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A Different Perspective

Looking at a situation from a different perspective can be eye-opening. And I believe that the biggest change is from a negative viewpoint to a positive one. It can be tough to do that if your situation is really difficult. The first step is always to find what is right about things and then to be Grateful for them. I’ve even been Grateful for a completely unrelated thing or things in order to get my mind working in a more positive way. And often thinking about something else entirely can give your mind time to process events. Find one thing to be Grateful for. Let that lead you to another. Sit and think about things to be Grateful for. Yes, it is the old “Count Your Blessings” theme. But it works.
Working from your Gratitude mindset, look at the situation from different angles. Those angles can be situational (What if we did this?) or personal (What if I was this person?). Situational viewpoints could be things like “What if I had everything I needed to do this right now?” to “What if I had to give this up all together?” Of course, there are all the points in between. Making that list of everything we need, and then going over the list point by point might show you that you have more than you thought. And giving up altogether might open you up to the opportunity to do what you really wanted to do anyway. About a year ago, I had the opportunity to apply for a substantial grant. Having that money would have allowed me to reach lots of people. But the more I looked into it, the more obvious it became that I would need to hire several people to help me administer the grant. And then I would be a manager, not a teacher. By passing on the grant opportunity, it allowed me to concentrate on doing what I wanted to do in the first place, which is teach. And there are places, like NC Small Business Centers, that are already grant funded. They need freelance teachers. So if I partner with them, they can manage, I can teach.
Personal viewpoints are a little different. Originally, I’d looked at the situation from the students’ point of view. And it was obvious that many folks that need business training just can’t afford it. That’s when I started looking at grant funding. The provided funds would allow me to teach tuition-free classes and still be compensated for teaching. When I ran into the aforementioned issue with the management of the grant, that’s when the situational viewpoint kicked in. But in applying the different viewpoints, I found a solution that worked to provide opportunities for affordable training for students, and I received opportunities to teach, and to build my own business.
Opportunities are all around us if we look for them. Look for them in different ways, and you just might find an opportunity to do exactly what you want to do.
REMEMBER – I AM a creative soul. I can always find a way to turn obstacles into opportunities.
And So It Is!
~ Inspired by events in My Life
LUV U!!!!!!!

Peace & Grace,
Jeff

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Opportunities, not Obstacles

There’s an old saying, “if the only tool you have is a hammer, you treat everything as if it were a nail.” We tend to live that way by habit. That’s the way we’ve always done it, or words to that effect. But doing that limits us greatly. So does seeing every challenge as an obstacle. Carried to its “logical” conclusion, the biggest obstacle to change is seeing everything as an obstacle.
Altering your perspective is the first step in changing how you treat challenges. “Is there some positive I can find in this? Can I use this to my advantage? Can I use this to help somebody else?” Doing this changes the way we see the challenge. And in creating that change, we open the situation up to new avenues of thought & action. Here are some ways to turn obstacles into opportunities. They are from “The Obstacle Is The Way” by Ryan Holiday. I’ve paraphrased them a bit.
1. Alter your perspective on the situation. “What if I looked at it this way instead?”
2. See through the negative to any possible positive. It could be one of those Painful Blessings, but a Blessing none the less.
3. Engage Life with initiative & energy. Sitting around moping won’t help anything.
4. Failure is often the first step to something better. It’s an opportunity to start over again more intelligently (Henry Ford).
5. Get the little things done. They create the big things.
6. Think progress, not perfection. What’s right for you is what works for you.
7. Go around the obstacle. Find a workaround instead of confronting the obstacle head on.
8. Use the obstacle. Use it as a stepping stone to more Good in your Life.
9. Engage the obstacle. Face this challenge so you can find the opportunity.
10. Think bigger than “me”. Create new opportunities for others.
There’s no linear progression to this list, so don’t approach it with a 1-2-3 thinking. Use the list in whatever way works for you. And always be Grateful for those new ideas that result from new ways of seeing the world!!!
REMEMBER – I AM changing the way I see challenges in MY LIFE. I now see them as opportunities for bringing more Good to MY LIFE.
And So It Is!
– Inspired by the realization I was looking at obstacles, not opportunities.

Peace & Grace,
Jeff

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Your Fears Can Make You Bold

It seems odd to me, but our species has evolved through adversity. We seem much more motivated to grow through difficult circumstances than through pleasant experiences. At least, that is how I see the world. This statement shows a belief that is a part of My Personal Mythology. Is this belief that adversity is the greater motivator in Life the right one? “Right” isn’t the correct way to look at this. It is a belief that I have. What effect does it have on me? I see lots of difficult motivators in My Life. How can I change that? I’m doing it by seeing the positive possibilities in the “Painful Blessings” we receive in Life. Even seeing these negative events as a type of blessing is a step in the right direction. Here’s a piece that illustrates that.

Our critics make us strong!
Our fears make us bold!
Our haters make us wise!
Our foes make us active!
Our obstacles make us passionate!
Our losses make us wealthy!
Our disappointments make us appointed!
Our unseen treasures give us a known peace!
Whatever is designed against us will work for us!
– Israelmore Ayivor

In seeing Good results from bad experiences, you begin to change the way you see the experience. You may come to think of a bad experience as the start of one of the best things that happened in your Life. That’s happened to me. That’s how I’m approaching the anger and frustration issues that have come up in My Life.
You may see this as a Pollyanna approach to life. But remember in that story, Pollyanna’s thinking changed an entire town!
REMEMBER- I AM using obstacles as stepping stones to Good in MY LIFE!
And So It Is!
– Inspired by events in MY LIFE

Peace & Grace,
Jeff

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Who Are You?

“Who are you?” This question occurred to me this morning. I’ve been dealing with some issues lately that have really stirred up some intense emotions in me. And frankly, these emotions are the complete opposite of who I believe I Really Am. Anger, resentment, and frustration have been bubbling up around the edges of my consciousness.
In a situation like that how do you create Good? I suppose I’ll have to let you know, because this morning I’m sitting here trying to determine that very thing. But I’ll share with you the approach I’m taking.
Realizing the challenge is the first step. That’s assuming you have created your Intentions around your Life. I believe living an Intentional, Conscious Life is the true first step to becoming Who You Really Are. And that’s how I noticed the challenge. I’m not living As Who I Really Am. I’ve been noticing some little bursts of anger here and there, and a completely over-the-top response to a minor setback first tipped me off. So I’ve been thinking on where the anger might be coming from. It’s important that you see this as an opportunity to exercise your “ letting go” muscles, as a friend said to me the other day. Don’t beat yourself up over not being who you want to be, either. That’s self-defeating. Literally see the situation as a chance to BE who you really are. If you see yourself as a person of Unconditional Love, then here’s an opportunity to be a person with Loving Awareness, Genuine Compassion, and Wholehearted Empathy. Feel those things toward the person or situation challenging you. You may have to do it with gritted teeth and elevated blood pressure (Ask me how I know that). But it’s important to act “as if” that’s your natural state of being. Neuroscience is showing us that this technique of retraining your brain is a key part of changing thought patterns. So if you want to change your thinking, one way to do that is by acting “as if” you are a person of Unconditional Love.
The Buddhist tradition has a practice called a Metta meditation. You begin by using some loving thoughts about yourself, such as:
I am happy.
I am well.
I am safe.
I am peaceful and at ease.
Then you move to another person you love, using the same phrases. Then you move on to a person you only like. This brings you eventually to a person you are challenged by. The point of this is to find some Peace for yourself AND for that person. By approaching the challenge from a place of Love, it puts the person you have issues with in a context of Love.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to say that this hasn’t been easy for me. The first time I did this was the gritted teeth meditation. And I think that this practice has stirred up the anger and resentment I’m feeling today. But emotions you are consciously aware of are emotions you can deal with.
Here’s another opportunity for us. Feeling the anger or negative emotion is one thing. How we deal with it is another. I can wallow in all that stuff if I choose to. I can work to find a way to release the anger and resentment if I choose. Knowing myself, I may bounce back and forth a bit before I settle into a practice of releasing the toxins of anger, resentment, and frustration. But I will. Because I am not an angry, resentful person. I AM a Loving, Compassionate person. And so are you! So are we all. We just have to come to understand that.
REMEMBER – I AM a Loving, Compassionate person. That Being of Love is Who I Really Am.
And So It Is!!!
~ Inspired by events in My Life

Peace & Grace,
Jeff Rieves

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Experience and “Reality”*

How aware are you of your experiences? Do you pay attention to your responses? Being aware of how you respond to any situation can make a difference in what you Create in your life. Do you see everything as an obstacle? Then even when something Good happens, you’ll see the obstacle, not the opportunity. On the other hand, if you see opportunities all around you, everything that happens is a chance to prosper. Even when something bad happens, you will at least learn what NOT to do! Your experiences are shaped by your Personal Mythology, the way you conceive things in your Life, what you believe about Life, and how you perceive your experiences in Life. Your Personal Mythology is the stories you tell yourself about Life that create your “reality”*. Your thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions do, in fact” shape the way you see your Life. Changing the way you think about Life changes the beliefs you have about how the world works, and thus changes your perception of the world. Your ‘reality”* is changed even if the physical circumstances haven’t changed at all. As has been said before, “Change your thoughts, change your Life.”
REMEMBER – I AM aware of how My Personal Mythology affects what I conceive, what I believe, and how I perceive. Today, I Create a Personal Mythology based in Love, Peace, & Abundance.
And So It Is!!!
– Inspired by events in MY LIFE

*”Reality” should always be written in quotes.
– Buckminster Fuller

Peace & Grace,
Jeff

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Experience

“Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you”
– Aldous Huxley
As human beings, we face challenges every day. Some of them we simply encounter, but many of them are chosen. Maybe not consciously, but at some level, we seem to think that adversity is our greatest motivator. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know.
But it is in facing challenges that we can see where we are in Life. Even when we do something that is totally not Who We Really Are, that’s an opportunity to know what we need to work on. It’s certainly not a reason to despair, or get angry. It’s an opportunity to rise, to learn, to experience.
REMEMBER – I AM facing all the challenges of MY LIFE by seeing them as opportunities that add knowledge & experience to My Life.
And So It Is!
– Inspired by events in MY LIFE.

Peace & Grace,
Jeff

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Shared Abundance

Going out into the world with Fuller’s “Billionaire thinking” (wealth comes from increasing our knowledge, expanding our experiences, and creatively applying the wisdom that comes from those things) brings you lots of opportunities. If you are guiding that education with Intentions, you will begin to see places where people with that knowledge are needed. If you take that next step, you’ll have the opportunity to gain another valuable experience. And the next time an opportunity like that comes along, you’ll have a greater wealth to share with your community. And when you finish with that opportunity, you’ll have another experience to add to your growing Abundance. And you’ll have more knowledge to add to that wealth of yours.
One of the most important things I’ve learned about this kind of wealth, this “Real Abundance” of Learning, Experiencing, and Doing, is that the best way to increase your Abundance is to share it! Hoarded wealth withers away over time, Real Abundance must be shared with others, or it’s just not real. Whether it exists or not isn’t the point. The sharing of the wisdom creates the value.
The sharing must be completely unconditional. Real Abundance isn’t a transaction, because it’s like Love. You have to give it away with no concern about your return on investment. Because the true return is in the knowledge gained and the expanded experience.
So if I have all this wealth of knowledge and experience and activity that I have to give away, when do I have time to make a living? That’s the challenge of living in a capitalist system. We only see the financial value of things.
I’d like to say that I have a neat answer all wrapped up for you. But frankly, I don’t. There are as many answers to this as there are people that have attempted to answer it. But the things I’ve seen in common are a selfless, unselfish attitude coupled with a Grateful heart. I think that’s a Good place to start, because people like to do business with knowledgeable, experienced, unselfish, Grateful people.
REMEMBER – I AM willing to Live a Life of Real Abundance.
And So It Is!
~Inspired by a random quote that had nothing to do with this post, but led me right to it.

Peace & Grace,
Jeff Rieves

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The Thousand Things

“Thousands of things go right for you every single day, beginning the moment you wake up.” This sentence, from Rob Brezsny’s book, Pronoia, is the beginning of a passage that changed my Personal Mythology. Here’s a link to the entire passage:
http://www.freewillastrology.com/beauty/beauty.main139.shtml
Until I read Brezsny’s book, I just couldn’t “wrap my head around” the idea of positive thinking. I saw plenty of things that were so wrong with My Life and the world in general. But this idea of the thousands of things that go RIGHT offered me a new viewpoint. It’s looking consciously at how My Life really is, and then putting the “Good” and “bad” in perspective.
If a thousand things go right for you today, and one thing goes wrong, have you had a bad day? Not so long ago, and sometimes still today, I’d have answered yes to that question. And I’ll grant you that when something major happens, it tends to overwhelm the every day occurrences of our lives. But give the things that go right at least equal consideration along side the things that go wrong.
Look for the good things in your life! Start a list of those things that work for you. Be actively Grateful for the things that you Love in your Life. In instances of public issues, be FOR a solution, not just dwelling on what you don’t want, complaining about “those people”, whoever they may be. Be Intentional about those Good things. Pay LOTS of attention to those Good things. Remember, your energy flows to where your attention goes!
REMEMBER – I AM Grateful for the thousands of things that go right for me every single day!
And So It Is!
~ Inspired by the writings of Rob Brezsny

Peace, Grace & Love,
Jeff

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Practice

I don’t normally start my day reading e-mail. In fact, I make it a point not to. But the other morning, in a serendipitous “mistake”, I hit the e-mail button instead of the button for notes. And there it was – an email from one of my favorite writers, Danielle LaPorte. Here’s a link to that post.
http://www.daniellelaporte.com/you-will-be-called-on-to-expand-and-this-is-why-we-practice/ You may have to paste this in to your search engine to be able to view the files.
Practice is anything done repeatedly and with clear Intention. It’s a phrase that is normally used in spiritual settings, but I use it in a much larger way. If you’re doing something over and over again and have a clear reason to do it, you have a way to reach a goal in just about anything. And there are so many reasons to be prepared for change these days. You never know when you will be called upon to be a better version of who you are. Or more importantly, Who You Really Are.
And it’s much more enjoyable if you do this consciously. There’s no need to feel like a pinball, being swatted back and forth by some cosmic flippers in the Big Pinball Game in the Sky. We can make the changes we want to make ahead of time through our practices. So that when we ARE called on to expand, we are ready to be that person Life needs us to be.
I don’t mean you have to get up at 4am to do yoga or be celibate or only eat organic vegan food, unless you want to. That’s not to say that you won’t, but by the time you get to that stage (if ever), it might be the very thing you want to do. And if you consciously create the Life you lead through the practices you do, you’ll be better prepared when you do get the next challenge in your life.
Your Practices, be they for business, health, or Spiritual purpose, are Intentional, they are Conscious, they are a part of Your LIFE taken in to your Heart, becoming a part of you. They affect the way that you think, feel, & behave. Practice brings your thoughts to your LIFE. The way you Live your LIFE creates the world you Live in.
REMEMBER – I AM Creating MY LIFE through the way I conceive, believe, & perceive the world. This Consciousness creates the Practices that put My Consciousness out into MY WORLD.
And So It Is!
– Inspired by Danielle LaPort and My Studies.

Peace, Grace & Love,
Jeff Rieves

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