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Don’t hesitate. Initiate!

What are you waiting on?

 
Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest. Ecclesiastes 11:4

Are there any unfulfilled desires for creative self-expression in your life?

Is there any adventurous activity you’ve always wanted to try, but have continually failed to get started?

There can be many reasons why we hesitate to take chances on our creative impulses, but one of the most powerful reasons of all is the assumption that there is such a thing as an ideal set of conditions for creating. Once these conditions are in place, we presuppose, we’ll have the permission and freedom to do what we really want to do.

The present moment never needs permission from a future moment

The truth of the matter is that we always have something we can be doing to propel our lives forward. We may not have all the money we think we need, but there are always some action steps we could take that don’t require money. “Sure!” the skeptic may say. “But what happens when I get done with those action steps and then I arrive at the point where I need the money?”

My two cents: The best pathway to the answers you need is action taken upon the answers you already have. When you act on what you do know, you attract more information and inspiration to act on. You may feel you need 3 extra hours a day to work on a goal you have, while in reality you only have 15 minutes a day that you can spend towards it. If you take an all or nothing approach and do nothing simply because “it’s not enough”, your vision never gets off the ground. But if you start where you are and “despise not the day of small beginnings”, you’ll inevitably find yourself amazed by the way in which assistance comes your way and synchronous events unfold.

The man who spoke to empty audiences

As a child, I grew up listening to a very prominent speaker whose audiences were always packed with people hungry to feed off of his inspirational and insightful words. I had always assumed that his crowd of followers were with him from the very beginning until I heard him tell his story. When he first “felt the calling” to speak,  he used all the money from his corporate job to finance the purchase of a small, run down, gutted out liquor store in an inner city. After getting the place cleaned up, he posted a sign on the doors announcing dates & times when he’d be speaking. For the first several dozen times he showed up, absolutely no one was present.

Although he considered just packing up and going home many of those times. he decided to speak to an empty audience every session. Eventually, people started to get curious about this eccentric man who talked to empty audiences and the audience gradually trickled in as they discovered great value in his thoughts. Since then, he’s never spoken to an empty audience again.

Now is the time to become legendary

The ultimate goal in life is not to gain a following or become famous. The real goal is to deliberately design a lifestyle in which you are deriving great fulfillment through loving service to the world, by using your creatives gifts in a personally satisfying way. This isn’t about being famous. It’s about having a legacy. But having a legacy, whether it involves being famous or not, requires us to  abandon any strategy that demands we wait on perfect conditions.

The perfect conditions are always a response to the faith we have in ourselves.

Everything you need to be the person you were born to be will be there, as soon as you choose to show up first.

The best part of it all? It’s much easier than it sounds. Once you get started, it only gets easier to keep going.

Don’t hesitate. Initiate!

At least that’s my two cents.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

When “keeping it real” goes wrong! Pt. 2

In my last post, I began a discussion on anger. If you’d like to check it out, click here. This posts is a continuation of that theme. I hope you enjoy. Cheers 🙂 -T.K. Coleman

What motivates our responses to anger?

 

People who get themselves into trouble, by doing things they later regret because of an angry reaction, often defend themselves by saying things like;

“I’m not Mother Theresa! I don’t have the ability to just flip the switch and be all nice to people when they tick me off!”

Part of the reason why people feel this way lies in the fact that we’re rarely coached on how to deal with anger in a way that’s intrinsically motivated. Guilt and a sense of moral duty head the list of reasons why we’re told we should handle anger responsibly. We’re taught to be the bigger person because it’s the right thing to do.

So, when we lose our cool and blow up at people, we feel guilty and wish we had a nicer, more Mother Theresa like, personality. But in the real world where we must deal with pricks while striving to keep up with an incessant stream of societal demands, the morally superior path just doesn’t seem to offer the same practical advantages as less “enlightened” responses to conflict.

Ideally, it would be great to do as Jesus advised and “love your enemies”, but a nice punch in the face or a few choice words may seem to get the point across more readily. This feeling is understandable, but I believe there’s more to the picture.

Trying to be positive will only drive you mad

My advice to people is this;

Don’t focus on being positive or morally good. Just be selfish. Focus on getting what you want. Go back and reconsider your options. Then choose the one(s) that will actually take you there. Don’t make changes in life because you think it’s evil to be negative. Make changes because you’re no longer interested in self-sabotaging the joy you’ve always wanted to feel.
 

One of the most overlooked qualities of optimists and happy people is the fact that they are among some of the most selfish people in the world. I don’t mean selfish in the sense of being snobbish, but selfish in the sense of being inwardly motivated by their own desire to procure as much personal pleasure as possible. Because of their unwavering focus on their goals and personal health,  they’re often able to overlook and move past the typical disturbances that distract lesser focused people.

We can learn a significant lesson from such people:

Negative energy directed at another person usually results in positive energy being directed away from what you really want.
 
“A battle against anything or anyone is a battle against you!”*

Do you love and respect yourself enough to keep it cool?

Who really loses when you shout obscenities at the person who cut you off on the highway if you carry that anger in your body for half the work day?

Who really loses when you “tear someone a new one” and spend half the day reliving the emotions of your argument even though the actual altercation is long gone?

What’s going on with your health at that time?

What happened to that book, creative project, resume, or business plan you’ve always wanted to work on as you simmer in anger at someone else?  What’s going on with that as you moan and groan over something that happened 5 hours ago?

What price will you have to pay 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years from now for acting out impulsively on anger? Is that price really worth paying? Is that what you really want?

Keeping it cool isn’t about pleasing God, making your mother proud, or impressing your therapist. Keeping it cool is really about keeping it real with your dreams, passions, and desires. It’s about loving yourself enough to not allow your positive creative energy to be wasted and consumed by your prolonged contempt of another person.

I’m not done with this topic. In my next post, I’d like to address the practical side of dealing with  anger just a bit more by painting a broader picture of what it means to keep it real. Then, I’d like to offer some suggestions on how to process these very powerful feelings in a healthy stress-relieving way.

That’s my two cents for the day. I look forward to exploring this topic further with you. If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to share.

Create a great day,

T.K. Coleman

* A quote by Esther Hicks

When “keeping it real” goes wrong!

There are moments in life when people successfully get under our skin and “make” us feel angry.

I put the word “make” in quotes because in actuality, no one can make us angry without our consent. We are the ones who choose to take others seriously. We are the ones who decide to assign meaning and value to the words other people say and the actions they perform. At anytime, we can do the work necessary to alter our perceptions and change our beliefs, thereby liberating ourselves from anger.

Regardless of our personal responsibility, however, there are certainly moments when people seem to make us angry. What can we do in moments like this? How do we get through the day when dealing with someone who pushes all the right buttons and makes us feel as if steam is rising up through our heads?

Our own worst enemy

Usually when we find ourselves in the presence of a provocative person, we’re keenly aware of some simple action we could take to alleviate the situation and move on. In some cases, however, we choose to opt for a path that only escalates the tension.

A common example:

When someone cuts us off on the highway, we could just choose to give way, leave them alone, and be thankful that we were alert enough to make a smart driving decision that ensured our safety. But instead, we find ourselves honking the horn relentlessly, while shouting or signaling obscenities to a driver we probably wont change and will likely never encounter again.

Not all of us struggle with road rage, but the theme is common to a variety of scenarios. We’re going through life minding our own business. Someone does something we don’t approve of and, although we praise the idea of being the bigger person in theory, it feels far more gratifying in the moment to protest, insult, have the last word, or give that individual a piece of our minds in some shape or fashion.

When keeping it real goes wrong

The comedian, David Chapelle, once did a segment on his hourly sketch show titled “When keeping it real goes wrong.”

This segment involved someone who was the victim of some minor slight directed at him by an insensitive party. At the precise moment of the offense, the victim would be faced with a dilemma: Do they choose to let things slide and “keep it cool” or do they “keep it real” by retaliating? Of course, with this being a comedy sketch, the victim would always choose to keep it real.

Unfortunately, there was usually some factor at play that the victim could not have anticipated; Perhaps the person they lashed back at was a 3rd degree black belt in martial arts who was out looking for a good fight or something else of that sort. Whatever the particulars, it suffices to say that it always ended in a humiliating manner for the person who kept it real.

This sketch provides a humorous, yet poignant, illustration of how being the bigger person may not only be the noble way of dealing with anger inducing people, but also the practical and safe way as well.

In my next post, I’ll elucidate this point and make a case for why certain socially acceptable and seemingly instinctive responses to anger may not be as harmless as we suppose. I’ll then provide my two cents on how to maintain control and be the bigger person when you feel your buttons are being pushed.

I’m looking forward to sharing with you.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

I am independent

The quality of my life is independent

 
I don’t need to have what others refer to as a “good day” in order to create a great life.

My seemingly bad days are simply opportunities for me to demonstrate the superiority of character over circumstance.

By choosing to be larger than my conditions, I teach others how to transcend their own stumbling blocks to happiness and inner peace.

My sense of enthusiasm is independent

 
I don’t need my life to be easy in order for it to be exciting.

My challenges are there to provoke my hidden creative powers and reveal my underestimated levels of intelligence.

By letting go of my resistance to life’s difficulties and inconveniences, I transform my trials into teachers who show me how to bring a sense of flair to every moment.

My success is independent

 
I don’t need to be protected from undesirable events and unpleasant elements in order to effectively achieve my goals.

My contrasting experiences constitute the very substance out of which my dreams are made.

By looking at unwanted conditions as the raw materials for my desires, I gain the ability to assimilate them into my creative process in meaningful and enriching ways.

My significance is independent

 
I don’t need to be void of enemies, critics, and naysayers in order to be validated as a person of great worth.

All disapproval and contempt directed at me is only confirmation that I am effectively shaking things up and actively creating change in the world.

By looking at opposition as a sign that I am challenging the status quo, I reinforce my conviction that I really am a part of an ongoing revolution to empower myself and others.

I am Independent

I am not defined by anything outside of my own nature as an expression of The Infinite.

I am not limited by anything other than the beliefs I choose to accept as a free individual.

I am independent because I always get to choose what I believe, what I do, and how I express what I already am.

T.K. Coleman

Transcending the dimension of disagreement

From defending positions to embracing possibilities

There is a level of thought and conversation that exists beyond the dimension of disagreement.

At this level, conversations are vibrational rather than verbal. It’s no longer just a matter of listening to what each other says, but of artfully rendezvousing with the spirit of every person. The positions we tend to argue over are often just indirect ways of expressing sentiments like “I love you”, “I want to share with you”, “I want to create with you”, “I want to delight in the pleasures of life with you”, “I need to know I belong”, “I want to remember that I am beautiful.”

As we look beyond words, towards our more fundamental desire to connect energetically, we gain access to higher perspectives that dissolve defensiveness and enable us to relate to the seemingly unrelatable. From this more expanded level of awareness, we can swing open new vistas of opportunity for creativity and collaboration.

Opening the mind to enter the heart

To get there, we must open our mind to possibilities within dialogue that don’t require the negation of another person’s point of view.

Below, I’ve listed 5 questions that have been very useful in helping me move beyond my need to be right.  After testing them out on myself, I’m now sharing them with you. 

1) What if I accepted each instance of being challenged or misunderstood as an opportunity to deepen my understanding of communication and my embodiment of compassion?
 
2) What if  I experimented with responding to others in ways that don’t require me to be right and them to be wrong?
 
3) What if I spent more time exploring the results of  engaging my dissenters & critics in a playful lighthearted manner?
 
4) What if I chose to see arguments as dances instead of battles; where the goal was not to defeat an opponent or enemy, but to figure out a way to synchronize with my partner’s contrasting style through the use of creative moves and clever maneuvers?
 
5) What if I listened, at least every once in awhile, to a point of view I disagreed with and commented ONLY on the aspects I AGREED with and left everything else out?

Within the past month, I have observed a much calmer and lighter disposition in myself as a result of quietly reflecting on these questions.

It’s still a learning process for me, but I am thoroughly enjoying the options that are opening up for me as I make “being right” less and less of a priority in my life.

Dancing in the open fields of possibility

In the words of the poet Rumi, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”

Our positions are like points in space. The field, Rumi speaks of, is the space itself which gives meaning and context to all positions and points. This space, or field of awareness, is the Source of true wisdom, peace, and contenment. It is also where life and laughter is born.

We don’t access this field by arguing and analyzing. We must learn to descend into our hearts and adopt a more intuitve mode of knowing. As we spend more time in this field, we develop a vibrational vocabulary. And we find ourselves communing with all of life’s diversities and discrepancies in the language of love.

I’m on my way to this field right now. I hope to see you there too. Maybe we’ll create some fun games to play or perhaps we could just dance together. Either way….

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

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