How can our mind's power help us to achieve goals? Quite simply, by focusing on what we want. If anything in this life is achievable then by directing the mind in a positive way it can be achieved. But first, we have to BELIEVE that we can achieve.
If I want to do something and then I tell myself I can't do it, I will fail. Unless, by a small chance something miraculous happens to put my goal in my path. And even then, I may fail if I don't believe I can succeed.
But when I tell myself, 'yes I CAN do this' - 'it is a certainty that I can SUCCEED' - then I am already half way up the mountain. The summit still requires work and determination but knowing it can be reached makes the journey more likely to be true.
What often happens is that many people are so used to being put down in life, especially during our early years when the personality is being formed. We start to believe that everyone else is better than us. The teachers, the parents, the big brothers and sisters and so on - they all know better. . . Unfortunately these are not always the best teachers. With the best intentions in the world, a parent or teacher can destroy a child's self-confidence and install a lifelong pattern of self-doubt and low self-esteem.
So, to achieve YOUR goals - forget about other people's lessons in life. What is right for one person is not necessarily right for another. Wipe the slate clean and START AGAIN -by believing in yourself.
Start by stating your intentions, decide upon your goal; then say it aloud, and write it down. This is known as GROUNDING. Taking it from the thought form to the material form is the first step towards achievement. State your goal and your intentions in a positive framework. For example, 'I am successful' rather than 'I am not going to fail'. This means you will be pointing that positive thought in the right direction - i.e. success.
Visualize yourself as already having achieved that goal. If your ambition is to run a marathon then picture yourself crossing that finish line. Don't short measure yourself, always aim for the top. If your ambition is to be in a job you love, helping people then picture yourself surrounded by people you have helped.
Think about the steps that are needed to achieve that goal. Unless it's something really easy, you're not going to jump from where you are now right up to the top. So realistically decide what needs to be done. For instance, if your goal is to lose 30 pounds in weight, you're not going to do this unless you make some changes in your lifestyle. This could be:- eating smaller meals, exercising, cutting out junk food, stopping snacking or comfort eating, etc. But have a plan, don't just decide your actions day by day.
Starting with Step One, visualize yourself, taking this First Step. Add all the necessary components to your mental image. If your First Step was to eat more healthily, visualize yourself shopping for healthy foods, selecting crisp, fresh produce from the market, preparing them - put in the aroma, the smell of fresh herbs - really imagine this, and imagine that wonderful taste in your mouth and how good you feel as you digest this healthy food - don't forget the touch those foods - you can imagine this as well.
And having gone through this in your mind, you have directed your mind to help you to achieve, in a realistic way, the goal that you desire. You have planted the right thoughts in your mind, and generally, whatever goes INTO the mind, will come out in some form or other.
One of the best ways to visualize your success, your goals and achievements is through hypnosis. This connects all of the above directly with the subconscious and leads to greater success.
Before fixing what you are looking at check what you are looking through...
An older woman sits staring out the window for days on end. All she could see was a gray dirty world. When her son came to visit he would ask if she wanted to go for a walk outside. She would tell him time after time she would rather stay in, the world looked dirty, gray and gloomy today.
One day the son came to visit on what was one of the most beautiful Spring days of the year. He asked her again to go out for a walk with him and her response was the same. Confused, he looked out of the window and smiled. He asked "When the last time that window was cleaned?" She thought about it and chuckled realizing it has been years. She said "Got a dirty eye, see a dirty world."
This story relates to how our mind and heart sees things. From the one window we have into this life we are tainted by what we are looking through. So often we suffer the mood of the dirty window, believing the brilliant and beautiful world around us is dark and gray.
When we learn to love ourselves and the world around us, it helps to keep our mind and heart clear. Inner work is just like washing the dirty window and opening ourselves up to the glorious wonders of the world around us.
There are three levels of truth, the first type of truth is knowing. Once you have experienced something, you know it. No person can persuade you otherwise because you have experienced it yourself. The second type of truth is gained by reasoning. Something may be true but its truth is born out of analysis rather than physical knowing or testing. This truth is dependent on what we learn, hear or read that is somewhat based on other's facts, opinions or analysis.
Either of these truths have a range of validity, they are relative. Therefore, though truths are superior to falsehood, opinions, beliefs or superstition, they each have limits.
There is a third type of truth that is different from these two, it is your inner spiritual truth.
This third truth comes from a direct spiritual knowing. It is wholly internal and is experienced from the openness of our higher facilities. Meditation gives us perceptions of absolute certainty. There is no doubt, there is no need for further investigation; this knowledge is beyond words, descriptions, and rationalization. These are the answers you seek and experience from within your own truth. Your spiritual truth will undoubtedly be different than someone else's spiritual truth but that does not make it any less true for you. To avoid doubts and conflicts we often need to keep these truths to ourselves. In this way what is known absolutely to you is absolutely yours.
All other assertions should be rejected except your inner truth!
So many people spend their time trying to lose weight by counting calories. The old theory is if you burn more calories than you consume you will lose weight.
Calorie counting is a very slippery slope. Sure, we all have that cousin who went on a super low calorie diet and lost a ton of weight and has kept it off for 20 years, but this is a rarity. The problem is a low calorie diet is not sustainable. You aren't going to spend the rest of your life eating a 1200 calorie diet. The first time you slip your body is going to store every extra calorie it can. Just to teach you a lessen it is going to store it as fat and will hold every bit it can to prepare for the next time you starve it.
Counting calories turns in to an obsession. You undoubtedly will obsess about the count of everything you eat, or even think about eating. You'll have the latest calorie counting app on your phone, you'll buy the latest gadget that tracks calories in and calories out. You'll even start to put calorie counts in to casual conversation because it takes over your life.. Seriously, I've had friends sitting around talking about how many calories were in the cocktail they were drinking. It just can become such a negative in our life, you look at food as a number and as the enemy when it truly is what gives our body what it needs to live.
So here are some of the MANY problems with counting calories:
1. When you start counting calories you turn off all connection you have with what your body wants to eat, when it wants to eat and why it wants to eat. You are feeding your body what the number on your goal is. You will do everything you can to hit that 2,000 calorie goal. Your mind takes over, you will think about that 2,000 calories all day and try to fit what you want to eat in to it. There could be a day when your body doesn't want the 2,000 calories but you're going to eat it anyway because now the number is telling you when to eat. You take away the intuition of fueling the body.
2. Calorie counting fuels a cycle of guilt and self-punishment. Without a doubt if you overeat you're gong to punish yourself, your mind will focus on missing your target. Then the next day you may even try to eat less than your goal amount to make up for going over the day before. Starving yourself more will lead to even worse hunger and cravings. This is where you start to doubt if you can do it, you start to truly obsess about failing and in time you either give up or fall deeper in to this trap of counting and depriving. This is no way to live, EVER! The last thing anyone needs in life is more guilt.
3. Calorie counting puts a number ahead of common sense. I'm sure at this point in this writing someone smarter than me is coming up with a list of things I have misstated or found some way to dispute what I say. Well Mr Smartypants, if you think that logically a calorie is a calorie and counting them really pays answer this: In the aerosol spray can of whipping cream in the picture above it shows one serving is 10 calories, there are about 33 servings in the can. So, on my 2,000 calorie per day diet I could technically just lean back and shoot about 6 of those cans of whipping cream into my mouth and it will have the same effect on my weight as eating a nutrient rich diet of the same calories.
Here's my most important point:
4. Calorie Counting is not Accurate, calories don't account for quality, source, nutrient make-up, how it is prepared, or the true nutritional needs of your body. If I put a handful of carrot sticks on a plate next to two fat free chocolate chip cookies and told you they are the same amount of calories could you honestly look at them and say they will have the same effect on your body? They are the same amount of calories so they should, but they don't.
Technically a calorie IS a calorie, the energy is the same. What your body does with those calories is not the same however. Again, lets' say your afternoon snack is a choice between some carrots and celery sticks or a small bag of potato chips. If you eat half the bag of chips they come to the same amount of calories as the celery and carrots. When you're finished with the carrots and celery your craving for a snack will subside. But that half a bag of chips is going to leave you hungry again in a very short time. The reason is the celery/carrots are giving your body the nutrients it needs, but the chips are giving your body very few nutrients. So in a few minutes after eating the chips you'll crave more.
A study was recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine and in it is stated "Focusing on overall dietary quality such as eating less processed foods, refined sugars, grains and chemically enhanced foods is more important for long term health and weight loss than monitoring calorie or fat intake."
There is a much better way. Choosing whole foods is a huge step. If you are eating food that is processed, is in a box or can, or has ingredients you can't pronounce you will never reach your goal. You have to learn to really listen to your body and let it decide when it is hungry, make sure you aren't just bored and in need of something to do. Respecting what you put into your body and what your body needs is so much smarter. Use common sense, if you hear on the news a new study that says something crazy like "eating bacon everyday adds years to your life", think that through. These so called studies are undoubtedly financed by the very company that is talking good about the product. Common sense will tell you this can't be true and probably isn't.
The most important nutrition advice I give my clients is to eliminate as much added sugar from their diet as possible. Sugar does some incredibly bad things to the body when taken in excess. The worst thing about sugar is it does not satisfy the nutritional needs of the body so shortly after eating a sugary item your body craves more. Stay away from food marked low-fat, fat-free, etc., Without a doubt these foods contain either higher levels of sugar, sodium or chemicals than we should take in. Avoid most white starches and move your body. One way or another you have to walk, bike, or whatever. It only takes 20 minutes a day to have a tremendous impact on your health. But as I have stated many times, you can't out exercise a bad diet.
In this day and age it is amazing how compassion is sometimes seen as weakness. There is a rush to judgement, to criticize and belittle those who speak of compassion. Not long ago I was watching a news report. In this report they were criticizing a politician who was speaking before an audience about her thoughts on compassion. She was talking about how we need to withhold judgement on those we see as enemies. We need to look at them with empathy and try to see things from their point of view. The talking heads in some media outlets were outraged. But wait, she didn't say we need to surrender to them, to give up or anything of the sorts. She said we should look at their plight with a bit of compassion so that we may better understand and maybe come to some common ground. The reaction from some was to vilify her, and to call her a traitor. You would have thought she was the enemy.
In the very city I now call home they passed an ordinance that makes it illegal to feed the hungry and homeless in public places. This is not a unique law, it is now law in at least 28 municipalities in this country. But my city was the first to actually arrest people who set up a food kitchen in a park to serve these hungry people. The fact there are so many hungry and homeless is heart breaking enough, but to outlaw trying to help these people is beyond gut wrenching.
Study after study says rather clearly that the homeless population in this country is made up of Veterans. The people who, at one time put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms. Yet we make it a crime to help these people with food. The politicians in most of these places, without a doubt, claim to be Patriots. Would a true Patriot look at a homeless Veteran and then make it a crime to help them? You cannot call yourself a Patriot and then refuse to help the most sacred of all of our citizens.
The lack of compassion was at its height for me this past summer with story after story of children coming across the Mexican border from Central America. It was unnerving how politicians, reporters, talk show hosts talked about these poor kids. Some even said they were spreading disease, drugs, terrorists or carrying Korans across the border. The reality was, these kids were seeking some sort of life that was above the hunger, torture and murder they experienced in their home country. Where was the compassion? These kids, no doubt, saw this great country of ours as a saving grace, a place of love and compassion. But when they arrived they were shunned and picketed. Many of those who were so adamantly vocal against these kids also claimed to be Christians. You cannot say you are a follower of Christ and then condemn the most needy among us.
I say we need to revive compassion as a sign of strength. Look to those we don't understand as teachers. Eliminating assumptions and judgments would go a long way to building compassion back in to our culture. I admit that many times I look at a homeless person and see them as a threat. If they ask for a handout I assume they will use it for something less than good. But who am I to judge, and how will I ever know? Is it not better to treat them with compassion? To offer a helping hand regardless of what their intentions are?
Getting back to my opening paragraph. How can having empathy for the enemy be a sign of weakness? Understanding what they are about puts us in a position of strength. Perhaps it may even show us why they see us as the enemy and help us find some common ground. Perhaps not, but without at least a bit of empathy there is no hope. The fighting will continue and most of us will not even know why.
We all have compassion within us, there is no doubt. Without fail, if someone saw a dog or cat struggling and hungry we would do what we could to help them. We would, at the very least, call someone who could provide shelter and food. As a culture so many of us would do that for a dog but not for a fellow human being. This I say is true weakness, showing compassion is the right way to live. Helping those less fortunate is the right thing to do. Compassion is strength!
If you call yourself a Christian you must follow the example of Christ and help those who cannot help themselves. If you call yourself a Patriot you must take care of those who were there to defend us.
Compassion is Christian, compassion is Patriotic, Compassion is STRENGTH!!!