Being True To Yourself

It's better to concuer yourself    Buddha

This week a situation that has been going on for fifteen months finally came to it’s conclusion. For most of that time I felt I was fighting constant mental battles. Some of those episodes were extremely stressful as I attempted to anticipate the other party and research the laws that would be part of the process.  Although the outcome was favorable to me, I actually lost something far more important.

For the past several years I’ve focused on being happy and centered which enabled me to be more objective and see the good in all situations. As I rode an out of control, emotional rollercoaster I slipped back into old habits; seeing what was wrong, constantly questioning others intentions and feeling defensive whenever I spent time working on this situation. I allowed this challenge to impinge on other areas of my life. I missed opportunities to be happy in the present moment because I was focused on what was going on that I didn’t like.

I know better. I’m aware that we get more of anything that we focus on, especially when there is emotion attached to the situation. Positive or negative doesn’t come into play. The formula is simple: thoughts + emotion = manifestation. Although I couldn’t control what the other parties said or did, I did have a choice of how I reacted. My thoughts and my emotions were my choice.

Often times when we experience an extremely stressful situation we find it difficult to think clearly. This is where practice makes a difference. When we practice or drill on the smaller incidents in our lives then we are better prepared to handle the larger issues that arise. For example, if someone says something rude to you and instead of getting upset, you recognize that you have a choice. You choose at that time to not let it affect you or you focus on something else that makes you feel better. It’s just like seeing the cup half full rather than half empty.

All of us have challenges in our lives. My hope for you is that you remember (quicker than I did) that you have a choice. You choose your thoughts. You choose the emotions you experience. Thus you choose how you will experience life. Be happy my friends.

It’s Your Life….Own It! is a book written by this blogger and available here.

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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

 

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!

Fulfilling A Purpose

Sometimes you don't feel the weight

Have you ever wanted to do something, but you kept putting it off?  Procrastination takes hold and life gets in the way.  Before you realize it, your dream was moved to the back burner in someone else’s kitchen.  You know that desire is still there somewhere, because it nags at the back of your mind, interjecting itself into your thoughts at unexpected times.  It calls to you, in a soft subtle voice that nobody else hears.  That idea has substance and a weight that isn’t measured in pounds but rather attention units.  Always present, yet never in the forefront of your mind because you’ve chosen to put your focus elsewhere.  Miraculously, this desire doesn’t die from neglect.  It can’t if it is truly part of you.  It grows in imperceptible ways, waiting for the right time to spring forth demanding you notice it once again.  Demanding that you take action.

This was how writing was for me.  Even though I’ve written my entire life, it was for myself.  Sometimes others would receive heartfelt letters or I’d share a short story with a friend for whom it was written, but sharing my thoughts outside an intimate group wasn’t something I did.  As I became focused on my career, my marriage and then children, there wasn’t time to write.  To be honest, I didn’t make time.  When my boys started school, the desire to write resurfaced.  I had this crazy idea to write a novel.  I wasn’t in a good place mentally however I found the writing cathartic.  That novel was never published, nor should it have been.  When I reread it years later I decided it would need a total rewrite, however that probably won’t happen, because that writing was more about me healing than sharing a story.  Besides, the weight of the desire to write wasn’t unbearable yet so I put my efforts into other people.

When you concentrate on others it can be altruistic and cowardly at the same time.  I threw myself into volunteering first.  I found that the skills I’d honed in management positions were invaluable to organizations desperate for volunteers.  Whether it was the PTA, an alcohol/drug rehab or the foster care system, my planning skills coupled with my ability to communicate, filled gaps for them.  I was helping the organizations as well as individuals.  That was the altruistic part.  The more time I gave to others, the less I had to spend on improving myself.  Ah, the cowardly part.  If I was busy focusing on others I didn’t have to deal with my own fears, my own beliefs about myself and all those thoughts that weren’t benefiting me in any way.  I could effectively ignore that part of me, the one calling me to a life purpose, if I was contributing to the wellbeing of others.

There was something inside of me that I couldn’t ignore so I compromised with myself.  Whether you knew me thirty years ago or we just met in the past year, if we talked much at all, you figured out that I really wanted to help people, to be of service to them.  I want people to do well, to be happy for themselves.  Due to changes in our family situation, we closed our company and I began working for a large company.  Since I had this purpose of helping others hanging over my head, I concentrated on developing and training those who reported to me.  I’m direct enough that I cut through some of the excuses people give for not performing their best and we developed an incredible team.  If you are wondering what the compromise was, here it is.  At the same time we were achieving unprecedented results I was taking note of what worked and what didn’t, not only for the team but for myself.  At the time, I didn’t know that these would turn into exercises I incorporated into my book, It’s Your Life..Own It!

When a desire or a dream isn’t overwhelming, it’s easy to ignore.  That’s what I did for several years.  Even though I was making some journal entries of what was working well, I didn’t think about sharing them.  My grandmother used to tell me that when God closes a door, another one opens.  Well in my case, I felt like the universe decided I wasn’t moving fast enough to the next door so a series of events occurred which put me on my current path.  It started with a fateful Saturday when it took me fifteen minutes to recognize a feeling that overwhelmed me……happiness.  Now there’s a wake up call, when you don’t immediately recognize happiness when it shows up.  That gives you a small hint at the state of my life at that point.  That incident, which I wrote about, provided the motivation for me to take a serious look at my life and decide what I was going to create for the future.

Deciding what you desire to create in your life sounds much easier than it is.  Before I could develop a clear picture for the future I had to do some mental housecleaning.  That cowardly part of me actually suggested we just keep living in our little status quo box but it was too late for that.  I had to confront my fears, my mental blocks and I had to remember how to dream again.  Once that door to possibilities was open I was flooded with ideas, concepts and plans which I had no idea how to execute.  I traveled a great deal for my job so I began writing down everything that was coming to me.  Sometimes I wrote in a notebook on my lap as I drove and other times I would use the dictation feature on my phone and record notes.  If I was on my computer when these ideas came to mind, I sent myself an email so I could get it out of my head and refer to it later.  That is how the book started.

It wasn’t until I made further changes in my life that I had the time to organize all of these random thoughts.  My attempts were thwarted by my own self doubts as new fears arose.  However fears weaken as passion grows.  The more I focused on the message and helping others, the more passionate I became and with that my fears were lessened.  Then something interesting happened.  As I completed chapters of the book I felt as if a weight was lifting off of me.  I’m sure that some will read the quote at the beginning of this blog and think about negative situations that need to be released.  The opposite is just as true.  When a purpose is carried without giving it the attention and focus it requires, it weighs on our psyche until it is allowed to flourish and find it’s place in the world.

I wrote It’s Your Life..Own It! so that others could recognize that they too have the ability to create the life they desire.  You may have dreams and desires that are weighing on you and demanding to be released.  You don’t have to know all the hows, I sure didn’t.  You do have to start, first by recognizing what makes you happy and then taking steps to move toward that.  I want to share what I’ve learned so your journey is shorter than mine.  You can visit my website ChristieBakeman.com to see other things I have to share.

Be Selfish – For Your Own Good

If you want to be happy

Have you ever been told; stop being so selfish!  Think about the person who said that to you.  Were they really saying; hey stop putting yourself first and put me in that coveted spot!  Sometimes we are judged as being selfish for the simple reason that another person disagrees with our choices.  It isn’t always easy to understand what another’s motivation is.  Sometimes it is just as difficult to discern what our own motivation is.

Rebecca, a friend of mine,recently experienced some health issues.  She didn’t share them with her husband because she didn’t want him to worry.  Even though Rebecca was up most of the night in horrible pain, she let her husband sleep so he would be rested as he traveled across the country the next day.  In her mind she was putting his needs ahead of her own, thus not being selfish.  Hubby only made it part way across the country and had to get a return flight because Rebecca was admitted to the hospital due to a ninety percent blockage in an artery.  As I discussed this with my own husband, he pointed out the duality of the situation.  Trying not to be selfish, her behavior was a selfish act.  Keeping your partner in the dark, not sharing what is going on in your life, even with the intention of protecting that person, is setting that person up for future pain.  You could also look at this situation and decide if Rebecca would have been selfish and focused on her health rather than her partners comfort, hubby wouldn’t have spent hours on airplanes and would have been with her during the initial hospital examine.  I know he would have felt better being with her.

There is a duality to selfishness and finding the middle ground is like trying to stay in one place on a bumper car ride, with everyone else knocking you around.

Being a mother I think of all of the times that I put others first.  At the time I thought I was being selfless however looking back I see something else entirely.  As my children grew into adulthood I would remind them that their needs were placed ahead of my own.  Not so unusual, except I recognized that it some circumstances this created a feeling of sacrifice within me.  Many parents talk about sacrificing for their children and I suppose it isn’t an issue unless you start thinking and feeling negatively about it.  Feeling like you are unable to have what you want in your life comes from a sense of lack and thinking there is a limit to what you can experience.  These negative emotions, over time, can turn in to resentment.  Consciously, no parent wants to feel resentment toward their child.

There’s another aspect to putting others first and it takes brutal honesty to admit it.  Control.  The idea that if I am selfless and put others needs and wants ahead of my own, I can control them or their actions at some point in the future.  Future could be an hour from now or years from now.  Exerting this type of control usually will involve making the other person feel guilty for all of my selflessness or sacrifice on their behalf.  I am ashamed to admit that this description was me.  At the time I didn’t see it that way, but life experience and time to reflect has allowed me to examine my behavior with a different perspective.

There are times that we must put ourselves first.  No other person can make you happy.  Only you can achieve that.  Sometimes you have to put your wants, your desires and yourself first.  A happy person is capable of being a better parent or spouse or boss for that matter.  When you come from a mindset of abundance you are able to identify solutions that benefit everyone, no sacrifice required.  Be selfish about your own happiness.  Spend time and energy on yourself so when you feel the need to put others first, you do it from a place of love and joy rather than sacrifice.

My purpose in writing is to encourage you to be aware of how you think and decide if that benefits you.  If you’d like to experience more of my work, check out my website and join our community.  christiebakeman.com

 

Don’t Wait For Happiness To Show Up

happiness is not something ready made

When you are talking with your friends, how often do you find yourself saying, “I’ll be happy when X happens”?  I caught myself saying it just two days ago.  There is a circumstance in my life that has caused me an enormous amount of stress and I said that I would be happy when it was over.  I know better!  Yet I still fell into an old habit pattern of speaking.

It’s pretty common for people to think this way.  They will be happier in their job when they get a raise or promotion.  They will be happy when their little one is out of diapers.  They will be happy when they go on vacation.  They will be happy when school starts again.  It doesn’t matter the circumstance they are waiting for some future event to occur, thinking that will bring happiness.

The universe doesn’t work that way.  Happiness shows up when you are already living it.  I believe the precursor to happiness is gratitude.  If we can be grateful for the people and things that exist in our life at this very moment, that means our focus is on those things and more of them will come to us.  After all, like attracts like.  Identify the relationships and moments of your life you are grateful for.  Be sincerely thankful they exist and answer the door when happiness knocks.

For those who have children in diapers, cherish those one on one moments.  Before you know it they will be grown up and as the Trace Adkins song says, “you’re gonna miss this”.

If you enjoy this blog, check out my website to see the other things I share

christiebakeman.com