Give It Back!

Sometimes, more often than not, people tend give us or impose on us their beliefs. Hear me when I say this: You’ve got to know when to give a belief back to someone! Not every message given to us, or every thought, or belief given to us is meant for us to keep and hold onto. We have the responsibility of deciding whether the beliefs that others give us are worth keeping or not, and sometimes we have to give it back (aka return to sender), press delete baby!

When you are a child, everyone around you does the believing for you. And being a child what can you do but absorb these beliefs? because we haven’t really learned how to filter things. So we believe what others believe about us. If the message that we received from others was good or positive, then great! However if the messages were negative and defeating, and we are still holding onto them then it’s time to start giving back from whence they came.

We have to look at our beliefs and even ask ourselves, or rather ask the belief:  Where are you from? Where in my life did I pick you up? Who gave you to me? 

Growing up I had this aunt who I would see once a year over the Christmas Holidays, whenever she saw me the first thing she would do was to criticize my body. Now just imagine this, I hadn’t seen her all year-long and instead of asking me questions like how I was doing at school, her first comment was always about my body, “Oh you are so fat” or  “what are you eating that’s making you so fat” or even “how can you be developing breasts at such a young age” (yes she actually said that!). So of course I received all of these negative messages from her about my body. I simply downloaded all of these negative messages onto the hard drive of my mind, and internalized theses messages. I didn’t even stop to question and ask if any of this was true or if it even mattered.

I grew up in a family that loved passing on these kind of messages. Every time my dad saw me eating he would say “Oh God you are eating again, you are going to be so fat just like your grandmother”. Another negative message – downloaded!. Other messages I received were “You are so stupid” and “Cant you do anything right”? and My most favorite message was from my mother her famous words to me were “You don’t have what it takes to be a lawyer”.

I am sure that you get the picture and that you have your own negative messages that were given to you as a child. That you have downloaded and have since internalized, and that you are still walking around with. They could be messages received from friends, family members, colleagues or even strangers.

Growing up at school, I definitely received the message that being different was not a good thing. That being unique was not a good thing. That there is something wrong with me, that there was something wrong with my hair because I wore it an Afro as a child. The list goes on.

As a child I was not aware and I didn’t have the understanding  that I do today, that although people were giving me these messages and beliefs, I didn’t have to download and keep any of this on my hard drive.

I sure do give grateful thanks for the gift of awareness! That actually I don’t have to keep any beliefs that I no longer wish to keep. That I can choose new beliefs that support and nurture me!  And the same is true for you.

The funny thing about life is that someone cannot give you what they don’t have. Someone can’t give you a message or a belief that they don’t even believe about themselves.

My mom saying to me ” You don’t have what it takes to be a lawyer”, that was actually what she believed about herself. She could not have said to me “You go girl. You have what it takes to be a lawyer” because she didn’t believe that about herself. Therefore she didn’t have that positive or uplifting message to give to me. When my aunt criticized me about my body and found fault about my body every time she saw me, she was actually criticizing and finding fault with herself and her own body, fault with her own life. She could not have said to me “your body is perfect just the way it is”  because she didn’t believe that about herself. Having said this, I do realize that at any given moment we are all doing our best, and this is also true even for those people who walk around giving negative others messages. When we know better, we do better.

I live in this complex and there is a unit above me. Their bathroom is directly on top of mine. Every now and again if it’s really windy, something falls from their bathroom window onto my balcony. The other day a bottle of shampoo fell down onto my balcony. I remember seeing it when I went out to hang my laundry, but I didn’t do anything about it at the time. I thought, I will deal with this later. In fact I thought that the bottle was empty, so I thought I’d pick it up and thrown it away another time (yes – a hint of procrastination!).

That specific week the lady who helps with cleaning my house and ironing my laundry came over, she obviously saw this green bottle of shampoo, it turned out that the bottle was half empty and she assumed that it had fallen out of my bathroom window, so she very neatly placed this onto my bathroom window-sill. When I got home that day, I immediately noticed that there was this green bottle of shampoo that didn’t belong to me. I realized that what must have happened. Again I left this shampoo bottle there for a couple of days thinking I will get to it (some more procrastination). Until this past Sunday morning I went into the bathroom and this green bottle of shampoo was practically screaming at me to do something about it and I thought to myself  that ‘I need to give this back, it doesn’t belong to me‘. It was actually just creating clutter in my bathroom. So I took the shampoo bottle, walked upstairs to the unit above me, knocked on the door and there was no one there. So I thought to myself, so now what do I do? So I decided to leave the shampoo bottle on their door step, thinking she’ll figure it out. And I left.

The reason why I am bringing up this story is because it ties so closely to this subject of beliefs, of taking beliefs that aren’t ours and of how we also keep these beliefs sometimes longer than they need to be kept! We need to get into the habit of giving back beliefs that aren’t necessary to keep. We need to clear the out the clutter from our minds. Even when we make the choice to give back the beliefs that no longer serve us we have to be prepared that sometimes the door is shut and there is no one home, in other words there is no room for you to make a grand announcement and say ” Listen here, here is this belief that you gave me when I was five years old about my body. Here it is, take your belief back”.

There are various reasons why that door may be shut, maybe that person has passed on, or maybe they are so closed off that you can’t really speak to them about anything! Maybe you don’t see that person anymore, maybe they’re in another country. However it is still your responsibility to give it back and clear the clutter. Some times we have to leave it on their door step, whether they take it back or not is not your responsibility. Your responsibility is to decide which beliefs get to stay and set up shop in your mind, you decide which beliefs get to stay in the home of your mind.

Sometimes it’s quite obvious when a belief stands out and doesn’t belong in the home of our mind. Let’s say you decide on white for your lounge and a friend comes to visit and gives you a blue vase as a present. In that case, it would be quite obvious that the blue is not part of the original color scheme. In the same way, you might be choosing to think new positive thoughts about yourself and a friend comes along and gives you a message that no longer supports your new way of thinking, she might say something like “but that’s how all of your relationships are, they are doomed from the start”. So in that instance you can recognize that, hey this might have been true in the past but I’m no longer accepting this as true, so you might say to her “not anymore, things are changing. I am changing. They way I relate and behave in relationships is changing”. That would be giving her back her negative belief about you.

Other times it’s not so obvious, maybe you decide on some neon colors for your lounge and your friend brings a bright purple vase. At first glance it may appear that this vase fits right in, however a couple of moths later upon careful inspection you realize that this vase is not the right shade of purple, and so you might decide to remove the vase from the lounge. It’s the same with our minds.

So I invite you to join me on this journey of examining our beliefs and deciding which belief gets to stay and which needs to be given back.

Closing Affirmative Prayer

In this moment I rejoice and I give grateful thanks that I now know a new truth.

The truth that I have the power to choose my thoughts and create a new belief system for myself.

And I choose to do so now, For God and I are One and the Mind of God is mind now. 

I release the need for all beliefs that no longer support and nurture me. 

I now choose thoughts that support and nurture me as I journey into all that God has intended me to be. 

As I choose new thoughts, I choose new beliefs that create new experiences in my life. 

Experiences that bring me joy. 

For so it be, and so it is.

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Being The CEO of Your Life

The journey of happiness, begins the moment that you realize and believe that you have everything that you need. When you get to a place where you are able to accept, realize and even give grateful thanks that you have everything that you need, then the next logical step is to be happy. You can’t help but be happy.

The two beliefs go together, it’s a pair, it is a match made in heaven, they are already married. The only thing that can separate them, divide or divorce them is you, yourself.

In other words, when I accept, believe, affirm and give grateful thanks that I have everything that I need, then the belief that comes with that is one that says “I am happy”, because the truth is that if you have everything that you need. If I have everything that I need, I can ONLY be happy.

The ego, also known as the false beliefs that we have about ourselves, would have us believe that that we are not happy, because as long as we believe that we are not happy, the ego is employed and serves a purpose. It is needed, which for the ego is a good thing, but for me and for you, not so much.

When the ego is employed by this belief system that says “I am not happy”, what follows next? The belief system that says ” I am not enough”. In fact it is the other way around, the belief system that says “I am not enough, comes together with it’s marital partner called the “I am not happy” belief system. How can anybody be happy if they believe that they are not enough?

If you believe that you don’t earn enough money, then how can you be happy with the money that you earn? If you believe that there is something wrong with your body, that your body is not good enough, that the relationships that you have in your life are not good enough, that the job you have is not good enough,that the boss you have is not good enough, if you believe in the belief that “I am not good enough” and “I do not have enough”, then how can you be happy? The martial partner that comes with that belief system is called the “I am not happy” partner.

These two belief systems coexist, so just as I am grateful and I receive and believe that I am enough and that all that I have is enough, comes along with it’s marital partner “I am happy”, we also have the opposites.

The “I am not enough” belief system: I am not enough, I don’t have enough, I don’t do enough, comes with it’s marital partner. The “I Am not happy” belief.

We have to make a decision which belief system it is that we would like to employ.

Have you ever struggled and I mean REALLY struggled to achieve a goal? Perfect case in point, If I look at myself and my life. One of my goals has always been to lose weight, to be thin and fit. Now one would think that these are good goals and yes they are, they are good goals to have. However the success of achieving this goal would be determined by the state of mind that I have when approaching the goal. The state of mind, being what I am believing about myself. And I can honestly say that I have been approaching this goal with the state of mind and belief system that says “My body is not good enough”. ERROR 101!!! Who can complete a goal with this kind of a mind set? I can tell you from my own experience that I certainly have not, regardless of the extreme effort and very hard work that I’ve put in.

I think that life is not about this kind of effort, life is really meant to be simple and to be lived and experienced simply and with ease.

So imagine this, I set this goal to loose weight, to be fit. Doing this with the mind set and belief that says “My body is not good enough” and of course this belief comes with it’s marital partner called “I’m not happy with my body”. No wonder why I only felt motivated for a week or maybe two too stick to a new diet before falling off the wagon, because it is damn  hard work to stay on a wagon when you already think that you are at fault.

I do homework with my son and he usually has reading homework, where he has to read a few pages out loud to me.There used to be a time that whenever he got a word wrong I would shout at him, of course this made homework an absolute nightmare. I was shouting because he was getting words wrong, because he wasn’t looking at the words properly. And he was crying because the homework experience was just horrible. It was like “well I can’t do anything right”  which is exactly what he would say, “I can’t do this, I can’t do anything right”, and that was because I was there shouting at him telling him that he had got it wrong. As time has gone on, I’m grateful to have made the decision to try a different approach.

The other day we were doing homework and he was once again reading out loud, this time instead of shouting every time he got a word wrong I was encouraging him. He would read a sentence and I would say “Good job” and he would literally beam. He would read another sentence and I would say “Well done”, and when he did get a word wrong I wound just  calmly say “Read it again”.  There was no shouting involved and this completely altered the homework experience, it changed. He responded differently because the message that he was getting was different. His reading improved, he actually read better. He read far better, far better. Yes he did stumble, yes he did mix up a couple of words but when he did he was only too happy to self correct. The experience was one of ease.

Can you imagine the effect that I would have or the benefit that I would derive from having this kind of a relationship with myself, and my own belief system.Can you imagine the effect in your own life? Can you imagine how much easier it would be to loose wight if need be, or to make other necessary changes. Imagine if I was sending my body a message that says “I am enough, my body is good enough just the way it is”, because what is the martial partner of that comes with the “I am enough” belief?  It is one of happiness. It is one of AHA, I am happy with my body and yes, I can make changes, yes I might stumble here and there maybe eat an entire pizza today instead of just having one slice. My body, my whole being would be forced to respond differently. Because the message that my entire being is getting is different. Therefore the experience of actually eating healthily and exercising and keeping fit would be different. It would be and can be a completely different experience.

The ego wants to stay employed, that false belief within us wants to stay employed and needed. The ego equals false belief. The ego is false belief period. The false belief would have us believe that we need to strive for things, but doing so from a place of “not enough”, doing so from a place of “I am not happy” is just hard work. So much effort, no wonder why we get so drained, no wonder why the experiences we have are so draining. I don’t think that God, that the Universe ever intended for us to be drained. I don’t think that God ever intended for us to suffer. I think that God intended us to live beautifully and easily. And we can do so.

We can start doing so right now, by deciding which marital couple of beliefs we would like to employ in our lives. We can have the marital couple that leads to the hard way of doing things or we can employ the marital couple that leads to the easier way. The simpler way of doing things.

One of the most beautiful things that I have heard from Louise Hay and that has stayed with me as something that I refer to every now and again is the belief that:

WE CAN BE OK AND MAKE CHANGES. WE DON’T HAVE TO BE WRONG TO MAKE CHANGES, WE DON’T HAVE TO BE BAD TO MAKE CHANGES. WE CAN BE OK, AND MAKE CHANGES FROM THIS STATE OF MIND! 

So just as my son is reading and  his reading is OK, he can improve his reading by the messages that I am sending him. The message that “hey , you can read”, the message that “hey, you are doing a good  job, hey you are doing your best, hey your best is good enough”. The message that he receives is one that he is OK, he is doing enough, he is doing well. And if he misreads a word, he can stop, he can try it again and continue without having to be wrong or bad.

The ego would like us to believe, that we need to be wrong before we can make a change. That we need to be bad in order to make a change. How unnecessary. How unnecessary, when God created us to live an enjoyable life, from a space of “hey, I am good enough. You are good enough”.

People are tired and they are worn out, they are tired and worn out not because of the work that they do in the physical or literal sense, but because of the beliefs that they have that don’t support them. If you are believing that you are not good enough and you don’t have enough and that you don’t do enough, and that you don’t own enough and that the relationships that you currently have in your lives are not enough, then honey boo boo your belief is not supporting you the way that I think that you would like to be supported.

Your belief, the marital couple that you have employed (because remember these beliefs come in pairs), is not supporting you. When you are not supported of course you will feel drained and tired. Of course you will feel exhausted, because having that belief, employing those beliefs. I say employing because you and I are the CEO’s of our lives. And as CEO’s it’s our responsibility to chose which belief systems we are going to employ so in fact we are the CEO’s as well as the HR directors of our lives. We are therefore employing belief systems to support the running of the company called our lives.

So here I go, I employ this  belief the “I am not good enough” belief, which comes with it’s marital partner or it’s colleague called the “I am not happy” belief. And then I go through the day with these two employees who I’ve let run this company called my life. At the end of the day I can’t be anything but tired, or drained. WHY? because these two employees are not supporting me in being the person that I want to be. They are not supporting me in enjoying life the way that God intended for me to enjoy life. So everything becomes hard work and lot’s of effort and mental energy that is just directed in the wrong direction!

It is therefore our responsibility to call a company meeting. Bring all your beliefs into the boardroom, have them sit around the table and start examining exactly what it is that they give you. And ask yourself if perhaps you can’t bring in another belief that could better support you. That could better support you to live life the way that God intended you to live life. Simple. Enjoyable. Happy. Enough. Beautiful. Loving. Good.

We are the CEO’s of our lives. We govern everything. We can either get on board and start believing this and start enjoying the good that God has intended us to experience or we can continue to struggle dealing with employees (the beliefs) that are not supporting us, leaving us drained at the end of the day because we had to do their work for them!

This picture has been taken from the website www.dreamstime.com
This picture has been taken from the website http://www.dreamstime.com

I invite you to choose with me the choice that says ” I now embrace being the CEO of my life. I now embrace being the HR director of my belief systems. I now choose to examine what current belief systems I have in place and to ask myself if these belief systems are indeed supporting me in living my life the way God intended me to live it. Which is beautifully and freely”. For happiness is my birth right. It is your birthright as well.

Closing Affirmative Prayer:

I give grateful thanks and I rejoice in the truth, in knowing and accepting that I am enough.

I have enough. I do enough.I earn enough.

The relationships that I have in my life are enough.

The love that I have in my life is enough.

I know that with this new belief system of being enough, comes along it’s partner, it’s colleague, it’s marital partner – the belief that says I am happy.

I welcome these two new belief systems in my life. I believe this for myself right now. That I am enough and I am indeed happy. And I can now allow allow myself to experience life from this state of mind.

I enjoy the the fruits of having these beliefs systems operating in my life. I enjoy the simplicity of living, enjoying my life.

This is the truth in action.

It is concrete And so it is.

Love & Light,

Lena

Letting Go – The End of a Relationship

In the past when a relationship ended, I did feel like my life was over, and the truth is that I have even thought of suicide because of a failed relationship. I’m sure that many of you can relate to this especially if you are a recovering Love Addict or Codependent.

However the beauty of life is the gift of growing, the gift of awareness and the gift of coming into myself.

I now know a new truth. That my life is worth living right now just as I am. Regardless of being in a relationship or not, regardless of situations and circumstances around me. My life is worth living and it is of value.

I now know that the end of a relationship is not the end of me and my life!
Things end. It is a fact of life.
Seasons end. It is a fact of life.
Relationships end. It is a fact of life.
And through this all, Life goes on living. The Universe goes on, the sun still rises in the East and sets in the West.

Seasons come and go, some last longer than others. People come into our lives, some stay longer than others. Things die and new things are born.

It is my belief that the one relationship that stays and remains the same through eternity is our relationship with our Higher Power, our relationship with God.

There really is no such thing as failure. Just an experience where we have learned something. Experiences that we share and enjoy with another person. The beauty of Life is that we can take all the valuable lessons from the experience of a relationship that has ended and choose to create new better experiences that are loving and supporting of us on our journey.

The thing I’ve learned is that when a relationship does end, I have within myself the ability to look for the lesson, to bless the experience with love and to let it go! To release it and move on!

Here’s to moving on!

Feel free to share your thoughts with me on what letting go and moving on means to you. Are you in the process of letting of a relationship or have you already let go? How are you coping with letting go and moving on?

Asking Questions – AHA Moment

Last night at dinner with a good friend, I was all too excited to update her about the recent developments in my love life. She completely caught me off guard by asking the question “So what is his vision?”. Speechless, I was stumped for words. HIS VISION? I have no idea, I haven’t asked him. Hell I have never asked a guy that question before!. 

I didn’t have an answer to her question, however it has been playing on my mind all night long!

I feel like I have just had an AHA moment of note.

Looking back at all my romantic relationships, I notice that I always seem to get carried away in a cloud of my own thoughts, dreams and vision for the relationship. A guy just has to say “hello” and in my head I have already met his family, married him and had about three children. I get overexcited at the possibilities. Excitement is good, however in my case, I usually just assume that the “love interest” is also on board with my vision! I’m sure you can just imagine the deflated feeling I go through when my day dreams meet reality.

Growing up I never asked questions. I was far too scared. Far too scared of the answers and what they would mean to me? Far too sacred that the answers would threaten my sense of security. Far too scared of hearing a “NO”!. However it is time to realize that I have grown up, it’s time to bring that inner child into the adult world with me. It’s time to start asking important questions, especially in my romantic relationships. I realize that asking valuable questions such as “What is your vision? What is your vision for me? What is your vision for us? What is your vision for this relationship for us” might actually save me a lot of energy!

It’s important to realize that I am an adult now and that I can handle hearing the answer to these important questions (this applies to every area of my life). Better yet I can handle making necessary decisions that support me in a healthy way once I have answers to these important questions. And if by some chance I hear an answer that I don’t like or that doesn’t suit me, or that isn’t in line with my hopes ..the world won’t end! Life always goes on.

Here’s to asking questions!