29 January 2009

Costumes for Chinese New Year

So, how are those “resolutions” coming? I prefer to call them desires. As I shared with my BWP Group, we need to re-define our terms, creating a life that is ours and not someone else’s.

Chinese New Year got me thinking. Hey, another new year; another chance to begin again, just in case we fell off the wagon, so to speak. Except for a big bash on New Year’s Eve, the new year usually comes in quietly and just sits there. Well, at least mine does. But, Chinese New Year, now there is passion! There are colors, costumes, beautiful decorations, parades, fire-breathing dragons, firecrackers and noise makers. And lots of red! Now, that’s passion.

So what has all this to do with new year’s desires and new beginnings? It is a different way of thinking; re-defining our stories. In NLP, SMART goals have a bit of a twist. The goals are to be specific, measurable, realistic and timely, but we are to ACT AS IF. This is how our thinking is changed; we act as if we have already received it. I do like that. Remember as children when we played pretend – we could be anything we wanted to be; and we did it with such passion and energy? Whatever happened to that child-like spirit? It became something called an adult and reality set in. Well, what if creating your best life was just that simple? As simple as acting as if?

As adults, we can pretend with more style and finesse, cuz we have J.O.B.'s. What is your heart’s desire? Act out your heart’s desire for once. See what that feels like. Think about when you play games like Charades and Twister. What fun! You forget about time and reality and just act as if. As if you were a child again. So why not apply this to your heart’s desires? Go and get yourself a costume, an adult costume. Be what you have always dreamed. As a child, I wanted to be Wonder Woman. Now, she rocked! and I loved those deflecting bracelets! You go, girl! Get into the part. Feel the passion. Think new thoughts. Act as if. Watch your dreams and desires begin to manifest. Why? You stepped out of your real life and into the life you envision.

This is nothing new; yet it is probably under-utilized. We don’t want to look silly; we want to be grown-up; we want to act responsibly. All this does is keep us broke, busted and highly disgusted! Anyway, whose life are you living? Go have fun! Act as if!

Live your dreams with passion,
Coach Carolyn

25 January 2009

Re-Define and Re-Design Your 2009

To kick off 2009, fourteen fabulous women of passion and purpose gathered together to create their best year yet. I want to thank these women for taking their lives in their own hands and taking a proactive approach to manifest a spiritually abundant and prosperous year; and for hanging out with me, it was awesome!

“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recog­nize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being respon­sible.” ~ Viktor Frankl from Man’s Search for Meaning

I heard this quote five o’clock this morning and jumped up to write this recap. The main point of our gathering was to realize that this one, wild and precious life is your life and as the author of that one, wild and precious life you hold the pen to write your story as you feel it in your heart. We are each born with our heart’s desire within and this journey is about re-acquainting ourselves with that desire. Through no fault of our own, we have been sold a bill of goods that was not for our good! We have been fed and programmed with everything other than our heart’s desire. We have inadvertently been led in every direction except the direction set by our own internal maps and guidance. Because of this, we do everything we can to try to get back to what we know deep within our hearts. Alas, most of our efforts are just not working.

“We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.” ~ Epictetus

“We do not see the world as it is; we see the world as we are.” ~ AnaĆ®s Nin

Any event, belief, or feeling has no meaning on its own, it just is. The only meaning it has is the meaning we assign it. Yet, we assign it a meaning that conforms to the confines of the boxes we have been placed in by our own world, conditions and circumstances. The meaning we assign something is what gives it life. From our childhoods, we have been dumped with a mirage of thoughts, ideas and emotions from parents, grand-parents, teachers, authority figures, and the media. Over the years, these thoughts, ideas and emotions solidified to form our belief systems. It is these belief systems that we base all our decisions and actions which produce the results we see in our lives.

When a new year approaches, our first thought is to have a better new year than the old ones. However, this is a lofty intention when we are creating more of the same because we are doing the same actions that lead to the same results. It is time to break this cycle of insanity. Remember insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over expecting a different result. One way to break this cycle of insanity is to assign new meaning to the circumstances in our lives. This year is about re-defining and re-designing our new year. Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP calls this reframing. Step out of your belief system to assign a new story to those areas that are not working in your life.

One example of this is my journey of menopause. Yes, I am in the elite club of women who experiences hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, and the plethora of symptoms that go along with this stage of life. All my life, I have heard nothing but negative comments around this time of life. I made the decision to re-define how I experience menopause. First, I took a workshop to find out about this mysterious phase. It was one of the best things I could have done for myself. I was amazed to learn that this “second life” is the wisdom stage, the time of life when women are more about “being” than “doing”. It is the time when we are more contemplative as opposed to more social. It is our quieting time. This led me to re-define how I experience menopause. There is nothing I can do to stop this process, so I may as well accept it with grace. I chose to see this time as a time where I can sit and be wise and not run around trying to prove myself. Well, my hot flashes and night sweats have lessened. Yes, I am more contemplative and solitary, making my social time with friends all the more rich and meaningful.

Look at one area of your life that is not working for you: relationships, finances, health, spirituality, fun and leisure, business and career. Within that area, list three things that are not working. Then think about the meaning you assign to those things. Are you approaching them with fear and drama, or with love and acceptance? Do you view them as something to dread instead of something to challenge and mature you? Do you look for the lessons and the blessings within each situation instead of only seeing it as a curse and problem?

Be Grateful
Live in a constant state of gratitude. Be grateful for everything. Remember, you are breathing, that is a blessing. Remember, there are women in this world who do not have the liberties and freedoms to do many of the things we take for granted. Remember, when you are stuck in traffic, that you have a car! Remember, when you have to wait on line, that you have feet to stand on. Be grateful for everything. When it is raining and snowing, you have shelter to keep you dry. When it is blistering cold outside, you have a warm place to lay your head. Remain in a constant state of gratitude. When you have an attitude of gratitude, you cannot have negative thoughts at the same time. Live in your blessings. Learn from the lessons. Both are always within reach.

Resources to Re-Define and Re-Design Your 2009
Here is just a few of the resources discussed in our gatherings. This list is by no means exhaustive.

The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
The Mastery of Love – Don Miguel Ruiz
The Voice of Knowledge – Don Miguel Ruiz
(You can get the 3-book boxed set from Amazon for a steal!)
As a Man Thinketh – James Allen
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
Loving What Is – Byron Katie
Ask and It Is Given – Jerry and Esther Hicks
Get The Life You Want – Richard Bandler
Change Your Life in 30 Days – Rhonda Britten
Fearless Living – Rhonda Britten
A Return to Love – Marianne Williamson
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
Spiritual Economics – Eric Butterworth
It’s Not About the Money – Brent Kessel
The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron

Podcasts and iTunes
One of my greatest tools of leaning is my iPod. If you have one, use it to your greatest benefit, if you do not have one, you still have no excuse. Go to the Apple website and download iTunes, the program for purchasing, storing, listening and viewing audio and video materials. Whether you have an iPod or other mp3 player or not, you can still download the podcasts to listen to on your computer. Once you have installed the program, go to the iTunes store. From the menu on the left, click on Podcasts. Podcasts are fabulous; they are mini workshops, classes, lectures and sermons on just about any topic – all for free! Yes, we loooove free!

Some of my favorite podcasts; to find them just key in the search box under the Podcast category.

MorningCoach.com – one of the best personal development podcasts out there. It is 15 minutes of positivity to set your day and get you motivated. Also, visit the website, lots of great tools to create your best life. Hosted by J.D. Glossinger.

Neurolinguistic Psychology Podcast – for the newbies to NLP, this podcast is not only a great primer, but also has great tools and how-to’s. Hosted by Dr. Will Horton.

W.O.M.A.N.: A New Definition – this podcast is for women looking for holistic alternatives to health and well being. Host Gina Cloud is passionate about educating women on alternative methods and treatments for health related issues. I wrote her first review on the iTunes site!

I could go on, but I won’t! I warn you, once you get into podcasts, they are totally addictive. There is also iTunes U, as in University. There are full length courses coming from places like Stanford and Duke. Jump in and stay awhile!

Daily Affirmations
I receive at least a dozen daily emails of affirmations or some positive quote or saying to set the tone of my day. I collect the quotes in a Word doc to use in my writings, workshops and classes. I write the ones that really resonate in my daily planner.

Think Positive! Blog – Kirsten Harrell is one of my favorite bloggers and friends. She is a positivity and soul psychologist who delivers a daily affirmation called “ipopins” to lift you up. Kirsten’s warning: prolonged use of positive thinking may create a permanent positive attitude. I totally agree! Subscribe to her blog to get your daily ipopins in your inbox. It really sets my day. You can also purchase her “ipopins” as mp3s to take with you and listen when needed. Change your mind... change your life... one minute at a time!

Gratefulness.org – a non-profit organization dedicated to gratefulness, a universal principle that serves as the core inspiration for personal growth, cross-cultural understanding, interfaith dialogue, intergenerational respect, and ecological sustainability. Sign up for a daily email blast of gratefulness. Tons of quotes to remind us to be grateful!

Notes From the Universe – Another teacher from The Secret, Mike Dooley sends positive e-blasts to your inbox from the Universe. When you sign up, the more information you are willing to share, the Notes are more customized to fit your profile.

For spiritually and faith-based quotes and articles, check out Beliefnet.com. It also has an extensive section on prayer and meditation. You can sign up for daily email quotes of any faith.

Look Up and Lighten Your Life
is great for relieving negative energy and healing the soul. Go to YouTube, type in “Madea” in the search box, and listen to the wise-cracking wisdom of Tyler Perry’s alter ego. Not only will you laugh your um-hum off, but you will gain some wisdom in the process. Madea is raw, real, rude, and irreverent. Check out Madea’s Class Reunion, not only is it hysterical, the music and singing is top-notch!

It has been said that music calms the savage beast. Well, the savage beast lives right in our heads! So, listen to good music. And please check the lyrics! NO GANGSTA RAP if you want positive thinking! I have created a Prosperity Playlist on my iPod to listen to when I need a pick-me-up. Included are:

Footprints in the Sand by Leona Lewis
La Sagese by Sheila Chandra
You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban
My Saving Grace by Mariah Carey
I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack
Singing My Song by Christina Aguilera
Go Light Your World by Jennifer Owens (I was just messin’ wit ya, J!)
* Jennifer is one of our faithful members and she has an amazing voice!

Also, watch what you let inside of your mind. Go on a news fast. Give up television news and newspapers. You’d be surprised how much you don’t miss! Listen to NPR’s 5-minute podcast on the hour. I listen once or twice a day, just to get the headlines. Please, I don’t need all the gory details of the latest shooting!

Also, I mentioned to the ladies about my nightly meditation practice which has made quite an impact in such a short time. The best time to work on our thoughts and our mind is when our minds are in its meditative state, the Alpha state. I have been using a program called the Alpha Mind Control from the Super Mind Evolution System to straighten out my stinking thinking! (Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to sign up for the free Alpha Mind Control audio)

At bedtime, I listen to the meditation, and as I become somewhat drowsy, I take the opportunity to re-program my mind. I read my daily Action List for the following day; I read my 90-day intention which I would like to receive; and I do a creative visualization called the Prosperity Consciousness Exercise from Bob Proctor’s You Were Born Rich. Whatever that 90-day intention is, I visualize it as if I have already received it. I picture the entire scene with all the colors, smells, sounds, and senses.

And finally, for this post anyway, get yourself a Passion Partner. I have said this before and I am saying it again. Find someone who will challenge you, hold you accountable and love you to the fulfillment of your dreams. Please NOT A SIGNIFICANT PARTNER. This person has to be totally objective and willing to not just hear what you say, but LISTEN to you. Yes, there is a difference. You need constant support and encouragement, especially if you have more toxic people around you than you can stand. Hire a coach, find a mentor, and choose wisely. I have hired four new coaches and mentors this year because this is will be a slammin’ year and I am serious! It is time for you all to get serious about your lives.

If you have seen the movie or read “The Secret” then you are familiar with the wealth guru Bob Proctor. I have tapped into his wisdom and if you are ready to elevate your thinking, taking your mind and your abundance level soaring, Six Minutes to Success will change your life!

This was a long one, but I hope it will give you some guidance to re-define and re-design your 2009!

Be blessed and be a blessing!
Coach Carolyn

19 January 2009

I Say YES!

“There comes a special moment in every woman's life, a moment for which she was born. That special opportunity, when she seizes it, will fulfill her mission — a mission for which she is uniquely qualified. In that moment, she finds greatness. It is her finest hour.” ~ Winston Churchill (Pronouns changed on purpose!)

On this journey of passion and purpose, I am very blessed to meet fellow sojourners along the way. It is such a blessing to know that we are never alone on this journey and when we need a helping hand, there is always someone else either a little ways ahead of us, or right beside us to take our hand.

One such traveler is dear friend Rev. Dr. Lorraine Cohen. I feel I can call her friend because anyone who I have had a good laugh with is friend to me! Lorraine is an ordained spiritual minister, hypnotherapist, life coach and spiritual warrior. She hangs out at Powerfull Living. Yes, that’s powerfull, with two L’s; as in FULL OF POWER! She is one of the most loving, compassionate and peaceful people I have had the privilege to meet online. I was honored to be a part of her Spiritual Circle calls this past fall and I was blown away by the energy. I left the weekly calls feeling so much lighter and calmer. And, dagnabbit, she is so much fun! So, be sure to sign up for whatever she is doing!

I am so pleased and proud that Lorraine has realized one of her desires. Lorraine, her business partner, Anita Pathik-Law (another absolutely amazing spiritual warrior) and Anita’s husband, Brent (music man extraordinaire) manifested a lovely video that speaks to the power of our infinite possibilities. This video, I SAY YES! is a work of love, laughter and tears. You can just feel it. Well, at least, I cried when I first saw it!

Lorraine and Anita are the spiritual mothers of a powerfull program called Aligning with Destiny: An 8-step Blueprint for Whole Life Transformation. They have birthed this program as an answer to some of the age old questions, “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “What is my destiny?” This is what we here at BWP are all about ~ discovering the answers that are within each of us. Watch the video and feel all of the possibilities that are buried within you rise to the surface.

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, as we honor a man who also had a dream, my prayer for you is please, don’t die with your dreams and desires unfulfilled, untapped and unrealized. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took purposeful action to manifest his dreams and your dreams. A dream of being free to dream. You are such a divine and unique creation. Your purpose and your dream is right now!

Say YES to your dreams!
Coach Carolyn

03 January 2009

New Year, New Thoughts, New YOU!

Welcome to 2009 and to your new beginning! We may not have had a great beginning, but the good news is that we can begin again. A new year is the perfect time to begin again. Remember as a child there were “do overs’? well, you can do over what you want. Leave those things that no longer serve you, or those people and things that are toxic to your spirit. Take whatever lessons and blessings they were put into your life to teach, then let them go. Easier said that done? Of course, everything is. But remember, this is your “one wild and precious life”, as the poet Mary Oliver wrote; and if you work it right, one life is all you need. You don’t get a do over in this arena. So create the life you want now.

One of the things that many struggle with every new year are those resolutions. New Year’s resolutions. Who thought that up, anyway? It might not be such a terrible idea, if they worked properly; or, were taught properly. First of all, I am one who redefines things that just don’t work for me. So, I do not make New Year’s resolutions, I create new intentions for the year. I also make it fun, not as if it were a chore or drudgery. This is not conducive to the manifestation of those intentions. I choose the feeling I want to feel for this year. Mine is peaceful. How and why a feeling?

“Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth.” ~ Benjamin Disreali

What are your intentions? What would be your resolutions, if you will? Okay, got it? Now, how would you feel if you accomplished those intentions? Elated? Joyous? Proud? Loved? Exhilarated? Play out that feeling. Feel it in all its passion and intensity. This is the feeling you want to stay with this year. When you begin from that feeling, your actions will follow. Do whatever you need to get and keep that feeling. You also want this feeling in all areas of your life, not merely your business, or just your finances, or just your spiritual life. You are one integrated being. You are not split into many different parts that will feel elated in your business, but miserable in your relationships. Bring that feeling into your whole life.

Set your intention around that feeling. In order to maintain your chosen feeling, you must think the thoughts that are in alignment with the feeling. Remember, happy thoughts, bring happy feelings; peaceful thoughts, bring peaceful feelings, and in turn happy and peaceful results in your life. This is where you must exercise your most powerful tool – your power to choose. You do not have to think every thought that pops into your head. Yes, you cannot help the thoughts that come in, but your can control the ones that stay and set up house. Which thoughts are you entertaining on a regular basis? Your mind is your most valuable piece of real estate; what are you allowing to take up residence there?

I am a self professed “re” person. I re-define my terms; I re-fresh my soul; I re-new my mind; I re-charge my body; I re-ignite my passion. It is my version of the “do over.” I dare say that most of us are “re” people. I find that I cannot settle for less than I deserve. Yes, there will be times when I have to be in the wilderness to re-charge and re-learn some things. But I don’t make it my permanent home. I take the lessons and the blessings, pick up my make-shift bed and move on. This has been one of the most difficult, yet most valuable lessons I have had to learn. When it is time to let things and people go, we must let them go. They only came to teach or be taught something of value. We don’t really lose people or things; we receive the blessing from them, then they must go. But we have gained.

“The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“You want to control your life? Control the only thing you can control: the meaning you give something.” ~ Anthony Robbins

One of the things to re-do in our lives is the way we make meaning of things. We are meaning-making machines to be sure, but how do we assign meaning? Remember the meaning you assign a situation is what will give it life. Yes, read that line again. The meaning you assign a situation is what will give it life, thus showing up as the results in your life. If I assign a certain meaning to money, for instance; my personal favorite is money and spirituality cannot mix or co-exist. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this one. So, of course, ministers, preachers and other spiritual-preneurs are supposed to be dirt poor. I grew up on this one; and although I didn’t originally assign the meaning to this one, I adopted it and made it my own. This was one I chose to keep and continue to assign the same un-serving meaning to it.

This year, I have re-assigned the meaning of money and spirituality: money is energy to use in the service of spiritual-preneurs to accomplish their divine purpose. Money is not this precious green stuff to be admired and hoarded only by the chosen few. I love the line from Hello, Dolly! where Dolly quotes her late husband Ephraim: “Money is like manure; it is to be spread around and used to make things grow!” This is one of the re-definitions I am adopting this new year.

So, for this new year, renew your mind, redefine your terms, and re-invent your assigned meanings; especially the ones that just aren’t working anymore. Re-examine what isn’t working for you and re-set your scales. You will find that it does bring new life into those damp and dark crevices without completely having to spend a fortune on an entire body overhaul. Feel your chosen feeling, make new meanings, re-ignite your passion and create your best life.

“Your life becomes the thing you have decided it shall be.” ~ Raymond Charles Barber

To a blessed and purposeful New Year!
~ Coach Carolyn