lead us to a place where we can thrive financially.

  1. People who have money are bad and/or they do bad things in the world. This is probably the most common negative belief about money that I find in my work. This may come from a family belief system that has developed over many years or even over many generations. Hence it just becomes part of your belief system that you might say that you want to change, but the underlying FEELING behind wealth and financial abundance in the family is “You’ll be a bad person and do bad things with your money if you have more than enough of it.”  One of the patterns in families that can create this belief is a classic principle of Psychology that is commonly referred to as “sour grapes.”  You may have heard of a classic fable called “The Fox and the Grapes” by Aesop. A fox comes along some grapes that are hanging from a tree and wants to eat them. But because they are so high above the ground, and the fox is unable to find a way to reach them,  he tries to soothe the pain that the unattainability of the grapes causes him by labeling them in his mind as “probably not worth it anyway.” He decides that they’re probably sour or otherwise unfit to eat, so that he doesn’t have to feel the uncomfortable feeling of wanting something he can’t find a way to get. When a member of a family begins to think this way about money, they are trying to feel better about their current situation by saying “I didn’t want to make more money anyway, because people who have money are bad people.” But what they can unintentionally do is to create a belief within the entire family that keeps not only themselves, but also later generations, from believing that it’s possible for them to be good, caring, kind, and generous people, and ALSO have financial abundance.
  2. If you do well for yourself financially, you are abandoning your family and your heritage. It’s safe to say that the majority of families that have raised children in the past 1-2 generations would not be considered “independently wealthy.”  A family mindset can begin to develop that says that anyone who ventures outside of the realm of financial tradition is being disloyal to the family, especially when the person who is venturing outside the norm is venturing significantly UP in income, rather than down. There is a discomfort that can occur in family members who didn’t make as much money as the ones who did. Perhaps they feel as if they could have made more money than they actually made, or they wanted to make more but couldn’t…but it’s easier to say that someone else is at fault for one’s feelings than it is to go through the process of self-discovery and possibly decide that our own beliefs about ourselves might need to evolve a bit. So people often place an unfair burden on their family members by creating an atmosphere that says “YOU are the problem if you venture out of the financial norm, not ME.”
  3. People who don’t have enough money naturally get more sympathy, help and understanding from others. This belief also comes from a family attitude that actually rewards people for staying in a poverty mindset. It is a false belief that people who have more than enough money don’t have good support systems, and that they don’t have people who will help them when they have had a loss or when they’re going through a difficult time. In essence the belief is that you have to have less than everyone else in order to be treated with compassion and kindness.  So of course if you believe that you’re going to have to give up your friends and your support system if you change your financial circumstances for the better, you will subconsciously avoid that scenario.
  4. I’m not worthy of living in financial abundance. You probably have heard this one before, but it is SO common that it is worth repeating. Many people who have struggled financially for much of their lives have a belief that there is something special about people who live in financial abundance that makes these people more deserving of it.  Perhaps it is a long-held guilt or sense of low self-esteem that prevents them from being able to think of themselves as being in the position of financial abundance. Perhaps it is a feeling that no matter how hard they work, there are always others who are more deserving of money because they have a better education, better connections, better skills, etc.
  5.  I can’t be trusted to manage “excess” money appropriately, so I can’t have it.  I have worked with many people who have what would be considered a really good individual income by most ($100,000 or more annually), who live paycheck to paycheck because they can’t seem to keep or save their money. Whatever they make goes back out as soon as it comes in. So many of these people have this false belief. They somehow know that they should be able to build more savings than they are building, but they can’t seem to figure out why it never happens. There always seems to be something that comes along that they need (or want) that keeps the money going back out as quickly as it comes in.  These people often have an underlying belief that they can’t be trusted with money. Perhaps they chose to believe this because at one time they “came into money” by way of a gift, a court settlement, or an inheritance that they spent in a way that doesn’t please them as they consider it in hindsight.
  6. If I have money, I will never know if my friends love me for who I am, or just love me for what they can get out of me. I’m sure many of us have met people who are “leeches.”  Those people who tend to befriend people who have money because they think they can get good benefits from knowing them and being their friends. They imagine themselves getting great seats to sporting events, getting to go on great group vacations that are sponsored by the person who has the cash, and meeting lots of other wealthy people through this person that they befriend for their money. Yes, leeches do exist in this respect. But people with this false belief tend to have an irrational picture of what those leeches look like. They doubt themselves in the equation, not the leech. Instead of believing in their ability to discern a true friend from someone who is only around when there’s something to gain, they tell themselves subconsciously that they would just rather not put their skills to the test.
  7. Money is the root of all evil. You might be surprised how many grandmothers, church pastors and elders preached this to children as they were growing up. This idea that money itself somehow forces people to make bad decisions is quite a common one. I find it interesting that if you go back to the bible text that this (loosely translated) saying comes from (I Timothy 6:10), the text actually refers to the longing for, craving for, or the “coveting” of money, rather than the HAVING of money. But I find an overwhelming number of people who truly believe that having money will bring evil into their lives and jeopardize their spirituality and godliness.

Perhaps as you read through this list, you read some things that rang true for you or that sparked some significant memories. If so, I encourage you to write your thoughts down and spend some time thinking about them. In my next post, I’ll review some specific steps you can take to change these beliefs to ones that allow you to manifest the financial abundance that you want for your life. Until then…

Many blessings,

Janette

Could Positive Thinking Delay Your Growth?

I will always remember the time in my life when I started reading about the philosophy of Positive Thinking in books, magazines, and other mainstream media. It all sounded to perfect…so precious, really. Just think positively about EVERYTHING…just be grateful for EVERYTHING, just see everything as a blessing, these wise people said, and your life will be perfect and rosy forevermore! And doesn’t it SOUND really wonderful? It sounded wonderful to me! I remember when I first read the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I was totally and completely enthralled, and couldn’t wait to start proving these concepts in my own life. And while I would say that many of the principles that I read about in The Secret and other such books about the power of Positive Thinking were and are really good principles to live by for many reasons, I have learned something about myself and about others over time that has changed my perspective a bit. It’s a nuance, you might say, that doesn’t so much contradict the philosophy of positive thinking so much as it adds a little flavor to my practice of it in my daily life.

I would say that this revelation began to slowly crystallize as I had a conversation with a friend (let’s call him Mac) a few years ago. Mac is one of those people who is just happy ALL the time. And by happy, I mean perhaps EXCESSIVELY happy, if it’s possible to be so. 🙂 Mac smiled a LOT. He was charismatic and friendly every day. He consistently lent a helping hand to others and had a grand time doing it, he had more friends than anyone could count, and he had the most positive outlook of anyone I have ever known. People could not help but to admire Mac, and everyone loved being around him. One day, Mac came to work with his usual smile on his face, but with less feeling than usual behind that smile. I stopped in his office to chat with him, and I asked him how he was. He went on and on about what a beautiful morning it had been, and how grateful he was for the sunshine, and what a lovely breakfast his wife had cooked for him that morning before work. I stopped him and asked him if something else was going on because he didn’t quite seem himself today. This is when he reported to me that his father had passed away the night before. I knew how close Mac had been to his father because over the years that I had known him, Mac had shared with me many stories of the happy times that he and his father had spent together, and what a wonderful man and father his Dad had been to him.  And I knew that this must be heartbreaking for Mac, and for his whole family. Yet here Mac sat, telling me what a beautiful funeral they were going to have, and how all the family would be coming into town during such a lovely time of year, and how everything was going to be just GREAT. What Mac was doing was pretending that Positive Thinking was the way out of feeling the grief that he was truly MEANT to feel about his father’s death.

As human beings, we have the ability to feel so many varied emotions. And sometimes the philosophy of Positive Thinking tells us that only the positive, happy emotions will get us to the point where we want to be. But pretending that grief and sorrow and broken-heartedness don’t exist actually keeps us stuck in a place of not truly healing anything, but just burying the negative emotions deeper and deeper inside of us, to the point that we’re no longer being our authentic selves. We’re no longer expressing the beautiful range of emotions of which the human heart and soul are capable, but rather only stuffing down the “unacceptable” ones and only giving energy to the positive ones. 

In order to avoid this perpetual denial trap, I have developed a new way of looking at Positive Thinking.  I use my knowledge of Positive Thinking more as a diagnostic tool, if you will. I use it to analyze how I’m thinking and feeling on a regular basis. I ask myself if I’m truly FEELING and thinking positively about certain circumstances. And if I’m not thinking positively about something, I use this as a springboard for an inner dialog that helps me to figure out WHY I don’t feel good about it, rather than just beginning to recite over and over only good and positive things about the subject. In this way I can help elucidate what the real problem is, rather than simply pretending that the problem doesn’t exist. This acceptance of the normalcy of fear, grief, loneliness, resentment, or anger is really what allows me to begin to move through the healing of the situation, rather than simply pretending that everything is rainbows and unicorns.

The next time you have a difficult situation in your life, rather than going to your favorite motivational quotes and speakers for some inspiration, and rather than just telling yourself that you need to TRY HARDER to be happy, I encourage you to try allowing the “negative” feelings to come out. Just cry it out, talk it out, scream it out, run it out, punch it out (on a safe, inanimate object, of course 😉 …do whatever it is you need to do to accept and give space to the feelings without being critical of yourself for having them in the first place. I find that when I do this, I naturally move through the healing process much more rapidly, and I actually begin to FEEL better about the situation on a much deeper level than I would have if I had just recited some positive affirmations and given myself a pep talk.

The time when I know that I need some help moving through something is when I get stuck in that place of feeling the grief or anger or fear, and am unable to move past it. That’s when I know that I need the help of a friend, a healer, a confidante…someone who can see the other side of my pain and can help me to see things about myself and about who I am that I can’t see for myself at the moment. Healing of our past and of our present is possible, and the creation of a new life is the beautiful result. I wish you a life lived in the fullness of all its thoughts and feelings…both the positive AND the so-called negative ones.  

Many blessings,

Janette

How Painful Experiences from the Past can Negatively Affect Your Business

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When I began working with people to help them move through emotional issues several years ago, it quickly became apparent to me how many times emotional issues actually came out at work in ways that I hadn’t previously recognized. Especially in working with business leaders and owners, I found that the issues within a business can almost always be traced back to the lingering emotional issues of the people who are leading the business. Many years ago, I heard someone say that “it all rolls down from the top” in relation to the corporate culture and the atmosphere that is created in a business. And that statement has taken on a whole new life and meaning to me as I have worked in corporate environments in my own career, and have had the privilege of helping many people work through struggles in their career and in their business.  

A few years ago, one of my clients came to me with a problem at work. Let’s call her Sarah for the sake of her privacy. Sarah works in a small office with a handful of employees. Although she enjoys the work she does and she enjoys working with her fellow employees, over the past several months she noticed that she has felt an uneasiness about going to work. She just didn’t want to go to work, she didn’t want to actually DO any work when she was there, and she had a rapidly growing distaste for her boss (let’s call him Jack) that she couldn’t seem to resolve.  As we talked more, I began to be aware of what was making her feel so uncomfortable about being at work. Jack was “a very nice guy” on the surface. He didn’t blatantly mistreat or abuse his employees, but there were several problems that might seem subtle, but that were disrupting the entire ecosystem of this small company.

Jack, who I should mention was the owner of the company, showed up late for work nearly every day. And by late, I don’t mean that he was two or three minutes late; I mean that he showed up 30-45 minutes late at least 4 days a week. Even if he was made aware repeatedly of important meetings, deadlines, etc., he didn’t arrive in the office at a point even approximating what would be considered timely. He always had an excuse…his children, his dogs, some other commitment, etc. But it infuriated his employees to have to make up excuses for him every time he didn’t show up. Jack also refused to take personal responsibility for things. If anything didn’t go according to plan, it was always someone else’s fault. If something hadn’t been communicated properly, he would claim that he told Sarah or one of the other employees, and would assert that the employee just didn’t take care of it like he asked. Jack also filled his life so very full of other activities that he never had the time or the energy to evaluate where things were going wrong in the company. And since the company was making a meager profit, it seemed acceptable to Jack to “not fix what wasn’t broken.” Lastly, employees who didn’t do their jobs or who didn’t work and play well with others were routinely allowed to continue to do whatever they pleased, because Jack didn’t deal with the situation or enforce any rules on a consistent basis.

When Sarah told me her story, my thoughts went to the patterns of behavior I was hearing about. Looking above and beyond the specific acts that he was committing or not committing that were frustrating his employees, the recurring theme here is that Jack literally AND figuratively did not show up in his company. Inherently, the leader of a company needs to actually BE a leader, and be present in mind and body when in the company. The leader needs to lead by example, take responsibility for his or her actions (or lack thereof), and he or she most certainly needs to create an atmosphere where employees can have some sense of stability in their environment.

Years ago in my initial training in EPTworks, a system for healing created by Dr. Annette Cargioli, I learned how to look at businesses in reference to the “places” that each person in the company held there. I learned that if someone isn’t in their “place” within the company, people will feel uncomfortable there (although they may not recognize exactly WHY they feel uncomfortable), and there will often be a sense of instability within the company, as well as general underperformance of the staff and of the company itself. By virtue of being the business owner, Jack should be at the very top of the triangle that represents his business. This is the “place” that is reserved for Jack because he is the owner of the company. In essence, Jack gave birth and life to this company; it is his creation. However, after he gave birth to the company, and once he had employees in place who could take care of the day-to-day business of the company, he got lazy. He abandoned his post at the top of his company. The end result of this was that the company was continuously “propped up” and kept alive by people who did their work out of a sense of obligation and the need for a paycheck, rather than out of a genuine sense of caring for the company the way Jack should have been caring for it…with a heart-felt love for his creation, and a desire for its success.

I worked with Sarah to bring some healing to the places that she needed it in order to help her to find some peace in her work environment. And then, a few months later, I had the pleasure of also seeing her boss Jack as a client!  (This is AWESOME when it happens, by the way.)  🙂  Through this work, I discovered the origin of Jack’s behavior. Jack had an “absentee father.” Jack told me that his father had a “big and important career” that he allowed to completely take over his responsibility to his family. Jack’s father was rarely home, he wasn’t involved in his children’s lives beyond the superficial showing up for the occasional basketball game, and rarely spent any quality time with his family. In light of this understanding of Jack’s past experiences, his behavior within his company made perfect sense. Jack was subconsciously reproducing a heartbreaking experience he had as a child, but he was reproducing it within his company, rather than with his own children. Once I worked with Jack to release this pain from his childhood that he had tried (however unsuccessfully) to bury, Jack not only reported feeling immediately better about his business and its future, but he also said he actually wanted to develop a better relationship with his father, which hadn’t even been one of his original goals. Jack came back a few months later to report that he had been really motivated to grow his company, and said that he had brought in several new clients in the past few months (3 times a many as he had acquired in the 3 months previous to his visit), and had seen a great improvement in his personal motivation for business growth. I also had the opportunity to follow up with Sarah around the same time. Sarah also said that things in her workplace had changed significantly since we had last talked, and she was amazed by the changes she was seeing, not only in Jack and herself, but also in many other employees in the company, who were benefiting greatly from Jack’s change in attitude and behavior.

Jack’s story is a perfect example of how a person’s life experiences can negatively impact their business in ways that they are often not able to see for themselves. Just by starting a business, Jack was confronted with a long-held pain that he thought he had no choice but to bury at the time. And by becoming aware of the consequences of this denial of his pain, he not only healed himself, but he created a happier and more productive workplace for his employees. 

    

 

 

  

   

When all else fails…Love. More.

My mother used to use this phrase when I was growing up. The ending of the statement could be different, but when I would tell her about something difficult I was going through at school or with my friends, she would give me some pearl of advice that began with “When all else fails”. A few years ago, I began finishing this sentence in a very consistent way, primarily because there were very few circumstances in which it did not work to improve whatever situation I was experiencing. I began advising myself that when all else fails, it was time for me to love more.

When I feel more love, for myself, for others, and even for inanimate objects, it is a powerful force that draws more opportunities for me to GIVE love, to BE loved, and even to have THINGS that I love in my life. I cannot think of a single time in my life when I made a situation better by withholding love. Yet I can think of many, MANY truly miraculous events in my life that were brought about by my feelings of love. The saying has been used in many a sappy love song and poem, but love really DOES make the world go around!

One of the miraculous situations that comes to mind when I think of the Power of Love is one of a major life transition. I grew up in the state of Indiana. I had lived in Indiana for my entire life. I have many friends and family members in Indiana, but I have always known that I wanted to live somewhere besides Indiana. I visited Colorado once in my late 20s. And I LOVED it. I FELT really good in Colorado. I loved everything I saw…the mountains, the trees, the beautiful blue sky, the warm sun, the multitude of physical activities that were available in Colorado…I was hooked. I continued to visit Colorado periodically after that point, always feeling the loving feeling when I was there. And I always wondered if there might be an opportunity for me to live there. Then one year, I decided it was time for me to live there. I did very little other than to feel loving feelings about the state, to talk to people about my desire to move there, and really believe in my heart that I would live there one day. Only a few months went by when my boss called me to tell me that they were planning to open an office in Colorado, in the city where I most wanted to live. My daughter applied to and was accepted into a University in the same city. My partner, who also wanted to live in Colorado, was offered a job in the same city just two weeks after I was offered the opportunity to transfer. I knew without a doubt that there were other forces at work beyond me just deciding to make it happen. I could feel it in my soul. And it was the Power of Love! (I should also add here that I don’t believe that things always happen this easily, and I DO believe in the power of making an effort to make things happen. I rarely have things happen in my life without putting at least SOME effort into them. Lying on my couch and daydreaming, no matter how lovingly it is done, rarely gets anything done without at least a little effort on my part.) 

So what can be done to put the Power of Love to work in our lives? What I have discovered over time is that it is really important that I make a conscious effort to give myself the time and space I need to FEEL love in my heart, and not just go through the motions of doing things that LOOK like loving things. When I grudgingly do kind things for others out of obligation or with a sense of reluctance, there is no room for transformation of the situation into something bigger. It is only when I commit my attention and my heartfelt feelings of love to a situation that truly amazing and miraculous things can and do happen.  

So how can we love more in our daily lives in ways that really bring about a transformation? Here are a few ways that I have learned to incorporate more love into my life.

Remember to love and appreciate the little things. For a few years now, I have been an active participant in several online communities for people who appreciate arts, design, and photography. In these online communities there has been a significant movement toward capturing and appreciating the good things in your daily life, rather than only focusing on the “big” things such as a wonderful trip-of-a-lifetime. What I have noticed is that these communities tend to be full of people who are unfailingly kind, supportive, and positive in their interactions, even when they have the opportunity to be rude and hateful in relative anonymity. My feeling is that these people are taking the time to actively look for things in their surroundings that they love, and that this simple act of feeling more love for their daily lives is making them more loving people, and helping them to have a life that they love. I believe that taking the time to be attentive to and feel love for things such as the beautiful flowers in our neighbors’ yard attunes our hearts and brains to actually seeing/touching/hearing/smelling/tasting more things that we love.

Think about how our envy of others’ circumstances may be holding us back from our own good. One of my very good friends has some members of her family who have a habit of saying, “Must be nice” whenever she tells them of something good that has happened in her life. Perhaps she is excited because she was able to buy a new car, or she found a great deal on the perfect shoes, or she just booked her dream vacation…with me! 🙂  Whenever she tells the story of her happiness, she is hopeful that people will celebrate her joy with her. Yet hearing, “Must be nice!” doesn’t sound like much of a celebration. When you have a friend or family member to whom something really awesome happens, do you celebrate it with them, or do you focus on the fact that this awesome thing didn’t happen to you? Do you secretly think that your friend or family member didn’t deserve this awesome thing, or that you deserved it more than they did? If so, you are reinforcing several negative beliefs about yourself, about happy surprises, and about your friend or family member. You are certainly not feeling loving feelings for the same thing your family member is loving. How do you expect to get a new car for yourself if you don’t have feelings of love for the car? Even if the car belongs to someone else, celebrating THEM having the car is offering more love to the person, AND to their car. Being envious of them or being resentful that they have it and you don’t doesn’t allow your love OR your cars to multiply. By not being happy and loving toward your friend or family member, you’re telling yourself/God/The Universe/The Power of Love that if YOU had a new car, or great new shoes, or a fantastic vacation planned, you would feel resentful and bitter. If that’s how you would feel, why should God/The Universe/The Power of Love give it to you? Even if you were to never get the new car for yourself, doesn’t it just FEEL better to offer people in your life congratulations, joy, and love when something good happens to them? I think it does. Making a habit of truly feeling joyful for other peoples’ successes, if nothing else, helps you to hone in on what you really want for your own life. It helps you decided what’s most important for you to put your love towards.   

Do things you love to do. I love to take pictures. I love to preserve the memories of my life using those pictures. I love to read. I love to hike and to sit in a beautiful green forest. I love to ski down a mountain and hear nothing but the sound of the wind in my ears. I love to travel and experience new things. I love to be with the people I love. Doing these things helps me to cultivate a good life, yes, but it also helps me to FEEL loving and to appreciate what I am able to do. Now and again it’s good to evaluate what you’re doing with your life. Are you really doing what you love? Or are you primarily doing what you feel obligated to do? If you’re primarily doing what you feel obligated to do, most of the feelings coming from your heart are going to be feelings of obligation, and not feelings of love. By making the conscious decision to do things that you love to do, you not only love yourself more, but you also give yourself the opportunity to feel more love while you’re engaging in the activity, and you give yourself the opportunity to meet other people who love the same things that you love. In all of these things, love multiplies. 

Recognize and accept that sometimes there will be suffering. No one I have ever known has had a perfect life full of nothing but rainbows and unicorns. In fact, I do not believe that such an existence is possible in this world. I do, however, believe that some people do more with their suffering than others. The people who are able to accept their suffering as a step toward something bigger and better inevitably move through their suffering more quickly, and they learn to find something good and positive from it. They help others to heal from the same kind of suffering, or they learn skills that they didn’t have before, or they learn to grow in their relationships through the mutual experience of suffering.  They learn to appreciate life more. They reach out to other people for help, which allows them to accept more love into their lives.

As we move into this weekend, my hope is that you find many opportunities to feel love. May the things you love be apparent to you. May you be surrounded by people who love you with a full heart, and may you give love from an equally full one.