I remember the aha moment I had when Kim Kaiser, then Dean of Holmes Institute, said this to me. I had been reporting to him all the losses I had experienced, and how well I was coping with them. And he said, “Karen, metaphysics does not operate at the level of making lemonade out of lemons.” And for the first time ever, I realized that I did not need to lemons to get the lemonade. I didn’t need loss and change and icky stuff in order to experience good in my life. I could just, simply, willy nilly, experience the good! What a concept! Except it wasn’t that simple. Because in order for me to do that I had to have an inner shift in consciousness. I had to change my belief that one succeeded in life due to how well one coped with loss and change. I had to change my belief that I really wasn’t worthy of simply experiencing my good, just because. So I went to work on changing that belief. Today, I know and feel I can just simply experience my good. But once in a while a reminder is good.
Today I pay homage to the great Albert Einstein. Why? Because I feel like it, no other reason. He threw out some gems for us to ponder. “I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.” “Love is the greatest force there is.” And perhaps my favorite: “You can’t solve a problem with the same consciousness that created it.”
Quotes such as these have great ramifications for us in our lives, if we choose to ponder them for a while.
For example, rational thinking has its place in the world. It probably serves us really well when considering things like schedules. But there is another kind of thinking that I think opens us up to possibilities, and this is what I believe Einstein was referring to. He also said that “imagination is more important than knowledge.” I like to play a game I call “What If?” In this game, I simply imagine how life would be IF. It is a form of spiritual practice for me. What if? This game allows me to imagine possibilities. And here’s the kicker: if I can imagine them, they can happen. My job isn’t to know how they can happen. My job is simply to know that they can.
And here’s where the next quote comes in handy, my favorite. This quote has also been attributed as saying that one can’t solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it, but I like consciousness better. Consciousness goes deeper. Consciousness is not just our thinking. It is our feelings, our beliefs, our very sense of who we are and how we show up in the world. Einstein is not the only one who told us that if we want to change our life we need to change our thinking. “Change your thinking, change your life” is the tag line for Centers for Spiritual Living.
And change your thinking, change your life is the very foundation of all of my own personal work in the world. Having problems in your life? Change your thinking. Feeling like life is unbearable, hopeless, not worth it? Change your thinking. Having problems with other people, or with relationships? Change your thinking. And then I proceed to provide tools to do exactly that. And again, it isn’t just about changing the thinking. It is about changing the consciousness.
This is difficult to describe. I have a Masters Degree in...wait for it.....wait for it.....Consciousness Studies. And I still don’t quite know what that is. What I can tell you is that we studied philosophy, science, religion and psychology. What I can tell you is that incorporating all of those schools of thought and study into my own life changed my consciousness and produced a person who was different than the one who entered that study. I changed my thinking, and my life changed.
This is why I like Einstein so much. This guy was a scientist who knew the power of things like imagination and intuition. He knew the power of love to solve all problems. Which brings me to his love quote, “Love is the greatest force there is.” Never mind that the Bible says love never fails. Never mind that it is said that love is a synonym for God. Yes, those all affirm that love is the greatest force there is. And if you don’t believe that, allow me to share with you another experiment I’ve played with over and over again, and discovered that it works, every time.
If love is the greatest power there is, then love should be able to solve all problems. But in order to do so, love needs to have a way to express. That way is through us. WE need to be the vehicles through which love moves. WE need to be love. WE need to have the consciousness of love. I began to consider, when contemplating this experiment, what love could/would/should look like in my life. First of all, it is unconditional. This means I place no conditions on whether I love someone. It has no exceptions. This means I love everyone equally. I’m an equal opportunity lover! And what does love feel like? It feels peaceful. It feels joyous. It feels relaxing. And sometime excited and enthusiastic. Short version: love is always positive, never negative. So I began to consider where I felt negative in my life, and I began to replace that negativity with positivity. I got so good at it that people were calling me Pollyanna. I did not care. I intuitively (thank you again Albert Einstein!) knew I was on the right track. Am I successful at it all the time? No, but I strive. I have used this technique when I was ready to divorce my husband. I’ve used it when I have felt the weight of the world’s ills on my shoulders. I’ve used it when there has been an antagonist in my life whose seeming goal seemed to be to cause problems for me. I have used it when I found myself harshly judging others. I’m still happily married and the antagonists always seem to go away. The others remain idiots but when I stop harshly judging them, I can sometimes have compassion for them, which is another form of love. I am not perfect at this. I haven’t yet solved the world’s problems, but you know what? Love is the greatest force there is and if enough of us embody it, together we CAN solve the world’s problems.
It is time for me to bring this blog to a conclusion, which is sometimes difficult for me to do, because one thing leads to another which leads to another and I could go on and on. So I will close with another Einstein quote, “creativity is intelligence having fun.”
In this holiday season, I wish you fun, creativity, changed thinking and most of all, unconditional love!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Yuletide Greetings, Happy holidays, Joyeux Noël, Feliz Navidad, Seasons Greetings!
I have two weddings today, with a break in between during which I will do one of my favorite things: have lunch somewhere by myself and read. And this morning I’ve begun the day’s journey with more reading. I love to read. It simultaneously changes my consciousness and gives me ideas. Reading transforms my thinking from doubt, worry, disappointment, dissatisfaction and general malaise to confidence, faith, hope, contentment and general well being. Reading also is part of my research for much of the stuff I get to do in life that pays the bills: the workshops and retreats, and my writing. I take in the wisdom of others, and let it simmer inside of me, like cooking a great meal in a slow cooker, and then, when it is ready, out pops my own unique flavor of wisdom. I have two workshops coming up, one I have designed and completed. It’s actually one I’ve been doing for years, one that was requested. When a workshop I’ve already done has been requested, I simply tweak the workshop to better represent and match the audience. So one workshop is ready to go. The other one is about fear. I only have three hours for this workshop, and fear, well, fear covers a lot of ground. Do we lean into it? Avoid it? Do we believe the teaching that fear and faith or love cannot co-exist at the same time in the same entity? How do we recognize fear in our lives and what does it have to teach us? And what do we do about it when it comes? This promises to be a doozy of a workshop and I am excited to see how it develops. I’ve got a good beginning. I’m also in the midst of creating a series of talks about abundance, and so much of my reading is on that topic. I love the weddings and portrait sessions. When I did that work full time, it not only provided my means to pay the bills, but it fed something within me and I was full up, complete. Now that I do that work part time, it still contributes to paying the bills, but it only feeds part of me. After all the training and schooling, I’ve changed. After all the inner and outer changes in my life, I’ve transformed and thus, how I show up in the world has transformed, and what I need to feel that contentment I spoke of has changed. What really feeds me is the other work: the workshops, the retreats, the teaching. What I have to say to the world is that life truly begins from the inside of us. If we don’t go within, we go without, and everything I do begins within. My life is wonderful, and being able to facilitate this transformation in other people is what truly feeds me now. So on this beautiful fall day I will go off into the world and do some wonderful work, and spend some time preparing to do some other wonderful work. Life is good.
Ok, I will admit it, I’m a bit different than other coaches and workshop folks out there. I don’t send a zillion emails all the time. I don’t have landing pages that go into this long sales oriented explanation of why you should sign up for this or that.
What I offer is simple: if you have ANY area in your life that is unsatisfactory to you, my workshops and retreats will help. I work from the inside out. This isn’t about changing your relationships, your job, your diet or the place you live. This is about facilitating fundamental inner shifts in the ways that you think, because what you think and how you think does have an effect on that outside stuff.
So, if you want change in your life, for the better, consider my latest offerings:
A workshop, Thursday, January 18, from 6-9 Pacific. It’s online. I need preregistration so I can send you the link. Click here:
A retreat, in Death Valley. It’s my annual retreat, it’s popular, it’s fun, and you should do it! Click here:
That’s it. I’m not going to try and sell you and sell you and sell you. I don’t do that shit. This is no nonsense stuff here: you want change in your life? I can show you how. I hope I get to see you.
Last night I had a wonderful conversation with a male friend. We tend to talk about deep stuff sometimes. In this conversation, he shared with me that when he was a young man, he was told that men prove their manhood on the battlefield and their masculinity in the bedroom.
Sigh. I think that is so sad.
Fortunately, he said he has realized that the values he had as a result of those kinds of messages could be changed.
And that is the topic of my post today. We get messages from lots of places growing up. Parental units, society, religion. Much of the time, especially when we were younger, we incorporate those messages into our own consciousness. They become the foundation for our values. Most of us never even consider that those values may not be our own. We never investigate whether they hold true for us.
Why should we bother? Why not just continue on through life holding those same values? Well, you could. Unless you've got some lack, or some limitation in your life. Then, the place to look for ultimate change is not the outside circumstances, but at what your beliefs and values are. Change those, and the outer circumstances will follow along.
When I'm working with a client and I suggest that the belief may need some changing, they then ask, how do I do that? I can be as easy as setting an intention to do, or....it can take some conscious and constant reminding. I have found that awareness is a great beginning, and once the awareness is there, if there is willingness to consider that a belief system needs changing, then all of a sudden new ideas begin to appear.
Change your thinking to change your life. It is that simple.
Today, my friend knows that his manhood and his masculinity are proven by how he treats others and he has demonstrated much better relationships as a result of his changed beliefs.
I have learned that the old saying is true: an unexamined life is worth very little.
Is your life working for you? Do your days go smoothly, and things seem to fall into place easily? If so, good for you! But if life seems like a constant struggle, or you get sick all the time, or it seems like there is just one road block after another getting in the way of what you want to do, or there is a lot of drama, then consider that change begins within, and it begins with examining what your attitudes, beliefs and thoughts are up to. For that is where the circumstances of your life are formed. Things do not change from the outside in. They change from the inside out. In other words, you can't move, or switch jobs, or switch partners, and think that your life is going to change. You have still brought you with you, wherever you go and whatever you do. The change must begin within you, and it begins with examining what is going on in there.
Examine your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes, without shame, blame or guilt, and I guarantee your life will improve. And if you want help doing so, contact me!
I am a huge believer in the Law of Attraction. This Law says basicallly that we attract what we put out there. Like other Laws, this Law is no respecter of what we do, or what color we are, or any other outside appearances. It doesn't say we attract what we wish for, or even what we affirm. What it really does is bring to us in accordance with our beliefs. And expectations, like thoughts and feelings and emotions, are very much based in our beliefs.
Some like to say that expectations are premeditated resentments. Those who subscribe to this tend to lower their expectations so they don't get upset about things. ...continue reading "Expectations are NOT premeditated resentments!"
I've been doing a lot of thinking lately on how the basic laws of life work. You may have heard about one of those laws: it's called the Law of Attraction. Almost every spiritual, scientific, philosophical and psychological discipline throughout the ages has either proven or spoken of this law.
It is powerful, and it works. It works even if you don't believe in it, because it will simply honor your intention of disbelief and not work. ...continue reading "Three steps to activate the Law of Attraction in your life"
Thank you to Jeff Anderson for this quote. There are traditional ways to refer to a process which allows us to open up to our highest good. In traditional language, words like powerless and surrender are used. For me, these words evoke a return to victimhood and I do not resonate with them. But the concept is powerful. This quote allows for an opening. To let go of resistance to the total openness of who I am implies that anytime I am feeling resistance, a fight, a nudge that says, "something needs to change here," I can acknowledge that perhaps the way I've been doing and being is no longer working, and then I can contemplate and allow for a new way of being and doing. This is why contemplation is so important in our lives, and this is why I am doing a workshop that will give you some new ideas about incorporating contemplation into your life. Won't you join me on Friday, April 17, at 6 pm, at the Center for Spiritual Living in Carson City, to explore this together?
Call it Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or call it ancient wisdom, but I have learned that in order to change the outer circumstances of my life I must change my thinking.
I know there are some people in this world who believe that this simply isn't so, because I've met them. But I've tested this concept in my life many times, and I've read enough literature, and now science has proved it.
- The Bible tells us that as we believe, we will receive.
- Ernest Holmes, founder of Centers for Spiritual Living, has dozens of books, all talking about changing our thinking to change our lives. Here is a quote from The Art of Life, "Since you are fundamentally a mental being, you can think yourself into being unhappy and depressed or you can think yourself into being glad."
- Quantum physics: I am not a scientific sort of person, but in my quantum physics class I learned that there is scientific proof that our thoughts have power. The Observer Effect comes to mind, where it was proved that scientists effect the outcome of their experiments simply by observing them.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been tested and developed through many scientific studies as a very effective way to change one's life, and it begins with changing your thinking.
If you are having problems in your life, or you wish to change a circumstance in your life, or simply want to open up to new possibilities in your life, the place to begin is with your thoughts.