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Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog: 12/12/10 - 12/19/10

Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The One Ring - A life lesson

I read "Lord of the Rings" many years ago as a teenager and thoroughly enjoyed the escape into a land of fantasy. When I knew Peter Jackson was making the films, I simply couldn't wait. In fact during a particularly difficult time in my life, knowing these films were due to be released became a simple motivation that helped stop me giving up on life.

My life has turned round in a massive way over the last 12 months. You may think that rather odd, considering my mother passed away in January after a very long illness and a close friend of mine also tragically died in the middle of the year.

So how come I'm feeling so good when in theory I'd expect to be full of grief?

Mother passing away was certainly a release for me, but that was just part of enabling me to change. Parts of my life were already starting to turn around just before that event. The difference that occurred is that during start of the improvement for me, I chose to accept the good feeling I experienced at that time and to live for the moment. This was a clear decision that was very much different to past patterns of thinking where I used to look for the coming fall. I'd worry and focus too much upon everything falling apart. Essentially, chose to believe I was not worthy of the goodness. 

Having spent a lot of time researching life coaching material recently and having also had an excellent few sessions of therapy a year or so ago, I now understand what influenced my negative patterns of thought. 

Much of it comes down to negative feedback I chose to listen to and accept as a child. 

You see, we do make a choice to accept or reject what we hear. It affects whether we become motivated, the nature of that motivation and what drives it. 

I ask you to consider a statement made to you in your past.

" You always ..........." "You never ........." (enter whatever negative piece of feedback you received). 
Consider your reaction to the statement. 

An example of a statement made to a child or young person. 
"What are you doing? Why haven't you done as I asked? You are just lazy and selfish."
The young person chooses how to react to this statement. 
He/she may choose to accept that accusation in its entirety. This may cause de-motivation and depression. Self talk comes in "I am lazy and selfish. I am a bad person. I am not worthy of love and acceptance."
There may also be anger. This anger may motivate in a negative fashion.
" You think I'm lazy and selfish? I'll show you how lazy and selfish I can be. I'm going to shock you by proving how much you have underestimated how lazy and selfish I am!"
The is a kind of rejection of the accusation made because the person didn't believe the "lazy, selfish" label put on them, but felt unable to counter this, so chose to become the label, and some!
This is likely what causes rebellion in teenagers. The person loses a sense of "self" and becomes something they are not. Self esteem plummets. 

Referring back to The Lord of the Rings, we can see this in action. Smeagal finds the ring and chooses to believe the lies it tells him. He becomes who he is not, Gollum. Gollum is consumed with selfishness and carries the burden of the ring. It affects him so badly that even when he loses it, he is unable to find his true self. The ring has enormous power. The greater the power of it's opposite, the more powerful it will become if it is accepted. Gandalf suspected this when he went to pick up the ring that Bilbo dropped. 

From another scene in the film (or book). Smeagal/Gollum is haunted by his negative self talk.
"Smeagal. I told you he was tricksy." 
Smeagal had begun to re-discover himself, but fell foul of his negative self talk, Gollum.

A way of approaching this problem is by investigating what is really going on when we receive what we perceive to be negative feedback. 

Is it true in its entirety? (Unlikely)
Is there some element of truth?
What do I accept and what can I learn?

I'll go no further with this because there is much written on the subject that you can read elsewhere. It's useful to read the perspective of others knowledgeable on this subject. One particular resource I found really interesting is the following link.

I encourage you to read the article on Invalidation. 

Finally, I ask you whether you carry a "Ring of power" and if it is the burden in your life.
If so, resolve to rediscover yourself and cast that ring back into the mountain where is was created. Doing this will grant you the freedom you desire. 

Love and blessings.....


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Friday, December 17, 2010

VTS 01 1


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Learning and attraction

If we learn to love ourselves, it will enable us to love others and attract others to love us. 

If we learn to forgive ourselves, we learn to forgive others and others will be attracted to forgiving us our shortcomings. 

If we learn to care for ourselves, we learn how to care effectively for others and others will be attracted to caring for us. 

If we learn to laugh at ourselves, we learn to laugh at others appropriately and we are attracted to laughter and comedy. 

If we learn to be truthful to ourselves, we learn to speak the truth and others will be attracted to the truth we speak. 

If we learn to be in touch with and understand our emotions, we learn to understand the emotions of others and develop appropriate empathy. Other will be attracted to trust us. 

If we learn to have purpose in our life, we learn to understand the purpose in the lives of others and they become attracted to supporting our purpose. 

There is so much written on these subjects and more than enough to learn and continue learning. I continue to seek knowledge and wisdom in these subjects. It's a long journey and a worthy one. 

from Marty with love and blessings.......

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Choice and Balance

In this modern world of constant media and advertising, we are bombarded with instruction and advice about what is and is not good for us. In many circumstances, this advice can be contrary. Have you ever listened to advice and later heard an opposite opinion, often from the same source?
This can cause confusion, doubt and frustration. 
Workplaces and businesses are constantly making changes to what is considered the latest pearl of wisdom. We are told how we should proceed as if this is the "gospel truth" and are all forced to conform. To an extent, we become somewhat submissive as choice is taken away from us.

One minute we are told certain foods or medications are good for us. The next, we are advised of another report that states the very same is bad for us. 

Some 40 years ago, conventional wisdom stated that we are heading for an ice age due to ozone and gasses. This then changes to global warning. Finally, to knock the whole concept again, we are in a second year of cold winter! If we carry on with cold winters, I'm sure the advice will be amended yet again.

So, what do we believe?
What is truth?

The point is, we have freedom to choose what we believe. Examining evidence, gut feeling, and spiritual enlightenment all form the basis of what we choose.... yes choose to believe.
Some insist we must conform to what is considered scientific evidence. It is perfectly ok for someone to choose to accept scientific evidence alone. However, to force that opinion upon someone else is to take away the other persons permission to choose.
Right now, I feel confident about what I believe. I'm also open to learning and to the possibility that some of my beliefs (about whatever!) may alter as I gain more wisdom. The dangers we face are that others will try to force their beliefs upon us and if we are not fully aware, we are in danger of forcing our beliefs upon others. 

We all have a gift to choose our thoughts, feelings and actions. Awareness of this ability is empowering. Well... at least I choose to believe that right here and now!

I'm feeling that nothing in this world is particularly set in stone apart from some things appear more than others more than others. 

Like the scales, in order to reach some sort of equilibrium, differing opinions are all there to be evaluated in order to maintain balance. When the balance is out, it needs adjusting. 

Finally, what is the truth? The truth is our perception.

What do you choose to believe?
What are you influenced by?
Is your opinion based truly you ability to choose and upon your independence as an individual?

I invite you to interpret and choose what to accept what I have shared here on this blog. 


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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Recognising the "fall" as a step forward

Very often when our lives seem to be heading in a negative direction, we see it as a step backwards. We may feel that progress made previously has been negated. I have concluded that a perception such as this is faulty.

The challenges that we face serve to enhance the achievement when we get there. The harder and more painful the challenge, the greater the sense of achievement when the challenge is overcome. I was struck by the image of Ellen MacArthur who circumnavigated the globe single handed. Her video diary of opening cards and presents at Christmas whilst alone illustrated the emotional pain of loneliness whilst far from home. Surely, there would have been a strong desire to give up at that point, however it clearly was not an option. Compare that to the joy and elation she experienced when she finally completed the task.

I suggest that we need to visit and experience the dark places from time to time in order to continue to move forward. It enables us to solve the problem/puzzle. To become enlightened and to gain wisdom.

To illustrate this I created an exercise that I have used for groups:

  • Holding a tennis ball at a height of just below the knee requires bending of the knee. Held for an extended period of time causes discomfort.
  • Dropping the tennis ball causes it to bounce.
  • Throwing the tennis ball at the ground will cause it to bounce high.

  • Placing a bucket strategically on a shelf and aiming the tennis ball to bounce and land in the bucket achieves a goal. 
The purpose of this demonstration shows that if we fail to move  forward (particularly in challenging times of our life) we remain in discomfort.

Letting go will cause the experience of a fall. However hitting rock bottom will cause us to bounce back a little.

Sometimes, the fall will be swift and more painful when hitting rock bottom, but the subsequent rebound can take us a little higher.

If we know we are heading for some sort of fall, by setting a goal on the inevitable  rebound, it is very possible that we will achieve that goal. Sometimes we will miss it, but with more determination and focus, we can get closer and eventually achieve the goal.

Every attempt is a step forward. Don't be too disappointed at missing the goal. If we give up, we remain in pain and discomfort. 

I'm very aware that it is all too easy to see and understand this when everything is going well. A bad place such as depression causes blindness to positive thought processes. I've been there and know it all too well. So, when trying to help others, it is important to be patient and kind whilst gently offering encouragement and support. Tread cautiously and express love.

Continued blessings to you all.......


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Monday, December 13, 2010

The precious gift of kind words and positive feedback.

When we are praised for something we have achieved, how much of it do we accept?

All too often, we choose to be embarrassed by accepting praise and perhaps give away too much credit to others. It is not wrong to acknowledge the help that others gave us. However, if we do not fully accept the powerful gift of the praise offered us, we waste that energy. Make use of that energy with efficiency.
Consider this:
Lighting a fire or putting on the central heating is done to warm us up in cold weather. WE desire to regulate or re balance the temperature. If we leave a door or window open, we allow the heat to escape. Effectively, the warm energy is wasted. The fuel burns without full effect and will eventually run out! Don’t waste the energy. Ensure the windows and doors are closed and, by all means, invite others in to share in the warmth.
The kind words gifted to us by others are the warmth we need on cold days.
If someone has written you a letter or email of praise and thanks for something you have done, keep is as a most precious gift. It is equivalent to an Olympic gold medal, a diamond encrusted ring or a 24 carat golden trophy. The individual words are the precious and rare treasure gems that are yours to own. Fully accept your gift with grace and thankfulness. Keep it safe and protected. Go look at it regularly and enjoy it!

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