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Let Go of the Need to Know the Outcome

July 10th, 2009

“You are asking me to do the impossible.  I need to know the outcome so I can feel safe and secure.  If I don’t know the outcome of my relationship, then why would I get involved?  That’s crazy!  And, if I don’t know the outcome of a project at work, I could get fired!  You just don’t get it.  I NEED to know the outcome of things.  That’s how I work.”

I hear you.  It would be nice if we knew the outcome or the end result of things before we started, but we don’t.  It’s the not knowing that can either create fear or excitement.  One thing’s for sure.  We don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year.  We really don’t know who we will be talking to, where we will be, or what we will be doing.  We might have a sense or a hope that certain things will happen, but we don’t know. 

We do know that we are breathing right now.  We do know where we are right now.  We do know a lot about what is happening right now.  In fact, “right now” is the outcome of yesterday.  Did you ever think you would be here?  Did you really know yesterday that you would be reading this right now?  That you would be feeling what you are feeling right now?  Did you know ten years ago that the outcome of your life would lead you to this – right now?  I’m sure there have been some good times with some laughs and giggles, and I am sure there have been some times when you felt someone kicked you in the belly and tears rolled down your face, and you didn’t want to get out of bed.  And I am sure there were times that were just blank spacey times of just “being.”  And, through all of that you got here.  You created this outcome.

If you like this outcome, then keep doing what you’re doing.  If you want a different outcome, then you’ll have to do something different.  If fear of the unknown has been a predominant feeling, then I would suggest you create a new habit of being excited about not knowing.  It is a choice.  It is an ongoing choice.  The outcome of choosing excitement as a habitual response to the unknown seems to create a deep feeling of joy as life reveals itself.  What’s going to happen next?  I don’t know.  This is exciting.  How will this relationship develop?  I don’t know.  I have butterflies in my belly.  This is exciting.  I can’t wait to see what s/he will do or say next.  I’m on pins and needles.  I’m so excited.  I don’t know the outcome of this project.  I don’t know if it will work or not.  This is exciting.  I’m learning so much as I figure things out.  I don’t know the end result.  I do know that I am enjoying the process of discover, the process of uncovering what works and what doesn’t work.  This is exciting.  Life continues to unfold.  I continue to breathe.  What’s going to happen next?  I don’t know.  What will the outcome be?  I don’t know.  I’m excited!

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“Success is a Series of Small Changes”

June 12th, 2009

Success is a series of small changes or course corrections as you move toward your intended goal.  You’ll know you’re on course when you feel joy, love, health, happiness and peace.  You’ll feel like you’re rowing down stream with a gentle wind on our back.  When you’re off course you’ll feel like everything is against you.  It will feel like you’re rowing up stream into the wind.  You’ll be grinding your teeth, holding your breath and you’ll have an unmistakable look of fear or panic in your eyes.  If this is what you are experiencing, then change your actions, your attitude or change both your actions and your attitude. 

The gentle graceful course down the stream of life is the path of success.  If this is the course you’e choosing, you’ll be in joy as the scenery passes by.  You’ll maintain an attitude of gratitude and there will be a giggle dancing in your heart and a look of knowing in your eyes.  Life is mysterious and ever changing, so constant course corrections in our actions and in our attitude are required.  This is called, “choosing back into the loving.”  Continuously, consciously choosing into the loving is success.

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Worry Is Active Trust in the Negative

May 31st, 2009

“What do you mean worry is trust in the negative?  That’s not true.  I worry to avoid negative things from happening to me.  I don’t trust the negative.  I worry about things that I’m afraid will happen.  My worry keeps me on my toes.  It helps me prepare for the worst.  I don’t know what my life would be like if I didn’t worry.  My mom said she worried about me all the time.  She worried about me because she loved me.  She didn’t want bad things to happen to me.  She wanted good things to happen to me.  Her worrying was her way of supporting and loving me.  I’m sorry.  You are wrong on this one!”

I hear you.  Worry does seem to be one of those institutionalized and sanctioned ways our parents raised and loved us.  They taught us that worrying prepared us for the worst.  If we’re going to drive up the mountain, we were told to worry about our tires, our breaks and our engine.  If we worried hard enough then nothing bad would happen.  We were told to call when we arrived at our destination so our parents could rest and know we were safe.  They wouldn’t have to worry anymore, at least not about the drive.  Now they would have to worry about the bears or snakes or trees falling on us or something.  And, worrying worked.  Our tires didn’t fail and the trees remained standing . . . proof that worrying was valuable and that it worked.

Whew!  How exhausting.  Worrying does other things as well.  It increases our blood pressure.  It makes our system acidic.  It shuts down our digestive track and many other things.  It becomes a superstitious ritual that is never ending.  It is, in short, a very ineffective way of dealing with the unknown – the future.

If it is true that we get what we focus on, then worrying is a wish or a focus on what we don’t want to happen.  Action follows thought.  The computer you are using was a thought in someone’s mind long before it became a physical object.  Better yet, start thinking about a piece of chocolate.  Notice your mouth is starting to salivate.  Now think about a car crashing through your front door.  Don’t hold these thoughts for too long however.  I just want you to truly understand how action follows thought or we get what we focus on.  We have also heard this as the Law of Attraction, or as a  “self fulfilling prophecy”.

When we worry, we are creating what we don’t want to happen.  We are losing in our visions.  If we hold these visions long enough, we probably will get them in one form or another.  Sometimes the results happen quickly, often the results show up years later and we wonder why we are experiencing so much suffering.  We created the suffering in our worry pattern 15 years ago, and it just took a little while for our negative vision to come true.

You could say, “Robert, you don’t know that!  You don’t have any proof!”  Right.  Think about that piece of chocolate again and sense that delicious taste on your tongue.

How do we heal this super-sized ritual?  Several ways.  One is to do the “Five Steps to Change”.  Another is to realize that your inner worrier is your ally and we just need to learn to work with it more effectively.  We need to ask our worrier how it serves us.  It usually says, “I am here to keep you safe.”  That’s nice.  I like that, however our worrier’s method of keeping us safe makes us sick and brings us the negative results it’s trying to protect us from.

Is there another way of protecting us from being hurt or to keep us safe?  Notice I just moved away from a painful statement to a positive statement?  We want to focus on being safe, not on avoiding hurt.  That right there is the shift of our conscious we are looking for.  We want to focus on what we want.  We could ask our worrier to help us focus on safety.

So, how would this look or sound?  Let’s go back to the driving up the mountain.  Our mom could ask us, “Are your tires in good shape?  Are your brakes in working order?  Is your engine tuned up?  Let’s read up on snakes so you can enjoy the wide variety of reptiles in the mountain.  And, beware of bears they eat you!  No, no.  Have you studied how bears have learned to survive around humans and what to do when you see them in your area?  All of these, except for my joke, are focused on a positive outcome of being safe.

Be watchful.  Notice how your worrier speaks to you and how often.  Ask it to help you focus on being safe.  Ask it to help you enjoy your life with ease and grace.  Ask it to speak to you in kind gentle words toward those things that set you free.

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“Anonymous Kindness is Powerful Magic!”

April 17th, 2009

Today, do three anonymous gifts of kindness and watch what happens inside of you.  Joy will start to pecolate in your heart and a smile will appear on your face.

So, what is an anonymous gift of kindness you ask?  The list goes on and on, and is only limited by your creativity.  Some easy ones are: Drop a penny on the sidewalk, or a dollar or ten dollars.  Pay $5.00 on the person’s grocery bill behind you in line at the market.  If you use toll roads or bridges, pay for the person behind you.  Pick up some trash in a parking lot.  Sweep an ally.  Put a quarter in an expired parking meter.  Take out the trash or wash the dishes when no one is watching.  Send yourself a thank-you card.  Call up the Telephone Company or your Insurance Company and tell the operator you appreciate their hard work.

Being of service to someone else is just one of those very precious things to do.  It can take a moment as in the examples above or it can be an ongoing service project with an organization in your community.  We can all use a little extra help these days.  Words and acts of kindness are very contagious and can change the person’s day you extend them to, and it can also change your day to secret giggles of joy.

Check it out.  Risk!  It does your Soul good to share your loving.

And speaking of sharing, tell me and let me know what anonymous gifts of kindness you’ve done, so others can share in the fun! 

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“You Don’t Have To Attend Every Argument You’re Invited To.”

April 2nd, 2009

“You mean I don’t have to defend myself or my point of view?  But what if they’re saying things that aren’t true?  Shouldn’t I correct them?”

An argument is when two people are engaged in the process of making the other person wrong, thus proving that they’re right.  Both sides gather all the information they have and from their position, there is an attempt to get the other person to surrender to a new point of view.  It can be a fun, educational process, or it can be a hurtful process of separation.

If the argument is an educational process where everyone gets to learn and grow, then what a wonderful thing!  This is where two or more are gathered and allows for a magical new perspective to emerge, where a third point of view is discovered that embraces both points of view, and a win/win situation is created.  Let’s enter into these types of arguments because it generates newness and expansion is experienced.

If, however, the argument is a hurtful process of separation, where everyone holds onto their position of rightness, pretending they know all that is to be known, then no – let’s not attend to these types of arguments.

The challenge often is:  How do we gracefully back out of the hurtful argument without insulting the other person, or further engaging them in their desire to make us wrong?  How do we walk away from an argument with dignity?

You could simply say, “I want to take a break to think about this, let’s talk later.”  Or, “Can we agree that it is okay for us to disagree, because I sense this is going to be one of those areas that we are going to see it from different points of view?”  Or, “I’m not sure we are going to resolve this right now, let’s let the ‘dust settle’ and revisit this at another time.”

There are times when the other person insists on arguing their point.  These types of situations require another type of skill set.  The best thing to do here is to do the “active listening” technique I describe in The Keys to Joy-Filled Living.  It’s also helpful to remember it’s hard to argue with someone who does not want to argue with you.

The key here is to stay in our power, our loving, our neutral, and our peace.  When we walk through life from this perspective, we can see the learning and what is for the Highest good for all concerned.  If we find ourselves being disturbed or knocked off our center, it is often best to take that break so we can regroup and re-center into the our power.  This is an ongoing process of choosing to let go of our position of rightness and moving back into our position of loving.

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The Name of the Game is Called Completion

March 20th, 2009

If it’s all about completion, then it would be a good idea to know just what completion means, and how we can do this thing called “completion.”

If we think that completion means that it’s all done, and that no more change or improvement is necessary, well, then we’re in trouble.  There always seems to be one or two little things that need to be worked on to complete a project.  When those one or two little things are done, well, there are always a couple more things that could be improved upon.  And then when those things have been improved upon, then there is just one more little change here that would make it all better.  Now that one little thing has been changed, that seems to open up another area that could use a little more polishing.  There doesn’t seem to be an end to this thing called completion.  That is if it means that it is all done, because it is never “all” done.

So let’s look at completion from another point of view.  If we look up the word “complete” it comes from a Latin word which means to “fill up” or “to be fulfilled”.  Now we have a totally different way of looking at completing things in our lives.  If we see completion as a process of filling up or fulfilling ourselves, then all we have to do is ask ourselves, “Do I feel fulfilled with this process, this book, this meal, this closet that wants to be cleaned out, or the garage that is begging for some space, or the relationship that is over.”

If this is the definition that I chose to use, then you can go to that book that you’ve only read 34 pages of and say, “I feel complete with this book.  I’m filled up with as much information from this source that I want.  I am fulfilled.”  You can now move the book from your nightstand, dust it off and give it away, put it in the recycle bin, or put it in your bookself.   Done!  You can now go to your closet, and pull out and throw away all of those old t-shirts that have holes in them, close the door and say, “I am complete with cleaning this closet.  I am fulfilled.”  Done!  You can now go that pile of papers on your desk, and move it all into that circular file and say, “I am complete with these papers   I am fulfilled.”  Done!

Now you might be thinking, “That’s not right!  You can’t do that!  You’re not complete!”

I’m complete if I feel fulfilled.  So let me ask, “When is the meal done?”  Is it when everything on your plate has been eaten or when you feel full?  I would suggest the meal is done when you feel full, when you are fulfilled.  Eating anything more after that point is not a healthy thing to do.  I suspect this is also true in other areas in our lives.

The point that I’m attempting to make here is that now that the meal is done, and you feel fulfilled, you can move on to the next thing that is present in your life.  You don’t need to feel guilty or bad, or worry about when you am going to have the time or the energy to go back and eat the rest of that food.  When you are fulfilled in an area, let that process go.  Your mind is free to complete something else.  You don’t need to feel overwhelmed by any incompletes.  Your shoulders relax, you breathe deeper, a smile comes on your face and you feel a sense of joy percolating in your heart.  Nice!

So, I would encourage you to go through your home and office and ask the questions, “Am I fulfilled with this book, or this closet or this knitting project.”  If the answer is “yes”, then declare it complete and move it out of your life.  If the answer is “no”, then do what it takes to feel fulfilled, so you can declare it complete.  

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Our Purpose is to Expand

March 7th, 2009

We often look at our lives wondering what it’s all about.  We are running here and there.  Doing this and doing that, never seeming to get ahead.  There is an ever expanding “to do” list, another pile of dishes to do, clothes to wash, and bills to pay.  We feel we are like little hamsters running in a circular cage.


“Is this all there is?  What’s it all about?”


I am going to suggest that one of our purposes on this planet is to expand.  We first expanded outside of our mother’s womb, then it was outside of our crib, then it was outside of our house, then down the street, then maybe a different town, and for some a different country.  When we expand we explore new territory.  Sometimes that new territory is in the physical world as I just suggested, and at other times, our expansion is on the inside.  We expand our knowledge of the world when we go to school, we expand our ability to communcate and share with others when we enter into relationships, and we expand our understanding of the human condition when we study prayer and meditation.  It’s and on going thing.  There are worlds without end.  A friend of mine once told me, “When you think you have arrived – keep going.  There is more to discover and more to being.”  It’s called etcetera.


It’s in our expanding that we grow.  It’s in our growing that keeps us alive and vibrant.  If we stop expanding we begin the process of dying.  We get rigid in our bodies and in our thinking process.  Children love to explore and play and touch their toes and discover what is just around the next corner.  They are hungry to know.  If you have forgotten the joy of expanding, of discovering, of learning something new, then give yourself a treat and see if there is a new way to do those dishes.  Is there another way to get to work that you haven’t discovered yet.  Is there something new with your partner that you haven’t noticed?  Is there another way to think about the world that is outside of your comfort zone?  Take a few minutes and follow your thoughts.  Is there a wall your mind runs into?  What is on the other side of that wall, the other side of that thought?  Who is thinking that thought?  Take a deep breath and hold it.  How long can you hold your breath?  Who makes your breathe?  Pick up a book and read a paragraph to someone.  Draw a picture, dance to the music on the radio or the music in your head, laugh sildently and then out loud, lie on your belly and look at the grass with a magnifying glass, look into the eyes of someone you care about and watch your thoughts and emotions.  Smile when you look in the mirror, when you walk down the street, when you drive your car.  Expand your physical world – your emotional world – your mental world – your spiritual world.  Life is waiting for you.

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“Problems” Mean to Grow Forth

February 26th, 2009

Usually we want to avoid “problems”.  We want life to be smooth and easy.  We want everything to go our way – all of the time. 

I don’t know about you, but that certainly isn’t the way my life works.  I am open for that to happen.  I vision it and I intend it and then, life just seems to do what life seems to do.  Eventually, if I hold my vision and intention long enough, and if it’s for my hightest good, I get some of what I want.  The problem is there always hidden, unexpected surprises, things we call “problems” that come with what I envisioned and intended. 

“Problems” seem to part of the human experience.  “Problems” are like gravity.  They are always present on some level or another.  So, let’s treat problems like gravity.  What do we do with gravity?  We play with it.  We have all kinds of games that require gravity’s participation.  How would we play baseball without gravity?

Gravity is fun.  It requires us to be inventive and creative.  “Problems” can be fun too.  “Problems” require us to get out of our comfort zone.  They require us to think outside the box.  They require us to be creative and to communicate with others.  “Problems” demand that we take another step.  If we chose not to take action, the “problem” gets bigger, and at some point in time the “ouch” will force us to do something different.  It forces us to step into an expansive place.  It forces us to be more of who we truly are – co-creators.

We are in a time when it looks like there are so many problems that people are going into overwhelm.  Let’s not go into overwhelm, let’s go into overdrive.  Let’s stand up and grow forth.  As strange as it may sound, this can be a fun and wondrous process.  We are at one of those times in history, that future generations will look back with awe.  Our children’s, children’s children will say, “I wish I could have been alive when all of that was going on!  Those folks back then really set the stage for us.  They really made a difference!”



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Watch Where You’re Looking

February 13th, 2009

“Your body goes where your eyes lead you. Look at what you want more of, and your body will follow.  We get what we focus on.”

If this is true, then what you have in your life right now is a result of what you have been focusing on.  If you like what you are experiencing, then you are right on track.  If you don’t like what you are experiencing then it’s time to focus on something else. 

This is counter to what we’ve have been trained to do.  We’ve have been trained to focus on those things that are not working.  If you are doing poorly on math, then you need to focus on those math problems that you keep getting wrong, or those spelling words you missed, or that tire on your car that is going bald, or that extra weight you want to get rid of, or the hurt you experience in your relationship, or the lack of money you have to pay your monthly bills.  Yes, you have been taught to focus on the things that don’t work, and to worry about those things you don’t have.  And, you get what you focus on.  Ugh!

So, how do you change this you ask?  The process is simply, but not necessarily easy.  The process is to be aware of what you are focusing on.  If it is negative, then you just refocus toward the positive.  That’s it.  It’s that simply.  Ah, but you are so well trained to do just the opposite.  Your care givers and teachers told you that if you don’t worry, then terrible things will happen.  And since you want to avoid terrible things and you’ve been a good student!  So you worry and fret, and worry and fret, and worry and fret. . .  What a wonderfully well greased pattern!  Ugh!

The fastest and easiest way I have found to change a habitual pattern is to follow the “5 steps to change” process.  For a detail explanation of the process, look on page 43 of The Keys to Joy-Filled Living.  Basically the process is:  (1) Be aware you are focusing on a negative outcome.  (2) Thank your self for being aware you are in a negative pattern.  (3) Forgive your self for any judgments you have toward your self or others.  (4) Come up with an alternative – create a positive outcome.  (5) Take an action step toward the outcome you desire.

 In time, when you look at your life, you’ll be living the positive, wondrous life you have been projecting.  The key here is to keep going.  Don’t stop the positive projections.  If you continuously, consciously, choose the life you want, you will get what you focus on.

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February 6th, 2009

“No one is in control.  Control does not exist.  It is an illusion.”

“This isn’t true!  I am in control of my life.  I do what I want to do.  No one tells me what to do.  I am my own boss.  I keep myself safe and secure by maintaining control. ” 

Boy, do I wish that were true.  Unfortunately, we can’t control anyone outside of ourselves.  We can’t control how they act, how they think or how they feel.  If you think you can, then good luck.  You might be able to get someone to do what you want temporarily by cajoling them, paying them or intimidating them, but total control, all of the time?  We can’t even control ourselves.  We think things, feel things and do things that we don’t want to do – things we say we’ll never do. And, we still do them.  We can’t even control our own breath. 

If all of this is true, then how can we be safe and secure?  What can we depend upon?  These two questions surface an interesting belief.  Most of us believe that if we control things or people, then we will be safe – then life will be consistent or dependable.  Check this out next time you want someone to do what you want.  Ask yourself:  “Why do I want them to do it my way?”  I am suggesting, if you track it back, that you want them to do it your way because then you will feel safe and secure. 

There are a few things we can feel secure about and depend on in this world.  One is that the sun will show up tomorrow morning, and two, gravity will keep us and things from floating away, and three, we will keep breathing until we stop.  We can depend on these things.  We can feel secure that these things will continue on through time.  We can’t control them, we can only accept them, play with them and enjoy them.  They are constants.  Isn’t that nice? 

Feeling Safe and secure comes from something other than control.  It comes from being connected to that which is breathing you.  Go inside and find it.  The journey is filled with joy.

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