Stuck in a power struggle with yourself?

iStock_000005889385XSmallAs a coach and counsellor, I’m privileged to work with some wonderful high-powered businessmen (and -women). Yet the men, particularly, often resist their power so strongly that it can sometimes be hard to break through. They’re used to being in charge and to making things work. After all, for better or for worse, they’ve been running the world for millennia. But if things are not working in their business, they tend to attribute it to some external factor—the market, the economy, the poor work ethic, the wrong location, the workers, the competition, etc. They tell me: Olga, you don’t understand this business. I’ve been running this company for 30 years and I know how these things work.

And I say to them: Well, you’ve been running your body for 55 years and it’s not bringing you what you want; how well do you know how it works?

I’ve been around the block, Olga, and this is how it works in this industry. People just don’t

But it’s not about those people, out there. It’s about what’s going on inside; it’s about the power of you and your subconscious, and whether that power is switched on or off. It’s about whether that power is being channelled into external sinkholes or into the true inner drivers of your life.

But you don’t know how hard I’ve worked, how many times I’ve tried to fix this… you just don’t understand everything I’ve done.

True. I don’t. But I don’t need to, because I know the power of you—how it gets switched off, what it takes to switch it on, why we resist it so much, and how we can prove to ourselves that there’s an easier way to win. I don’t need to know the story of your life to know what’s going on; whatever’s happening in your life right now is story enough.

Yes, but…

I’ve been there, done that—argued with all the ‘evidence’ that life presents, and resisted the deeper truth, again and again and again. I’ve been masterful at resisting the power of me, and I know the symptoms of self-denial.

There’s a basic goodness and strength in men that pushes them to want to achieve things, to perform well and to make things work. (Of course, there’s sometimes a teeny weeny bit of ego, as well…) But while men can readily acknowledge the power of their business, as something they have created, they often discount the power of themselves, which is something that they are. And while it might sometimes seem as if I’m criticizing their approach by focusing on what’s going on inside them, I’m actually paying them the greatest compliment possible. I’m directing them to explore a power that will leave all their sophisticated business strategies in the shade.

We all have it, of course—not just men—and it’s a power that overrides market forces, the economy and whatever other factors may seem to be deciding our fate. Recognizing and understanding that power represents such a radical shift that it’s often too big a leap for some to make. Circumstances are so convincing, dramatic and distracting that we can’t see how some indefinable force inside us could possibly cancel out all the ‘evidence’ of our apparent inability to turn things around—to get the partner of our dreams, to save our business, to heal our relationships, or to break long-standing cycles of debt or defeat.

Yet if we resist an exploration of this power, we’re resisting ourselves. If we resist an expression of this power, we’re resisting success. If we insist on believing in the power of external forces, we’re resisting the easy route to getting what we want.

In all the strategizing, financial planning, market research and other due diligence that hard-working businessmen undergo, it can be hard to see an easy route. But if we switch our focus from external events to our internal dynamics, we discover a much greater force that can work in our favour.

I sometimes encourage men (especially those who work even harder when things stall) to take time out to just sit and meditate—to allow inspiration and answers to come to them, and to demonstrate the trust and confidence that they don’t always feel, deep down. But many of them are quick to set me straight: Olga, meditation doesn’t work for me. And I don’t have time for it; I’ve got to save my business, make money, protect my employees…

If we resist meditation, we’re resisting a connection with our self—the source of all our answers. And if meditation ‘doesn’t work’, it’s the connection with self that’s been scrambled.

We all have the power to be masterfully ‘manifestatious’. Our bodies and minds are the systems through which we live our lives—the medium through which we process who we think we are, how we think life works, and what we believe is possible. It’s not about finding a savvy business plan to outsmart the competition, or using clever marketing strategies to attract lots of paying clients. It’s about recognizing that you are the system, and then working to ensure that that system is operating powerfully—with solid self-worth, positive intent, healthy dynamics, clear boundaries, wholesome integrity, honest self-expression, sound values, and a loving validation of who you are, without manipulation, disrespect or contrivance, and without compromising or over-extending yourself in the hope of a payoff.

So, men, take a bow for all that you’ve achieved …and take a break to let in all that’s trying to reach you. You deserve it and it’s time to let things be easy. Any negative circumstances are simply pushing you to take charge in a new and masterful way, from the inside out.

Forget about tapping into the grid; get connected to the power in you and you’ll have no more power failures in your life. You’ll have power to pass on to others—and rocket fuel to spare.

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Here’s a new way to think about—and live—your week

 

ScreenHunter_02 Sep. 08 10.25MoneyDay: Make this a day when you’re mindful about what you do with money. Donate something to a charity, give some cash to someone living on the street, or buy a lottery ticket. Think about what money means to you—the power it has and how wisely (or otherwise) you use it. What’s the most powerful use you could make of your money today?

ChooseDay: This is a day for being very conscious of your choices. Focus on making only those choices that feel good for you, and avoid making any compromises that don’t feel right. Watch yourself as you choose, being mindful of what’s motivating you, and catch yourself when you’re about to do something just because you’ve always done it (and not necessarily because it’s the best option for you).

WhensDay: Now it’s time to focus on some advance planning. After making some new choices, you may be ready to make some new commitments, so let this be a day for focusing on the ‘whens’—when you’re going to start that new class, when you’re going to take time for meals/meditation, or when you’re going to start being honest with your partner about how you really feel. Make this a day of forging commitments, with deadlines, and ask a friend to hold you accountable for sticking to them.

TerseDay: Now it’s time to cut to the chase. No more faffing around. DO those things you’ve committed to getting done. Be clear and concise. Avoid rambling or going off on tangents. De-clutter your mind (and environment) so you can stay focused on what matters and not get distracted by the routines and busyness of everyday life. The time is now. Your life is short. The world is waiting for you to get clear and to show up. Get to it.

MyDay: This is a day for taking time out, for reflection, and for feeling and doing what’s healthy and right for you. It’s a day for saying YES to you and NO to any kind of stress, obligations, pressure, overtime or even doing favours for others. See what happens and what comes up when you make this day completely yours.

SatireDay: Life is full of ironies and this is the day for observing them, laughing at them and getting to the deeper reality. What are the ironies in your life? Can you see the irony in needing to be accepted by others who so badly need to be accepted by you? Do you see how pushing to get things done, or chasing someone to get them to love you, actually pushes both away? If you can laugh at yourself—at how we all strive so hard to get somewhere, when all we need to do is be powerfully ourselves—you’ll be halfway to the truth. Ironies are all around you. Watch for them and dig down to what’s really going on.

FunDay: This is the day to let it all go—to completely relax, have fun, go to the beach, laugh, play, put on some music, have brunch with friends, turn off your computer/cellphone, and generally be in your body, rather than in your head.

When you think of each day you live, do you see it as a weakday, a freakday, a meekday, a geekday or a peakday, when something pivotal happens to change the whole course of your life? Each day has come to mean something, after years of living one week after another (with Monday being the dreaded back-to-work-day after the weekend, for example), but you can give your week a whole new meaning by giving each day a whole new focus and purpose. Try it and see what happens. And let me know—next week.

 

Maybe yes, maybe no, or maybe just maybe…?

21/08/2013 3 comments

questionWords are powerful, and none more so than YES and NO. Are you using them powerfully in your life? In your work, friendships and relationships, what are you saying YES and NO to?

Do you say YES to honest self-expression, healthy boundaries and authentic interaction? Or do you say YES to more work, more care-taking, more compromises and more stress?

Do you say NO to disrespect, manipulation and being taken for granted? Or do you say NO to opportunity, daring adventure, fulfillment and growth?

What we say YES and NO to determines how much support, guidance, love, money, ease and success we can have—from our partner, from others, from strangers and from the universe. It’s a direct reflection of what we think we deserve and what we allow ourselves to receive, as a result. If we’re saying YES to lots of unhealthy dynamics, the universe will respect our choice to not put ourselves first (in healthy ways). It will acknowledge our message of ‘non-deservability’ and it will hold off on all deliveries of good stuff until we make it clear, through our healthy choices and behaviour, that we’re open to receiving again.

But don’t just take my word for it. Try it for yourself and see what happens. Say YES to one new thing in your life today—something healthy, positive or wonderful that you’ve never said YES to before. And say NO to one new thing in your life today—something you’ve never dared say NO to before, even though it would be healthy, positive and powerful for you to do so.

And let me know what happens.

Yes? No? Maybe? Hey, you decide.

Are you having phoney phun?

14/08/2013 3 comments

evil smiley

Some day soon (very soon, I hope), there will be a designated space set aside in restaurants, airports and other public places for those who just cannot survive without their cellphone phix. It took a long time for this to happen for smokers, but it finally did, once the realities of cigarette smoking could no longer be swept under the carpet.

We’re all still having too much phun with our phones to be bothered about health issues, and it’s going to take a phundamental shift in awareness or a very nasty collective wake-up call for this to change. But it’s not just about the harmful ephects of cellphone radiation; it’s about the respect, human connection and emotional presence that are being compromised in favour of being ‘connected’ to some person, in some place, about some thing other than what’s right in front of you. It’s a contagion of phragmentation that will have many more repercussions than losing a friend, not digesting your meal or missing a beautiful sunset.

Our electronic gadgets have also swept us up into a multi-tasking phrenzy. Our brains are not designed for this degree of processing, and multi-tasking not only reduces our productivity, our phocus and our problem-solving abilities; it also permanently damages our brain and makes us less smart. (Look up multi-tasking on the Internet to see just how damaging it is, but try not to do it when you’re in the middle of doing something else.)

For now, there seems to be no escape from the cellphone inphestation. Yesterday, I saw two young people sitting on the beach on a stunning summer’s day, heads together, talking intimately. As I got closer, though, I realized that they were both on their phones, texting pheverishly, ignoring each other, the eagle flying overhead, the beautiful clear water, and the antics of the one-year-old playing in the sand. (Unbeknownst to that little fella, he only has about another year left, before being directly hooked up to the source of the pandemic, although his thin little skull is already being bombarded by harmful radio waves from all sides.)

I hardly ever use my phone, but that doesn’t make much difference if you’re still using yours—beside me on the bus, beside me in the cinema, beside me in the restaurant, and beside me in every single café in town. If I went up to you in the restaurant, pulled back my hair and said, “Look. See this scar? This is from brain surgery to remove a tumour due to electromagnetic radiation“, would it change anything? I doubt it. You’d probably be annoyed that I’d interrupted you when you were trying to send a very important text. Besides, that kind of thing only happens to other people, right? Like lung cancer. Phunny. I used to think like that too.

Perception or deception? What you see is what you get…

14/06/2013 6 comments

perceptionI wonder how our lives would change if we put a positively powerful spin on our greatest challenges. What if, for example, I viewed my recent brain surgery as one of the highlights of my life? It might go something like this:

Gosh, this is exciting, isn’t it? Brain surgery! Never had that before. And none of my friends have ever had this kind of intriguing experience. What’s it all about, and what might they find in there, apart from that pushy little blob that’s trying to take over? I’ve probably been coasting too much, getting bored with the status quo and indulging in too much mental masturbation; since my mind loves a challenge, this one has obviously been sent to get me thinking in a whole (hole?) new way. And isn’t it fascinating to think that my waking self got dispatched into some death-like, timeless zone while the surgeon took a saw to my noggin? In a flash, I’m awake again without ever knowing I’d been asleep. Yet eight long hours have passed, with the most delicate dance of intricate interventions having been choreographed by a whole team of experts, completely focused on me. Am I not hugely blessed? Not only did I manifest a highly skillful surgical team to save my life, but I have a body that can re-grow an entire network of nerves, re-knit bone, and recalibrate the brain once the squatter has been evicted. Blimey. I’m amazing! Yet I’ve been twiddling my thumbs, metaphorically speaking—taking my sweet time with life and work, and really not pushing myself even close to my potential (while spending far too much time contemplating my limits to even glimpse what’s beyond them). It’s time to do something seriously superlative with all this power inside me.

It’s no surprise, then, that I now have little time for pleasantries or being polite, just for the sake of propriety. I no longer sweat the small stuff (well, maybe just a little, but I usually catch myself before I go too far down those nasty little rabbit holes). I’m keenly aware of my mortality, while realizing that my body has incredible creative, healing powers that I never truly grasped or valued before.

But what about the small stuff? If we take the stance that we’re in charge, that we powerfully attract all kinds of circumstances that are designed to ultimately advance us along our personal evolutionary path, then we must consistently hold that power in every single thing—from the tedious breakdown of a nifty new laptop, to the disintegration of a long-standing relationship. We’re either in charge or we’re not. We’re either powerful or we’re not. So patting ourselves on the back for having manifested a fabulous new partner, yet bemoaning the fact that we just got fired from work doesn’t make sense— and it doesn’t do us justice.

So if I client cancels or if something important gets rescheduled, I ask myself what opportunity I have created by orchestrating this turn of events. I almost always find the answer: I needed to rest; I wanted to work on my book; I needed to go for a walk—and if I hadn’t, I’d never have found that amazing book or bumped into that guy who… You get the idea. I’m in charge. I’m running my own show—even when my subconscious brings me stuff I don’t like; it’s only doing its job—putting me in touch with something I wasn’t aware of or hadn’t yet seen from an enlightened, empowered perspective.

So it’s all good, even when it’s bad. And we’re in charge, even when life seems chaotic. What you see is not necessarily what’s there. Yet what you see is what you get.

Is fear the story of your life?

28/05/2013 2 comments

Caveman and t-rexOnce upon a time, we lived in caves. We also lived in fear. We were hunters, but we were also prey, vulnerable to attack from nasty, brutish beasties. Outside our caves (and sometimes also in them), life was scary, unpredictable and full of unknowns. We learned to lie low, to reduce our exposure to danger; we learned to be stealthy to avoid being eaten alive; we learned to understand our predators so that we could outwit them; and we learned to hide, as being visible could mean big trouble.

Fast-forward to the twenty-first century… and we have traded caves for boxes in the sky; we’ve traded loin cloths for suits, clubs for cellphones, and grunts for smooth talking. But we still live in fear – fear of competition, fear of not being good enough and fear of not being loved. We’re afraid to be ourselves, to stand up for what we believe in and to do outrageous things. We’re afraid to be fully seen for who we are, even though (in fact, because) we crave visibility and acceptance. We’re afraid of rejection and of not being liked, which makes us needy, distorts our sense of self, and leads to compromises that bring us more of what we don’t want.

We may wish to blame our parents, our parents’ parents, or even our prudish Victorian ancestors for our inhibitions – and for all the disappointments that result; yet these fears have existed in us since the first hairy beast – and the first human being – roamed the Earth (and, back then, there may not have been much difference between the two). We are safer now than at any other time in history, yet our fears have not diminished accordingly. Instead, they have been channelled into a much more insidious – yet equally life-depleting – context. They are fuelled by low self-worth, by a sense of unacceptability and by the idea that we’re innately sinful and imperfect, constantly in need of improvement, redemption and forgiveness.

But where does this impetus come from? The answer is religion, although religion is not the answer to anything else at all. Whether you are religious or not, you have been shaped, distorted and diminished by religious influence. Even if you consciously reject all religious constructs, they have had an impact on almost every culture on Earth, filtering down to you through your parents, teachers, politicians and presidents, while seeping into the morals, laws and constitution of almost every ‘civilized’ nation.

Religion has disconnected us from our own ‘hotline’ to God/the universe and our own power, just as effectively as rubber-soled shoes have insulated us from our electrical connection with the Earth. We no more need a religious framework to connect with our all-powerful, co-creative, spiritual selves than we need a cable to connect us to the Earth’s energies. Existing as human beings is enough, as is standing barefoot on the grass.

Our natural flow of power and energy has been distorted by generations of programming. As a result of self-appointed religious intermediaries, and the manmade rules and regulations that they promote, we have surrendered our autonomy as innately worthy, creative and masterful beings.

But there is nothing wrong with us. In reality, the only thing we need to ‘fix’ is the layers of negative programming and conditioning that have scrambled our connections – with our self and with our power to create the lives we want.

Removing these layers of low self-worth sets us free to clearly see the truth – and to apply the universal laws that enable us to thrive and love life. Like taking off our shoes and walking barefoot along the beach, it reconnects us with the Earth and with the life-giving energies that fuel our body, mind and spirit. But if we always have our shoes on, we are no longer grounded in the earth, and the ‘charge’ from cellphones, wi-fi and countless electrical appliances can overwhelm the body, creating sickness, inflammation or stress. Similarly, without emotionally, mentally and spiritually grounding ourselves in the truth of our mastery, we fall prey to the unfounded fears of our forefathers. But just because they succumbed to religious oppression, way back when they risked being burned at the stake, doesn’t mean we have to.

So kick those shoes off and get re-connected with the earth, and with your innate goodness and ‘godness’. Look around you and see just how truly safe, loved and cared-for you are – by nature, by your own creative self-sufficiency and by the universal energy that fuels us all. Whatever fears you have originated in your mind. And if you can change your mind, you can do anything.

Toxic-parenting purge [Part 2]

30/04/2013 1 comment

51 Move your bodyToxic-parenting purge [Part 2]

Resolving emotional pain can be serious stuff. If you have personal issues from your early years, you may find it exhausting – not to mention expensive – to address them effectively. And if you’ve suffered abuse in your upbringing, it may be depressingly difficult to break free from the frustration, anger and shame of the past.

To continue in the vein of emotional spring-cleaning of my previous blog (Part 1), here’s another spin on taking charge of your own healing, while giving yourself permission to have fun with it and thereby reduce its grip on your life. If you have suffered emotional, physical or psychological abuse in your life, the suggestion of using humour is not meant to trivialize your experience; it is, however, intended to lighten your load, while encouraging your subconscious to take a less serious view of what happened, thereby transmitting more positive messages to your body-mind as well as to the outside world. Since our self-worth is determined by our perception of who and what we are (which has been largely shaped by others), we can reduce any negative perceptions by focusing on light-hearted self-acceptance. When we laugh, we lift our spirit – and we also reduce the weighty ‘charge’ around the emotional pain in our hearts, which can cause us to attract more of the same.

Choosing to have fun with some former painful, damaging experience is a powerful statement of self-determination. It’s an active refusal to allow that pain to further dictate the quality of your existence. And if you’ve already done a lot of personal growth work, having outrageous fun may be the only thing you haven’t tried.

So let’s take that abuse to pieces. Let’s break it down so that it no longer runs your life or makes you reactive. Let’s see what it really stands for, and how you can read something better into this highly-charged word, transmuting it into a higher expression of who you really are, with humour, creativity and self-acceptance:

A is for ab-use – the creative and energetic use of your abs to exorcize your inner demons and free yourself from emotional angst, while making a nice tidy little six-pack of your tummy. Work those abs and pump that solar plexus, where most of your heavy-duty negative programming is lodged, but from where it can be ousted, with a little huff-n-puff and dogged determination. (You can double the benefit by doing this while watching a really funny movie, although you may end up doubled over.)

B is for brave-blogging – a brazen blog on something totally tedious that happened to you, written with all the weighty seriousness associated with a major world crisis. Like when you lost your earring down the plug hole and had to resort to all kinds of contortions and pointy contraptions to fish it out; or when you stepped on a massive mushy slug – in your bare feet! – and the luscious sound and texture of it, as it slithered silkily along the skin of your sole, where all 72,000 nerve endings instantly related the gristly nature of this encounter to every squeamish cell in your bod… or that time you had a really bad hairday and ended up looking (and feeling) like an angry buffalo in need of a parting just a little more to the left or maybe the right, if only your hair were not in a state of electrified anarchy… Be brave. Write unflinchingly. And send your message out to the universe. Speaking of which…

U is for universe – your very own private playground, with endless resources to nourish you and your dreams. Know that the entire universe is there to serve you – to enable you to discover, heal and empower yourself, not to mention having a laugh at all its cosmic ironies. Everything around you exists to somehow make your life better, richer and more meaningful – and it’s meant to make you laugh. The universe is working entirely on your behalf (even if it doesn’t always seem to), and it’s dedicated to bringing a smile to your face, every single day (which can be really hard work when we take ourselves seriously). Look for the humour, especially in the pain, for every single molecule thrives on the vibrations of your laughter. Own it; make the universe yours; and see what wonderful mischievous magic you can co-create together when you see the universe as the cosmic comedian that it is.

S is for scrumptious, sinful, soulful sustenance – the kind your body needs to support you in living your best-ever life. Focus on eating power-packed foods for one whole week and see what happens when you nourish yourself fully, without resorting to the comfort foods that the battered body so often yearns for. Think: brain food, superfood smoothies, maca-flavoured munchies, sprouted nutty nuggets, raw-cacao brownies, veg-n-fruit bars, raw chocolate – all the yummy, nourishing, potent stuff that you can find or fabricate yourself. By eating delicious foods that boost your brain power and your mood, you’ll gain a new understanding of the feel-good factor – and you’ll want to chuck the dreaded comfort foods that only mask your pain and stress your already-addled adrenals. Feed your body lovingly, and you’ll attract more of that loving quality into your life.

E is for everything – what you are made of, what you were created to do, and what you stand to gain by liberating yourself from the pain of your past. You have it all – the resources and the recipes; the faculties and the funnies; the smarts and the sexiness; the ideas and the insights; the wealth and the worthiness; and the power and the purpose, not to mention a host of heavenly hormones and huge hugability.

So put your own fresh, sassy spin on that tired old record that keeps replaying itself inside you. Hopefully, the abuse you suffered is a thing of the past; when you find creative ways to let it go, you give us all the gift of your presence by sharing the real, unabridged, uninhibited you.

I look forward to reading your brazen brave-blog.