Recognizing A Poor Choice

best choice brings relief.

I fucked up! Normally I keep my language pretty clean in my writing but sometimes the best word for a situation is blunt, to the point and leaves little room for interpretation. Whether you know me personally or not you’ve already figured out that I made a decision that didn’t work out as I’d intended it. You don’t even have to know what the situation or circumstance was to figure out I’m not happy about a choice I made. Three words was all I had to share for you to understand how I’m feeling and I bet you thought of a time that you used those words and felt what I’m feeling.

All of us make life choices that we believe are the best thing to do at the time and later when we acquire more information, we realize there was a better choice. My fuck up was ignoring my internal guidance system. Rather embarrassing for a writer who focuses on being aware of your emotions. By day three after my initial decision I was noticeably less happy. Even though I recognized this, I didn’t want to admit I was wrong. On day five I was downright negative and became critical of others. That finally got my attention.

We human beings want to be right. We go to great extents to justify why we are right, especially when another is pointing out that we are wrong. Think about a time that someone else pointed out you were wrong. It’s likely that even if you thought their argument was valid, you began by justifying your position. It’s a process we take ourselves through before we are able to admit we are wrong. If we pay attention to how we feel, the time this process takes can be shortened.

Once I realized I was being negative I knew I had to make a decision. I had to either find a way to be happy with my decision or completely reverse it. Sitting on the fence of indecision I waffled for several minutes as I thought about the possibilities from a logical space. Then I focused on my emotions. Thinking about a complete reversal of my initial decision brought a feeling of relief. It didn’t bring me great joy, just relief, however that was moving me in the right direction. Once I made the involved parties aware that I was changing direction, I felt more relief and within hours I began feeling more upbeat, more like myself.

You hear people say “life is short” all the time in reference to how we spend our time. I will never get back those five days however at least it wasn’t five months or five years. I learned from the experience and if a similar circumstance arises, I will be better equipped to gather more information in the beginning to make the best choice possible. Most important it was a reminder to pay attention to how I feel. Our emotions exist to assist us on our journey so we can recognize if we are in alignment with our true self. Invalidating your emotions so you can be right will backfire in the end. For me, reaching for happiness each day has to be more important than always being right.

christiebakeman.com

 

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Are You Asking The Right Questions?

what if idea of life

How many times a day do you find yourself asking questions? I’m not talking about asking for directions or if you can substitute something on a menu. I mean the type of questions that have a real impact on your day. These could be part of your self talk or questions that you vocalize to others.

The type of questions we ask are the best indicator of whether or not we feel in control of our own lives. If the eyes are the door to the soul, then our questions are the window into how our mind perceives personal accountability. The manner that our questions are phrased in, allow us to identify what our preconceived beliefs are about the subject.

Asking why, who and when questions often times indicate a victim mentality. Yea, I know that probably doesn’t sit well with you so let me provide some examples. Why is this happening to me? Who came up with that bright idea? When is the company going to realize that policy doesn’t work? Why can’t she see what is happening? Who is in charge of this place? When is the government going to do what is right for citizens? All of these are a relinquishment of personal responsibility.

Compare the questions above to these that encourage personal accountability. What can I do to improve the situation? How can I help? What part can I play to assist my co-workers? How are my thoughts affecting my results? What is the best solution to this problem? How can I improve my financial results? The best questions you can ask yourself usually involve what and how and also some form of I. These are the types of questions that promote personal accountability.

I know that for myself, I was asking the wrong questions during the most difficult time in my life. Although all areas of my life were affected, I’ll share just one aspect. Finances. During the prior two years I’d made an extra 33% on top of my normal income because of bonuses and stock options. As fast as that extra money hit our joint bank account, I was seeing it disappear just as quick as my husband decided there would be more where that came from. I was asking; why is he doing this? Why isn’t he following through on what we agreed upon? Who does he think he is, spending my money? When is he going to start behaving responsibly? Notice anything? These questions are all about someone else changing, as though what was happening was being done to me. At the time I didn’t realize I was thinking like a victim. That came later.

What I should have been asking at the time, preferably at the beginning of those two years, should have been questions about me and my accountability. What am I going to change? How am I going to invest the extra money I made? What am I going to do to take responsibility for what is happening? If I would have taken accountability personally rather than blame my husband, I could have and would have made different choices. Asking what and how questions would have forced me to adjust my thoughts and the results would have changed.

All of us have opportunities each day to decide if we are going to take personal accountability. I’m reminded of attending a meeting where a slide during a HR presentation said, “Accountability begins with YOU!”. Actually stating it in that way isn’t quite right as it points the preverbal finger in the other direction. Accountability begins with ME! I make my own choices. Each day there are circumstances that allow me to choose between blaming another or taking the bull by the horns and deciding that I can do something to make the situation better. I’d encourage you to pay attention to the questions you ask of yourself and others. Are they benefiting you by allowing you to be personally accountable? I hope they are.

My book, It’s Your Life….Own It! is about taking control of your own life. Let’s face facts, trying to change somebody else’s behavior probably hasn’t produced the results you were looking for. We can only change ourselves. Author / Book Link

 

Let Them Know You’re Proud

children chose you

As much as I try not to judge, I’ve never understood parents who are unsupportive of their children. When I say unsupportive I mean in all ways from financial to emotional and everything in between. I recognize that my beliefs about life and spirituality guide my thoughts and those with different beliefs will make decisions based in those beliefs.

We are spiritual beings and the energy source that many call the soul has merely taken up temporary residence in our physical body. It’s kind of ironic that people can accept that they are energy projected into this vehicle we call a body for themselves, but when we think of babies, we tend to focus on physical biology. When an unexpected pregnancy occurred in our family, I shared what I thought about the situation. How awesome that a being of source energy made the conscious decision to come into a body and chose who would be his or her parents. In other words, a God source energy decided to express itself in physical form, and with everyone on earth to chose from, it chose specific people to be its birth parents. How can you feel anything but joy about that? Think about times in the past when you were chosen for something –a team on the playground, a big project at work or being the person someone wanted to commit to spending his or her life with. It felt pretty good, didn’t it? Actually it felt great to be chosen. How incredible that a soul selected those individuals who arguably will be the most influential in the beginning of their new journey on earth.

I know it might be a stretch for some to believe their children chose them, but I really do believe that souls choose the families they will be born into. That is why I have such difficulty with unsupportive parents. Sure raising children can be challenging but for myself, I learned more about love and life from my kids than any other relationship. During rough times I have made decisions from a sense of duty as a parent however the incredible sense of love I have for my children was my guide most of the time.

The emotional wellbeing of a child carries them long after they leave our home. I think the two most powerful and enduring sentiments to share with your child are the phrases; I love you and I’m proud of you. Some are uncomfortable with expressing themselves with words however I would encourage you to say those two phrases often. They are a higher vibration than most other things you can say to your child thus they resonate with the soul.

I learned how important those phrases were when my oldest was in the service. He was involved in an intense level of training with an extremely high drop out rate. Three different times within a six month period he called me to share his grief over a friend committing suicide. As a parent, I worried about the intensity of what he was going through, especially if others found their escape in death rather than dropping out of the program. My son told me what they all had in common was a lack of support from their family. He assured me that he knew, no matter how or what he did, he would be loved. I still cry for those parents who lost their sons in what was but a moment of desperation. No doubt if they could start over they would ensure their son grew up knowing that they loved him and were proud of him, providing him the emotional rock to hold onto when life got tough.

Even if your beliefs are different than mine, I hope you will consider using “I love you” and “I’m proud of you” frequently. To do so can only improve the vibration of this planet, making it better for everyone.

Feel free to leave comments, whether you agree or disagree, I’m interested. Christie

 

My Top 10 List For Raising Happy Children

prime purpose is to help others Dalai Lama

As parents we provide the best life we can for our children. I believe most of us want our children to become happy and responsible adults. This is my top 10 list to achieve that. You may have your own list however I’m thinking our lists have much in common.

  • Teach children they are energy and connected to everything by energy
  • Tell children they are intelligent and demonstrate you believe it
  • Teach children their thoughts produce tangible results
  • Teach words can hurt or encourage and to choose wisely
  • Demonstrate that kindness brings joy to both giver and receiver
  • Teach that moral courage and integrity are the basis of good decisions
  • Teach that collaboration improves every situation
  • Teach children that they control how they feel and can change it
  • Demonstrate that life is fun and full of opportunity
  • Teach by example what happiness is because they witness happy parents

No matter the age of your child, every parent knows the feeling of your words falling on deaf ears. For those of you feeling a bit of discouragement over this, let me assure you that anything that is repeated often does sink in.  You may have to wait until your children have reached adulthood to get verification but the important lessons will stick. Here’s an example that had me laughing out loud. My youngest son, Ryan, was a slob growing up. It was normal not to see his bedroom floor beneath the discarded clothes and sports equipment. Dishes had great difficulty finding their way back to the kitchen. You get the idea. I tried to teach my children that an organized space helps you to feel more in control of your world (not in my top 10). A couple of months ago during a phone conversation, Ryan was telling me what a slob his roommate was. He described dishes with food on them under the bed, clothes dropped wherever and the inability to wipe off the kitchen counter. Evidently Ryan has turned into a neat freak since living on his own. I, of course, was LMAO at the irony. My point is, eventually your kids recognize lessons from childhood.

Although I could turn my top 10 list into a book, I want to address what I believe is the most important — being a happy parent. The fact is what you say doesn’t matter nearly as much as what your children observe in the household. Think about it. The reason so many adults have mental blocks about money is we grew up hearing “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “we can’t afford that” or “our last name isn’t Rockefeller”. We witnessed our parents arguing over money or financial decisions. Even though conversations may not have been directed at us, we developed beliefs based on the sense of lack that was prevalent in the actions of our family.

If you want your children to be happy, find a way to be happy with your life, the way it is right now. Find the joy and gratefulness within the day to day living. Let your children see that there are reasons to be happy even when there is a challenge. Allow them to witness you doing things that you love and the joy it brings you. Pay attention to both your actions and words as you teach them by example that this is a friendly and loving universe. Do this and they will know that happiness is an achievable result of the choices they make coupled with how they think.

You can read more in my book, It’s Your Life….Own It! available on Amazon

Finding Yourself After Divorce

Working on self divorce

When I found myself living alone for the first time in thirty years, it was as though I’d entered a virtual world. It had components of my previous reality, yet I walked through the first few months in a bit of a fog. My old habits continually exerted their influence and I found myself stopping mid task and asking what the hell I was doing. For example, the first time I went to the grocery store to stock my kitchen, I found myself picking up a bottle of ranch dressing.  When I put it in the shopping cart, I stood there staring at it for a full minute before I took it out and put it back on the shelf.  I hate ranch dressing.  I bought it for years for my husband and children. These are the type actions that you don’t think about, until you do.

The most difficult and time consuming change was changing how I felt about myself. I was no longer getting daily feedback about how I looked or what another didn’t like about what I was doing. When you live in an environment that is continually critical, no matter how strong you are, eventually you begin to take that criticism on as part of your truth. As I started noticing thoughts that made me feel bad, I had to examine each one for the origin….was it my initial thought or one that I’d taken ownership of after hearing it from another?  Recognizing that a belief about yourself actually was something you adopted is the first step in liberating yourself from those beliefs.

Once you identify a belief that is no longer part of your truth, or isn’t beneficial to you, you need to create a replacement belief.  It’s one thing to say I’m not going to believe that anymore, but that isn’t how our minds work.  Think of a toddler with a box of crayons who colors on the wall.  Taking away the crayons could be a short term solution however replacing the surface for coloring teaches what is acceptable.  “Susie, we color on these papers then we can hang them on the wall.” Hopefully you see the difference. For me, the thoughts I had to replace ran the gamut from my feet are ugly to I’m too controlling.

Here is the actual exercise I did to help me begin to change those beliefs about myself. First I wrote down the beliefs that made me feel bad about myself.  I did this in pencil and I left a couple of blank lines between each belief.  I filled a couple of pages on my legal pad as negative thoughts flooded my mind and found their final resting place on the yellow paper with the blue lines. The next part of the process took much more time.  Using a pen, I wrote replacement thoughts in the blank lines between those non-beneficial thoughts. The reason this took longer is I had to find a thought I could believe without that constant battle that occurs when you try to convince yourself of something that is out of your acceptable level of what’s possible. For example I replaced I’m too controlling with I make thoughtful decisions and being organized helps me keep my life in order.

You probably guessed the reason for writing those negative beliefs in pencil, so you can erase them. If you do this exercise for yourself, I’d encourage you to only erase the old belief once you’ve truly switched how you think about that particular topic. That means, dealing with one at a time. It doesn’t matter if it takes months to adjust your beliefs, after all it probably took years for you to take on those negative beliefs. Be gentle on yourself as you work at changing them.

Learning to live on your own after being part of a couple can be difficult however if you’ve gotten to the point that being alone would bring you more personal happiness, I understand that feeling. Although my book is about multiple areas of life, life partners fills a chapter. For more information, you can check out my author book site. No matter what you do, I want you to know that if someone else is deciding how you think about yourself, it’s worth examining.

Entitlement Boundaries

any man, happy letting government - Henry Fordchristiebakeman.com

You are entitled to many things; to have your own thoughts and beliefs, to create the life you desire and to experience all the joy and happiness you can attract.  It doesn’t matter your circumstances, these things are under your control.

Usually when we think of entitlement our minds jump to those who feel they should get something for nothing or rely on others to take care of them.  Why is that?  I think it is because we, as a collective group, have created a culture that falsely states all people should be equal in all things.  Whether it is participation trophies or the distain for extreme success and wealth, we have lost our way.  We blame others for our circumstances and insist that in order for there to be equality that everyone must have the same amount of resources.

I actually believe that all people are equal.  All of us have the same opportunity to create what we want our life to look like.  There is not a single person unable to change their thoughts or beliefs when different evidence is presented to them.  Once we engage with the idea that we are responsible for our circumstances, we open the door to possibilities.  That is the beginning of the magic of creation, when we own our results, we then recognize that we can change them.

The laws of this universe that we all reside in are the same for everyone.  You attract what you put out there in way of the frequency that you vibrate at.  If you exude love for your fellow man, you will find numerous examples of kindness, joy and caring come into your life.  However if you complain and disparage others on a continual basis, should you really be surprised if your life sucks?  Pay attention to what you are putting out there.  I don’t just mean what you post on social media but also your thoughts, and only you truly know what those are.

Yes, you are entitled, to what you can create.  That doesn’t mean you are entitled to someone else’s creation or their money.  It doesn’t mean that you are entitled to the same job as someone who put in more effort to become the best candidate.  It doesn’t mean that your government should take care of you while others foot the bill.  I’m not against social programs that have limits.  If you lose your job, file for unemployment, until you have another job.  If a circumstance changes and you need food stamps, by all means apply for them to help your family, until you are able to recover from the situation.  Most of us have experienced a time in our life when we needed help.  That doesn’t mean we should use that assistance to take care of us for the rest of our lives if we are mentally/physically capable of providing for ourselves.

You are a creator.  You are special and unique.  You are entitled by the very nature of your being.  Just don’t confuse being entitled with being taken care of.  There is a difference.

If you want to take more control of your life and your results, you can find practical techniques in my book, It’s Your Life….Own It!

Respecting the Wisdom of Others

Enlightenment, joy and peace are inside you

Something strange and wonderful happened last week.  My teenager sat at the kitchen table for two hours discussing important life topics like respect, knowledge verses experience and personal responsibility.  The most amazing part of this was that she initiated the conversation.  It was one of the times you recognize that everything else can wait because you’ve only got this one opportunity for this kind of connection.  If you are a parent, you understand that the normal conversation is typically limited to a few words or if you are lucky, a few sentences.

Interestingly, at least to me, was the divergence between our conversation and the number of things I’ve viewed or read about millennials lately.  Most of it has addressed how they are shallow, entitled and have no work ethic.  I personally don’t think that is the case.  All young people try to find their way in the world and millennials happen to being doing it in ways we couldn’t have perceived when we were their age.  Technology has brought them more information at a faster rate and as a group they have become more aware of the world around them.  If they are entitled it is because we, as parents or a society, created that situation.  If we expect them to take responsibility then we should set the example by recognizing the part we played in creating this situation.

Young people have opinions and it doesn’t matter if you agree or not, their opinions should be respected.  Sure, life experience may have taught you something different. However to expect they will come around to your way of thinking is setting yourself up for a letdown.  It probably won’t happen. All of us create our own reality.  We do this by taking actions that are in alignment with our beliefs.  If you believe that you must work for a company to earn a living, that is what you will do.  Many of these young people are proving that they can create an income out of thin air.  Okay, it may involve the internet, but the fact is they create jobs that are so untraditional it is hard for us to understand.  If they support themselves by working only twenty hours a week, we call that lazy.  Decades ago I attended seminars produced by Alternatives In Motivation and the theme was do what you love to do.  I look at millennials and I see them living that.  They spend less time working and more time enjoying life.  Wow, is it possible we criticize their lifestyle because we are jealous?

I believe that everyone comes into this life with an immense amount of knowledge.  We are creators and as such, this life is about creating the reality we wish to live in.  Rather than putting our focus on others maybe that energy would be better spent addressing our own beliefs, thus our own creation.  Of course, if we are open to seeing the beauty in other’s creations, we can learn from them.  Imagine finding enough peace, joy and enlightenment that others decide to call you lazy.  I’d be cool with that.

If you are open to finding more happiness and creating a life closer to what you desire, I’d like to share my book with you.  Read more here.