Sustainable Prosperity
Aligning Spirit and the World of Form

Archive for March, 2010

Real Nice

Monday, March 29th, 2010

I pray before my feet hit the floor each morning and in all my praying, I’ve never prayed to be an asshole. How about you? I used to pray for help being nice. It’s a bad habit I gave up when I realized the response from the universe was a consistent stream of assholes-different names and faces, but assholes. I also realized I was very confused about nice.

The minute we begin to deal with terms like ‘nice’ we jump into the polarity of ‘nice’ and ‘not nice’. We have the surface conversation about nice behavior. Disagreeing without being disagreeable. Minding your manners.

And then there is the more authentic, deeper conversation about nice. Have you ever realized you do Nice for you?

Yes, we tell our-self we do it for other people, but that is one of those pernicious lies we never investigate.

We do nice to avoid confrontation because we don’t want to be embarrassed or uncomfortable.

We do nice to get something-a response, help, favor and even sex.

So nice helps. It greases the wheels of life. But I think you and I can do better than narcissistic nice.

By now you have come up with a list of evidence that you do another kind of nice as well: a random act of kindness, the hug, the ‘atta-boy, the larger than normal tip. I’m not saying this kind of nice is meaningless. I am saying you are bigger than that.

Lettme ask you this: Exactly how far do you stretch yourself to be nice?

Is your criterion for when you are nice, how convenient it is?

Boy howdy, when I noticed this in myself I cringed. If I didn’t have time for nice…oooh my list of rational excuses were the best: I was on a deadline, I had a mission, I was right and the ace in the hole, I don’t really like you, so who needs nice?

If you suspect someone is an addict of some sorts-from food or exercise to money or drugs-and it clearly is interfering with their life: are you willing to be nice enough to share you notice they have a problem?

How about that caustic co-worker? Everyone talks about them behind their back. They feel excluded and defensive. Are you nice enough to level with them?

Here is what your ego says, “who died and left you in charge?” “Who are you to say these kinds of things to others?”

Ah, good point. This view means you have confused narcissistic nice and authentic nice–and there is a world of difference between them.

Sometimes the nicest thing to say is, “no.” No you can’t suck my energy, no you can’t pollute my environment with your toxic anger and hell no, and I’m not pretending everything is fine when it isn’t.

Being nice isn’t a criterion for doing business with someone either-not if you want a quality job. When was the last time you hired someone for a job just because they were the best for the job? Oy.

I’m not telling you to keep folks in your life who are not nice. I am telling you egos know all about nice and how to manipulate with nice-and that is really not nice.

PSSSST! See those buttons down there? It would be real nice of you to use one!

Small is Big

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Can small things change your life? Truthfully they can change your perception, which then can change your life-if you let it.

Here is an example: I had a client put their cell phone I a drawer for a week. Now I know what you’re thinking! Barbaric! Impossible!

But let me explain.

The client and I have been working on toxic vampires.You know, those people who intend to suck your energy no matter how many healthy boundaries you put up?

It was clear after months of work that it was time to use the ‘just say no’ approach. My client is co-dependent; she is trying to break old patterns. While there is much progress, she needs more now, quickly, to face this next episode of court, attorney’s and the process of divorce with ease and grace.

Step one was to get a new cell phone. One that he didn’t have the phone number to and would never have.

Step two was to only give the number to people who she really wanted in her new life. (also an epiphany!)

Step three was to put the old phone in the drawer. No more reading 20 texts a day telling her how awful she was for kicking his lying, drinking, cheating, criminal ass out. No more threats, berating, angry out bursts at her while on a binge.

The client had many concerns and objections to putting the phone in a drawer for a week.  To all of her objections I said, “well I guess we’ll find out if that is true”.

This is the critical thing about life. Whatever you are trying to do, you can test it. Life is a laboratory. And if you set up your tests correctly, no one is hurt and everyone is blessed.

Day 4 of no cell phone she calls to tell me, “I feel totally different, I feel like I have a huge monkey off my back. I can feel how different my thoughts are. It’s a miracle. I had no idea, this is huge. Big. Life Changing.”

Me, “So I guess it worked then?”

We laughed.

Yes, she had monkey mind, but of course she knew it was monkey mind activity so she didn’t pay attention to it. Yes, she had the fears, but realized they were imagined-as most fears are. Mostly, she had peace. Peace to have coherent thoughts, relief from the constant triggers and space to realize the importance of peace.

This strategy of being responsible for what you let into your sacred space and what is your job to filter out I use in every aspect of life.

It’s a small thing. But if you Practice Spiritual Principle you realize there is no such thing as small. That is the problem with using your ego mind and it’s interpretation of the 5 sensory world as your sole source of data. Small things are really big.