Is Your Glass Half Full or Glass Half Empty? What If I Told You It Doesn’t Matter?

How often have you heard that optimists see the glass half full and that pessimists see the glass half empty?  Pretty standard.

Of course, we aren’t really talking about just a glass;  we are talking about much more than a glass.  We are talking about LIFE—about all of the situations and experiences that make up our rich lives.  Things like:

  • love
  • relationships
  • career twists and turns
  • changes in our health status
  • joys with our children
  • pains with our children
  • and on and on….

I suspect that for years you’ve been told you were a glass half full person or a glass half empty person.  You may have even bought into the label, describing yourself as such to others.  Let me ask you, how does it feel to be seen by others as a glass half full person?  Pretty darn wonderful!  Yes, who me?  The person who has it all together?  Sure, I’ll take it!  And how does it feel to be the glass half empty person?  Pretty darn un-wonderful.  Don’t mind me.  Just off to figure out how to fix another thing that’s wrong with me.

Only there is nothing wrong with you.  It’s all BS; it simply is not true.

What if I told you that the status of “your glass” does not matter one bit?  Continue Reading

What’s In a Label?

Writer, mother, wife, friend, breast cancer sur-thriver, Truth-sayer, dreamer, seeker, lover….  So many labels!  Did I assign these to myself?  Did others assign them to me and I chose to accept them?  Are there other labels that I chose to reject, and therefore don’t appear on this list?

As you sift through the following words, commonly used as labels, pay particular attention to how (if) your feelings change while you read each one.

label Did some strike a chord?  If so, was it a happy chord or a not-so-happy chord?  Did some not render any emotion whatsoever?  (Apologies upfront for the overwhelmingly skewed negative nature of the words — I’m not techy enough to create my own list, so I borrowed from Google Images.) Continue Reading

Experience a Little Heaven on Earth

If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”

~ Yogi Bhajan

Yep, that just about sums up the path I’m on with trust.  I began reading about trust (trust and faith really, their subtle differences, meanings, nuances) many years ago.  Shortly after, I started writing about it, but only for myself.  Then, over three years ago I started publicly writing about trust here on Trust Life Today, followed by teaching individuals first, then later groups.

As linear of an approach as it may sound — read, write, teach — what I’ve found is now that I’m at the teaching stage of trust, I continue to read and write about it.  I still study, contemplate, question, and even meditate on trust.  Although I’ve written posts about why people don’t trust, I constantly find it surprising when they don’t.  Until one day, in the midst of life, I find myself there too, not trusting.

And then I’m reminded — trust isn’t something I have mastered, it is a daily practice.  Trust is a practice I’ve chosen to embrace.  Why?  Because my breathing slows down to a calm, steady rhythm when I trust.  Because my hot female, Mexican, Taurus, Pitta dosha, Enneagram 8, Chinese symbol fire, who-knows-what-label, does not flare as quickly when I trust.  Because I get better sleep at night when I trust.

Because I show myself and the world the best of me.
Because I feel God within me.
Because I feel peace.

Because the peace that comes from trusting feels like a little slice of Heaven on Earth to me. 

And I want more peace in my life, more God in my life, more of my best-self to show up every day in my life, and definitely more Heaven on Earth in my life.  So I have cultivated a practice of trust, and I do just that, I practice.

And I screw up.

There are times I forget what it means to trust, and to have faith, and to love myself.  I simply forget.  I slip into old patterns and behaviors.

Then…after I’m done beating myself up over the screw up, when I’m finally able to be still and quiet within my heart and mind, I give thanks.

Unfortunately, I often allow my life to become so fast and frenetic, I rush to the next thing, then the next, never stopping to realize that the irksome feeling hovering over my head like a dark, Eeyore-cloud, is actually me continuing to beat myself up unconsciously.  It is not until I slow down enough to quiet my mind and tune into my heart that I see the screw up for what it is:  an opportunity to forgive myself, to learn from the experience, to practice self-compassion, perhaps even to provide comfort or to empathize with my neighbor who may share with me something similar as we both “coincidentally” meet at our mailboxes next week, month, or year.  Glance over the previous sentence, and you will find between each comma lies the reasons I give thanks for the quote-unquote-screw-up.

Heaven on EarthIn the giving of thanks, on an energetic level I feel restored, like my inner-balance-scale had been horribly askew, and now it has settled back to the middle, not tilting one way or the other.  In that horizontal plane of my inner-scale, my practice of trust begins again.  The experience of Heaven on Earth gently nudges me and I close my eyes and smile.

From where you’re sitting and reading today’s post, you may be thinking, Right on!  I can do this!  A daily practice of trust is totally within me!  Or, you may be thinking, Is she f-ing kidding me?  She has no idea what I’m going through and if she only had a clue, she would know trust is impossible, completely impossible.  Or maybe your pendulum is swinging back and forth between the two.  Wherever you are on your path, stop now and honor it.  It is your truth.  Own it.  Then ask yourself,  Why can’t I experience a little Heaven on Earth?  Close your eyes, smile, and know you can.  Even if you think you can’t, you can.

What’s Next

Join me next week, as I talk to the group in the second bucket above, the “it’s impossible to trust” bucket.  Tune in if this is you.  If it’s not you, chances are you know someone in this bucket; consider sharing this post with them in the hopes it will get their juices flowing and prepared for what’s to come.  I look forward to seeing you next week.

In love and trust,
Leslie

fall in love with life

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Amazon, recently released book:  Love, Trust & Pixie Dust

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Do You Have a Favorite Agreement?

the four agreements In eager anticipation of seeing don Miguel Ruiz speak this upcoming weekend in Austin, I’d like to dedicate this week’s posts in honor of his simple, yet profound teachings.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with don Miguel Ruiz, his book The Four Agreements is an absolute *must read*.  In 138 short and easy to read pages, he provides a construct for ridding ourselves of limiting beliefs by putting in place four agreements.

You can easily go to Amazon and read tons of reviews, the outlining of the book, etc., so I won’t bore you with any of that.  I’ll simply state what the four agreements are and how one in particular opened my eyes, SETTING ME FREE, maybe more than any other chapter of any other book I’ve ever read.

The Four Agreements are:

  • Be Impeccable With Your Word
  • Don’t Take Anything Personally
  • Don’t Make Assumptions
  • Always Do Your Best

Four straight forward agreements.  Each of them somewhat simple, yet each presenting its own slippery slope of trickiness.

The Four Agreements Sandwich

For me, the four agreements present themselves like a sandwich.  The bread, being Be Impeccable With Your Word and Always Do Your Best hold it all together, and personally, they are the ones that come more naturally to me, meaning, they require less effort.

The meat and cheese of my sandwich: Don’t Take Anything Personally and Don’t Make Assumptions, well, those are a bit harder (heartier).  They’re more robust and add complexity and flavor into the mix.

So, which one rocked my world?

The meat: Don’t Take Anything Personally.  This chapter was HUGE for me.  Although there’s an entire chapter dedicated to not taking anything personally, don Miguel Ruiz spoke to me directly within the first few sentences.

He wrote:

…if I see you on the street and I say, “Hey, you are so stupid,” without knowing you, it’s not about you; it’s about me.  If you take it personally, then perhaps you believe you are stupid.  Maybe you think to yourself, “How does he know?  Is he clairvoyant, or can everybody see how stupid I am?”

You take it personally because you agree with whatever was said.  As soon as you agree, the poison goes through you, and you are trapped in the dream of hell.”  (pp. 47-48)

From Preposterous To Poison

That’s it.  That’s all it took.  I think the example was so preposterous that I laughed out loud.  But also, while still in mid-laugh, I got it.  I completely understood.  It’s not about me.  It’s about them.  And as soon as I take it personally, as soon as I take on whatever they said about me, I agree — and then begins the poison.

This has been a glimpse of my experience with The Four Agreements, my sandwich.  Your sandwich may look entirely different; it may look like a pizza, with each slice being the same exact size, carrying equal weight in terms of ease or difficulty to fulfill.  Maybe your pizza has one large piece, two small ones, and one that’s such a slam dunk it’s been eaten and therefore, not present.  Whatever your experience is, whatever it looks like, I’d love to hear about it.

the four agreements

In closing, I’ll share something I hadn’t planned on writing about.  Heck, I didn’t know I was going to discover this when I sat down to write:

It’s a common practice of mine to pull this book out and share the first 2-3 pages of the chapter on not taking anything personally with people seeking advice or who I’m mentoring on Trust.  At the close of the chapter, I read these words:

“As you make a habit of not taking anything personally, you won’t need to place your trust in what others do or say.  You will only need to trust yourself to make responsible choices.”  (p. 60)

Wowww.  I wonder.  Did I get my current belief that Trust comes from within us, not from others….  all those years ago as I nursed my older son and read this exact chapter?  Was that belief buried somewhere in my subconscious and once I started writing this blog, did I remember the words of don Miguel Ruiz?

I do wonder.

(By the way, this is NOT the first time I’ve discovered a hidden treasure while writing to you, it’s just the first time I’ve mentioned it because it’s SO connected and core to the central message of Trust Life Today.)  Thank you for allowing me to share and indulge.

Love, Leslie