March 2014 Newsletter
Your assignment today is to find beauty, gratitude and appreciation for the person in the mirror. ~rln
What do Sheryl Sandberg, (COO of Facebook); Condoleezza Rice, The Girl Scouts of America, Jennifer Garner, Diane von Furstenberg, Jane Lynch and Beyoncé have in common
: They are all sending the wrong
message to young girls if they want them to be happy.
“The campaign to ban the word ‘bossy’ is unintentionally creating a foundation for young girls to grow up to be unhappy women,” says Rebecca L. Norrington, Happiness Specialist and author of RealitySpirituality: The Truth About Happiness.
Rebecca says banning words because they are “offensive” actually subtracts from an individuals’ happiness.
Rebecca further states:
1) When an individual chooses and allows words to have power and influence over their emotional state, expect to feel bad and ultimately be unhappy.
None of us were born with an ability to be offended. We all had to learn how
to be offended. What you learned, you can unlearn.
2) All labels, and I mean all labels
subtract from happiness. You can’t label something “good” without having an opposite opinion of what’s “bad”. In addition, it’s illogical to believe all women and/or girls feel the same
about one word.
Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. The same concept applies to labeling anyone ‘bossy’. Rebecca says, “I was born bossy, and I never thought of it as a negative term”. Eliminate labels and substitute a neutral thought like, “I’m experiencing reality”.
3) I’m offended. What does that even mean? For their own personal reasons,
women who believe being labeled ‘bossy’ is offensive can change that belief in an instant. How?
: Change the definition and connotation of bossy. You don’t have to change the dictionary; you can change your perspective in your mind. Can imagine a world where no one is offended by mere words? Can you imagine how strong an individual would be if words no longer had power? When you rise above unconscious, conditioned responses you will be happier.
4) Controlling others. When you attempt to control anyone outside of yourself you are essentially asking for an unhappy ending. One of the reasons people try to control others is because of their own internal disconnect. We were not born needing others to do, be and/or act like us.
: Realize that the only thing you can control is your own behavior, responses and perspectives. Wanting to control
someone else needs to be examined closely while looking in the mirror.
5) The Truth
: The real issue has nothing to do with banning the word “bossy.” The real issue is deep-rooted and personal to each individual that supports this campaign.
Written with Universal Inspiration,
RealitySpirituality, The Truth About Happiness will be released April 2014. To purchase an advanced copy email request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Mental Laws
A outline by BARBARA BERGER that defines the Mental Laws and how our mind works.
Why is this information important?
This information is so important because without this understanding, we can easily become victims of our mind, instead of the masters of our mind. But the good news is that when we become aware of the simple, impersonal mechanisms that are governing our minds, we can then begin to use these impersonal forces constructively in our lives. In other words, I came to see that when we become aware of the laws governing our minds we can learn how to harness this power for our own benefit. We understand the laws of physical phenomena like the law of gravity, and the laws of electricity. When we understand the mental laws we can begin to use the mental laws constructively for our benefit. I also discovered that once you understand the mental laws and the way the mind works, you understand why you experience life the way you do. And when this happens, you will also understand what you can realistically change in your life and what you cannot change. Plus, you will also better understand the difference between what’s real and what is an illusion. This discovery will lead you to a deeper understanding of who/what you really are. In short, understanding the mental laws, can totally transform your life!
What is a Mental Law?
What is a law? A law is an unchanging principle that describes the way phenomena operate. There are laws which describe the way physical phenomena operate and there are laws which describe the way mental phenomena operate. Whether a law is describing physical or mental phenomena, a law is always a description of an impersonal sequence of events which is not dependent on the person or people involved in that sequence of events. In addition, laws can be observed and confirmed by anyone. The law of gravity is a good example of a physical law. As you know, the law of gravity is impersonal and it is always operating. Because of this law, if you jump off a building, you will immediately fall to the ground. There are no exceptions to this law. It doesn't matter who you are or how much money you have in the bank or how famous you are because the law is impersonal and operates regardless of the situation, time of year, or the people involved. There are no exceptions to the law. Another important thing about a law is that it is in operation whether you are aware of it or not. In other words, if you jump off a building, you are going to fall and hit the ground whether you know about the law of gravity or not. The law doesn't care if you know about the law or not. The law just operates; it is a blind force of nature. The same goes for mental laws. Mental laws are impersonal and simply describe the way our minds work. Anyway can observe and confirm this information. So when reading about the mental laws, it is a good idea to remember that laws are invisible principles that describe how phenomena behave and that laws operate automatically. You cannot make them happen or not happen. Laws are impersonal. And, it doesn't matter who you are. Laws operate equally for all. And finally – laws are scientific. They can be observed and confirmed by anyone. So with this in mind, let’s look at the mental law number one.
Law No. 5: The Law of Focus
What you focus your attention on grows. This law teaches us that whatever we focus our attention on grows. This is a far-reaching and very empowering discovery. It means we energize whatever we focus our attention on. Our attention "brings to life" out of the vast field of infinite energy or pure potentiality whatever we focus on. This has now been confirmed by Quantum mechanics which has proven that observation by a conscious observer is responsible for the collapse of the wave function (Heisenberg principle) into actual particles in the field of potentiality. In other words, the waves of energy or potential that make up the field of reality that we live and move and breathe in become actual time-space events when they are observed. This is how phenomenon pops out of the field when we focus our attention on it.
The Power of Attention
Attention, it seems, is the magic wand of creation—at least when it comes to your experiences and mine! So let me ask you—how are you using your power of attention? How are you using this, amazing ability, this priceless gift? Are you focusing on difficulties, lack, and illness or are you focusing on all the blessings in your life right now? What exactly are you doing? If you want to live a happy live, it’s important to take the time to take a good look at exactly what you are doing. Ask yourself—what is the general tone of your thinking? Is it a praiseful song of gratitude from morning to evening for the blessings of life—or is it one long complaint? And what is your experience? If you look carefully (and are honest) you will see that your experience is a perfect reflection of your focus. Always! And again this is because thought is cause and experience is effect. So when we look at the power of our thinking in terms of what we focus on, we see it is all about learning to use the power of our attention wisely. This is an extremely important key when it comes to understanding why our lives are like they are. And it’s also extremely empowering because we can learn to consciously direct the power of our focus.
So let’s look more closely at this phenomenon. Focusing on this moment. Here’s a big one. What is the general drift or tendency of your mental life? Do you spend a lot of time dwelling on the past? Or are you one of those people who is always worrying about the future? And does the thought of the future give you anxiety and sleepless nights? So much so that you fail to actually notice this moment?
Or do you actually notice this moment? Are you mindful enough to actually be able to focus enough on what is happening right now? Are you able to actually experience and enjoy this moment?
It’s embarrassing but the honest truth is that most of us have a pretty hard time doing this. Most of us spend most of our lives somewhere else (at least in thought)! And frankly, you might not even be conscious of what you are doing. And if you’re not conscious of what you are doing, you might not be aware of the fact that you actually have a choice! You might not realize that you can actually choose what you focus your attention on. But of course to do this, you must first notice what you’re actually doing. So you have to start by watching yourself for a while so you become aware of the general drift or tendency of your daily thinking. Once you become aware of this, you can begin to exercise the power of choice and begin to consciously choose what you focus your attention on. And yes, it sounds simple, but it’s not always easy to do—especially in the beginning. And no, there’s isn’t any magic wand or secret formula that makes this happen all at once and forever. Rather learning to focus the power of your attention is a lifelong project.
But don’t despair! Just the fact that you are becoming aware of your thoughts and how you are using the power of focus is a great step forward. Especially if you can see that you are using the power of your attention in a negative way. This awareness means you are beginning to understand the way the mind works and that you are more and more able to see the cause and effect relationship between your thoughts and your experiences. This is crucial if you want to become the master of your focus.
It’s also important to realize that choosing our focus is our only freedom. This is where we exercise our free will. (See the next law—The Law of Free Will—for details). So keep noticing what you are doing and keep practicing. Make up your mind to focus on the Highest and Best you can conceive of. And do it again. And again! This is the magic and joy of life. This is the great adventure. So enjoy your adventure and enjoy learning. Amazing things will happen as you become better and better at focusing on the wonder of this moment!
Focus and Health
What is your focus when it comes to your health? This is a very interesting and challenging question for most of us. When you’re not feeling well, do you focus on every ache and pain—or do you focus on the wonderful strength and healing power of your body and of Life itself? Use the gift of attention wisely. If you focus on lack, you will experience lack. If you focus on the abundance of your life, you will experience abundance. If you focus on love, you will experience love. Know that whatever we focus our attention on grows. According to the law of focus, if we feel weak and then focus our attention on feeling weak, we will feel even weaker. Because whatever we focus our attention on grows. And if that is the case, then the reverse must also be true. If we focus on strength—on whatever strength we do have—we will feel stronger. Which means we have an amazing power at our disposal in terms of health and healing—so why not use it?
When you think about it, it’s quite fascinating to realize that we have this amazing power at our disposal and we’re not using it! How can it be that we’re not using this priceless gift? Obviously because most of us don’t know about the power of focus! We don’t know it exists because nobody taught us how the mind works. So we don’t recognize this power or understand what it is and how to use it. Instead we are walking around in a daze, asleep to our true power. But now you are waking up! So claim your true power and think about the law of focus when you’re feeling ill. And use this wonderful power wisely. Watch yourself carefully and see what you are thinking and saying and focusing your attention on. And if you discover that you are sabotaging yourself and your recovery, you can start changing your focus now! It’s never too late.
Here’s a wonderful affirmation by Florence Shovel Shinn that can help you get on the right track when it comes to your health: “I praise what strength I have. I give thanks for what health I have. I glory in what life I have and God now gives the increase.”
Focus and Challenges
The same holds true for all the many challenges and so-called problems we face in our daily lives. What is the focus of our attention when we face so- called difficulties? Do we focus on the potential in each situation and how everything in life is supporting us or do we focus on the hassle, the inconvenience, and the irritation? When you know about the power of focus, you can see how important your choice is. So make up your mind that whatever it is, you are going to grow stronger because of it and evolve into a more magnanimous and compassionate person—and watch yourself turn every situation into a true blessing, for yourself and everyone involved! Thinking positive is closer to the truth.
Context or Content?
Another good way of looking at the power of focus is to consider whether you are putting your attention on the larger context (the big perspective) which you can say is the unfolding of this mysterious thing we call life—or if you are focusing on the content, which are your thoughts and emotions concerning every particular little event and situation you meet along your way. When you realize that there is a difference between the observer (you) and your thoughts, it becomes easier to shift your focus away from the content (which is your thoughts) to the context (which is the vast field of beingness or awareness/consciousness in which all thoughts are arising and which is you). When you shift your focus from content to context, it automatically re- contextualizes the thoughts and experiences you are having at the present moment and puts them into the larger perspective. And with your focus on the big view, you realize that you cannot see the end of all things. You also see that you don’t honestly know what is good or bad! (Good or bad again being just relative value judgments or positions which depend on our perspective at a particular moment in time. See box below.) When you see things like this you instantly become more light-hearted and can allow life to unfold with effortless ease!
Reality check: Who knows what is good or bad?
We often think of good and bad, hot and cold, light and dark, right and wrong as opposites. But is this true? Is there an absolute, objective standard of good/bad, hot/cold, light/dark, right/wrong? If we look closely we discover that all dualities are in fact just mental constructions. They are relative concepts— they are all just positions in an infinite range of possible positions.
Hot and cold: It’s 0C degrees here in Copenhagen right now. Is this hot or cold? Well compared to the temperature in Johannesburg, South Africa where my friend lives, yes it’s very cold because the temperature in Johannesburg is +25C right now. But compared to the temperature in Wisconsin where my grandson is at the moment, it is actually warm here in Copenhagen because the temperature in Wisconsin is almost –20C.
Light and dark: It’s afternoon and it’s a grey, foggy winter day here in Copenhagen. If I compare this to a summer day when the sun is shining brightly, it’s actually pretty dark here in Copenhagen right now. But again if I compare this grey, foggy afternoon to the dead of night when there is no moon, well it’s actually pretty bright outside right now. So it’s really a matter of more or less light.
Good and bad: I have a migraine headache and feel pretty lousy. Compared to a day when I am feeling energetic and full of piss and vinegar, this headache seems bad. But if I compare my condition to the condition of my ex-husband who just died of terminal liver cancer, my physical condition is actually very good, even with a migraine headache!
Right and wrong: Most of us believe in “right” and “wrong”. For example, it’s “wrong” to lie. But is it always wrong to lie? Yes you say. OK, well let’s say it’s the Second World War and you are hiding a family of Jews in your cellar. One day the Gestapo knocks on your door and asks you if you are hiding Jews in your cellar. If you believe it’s wrong to lie, will you say, “Yes I am.” Or will you lie to save the lives of these people? And what about our belief that killing someone is “wrong”? What happens if someone is trying to kill your child? Would you kill that person to protect your child and save her life? And would your action be “wrong”? This of course is what we call situational ethics—and courts of law are always faced with this type of question. Judges and juries must take into consideration the situation and motive of a person’s behavior before passing judgment on what is “right” or “wrong”. The more we consider dualities, the more we can see that there is only one reality and that dualities are relative positions in the larger context. It’s your choice.
So we see that what we focus our attention on grows. You focus your attention on something/someone/some thought and then you get to experience what you focused on. It is also important to remember that the focus of our attention is always our choice—always! We are the choice-makers—always—whether we are conscious of what we are choosing/doing or not. And this leads us to the next law.
NEXT MONTH LAW No. 6: The Law of Free Will
If you can’t wait until next month, you can download the Mental Laws for free HERE
Continued from February 2014 newsletter
I want you to know that this is your time. It's time to make changes and begin living happily ever after. I have an important question for you. If I asked your husband about the marriage, what would he say? There are always two sides to every story. I’m curious: Are you able to create a list as to what your husband would say about you? Be honest. Honesty brings freedom and clarity. Think about that and write back.
Drained writes back:
He would say that:
- We have a lot of issues that need to be worked out, and it will take time
- I repeat myself
- I don't listen
- It's not tit for tat (I want “compensation” for what I do)
- I compare our marriage to other marriages
- We have a long history
- I am “all over the place” with discussions, I am hard to talk to, and impossible to have a meaningful discussion with
- I am too pointed in my comments
- I start too many projects
- I don't put things away
- I am disorganized and I should do things the way he suggested.
I've written down all the things I do (taxes, monthly bills, managing property, remodeling rental property, homeschooling, grocery shopping, cooking, tending to kid’s health issues, financial planning, gardening, etc.). And I asked him to mark those that he feels are most important. All other things will either be hired out or given less priority. This was about two or three years ago, and he claims he responded and returned the sheet of paper. Then he said maybe he still has it because I certainly did not get it. (I wrote it down because he was generally too “busy” when I asked to have a talk in person).
The only responsibilities he has (meaning things he can be relied upon to do on a regularly basis) is he brings in the mail. He does other things, but if he has the time, and does not want it to be responsible. He doesn't acknowledge that I do just about everything in the house. If he doesn't acknowledge it, then he doesn't have to give credit. Somewhere along the line, that's where I started to get resentful and lost the joy.
Here's my second enlightened moment. I've been taking on more and more each year. The more I did, he’d be happy, but only for a while. Then I’d have to do more and more until we are here and I do just about everything in the house. Maybe I thought it would help him by taking care of business. Maybe if he was happy, then our marriage would be better. Or, that he would love me more. And, sometimes it was easier to just do it than wait for him to get around to it and/or avoid a big discussion. In all fairness, I definitely have my flaws and my own neuroses and am not easy to live with. I am trying to recall all his other complaints. He has a lot, for sure. That's about all I can recall for now.
Please remember that when I answer you, it’s always my intention to (1) find the truth and (2) assist you with finding peace.
This might be difficult to hear but the truth is that if your husband did everything you asked him to and he behaved exactly the way you wanted him to, you would still be unhappy. Why? Because happiness is an inside job—period. One of the reasons for your frustration is you think that if your husband changed, you’d be happy. I’m here to tell you, unequivocally, that is not the case. Your husband is not the source of your unhappiness.
- Your happiness does not depend on what anyone else says.
- Your happiness does not depend on what anyone else doesn’t say.
- Your happiness does not depend on what anyone does.
- Your happiness does not depend on what anyone else doesn’t do.
- Your happiness does not depend on your circumstances either, regardless of what they are.
Unless you engage in a daily moment-by-moment commitment to growing beyond who you are now, you will never find the happiness you seek. Happiness comes from within. There are no exceptions. The road to happiness begins and ends with the person in the mirror.
What Else Is Wrong?
A second issue, according to you, is that you carry the majority of the household responsibility. Let’s say that’s true. Let me share with you what I’ve learned about “giving of myself” and happiness. Whenever I decide to give someone something, whether it’s my time, or an actual gift, or take on added responsibilities like the example you stated earlier, I make the decision and choice to give without expecting anything back in return—including expecting a thank-you. In other words, I give without strings or conditions attached. I didn’t always have that perspective—give without expectations of anything in return. In fact, the majority of my life I unconsciously and sometimes consciously gave to get something back in return. What were some of the things I wanted in return? What I wanted varied from love, time, attention, kindness, praise, acknowledgement, credit, compassion, concern, sympathy, friendship, responsiveness, and money, to name a few examples of what I expected
when I extended myself just as you stated earlier.
Happiness Is Always My Priority
While on my journey of prioritizing happiness, I learned that when I give I cannot expect anything in return. I have to give without strings or conditions attached to whatever I’m giving. As I mentioned before, I can’t even expect a thank-you. Why? Because expectations subtract from happiness. Expectations always subtract from happiness. My dear Drained, you have so many expectations, it’s no wonder you are so unhappy.
A Few Characteristics of Happy People
- Happy people don’t expect anything from anyone.
- Happy people don’t complain.
- Happy people don’t compare themselves to others.
- Happy people don’t get angry too often, and if they do, they realize their anger has nothing to do with another person or an existing circumstance.
- Happy people don’t try to control anyone else.
- Happy people don’t talk negatively about others or themselves.
- Happy people are conscious and aware of the energy they emit.
- Happy people take responsibility for their own happiness.
- Happy people know they cannot change anyone but themselves.
- Happy people are kind.
- Happy people are patient.
- Happy people accept others unconditionally.
- Happy people are not critical.
- Happy people don’t make judgments.
- Happy people are self-aware.
- Happy people don’t blame others for their unhappiness.
- Happy people do not create drama.
- Happy people live in the moment.
- Happy people don’t try to change anyone else.
- Happy people are constantly evolving into happier people.
- Happy people spread happiness.
- Happy people know that their happiness depends on the person in the mirror.
Now, the only reason I can vouch for all of the above is because I used to be extremely unhappy and the opposite of everything I listed above. I was one of the most miserable persons you’d ever want to meet. I was trapped in a cycle of blaming and finger-pointing. I was easily offended, easily irritated, quick to anger, bossy, opinionated, controlling, confrontational, moody, critical, and I needed to be right—about everything. Need I go on? Did I want to be happy? Had you asked me that question then, I would have said, “Of course I do.” However, I had no clue that my behavior was literally sucking and subtracting the happiness out of my life. When I discovered that my former behavior and my need to be happy weren’t compatible, I was forced to change my behavior. And, I don’t mind admitting any of the above, because, quite frankly, I’m very proud of the behaviors I chose to eliminate from my life.
So, you see, it’s up to you, and only you, to make all the necessary changes if you want to be happy. It’s up to you to change your perspectives. It’s up to you to change your behavior. It’s up to you to choose your focus. It’s up to you to become a happy person. I guarantee that when you change, your life changes. You have the power and ability to be happy, regardless of your circumstances and regardless of what anyone else does, says, or doesn’t say or do. Now that you know the truth about happiness, the ball is in your court. You can change your life, but you have to change you first.
Warning: Finding peace and happiness is found on the road less traveled. And that road is less traveled for a reason. Your journey is going to be never-ending, extremely difficult, and brutally challenging. However the reward is heaven on Earth.
RealitySpirituality, The Truth About Happiness will be released April 2014. To purchase an advanced copy email request to email@example.com.
PROMOTION: FREE shipping within the United States until April 30, 2014.
RLN SPEAKING EVENTS
Live an Extraordinary Life Conference
Wellness Woman 40 and Beyond Magazine:
April 5-6, 2014
Fort Mason at Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco, California
CHICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
RealitySpirituality; The Truth About Happiness
Mountain View, California
April 24, 2014
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
New Living Expo
rln Speaks Friday
April 25 @ 9 PM, Room 1
Fiesta Hall - San Mateo Event Center
1346 Saratoga Drive
San Mateo, CA 94403
Read Rebecca's Contribution
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