There is a lot of talk these days about The Secret and what we might be attracting into our lives. Some celebrities are attracting situations that give them the opportunity to enter rehab and clean up certain aspects of their lives. Paris Hilton is a good example of someone who has the opportunity to learn some lessons about life and use her time in jail to make some positive changes. Martha Stewart is another person who has taken a difficult situation and turned it into lessons for herself and gifts for herself and others. What are you attracting into your life? What lessons are you learning? What gifts are you being given?
I have attracted a wonderfully organized assistant to help me with some business projects. My, what a gift she is! I feel she is a blessing in my life—making everything easier, thinking of creative ideas, keeping me on task, anticipating my needs, following through on details, getting things done that have been in the wings for awhile, etc.
Something else I attracted that isn’t such a warm fuzzy is a distancing in a close friendship. This has been a gift of learning the sensitivities of another, being more careful about my words, choosing the loving and understanding path instead of the selfish path. This too has been a blessing because I can catch my behaviors without losing the friendship. This opportunity for growth has brought some warm fuzzies but before that some porky pine quills and rose thorns. We all have to remember, “What goes around comes around.” Putting our energies into good communication, being honest and caring are requirements for the nurturing and growth of ourselves and our relationships.
So, I wonder what you have been attracting. Look at the things that are draining you and see if you can find the reason you might be dealing with them. What choices did you make that may have brought these into your life? Can you find the lesson or what you may have to learn from these? How about looking at the things that might be hurting you or making you angry? How did you create these? What can you learn from these? What gifts can you find in these situations? Is there a person you have attracted into your life that is creating some difficulties? They may be coming as your teacher, bring with them an opportunity for you to learn something you have not yet mastered in life? Can you see what the gold is among all the rocks? Some of these experiences may not appear to be good at first examination, but a reasonable assessment may reveal hidden treasure for your personal development.
Select an upsetting experience and write how it is a lesson from which you can learn. State what specific three things you have learned that may improve your life in some way. Really let yourself feel the joy of receiving these gifts. You might even think of them as birthday gifts from the universe. Then write a commitment to do a particular action that will demonstrate one of the lessons you’ve learned. Enjoy your gifts!
I often work with clients who are angry with their spouse. In fact, they often get stuck in their anger. Usually what is underneath the anger is hurt, and sometimes they have difficulty expressing that hurt. When you are focusing on the other person’s negative behavior which seems to cause your feelings such as anger or hurt, you continue to create those feelings and attract people and situations that you perceive as hurtful… Or situations that make you mad… Your interpretaiton or the meaning you place on events is focused on the negative—what is wrong with the other person. And then that is all you see.
So why not try thinking the other way around? Focus on the positive and attract positive people and situations. Think about placing positive meanings on your spouses’ behavior. Instead of finding fault, try accepting that THAT is the way he or she is. After several years of being together, you know that this is how he thinks, this is how he behaves, and his personality is like this. What you see is what you get! Instead of getting mad and trying to tell him or her how to change, put your energy into changing yourself. Handle the situation differently and don’t be critical of her. Think about the good qualities in her. The wonderful things she does. And, the ways in which you are grateful. When you do this, you accept your spouse. You allow them to be just the way they are (which they are going to be anyway!)
I am currently working with an executive who is angry with her husband for his moodiness and distance. Instead of complaining to him she is focusing on her gratitude for what he does. As she allows him to be the way he is, she doesn’t take it personally and think that he is upset with her. Nor does she interpret his distance as rejection. When she needs her positive, happy and involved spouse, she approaches him with kindness and asks for what she wants or needs. She approaches with a loving attitude and usualy receives a kind response. Before this, she complained about him and felt responsible for changing his mood. She also felt lonely and unloved. Now she understands he loves her and is simply responding to his own stuff at work and in their relationsihp. She no longer feels responsible for him and guilty. No longer angry. She is accepting this is the way he deals with his stress. And she asks for what she wants.
Her acceptance of him, changing her own thinking and behavior, and asking for her own needs is getting much more of the love she has wanted. Give it a try yourself. Control your own thinking and behavior. Accept the other person as he or she is, and focus on getting your needs and desires fulfilled while having kind thoughts and actions.
Think of a recent situation with your spouse or close friend which upset you. Listen to your “story” of what they did wrong. Now say to yourself,“Stop!” Recount with your understanding and acceptance the way the other person thinks and behaves. Think a different interpretation. Accept this is the way he or she thinks nad behaves. Think through what positive things they bring to the table. And add the positive things they did in this situation. Think of ways you can do something better in this and future similar situations. As Bill O"Hanlon says, “Do one thing different.”
As you accept your spouse, you are changing your critical story to a positive and accepting story. You might find yourself feeling good, smiling and being happier. You are demonstrating excellence in taking responsibiity for yourself, excellence in accepting and loving your spouse, and living a relationship of excellence.
Welcome to Living In Excellence, a blog for helping you focus on creating excellence in your life. I am a personal and executive coach specializing in helping talented individuals and organizational teams live lives of excellence. Whether it is mastering your career or the daily activities you do, you will experience more happiness, satisfaction and well-being if you do it well. This site is dedicated to assisting you getting in the flow of your activities and creating more meaning in your life. We will also dedicate special attention to ideas that may develop more excellence in your relationships.
I think a good place to start is to do little acts of kindness everyday. When you are thinking of others and giving to them, you have the opportunity to climb out of your self-absorption and share a little thoughtfulness and kindness with another. We have always been taught that it is better to give than to receive.
So here is your opportunity to develop that part of your nature. It is through your giving that you get an extra dose of positive regard. When the receiver of your kindness accepts your gift, he or she is participating in a regard transaction and automatically sends back a positive regard exchange. It makes you feel good to see that you have made a positive difference in the experiential field of another.
And that other begins to send it back to you. You are now receiving positive regard in two ways—through the other sending it and through your own experience of perceiving and receiving it. You are expanding your experiential field or the relationship with the other person. The reciprocal nature of positive regard is the connection of two souls. You are igniting the Light of the world and expanding it through your regard transaction.
ACTION: Do a small act of kindness for someone else today. If you can, think of someone for whom you would like to do something and do it today.
Secondly, look for an opportunity which spontaneously calls for an act of kindness and do it. This morning I took my sweetheart coffee and after talking a brief while helped him ease up so as to not stress the pain in his back. The look on his face of pain-free movement as he stood up was a gift of, “Thank you.” His smile gave to me. My smile gave back to him and the regard transaction went back and forth. We both felt loved… I hope you feel the love exchange as you do something thoughtful for another. Create excellence in your thoughtful day…
The Excellence Retreat: Renewal of Your Authentic Self led by D’Arcy Vanderpool is a self-renewal opportunity for talented and busy women who are interested in temporarily disconnecting from the world of responsibility and reconnecting with their authentic selves.
This retreat will assist you in developing excellence in your journey of personal and professional growth. You will have the experience of mastering your psychology -- identifying self-defeating patterns of thinking, behaving and feeling and the emergence and strengthening of new ones.
We will share about our talents and signature strengths and you will learn how to use them in addressing a current challenge.
While exploring the vision of your future self, you will learn to develop strategies and an action plan creating more fulfillment and desired successes. You will experience the fun and support of other women as you move forward with your own individual goals and affirmations.
Come join us in beautiful southern Utah (2 hours from Las Vegas) October 22 and 23, 2005. We begin Saturday morning at 10:00 am Mountain time (9:00 am Pacific time). We end Sunday at 2:00 pm Mountain time (1:00 pm Pacific time).
Registration $250 (includes 16 hours of retreat activities, lunch and dinner Saturday and breakfast Sunday) Check, Visa or Master Card accepted.
Motel accommodations for Saturday evening (motel options will be given after registration)
Pre-retreat assignments and driving directions will be given to each participant after enrollment. Car pooling may be possible.Call D'Arcy to enroll or click here...
If you plan to attend, please download the directions, and preparation instructions.