I know, this is a random title for a blog on a dating and relationship website, right? But, not really. And here is why: I went to an incredible seminar this past weekend featuring some of the old-school big wigs in New Thought motivational speaking. Michael Beckwith, Les Brown, Mary Morrissey and Bob Proctor were all there sharing their wisdom to help people to move past their fears into creating a life they truly love.
Now, next door to this hotel ballroom near the airport (of course, these things are always at hotels near airports, aren’t they?!) was yet another conference — it was called something like Accelerated Real Estate Marketing. The name doesn’t matter. What does matter is that is was PACKED, and the name of the conference was, “The Quick And Easy Way to Get Rich.” As I walked to the bathroom, I couldn’t help but observe the people in the hallway, and then I heard a man’s voice, shouting some sort of countdown. “7…6….5.” What was this? People began to pour from the ballroom into the hallway, pushing their way to the back tables set up with men, computers and brochures. Clearly, I had to go inside to check it out. What was he selling? The voice continued, booming through the microphone.
“The first 100 people to make it back to the tables before I get to the number ONE will receive 50% off…Will it be you? Who of you…who is serious enough…who is committed… to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to get rich quick?!”
Holy wow, I thought. As the man continued his countdown, nearing the number ONE, people began to run from their seats, pushing past chairs, haphazardly careening past those who had chosen to simply walk. It was incredible. Did these people really believe that this organization could help them to acquire tremendous wealth with ease? Here I had been sitting in the room next door listening to the New Thought Gurus tell people that thinking “inside the box” was limiting their ability to be successful, while this man was calling them to action. He had, I’m sure, spent the hour prior to the sales pitch giving his own version of “believe in yourself,” and now he had managed to inspire (or brainwash?) people to run to pay money and invest in their belief.
Who was right? The Gurus? The Salesman?
As I continued to the bathroom I noticed that I am a skeptic, for sure. I see things like “quick” or “easy,” and instantly think of words like “scam,” or “rip-off,” or “scheme.” So, I wondered, making my way to the bathroom, where is the balance in this? Who is right? As a recovering “black and white thinker, I often want to know the answer. I have clients frequently ask me how they can “believe,” or “re-mind” themselves, or re-pattern their thinking. I show them tips, strategies and explain to them the power of attention, intention and the Universe. And while I do believe, like the Salesman and the Gurus, that we can create whatever kind of life, career or relationship we want, there is no quick or easy method. It requires work. An investment of time. Sometimes money. Definitely it requires an investment of energy, thought and attention.
I have had clients who have “thrown spaghetti” at the wall, so to speak, hoping something they did or tried would stick, hoping that something could be the “magic pill,” that THING that brings instant happiness. I remember how I used to diet in this same way. Diet Center. Jenny Craig. Slimfast. Herbalife. I even did a program in which I didn’t eat ONE single carbohydrate for six weeks. Duh… of course I lost 15 lbs. And guess what? I gained more than 20 lbs. in the two months that followed the end of the diet. I have thought the right “guy” would be the fix. But in the end, dammit, I realized that to get the results I wanted would require work. Hard work. And, guess what? I worked my ASS off. Ask anyone who has known me during the past twenty years I have put into improving my life. I have asked for help from therapists, coaches and teachers. I have invested in books. I have taken workshops. I have studied. I spent money I thought I didn’t have to go to the Hoffman Institute because, finally, I was so sick of making the same mistakes, expecting to get a different result, that I was ready to take my life seriously.
Crap. I now sound like the Salesman, don’t I?
And there, my friends, is the answer, I guess. There is no simple black and white, “yes” or “no,” to this question. There is one thing that Les Brown said on Friday night that does, however, provide some sort of “grey;” a middle of the road sort of approach. Les said this: If you choose to do “the work,” even though the “work” is hard, ultimately your life will be much easier than if you choose to have the life in which you don’t do the work. Because when you don’t become accountable to your longing, your discontent and the small, quiet voice inside, life is guaranteed to be damn hard. There are more tears. More frustrations. And more anger.
That said, I have decided myself that it’s time to dig deeper in the next six weeks. Yep, it’s Phase II of Self Care Bootcamp. I have noticed that I am not asking for help when I want The Brit to engage in domestic chores, yet getting pissed when he doesn’t “see” what needs to be done. I am letting my teenager push my buttons. I have scheduled too much fun, too much work, and too little time to eat cereal in bed. I get resentful. I begin to vibrate in Level 1 Victim Energy. Ick. Blech. Yuck. I am not pushing my spiritual connection to deeper levels, and I am beginning to complain when I “have” to exercise. That, my friends, is SO not me.
Alert! It’s time to look at how my Victim Energy can result in Level 2 Conflict Energy. I get resentful. I get mean. And, because I am a person who thrives on positivity ninety percent of the time, I notice these “little” things more than I would have in the past. Like Bruce Schneider, the wise man who founded the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching and the Core Energy Coaching Construct says, catabolic, negative energy is ” like fingers poking you in the ribs,” distracting me from the joy, wisdom and peace I typically experience day to day. It’s time folks to remove the fingers from my ribs.
So, while I know there is no QUICK or EASY way to resolve these issues, I do know that I can create a rich, peaceful integrated version of myself by looking at my negative patterns and removing the blocks that are causing them to live inside me. It’s time to do some work. Time to dig. Like my friend Christie says, “Maintaining happiness is like flossing vs. brushing. It’s not good enough to simply brush. You gotta just push the plaque around, because even a little poke can make a big difference to your health and well-being.”
Join me. Self Care Bootcamp Phase II: Let the Games Begin!