Acceptance + Faith Creates Miracles

I have been blessed to experience many miracles in my life and most of them occurred after a period of struggle which led to total and complete acceptance. I have written about and taught the benefits of being an accepting person for many years but it wasn’t until I lived through a really stressful period in my own life that I fully understood what it meant.

At one time the stress in my life reached a point where I simply had to escape for a short while, so I made a spur of the moment decision to hop on a plane to visit Sedona, one of my favourite places in Arizona. A few days later, after a long flight from Sydney, I checked into a spiritual retreat centre.

This centre has the most amazing energy. On my first morning I stood on my veranda at dawn as the sun rose and I felt as if my spirit had wings and was soaring over the hills. I experienced a state of ecstasy where I felt so connected to the red hills, the Earth and to God that all I could say was, “Thank you.” I loved everything about the place and I knew I was exactly where I needed to be to regain my equilibrium.

Over the next two days I felt emotionally at peace but physically ill and I became aware that I felt really nauseous whenever I was in my cabin and I started to improve when I was out in the fresh air. The cabin smelt strongly of linseed oil, which gives me migraines.

When I heard that a couple were checking out I immediately checked with the office about switching cabins, but my request led to an eviction order by the owner. I very graciously explained that I wasn’t complaining or unhappy and I wasn’t blaming anyone, I just needed a room that didn’t have fumes but I was told in no uncertain terms to leave. After finding a safe haven, then being unfairly evicted for asking for a better room I reached breaking point. I felt there was nothing more I could do and nowhere I could go to find inner peace. I felt that life was so unfair and that I was being unjustly being attacked for no reason, not just by the owner, but by someone at home.

That moment was a turning point. I knew that if I ever wanted to experience joy, and have any quality of life, I had to accept the things that I couldn’t change and that meant I had to stop complaining. I had to stop looking to change the situation. I had to learn to become comfortable with a situation that was unacceptable to me. Becoming an accepting person was hard—I struggled, and I still do at times, but I acted like an accepting person and by doing this I not only found peace but passion and purpose.

Life has presented me with opportunities, time and again, to accept what is and I believe that all surrender is, at its deepest level, is faith. It’s about putting the ego aside, accepting responsibility, doing what you can, then trusting that there is a reason for everything that happens.

I believe that every person who ‘pushes our buttons’ is our teacher. The man who owned the retreat centre became a catalyst for me to learn surrender. That moment of surrender led me to develop my personality archetypes which contain a map for the soul. While I’ve loved a lot of the work that I have done, spiritual coaching, helping others be the person they were born to be, is what I am most passionate about.

Every job we hate has the potential to motivate us to do what we were born to do. Every situation, even the most painful contains a gift for us.

WHAT ACCEPTANCE IS NOT

Acceptance does not mean resignation. Being an accepting person does not mean you sit back and accept that you have to put up with conditions that are unjust, or that you don’t look for solutions to your problems. But there is a big difference between being proactive and using force, or insisting that you have to have your way.

Acceptance is not denial. Some people think that if they don’t acknowledge their problems or, if they don’t think about them that they are accepting, in many cases all they are doing is repressing their emotions and the pain remains.

Miracles occur when you live your life as if you already have your heart’s desires. That doesn’t mean going out and spending money you don’t have, quitting a job you dislike, or walking away from your responsibilities. It’s about placing your attention on the daily habits, the little rituals you would participate in if you already had your heart’s desires. It’s about developing an attitude of gratitude for every single thing, even those things and people who challenge you. It is about surrendering to your purpose, understanding that God’s plan for your life may be bigger than your dream.

Acceptance brings peace. Faith is acting as if you have complete trust and confidence, even when you don’t feel confident. When you combine the two you move into an energy field where miracles occur.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
Lao Tzu

 

 

 

When Fear Rules the World

When fear rules the world we see the worst in humanity. In looking to defend and protect ourselves we shut down, close ranks and often believe in the supremacy of a race or religion. We attack. First with our words and sometimes when words don’t achieve the desired outcome attack can take the form of violence. We saw this with Hitler when he rose to power in Germany. We hear of this regularly when we see the devastation and pain that radical terrorist groups leave in their wake. And now the land of the great, through their choice of president, has confirmed that they are now one of the most fearful nations in the world.

In his book Power vs Force the late Dr David Hawkins, a renowned scientist who measured the energy vibration of just about everything, stated that the world’s population predominantly vibrated in the field of fear, and that there were 12 people alive in the world at that time (the nineties) who were keeping the energy vibration above the level of fear. I suspect that at least four of those people, and possibly more, have since passed over.

So where does that leave us? If you believe in the predictions of Nostradamus, we are not in a good place, but we always have the power to change ourselves and the world around us.

We do this by raising our individual energy field by being courageous. Being mindful of how we respond on a daily basis. Being a centre of peace in a chaotic world by going within regularly. By focusing on happiness and the peaceful world we want to create, not what we want to change. And most importantly we do this by doing what we feel called to do.

The world isn’t changed by just one person, the greatest impact comes from the millions of individuals who collectively use their energy to commit to freedom and happiness. We do it by supporting, loving and caring for one another.

I am so grateful that I have committed to being an accepting person because it would be so easy to get caught up in fear right now. Accepting means that I accept what is, while working towards creating something meaningful.

Who knows what this event may motivate one person to do. Who knows how many people who have been stuck in their own fear and self doubt will put their fears aside to make a meaningful contribution.

You may think I am just one person but you are one person who counts. Let’s join together and not allow history to repeat itself. Let’s use this event as an opportunity to grow to our full potential and work collectively to create a better world.

Where are your thoughts taking you?

When Wayne Dyer’s book Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life was released in 2009 I purchased it immediately only to discover that it wasn’t the book I expected, so it was tucked away unread on my bookshelf. My daughter Laura has been telling me to read this book for quite a while, so needing inspiration one day I pulled it out and started reading a verse a day. And as the old saying goes, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear”.

For nearly 20 years I have felt blessed to be able to do work that I love, but as my business has grown my role has changed and sometimes I find myself spending hours marking a never ending pile of assignments or troubleshooting administrative problems. This change in my daily routine took me away from feeling joyful and I found myself becoming increasingly irritable, negative and tired a lot of the time. Wayne’s book was the perfect reminder to take control of my thoughts.

It’s easy for anyone to be positive and happy when everything in life is flowing, it’s when life challenges us that we need to be conscious of where are thoughts are taking us. Being positive is not a state you reach and stay there. To live in a state of flow we need to be conscious and willing to change the way we respond.

I chose to be mindful whenever I found myself in a low energy state, or whenever I was tempted to moan about something that irritated me. Instead I focused on all I had to be grateful for. Before long I noticed how incredibly grateful I felt, even when marking assignments, my least favourite job. I thought, How lucky am I to be doing this work, guiding teachers and coaches who go out and make a positive difference.

Thoughts are not something you take control of once, they are something you need to check in on on a regular basis. People often say to me how positive they are, and in some areas they most likely are, but we are all dual beings and we can be both positive and negative at the same time.

OUR THOUGHTS AND WORDS AFFECT THE WORLD AROUND US

We need to be conscious of how our thoughts and words impact the world around us. Now we all know that the world is predominantly negative and it is very easy to get caught up in negative emotions, but by being optimistic, grateful, kind and light hearted we can have a positive influence on the world around us.

According to HeartMath the heart’s electromagnetic field contains coding which is transmitted throughout and outside of the body and that intentionally generated positive emotions can change this information/coding. HeartMath believe that care, compassion, love or other positive emotions not only transmit through our own bodies but are transferred externally to people in close proximity, and possibly over long distances.

This means that we are constantly projecting our emotions into the energy field of the world around us. If you have ever read about the studies carried out by the late Masaru Emoto[2] on water you may remember his findings on how emotions change the quality of water.

When words such as ‘thank you’ and ‘fool’ were wrapped around bottles of water with the words facing inwards, the bottles exposed to ‘thank you’ formed beautiful hexagonal crystals, whereas water exposed to the word ‘fool’ created similar results as water exposed to violent heavy metal music, which was dark and murky.

CHANGE YOURSELF AND THE WORLD AROUND YOU CHANGES

When something is not working in our lives our automatic response is often to change something externally, but when we shift our focus off changing what is and onto changing our response we become powerful. We don’t have control over much that happens in the world around us, but we always have control over our thoughts and that is what makes humans uniquely capable of changing themselves and the world around them.

Some of the coaches I train get fixated on marketing, particularly their lack of knowledge in this area, and I know some who have spent $20,000 on a course to learn how to market their businesses. Yet the most productive thing they can do, that will guarantee a positive return every time, is focus on adopting and maintaining a positive mindset. Living your life as if you already have your heart’s desires is way more powerful than intellectual knowledge.

By adopting the habit of being mindful whenever you find yourself experiencing any negative emotion, you learn to focus on the present, not the past or the future. By giving thanks for all the blessing you have you create an energy field that draws what want into your life. This is what the law of attraction is all about, it’s not about wishful thinking and something magically turns up.

Write yourself post it notes and place them in prominent places, put reminders into your phone to stop and be mindful. Change your thoughts to ones that always support you and you will find that your thoughts really can transform your life.

[1] https://www.heartmath.org/articles-of-the-heart/science-of-the-heart/the-energetic-heart-is-unfolding/

[2] Masaru Emoto, Hidden Messages in Water, Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books, New York, 2005

How I Became an Accidental Entrepreneur

I never planned to be a business success. When I left school at 15, after having completed my Intermediate Certificate (equivalent to the School Certificate), I had no great ambition other than to get married and have a family.  I had planned to get a job until I found Mr Right, at which time I expected to give up work and be a stay at home mum. I started work in an office and paid to put myself through business college at night where I learnt typing, shorthand and bookkeeping. I had vague hopes of possibly owning a coffee shop one day but it was more a fantasy than a real dream. As often happens life didn’t go the way I planned, by 28 I had 2 small children, a 6-year-old and a newborn and I wasn’t married. I was the family shame who was hidden away, and I had been rejected by my children’s fathers, so I had a quite a bit of emotional baggage to deal with.

I was fortunate to be eligible for a Government benefit, something that hadn’t been available when I had my first child. I received $42 a week and my rent, for a revolting cockroach infested flat was $30. A friend, Helen, won $200 and she gave this to me so I could buy a very old, dilapidated car, on the condition that I drove her around, and could pay back the money when I could.

Living on the poverty line was no fun but it was enough to motivate me to look for ways to make more money.  I was young, optimistic, determined to provide my children with a good life and I had two great girlfriends who gave me so much support. Helen would come and stay most weekends and often brought me an inspirational book such as Think and Grow Rich, The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity, Success through a Positive Mental Attitude and so on. I devoured those books and applied what I learnt.

I started my first business, a typing service, from my kitchen table with a hired typewriter (thanks to Helen who lent me the money each time). That business started by word of mouth, and I said affirmations and visualised myself working in my business. That business was not my passion and it was never intended to be any more than a way to supplement my meagre income.

Fast forward a few years and I was working for a male friend. The business was successful, but because of conflict between my friend and his business partner, who embezzled some money from the business, was forced into liquidation. This business manufactured garden accessories which were sold in all major garden centres, department stores and Woolworths. My friend suggested that I take over the business and start again. My Dad lent me some money and I bought the key machinery required at the liquidation sale, employed the foreman, and started a much smaller operation supplying our key accounts. I learnt so much during that time about jigs, powder coating, distribution, I even tried to drive a truck (definitely not something I ever want to do again). In theory the idea was sound but what I hadn’t counted on was that I would hate working in a factory environment. Six months later I placed one advertisement to sell the business and a week later it was sold and I doubled my initial investment.

Meanwhile my former employer had landed on his feet and started a new business, and I went back to work for him. On the side I started a bookkeeping business with the intention of saving to buy a house. When I had a rather acrimonious split with my friend I left paid employment and with the few bookkeeping clients I had started a shopfront secretarial business. Over the coming months I added recruitment to the services I offered, and in my first year did exceptionally well. By the time my second year in business came around I had lost interest because I wasn’t doing what I loved. I put a manager in and went back to paid work for a few months, but that didn’t work. So again I placed one advertisement and sold the business, making a good  profit. That business continued to trade for at least 20 years after I sold it.

I went back to work in the corporate world and had 3 jobs in 20 months. I hated working for an employer again. I hated the office politics. I searched for the right job, did a career change course, regularly sent my resume out to firms I thought I might want to work for. When none of that worked I reached the point of surrender, and decided to focus on all I was grateful for. Once I did this an opportunity arose to start a subsidiary financial planning business for women for a major financial planning company. This was the early eighties and women did not have equal rights to men when it came to money. Many banks did not lend to women without a male guarantor, very few women bought a home on their own. Many older women didn’t know how to write a cheque and as ATM’s were new, a lot of people did not trust them.

This was the first job that met so many of my needs yet 6 months later, I heard through the grapevine, that I was about to be replaced. I gave notice and during my notice period my employer asked if I would like to take over an office under a licence arrangement, I would be responsible for all of the overheads. I jumped at the opportunity. That was the role that changed my life and I believe it was something I was meant to do. I learnt so much in that role such as how to talk to groups, run courses, handle the media, do interviews, write columns and so on. If it wasn’t for that role I would not have had my first book published, which changed the whole direction of my work life, and eventually led to my becoming a life coach and starting a training business.

During the lean period between The Financial Woman and starting Hart Life Coaching I started another small business just to make money to tide me over, and again sold it a profit. Not every business I tried worked. I had a few failures along the way but I don’t dwell on failure, what is most important to me is that I have more successes than failures.

I never set out to be an entrepreneur or achieve business success. I am not motivated by money. I have always wanted to help people and do work that I love and you can too. Here is my formula for business success:

  1. Be ready for opportunity. Throughout my working life I have done courses, sometimes not knowing where those courses would lead, only to find that what I learnt was invaluable in some future business. I did several public speaking courses which helped me so much when I started giving talks to the public. I was only offered my role with The Financial Woman because I was one of the few women in the country at that time authorised to give financial advice. I have always attended some type of personal development seminars or courses. I still do at least one course a year because I love to learn.
  2. Do what makes you happy. Studies show that the happier you are the easier it is to succeed, we naturally trust and want to do business with happy people. It took me a long time to discover this for myself. I didn’t have a life coach to help me when I was trying to find my way as they didn’t exist back then, but a good life coach is worth the investment.
  3. Act courageously. Note I did not say you have to feel courageous. Everyone gets scared at the beginning, it is how you act that is most important. Action comes first, feeling follows. When I look back at some of the things that I had the audacity to try I am proud of myself for being so courageous. It wasn’t always easy and I am a person who has always experienced some self doubt, but I didn’t allow my self doubt to dictate the direction my life took or influence my choices. Negative feelings only count if you dwell on them, or act upon them.
  4. Make a commitment. Every business I started has succeeded only because of the commitment I made to myself and the hard work I put in. I never put a time limit on my success, I never said I would only work a set amount of hours per week, although my work always had to fit around my children. I worked at night after I put my children to sleep if I had to. When I was applying for accreditation for my current business sometimes I started work at 5.30 am. Commitment and focus can be much the same, I always acted as if I expected to succeed and because of this I now have a deep seated belief that I deserve every bit of success and financial abundance that comes to me.
  5. Find someone to support you. You may have noticed that in every venture I went into in the early days I had a great deal of support from friends, this I believe was a major contributor to my success. Later in life I didn’t always have that support and it is very easy to focus on what is missing. I had to find ways to support myself, and sometimes that meant that I paid for support.
  6. Focus on your personal strengths. I am genuine, so many people who have done business with me have told me they did so because they trusted me. Some people are perceptive, great communicators, creative, adventurous. If you are not sure ask your friends and co-workers what they think your personal strength is.
  7. Find a way to market your business in a way that you enjoy. When I started the shopfront secretarial service I started cold calling on local businesses to see if they wanted to outsource their bookkeeping and I hated it, that is when I decided that I would never do something I hated again. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever do some jobs you don’t like much, most people have to do those. It means that when it comes to marketing I would use the skills that I enjoy using to build my business. For me that is writing. I love writing. I am a natural networker, if I find someone who is good I tell everyone about them, so much business has come to me through referrals.
  8. Develop a positive mindset. The single most influential factor that distinguishes successful people from the crowd is that they have a positive mindset. A positive mindset is something that you have to work at and commit to. You need to regularly feed your mind by reading inspirational books, listening to audios, watching videos. This is not something you do just for awhile, your daily routine needs to constantly feed your mind and your soul. We live in a predominantly negative world so this step is vital.

I never expected to be a best-selling author. Since I first started in business I have written seven books under my own name, and ghost wrote three books for other people. I adapted two of Suze Orman’s books for the Australian  market. I never expected to be a public speaker. I have spoken to audiences of over a thousand people. I never ever thought I would be on radio or TV. I have had regular TV and radio segments. I never expected to write courses. I have written many courses and have a training course nationally accredited. I  never expected to run a training school. I never expected my life to take the direction that it did. I just did what I had to do.

Business success doesn’t have to be hard, for many successful people it often just happens. There is a place that you are to fill that no-one else can fill, all you have to do is follow the above-mentioned steps and follow the signs. You are given signs all of the time, sometimes though when your focus is on what is missing, what is wrong, or your own self doubt you don’t recognise them.

 

 

 

Frustration is Your Friend

Frustration is something I am intimately familiar with and I have never liked the feeling. Only recently though I’ve become aware that frustration is my friend, it’s my soul’s way of reminding me to trust myself and follow my heart.

On my computer I had six partly written books, this of itself is so unlike me, whenever I start something I generally work at it until I finish, but during the last ten years instead of following my own inner guidance sometimes, I made other people’s opinions more important than my own.

Several years back I was writing a book on happiness when I attended a Hay House Writer’s Workshop. At that workshop Reid Tracy, CEO of Hay House said something like, “If you want to write on happiness, you won’t find a publisher unless you have around 50,000 social media followers”. A year later I attended a Hay House Writer’s Cruise, where I heard similar messages on what won’t work, so I kept changing the message of my book and it didn’t flow because I wasn’t writing what I wanted to write.

I forgot for a while that the very successful books I have written came about because I did what felt right. I broke all the rules when it came to publishing, yet my books were published and were very successful.

Two things happened recently that have made me reassess my choices. I held my Dharma Retreat, which was a great experience, and I listened to people tell me how my books had helped them. The second thing was I reached a level of frustration that was so great that I lost my joy.

I had been working with a life coach in America to help me gain my masters certification in coaching from the International Coach Federation. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, it was a means to an end goal. There are a lot of hoops to jump through to gain this qualification and anyone who knows me well knows I don’t like to comply just because someone tells me to. So right from the start following this path went against my essential nature. The other thing that challenged me about this qualification is that I had to change the way I coached to comply with their core competencies, it didn’t matter if my way worked with a client or not. I am a person who believes there is never just one way.

That’s when I realised that frustration was my friend. Feeling so frustrated made me aware that I needed to get back to trusting myself.

Since then I have stopped pursuing any further qualifications in coaching, they may be right for some people but not for me. I deleted all of the half finished books from my computer. I started writing the book I want to write and I have created a new routine to support that choice. Every morning first thing I do is read a verse from Wayne Dyer’s book, Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life, which is based on on the ancient wisdom of Tao te Ching by Lao-tzu, then I meditate. Once I start work I write for a couple of hours before I do anything else. I don’t have an outline. I am simply writing one chapter at a time by following my inner guidance.

Sometimes you can’t just throw in the job, or change your life as easily as I have, but you can always adopt habits that make you happy where you are right now while working towards the life you really want. Sometimes you may make a short term sacrifice for a long term gain, such as getting up earlier to work on your dream, when it’s what you love to do, it is worth it.

Such simple choices yet the difference in how I felt at the beginning of the week to now is profound. I feel free again. I feel joyful. I feel me.

 

 

Make Living in a State Of Flow Your New Normal

Business has been flowing nicely lately and because I want to live in a state of flow I have been affirming, “This is my new normal”. One thing I know for sure is that even when life isn’t flowing life always supports me, particularly when it doesn’t appear that way.

In my life coaching classes we use a style of questioning that helps people get to the root cause of what is holding them back, then together with the client we devise strategies, often based on values, to assist them to create a new normal. Both techniques are equally important because we can’t stay in a state of flow while we are carrying around with us hurt feelings, anger or memories that take us away from the person we want to be, or the life we want to create.

For most of my life I lived with a lot of self doubt because I worried about what other people thought. Instead of procrastinating I took the rebel’s path, and forged ahead, acting as if I didn’t care what anyone thought but I still did. I used force to achieve a lot of goals and while it can work, it is a very exhausting, stressful way to live. I often asked myself why I couldn’t take an easier path, why I couldn’t settle for less rather than always pushing myself to my limits and the reason I couldn’t do that was because my needs provided me with the motivation to move through my fears. The greatest need that’s driven my entire life is my need for freedom and I now know that freedom for me is about being myself, not pretending, not holding back, not settling for less than, it’s about whole hearted commitment to being the person I know I was born to be.

I used to say face your fears but even though I have done that many times, the fear remained. I now suggest that people move through their fears. We do this by feeling all of our emotions then gently and consistently acting like the person we want to be.

During one period in my life, when I needed to move through a lot of fear, I used two affirmations. One was ‘I trust’, and the other was, ‘What I think of me is more important than what anyone else thinks of me’. During that period I felt as if I was constantly criticised, and every time it would start up I would say to myself over and over again, ‘What I think of me is more important than what anyone else thinks of me’. Those two affirmations, followed by acting as if I trusted supported me to move forward. I see trust as being like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the easier it becomes to know when to trust.

Of course whenever you trust you need to combine it with discernment because not everyone is trustworthy. So, rather than just being foolhardy, establish the habit of pausing, checking in with your intuition if this is a person you should trust, or if you this is the right decision for you to make.

To create a new normal you need to move through any emotions that regularly challenges you. You can do this by feeling the emotion as it occurs without talking about it or getting caught up in the story around it. If you have buried your emotions then maybe journaling will help them come to the surface. Then look at what opportunity life is presenting you with. Do you need to exercise self care more? Could you let go of judging others or yourself? Is there an opportunity to be kinder or more caring? Or, are you resisting the direction life is taking you in, in which case you need to trust.

When you make acceptance of what is your automatic response, while looking for the opportunity to grow, life becomes so much easier and it flows.