It can cause a headache or migraine, or a nagging feeling of guilt. It keeps you from sticking to your diet, or going to the gym. It shows up inside you, in your personal relationships, between groups, or factions, and on a larger scale, it can explode into war.
I’m talking about conflict, which you may not have realized has been a root cause of your self-sabotage.
Defined by dictionary.com as, “discord of action, feeling, or effect; antagonism or opposition,” conflict appears to be a natural part of the human condition. Or is it?
On a personal level, conflict simmers below the surface, keeping you from living life fully. Things like helping a friend or relative when you really don’t want to; feeling guilty about bailing on chores to do something fun; avoiding activities you KNOW are good for you… all mean you’re in conflict.
You may find it surprising, but there is good news… fear and conflict are the same, and can be resolved with love. Yes, that may sound a bit simplistic, so I’ve included an easy way to release conflict and live your life wholeheartedly.
How to Tame Conflict and Live Happier:
1- Don’t “Should” on yourself! The world “should” is a dead giveaway that you feel obliged. It means you are not committed 100% to what you’re doing. (And you’d rather be doing something else!) It’s the same with the words, “Have to”.
2- Stop What You’re Doing – If you get that “something’s wrong” feeling when you set out to do something. Stop. Recognize that you are in conflict.
3- Write it all out – Grab a sheet of paper. Fold it down the middle. Write down the benefits of doing it in the left column, and the reasons why you don’t want to do it in the right.
4- Feel it – Allow yourself to feel both aspects at the same time… I want to, but I don’t want to, Sit with both feelings for a while without judgment, and imagine these feelings surrounded with a bubble of love. It may feel uncomfortable or weird, but hang in there!
Bringing your feelings to the light, acknowledging, allowing, and surrounding them with love may be all you need to move into a space of happiness, committing 100% to living life fully.
Do you know the difference between having a good idea and creating a vision? A vision will excite you, make you feel awake down to the soles of your feet, and feel almost ever present. A vision usually feels both exciting and scary and sometimes, you’ll secretly wonder if you’re just a tiny bit nuts. A good idea on the other hand, will feel pleasurable but more realistic and you may even find that you can move into action quickly. Visions tend to touch the soul so although it may feel good, you may find you’re having a little bit more of a challenge to move forward. This is normal so don’t worry!
A vision should be able to seamlessly work into every part of your life and feel natural when you filter it through your mind, body and spirit. A true vision will be in complete alignment with who you are, how you live (or want to live) and how you want to make a difference in the world. Yes, the “bigness” of your vision might create some fear, but when you “check in” you’ll find it FEELS right. Be aware of your feelings. If you really get into your heart space, (by placing your hands over your heart and bringing your awareness under your hands, and thinking of something you love) you should be able to clearly tell if you have a vision, or if you’re doing things simply because other people are telling you it’s the best thing to do. Your vision is yours so don’t be afraid to claim it!
Finally, make sure to hold your vision and be sensitive to outside opinions. People may mean well but they aren’t you, and it’s easy for others to project their fears, concerns or beliefs onto you. There’s a story of an eagle who was orphaned and raised by chickens. Every day, the eagle would look into the sky and see birds soaring through the clouds. He desperately wanted to fly and there was just something inside of him that told him he could do that if tried. Having been raised by chickens however, he was constantly fed the message that chickens don’t fly. So the eagle would longingly dream about what it must be like to glide through the air, looking down at the land and experience that kind of freedom. Sadly, he lived his entire life grounded because he listened, and believed what others were telling him. Had he only held his vision and tried to make it happen, he would have realized his dream of flying!
You are capable of what is put on your heart, otherwise, it wouldn’t there. “If you dream it, you can do it” may be a popular cliché but just like the eagle, clichés become clichés because they are often true. Maybe the vision you have right now is telling you it’s time to fly!
© 2013 – revised 2021 MarBeth Dunn – all rights reserved
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson from A Course in Miracle
Ever feel like you’re trying to stand and balance on a large ball as it rolls along? That’s life! Life is always on the move. It’s challenging, and change is constant.
Change can be positive, full of opportunity… but there’s always that temptation to play it safe and stick to the familiar and hold firmly to what you know… even if you don’t like it.
Fear is not comfortable and there’s a strong impulse to resist it. It’s fear that holds you back from the things you want…
It’s why you stay in a relationship after it no longer serves you, even though you know you deserve better.
It’s why you stay in a job or career that you’ve outgrown.
Fear holds you back from your greatest opportunities. It creates resistance when you start on an exciting new path. It keeps you small, diminished, unsatisfied, and lackluster.
Close your eyes for a moment and ask yourself, “What if I had no limits, nothing holding me back, and all the money I need, what do I want to do? Who do I want to be? What are my greatest aspirations?”
What images come to mind? What feelings… body sensations? The more you can feel it, see it, be it, your magnetism and desire will pull it into your life.
Notice the feelings that come up. Excitement? Fear? Does it feel safe to dream so expansively?
Write down what comes to mind and what you experienced in the vision.
Then let your vision pull you forward into a new and exciting future!
© 2021 MarBeth Dunn – All rights reserved
Have you ever felt sad or let down when life didn’t work out the way you planned? A job you wanted and didn’t get, a relationship that didn’t gel, or something you were excited about that never materialized?
Disappointments happen, and it can be tough to feel joy-filled when it seems as if the doors of opportunity in your life are closing around you.
There is, however, a different way to look at this. Doors often close to protect you from what’s on the other side.
It can be difficult, in the moment, to be grateful for closed doors, but the Universe has an uncanny way of protecting you from things that won’t serve your best and highest self.
It sometimes takes distance to recognize that what you thought you wanted might not have been in your best interest.
Living in the now means releasing regret over past disappointments, optimizing the opportunities presenting in your life now, and recognizing that something better is on its way.
In the big picture, if you go back and examine all those closed doors, I’ll bet you’ll notice that more often than not, not getting what you thought you wanted was the best thing that could have ever happened.
© 2013 MarBeth Dunn – All rights reserved
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It’s our light not our darkness that most frightens us.” – Marianne Williamson
Have you ever wondered what this popular quote really means? In one sense it could be restated as, “Our head cannot take us where our heart wants to go.”
Have you experienced the longest journey personally; the one from your head to your heart? The head, or more accurately, the mind, has powerful rationalization abilities. Your head will tell you it’s not safe, whereas your heart will tell you to just try. Your head will tell you that this career makes more sense, your heart will tell you the career that makes the most “sense” is the one in which you’ll be happy. Your head will tell you why you should trust someone, yet your heart may tell you they’re not right for you.
When you make head based decisions as opposed to heart based decisions, you usually pick the safe route not necessarily the right route. And that’s a real shame. Your decisions may not be popular or look the best on paper but your greatness lies in being your most powerful and authentic self and that is something only your heart knows.
How to make heart-base decisions…
- Sit quietly and place your hand over your heart.
- Bring your awareness into the warmth under your hand.
- Breathe love into your heart space for a few moments
- Ask your question and notice how it feels.
- Does it feel good? Or does it feel uncomfortable?
- Therein lies you answer, and you can trust it.
© 2020 - MarBeth Dunn - all rights reserved
Give Yourself the Gift of PEACE in the New Year!
Do you dread the holidays? The time of year filled with laughter, joy and lots of good food can be tortuous to those who have experienced loss, perhaps even more so in the midst of a pandemic. Memories well up, followed by sadness, depression, anger and emptiness. Being around lighthearted celebration can be excruciating, and with a raging pandemic, the holidays can be overwhelmingly lonely, especially if you are alone in quarantine.
I’ve lost loved ones, and I know how sad the holidays can be without them. Yet I have learned to view things from a grander perspective, and in that process I have grown and blossomed. I know things can shift for you, as well! Let this year be different (in a positive way!) Don’t be victimized by your thoughts and emotions. You are a powerful being who can make a different choice!
1. Recognize that you are bigger than any thoughts or feelings you are experiencing.
When you are feeling grief or sadness, don’t resist the feeling. Allow yourself to feel it. Where does it show up in your body? Does it make you feel contracted, small or diminished? Acknowledge it. Notice how it makes you feel, but don’t judge it in any way. In this way, you move away from emotionality into a state of neutrality. You begin to recognize that you are not the emotion. Now declare, “I am bigger than this!” Remember a time when you felt happy and joyful. Expand into the sense of love, joy and well being and feel the feeling.
2. Realize that everything you experience is an opportunity for personal growth.
The feeling of hopelessness comes from being trapped in the illusion that you can’t change your circumstances. What if you realized that everything occurring to you is part of your specific curriculum in the school of life? No one said school was easy! Rather than getting caught up in a cycle of counterproductive thoughts and emotions, look at the situation more objectively, and wonder out loud, “What can I learn from this?” or “How can I handle this differently?”
3. Remember that you have a choice, every instant, to see things differently.
Nothing is set in stone. As your thoughts and perceptions begin to change, your life will shift accordingly. When you realize that people show up in your life as your teachers and students, and that your time with them is a gift, the appropriate response is love, appreciation and gratitude for your time together! I believe that we are surrounded by unseen helpers in the form of Spirit, angels and guides. Ask them to help you see things from a different perspective, and notice how your perceptions expand and shift. In fact, the very realization that you have a choice in how you view your circumstances creates a space for thoughts and feelings to shift.
4. Give of yourself this holiday season
Give of yourself this holiday season and notice how giving makes you feel. Since giving and receiving are the same, when you give from a place of love and service, you will receive in kind. Just try it and notice what shows up in your life.
I would love to hear from you. Please let me know how these strategies work for you!
With love and blessings,
I have fond memories of family Thanksgivings with friends over the years, and while this year we’re encouraged to stay home and stay small, there is still reason to acknowledge and appreciate life’s blessings.
Gratitude is an easy way to shift into a positive mindset. It’s one of the very highest of emotions, akin to love. Good things happen automatically when you take the time to count your blessings and think about all the positives in your life.
It’s been scientifically proven in many studies that gratitude…
- Can improve your health
- Can improve your finances
- Can improve your relationships
- Can improve your career
- Can increase your happiness
- Can make you feel good
- Can decrease pain
- Can reduce bad health symptoms
- Can increase time spent exercising.
- Can increase sleep quality.
- Can lower blood pressure.
- Can increase your energy
Just writing in a gratitude journal 5 minutes a day can increase your long-term well being 10%. That is significant and something you can do at home, even during a pandemic! Gratitude triggers a positive feedback loop – it makes you feel better, so you feel more gratitude, which makes you feel even better!
Because the benefits of gratitude accrue over time, it’s best to make it a daily practice or ritual to reap even greater rewards.
There are always blessings, even in the midst of a pandemic, even when you are in quarantine, even when money seems scarce.
Celebrate Thanksgiving daily, and watch your blessings grow!
© 2020 MarBeth Dunn
Want more money? Love? The “Law of Attraction” offers that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It is something most of us have heard of, yet may have some uncertainty about how it works or how to use it. Here’s a quick synopsis…
1. Take Inspired Action: One of the misconceptions about the Law of Attraction is that sitting around and thinking about what you want will make it happen. It doesn’t work that way. You must be clear about what you want, and then develop a certain, positive energy around it. Let’s say that you want to go a Mediterranean cruise. You make your intention clear; this is what you want with certainty. Next, you create positive energy around this desire, which will open you to possibilities and opportunities that are in alignment with making this happen. Then, act on what seems natural and what feels right. That’s when you’ll notice magic starting to happen, and things start “conspiring” to help you realize your goal. As you stay open to saying “yes” and take action steps that are “inspired”, your ultimate desire begins to manifest itself. This inspired action is the Law of Attraction at work. On the other hand, lack of clarity and a belief that, “it will never happen”, puts out energy that will keep you energetically closed and out of an abundance mindset. When this happens, you may be motivated to work hard to make that cruise happen but it will be difficult because you aren’t attracting anything, you are just chasing it down. When you engage in inspired action, you trust that everything you need will come to you.
2. Get into vibrational alignment: Most everything we want in life is about the FEELING that comes from having that thing, rather than the thing itself. We don’t want the car, we want the feeling that we get when we own and drive it. When you start living “as if”, as if you already have or are doing what you want, you create a vibration that starts attracting what you want and you begin to look for proof that it already exists. This creates an openness and willingness to see things in a new light, and you begin to trust your inner guidance and do things you may not normally do, and notice things you normally wouldn’t. Everything really is energy so what you put out, you’ll get back. Vibrating at a “higher level” or feeling as if what you want already exists, will allow you to attract those very things. If you’ve read anything by Jerry and Esther Hicks, then you are familiar with Abraham. Here is how he puts it: “As you imagine and visualize and verbalize your new story, in time you will believe the new story, and when that happens, the evidence will flow swiftly into your experience. A belief is only a thought you continue to think; and when your beliefs match your desires, then your desires must become your reality.” When your beliefs and desires are in alignment, reality isn’t far behind.
3. Get happy and everything else will fall into place – One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they will be happy “when”. When they get the job, partner, car, vacation, house etc, then they will be happy. Studies have shown though, that people aren’t happy because they are successful, they are successful because they are happy! When you are happy, you’re vibrating at a higher level and when that happens, you start attracting more of what you want because you are more of what you want. You are feeling what you want to be feeling, regardless of your current circumstances. It’s this combination of feeling and vibrating that higher level energy that will give you alignment and when you have alignment, you start taking inspired action rather than motivated action. This enables you to start attracting what you want because you are in a constant state of joyfully receiving, which not coincidentally, attracts more of the same.
Staying happy, in alignment and taking inspired action all work together to bring or attract more of what you want in life. When you learn how to do all three simultaneously, things can’t help but change for the better. You can live the life you’ve always wanted to have!
© MarBeth Dunn 2020
It happens. Relationships end. There’s something so raw about feeling abandoned; left behind to endure the world while someone you love has moved on. No matter how it happens, when people leave us, it is usually a time of licking your wounds of sorrow, sadness and often anger. Endings can also stir up memories of past losses, that trigger older emotional issues.
So here’s my question….What if you could embrace your loss as part of a bigger picture? You might still need to grieve. Yet what if you could move through the grief process more quickly and even see it as a kind of gift in the grander scheme of things?
One of the most valuable gifts loss offers is the opportunity for growth. Have you noticed that in every kind of loss, there is often a lesson that you needed to learn, and perhaps even a silver lining? It may take a while before you can see it. You may need to explore your memories to shed some light on the hows and whys of your current situation. If you’ve ever experienced a break-up or fractured relationship, one of the most beneficial lessons is to examine the part you played. A relationship, by its very definition, includes more than one person (except, of course, the relationship you have with yourself). Looking at the loss of the relationship through a different lens gives you the chance to see how certain behaviors, thoughts or patterns were part of how the relationship evolved, was sustained and eventually ended. To be clear, sometimes people just do unkind things so this isn’t about blaming yourself. After all, you can’t control what anyone else does. But what you can do is look at how you contributed to create the dynamic of the relationship. Maybe you could have set better boundaries, or had more self-love, which would have given you more confidence. Maybe you realize that you want to appreciate and live in the moment more in your next relationship. There are real lessons in there and the more willing you are to view loss as a hidden gift, the better chance you will have of healing and of also creating a different path for yourself in the future.
Losing people always feels premature: no matter the circumstances, we all want just a little more time. And, what if all the relationships in your life had a predetermined contract to create exactly what occurred? Imagine that, in some other place and time, two souls came together and decided that they would experience each other in some kind of finite way, and that when all was said and done, they would live and love in the memory of what they had? From this perspective, all endings would be in perfect order because the length of the relationship had already been decided. Loss is still loss but doesn’t this perspective feel more like poetry in motion?
Ultimately, just like everything in life, loss can provide you with a deep sense of gratitude if you can tap into a higher perspective, and see the relationship for everything it gave you rather than focusing on what you feel it took from you. Live the loss through your heart and don’t be afraid to feel what you feel. There’s beauty, even in loss, and when you see the beauty and recognize the lessons, joy won’t be far behind.
© 2012 MarBeth Dunn all rights reserved
Have you heard me speak on the subject of self-love and self-acceptance? I am passionate about loving yourself, because I know it’s the number one rocket fuel for transformation. Yet I’ve noticed, it is often what people pay the LEAST attention to. Have you found yourself thinking, “If only 2020 were less chaotic and catastrophic, my life would be better!” Yes, I know you may wish to change your outer circumstances, yet you will have better insight, better wisdom, make better decisions and experience a better life now, if you practice complete self-love and acceptance! Let the love for yourself propel you to where you want to be.
I recently read a wonderful quote that rang very true. “Until you can embrace complete self-acceptance, something will always feel a little off in your world.” So rather than attempting to fix what’s outside of you without achieving happiness or peace of mind, why not turn your attention within and change your feelings about yourself? If, for example, someone hurts your feelings, your initial reaction may be try to change them. The hurtful transaction can quickly become an exercise in frustration and futility if you fall into the trap of trying to make them behave differently. Yet it’s not your job to change them!
When you react from your heart, you will not be wounded by their words. Their judgments will have no emotional charge for you because you will know they aren’t an accurate reflection of who you are. From your heart and a place of self-acceptance, you will completely accept yourself, and it won’t matter to you what the other person thinks. You will know the truth!.
Create a habit of loving yourself by practicing powerful “I am” statements. You can shift your perceptions about yourself by declaring, “I am lovable”, “I am beautiful”, “I am worthy”, “I am smart” and so on. Breathe deeply, all the way down to your belly, and really listen to what you’re saying. You are a marvelous creation and you need to believe that about yourself!
Another great way to practice self-love is to do “mirror work”. Sit or stand in front of a mirror, look into your eyes, and tell yourself how lovable, wonderful, amazing, and sexy you are. If it feels too uncomfortable or unbelievable, cushion your words with, “I’m willing to… love myself, know that I’m wonderful and amazing, etc. You’ve probably been telling yourself something totally different for years, but stick with it! If you’ve convinced yourself of all the things you’re not, you can certainly convince yourself of all the things you are!
When you come to the place where you can fully and completely love and accept yourself, you will find the world a much brighter place, and you don’t have to change anyone or anything out there. The only change that matters, is the change inside of you. Let love be the fuel that inspires you to burn brightly!
© MarBeth Dunn 2012