Ask yourself…Do you have an absolutely reliable way to transform stuck or repeating situations into greater peace and freedom? Do you really know how to capitalize on your old familiar self-sabotaging ways, and USE them to evolve your relationship to yourself, others, time, money… LIFE ITSELF?
The Gifts in Your Own Dear “Same Old @#$%”
In the movie, Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s character keeps waking up to the same day filled with the same annoying challenges, over and over and over again. In this hilarious metaphor for our spiritual journey, he finally lands on an approach to life that lets him feel happy, connected, generous, free and incredibly willing to serve. Only then does he come to see life differently. Only then does life allow him to move on to a brand new day, filled with love and potential.
Portia Nelson points to a similar resolution in her poem, “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters.” Here, the main character walks down the street and falls into a deep hole. Feeling lost and helpless—a victim—she takes a long time to climb out. She repeatedly falls in and climbs out until she acknowledges her part in the recurring problem. She STILL falls in AGAIN–this time out of habit!–but climbs out quickly. Next time she walks around the hole. In the last chapter, SHE WALKS DOWN ANOTHER STREET.
MindShift.money is a great example of this. It’s about helping you walk down another street. As I evolve beyond the party line about “the need to avoid toxic people and situations” or “to put up rigid boundaries,” I see that WALKING DOWN ANOTHER STREET has nothing to do with trying to control others, life events or even yourself. It’s about living and loving from an entirely new paradigm where you are no longer a victim, where you know how to USE your painful reactions to life and others. It’s a different world when you know how to harness those reactions as your greatest teachers.
If you’d like your own reliable strategy to access rapid, tangible, sustainable shifts in your own patterns of self-sabotage then I encourage you to schedule a private meeting with me.
Below is a sparkly 10-minute video I shot in the spectacular spot where I live. When you watch it, you’ll know it was ultimately MY INVESTMENT IN ME—arrived at via the gifts of some very stark lessons—that created the freedom, connection and contribution I now enjoy in my life.
One of my old damaging patterns was to “give away the farm”—truly BELIEVING I had to martyr myself and my dreams till I “made it OK” for others. I regularly postponed or subverted the path that felt right to me, in very small and very large ways, in the name of pleasing or appeasing others—all the while blaming these perceived stakeholders for standing in the way of my dreams.
I had placed my center OUTSIDE myself, allowing others’ wishes and fears to sidetrack me from who I needed to be to thrive physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially.
When It All Comes Crashing Down
Finally, my seemingly idyllic life completely crashed under the weight of this external feedback loop, with my health, career and marriage collapsing in the space of nine months.
I share more about this in the video above, but I see how that major life crash served as the gestation period for re-birthing myself. Despite all the Western and Eastern medicine, nutritional and lifestyle changes, energy work and spiritual study, it was more than nine years till I found the REAL “missing PEACE” that catapulted me out of the deep dark hole into which I had fallen.
The situations and people that upset us are never about them. They are an uncanny—but absolutely dependable—projection of our OWN lack of unfailing commitment to ourselves and our dreams. Once I learned to USE whatever was upsetting me or seeming to hold me back to show me the next and the next and the next step in my own evolution into the life I wanted (and needed in order to be whole), everything changed!
After a major course correction, I became able to apply this principle, which I call “The Reliable Symmetry of Happiness,” in real time to efficiently and reliably dig myself out of the deep potholes strewn about my life. I now get to make a living teaching others how to do the same, resulting in rapid, tangible, sustainable changes as they reliably enjoy an internal revolution. This creates, much like in Bill Murray’s case and my own, an apparent external revolution, finally freeing them from patterns that have plagued their lives for decades.
What are YOUR recurring patterns?
Once you know how to USE them by applying this simple Law of Happy Symmetry, life gets better and better. More and more, the internal inquiry that compassionately questions and reverses the mind-made conditions you are placing on life and others, allows you to cruise along without upset. And when you find that you have fallen back into the deep hole of familiar emotional pain and unwanted knee-jerk reactions, the experience has a distinctly different quality. You now know—having found for yourself (I don’t expect you to believe me) that your triggers carry within them your own unique key that unlocks the mind-made prison-of-the-moment—the one that created the problem to start with.
There is absolute reliability in your body-mind’s genius way of showing you the littlest parts of you that still fall victim to your own outdated internal programming. And—like a child—if you don’t attend to the inner calls for help in this curious and compassionate way, the old patterns will continue to escalate until they get your attention.
No-Nonsense Reminders to Come Back Home to Ourselves
I had two such events SCREAM loudly enough to get my attention recently, showing me where old patterns were still flying under the radar. I thought, in many ways, that my own long spiritual journey had brought me to a place where I was the lucky Bill Murray who had learned to handle my life in a way that consistently worked—no longer a victim of my circumstances or others’ choices. However, I know that new challenges simply reveal the edge of the envelope of my own evolution. It happened twice recently, when:
1) Because I kept putting the needs of an employee of four years over my own need to hire someone with whom I had a truly reciprocal agreement, I finally learned that this person—who always seemed to want more and didn’t seem to appreciate all I gave—had taken thousands of dollars by stealing and forging my own checks.
It was a BIG wake-up call to the ways I was still placing others’ needs and fears over my own best interests and intuitions. I also saw that this happened in part because I had entered a NEW kind of co-dependent relationship. I was putting all my energy into my clients and the demands of being an entrepreneur while ignoring things like my bank statement. In other words, I had simply obscured the old pattern where I was sabotaging myself in the name of others’ needs, but life so kindly reflected it back through logical consequences.
2) Some harsh accusations by family members illuminated the way they were misunderstanding, fearing and judging my handling of issues around my dad’s estate, as well as my own business, parenting and finances.
After sitting in my own pain rather than reacting in old ways, I saw that all of us were just innocently playing out our childhood survival scripts, I was able to step completely back into love with who each of us—exactly AS-IS.
Turning around my defenses around this event—realizing that I needed to give myself the very respect and support I was seeking from them—helped me finally see that all my efforts to fall within the sphere of their approval and garner their support of my endeavors had just invited more judgment.
Keeping My Own Counsel
I started to keep my own counsel in a much bigger way in ALL things. This has changed my business model and allowed me to gratefully consider—rather than defend against—their perspectives. By extension, that seemed to be all they really needed to feel better about my choices. It seemed they were freed—right along with me–from the need to make me into someone I wasn’t. Since then, I see them only through the lens of the awesome love, support, and commitment we have to each other—great teachers for each other in a way no one else can be!
Instead of seeing these two events as proof that I am a victim or that life is not a safe place to live, understanding this ‘reliable symmetry of happiness’ helped me trust that the surprisingly intense pain I felt was just revealing remnants of old patterns. While we don’t know what would be revealed, it is possible to go through life with TRUE FAITH, trusting fully that our pain is calling for major course corrections on our path to greater peace. How kind and creative of life, in all its different forms, to keep bringing us the VERY CIRCUMSTANCES we most dread. Again. And again. And again. Till we see that THE WAY OUT IS IN.
How kind of life to keep giving us more chances till we teach ourselves what we want to learn!
How kind of our bounced checks to be so unforgiving.
How kind of our bookings to fall off just when we hired more help to handle them.
How kind of our spouse or boss to focus on the one thing we “didn’t do.”
How especially kind of the people and circumstances we rely on most to keep pushing our buttons—doing the VERY THING we most dread. Again. And again. And again.
The Symmetry of Self-Love
Finding the symmetry in whatever life or others appear to be doing TO us means we stop the hopeless focus on THEM, and look instead to see what WE ourselves are doing. We get to use our painful situations as a window into the deep, unseen ways
we are stealing from, abandoning, criticizing and betraying the most trusting, well-meaning parts of ourselves. It means finding out that we are all always doing the best we can, given what we are believing in that moment, and learning to stand in unshakeable SELF-SOLIDARITY with that part of us.
I now feel grateful to both of these parties, as I was able to use these major incidents as wake-up calls to what I was doing (or not doing) to myself and to others. What about your own wake-up calls?
Where are YOU not taking absolute responsibility for how YOU see you, how YOU care for you, how YOU support your dreams, how YOU use your assets wisely?
Where are YOU not investing in yourself, your business, your future?
Where are YOU putting the focus on getting others to give you approval (“permission”), which is the very thing that keeps you from doing it for yourself?
Crushing My Own Spirit: An Inside Job
Years ago, before my big crash, I had big, clear visions of where I needed to go next in my contribution to my field and my little family, and I was actually quite fearless on my own. Yet I kept working to appease resistance and garner support from stakeholders who were scared by my dreams. Second-guessing and running pre-emptive, reactionary damage control on everyone else’s fears over the years is part of what ran down my balance of adrenalin reserves and eventually made all systems crash. Literally crushing my spirit and my creativity, and by extension crushed my immune system and physical body.
What I didn’t see was that it was always and only an inside job, and I was dragging others with me, kicking and screaming, while blaming them for holding me back. Or I was dividing my focus by working the hopeless game of being over in their business—judging and changing myself based on a system of external feedback driven by others’ reactions to me.
And now I see—in small business—that would be doing the same thing again if I keep myself at a subsistence level in order to match the vibrations of those “can’t stories” of potential clients who are afraid to invest in themselves when I ask the price I know my work is worth.
The Way Out Is In
Once you start to live within the safety of this Law of Happy Symmetry—letting it truly hold, support and teach you—you will finally realize there ARE no “wrong outcomes or toxic people.” There are only patient, generous teachers (as one of my most patient, generous teachers would say). In fact—shock of a lifetime—the “terrible, awful” THEY don’t need to change a bit for us to be happy. Yet somehow it seems they have changed—once we have changed! And biggest shock of all… to find that of all the things you fear, nothing is worse than what you do to yourself in your head when you cruelly abandon, criticize and shame yourself.
The circumstances and people that upset us are powerful, kind, genius teachers, here to show us where we need to give to ourselves what we thought we needed from others or life. Most of us did not formerly have the simple reliable technology I use, The Reliable Symmetry of Happiness: The Missing PEACE we were Never Taught (which is the title of my forthcoming book!) to capitalize on this reactivity to others.
It turns out that your pain reveals a MIRROR image of the system in your head that has been depriving you in ways that have remained largely unrecognized—until now when you can quickly learn to use the polarized ways your brain is wired to spot them. My mission is to spread the word so that all get this chance to see for themselves—with compassion—that there are no outside enemies. That problems are always an inside job (between you and you), which means you no longer feel like a victim. There’s no longer a need to feel clueless or hopeless, since the solution doesn’t involve waiting for others to change.
Going To The Hardware Store For A Loaf Of Bread
When folks see so clearly that the conditions their minds place on themselves and others are the real source of their pain, all the dynamics change. My clients start Paying Themselves First, making time for themselves, investing in their own dreams and offerings, believing what they have to give is worth charging good money for. Decreasing their fear and doubt, doubling their fun and level of prosperity.
When they are no longer going to the hardware store for a loaf of bread (trying to get life and others to give what they simply can’t give themselves since it was their job to start with), taking full responsibility for their inner and outer well-being, they find that life and others suddenly step up to support them in ways they could never have imagined.
As long as we think THEY are the problem (or even that there IS a problem) we get to stay in our denial so we can judge, react and project. It’s what we all learned. There’s no blame, no shame here. This is a global shift I’m talking about that starts with each of us. I’m looking to expedite a time when children grow up knowing there are no outside enemies or ‘bad’ situations. If there appears to be a problem, it will be common knowledge that “it’s always an INSIDE JOB.” Everyone will know that opening your heart and mind to the symmetry held in WHATEVER you are reacting to gives a reliable shift into a little (or a lot) more heaven than you may have thought possible.
Living A Different Paradigm
From that self-sufficient and “self-solid” place, I can say that walking down another street means living from a completely different paradigm with regard to what appears as the external world. What it does NOT require is needing circumstances or others to change in order to be happy.
It means that when I feel the sucker-punch of emotional pain that seems to be caused by a person or situation, I can (usually) rather quickly realize I am in the presence of a blessed teacher. The pain is simply showing me where I have left myself (or the person in front of me) to ally with a totally mind-made image of what “should be” happening instead. My reaction, when I am open to it, is the direct link to experiencing the freedom, peace and love that was always right here before my mind placed conditions on me or others.
This new street isn’t something we arrive at by reading about it, or just by wanting it, by thinking about it or by talking about “becoming present.” That’s great when it works, but the thoughts and beliefs I’m talking about won’t LET you let go—they believe they are saving you. They were often formed when you were young and are they are based on decisions you made when your survival really was in the hands of others. They will not let go until they have “seen for themselves” that all is well, that you are safe, and there really is not a problem.
This relaxed, updated view of reality can happen in an instant, once you know how to USE the situations that trigger you.
Neural Pathways To Self-Solidarity And Unconditional Prosperity
Walking down another street is a great metaphor for the deep inner/outer prosperity and self-solidarity work we do here, because the “neural pathways” truly do get re-routed. You will find yourself wandering less and less and less into those scary mind-made neighborhoods that are full of deep dark holes.
After years of victimhood, I am so awed to be able to truly trust and teach others that:
Emotional pain or unwanted reaction reveals “the exact edge-of-the-envelope” of your own evolution. Or as I heard someone say the other day, “Your growth is always whatever lies just outside your comfort zone.”
As hard as it can be when I am in it, I now see my own emotional pain and reactivity are like quirky but kind, patient, reliable professors who hold the key to a formula I just haven’t quite mastered yet. It’s a different world when you know how to USE these people and events with complete confidence that they are simply here to wake you up to what you were believing (and what you were believing was the only problem).
Instead of reminding you that you’re still a helpless victim, let your painful and tenacious “Groundhog Days” (or months or years)–those times when life just seems to keep coming at you—heal your own recurring blind spots, and then watch your life turn around. It’s easy to learn and it’s something you can work on any time, even at 3am when you wake up in terror from the nightmare of your own thinking.
Dependable Lessons That Yield Radical Transformations
I get to witness RADICAL transformations every day, very often with people who had already been on the long spiritual journey but still didn’t have this critical piece and struggle mightily
with anxiety, anger, alienation;
with secret suffering in marriage;
with issues around their children or parents;
with feelings of overwhelm and lack around time and money.
Invest in the kinds of course corrections YOUR pain points indicate (like this amazing program) that will let you wake up to a new day, “grounded” in the organic and dependable lessons that bring you into sweet solidarity with yourself and life.
When Bill Murray went with life—exactly as it showed up, even the moments that were IDENTICAL to those he used to despise—he was full of gratitude and unconditional love and the wish to serve. In other words, life simply was NOT A PROBLEM. It was a non-stop opportunity for love and celebration of what is.
If you want to get to the bottom of your reactions, and see how quickly the “same old” relationship dynamics can change, you may want to go further than just reading this article. I invite you have a conversation with me about what you can do to let some old patterns stop digging holes (they just want to go out and play!).
In honor of both Groundhog’s Day and Valentine’s Day, I am offering a Radical Relationship Relief Boot-Camp (about all your relationships, including those with time and money). You’ll be able to put into action in your life the Six Keys to Dependable Peace and Warm Connection. Click here to learn more about the boot camp as well as to reserve that time with me to get a clear strategy for tackling the deep holes in your life, relationships, finances.
Happy Belated Groundhog Day! Here’s to old patterns repeating until we are willing to be shown.
Once each moment begins to look truly fresh and new to us, full of possibility and without agenda or the need to control outcomes–no longer mindlessly replaying old scripts and expectations–we wake up to find we are living the life of our dreams.