By Michaiel Bovenes
Learning how to change can be difficult. Then, there are those special times when we discover a fundamental truth that is an “ah-ha” experience and we are forever changed. We change the way we view ourselves or the world. Here are five lessons I’ve learned that have catapulted my awareness and understanding and helped me to transform my life, instantly.
1) Be responsible for the positive events you’ve created.
How often do we think of responsibility as an obligation when we’ve done something wrong. Start thinking of responsibility as a gift that leads to freedom. Begin by owning the successes you’ve created in your life and be responsible for them.
You create your own reality; the beautiful and positive as well as the ugly and negative experiences and events in your life. You either create by consciously causing (i.e., visualizing, setting goals, taking action) or by unconsciously attracting i.e., holding beliefs, attitudes, thoughts and feelings that vibrate within you.
You are responsible for everything that has happened in your life. Make a list of all the wonderful experiences you’ve experienced. Review your friendships, health, lifestyle, and all the wonderful things that came “out of the blue” and landed in your life. You also created these experiences by attracting them and receive the good. The quickest way to be responsible for the good in your life is through celebration. When you celebrate you are rejoicing in the good and taking responsibility for the wonderful events in your life. Celebration is a powerful act of creation.
2) Allow complexity rather than simplicity.
I know you think this must be a typo, but I meant to reverse the words. How can complexity be good for you? First of all, the word complex suggests intricacy; it does not imply struggle or difficulty. Complexity requires you to be more conscious with your life. It promotes deeper thinking and provides the foundation for personal empowerment and positive growth.
The major reason to allow your life to be complex is because that is the nature of living life as an adult. Life is complex, it isn’t simple, have you noticed? The child inside of us wants everything to be simple. But if you are over the age of 10, then your life isn’t simple anymore so stop resisting, begin to accept complexity as a natural part of life. When you try to make your life simple, it ends up becoming much more difficult. It is a paradox. We exhaust ourselves by demanding that life be simple, and it isn’t. It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. When you allow your life to be complex, it suddenly becomes much more easy to manage and handle. It is a paradox, the more complex you allow your life to be, the easier it becomes. Likewise, the simpler you try to make your life, the more struggle you’ll encounter.
The ego loves the simple answer. The answer to all of your problems can be summed up in one simple statement. Love yourself! That is true and a very simple answer. So once you do that, your life will change, however, I hope you’ll agree that loving and understanding yourself, isn’t simple, it is complex. The task of self-love requires a whole lot more than just saying the words, “I need to love myself more… ta da!”
The simple answer to a “good” relationship is to never argue with the other person. That is simple, but very difficult because you put yourself in the position to deny your own individuality and uniqueness in to agree with the other person all of the time. Eventually, this can lead to a much more difficult relationship and In the long run, you may resent and sabotage it.
Accept yourself and your life as a complex beautiful work of art; don’t belittle yourself by trying to make it simple. Life is complex, intricate and amazing.
3) Learn how to dance with chaos.
We judge chaos as bad and wrong and we set up whole societies with laws, rules and regulations to minimize chaos and that is a good thing. Surely, living chaotically 24/7 would be overwhelming and unproductive.
Unfortunately, we have developed a resistance to all chaos and we have replaced it with control. Being in control feels good, and experiencing chaos is bad or so we are conditioned to think/believe. The truth is you need to be willing to dance between the two.
Every change produces chaos. In order to change something in your life you must be willing to go through a period of chaos. It is easier to see chaos with bad changes (i.e., getting divorced, losing a child or your job) but likewise good changes also produce chaos (i.e., getting married, having a child or starting a new job). Chaos isn’t bad, it is a necessary part of all change in your life.
Allow yourself to befriend chaos instead of resisting it. Learn to dance, take tennis lessons, develop a new routine for your workout, rearrange the furniture in your home, clean out a closet and as you start to feel the chaos emerge embrace it and relax into the chaos and you’ll be amazed at how quick and fun you can learn new skills and create positive changes in your life.
When you bring fear into chaos it changes the chaos into confusion and anxiety. When you bring love and understanding into chaos, it can lift into excitement and joy. How you relate to chaos determines the outcome of the changes you desire to create.
4) End your tug of war between fear and love.
You’ve heard a “half” truth, its goes like this, “Love is the absence of fear”, “You can’t feel love and fear at the same time.” Sounds good and it is a simple answer, but the truth is that love is a very complex emotion and is the only emotion that seeks to understand your fears. Love can heal and transform fear into value. In our world of duality, love has its own shadow, it is the fear of loss. The more you love someone or something, what increases with the love, is the the fear of losing it.
Most people are so afraid of losing love, that they take a shortcut and decide to resist love because of the fear that they may get hurt, or disappointed. This allows fear to diminish your ability to love. When you understand that love has its own fear to deal with, then you can let it be part of the equation.
The original fear comes from the perception of being separated from love. The next time you feel the fear of loss, you can make a conscious choice to say to yourself, “OK, fear I feel you but I am not going to stop loving!” When you commit to love in the face of fear something magical happens. You become more empowered and your ability to love deepens. Fear has a purpose, it is there to show you what really matters to you in life. When you are afraid of losing someone or something, aren’t you really telling yourself how important that person or thing is to you?
Focus on loving; if and when fear surfaces, don’t run from the love. Rather, challenge yourself to plunge full force with love and watch how quickly it transforms fear providing extra value to the love you feel. When you love in spite of fear, you empower yourself and reduce the fear, thus creating a complex relationship between love and fear. This complexity can provide a monumental leap forward in your ability to love more deeply and can actually transform your fear into value.
5) Stop Judging your Emotional Nature.
As children we learned to define positive emotions as love, happiness, peace, gratitude and joy, and negative emotions as anger, fear, guilt, shame, pain and loneliness. The way emotions feel and function are the root of these categorizations. It is true that all emotions either expand or contract, depending on their nature.
“Positive” emotions are expansive in nature and allow us to relax and feel greater freedom. Likewise the typically labeled “negative” emotions constrict, pull in and feel tight. They often signal that something is out of balance in your life, like the warning lights on your car’s dashboard, telling you to slow down and check under the hood. This is a very good thing to have available and isn’t negative.
The problem arises when we judge and label our emotions as positive (good), or negative (bad). Emotions aren’t negative or bad, they can all become positive resources to help guide and direct your life.
I define “negative emotions” by the way you relate to them. Any emotion (expansive or constrictive) that you refuse to feel, ignore, deny or distract yourself from and repress becomes negative. Even love and gratitude that you refuse to feel, ignore or repress can become destructive energy in your system.
Negative Emotions: Any feeling (expansive or constricting) that you:
1) Refuse to Feel (ignore)
2) Deny or Distract Yourself from
4) Harbor and Hold onto
Positive Emotions: Any feeling (expansive or constricting) that you:
1) Seek to Understand
2) Are Willing to Feel
3) Express Appropriately
4) Release and Let Go
Likewise, positive emotions are any emotion that you seek to understand, are willing to feel, that you express appropriately (responsibly) and let go and release (forgive). This is honoring your emotional nature and builds self respect and esteem. Yes, anger and fear can become positive influences in your life when you follow this formulae.
When you begin to honor and respect your feelings, both expansive and contracting, you can open an avenue of information that can guide you out of confusion, self-doubt and into the arena of understanding, confidence and deeper motivation. Learn to value both and you will open to greater self empowerment.
These five lessons can quickly change your life, by changing the way you relate to chaos, complexity, love and fear, and your emotional nature. It all begins by remembering to take responsibility for your life and to celebrate all of the good things you’ve created in your life so far.