Are You a Fixer

My name is Chris and I am a “fixer.”

I am attracted to people who have problems and think that if I only make them happy, do something different, change myself or sacrifice my time or resources they will change and be happy.  Somewhere in my life I felt as if it was my responsibility to make others happy and worse yet, if they were not happy, it was my fault.

Can anyone out there relate to that?

I think many of you can…especially the women out there.  Not that men cannot be fixers, but women have a natural tendency to nurture and make people feel better therefore this role of “fixer” tends to stick more with the female gender.

Here is what I have learned (and trust me, I have a lot more learning to do in this area):

  • Wanting to fix others is a symptom that there is something within us that needs to be fixed.  It may not necessarily be the same problem, but we tend to seek to fix someone else when we are avoiding fixing ourselves.  Projection at its best!
  • No one needs fixing.  I know some of you may be thinking that statement is crazy.  There are people in our world who are doing some crazy things!  As humans, we have a tendency to want things to run smooth, feel good all of the time and not change.  It is the “crazy” that makes us pay attention to what needs to be balanced and changed…not only with us personally, but with the world.
  • It is never your responsibility to make someone else happy, it is theirs.  Yes, things we do for others may temporarily make them feel better but happiness comes from within.  It is a state of being that manifests from a sense of peace within.  No one can give you that but you.
  • Problems are a blessing in disguise, whether they are ours or someone else’s.  They are the very thing that helps us grow and become the people we are meant to be.  Problems push us to our limits, ever so painfully, to help us see what we can become and what is possible.
  • We are only responsible to live our own life.  I don’t know about you, but my life has enough challenges of its own.  When we try to make other people’s problems ours by trying to fix the problem for them, we are meddling in something that is not our business.  We are living their life and ours.  How do we know that the very problem they are now having isn’t one they may need to experience to learn the biggest lesson of their lives…when they solve it themselves.  We cannot take away other peoples lessons.  That is exactly what we do when we fix a problem for them.

So, what to do?  How do you overcome the urge to fix?  Be aware of the fact that the urge to fix is an urge to control something that is out of your control.  You cannot control other people’s behaviors or decisions.  The only things under your control are the decisions you make for yourself, your behaviors and your attitudes.  Your behaviors and who you choose to be is always the greatest teacher for those around you.  People listen more with their eyes than their ears.  They watch you.  It is our nature.  Monkey see, monkey do…remember?

A recovering fixer,

Chris

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 .

Excelsior

“If you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining.”

~Pat (Bradley Cooper), from “Silver Linings Playbook”

After my three week trip back east and coming home Wednesday completely exhausted, I found myself on Friday night wanting to get out.  There is a great movie theatre near me that is a restaurant-style movie theatre, so I thought, “what the heck!” I will take myself out to a movie!  I was in need of motivation, so Hansel and Gretel was out!  I decided to go see Silver Linings Playbook.  Ok, I will admit, Bradley Cooper did have something to do with this decision…why lie, but I was so glad that I went!

In short, Pat (Bradley Cooper) is a mental case.  He gets out of an institution after an eight month stay to live with his parents (Robert DeNiro playing his equally emotionally challenged father) to get his life back on track.  I won’t give the rest of the movie away but what caught my attention was Pat’s attitude.  In coaching, we use affirmations or “trigger words” to help snap people out of destructive thinking habits.  Triggers can be positive or negative.  Ex-addicts understand the word “trigger” well…they are taught to stay away from triggers in order to stay clean.  Pat had 2 triggers – his negative one being a song that he heard in his head when he became stressed out and was about to have an episode and a positive one, which was only one word:  Excelsior.  Excelsior was a word Pat used to stay positive.  It reminded him that there is always a silver lining if you look hard enough and to never give up.

We all have our own personal challenges.  Everyone has asked themselves the question “why me?” at some point in their lives.  My personal belief is that these challenges are a blessing.  We have the challenges that we have because that is the exact area in which we need healing.  How are you supposed to heal something if you are unaware of it needing healing?  Besides, if you had nothing in your life to work on – if everything was perfect – admit it, you would be bored!  Your life would be like watching paint dry!  The challenges in our lives are what give our life color, they are what make us strive to be better than we are and they are what make us human.

The real challenge is who you decide to be as you overcome your challenges?  Do you know your triggers – good and bad?  What are you doing every day to make yourself a better person?  What is your definition of a “good person?”  Do you see the lining as silver or gray?

If you do just one small thing a day for yourself out of love, you will soon see that the life you are trying so hard to make perfect already is perfect…because YOU are the star!

Trust in life and what you need will be there…always!

Hugs,

Chris

 

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 .

What Do You See?

Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be.
~Karen Ravin

In preparation for 12-21-12, please answer the following questions:

1.  Are you reaching as far as you can for the things you want in your life?
There should be nothing on your “unwilling to do” list. As Mary Kay
Ash once said, “If you shoot for the moon and don’t make it, you will fall
among the stars!”
2.  Are your dreams big?  Or do you only dream of what you are sure you can achieve?
Dreaming is a muscle just like your bicep. The more you use it, the bigger
it gets. Don’t be afraid to dream big…what if dreaming big is the exact
state of mind it takes to make that dream come true?
3.  Are you seeing everything in your life, even those things you consider “not so pleasant” about yourself?
In order to heal it, you have to feel it. And in order to feel it, you have to
be willing to see it. Growth takes depth…look into your life, not just at it.

12-21-12 is not about the end of the world…it is about the end of life as you know it.  Those energies that kept fear, evil and darkness alive will be no more.  Light now rules the house!  Friday is simply one piece of a major shift that has been happening for the last several years.  We were created to not just live our life, but to create it.  And if you don’t mind me saying, most humans on Mother Earth have created a mess…not just for themselves but for those whose lives they touch as well.  Mother Earth will now intervene.  She needs to come back to a state of balance in order to support the new way of the light.  If you have been living your life honestly, openly and with integrity…you are on the right track.  If those three words do not describe how you have chose to live your life so far, you are in for a ride…A ride of your own creation.

Always remember…God does not do anything to you or allow things to happen.  The world is about balance.  We make a choice; send that choice out into the world and the world responds.  Many of our choices over the last several decades have been fueled by individualism, hate, greed and fear.  Some souls choose to sacrifice their life this time around to help restore that balance and to teach those of us left much needed lessons.  Do not grieve your loss…celebrate their victory!  They are true angels walking the earth.

Take time before Friday to reflect on your life and your choices thus far.  As the cliché goes…Go to the light!!!

Shining brightly,

Chris

Note:  The Journey Back to Self Blog will be taking a break and will resume on Monday, December 31, 2012.

 

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 .

What if You Had One Week to Live?

What if you found out today that you only had one week left to live?  Looking at your life as it is right now, can you honestly say you could die feeling as if you gave it your all?

Many of us live as if we have all of the time in the world.  For your sake, I hope that you do.  The truth of the matter is that none of us know when our cards will be up yet we act as if time is of no consequence.

I would like you to take a look at your life and ask yourself the following questions.  I warn you; they may be hard to answer.

What would you do if you knew you had…

    • One hour
    • One day
    • One week
    • One month
    • One year

Now, look at your answers.  Do they accurately reflect where you are spending the majority of your time now?  If not, why not?  And don’t tell me that you have responsibilities, no choice, your husband or wife won’t let you, blah, blah, blah.  I’ve heard them all.  Whose life is it anyways?  This statement is not meant to be harsh or non-compassionate, but I ask you, when are you going to stop making excuses and live your life?

One question I ask myself when I want to whip myself back into reality is:

When I am lying on my death bed, will this matter?

The majority of the things you stress about will not even matter in five years.  I know your mind is telling you that they will, but they won’t.  Life changes in the blink of an eye and we live in a kind Universe.  Everything, and I mean everything, happens to maintain balance, whether you agree with it or not.

Our most Divine gift as humans is the ability to create our own reality.  We do that with our thoughts.  If you focus on excuses, those excuses will become your reality.  What you think about you bring about.  It is truly that simple.  Sound too good to be true?

What if it isn’t?

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”  ~Abraham Lincoln

Living, loving and laughing,

Chris

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 .

 

Now on the best selling list at Balboa Press, “Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live:  How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life” by Chris Sopa.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Faith or Fear?

There I was, sitting at my kitchen table in the new house my husband and I had just bought.  It was 2003.  I had a stack of bills in front of me that always seemed to be higher than the amount that was in our checking account needed to pay them.  I had just come through a life-threatening illness and was finally asymptomatic.

I recently had returned to my corporate job after four months of being on short-term disability.  I knew it was a mistake but the bills had to get paid.  After all, I had a responsibility to my family to take care of them.  The problem was, no one was taking care of me…including myself.

I sat there staring at the pile of bills and a question hit me:  Which one can I do more without, money or my health?  It was then that it hit me.  If I continued down the same path that made me sick, I would surely end up sick again.  Nothing changes if nothing changes.  I had to make a change in order to keep my health.  Money means nothing unless you are healthy and feel good to enjoy the benefits having money brings.  Who wants to travel when they are sick?  Who can enjoy their beautiful house if they are working all of the time and then when they are home, they are in bed because they are so exhausted?

It was then that I made a choice.  I chose to leave my corporate job and start my own business where I had the flexibility to choose how to spend my time as well as how much money I deserved to make.  I chose faith over fear.  There were a lot of unknowns in front of me.  Would I be successful?  What exactly would I do?  Would I make enough money?  What if I didn’t?  I decided I could not afford to be afraid and took the leap.  My life depended on it.

Now, almost 10 years later, I can tell you a few things that I learned about choosing to make my decision on faith instead of in fear.

  • There is a difference between thinking something and feeling it.  It is when you let go of the “what ifs” that your belief takes hold.  When you finally feel it, it is then that the thing you want comes to pass.
  • There is less energy involved in faith than in fear.  Fear drains you…faith feeds you.
  • Talking about faith and walking in faith are two different things.  Anyone can say that they have faith…very few walk the talk.
  • Worry is a lack of faith.  Find that part of you down deep that knows you will be okay.  It is there.  It is just hiding behind the darkness that you call your thoughts.

Finally, every single day take time out to do at least one activity that nurtures you and your soul.  Do something that brings you joy even if it is only for 10 minutes.  If you find that fear creeps up on you again, realize that the only thing that changes from one moment to the next is the thought you are holding in your mind.  Change your thought, do something kind for yourself or someone else and watch with open eyes what the world looks like when you see it through the lens of faith.

Trust me…it is a beauty!  😉

Love you,

Chris

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 .

 

Now on the Best Seller list at Balboa Press, “Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live:  How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life.”

Click here to purchase your copy!

Set Yourself On Fire!

Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” ~Unknown

We make a lot of choices throughout our lives, from what to eat for breakfast to who to vote for in an election. In this last week, we as a country had to make an important choice, who to choose for our next President. Some were relieved by the outcome and others were not so pleased. The reason we make any choice is that we want to see a specific outcome occur or because we desire a change. Our choices make up who we are and what we stand for and every choice we make affects everyone…not just us. Every choice we make is universally the “right” choice, whether we make that choice individually or as a collective whole.

I don’t know about you, but I believe in a kind Universe (and God). Everything that happens has a higher order to it, whether we agree with what we are seeing or not. Our perception creates our own internal reality. We can both experience the same situation and both perceive it differently. That is the gift of human will. You can always see the world how you choose (and it doesn’t matter who is sitting in the Oval Office).

If we want to see change, we have to remember that we are the ones that can create change…”we the people.” Our destiny is not, and never was, up to only one man. Your individual destiny is up to you…and our collective destiny is up to US. All of our individual thoughts, when brought together, determine our destiny.

What has been occupying your thoughts lately? Are you playing the “blame game?” When one finger of yours is pointed at someone else, three are pointed back at you. What is your role in our destiny? Not sure? Check your thoughts.

“No version of any event can persist without a corresponding consciousness requiring it.” (In other words, what you resist persists.)

The narrow minded man thinks and says: ‘This man is one of us; this one is not, he is a stranger.’ To the man of noble soul the whole of mankind is but one family.” ~The Dhammapada

God bless America and the individuals who make her up,

Chris

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 .

 

Currently on the bestseller list at Balboa Press, “Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live:  How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life” by Chris Sopa!

Click here to purchase your copy!

Worrying is a Form of Prayer

One cannot weep for the entire world.  It is beyond human strength.  One must choose.” ~Jean Anouilh

Ok, hands up if you would label yourself a “control freak?”  Its ok, my hand is up too.

Here is the thing about us control freaks…we worry.  Worry about money, worry about our kids, worry about our friends, worry about the poor innocent ant we just accidentally stepped on and whether we are going to go to heaven now…we just worry.  And if there is nothing to worry about, self-sabotage kicks in and we subconsciously create a drama so there is something to worry about.  I know, it sounds sick when you actually say it out loud.  But it’s true.

Why is it that we believe that by thinking and worrying about something incessantly it is going to solve the problem?  It’s like we believe there is a little clock in the heavens that measures the amount of time we think about something and go over and over it in our minds and if we do that enough, Whamo!, the answer will appear and all will be good in the world again.  Wrong!  We are made of energy and so is everything around us.  Our thoughts are a form of energy.  When we think about something, whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, we are giving energy to “that thing.”  Since the universe’s language is energy, it picks up the signal of what we are thinking about most (our worry) and thinks that is what we want more of, since we are thinking about it so much, so it makes it so.  Worrying is a form of prayer.  Prayer is simply the process of giving our thoughts to God.  What thoughts have you been giving to God lately?  Are they of gratitude for what you do have in your life or are they worrisome thoughts of why things are not how you want them to be?  God is a kind God; at least that is my belief.  Nothing happens in this world, even if you perceive it as “bad,” that is out of alignment with God’s highest plan for you.  Sometimes it is those things that tear us down that eventually are the catalyst that builds us back up later.

Lately, my personal struggle has been worrying about my 20 year old daughter.  She is 6 months pregnant and let’s just say “lost” at the moment.  My first instinct…to worry about her.  My second instinct…to jump in and “save” her by fixing it all for her so she is happy.  But, what makes me think if her situation is “fixed” she would be happy?  Is that true?  I don’t know God’s plan for her.  Only God knows that.

Let’s take Lazarus as an example.  Jesus loved Lazarus like a brother and did not want him to die.  When Jesus found out Lazarus was sick and dying, he did not intervene by running to Lazarus’ side, shoving raw food and vitamins down his throat  and making him drink water to flush out his system…he left town as planned.  He did not only leave town, he stayed away for 2 days.  Was that hard for Jesus?  I would guess it was agonizing.  But, Jesus knew his Father had a plan for Lazarus and he did not want to interfere with that plan, even if it would make him feel better…even if it meant he had to watch his friend suffer.  “Love one another as I have loved you”…that was the plan.

God never leaves our side during suffering…he and his angels are always there.  We must learn to step out of the way and allow him to do his work.  We need to stop playing God by thinking we know what is best for those around us.  Just because it makes us feel better and would be what we would do, does not necessarily mean it is best for those we love.

Sometimes we must love from a distance, watch those we love fall and simply be the hand that comes in to help them pick up the pieces when it is all over.

Worrying never solved anything…

Though we would love to run and catch them, we have to let the people we love stumble and fall.  In this way, they can get back up, and without any nudging from us, go on to choose the best path for them into their Father’s arms.
~Allia Zobel Nolan, “The Worrywart’s Prayer Book”

Praying a different way,

Chris

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 .

Be Thankful

Be Thankful
By:  Author Unknown

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.  They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you are tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

“It’s not what you are that holds you back; it’s what you think you are not.” ~Denis Waitley

Gratefully yours,

Chris

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 .

Do I Look Fat in This Energy?

What you see is a direct result of what you believe

Recently when I was in Peru, I had the honor of working with the world-renowned Jorge Luis Delgado, author of “Andean Awakenings.”  We were blessed to have many discussions with him as a group and one-on-one about life, love, service and wisdom.  As we toured several sacred sites throughout the Sacred Valley of Peru, Jorge Luis, Edgar and I would take turns teaching and sharing our wisdom.  Every time Jorge Luis spoke I felt as if I was speaking and he said the same thing about me.  We ended up calling each other “twin” because this happened so often.

One similarity we all had in our teaching was around the topic of “heavy energies.”  Put simply, a heavy energy is something you hold either in your mind or in your emotions that causes you to feel bad and not have harmony/balance in your life.  From my own experience, I have seen that heavy energies come from the thoughts that we hold in our minds.  We run “soap operas” constantly about possible future scenarios or re-play past scenarios over and over again.  Our subconscious minds do not know the difference between what is real and what is not real.  It responds solely based on where our “attention” is, so if our attention is on something “heavy” or what we don’t want, it assumes that is our truth and what we want to see in our life; so BAM it creates that in our reality.

To quote from the movie “Eat, Pray, Love,”…”You have to learn to choose your thoughts like you choose your clothes everyday!”  Choose the ones that make you feel good when you “try them on!”  This is easier said than done for most people.  Most of the time we let our thoughts and our lives run US instead of the other way around.  This usually is due to focusing on self more than others; a false belief of “I am what other people think;” and/or living from the head more than the heart.  The way I look at it, if we do something from the head, it is usually ordinary and ego-based.  If we do something from the heart, it is EXTRA-ordinary and service-based.  It comes from love.

How do you learn to control your mind and eliminate heavy energies from your life?  Start with working on yourself.  To quote Jorge Luis, “the most important contribution we can make to the evolution of life is our own personal development.”  You love life as much as you love yourself.  You treat others the same way you treat yourself.  Your relationship with others reflects the relationship you have with yourself.  It always comes back to self.

So, just for today…lose some weight in the area of energy instead of fat.    Take some time to do something you love, spend time with those who bring you joy, be in nature, breathe, spend time with an animal, forgive someone who you have been angry with for a long time, go someplace you love, have a cup of coffee…DO WHATEVER BRINGS YOU JOY!  You do not take care of what you do not value so start to value yourself again.  TAKE CARE OF YOU!

I’ll check in tomorrow to see how many pant sizes you dropped… 😉

Floating like the feather in “Forrest Gump”,
Chris