A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself.“
When you were born, you believed in yourself. You knew your purpose. You trusted the Divine.
Then it happened…you began to believe in the illusion around you. What other people thought and believed became your truth because you wanted to belong and be a part of something. The fear of being alone drives more self-limiting behaviors than any other fear. You began to move from your heart guiding you to your mind guiding you. The mind is a beautiful tool, if used correctly. We began to individualize our minds and then believed we were separate from everything and everyone around us. We felt alone…the one feeling we were trying to avoid.
Whatever your beliefs might be, know this…the human mind is simply the place where we individualize God. What if your life was about letting go of your self-created limiting beliefs and instead letting God be God as YOU?
Our world is transforming. What is “breaking down” is not the world, but the consciousness that created it. We did that…now it is our turn to balance what has been done. The confidence you have in yourself does not come from anything external; it comes from that silent place within that is YOU. You can do and be anything you wish…your only job is to define those wishes, find that peaceful place within and allow the brilliant tapestry to unfold. On the surface it may look broken, not how you imagined, and maybe even frightening. The path you ended up on may not be the one you imagined. Know that everything in the Universe happens for the highest good. Souls do sacrifice their time here so others can learn what they need to learn and fulfill their purpose. When a tragedy occurs, instead of focusing on the horrible aspects of it, step back and look deeper. See people coming together, helping each other and letting compassion win. We must believe we scripted what we did in our lives for a reason, knowing we could handle all that has occurred and will occur.
Life is not so much about living…it is about allowing life to come through as YOU.
Stop focusing on what may or may not happen to the foundation on which you find yourself standing. Look forward, take a breath and believe in yourself. You are so special God chose you to be here at this time. He is living through you to experience life AS you. The answers are there…you just have to silence your mind enough to hear them.
We love you just as you are. No strings attached…promise.
When you come to the edge of the light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” ~Patrick Overton
Believing in you,
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+.Self-Limiting Illusions
“The next time that a piece of your life breaks off and falls away, try to remember that what is Real cannot be lost, and then give thanks that what is false must always prove itself so.” ~Rev. Angela Peregoff
Illusion #1: It is better for me to live with a presently known problem than it is to face a future filled with unknown possibilities.
Illusion #2: I am useless and insignificant in life.
Illusion #3: What others think of me is more important than what I think of myself.
Illusion #4: It is possible to succeed in life without having to learn through mistakes and failures.
Illusion #5: By reliving past, painful moments I will somehow be able to resolve them.
Illusion #6: In order to succeed, I must stay with what I know is possible so as not to suffer disappointment.
Illusion #7: I must be like everyone else (the “tribe”) in order to survive, fit in and be accepted.
Illusion #8: I only believe what I can see and can prove exists.
Illusion #9: If I do not remember it, it must not have happened.
Illusion #10: What I think, say and do does not matter.
Maybe, one day, you will wake up and know that even your very thoughts matter; that events that you do not remember consciously, such as being born, choosing your parents and choosing the lessons you wanted to learn in this lifetime, actually did happen; that the most “real” things in this life cannot be touched, smelled, seen or tasted but are felt with the heart and soul; that your uniqueness, your un-likeness of everyone else around you, is the exact reason why you are here; that unless you venture into the unknown, the “impossible,” you will never know what you are capable of; that your mind does not know the difference between what is real and what is not real – it believes what is real is where you put your attention, so reliving past events makes them feel real again; that what you call mistakes and failures are the very moments for which you came to this Earth – they are the lessons in your “school”; that the only person who you should be seeking out acceptance from is yourself; that just being alive means you are significant – God wastes nothing and has a grand purpose for everything; and that your true power, the beauty of life and miracles, lie in those unknown moments.
Now that would be a hell of a day… ðŸ˜‰
“Life is not what you see, but what you’ve projected. It’s not what you’ve felt, but what you’ve decided. It’s not what you’ve experienced, but how you’ve remembered it. It’s not what you’ve forged, but what you’ve allowed. It’s not who’s appeared, but who you’ve summoned. And it’s not where you’ve been, but where you are going.”
~Notes from “the Universe”
Onward to ascension,
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+.
* This blog is dedicated to my daughter and anyone who suffers from an addiction, as well as the loved ones that are standing by watching, loving and encouraging them to wholeness again.**
The 12 steps are a group of principles, spiritual in nature, that are to be practiced as a way of life for those suffering from addiction. The idea is to help expel the obsessive behavior (drinking, drugs, or any addiction) so the person can feel and become happy and whole again. These principles are so powerful they can be used to overcome not only addiction, but limiting beliefs and harmful thoughts and behaviors in the non-addict as well.
Reference: Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (1981), Alcoholics Anonymous World Service, Inc.
Step #2: Come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
As most of you who are regular readers know, I am working my way through the 12 steps in honor of my daughter who is a recovering addict. In order to better understand her and the process, I decided to do the 12 steps myself and as I did, write a blog about my experience with each one.
Step #2, to me, is all about believing in miracles. We all have had moments in our lives where we are faced with something so big or so terrible that we have no choice but to surrender. Surrender to whom? Surrender to that power that you know exists but cannot define, see or touch. We all feel that power. We all know there is something that exists that is greater than we are. Some call that power God; others may call it the Universe. All that matters is that you feel that something else is with you watching out for you…willing to take on what you feel you cannot do yourself.
My lesson during this step was not so much believing in my higher Power, but trusting my higher Power. I have had enough spiritual experiences in my lifetime that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are not alone in this journey through life. My struggle exists with feeling worthy enough that my Power knows I exist. It sounds kind of silly when I say it out loud to myself, now that I think about it…but true none-the-less. Letting go and letting God was never something that I really could understand. We recovering control freaks think we can control and handle anything that comes our way…usually a side effect of having to deal with a lot of life situations on our own. Once I was able to realize that I really do not have control and stopped fighting it, I began to see more clearly and really feel that Power in my life. I, for the first time, felt as if God had my back. When I looked back at my life challenges, I realized I was never alone to begin with…he was there the whole time. I am reminded of the poem “Footprints,” which is a perfect metaphor for Step #2. It is through our most challenging times that God does not leave us…he carries us. Michael, a facilitator in one of the Nar-Anon meetings I attend has us say a prayer at the end of every meeting. It is very simple yet powerful: “Your will God, not mine. Your time God, not mine.” I slowly came to realize that it is not about MY will, it is about God’s will for me and my life. And let me tell you, when you finally realize that, it is a huge relief!
It does not matter if your beliefs match mine. What matters is that you know your own beliefs and they need to work for you. They must be yours. It does not matter what anyone else in your world believes…only what you believe. Your beliefs are the blueprint from which you live your life and make your choices.
I will share with you several questions I pondered and answered as I worked through this step:
Your relationship with your higher Power starts and ends with your relationship with yourself. God is in you, works through you and IS you. He is expressing himself through you.
Ernest Holmes, the author of The Science of Mind, says the following about treatment and your own personal role in it which I think is a perfect summation for Step #2:
Treatment is not willing things to happen; it is to provide within ourselves an avenue through which they may happen. Treatment opens up avenues of thought, expands the consciousness, and lets reality through; it clarifies the mentality, removes doubt and fear, in the realization of the presence of Spirit (your higher Power), and is necessary while we are confronted by obstructions or obstacles. We already live in a Perfect Universe, but it needs to be seen mentally before it can become a part of our experience. Every problem is primarily mental, and the answer to all problems will be found in Spiritual realization…(your own personal relationship with your higher Power).
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+.Self-Love
This is an excerpt from Chapter 5 Believe in Yourself of “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!
“Love yourself, accept yourself, forgive yourself and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things!“
If I were to ask you if you loved your children, you would more than likely answer with a very rapid “Yes!” Don’t you find it funny that we can so unabashedly love an extension of ourselves but not love our own selves?
When we think of the love we have for our children, we know we love them because of how they make us feel. We would do anything for them, no matter what. We would give up anything for them. Make any sacrifice for them. We want the best for them and do whatever we can to make sure they have the best life possible. You know when they are sick or not feeling well because your “mother/father instincts” tell you so. You know them so well that you know what they need, what their moods mean, and when they are just plain tired or hungry.
Just for one minute, I would like you to be your own parent. Treat yourself as you would that child you love so much. What would you do first for you? What do you need right now?
If you find it hard to answer these questions and to know what to do for yourself, you are lacking self-love. We do not take care of that which we do not love.
If I were to tag one area where almost all of my clients have a similar missing link, it would be in the area of self-love. When I ask them to do a Bucket List of things they want in their lives, I get a list of things they want for their spouses, children, and friends. When I ask them to take some time during the day for themselves, even if it is just for five minutes, I get the guilt response of “I don’t have time” every single time. Funny how when our children need our time we find the time but when we need the time, there is no time. I ask all of my audiences to ask themselves this question: “If you treated your friends like you do yourself and if you said to your friends what you say to yourself, how many friends would you have?” I always get a gasp from the audience at this point. You know the answer.
I have wondered often about how we get to the point where we lose our love for ourselves. We are born with it. We are born with the Divine knowing that we are important, lovable and worthy. What happens? Where does it go?
Over our many years of living, we allow people, things, thoughts, and places to take our power. Every time we allow something into our thoughts that takes away a little piece of us and makes us think we are not important enough to have love in our life, our power has been taken. We know this has happened by how we feel. As soon as you have an interaction with someone or something and it makes you feel “bad,” you know you have lost your power. You could lose your power to a specific person, money, a job, an actual place, a thought pattern…you name it. Every time you allow your power to be taken, you lose a little bit of self-love. Balance is not letting anyone or anything love you more than you love yourself.
Self-love is THE most important thing you need in this life. In order to have self-esteem, which we will discuss later in detail, you need to love yourself first. You cannot hold yourself in esteem until you love yourself. The question becomes, once you lose it, how do you get it back?
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+.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.”
“Hunger, thirst, cold, fatigue, your own physical and mental limitations – you will feel all of these. This teaches you about nature, more than that, you come face to face with yourself.” ~Willi Unsoeld
If your life has been anything like mine over the last year, high and low tides rather than “smooth sailing” has been the norm. I personally have noticed that whenever I am in the middle of a “low” I am anxiously awaiting for things to get back to “normal.” In the middle of tears the other day and feeling pitifully sorry for myself, I stopped in my tracks and asked “what the heck is normal anyway?”
I realized that, to me, “normal” meant having absolutely no bad feelings or events happening in my life. I get to stay in my daily routine, uninterrupted and pleasantly invite the highs into my life, praying for the lows to stay at bay. If that is the case, in the last 42 years my life has rarely been normal! Life is easy to live when things are going the way you think they should. You go about your life with ease and are feeling pretty good about yourself. The minute something happens that knocks you out of that routine, something that makes you uncomfortable, we feel “off” and try desperately to get back to our comfortable routine.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a workshop by Gregg Braden, author of the new book “Deep Truth.” Gregg addressed this idea of waiting to return to normal using our economy as an example. When our economy takes a down turn, many people put their lives on hold, waiting to spend their money or take that trip until things return to “normal.” What I find interesting is that when things get back to normal, it is never how it was before anyway. Something (or someone) has always changed. Has it really gotten back to normal or has enough time gone by that we are now just used to the new way things are…the new normal?
As humans we do not like discomfort. We try desperately to stay comfortable and predict the future events of our lives. We like to know what is going to happen when, how others are going to react to us…even go so far as to structure our lives around the weather.
I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t like waiting. Instead of waiting for my life to get back to “normal” I decided to re-define my personal definition of normal.
“Normal” = a state of centered consciousness and balance an individual maintains no matter how the outward circumstances of the individuals life present themselves.
I am here to live my life, not to wait for it. Yes, during trying times, it is sometimes much harder to find the joy and balance we so enjoy but those feelings are simply a state of consciousness, which means WE have control over them. We so often give the power of our lives over to outside circumstances, people and events and then allow our lives to get out of control, all the while blaming someone else for our misfortune and bad feelings. Ultimately, YOU are in charge of your life, your feelings and your thoughts. Instead of waiting for things to be normal and perfect in order to feel better, create your own state of being by choosing how you want to feel and do what you need to do to make that so.
Life will never be perfect if you constantly expect it to be. You must create your own perfection.
Light and love to you for a “normal” day,
“Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live: How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life” by Chris Sopa published by Balboa Press.
“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!
“Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live: How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life” by Chris Sopa published by Balboa Press
(In memory of my friend Heath McBriarty)
Oh, for the peace of a perfect trust,
My loving God, in Thee;
Unwavering faith, that never doubts
Thou choosest best for me.
Best, though my plans be all upset;
Best, though the way be rough;
Best, though my earthly store be scant;
in Thee I have enough.
Best, though my health and strength be gone,
Though my weary days be mine.
Shut out from much that others have;
Not my will, Lord, but Thine.
Even though disappointments come
They too are best for me;
To wean me from this changing world,
And lead me nearer to Thee.
Oh, for the peace of a perfect trust
That looks away from all;
That sees Thy hand in everything;
in great events and small.
That hears Thy voice –
A Father’s voice-
Directing for the best;
Oh, for the peace of a perfect trust,
A heart with Thee at rest.
It is hard to lose someone you love. I remember when I lost my Dad. Even though he had a terminal diagnosis from the beginning of his journey with cancer, it was still a shock to hear the news when he finally passed. No matter what the circumstances may be, we are just never ready. No word can console and no deed can bring peace. That is why we grieve. Grieving is our human way of releasing the emotions surrounding a loss. That is why grieving is so important. In order to move on, we must release and let go. Not let go of our loved ones memory; but let go of the idea of how we wanted it to be, what we think should have happened and the feelings of regret, blame and denial that hold us hostage. Our holding on keeps our deceased loved one in a holding pattern in their new world…waiting to be released to finish their journey.
Some grieve for only a moment…some for a lifetime. My experience with my father’s death has helped me understand what happens from the perspective of the person who has passed. As a medium, when I first spoke with my father after he died , he said these words to me:
“Consciousness survives death. We take our love, thoughts and emotions with us. When we pass we are welcomed by our angels and guides who escort us to “the other side;” as we are traveling we are greeted by all of our loved ones who have passed before us and we finally feel as if we are at home. All of the pain, worry and fear just dissolve into the unconditional love that is felt from all of the people present on this journey. We are given a life review and are able to see what impact the choices we made had on our lives and also on the lives of others. We sometimes chose to pass for reasons not of our own, but to help gently guide those we love to the door of the lessons they have scripted to learn while on Earth. We finally understand the power of the free will of making choices so we can then use that knowledge on our next journey. We are then given a choice to return to Earth to continue to learn and evolve to our highest self, or to balance our karma from the other side. We never really leave…we are just in different form.”
Our loved ones never leave us. Their soul never dies. There is no death…simply a change of worlds. A world we will one day all know and meet with them again.
Love to all of my grieving friends and family,
“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it is not fixable, then there is no help in worrying.”
Worry = a state of anxiety over actual or potential problems.
I will admit it…I am a recovering worry wart. Yes, it is true. I used to have worrying down to a science. I would worry going to bed, worry in my dreams and be worried waking up. Worrying is like any other habit that we have – the more we engage in it the more we do it without thinking. Half the time when I was worrying, I didn’t even really know what I was worrying about. Then, if there was nothing obvious to worry about, I would make something up.
As humans, our learning habits are formed when we are little. Whatever the dominant environment was in your household when you were growing up is the environment in which you learned to function. I love my mother dearly, but she will be the first one to tell you that she loves to worry. I grew up in a household where the dominant environment was chaos. There was always a crisis…even if it was an imaginary one. As I grew older, because that was the only environment in which I knew how to function, that is the environment I created. And worrying was my tool. Even if something is painful to us, as humans, we prefer comfort. Whatever is in our comfort zone is what we choose.
Regardless of what environment you prefer, we all find ourselves worrying at some point in our lives. Here are some things to remember when you find yourself worrying:
Gratefully I let go and let God be God as me…
Have a worry-free weekend…you can do it!