Where is Scratch?

Never be afraid to ask a question, especially of yourself.  Discovery is the mission of life.
~Brian Kates

I would like you to take a few minutes to answer the following questions.  Sit down somewhere comfortable, take a deep breath and write down the first answers that come to your mind.  Try not to over analyze.

  1. In order to find yourself, are you willing to lose yourself?
  2. If you think life is hard right now, what are you comparing it to?
  3. What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
  4. How would you introduce yourself to God?
  5. Do you let yesterday use up too much of today?
  6. What is the one thing you think about that always makes you smile?
  7. Who are “they” that hold so much power over you?
  8. If you had 5 minutes to live, who would you call and why are you waiting?
  9. When was the last time you did something for the first time?
  10. What would you pack to pursue a dream and what would you leave behind?

~Questions taken from “Ever Wonder,” by Kobi Yamada

I have always lived my life by the philosophy of having nothing on my “Unwilling To Do” list.  That may sound crazy and yes, I have been accused of insanity more than once in my life, but think about that statement for a moment.  When you think about your life, your dreams and your aspirations…better yet, when you think about how you pray, what do you think and say?  Do you say, “God, I need more money but please don’t take away the job I have now.”  Or “God, please help my daughter make the best choices for her life but protect her from pain.”  Most of us pray and dream with exceptions.  “I want this, but please don’t take away that” is the flavor of most of our prayers.  We are afraid of the unknown and afraid of the answer to the question, “what if?”

Byron Katie, an amazing author and speaker, has a process called “The Work.”  In “The Work” you are taught to question your thoughts.  She has a line she says over and over again that I just love…”If you want pain and suffering, get a future!”  The idea of “The Work” is to question the stories you tell yourself (your thoughts) with a series of 4 questions and then turn it around.  The questions are as follows:

  1. Is it true? (yes or no, if no move to #3)
  2. Can you absolutely know that is true? (yes or no)
  3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought?

Then, you turn the whole thing around.
“Your Inner Awakening,” by Byron Katie

For example, if you have a thought of “Steve should not lie to me,” you ask yourself the 4 questions.  Don’t worry about the answer.  There is no right or wrong answer here.  You are allowed to say yes.  So let’s say you say yes to #1.  Then ask yourself #2.  Can you really know if Steve lied?  Can you absolutely know what is in Steve’s best interest?  Maybe it is part of his life lesson to act the way he does.  Now, #3…how do you feel when you allow yourself to believe Steve lies?  Angry, stressed, frustrated.  How do you treat Steve when he lies?  Do you try to change him?  #4…Picture yourself standing in front of Steve, close your eyes and look at Steve without that thought.  What do you see?  What would your life look like if you eliminated that thought?  Now, turn the statement around.  “Steve should not lie to me” turns into “I should not lie to myself.” 

(You can get more detail and an actual worksheet to do “The Work” by clicking here.)

What this does is cause you to question your thinking.  80% of what you think is a lie.  Pay attention to your feelings today.  If you start feeling any one of a number of bad feelings, stop and see what you were just thinking about.  Question it.  Is it true?  What if it wasn’t true?  Choose to feel good.  Choose your thoughts every day so they are ones that fit how you want to feel.  Stay present.  The only time you feel any pain or bad feelings is when you allow your mind to wander into the past or into the future.  You are always perfect and exactly where you need to be in the present.  There are no mistakes.  Everything, even if you may label it as “bad,” is meant to be and is for your highest good.  The answers will come.  I promise…

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.  Try to love the questions themselves.” ~Richard Carlson, PhD

Maybe I should start this blog over from scratch?  Where is scratch?  😉


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

But I Don’t Wanna!!!

When a thought hurts, that is the signal that it isn’t true.” ~Byron Katie

Relationships have not always been my strong suite.  Relationships with men, that is.  Every other area of my life is amazing; my girls refer to me as “their best friend,” I have a career I absolutely love that takes me all over the world, I get the privilege in this lifetime to be a part of changing people’s lives for the good, I have plenty of money to meet my needs … I could go on and on.  Did all of this come easy to me?  No.  It took hard work and the willingness to take many risks, not knowing how each risk would turn out.

As I have learned over the years, the Universe has a funny way of putting right in your face the exact situations you need.  Whatever you need is always exactly what you get.  It’s true.  So, what did I get in regards to “relationships?”  The offer to be one of the authors in a book that will be out January of 2013 titled, “Breaking Free:  Overcoming Self-Sabotage,” published by an internationally renowned women’s network.  What did they ask me to write about?  You guessed it … relationships!

We teach what we most need to learn, so I took on the challenge.  For this entire week, I decided that I would focus on writing about different aspects of relationships.  We all have them.  We all have been hurt by them.  We all cherish them.  We all want them, whether we want to admit it or not.  The main advantage to being human is our capacity to love and be loved.  Will you allow love, is the question?  Why wouldn’t you allow it?   Not allowing yourself to forgive.

Forgiveness is a tricky thing. It is something we know we must do to finally let go so we can move on; yet, we hold on to hurt and blame because it somehow gives us a satisfaction we cannot explain.  We scream to our selves inside, “I don’t wanna!” like a child because for some reason we like to sit in the pain of reliving a painful circumstance and holding onto anger over and over again.  The joys of being human!

Remember that how we treat others is merely a reflection of how we treat ourselves. If you have a hard time letting go of mistakes you have made, more than likely you have a hard time letting go of mistakes others have made as well. The only way to really find peace is to let the past be the past. Keep it where it belongs.

In regards to forgiving others, Louise Hay, I think, states it the best:

“We are the ones who suffer when we hold on to past grievances. We give the situations and the people in our past power over us, and the same situations and people keep us mentally enslaved. They continue to control us when we stay stuck in “unforgiveness.” This is why forgiveness work is so important. Forgiveness – letting go of the ones who hurt us – is letting go of our identity as the one who was hurt. It allows us to be set free from the needless cycle of pain, anger, and recrimination that keep us imprisoned in our own suffering. What we forgive is not the act, but the actors – we are forgiving their suffering, confusion, unskillfullness, desperation and their humanity. As we get the feelings out and let them go, we can then move on. Remember that all of the events that take place in our lives and all of the individuals we encounter teach us valuable lessons.”

Forgiveness is a soul choice and centers in your heart. It is not a logical, mental process.  It has nothing to do with whether or not you choose to have that person stay in your life or not. You can forgive someone and choose to not have them in your life anymore or choose to have them stay … it is up to you.  Every choice you make must be for your own peace.  Never sacrifice your inner peace for someone else.  Forgiveness is an act of self-love and healing.  The reason for forgiving someone is not so much because you feel they deserve to be forgiven, but because you love yourself enough to not want to suffer anymore when you think about the person or the event. We learn to suffer just to punish whoever abused us and, in the end, we are the only ones who are hurt.

Never forget that each of us is on our own journey. We choose to play roles for each other to give each other an opportunity to learn the life lessons we came here to learn. Thank the people who have hurt you for playing their roles so well. If it wasn’t for those who have hurt us the most, we would not be the people we are today.

Start with forgiving yourself for anything you feel you have or haven’t done in the past in regards to relationships.  Do what I do.  Look in the mirror and kiss your own hand and say over and over again, “Its ok.  No worries.  You are so wonderful!”  Ok, so maybe that only works for me, but regardless, give yourself a break today.  Stop waiting for the other person to forgive you.  There is nothing outside of you that can give you what you are looking for.  The answers and peace you seek are one place and one place only … inside of YOU!

“Once we have forgiven ourselves for something, it is easier to forgive others for the same mistake.”   ~Marianne Williamson

I wanna, I wanna!


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .