All of your experiences, every one, bring to the surface the deepest wounds that need to be healed.
Did you ever notice that you seem to experience the same things over and over again? You may be in a different place and with different people, but the situation is the same. Whether it is how you are treated in a relationship, how much money you make or maybe your career choice, you always seem to have the feeling that this has happened to you before. These situations are usually followed by the question, “Why does this keep happening to me?”
Our life experiences are the very things for which we came here …especially the painful ones. Pain is the signal for us to pay attention. The more pain, the more important the lesson. With each experience you have you are given the chance to learn the lesson that is within the experience. As humans, we were given the ability to choose. At any time you can choose to extract the lesson, leave the experience behind and move on or run from the pain and chose to hide from the lesson. Each time we hide, it is guaranteed the lesson will return, each time bringing more pain to your awareness. This is why we experience the same things over and over again in different forms. They are our lessons disguised.
So what is the secret to moving through an experience and learning the lesson? Pause. Each time you find yourself in a familiar situation, pause and ask yourself, “How am I going to handle this situation this time?” Self-awareness is key. Watch yourself. Notice what you do, what you say, who you chose as friends and mates. Nothing changes if nothing changes. Self-awareness is hard work. Changing is sometimes painful. We find ourselves having to release people from our lives that may have been there for a long time; changing the thoughts that we allow to run through our minds and most importantly, changing the way we behave.
Nothing you have done in your life is wrong. Every choice has lead you to become the person you are today. Every person you have met, especially the ones who have caused you the most pain, are your greatest teachers. These teachers are the ones who bring the hurts that need to be healed to the surface so we can see them and choose to change.
Be willing, be open and most importantly pause. Don’t just look at your life, look into your life. Watch and take note of your patterns. Patterns that need to be changed are usually followed by a negative emotion. Negative emotions are our clue that we are out of alignment. We have a divine birthright to experience joy. But joy comes with a price and hard work. We must brush off the old debris that holds us back from our authentic selves and step into who we came here to be.
Don’t be afraid. Everything is just as it is supposed to be. Just breathe, pray and pause.
Praying for you,
For your FREE copy of Chris Sopa’s 7 Steps to Changing Any Behavior click on the photo below.
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc.Your 7 Impossible Things
This is taken from Chapter 3 ~ Overcoming Limiting Beliefs from “Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live: How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life” by Chris Sopa, published by Balboa Press. Click here to purchase your copy!
“One great way to see where your fears lie is to bring them up in your mind for a brief moment in time so you can shed some light on them.
A wonderful exercise I have my coaching clients do is to list seven things in your life you want so bad but are scared to death will never happen: Your “Seven Impossible Things.” Why seven? Because seven is a very sacred number and there is a certain power in having to force yourself to think of more than just three or five things. You have to go deeper into your mind and deeper into your fears.
The key to the exercise is to list the seven things you want and then walk through all of the reasons why you think it won’t happen…what you fear will get in the way of it happening. Then, in a column next to it, list all of the reasons how it could happen.
When you take the time to really think through and put on paper your fears and then possible solutions to those fears, the fears lose their power. The fears turn simply into obstacles that can be easily overcome with a plan and a little faith. You then are also focusing on what you want to have happen instead of all of the reasons why it cannot happen, using the power of your thoughts to manifest exactly what you need.
Having a plan, is one of the ways to overcome fear; another way is to understand and know that Divine is there to help you on your journey. You are never alone.”
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 Google+.Finding Meaning
“Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning.”
~Victor Frankl, “Man’s Search for Meaning“
We have all heard the phrase, “what does not kill me makes me stronger.” Let’s face it, some of us have had some pretty bad things happen in our lives…terrifying, heart-wrenching things. Things we do not want to think about let alone talk about.
No matter what has happened to you, the past cannot be changed. The event is there and cannot be erased. But…there is one thing that CAN change – your perspective. Victor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning describes his life in a Nazi concentration camp. What he noticed was the prisoners (who were all undergoing the same treatment) that found meaning in their lives, or something to live for, continued to live.
“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
You and I could experience the same exact circumstance but what will be different is how we each embrace, interpret, value, symbolize and respond to it. How we respond, is a matter of personal choice. We were given free will – the ability to choose – in order to experience a balanced life and to grow as a human being. Growth occurs through our greatest challenges…those are our greatest moments and the exact moments we came here for. Yes, we embrace the experiences that bring us joy, such as the embrace of a loved one, but the very thing that allows us to appreciate that moment is our past challenges that we overcame…the exact circumstances that made us who we are today.
Take an inventory of those things in your life you now call challenges and evaluate how you are choosing to look at that challenge. What meaning are you giving it? What can you do to feel better right now? What did you learn from the challenge? What would you do different if that same challenge was presented to you again in a different form?
Use your challenges as life lessons that build you up rather than tear you down. In order for your life to change, YOU have to change. Nothing changes if nothing changes.
Until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing, you will stay the same.
Lots of love to you this Valentine’s Day,
“Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live: How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life” by Chris Sopa published by Balboa Press.
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 Google+.Friction
Ilya Prigogine, a Nobel Prize winning physicist, has a theory called “dissipative structures.” This theory states that friction is a fundamental property of nature and that nothing grows without it…not a mountain, pearl or person. Prigogine states that the key to growth is fragility, or the capacity for being “shaken up.” Now let’s pause for a minute and I want you to ask yourself this question…Has there ever been a time in your life when you have experienced growth where you did not experience some kind of “shaking up?” If you think hard (don’t hurt yourself) the answer is probably no.
“Any structure, whether at the molecular, chemical, physical, social or psychological level, that is insulated from disturbance is also protected from change. It becomes stagnant. Anything that is true to life will not be unshakable.“ ~Ilya Prigogine
As our world, our nation and our personal lives experience chaos and turmoil, remember that in order for that thing or person to change they must experience “friction” of one kind or another. They must be shooken up! It doesn’t matter if it is the economy, politics, gas prices, gun control or a person…a “shaking up” is necessary for growth to take place.
Allow your life to unfold in the perfection that it is with no judgments of how it should be. Have no expectations. Drop your definitions of good and bad, right and wrong, black and white, want and need. Look into your life and see the beauty of how it unfolds.
I always say that when my life gets “shook up” it is only because the finger of God is coming down to stir my life up a bit. How do I know? Because even I can’t screw things up THAT bad! God’s hand comes in many sizes, shapes and colors. Sometimes he allows us to make choices that “rock the boat” of our lives so we can fall over board, get back up, take a deep breath and start again.
Shakin’ my booty,
“Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live: How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life” by Chris Sopa published by Balboa Press.
Click here to purchase your copy!
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 Google+.Love Your Enemy
“Your enemy reflects back to you everything that you do not like about yourself. He shows you exactly where your fears and insecurities lie. If you listen to what your enemy is saying to you, you will know exactly where you must make corrections in yourself. Only one who opposes you thus can be such an effective teacher.”
~Paul Ferrini, “Love Without Conditions”
Admit it…we all have someone who makes our blood boil. Maybe you have more than one. Mine usually come in the form of ex-romantic significant others. Did you ever wonder why these people exist in your life? I don’t mean “on the face of the earth exist” (I know that was where you were going…wishing they had never been born! Lol!) but why are they showing up in your life in what you perceive to be a difficult form? Do you think God is just playing a mean trick on you, purposely trying to make your life miserable? Don’t laugh, some people really do run the victim mentality of “God is out to get me.” I personally would think God has better things to do, but it is a question that begs to be answered.
Anytime we are faced with someone in our lives who disagrees with us, makes us uncomfortable in some form or simply does something to us we do not like, we are being asked to look deeper. These situations do not arise simply because “that is life.” These situations arise because there is a lesson to be learned by both parties. A lesson, more than likely, that cannot be taught by anyone else but someone who annoys you to the core.
Those who hurt you the most are your greatest teachers. How can that be? Ask yourself this question: How have you learned your most valuable lessons, through pain or joy? Most people have learned the lessons that stick with them the most through some kind of pain in their life. The Universe uses pain because it is by far the best way to get our attention. We do not like to be in pain. It hurts. We will do anything to not be in pain…even give up and give in and finally change. Until the pain of where you are is greater than the fear of changing, you will stay where you are. Those individuals that you call your “enemies” that have wronged you and hurt you so bad that you use words like hate, can’t stand and despise when their names come up in conversation, are the ones who are teaching you the most about yourself. They are the mirror to your own soul. They are reflecting back to you the exact things that are inside of you that need to be seen, released and healed once and for all.
Name anyone in your life right now, enemy or friend, and they are in your life, at this moment, for a reason. They are here to teach you something you need to learn about yourself. What feeling comes up when you are with this person? Where does the feeling show up in your body? Does it trigger any other past memories from your childhood or past? Are there any patterns you can identify around how this person makes you feel and how anyone else in your life makes you feel? Is your pain with these “enemies” in your life always work-related or personal? It is ultimately your choice if you learn the lesson they were brought to teach you. If you chose to not learn it, trust me when I tell you, another person and opportunity will come around shortly to teach you the same lesson, only this time the pain will be greater. The pain will continue to get greater until you learn to let go.
Just because “a teacher” is showing up in the form of someone you do not like does not mean you need to allow them to treat you poorly. Trust me; I have given many the boot that have crossed a personal boundary for me…sometimes after it has gone too far. The key is to be very self-aware of your feelings and be vigilant with your personal boundaries. Nothing is as important as honoring yourself. Look at the relationship and situation and ask yourself, “What is this person or situation trying to show or teach me?” and then take the steps needed to release your feelings, do what is needed, and move on.
You will always have challenges in your life. People and situations will challenge you constantly and that is a good thing. When you are being challenged you are growing and learning and becoming a better human being. We are spirits having a human experience…let’s show the heavens that we can do it right!
“If you work hard on your job, you make a living. If you work hard on yourself, you can make a fortune.”
Loving my “teachers” in whatever form they show up,
Purchase your copy of Chris Sopa’s new book, “Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live: How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life” published by Balboa Press.
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The Smithsonian recently published an article on “inattentional blindness,” or in other words selective attention. The article was written based on an experimental minute and a half video asking viewers to count how many times a ball is caught by the individuals in white shirts (www.smithsonian.com/gorilla). There is something amazing that over 50% of the viewers miss when watching the video.
The human mind is an amazing tool. What we give our attention to dictates the reality we see in our world. According to the Smithsonian, “we consciously see only a small subset of our visual world, and when our attention is focused on one thing, we fail to notice other, unexpected things around us, including those things we might want to see.”
I believe that every prayer is always answered and the reason many of us believe that they are not are for two reasons: Number one, we are expecting it to show up in a certain way (the way we want it to) and when it does not show up how or when we want it, we assume it went unanswered. Number two, our attention is focused on either the past or the future and never in the present. We are “in our minds” most of the time. When we give our energy (or attention) to reliving a past upset in our minds over and over again or worrying/stressing about an unknown future event, a miracle could pass right in front of our eyes and we will miss it. It happens every day. Trust me.
How many times in your life have you been so focused on one thing that a bomb can go off around you and you wouldn’t even notice? How many times have you been so bent on being right that you fail to see (are blind to) other people’s point of view? How many times have you been so focused on what is going wrong in your life that you miss the beautiful blessings that are in it?
This year has been a time of change for many of us. I have noticed what I call a “black or white” effect; people are either doing the work they need to do on themselves and are experiencing joy and dreams coming true or people are not doing the work they need to do on themselves and are experiencing turmoil, upsets and loss. There is not a middle ground anymore. The difference between these two sets of people is where they are choosing to focus their attention. Abundance or lack? Giving or receiving? Joy or sadness? Where you focus your attention is a choice. Are you choosing to focus your attention on what you have in your life or what is missing?
I just spent the last week on the East Coast after moving to Arizona in July. I decided to move to Arizona because for over a year I felt a strong pull I cannot put into words to move. I wasn’t sure where I was supposed to move but I did know it was out west somewhere. Before I moved I experienced many synchronistic events that confirmed for me that I was making the right decision; such as the owner of the house I am renting in Arizona by chance being the neighbor of my assistant Ruth who lives in Pennsylvania. It was very odd for me being on the East Coast again so soon after my move; I felt as if I was trying to fit into a life in which I no longer belonged. Old friendships were not the same, places did not feel the same and I could not shake the feeling of “wanting to go home” the entire week. I loved seeing my daughters but was haunted by old memories, sadness around changes in relationships and an overwhelming sense of joy for having the courage to follow my urgings to move. I found myself having to pay attention to what I was choosing to focus on; the things in my life that are naturally coming to an end or the new and beautiful things that are coming into my life.
Change is scary sometimes; there is no doubt about that. But one thing I have learned is that change is the only thing we can count on in life. It is how you choose to view the changes that are occurring in your life that makes all of the difference. Choose to have vision, not blindness. Choose to be present-focused so you can see your answered prayers in the form of miracles showing up in your life daily. Your life is a blessing; choose to believe it!
“The trick is what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same…” ~Carlos Castaneda
Where is your attention focused today?
“Until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing, you will stay the same.”
The pain was unbearable. It didn’t seem to matter which way I moved to try to get some relief, it persisted and was gut wrenching. I had it for going on 5 days and no one knew what was wrong with me. Lower left abdomen pain that sent a burning sensation down my left leg could not be diagnosed with any of the fancy equipment hospitals have at their disposal. A laparoscopy from my GYN was the only answer. “I have to get in there and see what is going on” was all she said. A burst ovarian cyst and a bad ovary was the presumed diagnosis so she was ready to remove my ovary if needed. But my body had a different plan. Once the scope found the source of the pain it was as if my body had played a cruel joke on everyone. Situs inversus, a congenital condition in which the major visceral organs are reversed, was the culprit, placing my appendix on the left side of my body. An already septic and leaking appendix was removed and my pain was gone.
My appendix was the first thing that popped into my mind when I first started having pain, but my brain talked me out of that answer. Your appendix is on the right side of your body, not the left so why would it be my appendix? Things aren’t always what they seem.
Physical pain has a purpose. It points us to a part of our body that needs healing. The pain tells us that it needs attention. Something needs to be changed to bring our body back into balance. Emotional pain has the same purpose. The pain we feel, which can come in the form of resistance, defensiveness, anger, sadness, etc., points to a place that needs our attention; that needs healing. Sometimes the place in which the pain points is the only the door that leads you to where the real pain finds its true home.
Yesterday’s blog on what men should know about women brought up pain for some people. Although written in tongue and cheek on purpose, it may have brought up some emotions. Where did you get angry, defensive or upset? Which one brought up “pain” in you? Agreeing with the list was not the purpose. We all have a different “list” and want different things based on our experiences. The purpose was to get you thinking about your list. What do you want in a mate? What pain do you have around relationships that may still need some healing so you can have a beautiful relationship with someone?
Everything that happens in your life happens for a reason: every person you meet, every painful event, every happy event, everything! Everything you experience is a chance for you to get closer to God—a chance to learn something new about yourself and how you function in the world around you. Learn to see pain as a blessing – a red flag showing you where you need to change or release something you no longer need in your life. Engage the lessons life is trying to teach you. Look at your life … where is the pain and what is it asking you to look at or change?
The most beautiful part of pain is that when you learn your lesson, the pain goes away. The worst part is that if you choose not to learn the lesson when the pain arrives, it will come back. And because you did not listen or may not have been ready the first time, the pain increases each go around … and keeps increasing until you finally learn the lesson. How else can your attention be grabbed if not through pain? Think about the greatest lessons you have learned in your life so far—the ones that have stuck with you and changed you forever. I’m willing to bet you suffered some kind of pain to learn that lesson so hard.
The best way to deal with pain is when it comes up to let it come up, terror and all. Take a breath, close your eyes and allow yourself to feel what is coming up with no judgments. You are safe. Nothing can hurt you. Your mind plays tricks on you because your lower self does not want you to evolve. It wants you to stay small. Your higher self knows better. It is the one calling the pain up to be released so you can be free. Talk to a trusted friend, do something that makes you feel good, and let it go.
Surrender to what is. Be where you are in mind, body and spirit and say yes to life—pain and all! Then, life will work for you and not against you. It is always much easier to go with the flow of energy than against it. Remember, no matter how bad life seems today, we always get a second chance tomorrow.
“Sometimes it is that which shatters us that liberates us.” ~ Marianne Williamson
Peeling back the layers of pain,
Several years ago I came across some lectures on cassette tape (that is how long ago it was) called “Infinite Self” by Stuart Wilde. I remember listening to his tape series over and over again until I pretty much had the darn thing memorized and the cassettes began to sound warped. His teachings seemed way before his time then and as I listen to his messages now, I can see how far I have grown spiritually in my life and how exact he was with his teachings. His message was about the “true you” inside the you that you think you are and how to tap into that person.
There are so many of us experiencing changes of all sorts in our lives presently. Some changes we are choosing consciously and others are happening to us seemingly without our permission. Change isn’t necessarily about cutting things out of your life but more about forming new habits, thoughts and ways of being; realizing your power, how you use it and where you lose it; and allowing the changes to help you grow into the person you were born to be.
Stuart Wilde called this true you your “Infinite Self;” A self that cannot be touched or harmed by outside forces and one of which you are completely in control. To give your week a jump start and some things to think about, I included here 11 of Stuarts “33 Ways to Affirm Your Infinite Self.” Read them, memorize them, believe them and put as many into action as possible. Some will be easier than others and some will seem impossible from where you may find yourself now. Embrace the ones that ring true to you.
AND, on top of that, if you are seeking a personalized live workshop on how to deal with change, August 20th in Perryville, MD and August 30th in Scottsdale, AZ I will be teaching on change in my workshop, “Riding the Waves of Change: Dealing With and Successfully Moving Through Life Changes.” Both events will be held in the evening from 6:00-7:30pm and in honor of the “33 Ways of Affirming Yourself,” the event will cost only $33.00. See my “Journey Back to Self” blog on Wednesday for more details!
33 Ways to Affirm Your Infinite Self
Affirming how beautiful you are,
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~Muriel Strode, writer
A client of mine told me recently that she and her daughter went to see the new movie about Katy Perry and to her surprise, found it very inspiring. I asked her what made it inspiring and she went on to tell me how when Katy Perry was “found,” many folks in the industry were trying to make her into a duplicate of one of the other already popular stars, such as Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne. Katy insisted on not being a “second of somebody else” but a “first” Katy Perry. As we all know, Katy Perry is a very good Katy Perry! She was not afraid to be unique and most importantly, not afraid to be herself.
We all find ourselves throughout our lives in situations where we have to make a very important choice and the first thing we usually do is to seek the advice and counsel of others whom we trust. We ask everyone what they think, how they feel and what they would do, often ignoring our own internal compass. As we are growing up, other people’s opinions very much form how we see ourselves. It is just human nature. One day we finally realize that the view we have of ourselves and sometimes the entire life we are living was formed completely based on what other people thought we should do and we are nowhere to be found.
Doing what we feel is right free of outside influences is not as easy as it sounds. We often get caught up in wanting to know ahead of time if the decision is the right one. Somehow we think if others say it is so, then it must be true, not trusting our own feelings. I like to call this an easy out because then if what we are pursuing doesn’t work out, guess what, it wasn’t our fault. It was their fault because they were the ones who told us to do it in the first place, right? The hardest thing about making choices is the big “R” word…Responsibility. Once we make a choice, we must take responsibility for that choice.
Some rules of thumb for “good” choice-making:
Keep moving forward and lead your own parade. Before you know it, others may be following YOU!
“As long as one keeps searching, the answers come.”
~Joan Baez, singer, songwriter and peace activist
Being my true self in the Scottsdale Starbucks,
For more information on Chris Sopa International, Inc. go to www.ChrisSopa.com.
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