To Create A Kinder World We Only Have To Be Kinder Ourselves

We all crave to live in a more friendly and compassionate world.

We want to feel safe to live and be who we are.

We long for the feeling of community and camaraderie.

So it is important to look at what we are doing to create that kind of world.

Are we being friendlier to others?

Are we expressing our compassion for others, even complete strangers?

Do we engage in rituals and activities that engender the feeling of community?

It is time to stop waiting for others to change, and to make the change ourselves.

If we desire to see a world that is more gentle and kind, then it is time for us to be more gentle and kind.

Be the change you want to see in the world” is not just a pretty slogan, it is the way to live.

The power is in our hands, we can and do make a difference every day.

We make a difference by being nice when someone else is in a rush and not being mindful.

We make a difference by being soft when others are being hard.

We make a difference by showing our kindness to those in need.

We make a difference with our presence, our words, and our actions.

Even one small step goes a long way to creating a friendlier world.

What can you contribute to a kinder, gentler planet?

~ 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

The Sign Of True Evolution Is Accepting Our Family Without Judgment

As adults, our families are our biggest teachers.

Our family knows us better than anyone else.

Our family can trigger us in ways no one else can.

The way our family judges us means more to us than anyone else.

Yet how we choose to show up in the midst of all of that says more about us than any other situation.

It is a great opportunity to put our practices and our patience to work.

When those closest to us push our buttons, how we respond shows our maturity.

Who we are as individuals is revealed by our actions in these most trying situations.

We can forgive our friends and our co-workers for behavior that annoys us.

Can we do the same for our family?

Our family may still treat us as if we are 10 years old. Can we respond as if we are no longer 10 years old?

We stress over how our parents or our relatives act. We would prefer they change.

Can we learn to accept them exactly the way they are?

Can we be with our family without judgment even when they judge us?

Can we be kind to them even when they are not kind to us?

Can we be patient with them if when they are not patient with us?

The sign of our true evolution is when we can face those that we know better than anyone else on the planet, and still accept them without judgment and with love.

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

Discernment Is Not About Figuring It Out – Its About Feeling It Out

Most people think discernment is about figuring out the right choice.

We use our logic minds to weigh all the pros and cons to come up with what we think is the best choice.

Yet discernment is about much more than making a rational decision.

Discernment is about how we feel about a given situation.

 Often, we may find that there is not enough evidence to go in a particular direction.

Perhaps, we’ve just met someone for the first time and we think they should be a good person.

Maybe because other people have said good things about them.

Yet our impression, for no good reason, is that they are not trust-worthy.

Something just doesn’t feel right.

When we shake their hand, we get a chill.

Then, we second guess ourselves.

We start telling ourselves that we shouldn’t be judgmental and we should give the person a chance.

So we do. And what happens?

They turn out to be the creep we felt they were, yet had no evidence of it.

Discernment is listening to feeling, that intuitive understanding that something is off.

We don’t have to know what is off, just that something feels off.

Sometimes it can as subtle as an inflection in their voice.

Or a look in their eye.

Or maybe it’s just an energetic hunch.

Trusting those feelings goes a long way to having discernment.

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

The Quality Of Our Energy Is More Important Than The Amount

We all talk about energy, usually about how much or how little we have.

We tend to think that we just need more energy so we can get more done.

Yet there is a lot more to energy than the amount.

Having too much energy can be as debilitating as not having enough energy.

More important than the amount of energy, is the quality of the energy.

When there is a high quality of energy inside of us and around us, we function more fully.

Yet what determines the quality of our energy?

The meaning we make from the source of the energy, or of the energy itself.

Is it a fun energy or a depressing energy?

Does the energy come from a friend or a foe?

Is the energy from competition or cooperation?

Does the energy feel erratic or smooth?

Are we able to take in the energy with grace or is it a battle?

Does the energy feel draining to us, or does it fill us up?

The meaning we make from the situations we all encounter come from our experience and our culture.

What one culture labels as bad another labels as good.

What is appropriate in the jungle may not be appropriate in the desert.

What feeds us when we are in nature may drain us in a big city.

Culture, context, meaning, it all plays a role in the story we make around energy.

What is the story you make around the energy in your life?

~ 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

Every Trigger Is An Opportunity To Do Deep Work

When we are triggered by someone in our life, we think the problem is with the other person.

We look at what they did or how they are as the issue.

Yet if we take it more as an opportunity to learn, we can get great insight about ourselves.

That little annoyance can reveal quite a bit about ourselves if we’re willing to look.

Why are we getting so bothered by that action or those words?

Who does that attitude remind us of?

Is there something in ourselves that that person reminds us of?

Lots of times the things in others that bother us the most are the aspects of ourselves that we don’t want to acknowledge.

Can’t stand someone else being cheap? How are we being cheap in our own lives? Perhaps with ourselves?

Don’t like how that person is talking to you? Who do they remind you of? Perhaps a parent or sibling?

The people around act as mirrors for us to see ourselves.

What we see in them, what we like and what we don’t like, says more about us than it does about them.

Being triggered by how a person acts, how they look, or what they say is great!

The more we are triggered the more we can come face to face with our own issues.

So let’s face our triggers, not with anger or annoyance. Let’s face them with curiosity and enthusiasm!

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

Wanting Pain To End Is Not Bad – It Is Human

It is hard to admit when we are in pain that we just want it to stop.

We don’t care about the consequences, all we care about is stopping the pain.

Perhaps the pain is seeing a loved one dying, and we just want it to be over.

Perhaps the pain is seeing our own deterioration, and we just want to end.

Perhaps the pain is seeing someone else destroy themselves, and we can’t take it anymore.

It’s normal and human to want it to end.

The hard part is accepting how we feel about it without judging ourselves.

It is easy to fall into guilt, shame, and self-loathing over how we feel.

Yet those emotions do not serve us, and indeed, harm us.

What must we do to accept that we are human and we it is all right to want the pain to stop?

It doesn’t mean we have to act on it.

It doesn’t mean we have to do something about it.

It just means that we are in pain and we want it to stop.

Can we learn to forgive ourselves for that desire?

Can we learn to let go of the guilt and shame and be gentler to  ourselves?

Can we learn to love ourselves enough that we forgive ourselves in spite of how we feel?

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

You Can Be Right Or You Can Be Happy – You Can Rarely Be Both

We never really win an argument.

No matter how hard we try to convince the other person that they are wrong, they will only dig in their heels.

If anything, they will only be more convinced they are right.

And if by some miracle we do get them to concede that we are right and they are wrong, they will remain angry at us.

If we lose, we lose, and if we win, we lose.

Perhaps because we are playing the wrong game?

Maybe what we should be concerned with is not winning, but being happy.

The old adage is ” You can be right, or you can be happy, but you can rarely be both.”

If we change our focus from one of winning to one of happiness, we can play a totally different game.

And then we play in a totally different way.

Because now it is not about the end result, it is about how we play.

When we give up our need to be right and focus on our desire to be happy, we can joyful skip down the road.

We can let others have whatever opinions they want to have.

As long as we’re happy, who cares?

Yet being in that joyful place will attract others to wonder why are you so happy?

Maybe then they also will give up the need to be right and focus on being happy instead.

That is how we all win.

So let’s stop playing the win-lose type of game, and learn to play more win-win games.

After all, aren’t they much more fun?

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

Play Can Be Deep Work

Sometimes, play can be deep inner work.

Yes, it can be superficial.

Yes, it can be just a distraction.

Yes, it can be nothing but play.

And it can be just what we needed.

Play is how the mind makes new connections.

Play is how we learn and grow.

When we get too serious, too stressed, we need play more than ever.

When we want to be more creative, play is necessary.

When we want to find a new solution, play allows us to be free.

Making time to play is never a waste.

The results may not show up right away, yet they will follow.

Are we taking enough time to play in our lives?

Perhaps we can all play a little more, and learn to be playful in our most serious work.

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant