The Personal Development Prayer
He was in a bleak place.
"My life doesn't work." he told me
"It hasn't worked for a long, long time."
Without a doubt he needed to be talked off the edge. He'd dug himself in to a dark place and couldn't see a way out.
- - - -
She was upset.
Forty years old and she still felt the burning anger inside. The helpless rage.
For forty years she'd tried to win the acceptance of her mother yet now well in to adulthood, she still felt like she was that five year old girl.
"Nothing I do is ever good enough. My mother and I just don't get along."
- - - -
Their marriage was in trouble.
"We're just not compatible, we fight all the time." she said.
"We're just so different, he doesn't get me at all."
- - - -
All three were in pain.
All were absolutely certain the pain was 'outside' of themselves.
All three were unaware of the real source and creator of their feelings.
All three had setup things in such a way that they were unresolvable in their present form, so nothing they had tried had worked.
The constant battering of their thoughts was wearing them down. Looping around the cycle of thought-pain-exasperation was having its toll.
They'd lost hope that life could ever be different. That it would be better.
All three had been exposed to ample personal development courses, books, 'the secret' and all that stuff.
But they couldn't figure their way out.
Because they never realised that they had literally thought themselves in to a corner.
Like a magician who is an expert at sleight of hand, they had set the stage, the characters and the plot line without ever realising they'd done any of it.
When they looked over... the stage, the story, the problem people, were all just there.
We've all done it.
Our mind-body is the ultimate reality creator.
The content and characters may be different, the story lines may vary but the process and "magic" is the same.
We all invent and create meaning and assign 'truth' to it. We're all wizards at it. We're so fast at it, we hardly ever notice it.
Many people go their entire lifetime without ever seeing the magician (their mind-body) at work.
It's a beautiful thing when you watch it create a new "reality" in the blink of an eye.
Perception, thought and language are such powerful tools for creating and building our moment-to-moment "reality". It's incredible we were all endowed with this reality shaping gift without any instruction manual.
Part of how it works occurs when we create labels and lose sight of how the labels came about.
When someone says something like "my life sucks" they fail to realise they've created a whole new thought space, complete with all the relevant imagery, feelings and sounds and inhabited an idea (invented off the back of a conclusion).
Like a dreamer inside a waking dream, they'll have a hard time finding their way out of. For they don't even know they've gone and inhabited it.
Their brain-body is so hooked on maintaining the dream, wanting to be certain, to feel right. It constantly filters for signals that support its conclusion and keep the reality tunnel alive.
Even if they are in actuality wrong!
In the blink of an eye they are certain that life, their relationship, their marriage IS this way and their familiar feelings trick them to believing it will always be this way.
There is lots in personal development that is great and there is also plenty that falls into the category of BS.
I love NLP, in part because it doesn't try to get in to right or wrong, but focuses on whether something is it useful or not.
When you want to change but it isn't happening, push aside the ideas and labels you've given things (e.g failure, hopeless, impossible etc.) and recognise that it is the meanings we create around EVENTS and the EXPERIENCES that shape our life.
If an idea doesn't work for you, and never has don't make yourself right about being WRONG and continue to try and make it work.
Drop the idea that doesn't work and go to work on the doings... transforming the events and experiences that lead to the idea coming about.
For example... for the person who was in the bleak place the idea he held was that his life
"didn't work", but that's a big label, an idea that he couldn't put their hands around.
It was a thought reality he created based on a series of events which he gave specific meaning to.
So rather than go after the idea, go after the events.
For him it was:
"Getting caught having an affair last week and my wife and kids are leaving me and now I feel so embarrassed and ashamed" is an event
- that he could and would have to deal with if he wanted his life to get better.
Being told by her mother that "You are no good, you'll never amount to anything, I wish I never had you" when you she was five is the event that the 40 year old woman could deal with.
"Arguing every month with my husband about money issues when our account is overdrawn" is an event that the woman who was convinced she was "incompatible" could deal with.
And in each case when the person did, their life got better. Much better.
Everyone has their own version of thinking and talking themselves in to a reality-tunnel that doesn't work, doesn't make them feel good and doesn't serve their life.
But they maintain it anyway (for reasons I'll cover another time.)
However unless you stand back and look for it from time to time, you're remain totally blind to the ways of your inner magician is maintaining the very thing you say you do not want.
The qualities of your life you do not want. The feelings you do not want. The outcomes you do not want.
Collectively your thoughts-feelings-actions left to run on automatic can take your life in a direction you don't want to go.
It takes guts to kneel down at the altar of "wanting to be right", to accept you were only right about being wrong!
To put your hands up and say:
"I've no idea how I got here, my attention was elsewhere. I choose to wake up to my pattern now.
There are things, results, feelings in my life I do not want. Things I want but so far do not have. And parts of my life I've grown tired of.
I'm willing to accept I have been wrong about being right. To look at the many ways I have passed around blame and let myself get taken out the game of living my dream life.
Starting right now I give up my BS story, false pretenses and check my ego. I choose to take responsibility for everything in my life, the good and the seeming bad. To write a new story.
Starting today I disengage from doing the old behaviours that no longer serve my life. To become more conscious of where I have been unconscious.
I focus on changing who I am being. I choose to do things differently, till they become my new automatic behaviours...
... so I can have the life I want."
I call this the personal development prayer.
Use it for yourself, if it resonates.
And notice how your life gets better when you embody what it says.
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