We are shaped by our thoughts . . . Full Circle

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.”

– Buddha


 

We become what we think.  That is such an important concept.

Looking over my past 3 posts:

https://patticlark.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/who-was-your-teacher/

https://patticlark.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/moving-toward-authentic-self/

https://patticlark.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/moving-past-woundology-toward-authentic-self/

I see that I’ve come full circle.  We are shaped by our thoughts! To stay stuck in denial, repeating old self-defeating patterns of behavior, once we become aware of them, becomes unbearable.  So hopefully we seek new teachers and do our work to get some clarity and new healthier patterns of thought and behavior.  But then it’s so important not to stay stuck in that woundology either, because if we are shaped by our thoughts, those negative loops about our past keep us stuck in victim mentality and can become just as self-defeating.

S0 we need to pay attention to our thoughts. For if we become what we think –  (and honestly who are we to argue with Buddha!) – let’s become joyous beings, expansive and loving.

Here is a wonderful video about Dr. Masaru Emoto and his experiments with thought and water.  A physical representation of being shaped by thoughts:

 

 

Please let me know your thoughts on the Dr. Emoto video.

And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.

 

 

Moving past Woundology toward Authentic Self

“Your biography becomes your biology.”

– Caroline Myss


Caroline Myss is a tour de force!  She is indeed a force to be reckoned with.  I credit her with a big portion of my healing.  She became the teacher that helped me to move through  Woundology – and move toward Authentic Self.

I didn’t plan for these last few posts to be a series, but they seem to have become that – a series exploring my teachers.

Shakti Gawain opened my eyes – helped wake me up and got me started on my path.
John Bradshaw helped me dig through the depths in the middle of my work
And Caroline Myss helped launch me out of the depths of my woundology and onto my path toward Authentic Self.
Caroline Myss coined the term “woundology” to describe how some people define themselves by their physical, emotional, or social wounds.  In Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can, Myss writes that many people hoping to heal “are striving to confront their wounds, valiantly working to bring meaning to terrible past experiences and traumas, and exercising compassionate understanding of others who share their wounds. But they are not healing. They have redefined their lives around their wounds and the process of accepting them. They are not working to get beyond their wounds. In fact, they are stuck in their wounds.” ( http://bolstablog.wordpress.com/2008/12/28/woundology/ )
I never planned to stay stuck in my woundolgy, I don’t think anyone does this consciously. I had to really pay attention to my inner dialogue, my conversations and my day to day focus to realize I was stuck.  I had to focus on changing my inner loop of thoughts.  As Mike Dooley points out daily in Notes From the Universe ( http://www.tut.com/ )
“Thoughts Are Things.  Choose Good Ones!”
So I invite all of you, pay attention to where your focus lies.  Is it on your wounds or the life in front of you?
I’ll close this post with one of my favorite videos of Caroline Myss.  It is a longer video, in 8 parts, but if you can make the time, it is well worth watching.

Please let me know your thoughts on the Caroline Myss video.  And I’d love to hear about your own journey toward Authentic Self.

As always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.

Moving toward Authentic Self

“Our sadness is an energy we discharge in order to heal . . . Sadness is painful. We try to avoid it. Actually discharging sadness releases the energy involved in our emotional pain.  To hold it in is to freeze the pain within us.”

– John Bradshaw


I’m incredibly fortunate in that I get to work with my best friend.  We run workshops together through a charitable trust called Figjam Workshops.  I love my work!

http://www.figjamworkshops.co.nz/home

Part of what I really enjoy, aside from the facilitation which is wonderful, are the long drives to and from the workshops, where Deb and I drink coffee and have long, deep conversations.  On Friday, on the way home from a workshop, Deb and I were talking about Authentic Self; about healing old wounds, about dealing with old, deep trauma and abuse – about doing the deep work – the work to move from being stuck to finding one’s Authentic Self.  We both agree that doing one’s personal growth work is essential to one’s well-being.

And because Deb is a good friend and we trust each other, she felt safe enough to challenge me a bit, and I felt safe enough to listen.  She asked me about some of my posts on this blog.  She said that I make it sound like “being happy” is the answer, that all one has to do is decide to be happy and everything will be better.   She said in her opinion it sounded like I was saying just act happy, maybe journal a bit and everything will be OK.  And after looking over some of my past posts, I see she is right and I don’t feel like I am honoring Authentic Self.  I want to state here and now that I believe that any of us with past emotional scaring, trauma, or abuse need to acknowledge it and do the work.  Staying stuck, staying in denial and pretending that everything is just wonderful is not helpful.   Pasting on a smile and saying I will just be positive when the pain inside is unbearable does not work.

In my previous post,   Who Was Your Teacher:

https://patticlark.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/who-was-your-teacher/

I talked about finally getting to the point where partying and alcohol were no longer enough to numb the pain.  I was lucky enough to have a sister who cared enough to talk to me about her path and pass on a transformational book called Creative Visualization.  Yes I did read that book, and yes it did help me begin my journey.  But it is important to say that then I spent many years doing my own work.  I went to one on one counselling, I did psychodrama groups, I did group counselling and I went to more personal growth workshops than I can count.  I did deep, deep work. Most of it was not fun and a lot of the work was very painful, but all of it helped move me forward on my path.  I was and still am committed to growing and not staying stuck.

In order to make changes in the present and not stay stuck, we have to look at the past and understand what led us to our current situation. We need to work through and move through our feelings of pain and loss in order to move on. Please understand I am absolutely and positively a believer in Positive Psychology and finding happiness.  But it must be Authentic Happiness.  And in my opinion Authentic Happiness can only be obtained when we have done our work and touched our Authentic Self.

A great teacher and author who helped me move through a lot of my own past feelings of pain and loss is John Bradshaw.  I have included a video here of John Bradshaw on the Oprah Show.

 

 

Please let me know what you thought of John Bradshaw on Oprah.  And I’d love to hear about how you move toward Authentic Self.

As always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.

 

 

Who was your teacher?

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

– Zen Buddhist Saying


“Our bodies communicate to us clearly and specifically, if we are willing to listen to them.”

When I first read that statement by Shakti Gawain, I felt a tingle inside, and luckily for me, I finally listened.  I was finally ready to make some changes in my life.  If I had read Shakti Gawain’s timeless book, Creative Visualization a year earlier, it probably wouldn’t have moved me in the same way.

http://www.shaktigawain.com/

But because of where I was in my life, as I read her book, I felt the shift, I had the Ah-Ha Moment that I had heard others talk about.  I credit Shakti Gawain with waking me up, with being my teacher when I was finally ready.

Although actually, to back up a step, I would say that my sister Karin Clark would have been my real first teacher.  She saw in me my search for meaning, my longing for something more.  She saw that alcohol and partying was not only no longer enough to make me happy, but was actually beginning to destroy me.  It was my sister Karin who gave me that book, and who was and continues to be my teacher. I have never formally thanked her, so I want to do that now.  Thank you Karin, from the bottom of my heart.  In more ways than one, you saved my life.  I love you.

Who was your first teacher?  When did you have that Ah-Ha Moment?

The video below is an excerpt from an interview with Shakti Gawain about the process of creative visualization.

 

Please let me know what you thought of Shakti Gawain’s interview.  And I’d love to hear about how you found your own teacher.

As always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.

 

How much is enough?

“Materialism can negatively influence well-being.”

– Ed Diener and Martin Seligman


We often get lost in the Myth of More – believing that “more” will make us happier – more clothes, more wine, more food, more money, more stuff!

In my post Finding Joy,  Michael Norton describes that people believe that the prospect of possessing things will make them happy.

https://patticlark.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/finding-joy/

But Diener and Seligman, leaders in Positive Psychology argue that from an economic point of view, materialism can actually negatively influence well-being.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2007/10/14/why-money-doesn-t-buy-happiness.html

And even when a business magazine  The Business Insider explored what will make you happy, more stuff was not on the list:

http://www.businessinsider.com/things-that-make-you-happier-2011-1#

So how much is enough?  In many articles, including this one on Zen Habits, it is argued that we already have enough now.

http://zenhabits.net/key-question-how-much-is-enough/

So instead of more stuff, most psychologists and even some economists are suggesting a change in attitude.

This wonderful video illustrates our rediculous attraction to more stuff and the damage it is doing to us and to our planet.

It is appropriately called The Story of Stuff.

 

Please let me know what you thought of The Story of Stuff.

And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”

– Margaret Mead


I am humbled and honored to have been nominated by Rev Dani Lynn for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Dany’s Blog “Life is Your Piece of Art” is inspiring and wonderful. I recommend a visit to her site!

http://lifeisyourpieceofart.wordpress.com/

Here are the requirements for this award:

1. Display the award logo somewhere on the blog.

2. Link back to the blog of the person who nominated you.

3. State seven things about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs.

5. Notify those bloggers that they have been nominated and of the award’s requirements.

Seven things about me:

  1. I was born and raised in Northern California and imigrated to New Zealand 20 years ago.
  2. My family is the most important thing in my life and I love my gorgeous sons Lukas and Devin, my husband Jeff, my sister Karin and my neice Chelsea.
  3. I absolutely love my work – facilitating workshops with my dear friend Deb through our business Figjam Workshops. (www.figjamworkshops.co.nz )
  4. I have recently completed my book A Woman’s Guide to Transformation and am currently looking for the perfect agent and publisher.
  5. I totally believe in the 7 Tools of Transformation that I write about in my book and I try to use the tools on a daily basis. (https://patticlark.wordpress.com/7-tools/)
  6. I believe we are all creative beings and are all capable of changing what we want to change (read or listen to any of the recent talks on Neuroplasticity)
  7. I absolutely believe that Happiness is a choice we can all make on a daily basis!

It was hard to narrow down my list to only 15 bloggers to nominate because I enjoy so many of the blogs I have been following.  I have chosen these 15 blogs because they inspire me:

Vinyl Record Face   http://vinylrecordface.wordpress.com/

Smirk Pretty  http://smirkpretty.wordpress.com/

Of Love and Creation  http://ofloveandcreation.wordpress.com/

Paradoxical Wisdom  http://paradoxicalwisdom.wordpress.com/

Quelling the QLC  http://www.quellingtheqlc.com/

Tuesday Morning 10AM  http://tuesdaymorning10am.wordpress.com/

How it Turned Out  http://howitturnedout.wordpress.com/

Known is a drop Unknown is an ocean  http://arganesh3.wordpress.com/

365 to 30  http://365til30.com

Be fearful of  Mediocrity  http://afirmin.com/

Mountain Top Journals  http://mountaintopjournals.com/history-2/

Between Fear and Love  http://betweenfearandlove.com/

You were born to succeed  http://youwerebornthatway.com/

Inside Out Cafe  http://margekatherine.com/

20 Years from Today  http://20yearsfromtoday.wordpress.com/

Thank you again Dani for nominating me.  And may we all keep writing and inspiring, because as Margaret Mead reminds us:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”

Life is not linear!

“Life is not linear  – it is organic
we create our lives symbiotically as we explore our talents in relation to the circumstances they helped to create for us.”

– Sir Ken Robinson


“Life is not linear  – it is organic – we create our lives symbiotically as we explore our talents in relation to the circumstances they helped to create for us.”

I rewrote that quote purposely so you could read it twice.  I love that line – think about it, we create our lives symbiotically as we explore our talents in relation to the circumstances they helped to create for us.  When I read that I think of an infinity sign, a figure 8 on it’s side, with each experience that we have feeding into the life we are creating as it goes on into infinity.  I just love it!  It feels like such potential to me, that interweaving and the symbiosis.

So in my opinion, it is essential that we keep paying attention.  We must pay attention to our talents and to what is unfolding as we are creating our lives.  Are we on the right track?  Do we like the direction we are heading.  What does our life feel like?

Remember, This is Not a Dress Rehearsal!  This is it!  We are creating our life each step of the way.  Pay attention!  Perhaps today choose to watch one hour less TV and journal instead; pay attention to what is going on, even when it is not comfortable, and change direction if need be.

The video I have chosen today is another by Sir Ken Robinson, a follow up to a previous post I had on creativity:

https://patticlark.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/imagination-and-creativity/

In this YouTube video, Sir Ken urges us to bring on the revolution!  I hope you enjoy it:

 

Please let me know what you think Ken Robinson’s talk.  And I’d love to hear how you are creating your life.

And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.

Life’s too short not to be happy!

“Life’s too short not to be happy!”

– Dr. Timothy Sharp


On The Happiness Institute, one of my favorite websites:

http://thehappinessinstitute.com/

Dr. Timothy Sharp (AKA Dr. Happy) told a story about a friend of his who died suddenly:

Happiness is…telling someone you love them, before it’s too late!

Just over one year ago a very good friend of mine died. He was only 42 years old, stepped out on to a road without looking, and then he wasn’t with us any more.

Just a month or so ago, on the anniversary of his death, quite a few friends were reminded of our loss and quite a few emails and messages and conversations were sent and had about how much we missed our good old friend and about what a fine chap he was.

It was nice in many ways, to remember our dear lost friend, and nice, also, to hear so many positive words spoken about Sam.

And I don’t want, in any way, to detract from what was done and said in those days by many of my good friends and, by me, but I do want to pick up on one element of the occassion that made me feel just a touch uncomfortable…

…I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if we’d said these things to our dear friend while he was alive!

Rather than delivering a eulogy at his funeral, rather than saying so many wonderful things to each other a year after his death, rather than…what if we’d all expressed our love and admiration and respect and liking for Sam while he was still alive?

Surely this would have been good for all of us?

So I did just that; unfortunately, it was too late to tell Sam but thankfully, it was not too late to tell a few other friends, and my wife and children. And thankfully it’s not too late to tell others in my family and social network which is exactly what I intend to do more of and…

…what I invite you all to do!

Tell someone you love them…go on, do it now! 

 

Reading this is especially poignant to me today as I just found out that an old friend died yesterday.  I hadn’t spoken to her in a few years, but I liked her a lot.  She was funny and caring and generous.  She made me laugh when I was with her and really listened to me when I spoke.  But I never told her how much I appreciated her; how much I appreciated the fact that I really felt heard by her when I spoke, how much I appreciated the laughter we shared.

Today I plan to tell several people that I love them.  Now before it’s too late.

I want to post a music video today – a song to remind me to say it now, before it’s too late.  A song by

Mike & The Mechanics  –   The Living Years

 

 

As always, thank you for visiting my blog.  I appreciate it.

 


Want happiness? Change your Attitude!

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. .”

– Maya Angelou


Earlier this week, a fellow blogger put out a challenge for a few of us to write some posts on Happiness:

http://margekatherine.com/2012/05/09/happiness-care-to-share/

This isn’t a tough challenge for me – those of you who have followed my blog know that this is one of my favorite topics.

There are so many things that make me happy . . . so many things make me unhappy too – but what I’ve come to notice is that more often than not, it’s my attitude that is affecting my happiness level.  I love Maya Angelou’s quote above – the only thing I can really change is my attitude.

This fantastic video emphasizes three things:

Attitude, Awareness and Authenticity

Superb!

 

 

Please let me know what you thought of Neil Pasricha’s video.  And as always, thank you for visiting my blog.  I appreciate it.

 

Optimism!

“Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.”

– William James


I just read a fascinating book called The Luck Factor

http://www.richardwiseman.com/books/luckfactor.html

In his book Richard Wiseman explores why some people seem so lucky. It turns out that these lucky people don’t have special powers, like ESP, or anything extra-ordinary.  Most of them are no different than you and me.  But he did discover a few special things about lucky people:

Lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.”

He discovered that lucky people tend to be more optimistic in general and to expect good luck in their lives.  He noticed that people who expect luck have a more powerful ability to notice opportunities in their environment. Optimistic people’s field of perception is literally greater. And the great news is that he discovered that when you train people to expect luck, their field of perception increases accordingly!

Isn’t that wonderful!  This can be taught!  It’s not really a surprise, considering everything that has been written recently about neuroplasticity.  But still – how marvelous, people can be trained to expect luck and their field of perception will increase.  I just love that.  And I love the by-products for the research participants:

The results were astounding with almost all participants reporting significant life changes: including increased levels of luck, self-esteem, physical well-being, confidence, and success.”

I’d like to end this post with a video of the person I consider the The Ambassador of Optimism – The Dalai Lama speaking about Optimism in the Face of Adversity.

 

 

Please let me know what you thought of The Dalai Lama’s video.  And  I’d love to hear about your experiences being lucky.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog.  I appreciate it.