Author Archives: Cary A. Bakker

sunrise

Accept…Surrender…Receive…

Let go of your suffering… Let go of your attachment.  Accept.  Surrender.  Receive.

This does not mean “give up”… or accept your situation and do not try to change things.  In fact, it means the opposite.

Christianity and Judaism teach faith in God… To let go of our worries, that we are being cared for, guided, protected…we are Gods children.  We are to let go and receive what God provides.

Buddhism speaks of enlightenment and non-attachment…If you are going through challenging times, you may be ‘attached’ to what the future holds – yearning for that time to come while you force yourself to suffer where you are now…. Or you may be attached to the past… what used to be.  Your attachment causes suffering as you feel like something is lacking.

The Vedanta teaches that our inner soul (Atman) is one with God (Brahman…the creative principle).  We are meant to have true awareness of our own divinity… How can one worry about anything in this life if one is truly aware of one’s own oneness with God?

Many contemporary writers and spiritual ‘guides’  express similar thoughts in more modern terms.

Eckhart Tolle writes of this in The Power Of Now – how we often live in the future or the past, not  experiencing ‘the now’.

Wayne Dyer writes of connecting with Infinity… becoming one with the Infinite.

In Evolutionary Enlightenment, Andrew Cohen speaks of our own divinity with a unique perspective – that our consciousness is the very consciousness of God…that the everything is one… came from one…is God…Our own consciousness is the consciousness of the universe…we are all part of the same divine consciousness becoming aware of itself.

Across millennia…civilizations…cultures…religions…beliefs…patterns form and reveal fundamental truths.

Let go of your suffering… Let go of your attachment.  Accept.  Surrender.  Receive.

This does not mean “give up”… or accept your situation and do not try to change things.  In fact, it means the opposite.

Accept.

If you are suffering due to circumstances of your life, acceptance is the first step.  Acceptance..moving past denial and resistance…allows you to see things as they are, and take action to change your situation.

Surrender.

Surrender to life, to God, to the Infinite Intelligence…Surrender to put an end to the self-inflicted suffering of your own mind… Trust that you are connected, inextricably to the infinite… to god…to all life… When you see this truth, you will feel a sense of calm… a sense of peace.  oneness.

Receive.

Receive your life fully.  Experience living, whatever it may bring, richly… thoroughly.  Be open to what life.. the universe… existence…God… Brahman…The Infinite…offer you.

I Am The World

Be Limitless!

What limits are holding you back right now?  What limiting thoughts, behaviors, beliefs?  Where do they come from – your own mind? Another person’s voice?  Past experiences, or what you’ve seen others do or not do?

Repeat this to yourself right now, and whenever you hear any limiting thoughts:

I AM LIMITLESS!!!

We’ve all had those moments of doubt, but we’ve also had those moments of accomplishment and success.  We’ve all felt that elation when we were unsure of ourselves, but we persevered and succeeded in spite of our doubts. We’ve surprised ourselves!

As children we begin to see a pattern, the pattern where we don’t yet KNOW that we can do something, but we try anyways…and sometimes we succeed…sometimes we fail.  For some of us, the pattern is predominantly negative.  We become afraid of failure, afraid of being ridiculed.  Others of us begin to feed on the elation of success. Throughout our lives these patterns become reinforced – by our employers, significant others, family members.

These ‘patterned’ limits become our internal thermostat.  They direct our everyday decisions. They are deep in our subconscious, and direct our behaviors behind the scenes trying to protect us from ourselves. The act of procrastination is a very good example… perhaps you never got around to sending in that job application – you were “too busy”, or somehow it slipped your mind… when in fact, that was simply some part of your own mind avoiding the pain of failure that it was falsely predicting.

Repeat this right now:

“I am safe to make my own decisions and my own choices, and I will not limit myself.  I know that my happiness is in my true freedom to choose my own destiny.”

There are countless examples of limitations imposed by the human mind.  One of the most widely known examples is when the world believed it was impossible for any human to run a mile in under 4 minutes.  After an eternity of trying, Roger Bannister finally proved that it was possible.  Then, as if an invisible barrier had been shattered in the minds of the world, within a year another runner repeated the feat… And later another, and another.  How is that possible?  Did the WORLD become faster overnight?  Yes and No.  Physically the runners were the same.  What changed?  The limit in their minds had been removed.

From the very small daily decisions we make, to the life changing… every action we take is governed and throttled by our own internal “thermostat” of what we believe is possible.  While it makes sense to avoid wasting our time on something futile, more often than not the important decisions are in that gray area of the unknown where both failure AND success reside.

Make a commitment to constantly challenge your own beliefs of what is and what is not possible. Push yourself. Inch that thermostat up a tiny notch at first…. and then another… and another. Will you endure failures?  Of course!  That is not only ok, that’s how you know you’re REALLY doing it right!

If you never fail, you are not living anywhere near your true potential for SUCCESS.

You will learn to appreciate how fear and doubt will be transformed into wonder and possibility… that sense of “What if?”. You will no longer see the shadows, you’ll see the light. You will no longer see the chance of failure, you will see the path to success.

You will begin to realize that there are no true limits… that you can achieve way more than you’ve ever dreamed possible… that you truly are LIMITLESS!

 

Finding a path

3 Rules of CHOICE…

1. Realize that you have a choice.  If you’re not where you want to be, and you’re not doing something about it, you’re choosing to be where you are.  Many times the choices we have can be so difficult to make that we don’t see them as choices.  It’s important to take an honest look at where we are and own up to the CHOICES we are making.  Staying in denial and telling yourself that you have no choice is one way to stay stuck for a long time.  Once you admit that there is a CHOICE… even if it’s a difficult choice…THEN you can work on overcoming the fear or difficulty.   You can build up the confidence to make that CHOICE that scares the hell out of you.

2. Don’t limit your options by pre-judging them.  Another way to stay stuck for a long, long time is to take your options and throw them out.  That knee-jerk response in your head that interrupts you and says, “there’s no way”, or “I can’t”… just shut it off.  Usually that voice is driven by some form of fear – a fear of failure, a fear of change, a fear of having to do work or endure sacrifice.  Be HONEST with yourself and look at the fear head-on before pretending like you don’t have an option.  Sometimes the best course of action is the one that you at first think you just can’t do.

3. Be OPEN to conceiving of new options.  Know that at EVERY point in time there are an infinite number of possibilities, and all we need is one that is better than what we have now.  When you tell yourself “I have no choice”, you are turning off the creative part of your mind that would otherwise be searching for options.  Meditate on the fact that there is a better way… you KNOW there is a choice… you just need to SEE it… Call it “Inspiration”… “God”… “Source”… “Subconscious”… something will reveal the answer to you.  One thing seems to be consistent across all the explanations – answers are a lot more likely to come when you’re searching, so don’t stop looking.

Own up to your situation and realize that you have a choice.  Don’t limit your options, even if the choices are not always pleasant.  Always keep an open mind, knowing that the choices that you see are nothing compared to the options that are available.

There are an infinite number of paths to take you from where you are to where you want to be; all you need is one.

Yin Yang

3 Ways to Use Challenging Times

Challenging times, no matter how difficult, can be a portal for development. When you feel anywhere from stressed to hopeless, take some time to see, and feel, what’s happening. In the moment of experiencing where you are, you have an opportunity… an opportunity to evolve your consciousness.  An opportunity to step out of the stress or suffering.  An opportunity that others, in more seemingly “comfortable” situations, simply do not have.

1. Use your emotional energy to change your situation.

Step one is to observe the situation that you are in.  You may feel any number of negative emotions: frustration, anger, resentment, sorrow, hatred, etc.  Feel the situation fully and accept the situation for what it is.  Use the emotional energy to propel you to take action. Action may be internal or external if you are capable of doing something about your situation to improve it… use the energy to push through the difficulty.  If your external situation is truly beyond your control, then go deep into the emotional energy and accept it as it is.  The “stress”, “pain”, or “suffering” you are going through is a result of non-acceptance of your situation.  By accepting your situation you are no longer creating the internal stress, mental pain, or suffering for yourself.

2. Recognize the opportunity for growth.

On a constant basis, recognize even minor challenges and frustrating situations as a time for growth.  As soon as you catch yourself feeling any negative emotion, step outside off the emotion and observe yourself.  Strive to catch yourself immediately – as soon as the emotion starts.  This may happen at work with your boss, at home with your spouse, with your children, with strangers, or even with yourself.  Don’t fight the negativity, but don’t feed it – just observe.  Become aware of it, accept it, then let it go because you know it’s not serving you.  By recognizing the “challenging situations” as opportunities, you will inherently become more mentally balanced, and at peace.  You will also start to notice that many of the negative situations you were experiencing simply stop happening or become much less intense.

3. See the challenge as a catalyst for something new.

Every situation that we perceive of or label as negative does have a positive side effect.  For some, it takes time to develop the ability to re-frame your experiences into something positive.  The positive aspect of your situation does exist – no matter how difficult it may be to recognize it in the moment.  Learn to use your situation to open your mind to new possibilities.  You will eventually be unable to see anything as inherently good or bad… When you catch yourself labeling or categorizing events or times of your life along the spectrum of good or bad, step back for a moment and realize that this is a chance for you to grow.  These experiences are what make you whom you are…they are the catalysts for change.  They are necessary to guide you and teach you.  They are portals for change, providing you with the energy (motivation) to act.  Focus on being open to the opportunities these moments create.

juggling

You can’t juggle without letting go

Ever seen a juggler try to juggle while not letting go of anything???

We try to control way too much of our lives and our surroundings…too many unimportant things.  We try to control ourselves, our expectations, and others.  We have a tough time dealing with the unknown, the unexpected… worrying about all the “what if”s that might come up.  We worry and stress over things that MIGHT happen as if they already have happened, and reflexively we attempt to CONTROL what we really can’t – because we’re afraid of something going wrong, even if we’re not sure what it is.

Even when we think we are in control, we really know that control is just an illusion…

We expose our bodies to a lifetime of stress unnecessarily… Health-wise we’re more likely to over-eat, not sleep well, develop heart disease, depression, chronic fatigue, on and on.  We feel overwhelmed.

Trying to control too much is caused by an inability to discern what is and what is not truly important.

Want to live a happy life?  Learn to let go.  Don’t stress over possible outcomes of the future.  Put trust in others…

More likely than not, the opportunity of YOUR lifetime is going to be a result of something not going exactly as YOU had planned.

Letting go does not mean not trying…it does not mean not doing your best.  It means letting go of fear of what MIGHT happen.  It means letting go of the expectation that everything will always go as planned because we know we’ll be able to deal with it.  It means letting go of trying to do EVERYTHING yourself so that you can accomplish more than you have ever imagined when you enlist the help of others.

It means letting go of the future (what might happen), and of the past (what did happen), so that you can truly enjoy life (what is happening now).

meditatingatthebeach

Be Happy…Now! :D

Almost everyone is waiting for something to happen… Waiting to reach some goal to be happy.  Waiting to find the right person, save enough money for a house, pay down debt… Too often happiness is always around the corner… or, a more accurate metaphor, at the end of the rainbow.

Happiness is a simple conscious choice – and does not depend on your current situation or circumstances.  As soon as you base your happiness on anything outside of your own self, it slips through your fingers and is gone.  If you reminisce on happy events from the past, you’ve lost the happiness of the moment.  You only feel the “missing” of the happy moments of the past that are gone.  If you are waiting for some state of life (graduate, new job, pay down debt, waiting to “get” something or “have” someone in your life), then you are in a position of wanting something to happen…waiting for it to happen…putting your happiness on hold.  You are again feeling things from a position of lack – living without happiness because it lies in the future.  What’s more, the moment you had been waiting for, should it arrive, will at some point be gone.  The happiness that was once coming in the future will be gone in the past…again leaving you empty.  The answer is that happiness is already within you… here…now.

Happiness is an emotional feeling that comes from within yourself, and is not dependent on anyone else’s opinion of you, does not need anyone else’s approval, and does not depend on luck or current circumstances in any way… Happiness is an enjoyment of life – feeling in the moment… feeling connected, feeling alive… There are wonderful experiences and there are terrible experiences, and everything in between…but you are alive and there is an immense and wonderful appreciation that can be had for all things you experience in life… experiences that make you into the person you have become, that have given you the energy to be and do and create… to live and enjoy life.

A very simple metaphor that I like to use is to think of what makes a great movie great….There is no movie that I’ve ever seen where everything happens perfectly…goes exactly as planned…Where everything works out and nothing bad ever happens.  Nobody on this planet would sit through the first 10 minutes.  But cliffhangers… drama… action… excitement…love…loss…everything from tragedies to tearjerking romances…. THAT is what grabs us.  THAT is what makes for an interesting experience that keeps us on the edge of our seats.  Seeing the main character work through the lulls and depressed states, cope with inevitable losses, face challenges, overcome the odds….If that is what makes for a great movie, why would we want anything less for our lives?

 

happypeoplesilhouette

Want Positive, Be Positive

Jim Rohn said it best:

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”

You need positive people in your life.  People that believe anything is possible.  People that support your dreams.  People that are developed enough to not be afraid of your success, that help you think farther and help you stretch your own boundaries.

How do you find positive people?  Be that person to others and they will find you.

Accept people as they are and be careful not to judge or criticize people that may show some negativity or not be as supportive as you would like.  You attract positivity by exuding it, not by forcing it upon others.  Remember, you choose with whom you spend your time.  Just because you would like to spend time with one person or another, and you would like him/her to be supportive doesn’t mean it will ever happen.  Not everyone has to have the same hopes, plans, and dreams as you do, and that’s ok.

When you start paying attention to the “positivity level” of others, positive people will stand out.  Take an inventory of the people in your life right now – who falls into the positive, optimistic, can-do-anything personality category?  What’s even better is a do-er rather than a dreamer…Most people will be hard-pressed to think of anyone…

As you exude and attract positive people, you can’t help but be changed.  Others supporting you, showing you that something you thought was impossible is possible through their own actions… others supporting you when you attempt what some would claim is impossible, unrealistic, or unlikely… You need that when you’re facing those challenges.  The accumulation of subtle shifts of mindset on a daily basis is critical to your success.

So as you finish up this week, and the rest of this year, look for positivity.. use the holidays to make new connections, and develop new personal relationships.

– Want positive, be positive.

LiveOnPurpose

Live On Purpose!

Live on purpose.   From Merriam Webster:

on purpose :  by intent :  intentionally

Living on purpose means living intentionally.  Making choices based on your own intentions, what YOU intend.  Making what YOU will of your life.

An amazing thing happens when you start living on purpose – everything becomes easier.  The stress lessens, and the weight of life becomes light instead of heavy.

Living on purpose means being pro-active… following your instincts, your gut intuition that is flowing up from your subconscious mind.  That inner voice telling you what you should be doing, or telling you that you should be doing something different than what you are doing now.

When you live on purpose, motivation flows freely…work is effortless and joyful.  You feel rewarded.

Until you have taken that first… most difficult step…where you’ve made that decision you knew you needed to make…in spite of the unwarranted fear you felt… you will not know the lightness of being that follows from living on purpose… The feeling of a great weight being lifted, stress becoming non-existent, and a contagious happiness throughout your life.

Living on purpose becomes something you MUST do once you start… something you just must do because you know where living on purpose leads and how living on purpose feels.

WARNING:Living on purpose may cause a happy life, lightness of being, and can be highly contagious….