No “dumping” zone

No dumping zone - abundance guy

I had a link on last weeks post to this blog back in 2017. I couldn’t figure out how to fix it, so I just thought I’d repost the blog:)

Do you feel people are often “dumping ” their problems on you?

Do you feel like you can’t say no or stop someone from talking about their problems? Does it leave you tired?

Do you feel obligated to hear someone’s problems? is it supportive for you?

It feels good to vent now and then and I enjoy supporting family and friends that are working through issues. However, to hear someone go on and on about their problems, especially when its filled with gossip or blaming others is usually draining. I certainly have noticed this for myself. Sometimes when I feel this obligation to listen, I notice a few things happen. First, I resent it and my energy gets drained. Also, I’m not as present as I’m usually wanting the conversation to end after a while………. Any of you, start checking emails or doing chores around the house when a conversation becomes one sided? How much value are we really adding in this “not so present” listening mode. If someone is really stuck in “drama” mode, getting stuck talking excessively about the problem, gossiping or blaming others for their situation, that is a lot of negativity to hear. I feel it eventually it starts to drain ones energy.

In the past I have gotten mad at myself for “listening” too long as now my energy has been affected, sometimes lasting for hours or more after I leave the conversation. No matter how much we love someone, does allowing our energy to be drained really serve either person? I feel keeping my energy high actually helps the other, even if they can’t see or feel it.

A few years back, I added a 5 minute “dumping” rule for myself. That is, I would allow 5 minutes of “dumping” to go on in a conversation and if it went beyond I then asked the person if we could schedule a time (if I wanted to) when I could better listen and be present for them. I would say something like, “this sounds like a really important issue for you and I want to hear you when I can be fully present” or being more direct, “it is sometimes draining for me to hear someone talk at length about their problems when my energy is not so strong”. If their was a lot of gossip and blame, I sometimes would offer, “I feel I might be more helpful to you to be a sounding board for SOLUTIONS to your problem” (rather than gossiping and blaming others). Of course, communicating this can be a delicate balance in relationships. I have noticed that it is best to bring up how you want to communicate in the future to those closer relationships, as in the heat of the moment can be a bit harder for the other person to handle. Practice those “I” messages when communicating, “I feel this way”…..”I notice this about myself when”, ect. We all are allowed to feel how we feel about something.

Know that this is a practice and you will likely mess it up, at least I do. I believe in taking small steps to improvement  and that often comes as two steps forward and one step back.

I have been practicing this 5 minute rule more these days. It takes some communication and patience and what I found was and is that when I did this with some people they would eventually dump somewhere else and in many circumstances our connection grew as we more frequently moved into real feelings and solutions when some of the drama was removed. Also, there is an definite energy shift when you change from talking about the problem to talking about the solution.

This is still a work in progress for me and I’m always on the look out for creative ways in dealing with “dumping”, so let me know if you have any ideas!

Just say no

Okay, we may not be able to say “no” to everything in our lives that stresses out. We all have jobs, partners, family, ect. that can often feel like we are getting a lot of “no” slapped in our face. Sometimes, I have people dismiss this happiness quote below as impossible. I get the thinking and I’ll offer how about looking for just one YES you can say to yourself by saying “no” to some person or life situation that’s stressful when it presents itself to you. If you decide to do this, you will often be surprised by the opportunities that present themselves.

See how you feel when you say “no” to a person or situation. See how your energy changes. You can start small, maybe with a person you do not know at all or a situation you always say yes normally, especially if it has a bit of obligation to it. How about diving right in and telling that person that always calls you to complain or to dump their life on you, you do not have time to talk today?  Remember, your just practicing and you can say no today and choose differently tomorrow. Maybe you can work towards communicating to that person how the “dump” feels energetically to you. Maybe you just make the conversation 5 minutes shorter than normal. Again, your saying yes to yourself and keeping a bit more of your energy for you!

In my book, any step towards a YES for you and your improved happiness is a step in the right direction:

 

 

True power is not about force or control…

Abundance guy - True power electricity hitting water

” Most rarely align with their true power, because it seems illogical to them that there is power in relaxation, in letting go, or in love or joy or bliss. Most people do not understand that their true power lies in releasing resistance—which is the only obstacle to their true power.

Most people do not expect their path to great abundance to be one of ease and of joy. They have been taught that struggle and hardship and sacrifice are requirements that must be met before the reward of great abundance can be realized. Most do not understand that the very struggle they deliberately involve themselves in, in their quest for success and advantage, actually works against them.

There are so many things that you have been taught to believe that are counter to the powerful Laws of the Universe that it is difficult for you to think your way out. And that is the reason that we present this path of much less resistance.

We want you to breathe rather than try, to relax rather than offer effort, to smile rather than struggle, to be rather than do. For your true power is experienced only from inside.” Jerry and Esther Hicks

I have experienced this first hand, when I push or force things to happen, I find it hard, difficult or a struggle as they stated in the quote above. The amazing thing was when I actually tried the other way by connecting deeper with myself and letting go of trying to control things or people around me to see it my way, I realized it was much easier and everything I needed was there…

For example, have you ever had the experience when you want something that when you let go of the outcome, you often get it? Think of a business situation or personal relationship where this has been true for you – remember that sale you really let go of and you got it or that relationship where you were true to yourself first and then it worked out for the best. This is the power of aligning with your inner understanding rather than being effected by the events or situation outside of you.

 

Just ask

Asking for what I want is one of my favorite things in conversations I have learned to do more of. Wasn’t really easy at first, for a somewhat shy Midwestern boy, but I practiced and now I’m occasionally asking for some pretty big things. Things I would have never asked in the past. I still feel uncomfortable in certain situations, however, it just feels so much better to be honest with my feelings, intentions and desires. It’s so easy to fall in the trap of hoping the person your wanting something from is going to read your mind. Gosh, if you have been in a relationship long enough, you are supposed to be able to do that, right? Likely, that thinking will lead to disappointment and frustration as I haven’t met many mind readers that get it 100% right out there.

Of course, this doesn’t let us off the hook for being aware of the feelings the people in our relationships are giving off and “helping” them out now and then by checking in with their needs. But, be careful there, if you do this too much, then your trying to read the person so much it circles back to trying to figure out what they want. Though most of us likely don’t do this consciously, we often use some kind of manipulation to TRY to get want you want. If I do this, then can you do this or that for me? Or we go through some elaborate strategy or emotional drama to “guilt” someone into doing what we want. Hey, we have all done it. My view is let’s just clean it up with some honesty and trust that WE will be okay no matter what the outcome of our “asking” is.

Also, this doesn’t mean we always get a yes when we ask for what we want. We can still have some disappointment or frustration to work through, however, with your clear communication, it often leads to greater opportunities to talk about those things that are important to you or maybe work out a “yes” sometime in the future.

 

It’s May…How are those new years resolutions going?

I read somewhere that 97% of new years resolutions fail. Not sure how someone comes up with a stat like that, but kinda makes sense to me. Usually, we have made large “resolutions”, sometimes even things we have been wanting to do for years. Fill in the “thing” for you. In tackling these resolutions, there can be some things that get in the way of creating new habits to lasting change, often emotions and old ways of thinking leading the list. What I have come to believe is that whatever we want to accomplish has a much better chance of working and lasting past January if we break down those resolutions into smaller steps.   Small steps often allow us to move through these emotions and old ways of thinking much slower so we allow ourselves time to adjust to our new habits. If your used to seeing yourself 30 pounds overweight, and you are unhappy about it, you have probably have an ongoing way of thinking about yourself when it comes to your weight. A story you, and others, may say over and over again. I am not a psychiatrist, however, even if you could lose 30 pounds in one day your thoughts of “old self” will not have lost “the weight”. When we take a new habit and break it down into smaller steps that are more easily achievable it helps keeps our negative thinking a bit more in check. Actually, there is a book on small steps I really like called “One small step can change your life” by Robert Mauer. He brings up what I have read in other places is that the part of our brain, the amygdala, that controls our fight or flight response is very sensitive to new things. Sensitive, in that it often senses fear in most new things, and will actually put up mental and emotional road blocks to doing the new thing. This part of the brain was a lot more useful when we were cave women and men where danger and death was often around the corner. It kept us from wandering too far, eating new things, leaving the cave at night. But now, most of us, really do not need to be as overly sensitive and the way we are designed has not caught up with the last 20,000 years or so. Actually, in my abundance work, I sometimes see people feel better about this (me too!), that their problems with integrating new habits have probably much more to do with the way we are designed than what we think is just our own lack of discipline.   To get around this “design flaw” Dr. Mauer recommends this small step strategy I’m eluding to. Make your steps to your goal so small that it keeps this part of our brain in check. For example, if your trying to loose 30 pounds, how about focusing on loosing one pound a month, if that is not scary to you. You keep the fear down, because the brain says, “wow, I don’t have to change my whole life right

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away, I can lose just one pound by doing this or that”. My personal one, is that I have been desiring to add more stretching to my daily routine. Right now, I’m doing 4 different stretches, 10 seconds each, every day. Only 40 seconds, my “brain” isn’t scared. Next step… I’m just leaving my yoga mat on the floor, as a visual reminder. Mostly I trip over it more than I do any stretches, but some days I do a bit more. Part of the practice is to give myself credit for these little steps. Of course, sometimes my negative thinking pops in and says negative crap or judges my small steps. I can’t control my thinking, so I let my brain think whatever it wants and practice choosing not believing those negative thoughts and just come back when I’m ready to pat myself on the back for my small steps. As a guide, if your not accomplishing a step you make for yourself repeatedly, likely your not making your steps small enough. What many people find with a small step practice is you allow momentum to build and you allow some of your old ways of thinking to slowly change so your habits are much more likely to be permanent. As the old proverb says:   a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Feel better by shifting your focus from problems to solutions

Focus on solutions instead of problems - Abundance Guy

“The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.”

 

Read this quote somewhere and reminded me that when we are in our problems we are often focused so much on them, that our thinking becomes self fulfilling……Focus on problem, the problem remains, gets bigger or more problems surface…..When we are stuck in/on the “problem”, we are in the “energy” or thinking of that problem. We think over and over about the problem.  Play it over in our mind, again and again, I believe staying in the “problem energy”.

Let’s say we have a problem with a person that “created” a problem for you. What someone said or did. Staying in what was said or done, will not change anything of course. What was said or done is over and in the past. Talking consistently about it will only keep you in the situation of the past. That situation has an energy to it, like a vibration, and I believe affects not only your thinking, but your body and its health and vitality. Think of the difference you feel and your energy you have when you have a pleasant conversation versus an argument. One you feel fresh and light and the other drained, sometimes physically AND emotionally.

I Kinda like to think that each old thought of this “problem” as you are bring it (the thought of the problem) into the present like an anchor. Having to bring the thoughts (the anchor) of the past forward into the present. If we had no judgement on the issue, we would just move on, right? But, sometimes we instead carry the burdens of the past forward or we choose to be right versus happy and free. We love to blame things on others, it’s easy, their not there to speak the other side, so we talk about how THEY have affected our lives. It’s their fault. Of course, this gives our power away as now the problem can only get fixed if someones else does something. Good Luck on finding long term happiness when others actions determine your happiness!  I get caught up on that one personally sometimes. Also, we can be often be just unconsciously stuck in negatively. I occasionally see people that seem to like stress and negativity over peacefulness, almost like an addiction, without being aware of it.

In situations like I’m describing are conscious, we know where the “problem” came from, however, there are also unconscious thoughts and beliefs that we have built up over the years that we are repeating. It’s like we are in a circle or whirlpool that can be difficult to get out of without a new way of looking or thinking about the problem. Sometimes these “circles” can last for a long time, a lifetime, dragging the negative energy of the past into your present moment. In my breath work, I see this all the time. Energy that is stuck from old issues, literally stored in the body, even though the “mind” thought it has cleared the problem. The breath is just one tool that can help move this.

Another simple one, is to focus on solutions. Forget the past (easier said than done with our egos), and just focus on what you need to do NOW………..I am not saying to suppress or not feel emotions. Expressing emotions are healthy, getting stuck in those, in my opinion, is not. My view is, let your emotions move and complete and move on. I believe that can start by just the focusing and thinking about the solution over and over. Solution, solution, solution……Just that shift in awareness alone is so powerful. Maybe it will take some small steps to get started towards an eventual solution. I believe ANY small step can get progress flowing in the right direction.

I have a friend that had some health issues in the past and I always admired how she refused to see herself as “sick”. She focused on the solutions to her “issues” even when it was and sometimes is challenging for her when solutions were foggy. Among other things, she is just repeating to herself, “I am healthy”, over and over, again and again. She continues to improve to this day even though doctors do not really know what’s “wrong” with her. Our thoughts and actions are so powerful!

Like anything else its a practice and my clients and myself find we just feel better when we focus on the solution.

 

 

 

Being thankful leads to happiness

Well, I’m getting caught up on some of my emails and videos that we all seem to get around holiday time and wanted to share one. If you have 14 minutes there are some nice messages in here on the concept I guess we all know that gratefulness leads to happiness, not the other way around. I just think I/we forget that a lot of the time.

For the A.D.D. crowd, go to about 8 minutes in as David kinda sums up a nice grateful practice. I really like part of that where he describes we would all be more grateful if we installed stop signs in our life’s to be more present.

Enjoy!

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/david_steindl_rast_want_to_be_happy_be_grateful.html

11 Things Happy Couples Avoid

I really like many of the points in this article I read today. Simple and yet powerful. I feel poor communication in relationships is the number one killer of them. It takes practice and a common language and desire, but it is so worth it! One of my favorite things to stress in a relationship is asking for what you want, whether a new or a longer term relationship. I guess kinda aligned with #7 below. It takes some practice and courage at times, but the odds are SO much higher of receiving something if you ask than if you do not! Why not try one of them with your partner for a week and see what happens?

Happy reading.

11 Things Happy Couples Avoid

engaged

Some common habits that lead to discord and can prevent happiness in your relationship. By marriage expert Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin. 

Happiness in a relationship is much more than luck; it takes a daily conscious effort to put into practice healthy relational habits. Let’s learn about some of the things that happy couples avoid and see how you can bring more joy into your own relationship.

  1. They don’t complain about their spouse to their friends or family- Happy couples know that it’s best not to involve others in their relationship. They talk directly to their spouse if they have an issue instead of consulting others who often may provide negative feedback that could hurt the relationship. There is nothing wrong with healthy ‘girl’ or ‘guy’ time but don’t use it as an opportunity to complain about your spouse.
  1. They don’t compare their spouse to others- Happy couples accept and love their spouse as is. They know that comparing to others is unrealistic and unfair and will leave them feeling insecure about their marriage. If you do spend time with other couples and you even see better qualities in another spouse, stay confident and don’t second-guess your choice. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, even if it looks like it is.
  1. They don’t play the victim- Blaming each other for their problems is not a habit of happy couples. Happy couples take responsibility for their feelings and their role in the relationship. They ask for what they need instead of wallowing in self-pity or blaming their spouse for their situation.
  1. They aren’t too serious- Happy couples know how to be happy and have fun. They “date” regularly and laugh a lot. Even when life throws you a curveball and things are extremely stressful, keep things light and fun.
  1. They don’t criticize- They look for the good in their spouse and when they are upset they learn how to ask for their needs in a sensitive way. Happy couples know that criticism only tears the other down and create a rupture in their relationship. If you’re spouse is doing something that you don’t like, pay attention to why it’s bothering you and learn how to talk about it in a safe way.
  1. They avoid ignoring their finances- Happy couples know that financial stress puts pressure on a marriage. They stay on top of their money and are in communication about their financial goals so that they can make responsible decisions for their future together. If money is a topic you would rather not discuss, know that avoiding it will make money matters worse.
  1. They avoid mind reading- We all know what people say about someone who assumes… Happy couples know how to communicate so that they both are aware of each other’s needs and feelings. No matter how connected they feel, they don’t expect their spouse to know what they want or how they are feeling. They spell it out clearly. If you are not getting the attention you need, tell your partner.
  1. They avoid “dumping”- Happy couples know that sharing their frustrations are for the purpose of getting their needs met and achieving greater connection. They are intentional about when they share and ask their spouse if it is a good time instead of catching them off-guard, unleashing their upset, and fueling the fire of greater conflict. If you have something to get off your chest, first ask, “I’d like to share something with you. Is now a good time?”
  1. They aren’t rigid about their roles– Even if they have stereotypical gender roles in their relationship, happy couples are flexible and are able to do what needs to be done at the moment, even if it’s not their forte. So even if your wife is typically the one to get dinner on the table, if she can’t tonight, you can easily step-in without a fuss and relieve her of her responsibility.
  1. They don’t nag their spouse- Happy couples encourage each other instead of pressuring. They find ways to support each other and that support is a natural motivator as opposed to nagging which often backfires. If your husband is out of work, instead of nagging him to go on job interviews, try to raise his morale with your love and support, even if it seems scary. Your genuine encouragement and trust in him will motivate him to move forward.
  1. They ignore the Hollywood portrayal of marriage- Happy couples give no credence to the stereotypical putdowns of husbands and wives that are often featured in pop culture. They love each other and don’t seek to belittle, disrespect, or poke fun at each other like they may see on tv or film. If you’re not already aware of how common it is for marriage to be the brunt of many jokes, begin to notice the subtle and not so subtle message about marriage you may viewing on a daily basis.

 

If your marriage requires more immediate assistance, download your free sample chapters of Rabbi Slatkin’s new book, The Marriage Restoration Project- The Five-Step Action Plan for Saving Your Marriage.

To begin creating a marriage that you can feel proud of, visit
TheMarriageRestorationProject.com.

 

 

10 Things Happy People Do Differently

Read this article and I thought I’d pass it on. I always like simple thoughts and lists, so I can take a small step in some way by looking at one of the points. For me, I’m going to look at more things around me and smile more today.
10 Things Happy People Do Differently August 20 by Scott Christ

 

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

-Dalai Lama

Think being happy is something that happens as a result of luck, circumstance, having money, etc.? Think again.

Happiness is a mindset. And if you’re looking to improve your ability to find happiness, then check out these 10 things happy people do differently.

 

1. Happy people find balance in their lives.

Folks who are happy have this in common: they’re content with what they have, and don’t waste a whole lot of time worrying and stressing over things they don’t. Unhappy people do the opposite: they spend too much time thinking about what they don’t have. Happy people lead balanced lives. This means they make time for all the things that are important to them, whether it’s family, friends, career, health, religion, etc.

2. Happy people abide by the golden rule.

rule

You know that saying you heard when you were a kid, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Well, happy people truly embody this principle. They treat others with respect. They’re sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of other people. They’re compassionate. And they get treated this way (most of the time) in return.

3. Happy people don’t sweat the small stuff.

One of the biggest things happy people do differently compared to unhappy people is they let stuff go. Bad things happen to good people sometimes. Happy people realize this, are able to take things in stride, and move on. Unhappy people tend to dwell on minor inconveniences and issues, which can perpetuate feelings of sadness, guilt, resentment, greed, and anger.

4. Happy people take responsibility for their actions.

Happy people aren’t perfect, and they’re well aware of that. When they screw up, they admit it. They recognize their faults and work to improve on them. Unhappy people tend to blame others and always find an excuse why things aren’t going their way. Happy people, on the other hand, live by the mantra:

“There are two types of people in the world: those that do and those that make excuses why they don’t.”

5. Happy people surround themselves with other happy people.

happiness surrounding

One defining characteristic of happy people is they tend to hang out with other happy people. Misery loves company, and unhappy people gravitate toward others who share their negative sentiments. If you’re struggling with a bout of sadness, depression, worry, or anger, spend more time with your happiest friends or family members. Chances are, you’ll find that their positive attitude rubs off on you.

6. Happy people are honest with themselves and others. 

People who are happy often exhibit the virtues of honesty and trustworthiness. They would rather give you candid feedback, even when the truth hurts, and they expect the same in return. Happy people respect people who give them an honest opinion.

7. Happy people show signs of happiness.

smile

This one may sound obvious but it’s a key differentiator between happy and unhappy people. Think about your happiest friends. Chances are, the mental image you form is of them smiling, laughing, and appearing genuinely happy. On the flip side, those who aren’t happy tend to look the part. Their posture may be slouched and you may perceive a lack of confidence.

8. Happy people are passionate.

Another thing happy people have in common is their ability to find their passions in life and pursue those passions to the fullest. Happy people have found what they’re looking for, and they spend their time doing what they love.

9. Happy people see challenges as opportunities.

Folks who are happy accept challenges and use them as opportunities to learn and grow. They turn negatives into positives and make the best out of seemingly bad situations. They don’t dwell on things that are out of their control; rather, they seek solutions and creative ways of overcoming obstacles.

10. Happy people live in the present.

While unhappy people tend to dwell on the past and worry about the future, happy people live in the moment. They are grateful for “the now” and focus their efforts on living life to the fullest in the present. Their philosophy is:

There’s a reason it’s called “the present.” Because life is a gift.

So if you’d like to bring a little more happiness into your life, think about the 10 principles above and how you can use them to make yourself better.

An exercise in abundance

Draw a circle. List all the areas or aspects of your life. Makes these pieces of the pie or like spokes on a wheel of your circle. Things like, finance, health, romance, family, work, ect.

I like to call this your abundance wheel. Now rate these from 1(lowest) to 10 (highest) on how complete or abundant you feel in that particular area. Want to work in an area of your life? This is an easy way to see where you are today. Choose one area and decide to do something today NO MATTER HOW SMALL to moving forward in that area. If you want more friends, call the ones you have, look in the paper/online/message board somewhere for groups you could join that have your interest. Remember, JUST looking counts. If that’s too big of a step (usually you will know if it is, because you can’t seem to do it), break it down into smaller ones. How about just say to yourself, ” I want to have more friends” or write that down and say it everyday for a week or a month. Then, do the next step towards that goal.

 

My dad often said, “The definition of insanity it doing the same thing over an over again an expecting a different result”. Good advice. Adding to that advice, is take SMALL STEPS towards change. Moving from a 2 in health to a 10 is so scary and new that we often can’t seem to create change. We often are stuck in ways of being and it gets so big to move at all. This is where the small steps come in. You can not lose 30 pounds in one night. Some steps and different habits are needed. Be gentle with yourself as you try new habits and allow them to take hold slowly……. How about a goal of loosing one pound a month? Break that down, how do I do that? Eat a pint of ice cream every night before bed? How about eating one bite less each day for a month? How about not beating yourself up eating that pint of Ben & Jerry’s and actually allow yourself to enjoy it before, during and AFTER you eat it? Couch potato? How about standing up during one commercial and walking in place to begin some exercise and go from there.

 

Today, I’m working on creativity. SO, I’m taking out the paints (I love to paint with my fingers) that are dusty in the closet and I’m going to paint something. I do not care what I paint, what it looks like, as long as I can keep my ego in check:) I’ll focus on the feeling of the paint on my fingers, what the canvas feels like, what the colors look like. That will be my small step towards feeling more creativity in my life!

Here is to making our “abundance wheels” roll a little bit smoother!