And in the Bonehead Announcement By A Public Official Category

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Joseph Lieberman, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, announced major security lapses at Federal buildings. And not only did he announce the lapses, he announced exactly what the lapses were. In essence, he told the bad guys how they could get explosive devices into those buildings.

Now, you might think that full disclosure is a good thing. I mean, now we know that our many of our medium security buildings are not all that secure. Good to know, right?

Well, personally, I think this was an extremely bad idea for two reasons. First, as mentioned, it gives potential bad guys the information they need to plan attacks. Let’s face it, the vast majority of potential terrorists are boneheads themselves. And they probably wouldn’t be smart enough to realize that they could easily get past the security in those buildings. Now they do!

Come on guys. Isn’t this sort of a “D’uh” thing? Sure, tell us that we need to tighten up the security, but don’t give out the details. That’s just plain dumb.

And the second reason this is a bad idea – and in my opinion, this is the bigger reason – is because this announcement adds to the fear that permeates our world. And the last thing we need right now is more fear.

Let’s focus on what we want more of: Peace, security, happiness, joy, love. Let’s focus on the freedom we still enjoy here in the US and elsewhere. Let’s focus on the fact that we can sit in a cafe on a beautiful, warm evening, watching people walking by, smiling and holding hands, and laughing and twirling around.

So to Joseph Lieberman, I say, “Shame on you.”

And to NPR, I say, “You know better than that.”

And to myself, I wonder, “How could I have made this point without spreading this news?”

Your thoughts? I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below.

Of Fear, Black Widow Spiders and Personal Growth

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I admit it, I like spiders. They get a bad rap. Undeserved, I might add. Not only do they eat a lot of those pesky flies and other bugs, but they often provide great personal growth lessons.

At least they have for me. I’ve already written about the little jumping spider who taught me a lesson about gratitude. And then there was the little guy who sacrificed his beautiful web in order to teach me about where to build my creations.

And now there’s this spider lesson about fear. And while the event that catalyzed this post and the original article happened two years ago, the lesson is still important.

It all began one Saturday morning. My wife came out of the bathroom and said, quite calmly, “Ed, there’s a big black spider in the bathtub.” Since I was watching my daughter, Ella, at the time, I carried her in there to investigate.

I was a bit surprised that my wife did not call it a Brown Recluse. That’s our running joke. She grew up in Brown Recluse territory, and whenever she sees a brownish spider she says “Ed, I just saw a Brown Recluse. Go get it.” And every time she says it, I gently remind her that the Brown Recluse does not live in Northern California as I go to gather up the culprit and take it outside.

But this morning, when Ella and I went to look in the tub, I could understand why Melissa had not called it a Brown Recluse. This spider was a deep shiny black. Now, while most spiders can bite, the only truly dangerous spider in our area is the black widow, a very distinctive, shiny black spider that I had never actually seen. So I’m usually pretty casual about spiders. But the color of this one caused me to act with a bit more caution. And it was good that I did. When I gathered up the critter in a Tupperware bowl, I could see, through the translucent plastic, the distinctive red hourglass on its belly.

Here was my first Black Widow Spider.

This was an exciting day for me. Unfortunately, Melissa did not share in my enthusiasm at this discovery. She promptly took Ella from my arms and commanded me to take the spider far away from the house. I must admit that I was pleased and a bit surprised that she did not insist that I immediately squash it.

Spiders Get A Bad Rap

Now I want to stop and put in a bit of a plug for spiders. They get a bad rap. They take the blame for a lot of stuff they don’t do: flea bites, tick bites, bed bug bites, even mosquito bites. You name it; spiders take the blame for it. Most spiders don’t bite humans, others only bite when confronted, and of those that do bite, there are only a handful that are truly dangerous to humans. (At least here in the US. There are a few countries that have some seriously dangerous spiders!) Even the bite of the supposedly deadly Black Widow is fatal in less than 1% of all instances.

And then there are the legends that have grown up around the infamous Brown Recluse. Over 60% of the medically diagnosed Brown Recluse bites occur in regions in which the spider does not live! How a spider that lives only in the South Central portion of the USA can be responsible for so many unexplained ailments here in California and elsewhere is beyond me.

Here’s a brief excerpt from a spider info site at the University of California to give you some perspective:

This website presents evidence for the lack of brown recluse spiders as part of the Californian spider fauna. Unfortunately, this contradicts what most Californians believe; beliefs that are born out of media-driven hyperbole and erroneous, anxiety-filled public hearsay which is further compounded by medical misdiagnoses.

This DOES Relate To Personal Growth!

At this point, you may be wondering what this has to do with personal growth. Fear not, I do have a point. And as the good Dr. Seuss would say, “This may not seem important I know. But it is, and that’s why I’m bothering telling you so.”

How do you feel about spiders? Do you cringe when you see one walking on your wall? Do you quiver at the thought of one crawling up your leg?

Where do those feelings come from? When you were a youngster, did someone in your family go into paroxysms of fear whenever a spider was spotted? Did you inherit that fear? And does that fear continue to control your relationship with these critters?

Ok, lets face it, a fear of spiders is not going to prevent you from living a successful, abundant, joyous life. But here’s the catch: What fears do you harbor that DO prevent you from living that life? What other fears have you inherited from your family and friends and the culture around you? And how do those fears hold you back from becoming the person you have the potential to be?

Fears Always Appear Larger

Your fear, because it is rooted in the past, always appears much larger than it really are. When we feel fear, we’re almost always reacting to the projection of something that was planted inside us long ago. Just as the shadow of a spider walking in front of a light appears huge and frightening, so too do our fears become magnified many times when we look at the projection. The reality of the spider, when viewed from a place of present-time awareness, is much less scary. So too do your fears become manageable when you shift your perception from the shadow to the source.

Fears thrive on the lies and exaggerations that are possible only in the dark, hidden places. As soon as you bring those fears out into the light you can begin to see them for what they really are. The trick, of course, is knowing how to pull those fears out into the light.

So here’s your assignment:

When you see a spider (or a snake or a mouse or you look down from a balcony or get onto a plane or fill in the blank) and you notice the dread that lives in the pit of your stomach, know that you have a great opportunity to practice shifting your perception.

So the next time you find yourself face to face with a spider (or whatever your fear is) rather than running away or calling for reinforcements, try to stop and breathe for a moment and become an explorer of your inner world. If you need to catch the spider and place it in a hermetically sealed container in order to breathe, that’s ok! And then see if you can observe that spider with the objectivity of a scientist.

This practice will serve you well the next time you find yourself confronted by a fear that really does hold you back from the life you want to live. When you feel yourself quaking as you prepare to give a presentation, when you watch your arms quivering as you walk into a job interview, when your mouth becomes drier than the Sahara desert as you share your portfolio with a gallery owner, whenever you notice yourself entering a place of fear, become a scientist, objectively exploring the phenomenon. Become a neutral observer of your own life. When you discover the source of your fear, you may be surprised to find that the reality is much less scary than the perception.

And just so that you don’t think I’m asking you do something that I’m not, I have a confession to make. Before Ella was born, I would not voluntarily pick up a spider in my hand. While I “logically” knew that it could not hurt me, the ferocious look (and some of them do look quite fearsome if you get up close) and the spider fears I inherited from both of my parents caused me to exercise caution.

But after Ella was born I made a conscious decision to do whatever I could to keep my fears out of her. So now, when I see a spider, and Ella is with me, I’ll just reach over and grab it with my hand. (I do grab a container to relocate those Wolf Spiders: Their bites aren’t that dangerous, but apparently can be quite painful).

I feel the fear as I’m doing it. It’s alive within me as I reach out. But my desire to give Ella the option to choose her path without the weight of my fears is enough to help me push through that fear and grab that little creature.

Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, it is feeling the fear and doing it anyway!

Stretching Your Comfort Zone Fuels Your Doubts

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Now matter how many times I experience it, I’m still amazed by how quickly and silently doubts creep in to my thoughts when I’m not paying attention. This is especially true when I’m moving out of my comfort zone and into unknown territory.

Yesterday’s announcement of the start of the Law of Attraction Carnival celebration was a bit of a stretch for me. It’s the first time I have really stuck my flag in the ground and said, “I’m here, I’ve got valuable content and I want you to come join me!”

It was an even bigger stretch of my comfort zone to go out and round up the great prizes (and they really are great!) I’ve lined up to generate some buzz for this celebration and ethically bribe more folks to come check out Evolving Times.

And, coincidentally or not, an interesting thing happened after I posted yesterday’s announcement.

When I woke up this morning and logged on to Evolving Times I saw that my subscriber count had shrunk from 446 to 345. A 25% decrease!

Immediately the doubts started creeping in.

“What did I do wrong?”
“How did I alienate so many of my readers?”
“Should I just forget this whole celebration thing?”

Fortunately, I’ve experienced this enough to know not to buy into that part of my mind. Believe me, I’ve bought into those tempting and seductive doubts many times in the past, and doing so just dumps you right back down where you started!

I’ve also learned that working through those doubts on my on can often be a long and tedious process. The quickest and easiest method I have discovered for moving through those doubts is to call in the cavalry!

And so I did. I immediately sent an email out to my blogging friends and support team asking for their feedback.

In less than 30-minutes I had replies from Gayla, Aaron, Dawud, Wendy and Dan affirming my guess that the drop in subscribers was probably a Feedburner glitch (turns out they dropped all the feedburner email subscribers – 124 – from the count today) and confirming my belief that the post, the celebration, the contest, and the prizes all provide benefit and value for my readers.

Doubts have a very hard time hanging on in the presence of outside support. It can be quite difficult to disable your own internal doubts. But when you ask for support from others, and receive positive feedback, the doubts just melt away. They can’t survive the heat of the truth.

No one is immune to these creeping doubts. If you are actively engaged in personal development you probably experience them on a daily basis.

And if you’re not actively pushing yourself to move out of your comfort zone, you may not notice them, but those silent doubts are what keeps you tethered to your comfort zone.

I strongly doubt that these doubts ever go away, no matter how “advanced” or “evolved” you become.

Joe Vitale, someone who has clearly achieved a high level of mastery of the Law of Attraction, had doubts when he had a surprisingly similar blog-related experience. Joe writes, “Amazing how the mind falls back to negativity if it isn’t guarded against.”

Joe used his hot-tub, his virtual “think tank,” to unravel the power of his doubts and get back on track. I used my support system, my friends to unravel mine.

What do you use? How do you unravel the power of your doubts when you are venturing out of your comfort zone?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Carnival Addendum: Steve Pavlina on Intention and Resistance

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Steve Pavlina just published this great entry on Manifesting Intentions Without Resistance Manifesting Intentions Without Resistance.

This issue of “why is the Law of Attraction not working” has been coming up quite a bit lately. Steve’s article addresses one critical component to the successful implementation of the Law of Attraction.

If there is any fear hidden beneath the surface of your intention, the manifestation will either not happen or will take significantly longer than you would like. Steve presents a practical method for bringing hidden fears to the surface and defusing the power they wield over your intention.

I’ve also added this entry to last week’s Law of Attraction Carnival on the Power of Intention.

The Language of the Pain Body

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I’m just now digging in to Ekhart Tolle’s newest book, A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose. In it, he offers a more detailed exploration of the Pain Body than he did in The Power of Now. And this exploration has definitely heightened my awareness of the manner in which my Pain Body speaks to me.

Just yesterday, after writing about my 30-day trial of arising at 5:00 am, I got a taste of the language of the Pain Body.

As I was getting into the shower it occurred to me that I had not told my wife about my plan to wake up at 5:00 am for the next 30-days. “Why haven’t I told her,” I thought. And then a voice that was very different responded, “Because she’ll take it away from you.”

That was strange, I thought, but my curiosity was aroused so I asked, “What do you mean she’ll take it away from me?”

“Oh, she won’t do it ‘on purpose.'” The voice replied. “No, it will all be very subtle. But you watch. If she finds out about this, you’ll notice that Ella starts waking up at 6:00 or even 5:30 in the morning.”

The voice had more to say, but by that point I was aware that it was my pain body speaking to me. And I could very clearly trace that voice and the belief system that the Pain Body was expressing all the way back to my adoption. The experience of having the one thing I wanted most in all of the world – my mother – “taken away from me” has become the fuel that my Pain Body lives on; fuel that is still burning even now, almost 42 years later.

And the reason that fuel has not burned out is because the Pain Body is a master at conserving its own fuel. The Pain Body burns anything else that it can find in order to save the precious resource of its initial painful experience.

As I stepped into the shower yesterday morning, the Pain Body was attempting to throw more fuel onto the fire, fuel that would have burned up my relationship with Melissa. That is how the Pain Body works.

But this is where the Law of Attraction comes in. Once I recognized the presence of my Pain Body and its desire to draw me out of the present and into the quagmire of an old traumatic emotional/energetic experience, I was able to ask the question, “How do I want to feel in this moment?” That one question brought me fully back to the present moment and allowed me to step out of the grip of my Pain Body.

“How do I want to feel in this moment?” So much power in such a simple question. When you have the presence to ask that question, you have no choice but to answer. For me, in that moment, I was quite clear that I did NOT want to feel the sense of dread and resentment and anger that the Pain Body was attempting to arouse by pointing out the possibility that Melissa would “take away” my newly found morning time. I did NOT want to slip back into that familiar but painful place of rehashing and re-experiencing the pain of my adoption.

What I Did Want was to feel good. I wanted to feel the peace in which I had been fully immersed during my alone time earlier in the morning. I wanted to feel the enthusiasm that I was feeling about the extra time I had to write and share my writing with the world. I wanted to feel calm and trusting, confident in the knowledge that Melissa will support and encourage me in my effort to take actions that lead me to deeper happiness and peace.

With those answers I felt the heaviness of the Pain Body slip away, unable to hold onto me, no longer able to pull me down into the depths of its darkness.

And as the cleansing water continued to wash down over me, I offered my thanks to the Pain Body for helping me become even more clear about what I want, and for giving me the opportunity to envision a more supportive, open and joyous relationship with my wife.

The Joy of Co-creation – Even Unwanted Things

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Have you ever been the source or the conduit through which another’s wantings have been manifested? Have you ever given someone a present to which they exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, how did you know? It’s exactly what I’ve been asking for?” Have you ever invited a friend over for a last-minute dinner gathering and have her say, “I am so glad you called. I was just thinking about how nice it would be to have dinner with some friends?”

It’s a wonderful feeling. There is a sense of validation, a recognition of our interconnectedness.

But what about those times when we are the source or the conduit through which another’s “don’t wants” are manifested? This morning I had that experience and it awakened a new awareness about the process.

Occasionally I sublet my office to practitioners who don’t have their own space, or have an out of town office and want to offer their services to clients in Sebastopol. This morning was one of those times.

Since my wife and daughter are out of town, and my office was going to be unavailable to me this morning, I decided to play hooky and spend the morning at Harbin Hot Springs. It was a wonderful morning, and I’ll have much to write about from the experience.

But sometime just after Noon, I had a sudden realization that I had forgotten to leave the keys to the office out for Barbara. My immediate reaction was one of “you idiot Ed. How could you have forgotten?”

I sat and stewed for a few moments, and then caught myself. Before the realization, I had been in a space of total relaxation and connection. I had been feeling “tuned in, tapped in, and turned on,” as Abraham says. And now, here I was, crashed down into frustration, judgment, and even anger at myself for having forgotten to leave the keys. This would not do!

So I went back to the pools, got in the hot water, and asked for a return to connection, to acceptance and understanding. It was not long before I had my “aha” moment. I understood that I was not the cause of this unwanted manifestation, but rather the co-creator. I was the conduit through which the Universe chose to provide Barbara with what she was asking for through her vibrational offering.

There is no way that I could know what vibrational offering Barbara was putting out this morning. Perhaps she woke up in a bit of a funk and didn’t feel like getting out of bed. Perhaps she didn’t really enjoy working with this client and was hoping he would cancel. Perhaps she had lots of other stuff to do and felt overwhelmed at the prospect of driving to Sebastopol. Perhaps she was coming to realize that she doesn’t really like working in my office. Or, perhaps it was a simple case of attracting what she feared. I remember her saying, one Thursday morning when our paths crossed, something to the effect of, “I’m just afraid that if I don’t have my own set of keys, you’ll forget to leave them for me one day.”

The point is that I can’t know exactly what she was feeling and vibrating. But as I examined the situation from a place of calm, neutral awareness, I knew, with a strong certainty, that she must have been offering a vibration that said to the universe, “I don’t want to work with this client today in Ed’s office.”

This awareness made it much easier for me to be in a place of acceptance. I was able to see the beauty in the workings of the universe. I could understand how it is possible to feel joy at this amazing process of co-creation whether the creation is wanted or unwanted. For, in actuality, every creation is wanted. Every creation is a reflection of the vibrational offering of the person or people into whose lives it has come.

Now, before you all start shouting at me, I want to make it clear that this is not about abdicating responsibility for our actions. I absolutely did play a part in this situation. And I am absolutely going to take responsibility for it. In fact, I have already left a message for Barbara telling her that whatever financial compensation she offered her client, because of the inconvenience, would be deducted from the rent she pays in the future.

Now here’s the best part. When you accept that every creation is a co-creation you can begin to choose whether or not you want to be a conduit for unwanted experiences. Knowing how the universe works makes it possible to intend yourself into a place of co-creating only wanted things.

In other words, you can move yourself into a vibrational offering that causes you to cross paths only with people looking to attract their desires. When someone is vibrating at a frequency that is attracting lack, or unwanted events into their life, the universe will arrange for them to connect with someone else, not you.

How cool is that?

So here’s my new affirmation and intention:

I recognize that in all things I am a co-creator. I acknowledge the power of my co-creative essence and I choose to use that creative power to assist in the intentional manifestation of things and experiences that are consciously, joyously, desired. Today I choose to be a conduit through which the powerful, positive intentions of others may be manifested.

TIISG…Thanks Dr. Joe

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We all have those moments. You know, the ones where it seems like you’re banging your head up against a wall and you don’t know what to do or where to turn or how to change it. Sometimes those moments seem to go on for days or longer. They’re not fun, those moments.

I had one of those moments a few weeks ago and it was one of those moments that seemed to be lasting a lot longer than just a moment!

I’ll be honest with you here. I’m really working through some of my money “stuff.” I’ve got this feast or famine thing happening. January was my best money month ever in this business. Most of the enrollments for a couple of classes that I was teaching all landed in January, which helped a lot. It felt great to hit that new benchmark.

And then my “stuff” must have kicked in, because March and April were two of my worst money months ever! And at the end of April I found myself wondering where the money had gone, where more of it was going to come from, and how I was going to “make it happen?”

With all of that chatter bouncing around in my head, it was difficult getting anything done. So one day, deep in the middle of that “moment” that didn’t seem to be going away, I decided to find some help.

One of the ways that I find help is by reading articles and books by people who inspire me, people I want to emulate. A virtual mentor, if you will. That day I was drawn to Joe Vitale. He’s the author of the Attractor Factor, featured in the Law of Attraction movie, The Secret, creator of Spiritual Marketing and Hypnotic Marketing… Yes, he’s prolific!

I surfed over to his website, found my way to his article archives and started browsing through them looking for the one that I intuitively knew was waiting to offer me just what I needed. My eye landed upon a cryptic title: “TIISG: The Secret of Napoleon Hill, P.T. Barnum, and Me.”

In this article Joe described one of the characteristics that set these folks (and most successful people) apart from most. It seems that when these types of folks find themselves in one of “those moments,” instead of getting stuck in it and moaning, they look for a way to “Turn It Into Something Good,” TIISG!

It was exactly what I needed to hear. How could I turn this “moment” into something good? Where was the opportunity in this experience?

The first “hit” I got was to call my biological mother. It was time to uncover the roots of my dysfunctional relationship with money. Since years of positive thinking and ritual and attracting and healing and you name it had not completely shifted the pattern of dysfunction, it made sense to go back to the core, to the source, so to speak, and discover what money patterns and beliefs I might have absorbed during my time with her. (I believe that we absorb emotional/energetic patterns and beliefs while we are in the womb. But that’s a discussion for another time).

I discovered some very interesting information. Turns out that my mother had given me up for adoption because she did not have enough money to raise me. In order to keep me she would have had to return to her parents’ house or go onto welfare. Neither of which were options that she could live with.

We had a wonderful conversation that helped me understand many things about myself and the roots of my relationship with money. We explored some of the – obviously irrational – ways that my unconscious mind had attempted to integrate that experience: That it had somehow been my fault that she didn’t have enough money. That I was not able to provide her with the money she needed to keep me (even though I was a fetus at the time!) These and other completely illogical stories had been created in my mind in response to the emotional and energetic experience of adoption. Causing me to create a continuing relationship of helplessness around money.

When we got right down to the core of it, all the stories were just convoluted ways of saying that I was not good enough. And if I wasn’t good enough for her to keep I certainly was not worthy of having lots of money.

Now here’s the thing. I’m not a whiner. At least I do my very best to avoid whining unless absolutely necessary. I don’t go around moaning about the fact that I’m adopted and that it means I wasn’t good enough. None of these stories were “true” and none of them served my highest good, but they were still clearly holding some power over me and my present day relationship with money.

The conversation with my mother ended with an agreement that I would call her every day, or as needed, to be reminded that I am good enough, that I am worthy of all that I desire. In this way, the power of those stories will decrease as I consciously choose to step into a new, empowering story about my sense of worth and my relationship with money.

By choosing to turn one of those moments into something good, I uncovered a key to help me create a more fulfilling and joyous life. I would say that qualifies as something good! By asking the simple question, “How do I turn this into something good?” I set in motion a series of events that is still unfolding and has the potential to dramatically transform my life.

The next time that you find yourself in one of those moments, will you remember these five letters: TIISG? Will you remember that they stand for Turn It Into Something Good? And will you ask yourself the question, “How can I turn this into something good?”

If you do, you will quickly discover that it is these moments that provide you with the most profound opportunities for growth, awareness, healing and transformation.

I’d love to hear about the times in your life that you have turned one of those moments into good. Click on the comment button below and share your success with this technique.

I like to watch.

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How many of you remember the movie Being There with Peter Sellers? For some reason the scene where Shirley MacLaine attempts to seduce him popped into my brain recently. She desperately wants to connect with him. And I think you know what I mean when I say CONNECT!

When her kisses and caresses elicit no response from Chance (Sellers) she asks him what he “likes.” His reply is, “I like to watch.” After a short moment of delightful coyness, Shirley goes into quite an interesting display for his watching pleasure. Unfortunately, Chance is completely engrossed in the TV, which as it turns out is what he likes to watch.

There is one poignant shot when Shirley begins to howl with pleasure and Chance looks over as if suddenly remembering that she is in the room. When he sees that she is alright, albeit a bit tangled up in a blanket, he returns his attention to the television.

It seems to me that we have become a culture of voyeurs. We all like to “watch.” Life, in all its howling juicyness, surrounds every one of us all the time, and yet we do our best to push it aside. Watching feels much safer. But it sure is less fun.

I catch myself doing it all the time: being a spectator as my life goes by.

What areas of your life are you watching instead of participating? When do you feel safer staying in the stands rather than out on the field?

Pay attention. You might be surprised what you find.

Stepping out of the comfort zone – literally

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My daughter took her first, unassisted steps last week. At 2 ½ years, this was an extra special moment for us. Ella has a slight delay in her left side, so she’s a bit “behind the curve” in some of her development. We like to say that she’s on “Ella Time.” Of course, Ella Time doesn’t always align perfectly with Mommy and Daddy time. So when she decided it was time to walk, the sweetness of the moment – watching her take those first tentative steps across the room – was incredible. My proud daddy heart nearly burst open.

But I’m not here to bore you with my proud daddy moments. Nope. I’m here to offer you thoughts and observations that might come in handy on your evolutionary journey. And I’m sure you’re wondering how Ella’s first steps might do that? Well, it’s not actually the steps that I want to focus on; rather, it’s what has happened since those first steps.

Clearly, Ella can walk. She knows that she can get from one place to another in an upright position, without holding on to anything or anyone. But since those first steps, she has been extremely reticent to do so. She still loves to “wah,” but she still wants something to hold onto. She’ll walk around and around the dining room table holding on to the edge. She’ll walk from chair to chair. She’ll walk pushing her cart. She’ll walk from one object to another. But when she comes to a space where there’s nothing to hold onto, she’ll drop down and crawl or skootch her way to her destination.

Ella is at the edge of her comfort zone. And every time she takes a step on her own, she is, literally, stepping out of that comfort zone.

The other day, my wife and I were playing with Ella, encouraging her to walk back and forth between the two of us. As she took off from Melissa, Ella would take a few steps towards me, eyes open, confident, and then the fear would come. She’d close her eyes and stumble forward blindly into my outstretched arms and we’d both roll back onto the floor in a pile of giggles. The laughter and fun encouraged her to continue, to push through her fear, but it was clear that she was stepping into territory that was uncomfortable for her. She was stepping into an unknown and unsafe place.

Her hesitance to do this thing that she clearly can do and clearly wants to do has given me the opportunity to explore the places in my own life where I am “working the edges” of my comfort zone, the places where I have been unwilling to step out of my comfort zone and into a new experience or awareness.

We all have our comfort zones, and, at any given time, we tend to have specific areas where we are actively “working the edges.”

One of the edges that I am working is my relationship with money. Until recently, my comfort zone with money could best be described as “just enough.” I’ve managed to get by financially, but never a whole lot more than that. Just enough is comfortable for me. (I’m not going to get into the whys and wherefores in this article, perhaps in a future edition).

Moving out of my financial comfort zone is taking a step from surviving to thriving, from just enough to abundance. Sounds simple and attractive enough, but just as I see the fear in Ella’s eyes when she comes to a gap between two chairs, that step for me into financial abundance feels like a giant leap over a gaping chasm with a roaring river crashing three hundred feet below. (Ok, maybe that’s a bit melodramatic, but you get the idea!)

As an outside observer, I can watch Ella and think, “She wants to walk. She knows how to walk. Why doesn’t she just walk?” But for her, the internal process is quite a bit more complicated than that.

And so it is for each of us as well.

Fortunately, there are effective tools to help us move out of our comfort zone. And one of the most effective tools is the simplest: awareness.

Most people work the edges in a state of unawareness. The edges show up in our lives in unexpected and usually unpleasant ways. But by discovering the edges that you are working, and focusing your attention upon those edges, you take back a measure of control over the pace and the manner at which you can work the edge.

What edges are you working? Where are you feeling the resistance of your comfort zone? What changes do you say want in your life but are having trouble creating?

See if you can clearly define one or more of the edges you are working. The more clear you are the easier it will be for you to take steps out of that comfort zone and into a new, more expansive expression of who you are!

Resisting my Purpose

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In my Coaching with God session yesterday, I explored the resistance I’m encountering as I move into a more complete alignment with my purpose. Today as I sat, still feeling the inner struggle, reflected by a sense of fatigue, I looked up from my desk to see a wonderfully vibrant rainbow. It reminded me of the beauty inherent in every moment and the purpose that infuses my every action – even when I might think otherwise.

I know I’m not alone in feeling this resistance to aligning my life with purpose. I see it in my clients and friends and family. In the past I have fought this resistance. Now I see that fighting it just leads to more of it. By fighting the resistance, I match its energy and vibration, thus attracting more of it into my life. “Like attracts like!” Or, in this case, you could use the negative corollary, “What you resist, persists.”

As I sat, watching that rainbow fade away, I could feel myself letting go of my resistance to the resistance. I know it sounds a bit strange, but as soon as I allowed myself to accept that resistance, it immediately began to release.

The resistance I feel to living on purpose serves a truly valuable function: It lets me know when I am close to my purpose. In the past, when I have been walking on a less purposeful path, this resistance has not been present. Sure there have been other uncomfortable symptoms and signs. But this specific resistance is clearly responding to my increasing alignment with purpose.

And so I welcome this feeling of resistance. I welcome this particular signature of fatigue. For I know that when it is here, I am getting closer to a life aligned with purpose.