I just returned from a week of training with my mentor, Jack Canfield and 80 other people committed to human potential. I am on the "training high" as they call it after you get out of one of these types of seminars. But, what causes that training high. Well, or one week, I was able to serve and help others; I was listened to; I was a shoulder for others to cry on; others offered me love, compassion and support and, I received hundreds of hugs. For one week, each of us was listened to and accepted just as we were. No one needed more or less. There was no concern about being right or wrong. It was simply enough to be and stay in a space with your heart open.
I teach others to always keep your heart open, but that is so much easier said than done. I often times talk about how loving I am only to a moment later experience a feeling of anger or annoyance at another person. There are two proven ways to keep your heart open. The first one (and really the only one, as the second is derived from this one) is to remain in a state of gratitude. The more grateful you feel, the more your heart opens. When you can look around you and only see blessings, your heart cannot help but to stay open. You can be grateful for anything. For the ability to see, hear, touch. You can be grateful for people in your life; flowers, pets, nature. I live near the ocean and have a daily ritual of watching the sunset. The way I feel when the sun sinks into the water is indescribable. The whole time I am watching it, I am listing all of the things I am grateful for in that day. Gratitude is not just the key - it is everything. When you are in a state of being grateful, your heart is as open as it can get. And, when your heart is open, more and more flows into your life.
The second way to keep your heart open is focused on how to release negative feelings towards other people. One of the things that can quickly pull us out of a state of gratitude is our perception of other people's actions (and the meaning we assign to these actions). First of all, all actions are neutral. An action is simply an action. Each of us give actions meaning. Getting flowers is a neutral action - you provide meaning (value) to that action. Someone hanging up on you is also just a neutral action - again, you provide the meaning to that action. These meanings are derived from past experiences which have led to expectations. Let's take the example of someone forgetting your birthday (or Valentine's Day, since that is coming up). The action is forgetting a special date. The meaning is what you give it. You can say, "Someone did not care enough about me to remember this special day", in which case you would feel sad or disappointed. Or, you can say, "someone I care about, who I know cares about me, forgot a day that was special to me, I wonder what is going on with them". In this case, you may feel worried or concerned. Same action, two different emotional outcomes based on what meaning you gave the action. The key to dealing with others is to understand that each person is doing the best they can with the skills and abilities they have. That is not to make excuses, but rather to create compassion. And, by creating this sense of compassion, it brings you back into a state of gratitude. Gratitude that you have learned and now know more than that and can be in a place of compassion rather than judgment.
So, as Valentine's Day approaches, I urge each of you to walk around this week with your hearts open. Stay in a place of gratitude for the love that is all around you at every moment. The sun shining down on you is an act of love. Each person who passes you and smiles is an act of love. Be grateful for each of those (and more will easily come). And, for those that may not be a pleasure to be around, remember to come from a place of compassion and move right along, there is always a new person to interact with right around the corner.
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to watch the documentary, I Am by Tom Shadyac. It was amazing. He interviewed some of the world's best thinkers (or, maybe Feelers) on two questions: What is the wrong with our world and what can we do about it? And, they said... oh, I won't ruin the surprise for you! But, the movie discusses the concept of moving from a competitive world to a cooperative world. This, by the way, is also the main message that is coming out of many of the people who are speaking about the December 21, 2012 new world. This concept is not so much about the end of the physical world, but the end to how we have been living and the beginning of a new way of living, a new way of thinking and a new way of interacting.
This impacted me personally on a very deep level. Right before watching this movie, I was talking to a good friend and she helped me realize that my message is the ability to understand what it feels like to be "different". Ever since I can remember, people always told me that I was different. I always understood this to be a sincere compliment from the person who was
saying it, but, often times it felt more like a prison sentence. As much as I understood the intention, it did not make hearing it any better. All I ever wanted was to "fit in" and be just like everyone else. And, I truly believed (and honestly still do) that I could be this different version of myself and get others to see that I was not so different, but still very much within the norm.
One of these major differences is the ability to see the world as non-competitive. I remember when my mentor at Accenture told me that he believes that each of us have our own unique path that meant for only us and no one else. I loved that. I told everyone I met about it. How cool is that? Your path is just yours. No one else will have your life experiences in exactly the same way, your DNA, or your upbringing... it is just yours. In Islam, I was fascinated by the concept of rizak. Rizak is the Arabic word for sustenance. The concept is that what you receive in this life is yours to receive. You will receive what you are meant to from various sources, because those sources were entrusted to hold your sustenance for you. So, when someone invites you over for dinner, while they are sharing "their" food with you, in reality, that food was meant for you and given to them (by God) for the express purpose of sharing it with you (and no one else). That food always belonged to you. This concept is not to overlook the generosity of others but rather to understand that what is meant for you will always find its way to you. I love concepts like these. I have always believed that I will be exactly where I need to be, when I need to be there, to have the exact life experience I am meant to have. In my all-time favorite book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, he talks about this concept as maktub, or it
While these concepts are so clear to me, I found many thought that I was rather naïve. I have been called a romantic, a dreamer, illogical, among other things. More often than not, people wanted to debate me with logic on these concepts.
I was never able to win. For a long time, I believed that perhaps my arguments were unstable. I could not explain with logic what I understood clearly in every cell of my body. I could offer countless life experiences and anecdotes to explain, but never a logical solution that put it all together. Then, I learned about Heart Math. I learned to meditate. I learned to manifest. I learned about the power of intuition. I received more information confirming what I knew, that we are all connected. I learned about the
Pachamama Alliance. I started reading about the Mayan Prophecy and 2012. I watched the movie, I Am. And, the most amazing thing happened…all the puzzle pieces clicked together. Have you ever had a moment where you get your life experiences and you see how they all had to happen a certain way to get you to the exact point you are at? I had one of those moments. I understood those countless arguments. I am so grateful that I did not give in (though, full disclosure, if I could have figured out how to, I would have... I just could never get out of my heart and into my head). It was all meant to happen just as it did so that I could be here now. I could be here when we transitioned from a competitive world to a cooperative world.
I am so excited to share this with you. While, I am sharing a link to the documentary, I also feel like I am sharing a part of my own personal journey and heart. What is great about the documentary is that they use logic and science to talk about the heart. It is an hour and eight minutes that are well spent and could change your perspective.
Hi! Welcome to my blog, Lunch with Cinderella. I love writing about my life experiences and the fact that they may help spur some cool experiences of your own. If you are here, leave a comment... I read them all and love hearing from you!
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