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Are we more hard on ourselves, or are we more hard on others?

Sometimes we think that what others say is more critical of us than complementary.

When we take the time to listen to ourselves, to really listen to how we speak to ourselves when no one is around, we are surprised to learn how disparaging we are of ourselves.

Because we are with ourselves all the time, we have a lot more ammunition to use against ourselves. We remember every little thing we’ve ever done wrong, at least to our own standards. We pick at how we have failed to live up to our own standards every chance we get.

It is often said that if we spoke to our best friend the way we speak to ourselves inside our head, we would lose that friend in a minute.

We can all learn something from being a little kinder to ourselves, a little gentler.

Being understanding and patient with others comes from first being patient with ourselves.

Practicing compassion with ourselves is the first step towards being compassionate to the world around us.

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

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There is a big difference between being alone and being by oneself.

Being alone connotes the desire to be with others, yet we are not.

Being by oneself indicates the desire to be with ourselves.

No one likes to feel lonely, yet the feeling can be with us whether we are with people or not.

When we make a conscious choice to spend time with ourselves, and look at it as a gift we give ourselves, then the loneliness dissipates. It has less to do with our physical environment and more to do with our internal state.

If we spend all our time with others, engaged in conversations, listening to others, responding, we do not have the space to feel what is going on inside of us.

It is only in the quiet moments when we are not distracted by the outside world that our internal world is revealed and we can be present to our underlying state. Making the effort to cultivate our presence to what is going on underneath the surface serves us in so many ways. Not the least of which is knowing ourselves better, so when we are engaged with others we can more readily tell what is someone else’s stuff, and what is ours.

How often do we actually take time to be with ourselves? Chances are, not enough.

Yet when we make time to be in solitude, to be quiet, to be with our thoughts and feelings, we find a whole world full of richness, information, and feelings. There is great treasure there, and when we learn to appreciate it, it will uplift us throughout our lives.

So let’s all give ourselves the gift of being in good company, with ourselves.

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

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Growing older is not about growing old.

As we accumulate the years in our lives we gain in so many ways. We gain experience, wisdom, and perspectives.

Yet the numbers on the calendar do not dictate our frame of mind, the energy in our heart, or the twinkle in our eye.

We have a choice, as we do with everything, to embrace, enjoy and enliven our latter years with a youthful energy, an innocence, and an energy that says to the world we are always young at heart.

Or we can choose to focus on all the loss, the bitterness, the deprivation we have experienced and make our world darker, decrepit, and depressing.

‘Any Day Above Ground Is A Good Day’ it has been said, and as long we have a breath, we can give more life, give more love and give more light to the world around us.

All of our days are numbered, and none of us exactly how many we have. Let us live as if each day is the best day we have ever had, regardless if we have had few of them or many of them.

Let our smile, our heart, our words and our energy contribute to the joy in the world, especially if its our last day in the world.

What better way to be remembered?

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When the time comes to step up, stand out, make some noise, and take a stand, we are all a little shy, a little awkward, and a little scared.

That’s okay. It is scary to try something new, to push outside our comfort zone, and become the center of attention when we are not used to it.

Yet, if we are to make a difference, contribute, discover, and lead, we have to embrace that awkwardness and integrate it in as part of the process.

Nothing happens when we step back, don’t take risks, and maintain the status quo. Yes, it’s safer that way, and it leads us to just more of the same.

When we muster the courage to put ourselves out there, to allow the spotlight to shine on us, and speak our truth, then we can have an impact.

All great work impacts us, sometimes in ways we don’t understand. Sometimes the best reason for creating great work to merely to go through the process so we can learn to take the next step, and be the example for others to take their next step.

Let’s embrace the awkward stage, for soon it will be gone…

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Human beings usually do not like to deal with, or allow chaos.

We like things orderly and neat, everything in its place. It makes for a more efficient workplace, and a less stressful home environment.

Yet, when we allow things to go a little crazy, when we allow some chaos into our orderly lives, it can bring tremendous transformation and change.

In an orderly environment, change happens slowly, if at all, and in very small incremental steps.

When we blow things up, create a mess, spread it out all over the place, then revolutionary new patterns can emerge. Then we can take a completely new and fresh perspective on issues we’ve been dealing with for years.

The mess gives us an opportunity to come up with that next great idea, that new relationship, that amazing insight.

Evolutionary growth is fine. Revolutionary leaps forward are rare and amazing!

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People often speak about doing “shadow” work, healing their “shadow” and integrating their “shadow.”

What we often don’t realize is that the “shadow” is merely an indication of the light.

Without light coming from a specific direction, there is no shadow. As light shifts and changes its position, so too does the shadow shift and change.

We see this through a single sunny day. In the morning our shadows are long. As time progresses, the shadow shrinks, until the Sun is directly overhead, and then the shadow disappears altogether.

Then as the Sun continues its route, the shadow reappears, at first small, and then getting longer throughout the day, until the Sun sets, and then there is no more shadow until the next day.

So perhaps we should pay more attention to how our light is shining, instead of how long the shadow is?

Better yet, perhaps as we shine the light inside of ourselves, looking in the full brightness of our light at all aspects and sides of ourselves, we can come to love and accept all those little scared children inside of us, who are afraid of how we will treat them.

Perhaps more inner kindness, more inner acceptance, more inner awareness is all we need.

What if we were already perfect?

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The wisdom of life is reflected all around us.

As there are seasons in our lives, there are the four seasons of the year.

As there is a cycle to our life, there is the reflection of the cycle of life all around us.

A flower starts from a seed, that is watered and nurtured until a plant springs up from the ground.

The plant grow from the earth, takes in water, air, and light to grow. Eventually we see buds start to form.

The buds grow larger and larger and then burst open. Before long a beautiful flower emerges.

The beautiful flower shares its fragrance and colors with the world. Then it starts to fade.

Then the flower is gone. All that remains is the memory of the beautiful flower.

And that is our life. Beautiful. Changing with the seasons. With a beginning and an end.

So let us share our beauty with the world while we are here. Knowing, as with all things, one day we will no longer be here.

That is life…

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What if we assumed that the trauma we experience in our life was here to teach us instead of hurt us?

What if we decided that life was here to support us, support our soul’s development, and help us grow as people, instead of something to be conquered or fought against?

What if we could make a positive, empowering meaning out of everything we experience in our life, instead of feeling like a victim of circumstance?

Maybe life isn’t as harsh and brutal as we are sometimes led to believe. Maybe life is a great teacher that helps us to be more of who we really are, grow in ways we never could imagine, and become more evolved?

Our assumptions and our expectations shape our experience of life. The meaning we make from all the little, and great, things that we experience decides how we will feel about it, and how it will shape us.

We are individuals who experience life. How we choose to interpret what we live, is up to us.

What’s a more empowering interpretation you make of your own life?

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We all strive to create community in our lives, one way or another.

First, we are part of the community that is our family. When the family unit is functioning well, it becomes our primal community.

When the family unit is not functioning well, or we feel disconnected or alienated from our family unit, we then seek to find community in our friendships.

Friendship can be a foundation for community, if there is enough common ground and aligned intent to stay together. Often there is not.

Some use religion to find community, with the promise of brotherhood and sisterhood to bind the group together. When we find too much hypocrisy in the religious organization, we leave that community disappointed.

As we progress and find more of what we truly believe in, we almost inadvertently start to attract people into our life that are more like-minded and like-hearted to us.

So the more we become individuals, the more we know ourselves and do the deep inner work, the more we find the very thing that has been so elusive throughout our life – community.

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Does success in “the world” mean success in your life?

We have a tendency to measure our success by society’s standards.

Do we have a big house? A car? A spouse? Kids? And most importantly, a good paying job or a successful business?

Yet we can have all these things and still feel empty inside. We can have all these external trappings of a successful life and still feel unfulfilled, disconnected, and that we are not contributing to the world.

At the same time, we can have none of those symbols of society’s expectations, and still achieve inner peace, profound relationships, and create community among like-minded people and feel fulfilled and whole.

The real question is, what are our own standards by wish we measure success in our lives?

Is it knowing ourselves on a deep level? Is it having a life free of responsibility and being able to travel the world? Is it living close to the land and learning how to grow your own food and be self-sufficient?

Deciding what we want for ourselves, and not allowing the external world to dictate our dreams and our standards, is perhaps the most important form of success we can achieve.