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Everything Isn’t Everything

Money isn’t everything, but neither is anything else.

A good education isn’t everything. Being married isn’t everything. Having kids isn’t everything. Being in love with someone isn’t everything. Physical health isn’t everything. Having amazing friends isn’t everything. Appreciating fine art isn’t everything. Working hard isn’t everything. Taking care of your physical appearance isn’t everything. A sense of humor isn’t everything. Giving to charity isn’t everything. Getting a decent amount of sleep isn’t everything. Living in a neighborhood where you don’t have to worry about getting shot isn’t everything.

No single thing is everything.

Life is multidimensional. A flourishing life involves many different elements and the “right” combination of those elements ranges from person to person.

The question we should be asking ourselves is not, “is this thing I’m pursuing everything?,” but rather, “is it consistent with my own priorities, preferences, and principles to pursue the particular thing I am pursuing?”

What you need might fail to be everything, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth absolutely nothing.

Does it give you the options you want? Does it matter to you? Does it make you feel alive to go after it? Is it consistent with your value system? Does it make you a better human being to focus on it?

Instead of getting stuck in the trap of thinking about the things you want in terms of anything, nothing, and everything, consider the freedom that comes from just giving yourself permission to do and pursue YOUR thing.

Don’t Punish yourself Pt. 2

There’s nothing wrong with you

My personal problem with the whole “motivate myself with guilt & self-condemnation” approach is that it rests on what I perceive to be a flawed assumption about human nature.

It assumes that who you are is essentially bad and can’t be trusted. If you are left to your own devices, you will ultimately self-destruct or at least wreak a great deal of havoc. Your essential being is NOT intrinsically creative and unless you are motivated by discontent, dissatisfaction, and disapproval, you’ll just sit around all day doing nothing good or productive.

According to this view, the worst thing you can do is accept yourself unconditionally because then you’ll become complacent or perhaps even a sociopath. In other words, something is fundamentally wrong with you. Guilt, self loathing, and the rules that usually follow are there to keep you in line.

You are more than free to adopt that perspective if you wish, but I’d like to offer you an alternative view.

It’s not you. It’s not me. It’s our ideas about you and me.

I invite you to entertain the possibility that your true nature is essentially good; that you are an intrinsically creative being and when left to your own devices, you will innovate, invent, and inspire at every turn; that you don’t need guilt to keep yourself in line because you’re not some screw up just waiting to be turned loose; that self acceptance, contrary to popular belief, actually brings out the best in you; that when you love your wounds, you heal them; that when you forgive yourself, your sins are dissolved; that when you accept yourself as is, your hidden beauty truly begins to disclose itself.

I believe that love is alchemy. Whatever we love is transformed by the light of that love. The power of love transmutes whatever it’s  focused on and causes its inner radiance to shine forth. Like the princess who kisses the frog and thereby turns it into a prince, the daring posture of unconditional self-love alchemizes our lives into something that proves worthy of adoration.

Every time you hate yourself, the devil smiles.

“But aren’t we all sinners in the hands of an angry God? Are we not fallen creatures who can’t be trusted? What about the whole Original Sin thing we learned back in Sunday School?”

This concern arises from the story of the Garden of Eden found in the book of Genesis. According to that story, Mankind lived perfectly until an act of sin caused them to “fall from grace” and inherit a corrupt nature in the process.

Here’s my two cents on that:

I am on the side of those who believe that at a prior time in history, we once knew who we were. At some point, humanity “went wrong.”

The question we must ask, however, is “where did humanity go wrong?”

I’m sure there are many answers to that question, each of them with varying degrees of depth. What follows is not the full extent of what can be said on such a broad philosophical topic.

My contention is that Humanity went wrong when we bought into the lie that life was something other than already perfect and complete.

Man was already created in the image of God and didn’t need to do anything special to become God-like, abundant, or happy. These states were his already existing birthrights.

According to the Genesis story, itself, the fundamental cause of sin and death was man’s decision to believe that his life was missing something and in order to fill the void, he needed to compensate with his own achievement.  Dr. Myles Munroe said it this way:

The root of man’s frustrations is his misconception of self.

When we treat ourselves as if we’re something less than expressions of God, we reenact the tragedy depicted in the Garden of Eden story and we perpetuate the problem of human suffering.

Every time we hate ourselves, the devil smiles. For he knows that in our act of self-rejection, we have temporarily deviated from The Source of all love from which our true nature arises.

Let us abandon all ideas which point us away from the truth of who we are.

Let us return to the Reality of Unconditional Love that created us.

Let us affirm our worthiness of that love; a worthiness not based on effort, but a worthiness grounded in the fact that we are made out of the very substance of this Love and cannot be separate from it except by our own choosing.

So I challenge you to STOP, RIGHT NOW!! Right where you are…in THIS moment and not the NEXT….EMBRACE YOURSELF!

Love yourself, respect yourself, and affirm the very best of yourself.

“But…but…I wasn’t positive today.”

Well, be positive about THAT.

Make peace with who and where you are now BEFORE you prove yourself to God or the world and you’ll be amazed at what starts to come out of you.

At least that’s the way I see it.

How do you see it? Better yet, how do you see yourself? Why?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

T.K. Coleman

If you liked this post, check out:

1. Don’t Punish Yourself

2. I am a perfect unfolding of the wholeness of God

3. Be The Power

Don’t Punish Yourself

No matter how much I disappoint myself or others, I’m going to keep believing in myself. I’m going to keep doing the best I know how. I may feel like a loser at times, but I’m going to persist in looking for the qualities within myself that evince greatness. As I look for evidence of  beauty, genius, and magnificence in my own being, I cause those attributes to shape my thoughts and take form in my experience.

No pain, no gain?

When was the last time you heard someone or even yourself say something like…

“I’m such a horrible person. I try to be positive but I always get so frustrated when xyz happens.”

Our guilt-driven models for motivation makes the above statement sound quite normal and sane. It falls right in line with an all too common thought process:

1) Observe a personal failure

2) Punish ourselves with thoughts of self-condemnation

3) Cultivate a strong feeling of guilt in order to avoid doing it again

4) Maintain a sense of dissatisfaction and disapproval until we’ve proven that we’re sorry by making positive changes.

Sound familiar?

Punishment doesn’t work

Well, here’s my two cents:

This way of thinking, far from helping us actualize our true potential, only solidifies our consciousness in a pessimistic, disempowered state.

We can’t empower what we refuse to first embrace. We must dare to love and forgive ourselves even when we seem most unlovable and unforgivable.

On the surface, this may seem a bit backwards. I can hear the well-meaning skeptic ponder:

“If I allow myself to feel good about who I am right now, then wont I lose all my motivation for positive change?”

If that is YOUR question, then I ask you the following: “Is that approach working for you? If you’ve been beating yourself up when you fail, has that practice helped you create the happiness you desire yet?”

If not, might I prescribe for you the wisdom of Mike Murdock?

 “If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.”

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll share my two cents on how I see human nature and what that has to say about the pursuit, the possibility, and the power of happiness.

I hope you’ll stop by.

 Cheers,

 T.K. Coleman

If you liked this post, check out:

1. “Not guilty”, on all accounts, of mediocrity

2. TK’s Two Cents “Your well-being is an emergency”

3. Kiss the Frog: Creating happiness through the power of appreciation

 

Problems: If you put them down, they might not be there when you come back

You don’t have to stick your head in the sand in order to give your mind a break

When confronted with an unexpected challenge that throws our routine off kilter, it is easy to feel as if that challenge must be treated with urgency and immediately resolved. The prospect of moving forward with one’s day and coming back to it at a more opportune time sometimes feels negligent.

Rather than obsess over a problem by forcing a solution to come to you right here and now, experiment with the option of backing off the issue for a bit and focusing that same energy on reinforcing your connection to a more positive, peaceful state.

This is not a matter of sticking one’s head in the sand or being irresponsible. It’s a pragmatic decision rooted in the understanding that we have greater access to both our logical mind and our creative mind when our thoughts are unclouded by the frustration that stems from mentally and verbally rehearsing difficulties over and over again.

What follows is my two cents on taking a step back from our problems.

Keeping it simple is still a good idea

First, if there’s some simple action you can take to remove the problem, then by all means do so.

If there’s a mosquito on your arm and it’s bugging you (no pun intended), there’s no need for you to go into transcendental meditation to find some enlightened insight about it.

You don’t have to ask “what would Jesus do?” about that one, my friends. Just shoo the fly away!

However, if you’ve spent 30 minutes or more trying to figure it all out and you’re not gaining progress, you just might be pushing yourself further away from a truly satisfying solution.

Don’t be a slave to the tyranny of urgency

When many people get to this point, they allow the urgency of the situation to dominate their minds and they choose to do something extreme in order to achieve closure.

An unhealthy surface level solution that brings temporary relief is often thought to be better than a healthy solution that wont show up until a few hours or days later. This is why most people’s problems are reoccurring.

Rather than take the time to address the root issue, we take the CSI MIAMI approach by attempting to eliminate all of our dramas in an hour or less. This leads to quick fix solutions that help us get through the day, but it leaves us defenseless against future manifestations of the same underlying issue.

How can one take such a patient approach when you have an unresolved problem just staring you in the face?

In my next post, I’ll offer my two cents on why we find it so difficult to let go of our problems long enough to find solutions that do more than numb the pain with quick fixes.

Here’s a hint: It has less to do with the actual problem and more to do with how much you trust yourself.

I hope you’ll join me for Tomorrow’s post.

In the meantime, create a great day 🙂

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

Be The Power

We do not merely believe in the existence of a higher power.

We affirm ourselves to be extensions & expressions of that which is the very Essence of Power.

We recognize this power to be part & parcel of our own selves.

We  do not settle for the knowledge that we’ve been made BY this power. Nor are content to merely affirm that we have come FROM this power. We ARE this power in action for this power is the very Source of creation acting out the role of our individuality.

We are not in the process of reaching out to something outside of our own nature for help.

We are delving down into the core of what we are and rediscovering what Ernest Holmes called “the God-power at the center of every person’s being.”

We have the power to live powerful lives because we are the power!

T.K. Coleman

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