I am a speaker, writer and entrepreneur. Follow me at @stevenerice
Wow...this is so powerful, but it is difficult because we are conditioned to classify and rank everything. It reminds me of what Byron Katie says: There are 3 types of business--your business, my business and God's business. Most of us spend all of our time in other people's business and God's business (what we can't control)
I haven't spent time in non-judgment, so I'll have to see if I can give it a chance. I have been working on some self-inquiry through Katie's "The Work". It helps me to stop and ask "Is that true?" when I find myself attaching to a thought.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Do You Judge?
Love this. As I shared on the hangout, one of my primary motivating values is "connection". It's one of the common denominators I've found to my own personal happiness. If I find myself happy, I'm probably connecting with people in some way.
2 months, 1 week ago on What Makes You Happy?
I have experienced inexplicable unfolding in life. Circumstances that just seem to unfold "magically" and with ease. I love watching this happen. It's amazing to me how many times the mind tries to "figure it out" or explain it after the fact in order to categorize or quantify the miraculous. Maybe it's the way the mind needs to process it. I don't know.
From a metaphysical standpoint, I remember our session where we went to the waterside and Alex showed up to me...even though I had never met him in person. It was really powerful to me...it was such a strong burst of energy that was outside of myself (completely unexpected) that I knew it intuitively. Very precious gift. To me, that is a miracle.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Do You Believe in Miracles?
I used to do this when I lived in Kansas City. I would go to the sculpture garden at the museum near where I lived. I would sit by their fountains and watch the water and flowers and just feel the sun set. It was magical time.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Zen Time Revelations About Grief and Happiness
What a beautiful gift he gave you in this simple assertion! :)
Hmmm...I don't think I could do it. First, though, I'd have to really go back and think about all the little steps of my life...it's easy to remember the big things--graduations, first relationships, etc...but the little incidences that tie it all together? That would be more difficult. Especially since I don't keep a diary or journal.
Probably you cousin was thinking the same thing with the "How have things been?" question. I would imagine the real thought was "This one question seems so inadequate. But gotta start somewhere." Especially since you are nearly strangers. I do hope that this re-connection leads you to many wonderful memories as you rebuild a relationship with your cousin.
3 months ago on Could You Tell Your Life Story in 400 Words?
Love the side notes addition, Lori. In the past, I have used Disqus, but may have to switch to Livefyre as it's nice to be able to respond in line. Although, the number of comments and conversation below the post may lag. (For example, I didn't expand each comment as I read to read what others have said, where I usually scan down the conversation already happening before I leave my comment at the bottom of the post). You'll have to keep us posted on how this changes interaction on your site and if it makes a significant difference one way or another. :)
3 months, 4 weeks ago on How to Create Your Personal GPS
This is such an important reminder. I seem geared toward noticing the little wins, but it's such an important skill to cultivate. I love celebrating the little things. It's so much more fun going through life this way. Love your examples.
Also, love the new format of LFI. Great work. I know it's a hassle, but I love the results! CONGRATS on a "big win!"
4 months ago on Do You Celebrate Small Wins?
Lori, I have a couple of posts lined up and need to update the content on my site. I will add your idea to the list as I think this is an important question. Will have to give it some thought. :)
4 months, 1 week ago on Do You Know Who You Are?
Lori...this is a fantastic question. I have never tried the eye shift to lift my mood. But I do believe firmly in the ability of our physiology to affect our outlook and attitude.
Yesterday when I was feeling overwhelmed I sat still and focused on my orchid and deep breathing and it calmed my spirit.
When I feel "stuck" in my writing, I jump up and walk briskly around the room.
5 months ago on Alegria
I don't think we're necessarily too connected, but I think many of us (myself included) are unmindful. We plug in to e-mail/facebook/twitter, etc whenever and wherever the notification "ping" us.
This past week I have become more mindful of this and the time-suck that it can become. I have decided to be a little more conscious and decisive when I use e-mail and social media. I have decided to check e-mail first thing in the morning when I get up and then I shut down that tab on my browser (I used to keep it open most of the day--along with Facebook).
I then check and interact on social media from my phone in the evening when I'm already winding down (between 9-11 p.m.) and while the TV is going or something that I don't really have to pay too much attention to. 1-2 hours is more than enough time for me on social media, etc.I"ve also started implementing a new system....we'll see how it works. I create daily tasks, weekly/monthly goals and 3-6 month goals (but only 3 for each duration). It's so cool to feel focused and get what's truly important to me accomplished. I feel more in control.
6 months, 1 week ago on Technology: Are We Too Connected?
This is interesting. I can't remember if you have show this to me before. It seems to make sense both on a scientific and a metaphysical level. I think most people will not implement it. However, I am curious so I think that I will try this to see what types of changes it might produce
6 months, 3 weeks ago on 4 Minutes and 9 Seconds that Can Change Your Life
This is so upsetting when you're in the middle of it. I"m really impressed that you were able to step back a bit and create some space for yourself as this was happening. I love how you chose to retain our power in the circumstance so you could make better decisions.
What worked for me recently when my car was giving me hassle was to simply release the resistance I had to what was. Meaning, when the nut and bolt wouldn't loosen, I consciously decided that I wasn't going to resist this by beating on the frame, screaming/cursing, etc. I walked away for a while. I sprayed lubricant on the bolt overnight to hopefully loosen it with greater ease. Ultimately, I found a way around it (never did get the nut completely loosened, but the issue was resolved anyway).
THanks for sharing yuor personal story and challenging us to think about conflict in a new way.
6 months, 4 weeks ago on I Got Hacked! What’s the Meaning of This?
Hmm...this is such a fantastic question. I know it's philosophical but it's also terribly practical. The only thing I really control is my choice to respond...or not...to any given situation. I think that I have very little control over how circumstances flow into and through my experience but I always control how I respond to those circumstances
10 months, 2 weeks ago on How Much Control Do We Have?
I actually made an agreement with myself to always adopt another person's perspective of me when it is a higher than my own until mine rises to the level of theirs. I build my self-belief by allowing the positive beliefs of others to influence me.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on Are You Making Assumptions?
I think like with anything, it's in how you use it. I think technology allows us to move through the more mundane parts of our day more quickly (like checkout at the grocery or the bank), but it also allows us to connect more often with those we love.
My mom and I had this discussion this weekend. Her best friend's first born has gone to university this Sept, and her friend is really struggling with letting go. They are able to chat every day on cell and connect as often as they like.
My mom made the point that when she was in college, she and her mother wrote to each other once a week and she called home collect on the weekend. When I was in college, it was similar.
So technology has made connecting cheaper and easier, but if we don't make the effort to connect, then we miss the opportunity. It still comes down to me. I have to choose to connect to those in my life who I love.
10 months, 4 weeks ago on Is Technology Making Us Antisocial?
This is an interesting perspective. My friend, Denise is writing a novel called "Easy" about a woman who suddenly gets the easy life she always wanted. (Spoiler: it doesn't end up as she had planned)
I think more often than not, our problems become overwhelming because we don't have clarity about what we need to solve them...or we have created additional drama by the stories we tell in our heads about the specific situation (ie "I'll never finish that job," we moan).
When we can gain a little objectivity and step back, it makes the project or problem easier to assess and conquer.
11 months ago on Do You Have Days When You Want to Quit?
Love ur perspective as well Julie. Being aware allows us the space to really pay attention-- to what we're thinking/ feeling etc. Thanks for sharing your wisdom
11 months, 1 week ago on How Do You Live In the Moment?
That's a great distinction. It is possible to be present but completely unconscious through worry and regret. Thanks for the great perspective.
U mean connecting in nature? I don't think it is for everyone...but for many people it is. There's a reason we talk of Mother Nature. Something in the flow of life energy from the earth is so large and powerful it reminds us...even sub consciously of our true selves and our true power
Oh...I like that. I go on "gratitude" walks where I do something similar. I repeat the words thankful, gratitude, or grateful in time with my step. It gives me the feeling of gratitude and disrupts the rush of thought
Isn't that picture just wonderful? A friend of mine took it and allowed me to use it on this post. I'm so grateful. I am with you on this one. I feel centered and most connected in nature.
That's definitely been my experience. What have u found helps u to stay in the moment or how do u stay present?
Yes, I've seen it. It's such a great image of some very complex principles. I think that quantum physics are a great method or context to help explain our experiences in this physical world...but I really think that living with awareness is our natural state. It's about experience more than science...at least at the personal level. This has been my experience, at least.
For me, it was a way to heal from a tough breakup I was going through. I used this method to learn to reconnect to my intuition...to feel what it was like to be happy and at peace. Stillness provided the space where I could experience myself. That was relatively new for me. Have you had an experience like this?
Absolutely...but not because it is the "thing to do" or a trendy cliche...living in the moment--or being aware--ar least from my experience allows me to recognize the connection I have to all things. It also reminds me that all this "stuff" going on around me is illusion, as real as it seems. I believe that is the foundation of our true power--the ability to recognize this and to choose our response to life's circumstances.
Thanks Lori for the invitation to hang out (both on Google and here on your front porch!)
I love all of my friends--old, new and in-between! But then, I'm an extrovert and almost everyone is my "friend!"
Because of my personality, I do bond and feel connected to almost anyone. I have had to shift my expectations, though over the years. Just because I feel connected, doesn't mean the other person is connected as deeply...or that they express that connection in the same way I would. This shift has helped me to value and enjoy the friends I have while they're "front and center" in my life.
I treasure even more the deep friendships--the "thick-and-thin" kind--who will be there forever and with whom I can pick up after a year just as if it had been a week and we're right back at it.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Can You Have Too Many Friends?
Great question, @lorigosselin. I think in the "self-help" world the idea of "best life" (thanks, Oprah) has become cliché. We don't even really know what that means...at least I don't.
I think most of us have a fantasy of what that would mean...sub, "easy life" for best life and you've got it. But I don't think this life exists and even if it did, I don't think any of us would want it very long...since the very nature of growth and progress (what we came to earth to do, in my opinion) is to push against the status quo and expand beyond the boundaries of our own creativity.
So when we talk about "ideal life" I think most of us mean "fantasy life that doesn't really exist" (but is fun to imagine and dream about). In a way, it's delusion and distraction because we don't really know how to create happiness in the life we have currently.
I've decided recently to focus my creative energy on happiness where I am while at the same time creating things that bring me joy and fulfillment...that way, each moment is fulfilled in the pursuit of the creative endeavor I've applied myself to.
In a practical example, today, I'm creating an e-book based on a blog series I recently did on Toxic People. Tomorrow, I'll be heading to the "real job," but I'm determined to bring happiness there and enjoy the people and environment I'm in. These are all temporal circumstances that will shift--they must--as time passes, so I'm not too invested in any of them, emotionally. It's fun to watch life unfold when I'm not engaged in the drama of it.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Are You Living Your Ideal Life?
I love this perspective....especially the part where he talks about how we project onto each other what we think the other should be. It's great reminder to remember that everyone else's opinion of my is their business and not mine.
The ego gets a bad rap, I think. When we are conscious of it, it immediately quiets down. I think Eckhart even teaches this as a way to quiet the ego--become aware of it.
I have found that when I become conscious that I am the one observing, then I have power to respond (or not) to whatever is going on in my life.
The ego becomes the outer watchman on the battlefield. He cries loudly for everyone to know that conflict is coming, but those behind the fortress walls take that information and prepare to meet conflict. I think it can be the same with the ego--we can hear it's cry and take the information in but don't have to respond to the conflict in a reactionary way.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on How to Become Free of the Ego
Thanks for sharing this powerful and personal post, Lori. Was thinking of you actually this past weekend and throughout this week, sending love and light to you and your family. You're so right! It's hard to actually remember or practice what we know to do...especially when it comes to gratitude and the other "simple" things that can shift us into the present. Much easier to muck around in the drama and distraction and despair...weird how that happens. And I don't really know the "fix" -- or if there really is one. Probably not--at least not a "magic pill" type of fix.
The way I try to "catch" the good old days is to surprise myself with them. It's silly, but the other day, I was talking to a friend and he was lamenting how lonely he was as a single person. I remember those days. But I also remember being extremely fulfilled and happy as a single person. Now, I take "togetherness" for granted...but I know it won't be forever. So I stop and cherish it...Better, yet, I try to speak the simple words: "I'm so grateful for you". Just that simple acknowledgment brings me back to the "good old day" I'm living.
Another even simpler example happened yesterday. I was walking up the back stairs in our apartment building and the thought crossed my mind, "Someday, I won't even have the strength to climb the stairs...or maybe walk."
A friend of mine had just lost his mother to cancer and she was bedridden at the end. It made me acutely aware of my own health and current vitality. So I said a prayer of gratitude and enjoyed my stair climbing with simple gratitude. I also made an agreement with myself that when I find myself in that stage of my life, to greet it with as much curiosity and joy, no matter my limitations. There will always be things that I can do then that I can't (or wouldn't) do now.
That's my thought...a rambling mess, I know. LOL
12 months ago on Do You Miss the Good Old Days?
Lori, this post is so inspiring. Thank you! Love this: "You are cherished by Life. It is all working out for the best. All is well and all will be well - always" One of my favorite personal affirmations is this: "Life is unfolding exactly as it is meant to. All is well. I am safe."
I've just finished reading Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning" again. In it, he presents the idea that you post above...that we are the ones who give life meaning. He says actually that life demands something of us--and that was the purpose he found for surviving the Holocaust and the death camps...Life was expecting something of him. It's a great flip on the concept of "WIIFM?"
Most of us think that life owes us something--happiness, equity, equality. But sometimes life isn't fair. Sometimes we are unhappy. Sometimes we are mistreated. The power--at least for me--is that I get to decide what those events actually mean. So even in the darkest moments, I can decide if the sun will peek through the rain.
1 year, 1 month ago on How to Let Go
LOVE the "behind the scenes" thoughtfulness of this post. You make so many great points about talking to the audience (instead of talking to each other--as bloggers/biz peeps). They have the power. They drive the engine. We are merely conductors of the orchestra...and when it all comes together, the symphony touches us.
I especially loved your comment about your reason for doing it...so we (the audience) would pay attention...not so you could get attention....BIG, awesome, hairy distinction.
You succeeded. You have made me think of my own business as I build it...what I want and what I don't want. It made me think about ethics and how I want to treat everyone with whom I come into contact.
It has also made me think deeply about how we--all of us--can not only engage in this wonderful paradigm shift in online business, but how we can actually re-frame the fundamentals and re-write the rules...in a real way.
1 year, 9 months ago on How I got more comments on one post than I ever have before, and why it matters [because it totally does]
My word for today is content. It's not what I always experience, but it's what I am when I allow myself to be still in the moment without dreading the future or resenting the past.
1 year, 9 months ago on What is Your Favorite Word?
This was so inspiring, Shenee. I'm a new follower (found you through @uncommonchick ...when she suggested your post about hyperbole and bs...can't remember the title, but I def took your advice and de-bs'd my site the best I could! It's definitely more clear). So grateful for your energy and biz sense. Enjoying your e-mail list.
Keep up the great work. You're an inspiration!
1 year, 11 months ago on An inside look at my 2 year business journey + photos of my brand evolution
I am grieving with you and your family. I am holding you up in love and prayer. I'm just sick to my stomach right now.
Sending love to you and your husband and daughter.
2 years ago on Life…and Death…Rest in Peace My Son
@Late_Bloomers @Vidya Sury Interesting point. That's the difficulty with the ego...it is never satiated...even when it has become bloated and lethargic by its feeding, it always needs to be fed at the trough of validation.
2 years ago on Relationships: Reality – or Stories We Tell Ourselves?
@Vidya Sury @rshin @Late_Bloomers I agree with you, Vidya. This conversation is so much more insightful than the original post, and has spawned such amazing conversation that it's a breath of fresh air. It really has made me think about some important things.
@rshin Great point about knowing one's self in a way to know all others. Kinda fits with what the Course in Miracles presents in the principle that whatever we give to others, we give to ourselves and what we withhold from others, we withhold from ourselves.
@rshin @Late_Bloomers @Vidya Sury Wow this is a really great perspective on love. Existentially (and theoretically), I believe that Love is all that there is. Love is the only truth, and everything else is a shadow.
So as you point out, if this is true (to me), then Love Is...period. It just is. Any conditions are merely defenses we construct to protect ourselves from the power and beauty that we fear most (true, unconditional Love).
Wow...think I just had an epiphany. Thanks!
@Late_Bloomers @Vidya Sury Thanks so much! I really enjoy the hangouts too, though I haven't been able to make the last few as my schedule has changed.
You highlight a really important skill--letting go of one's expectations. This is REALLY hard for people. (read really hard for me! LOL)
I think it comes from something I saw emphasized on Oprah's network on Sunday. I have to be willing to be wrong. Giving up the "right" to make someone else wrong and myself right is a challenge, but shows real emotional and spiritual maturity.
But, as you point out, when you've functioned in a role for so long (as adviser)...or under the expectations of a role, it can be hard to step back and redefine that role based on what the other person in the relationship really needs from us. Ego's often there fighting all the way, isn't it?
(BTW, hope you get through don Miguel's work...really insightful)
@TheJackB Hmmm...that's an interesting one, Jack. I wonder what their expectation is of you...that you'd just go along, and never challenge them? (From our conversations, I can't imagine you this docile little lamb...lol) Sounds to me that this might be more about them...but that's not to say there aren't changes you can make in communication with that person.
Ultimately, I think you're right. You have to be uber-clear on your values and then be strong to say, "no thank you" when they want to set their values up as more important or paramount to yours.
@rshin Thank you so much. I'm glad the post connected with you.
You bring up a good point about knowing someone else, when all we know is our ego facade.
You make such good points about knowing ourselves. Along with allowing ourselves to know--truly know--ourselves (and then others), we often struggle to be kind and gracious with ourselves.
I know I have struggled in the past with being okay with my mistakes and trusting my own intuition and instinct.
The key really is "to thine own self be true". It also goes back to the biblical advice to remove the beam from our eye before we pick at the speck in another's. I have learned, that if I focus on me, the rest seems to fall into place.
When I change the way I look at things, the things (and way I look at people) changes...and I generally get different responses from others.
@Sabrina at MyMiBoSo Thanks so much! It was a great honor to fill in for Lori while she's enjoying time away.
You're 100% right! It's all about expectations.
I think you hit the nail on the head...it really is about learning to 1) recognize expectations that may be hidden and 2) release them, trusting that life unfolds exactly as it is meant to.
I know in my own life, I have struggled with feeling the need to "make things happen" through resistance and sheer force. But I usually end up disappointed and frustrated when circumstances unfold chaotically.
Trust is a big one
@StaceyMJHughes @Yvonne Root - Good point, Stacey. I use a guideline that has helped me over the years. If another person's estimation of me or my abilities is higher than that I hold for myself, I adopt it until mine is greater. If it is lower, I tend to hold on to my estimation as long as it serves me.
But I try to limit my interaction with people who are that negative.
@StaceyMJHughes @Julie | A Clear Sign - Well, I don't always exercise that control, but I try to put a process in place to help me identify the real issue. Takes some of the drama out.
I once heard Tony Robbins say that the quality of one's life is determined by the quality of one's questions. These 2 (stated above) have helped me to drastically improve the quality of my relationships, and therefore, my life.
Plus, stopping to consider what it's really about and what's really happening gives me a little more time between stimulus and response...and that's nearly always a good idea. :)
@Vidya Sury Thanks so much for stopping by. You make some really great points, and I think that the idea of unconditional love is one that @StaceyMJHughes had brought up in another comment response. I don't know if absolute unconditional love exists (I want to believe that it does), but either way, learning to set aside my expectations has really helped me to have more healthy relationships.
Ego is a nasty obstacle...as you have pointed out. Having the difficult conversation is so hard sometimes. I tend to avoid confrontation, and so it is hard for me to go against my nature and initiate a tough conversation.
@Julie | A Clear Sign I love this idea--of the mirror! I hold the belief that everything in our external experience is a reflection of what's happening internally! Our relationships are no exception.
Personally, I try to stop back when I'm feeling triggered and ask this question: "What's really happening here?" and "What does this mean?"
Those 2 questions have saved me a world of hurt from flying "off the handle".
@Rileyhar Brilliant! Feelings guide us. I know for myself, I often ignore or overlook my feelings...to my peril. If I had paid better attention, I could have saved myself so much worry! :)
@bdorman264 Thanks, Bill! Appreciate the support. This analogy (of the dog) is one that don Miguel Ruiz uses in a follow up book to the Four Agreements, entitled "The Mastery of Love".
I think your point of making balanced expectations is important. Perhaps equally important is communicating our needs, desires and expectations. That, I have found, can be the trickiest part.
@Yvonne Root Wow...what a dramatic example, Yvonne. I'm so sorry it took such pain to learn this lesson.
I think a lot of us do this...I certainly have. I have a certain image of someone and interact with that image instead of entering a relationship with the "real" them. The greatest reward in life (in my opinion) is to be in relationship with someone and be able to say truthfully, "Even if you never change one thing, you are enough, just how you are and I love you."