Love is always in the air…

In the fourth installment and fourth tool you can use to upgrade your thoughts, I offer the most powerful one yet.

Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s what I choose to focus on, but have you noticed how the “love” word is thrown around these days like unnecessary loose change? It’s easy to “love” things these days, from the hearts we tap on social media to telling your kids you love them, and everything in between.

“Love” can certainly be cliche’ these days, an overused term which has lost much of it’s true meaning to many people. The Love I speak about isn’t a heart on social media or a quick “love you!, smooches!!” to your gym acquaintance.

The Love I speak about creates a warming, calming, powerful feeling in the center of your chest. It’s a feeling I can conjure on demand at this stage in my life, when I center myself and focus on my connection to God, Source, universal entanglement.

The Love I speak of is a deeply spiritual energy which permeates my being and releases itself to my surroundings as quickly as I absorb it in. Creating this feeling takes time, practice, patience and more patience with practice…. Learning to truly be grateful for gifts currently in your life, and FEELING the blessing of these gifts.

If you’ve felt it, you know what I’m talking about, even if it was only once for a fleeting moment. If you’ve never felt this, you may well think I’m nuts, or making it up. I spent most of my adult life not feeling this, and only in the most powerful moments of life did I experience a sensation close to it.

The feeling I had when I was first married, when each of my daughters was held in my arms for the first time, in those rare instances when I catch the eye of my wife in just the right light, with the right energy. I spent most of my life voided of this feeling of Love and only in those rare instances did I feel this “strange” emotion I briefly described earlier.

Yet, Love and it’s power is within you and available to be unleashed should you choose. This may be the most powerful tool at our disposal. Once we learn to Love, and sit in the feeling of Love can we begin to fully engage in being in the moment, living in the now.

Taken a step further, learning to Love during every part of our day is where the rubber meets the road. From getting up in the morning, to doing laundry, creating reports at the office, sitting in traffic on the way to the office. Love is found when taking out the garbage, washing the car and even during an argument with you spouse, child or co-worker.

My youngest daughter has the assignment of vacuuming the house. The other day I asked her to vacuum and she griped she had just vacuumed two days ago!! Why does she have to do it again? It’s such a chore! I smiled at her and asked if she preferred to live in a place which didn’t have a floor which needed vacuuming.

Perhaps dirt floor hovel would be easier to care for. Perhaps we wouldn’t need to do the laundry if we had no clothes. If we didn’t have food to eat, we wouldn’t ever have to worry about cleaning the kitchen or emptying the dishwasher!

“Fine. Now your just guilt-tripping me!” declared my nine year old daughter as she went to grab the high powered, cordless vacuum. If only she had to use a vacuum with a cord… the horror!

The bottom line is this. Love is in our life, right now in this moment. I don’t care what’s happening this moment, how down you feel or how the world has been cruel. Love is in your life, in this very moment. Choosing to focus on the blessings, the daily miracles we experience yet often never realize.

I challenge you to find love in everything you do for a week straight. If you can’t find something to love about it, perhaps that aspect of your life should be changed or removed.

Will you answer the call:

Many of us have a practice which we use to realign ourselves. Each of us has various ways of doing this, many go to church on Sundays, many mediation, often people do both. Some of us find our peace through fitness, or pottery, or a hobby of some kind.

There are a thousand ways people can find their “center”, their time when we are peaceful with ourselves and the world. We find our peace through the storm of the world, and it’s our reprieve from the madness which seems to surround us.

What if we could find this peace in the context of our everyday activities? What if we could operate at the office, interact with people with an under current of calm confidence, even in the most tense of times?

When the kids are running around, the phone is ringing, the customers are looking for answers, the bosses are asking for the reports, the deadlines are coming fast. All of this can be overwhelming and often it is.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Over my last several posts I’ve been talking about tools we can use in daily life to reframe the world we experience. To adjust our perspectives a bit. These tools are designed to be used within daily life.

While I’ve touched on three of four of these tools so far, (fourth coming soon) I have outlined and overviewed each of them. I am putting together a deep dive on each one and how it applies to different areas of our lives.

How can we apply these tools within our career, home, family, relationships with others, and ourselves. I need your help. If you are reading this, then YOU are who I am talking to.

I have used these tools within my own life to create a consistent peace, harmony and balance within all areas of my life. This sense has helped me take on challenges I would’ve thought impossible in the past. I know they work, because I experience the results and have done the work.

I need your feedback to ensure I focus on what will be most impactful, powerful for YOU. I am designing a program which will enable powerful results within the areas of life which you apply the tools.

For those who respond, I am working on a gift/thank you for your time which I truly value. Please copy and past the below questions into an email (or word doc if you prefer) and email your responses to me directly at: roger@powerfullifeinc.com.

There are no right or wrongs, good or bad. Quick answers, the first thing which comes to mind are ideal instead of long thought responses. Thank you for your participation!

Fast Forward 6 months, what would you like to be different about your life?

Please rate these five areas in life, (5) being strongest (best) and (1) being the weakest: Mental health, physical health, career, relationships, finances.

What are your top 3 goals?

Why do you want to achieve these goals?

How will accomplishing these goals change your life?

What is currently in the way of achieving your goals?

What are common situations which derail you?

When you fail, what is the thought or phrase which runs through your mind?

What are you afraid will happen if you don’t reach your goals?

What do you want out of a program which helps you achieve your goals?

Do you want me to reach out when I put the program together?

I look forward to putting this together with you, and I’m excited for the results we’ll deliver!

A practice in presence

A simple and highly effective way to upgrade your thoughts, part 2.

Following up on my last blog post, this is the first of four follow up posts diving just a bit deeper into a few concepts. These four protocols as I have come to know them are simple, proven concepts and when applied individually yield great results. Though when used in concert with each other, consistently the results can be truly powerful.

I’m going to focus today on being present in each moment. We’ve all heard this before, and the idea of being present in the moment has been a topic as far back into history as we can find. It’s for good reason too. The best things always stand the test of time. The best things are often also simple in concept and powerful in result, yet not always easy in practice.

I’m going to focus on the practice part today instead of the value behind being present, you’re probably aware already of the benefits of being present. However, to give a similar example between of the difference between knowledge and practice, just because you understand how an airplane flies, doesn’t mean you can actually fly one.

Why is it so hard to be present, and in the moment? For one our society basically programs us to be anything and everything BUT present. We’re taught to worry about the future and plan for what’s to come. Think about the concept of retirement, work your whole life so you can spend a few quality years of “enjoyment” at the tail end of life. The entire idea is rooted in future tense.

Advertisements bombard us from billboards, to online ads, print, TV commercials etc. of things we need to have to be happy. Social media is a another platform(s) which by it’s nature creates a thought pattern of comparing ourselves to others, of wanting to have what the “influencers” have, be it a rockin’ body, a custom car, or the latest fashion or the new vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soyless, what-cha-ma-call-it-but-its-not-meat-substitute!

All of this and we still haven’t walked out the door and interacted with people yet!

Our brains are moving a billion miles an hour, slowing them down, even for a short time takes patience and practice. Even when we do slow them down we tend to still think about all the things we should be doing, want to do, forgot to do, etc…

Now I ask you to notice the thought(s) you are having right this moment.

Stop reading and notice if you are only reading this, or if you are reading this while thinking of something else. Notice what is going through your mind in this moment, without judgment of good, bad, simply notice it and be ok with whatever it is.

I am going to challenge you to practice something for one day. Once you do this for one day I ask you do it for two, then three, then four, all the way to ten days, one day at a time.

Pick a thing you do each day, for instance driving to/from work. Pick something where you have a defined period of time allocated each day, and take a five minute chunk of that time and dedicate it to noticing what is going on around you, and nothing else.

When you first try this, and realize in less than a full minute your mind has already moved on to something else, notice you are thinking of something else and bring yourself back to what you area doing at that moment. DO NOT JUDGE yourself or be harsh, simply notice the mind wandering and come back to what you are doing. Peacefully and calmly.

Even when your mind wanders 30 times in a 5 minute span, simply notice it and come back. Judging yourself for a wandering is counter-productive. If you do reactionarily judge yourself, notice this too, notice the act of judging yourself. Notice it for what it is, a reactionary emotion which is neither good nor bad in this moment.

I like to do this while driving because I can turn off the radio and it also helps me release my judgement of how others drive, which gives me a much calmer and more peaceful trip to the office and back. The idea though is to pick a segment of time, the same time (roughly) and activity everyday to practice noticing your thoughts.

This will help build consistency and a habit of doing this while you do the activity everyday. This won’t be as easy as it sounds, and even if you think you “failed” at it don’t give up, it’s all the more reason to keep trying. Practicing a thing means you will get it wrong, alot, before you start to get it right.

Notice, without judgement your thoughts. While you are practicing being “in the moment” focus on the smells you are smelling, what you are feeling physically (like the material of the seat, steering wheel, clothing) and what you are feeling emotionally.

Are you happy, sad, frustrated, joyous, something else altogether? Notice the scenery around you and the details of it. If you’re driving you can notice the other cars around you, how is the traffic flowing together, or is it stop and go? What kind of cars are travelling with you?

If you’ve taken note of all these things and then simply sit with the feeling you are having, the emotion you are experiencing. Feel it, breathe it, welcome it.

The simple act of noticing our immediate environment is the best way to begin the process of presence. Soon, you will find yourself in a conversation with something totally engaged with this person or persons and thinking of nothing but the person in front of you.

This is easy with an “important” person. It’s more difficult when you find yourself interrupted unexpectedly by someone who you want to blow off, but now you notice your desire to blow them off, and instead of reacting on this desire, you engage with them wholly.

This is where the miracles of life happen, in the most unexpected places, and they happen often when we are paying attention.

I’d like to hear from you on how your practice is going, I invite you to send me a note directly at roger@powerfullifeinc.com to tell me about your experience with this.

Stay tuned for the next installment, which will focus on finding the good in any event.

A dose of simplicity

If 2021 was a bit nuts, what I can tell so far of 2022 things are going to get even more interesting. From my own experience things are moving at lighting speed, and everyone I speak with can relate to this hyper-speed pace.

I’m not sure where the first three months of this year went, though I do know one thing. A major lesson I’ve learned through the fire is this; Be in the moment, focused and intuitive in action.

We’re all familiar with the terminology of “living in the now”, “being present” and the importance of such things. I’d like you to think about how often you truly apply these concepts to your life. I am all about living in the ‘now’, being in the moment. I can also tell you I stress about the bills, how to cover payroll, overhead, where I’ll find business to keep my staff sustained and active in the coming months.

If you’ll notice I’m quite contrary in my thinking. If I’m all living in the “now”, how can I also stress about the upcoming expenses and challenges? I imagine this conundrum sounds familiar.

Here’s what I’ve learned, and it can translate universally. Get your shit done in the moment it happens.

From the mundane to the mountains, tackling the challenges which arise on a daily basis, as they arise, has a funny way of creating results which roll over. For me it all starts with a theme I’ve implemented in my life a few months ago. “with love in my heart…”

“With love in my heart I talk to this upset customer.”

“With love in my heart I take the garbage out.”

“With love in my heart I have the difficult conversation with a loved one.”

“With love in my heart I cook for my family.”

I have practiced (and still am practicing) being in each moment, experiencing each moment, with love in my heart. In those instances I don’t feel the love, or cannot conjure it within me I step back and evaluate why I am doing it.

I have made a choice to do/be those things which I can do with love. Those things I cannot, I am shifting out of my life in some way. Through delegation or outright removal. By using this simple filter in my life, I can be in each moment, present and focused.

The past is unchangeable, the future depends on what we do in this moment.

If we are unfocused and thinking stressing about the future, we will experience uncertainty and stress. When we drill down and focus on those things we love, in the moment, actively and passionately, the future takes care of itself.

If you’re thinking to yourself, this is great for you, “but I have all these chores to do and nobody helps me”, “that’s great but I have kids and they’re a handful”, “my boss is a jerk, I wish I could like my job”.

Perhaps you should evaluate your perspective. At least you have a home, and clothes, and dishes to maintain. Many people don’t. You’re kids can be a lot of things, and they take you as an example. Are you being a good example for them?

What is your bosses motivation for being a jerk? Getting the job done or simply to feed their ego? Being pushed by a boss can be a great thing, while also being very uncomfortable in the moment. Perhaps it’s time to start looking for a new job while you still have one. You do have a choice, as long as you give yourself the choice.

Living in the moment is something we all understand, yet few of us actually practice it. And it is a practice, which we can (and do) fail at often times. The more we practice enjoying, loving the thing we are doing in each moment the easier it gets. When things seem like they’re spinning out of control, take a moment to breath, and be grateful for the opportunity to be stretched by a new challenge.

Life really is simple, yet often the simplicity is the hardest thing to practice.

Leader on Duty

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I have noticed when most people talk of leadership it’s almost always referred to in the environment of a board room, the workplace or sports.

I say this with due humility, as I am a natural leader and have been in management/leadership roles professionally since I was about 19 years old. Now in my early 40’s I have more experience managing people than most people well over my age and based all of the feedback I receive I am a good leader. Feedback to me comes in the moral of my team, the results we deliver to the customers, the observations of customers, vendors and people in and around my company.

Leadership in my experience isn’t just something you do at the office. It’s not a role to play while in front of your employees and customers. Leadership to me is a lifestyle lived in each moment and applies as much to parenting and gardening as it does in our professional lives.

Gardening? I imagine you’re trying to connect the dots on this. Parenting is an easy connection though often not obvious, but gardening? Yes, in the sense of an example. As leaders, when we do a thing like gardening we tend to do it well, with intention of a quality outcome. It may or may not actually turn out well, but the effort and intention is on display as we do the thing we have set to do. This can be exercise, painting, washing the car, cooking, anything we choose to do, great leaders apply themselves to the experience.

This intent-full approach resonates to those around us often in a sub-conscious way. As leaders we don’t turn off this switch when we go home at the end of the day. We are wired to do things the best way possible, and to help others grow in a similar way.

We get to be the example we want to show to others. For me leadership flows effortlessly from the workplace to the home, to fitness and nutrition. Balancing the areas of our lives in a successful way provides the example for others to follow, and is what a new generation of leaders are doing more and more.

I for one treat my employees and my kids with the same level of appreciation and respect, and I expect from them much of the same things. While I certainly don’t believe employees are children or child-like, or that my kids are employees and have measurable expectations for performance, I do believe in treating people with one foundational starting point. I treat everyone as I would want to be treated. This simple and powerful starting point for my interactions in all aspects of my life allows for all my relationships and interactions to draw a clean and consistent pattern through them all.

My job as a father is to mentor and cultivate by kids own unique natural talents. I get to tend the garden of their little worlds, while they grow and eventually flourish in their own light. When we think of leadership in the workplace and employee development, is it really different? In scope certainly, but the concepts are the same thing. No two kids are the same, as no to employees are the same and each must be uniquely tended to.

The world is changing as it always has and will. This means everything gets to shift into focus anew. As we shift gears to the ever-changing world we can update a few definitions. Two stand out for me at the moment, which are the definitions of “Success” and “Leadership“. Leadership is no longer simply a professional capacity and success doesn’t have much to do with a bank account these days.

My definition of leadership is this: A leader is being the example of success in relationships, business, lifestyle, and mental and physical health.  Leadership is the state of being the result of how to balance all of these things with sustainable, healthy results for all persons directly involved with and around the leader.

My definition of success is this: A consistent state of being in harmony with oneself and the world we experience, while we experience it in real time.

To me being successful in leadership and in life is when you can remain calm and collected in the best of times, and the worst. Being the rock everyone else can cling to when the world (or the business, or the relationship, etc…) goes a bit crazy. By being the rock for ourselves, we can truly be there for others.

What is prayer

We are familiar with the word “prayer”, we’ve heard it thousands of times in our lives whether we are religious, spiritual, agnostic or anything in between. We have heard people around us say they will pray for this, or pray for that, for the well-being of a loved one or for the outcome of a job interview or winning lottery ticket.

Definition of prayer

 1a(1): an address (such as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought said a prayer for the success of the voyage

(2): a set order of words used in praying

b: an earnest request or wish

2: the act or practice of praying to God or a god-kneeling in prayer

3: a religious service consisting chiefly of prayers —often used in plural

4: something prayed for

5: a slight chance haven’t got a prayer

According to the above Merriam-Webster definition above it gives us a good idea what a prayer is. Or does it? What has lead us to believe our words have anything to do with the prayer we actually petition for? How does God, Source, The Divine, Energy, know what words to listen to, which prayers to say “yes” to, and which ones to say “no” to?

How does this universal wisdom listen to our words and know how to respond, when in many cases we don’t even know what we really want?

Often people as for money, lots and lots of money! “If only I had more money than everything would be just fine!” Ever heard, or said a version of this? I’m willing to bet we all have and on more than a few occasions. Money though isn’t the desire, security is and the money is simply the tool we perceive which will provide us the security we seek. These prayers go “unanswered” because we are asking for something verbally, that we really don’t care about as long as our other needs are met.

Imagine for a minute your bank account has one million dollars in it. Imagine what you would do, would you fly off to some remote island and retire? Would you buy a bigger house, pay off debts you owe, perhaps some medical bills? Would you buy a nice new car or send your kids to the best colleges? Imagine for a moment this scenario, close your eyes and imagine one million dollars in your account. What would you do? Take a few moments to visualize this.

Welcome back! Now think about what you visualized and I invite you to bring it back into focus again, this time focus on your heart and how this visualization makes you feel. Keep this feeling at the forefront of your being and experience the feeling of this visualization. If you don’t feel much, that’s ok too, this is different for everyone and perhaps trying this again later may or may not yield different results.

The words used in our “traditional” prayers are not heeded by Divinity. We ask for things often based upon immediate desire or need. Our words are riddled by thoughts of logic, fear, what we perceive in our worlds at that moment. Even when we are meditative in our prayers our conscious thoughts are rife with what we think we know. The Divine shoots right past our conscious thought and dives straight into the energy we are moving.

This energy is like a truth serum to the universe around us. There is no on/off switch we can use to turn off our energy when we are feeling fear, anxious, sad, depressed. The universe, the Divine gives us more of what we transmute in our energy base. What does this mean?

I go back to the original question; What is prayer? Prayer is the feeling we have within us when we converse with The Divine. Prayer is something we can (and often do) be in, a continuous action instead of a short burst of a request. Prayer is the feeling we give to the universe, and the universe responds in kind.

Our words can be used as a tool to create this feeling, as can music, laughter, lighting candles and myriad other actions we may consider as “prayer”. These things though are not the prayer itself, but the tools we can utilize to create the feeling, which is ultimately the prayer.

There are no right or wrong ways to pray and if you have certain rituals or practices which create strong feelings within you I’d love to hear about them as I’m always curious as to how people individually perform this sacred ritual or prayer. I often pray, that is to say I create a feeling of love and open-ness in my heart which feels as if my heart is “on”. I no longer associate requests or words to my prayers as I let my energy speak and what the universe delivers will be exactly what it should be.

I invite you to keep this concept in mind the next time you pray, or choose to speak with you Divinity. Practice with it, play around with it, and have fun while you explore. Indeed, it’s why we’re here in the first place!