Our Life Is Created From The Meaning We Make And The Stories We Tell

From the moment we are born we begin to create stories around our experiences.

We start to label events as good or bad.

We then reflect on those judgments and make them mean something.

We’re a bad person because some we didn’t like happened to us.

Life is good because we got something we wanted.

People love me because they give me attention.

The world sucks because someone hurt me.

All of these thoughts are stories that may not have anything to do with the factual events.

These stories hold great power over us as we make significant meaning from them about our lives.

I’m worthless.

I can’t do anything right.

I’m a failure.

These stories soon become our identity, and we unconsciously find ways to live into these identities.

My life is blessed.

I always find a way.

I can do anything I set my mind to.

It doesn’t matter if these stories support us or disempower us, they still have great power over us.

These stories soon become programs we run over and over in our heads as we encounter new situations.

The truth of these beliefs become apparent in our experience.

Yet they are only true because we believe in them and we have made so much meaning from them.

The most important key to using this to our advantage is that it is all made up!

We created the meaning behind all these programs and we can change the meaning if we wish.

A black cat walking in front of us can no longer mean something bad will happen to us, but that animals love us.

The challenges we face are not because we are no good, but because we are stronger than we know.

Our life is no longer dependant on the stories we created a long time ago.

We can create new stories with new meanings every single day.

We can make new meanings of everything in our life that truly supports and empowers us.

So what stories and meaning have you made from your life that you want to make new meaning from?

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

Feeling Our Feelings Is Healthier Than Shutting Them Off

Sometimes, it’s not comfortable to feel our feelings.

Sometimes, it’s downright depressing, frustrating, anxiety-provoking and maddening.

Sometimes, it’s uplifting, joyful, and wonderful.

Unfortunately, we don’t always get to choose.

When we decide to feel, we feel it all.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Sure, when we’re stuck in the really ugly feelings, we’d rather just not be there.

We’d rather hide, or shut down.

We’d rather retreat behind concrete walls and shut off all of our feelings.

Yet, that does not serve us.

Granted, no one likes to marinate in the deep, dark depressing places that we sometimes go.

Sure, we would all like to feel happy, joyful, uplifted, and energetic all the time.

Yet, we are not built that way.

We are made to feel the full range of emotions.

Dozens of them.

From the highest to the lowest.

When we shut ourselves off from them, we often find trouble.

Perhaps not right away.

Yet over the long run, the unexpressed, unfelt feelings can cause lots of trouble.

From heart-ache to heartburn, and much worse.

It’s not easy, it’s not comfortable, but it sure beats the alternative.

What are you feeling today?

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

By Honoring Another’s Path We Come To Understand Our Own

The desire to help others comes naturally.

When we are connected to our tribe in a loving way, we want to see everyone do well.

Where we get in trouble is when we try to protect people from their own path.

We cannot stop someone else from making their own choices.

We cannot keep people from the consequences of their own actions.

And we certainly cannot prevent people from feeling their own emotions.

Indeed, the more we judge someone else’s path, the more trouble we cause for ourselves.

The more we resist what is, and how others are, the more we suffer.

Our judgments cause ourselves pain.

Our opinions on how someone else’s life is unfolding only keeps us from being present with them.

We may not agree with their choices.

We do not have to accept their actions as ones we would take in their shoes.

Yet the more we honor their own decisions, the more we honor ourselves.

The more we accept life as it is, the more we can be at peace.

We cannot control the entire universe.

We cannot control even one other person’s path.

We can only live our own life and accept how others have chosen to live theirs.

We don’t have to agree with it.

Yet, if we live as an example of how others can live, perhaps one day they will notice.

Perhaps one day they will ask for our help and be open to receive it.

Before that time comes, there is no opening for us.

It is only by honoring a person’s path that we come to understand our own path more clearly.

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

Boldness Builds A Life Free From Fear And Regret

There are many fears in life that bother us.

There’s the fear of being alone.

There’s the fear of loss of a loved one.

There’s the fear of lack of resources.

There are many little fears we live with every day.

The fear of pain.

The fear of missing out.

The fear of being last.

All these fears, when taken to the extreme, are ultimately one big fear.

The fear of death.

The fear of the unknown that lies beyond that singular point at the end of life.

We fear to be alone because in the jungle it can mean death.

We fear to be without resources for that can lead to death as well.

We fear losing others because that only reminds us of our own mortality.

Yes, a healthy fear of death can help us to stay alive.

Yet when our fears become unhealthy and run our lives instead of our passions, we become paralyzed.

To overcome our fear of death is not natural.

To override that most basic instinct takes a lot of internal work.

Yet the more we learn to overcome the small fears, the more we eat away at the big fear.

The surest way to get past our fear of death is to live life fully.

To live with the reminder that every day could be our last.

To live life in bold, outrageous fashion.

Moderation is for monks.

Meekness is for puppies.

Fate favors the bold and being bold diminishes regret.

How can we be bolder in our own lives?

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

When We Accept That Life Is Perfectly Imperfect We Find Freedom

Life is not about everything going right or the way we expect.

Life is not about getting things perfect and avoiding all mistakes.

Life is not about steering clear of pain and frustration.

Indeed, all of these can help us to grow and be stronger.

Yet so often we would do anything just to avoid being wrong.

It is only in the acceptance that life is perfectly imperfect that we find true freedom.

We find the freedom to be ourselves.

To take chances.

To be joyful even when our choices lead us to a disaster or two.

By releasing our attachment that we are meant to “get it right” all the time that we can learn to just enjoy the ride.

Mistakes are our friends.

Failure is our teacher.

Pain is our messenger.

When we begin to accept that they are all a part of life and there is nothing “wrong” with any of them that we truly start to live.

When we learn to accept whatever life brings us with grace and curiosity that we live with less stress and less anxiety.

It is possible for us to get there.

Not next year or in a decade.

We can be there now.

We can be there by just putting off our judgment of the moment we are in until tomorrow.

And tomorrow we can just put off judging the moment until the next day.

And so on.

Let’s just let go of our desire to label and control things for one day.

That’s all we have to do.

Can we start doing that today?

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

When We Stop Being Defensive We Can Truly Open Our Hearts To Others

Whenever we have a difficult time with someone else, we naturally start defending ourselves.

We think the other person is attacking us, and we must defend our position or our opinion.

The argument with our coworker or our sibling turns into an offensive on our very being.

So what do we do?

We close out hearts and we go into our heads.

We start analyzing and rationalizing why we are right and they are wrong.

We create all kinds of stories around the incident that make us feel better about ourselves and feel not so good about the other person.

And where does that lead us?

To more hard feelings and a breakdown in communication.

All because we think it is all about us.

There is another way.

If when we are in the middle of the disagreement we keep our hearts open and realize that it is not about us but about the other person, then we can be more compassionate.

We can ask them what’s wrong and listen.

We can hear and feel what’s going on with them instead of putting up a wall.

We can be present with them and see where it takes us.

And we may just find out that is not about us at all.

It’s about the hard time they are dealing with at home, at the office, or in some other aspect of their life.

Suddenly we have evidence that it really wasn’t about us, or the subject of the discussion, it is about them and the difficulties they are going through.

Yet we would never get to that point if we did not give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and assume there is something else going on.

When we stop defending ourselves and assuming that the other person is against us we can transform the situation.

Being present and feeling the pain the other person is in not only helps us to feel better about ourselves, it helps diffuse the tension and energy of the situation and brings healing to everyone involved.

Isn’t that worth the effort to keep our hearts open?

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

Trusting Ourselves Is The Great Gift We Can Give The World

Trusting ourselves may be one of the hardest things to learn.

It is hard not because we are untrustworthy.

It is hard because of how we have interpreted our experiences throughout our life.

It is very common for us to feel that bad things happened to us because it was our fault.

We must have done something wrong for that bully to beat us up.

We must be wrong for wanting the things that we need as children yet didn’t receive.

There must be something really wrong with us for us to experience all that pain we felt.

We turn all the blame inwards not knowing how else to understand the world around us.

Yet as we unravel the traumas we experienced when we were young, we can begin to see that it was not our fault.

We are not to blame for other people doing bad things to us.

We are not to blame for losing people close to us.

We are not to blame for desiring to have our emotional and physical needs met.

Indeed, all it means is that we are human.

And if we are not to blame for how the world is around us, then we can trust ourselves more.

We can change the story around those experiences and learn that we are basically okay.

Our presence is a gift to others.

Our contributions are valuable.

Our point of view does matter.

And ultimately, there is no blame to go around, there is only the experience of life.

The magic is that once we start to truly trust ourselves, life will give us more reasons to do so.

The more we trust ourselves, the more we can trust ourselves.

And as we practice trusting ourselves, we can inspire others to trust themselves as well.

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

Expectations Exist In The Future – Reality Exists In The Now

We all have expectations.

We expect our relationships to go one way and our careers to go another.

We expect our friends to treat us a certain way and our family to treat us another way.

All these expectations and more lead us down a path to one thing – pain.

Why do expectations almost always lead us to pain?

Because our expectations are rarely met, or if they are met, they are met not in the way we desire.

Another reason why expectations lead to pain is that they take our out of the moment, out of the now.

To be truly present at any given moment is to be beyond expectations.

Expectations exist in the future. Reality exists in the now.

When we are present with our friends, there is no judgment.

When we are present with any given task, there is no right or wrong.

In the present moment, there is only what is in front of us.

Our fears often take us out of the given moment, as do our hopes.

Our mind is rarely, if ever present.

Our bodies always are present.

To pay attention to our bodies is to be more present than paying attention to our minds.

To get out of the trap of expectations, perhaps we just need to be a little present to the moment.

In the present moment, everything is perfect.

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

The More We Push Against Our Trauma, The More It Persists

It is so common to push against the uncomfortable experiences of our lives.

We cut ourselves off from our trauma and our heartbreaks.

We look to “fix” and “resolve” those experiences and how they have affected us.

Yet the more we push against them the more they persist.

The more we separate ourselves from those experiences, the more energy we give to them.

For those aspects of our lives will always push back with an equal or greater force.

What we look to deny and disavow in our lives ends up defining our lives.

This is why the abused turn into abusers.

Is there a better way?

How about stopping the act of pushing against them and giving them space to breathe?

How about acknowledging those aspects of our lives, and allowing them to have a voice?

What would they say to you? Are there lessons there that we are not listening to?

Can we learn to feel the pain and not judge it?

We are so programmed to only feel those feelings that comfort and elate us.

Yet there are so many feelings that don’t, and we are taught to judge and deny those feelings.

And the more we deny them, the more trouble they will cause in our lives.

When we embrace them, dance with them, hold them without judgment or disdain, then we can process them and move beyond them.

The more we learn to allow all of the feelings that arise in our lives, the freer we become to live life fully.

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

To Heal Our Deepest Wounds We Must Speak The Truth About Our Pain

In order to begin our healing process, there is something we must be willing to do.

It is not just about taking better care of ourselves or changing our lifestyle.

It is about something far deeper and more difficult.

To start the journey to healing and wholeness we must be willing to speak our truth.

The truth about how we feel deep inside.

The truth about our pain and suffering.

The truth about our desires and secret wishes.

Without admitting to ourselves what we are experiencing, without admitting what we are feeling, without admitting to ourselves what we truly want, we cannot move forward.

What we hide inside ourselves will continue to control us.

What we shun and fear will continue to affect our lives.

The truth we deny within ourselves will fester and grow until it must come out.

It is not easy to admit the truth to ourselves.

It takes courage to be brutally honest about how we feel and what we want.

Yet we do it not for others, but for ourselves.

To be whole again

To be at peace.

To heal the deepest wounds that stay with us our whole lives.

These are the wounds that kill us, if we do not address them.

These are the wounds that drive us, if we do not speak them out loud.

It is only by shining the light of our own truth upon the blackest corners of our soul that we free ourselves from their shackles.

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant