You are the Author of Your Story


Have you ever thought about your “stories” – those snippets of thoughts that you tell yourself to appease, sooth or distract? What do you do when you discover that your stories are just…wrong?

See if you can relate to what happened to me the other day.

My power to create stories slammed in my face on my way to work one morning. As I pulled into the crowded parking lot, another car suddenly appeared immediately behind me. I could not see her front bumper because she was following so close. There was no room for her to pass me, so she just continued to be locked to my rear bumper (we could have danced the tango!) She was obviously in a hurry and didn’t like my slower speed.  I instantly felt annoyance rise up in my body but intentionally decided to just make it to my parking space.

As I was walking to the building, the other driver walked a parallel path. It was drizzling and she had an umbrella tilted (her face was covered). I did not know who it was and I almost said something to her about driving too close, but decided that it wasn’t worth it. We both continued into the building through different doors.

The story in my head was that this person was rude and driving recklessly in a crowded parking lot (she really was on my bumper). While I clung to the feeling of superiority for controlling my words, I still felt annoyed for being treated that way.  I walked into the building toward the office,  turned the corner and discovered the identity of the mysterious driver.

It was the receptionist from our firm!

My first thought was, “Thank goodness I didn’t say anything!” After we said our hellos, I went to my office and realized that there was a deeper lesson than the happy avoidance of a social faux pas.

I Was the Creator of My Story

My “story” about the other driver made me the victim! SHE was doing something to ME. And I felt threatened, then annoyed, then wanted to project those feelings on her by words or actions. Because my “story” cast me as the victim, I felt very righteous in wanting to say something to the perpetrator.

Can you see how this process flows from the source? My words or actions were the direct result of my thoughts and the story I created about the situation. I already had a prepackaged story that I immediately turned to, because I had encountered that same situation before.

I was the creator of the victim story. That means I can create a totally different story to use when I encounter that same situation again! I can control my reaction to an irritating situation by deliberately moving from a victim mindset to one of acceptance and non-judgment.

The power to change rests in me, no one else.

What if I told myself a different story about the parking lot incident, based on a clearer understanding of how my thoughts (and stories) filter my reality?  Here is another way I could have reacted:

When I first notice her tail gating me, I still feel a flash of irritation. But I do not want to travel down that road, because I know that it leads to upset and anger. I am in a great mood and choose not to allow an external event to disrupt it. I mindfully step into the space between feeling irritated and doing something I might regret later. A deep, cleansing breath brings me back to the present moment and away from the irritation (and the story behind it). I deliberately and intentionally say to myself, “It’s OK for her to be in a hurry.” Then, I send her a silent message of peace and love. I don’t think about her again. No irritation enters my body, I do not tense up and I arrive at my destination happy and noticing other things. The incident does not continue to play out in my mind and I am free to move on through my day. Joyfully.

Isn’t that a better way to live?

To learn more about how your thoughts and stories shape your reality, pleasTBTChooseWiselye visit:

InfinitePossibilities: The Art of Joyful Living.

A 24/7 virtual course that is delivered to your inbox once a week. The material is life-changing, empowering and affirming.

And you will definitely learn how to change your stories!

 

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You can Discover Your Own Infinite Possibilities


Anyone not heard of Mike Dooley’s New York Times bestseller, Infinite Possibilities BookInfinite Possibilities? It came out in 2009, just after he appeared on The Secret.

Mike has done something extraordinary. He knew that the information about “thoughts become things” creates powerful changes in people’s lives and he was very grateful about the success of Infinite Possibilities. But he wanted to reach even more people, so he had a brilliant idea.

Mike created the “Train the Trainer” program, to allow other people to become certified in the IP material, so they could go out and teach it to their groups. In effect, he set up a network group of individuals who all have the same purpose – to reach as many people as possible with this transformative information.

I became a Certified Trainer in June of 2013. I love to see the light bulb moment in my students’ eyes when they realize that they can transform their life – just by changing their thinking. But I became frustrated at the slow pace of teaching small groups.

So I had a brilliant idea – why not create a Infinite Possibilities virtual course that people could take from anywhere? It would not cost much but it would still deliver all of the great content that I would give in person. And the best part is that it would be available 24/7, at home or where ever the student may be located.

You, my blogging friends, are the first to learn about Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Joyful Living. A six-week virtual course that will take you by the hand and show you life’s magnificence (and your role in its creation). A mind-blowing course that will show you how important your thoughts and beliefs are in creating your reality. And lots of fun videos, insightful exercises and techniques to transform your life from “ho-hum” to “who-hoo.”

I wrote a very special e-book just for this class that I know you will enjoy. Called The Monk and the Tea Cup, it will resonate with you if you feel the least bit dissatisfied with your life.

Please visit Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Joyful Living to start your journey toward your new, fabulous life!

 

A Christmas Card Lesson


My family has an annual tradition of creating a Christmas card that encapsulates the events of that year. Whenever we travel or do something unusual or meaningful, a photo will go into the “Christmas Card” file. In November, I cull through the photos and choose the best ones. This is usually a painless process…until this year.

We spent Spring Break at Big Bend National Park. For those of you not from Texas, Big Bend is 800,000 acres of untouched beauty, located along the “big bend”of the Rio Grande River. It has three distinct climates – desert, mountains and the river itself.VisionMountain

One day, we decided to hike up to Emory Peak, the tallest mountain in the Park (7,825 feet). The trail is 5.5 miles each way and includes an elevation change of approximately 2,500 feet. The description was “strenuous” but that word seems mild to what we discovered at the end of the hike.

The trail just ended. The only way to the summit was to scramble up 30 feet…with no safety gear, no ropes and a 1,000 foot drop to catch anyone who slipped. “Strenuous” does not even begin to describe the terror I felt at the prospect of falling.

While I debated how to graciously decline going further (my feet were tired), my daughter called out from above. “Come on, Mom. This would make an awesome Christmas picture!”

That did it. The thought of our photo being taken on top of this peak was enough to get me motivated to at least try climbing. I thought that I would see how far I could go, one step and tug at a time. Instead of thinking about the possibility of a mistake, I kept the Christmas card image in my mind.

The amazing thing is that — it worked! I did summit Emory Peak and I lived to tell this tale. And I learned a valuable lesson in goal setting and motivation.

Instead of looking at the negative, keep a vision of your goal always in front of you. Instead of focusing on the possibilities of misfortune, allow your vision to pull you forward. Give your vision such energy and power that any obstacles (or boulders) you encounter on your journey become stepping-stones toward your goal.

That night, as I was remembering how I felt after I stood on the summit, I realized that the only thing that would have held me back was my own mind. Fear created by my thoughts almost stopped me; but now when I look at our summit photo, I know that I was stronger than my fear.

I can’t wait to create our Christmas card this year. I might even include this blog to tell the story of why I was grinning from ear to ear on top of a bunch of rocks!