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We all tell stories. First to ourselves, then to others.

We tell stories about what happens to us, what other people  do, what the world around us is like.

What we often don’t understand is that they are just that, stories.

Stories are something we make up, full of meaning and nuance, and we give great power to the story.

We tell stories about how someone left us, what our parents did to us when we just little children, or about how our boss or our colleagues don’t understand us.

Because we are the ones telling the story, we believe the story. We give great credence to  the story. We know the story must be true.

This is how we get lost in our own story, we forget it is all just a story. And the story is made up, or rather, the meaning we make from the story is made up.

This is great news! It means we can make up a different story! We can change the role we play or the meaning we make from the story.

The key is to remember that the story malleable, fluid, and can be whatever we decide it to be.

What stories are you stuck believing are real? What stories would you like to change in your life?

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant

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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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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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We often search for information in words, actions, movement, and whatever activity is taking place.

When we do this, we miss the richness and abundance of information that is in the silence.

There is a great deal to learn from silence. From how people show up in silence, from how things feel in the silence.

That gap, that little moment between words and responses, between action and reaction, can teach us so much.

Is there any nervousness in the air? Is there a tension, a pressure, or something pushing back in the silence?

Is there an ease, a flow, an openness, a spaciousness in the silence?

When we rush to fill in that space, we miss what that space is telling us.

How can we learn to pay attention to the silence? Wait. Practicing waiting to response or react. Take a breath, and feel into the moment. What are you feeling? What are you seeing? What is arising within us in that moment.

Silence is golden because there is such great value in it…

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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.