It was 2001. After two very difficult years, I had just emerged from university with a Masters in Psychology, and miraculously had managed to get my bank balance back up to exactly zero at the same time. I didn’t have too much else – I had no idea what I was supposed to do with my life in so many arenas. It was like I was stepping off a shaky platform and … into a black hole. Then onto our doormat fell an advertising postcard for a Tony Robbins event.
Several years prior to that my NLP trained driving instructor who also doubled as my unofficial mentor at the time had put a copy of Robbins book ‘Unleash the Power Within’ in my hands. The book really spoke to me, so when I saw that this guy does events too I thought to myself “I wonder if he’s really the same guy he portrays himself as in his book”. I really didn’t know what else to do with myself at the time, so I put myself back in the red by £650 or so (which I later learnt is WAY too much to pay for one of those tickets) and went along to Unleash the Power Within – the event.
I have a principal in life that if I’m going to do something, then I do it thoroughly. I had just paid a huge sum of money for someone coming out of university to be at this gig and was investing a long weekend so I really took part! I scribbled down everything the man said, I yelled out the answers to all the questions asked from the stage and I fully engaged in every activity he lead. By the end of the event I was enlightened and exhausted.
There comes a point towards the end of these things where they try and sell you further amazing events for lots more money. So Tony had told everyone about his ‘Mastery University’ and said something like “so if you want to experience all that and you want to get it at this and this fantastic price then go, go, go!” and perhaps 3000 of the 5000 people in the auditorium streamed out of the doors to go and find out about getting on to the next stage. The stands started to empty out. There I stood, the lines of the tears I had cried in the last exercise still drying on my face, knowing I could never afford to travel all over the world to all these further events and yet desperate for more inspiration in my life. And I suddenly thought “I have to speak to this man”.
I made my way down from the stars, pushing against the crowd and to the front of the stage where Tony was talking to a few people. In just another five minutes or so crowds of people would return to the auditorium with the same idea but absolutely no hope of getting to the front. I only had to wait for a couple of people in front of me and I was talking with the man himself. I started to pour out my story. Trouble was, with all the crowd in the background I couldn’t hear a word he was saying, even though he was sitting on one of the huge speakers at the front of the stage. Like a two way mind read I reached up and he reached down and he pulled me up on to the edge of the stage so that we could talk into each others ears and have some hope of being heard. He has this story he tells about how before he started doing what he does his biggest worry was whether his car would hold together for the journey to work. I told him that my car was exactly the same! I told him that I had no money and no idea what to do with myself and was desperately unhappy. That I really wanted to go to the next series of events he was running, but there was no way I could afford it. And this is what he shouted in my ear (I might be paraphrasing a bit):
“I have a feeling that you have a problem with money. You think money is bad in some way. But actually money is very good. Look at all the things we have achieved with money. We do a lot of charity work – we wouldn’t be able to do that without money. You need to change your attitude to money and then everything will change for you. And if you really want to go to Mastery University the money will come”.
I thanked him and got down from the stage. I did actually go to Mastery University, which involved a lot of world travel and sleeping in cars etc and it was paid for by a whiplash injury I got, but that is another story in itself! Tony Robbins is one of the reasons I got into what I do, and I don’t know who gets more out of it, my clients or I.
He was absolutely right about the money thing. I had grown up skint. And it seemed to me that anyone around me who had money was full of themselves, and lorded it over the rest of us peasants. In my community I felt like a little nothing because I had nothing to show for myself. That people didn’t talk to me because I wasn’t wealthy enough for them. Indeed there was a big part of me that felt that ever getting money and any form of financial stability would make me into a horrible person. I think I mentally chose rather to be poor than horrible.
I am happy to say that over the years my attitude to money and people with money has changed considerably. As I traveled and widened my horizons I met many people who had loads of money and were still really nice! I learnt that money is far more of a blessing than a curse – if you know what do to with it. My bank balance has also changed somewhat though there is still plenty of room for improvement 🙂
Back to now … I’ve been having a financial sort out in the last few weeks. An old school teacher of mine once compared what you have in your life to the water inside a big tea urn. He said “if you want more to be poured in from the top, you have to let water out from the tap at the bottom.” I truly think he was on to something there. For the last few years every time someone gave one of my children a tenner or whatever for a birthday present I was lazy to put it in their account for them, and have been stockpiling the envelopes. Then every time I didn’t have cash to pay the cleaner or whatever I’d end up borrowing the birthday money, so these envelopes had IOU’s written all over them. Well I’ve sorted it all out. I worked out what I owed and I’ve paid everybody back, or will do shortly. Also, being Jewish, I have a law (or maybe a custom) that tells me to give 10% of everything I earn to charity. I owe a bit of money that way too. Now I’ve worked out exactly what I owe, and I’m going to pay that back as well. You see if you want it to flow in from the top you do have to let it out at the bottom! The two other things I remember that teacher saying was that he reckoned I’d hold some form of communal responsibility when I grew up (right again, Sir) and some reference to receiving a giraffe-shaped jumper as a gift!
So how are your finances? What is your attitude to money like? – be honest now. These are tough financial times for all. The rich are suffering along with the poor – some of the wealthiest individuals have taken some of the biggest tumbles. It isn’t easy for many people. In the midst of all this, changing your attitude to money can be challenging … and yet it’s essential if you want more to flow your way.
All together now (in the words of The Secret, I believe): “Money flows freely and abundantly into my life” say it like you mean it and say it often. Think rich, feel rich, act rich and talk rich. Remember, your reality follows your FEELINGS. Do what it takes to feel great and feel abundant and your reality is obliged to match that. If all else fails, remember the best things in life really are free, so we’re all rich anyway.
Here’s to your wealth and mine!
Well this week’s blog is a bit of a challenge. You see every week I write about something I have learned during the week … and this week it just so happens I’m still in the middle of the learning process!!!!
Without going into details, a friend and I recently had a disagreement which left me in a spin. There are the odd few strings still to tie up, so I’m quite wrapped up in it all. I tell you all this because you know ‘life’ happens to everyone, and just because I’m a life coach/hypnotherapist etc it doesn’t make me immune.
Challenges come to everyone the question is, what do you do with them?
So I’ve decided to go find my happy place … I thought you might like to join me, and find your happy place – want to come along for the ride?
You know, right when you’re in the thick of a challenge, and it’s all so murky you feel like you can’t even see straight, I think there’s great value in taking some time to re-align with who you really are, and remind yourself of what really matters to you. In previous blogs we’ve talked about the force of attraction and discovered that ‘what you feel you get’. So if you’re in the middle of a situation where you feel less than fantastic, it’s very important to get an emotional break from that and feel great instead for a bit, so that you can attract the good times again … geddit?
Join me here for a little relaxation – let’s take a little break from our day to day lives for a few minutes, focus on the good things and come back feeling great.
or if that doesn’t work …
And if that doesn’t work … click the youtube button on the bottom right of the you tube video window. For some reason sometimes it plays on the youtube site but not on the wordpress site …
Hope you enjoyed our little relaxation session – I enjoyed recording it for you, and being a part of the experience has certainly made me smile again!
Spend some time with yourself this week and enjoy the process –
Ps: Would love some feedback on the relaxation session – tell me what you think, and share with your friends!
PPs: Please excuse this blog arriving so late in the day … I’ve really enjoyed some technical challenges with the audio today … learned a lot!
You know, being a life coach, I practice what I preach, so every year I sit down, reassess the past year, look at my lifelong goals and plan for the year ahead. The boundaries between one year and the next are a little blurry for me, as being Jewish, I also have a Jewish New Year, so in practice it tends to be a new year ‘period’ that runs from sometime in September until the end of December! So unlike many I’m already thinking about my New Year’s resolutions…
I’ve recently started to have a mantra or slogan for the year – something that’s simple yet digs deep and affects everything I do. Last year it was ‘Compassion, Not Judgement’, which I’ll probably write about at some stage. This year it’s something out of a Rhonda Byrne book …*shuffles off to go find the book and get the quote right*…
Ok, here it is…
“… with anything you don’t love, simply turn away from it without judgement and you won’t include it in your life”
Rhonda Byrne – The Power
Now I know I’m writing for an educated audience here, most of whom are aware of the Force of Attraction – that the more attention you give something the more of it you bring into your life. What I used to have a problem with was the other side of things. It’s all very well focusing on wealth, health and all the other good stuff, but what do you do when something nasty ups and smacks you in the face? Life’s not all rosy-sunny all the time is it? And if you then say to yourself ‘this thing is bad and I hate it’ you’re just giving it all the focus it needs to turn into something bigger. A lot of people will tell you – “focus on the good stuff, don’t focus on the bad stuff” but how do you ‘not focus’ on something? When you ‘not focus’, you’re actually focusing on it!
So those two words in the above sentence – ‘turn away’, really solved a problem for me. When it rains on my parade, or someone disrespects me, or the traffic just won’t move, and it’s a situation I can’t do anything about, I just turn away. Physically if I can, mentally if I’m bodily stuck there. I turn away and find something more productive and enjoyable to think about or do. You can’t fight the rain, force someone to respect you or snap your fingers and magic away the traffic, so what’s the point of resisting it?
Which brings me to another point – Acceptance. I’ve written about this in a previous blog (https://rivkadavid.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/38/ ) so I won’t delve into it here, I mention it only to point out that accepting a thing you can’t change allows you to drop your obsession over it, and get on with your life instead. So I think it’s relevant here too.
With that in mind, here’s my new 3 point plan for dealing with what appear to be adverse circumstances, and at the same time keeping a hygienic ‘Force of Attraction’:
1- If you can do something about it, in whole or part, then Take Action – every little positive action always bears fruit, if not in the situation at hand, then in the future.
2- For things you are currently powerless to change, practice Acceptance (and do please see https://rivkadavid.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/38/ so you understand what I mean here). These things happen, it isn’t personal. Heavy traffic isn’t personal, and neither is the intention of someone who disrespects you – even if they think it is! Their disrespect for you is about their journey. What you do with their disrespect is about your journey and is the only thing you’re responsible for. Actually I would say practice acceptance of the things you do change too – acceptance always comes first – once you accept something challenging, you remove the negative energy that surrounds it, leaving you free to act with a clear head.
3- Then once you have accepted and dealt with what you can, Turn Away from the rest – and Turn Towards something positive. Turn your attention to something creative and constructive. Think about the people you love, and the people who love you. Think about your favourite projects and the things you intend to materialise in your life. If you can physically move away from the challenge, go do something fun – take a walk … scare other adults by going on the swings and be sure to balance on a low brick wall on the way! Go spend some time working to bring good things into your life … make some money, send an email to a friend, take your kids out for ice cream.
Well that’s my plan anyway. Actually it reminds me of The Serenity Prayer (see here for the rest of it http://www.drnadig.com/serenity.htm )
G-d grant me
the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference;
With an action point at the end – Go Do Something Cool!
This year I shall Turn Away from all things unchangeably heavy, and so TURN TOWARDS all the beautiful, wonderful, delightful things – and there are so many your heart could positively burst into flowers at the thought of it!!!
I invite you to join me – let’s all harness the Force of Attraction together and make life even more beautiful!
You know what else? I’d love to hear YOUR mantra for the coming year – come on peeps, give it some thought – and share in the comments section below, so that everyone benefits.
Have a stupendously fantastic week 🙂
There I am, feeling a right nincompoop, half way up a mountain somewhere in Wales, aching feet, out of breath, ridiculously heavy backpack, tearful with effort, wondering what the heck I thought I was doing when I put myself up for this. Mountain Leader Training?!! Hah. Just cos I love being in the mountains, doesn’t mean I need to volunteer to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with two ex army guys, and three hefty outdoor adventure guys, all of whom are secretly or not so secretly wishing I wasn’t there so they can go bounding over the earth like mountain goats instead of waiting for little slow coach to catch up … Character building? I’ll give you character building. You try chasing those chaps up and down rock faces … when we finally got back to the bottom, and I trailed in, an hour after the first mountain goat had arrived, they all stood up and slow clapped me. And I’ll tell you something else too … several years later when my brother went to the same training company they were still talking about me! Talk about notoriety … Ah well, at least I’ll have a story to tell my grandchildren…
Anyhow, I’m glad I went, because I learnt something. I learnt (now pay attention …) that when climbing a rock face, you never underestimate a foothold or handhold. What I mean to say is, say you see a small foothold and it’s only 10cm or so above the one your foot is on, if there’s nothing else available you take it. And something astonishing happens. Your point of view changes. And you see other footholds and handholds that you couldn’t see 10cm lower down, or that weren’t available from slightly lower down. You work out your next move from where you are at the time (though of course you keep an eye on your general direction so that you don’t climb yourself into a bush or something), and you find that there’s always a way up, even if its 10cm at a time.
I think life can be a bit like that. Sometimes it really does feel like an uphill struggle, and there are times when the only available options are less than inspiring. The thing is to pace yourself, take one step at a time, and use those little options, if they’re all you’ve got. And your point of view changes. You begin to see other options that you couldn’t see before. You gain experience. You gain a sense of mastery. You get to feel great about pushing your limits, when you discover you can go farther than you expected. You can start to take joy in the moment too – joy in just being, joy in the privilege of having got this far. Once you begin to enjoy the process, the load seems lighter, and as you relax and start to smile your muscles loosen up just a little so the climb gets easier. Then at a certain point, you notice that you’re actually quite near the top. Your step quickens, and you’re happy to push yourself even harder. You clamber over the last few bumps and … you’re there.
If you’re climbing a mountain you get to survey the view. A beautiful lake glinting in the sunshine. Maybe a few little clouds huddled round a neighbouring mountain top. The deepest blues and the most verdant greens. Waltzing grass and patient rock. A tiny lone figure in the distance. A cooling breeze caresses the smile on your face as you stand there and just be. Nothing else exists but this moment.
If it’s life that you’re scaling, you can also let yourself celebrate those wins – there’s nothing quite like putting in everything you’ve got, and getting results you only ever dreamed you could achieve. When you go for something you truly want, that’s always been a part of who you are, and you get it … don’t you just think to yourself “I could die happy right now!” I love those moments. You feel like you’re stepping more deeply into being yourself. You almost glow, and the feel-good is infectious. People around subtly get the message “If you’re willing to do what it takes, you can achieve your desires”. And so your success becomes a beacon of possibility, lighting the way for others.
In either case, all the blood sweat and tears you put in are forgiven and forgotten as you rejoice in just being … after all, what else is there?
This week live in the moment. Take little opportunities that come your way. Know that you will get there … and rejoice in the process as you move closer and closer to your next summit.
I’ve got a thing for stubborn people. Sure they can drive you crazy, but you know what, they don’t stop till they get what they want, and you can’t argue with that for a skill!
As you may have heard, my colleague Ronit Gerber and I were on Salford City Radio on Monday for a show entitled ‘Harness the Power of You’. To sum up the show in a sentence the message was: When you are authentic to yourself, you attract a life that fulfills you. If you want to hear the show you’ll find links to the right of this page under Newly Added Resources. Anyhow, on that show we took questions live by email. Several listeners spoke about how they’d lost their job or relationship and found themselves looking for something new. They were looking for motivation and strength, and more than anything looking for a way to change the way they felt about life so they could move forward. And where did my mind go? Finding Nemo. You can see what I do in my ‘spare time’!
In Finding Nemo (for those readers who actually get to watch movies for grownups!!!) the lead character, a young clown fish called Nemo is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney. His timid father, Marlin, then travels all the way to get his son back. Many adventures ensue (which I’m not going to recount, you might be relieved to learn!) and there’s a point where Marlin accompanied by his scatty, amnesiac friend Dory, feels like he’s never going to make it. And she starts singing “Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming …”
I love that line. Cos sometimes life is tough. Sometimes you can’t see any way forward. Sometimes every route seems to be blocked, and you don’t want to be upbeat about it! Sometimes you’re angry and sometimes it’s overwhelming and all the motivation and ‘happy happy’ cheering up in the world isn’t going to help. Let’s admit it – we’re human and we all feel like that sometimes. So in those situations I say to you ‘just keep swimming, just keep swimming …’. Sometimes it’s just a matter of keeping on, until you perceive an opportunity to change things.
That’s where stubborn people win out. They just keep on keeping on, and eventually they get what they want. We can learn something from that.
I’ve found that if you do keep going it’s as though G-d/The Universe takes notice of that. It’s almost as though a proclamation rings out “Heavens! This person is actually serious about their goals! Let’s give them a helping hand …” and then as if it was happening by itself, things start to turn around. You get the loan you need, you suddenly realise that you know exactly the person to help you or perhaps whatever was pressurizing you eases off and vanishes. Persistence pays and it seems The Universe likes those with a stubborn streak too! Just look at evolution if you need evidence for that – the most flexible, persistent life forms are the ones that survive to thrive.
So this week if there’s something getting you down or a situation that doesn’t seem to have a solution … you know what I’m going to say… JUST KEEP SWIMMING!!!
Have a great week!
What do you do with the dark times? You know, like visiting a house of mourning? Or when September the 11th comes round? Or hearing of some human tragedy – (even the ‘UK Riots’) on the news?
Well now, some people lap it all up. They love a bit of tragedy. I think in a way they kind of get high on it. They’ll be the first to call you and say “Did you hear what happened to …. isn’t it sad?” Isn’t it miserable, hard, deliciously depressing… Then you’ve got those who feign complete composure. You know, the ‘pass the salt’ types. They’ll sit there and say things like “Well it was par for the course, wasn’t it really, I mean what did you expect?” Sometimes they’ve gotten so cold in the practice of not feeling, that I think they actually don’t feel it anymore. Then you’ve got the channel switchers. You know, the people who change the channel when the ads about abused or starving children come on because they can’t bear to watch. And here I have to put my hand up and admit: That’s me. Well at least it was…
I know this one from the inside. I do watch the news, because I like to know what’s happening, but I’ll never read sad books and hate watching drama. Don’t talk to me about horror movies – even the film ‘Titanic’ kept me awake for a week, thinking about all those people dying. Funny disposition for a life coach/hypnotherapist. I get to hear about a lot of the dark things that have happened in people’s lives – sometimes things that they themselves haven’t faced up to in years. And it grabs me by the throat every time. I don’t think I’ll ever be immune to feeling it, and I don’t think I want to be. Lucky for me I’m adept at ‘turning down’ the sensitivity enough at least to help my clients get themselves out of the pit, but I feel it first. I’ve always got time to ‘feel’ along with my clients, but when I get home, you’ll never catch me chasing the misery shows – life’s serious enough!
So what do you do with it? It seems I’ve not been alone in trying to ‘protect’ myself from the dark side of life. There are plenty of people – some of them pretty big in the personal development world – who actually don’t watch the news at all because they don’t want to be brought down by the world’s misery. There are therapy techniques that have you ‘rewrite’ your past so that the dark things supposedly never happened or so that people apparently didn’t hurt you. And there is some pretty powerful evidence that ‘what you focus on, you get’, so there’s a growing industry out there to help you focus on the good things, so that you get more of them. It’s powerful stuff and I believe in a positive focus with all my heart.
But here’s the sting in the tail. In ‘trying’ to protect yourself from the darkness, what are you doing? YOU’RE FOCUSING ON IT. Think about that. I’m not talking to the misery wallowers here, you’re focusing on it and you know you are, so you’ll get plenty of it to keep focusing on, if that’s what you really want for yourself. I’m talking to all of us personal development junkies who read all the positive books, and laugh with all the funny people, and wake up and tweet “It’s a beautiful sunshiny day!!!” How many of us can’t face the darkness, and run from it? Well guess what baby, you better never look back, cos it’s right there chasing you!
What’s the answer? I’ve just read it. In a book by Gregg Braden, entitled ‘Walking between the Worlds’. I’m probably still not going to watch the tear jerkers, but I won’t be switching channels every time the sad ads come on any more. I’ve found a better way to deal with it and I’m ready to share. Here it comes: Accept the Darkness.
‘Watttt?????” You might say. “You mean I have to like the dark side??? You mean I have to want it?? Why did I just spend all those years training my brain to ignore it??? Don’t be silly, the dark side is bad, its evil, it pulls you down, it makes you sad, why would I want it???”
I didn’t say want it. I said accept it. Allow it. Maybe forgive it. Mr Braden even has us bless it.
To quote Gregg Braden:
“To live in the absence of fear and pain, you must allow for their possibility. That is it. Simply allow for their very existence. In the “allowing” for the possibility, is found the removing of the charge. Please be clear regarding this subtle yet powerful chemo-behavioural code. Allowing for the existence of something does not mean that you are choosing for something to happen. It does not mean that you condone it or like it. It does not mean that you would ever wish that something upon someone else. Allowing simply means that you acknowledge its existence and the role that the “something” plays within the overall context of life. That is all, no more and no less.”
Why allow it? Because then you can leave it behind. Once we accept that these things happened, that they exist, that they play a part in life, once we find a way to truly make peace with the dark side, the fight is over. It can’t chase you if you don’t run. It won’t suck your energy anymore every time you strive to ignore it. And then you’ll finally be free.
Once you’ve made your peace with the darkness and found a way to view it with compassion this allows you to deal with the situation compassionately and successfully, ensuring the best possible result for everyone involved. And so we see that acceptance does not mean impotence. Far from it. Once you accept, you are no longer compelled to a ‘knee-jerk reaction’. Instead, if a response is possible, you will be able to respond in a measured, appropriate and compassionate way – and you will be far more effective.
Furthermore, the power that you’ve freed up through no longer being obsessed with heavy feelings you can now put to use to accomplish everything that’s important to you. To really live a life of abundance, and blessing and brilliance. Then we can fully turn to the brighter side of things, with all our newfound vibrancy and zest and drink in deep!
Ps: I’m now starting a running collection of useful information, both on resolving our issues with the dark and of course on the all important positive focus side of things. You will find these in ‘Newly Added Resources’ to the right of this page, and in the ‘Resource Bank’ page – link at the top and to the right. Please do contribute, and here’s to all of our brilliance – go forth and shine bright!