Archives for 2009

What Does Chemistry in a Relationship Mean

Chemistry in a relationship is like a performance; one is electrifying and another is boring. But no matter what, for love’s sake, you have to keep working at it to make it better.

Chances are you’re reading this because you’re in a relationship lacking in chemistry and wondering whether to stay or go. Maybe the chemistry was once there, but you no longer feel “in love.” Or it was never there and you suspect you made a big mistake. Consider this: Maybe the real issue isn’t so much the lack of chemistry but some other problem you haven’t identified.

How do you define chemistry? I think of it as a strong attraction that includes love, lust, infatuation, and a desire to be involved intimately with someone. Chemistry is emotional desire for relationship. It is outside of the realm of reason. With it, you may be attracted to someone who you know, intellectually, is not good for you. Without it, you may be with someone you respect but are not attracted to. At best, you can have both chemistry and love; at worst, you may have chemistry and misery or no chemistry and misery. Regardless your definition, chemistry is unconscious; we don’t “choose” who we’re attracted to. Even so, we aren’t helpless. We can do much to understand and manage it. Following are guidelines that can help you navigate the minefields of attraction.

1. Do you have to have chemistry for a successful relationship? No, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you will learn to love someone. Yes, it’s possible; but if you aren’t attracted to her, you may come to resent your decision. Be honest with yourself; do not choose a relationship primarily because “she’s a good person.” This is a formula for disaster. On the other hand, if the attraction isn’t there, it can grow. Many times people grow to love one another as they get to know each other better.

2. Because it’s unconscious, searching for chemistry in a relationship is a hit-and-miss proposition. You can find it, but you’ll have to be patient. How will you know you’ve found it? You won’t be arguing with yourself whether or not you love him. If it’s a debate, then either the chemistry is missing or he’s a poor partner for you.

3. Once found, you’ll have to be patient again – or you may make a mistake you’ll deeply regret. Chemistry isn’t the end-all, be-all solution it may appear to be. Because it’s unconscious, feeling deeply attracted to someone can be a result of childhood issues you’re unaware of or haven’t resolved. A big red flag is when you see a problem in your partner and you tell yourself things like, “This isn’t such a big deal; I can handle this,” or “I know he has a problem, but he’s working on it,” or “He really loves me; I’m sure we’ll work it out.” Ignore these problems now and you’ll have much bigger ones to contend with later.

4. If you’ve made it past these hurdles, you have one more challenge: The test of time. I’ve been coaching and counseling couples since 2000. One of the comments I hear most often is, “We’ve been married for years, but haven’t felt ‘in love’ since the early part of our marriage.” The “high” of new love rarely lasts more than a couple years. Once over, you’ll need to replace it with something more substantial: caring, respect, forgiveness, and an ability to communicate. These things can be learned, but you’ll have to work hard at them. Some may be difficult skills for you to master. You can definitely do it; roll up your sleeves and get to work!

5. Can you recreate lost love? Yes! In order to do so you must have one essential ingredient – willingness on the part of both people involved. My experience with couples is once a person has “given up,” has decided in his heart he no longer wants the relationship, the chances of rekindling love are minimal. You don’t have to have a lot of willingness; faith the size of a “mustard seed” can be enough. Counseling to help resolve underlying problems and to motivate you can be helpful. Keep the faith!

David Cantu
Life Coach Austin, Texas
Chemistry in a Relationship – Is it Love? How Do You Define it?- Article © 2009

What Makes a Good Relationship Work?

HeartThere are those who give little of the much which they have – and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome. ~ Kahlil Gibran

What do you think is the most important ingredient for a successful relationship?
Would you say love? How about respect? Maybe you think it’s sex? Is it communication or commitment? Yes, all of these elements are critical. I find it hard not to put love at the top of the chart. In my mind, the others are subsets, or aspects, of love. Now, which of these ingredients is most essential for love? I got an e-mail from a friend recently and his vote is on giving. According to him, one of the biggest problems is that we generally “enter a relationship in order to get something…” This is so true.

Couple Romantic SunsetMy first response reminded me of a scene in the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Little Violet: (commenting on George Bailey) “I like him.”
Little Mary: “You like every boy.”
Little Violet: “What’s wrong with that?”

What’s wrong with entering a relationship in order to get something?
I say nothing. In fact, if we didn’t get a lot of “somethings” from a relationship, I suspect humanity would have died off a long time ago. In a very real and practical way, we need a great deal from relationships. We need respect, commitment, security, and, yes, sex. The possibility of getting them makes a partnership really attractive, and that’s why we put so much energy into marriage. In addition, there’s the powerful lure of romance and infatuation. All these factors make relationships worth pursuing. If you don’t know how to receive, if your focus is too much on giving, you’re going to have relationship problems!

True as this may be, it still misses my friend’s point.
We often pursue and interact with others from a very selfish perspective. Much too often, we ignore that we’re in a relationship not so much out of a desire for mutual sharing, but with a motivation that screams, “Me, me, me.” I’ve been counseling couples for more than twelve years, and one of the main problems people cite in their marriages is communication. In order to help them, I give very specific and simple instructions to help them communicate more effectively. The essence of these directions is, “put aside for a moment what you think, and explore what your partner is saying.” Very rarely are couples able to follow the advice initially. Why? Because we find it much easier to focus on what we think and what we want rather than on what our partner thinks and wants. This is a natural habit, one that causes us no end of grief.

Fundamentally, most of us are willing to give.
What gets in our way is fear or concern that we’re on the short end of the receiving stick. Once this thinking takes root, problems snowball. We begin to withhold and become resentful; our partner reciprocates; and it’s downhill from there. What’s the answer? I suggest a healthy dose of giving with a dash of responsibility and receiving:

1. Put your energy into giving, but do it thoughtfully.

We tend to give what we want, but that isn’t necessarily what our partners want.

In his book, “The Five Love Languages,” Gary Chapman says, “People speak different love languages.” Forget for a moment how you want to be loved and figure out how your partner wants to be loved.

2. Ask yourself this important question: “Am I giving in order to get?” If you’re treating your partner with the attitude that your relationship is basically a “business deal” and you often hear yourself asking, “I do this and that for you, what are you doing for me?” – then you don’t know what it means to give, period. I’ll be blunt; you need help, go get a counselor.

3. Listening is an act of giving. Learn to listen to your partner; this takes practice; and it isn’t as easy as it sounds. See my article, Effective Communication and Listening. Your relationship will benefit a great deal if you make it a priority to “walk in his shoes.”

4. Figure out what you lack in your relationship and ask yourself: “Is this something I should be getting from my partner, or am I being unreasonable?” This question can be difficult to answer. Too often we make demands of our partners that are a projection of our own insecurities. To really figure this out you may need help from an objective friend, counselor, or minister.

5. Be clear about your own wants. Too often people ignore their needs with the mistaken idea that giving is always better that receiving. This is a fallacy that inevitably leads to resentment and heartache. In order for your relationship to flourish you must be on the receiving end on a regular basis. Practice taking responsibility for getting what you want. It’s up to you, it’s your life!

David Cantu
Life Coach Austin, Texas
Create a Good Loving Relationship – Approach it with a Giving Heart – Article © 2009

Emotional Intelligence – Learn to Monitor Your Emotions

<FireworksEmotion is thought materialized in our physical being. Emotion is both the joy and the bane of our humanity. Life without it would be bleak and colorless, yet it defies and distorts our comprehension. This reminds me of the old saying, “Can’t live with them, and can’t live without them.” Knowing emotion is a fact of life doesn’t solve, for most of us, the problem of dealing with it effectively. Emotional intelligence may be the solution; following is a blend of practical ideas and strategies you can use to manage emotion. Many people live at the two extremes of emotional sensitivity and ignorance. At one end of the spectrum is a tendency to indulge emotions, drama; at the other end is an inclination to deny them, coldness. Both create problems; but feelings are inherently neither good nor bad, they’re a part of life. IcebergThe “feeling” of love can lead us astray as easily as anger and they both are crucial to our humanity. It’s essential that we acknowledge and embrace all emotion. Emotional intelligence is the awareness of one’s feelings and the ability to manage them and understand their significance. To develop emotional intelligence, you should learn to identify how you feel and why. Interestingly, knowing how you feel can take practice. Begin by focusing your self-awareness at a physical level. Learn to take inventory of physical sensations throughout your body, from head to toe. Slowly take stock of temperature, pulsing feelings, tingling, pain, tickling, itching; in short, notice all feelings on and in your head, face, neck, torso, arms, hands, legs and feet, gradually observe your entire body inch by inch. Woman MeditatingOne “sweep” of your body can take from one to thirty minutes. Be patient. This simple exercise can serve as a doorway to recognition of emotion. If you’re emotionally sensitive, this same practice can help you realize the fact that emotion is simply a manifestation of physical change. This change is created by the mind and we “feel it,” at a physical level; but that’s all it is – physical change. The pain or pleasure we experience is the interpretation of the mind. Its dislikes result in emotional pain and its likes produce pleasurable sensations. Don’t indulge or avoid feelings; instead learn to notice and accept them. Indulging or denying emotions gives them power over your life and makes it difficult for you to be your own master. The supreme benefit of emotion is that it’s a gauge of our world view; it’s a manifestation of our mind in our physical being. It sometimes deceives us of the truth in life, yet it indicates the essence of our beliefs. Knowing how you feel gives you knowledge of your true convictions. Change your thinking and in time you will change your emotions and your life. Learn to be the manager of your emotions rather than their slave, tossed here and there by their turmoil. Managing emotion doesn’t mean controlling it. What’s the difference? We can’t control our emotions any more than we can control our nervous system, our need for food and air, or our brain and heart functions. Woman Jumping On The BeachEmotion is nature – generally beyond our direct control. We can, however, learn to live with emotion and respond to it effectively. To learn this, you must know you are the creator of your emotional state. Usually, you don’t make feelings happen any more consciously than you digest your food. Your unconscious mind, as a result of your life experiences and your interpretation of those events, creates your emotions. You are, nevertheless, responsible for how you feel; no-one else is – not your family, not your boss, nor even your spouse! Once you claim your rightful ownership, you put yourself in the position to respond effectively to any experience, painful or otherwise, because you no longer blame others for your feelings. This is emotional management; this is true power and the gateway to a joyful life. David Cantu Life Coach Austin, Texas Emotional Intelligence – Learn to Monitor Your Emotions – Article © 2009

Personal Life Coaching & Marriage Counseling Austin Overview

David has over 12 years coaching experience – He can help you in five major areas: intimate relationships, personal growth, career, family dynamics, and spirituality.

The Adventure of Life is to Learn – Be the Hero

The big question is whether you’re going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure…the adventure of the hero – the adventure of being alive. ~ Joseph Campbell

Why is saying “no,”
even to those we love best, so easy to do? Why is saying “yes” so difficult? The questions:Man Angry Look “What about me, what about what I want?” appear to be embedded deeply within us, even in the best of people. When we’re asked, “Will you do me a favor?” the response quite often is some variation of, “It depends on the favor, what do you want?” It’s as if we’re afraid that by saying “yes,” we may lose something or that the cost will be too much for us to bear. Maybe we fear committing to something we really may not want to do; so, “it depends,” gives us the leeway, or time, to come up with an excuse to back out – just in case.

Is anything wrong with that thinking?
Many teachings and sayings of cultures and religions are in apparent opposition to that notion. Examples include biblical quotes such as “Give and it will be given to you,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Despite these teachings, we frequently don’t operate that way. We apparently live in the time of me; perhaps this is how people have always behaved.
Certainly, many people take the idea of saying “yes” too far – people-pleasers. That’s an extreme. I’m talking about the rest of us.

Woman MaybeI see two problems with hedging,
with saying anything other than “yes.” The first appears minor; When we say “maybe,” we give the other person the message that “no” is a possibility. But, unless you’re dealing with a bully or someone out of touch with reality, the person is already aware that “no” is a possibility. Saying “maybe,” only underscores the fact. Saying “yes,” on the other hand, encourages and strengthens the relationship with that person. You are, in effect, saying: “You’re important to me and I’m confirming this by saying ‘yes’ without any need of explanation from you. Just tell me what you want.”

The second problem with hedging
is that it’s protective where protection is unnecessary. When you say “yes,” you’re saying to yourself and to the other person, “I’m not afraid; I can take care of myself. Happy PeopleI’ll give you what you want because I have confidence in myself that I have it to give and I’m willing to give it. It truly won’t cost me. If you ask something I can’t give or choose not to give, I’ll tell you and perhaps help you in some other way.” In other words, saying “yes” empowers you and builds confidence in yourself that you’re abundant and responsible.

Say “yes” today;
you’ll be stronger for it; you’ll be the hero of your life.
David Cantu
Life Coach Austin, Texas
Learn to Say Yes to the Adventure of Life – be the Hero – Article © 2009

Effective Communication Tips – Speak Respectfully & Directly

Let your speech be always full of grace, seasoned with salt. ~ Colossians 4:6

Have you ever started an innocent conversation
with someone only to have it disintegrate into anger or frustration? We sometimes try to pinpoint where it all went wrong;Couple Frustrated but a more useful starting point may be, “What can I do to prevent it?” Other than those lopsided encounters with someone who talks as if there’s no tomorrow, most conversations include a give and take in which we alternate roles of speaker and listener. Following are “ground rules” that can be helpful in any interaction. The focus here is on the speaker role and, in particular, those talks in which you need to address an area of conflict, a sensitive topic, or something that bothers you. By “speaker role” I mean times when you have a complaint against someone as opposed to those situations when someone’s pointing out a problem he has with you.

Is this really an issue?

It’s amazingly easy to get caught up in drama. Before you go charging into a fray, ask yourself, “Is this important, or am I making a big deal out of nothing?” It’s so tempting to convince ourselves that we’re dealing with a real problem. Put it on hold for a day or two before addressing the issue. Allowing your emotions to take over is counter-productive; approach the situation as calmly as possible. By taking a long deep breath you enable yourself to be objective.

Be respectful.

Resolve to be respectful with the other person. In order for you to be effective it will help a great deal if you aren’t critical. Being negative or condescending will alienate others and make it difficult for them to listen to your perspective. Rather than point out how he’s wrong, focus instead on a goal. It’s easy for a person to feel defensive. If he does, let him know that you simply want a new outcome.

Be direct.

Being direct is probably the most difficult of all these guidelines. Too often we tiptoe around an issue and Couple Talkingdon’t say exactly what we mean. This doesn’t mean you should “just be honest.” We sometimes use honesty as an excuse to be mean. At the same time it’s important that you get to the point. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that being direct is offensive; it isn’t, if your intention is one of compassion and respect. A great way to be direct is to take responsibility for your choices and thoughts. Rather than saying, “I don’t think what you’re doing is right,” say, “I want you to stop what you’ve been doing.” In the first statement you place the responsibility on morality – right and wrong; in the second statement you take the responsibility yourself – “This is what I want.”

Stay focused.

You can get off track in thousands of ways. Regardless what the other person says, remember the reason you brought up the discussion; return to the topic anytime either of you veers off course. If the other person makes some kind of counter-argument, acknowledge it when true; but return to your original issue. Don’t get caught up with tangential problems.

Be willing to listen.

Finally, sometimes it’s important to change to the listener role.Couple Holding Hands Learn how to ask questions, see the other person’s point of view, and create a connection. Make connection your primary goal rather than resolution – communication first, solution later. Your efforts to become a better speaker and listener can create the foundation necessary for problem solving and result in deeper, richer relationships.
Please see my article on listening Effective Communication & Listening.
David Cantu
Life Coach Austin, Texas
Effective Communication – Speak Respectfully & Directly – Article © 2009

Power of Acceptance and Gratitude – Feel Freedom in Relationships

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and, under a just God, cannot long retain it. ~ Abraham Lincoln: Letter to H.L. Pierce, April 6, 1859

Couple UpsetRelationships are sometimes a quagmire of emotion, misunderstandings, and unmet expectations. Rather than feeling free and joyful, we often find ourselves feeling trapped and frustrated. I sometimes hear people lament, “I was really happy before we got together. I think I’m better off alone.” Despite the challenges of relationships, we all have boundless opportunities for intimacy and joy in a partnership. It’s just a matter of practicing what really works and giving up those things that get in our way.

The main ingredients of healthy partnerships
are effective communication, compatibility, authenticity, commitment, and love. The “secret” element, however, is acceptance; it’s a hidden but integral part of every other ingredient. Acceptance truly helps all relationships because it is a gift of freedom.

Living in Austin, Texas, can be difficult in the summer heat.
Couple UmbrellaInterestingly, when I ask people about it, they generally have an easy-going attitude. The reason for this is that they see it as a “natural” occurrence, a fact of life. Yet those same people don’t see relationships in the same light. When we think about it, people agree that failures and emotions are a part of life. We intellectually understand no one is perfect and that even our best friends will sometimes let us down or get angry with us. Unfortunately, when it actually happens, when one’s spouse or girlfriend becomes highly emotional or behaves contrary to his desire, the response is frequently frustration, surprise, and resentment. Emotions and mistakes in relationships are natural but we often don’t see them that way.

Acceptance in relationships
says, “People in my life, including those I’m closest to, are going to make blunders, and more than occasionally will be angry, sad, depressed, or scared. I accept this as natural. I don’t condone the mistakes of others, but I don’t judge them either. Instead, I practice compassion and seek to understand them. I see emotion as part of the tapestry of life, something we all are learning to deal with. I don’t shy away from emotion; it’s life. I’m also not a doormat: I practice dealing with the ups and downs of others as effectively as I can. I speak up about wrong-doing. I listen to others’ frustrations with me with a willing ear, but I don’t tolerate abuse.”

Acceptance leads to freedom
Child and Balloon in relationships because one is no longer tied down by the bonds of expectation and demand. A person can still desire and hope for certain outcomes; but with acceptance, he frees himself from the result, whatever it may be. Acceptance is the gift of freedom to others and to oneself.
David Cantu
Life Coach Austin, Texas
Freedom in Relationships with Acceptance – Article © 2009

Change Yourself Change the World

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. ~ Robert Frost

Every now and then,
Galaxy someone writes a book, prophesies a future, or reveals a truth of nature with startling insight and pristine clarity – books such as “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the prophets Moses or Edgar Casey, the revelations of atomic theory, forgiveness, relativity, or the unity of life and the universe. In a rush to maintain our notion of reality, we frequently vilify the messenger; later, people see the truth of the message and … the world changes.

The point isn’t about changing the world;
it’s about changing ourselves. In “Selections from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,” author Andrew Harvey says, “We are all heading into a whirlwind of catastrophe, war, heartbreak on the one hand, and, on the other, of unprecedented opportunities for real transformation, on a massive, world-altering scale.” Isn’t that what humanityEarth has been experiencing for millions of years? We will continually face war, pestilence, and destruction on the one hand, and, on the other, the possibility of peace and transformation. That’s not news; it’s reality; and it’s not going to stop happening – ever! It’s change and evolution. We make a mess of life and then make it worse, or we learn and then make it better. Life happens and we screw up, or not; and then it happens again; each time we’re on the threshold of heroism, villainy, or cowardice. We have choices to make.

The point isn’t what happens on the world stage;
the point is, “what are you, personally, doing with your life?” The real message of the great men and women of history is not so much what they discovered, but the lives they led that opened their hearts and minds to those secrets. We each have within us that same spark of eternal wisdom patiently waiting to be ignited. Yes, life can be cruel and merciless; but it is also nurturing, benign, and lavish.Warrior Woman In “War of Art,” Steven Pressfield presents us with “a rogue’s gallery of” evils lurking within each of our minds to sabotage our every attempt to take life by storm the moment we take a single step in that direction. His word for these evils is “resistance.” The endless list includes resistance of addiction, procrastination, drama, and self-doubt. The truth is you can overcome them; but to do so you must be the warrior – vigilant, diligent, and bold. Then, and only then, do you taste the sweet nectar of the life of the hero. You will make dozens of choices today. Each one will serve either your passion, the life you were meant to live, or fear.

What are your dreams?
Are you living them? Do you want to be the singer in the band, run a marathon, own a bed and breakfast, take a year-long trip around the world, have six-pack abs, or be an interior designer? It doesn’t have to be an opus to change the world, but it has to be your opus.Man Running You have to work hard at it, that’s what it means to be the warrior. Are you telling yourself a story right now about how this is a nice idea, very poetic, but not reality? That’s Resistance! Fight it! That’s what the lives of Christ, the Buddha, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Aristotle were about. Daily, they fought the evil in their minds and, more importantly, they defeated it. They were authentic, they were true to themselves, and they were warriors. Take the road less traveled, live your opus, be the warrior.
David Cantu
Life Coach Austin, Texas
Change the World – Change Yourself & Live Your Dreams – Article © 2009

Bhagavad-Gita (from chapter 2)

Hell has three doors: lust, rage, and greed. These lead to man’s ruin. Therefore he must avoid them all. He who passes by these three dark doors has achieved his own salvation. He will reach the highest goal at last.

Key Elements to Active Listening: Effective Communication

For when you come to think of it, the only way to love a person is not … to coddle them and bring them soup when they’re sick, but by listening to them and seeing and believing in the god, in the poet in them. ~ Brenda Ueland

The first element of communication, speaking,
is impossible without the second, listening;Couple Woman Listening to be a good speaker you must be a good listener. We all want to speak; and even more, we want to be heard. When we become good listeners we create the possibility of a captive audience – people who want to hear what we have to say. In his essay, “The Statesman,” playwright Henry Taylor poetically expresses this idea: “No siren did ever so charm the ear of the listener as the listening ear has charmed the soul of the siren.”

Listening, however, is a big challenge;
even when we try hard our unconscious mind still thinks, “Soon it will be my turn.” We swim in an emotional hotbed of thought and experience, and it’s difficult to quiet its demands long enough to hear and understand what someone really means. Add to that the fact that the other person may not be clear about his own message!

Become a listening artist.
The art of communication is about creating and strengthening Couple Sunsetrelationships. An adept listener strives first to understand others and second to create a feeling within others of being understood. Your best goal is not to find a solution to whatever problem you may have with someone; the ideal goal is the tapestry of connection which is a result of putting aside for a moment your own frame of reference. A solution is much easier to find once you’re on the same page. To become competent at listening, learn to remain in the listener role until you have a “meeting of minds.” Respond and speak, but remain in the listener role. This means you don’t get to express your point of view! What you have to say may be important, but don’t do it until you’ve created a bond, a sense of oneness.

We sometimes struggle
acknowledging someone’s point of view out of fear of losing our identity or fear that we may somehow become compromised. Recognition of someone’s ideas doesn’t require agreement; its intention is a dance of understanding. Acknowledging someone with sincerity puts him at ease, helps him feel less vulnerable, more open. We often become defensive, feeling that someone is attacking us. Approach communication with the notion that another’s beliefs are merely that; they are her personal ideas, and as such don’t have anything to do with you or anyone else. In “The Four Agreements,” author Don Miguel Ruiz says, “Others are going to have their own opinion according to their belief system, so nothing they think about me is really about me, but it is about them.” His “Second Agreement” is concise and powerful, “Don’t take it personally.”

Create listening music.
Be curious; ask questions toCouple Talking Lake better grasp the other person’s meaning. Don’t defend, justify, or criticize. Do not explain how your perspective is correct or why your actions were valid. Do not ask questions meant to invalidate another’s thinking or to validate your own ideas. Be authentic, not “sweet.” True listening is not a passive enterprise but an active extension of yourself into the heart of another, which in turn invites and draws him out into a song of rapport.
Listen; you would be wise!
David Cantu
Life Coach Austin, Texas
Effective Communication & Listening – How to Listen Actively (article) © 2009

Luke 8:17-18

17”For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.
18Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.”

Being Present in the Moment

… striving to find meaning in one’s life is the primary motivational force in man. ~ Victor Frankl

 

We all constantly dealEye Info Overload with an abundance of information, both external and internal. We hear and feel the voices of purpose, anger, sorrow, motivation, greed, joy, fear, hunger, illness, health, intuition, sex – and these are intermingled with a second cacophony of friends’ suggestions, the force and taste of nature, the requests of loved ones, the demands of work, the internet, the pressures of society, an endless profusion of influences clamoring for our attention.

 

Each voice wants to be heard and acted upon, and it is most important that you find a means to effectively distill and wisely select those that are most helpful and in alignment with your spirit. To do this requires one fundamental decision: to identify and name that which you choose to live by. This may be a single word or a mantra. It may be love, joy, I am a child of God, I am true to myself, I am peacefulness, or I live in harmony with life.

Our minds are often an incessant stream of useless clutter that feeds on itself and creates even more clutter. I call it clutter because the “thinking” we do doesn’t serve any meaningful purpose; it doesn’t help us, but in fact sets us back. We think about things that once happened and over which we have no control. We also daydream about a life that has no basis in reality. I’m not suggesting that dealing with the past or setting goals is useless, I’m referring to the uselessness of going over things in our minds with no true goal. Stop doing this by learning to be present.

Learn to focus on the reality of the present moment:

  • Focus your attention on your breath. A problem with many of the things we “see,” is that we have preconceived ideas of them. Breathing is something we’re likely to be neutral about.
  • Hear the actual words that are being spoken. We generally interpret what others say because of expectations and their emotions. We can however learn to focus only on their words.
  • Respond to events with peacefulness. Even though you may feel a certain way about events, you can learn not to respond emotionally but with curiosity. Curiosity can help you see things as they really are.

Practicing these simple ideas will help quiet your mind. As you do so you will find yourself increasingly in harmony with people and experiences. This in turn brings you in alignment with your spirit and your true destiny.

 

Today, right now, seek and name your destiny. Use this simple and powerful action to serve as a guide to inform all your choices. It doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes; it isn’t a panacea but a beginning in taking charge of and finding meaning in your life. It is a clear identification of who you aim to be.

David Cantu

Life Coach Austin Texas

Seek the Truth: Aim for Destiny © 2009

 

Matthew 7:7

Seek and you will find…

Clarity Life Design: 6 Steps to Clarity

Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it. ~ Rumi

Be clear in speech.
Clear speech and sincere listening are as essential to one another as giving is to receiving; without one the circuit is broken and what remains is potential rather than realization. Together they lead to connection and understanding. Don’t assume that you are misunderstood because of other people’s shortcomings. Instead, make yourself a model of conscious listening. The result will be clarity of speech, which is truth.

Be clear in thought.
Lack of clear thought feeds unconscious fears and leads to darkness. Guard your thoughts well and practice quieting your mind. A quiet mind is a focused mind. You can achieve this by immersing yourself in those things which deeply engage your mind, your heart and your physical being. They include creativity, love, beauty, prayer, gratitude, contemplation and physical and spiritual activity. Your thoughts, conscious and unconscious, are your tools of manifestation. Clarity of thought leads to fearlessness and wisdom.

Be clear in your heart.
Your ego suggests you’re awesome or pathetic but it’s important that you seek the truth. Assess your life honestly and acknowledge both your strengths and shortcomings. Practice self acceptance and resolve to overcome your weaknesses. From love of self comes a desire to live in helpfulness, compassion, and understanding of others. The fruit of love is joy.

Be clear in action.
Dreams are beautiful and can inspire but are empty without action. To fulfill your destiny take conscious action now.

Be clear in prayer.
Ask not that the world may be healed; ask instead for courage that you may help heal the world through your own transformation.

Be clear in intent.
Decide to live in alignment with your highest self. Regardless what you do, your destiny is a joyful life. A conscious and ongoing focus on peace and truth helps make it a reality. Integrity: an alignment of speech, heart, mind, action and spirit makes you a beacon of light and hope in the world.
David Cantu
Life Coach Austin Texas
Clarity in Your Life © 2003

2 Corinthians 4:18

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.