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Archive for the ‘Inner Game’ Category

How to Uncover Your Standards of Integrity

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

As we step into our roles as men of integrity, it becomes natural for us to live by our own internal code of ethics.  A set of values and standards from which every decision, every situation, and relationship stems from.

What is integrity?  It is defined as "Steadfast adherence to a code of values; completeness and soundness; virtue. I define it as being "true to the wholeness of one's own Self".

"How can we develop our own code of ethics, our standards of integrity, to guide our life? 

The following is a workshop to uncover your own standards of integrity from the book "The Energy of Money" by Maria Nemeth.  It will take approximately 10 minutes, at the end of which you will have your own personal set of standards to live by for the rest of your life. 

Step 1: Take out a clean sheet of paper.  On the left side, write down the names of all the people who have qualities you admire.  The following is a list to help you brainstorm.

  • Family; cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, siblings.
  • School; teachers, mentors, classmates.
  • Friends; from childhood, work, school, clubs.
  • World Leaders; spiritual, political, professional.
  • Athletes; professional, Olympic, from your school.
  • Healers; doctors, practitioners, psychics, therapists.
  • Musicians & Artists; actors, singers, dancers, rock stars.
  • Fictional; from movies, stories, religions, cultures, books.

Step 2: Review the list. Look at the first name on the list and write down all the qualities that you admire in that person, one per line. Then go to the second name, and write down all the qualities you admire in them. 

If there are any qualities that they both share, simply put a check next to that quality.  Don't worry about having the qualities line up next to the names, just write them all out.   Do this for each name so that certain qualities begin to have lots of check marks next to them.

Here is what it will look like:

How to find your Standards of Integrity - Workshop

Step 3: Now that you have a list of all the qualities you admire.  Look at each quality for a moment and consider the following:

When I read this word, does my heart seem to tingle or open?  Do I get excited and want to be around people who have this trait? 

Your heart is your guidance system.  When it finds anything that resonates with your inner being, it will light up and give you that exciting blissful feeling inside your chest. 

So, for each word that gives you this type of reaction, put a star next to it.  When you are done, write all the qualities with a star on the new sheet of paper. 

Step 4:  Review the list.  Each quality that you've put down is highly significant to you.  Your heart reacts strongly to these qualities because it has receptor sites for each one. 

You have these qualities within you

If you didn't, then your heart would not react to them.  Because you can see these qualities in others, it means they exist inside you.  These qualities describe your authentic nature. 

Step 5: Print the list on a card.  At the top write "These are my Standards of Integrity" and at the bottom write, "I know these are mine because I can see them in others." 

You can laminate it and carry it with you or place it in on your work desk.  If you feel stuck, confused, or unmotivated, re-read it.  These words will evoke power within you, your seeds of greatness.

How to find your Standards of Integrity - Workshop

How to Transform Frustration into Power

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

How to transform frustration into power using appreciationWe may like to think that we have "reached a higher level" or are "spiritual," yet when someone cuts us off on the freeway or a family member starts badgering us, we may slip right back into reaction mode. 

You can call them our emotional hot buttons; little things that get under our nerves and really aggravate us.  We momentarily forget all that meditation and spiritual knowledge we have learned and practiced. 

How can we overcome these "hot buttons"?  Better yet, how can we use them to  our advantage?  Below are simple steps to transform your frustrations into greater personal power.

Step 1:  Identify your hot button. Consciously watch yourself to see what triggers a reaction from you.  Is it a particular friend or family member, co-worker, or even a common situation?  For example, maybe when you're running late and the car in front of you is driving slow, or your friend keeps bringing up an old event that annoys you.

Step 2:  Observe your reaction.  Figure out how you reacted and if you are feeling positive or negative emotion.  Do you feel angry, defensive, or annoyed?  Are you yelling, cursing, or exaggerating the situation to fit your stance?  Make the connection between your hot button and your reaction, such as, "Ok, when my neighbors are being loud, I get mad and can't think straight."

Step 3:  Ask "what can I appreciate about this?"  Find something in the situation to appreciate, and think about it for a moment until you feel positive emotion.  This is a tough one at first, since our pain body welcomes more pain yet resists appreciation very strongly. 

For example, the other night I was laying in bed around 1am I hear this loud vacuuming from the school across the street from my house.  At first I instantly got frustrated and thought, "Why the hell do they have to clean at 1am on a Sunday night!" 

Then I caught myself and thought, "What can I appreciate about this?" 

  • Well, I'm glad that my ears are so good that I can hear the vacuum even with the windows shut. 
  • I'm also glad that the schools are taken care of so that the kids have a clean environment which means my neighborhood is pretty good. 
  • The sound knocked me back into my body, which helped me to become present and get out of my head. 

Within a few moments I had forgot about the loud noise and began to relax again.  I don't even remember when it stopped since I was already feeling good and thinking about something else.

Step 4: Decide how to act.  Once you are in a state of positive emotion, you are able to make a better decision and will be less likely to trigger the pain-body reaction from other people.  Sometimes people are behaving inappropriately and the best thing you can do is call them out on it.  The key, though, is to be in a state of positive emotion first so you can lead them into your state rather than let them pull you down into their negative state.

By going straight into gratitude and appreciation, you inoculate yourself from the outside world's effect on you.  This practice allows you to:

  • Actively create your own reality (you choose how you will act)
  • Manifest what you want easier (since there is less emotional resistance)
  • Develop charm and charisma (you overcome any objections with ease)

Imagine, when you are in a good mood and can reframe any negative situation into something good, others will be drawn into your positive reality. 

I observed this a while back during a vacation with my brother and dad.  My dad is very picky when it comes to food, and when our waiter brought us our pizza, he kept asking for extra toppings and questioning the ingredients.  My brother and I kept telling him to quit being so picky, we didn't want spit on our food. 

When he talked to the waiter, the guy just smiled and replied in his funny accent with answers like "So you guys like it spicy, no problem."  He didn't take anything personal and handled everything smoothly with pleasure.  Seeing him being happy relieved us and we all enjoyed the pizza even more.

Next time you feel angry or frustrated, ask yourself, "What can I appreciate about this?"  and see how things play out differently.

Do or Speak, Do not Think

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Have you ever had a conversation with someone you know that took place entirely in your mind?  Did you think about doing something, went through all the details and then said, "That's a great idea, I'll plan to do that later."

Now that I am clearing some of the junk in mind, that voice keeps popping up with great wisdom.  Five minutes ago I began to have a conversation with someone I had recently met in my head.  I kept replaying what I was going to tell them yet I wasn't taking action.  Suddenly the voice tells me:

"Do or speak.  Do not think about doing or speaking."

It's so short and to the point.  There is power in the simplicity.  How much time do we waste in our heads thinking about doing things and what we are going to say.  When we do those things or have the conversations, they are always different anyway so what good was all that thinking

Let go of the thinkingness and allow the presence of the moment to sink in.  If you are in a car, observe the sky, the other cars, the buildings.  If you are in an office, observe the sounds, notice the temperature, feel your chair.  If you are outside, observe the animals, the plants, the sounds.  It really makes time slow down and allows you to enjoy being alive. 

Mark Twain said it best: "I've had thousands of problems in my life, most of which never actually happened."

The Power of Now
If this interests you, grab a copy of the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and try what he recommends.  It's quite a challenge at first but it's really worth it.

Listening to Your Inner Voice

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

I am realizing more the power of following my inner voice.  It's so deep inside that it almost feels like a different person.  Many times I question my inner voice because I don't understand the value of a path it tells me to follow until I have already walked it. 

For example, the other day I was visiting Seattle with my family and my parents ended up going to a jewelry store while my brother and sister and I had some free time so we began walking around.  I took the lead and instantly I felt that small voice subtly urge me (with a gentle feeling rather than with words).

I saw a thrift store across the street and felt it.  My mind told me "maybe I will find something odd or valuable there."  I walked in and looked around, seeing only old books and junk.  The feeling was gone as well.  Instantly some self-doubt popped up, "I guess I imagined that inner voice." 

Just as I stepped back outside, I saw a nearby lamp store named 'en-light-enment' and I again felt that pull, so we walked towards it.  As I was walking up to the front door I noticed directly next door was a herb shop and once again I felt that pull.  I bypassed the lamp store and the three of us walked into the herb store. 

Inside I found a plethora of herbs stacked in jars alongside the wall, next to a library of books on health and some hot tea for store patrons.  We sipped some teas and I picked up a good book called The Green Pharmacy by James Duke. 

As I read through the various herbal remedies it suggested, I recalled that my sister had a very bad bladder infection the night before and we were considering taking her to the doctors if it didn't get better.  I looked up the necessary herbal treatment, consulted with the lady at the store, and bought the book and the necessary herbs for my sister. After a few days of using them, the infection was practically all cleared up and I now had a great book on using herbs as medicine (which I had been thinking about the previous week).

The funny thing is, when we started walking, we couldn't see the herb store from our location.  It wasn't until we had walked across the street and around the corner, that we were able to see the herb store.  That is why my inner voice guided me to the thrift store then to a lamp store.  Had I resisted that feeling and thought "oh there is no reason to go to a thrift store" then I would not have ended up at the herb store.

That is why many spiritual leaders say "surrender to life" or "let life be your guide."  It's just like in The Matrix when the prophet tells Neo he is not "The One" specifically so he could get on the path of becoming "The One." 

Steve Pavlina says it best:

"When you think about what path you’re on, rather than just your current position, you’ll become much more aware of where you really are on a scale of 1-10. Life is a journey, not a destination. When you get stuck at a 7, your path is the problem — it’s your path that’s really a 3 because it isn’t moving you forward….The real 10 is not some position. It’s the path itself. "

I've also become aware that path with my life has changed.  This new path is reflected in the new blog.  Ask yourself if you are on the right path.  Where is this path leading you?  Is it somewhere you want to be?  What path would you like to be on?

When I consider taking advice or training under a "guru" of some sort, I always looks at what their life is like.  It's like a glimpse into the future of that path.  If it's somewhere I would also like to be then I learn as much as I can from that person.