Thursday, 31 January 2013

Expand Yourself with Love and Wisdom


We have come to the end of January, which means for most of us, those healthy new year's resolutions are in serious need of a little reward. Most of us look for this in comfort food, and it seems that during such times food can taken on a distinctly nostalgic turn. For "nostalgia" you may just as well substitute "comfort". That's really what this is all about. On some days it feels as if they're the only things getting us through this dark, chilly January in Britain.

There is nothing particularly healthy about foods from our childhood (especially if it refers to the rise of processed foods from the late '70s to mid '80s - think chicken Kiev dinners and Angel Delight puddings, or as for me the heyday of fast food supremacy in the 90s) but as a familiar taste from a happier time it goes straight for the pleasure points in a way that few other things can.

So, while some of us will have started the year by declaring a detox and fishing out their old gym pass, I'm sure many more are riding out the miserable weather with a dollop of nostalgia with their best comfort desserts for winter. A spoonful of sugar does makes the medicine go down, unhealthy or not. This is the danger of nostalgia, however. I can't argue over the simple joys of so-called retro food, but it is probably too easy to over-romanticise the food of our childhood, especially if our current times are not too plush for us. For some it can be another way of avoiding reality.

Read why you shouldn't avoid reality.

If we don't face up to the challenging aspects of life, we won't expand, we'll retract - physically, mentally and spiritually. For some this is just a brief period of "hibernation" - and taken as a breather, it can do us good. But more often than not, this becomes an ingrained habit that can cause us a lot of problems in the long run. Instead of comforting us, it ends up reinforcing our problems or turning them into "sleeper" issues. Often if we are aware of our search for comfort in darker times, we can make sure this doesn't become a habit. Rather it becomes an aid to get us through a rough patch, never allowing our nostalgia a long enough pass to blind us to the importance of the present moment.

Nostalgia is difficult to fight against; we archive it, and institutionalise it. During unpopular times it is a mass popular movement that taps into the public consciousness, to provide rich fodder for better understanding the times back then. But nostalgia can also remind us of how far we have come in such a short period of time historically. If we look back in history, and think about where we are in context of where we have been, it gives us perspective. When nostalgia is used in this way to better understand the time we live in, instead of mere escapism, it can be a powerful aid to help us reach a better future.

For example, we can look back to ground breaking songs during our dark past that spoke globally of different races of people not as former enemies, but as people with feelings no different from anyone else, and capable of expressing beautiful, tender emotions. But how far have we come from those ideal sentiments? Have we learned to co-exist as successfully as we might have done? The British army conducts virtual warfare, Israel attacks Syria, America gets poorer, and we all become more fundamental and inward looking as a result. Consequently, instead of getting dogged down too much in nostalgia, maybe it's time for more forward thinking new ideas from people fully cemented in the present, not with their heads buried in the proverbial sand.

Start co-existing with love.

There is a theory that the universe expresses ideas through certain individuals. For example, the equation E=MC2 was expressed through Albert Einstein. This is perhaps the most famous equation of all time. What it means is that even a tiny amount of mass yields an incredible amount of energy. Releasing that energy can do everything from power cities (a nuclear power-plant) to destroy them (a nuclear bomb).

Adherents to the theory that the human mind is a conduit of expression for the universe, or source - or whatever you choose to label the core of existence - believe that we can learn from these individuals, rather than trying to simply rediscover how they amassed such brain power on our own. We do not have to reinvent the wheel, they say. However, other experts tells us we should in fact try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to looking at how our minds work, because the "wheel" will have different purposes for different people. We won't really learn until we figure things out for ourselves.

Every point of consciousness needs to be given the freedom to go its own way to accomplish its own thing. Just like a plant needs to be given the freedom to be able to grow and thrive and succeed in its purpose, our thoughts also need to be given the freedom to work things out. Love gives freedom or space for love to flourish. Everything needs space to develop. Some wellness experts say this also explains attachment and detachment. Temporarily detaching ourselves - especially from our challenges - is said to give us a wider perspective - and with that comes wisdom.

10 things we must figure our for ourselves

When you let others determine too much of your life for you, you miss out on what makes that life worth living. Being an individual means being able to think things out for yourself, and decide the best course of action to take. You alone have lived your life, and you alone have the right to determine how to continue living it.

Everyone gets drilled with certain lessons in life. Sometimes it takes repeated demonstrations of a given law of life to really get it into your skull, and other times one powerful experience drives the point home once, forever. Mark Twain said that if you hold a cat by its tail, you learn things you cannot learn any other way.

Learning is merely a component of life, like the limbs of the human body. We can learn a lot from others, but some things in life must be experienced to be truly understood. Below you will find a list of 10 such things, the things we all must figure out for ourselves.

  1. Love – There is no official guide for falling in love, falling out of love, or dealing with the emotional intricacies of love. Love cannot be taught and it certainly cannot be forced. Love is an instinctual feeling, a powerful sentiment, one we will all find under different circumstances and must each figure out for ourselves.

    Attract your own twin flame NOW!

  2. Friendship – Some personalities simply click and others clash. Just like love, friendship is a natural process that cannot be forced. Other people can select our acquaintances for us, but over time we will find true friendship on our own. When the conversations are comfortable and relaxed and a mutual feeling of trust is apparent, true friendship has been found.

    Soulmate or twin flame?

  3. Loss – At some point each one of us will experience a loss in life. It could be the death of a loved one, the devastation of personal belongings, or a vicious rejection in our career. Each of us is going to naturally deal with loss in our own unique manner, some taking more time to reflect on it than others. While suggestions can be made, we must figure it out for ourselves, mourn if necessary, and move on when we are ready.
  4. The Short vs. Long Catch-22 – There is a paradox found in various situations where we must choose between short-term and long-term fulfilment. It governs the path we take concerning our aspirations, desires, and available opportunities. Things that seem positive in the short-term can turn sour in the long-term. Likewise, disciplined efforts to meet long-term objectives can lead to a more dull short-term existence. People can try to advise us in specific situations, but we must ultimately figure out how to manage this catch-22 for ourselves across the broad scope of our lives.
  5. Self-Forgiveness – We all make mistakes. It is an inevitable element of being alive. Since we are undoubtedly our own toughest critic, we sometimes inflict unnecessary self-guilt on our conscious for certain actions we did or did not take. This typically hinders our productivity and happiness. Many self-help instructors attempt to teach self-forgiveness, but every circumstance and individual is slightly different than the next. Experience is the key. General experience in dealing with the process of trial and error across various life circumstances is really what increases our comfort level with making mistakes.

    Clean up with love.

  6. Life Balance – Living a healthy, rewarding life involves the simple art of balance. We must balance risk vs. reward, family and friends vs. career goals, quantity vs. quality… the list could continue indefinitely. Over time, and with enough experience, we will be able to evaluate any situation, decipher the boundary extremes and find a happy, healthy medium between these extremes.

    Love is the true balancer in life.

  7. Responsibility and Independence – Responsibility is not a quality instinctually instilled in all human beings. Some of us have to work really hard at leading a responsible life. The key is to realise that it is okay to assist someone, but the full burden of a responsibility should never be taken away from its owner. If it is, the owner will never learn, thus becoming forever dependant on others. Cause and effect is the ultimate guide to responsibility. "If I don't get a job, I won't have money to buy food." Our success with responsibility will eventually lead to complete independence.
  8. Character Identity – "Who am I?" We all have to figure this out for ourselves. Character identity is incredibly difficult to define. We all have ideas in our minds of who we are, who we want to become, or how we want to live. The single greatest gift a human being possesses is free will, our ability to think, make choices, and take action with the decisions we make. These decisions eventually mould the person we are, our character identity.

    Let love express you.

  9. Betrayal – Dealing with betrayal usually sends a person on an emotional roller-coaster ride. There is no practical way of preparing for it because every act of betrayal contains a different set of variables. When it happens, we are usually left asking a series of questions. Why? Is there another side to the story? Can we work through this? These are questions only the people involved can answer and deal with.

    How to be lucky in love.

  10. Happiness and SuccessMany great thinkers have pondered on the issue of happiness, but many today believe that happiness is doing what you love, and success is excelling at doing what you love. Nobody else can tell us how to be happy or what to love. As we progress through life we uncover these mysteries on our own. Once we have happiness figured out we can map out a course for achieving our own personalised version of success.

    Discover your passions.

These are important issues for those of us worried about not fulfilling our potential. What great source had Einstein tapped into with his mind to kick-start his genius? Was he privy to some secret knowledge of life and the universe that you are not? And how can you be all that you want to be in this life, and have total self actualisation? How can you manifest the dream vocation, the dream house, the dream car, the dream life and the dream lover?

Is this possible to achieve? Are there spiritual secret mysteries that once unlocked will provide us with the keys to the power of our minds? Experts often cite esoteric texts to say that there are indeed such secrets - which can help us posses the powers of reality creation, with which you could create or invent something new, or recreate what already exists into that something better. Whether you want on invent a new wheel or reinvent the old one, what do you need to do to tap into these seemingly elusive, and mysterious powers of the mind to manifest the thoughts you dream?

It's believed by some that when you remain attached to your thoughts, it does not have the space to grow freely, hence you are jeopardising its ability to fulfil its full potential. When you stop holding on to it but relax and let go, you detach from it and allow room for it to move into actualisation. In this sense, holding on is resistance. Letting go is allowing your thoughts to manifest freely. Likewise, you can tell by the way you feel when you move from a place of tension to a place of relaxation. When you set an intention, you set a tension between two points of where you are and where you want to be, which creates a motor for the universe to move things.

When you let go of the intention, you release the tension and allow the two points to become as one. This is the natural cycle between intention (tension) and detachment (relaxation). Any area of reality is held in place by the focusing of consciousness. When you let go of your focus temporarily in that area, you allow that area of reality to return to its state of fluidity and malleability which enables elements in it to rearrange themselves freely. So live freely, experts advise, and give everything you create the freedom to fall into place.

The first steps to changing your life

Concious change has to start somewhere and the first step is sometimes the most difficult, especially if we don't know what step should be the first to take.

  1. Knowing where to start - In order to make any changes in your life you have to know where to begin. You have to have a starting point. Your challenges show you where to begin.
  2. Make the space - You have to make room in your life for the blessings that you are expecting. If your mind and heart is closed off you won't get anywhere. You have to know the secret behind accepting the gifts you are given.

We are told by countless experts, however, that in order to use your brain's power to it's fullest extent in this way, you must believe! Plain and simple - or so it would seem. If you do not believe in your brain's power, it's said your brain will not exhibit these powers. You create your own destiny, and you control the abilities your brain can attain - or so the theory goes.

Thus we are advised to set our goals high, and never let negative thoughts bring us down. Once your brain is programmed with negativity, it is thought to be extremely hard to break this cycle. We are told that you must understand you have the ability to do whatever you want and believe it with all your heart.

Click here to rewire your mindset for success!

This sounds simple enough, but then why do so many people, who try to unlock the powers of the brain, come to the conclusion that they can't do it? We are told that we can, but we can't - is it a matter of belief? Experts are quick to point out that belief is indeed paramount, that this is the base building block on which we progress to manifesting our dreams through mind power, or mind reality.

Clarify your new life with love.

Manifestation, on which such theories as the law of attraction is based, believes that your thoughts are a perfect reflection of what is in the process of happening. This has been preached down the centuries, but few really understand and believe the power of manifestation. It took a few clever money-spinners to sell an old idea to the new world, and watch none of their promises to their customers come to life.

If they had been fully qualified paid professionals, they would have been struck off from their profession long ago, but as it is, due to the nature of the products they sell, they can claim that it is your fault. They tell us that you have the power to make your life the way you want. Wealth, love, happiness, and success can all be achieved by manifesting your thoughts. And if it isn't happening, then it must be down to you.

Have you got what it takes to be a genius already inside you? Is it a just a matter of knowing how to tap into your potential? Do you simply have to believe in it for it to work? There are many people desperately wanting to discover the answers to life's greatest mysteries. Countless souls wander through this world all their life and never come to the knowledge of what reality is all about. Experts in this field say that everything has meaning and can be used as clues to your chosen destiny from your higher self and the universe. For instance, if you have just randomly come across this page, they would describe this seemingly chance occurrence as a clue - that you were meant to discover this article, at this time.

Are we daydreaming away our lives?

This "law of attraction" theory goes that you being here does not happen to be a totally random event. You are here because you intended to be here. You created this. Therefore it is most probably your path to acquire this information that has been waiting for you all along inside. However, there are other experts who would also only talk in terms of probabilities, believing the universe to be full of probable events, because the ultimate factor that rules everything is choice. You were "destined" to live this moment because you created it, but only because you made an active choice to be here.

Thus, in this way, believers of this theory tell us choosing is how we create reality. Some use the pseudo-term "chooser-creator". Choosing, they tell us, is the first step to everything else. I choose to share this information, you choose to read it. And the reality you create from it will depend on you, and the subsequent life changing choices you will make. The theory continues that it is HOW we make these choices, as much as WHAT choices we make, which will affect the end result of manifesting our dreams into our waking reality.

How did you choose to come here today - with an open mind? Are you ready to receive unlimited power into your life by being open to unlocking your mind from within? Open up and it shall be given unto you. We are told this is the ultimate secret of the universe, because everything flows as an exchange of energy from one place with another. The higher flows to the lower and the lower returns to the higher.

Give and it shall be given unto you. This is another secret we're told, because the energy that you give out will bring back a corresponding energy. Give time for learning, give life for love, give thanks for happiness and give your mind to wisdom. Once you open the door to your mind, adherents say you will continue to have lifetime access. The amount of power, freedom and abundance you are able to experience in your life is directly tied to the reality of your mind, which is infinite - or so we are told.

Money-making gurus try to place a value on this mind reality by charging us for their programmes and promises that they have the key to unlock the potential of our minds. They tell us that they can't give away their "secrets" for free, but that we should give our money to them for the benefit of their brains. Some of these self-labelled gurus even spin the fantasy to their clients that if they didn't get paid for their pseudo-science babble and teachings, it would mean they would need to get work doing something non-spiritual (read this as a get a proper job like the rest of us).

Read more about money-making gurus.

The argument these gurus make is that if we didn't hand over our hard earned money to them, they would spend a lot less time doing their "spiritual work", and that would be a great loss to the world. Apart from this sounding unbelievably egotistical and far from the purpose of true spiritual teaching, usually all these self-help programmes do is allow these so-called gurus to help themselves to our money. Guidance on spiritual matters should not be about creating wealth for yourself, and we should differentiate from investing in something of value that truly benefits us, to throwing our money away on programmes that just regurgitate the same pseudo-science like reconstituted cheese.

The wise musings of Lao Tzu has earned hundreds of people money over poorly translated, misappropriated works - but how much did the true owner of the work ask for his wisdom? And how is the overall spiritual contribution to the world going to be a whole lot less if we refuse to pay out our money to these programmes that promise to fill our pockets, and end up emptying them instead? How could this be a good thing? And surely, it contaminates the good, practical work that reputable life coaches do, and muddies the information pool with all the contradictory and cockamaney information they put out there. It breaks our trust.

Trust is an important factor in our lives, even when we can't see it at work. There are many security measures that many websites use to combat fraud, especially online banking and shopping. Often, they build up a "device fingerprint" of the machines we use to visit them. These fingerprints look deep into the characteristics of the machine, logging such things as the time zone, keyboard language, operating-system version and other key identifiers. Using the same machine over and over builds up a trusted-relationship status with the website and end-user, and we as the end-user hardly recognise it until something goes wrong.

And life transformation doesn't happen by simply handing over your money to some online programme that promises you the world. It happens gradually, when we put in the requisite effort - it takes time, support and practical advice that we can sensibly use in our modern lives. Frightening us into thinking we need to live on top of some mountain in the Himalayas is not an option. If there are any secrets to discover, we need to be able to responsibly incorporate them realistically in our lives - like identifying our lifestyle habits and changing them if they don't serve our defined goals for success.

Click here to change 6 negative habits.

Changing our bad habits is one good practical advice, but for some of us, this needs to be a slow process, taking in hand one habit at a time. It doesn't happen in a few days, sometimes life transformation can take years, depending on the person. We are all individual, and what most of these gurus won't tell you is that there is no "one-size-fits-all" cure for every ailment we may suffer. It's like shoes. Everyone has a different size of feet - it's impossible to make one style of shoe that fits everyone and that makes shoes one of the hardest things to sell online. This is why the programmes of these self-help gurus will ultimately fail, and waste our time, and why it is often better that we do figure things out for ourselves. We are all unique, and whatever works best for us, may not work for another.

We should all really view self-improvement as a process. It's a lifelong goal, not a product or service to sell. Practical help, advice, and personal life training by investigating the individual's lifestyle habits and tailor-making a programme specially suited to their needs in terms of nutrition, lifestyle, and moods and behaviour generally requires professionals from the sciences. We should always seek medical advice from our general practitioner, find a reputable dietician, personal physical trainer, and avail ourselves of the talking therapies when needed.

Alternative arenas of self-improvement should supplement the professional guidance we seek, but ultimately we need to also work our own way through our lives. Talking therapies, doctor's advice, nutritional guidance and physical training all need our input to work for us. We may not need to understand it all, for it to work for us and achieve results, but we do need to understand ourselves and how we best work in our body and mind.

Don't be fooled by over-inflated promises

It is extremely useful to rely on the advice and encouragement of others, especially those better qualified than us on the subject in hand, but that's as far as it should go. When someone tells a wise person to do something, they take it under advisement. So should you. Einstein was a genius, because he was wiser than he was intelligent. Every command you hear, you should consider first, without thinking you must automatically follow it. When someone says, "Do this," instead of "OK," think "Should I? Is this the best course of action for me? How will this affect others? What are the consequences? What will my doing this mean in an hour? In a day? In a year?" Only after you've evaluated whether the command is worth following should you do it, if that is what you choose.

Moreover, you should consider just who is giving you this advice, and why. If you are not happy with not only the medical advice but the person giving it, you can always get a second opinion, for example. Question whether the advice is from a fully qualified paid professional, or a so-called "guru" trying to sell some online programme, or just a friend offering some free advice. Is the article you're reading enlightening you on shared interests, or trying to sell you something? Naturally, we shouldn't always expect something for nothing, but we should ask ourselves what the main purpose of the advice is - to help us, or make money for someone else? There is a notion that the internet is always making money for someone, but usually that person isn't you.

The basic idea here is that you should treat every command as a piece of advice. Someone tells you to do something, and then it's up to you to decide whether to comply. Mindless obedience will only get you so far in life. When you shut off your brain and rely solely on the many mandates of others, you lose part of your ability to think. Some day, when no one will help you make a decision, you'll need that thinking ability. If you weren't using it all along, you won't know what to do. If nothing else it will teach you to be self-sufficient.

It can be easy for the world to tell you how to behave, but even easier for it to suddenly go silent and let you wallow in indecision. Support groups are very beneficial, but they are there to be supportive of your decisions and guide if necessary, not to lead or coerce you. The only way to ensure you'll be ready is to take every order under advisement, and think things through each time. When you do that, you'll be better prepared to make vital choices when no one else can.

Keep in mind there are many, many different ways people can try to manipulate you. Advertisements tell you where to shop, what to buy, what you need to fit in, be cool, and stay up to date. Your boss tells you what to do at work. Teachers tell you how to behave, what to know, and how to think. Your friends and family tell you who to be, and how to never become someone other than the person they see you as. You must make up your mind never to completely give in to the orders of society, because once you do that, you lose yourself.

And self-improvement is not just about improving yourself, it also involves finding your true self. Education is a large part of self-improvement, but education is NOT the dry accumulation and learning of information - it is about training the brain to think. We can only do this by asking questions, searching for question with that innate curiosity that makes us human, and keeps alive our enthusiasm and child-like exuberance for living. If we are clued up, we become smarter because of our mistakes. When we overcome the sadness we experience we become happier and wiser from all we learn in life.

We have to go through winter and spring before summer arrives. Even if this were not true, approaching things from this perspective will be a lot more helpful then giving up altogether. Rather than seeing challenges as distractions, we should use them as guiding steps towards our goals, because this will motivate us to move forward. The secret lies in understanding that if we act as though everything "set before us" is necessary, then we can use the difficulties that arise to our advantage. It also pushes us to think creatively and use our imagination during life's bitter-sweet lessons.

50 things to discover about life

Here are some things that wise people before us have discovered about life, the world, and its inhabitants. It's just a bit of fun, so why not make your own list - and add to it as you accumulate your own personal wisdom.

  1. You can't change other people, and it's rude to try.
  2. If you're talking to someone you don't know well, you may be talking to someone who knows way more about whatever you're talking about than you do.
  3. Bad moods will come and go your whole life, and trying to force them away makes them run deeper and last longer. You can't hide a bad mood from people who know you well, but you can always be polite.
  4. The greatest innovation in the history of humankind is language. Words are immensely powerful. Casual swearing makes people sound dumb, while one cruel remark can wound someone for life. However, it's easy to make someone's day just by being uncommonly pleasant to them.
  5. Blame is the favourite pastime of those who dislike responsibility. Every problem you have is your responsibility, regardless of who caused it.
  6. Putting something off makes it instantly harder and scarier. Problems, when they arise, are rarely as painful as the experience of fearing them. You never have to deal with more than one moment at a time. You just have to tell your mind that.
  7. Not everyone will be a parent, but everyone was a child once. More often than not, it's parents that forget this - especially when it comes to punishment.
  8. The urge to punish others has much more to do with venting frustration than correcting behaviour.
  9. Children are remarkably honest creatures until we teach them not to be. Most of what children learn from their parents isn't taught on purpose.
  10. Children will usually understand exactly what you mean if you keep it to one or two short sentences. But regardless of age, everyone likes somebody who gets to the point quickly. Plain speaking can project a positive attitude.
  11. High quality is worth any quantity, in possessions, friends and experiences. The fewer possessions you have, the more they do for you. The same can sometimes be said to be true for people and tastes, too.
  12. There is nothing worse than having no friends, or refusing to befriend yourself.
  13. Life is a solo trip, but you'll have lots of visitors. Some of them are long-term, most aren't. Sometimes you have to remove certain people from your life, even if they're family. You need friends, not fiends in your life.
  14. When you're tired of your own life, that's a good time to pick up a book. But there is no point finishing a book you aren't enjoying. Life is too short for that. Swallow your pride and put it down for good, unfinished.
  15. To write a person off as worthless is an act of great violence. To write yourself off as worthless is suicide.
  16. Revenge is for the petty and irresponsible. Forgiveness is for everybody.
  17. When you break promises to yourself, you feel terrible. When you make a habit of it, you begin to hate yourself.
  18. Whenever you hate something, it hates you back: people, your own self, situations and inanimate objects alike.
  19. Destructive anger reveals weakness of character, violence even more so.
  20. People cause suffering when they are suffering themselves. Alleviating their suffering will help them not hurt others.
  21. Shouting at someone can make you feel better, but always makes things worse.
  22. Justice is a human invention which is in reality rarely achievable, but many will not hesitate to destroy lives demanding it. We need to focus on fairness and kindness more.
  23. Nothing ever happens exactly like you pictured it. Most of what we see is only what we think about what we see.
  24. By default, people think far too much, but don't analyse critically enough.
  25. Almost every cliché contains a truth so profound that people have been compelled to repeat it until it makes you roll your eyes. But the wisdom is still in there.
  26. People embellish everything, as a rule. But those who complain the most, accomplish the least.
  27. If you never doubt your beliefs, then you're wrong a lot.
  28. Managing one's wants is the most powerful skill a person can learn.
  29. Nobody has it all figured out. Nobody knows more than a minuscule fraction of what's going on in the world. It's just way too big for any one person to know it well.
  30. Cynicism is far too easy to be useful, but scepticism is too important to ignore.
  31. Whenever you're worried about what others will think of you, you're really just worried about what you'll think of you.
  32. Everyone you meet is better than you at something, and vice versa.
  33. Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours.
  34. Humans cannot completely destroy the planet, but we can destroy its capacity to keep us alive. And we are.
  35. The world would be a better place if everyone read National Geographic.
  36. What makes human beings different from animals is that animals can be themselves with ease.
  37. A person who is unafraid to present a candid version of themselves to the world is as rare as diamonds.
  38. The cheapest and the most expensive of something are usually both bad deals.
  39. Posture and dress change profoundly how you feel about yourself and how others feel about you, like it or not.
  40. If anything is worth splurging on, it's a high-quality mattress. You'll spend a third of your life using it. More if you're lucky.
  41. Whoever you are, you will die. To know and understand that means you are alive.
  42. Wishing things were different is a great way to torture yourself.
  43. Breaking new ground only takes a small amount more effort than you're used to giving.
  44. The ability to be happy is nothing other than the ability to come to terms with how things change.
  45. If you aren't happy single, you won't be happy in a relationship.
  46. Indulging your desires is not self-love if they serve no one, including yourself. Self-love is not solely how you feel about yourself, it's about loving action. Spend your time on things that put you into a better situation in life.
  47. Respect yourself. Respect the world around you. Respect others as you wish to be respected.
  48. Be who you are and allow others the same freedom.
  49. Getting truly organised can vastly improve anyone's life.
  50. Even if it costs no money, nothing is free if it takes time. Senselessly killing time is murder, and you are the victim.

This isn't about painting or defacing a rosy picture of life. Make no mistake, some of the challenges we face will be hard as hell, and some will be lessons to test your strength, but some will be to push you harder to be a better person. The difficulty is not the task or challenge itself - but in how you choose to tackle the problem. Sometimes even taking a step back, which might seem like backtracking, can allow us a greater perspective from which to look at a problem with detached observation.

Face your challenges like a true warrior.

It also allows us to take a good hard look at all our goals and where we are with them. Periodical examination is always a good idea. You can analyse what new challenges are head of you, or what areas of your life you are out of sync with - for example, do you have any issues from your past that no longer serve you, and which you need to let go? It is up to you and only you to correct what has not been corrected. But the point is will you do this flair, or with glare? Will you allow frustration to frustrate your dreams? Or will you see the challenges you come to face as mere stepping stones that you can cross over to where you want to go?

Is the best goal no goal?

Remind yourself that we are bigger than our challenges, we are bigger than even what we can imagine, and we can take steps now so tiny, but with such great effect, that they will last for decades to come, and even further. You are like all others in life, a strong human being with purpose. Your personal goals are not the same as others, but they all serve a high purpose than your own physical being. Thus we can rise above our anger - or better still take it and use it constructively rather than destructively and lose all personal sight. We can use anger as a friend to motivate us to pull us up when we are low, or we can use anger to accomplish what we need to if we lack other emotional tools for the time being, and in doing so turn our anger into love.

In this way we can allow our emotions to guide our path with confidence, because they all come from the view of love. We will be grateful for things that seem negative on the surface, because they can all help to make us better. We will give credit where credit is due. We will do the same again, and again, with ourselves and with others.

We can't learn this from a single product or online service being peddled by self-professed gurus - self-improvement only comes about through the value exchange of expert guidance and personal effort, not by lining the pockets of people that try to sell us the stars for a dollar. The more they sell you, the LESS value you are exchanging, because the more people buy the things they offer, the more people will become disillusioned.

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts

The only science these sort of gurus sell is the "science" of getting rich by pretending to be on the path of increase the quality of life for everyone by transferring their "value" to others in exchange for money. But what they are selling is of no value - this is what differentiates them from trained, professional guides and mentors. The latter group are the only people that should be paid, because they are qualified professionals who know what they are doing.

When people ask for my advice, I give it freely, with the proviso that they go and do the research themselves. It not only gets them to think, but they will be the better for it. I always remind them that true communication is never a one way but a two way thing, and that doesn't mean handing over money to some faceless programme (or stock photo image). You need to be able to contact the person of the programme directly, meet face to face if necessary, but certainly talk, because this is how value is exchanged. You don't get what you paid for otherwise.

In my opinion these self-professed gurus are no less acting criminally than the food giants that feed us processed poison but do so under the "health halo" of one or two nutrients they happen to bundle into their product. And even when the food giants get it wrong, and the food they sell us is not the food on the label, they hold themselves accountable to their consumer, and try and fix it as quickly as possible. However the so-called gurus, by using a little knowledge, but no know-how, promise you something they can't deliver - the goods on your life.

There is no 30-day home cure for diabetes or cancer. The paid professionals are not our enemies, or the paid lackeys of some large pharmaceutical company wanting our destruction. The large Pharma cartels do have a lot to answer for, but even conspiracy theorists don't say we should completely ignore medical advice. And many of these gurus have their own pills and supplements they are trying to push on to us, sometimes with dangerous consequences.

For instance, the family of a healthy woman who collapsed during the London Marathon in 2012 has called for tighter regulation of health supplements after hearing that an "amphetamine-like" substance in one she used probably led to her death. A keen runner, the 30-year-old had unsuspectingly bought a supplement online that contained 1,3-dimethylamine (DMAA), which increases heart rate.

More often than not these self-help gurus tell us we should replace "dangerous" prescription drugs with safer, more effective and natural alternatives (like the so-called "herbal" remedies they are trying to see you), but for many drugs are life-saving. You don't have to believe in aspirin for it to work, but you also shouldn't rely on aspirin to save you, either. It's true we need to untrain our over-reliance on drugs, and natural ways to fight disease are great as preventative alternatives and supplements to our doctor's prescriptions - but NOT as "sugar pill" replacements to make self-professed gurus rich.

Foods or pills?

It is clear that there needs to be far better supervision of the so-called health foods and supplements industry, but what's possibly worse then frightening us away from life-saving medication is when self-help gurus tell you you can save money by buying their programmes or products INSTEAD of going to a paid professional. They even perpetuate the conspiracy fears that are out there about hidden agendas of the medical profession, and feed into our doubts to generate money for themselves - under the guise that they are "saving us".

Some of these unqualified gurus even attack counsellors and therapists, and would have us believe there is a counselling conspiracy, where it will only "appear" that the counsellor or therapist is working to help you solve your original problem, but the reality is that if they do help you actually solve your problem, then you will quit seeing them and their money pipeline will will dry up. They tell you that, whether you want to believe it or not, there are some counsellors and therapists whose only goal is to keep you coming back time after time after time. In actuality, however, this is an argument that should be levelled at these self-help gurus, because although paid professionals are governed and accountable to their own medical bodies and code of ethics - just what or who these self-professed gurus accountable to, apart from their own conscience?

And I highly doubt if people that would make money on the misfortune of others, and attack paid professionals, and run the risk of actually damaging and disillusioning people could have any conscience for us to rely on! Promising dramatic results, when in fact all they are is little less than a pyramid-forming money making scam is criminal - morally, ethically, and legally I should think. It is fraud and misrepresentation at its best, and its worst, it is playing with our health and our very lives.

I get sceptical of all propaganda, and I tell my all friends to do the same. There is no "90-second" cure, or "7-second" exercise for everything; there is no magic formula to make a 50 year old look 30 years younger. It is just a gimmick to draw the consumer in. And when I come across supposedly self-help gurus spreading misinformation that people don't need to exercise or eat well to lose weight, but simply follow their programme, I feel that such actions should be made illegal. Such people are not only playing with your hearts, and your dreams, but they are literally playing your health and your lives.

Like the Greek ruse during the Trojan wars, they send you formulaic "free gift" emails promising you ebooks and mp3s, which are little more than ploys trying to sell you even more of their "life-changing" products, personalising them with the use of your name. Give them the slightest bit of information about you, and they seize on it to reinforce their "relationship" with you. This over-familiarisation is becoming widespread over the internet. Some of these well-being "experts" are now even trying to sex-up their programmes, as though they wanted to attract the cult following of a Jane Austen novel.

They declare from their website that they all have all the answers, and that we'll never find the information anywhere else. And if there was one programme we should buy into, their programme is it. These gurus say you risk nothing with their "money-back" guarantees, but even though these programmes won't work, many feel they are to blame, or are to embarrassed to ask for their money back. Worse still, especially for these online "cancer cures", many recipients can't complain as they die. Ultimately, the only person in such an exchange living a life they desire in abundance is the guru, and not you.

Proper life experts show the keys to realising the same state for yourself, because they know the advancement of even just one individual in society causes a series of advancements of varying degrees for all others in society. Kindness snowballs, passed on it grows in abundance down the line. Even raising the consciousness of a few people is enough, some believe, to shift the universe dramatically. It also works the other way, too, with all these self-help gurus spreading a tidal wave of disillusionment and unjust, one-way so-called "value exchanges" amongst the global population - it makes the work of real life coaches and qualified professionals that much harder.

How can we protect ourselves?

However, by raising your consciousness on such matters, you will create your reality better, which will better affect the reality of others, because our unified materials of life in essence tells us that reality is one - how we each individually perceive it is what makes us unique, and yet the same simultaneously. And it's not surprising, then, that we want to tap into this source of "mind reality" and manifest our daydreams into our waking reality. So, we search and scour the internet for the greatest secrets to all of the most important things in life.

We are told that it is our actions that create subconscious impressions of what we want and don't want in our lives, and these self-help gurus spin this by telling us that by choosing to buy the best and quality products for yourself (i.e., give them crazy amounts of money for nothing), you are somehow saying that you are worth it, that you are the best.

Such action only reinforces the pocket of the self-called guru, and your subconscious mind will pick up these impressions from your actions and create conditions in your life that resonate with that state of mind. However, some experts say to manifest wealth, you must begin with living as though you are already wealthy. This is known as the act-as-if-to-become theory propounded by some great thinkers, but it doesn't mean you overspend (or over pay confidence tricksters styling themselves as gurus) - you simply spend in a way that makes you truly happy and gives you total peace of mind. Because if you don't live within your means, you will get into debt, and debt doesn't make you wealthy - it only makes other people money off your misfortune. It's about taking positive action that reinforces a wealthy mindset, not negative habits that make you spend more than you can afford - as these gurus try to persuade you to do.

Click here for more about positive action.

When I read about these dangerous self-help gurus, I find two more things for the old gratitude list: that I am neither the biological nor inner child of many who profess to be experts at helping others. What an awful burden, to have to be this devious to make money. What mean, wretched lives these "experts" must lead. I actually like people to be healthy, and I would lose sleep at night if I perpetuated such irresponsible remarks as to make people fear proper medical help. What a devastating concept - and then we wonder why, if so many people have got the "secret", the world is still struggling to find enlightenment.

Now, there will be some that still say: "Why do people always have to be critical of everything? You people find scams and lies under every rock you look under." But this article isn't wasting of time making non-productive comments to simply fish for an argument. That's a juvenile thing do. It is about balance; we need an open mind for our minds to work well, but not so open that our brains fall out. Why would you read this article if you already have a closed mind and no desire to open it? Or why would you be so open as to be gullible to every claim made by con-artists on the internet? These so-called gurus need a better hobby, and possibly, a heart. They need to step back from their keyboards and examine their lives, but because we can't trust they'll have the good conscience to do that - we need to learn to think for ourselves.

Experts say that your subconscious is always at work, always creating your life. Like a good servant, it simply follows your instructions, which are your thoughts and beliefs. What you regularly think and believe is what your subconscious simply creates. It doesn't decide what is good or bad for you. It doesn't decide what you should and what you should not do. That's something you decide. So we must get critical, and question all these claims that are "too-good-to-be true" - because we all know that saying, when something is too good to be true, it usually is.

So, if you're not getting what you want in life, if you're not making as much money as you want, If you're not achieving your goals, if you're not in the right relationship, if you're simply struggling and trying to make ends meet then you're sending your subconscious mind the wrong instructions - or you're filling it with the instructions of others even less qualified than you to know what can help you achieve your dreams. But the disillusionment created by these so-called gurus can be just as debilitating as our own fear.

Fear can stop you dead in your tracks. Whether it's the fear of success, the fear of failure or fear of the unknown, once you let fear take over you instantly destroy your chance for success. You may be afraid of the future, uncertain how you're life will unfold, it's not a way to live. We are told that this only happens because your subconscious mind is trained to respond a certain way when you think about certain things. Well, surely, the solution is to do this by critical thinking? Change the subconscious mind's patterns and beliefs and your response will change.

You may be gripped with anxiety or panic attacks. At first you don't even notice the anxiety or feel the panic attack coming on. Then you start thinking about achieving a goal, perhaps you just want to enjoy a night with friend but the anxiety kicks in. All kinds of thoughts race through your head: What happens if I make a fool of myself, say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, people might laugh at me? Then it happens like a tidal wave, the panic attack takes over you break out into a sweat, your breath starts to shorten, your heart starts to race. Can you imagine taking advantage of a person in this situation, to tell them to ignore medical advice and that they'll be "cured" by your programme for a few dollars more or less? This is not a way to make a living.

To learn how to calm yourself click here.

And it's time to say something out loud that is true for many people, but not often mentioned in the personal development/transformational world. Here it is: When we do a lot of inner work and start to take big steps up in our inner value, worth and energy, it can trigger a massive outer shift. You might even feel like your life is imploding. It can look and feel and be bad - there can be relationships ending, moving homes or jobs, massive bouts of sadness and tears. You might feel like everything you knew was solid is now slipping like sand and falling to pieces. You will likely feel unsure of who you are, lost, and experiencing more ups and downs than the local fairground roller-coaster.

Real transformation isn't pretty, and this is when support is arguably most needed. If only we could glide gracefully out of our old patterns, all the junk we have manifested, our refusal to own our power and step serenely into our beautiful power, creating our lives consciously - but it seems most of us can't do it that way. It seems that our years of not owning our power, not treating ourselves well, not setting conscious boundaries, isolating ourselves, etc., creates a sort of backlog of issues that rises up to be seen and dealt with after being avoided for so long.

This makes us even more vulnerable to all those so-called gurus with their over-inflated promises and programmes. When all the structures of your life are tumbling down, because they need to be rebuilt consciously by you, is not the time to be taken in by fraudsters. The solution, then, is to get rid of all those emails from those self-help gurus that fill your inbox, report them when you can, and then face your fears, and start improving your life. When you look critically at your fears, anxieties and reasons for your panic attacks, you'll begin the task of eliminating them, because mind reality and manifestation is really about knowledge integration and refinement. We are told that this power follows our thoughts, and as such we need to master our mind to master our destiny. The mind, we are led to believe, is like a panther - it can turn on you or be tamed by you. The difference comes in the attainment of knowledge, and what you learn you must apply to your life correctly.

The improperly researched "claims" of self-help gurus gives us little knowledge with no real know-how and a lot of danger to ourselves. These internet highway robbers need to join the tribe of humanity and get with the real programme. We are all on the same team, isn't it time we acted like it, rather than trying to get rich off each other's weaknesses? Adding value to the world doesn't necessarily mean adding value to our pockets, not if the way we go about it is (criminally) wrong.

Our roads are the same; we all travel the same road - and we all want to do something remarkable with our lives. Robert Frost is often misquoted over taking "the road less travelled". The most misquoted, misunderstood Frost poem ever is about him trying to convince himself he did something remarkable with his life, even though he says the roads were "worn just the same". We want to expand ourselves and add value to the world - to make it awe-inspiring for those that will come after us. To be the queen bee of our lives, and the worker bees of the future so that we can feel our lives meant something.

We do this with love for ourselves and others, and with the wisdom to know our own minds, because true, lasting expansion comes when we reach out, switch off, and embrace who we are. Obviously, a lifetime of such experiences is something that no school could ever teach, but even beyond life experience it includes the wisdom to dance when circumstances push us to cry, and to cry in gratitude when events give us the opportunity to dance.

And for the wisest among us who truly help others, sometimes it invokes the wisdom that getting a simple "thank you" is enough. I think it doesn't get any sweeter than that. And, in some ways, I think it doesn't get any more important than that.

Yours in love,

Mickie Kent


Matt Smith said...

Thank you Mickie!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mickie, I appreciate you so much for enriching my life!

Anonymous said...

Thank you x

Stacey_B said...

Tell it like it is Mickie .. these charlatans have been making money off weak-minded people for years now. Thank you!

Barbra Henderson said...

I couldn't agree more with the post and comments. Thank you.