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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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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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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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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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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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We often have expectations of life that don’t manifest quite the way we expect.

We expect to have a normal life, yet challenges that appear in our life transform our path into an amazing journey.

We expect to have a comfortable life, yet the ups and downs of life bring us to places we would never normally tread, and especially the downs teach more about ourselves than anything else.

We expect certain people to always be around, until they’re not, and the sense of loss or abandonment shows us how to appreciate those that are still in our life even more.

We expect to have a certain career or job path, and then our industry gets decimated by a new app or we get laid off in middle age forcing us to reinvent ourselves in a manner we could never have foreseen.

Life is rarely what we expect of it, and that’s okay. The mystery of life is what causes us to grow, to find ourselves, and to learn more deeply what it means to be human, sentient, and conscious.

How has life surprised you?

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Trusting ourselves is one of the greatest challenges, especially if we are conscientious.

Because we know all the things we have done wrong in the past, because we are acutely aware of all of our impure motivations, because we are keenly sensitive to all the harsh judgments we have witnessed our whole lives, trust in oneself may be hard to come by.

Can we trust ourselves enough not to second guess our choices?

Can we trust ourselves enough to know that our intentions are good, if not pure?

Can we trust ourselves enough to believe in our dreams even when no one else does?

Can we trust ourselves enough to keep going when everything seems to be against us?

Trust is built slowly, one baby step at a time. First, let’s start with trusting ourselves that we are showing up the best that we can.

Then, let’s trust ourselves to walk the path in front of us, first slowly, then trusting we can pick up the pace.

Then, how about we learn to trust not only our choices and our decisions, but our ideas, our connections, and our leadership as well?

We can build trust in ourselves, if we are willing to start small, count every little victory, and then keep our focus on all the things we do right.

Repeat after me, “I trust myself!”

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When we give ourselves space, space to rest, space to grow, space to explore, or space to know ourselves, we can allow our magic to come out.

When we keep ourselves so busy, rushing from place to place, constantly engaged in activity, filling up every moment of our day with something to achieve or accomplish, there is no room to find our magic.

While it may be important to focus on certain tasks while working on projects and our careers, it is equally important to rest in between and give ourselves a break so our minds and our souls have a chance to play and explore.

We are not at our best when we are stressed out, harried, and distracted. We are not creative when our minds are so full of all the daily tasks to accomplish that we cannot daydream and toy with fanciful ideas.

Breakthroughs happen at the most unexpected times. Giving ourselves the space and time to allow those breakthroughs to show up naturally, on their own, is essential to allowing our true genius to shine through…

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Blessings often come in the most unusual ways, at the most unusual times.

Sometimes they don’t even look like blessings.

It might look like an accident, that causes us to think more about our health and take better care of our bodies.

It might look like a devastating breakup that causes us to look inward and begin some deep inner work instead of look for happiness in someone else.

It might look like the loss of a job or career that causes us to re-examine our choices, and causes us to start a whole new path, a new business, create a non-profit that becomes a movement, or a whole host of other possibilities.

Of course, at the time, they don’t appear to be blessings at all. They seem to be daunting challenges that could break us.

It takes time to gain the perspective to see how these events will truly unfold in our lives. We so often focus on the immediate, that we don’t have a clue how the long term effect will manifest.

So how do we get through the challenges to see if they are truly blessings? Drop the judgment. Wait 24 hours. And then another day. Always save the judgment for tomorrow.

As we know, tomorrow never comes, yet with time we do gain perspective.