This fall, our youngest son will be going away to university, and Eldon and I will be starting the transition to becoming empty nesters. While we were contemplating the idea of downsizing, I decided that our library needed to be pruned—the prospect of moving over 4000 books was just too daunting. I began the process by assessing the books in our Self-Help and Better-Life sections and was amazed to learn that there were very (very) few books that I felt we should keep. Quite frankly, when it comes to the School of Personal Growth, the vast majority of these books felt like they belonged to the elementary part of my education and these days I am looking to tackle my post-grad course-work. This was actually a wonderful realization as it was a great indication of how far I have come!
Addicted to the Search
While I have always been hungry for knowledge, one of the things I learned some time ago is that there is a time to learn and a time to do. This has really been highlighted by two acquaintances of mine. One of them (Joe*) had been dealing with some serious health issues and dedicated vast quantities of time in finding his cure. Joe searched high and low for solutions and he tried each and every one of them. The problem was, Joe was so busy trying out each technique that he never actually worked with any of them—his attention was always focused instead on the next thing he could try. The second friend (Colin*) did the same thing with his search for the meaning in his life. Colin read everything he could get his hands on and no book was too ‘heavy’ for him. He studied psychology, neuro-biology, history, metaphysics, etc. Unfortunately, just like Joe, he was so busy searching for the answers to the ‘big questions’ that he could never really see the practical applications for all he had already learned. So how do you transition to doing instead of learning?
The Backwards Approach
When it comes to self-help, there are generally two choices. First, you can look backwards and work to understand and/or remember all of the reasons your life unfolded the way it did. This process can be very effective as, just like the shadows that frighten us as children, seeing things in the harsh light of day can chase the fears away. The healing can therefore come by seeing the hurts through a different perspective. For me, this process involved working with InnerTalk titles such as Soaring Self Esteem, Healing Emotional Pain, Ending Self-Destructive Patterns, Releasing Anger, Freedom from Fears, and Forgiving and Letting Go.
One of the indicators for my progress in this area has to do with a bad habit I used to have—that of chewing the skin around my finger nails. This habit went on for about 20 years, despite my awareness that it was simply gross and made my hands looks dreadfully unrefined, and no amount of discipline made any difference. One day though, while working with Soaring Self-Esteem, I suddenly had an insight—I knew, at a level much deeper than theoretical knowledge, the causes of my esteem issue. In ‘the harsh light of day’ the issues just seemed ridiculous and in an instant, I broke the disgusting habit that had plagued me for so long. This occurred about 2 years ago now, and the problem has not reoccurred.
The Forwards Approach
The second technique you can use is simply to focus on the forward direction, determining to disregard the past and instead to find your rewards in the future—creating the person you wish to be. These days, this is generally my preferred approach. One of the questions I often ask customers who seem to have a laundry list of things they wish to fix in their lives is, “What would help you today? What personality change would improve the quality of your life today?” I asked myself these same questions just the other day. I am currently in the process of writing two books, both are completely written in my head, one is even 60% down on paper, but with all that I have on my plate (work, being mom, tending my animals and other chores), I rarely ever get time to give these projects focused attention. I had even started thinking that I was not capable of writing these books and I should just quit trying. However, I caught myself with these negative thoughts and decided to take proactive steps. I pulled out the InnerTalk programs for Creative Writing and also for Cognitive Enhancement and started playing them. The very next day, not only did I observe my self talk telling me that I could write the books, that I was in fact a pretty decent writer, but I was also flooded with creative ideas for making the books even more powerful.
The Forwards Approach to self-empowerment will vary drastically for different people. For me, for today, I am focusing on my writing. But maybe your priorities are:
- Becoming more assertive—so you can ask for that promotion or pay raise, or perhaps to gain the ability to say ‘no’ more often?
- Money—either becoming more open to Prosperity and Abundance, or simply for managing your moneybetter?
- Health—getting a handle on some health issue, or just becoming for Fit and Healthy in general?
- Education—passing that exam or just expanding your word power and vocabulary?
- Spirituality—find ways to connect more with your higher power, or discovering that inner peace?
So what will you work on today—healing from hurts in your past or super-charging your future?
Wishing you Love, Light, and Laughter, always!
*Names altered to protect identities.
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