Posts Tagged ‘self worth’

As the Paradigm Shifts #S: Sacrifice

by Rosie Kuhn on August 30, 2011

I grew up in Michigan in a large Catholic Family in the 50’s and 60’s. I was taught that sacrifice was the price you paid to get into heaven. In service to this I let go of my wants, needs, thoughts and feelings. What I was left with when I hit my 30’s was pretty much an empty shell of a being and became, to some extent robotic – exclusively looking outside myself for commands for me to follow. I was terrified to think, feel or act on my own volition. Having never been given a copy of the blue prints or the How To Manual for being me, I had no idea what course to steer to get to my true north. Over decades I taught myself how to listen to my internal wisdom and practiced checking inside myself, retracing my steps (from before I could even walk) to rediscover my fullest expression of myself.

In the name of Heaven we make incredible sacrifices. The question is – what is Heaven? More importantly in the context of this series, what is Heaven to you? How will you know when you’ve arrived?

Given that we are talking most specifically about spirituality in the business, I suspect that each one of us has maneuvered into our current roles and positions because to some degree we are wanting to create heaven on Earth, especially when it involves the fact that we spend at least one third of our lives in this environment. What have you sacrificed in order to be where you are right now, in this moment? What I’m really wanting to know is – have you sacrificed the right things in order to have what you currently have? Rarely do I use the word right, so I’m obviously on the way to making a point!

On Tuesday, I spoke to the San Francisco Professional Career Network. These individuals are in the process of once again becoming gainfully employed, however many of them are up against some very stiff resistance (the R word, remember?). Not much different than many of us, they experienced rejection, trauma, abuse, neglect and humiliation in their previous work environment, and as they move in the direction of employment, something stops them. What stops them, and appropriately so, is the memory of what they’ve previously sacrificed for what they thought would provide stability, a role that contributed to the growth and development of their company, as well as a sense of personal and professional fulfillment. They are now having to choose to choose what to choose in service to what it is they want. This time they have the opportunity to choose what to sacrifice from a more conscious perspective.

Everyone has to make the choice to sacrifice that which they are willing to sacrifice: Health, family, personal fulfillment, creativity, integrity, financial stability, trauma, stress, abuse – each of us has our price.

I’m suggesting that maybe what we’ve sacrificed isn’t worth the price. This is a huge spiritual issue for those who have come to believe that financial stability will create happiness. The current global economic circumstances are indicating that, that may be an inaccurate assumption. The wounding that has occurred – that we’ve allowed to occur for the sake of financial viability for many has cost them their lives, their families and their dignity. I don’t think this is working very well – do you?

I’m guessing that when searching your internal database you’ll un-conceal regrets and lost dreams that were sacrificed for what at that time seemed like the appropriate or only choice to be made. All of us have these regrets and losses, yet until we come face to face with them and the emotional well of powerless and hopeless that has never been mined we will continually repeat the circumstance – just different environments and we’ll never allow our essential self to guide us to our fullest expression.

It makes sense to me that many of those individuals in the San Francisco Professional Career Network are balking at returning to the corporate environment. It makes sense to me that they are no longer willing to sacrifice their souls for the almighty paycheck.

Not all work environments are dysfunctional but the fact of the matter is that too many are dysfunctional. My belief is that because most of us were raised in families where dysfunction played a huge role in how we come to see ourselves, how we value and treat our selves and how we choose to choose what we choose, we can’t help but create environments that reflect the same.

I believe that each of us has come to this planet to fulfill a very specific life purpose. My job is to support people in choosing to choose to live into that purpose – fearlessly. This conversation definitely includes the question “What get’s sacrificed?” It also allows evidence to speak for itself; “Has it worked so far to give up what is most essential to your BEING and to you living your LIFE PURPOSE?”

This line of questions emphatically points to the dilemma and what we do in this dilemma. The dilemma is a choice-point where most of us choose to choose NOT to choose, thus experiencing a quality of life that feels stuck, lost, paralyzed, trapped, confused, depressed. SIGH! I know of no one who is allowed the “get out of jail free card” and doesn’t have to actually choose when facing the inevitable choice-point: Now or later – it’s up to you!

I don’t wish this moment on anyone, however, the inevitability of it is what it is. I can’t convince or cajole you to take me seriously. I only encourage you to feel into your heart and soul and reveal, discover and acknowledge your own evidence, your own truth and your own wisdom to know what is yours to do.

Enjoy the exploration!

Flexible Focus #65: Shaping Your Future

by William Reed on August 11, 2011

What is the secret to a life of abundance, and is there a simple method for approaching it?

We have seen how abundance, as well as lack, can be experienced in each of the 8 fields of life: Health, Business, Finance, Home, Society, Personal, Learning, and Leisure. The Mandala Chart can help you gain perspective in each of these areas, as well as in how they enhance and complement each other. In effect, we tell our life story in the way in which we integrate and excel in each of these areas. Without a tool such as the Mandala Chart for viewing and balancing our life, it is all too easy to get caught up in the challenges of one or two areas, at the expense of the others. No wonder it takes a lifetime, maybe several, to get it right.

The first step is to seek continuous improvement, not perfection. Living is a dynamic process, and balance is achieved by continual adjustment, not holding on to a status quo. Think of how you keep your balance on a bicycle. At first you wobble, but gradually your adjustments become so smooth that the wobble seems to disappear. Balance is easier to maintain in motion than in standing still. After you learn to steer, the next question is where do you want to go?

What you see is what you get

A story tells of a family driving through a small town to which they were considering settling in. They passed a home where a local resident was sitting on the porch and asked him, “Say, what are the people like in this town?” He replied by asking back, “What were they like where you came from?” The traveler said that they were mean-spirited and closed-minded. The resident told them, “That’s pretty much the way they are here too.” And so the traveler moved on. Later another family passing through asked the resident the same question, and he asked them what the people were like where they came from. This family replied that they were such nice people, so friendly and helpful. He responded, “That’s pretty much the way they are here too.” And so the family settled there.

So much of our experience is conditioned by our expectations, that we sometimes mistake them for reality itself. The first step to leading a life of abundance starts with your mental outlook. The way our expectations condition our experience is known as the Pygmalion Effect. Pygmalion was a Greek sculptor from Cyprus who carved a statue of a woman from ivory, and fell in love with the sculpture. Through the graces of Venus, in time his adoration brought the statue to life. In educational psychology the Pygmalion Effect refers to how the teacher’s expectations can condition a child’s performance in school, and the teacher’s attitude has been proven in numerous studies to be a significant force.

Take a look at yourself as you could be

The same can be said for what we expect of ourselves, as has also been shown in studies where self-esteem and self-image can be the most significant determining factor in performance. This was discovered by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a cosmetic surgeon who found that self-image had a far more lasting and determining effect on a person’s appearance than the temporary changes rendered by plastic surgery. Dr. Maltz is considered the originator of self-image psychology, and his classic book Psycho-Cybernetics sold over 30 million copies since it was originally published in 1960. It was updated in 2002 in the author’s voice, but with more contemporary examples, in an edition called New Psycho-Cybernetics.

While self-image has a powerful determining effect on your performance, it is partially submerged in your subconscious mind, and its shadowy nature makes it difficult to grasp. This is why psychology approaches it indirectly through suggestion and affirmations. If we use positive language, that helps create positive expectations, and improves your self-image. Life is a canvas upon which we paint with our mind’s eye, and which we can modify by our speech and actions.

In addition to this, there is another step we can take to gain greater clarity and leverage in each of the 8 fields of life, using the Mandala Chart. It provides a useful structure for a diary, which might otherwise simply be a journal or personal record of impressions. It serves as a mirror, and doubles as a lens for flexible focus. It can put the past in perspective, and shape the future by setting your expectations in advance. It rescues the self-image from its shadowy existence, and puts your expectations in plain view. With this in mind you begin to change the way you make entries in your Mandala Chart. Instead of simply reporting on the way things are or were, you actually begin to sculpt them into the way things could be. This sets the Pygmalion Effect in motion, and accelerates the rate of positive change.

Therefore why not create images of beauty and abundance in your mind’s eye, awaken the sleeping statue, and see your dreams come to life?