Archive for April, 2008

The WisdomCoach says: Follow Your Intuition

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

 

What Does Your Intuition Say?
by Carole L. Billingham, MCC

“Mommy, what does your intuition say?” Those are the words my 6-year-old started asking me since I sat down with her a few months ago to talk with her about her inner guidance system.

It started in preschool when my daughter would come home from school upset and complaining that someone hurt her feelings. I would explain to her that no one could hurt her feelings without her giving them permission to do so. In other words, her feelings belong to her and that only she can decide what she wants to feel and how long she wants to feel that way. She seemed to understand and soon stopped complaining about how other classmates treated her.

From there, we’d often chat about how important our feelings are and how we can have a positive affect on others by being kind, courteous and compassionate. I wanted her to understand that how we treat others affects them as well as us.

As we talked more about emotions and feelings, I realized that although she was very young, she had a clear understanding of what I was trying to teach her or that she indeed understood that the primary way we find our place in the world is through emotion. I could also see that there was no need for me to teach her these principles as she, in her 6-year-old body, clearly lived in the present moment. What I was doing was simply offering a language she could use and an opportunity to further explore how the world works and how she is a co-creation within it.

Eventually we found ourselves talking about intuition, that quiet voice that lives in our tummy or in our heart, and has the answer to any question we have. We’d be in the car and she’d ask me a question. Often, my response would be, “What does your intuition say about that?”  She’d quickly find an answer that, more times than not, was right on target. She rapidly learned that by taking a moment to go inside herself, she’d find the guidance she was looking for.

Being like a sponge, she took off with the idea of using her intuition and ran with it. She’d come into the kitchen and say, “Mommy, my intuition says it wants a cup of hot chocolate.” Or, “Mommy my intuition says it’s okay to stay up late tonight.”  I’d smile knowing that she indeed was finding her inner guidance and learning not to give her power away by thinking that others have the answer for hera lesson many adults are still learning.

My recent conversations with my daughter have been reversed, where her question to me is, “Mommy, what does your intuition say?”  My challenge is to remember to remind her that she has her own answers and that I don’t necessarily help her by giving her mine. My intuition is here to guide me just as hers is there to guide her.

I feel so blessed to have such a sacred and special relationship with my daughter. I have known from the time of her conception that she was here to teach me much more than I’d ever be able to teach her. What I didn’t realize is the wonderful opportunity that she’d give me to solidify my own wisdom and to step into the role of being a wise and fully-present mother. Don’t get me wrong, I struggle like everyone else to be the best parent that I can be, but when I get stuck all I have to do is ask, “What does my intuition say?” and I’m back on track again.   

©2007 Carole L. Billingham, MCC

The WisdomCoach Says: Be the change that you want to see

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

 

Be The Change That You Want
To See In The World

By Carole L. Billingham, MCC

Did you know that if Gandhi were alive today he would have been 138 years old.

Gandhi’s biggest gift to us was his wisdom and his commitment to using nonviolent resistance to create change. It’s humbling to see that almost 60 years after his death we are still in need of remembering the power of nonviolence. Being the optimist that I am, I believe that although we still have a ways to go we are learning and starting to live from the principles of love, peace and nonviolent resistance. We are starting to understand that violence is never the answer and that peace starts from within.

Gandhi taught us to be the change that we want to see in the world. It’s easy to sit in our armchairs and judge others for the mistakes they are making. In doing so, we feel righteous and eventually more and more powerless to do anything. Worst of all, we continue to feel disconnected from ourselves, from others and from Spirit. As we pivot towards using the wisdom within, we understand that the opportunity that lies before us is to realize that we are not helpless and if we desire to do so, we can in this very moment do something to create healing and peace both for ourselves and for our planet.

The opportunity and challenge before us is to catch ourselves (lovingly) when we are waging war with ourselves and simply to stop. If the change you want to see in the world is more love and compassion, be more loving and compassionate towards yourself. If the change you want to see in the world is more cooperation and generosity, be more cooperative and generous with yourself.  Miraculously you will see that as you make these changes within, you will start to see them manifest in your experiences and interactions with the outer world.

If we are truly One and somehow all interconnected, then there is no “them” and there is only “we” or “us.”  What we do to ourselves we in turn do to others and what we see in the outside world is a reflection of what is happening inside each and every one of us. The good news is that we DO have the power to create change and it lies within us. Not “out there” somewhere, but “in here” somewhere. The even better news is that many of us have already burst through that invisible barrier and are here to help others that want to do the same.  In other words, you are not alone in your craving for peace and love. There are millions of us holding the space for all of humanity to step into a new way of being. I believe that we are already creating the change that we want to see and that as we gather together and create momentum, amazing and wonderful things are in store for us.

Your presence here is not an accident. When you are ready, you can unleash the gifts that you came here to bring. It’s really just a matter of time. How about right now?

©2006 Carole L. Billingham, MCC

The WisdomCoach says: Appreciating our Freedom to Choose

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

 

Appreciating our Freedom to Choose
By Carole L. Billingham, MCC

For some reason I have been paying attention to and appreciating my freedom more than ever. As an American entrepreneur, I often take for granted the freedoms in my life. When I step back and look at my life from a distance, I can see the decisions I have made to get me here and I can appreciate my freedom even more.

This past week my 6-year-old daughter and I were talking about Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. I was explaining how not that long ago, in the United States, the freedom that people had (or didn’t have) was often dictated by the color of their skin. She looked at me with indignation and said, “Mommy, that’s stupid.”  I smiled and agreed. I further explained to her that even now, some people still believe that a person’s value is dictated by such factors as the color of their skin, their sex, or their religious beliefs. I was relieved to see that like me, she finds this not only unbelievable, but very, very disappointing.

We also talked about the courage Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks must have had to face such adversity and hatred. We both agreed that they were amazing people and that it’s hard for us to truly understand what it was like for them to live at a time of such turmoil and the courage it took to stand up against so many people and to say “enough!”

Fast forward 30+ years. We’ve come a long way, but the journey is far from finished. It doesn’t take much to see that discrimination is still alive in ways we’d probably rather sweep under the rug than face head on and have the courage to do something about.

If we truly want to live in peace on this planet, it’s time we throw out our “us vs. them” mentality and replace it with “we.”  We all belong to the human race and as Wayne Dyer says, “In a round world, there are no sides.”

So I challenge you this week to lovingly catch yourself when you find you are engaging in judgmental conversation (internal as well as external) or talking in “us vs. them” language. Remember, there is no “them” only “we.” This includes categorizing words like democrats, republicans, liberals, conservatives, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hispanics, whites, blacks, Asians, Native Americans, blue collar, white collar, aristocrat, peasant, veteran, draft dodger, educated, uneducated, male, female, fat, thin, young, old, gay, straight, lower class, middleclass, upper class, feminist, sexist, bigot.  I’ll stop now.  You get the picture. 

In a chaotic and unconscious world that can feel unsafe and overwhelming, we slip into using such terms so that we can categorize people and in turn feel a false sense of order and peace. In truth these words polarize us and amplify our feelings of fear and most importantly, discount the fact that humans are much broader, more complex and certainly more valuable than the labels we like to give them.

Who do you consider the most loving and caring person you know? Perhaps it’s someone you’ve been blessed in knowing personally or perhaps it’s someone you know of (real or imagined) through reputation or study. Imagine yourself being as caring and loving as they are.

Now imagine everyone on our planet being that loving to one another. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Imagine all the present day challenges and conflicts that would simply disappear as we cultivate friendship, love, cooperation and peace. 

Far fetched? I think not. One only need visit a preschool to see that our natural state is one of well-being and happiness.  At any given moment a journey inside the depths of your own heart will remind you that indeed you are a peace-loving being that craves a connection to Spirit, to Self and to those around you. At that moment of remembrance, the wise person puts down their sword and shield and realizes the only armor they need is the courage and wisdom that resides in their own heart. Nothing more, nothing less.

I believe that the journey to peace starts within your own heart.  Why not step fully onto the path and see what happens?

I challenge you this week to spend time in your heart appreciating the freedoms you have, the blessings that surround you, and most importantly, cultivating love and acceptance…starting with love for the Being that is YOU, and Self acceptance. The world is counting on you and quite possibly the future of our planet as well.

©2006 Carole L. Billingham, MCC

Accepting Ourselves Just As We Are

Friday, April 4th, 2008

 

Accepting Ourselves Just as We Are
By Carole L. Billingham, MCC

        Learning to accept ourselves just as we are is not an easy thing. There is always just one more thing to do, just one more accomplishment to make, just one more person to befriend before we can relax into a knowingness that we are fine, just as we are.

        I have spent more time, energy and money on “improving myself” than I’d like to admit. When do we decide enough is enough? What if we were to stop the effort to be “better,” turn that energy inward and just love ourselves as we are?

        Although to the outside, doing our best to “reach our potential” looks like a good and noble thing. If it’s fear of not being good enough that drives you, you’re in trouble because unless you heal the fear, you and your success will never be enough. I know, because I’ve been there.

        I thought I had made great strides at learning to let go of my need to succeed.  I suppose, on the outside I did, but what has gotten my attention recently, is that I am still coming from a deficit on the inside.

        Recently, I have been experiencing some side effects of my head injury and instead of surrendering and trusting, I have been pushing, manipulating and “hoping” for healing.  I’ve readjusted my schedule, gone to bed earlier and have seen my brain doctors.  But what I haven’t done is truly accepted that I am worthy and valuable just as I am.

        I have talked about being humbled and embarrassed by my “special needs” but I have not said out loud that I’m okay with it, because I’m not. I’m still struggling with my reaching my “limitless potential” and that some how, some way I can transcend this and in doing so, I have exhausted myself and made matters worse.

        I know what I need and want to do and that is to love and accept myself the way I do others. To love myself with the kindness and gentleness that I share with others, even strangers. I want to laugh and be light with myself and my challenges just like I am with my clients. Mostly, I want to be at peace.

        It feels good to share my inner most thoughts and beliefs with you for there is freedom and healing in doing so. If I thought these thoughts were truly unique there’d be no point in sharing, but I’ve learned that we are so much more alike than we are different. And that although our stories may differ, our hearts are the same.  And perhaps by sharing my heart with you it will spark something within you that will bless you in some way. If nothing else, perhaps it will help you to know that you are not alone and that as isolated as you may sometimes feel, we are all in this together.

        If my head injury has taught me one thing, it is that in sharing one’s heart, we find that we are all connected and we are all loved.

        As I step into my heart’s desire to love, honor and accept myself just as I am, I hold out my hand and invite you to come with me.

        I lovingly request that you set down your pride, your shame, your harsh inner critic and let go of judgment. Step into a fresh new feeling of freedom and notice the breath of fresh air that comes over you.

        Let’s dance, sing and celebrate everything that has brought us to this blessed place in time.

        Let’s give thanks for our wisdom, our guidance and our sense of humor. And let’s trust that this is just the beginning. The beginning of a life filled with joy, magic and wonder sprinkled with humility, laughter and lightness.

        We do enough, we have enough, we ARE enough.