Turn the Judgment Around

May 25 2016

Most judgments begin as self-judgment. Either we wouldn’t accept ourselves if we behaved that way or we do act that way and we’re in denial. Projection is pretty common way of coping with shame or unworthiness. When we notice ourselves judging others, it’s the perfect time to look within and ask how we too, may exhibit similar behavior. If we can muster up compassion for them, maybe we can do it for ourselves too. Using judgments this way turns negativity into a tool for greater self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-love and compassion for others and…

Ourselves.

Steve and Jarl

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Enlightened Communication

May 24 2016

Developing good communication skills isn’t easy, but the payoff is worth it. You have to be willing to listen with an open heart without getting defensive. You also have to be courageous enough to speak your truth while remaining conscious enough to do it lovingly. When you take responsibility for your feelings and share them without blame, shame or guilt, others not only hear you more readily, they respond in kind. When you don’t try to ‘win’ arguments and instead work toward a mutually satisfying resolution, it signifies a shift from your ego…

To your heart.

Steve and Jarl

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Focus on the Feeling

May 23 2016

The reason we want anything is because we think it’ll make us feel good. But getting what we want doesn’t always deliver the feeling we’re after. It’s great to imagine feeling fulfilled by something as long as we stay open to appreciating whatever actually shows up. Our job is to be clear about the feeling we want, keep our attention on it and allow life to take care of the rest. When we loosen our grip on needing a specific outcome, we can appreciate that what shows up is almost always…

Even better.

Steve and Jarl

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How to Be Free

May 22 2016

If you want to feel free, you can’t be too hung-up on specific outcomes. Rigid attachment to things turning out the way you want almost guarantees that you’ll feel bad every time things don’t go your way. Each disheartening episode adds a little more heaviness to your psyche. It is possible to feel completely at peace, but it doesn’t happen by getting the world to conform to your game plan. Ultimate freedom comes from an attitude that’s accepting of things as they are. It’s actually a state of mind that’s most easily experienced by…

Letting go.

Steve and Jarl

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Communication 101

May 21 2016

Conscious, loving and blameless communication is crucial for happy relationships. Burying feelings and keeping them to yourself creates confusion and results in passive-aggressive behavior. Conversely, too much ‘sharing’ or processing drains energy and makes relationships feel burdensome. That’s why it’s so important to distinguish between preferences that are relatively unimportant and issues that feel truly damaging. Think of every ‘problem’ that arises as an opportunity to consciously pick your battles and express yourself with kindness. Improving your ability to relate and support one another through good communication makes your relationship a powerful engine for…

Personal evolution.

Steve and Jarl

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Inherent Worthiness

May 20 2016

Our unique life experiences ensure that we’re different from one another. But variation and inferiority aren’t synonymous. What we do, how we do it and why we do it have nothing to do with our worth as humans. Messy or neat, vague or precise, risk-taking or cautious — where we fall on these scales doesn’t increase or lessen our value. Everyone deserves kindness and compassion. We all thrive when we connect and receive love. When we accept that difference is natural, it helps us become more tolerant and makes life better…

For everyone.

Steve and Jarl

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Differences Drive Growth

May 19 2016

No one has exactly the same conditioning, beliefs or biological makeup as you. When others don’t respond to you the way you’d like or expect, remember that it’s not personal. They’re just reacting from their point of view, which understanding doesn’t sync perfectly with yours. When you don’t take their opinions personally, you  spare yourself from unpleasant emotional energy. This increases the likelihood that you’ll feel compassion for both them…

And yourself.

Steve and Jarl

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Different Shoes

May 18 2016

Before you get upset about anything someone says or does, it’s a good idea to make sure you actually understand what’s going on. Jumping to conclusions about their motives rarely works. It’s better to ask them for clarification and listen with an open mind. This helps to prevent unnecessary drama and allows you to respond thoughtfully. Rather than defend your position in an ego stand-off, put yourself in their shoes and treat them the way you’d like to be treated. It’s called the…

Golden Rule

Steve and Jarl

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The Art of Depersonalization Part 3

May 17 2016

Realizing that others’ opinions of you have absolutely nothing to do with your personal worth or value as a human being frees you to be who you actually are. It enables you to experience far less internal resistance because you no longer have an inner conflict between what you’d really like to do and what you are doing. You know your value isn’t dependent on approval from others. When you live in alignment with your true desires without pretense, you radiate a clarity and energy that others can’t help but appreciate because it’s…

So very refreshing. 

Steve and Jarl

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The Art of Depersonalization, Part 2

May 16 2016

When you recognize that who you truly are doesn’t have to do with your accomplishments or your success, you aren’t nearly as worried about failing and you’re much more comfortable taking risks. Even if things don’t work out the way you want, you don’t feel threatened. On the other hand, when you’re overly concerned with others’ perceptions, you play it safe and have a smaller impact on the world. Letting go of attachment to your results opens you to trying new things because you know that you’re not the sum of your achievements, you’re…

Beyond definition.

Steve and Jarl

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The Art of Depersonalization

May 15 2016

If you make your opinions known, you’re bound to get some push back. But others reactions aren’t about you, they’re about your ideas and beliefs. Separating the two can help you to react less defensively and open to exploring their opinions as well. Even when others express their disagreements in a way that seems personal, remember that it’s not. When you separate who you are from your beliefs, it’s easier to hear feedback, consider their point of view and…

Evolve.

Steve and Jarl

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Living Your Dream

May 14 2016

If you have a dream and you aren’t sure how to make it come true, relax! Don’t stress yourself out desperately trying to make it happen. The energy you put into your vision matters. The fact that you’re able to imagine what you want means that it, or something better, is ahead of you. Every dream is really the future calling you forward. Your job is to think about how you’ll feel after you realize your dream. When you can feel it just by thinking about it, you’ll soon be feeling it by…

Living it.

Steve and Jarl

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Transform Resistance

May 13 2016

When you experience strong resistance to something that seems unlikely to change, the best thing you can possibly do is change your attitude about it. While that might not seem like an appealing alternative, it beats the ongoing discomfort of disliking what is. You can quicken the transition from dissatisfaction to appreciation by sincerely asking your inner self to expand your mind and heart enough to see the situation in a new light. Feeling good about it might seem impossible, but this simple question can be the alchemy that transforms resistance into…

Gratitude.

Steve and Jarl

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Acceptance Is the Balm

May 12 2016

When you trust that everything you experience has a positive benefit for you, it’s much easier to accept even the hardest and scariest situations. Since you can’t ever be sure how things will turn out, it doesn’t make sense to waste one second vividly imagining bad outcomes and torturing yourself over circumstances that may never materialize. Suffering ahead of time means suffering unnecessarily. When you trust that you’ll be alright no matter what happens, life feels a whole lot safer and you’ll be a whole lot…

Happier.

Steve and Jarl

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The Art of Balancing

May 11 2016

Physical balance is required for confidently moving your body through life. Mental and emotional equilibrium is crucial for developing healthy relationships and professional success. Being spiritually grounded is important for keeping the physical, mental and emotional aspects aligned and interacting harmoniously with all life. We can improve our physical balance through daily exercise and practice. Mental and emotional balance require awareness and mindfulness. Spiritual balance is the result of a quiet mind and provides the greatest benefit of all…

An open heart.

Steve and Jarl

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Power Struggles

May 10 2016

Despite the fact that power struggles interfere with harmonious relationships, many couples are plagued by them. People who maneuver for power are often trying to correct a sense of powerlessness that developed in childhood, usually the result of growing up with an over controlling parent. But we will never be able to improve our personal sense of power by controlling others. That’s an inside job that requires a willingness to look at oneself honestly. People in healthy relationships aren’t motivated by competition or the need to control. They understand that empowering their partner actually… 

Empowers themselves.

Steve and Jarl

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