The State of Affairs

The State of Affairs – Esther Perel
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

Iconic couples’ therapist and bestselling author of Mating in Captivity Esther Perel returns with a provocative look at relationships through the lens of infidelity.

Affairs, she argues, have a lot to teach us about the human heart—what we expect, what we think we want, and what we feel entitled to. They offer a unique window into our personal and cultural attitudes about love, lust, and commitment. Through examining illicit love from multiple angles, Perel invites readers into an honest, enlightened, and entertaining exploration of modern marriage in its many variations.

An affair: it can rob a couple of their relationship, their happiness, their very identity. And yet, this extremely common human experience is so poorly understood. Adultery has existed since marriage was invented, and so too the prohibition against it—in fact, it has a tenacity that marriage can only envy. So what are we to make of this time-honored taboo—universally forbidden yet universally practiced? Why do people cheat—even those in happy marriages? Why does an affair hurt so much? When we say infidelity, what exactly do we mean? Do our romantic expectations of marriage set us up for betrayal? Is there such a thing as an affair-proof marriage? Is it possible to love more than one person at once? Can an affair ever help a marriage? Perel weaves real-life case stories with incisive psychological and cultural analysis in this fast-paced and compelling book.

For the past ten years, Perel has traveled the globe and worked with hundreds of couples who have grappled with infidelity. Betrayal hurts, she writes, but it can be healed. An affair can even be the doorway to a new marriage—with the same person. With the right approach, couples can grow and learn from these tumultuous experiences, together or apart.

Fiercely intelligent, The State of Affairs provides a daring framework for understanding the intricacies of love and desire. As Perel observes, “Love is messy; infidelity more so. But it is also a window, like no other, into the crevices of the human heart.”

 

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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Way of the Warrior Kid

Way of the Warrior Kid – Jocko Willink
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

Fifth grade was the worst year of Marc’s life. He stunk at gym class, math was too hard for him, the school lunch was horrible, and his class field trip was ruined because he couldn’t swim. But what was most awful thing about fifth grade? Kenny Williamson, the class bully, who calls himself the “King of the Jungle.”

When Marc’s mother tells him that his Uncle Jake is coming to stay for the whole summer, Marc can’t wait. Uncle Jake is a for real, super-cool Navy SEAL. And Uncle Jake has a plan.

He’s going to turn Marc into a warrior.

Becoming a warrior isn’t easy. It means a lot of pull ups, sit ups, pushups, squats, swimming, eating right, and studying harder than ever before! Can Marc transform himself into a warrior before school starts in the fall – and finally stand up to the King of the Jungle himself?

 

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

In The Four Agreements, bestselling author Don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

  • A New York Times bestseller for over 8 years
  • Over 6 million copies sold in the U.S.
  • Translated into 40 languages worldwide

 

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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Making Life Easy

Making Life Easy – Christiane Northrup MD
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

You know Dr. Christiane Northrup as the best-selling author of books such as Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause—a beloved and trusted expert on everything that can go right with the female body. Now she brings her wisdom and insight to illuminate the mind, soul, and spirit as well.

In this joyfully encouraging new book—as useful for men as it is for women—Dr. Northrup explores the essential truth that has guided her ever since medical school: our bodies, minds, and souls are profoundly intertwined. Making life flow with ease, and truly feeling your best, is about far more than physical health; it’s also about having a healthy emotional life and a robust spiritual life. When you view your physical well-being in isolation, life can become a constant battle to make your body “behave.” When you acknowledge the deep connection between your beliefs and your biology and start to tune in to the Divine part of yourself, it’s a whole new ballgame—and the first step in truly making your life easy.

Take charge of your well-being as you learn to:

  • Untie the knots of blame and guilt that harm your health
  • Use sexual energy consciously to increase vitality
  • Balance your microbiome through healthy eating
  • Cultivate a healthy ego that serves you (not vice versa)
  • Communicate directly with the Divine
  • And much more

 
Drawing on fields from epigenetics to past-life regression to standard Western medicine, Dr. Northrup distills a brilliant career’s worth of wisdom into one comprehensive user’s guide to a healthy, happy, radiant life.

 

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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WGP 045: How it Feels to be Depressed and Suicidal and What to do About it

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Depression and Suicidal Tendencies:

  • I’ll explain what depression is and what suicidal tendencies are including their symptoms
  • I’ll talk about from my experience what it feels like to be depressed and to have thoughts of suicide
  • I’ll talk about contributing factors that can cause depression and suicidal tendencies
  • Finally, I’ll give a few tips on how you can work your way out of a depressive and suicidal black hole


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU IN BALANCE

Depression is a mood disorder in which you feel extreme sadness and grief, you’re uninterested about life, and you suffer chronic mental, emotional, and physical pain. Depression affects 350 million people worldwide and that’s only an estimate. Because depression is such a difficult thing to admit to having with for fear of ridicule and looking weak or looking like a lesser person in other people’s eyes I’d say that between half a billion to a billion people suffer from some form of depression.

There are different types of depression including major, melancholic, manic, and a few others all of these have similar symptoms including:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness and grief
  • Feeling hopeless, helpless, worthless, pessimistic and/or guilty
  • Feeling irritable and anxious
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Low self-esteem
  • Indecisiveness
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Eating or sleeping too little or too much
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Thoughts or attempts of self-harm
  • Thoughts or attempt of suicide
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment


Suicidal tendencies are thoughts that you have about death and killing yourself due to not being able to cope with chronic pain and the suffering you’re currently experiencing in your life. Being suicidal is another mood disorder and an advancement from self-harm where you cut or hurt yourself in order to cope with pain. Thoughts of suicide affect an unknown number of people, but over 800,000 people worldwide commit suicide every year with someone dying from suicide every 40 seconds. A lot more people attempt suicide, which makes thinking about suicide a major health issue.

Here are some symptoms and danger signs for suicide:

  • Talking about wanting to die or killing yourself
  • Researching and planning suicide
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Eating or sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Always thinking about death
  • Suddenly happier and at peace with things
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Making arrangements and setting your affairs in order
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions

 
What I’m going to do now is to do my best to describe what it feels like to be in a state of depression and thinking about suicide. Now I lived with depression for two decades and had suicidal tendencies for a decade and a half, but even that doesn’t qualify me enough to say that this is exactly what the experience of depression and thinking about suicide feels like for everybody. Even after having talked with and researched other people who have dealt with these disorders all I can give you is a description of my own personal experience.

Describing a feeling or sensation is extremely difficult though. So what I’m going to do is use two analogies to give you a sense of what depression and suicidal tendencies feel like or felt like for me. If you’ve never had to deal with these disorders I hope this gives you a better picture of what it’s like to live with these two very disempowering ways of being. And if you have people in your life that you think may be dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide, but you’re finding it difficult to relate to them I’m hoping that this gives you a sense of what they’re struggling with and how you may be able to help and support them.

If you had or are currently dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide please let me know if what I describe here resonates with you and makes some sense. If you’re finding it difficult to reach out to people who may not understand what you’re going through, you can always contact me and use me as your first step toward getting a better understanding of what’s happening with you. I’d love to hear your story and share mine with you and support you on your health and happiness journey.

Alrighty first analogy. Think of negative emotions as having weight and feeling like a burden on your back, or on your shoulders, making you feel heavy, making you feel uncomfortable and in pain. The more upsetting and painful the emotion the more weight it has. Positive emotions would be weightless and make you feel as light as a feather. Now imagine an acute short-term pain like stubbing your toe. This feels like a couple of bowling balls on your back. Imagine now that you get angry for accidentally hitting your toe. Now you have a few more bowling balls pile up. Imagine getting in an argument or feeling upset over an expectation not being met. This would feel like a car or a bus on your shoulders. Breaking up with your lover or being disconnected from family and friends. This would feel like a whole city block was weighing you down. Experiencing the death of a loved one, someone you deeply cared about, this is huge and feels like the weight of the world, the entire planet is on your shoulders.

Now imagine this sadness and grief grows where another planet jumps on your back followed by another and then another, and then the sun followed by more stars, and different star systems until eventually you feel like the weight of the entire galaxy is on your back. If deep sadness and unbearable grief were the weight of planet Earth, depression feels like the weight of an entire galaxy of stars and planets.

The longer you have this galaxy on your back weighing you down the more painful your life becomes and the more difficult it is for you to move around. Without realising it another galaxy gets plonked on your back followed by another and another until0020like the theory of the Big Bang where everything rapidly expanded into existence, you have the size of the entire universe weighing you down. You feel like you’re about to lose it and be crushed by this massive burden. This huge infinite mass of the universe causes unimaginable pain and stops you in your tracks causing you to give up all hope of living because all you want is for this heaviness, this non-stop chronic persistent pain to just go away. All you want is to be free, free of this burden, free of this pain, free of this suffering. This is when you begin thinking that ending your life is the only viable option you have left.

That’s how my experience of depression and contemplating suicide was for me in terms of pain. I felt so small and so insignificant compared to the burden that I thought I was carrying. I felt absolutely weighed down by my thoughts and by my feelings and because of them I experienced unimaginable pain and suffering.

In this second analogy imagine standing on the edge of a cliff looking into a deep dark chasm, an abyss with no end in sight. A normal experience of sadness and grief is like tripping and falling into this abyss and feeling scared and alone in the darkness and reaching out for something to grab and hold onto to break your fall, but there’s nothing around that can save you and you’re just falling for what seems like an eternity until out of nowhere a safety net breaks your fall and you’re able to climb to the top of the cliff and find yourself back on solid ground relieved from your grief.

Depression feels like tripping and falling into this abyss and feeling scared and alone and trying as you might you cannot find anything to grab onto and you’re falling and falling in this absolutely pitch-black hole with no end in sight screaming out in fear of dying, in fear of being alone forever, in fear of never being saved. The thing with depression is the fall never ends and you lose track of time and space and of who you were and you begin to fear the dark, and you’re afraid of the unknown, afraid of being alone, afraid of never experiencing love again, and you fall and fall and fall forever. You become desperate and pretend that everything is okay. You put masks on to cover up your fears. You become religious. You become an atheist. You become a team player. You become a loner. You become frustrated. You become apathetic. You become an addict. You become whatever it is you think you need to be to survive the fall, but no matter what masks you put on you are still falling and the fall never ends. You’re afraid of hitting rock bottom, but have no idea how to stop from falling.

Having suicidal tendencies feels like tripping and falling into this abyss and just like depression this fall never ends and you live in constant fear until eventually you give in to the fear and give up all hope of being saved or of saving yourself and you stop reaching out and you stop pretending everything is okay, and you stop looking for ways to put on a brave face. You turn your body and you look straight down into the darkness waiting for the inevitable, expecting it, wanting the fall to end, wanting to hit rock bottom, wanting this fear of the dark, of feeling alone, of never feeling love to end. You’re still afraid of hitting rock bottom, but rock bottom is the only way you see this fall ending.

That’s how depression and suicidal thoughts felt for me in terms of fear. I felt absolutely out of control. I felt uncertain about myself, my life, other people, the whole world. I felt completely utterly hopeless and helpless and saw other people as my enemies and saw the world as a very dark, scary, and lonely place.

This is just my personal experience and everyone has their own perspective and I hope it gives you some insight and understanding about what it feels like to live with these disorders.

Let’s move onto the contributing factors that can lead to depression and suicidal tendencies. What causes these mood disorders?

Conventional medical thinking would tell you that an imbalance either too much or not enough of feel good neurotransmitters like serotonin are the cause of mood disorders. But what causes these hormones, these neurotransmitters in your brain to get out of balance?

As a holistic and functional practitioner I always want to get to the underlying root cause. Depression and thoughts of suicide are symptoms of a bigger problem. Yes these mood disorders are very destructive, but they are not the problem. They are the result of the problem. They are actually signs signalling to you that something in your life is out of balance.

The real problem for this imbalance and the root cause to 99.99% of disease, sickness, symptoms of ill health, and dysfunction in your body, in your mind, in your bodymind they are both one and the same, the root cause is chronic stress perceived or real, physical or metaphysical. This chronic stress then leads to chronic inflammation and this chronic inflammation causes your immune system to run out-of-control.

You have to realise that your bodymind is always in flux, in flow, and shifting between anabolism, which is growth, and catabolism, which is breaking down. When you sleep you’re predominantly anabolic and when you’re awake you’re mostly catabolic. When your bodymind lives in what I call a catabolic soup, which is when the big three persistent stress and inflammation and an unregulated immune system come together, your bodymind will shift into a catabolic state and stay there for a long time and anabolic processes will no longer be deemed necessary.

Meaning your bodymind will begin to break down more a lot more than it grows and it does this because it’s now in survival mode and not your normal thriving mode. Your bodymind will turn off non-vital processes such as growth, repair, reproduction, digestion, elimination, and shut down the production of mood-regulating hormones and neurotransmitters leading to mood disorders.

In this catabolic state your bodymind will also cannibalise itself and strip nutrients from bone to ensure the proper functioning of other vital organs (osteoporosis anyone?) and will become confused and attack your own organs such as your thyroid and joints and your gut and this creates autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Coeliac Disease all because of chronic stress, inflammation, and an unruly immune system.

So if this catabolic soup made up of stress and inflammation and your out-of-control immune system contributes to the cause of depression and suicidal tendencies what creates this catabolic soup? Why are you in chronic stress? Why is there chronic inflammation? Why is your immune system attacking your own body?

“Living a lifestyle out of balance with the seasons and the rhythms of Mother Nature.”

This is the ultimate cause to all diseases physical, sexual, emotional, and mental. Not living in accordance with the laws of nature. To reduce the symptoms and eventually remove your depressed state and suicidal tendencies you need to reconnect to the natural order of life.

Your bodymind was designed to be barefoot on the land, with skin exposed to the sun, connected and working intimately together with your tribe with a sole purpose, to sleep when the sun sets and to wake the sun rises, to live in a toxin-free environment, to breathe clean air, to move often throughout the day, to drink natural pure structured water, and to eat real food from Mother Nature.

This is called living a holistic lifestyle and connecting back to your roots, to your ancestry, to who you really truly are in this Universe. A holistic lifestyle will reduce your stress, the inflammation in your bodymind, and help calm and regulate your immune system.

I have already done many podcasts on how to live a holistic lifestyle and a good starting place would be to look up the episode I did on the 7 Holistic Health Principles to give you the good life. That is episode 30.

Looking back at my life I can definitely see how out of sync my lifestyle was compared to what my bodymind needed and was expecting. I ate a lot of highly inflammatory foods like sugars and grains and pasteurised dairy, and I drank a lot of tap water, and I didn’t move my body enough, and hardly ever did I ground my body to the earth, and I’d always cover myself when I went outside for fear of being burnt from the sun and getting skin cancer.

In terms of my mindset there was one thing that I wish someone had told me when I was a teenager and it’s a piece of advice I’d like to share with anyone out there feeling depressed and suicidal and that is:

“Don’t believe everything you think, everything you feel, everything you say, or do.”

And the same goes for believing other people. I was so much in my head as a teenager, as a child really, and I believed right up to my 30s that what I thought was absolutely real, it was 100% fact, and that the situation I was in was set in stone and there was no way of changing it. In hindsight I can see how wrong I was.

One way I let go of my depression and suicidal tendencies was to start questioning everything. I mean ever since I was young I have always been very curious about life and how things worked, but when my bodymind became stressed and inflamed my curiosity started to decrease until it faded away entirely. Then I like a sponge I soaked up everything around me the good, the bad, and the ugly and believed it to be the absolute truth.

So I shifted my mindset from being an adult that accepted everything to be more childlike and to be more curious.

If you’re feeling crushed under the weight of the universe and feel like you’re falling with no help in sight or if you have beliefs that are not serving you ask yourself this one question – is  it true?

Are your thoughts and feelings and sensations actually giving you the correct data or are they being twisted somehow? Really dig deep and investigate your human experience. I say human experience because my curiosity took me down a deep rabbit hole just like Alice in Alice in Wonderland I found myself in a different world that amazed and surprised me and in this world I discovered something.

I learnt that I am not only human, a creature of habit, but I am also a creature of choice. A creature who can choose is really a creator. I realised that I am the creator of all my human experiences. Actually a co-creator with other creatures.

I realised and I discovered:

“I am a spiritual being having a human experience.”

Once I began to live a holistic lifestyle and nourish my human experience I connected to my higher self, my spiritual self. All through curiosity. But of course that’s just my experience.

So be curious my friend. Question your perceived reality.

Martial artist and philosopher Bruce Lee said:

“Be water my friend.”

This means you need to adapt to the situation that you’re in. Easier said than done I know, but after making changes to your lifestyle and becoming more curious you will find adapting to your environment becomes a lot easier. So if you find yourself in a tight spot, loosen up. If you find yourself heating up, cool down. If you find yourself saying yes to everything, say no. If you find yourself feeling heavy, lighten up. If you find yourself alone, reach out. If you find yourself in a dark place, brighten up. And the major situation and change that I personally had to go through – if you find yourself stuck, move right along because spiritually and metaphysically and scientifically and quantum mechanically there’s really nothing to see here.

By living a holistic lifestyle and being curious you will clear your bodymind of stress and inflammation giving you more clarity about the present and what’s really happening right in front of you. And by being water you will be able to adapt and change and evolve and grow and flow with ease into the next moment. Hopefully feeling lighter and on solid ground.

For more information about how to heal from depression holistically and naturally read Dr Kelly Brogan’s awesome book A Mind of Your Own. Dr Kelly is a holistic psychiatrist who practices what she preaches and although it has women in the subtitle it is very much applicable to men and everyone else as well.

If you have suicidal tendencies please reach out to someone. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, but I ain’t talking about the light that takes you to the other side. If you have no one to talk to call your local suicide hotline. The people at the other end they’re not there to judge you, they are trained to understand what’s going on with your specific situation and they will give you unconditional support and guidance and it’s anonymous. I’ll put a link to a website showing all international suicide hotline numbers. Give them a call and you don’t even have to tell them that it’s for you. You can always say you’re calling on behalf of a friend.

One last thing. As I talked about in the previous podcast about selfless-connection remember you are never alone. There are millions of people out there dealing with the same stuff and they’re also struggling to find other people to share their experiences with.

Wherever you think you maybe and whatever you think is going to happen in the future remember that right now, you are here and you are now. You are always here and you are always now. Right here and now you can choose to keep moving forward, to let go of fate, and to create a new destiny and a new you.

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WGP 044: Universal Lessons in Film – Selfless-Connection

In this podcast I’ll be exploring another Universal Life Lesson found in Motion Pictures:

  • I’ll explain how other people can act as Universal signs and lessons
  • I’ll talk about a few movies that deliver the same universal message
  • Finally, I’ll share how you can apply this universal teaching to your life


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

This is part 3, the final of a 3-part series I’ve been doing on universal lessons taught in film. In part 1 I talked about believing in yourself. In part 2 I talked about accepting your past and accepting who you are now.

Before I get into the final set of films and life lesson I’ll talk a bit more about reading signs from the Universe.

The Universe speaks to you in many ways giving you signposts in different forms, signs that tell you which direction your life should be moving toward. One of these universal signs is other people.

The world is full of kind, generous, and awesome people. But the world also has many annoying, hateful, jerks.

Now I would rather hang out with the awesome folk and not just because it feels good to be around uplifting people, but because I can learn a lot from them. I learn different opinions on so many different topics. I learn new things that I can use to make my own life better and the biggest lesson I get from awesome people is that the world isn’t a terrifying place full of bad and apathetic people as some forms of media would have you believe and that there’s plenty of do-gooders and go-getters out there. For me awesome people are a sign from the Universe that awesomeness truly exists and that joy is an experience that everyone can have.

Of course I do encounter many people who aren’t awesome, but quite negative or hateful or very down on life and being around them can be very draining and energy sapping and they can suck the real honest-to-goodness joy out of life. But I still learn a lot from these so-called energy vampires. I learn different opinions on different topics. I learn new things that I can use to make my own life better. And the biggest lesson I get from negative and apathetic people is that the world is full of opposites. There’s always a different way to do the same thing and there’s always a different way to react to the same event. For me people who aren’t awesome are a sign from the Universe that in order for me, for you, for any of us to experience awesomeness we must also experience the negative, the hateful, and the annoying as well.

My point being people who are good and people who are bad they teach the same universal lesson that life is all about the good and it’s all about the bad. You can’t have one without the other. Everyone is here to give you the full experience of life, the full experience of you. So the next time someone cuts you off in traffic or lets you in the gap; calls you names or calls to say they love you; makes your blood boil or makes your heart sing; remember these people are teaching you something about the world around you and about yourself. What that lesson is though, well it’s up to you to do the introspective work and personal development and reflection to find that out.

Alrighty then before I begin with the final lesson in films spoiler alert! If you have not seen Kung Fu Panda 3, Home Alone, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and The Matrix Revolutions you may want to skip this episode as these are the four movies I will be exploring in the next moment. That next moment being right now.

In Kung Fu Panda 3 Po the Dragon Warrior is reunited with his long-lost father. There is also a new villain on the scene named Kai and he is a supernatural spirit warrior from the spirit realm who defeats his enemies by stealing their chi or their energy. The only way to defeat Kai is by mastering chi. Traditionally Panda’s were masters of chi and Po’s father promises to teach him the art of mastering chi, but they must return to the hidden Panda village where Po was born to complete the chi training. Kai has heard that Po being the Dragon Warrior is the only one that can stop him so he hunts him down so he can steal Po’s energy. It turns out that Po’s father has no idea about how to master chi and lied so Po comes up with a new plan where everyone in the Panda village will use their unique skills and talents and strengths to help defeat Kai. When Kai finally arrives Po and the village put up a good fight, but they lose the battle. In order to save the village Po sacrifices himself and takes Kai back to the spirit realm. Kai is about to steal Po’s chi, but back in the village Po’s father urges everyone to focus their chi on Po and to give Po their energy. The transfer of chi works as Po receives the energy from the panda village and this gives him the strength, the chi to defeat Kai once and for all. Without the support and chi of his father and the village Po never would have been able to defeat Kai.

Here’s a quote from the movie:

“Come on. We can do this.”

In Home Alone it’s the night before the McCallister family fly out to Paris for Christmas, but their youngest son Kevin causes trouble for the whole family and he’s sent up to the attic to sleep it off. Kevin is angry and wishes his family would just disappear. Well with the help of outside forces and visiting children the McCallister’s accidentally leave Kevin behind, home alone. Mid-flight Kevin’s mother eventually realises that he’s missing and does her best once they land in France to find her way back home to America, to her eight year old son. Meanwhile Kevin is having the time of his life without his family around to annoy and bully him and he seems to be having no problems looking after himself. For the first time Kevin meets his neighbour ‘Old Man’ Marley and finds out that Marley isn’t a scary guy as some rumours have said. Marley shares how he hasn’t seen his granddaughter in years due to an argument he had with his son. Kevin gives Marley some advice about reaching out to his son and he realises himself that he hasn’t been the best son that he could be to his own family. A couple of house burglars who call themselves the Wet Bandits, they show show up and target the McCallister home. Kevin makes it look like the home is occupied, but the burglars catch on that Kevin is home alone. Kevin comes up with a plan to defend his home and sets up booby traps all over the house and they work hilariously and cartoonishly well. Kevin tries to lure the Wet Bandits into a trap, but the two thieves finally outsmart Kevin and catch him. Just as the burglars are about to hurt Kevin, Marley shows up with a massive snow shovel and knocks the wet right out of the two bandits. Kevin is saved by Marley and the two house burglars are picked up by the police. Kevin begins to miss his family and really wants them back. Kevin’s mother and family finally return making Kevin the happiest he’s felt in a long time and after seeing his neighbour Marley hug his granddaughter Kevin knows family always stick together.

A quote from the film:

 “This house is so full of people it makes me sick. When I grow up and get married, I’m living alone.”

In Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi the Empire have been secretly building a second Death Star. The Rebel Alliance find out about its location and plan an attack to destroy it by taking out the shield generator on the nearby Endor moon. Luke Skywalker believes he can bring his father, Darth Vader, back from the dark side of the force to the light side so he gives himself up to the Empire. Luke is taken to Vader and he tells his father that he still senses the good in him. Vader says that he must obey the Emperor, his master, and that it’s too late for him now. Vader tells Luke that the Emperor will be his new master and that he will show Luke the true nature of the Force. When Luke meets the Emperor on the Death Star he refuses to join the dark side and learns that it was the Emperor who leaked the information about the Death Star and that the Alliance were being led into a trap. Luke feels frustrated unable to help his friends and his anger takes over as he attacks the Emperor, but Vader blocks him. As Luke and Vader continue their light sabre dual the Alliance fleet are losing their battle in space and the team on the moon are fighting it out trying to take out the shield generator. With the help of the Ewok people that live on the moon the Alliance finally destroy the shield generators. Meanwhile Luke wins his battle against his father and still refuses to join the Emperor. The Emperor then attacks Luke with the dark side of the Force almost killing him, but Vader feeling the small amount of goodness that Luke saw in him he picks up the Emperor and tosses him down a deep abyss where the Emperor explodes and releases all his dark energy. Vader eventually dies and Luke escapes with his father’s body just as the Alliance destroy the Death Star. With the help of the Ewoks the Alliance take out the Empire’s second Death Star and together as father and son Vader and Luke were able to defeat the evil Emperor.

Here’s a quote from the movie:

“May the Force be with us.”

In The Matrix Revolutions the Oracle tells Neo that since his encounter with the Architect and the Source he now has a special connection to the machines outside of the Matrix in the real world. The Oracle also warns Neo that Smith, the Agent programme that Neo once destroyed, but who is now spreading and replicating himself throughout the entire Matrix by assimilating everyone and everything in it, the Oracle warns that if Smith takes over the Matrix he will also take over the Machine City and all machines. The Oracle states that the war between machines and humans will end one way or another and that everything that has a beginning has an end. When Neo leaves the Oracle, a group of Smiths arrive and one of them copies himself and assimilates the Oracle and this Oracle-Smith becomes the most powerful program in the Matrix.

With the Matrix being taken over by Smiths and the machines about to attack and destroy the last human city of Zion Neo decides the best way to end the war is to visit the Machine City, which is something no one has ever done. Neo’s lover Trinity chooses to help Neo on his suicide machine. The Machine City is defended by thousands of sentinels. Due to Neo’s newfound ability to connect with the machines Neo is able to stop a lot of the sentinels, but not all of them. Trinity takes the ship up through electrical storm clouds, which take out the sentinels attacking the ship, but the clouds also take out the ships power. The ship crash lands in the Machine City and unfortunately Trinity doesn’t survive the crash. Neo makes a deal with the machines that he will destroy Smith saving the Matrix in exchange for peace between man and machine. The machines agree and they hook Neo up to the Matrix where he takes on Oracle-Smith in an epic superman-like battle to decide the fate of man and machine. Oracle-Smith and Neo appear to be exact opposites of each other cancelling out and returning each other’s moves over and over. When Oracle-Smith appears to have the upper hand he says, ‘everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo.’ Neo remembers this earlier statement from the Oracle and has a sudden realisation – that he will never win by force because he must surrender to the inevitable – the ending of his own life. Neo lets Smith assimilate him. Oracle-Smith is relieved and the new Neo-Smith just smiles. However, the Smiths don’t know that Neo’s body is hooked up to the Matrix by the machines. The machines send a powerful signal through Neo’s body into the Matrix that destroys not just Neo-Smith, but Oracle-Smith and every other Smith in the Matrix returning every human and program back to normal except for Neo who gave up his body and his mind to save both man and machine. Without the Oracle, without Trinity, without his fellow man, and without the machines Neo would not have been able to defeat Smith and bring about peace.

A quote from the movie:

“If you tell me we’ll make it, I’ll believe you. –We’ll make it.”

So what’s the lesson and common theme I’m focusing on in these four movies?

The protagonist, the hero they’re down and out about to lose the fight, the battle, the war, or their life. But there is always someone else there to help them, to support them, to give them the strength and the courage to keep fighting, to keep moving forward, and to do the right thing. The hero never wins alone, but by working together with family and friends and even former enemies, by working together as a team the hero always saves the day.

So how can you work together with the people in your life to reach your dreams and to help other people reach theirs?

Before you can connect and understand and support and love another person you must first fully connect and understand and support and love yourself. This goes back to part 1 where I talked about the universal lesson of self-belief. You have to believe that you have everything you need already to succeed. A daily affirmation practise is a great way to build up this self-belief. Ultimately this self-belief creates a connection and understanding of yourself. Knowing thyself is a huge step in being able to love thyself and loving your own being in all your forms physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and spiritual, loving all of these is a pre-requisite before you can love another. You can only give what you got and if you haven’t got love to give yourself then you haven’t got love to give to someone else.

Another critical step to working with others to achieve awesomeness is to be here now, in the present moment. This is the universal lesson I talked about in part 2 about self-acceptance. If you’re still battling demons and dragons from your past it’s going to be impossible to keep your mind on the task at hand that’s right in front of you, right now in this moment. That’s not to say that you cannot function in the world if you’re still dealing with issues in your past, but you will be functioning well below your potential. Psychotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique, and doing awareness exercises, learning how your past is affecting your behaviour today are three ways to help you accept your past, accept who you are now, and this makes it a lot easier to be with other people where they are on their journey and to accept people for who they are now in this moment.

When you believe in your own abilities and know who are in this moment you create a more authentic connection to the people in your life. No longer are you wanting or bargaining for something from someone else because you already know whatever it is you need you got within you. No longer are you blaming or projecting past hurts on other people because you’ve accepted your past for what it was and now in this moment you get to choose how you respond to the events in your life.

With belief and acceptance of self you begin to believe and accept other people as well allowing you to be with them like you’ve never been with them before and with true honest, open, authentic relationships you can work together with the people in your life as a powerful awesome single-minded team with the same dream and the same goal and the same passion for life.

Here’s a quote from Helen Keller who was a very awesome enabler of other people despite having physical disabilities of her own:

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Think about the greatest sports teams of all time. They became great working together. Same dream, same mission, same goal. Even in individual sports champions win with the support of their coach, family, and friends. Think about war. People will live and die not for themselves, but for their country and will do so side-by-side with their fellow countrymen with the same dream, the same goal, and the same mission. Think about life on Earth. Without the sun we’d still be a bunch of molecules leftover from a previous star explosion just swirling around aimlessly in space. The sun created the Earth and the Earth is home to the soil and the sea and the soil and sea are the mother and the father to all life on Earth.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

Like Kevin in the Home Alone movie there will be times where you just want to be alone because other people especially those closest to you will get on your nerves. This my friend is inevitable. Just promise yourself one thing though. Never stay too long in this alone time. Seeking to be alone is fine. We all need time-outs every now and then. But to stay alone for too long can lead to feelings of loneliness. Keep your time-outs short and sweet, but don’t live there.

Even if you feel lonely you are never, and I mean ever, alone. If you find yourself constantly, consistently feeling lonely, down in the dumps, sad and depressed with life you are not alone. There are millions and millions of other people around the world thinking and feeling the exact same way you are. Feeling lonely, down on life, feeling sad and depressed, millions with different stories and different situations are having the exact same mental and emotional reactions, responses, and patterns in their bodymind that you are experiencing. So if you turn into Mr or Ms Lonely more often then you care to admit, remember you are not alone. There’s a whole bunch of people out there just like you going through a similar process, a similar experience.

We are all in this game of life together. Even if you say to yourself you have nobody and that you are all alone and no one has your back remember this universal lesson – there’s always someone there willing to give you a lending hand, whether they be family, a friend, or a complete stranger, if you’re open to receiving it.

And as Al Green sings:

“Let’s stay together… whether times are good or bad, happy or sad.”

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WGP 043: Universal Lessons in Film – Self-Acceptance

In this podcast I’ll be exploring another Universal Life Lesson found in Motion Pictures:

  • I’ll explain critical Universal signs that you may be missing
  • I’ll talk about a few movies that deliver the same universal message
  • Finally, I’ll share how you can apply this universal teaching to your life


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

This is part two of a 3-part series I’m doing on universal lessons taught in film. In part one I talked about movies that delivered the universal message that you have everything you need to live an awesome happy and healthy life as long as you deeply whole-heartedly believe it to be true.

Before I get into the next set of films and life lesson I’ll talk a bit more about reading signs from the Universe.

Now when it comes to accidents, loss of a loved one, heartbreak, sickness and chronic illness, these can be very painful experiences indeed, but these are also signs from the Universe. These painful events that we’ve all experienced are actually working for you and not against you.

This will be difficult for some to understand at first (I know it took me a while to get there), but the most painful, unbearable, horrendous, terrifying and saddest moments in your life also happen to be the biggest lessons that you’ll ever receive in life. These are massive signs from the Universe, this is the Universe talking and communicating with you.

As I mentioned at the top of the podcast I was given a whole bunch of signs about why I was feeling depressed, but I never paid much attention to them because I was in too much pain. So the trick to seeing and realising that pain is actually a sign and is something that needs to be learnt from is to separate yourself from that pain. Easier said than done and that requires a whole podcast in itself, which I will do eventually, but the point I wanted to make here is there are signs everywhere in your life on how to live and act and pain is an urgent message being delivered to you for your benefit by the Universe, that the way you’re living your life needs to change.

Alright before I begin with lesson in films spoiler alert! If you have not seen Kung Fu Panda 2, The Lion King, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and The Matrix Reloaded you may want to skip this episode as these are the four movies I will be exploring right now.

In Kung Fu Panda 2 Po is happily fulfilling his role as the Dragon Warrior protecting the land with his five martial arts friends known as the Furious Five. When they defend a small village from bandits Po gets distracted and has a flashback about his past. This distraction allows the bandits to escape. Soon after Po and the Furious Five are sent to stop Lord Shen, a really bad guy, who is ready to unleash a new deadly weapon upon the world. During their attempt to capture Lord Shen Po has another flashback about his past, which again distracts Po allowing Lord Shen to escape. On another attempt to stop Lord Shen Po inadvertently again gets in the way and the Furious Five are captured while Po gets blown across town with a cannonball. Po is healed by a wise fortune teller who also teaches him to stop resisting his flashbacks and to accept his past. Once Po calms himself he sees his past for what it really was instead of what he imagined it to be. Po accepts his past and finds inner peace. With inner peace Po is no longer distracted and with the help of a few kung fu masters he saves the Furious Five and the whole of China.

A quote from the movie:

“You gotta let go of that stuff from the past, ‘cause it just doesn’t matter! The only thing that matters is what you choose to be now.”

In The Lion King Simba is a lion cub and son of Mufasa, king of the pride lands. Scar is Simba’s uncle and wants to be king so comes up with a devious plan to prevent Simba from being the future king. Scar tricks Simba into waiting in a deep valley and causes a stampeding herd of wildebeests to head right toward Simba. As Simba runs for his life Scar acts innocent and tells Mufasa about Simba in the valley. Mufasa manages to get Simba to safety, but he gets caught in the stampede. Mufasa leaps for his life onto the edge of a cliff where his brother Scar is waiting. Instead of saving his brother though Scar does the unthinkable and pushes Mufasa off the cliff where he falls to his death. Simba sees his father fall and Scar convinces Simba that it was all Simba’s fault. Simba leaves the pride lands with no intention to return and finds a new home with new friends. A few years pass by and Simba still blames himself for his father’s death. When news of Scar’s abuse of power reaches Simba he feels too much shame and guilt to do anything about it. A shaman finds Simba and shows him how he’s forgotten who he is by forgetting his past. After a hard lesson in accepting his past and to stop running from it, but to learn from the past instead Simba returns home and with the help of his friends, his pride, and the kung fu Bruce Lee fighting skills of the shaman, Simba restores the pride lands back to a place of peace and harmony.

Here’s a quote from the movie:

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.”

In Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back Luke Skywalker continues his Jedi training and is trained by Yoda a Jedi Master. After some intense training sessions with Yoda, Luke begins to develop his skills using the light side of the Force, but his fears are disrupting his training. Eventually Luke’s training progresses far enough where he can sense that his friends are in danger. Luke stops his training immediately and leaves Yoda to help his friends in need. Luke flies to Cloud City, a beautiful floating metropolis in the sky, but he walks into a trap and comes up against the Sith Lord Darth Vader who uses the dark side of the Force. After a tough light sabre dual Vader slashes off Luke’s right hand light sabre and all and drops a massive truth bomb on Luke. Luke was told by his first Jedi teacher Ben Kenobi that Vader killed his father, but Vader tells Luke, ‘no, I am your father’. This news shocks and disgusts Luke who is on the edge of falling down a deep air shaft. Vader reaches out and asks Luke to join him on the dark side so that they may rule the galaxy as father and son, but Luke refuses and somewhat calmly lets go and free-falls down a long drop to his death. But as he gets close to the bottom Luke is fortunately sucked into an air vent and finds himself outside at the bottom of Cloud City hanging on for his life. Fortunately again with the help of the Force and his friends Luke is saved. When Luke was confronted with the truth about his past he initially rejected it. He could not bring himself to accept the fact that his father is an evil lord of darkness. After taking a second to pause Luke realises the truth – Vader may have been his father in the past, but Vader is an agent of the dark side now. Learning something new about the past does not necessarily have to change anything in this current moment and so it does not change Luke’s mind as he chose to reject the dark side and his father.

Here’s a quote from the movie:

“You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Finally, in The Matrix Reloaded Neo and the rest of the human race who are not plugged into the Matrix are still at war with the machines. The underground human city of Zion is their base of operations. Neo as the One has been advised by the Oracle that in order to save Zion he must go to the Source, which is the machine mainframe or the central computer system inside the Matrix. Neo plugs back into the Matrix and with the help of his friend Morpheus and others Neo finds the door to the Source and opens it. Neo gets surrounded by a white light and as he comes out of the light he appears in a room with an old white guy. This man is actually a program from the machine world called the Architect. He explains to Neo that everything up to this point has been part of the machine’s plan all along. The machines programmed the events of Neo’s life in the Matrix so that he would one day end up exactly where he was, inexorably with the Architect. Neo also learns that there have been many One’s before him and that he is the sixth one. The machine’s created Zion to hold the people that wanted out of the Matrix. The machine’s also created the myth of the One, a saviour that would one day free the human race. The Matrix, Zion, the One, returning to Source, freedom, it was all a lie, a trick, another form of control.

Neo is told that everyone in Zion will be killed and there’s nothing he can do to stop it. It is after all the sixth time the machines would have destroyed Zion. The Architect also tells Neo that his lover Trinity entered the Matrix to help Neo, but like Zion the Architect states that Trinity is going to die and there is nothing Neo can do to save her. Neo is then given a choice between two doors. Door number one takes Neo to the Source ensuring the continuation of the Matrix and where he will select 23 people to create a new Zion. Door number two returns Neo to the Matrix where Trinity will die, and by returning to the Matrix this will cause a system-wide crash that will kill everyone still plugged into the Matrix. With the destruction of Zion choice number two would result in the end of the human race. Neo has to reconcile everything he’s fought for and believed in including his entire past with what he’s just learned. Has he never been in control of his life, of his own destiny? Are all his current and future choices and actions determined by his past? Neo’s past, his previous programming tells him to choose the first door to save humanity. That is his role and duty as the One after all. However, Neo isn’t like the previous five Ones. Neo is different as he has strong feelings and a very passionate love for Trinity. Neo chooses door number two as he decides no matter what has happened in the past, no matter how he is expected to act, he can still choose in the present moment to be different. With all his will Neo saves Trinity, but the battle to save Zion and free people from the Matrix is still to come.

A quote from the film:

“We can never see past the choices we don’t understand.”

So what’s the lesson and common theme in all these movies?

The protagonist is faced with a past that they do not understand or that they’re running from. Once they accepted and understood the past to be a lesson to learn from and not destiny or programming that must be followed, then they were able to appreciate the now and they realised that the past doesn’t have to impact the future. Understanding their past helped them accept who they are now and that they could choose in the present moment to be different.

How can you learn from a past that you don’t understand or accept a past that you’re running from? How can you live your present regardless of your past? There are many methods to help you reflect on your past and to figure out how your past is affecting you today.

Seeing a psychotherapist is one conventionally accepted way of seeking help for resolving past issues and investigating current behaviours based on your past. A common practise in psychology is CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is a type of talk therapy. Some people love to talk it out, but others won’t so while psychotherapy can work wonders for some many others may get no relief from it at all. There are some people who have done psychotherapy for decades and are still no closer to accepting their past and accepting who they are. You won’t know if it’s right for you until you give it a go.

Another way to deal with your past and to deal with yourself is by using EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. Also known as Tapping, EFT is a type of energy therapy that makes use of meridian energy lines or energy highways that run throughout your entire bodymind similar to how acupuncture and acupressure work. You tap on certain meridian energy points to stimulate and promote your bodymind’s own innate intelligence and ability to heal from physical, emotional, and mental pain. This is a very powerful and deep technique that I use myself. There’s a movie and book called The Tapping Solution I highly recommend watching and reading to find out more about EFT.

One final way I’ll give you for working on accepting your past and yourself is an awareness and change exercise I got from T. Harv Eker’s book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. Eker uses this exercise to help you work on issues you have around money and to change your financial blueprint, but I’m going to change it up a bit. This exercise is a 5-step process and you’ll need a pen and paper.

Step 1: Identify
Pick one area in your life you’d like to see change and improve. Could be health, wealth, love, relationships, career, just pick one.

Step 2: Awareness
Write down a specific emotional incident you experienced around this one area when you were young? This could be being chronically ill, being abused, or being bullied, growing up without food or money, not having your mum or dad present, write it down.

Step 3: Understanding
Write down how this incident may be affecting your current way of being and how you live. This step is a biggie as it forces you to take a good hard look at who you are and how you are behaving and living today and it makes you connect the dots between your past and now.

Step 4: Disassociation
Can you see your current way of being is only what you learnt and is not you? Can you see you have a choice in the present moment to be different? Nothing to write down here, but can you really truly see it? That your past is what happened. That your past is no longer happening. That your past is not here. That you are not what happened in the past. The past is what happened to you. It’s impossible for your past to affect you now because you are here right now in this very moment, but your past, it’s still in the past! This step is about letting go and separating you, the you that’s right here and right now from events that have long come and gone.

Step 5: Choice
Put your hand on your heart and with full conviction and absolute belief say out loud:

“I now release all non-supportive life experiences from the past and from this moment on create a new and abundant future!”

This is the most important step as you’re declaring to the Universe that you are no longer bound to old ways of being and are the creator of your own bright and beautiful future. This choice is very powerful as it acts as an affirmation as well, but you must believe it as you speak it, otherwise it’s just mumblings and the cosmic forces that are here to help you will not get the message or may even confuse your message for something else.

So those are 3 ways you can have a real hard look at your past and to see it in a new light and I say a new light because for a lot of us the past is a very dark place and if you can find the courage and the right support to illuminate what has happened you can then learn from it so you don’t make the same mistakes and relive the past all over again.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

Accept your past. Learn from it what moves you forward, unlearn from it what holds you back, and realise it really doesn’t matter in the end because, hey it’s all in the past right. If you can do this you will come to your own understanding of why you make the choices you choose to make today and with this understanding you will then be able to change your choices and choose something different, whatever it is you want. Choice is humanity’s ultimate power and this power is always with you in this moment and the next. For more about the power of choice check out episode 20 I did on the power of choice.

Here’s a quote by Marcus Aurelius a former Roman Emperor:

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the world.”

So accept your past for what it was and was not, accept yourself for who you are and are not, and maybe, just maybe you will be able to accept other people and the rest of the world for how they are and are not.

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WGP 042: Universal Lessons in Film – Self-Belief

In this podcast I’ll be exploring a Universal Life Lesson found in Motion Pictures:

  • I’ll explain how the Universe is always teaching you and giving you signs
  • I’ll talk about a few movies that deliver the same universal message
  • Finally, I’ll share how you can apply this universal teaching to your life


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

The Universe – it isn’t just a gigantic void or space filled with planets, stars, galaxies, and life. It’s also the biggest school in the universe. The biggest university you could say. This university is full of lessons and learnings that have been around since the very beginning and will be around long after the end. These lessons are like laws or principles that when you follow them give you happiness and health and when you ignore them or completely disregard them you feel horrible and unhealthy.

These universal lessons and messages are delivered in many different ways, an infinite number of ways in fact and the signs, they are everywhere and they’re always there. Whether the sign comes in the form of the weather, or other people, a bird through the window, or seeing the same set of numbers over and over again the Universe is always communicating with you.

The most prominent communication tool used by the Universe is your bodymind. Your bodymind is always talking to you giving you subtle cues and clues to the lessons the Universe is providing you. For me it took decades of feeling like crap and having a sick-prone body before I took the hint and learned a very important lesson – my body does not agree with gluten. It also took many many years of feeling lonely and angry at family and friends because I was 100% absolutely certain that I was right and that they were wrong before I learnt another very important lesson – my mind prefers love and connection over anger and isolation. Okay Universe, I finally got it. It took me a while, but I got it. Lessons learned thank you very much and of course I’m still learning new lessons every day.

For such an infinitely large school the Universe’s list of lessons isn’t anywhere near as big, which is why you see the same themes and ideas being retold time and again in different movies of different genres.

I’m going to focus on three of these morals that have been told in countless movies and I’m going to make this a 3-part episode series where I’ll talk about each universal lesson and the movies that tell its tale in its own podcast.

Oh yes before I begin talking about the first universal lesson spoiler alert! If you haven’t seen any of the movies I’ll be exploring in this 3-part series you might want to come back to these episodes after you’ve watched them. I’ll be talking about the Kung Fu Panda trilogy, Wizard of Oz, the original Star Wars trilogy, Lion King, Toy Story, and the Matrix trilogy.

Alrighty then life lesson from the Universe numero uno. I’ll be exploring this lesson in the context of the first Kung Fu Panda movie, Wizard of Oz, Star Wars: A New Hope, and The Matrix.

In Kung Fu Panda Po is a Panda and the unlikely choice as the chosen one who must learn Kung Fu in order to become the Dragon Warrior and save the village. He is told that a sacred scroll would reveal to him the secret to limitless power and that he would only be allowed to read the scroll once he was worthy. After a long time training in martial arts and kung fu Po got the scroll and what did he find? What was the secret to limitless power? What did the scroll contain? Nothing, it was blank. Actually it was made out of golden parchment paper and it did show Po’s reflection. Po didn’t see it at the time, but later understood that there is no secret to limitless power or becoming the Dragon Warrior. He is the Dragon Warrior as long as he believes it to be true.

And a quote from the movie:

“To make something special you just have to believe it’s special.”

In the Wizard of Oz Dorothy and her dog Toto are swept away home and all from their Kansas farm to another world called Oz where Dorothy is gifted a pair of ruby slippers after their farmhouse falls on the Wicked Witch of the East. Dorothy and Toto along with their new friends Scarecrow (who has no brain), Tin Man (who has no heart), and Lion (who has no courage) they all go on an adventure following a yellow brick road to find the all powerful Wizard of Oz who is the only one who can help them get what they are missing and get Dorothy and Toto back home. The Wizard asks them to defeat the Wicked Witch of the West before he will help them, but after Dorothy and her friends defeat the witch they find out that the Wizard isn’t even a real wizard and he can’t help them. Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion soon realise that they didn’t need the Wizard’s help after all as they showed more than enough smarts, heart, and courage when they faced the witch. Dorothy also finds out that the ruby slippers she was wearing could take her home anytime she wanted, but she had to first figure out for herself through her adventure that there was nothing out there more important than what she already had.

Quote from the movie:

“…if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!”

In Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope Luke Skywalker finds himself alongside an old Jedi Knight, a space pirate, a Wookie, and two droids on a mission to save a princess and the rest of the galaxy from the Empire. Luke finds out that his father used to be a Jedi Knight and begins his own training to become a Jedi. Part of this training involves learning how to connect with and use the Force, an invisible energy field that can be used for good or evil. Luke struggles to feel the force flowing through him, but continues his training. After saving Princess Leia the planet that the Rebels are based on is targeted for destruction by the Empire’s most powerful weapon, the Death Star. Luke joins the fight against the Death Star with the Rebel flight squadron and the only way to destroy the Death Star is by using the fighter’s own targeting computer system. A couple of attempts are made to destroy the Death Star using the computer system, but they all fail. Luke is reminded by his mentor’s voice to ‘use the Force’ and to ‘let go’. Luke realises that he can’t rely on the computer and that he has what it takes to get this job done. Luke relaxes into himself and takes the shot and score! He destroys the Death Star. A metaphysical nudge from his mentor and a second to pause and think is all Luke needed to believe he could do it, to believe that the Force was and is flowing through him.

A quote from the movie:

“The Force will be with you… always!”

Ah yes finally The Matrix my favourite movie of all of the times. It’s the future and the human race are slaves to intelligent self-aware machines. The machines use living human bodies as a source of energy, while the minds of these bodies are trapped in a virtual digital world known as the Matrix. Neo has been freed from this world of control and he’s been told that he is the only one that can stop the machines. Neo doesn’t believe this and even after he ‘knows kung fu’ he still has doubts. After visiting an Oracle that can see into the future Neo finds out that he isn’t the one after all.

After taking a massive risk saving his mentor and friend Morpheus, Neo now comes face-to-face with the machines toughest agents of control in the Matrix, called funnily enough an Agent. Neo is now faced with a choice – whether to stay and fight or run. All his training and even what he just learnt from the Oracle tells him to run, but for some reason he stays and fights. As another character Morpheus puts it, ‘he’s beginning to believe’. After putting up a good fight Neo realises he’s no match for the Agent and so he does run, but to no avail. Neo is killed by the Agent. Or is he? Yes the Neo full of doubt is dead, but a new Neo rises and this guy believes 100% no doubt about it that he is the one and knows this through and through and Neo takes out the Agent that killed him with ease. Once Neo killed off his old negative beliefs and doubts he was able to fully accept that he really was the one.

A quote from the movie:

“Don’t think you are, know you are.”

So what’s the lesson and common theme in all these films?

The protagonist or leading character goes on an adventure to find something. Throughout their journey they are learning and discovering more about who they are and what they’re capable of. Near the end of their journey they have a moment of clarity and realisation, which is if they believe and trust in their own abilities then there’s no need to go seeking for something out there as they have everything they need to accomplish great things within themselves already.

How you can realise and discover this belief in yourself?

One simple practice you can do are daily affirmations. Yeah a lot of people scoff at this idea, but this is the real deal people.

As Napoleon Hill author of Think and Grow Rich states:

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

By stating an affirmation as fact to yourself every day you begin to break up old neural pathways and patterns of thinking in your bodymind and you begin to create new pathways, new roads to success, you create new habits and you create a new way of being.

A daily affirmation I say to myself every morning I get out of bed no matter how I’m feeling, how hot or cold the temperature is, how sunny or wet it is outside, I say to myself:

“It’s another day in paradise.”

And immediately I just can’t help but smile.

Another affirmation I like to use especially if I’m feeling some self-doubt about my abilities or if I let someone else’s negative energy get to me is a quote from the movie Cool Runnings, but I change it up a bit. I say to myself or out loud:

“I am pride. I am power. I am a strong being of energy who shares love with everybody.”

Another affirmation I like to use every now and then is:

“I am happy, I am healthy, I am whole. I take my love wherever I go.”

Shout out to Holistic Health practitioner Paul Chek for that one.

A few tips about affirmations.

Daily affirmations can be done at any time of the day and as many times as you feel. But the secret to affirmations is this – you have to believe what you’re saying. Without belief words are powerless. With belief words become powerful.

Best way to enhance your belief is to visualise what you would look like, be like, and how you would be acting as if those words were true. Your mind doesn’t make a distinction between a physical event and a mental thought. They are one and the same to your bodymind.

Final tip is you must be consistent with your affirmation practise. By using daily affirmations with visualisation and a real belief in self and done consistently sooner or later without you even realising it, but others will see it for sure, you’ll have more pride and power and love to give than you thought you ever had inside of you.

I’ll leave you with this thought. Here’s another quote from the Matrix where Morpheus says to Neo:

“You have to let it all go… Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.”

What are you freeing your mind from? You’re freeing your mind, yourself from limited beliefs, from the chains of old habits, old thoughts, old feelings, and old ways of being. Freeing your mind opens you up to new possibilities, new habits, new thoughts, new feelings, and new ways of being.

Free your mind and believe in what you already have right now and let that innate force of awesomeness that lives within you to flow freely and express itself.

From the day you come into this world, to this very moment as you listen to this, and to the day you leave this world you have everything you need to live an awesome happy and healthy life. You just need to begin to believe.

Here’s to the ultimate freedom – freedom of your bodymind.

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WGP 039: 3 Words to Heal a Broken Relationship

In this podcast I’ll be exploring how to Heal Broken Relationships:

  • I’ll explain the major reason relationships fall apart
  • I’ll talk about why people relate so poorly to themselves and to one another
  • I’ll explain how 3 words can heal any relationship
  • Finally, I’ll give an exercise on how to use these 3 words to heal broken relationships in your life


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

Relationships are part of being alive. If you’re not relating you’re not living.

Technically the first relationship you’re in is with your own bodymind. Your bodymind is made up of trillions of cells living in harmony with each other. This massive community of cells are in constant communication with one another and build and maintain healthy relationships with each other. From the day you’re conceived into this world to the day you will leave this world you are in constant communication with your bodymind and must build and maintain this relationship throughout your lifetime. The healthier your relationship to your bodymind the healthier your bodymind ends up being.

Of course today the world is full of people with sick and diseased bodyminds meaning as a collective culture and society and species we are not doing a very good job of maintaining and looking after the most important relationship we have, which is with our own selves.

The main reason for such a high rate of disease in western society today is people do not listen and communicate well with their bodymind. When you have a symptom this is your body talking to you, telling you ‘hey you’re doing something that I’m not liking, please stop right now’. But you don’t. Who does? None of us are taught in school how to be in tune with the wants and needs of our bodies and our mind so we end up playing ignorant fools to our body’s messages.

I know when I was dealing with my chronic health issues I was totally ignoring the signs and body language that my bodymind was trying so hard to communicate to me. Why was I ignoring it? Because at the time I really enjoyed my lifestyle. I loved fast food, I enjoyed not having to go to the gym like everyone else was doing, and my job wasn’t killing me either or so I thought. Of course now looking back I can see how my body was rejecting the food, the lack of movement, and the dissatisfaction in my job by giving me skin issues, digestive issues, and depression.

The same reason goes for personal relationships. Your relationship to your family, friends, neighbours and perfect strangers it all comes down to effective communication. If you have good communication with other people you’ll have good relationships with those people. On the flipside if you have bad listening skills and cannot effectively share your intentions with other people you’ll find it very difficult to relate and connect to them on a meaningful level.

So why do people plead ignorance and just not want to listen to their bodyminds or to anyone else? Why is effective communication so difficult to build and maintain? It comes down to wanting to be right or not wanting to be wrong.

We all know the feeling of being right, but we also know the feeling of being wrong or at least to be found out to be wrong. One makes you feel great joy and pride, while the other makes you want to jump off a cliff or hide.

The idea that being wrong is bad comes from human evolutionary history. When your ancestors heard a sound in a bush they had to decide whether that noise was a potential threat, a predator and to run away or was it just the wind and they could continue on their way. Get this wrong and your ancestors would have a very bad day. Get it right and nothing much happens really except knowing you made the right choice and you got to live another day.

This idea that being wrong is bad is reinforced during your upbringing and it is during this time that the idea that being right is good was introduced into your psyche. I remember growing up at home and in school being rewarded for doing things right as they were expected to be done. I also remember being punished at home for not doing things right and being made fun of at school for getting things wrong and not knowing the answers.

This is when things start to go a bit screwy and mess up your innocent young mind. You begin to confuse what you’ve done with who you are. If you make a mistake you are a mistake. If you do wrong then you are bad. If you make something awesome you are awesome. If you do right then you are good.

So when you are given a symptom by your bodymind, a sign like your skin breaking out in pimples or not having enough energy to get out of bed, or when you are confronted by someone else’s ideas and views on life that are very different to yours, your first gut instinct is to deny everything. By denying the reality of what’s happening right in front of you (and there’s a reason for calling it right in front of you and not wrong in front of you) by denying reality you reduce the risk of being wrong and being made to feel bad and so you instead choose to live in blissful ignorance. Because if you were to give in to what’s actually right in front of you it would mean having to admit that what you know or believe in or did may be wrong and you would make that mean that you are wrong.

But, and this is a big but, being wrong or right doesn’t mean anything, really. If you make a mistake or create something awesome, so what? Your actions are not you. They extend from you, but are not you. You are more than something you do or have done in any one moment. Being wrong does not mean you are wrong and same goes for being right. So the best sure-fire way to improve and better your communication skills is to change your mindset where you believe being wrong means you are wrong.

There are 3 words you can say to yourself, to your bodymind, and to others that will stop you wanting to be right all the time for fear of being wrong making you a more effective communicator. No it’s not I love you or even I am sorry. The 3 words I am talking about actually say both of these as well. Those 3 words.

 “I was wrong.”

That’s it. I was wrong. This short statement does three things besides saying I love you and I am sorry.

First it immediately puts the other person at ease. When you say the words I was wrong you are essentially saying you were right to the other person. Being told you are right is like celebrating all festivals and holidays in a single moment. It feels like the best piece of high quality dark chocolate or homemade apple pie you’ve ever tasted. So give someone the gift of chocolate and pie today by telling them you were wrong.

Second thing saying you are wrong does is it makes you aware of something you were previously ignorant to. You now have the knowledge and the potential power to make change happen in your life. We make mistakes in order to learn and grow. In fact to learn something means to fail at something as the whole learning process involves ups and downs and it’s only through practise and repetition that you will have more ups than downs, but the downs are always going to be there. Remember you can only rise after you have fallen, but you must be courageous enough to take that fall. Think of it this way, when you are wrong you are learning.

Eckhart Tolle the author of The Power of Now, a really awesome book on keeping you in the present moment, he states:

“It is through the mistakes that the greatest learning happens on an inner level.”

Meaning failure creates deeper more meaningful success later on.

Speaking of the power of now the last thing I wanted to talk about that happens when you say the words I was wrong is it removes the fear of being wrong because you’ve just said you are wrong obviously. As soon as you say those 3 words you shift from being afraid to look wrong in the eyes of others including yourself, to being accepting of whom you are in the moment and this knowing of self in the here and now gives you strength to be more open and honest with your communication. Saying I was wrong shows vulnerability and being vulnerable is very empowering. When you share something personal and intimate and that’s actually quite difficult to share it’s like having a huge weight lifted off your shoulders and you feel lighter and a lot more at ease to just talk and speak your truth.

Relationships require effective communication and need to be built on a foundation of openness and honesty. By saying I was wrong to your bodymind, to yourself, and to other people you remove the fear of being wrong and the need to be right and you create stability in your relationships. In order to maintain the relationship you will have to face your fear of being wrong over and over again and keep in mind that what you’re actually doing is following the learning process. Every time you admit you are wrong you give rise to the chance of being right.

Alright I’m going to leave you with a task. Your mission if you choose to accept it is to think of one rocky relationship whether it is with yourself, your bodymind, or someone else and to think how you have been wrong in this relationship. Then to say to the other person or your body those 3 difficult words, I was wrong, and then explain to them how you have been wrong.

There might be an apology in there, I am sorry, and there might be a connection there, I love you. But it all begins with I was wrong.

Let me give you a few personal examples of what this might look like. Time for me to get vulnerable here.

My relationship with my bodymind. Growing up I’m thinking I can eat pasta, pastries, and pizza without any consequences. It sure tastes good and feels good eating those things in the moment. But I had to admit to my bodymind I was wrong. After years of ignorance and not wanting to take responsibility I finally took control of my own health and discovered I was gluten-sensitive. So I went gluten-free and my bodymind rewarded me by no longer giving me an upset stomach, by giving me smooth glowing skin, and by giving me a genuine smile on my face instead of me having to force a fake one.

Another relationship, this time the relationship with my self. For many many many years I thought that my life revolved around the good opinion of other people and that I didn’t deserve a say in it. But boy I was so bloody wrong it’s not funny. As part of this exercise I would look in the mirror and say to my self, self I was wrong to let other people control my life. And after many moons of personal development work and discovering and learning who I really am and why I’m here I now realise that my life revolves around the most important person in the world, me. Me me me. Always has and always will. Sounds selfish right? I know. But now that I know who I am all I want to do is help others find who they really are too. So this selfishness, this sacred selfishness, this looking after myself now drives me to want to serve others and look after others as well.

Okay last relationship I’ll talk about is the relationship with me mother. Growing up I used to think that my mum actually didn’t love me or my brother and sisters and that she was really just a controlling, mean women who had us kids just to be slave workers and to clean up after her and no matter how good a job we did it was never good enough for her. Well I was wrong. Mum I was wrong to think that you the source of my being and existence didn’t love me or my siblings and I was wrong to think that you were a bad parent. Sure you may not have raised us as we would have liked, but you did the best you could with the knowledge and resources that you had at that time and I just want to show my gratitude and appreciation for the awesome parenting job you did and still do. Even now you’re still telling me to put an extra jacket on when the weather’s cold. I know now that everything you say and do for me and my siblings it always comes from a place of love. Well mum I love you too and yes I will put a jacket on, when it’s actually cold.

So a few personal examples there that I hope will help you on your relationship healing mission.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

“You are never on the wrong path, you are simply on the long path to learning, to growing, and to having happy and healthy relationships.”

Before we can all be right we must all admit that we are so very very wrong.

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WGP 036: Greed – How Intense Desire Creates Suffering

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Greed:

  • I’ll explain how greed can be a good thing
  • I’ll talk about where this wanting and grasping and craving for more comes from
  • I’ll explain the link between greed and unhealthy attachments
  • I’ll talk about how greed creates dissatisfaction through expectation
  • Finally, I’ll share a few strategies on how to manage yourself when it comes to greed and your desires


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

Greed is defined as an intense or excessive desire for more.

Looking at greed from an evolutionary lens, our ancestors lived in times of both abundance and scarcity and greed comes in very handy in those scarce moments. When traditional cultures did not have enough food put aside for the winter or had their villages wiped out by natural disasters or disease these are times when you need to have a very intense desire to survive as your life depends on it.

Coming back to today to modern times where if you’re fortunate enough to be listening to this podcast I have to say, you are pretty set when it comes to getting your basic needs met. We live in a world that’s very abundant in many respects with more than enough food being produced to feed the planet, but food wastage means people still starve. We live in a world with more than enough clothes to cover every single man, woman, and child a thousand times over, but still people die due to extreme weather conditions and thermal stress. We live in a world with so much advanced technology that this could shift the human race into a new age of peace and love, but old wars still rage on with weapons of mass and mini destruction being the technology of choice.

So the problem isn’t really greed itself, but the greed mindset in abundant conditions.

Now if the world we live in today has more than enough for us to survive why the excessive intense desire, the need, the want, the grasping, the craving for more? One reason is you have been programmed by news media, marketing, food companies, drug companies, sports, fashion, military, and every other industrial complex out there to desire more. Every day you see advertisements telling you that you’re not good enough or that you haven’t made it in life until you buy x, eat y, wear z, and smell like p, the letter that is.

Another reason for excessive wanting and desires is your upbringing. Your parents and family would have installed into your under seven year-old subconscious mind as you were growing up that no matter what you do, you must do more; no matter what you have, you must have more; and no matter how you’re being you must be more! Now they didn’t do this on purpose because hey their parents did the exact same thing to them.

So this is where greed in an abundant world comes from – external sources.  This is why despite having more today than anyone 10,000 years ago ever had, you have this insatiable appetite to want more to crave what it is you don’t have yet grasp at because you feel like you’re missing out on something. This greed mindset comes from outside of you.

Having an intense desire for more can lead you down a path to unhealthy attachments. Attachment itself isn’t a bad thing. A loving bond is absolutely necessary between family members, friends, and communities to keep everyone moving forward in the direction that lifts everybody up. Unhealthy attachments, however, are not bonds of love, but bonds of fear.

When you lust after and want great ideas, people, places, and things you can begin to confuse yourself with that which you desire. For example you could be greedy for money and say to yourself that unless you earn a certain amount or have a certain amount of cash in the bank you are not successful. So you grow this unhealthy attachment with an idea of success equalling having lots of money and therefore you think that without money you are nothing. Another example maybe you want to be with a particular person say a celebrity and you daydream about them and begin stalking them on Facebook and Instagram. Then one day you wake up and realise you know more about that person than you actually know yourself and you’re practically living life through them instead of in your own body and space.

This unhealthy form of attachment comes from a place of fear where we as living creatures grasp security every chance we can get. So whenever you feel insecure within your own skin or unsure about your own thoughts and feelings you may find yourself not wanting to go inside to face this doubt and instead may look externally for that safety and security. You will seek out ideas that make you feel good, people that make you feel safe, places and things that make you feel secure and you will attach yourself so strongly to them that your entire existence depends on them more than anything else.

This craving for security can lead to attachments that cause you to live outside more than inside of yourself creating disharmony in your bodymind leaving you with an unhealthy and unhappy life.

Greed, wanting and grasping and craving, leads to many expectations. Expectations of how your life should be, of how you should be, and of how other people should be. Notice a lot of shouldas there. Living a shoulda life is a surefire recipe for a dissatisfied life. How?

If you really think about it the only times where you’ve felt upset or letdown were when expectations you had about a situation or person were not met. Every single time you expect your well prepared plan A to happen, but instead plan B happens out of nowhere you get frustrated and then when plan B seems to show up more frequently than your precious plan A your frustration turns to anger and possibly rage or maybe even tears. Whenever you experience an outcome that is not what you wanted or were hoping for of course you’re going to be dissatisfied.

“Unfulfilled expectations are the prerequisite to suffering.”

Does this mean that to live a life without suffering you must live a life without expectations and greed? No and I’ll share a few tips now on how to manage yourself when it comes to greed, to wanting, to unhealthy attachments, and expectations.

Most important tip to managing yourself and your intense desires is to switch off from media, marketing, advertising, and any other bad influence that brainwash you into thinking you live in a world of scarcity and that you’re not good enough so you must buy what they’re selling before you’ll ever succeed in life. All of this stuff creates FOMO in your mind where you begin to Fear On Missing Out on what other people are doing because of the so-called importance that is placed upon them through hype and propaganda. By moving away from this hype you will lessen your FOMO and your need for greed.

Bonus tip: switch off the news as well and not only will you shield yourself from the advertising hype, but you’ll also decrease your stress levels from the negative news improving your overall health.

Another way to not lose yourself to wants and desires and lose yourself to unhealthy attachments is to practice mindfulness, awareness, and being present in the moment. ‘Be in the now man’ is hippy talk for wake up to what’s happening in you and around you right now in this moment. Many people live in the past reliving their regrets or in the future worrying about possible failures. This way of thinking creates doubt of your own worthiness and personal abilities to live a successful and happy life so you begin to look to find your worth in another person or in other material objects. You look outside instead of inside.

By being here and now you learn what it is you need in this moment and stop thinking about what you needed years ago when you fumbled that catch at school or what you need in 2 weeks to pay the rent. When you can bring yourself to what’s happening right here, right now you will find your desires grow less intense and see that what you really need could be as simple as a glass of water, a deep breath, a talk, a walk, or even a hug.

A couple ways to practise mindfulness is meditation of any type and body scanning. I’ve talked about meditation many many times before so I’ll talk a little bit about body scanning. Body scanning is not getting a CT scan or x-ray at the hospital or doctor’s office, but a mindfulness practise where you start from of your head or your feet and work your way down or up your body focusing on each body part as you go through the practise. You notice aches, temperature, and other sensations in one area of your body before moving to the next. This is a great way to centre or ground yourself to how you, your body, your mind, everything about you is experiencing life in that moment. I’ll put a link to a YouTube video in the blog post for this episode showing how to perform this body scan practise.

When it comes to letting go of expectations, um, actually don’t. Zig Ziglar a personal development coach and speaker has a quote that goes:

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”

Meaning you shouldn’t remove expectations, but be flexible when things don’t go your way. Instead of stewing in misery think to yourself, what’s the lesson here and what new expectations can I create from this experience? Another way to say it would be to expect to fall in life and then expect that you will get back up.

Such is the story of all life no? A constant cycle of ups and downs, life and death, new and old. If you can see the world as an impermanent place where nothing is fixed, set, or stagnant, but more like water that’s always in flow and if you can see that the future is impossible to see and predict then you may just be able to let go of suffering by moving with the flow of the world when your expectations are not met and you may just learn something about yourself along the way.

Another quote this time by superstar martial artist Bruce Lee:

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

Do not take on other people’s baggage. You got enough personal baggage to last many life times as it is.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

Imagine putting your hand in a river to get some water and you grasp tightly. You end up making a fist which comes up empty handed. Now if you were to release your grip and open your hand more you’d be able to carry a lot more water. Grasping on to desires too tightly stops you from getting what you want. Be mindful, open yourself up to letting go of attachments, be flexible with your expectations, and use greed to inspire and move you toward your dreams – suffering being optional.

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