10 Steps To Build Your Confidence

confidence

Are you looking for confidence builders that really work? Confidence is a tool that can help you to overcome obstacles and leave a lasting impression. And the best part about confidence is that it rubs off on others. When you’re confident about what you’re saying or doing, you’ll come off as intelligent, successful, capable and even desirable. Confident people have no trouble attracting others.

Of course, even people who are regularly confident experience spells of low self-esteem or insecurity. The important thing to remember is that if you find yourself feeling unusually down, it doesn’t take much to give your confidence level a boost.

The following confidence builders can help you stay steady and self-assured:

  1. Peel yourself away from the mirror. 

Yes, you should devote some time each day to your appearance, but once you’re ready, let that be the end of it. Most of us have difficulty staying away from mirrors when we encounter them in elevators or bathrooms, but the less time you spend agonizing over every detail of your appearance, the happier you’ll be.

  1. Stand behind your decisions. 

Instead of hemming and hawing over miniscule decisions or jumping back and forth trying to decide what to do, try making a decision and going with it. This doesn’t mean you should start behaving rashly, but people who are confident and self-assured tend to know what they want.

  1. Work on your posture. 

Your mom probably told you when you were a kid to stop slouching and she was right. When you stand tall, with your shoulders back and your head held high, the impression you

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others. 

Don’t worry about anyone other than yourself. Who cares if your best friend is getting engaged or your neighbor just got a promotion at work?Dwelling on what others have achieved isn’t going to help you feel good about yourself, nor is it going to help you get ahead.

  1. Do things alone. 

It’s easy to feel sure of yourself when you’re out with a group of people or a boyfriend or girlfriend. But doing things alone can leave you feeling outside of your comfort zone. Try doing things alone every now and then to cultivate your sense of confidence.

  1. Practice meditation. 

By making your mind still, you can filter out defeating thoughts which can contribute to low self-esteem. Twenty minutes twice a day can have a profound effect on your confidence.

  1. Exchange online social networking for face-to-face social networking.

Do you spend hours clicking through photos of your “friends,” analyzing their outfits or who they’ve been clicked with? Instead of wasting your time online, why not get out and socialize yourself? Putting yourself out there and meeting new people can help you to feel more confident about yourself.

  1. Make eye contact.

Confident people aren’t afraid to make eye contact. When you’re talking to someone, practice staring that person straight in the eyes. You’ll give off the impression that you’re sure of yourself, confident, and intelligent.

  1. Dress your best.

If you feel good in whatever you’re wearing, you’re more likely to convey that message to others, too. Instead of going out in your old pair of sweatpants, put some effort into your appearance each time you leave the house. You’ll find that spending just a few minutes on your outfit will help you to step out with confidence.

  1. Feel wealthy.

Take the time to remind yourself of all you have. You may not be the richest, the most successful, the prettiest or the smartest but isn’t it better to just be yourself? When you appreciate the blessings you do have and stop being in a state of wanting, you don’t need to feel down about what you don’t have.

Start with these 10 steps and let me know how you feel

10 Tips To Break Your Phone Addiction

How’s your relationship with your phone? Are you two inseparable? Is it on you every minute of the day? Lately my phone has been making serious in-roads into my life, to the point where I was responding to it every minute of the day. Voxer, SMS, Whatsapp, Messenger, Emails, Instagram, Linkedin, and phone calls. It didn’t stop, I was losing control of my life to my phone. And lately wherever I go, I have been noticing how everyone else is on their phones as well…all the time!

For that reason, I had to set some very clear boundaries so that my phone no longer controlled my life. I found that once I set these boundaries, I felt less agitated and less hyper-stimulated. It made a big difference to my day. We are in unchartered waters now, in the history of human evolution we have never been so exposed to anything like this. Just get a train to the city at peak hour in the morning and have a look around. It will be very rare to find someone not engaged in their phone in some way.

I didn’t want to be owned like this by my phone, so I set to map out ways I could live more freely from my phone and here I share with you the 10 steps that I took to try to take back the power from my phone. Now admittedly, these are my preferences, and sometimes I struggle to stick to them!!

1. Avoid the phone while I am eating. I found eating and being on my phone highly distracting from my ability to enjoy my food. It was like eating was ‘just something you do’ rather than a special part of my day to relish the sensory delights and nourish myself for sustenance. So now eating is for eating!
2. Avoid the phone for the first hour in the morning. I found myself waking up and falling into the void of everyone else thinking processes by reading feeds, messages, and news items. I wanted to start my day with greater clarity and stillness so now my day starts with meditation to create space then visualisation, gratitude, and intention setting. It’s not until after this is done, that I will check my overnight messages.
3. Avoid the phone 30 minutes (ideally one hour) before bedtime. Rather than ending my day with some low-grade news feeds or Instagram posts of people’s cappuccinos, I like to finish my day now with some stretching, and reading deep spiritual and transformational books before I drift off to sleep. These leaves my mind in a positive framework that helps me set up the next day ahead.
4. Don’t read or text on my phone while walking. I found that while I was walking and texting or walking and reading on my phone, my nervous system would get over-stimulated and I felt uncomfortable. So now if I have to respond to something on my phone while walking I will stop and pause to send the message, and then keep walking.
5. Turn my phone on airplane mode or silent while driving. I found myself responding to messages at red traffic lights (shhh!) and I was always feeling a sense of haste trying to squeeze everything in during those small windows at traffic lights. So once I made the decision to turn my phone off in the car I was much more at ease with the drive and yes, also driving legally!
6. Turn my phone on airplane mode at night time while sleeping. It’s been proven that your phone is emitting radiation. Even just the thought of my phone being on in the house while sleeping left me uncomfortable. So every night now I turn my phone onto airplane mode.
7. Turn my Wi-Fi off in your house at night time while sleeping. When we sleep we open ourselves up to frequencies around us. Knowing that there is a black box in our home sending out an entire web of information isn’t something that I wanted to expose myself to so we now turn that off every night before bed.
8. Don’t take my phone into the gym. Ok so I’m sure many people like to listen to music or podcasts at the gym but I found that I was getting work messages and responding to them while I was at the gym so now I prefer to work out without my phone, and keep my workouts separate from my work!
9. Avoid double screening by leaving my phone off while watching TV. I used to have my phone with me everywhere I went, which meant it was on me while I watch TV with my family. If it buzzed or a message came through I would immediately answer it. Not only distracting me from my family time but also from the TV show. Now I leave my phone off or in another room so that for that window of time I am not distracted.
10. Block out time in my day to check my phone and respond to messages. By now you are probably wondering how I will ever respond to my messages on my phone. What I do is a blackout periods of time to get through things that need to get done. So the end of the meeting when I get to my car I’ll sit in my car before driving off and respond to any messages that have come through. And I do these in stages throughout the day so I’m compartmentalizing the time on my phone and not always responding to it. This way I’m empowered and not giving my power to my phone.

So like I said, these are my preferences and sometimes I bend these rules, but they are a useful guide to help me be less controlled by my phone and live a more balanced, calmer life. Do you have any other suggestions that might help our readers with their phones? Please share below.

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Tom is a meditation teacher, speaker, personal coach, and producer and co-writer of the film and book The Portal!

A unique cinematic experience created to inspire humankind into a new era, THE PORTAL is about the ability for inner change to bring about a powerful planetary shift.

Exploring the role crisis plays in our evolution—and the mental programs we’re born into—this experiential documentary brings to life the stories of six people who have used stillness and mindfulness to move beyond trauma.

To find out where you can watch the film or read the book click here. 

How To Meditate When You Literally Dont Have Time To Meditate!

So a couple of weeks ago I wrote an article talking about how we often don’t make time to meditate because we have positioned something higher up as a preference than the deep fulfilment that comes from meditation. Usually it’s the case that we have the time to meditate but it’s just not as a high-priority as some of the other things that we are choosing to do. However there are circumstances where we literally will just not be able to find the time to meditate. Today I will share with you some tips and suggestions on how to meditate when you literally have no time to meditate. This was inspired by an inquiry I had from one of my students today, (thank you Beth) who has a newborn child and really is struggling to find time to meditate.

This is common now for many people as we take on more demands than ever before and there will be days where sitting in a chair and closing your eyes for 20 minutes to do a meditation may just not be possible. It is those days that we need to be adaptable and look at alternatives for a meditation practice.

Meditation doesn’t have to always be an eyes-closed, withdrawing-the-senses-from-the-outer-world experience. We can incorporate a meditation practice while we are driving the car, while we are pushing the trolley in the supermarket aisle, while we are preparing dinner, and while we are at kid’s sport. It just takes a little practice and a little tweaking on what our understanding of meditation is. Yes, sitting in a chair, closing our eyes and transcending deeply into the quiet inner world beyond thought and the senses is a very powerful and effective form of meditation. One that I highly recommend we do on a daily basis.

However being present in an eyes open state, and completely in this moment without the fluctuations of the mind traversing into the future and the past is also an effective meditation practice. Being present and mindful of being the embodiment of love in each moment regardless of your environment is also a meditation practice. Freedom from emotional fluctuations in the feeling body, experiencing the subtle and blissful state of Being is also a meditation.

This can all be done throughout your day regardless of how busy you are. So yes you might have a lot of things on, and you might have no time at all throughout your day to sit in a chair and close your eyes and dive deep into meditation, however that doesn’t mean that you’re unable to be blissfully present in each and every moment. That is your meditation on those days.

So here are some tips to meditate when there is no time to meditate:

  • In the shower, pick up the soap, smell it, assess what fragrance is in the soap, feel the warm drops on your skin, and have gratitude that you are able to shower with clean warm hygienic water. There are many people in the world right now that this is not possible.
  • While on the way to work, either on the public transport or while driving, take time out from listening to the radio or a podcast, don’t go on social media and don’t read the paper. All of that is mind wandering into other people’s thoughts. Sit and be present. Can you be there, and empty the mind of thoughts. This won’t be easy, but with practice you will have glimpses into a space with no thought, just Being present.
  • While at the supermarket, take in the sounds around you, what do you hear? Be aware of the smells around you, what do you smell? What do you feel on your skin, is it cold or warm in there? Come to your senses and just observe that.
  • When cooking dinner, prepare your meals with love and do it slowly. Be aware that the food you are preparing is to be consumed by you, your family or friends. Be mindful that the energy that you are preparing and cooking with will go into that food. Ask yourself am I the embodiment of love now?
  • Before bed, turn off your phone, turn off your wifi, turn off your TV and anything that is bright or noisy, and then sit at the foot of your bed on the floor. Just for a few minutes close your eyes, place your hands over your heart and repeat slowly five times: “I Am The Expression Of Love.”

So there you have some very simple suggestions to help you meditate when you have no time to meditate. Perhaps you have some suggestions that you might like to share with us? We’d love to hear them below!

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Our monthly meditation coaching sessions are becoming a huge hit around the world! Feel free to check out our Inner Sanctum monthly meditation coaching. It’s less than $1.90 a week! Our last session had a big response with attendees saying:
“Your description of deep transcendence brings me to tears.”
“Wow, Magnificent! Thank you Tom.”
“A brilliant focusing of the concepts developed through meditation.”
“I always feel so invigorated after these sessions, thank you Tom!”

A Christmas Message With A Twist

We made a family decision this year…no presents at Christmas!

Yes, it will feel different, but in this time of year we were compelled to sit and contemplate what’s true for us and what’s a system of conditioning. Will we be missing out?

I shared a short video on Facebook. This message may resonate with you.

Enjoy!

Peace and light,

Tom

 

 

Tom is a meditation teacher, author, corporate speaker and transformational coach. He provides one on one coaching as well as group coaching in Zen Academy for Transformational Leadership. To contact Tom regarding strategic intuitive guidance or if you are looking to book him to speak at your company click here.

 

10 Tips On How To Heal From Depression

I was at a function last week and the discussion turned to the emotional well being of today’s teenagers. Someone in the group mentioned that they knew of 5 teenagers that had taken their lives in the last year. Adding to that I mentioned how I was also invited to assist with a high school in northern NSW that had 10 students take their lives in the last 2 years.
The sad news is this isn’t confined to teenagers. Its seeping across the whole of society. We have more affluence than we have ever had access to in the history of humankind and yet we have such unbelievable levels of depression and suicide rates. I know that statement means carries little weight though. I know what its like to be deeply depressed and contemplating if life was worth living, and having access to affluence didn’t mean a thing to me. I recall being curled up in a ball on my bed, in a dark misery and self loathing, thinking of the option of not living through this. At one point I was trying to think of all the reasons why I should be happy to help get me out of this state. I had a multiple 6 figure salary, a secure job, a beautiful home, a stable family upbringing, good relationships and on paper an ideal lifestyle. Yet I was miserable. I was deeply depressed. I contemplated not living.
Depression can hit anyone. Young, old, rich, poor. You name it. And yeh, it’s brutal when it comes knocking. There are many factors that contribute to depression as presented here from the Lifeline web site:
* Relationship problems or conflict – e.g. separation/divorce, difficult/abusive relationship
* Job loss, especially long-term unemployment
* Loneliness or feeling isolated
* Excessive drug or alcohol use
* Having another family member who has depression
* Having a serious physical illness
* Changes in how the brain functions
* Personality factors – e.g. anxiety, low self-esteem
Ultimately the end result is that there are low levels of oxytocin and serotonin in the body which leads to a feeling of sadness, depression, emptiness and disconnectedness. The good news there is a way out of that dark abyss. Admittedly there is no magic pill (some doctors may think otherwise) but with a holistic approach there is every possibility that one could come out depression and live a lighter, happier existence. Here are some steps that I took that helped me find my way out of depression:
  1. Daily meditation. This plays a huge part in me feeling happier again. When you are stressed and anxious your body doesn’t produce the happy biochemicals of serotonin and oxytocin. It will produce cortisol, and adrenaline which cuts off your happy chemicals. So the first step is to start finding ways to remove the stress response in the body and meditation will help enormously with that. You can use an app, online programs or ideally, find a qualified meditation teacher who will take you through the steps of learning to meditate.
  2. Regular exercise. This has been scientifically proven to change your biochemicals and increase your happy chemicals in your body. (Black Dog trial ) Not only is exercise good for the increase in happy biochemicals it also is a great release of stress which leads to calmer healthier body and better sleep.
  3. Yoga and stretching. Sitting in a chair most of the day and being stressed will tighten up the body and block the flow of energy through the body. Yoga and stretching will open up the body, calm the mind and realign the body back into a healthier space
  4. Avoid negative media and dark depressing movies and books. Where you attention goes it grows. So if we put our mind on negative depressing content, our mind and body will start to align with the energy of that.
  5. Get off technology and get into nature. Shutting down our phones, iPads, laptops and nature bathing is a powerful way to elevate your energy. When we are in forests, oceans, meadows…anywhere in fresh air and in the simplicity of nature, we start to sync into that local environment which will leave you elevated and enlivened.
  6. Get some natural supplements into you. The American Agriculture Association admitted that there is 60% less minerals and nutrients in our fruit and vegetables than in the 1960’s due to the amount of over farming in the last few decades. Not only that, society in general is eating less fruit and vegetables and more processed food. Boosting your food with supplements with vitamins, minerals and herbs can make a big difference to your moods. For professional advice on this seek out a naturopath in your local village or even try online.
  7. Speaking of foods, stick with more locally grown fruit and vegetables from your growers market, and eat plenty of clean organic live food possible. Avoid greasy fatty foods, processed foods, gluten, caffeine, alcohol and refined sugars where possible.
  8. Sleep! Sounds sensible however we are now sleeping on average less than we ever have. Sleep plays such an important role in healing your mind and body from the stress response and increasing your feeling of wellbeing. I’m all for the afternoon nap just for 20 mins also if you can fit one in.
  9. Open Up To Family and Friends. You may feel like withdrawing from the world, but it’s those precious relationships that make all the difference. When you share your vulnerability and connect, it deepens the bond with them and builds love. There are people in your life that care unconditionally for you. Reach out and let them in. (By the way, it’s been proven that hugs increasing serotonin and oxytocin)
  10. Be active. Sitting in a dark room or curling under your doona all day is what you might feel like doing but it’s not going to help you. Get up and get active. Start doing things. Buy some plants and plant them around your suburb. Volunteer at a local charity. Walk someone’s dog. Go to the zoo. Join your local library and read a book. Find a meetup group and join it. Mow someone’s lawn. There are plenty of things we can do each day that will help you lift out of that dark night and move forward.
Depression can not only take control of your life, but it can also affect many people around you. We can heal from depression, but it will require some action. Doing the same thing over and over again won’t bring about a different result. Keep trying new things, see what works for you. If you are suffering depression, it is recommended that you seek professional help. Have someone to talk with. There are many support facilities around the world that are there to help you through this. You don’t need to do this on your own so please reach out to someone for help.

 

Tom is a meditation teacher, author, corporate speaker and personal coach. He provides one on one coaching as well as group coaching in his Zen Academy for Transformational Leadership. To contact Tom about receiving his guidance or booking him to speak at your company click here.

How To Be An Inspiring Leader In A Turbulent World

Ken Blanchard, the successful author of over 60 books once said…

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”

We are in changing times…

I’ve been invited to present a number of talks lately in the corporate sector, on leadership.

It seems this is a big theme of late as we are entering a very interesting time as the status quo in all areas of life is being disrupted on a daily basis and company leaders are having to keep up with the pace.

We are seeing the shared business model such as Uber and AirBnB challenge long standing business of taxis and hotels.

We have Ai and robotics which are going to potentially disrupt the employment sector, and then…

We have social media where everything is reported and very little passes public scrutiny.

Companies and their leaders are more accountable than ever before. A tweet, a Tripadvisor post, a Facebook rant can bring an entire company down very quickly.

So what does it take to be a leader in today’s world?

When I was asked to do a talk on leadership I researched some of the top leaders in the world today to see what they were doing and how they were doing it. Surprisingly the number 1 leader in a list of 50 inspiring leaders was a man that I had never heard of before! Theo Epstein.

Who is Theo Epstein?

  • He was the youngest coach of a Major League baseball team at the age of 28 when he was signed to the Boston Red Sox.
  • Within 2 years of his signing he took them to win the World Series for the first time in 86 years.
  • Not long after that, he was poached by the Chicago Cubs where he went on to win the World Series for them for the first time in 108 years!

How did this young man have so much influence over a team of players that inspired them to do something no other coach had done in 86 and 108 years?

Maybe this quote from him had something to do with it?

“When people do things they weren’t even sure they were capable of, I think it comes back to connection. Connection with teammates. Connection with organisation. Feeling like they belong in the environment.”

Theo Epstein brought together his teams and inspired them to reach new levels of capability that were always there, only it took Epstein to bring them out.

Famed musician Quincy Jones said…

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

This is a new era of Leadership! We can no longer rule with brute force or authority. It’s a time where our leaders lead with inspiration and influence.

What makes this challenging is fallibility!

No matter how high up someone might be as a leader, they still have fallibility. Which means they will…

…screw up

…make mistakes

…do something wrong

AND it will potentially be highlighted.

Our expectation of leaders is getting higher and higher which is a good thing, as it means we ideally should be getting better leaders, but it also puts immense pressure on our leaders to meet this high standard. And it comes at a price.

There are many days where I have beaten myself up for not reaching the level of standard that I and others set for myself.

I’ve made many mistakes along the way, and after pulling myself out of the dark night I look to improve and grow from the situation.

But often it’s a slow process.

So how can leaders progress during this time of intense scrutiny and pressure?

Being vulnerable and coachable is key.

Leaders need to be open to learning and growing. To do this they need to embrace criticism and adapt accordingly.

After each of our retreats we send out a survey to our attendees asking them how we can improve what we do? I also have a fortnightly coach that is there to help me see what I can’t see and inspire me to be a better version of myself.

I believe a leader also is able to be led…A teacher is always a student.

So what are some qualities that you would seek in a leader?

Here are 12 traits that I feel as a leader we should aspire to:

  1. Vulnerable
  2. Kind
  3. Calm
  4. Consistent
  5. Focused
  6. Polite
  7. Compassionate
  8. Strong
  9. Flexible
  10. Integrity
  11. Coachable
  12. Friendly

In some way shape or form, we are all leaders. We all have a sphere of influence, whether it’s with friends, colleagues, family or clients.

It’s not about putting people on pedestals but acknowledging the leader within each and every one of us. As Tim Ferris once said:

“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.”

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Learn to become a conscious leader and transform yourself and those around you with personal guidance from the Founder of The Stillness Project, Tom Cronin.
This program will stretch you, expand your potential, deepen your gifts to the world, and explore ways in which you can bring your vision, mission and purpose to life. Click here to speak with Tom about your Vision, Mission And Purpose. Be a Leader at the highest level
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How To Reduce Anxiety And Live More Calmly

How are you feeling? Do you currently suffer from anxiety, insomnia, depression, adrenal fatigue overwhelm, panic attacks, OCD, ADHD, tapping leg syndrome? Or all of the above?

Recently I presented a couple of talks in front a large auditorium, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne and to open both of those talks I asked the audience who was feeling any of the above symptoms. What happened was around 80-90% of the audience put their hand up! 80-90%!

Here in Australia we are blessed to have one of the most affluent lifestyles in the world. Generally speaking most people in our society have smart phones, overseas holidays, nice houses with fresh running water, more food than we can ever eat, more clothes than we can ever wear and tumeric chai lattes! We don’t have marauding tribes chasing us down or sabre tooth tigers leaping out from behind rocks threatening our survival. So why is it we have such high rates of anxiety and panic attacks? Is there a correlation between intense quest to attain and sustain such a high rate of affluence and the toll that takes on our well-being to achieve it? Is it a matter of needing to shift our perspectives on what is important to us?

For years I suffered extreme anxiety and panic attacks, and to be very honest, there are times in my life now where I still get them. Every time I would feel that wave of anxiety sweep over me it is always when I am not present and in the moment. Its when my mind has leapt ahead into a future world, one that I am creating in my head full of scary scenarios of things going wrong. This completely distorts my present moment and triggers a stress response in my body of extreme fear about what could happen.

Our minds are amazing devices that are charmed by the idea of analysing and forecasting. It thrives in the future and the past, and has very little to do in the present moment. When the mind becomes quiet what prevails is a beautiful calm watchfulness of this moment. Here now. This ‘here now’ calmness is remarkably simply and even as I write this I can sit, pause and stay in this watchful calmness. Yet I can also notice how the mind wants to hijack this moment and take me to another place in the future. Some peoples stress default mode is anger or rage, others is deep lethargy or depression, and then there is anxiety and fear. This latter one is my default stress mode. I project into the future and get anxious about what ‘might’ happen. I usually think of a worse case scenario which triggers a huge anxiety reaction in the body.

There are a number of strategies that I use that can really help reduce the debilitating side effects of panic and anxiety. It needs to be a wholistic process, as I don’t believe there is a magic pill or cure for it.

1. Daily meditation. This will play a huge role in calming the nervous system and keeping the mind disciplined and in the present moment.

2. Daily Abhyanga. This is an ayurvedic self massage that soothes the nervous system and grounds the body. It is recommended to use sesame oil or you can buy ayurvedic abhyanga oil online. Once you massage yourself all over with the oil, have a warm bath or hot shower.

3. Vitamins and minerals. Ideally see a naturopath for a guide on what are the best supplement to take however vitamin B’s, C’s and magnesium are all good to help with anxiety.

4. Stay away from stimulating environments as much as possible. Overwhelming the nervous system with lots of noise and activity will wear the nervous system down and lead to emotional disturbance. Try to spend more time in quiet environments especially amongst nature

5. Reduce technology and the use of the phone. Pick up a book, talk with a friend, observe life through the senses, or simply be. I struggle with this one also. My phone is nearly always one and I have to admit, it lures my attention much more than should allow it to. But I know the time when I put it in a draw, turn it on airplane mode or shut it off, I feel so much better in the long run. Those short highs from scoring through a feed are like a sugar fix that doesnt last.

6. Get to bed by 10pm. Sounds simple enough but this change can make a huge difference to how you feel in the morning. There is a circadian rhythm in the day that peaks and troughs and there is a trough or downtime that comes around 9-10pm. This is when we ideally should be turning down lights, turning off technology, having a bath, reading, stretching and then hitting the pillow for a good night sleep from 10pm onwards. I know I feel heaps better the nights I fall asleep by 10pm and wake up around 5am or 6am!

These are just some strategies that will help reduce anxiety. There are more traditional methods like seeing doctors, psychologist and using medication which could all be an option if need be. Search in your local area for people who specialise in anxiety and panic for some further assistance and if things get severe, please please be sure to talk with someone about this.

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If you would like to learn to meditate we have our 21 day meditation program called Faster Deeper Bliss. In this program I will be with you every day for 21 days teaching you how to meditate deeply. This will help you feel calmer, sleep better and be less stressed about life. Find out more about this program by clicking here.

How To Avoid Angry Confrontations

It’s very disturbing when someone gets angry with you isn’t it? Almost immediately you feel that charge in your body, your blood pressure increases, you feel the flush in your cheeks, your heart starts pumping and adrenalin is coursing through your veins. Your first reaction is aggression. You rise up to meet your challenger and you defend your ground and force back on them with equal if not greater intensity of anger.

Now we have a collision of angry energy that usually escalates as each party unconsciously is vying for supremacy in this angry battle. Before long the entire episode, that can take literally a few minutes, can not only change your day or week, but can severely damage the relationship for good.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a way to be a part of that exchange that doesn’t involve you dropping down into a negative angry space. And there are two really good reasons why it’s important that we do our best to hold our own space and not get influenced by other people’s energetic states.

Firstly, holding our own calm and compassionate space is much healthier for our body. When we change our emotional state into anger our whole body changes. We are moving into sympathetic nervous system state as your body is preparing for a battle. Your blood pressure increases, your breath rate changes, your heart starts beating faster, your blood sugar levels changes, your brain starts functioning from basic reptilian rear lobe, and your biochemistry changes as cortisol and adrenalin replace serotonin and oxytocin. Now our entire state of well-being and happiness has been removed and it could take the entire day to reclaim it back.

Secondly, when we merge our angry state with the person who is projecting their angry state onto us, we have removed any possibility of inspiring them to another alternative. There is no backing out now and what was one angry person is now two angry people. This can then have a multiplying effect as we share our new angry state with friends and family who can then also join in the angry movement. “Oh that just makes me so angry!” they may reply to your sharing of the situation. Now two becomes three and so on it goes like a nasty virus of mediocrity and negativity spreading across society. By not having autonomy and sustaining our calm non-reactive state we have removed any possibility of offering the angry person any other option. We missed the possibility of inspiring harmony and unity at a much healthier level. This is disempowering for you and not great for them.

So how do we avoid getting pulled into those situations? Well this is the challenging part that requires constant vigilance and awareness. The ego of course thrives in angry confrontation; this really enlivens the ego and gives it a sense of purpose. The ego is like woo hoo! I love this stuff! And then the ego hijacks your state. The key to preventing the ego from disempowering you is constant vigilance and awareness of what’s ego and what’s not. We need to differentiate between what is ego and what is our essential nature because if we try doing this by suppressing emotions, (a characteristic of ego) then that suppressed energy will seek a release in some shape or form at a later date.

Behind the noise of the ego is a silent witness, a quiet awareness that simply is. In Vedic teachings they call it AMness or Being. Connecting with that is done though the deep transcending meditation techniques that take the mind out of duality and into the silence, where there is no thought, form or phenomenon. Regular meditation will over time enable you to sustain the presence of this quiet awareness through even the most testing of times. Then when a situation arises, you will have your default state prevail and no ego hijacking you out of it into a reactive emotional state. From here compassion, kindness, rationale and calm will be able to prevail within you. This may help diffuse the situation quickly and offer some inspiration for your angry attacker as another alternative. If not, then the next best outcome is that instead of two angry people we only now have one.

A little disclaimer…this process takes time and practice. It’s not an overnight shift that takes place. Be easy on yourself if you find yourself getting swept away by emotional reactivity. And if in doubt, seek out some support and guidance through these situations that doesn’t involve dumping more anger onto your Mum, brother, colleague or best friend.

Oh and one more thing, sometimes we may need to respond in a firm forceful way. Certain situations might call for this. Doing this mindfully and resetting quickly back to calm after the incident will dramatically affect how you feel and it will wash you of the negative charge quickly.

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If you would like to begin your journey into meditation, try our 21 day deep meditation program called Faster Deeper Bliss. In this program, you will receive daily guidance from meditation expert, Tom Cronin, every day for 21 days. Plus you will receive 35 support videos to answer all your questions and there a few bonuses in their also that will help take your life to the next level! Find out more about this program by clicking here.

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How A Young Rich Kid Reminded Me Of A Valuable Lesson

There’s probably a good chance that you don’t quite feel you are where you want to be or that you ‘have enough’? Do you feel there is more that you could do or more that you could have? What does it actually feel like to have ‘more than enough’? It’s almost impossible to imagine right?

This is one of the most powerful forces that drives us into action and that also leaves us with a gnawing feeling of not ever truly being satisfied. The other day I was sitting at the front of the cafe having my standard cashew nut milk chai latte as you do in Bondi, when a very young man in a $500,000 McLaren sports car pulled up right out the front of the cafe. The door of his car swished open up to the sky like a spaceship, he got out of the car and walked into the cafe to order his takeaway coffee. As he stood there at the front of the cafe waiting for his coffee, I couldn’t help myself and I went up to him and asked about his car. I was curious as to how this very young man had accumulated such wealth to drive a car like this. He briefly told me that he acquired his wealth through property development and then finished the sentence with “but I wish I started when I was younger”.

His coffee was ready; he grabbed it, got back in the car and sped off down the road. I sat there thinking about his predicament…it still wasn’t enough for him. It’s not that he was a greedy human being, it’s that he suffers from the same ailment that we all do. We exist with an ego that simply is never truly content. It’s not possible for our ego to ever fully be satisfied. No matter where we are and how much we have, the ego is never truly satisfied. It always wants more and it will never have enough. Period.

Yet this is not who we are in our entire entirety. Can we feel fulfilled? Yes, we already are fulfilled. At our deepest level, in the depth of Being, we are all that there is. We are complete, whole, and there is no lack. Imagine the Divine or the Universe saying, “I need more!” It’s laughable right? Our sense of lack is a function of our disconnection to our unbounded Divine essence. When this connection becomes established and stabilised, those pangs of not having enough start to fade away and a deep sense of awe, wonder, gratitude and love flow through us. We simply Be.

Transcendence of the boundaries of individuation and separateness is key to making this connection. This is done through the art of meditation. Our unlimited Self is subtle and not found in the relative field. Cars, money, houses, partners, children, these are all very worldly tangible things. The divine, well this is very very subtle and not as obvious and easy to access than a car or a chai latte. So we seek the obvious and the most dense first. But if we ignore the subtle, then we will always be plagued with a sense of lack and wanting to fill in another hole.

Seeking is a function of the ego. Being is always there. Being is Love. Being is Stillness. Be.

How Getting A Puppy Dog Was A Lesson In Unconditional Love

LeoI’d like to introduce you to Leo, our latest family member. He is a 5 month old Cavoodle (cross between poodle and Cavalier Kind Charles Spaniel). He’s cheeky, funny, intelligent and a ball of cuddles. But beyond that he has this remarkable ability to inspire love wherever he goes. It doesn’t matter what mood you are in, how your day has been or even what he has done, he still manages to inspire unconditional love. He can drop a poo in the middle of the floor on our lovely shag pile rug and within minutes he will still receive adoration and cuddles.

That said he still requires boundaries and guidance to learn what’s cool and what’s not cool behaviour so he doesn’t get to totally do what ever he wants to do. So once those boundaries have been enforced and he abides by them (knowing full well that he wont ‘get it’ straight away), we continue to shower him with adoring affection and love. And from what I have gathered now that I have entered the world of pet ownership, this seems to be almost across the board with all other dog owners that I have met.

The question is, if we can do this with fluffy dogs, why can’t we do it with our fellow humans and even more so, with ourselves!? Why do we harbour sometimes a lifetime of guilt, anger, jealousy, shame, rage, low self worth, doubt and regret? Unconditional love seems to be one of the hardest conditions for humankind to embrace when it comes to other humans (and ourselves) yet we do it so easily for puppy dogs. Is it that we accept their fallibility so readily with such low expectation? I know I am my worst critic and have such high expectations on my self that I’ve spent a lifetime beating myself up because of my flaws. Being human is a challenging process. Not only do we have such high expectations on how other human’s should behave we also have them on ourselves. To some degree this is a good thing, it helps us grow and evolve. It helps us become a better human being. But finding that balance of taking that information of negative feedback to grow and overcome deep conditioning and also loving others and our self unconditionally in the process is not an easy task.

I feel I need to clarify here that loving someone (or yourself) unconditionally doesn’t mean they are allowed to do what ever they like. My greatest leaps of growth have come from inner and external criticism of my behavioural patterns that need to change. This flow of information is essential in our ongoing evolution as a human being. It’s like when I’m establishing boundaries for my teenage children, and they have their phone removed from them for a day or two as a consequence of their actions, I always emphasise to them that this is flowing from a place of a deep unconditional love that I have for them. But there are still boundaries. It’s how I follow through with them that affects the future. Sure it’s uncomfortable for a little while, but knowing that the love for them has never stopped flowing moves everyone out of the dark space quickly.

One of our greatest challenges is for us to do the same for our self. How quickly can I adapt and change for the better after suffering some consequences and then proceed to maintain unconditional love for myself? Often I will spend months berating myself and feeling dark and contracted, dimming my light and withdrawing the love, not just for myself but for others also. But does this serve me or humanity? What if there was a way to light up that dark room with my inner light of love and let it shine brighter? The ego thrives in the wallow and darkness. It’s like a toxic mould that grows in the damp darkness of misery and suffering.

The key to returning to unconditional love I believe is to dissolve the ego. When we strip this thin layer of identity away, what remains is the permanence and unmovedness of Being, otherwise known as unconditional love. Unconditional love is the essence of who we are. It’s like the sun that burns consistently showering light and warmth regardless if there are clouds or not. The ego comes in and impedes the radiance of lovingness. It’s always there however we have become so addicted to the presence of the ego that we ignore the subtlety that lies behind this. This is why it’s so hard to live in this state. This egoic layer is resilient and deeply established. There are times when we may experience the glimpse into unconditional love, yet again the layers come sweeping back in and the clouds of ego take over.

Unconditional love is not an easy state to sustain. If it was the world would be a very different place. But bringing awareness to its possibility and committing to sustaining it more and more will not only change our own daily experience but the planet as a whole.