“I Know” is Not Enough

Life hasn’t been going well lately. You know it’s time for a change. You know that of all the changes you could make, one stands out above the rest.

You know what you’re supposed to do, right?

And there’s the problem.

The problem is that you already know what to do to maximize your happiness, increase your joy, and live in the power of purpose, and knowing and doing are two entirely different things. After all, there are goals to set, plans to make, and alternatives to consider, and all of it is quite overwhelming.

Or is it?

I’ve got two vitally important things for you to consider.

First, knowing isn’t everything. In fact, it’s NOTHING.

The biggest problem we have is telling ourselves that grand old lie, “I know.” When someone – a friend, coach, adviser, or trusted confidant – tells us what we would do well to do, we respond with, “I know.”

And we’re telling the truth. We really do know. Well…we think we know.

The truth is that knowing is not about what’s going on in your brain. It’s not even about what’s going on in your thoughts.

You see, knowing means that you are doing, pure and simple. If you are living the way you want to be living, then you know that way of life. If you’re not living it, then you don’t know it.

Simple, right?

So if you know what you’re supposed to do, why aren’t you doing it? What’s getting in the way?

That gets to the second point. The biggest obstacle to knowing is your own mind.

Your mind is a treasure trove of thoughts, experiences, judgments and ideas. Everything you have ever experienced, everything you have ever done, and everything you have ever accepted as true, are all stored in your mind. Some of these are wonderful and helpful, while others are less than desirable for your life.

And some of them are flat out wrong.

When was the last time you actually sorted out your thoughts, to see which ones are helping you, which ones are getting in the way, and which ones are total lies? It’s definitely something to consider!

Here’s a quick and enlightening exercise to try: 

Find a quiet place, and simply sit for ten minutes – that’s all! – and watch your thoughts. No phone, no computer, no interruptions. Just you and your thoughts. Notice what you are thinking. Notice where they came from…or who they came from. Then notice whether they are helpful are not

Then realize that you can actually choose to get rid of the thoughts you don’t want. You can actually delete thoughts that no longer serve you, and replace them with thoughts that actually help you become who you truly are (not who people have told you who you are).

Yes, it’s a complicated road. It does seem overwhelming. But it isn’t.

No, you can’t do it alone. This is your LIFE, not a do-it-yourself project.

We humans live in communities for a reason: no one can get through this life alone. We exist to help each other let go of what binds us, and live the best life possible, using our unique abilities and gifts.

Ask Jennifer, Denny, Kari, or even me for help, so that you can get rid of those total lies in your mind, get empowered, and start proving that you know the right direction in your life by actually living it. Follow this link to start the conversation.  

Holiday Hell – A Survival Guide

Yes, the holiday season is here.  Gift lists are starting (or getting longer!), the sales are on their way, and the hustle and bustle is just around the corner.  Stores are already bursting at the seams with holiday cheer, and the constant beeping of the credit card reader can be heard long into the night.

Wait.  Can we just skip this and get right to January?

Nope.

No way.

You see, I think this is the best time of year for learning how to be totally present (no pun intended).  To be fully and completely present to yourself, others, and the world around you.  The chaos is instructive.

The other 10 months of the year are usually spent lying to ourselves that we’re calm, peaceful, collected, and connected.  We’ve read the books, done the 30-day meditation marathons, and felt what we believe to be real spiritual progress.

Then, when November and December roll around, it all flies apart.  We discover that we’re far from the Golden Gates of Nirvana, and much closer to the Flaming Doors of Neurosis.  We’re frazzled, frustrated, and stressed, longing for some moment of peace and calm.

So let’s be proactive and actually take some steps toward peaceful living right now, so that the holiday season can be at least a little less crazy and more calm, less traumatic and more tranquil.  Yes, it will take a little self-discipline and work, but what in life doesn’t require a little giving of ourselves?

At heart, I’m still a numerologist with a touch of OCD, so here is a list of five things you can do for yourself to make the holidays more pleasant for yourself and those close to you.

 

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Photo by Dingseyu Lei via Unsplash

 

1. Meditate. Every. Single. Day. My friends and clients hear me say this over and over, and I will never stop saying it. If you’re not taking time to stop and sit in silence, you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot, spiritually speaking.  Take every day and actually sit in silence for at least 10 minutes.  Pay attention to your breathing.  When a thought comes by, an emotion bubbles up, or a memory pops in to say hello, gently return to the awareness of the breath again.

Now some people love to use apps to meditate.  Take some advice from a friend: if you’re going to use an app, use a timer.  That’s it.  Meditation is not about following words, images, and directed goals; it’s about sitting in real silence and confronting that False Self head-on without flinching.  When we meditate, we let go of illusion and embrace reality as it is right now in the present moment.  Don’t take the easy route with a nice-sounding recording.  Jump into silence.  If there are noises around you, remember that every noise is a little Buddha, helping you to stay with the silence.

Too busy?  Make some time anyway.  If you can’t make 10 minutes happen to meditate, how can you make 10 minutes for a heart-to-heart with the person you love, or 10 minutes of high-quality work, or even 10 minutes of good downtime that restores and renews you?  If you make time for silence, silence will make time for you.   Your time during the day will actually lengthen. Trust me.

 

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Photo by Andrew Neel via Unsplash 

 

2.Get things done. Again, simple, but difficult at the same time. Last-minute shopping is at the heart of the retail world during the holiday season.  Granted, they put all the holiday decorations out at the beginning of October, but somehow, we don’t start shopping until December 20th.

Get your shopping and buying done now.  When you procrastinate, it’s not doing anyone any good.  You get stressed, you pass on that stress to others, and they feed it right back to you.  Is all that high blood pressure, temper flare-ups, and stressed relationships worth it?  Probably not the best example of holiday cheer!

Yes, I understand  there are sales you can wait for, but you are a smart shopper to begin with, and you know where the best deals already are!  You could also do what I do: I shop in February for Christmas presents.  Most of the time, I get my holiday shopping done in February and March, with my “rush time” in June and July.  Less stress.  Fewer crowds.  Cheaper prices.

If you are a chronic procrastinator, put off procrastination!  Decide to procrastinate after the holiday season, and decide to get everything done sooner than ever before.  Once the holiday season is over, you can go back to procrastinating again.

3. Daily reminders. It’s helpful to remember why you celebrate the holidays. If we

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Photo by Deniz Altinidas via Unsplash

 

understand what we’re doing, and the kind of holiday experience we want to manifest, everything seems to fall into place much more easily.

Set up a special area in your bedroom or family room with special tokens and reminders of
why you celebrate the holidays in the first place.  As you begin your day, stop by that special place and just be there for a minute or two.

Think about how you want the holidays to feel.  How your relationships will be experienced.  The sounds and sights that inspire you during the holiday season.  Really see, hear, and feel these things.  Then get on with your day.

4. Post-holiday treat for yourself. After the holiday season is over, we usually feel exhausted, no matter how much we’ve prepared, pre-planned, and pre-bought.  We need some time to re-charge our batteries and restore our spirit.

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Photo by Kimson Doan via Unsplash

 

Set up a spa day for yourself.  Go to a special restaurant and movie/play with that special someone. Set up a party with friends, so you can laugh and relax.  Whatever you choose, set it up now, before the season begins. Then you will be assured of some proper relaxation and restoration after the holiday season ends.

5. Holiday shopping by the Numbers. 

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Photo by Austris Augusts via Unsplash 

 

Okay, I wasn’t going to write this last one, but I got the “pull” that someone was needing this.  Here’s a quick holiday shopping guide if you’re stuck on what to buy someone for the holidays.

 

There are two ways you can use this.  If you know their Life Path number (the total of the person’s month, day and four-digit year of birth, added together until you get a single digit), then use that number.  If you only have their name, go with the first vowel of their first name (A=1, E=5, I=9, O=6, U=3).

  1. Practical items. Tools, utensils, earrings, sunglasses. Electronics are a plus.
  2. Cameras, framed pictures or photos, scrapbook, handmade gifts, candlelight dinner for two..
  3. Artistic and personalized items. Arts/crafts items, stained glass, special books. Sports equipment.
  4. Sports equipment, bath oils, perfumes/colognes, music, manicure, spa gift certificate.
  5. Diaries, calendars, calligraphy pens . Books and DVDs. Telephone accessories.
  6. Home decorations, music, jewelry, essential oils. Anything made of copper.
  7. Electronic gadgets, movie tickets/gift cards, spirituality books/recordings. Anything unique/unusual.
  8. Autobiographies, antiques. Something classy and/or historical.
  9. Travel items, gym memberships, exercise items, exotic gifts or travel destinations. First-aid kit.

 

DonMarlette(558x800)

Don Marlette is, among many other things, a member of the No Limits Life team.  His unique blend of psychic insight, mediumship and practical wisdom guide spiritual practitioners and everyday people through the perils of everyday getting by to build lives that feel like they are singing their heartsong.  Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

 

The Interview by Don Marlette

What would the conversation consist of if the you you want to be interviewed the you were were or are right now?

I am a HUGE advocate for making choices and never looking back.  Much like driving down the road, the minute we start to look into the past, we often start to drive in circles and eventually crash.  My motto has become that of the 19th-century monk, Boniface Wimmer:  “Forward, forward.  Always forward!”

 I also believe that where you are now is always at the perfect time.  Every choice, decision and consequence we experience in life create a blend of experiences and attitudes, with their share of challenges to make us perfectly suitable to life at the present moment.  Even the work we feel an inner pull to follow in later life only makes sense with the bumps and bruises of our earlier self.

 With all that said, I am going to look back at my younger self, and pose some questions – complete with their answers from the less-experienced me.  What would it be like for me to coach my younger self?

 My history is rather involved, so here is a quick description to get you up to speed.  I became Catholic in high school, went off to college seminary then joined a monastery for four years.  I was sent to complete my Master’s degree, and then I left monastic life just before ordination.  After leaving the monastery, I chose to work as a full-time parish worship and music director.  At the time of this interview, I’m doing very well.  I’m well-known as a musician and composer, making a high salary, and I’m quite successful.

 May this interview be a teachable moment for me…and for you.

–Start Interview–

New Self:  Are you happy?

 Old Self:  Honestly, no way.  I dread coming into work each day.  This work has become an albatross on my back for years, stemming from when I started doing it.  You know, I really didn’t want to do this work to begin with, even though I’m becoming well-known for being good at it!  I just needed a job when I left the monastery, and this seemed like a good fit for what I could do.

I’ve felt nothing but frustration, even anger.  I don’t fit.  I don’t feel supported.  Everyone loves what I’m doing, but I hate it.  I get migraines before every rehearsal, and I rejoice on  the days when I’m sick and can’t come to work!  Quite frankly, I feel very disillusioned in all this, and I want out in the worst way.  The problem is that I feel trapped.  I don’t know what else I could possibly do. So I guess I’ll just keep plugging away, put up with the personalities and politics, and look forward to finally retiring.

 New:  It sounds like things aren’t what everyone thinks they are.  Truthfully, I can feel the frustration in your voice, the choices of your words, and even your hunched body posture.  You honestly don’t seem happy, so it’s good that you can be honest about that.

 You also sound like you’ve condemned yourself to this work out of a sense of entrapment.  You say there isn’t another way out of this.  That you are going to just put up with everything until you retire.  But from my end, I think when you retire, you are going to be one bitter old man!  You’re already there, in case you haven’t noticed.  You do know you’re going to die one day?  Is this how you want to be then?

 Old:  No way!  I’ve thought about that a couple of times.  I know that if I keep doing what I’m doing, I’m going to just get worse and worse, and I’m going to end up at my deathbed, wishing I had done something different.

 New:  Like what?

 Old:  I have no idea!  I just want to do something that gives me joy, that makes me happy, that helps me to spread that happiness to everyone else.  I guess I could entertain people, but that’s a hard life.  And it’s too late for me to go back for another degree and start over, though.  I’m married with two children already, so I can’t make time to do all that.  I can’t afford it.  That’s why I feel so trapped.

 New:  What do you like to do, though?

 Old:  I like to entertain people, like I said.  Of course, I also like to talk with people one on one.  I always liked doing that.  I guess I could say that I really like to help people.  That’s all I do here at the parish office: help the staff people with their own problems and stresses.  I usually know what’s on the mind and heart before they say anything, so it’s easier for me to get to the bottom of things.  They like it, and I feel so much more alive – really alive! – afterwards.  But, like I said, I can’t get another degree so I could do that for a living. 

New:  I noticed how you perked up just now.  Did you?  What’s holding you back from doing it – from helping people for a living?

 Old:  I told you already!  I don’t have the time or money to get another degree.  That’s why I’m still doing this job.  I can do it, and it pulls in the money.  True, I never see my family since I work seven days a week – even on vacation!  But that’s the sacrifice I have to make.  I don’t like it, but it’s all I can do.

 New:  Do you really believe that you can’t break out of this?  I don’t think it’s true.  You’ve got some talents you haven’t owned yet, like….

 Old:  Just stop there.  Those “talents” you’re talking about are wrong around here anyway.  No one will ever accept them.  It’s fine to entertain people with, but that’s it.  It doesn’t feed a family.  I can’t do that.

New:  So you’re just going to stay stuck…by choice?

Old:  I just don’t see any other way.  I’m stuck.  Period.

–End Interview–

 I would love to end this interview on a positive note, but it doesn’t.  I chose at the time to remain stuck, to refuse to think outside the box, to live a life of real misery.

 Living my dreams was not an option.  All that changed later, after a lot more suffering, anxiety and intense frustration.  I waited.

What about you?

Don Marlette is, among many other things, a member of the No Limits Life team.  His unique blend of psychic insight, mediumship and practical wisdom guide spiritual practitioners and everyday people through the perils of everyday getting by to build lives that feel like they are singing their heartsong.  Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

Turn Your Life Into an Empowered Life

I signed in to my bank account to do the monthly financial check to see how everything was looking.  As I cautiously hit the “Sign In” button, I thought I was ready for the number.  I wasn’t.  It was lower.  Much lower.

Fear gripped me.  I decided to do my psychic/healing work full-time, knowing that there would be rough patches on the road, but I wasn’t prepared for just how deep those potholes would be.  Now I had the fear, terror and hopelessness that such a rough road could become.

My mind went immediately to worst-case scenarios, with their accompanying feelings of dread and disappointment.  Then the emotional landscape shifted to feelings of anger at myself and my situation; then to blame.  Then full-blown panic.

I had to stop this movement toward the Dark Side.

I stopped.  I closed my eyes and got in touch with that Inner Voice and Wisdom that I talk and write about so much.  The answers I received surprised me.

As much as I was doing, I realized that I was working within a very limited view of my abilities, aptitudes and influence.  The truth stared me in the face: I was working in the wrong head-space.  Rather than pushing the envelope in my areas of work, I was staking out fenceposts that said, “Do this much and no more.  This is your work, so just stick with it.  Change is deadly.”  By building those limits, and choosing to stay within them, I was not only limiting my influence and income, but also my gifts and even my dignity.

By choosing limitations, I was settling for a limited life and a lesser me. 

Something had to change, and fast.  I chose to jump the fence of what I was doing, and expand my horizons.  I connected with people I had ignored far too long, either out of fear or the excuse that it wasn’t my area in which to work.  I literally “put myself out there”, risking my reputation on both personal and public levels.  I did things I had never done before.  It was hard work, took longer than you might expect, and had no guarantee of good results.  I was scared to death.

And I succeeded.

My gifts started to grow beyond what seemed to be at a maximum at the time.  My personal sense of dignity and self-worth was beyond positive.  My reach to others expanded beyond any expectations I had until then.  Oh, and the bank account looked much better, too.

I feel that if you’re reading this article, you have either been at this kind of crisis point recently, or you’re in it right now.  It’s not fun or easy, but there is a truth here: If you’re experiencing this, it is a chance for you to recognize your limitations, release them and embrace your highest self.

Below are the six steps I took to recognize and release my limitations, so that I could become who I am truly meant to be.  Work through these slowly and deliberately to navigate your way through your situation to a more empowered, limit-free life!

  1. Observe. What’s going on right now? What are the limitations that you’ve set up for yourself, either on a conscious or unconscious level?  Now is not the time to discover their origins.  At this point, simply identify what your limitations are, as concretely as possible.
  1. Reflect. How are these limitations sabotaging your progress, not only on a professional/work level, but also on a personal level? Why do you want these limitations in your life – for safety, security, just because?
  1. Journal/Discuss. Journal about your observations and reflections, or discuss them with someone you trust. Get clear about what limitations you’ve set for yourself, and what they have done to both help and hinder your progress and growth.
  1. Plan. What are you going to do to blast through your limitations? What empowered steps can you take to start leaving your limitations behind and embrace your true potential…no matter how daunting or frightening those steps might be for you? 
  1. Account. Who can you be accountable to for your changes? Sure, you might just say “yourself”, but try to find someone else to whom you can be accountable for your changes.  Otherwise, you can make excuses and compromises with your limitations, and end up sabotaging any growth you hoped to achieve.  That person (or people!) also will encourage you when you have self-doubts or second thoughts and fears.
  1. Act. Yes, this is the scary part. Actually put your plan into action and make the empowering changes in your life you need to make.  Realize that you will feel scared.  You will feel like it’s impossible.  You will feel out of your comfort zone.  With regard to those feelings, remember you went through this complex array of feelings emotions and mindsets at least once before: when you were born.  And you’re still here!  Make the leap of faith, knowing that you will land on your feet.  Let your accountability partner(s) (Step 5) be your cheerleader and motivator when you need it.   You can do it, and you will!

 

Finally, remember this one truth: If you do nothing, you will stay just where you’re at.  If you choose to move in a new and empowered direction, the freedom you gain is worth more than anything you can possibly imagine!

Don Marlette is, among many other things, a member of the No Limits Life team.  His unique blend of psychic insight, mediumship and practical wisdom guide spirtual practitioners and everyday people through the perils of everyday getting by to build lives that feel like they are singing their heartsong.  Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru