What a Gem

Thoughts to Contemplate by Dr. Luann Robinson Hull


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Thrive

Maximize Your Happiness Potential

happy gear brain image

“…The desire for happiness is essential to man. It is the motivator of all our acts. The most venerable, clearly understood, enlightened, and reliable constant in the world is not only that we want to be happy, but that we want only to be so.”—Matthieu Ricard

There is an endless supply of resources on how to follow the yellow brick road to happiness. And in recent years, the scientific community has jumped on board fortifying us with impressive data providing empirical evidence to show that we as a species have been hardwired to operate from a foundation of happiness and well-being (Happily Ever After…Right Now, prologue xxx). All we have to do to create that possibility for ourselves is to to focus on training the area of our brain already blueprinted to strengthen our happiness potential. This region is called the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC). It governs thinking and emotion and also has been shown to support us in having more empathic responses, which evoke feelings of loving compassion, heightened social awareness, and increased sensitivity to the moment.

The ACC’s job is to utilize a specific neuron unique to humans. This neuron is stimulated to increase in supply when a positive or neutral response eclipses a negative reaction to an emotional trigger —even if it is just taking a breath or two. The stock continues to multiply with every nanosecond you choose not to fight (or flee). As these “happy,” calming neurons develop momentum they can eventually provide enough gusto to balance out the effect of the unruly cascade of neurochemicals designed for your survival, originating from a different region in your head. As this development is unfolding, your brain states are being altered by a process called neuroplasticity. Therefore, you can run your own programs rather than having your programs run you. It just takes some determination. And, your rising band of will power, will definitely support you in the process of this peace-making between the back (reptile) and the front (reason) of your head.

We are fundamentally primates with an endless supply of distractions and possible triggers. We will lose the keys, forget people’s names, and falsely perceive situations by making assumptions based on our emotional sensitivity, all of which is repeatedly re-enforced by any current triggers. Science now demonstrates that until we decide to clear the festering wounds of yesteryear by being available to resolve and balance whatever is out of whack right now, this dilemma will persist.

We are each likely a product of survival strategies, which hide out in our unconscious psyche. These habituated ways of coping most always originate from woundedness—something hurt us and we developed tactics to protect ourselves from future, similar pain. Conditioned beliefs, actually begin to form patterns of behavior that take root in our subconscious data-bank, where ninety-five percent of our actions, words, and deeds live (according to Bruce Lipton, Cellular Biologist). Until it is held in check, this subterranean belief system will repeatedly distort your reality through the lens of fear and insufficiency because it “thinks” it has to do this in order to keep you alive.

“All the greatest and most important problems of life are fundamentally insoluble…They can never be solved, but only outgrown. This outgrowing proved on further investigation to require a new level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest appeared on the person’s horizon, and through this broadening of his or her outlook the insoluble problem lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms but faded when confronted with a new and stronger life urge”—Carl Gustov Jung.

And so how can we upgrade our operating system to a “broadened outlook” where seemingly “insoluble problems” and life dramas will “lose their urgency?” Abraham Maslow, famed humanistic psychologist, referred to this state of expanded consciousness, as “self-actualization” where we are operating on all cylinders, fortified by the stronger life urge that strengthens our most optimal potential (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-actualization).

Of course, in order to fully support this “life urge” you have to be willing to keep unraveling the complicated system that responds to your upsets. Therefore, when you are triggered by a high intensity event, it is vital that you get some distance between you and what happened before your conscious mind is hijacked by the limbic system, “whose” agenda it is to repeatedly override your ability to reason. By strengthening your consciousness, you are countering your deeply entrenched conditioning to survive. You are programming your brain to recognize that the defensiveness, which your initial reaction will evoke, is likely going to cause the very harm you are trying to prevent. Here is an example:

You are at a traffic light turning left. You are late to an appointment. You have patiently awaited your turn. The moment has arrived. You make your move. Out of nowhere, a little red corvette cuts in front of you. You snap and yell obscenities at the driver, only to find just following the release of your expletive, that the one behind the wheel is your boss.

Admittedly, stopping to take a breath under such circumstances is not easy work, though clearly it would have been the better choice in this scenario. It is now being proven scientifically that your conscious choices will not only improve your interactions with others, but will also liberate your biology to such a degree that you can eventually emancipate yourself from suffering altogether.

What are the tools that will support you in the process of actuating the grandest version of yourself? You can start by taking a breath the next time you are triggered, and then another. If you do not already have a practice, consider beginning some type of formal meditation (mental focus). Here is a link to support you in getting started: http://zenhabits.net/meditation-for-beginners-20-practical-tips-for-quieting-the-mind/ . In addition, please find more information here on the effects of meditation regarding the anterior cingulate cortex.

http://www.wakehealth.edu/News-Releases/2013/Anxious_Activate_Your_Anterior_Cingulate_Cortex_With_a_Little_Meditation.htm

Meanwhile, my esteemed colleague, Dr. Jean Watson, and I will be offering a full day workshop on in depth methods for changing your biological destiny (briefly discussed here) with specific practices. This promises to be a life changing event. Click here for more information and to register.

Hope to see you there!

Believing in you!

Luann

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Taking Back Our Emotional Well Being

Last week we continued our discussion on “the power of emotions over happiness” and shared insights from cutting edge scientists, who are merging science and spirituality. Today I’d like to discuss how our conditioning influences our emotions and provide a simple technique on how to begin to make permanent changes in patterns of behavior that cause challenge.

Among those participating in breakthrough studies on the brain (merging science and spirituality), is Dr. Richard Davidson, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin. “Dr. Davidson has unearthed some significant findings regarding how the emotion of happiness can be tracked in the brain. Davidson collaborated with His Holiness the Dalia Lama to study monks, who are experienced practitioners in meditation, having meditated ten thousand hours or more. These monks live in states of peace, compassion, gratitude, happiness, and well being…”(Excerpt from Happily Ever After…Right Now, pp.xxx, Prologue).

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Andrew Newberg, author of How God Changes the Brain, mentioned in last week’s post, states that, (  “…Focused attention (meditation, focused breathing, yoga, etc.) begins to build new neuronal circuits (brain patterns)…repeating a task, such as meditation or prayer, changes the synaptic activity at the end of a neuron and will eventually change the structure of the cell (forming new patterns). Such changes affect the way information is relayed to other parts of the brain.—pp. 33, How God Changes the Brain. Recall what Joseph LeDoux’s finding suggested: The struggle between thought and emotion might be resolved by a “more harmonious integration of reason (cortex) and passion (fight/flight/amygdala), and focused attention (meditation) seems to be a supporting link.

Perhaps you meditate regularly. If so, we would welcome your ideas and suggestions of what has worked for you. If you have never meditated and are interested in getting started, I encourage you to begin to practice it (simple steps below) and take note of any subtle changes that might occur in your level of stress or anxiety.  If you do, please keep us posted!

 

Suggested meditation practice for beginners this week:

Time commitment: 5-7 minutes daily (preferably upon awakening, though this can be done anywhere—even in the subway on the way to work)

Exercise:  The Breath and Focused Attention

Sit in a comfortable position. Focus on the “in” breath and the “out” breath. You could repeat the words “in” and “out” as you notice your breathing. Try not to change your normal breathing pattern.Your mind will wander. Come back to the breath. Practice this technique for five to seven minutes and try not to judge how well you believe you are doing. Meditation practice has been shown to have a cumulative effect. Just the fact that you are sitting there, committed to doing this is progress!

Next week we will continue the series with more information and meditation practice ideas. The goal: To change the chemistry of our brain, change the patterns that have allowed our reptilian brain to rule our emotions (and allowed the “fight or flight” mechanism to dominate), and to finally reach a higher (or more expanded) level of consciousness.

We can do this!

Love,

Luann

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Be sure to share this post with someone you love.

REPLY TO THIS POSTOther readers would love to hear your thoughts on this! Please post a comment or leave a reply here.

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SUMMER READING SPECIAL

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These posts may be a blessing to you, but they do not compare to receiving the message in context and in its entirety in the book!

You can find the book “Happily Ever After Right Now. Stop Searching! Start Celebrating!” hereAND for a few weeks only “Happily Ever After Right Now” will be available on Kindle at the very special, affordable price of $2.99. If you don’t own a Kindle, you can get Kindle for Mac, or PC for FREE and pick up your copy for only $2.99!

ALREADY FINISHED READING MY BOOK? PLEASE WRITE A REVIEW FOR ME!

Already finished reading “Happily Ever After Right Now?” I’d like to ask a very special favor. If you found the book to be informative and helpful in your journey, would you be so kind as to post a review of the book? Here is a link to my Amazon page for you to do so:  http://www.amazon.com/Luann-Robinson-Hull/e/B00AQIQ3B6/, and here is the GoodReads page for the book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11522606-happily-ever-after-right-now.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

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Join Me on the Huffington Post!

I’m thrilled to be published on the Huffington Post! I would love for you to take a look at my author page, and if you’re inclined, it would be wonderful if you would click the Facebook “like” for my articles. Click here to go to my author page. Thanks so much!

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SUBSCRIBE TO THESE GEMS  via email by clicking HERE (you may unsubscribe at any time, and we never spam).

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Contact me by visiting my websites: Luann Robinson Hull and Happily Ever After Right Now

GRATITUDE:

I want to extend a very special thanks and gratitude to Cindy and all of those on my wonderful “Happily” team who make these posts (as well as the emails and social media) possible, and make them come together in a beautiful way!  Without their dedication and help, I wouldn’t be here “blogging” or sharing information with you electronically!  I would still be writing on my yellow tablets!

Image Credit: http://www.lisajeydavis.com copyright (c) 2005


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Balancing Your Emotions

Balancing_Yoga

Last week we talked about the “power of emotions over happiness,” and posed the question, “How can you interrupt the tendency for the “emotional hi-jacking phenomenon” to play out in your world?”

Here are some insights from Joseph LeDoux, Professor of Science in the Center for Neural Sciences at New York University. “…we are evolution in progress… As things now stand, the amygdala (which governs your fight or flight response to perceived or imagined fear  http://bigthink.com/videos/the-amygdala-in-5-minutes) has a greater influence on the cortex (reasoning centers of the brain) than the cortex has on the amygdala, allowing emotional arousal (fight or flight) to dominate and control thinking. Throughout the mammals, pathways from the amygdala to the cortex overshadow the pathways from the cortex to the amygdala. Although thoughts can easily trigger emotions (by activating the amygdala), we are not very effective at willfully turning off emotions (by deactivating the amygdala). Telling yourself that you should not be anxious or depressed does not help much.”

LeDoux goes on to say that, “The increased connectivity between the amygdala and the cortex involves fibers going from the cortex to the amygdala as well as from the amygdala to the cortex. If these nerve pathways strike a balance, it is possible that the struggle between thought and emotion may ultimately be resolved, not by the dominance of emotional centers by cortical cognitions, but by a more harmonious integration of reason and passion. With increased connectivity between the cortex and amygdala, cognition and emotion might begin to work together rather than separately.”—Joseph LeDoux, The Emotional Brain, pp.303)

And so how do we participate in creating such a “balance?” Andrew Newberg, Professor of Psychiatry and Director for the Center for Integrated Study of Spirituality and the Neurosciences at The University of Pennsylvania says, “…the anterior cingulate, which processes social awareness, intuition, and empathy, contains a unique neuron that only humans and a few primates have. These neurons have only been around for about fifteen million years whereas the amygdala has been happily generating neurons for 450 million years. Spiritual practices strengthen the anterior cingulate, and when this happens, activity in the amygdala slows down….When you intensely and consistently focus on your spiritual values and goals, you increase the blood flow to your frontal lobes and anterior cingulate, which causes the activity in emotional centers of the brain to decrease. Conscious attention is the key…”—Andrew Newberg, M.D. How God Changes the Brain, pp.17 and 20.

DRole of Amygdala

Let’s make a concerted effort this week to slow down what can be an overpowering effect of the emotions and the fight or flight mechanism of the brain.

How can we do that? Take a few moments each day to simply quiet your thoughts. Clear your head and breathe. Remind yourself that you are worth the time and attention it will take for you to refresh/reset your brain to support you in better coping with your busy world. Stay tuned for next week’s post with practices and techniques.

Believing in you!

Love,

Luann

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Be sure to share this post with someone you love.

REPLY TO THIS POSTOther readers would love to hear your thoughts on this! Please post a comment or leave a reply here.

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THIS FRIDAY EVENING

in the Roaring Fork Valley (Aspen, Basalt, Snowmass, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Colorado):

Proof-Of-Heaven-Dr.-Eben-Alexander-Near-Death

I am pleased to co-sponsor this exciting evening!

Please join us for An evening with Dr. Eben Alexander, author of “Proof of Heaven – A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife”

FRIDAY, August 9 at 7PM – Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale, CO.

PurchaseTickets: http://www.davinikent.org (Featured Events)

See full Event Flyer here (http://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/554935_490403207712292_475076117_n.png).

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SUMMER READING SPECIAL

dsc03294.jpg

These posts may be a blessing to you, but they do not compare to receiving the message in context and in its entirety in the book!

You can find the book “Happily Ever After Right Now. Stop Searching! Start Celebrating!” here. AND for a few weeks only “Happily Ever After Right Now” will be available on Kindle at the very special, affordable price of $2.99. If you don’t own a Kindle, you can get Kindle for Mac, or PC and pick up your copy for only $2.99!

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PLEASE WRITE A REVIEW

Already finished reading “Happily Ever After Right Now?” I’d like to ask a very special favor. If you found the book to be informative and helpful in your journey,would you be so kind as to post a review of the book? Here is a link to my Amazon page for you to do so:  http://www.amazon.com/Luann-Robinson-Hull/e/B00AQIQ3B6/, and here is the GoodReads page for the book:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11522606-happily-ever-after-right-now.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

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Join Me on the Huffington Post!

I’m thrilled to be published on the Huffington Post! I would love for you to take a look at my author page, and if you’re inclined, it would be wonderful if you would click the Facebook “like” for my articles. Click here to go to my author page. Thanks so much!

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SUBSCRIBE TO THESE GEMS  via email by clicking HERE (you may unsubscribe at any time, and we never spam).

FOLLOW ME:

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Happily Ever After is now on Google Plus! Please add us!

Contact me by visiting my websites: Luann Robinson Hull and Happily Ever After Right Now

GRATITUDE:

I want to extend a very special thanks and gratitude to Cindy and all of those on my wonderful “Happily” team who make these posts (as well as the emails and social media) possible, and make them come together in a beautiful way!  Without their dedication and help, I wouldn’t be here “blogging” or sharing information with you electronically!  I would still be writing on my yellow tablets!

Image Credits: yoga image used by permission from the book “Ahhhhhh…Haaaaaa Moments with Ms. Cheevious”  diagram pulled from article here: http://www.positivehealth.com/article/cfs-me/me-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-causes-and-the-amygdala-retraining-recovery-programme


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Watch Your Words

The 5th and final step in our series on New Year, New View, New Perspective, is: “Watch Your Words”

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In the following vignette, we are coming from the female perspective, though clearly the genders can be flipped to fit any scenario/dialogue where the example below could be useful.

“Do not cause harm by your words, actions, and deeds. Make certain there are no hidden agendas in what you are presenting. Look at the facts from a place of observation instead of judgment and state them clearly. 

Do say, “I noticed that when you were an hour late for dinner it seemed to really bother me. Can you help me understand what caused your delay? How can we communicate more clearly next time? I am willing to be more adaptable, but in order for that to happen, I will need more information.”

Don’t say, “I was extremely disappointed when you were so late for dinner. I had worked really hard to make it a nice evening for us and now everything is ruined because of your insensitivity and lack of caring about my feelings.”

The first scenario simply relates the facts without judgment. It also shows that the speaker has respect for both parties and that she takes responsibility for her feelings/reactions. The second situation is full of complaints, projections, and attempts to make him feel guilty. It also includes a judgment that he doesn’t care about you or the relationship. Can you see how quickly he will lose interest in listening to you when all you are doing is building a case against him? Begin with facts and declarative statements. “You are late.” “I am upset.” If he starts to defend himself and his behavior, stop him by encouraging him to stick to the facts as well. Assure him that your intention is to avoid judgment. Invite his cooperation by doing the same”—Happily Ever After…Right Now, pp. 118-119

It is so easy to react when we feel betrayed, and much more difficult to step back and wait before we speak or react. The next time you are triggered, see if you can stop, take a breath (or two), and then ask yourself what you would like to hear in the way of communication should you be the one in the hot seat.

Andrew Newberg, is an associate professor in the Dept. of Radiology and Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania where he is also the Director of Integrated Studies of Spirituality and Neuroscience. He has done extensive research on the effects of certain emotional states on the brain. In his findings, Newberg reports that, “…Anger interrupts the functioning of your frontal lobes. Not only do you lose the ability to be rational, you lose the awareness that you are acting in an irrational way. When your frontal lobes shut down, it is impossible to listen to the other person, let alone feel empathy or compassion. Instead, you are likely to feel self-justified and self righteous. When this happens, communication falls apart.”—Andrew Newberg, How God Changes the Brain, pp.19-20

See what you can do to keep communication flowing with your significant other—particularly when you are triggered. Make note of your victories. And, be sure to tell us about them here in the comments on the blog, tweet them to me at @LuannRHull, or stop by the Happily Ever After Right Now Facebook Page, to keep all of us on the “Happily” team informed of your progress!

We believe in you!

Love,

Luann

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Join Me on the Huffington Post!

I’m thrilled to announce I am now published on the Huffington Post! I would love for you to take a look at my first post there, and if you’re inclined, it would be wonderful if you would click the Facebook “like” for the article, and write a comment. It’s just in time for Valentine’s Day, and it’s titled “3 Practical Valentine’s Tips for Attracting or Enhancing Love.” Click here to go to that article. Thanks so much!

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Please Share With Your Dallas Friends: I’ll Be In Dallas On February 16th!

On Saturday, February 16th, I’ll be speaking in Dallas at the Smart Decisions conference on “Happily Ever After Right Now…After Divorce” and will cover how people who’ve gone through divorce can experience “Happily Ever After” in the here and now, with or without Mr. or Ms. Right. If you or someone you know lives in or near Dallas, I’d love for you to join me! To purchase tickets and more information, click here. I hope to see you there!

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I’ll Be in Boulder, CO on April 11th!

I’m pleased to be teaching a workshop called Global Conscious Leadership & Oneness Practices with Tara Sheahan, my colleague who co-founded the Conscious Global Leadership Institute with me. You can find details on the class being offered by the Watson Caring Science Institute & International Caring Consortium here, if you’re interested to learn more: http://watsoncaringscience.org/event-registration/?ee=1Early registration at a discounted price ends on February 15th for this class.

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Be sure to forward this to someone you love.

I’d love to hear from you about this article! Please post a comment or leave a reply here.

You can find the book “Happily Ever After Right Now. Stop Searching! Start Celebrating!” here.

Register to receive my weekly gems via email by clicking HERE (you may unsubscribe at any time, and we never spam)

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Contact me by visiting my websites: Luann Robinson Hull and Happily Ever After Right Now

Excerpt taken from page 118-119 of my book, “Happily Ever After… Right Now”

Image Credit: http://faeryrealmcreations.blogspot.com/2010/08/power-o-words.html

GRATITUDE: 

I want to extend a very special thanks and gratitude to Cindy and all of those on my wonderful “Happily” team who make these posts, as well as the emails and social media possible, and come together in a beautiful way!  Without their dedication and help, I wouldn’t be here “blogging” or sharing information with you electronically!  I would still be writing on my yellow tablets!


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Step 6 in Overcoming Triggers: Surrender the Shame

English: Surrender Moss Surrender Moss near We...

English: Surrender Moss near Wetshaw Bottom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’ve come this far with us, in our series, “Those Things that Trigger You are a Gift,” you’ve learned how to first, recognize when you are triggered, and to stop before you speak out or act on it (step 1). You understand the importance of allowing yourself to feel whatever it is that you are feeling (step 2).  You’ve read that if you dig deep, you’ll uncover whether or not there are some past hurts or issues that are causing you to want to react now (step 3).

We’ve discussed the importance of getting out of your story… and focusing on what’s really happening; that the context of the situation is vital to analyzing the content (step 4). And you’ve leaned the important step of choosing happiness over being “right” (step 5).

If you’ve indeed made it this far, you’ve done it!

You’ve moved through all of the steps, to the pièce de résistance of all steps:

STEP 6: SURRENDER THE SHAME: Remember that blame = shame.

If you are blaming (projecting onto) someone else, there are more than likely some remnants of shame buried within you. If you can feel yourself wanting to dump on him/her, stop and go a little deeper. There may be something inside that is trying to get your attention. Rather than making [the other person] the culprit, take time to look at your behaviors and practice letting go of the ones that no longer serve you. If you feel you have been in error in the past, remember that it was not your intention to cause harm. Be easy on yourself. Let it go. Finish it. And when you do, chances are you won’t be tempted to focus on what [the other person] is doing anymore. You will be much less tempted to blame when you can face and let go of your inner shame. It doesn’t serve you. As you release it, your communication patters will be much healthier, and the issues that you have with [that person] will resolve one way or another, for the better. 

– Excerpts [and paraphrase] from Chapter 6, Alchemy: Take Back Your Projections,
“Happily Ever After Right Now… Stop Searching! Start Celebrating!”
by Luann Robinson Hull

Shame is not always an easy thing to surrender to, but it’s only when you do, that you can let it go. Dive in. You can do it!  As you practice all of these steps I look forward to hearing of your success stories in life and relationships. I also encourage you to get your hands on a copy of the book, if you’re able, to move on to Level II of seeing what triggers you as a gift, which covers how to take on a whole new view and perspective, and the importance of taking back your projections.

Until next time…

Love,

Luann

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All content copyright 2012, What A Gem, a.k.a. Luann Robinson Hull (a.k.a. Happily Ever After Right Now)


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Step 5 in Overcoming Triggers: Choose Happiness over Righteousness

By now you have probably realized that our series “Those Things That Trigger You are a Gift” is taken directly from my book Happily Ever After Right Now… Stop Searching! Start Celebrating!  I am thrilled to tell you about Step 5 for Modifying Your Responses. That’s because it deals with an essential component to the pursuit of Happiness: CHOICE. Let’s jump in.

Choose Happiness Instead of Righteousness

STEP 5: CHOOSE HAPPINESS INSTEAD OF RIGHTEOUSNESSAsk yourself if you want to be happy or if you want to be right. (This idea originates from A Course in Miracles, Foundation for inner Peace, 1985). Give up the need to control outcomes.

Most of us would rather to be right. This desire is directly linked to our survival instinct. And, being happy is not part of survival. In moving beyond the Brute and the Babe syndrome (discussed in the book) where survival was key (and happiness wasn’t), we can spend more time on developing effective ways to be happy. Being right is not one of them. When we are grounded in our truth, what difference does it make if anyone else believes it to be “right?” If it’s right for us, it’s right enough. Having to prove that we are right is a different matter. In holding on to the position of righteousness, we relinquish the opportunity to clear the patterns that have kept us glued to the past by staying stuck in the story that has caused our misery. If we decide to quit playing, however, the game stops. It takes two to participate in a verbal exchange that includes accusatory comments such as “you did it,” or “it wasn’t my fault,” or “you shouldn’t have.” When no one responds to these attacks, the accuser eventually loses interest in trying to justify his/her behavior. 

[Empowered people] do not have a need to be right or to participate in any kind of dialogue where they might need to prove their point. They don’t have to. Their powerful presence says it all. You are an empowered woman/man. You have value and worth. You don’t have to have anyone else’s approval to maintain your sense of self-respect. If someone doesn’t agree with you or like you, it may feel uncomfortable, but you can learn to accept their opinions and feelings. Focus your attention now on attracting all of the people into your life who can support your growth and expansion. If it feels like the current primary players are constantly invested in setting you up to be wrong, notice how this behavior can chip away at your soul. Communicate your concerns (respectfully) once again, taking responsibility for what is yours. And, when things don’t change, remove yourself (or them) from the situation. Painful as it may seem now, you will eventually understand the benefit of such a choice, even if you still feel a pinprick of sadness whenever you think of him (her). Sooner or later, you won’t. And eventually, as you continue to practice self-advocacy, you will no longer be attracted to people who have the potential to belittle or berate you. You get the lesson. They were just reflecting to you how you saw yourself. And you don’t envision yourself that way anymore. You are waking up to your true, authentic nature. 

– Excerpts (and paraphrase) from Chapter 6, Alchemy: Take Back Your Projections,
“Happily Ever After Right Now… Stop Searching! Start Celebrating!”
by Luann Robinson Hull

In the spirit of choosing happiness above all else, I encourage you to let go of the need to prove your point — and when you do, watch how doing so will light up your world in new and magical ways.

Love,

Luann

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Step 4 in Overcoming Triggers: Get Out of Your Story

We are moving along in our series “Those Things That Trigger You are a Gift”, and Level I for handling this new information: “Modify Your Responses!” I’ve shared a number of ways to untangle yourself from the inclination to react angrily or intensely. I am excited to share our next step with you, and hear how it impacts your progress!

STEP 4: FOCUS ON CONTEXT VS. CONTENT: Get Out of Your Story

Our feelings are triggered by thoughts, which, if left uncensored and unrestricted, are like the Sorcerer’s apprentice. If we go too deeply into the story, our runaway thoughts can convince us of anything. He doesn’t love me. He doesn’t care. I am not good enough for him. Begin to notice these thoughts and then the actions that may result from them. What stories are you telling others? Are they focused on what he did and what he may be thinking or not thinking? Or are they focused on what is going on with you? Don’t bother people with endless details of your despair. 

When sharing the events of your life, keep it short and simple. Monitor carefully what you say, especially when you are feeling upset. Do not cause harm by letting words slip out that you will later regret having said. When you are feeling vulnerable, limit your conversation to the measurable facts, (*He stopped calling.”) and the feelings that accompany those (“I feel sad and confused.”). A true friend or good therapist will be able to help you process the context of the situation without going into the story (content). Do not permit yourself to be in the company of anyone who allows you to go into the dramatic negative when you are upset. And then discipline yourself to notice when you are about to fall into the trance of a long, sad story and be faithful to whatever it is that stops you from doing so. 

– Chapter 6, Alchemy: Take Back Your Projections, “Happily Ever After Right Now… Stop Searching! Start Celebrating!” by Luann Robinson Hull

With only two more steps to go, you are on your way to mastering Level I: How to Modify Your Responses to Triggers (to review previous steps, click here and scroll down to read them in order)!  Level II is covered in depth in the book.  I look forward to next time, when we’ll cover Step 5. Stay tuned.

Love,

Luann

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All content copyright 2012, What A Gem, a.k.a. Luann Robinson Hull (a.k.a. Happily Ever After Right Now)