The Paradoxical Commandments

by Lauren Kennedy http://www.InsitetoExcellence.com

The Paradoxical Commandments.

People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered.
Love them Anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good Anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed Anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good Anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank Anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest mean and women with the smallest minds.
Think big Anyway.

People favor underdogs by follow only top dogs.
Fight for the underdogs Anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build Anyway.

People really need help but many attack you if you do help them.
Help people Anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have Anyway.

These commandments have a curious history. They were originally written by a high school student as a booklet for student leadership in the sixties. There were thirty thousand copies published by the National Association for Secondary Schools.

Thirty years later, the author Kent M. Keith,  discovered the Paradoxical Commandments in a book about Mother Teresa. She had hung them on a wall in one of her children’s homes. They had also made
their  way to a librarians internet site, and to a Professor from the University of Southern California who used them to begin her classes each semester.

Since then Kent Keith has written a short book entitled “Anyway” which briefly explores each commandment. It is a wonderfully insightful book. One of my favorite passages is as follows:

What is important is not whether anyone remembers. What is important is who you are as a person. What matters is how you live. If you are living authentically and generously, you won’t worry about whether anybody else knows or remembers.

We don’t have to prove that we are right, heroic or gracious to the world. In fact the act of doing so is more about our ego than about doing the next right thing. Demeaning or attacking others to gain support for our point of view is akin to shooting someone to resolve an argument. Instead, we must gain our motivation from within, and trust that those who are willing or able will follow our lead.

Here is a short poem by Emily Dickinson that illustrates the importance of a caring act, which is often more significant than leading and promoting a popular movement.

If I can stop one Heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain.
If I can ease one Life the Aching
Or cool one Pain
Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again

I shall not live in Vain.

If you wish to live authentically, to realize your potential, to give your best to the world, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation.

Email: excellence@cinci.rr.com

Phone: 513-889-1870

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March 22, 2009 at 6:53 pm 3 comments

Changes

by: Lauren Kennedy   http://www.InsitetoExcellence.com

Everything changes. It’s impossible to remain the same. Every experience, every encounter, every thought, every action and every feeling changes us in some way.

A leaf must drift with the wind. An insect reacts to its environment. And some animals have little choice but to follow their instincts. Humans have the gift of choice.

It is true that many times circumstances, events and people are beyond our control. Our feelings can arise before we have time to formulate a thought about the situation. But our attitude, our perception and our response is our choice.

We can learn to respond instead of react. We can understand that who we are Being affects our feelings. And we can expand our perception to minimize our fears, eradicate blame, and empower ourselves.

An Impossible Dream? Not at all. Remember every journey begins with the first step. Finding our way requires that we look with fresh eyes, discover new information, acquire new skills, and practice applying what we have learned. We may have to reach out for a guiding hand or an encouraging word to take that next step. It is our responsibility to ask for what we need to proceed on our journey.

Remember, knowing and not doing is the same as not knowing.

And where are we headed on our journey? All of us, every single one, have our sites set on lasting happiness, fulfillment and inner peace. Although our journeys may vary, our destination is the same.

Keep that in mind, when you are setting goals. Immediate happiness may feel good momentarily, but just like the euphoria of a drug induced high, it will quickly fade away to be replaced by a burning yearning inside.

As we choose each step of our journey, we may be unaware at the subtle changes occurring inside. But one day we will awake and notice that the colors seem brighter and the day ahead is inviting. And incredibly, the world, rather than a place full of danger to be avoided or controlled, is instead a wondrous place full of potential and exciting experiences from which to choose.

March 3, 2009 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

Empowerment from Within

By Lauren Kennedy      http://www.InsitetoExcellence.com

Our thoughts, intellect and rational processes of deduction have achieve a preferred status as the most dependable, reliable and intelligent method of managing our lives, our decisions, our goals, our relationships, our beliefs, our behaviors and even our emotions.

To be valid and factual, everything must be measurable, quantifiable, and finite.  Stoic self discipline and adherence to tradition are regarded as indicators of character, respectability,  dependability and loyalty. Routine, schedules, and structure are the framework for productivity, efficiency, and stability.

These concepts give us the illusion of security, control and entitlement. They are the basic underpinnings of maintaining a social  order, dictating appropriate norms, assigning  levels  of social acceptability and worth in our civilized societies.

The intellect is revered as our  premier faculty that enables us  to rise above our animal instincts  and establish civilization. We point to our superior intelligence as the quality that elevates us above the rest of the animal species.

Unfortunately, in the process, we are eliminating, devaluing, and denying the many characteristics and innate qualities that make us who we are. These same qualities have enabled us to take  the intuitive leap in perspective that has increased our understanding of the world, the universe, and our place and connection in the rest of creation.

Greatness Comes from Within

It was Einstein’s imagination and intuition that lead to a profoundly new perspective  that revised  the laws of physics. The wonder and curiosity that he felt for the incredible workings of the universe, fueled his determination, inspired his unorthodox theories  and instilled a belief in cooperation between nation’s rather than dominance.

Through their creativity and courage, the founding father’s of this country envisioned a new form of government and authored the constitution and principles of a new nation.

Martin Luther King Jr. facing a nation seeped in bigotry,  lead 25,000 people in a march, inspiring them to maintain his ideal of peaceful protest, while they endured act of violence against them.  It was his impassioned  vision, his commitment to his principles, and the positive energy that emanated from his spirit that moved a nation towards upholding its stated principles.

Mother Teresa fed, healed and comforted multitudes of people, generated funds and support through her unwavering compassion, determination and devotion. Empowered and guided by the inner voice of her spirit,  her resolve attracted the resources needed to continue her mission.

These examples of human achievement were not the result of intellect, adherence to convention, standards of social acceptability, or established logic.

The Impossible is Fueled by Passion and Desire

Each of these people accomplished the impossible, not through the powers of their intellect, but through qualities that are not measurable, definite or finite.  They became figures of progress, awareness, and transformation because of their willingness to override their intellectual rigidity and follow their passion, their intuition and the promptings of their spirit.

They were guided by their feelings, not their intellect. They may have used their intellect for the planning phase of their dream and to make the longing in their heart become a reality. But they were guided, motivated and energized by their feelings.

It is the range and depth of our feelings that make us the special and unique species that we have become. It is our feelings, in concert with our true intention that moves mountains, changes government, and inspires imagination, intuition and ultimately creations.

If Mind Resists, Emotions Persist

We blame our emotional reactions on our feelings. But it our mind’s resistance to experiencing them that causes our self defeating,  violent, and desperate actions. It is our inability to interpret their message that produces our missteps. It is our lack of knowledge that causes us to resist, suppress and condemn a source of energy that can produce our most powerful creations and our most meaningful and fulfilling experiences.

Feelings are the language of our soul. They are constantly telling us who we are Being in each interaction, in each circumstance , in each experience, in each moment.

And it is who I am Being, my true intention and my feelings that create my perception, my experience, my world.

If you would like to discover how to experience the freedom and abundance that you desire,

Call me at: 513-889-1870 to schedule a free consultation or email me: excellence@cinci.rr.com

to schedule an appointment.

February 24, 2009 at 12:30 am 1 comment

The Critic, The Worrier, The Victim, The Perfectionist

by Lauren Kennedy     http://www.InsitetoExcellence.com

Negative self talk, negative thoughts, self defeating beliefs – we have been warned that these negative messages  are the enemy to a positive, abundant and successful life . But amid the incessant chatter that occurs in most of our minds, learning to identify and recognize these harmful, subversive foes can be tricky. Their well disguised messages slip into our minds unnoticed.

Our internal dialogs are constantly communicating opinions, judgments, and assumptions to us.  Sometimes they communicates in words, other times, with images, and sometimes an impression is enough to ensure our allegiance to their agenda.  There are several varieties of self talk and they each have different roles. We have lived with these various characters for so long that we often are not even aware of them. They are expert at disguising their messages so that they appear as rational, logical or responsible concerns. Even when we are aware of their warnings, alarms or condemnations, we don’t  recognize that their input is negative, skewed or out of date.

Facts about Negative Self Talk

Here’s some facts about negative self talk so you will no longer be at such a disadvantage.

Self talk is so automatic and subtle that we don’t notice the effect that it has on our attitude and emotions. We react without even realizing that we our obeying these negative messages.

Self talk can take the form of an image, one word, memories or associations. It’s not always in sentence form. The images and associations, can be even more powerful than self talk that is delivered in a sentence. For example, the thought, ” No one will go out with you,” is not as powerful as a technicolor image of a past, public rejection.

No matter how irrational, self talk always sounds like the truth. The assumptions that we draw about the current situation is based on our irrational self talk, rather than the actual facts of the present circumstance. Then, we base our decisions, behaviors and actions on those faulty assumptions.

Negative self talk is self perpetuating and results in avoidance.  For example, Joe’s self talk tells him that he is clumsy and awkward in social situations.  The fact that he has no friends seems to justify this statement. However, the reason he has no friends is because he avoids any social contact, for fear of looking clumsy and awkward. Thus he has no friends because he avoids any opportunity to make friends.  But that connection eludes to him.

Four Basic Types of Self Talk Characters

I have outlined the four basic self talk characters. These character descriptions enabled my clients to identify their own negative self talk more easily.

The Worrier: promotes anxiety

The worrier  always anticipates the worse, overestimates the odds of something bad or embarrassing happening, imagines scenes of catastrophic failure, unimaginable terror, or  unbearable hardship, with you as the main character. “What if” is the worrier’s signature phrase. What if you lose your job. What if your spouse isn’t really working late. What if that falling star is really a meteor. He also diligently watches for any indications of apprehension or anxiety in you, and uses these common sensations as confirmation that his dire scenarios are legitimate.  If you decide to go left, he will worry you about all the possible things that could go wrong. So you back track and go right. Now he worries about a new set of catastrophes resulting from the delay of backing up. We cannot know the future, so we can’t absolutely negate his imaginings. And the worrier will continue to conjure up frightening scenarios. So if you think you must quell his anxieties before you take action or make a decision, you might as well resign yourself to a life imprisoned in your home, eating comfort foods and watching the soaps. Be sure the peanut butter cups are salmonella free.

The Critic: promotes low self esteem

The critic is constantly judging and evaluating you. He emphasizes your flaws, limitations,  and mistakes. He compares you unfavorably to others by highlighting their best qualities and contrasting them with your weaknesses. Any accomplishment you achieve is minimized. The critic does this by pointing out: what you could have done better, (you could have won by 10 points instead of a close margin of 5), that you only succeeded because you had help and encouragement, that  the challenge wasn’t that difficult for you so it doesn’t really count,  or cautions you that your achievement was just luck, a one time wonder. He may even blame you for other peoples’ behaviors. (If you had reminded your friend about your weekly luncheon date, he may not have stood you up)  And he expects perfection. No matter how hard you try, you will never please the critic.  His job is to find fault and he takes his work seriously. You will never get any comfort or validation from him. He prides himself on being the drill sergeant from hell. And if you listen, you will be right there with him.

The Victim: promotes depression

The victim alleges that you are hopelessly incapable of making your way in the big bad world. He points our your powerlessness to change insurmountable issues, world hunger, corporate corruption, war, your friends depression. How could you possibly manage your life in a world where you do not make a difference. He also likes to convince you that you are responsible for other people’s feelings. (If your children are upset when they are disciplined, you must not be communicating effectively. If you refrain from discipline , you are an irresponsible parent.) He has put you in a catch 22 and then  points out the hopelessness of your situation. And just in case that doesn’t work, he convinces you that there is something inherently wrong, inadequate, defective or unworthy about you. He tops this off with the idea that since you are unworthy, you deserve your lot in life, so when someone mistreats you, it’s because you have failed  in some way. Therefore you have no right to expect anything better than what you get. He is very thorough. He has blocked all of your intellectual exists. If you try to achieve something, he tells you that you are being grandiose. If you don’t, you are weak. If someone mistreats you, its because you deserve it. If you try to stand up for yourself, you don’t have that right because you are unworthy. He graduated at the top of the negative self talk class. You will never beat him in an intellectual debate because he doesn’t play fair. And besides, since you are unworthy, you don’t deserve to win.

The Perfectionist: promotes chronic stress and burnout

The perfectionist is a relentless master. He is intolerant of the notion that you are human. This is just an excuse to him. He is never satisfied with your performance. You could have done better if you had studied instead of slept for those two long hours. You should never lose control. You should always be pleasant.  Giving in to fatigue, illness, or pain is a lack of self discipline. He will analyze every conversation, every decision, every interaction and inform you of how you could have done better. He convinces you that your worth as a person is based on the greatness of your achievements, your level of dedication, your degree of self discipline, your ability to remain nice to others regardless of their behavior. Mistakes are intolerable and are an indication that you have been irresponsible or complacent. Some perfectionist may focus on certain priorities over others. He may not be concerned about how others are affected as long as you brilliantly achieve the desire goal . But no matter how brilliant the conquest, he will be ready with a list, citing the things that you could have done better. Other times he will insist that you make an outstanding contribution to society, sustain a lucrative career, take care of your ill parent, and still maintain the same level of responsibility and service in your personal relationships. He always expects more than is humanly possible and then chastises you for falling short. He constantly reminds you that only through exceptional performance will you acquire worth, value, and importance as a person. And your performance will never, ever be good enough. Therefore, neither are you. Listen to him and you end up in a psyche ward making the most perfectly elaborate leather belts or you will become a demanding dictator, hell bent on super human performance and stellar results from yourself and others no matter the cost.

These Characters are Not the Enemy

Unfortunately, often we may discover that we have more than one of these characters leading us around by the nose.  The Victim and Perfectionist together can seem like an especially cruel team.  But our misery, contrary to appearance is not their goal. They are simply doing the job that our subconscious request they do. Protect us from emotional pain and allow us to continue to avoid facing our fears.

Yes, as always, it comes back to us. These characters are not the result of undue hardship,  cut throat competition, agents of the devil or rogue viruses messing with our brain. We created them from our desire to avoid certain feelings. We hired The Critic to make certain that we  cover all our bases so we can avoid the fear or pain of criticism from others. The Worrier’s job duties are to conjure up worse case scenarios,  all sorts of possible catastrophes, and unpleasant interactions so we can take all the necessary precautions to avoid the unexpected, unwanted, unhappiness in the world. The Victim is employed  to keep us  down so no one will feel threatened, angry, disappointed, etc and lash out or reject us,  triggering the debilitating feeling of shame.  And the Perfectionist agenda is to ensure that we are wonderful, needed, respected and revered, so no one will have reason to dispute our rights, our sense of entitlement or decide  to restrict us from doing, getting or being what we want. His other job duty is to protect us from our fear of failure.

We have given these characters quite a lot of power and importance. They are convinced that  their job is indispensible and they don’t want any pink slips. So debating with them is useless. Anyway we’d just be arguing with a part of ourselves. They are a persuasive bunch because there is a basis of truth to their incessant noise.  Bad things do happen, we can not avoid criticized, we are all hurt at times, and people will always dispute our right to be, do or have want we want or who we are.

But to spend our lives dousing our house with water in case our next door neighbor sets his house on fire by falling asleep with a cigarette is an ineffective plan. Someone might  launch a bomb into your yard by mistake instead. Better build a bomb shelter, too. Neither can we  avoid criticism or reach perfection in everyone’s eyes. Working through lunch may be a mark of dedication to us. But others may assume that we think we are too good to lunch with them or we are just brown nosing. And our employer may conclude that we must work through lunch because we are not efficient enough to get our work done in a timely manner. It’s crazy making.

Resisting them is not a good option either. Remember: what you resist persists.

We Relinquish Our Power when We Refuse to Face and Experience Our Feelings

Nor should we treat them as an enemy. That supposes they are powerful. It is we who have given them power. As long as we refuse to face and experience our fears, we will continue to relinquish our power.

To stop the madness, we only need be willing to accept that feelings are a part of life. When we deny our feelings, we diminish our life experience and our awareness of our personal experience. Our life is only half lived and we are only partially conscious of ourself and our Being.  We cannot avoid avoid our feelings. Only our conscious knowledge of them. They exist inside us, creating havoc, whether we are aware of it or not.

We must be willing to experience those feelings that we have tried to avoid by control, submission, avoidance or manipulation.  Through our desire to avoid our fears, we hired these characters to enable us to resist, deny, ignore or suppress our feelings.

Feelings are Not the Cause of Our Emotional Reactions

We have been  conditioned to believe that feelings are the reason that we act irrationally. Not true. Emotional reactions occur when we have repress our feelings,  try to avoid certain feelings or judge our feelings or ourselves for having them. Emotional reactions, compulsions, impulsiveness, health issues are the result our repressed negative feelings. When we learn to experience our feelings and discharge them, we are free to choose our behavior.

My clients report that when they fully experience the feelings, their feelings do subside. Plus the situations that used to trigger these feelings, become less and less frequent and less intense. Often, the actual feelings are not as frightening as they had imagined.  And rather than constantly reacting  to the fear of experiencing a particular feeling, they begin to make decisions, choices, and take action  based on their goals, priorities, desires and dreams. Their life changes because their focus changes. Instead of resisting their feelings, they can focus on their dreams.

If You Don’t Deal with Your Feelings, They will Deal with You

When you spend all your time and energy avoiding, denying or suppressing your feelings by controlling or manipulating people and situations, you cannot focus your energy and awareness on your goals, dreams or enjoy your life. If you don’t deal with your feelings, they will deal with you. Thinking happy thoughts to cover your feelings only delays the inevitable.  Keep putting energy into a container, sooner or later it’s going to explode, no matter how much you affirm or visualize it staying contained.

Visualization is wonderfully effective  when used to create your own experience.  For example, when you experience fear, self doubt or anxiety about a situation or interaction, visualize yourself in that situation or interaction. Imagine that you are being, doing and acting as you would like to be, do and act and then believe that the outcome will be favorable.

Change Who You are Being and Everything Changes

Visualization is highly effective for changing who we are being. And who we are being, effects everything else.     If we are being a person that is resisting, avoiding or denying our feelings, then we are being fearful, irresponsible, controlled, and powerless. Those negative self talk characters will jump to our defense and we will react to their proddings. Only by having the courage and wisdom to experience our feelings and who we are being,  can we become a person that is empowered, insightful, purposeful, prioritized and free.

When we decide to face and experience our feelings, our self and our life, we are free to choose our response to each situation. With no call to action the self talk will fall silent and we will instead hear our own inner guidance.  And that message is always life enhancing.

A lifetime of suppressing or denying our feelings and the resulting negative self talk can be a challenge to overcome on our own. Just because a process is simple, doesn’t mean that it is easy. But believe me, the results are worth the effort.

If you would like some support with negative self talk or any other issue, please call or email me for a 30 minute free consultation.

excellence@cinci.rr.com

513-889-1870

February 14, 2009 at 1:08 am 3 comments

Claim Ownership of Your Life

by Lauren Kennedy   http://www.InsitetoExcellence.com

What If I left my body alone and unprotected ?
What would become of it?
Would someone steal my heart?
Would it be starved for nourishment?
Would someone control my brain?

What If I left my thoughts and beliefs unguarded?
And discounted the value of the content in my mind.
What set of beliefs would be replaced, and by whom?
Would I let another live rent free in my head?
Would another person steal my memories, replacing them with their own version?

Would someone control my ideas, goals  and direction?

What If I disregarded and ignored my feelings and intuition?
What treasures would I have given away?
Would I know when I was being used?
Would I realize when I was being manipulated for another person’s benefit?
Would I sense when to be cautious, when to take risks and when to jump for joy?

What If I no longer valued my life or myself?
What would become of me?
Would I feel disempowered and unimportant?
Would I allow another person’s thoughts, needs, feelings and desires to take precedence over my own?
Would my life be an exercise in suffering and endurance?

But what if I owned and accepted all of me –  mind, body and spirit?

Would I then respect and nurture my body as a wondrous vehicle for my spirit,
That enables me to sense, move, interact and communicate with my world?

Would I then value my thoughts and beliefs,
That reflect my principles and guide my decisions,
That are the harvested gems of my hard won experience.

Would I then embrace my feelings and intuition as the language of my Soul,
That inform me about my environment, illuminate who I am being, reveal my hopes and desires,
That ignites my passions, motivating me to action, giving  meaning and satisfaction to my spirit.

Would I then treasure my self as the source of special, unique qualities,
That I alone have the potential to express and contribute to the world?

Would I recognize which personal changes are in alignment with my own truth,and which changes result from fear, manipulation or pressure to compromise my values and priorities?

Would I know that my intuition is a gift of guidance from my spirit?

Would I have the self discipline  to remain consciously aware, experience life fully, and live according to my principles?

Would I value and respect all life completely?

Would I have the courage to be true to myself and realize my true potential,
In spite of social norms, the criticism of friends and family or the loss of respect?

Could I love and accept myself each moment?
Could I honor and respect all life completely?

Who then will I become, what will I know and how will I feel?

I feel enthusiasm and passion each day.
I understand that life has meaning and I know my Purpose.
I am living my truth and creating myself in the image of my grandest potential.


This is the path to ultimate success,
And the highway to lasting fulfillment.

If you want a Program that will reveal the road to true success and fulfillment, “The Path to Ultimate Success and Inner Peace” is your answer. Call or email us for a free 30 minute consultation. Ask for Lauren.

excellence@cinci.rr.com

513-889-1870

January 26, 2009 at 1:08 am Leave a comment

Special Moments Are Priceless

Lauren Kennedy http://www.InsitetoExcellence.com

We all have those special moments in our lives that we cherish, our most precious memories. Thinks of those moments in your life.

What are they? What makes them special?

  • Why do we watch with admiration and amazement when one person risks their own life to save another.
  • Why is our child’s graduation from college a memorable and special moment?
  • After experiencing discomfort, disfigurement and pain of childbirth, why do women choose to go through it a second or third time?
  • When our child takes its first steps, why to we grab the camcorder to capture it on film?
  • Why do we pause to marvel at a beautiful sunset? Or watch in awed at the grace, agility and power of a tiger?
  • Why are acts of courage eagerly recounted over and over again?

What make each of these moments so special and memorable? What do they all have in common?

They elicit powerful, deep sensations and feelings within us. If we did not experience intense feelings about these moments, they would fade in our memories with the other millions of memories filed away in our minds.

Unfortunately, I have had many clients who view their own lives as typically monotonous, punctuated only by those few special moments. But each day, we can fill our moments with special experiences. But first we must learn to live consciously, with focused awareness and be willing to fully experience each moment.

How many potentially moving experiences slip by our awareness each day?

While our minds are thinking, analyzing, judging and debating concepts or situations from the unreachable past or nonexistent future, we overlook or barely register many potential special moments: people who may touch our hearts, the satisfaction of challenges well met, the mistakes that could reveal the knowledge for better choices, the opportunity to  reignite our dreams , the comfort of our dog’s undying loyalty, and the exhilaration of self discovery.

Even our negative feelings illuminate certain vital insights, urging us to make choices that bring out the best in us. If we had never experienced the fear and panic from threat or danger, we could not empathize, nor would we be motivated to risk our life for another. The sight of hundreds of elephants, slaughtered only for their tusks, their once strong and majestic bodies, bloated and rotting under the sun, would not move us to take action without feelings of compassion and resolve. And it is that compassion, fear and horror which  we experience at the atrocities and the dehumanizing acts of war, that fuels our desire to seek peaceful alternatives to resolve our differences. (However war movies depicting it as exciting and noble have the opposite effect.)

We Avoid the Experiences that We Cherish

Sadly, we typically are unaware of the many potentially moving or profound moments that each day holds for us. We are focused on other priorities. We routinely avoid involvement. We may mentally record the information, but we avoid feeling the experience.

Most of us gratefully drop into bed at night, exhausted from a blur of non stop activity, our head spinning from multi-tasking, relieved to have made it through another day. We wake up, our minds already busy planning the days activities. We convince ourselves that we are up to the day’s numerous demands, suck up our insecurities, and quiet our misgivings. Then we don the appropriate image while gathering our defenses to protect our assumptions, to remain unaffected by circumstances and to assure we do not expose any weaknesses.

Feelings create the moments that are special, wonderful, and worthwhile in our lives. Feelings combined with empathy, motivate us to take risks to help another, or to use our imagination and creativity rather than resort to brute force.

Intellect – King of Propaganda

Yet we condemn our feelings, inaccurately believing that our feelings are responsible for all our suffering and our negative behaviors. We consider feelings unreliable. We claim feelings are an expression of our lower animal nature, on one hand and then allege that animals have no feelings, so it matters not how we treat them. We proclaim that it is our intellect alone that is reliable and trustworthy, despite evidence to the contrary.

We admire the stoic and self contained among us. We dismiss people who express their feelings as over dramatic, weak, and unreliable. We try to dismiss, reject, or ignore inconvenient feelings and even try to subdue our joy, excitement and empathy in fear that it is misplaced, that it will be misunderstood, or that we will be misjudged.

Evolution of Feelings

We strive for detachment, avoidance and disassociation from our feelings, alienating us from ourselves and each other. We scoff at intuition as an old wives tale. We have demoted feelings as an erratic response, to chemical reactions, produced by our reptilian brains, which induces an inconvenient reaction akin to bad breath. Those are the facts that our “infallible” intellect feeds us. Ironically, creatures experience deeper and more varied feelings as they evolve. Dogs are certainly capable of greater loyalty than crocodiles. And crocodiles display more feelings than an ameba.

But we overlook these discrepancies. Intellect is supreme.

Then we seek excitement, drama, competition, aversions and addictions to make us feel alive, to fill the emptiness, to quiet the longing for something more.

I read an article suggesting total detachment as a formula to avoid experiencing negative emotions and impulsive behavior. The author suggested that we should endeavor to remain as emotionally detached from our lives as we are capable of being when we watch a movie. However, when I go to a movie and remained detached, it is not nearly as enjoyable or as satisfying.

The Movies We Most Enjoy Are the One That Make Us Laugh or Cry

If I pay to watch a mystery movie and remain detached, emotionally uninvolved, and unmoved by the unexpected thrills,  I have wasted my money. I have more fun and satisfaction if I become attentive and involved, and experience the unexpected surprises and unknown dangers. I enjoy the mystery without being physically harmed.

(Feelings experienced, don’t cause physical harm, only feelings denied.)

It becomes a much more rewarding activity. Plus I got the full value of the experience for which I paid. I got my money’s worth. (The principle is the same whether it is a drama, a tragedy, a documentary or a romance movie.)

I earned a Master Degree in Detached and Unaware.

I lived the greater part of my life numb, detached, or purposely unaware. I initially perfected those defenses to gain approval, to be seen as a good, strong girl. I could have received an award for my portrayal of Pollyanna.

Later, I used my addictions to keep my feelings hidden from others and myself. I cut myself off from an invaluable source of information. My feelings would have alerted me to the truth: I had imprisoned and denied my true self in order to continue meeting other’s expectations in the hopes of gaining approval and respect.

Even when I put down the addictions, I briefly continued to ignore and discount my feelings. I slid into my macho role. I desperately wanted to be treated with respect. Most importantly, I wanted my thoughts, knowledge, experience and goals to be heard, my determination and commitment to be taken seriously. I wanted others to acknowledge me as a capable and significant person.

I lived detached from my body, feelings and experiences. I existed as a thinking machine. I was watching my life, not living it. And since I did not feel, I often did not recognize when I was being mistreated or used. I do not recommend this approach. I was devaluing myself and my life. Not only was I not getting my money’s worth, I was being over charged and eagerly paid the bill.

A Return to My Sense, My Feelings and Myself

Gratefully, I soon realized that my feelings were not an embarrassment or a curse. Rather they are a gift. They direct me to my truth, they give my life meaning, purpose and connect me to my innate essence. I realized that the respect and acknowledgment that I had been seeking from others is not what I lacked. And no amount  of acclaim would give me what I needed.

I was trying to quench a mighty thirst by eating more and more. Only water could satisfy that thirst. My feelings guided me to my thirst. But I had to find and drink the water.

Feelings are not the Perpetrator

The choice is not total detachment or uncontrolled reaction. An emotional reaction is not the same as experiencing one’s feelings. Feelings do not cause negative behavior. It is repressed or bottled up emotions, unresolved issues, faulty perceptions and unmet needs that are the underlying causes for our emotional reactions and our self defeating, negative behaviors.

Without feelings there can be no experience, only observation, analysis, and judgment. Experience requires total attention and awareness, mind, body and soul. Or thought, feeling and Being.

Passion is the engine of creation. And creation is the breath of life. But passion can only be sustained by fully experiencing the life you have created. Having fully experience your creation, your passion will inspire you to create an even grander life for you to experience. And your true feelings will illuminate the way.

Embrace your feelings. Experience each moment. And get your money’s worth from your life.

  • Would you like to experience more special moments in your life?
  • Do you want to achieve Emotional Freedom?
  • Then please call for a free 30 minute consultation.
  • Ask for Lauren  –  513-889-1870
  • Or email me at excellence@cinci.rr.com

January 16, 2009 at 3:19 am Leave a comment

Courage +Risk = Freedom

by Lauren Kennedyhttp://www.InsitetoExcellence.com

Risk is inherent to living.  To be born is to risk dying. To stand up is to risk falling.  To speak is to risk dispute. To choose is to risk criticism. To act is to risk failure. To die is to risk the unknown.

Risk triggers our fears because it requires taking a step into the untried, unproven and always into the unknown.

We normally think of risk in terms of actions that we take: going for that job interview, asking for a raise, changing careers, leaving a detrimental relationship or going sky diving.

But it is the emotional risks that transform our character, our attitude, and our lives in the most profound and lasting ways. Emotional risks require us to face and walk through our fears. But it is the emotional risks that empower us with the passion and courage to routinely take that giant step into the unknown.

The following poem by an anonymous author describes these emotional risks.

Risk

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental or weak
To reach out for another is to risk involvement or obligation
To place your dreams before the crowd is to risk ridicule
To love is to risk loss, pain or rejection
To go forward in the face of overwhelming odds, is to risk failure
But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing
The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing , is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he cannot learn, change, or  grow
And he will not appreciate the wonder of life,
Nor will he experience  the joy of passion or the fulfillment of love
Chained by his certitudes and fears, he is a slave.
He has forfeited his freedom and himself.
Only a person who takes risks can experience life’s wonders.
Only a person who takes risks  will enjoy the freedom
To realize their potential, and touch the stars.


Anonymous

Are you free?

January 9, 2009 at 10:05 pm 3 comments

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