Overcoming Loss With No Perceived Meaning

30 08 2010

Loss is unavoidable in our human experience. Every second of every day someone is experiencing a form of loss. Loss comes in many forms. Some of the most common are loss of a toy, goldfish, job, relationship or loved one. More often then not there are warning signs to our losses or they are understandable. We lost our purse because we forgot it on the park bench. Or, we lost a loved one through death. Although they bring on pain there’s an aspect of logic and understanding to the situation which in time can help the griever let go and heal. What if you experience a loss with no explanation. For example I had worked for a women several years ago, giving her Pilates and yoga lessons in her life. We were becoming close friends and then one day I called to confirm her next appointment and received no call back. This was uncharacteristic of her so I phoned her again a day later with still no result. After a week of trying and still getting no callback I gave up. I never heard from her again. Our relationship vanished into thin air without any explanation. I was shocked and heartbroken. Not only did I lose work but I also lost a friend. I racked my brain to try and understand why she would break ties with me. The only thing I was able to come up with was she didn’t like my training. Even this assumption gave me no peace because I still had no idea what I “did wrong” if any.
After months of contemplating the situation I realized that someone else’s actions have nothing to do with me. Her idea about me is none of my business. In fact her vanishing into thin air had nothing to do with me whether she perceived that it did in her mind. I realized that we all have a play going on in our mind. We are the main characters to our play and everyone that arrives afterwards is secondary characters.┬áIn my client’s mind I was a secondary character with a whole story line and plot going on, which had nothing to do with me but everything to do with her mind. Her decisions were based on her play. When I realized this I was able to move on because I knew that people will always make decisions about other people whether they are based on fact or not.
Have you noticed that when you go to an old family friend who hasn’t seen you in years, he or she will usually converse with you as if you were the same person you were years ago despite any changes you might’ve made. People will see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear. It’s like hearing the same thing from 3 people in 3 different ways but not agreeing with them and a fourth person comes along and says it in a way that works for you. You run back to the first person and excited share with him this new idea you’re gonna try. Your friend looks at you and says, “didn’t I suggest that to you ten thousand times?” It happens everyday to all of us.
If we can practice viewing everyone that comes into our life as a character in a play with their own plays going on, we can begin to not take anything that other people do personally. If a loss of a relationship happens with no perceived meaning all we need to remember is, “What you think of me is none of my business.” Their story has nothing to do with you and everything to with the drama in their mind.

Action Step: Think of a relationship that has an open end. See if you can write a letter of understanding, as if you can see their mind and see the drama going on and acknowledge that it’s their mind’s story and not real. Read it aloud and either burn the letter in a safe place or tear it up and scatter it in open water. Find a way to symbolically release the relationship and the unfinished ending. Allow yourself to heal and forgive the other person and yourself for ending the relationship the way they did.

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Turning Hate Into Love

16 08 2010

Have you ever been bullied, made fun of, looked down upon or ignored? Have you ever been rejected by someone who previously extended love but a life circumstance had flipped his affection into hate? Have you ever experienced a prejudice based on someone else’s beliefs? Have you been wronged based on another’s right? Prejudice and a difference in beliefs has always been used as an excuse to spread hate. It has separated families, created the downfall of nations, and caused war and terror throughout time. Hate in the name of beliefs has caused more destruction than all diseases and natural calamities put together. Many have used religion or god as their reason to separate, punish or kill. Other’s have used race and other’s have used a difference in lifestyle. What causes such intense emotions that one would want to disconnect from family, separate themselves from a life long friend or have the desire to kill a whole group of people for what seems to be an insignificant difference of opinion, lifestyle or color?

Human action is motivated by either fear or love. Fear comes from the illusion of lack of control. When someone believes that another will hurt him, or is responsible for the pain of people he loves, fear and feelings of aggression toward that person will kick in. He thinks he’s trying to protect himself. Our survival instinct will overtake even logic in order to keep us safe. We see evidence of this in the countless holocaust stories that spread as far back as biblical times into our present moment. Nations have been moved to hate and kill like a virus, from leaders spreading fear and linking it toward the chosen group to hate.

A lack of understanding on a subject can sometimes lead people to come up with their own conclusions. Making assumptions based only on ideas rather than fact are drawn from events of the past, ideas they were taught or their imagination. Most of us are programmed to fear the unknown. We are taught to hate what we fear. This combination is what produces so much of the pain we see in this world.

In order for us to shift from our fear, hate and pain we need to learn how to love and accept. By embracing the unknown with love and welcoming it in we not only shift ourselves out of fear but begin to shift the one we felt animosity toward, spreading the energy throughout the universe.
There has been several times in my life where I had the opportunity to practice this idea.

When I was a little girl I grew up as a religious, orthodox Jew. One Sunday afternoon I was hanging out with my friend, waiting at the bus stop to take us to the mall. As we were sitting, engaged in deep conversation a few teenage boys approached us and began to bully us, calling us names like dirty jew, Hitler should’ve finished you off, and you have no right to ride the bus or walk on the street. A young girl stood behind them in silence just watching what was going on. I looked at her and gave her a warm smile. I stood there looking at those boys full of hate and immediately began to feel sorry for the animosity they felt. I did not fully understand where that came from but knew it had nothing to do with me. We didn’t even know each other. The bus arrived and we all got on. My friend and I reasoned that since there were many people on the bus the boys would stop harassing us. We were wrong. We sat in the back of the bus where they stood over us and continued their abuse. The girl who I smiled at went up to the boys and began to yell at them. She told them to stop their abuse immediately. They looked at her dumbfounded and sat down without another word leaving their mouths.
Having a family that survived the Nazi Holocaust I couldn’t help but wonder if pre war Europe was similar for the Jews. During that incident I racked my brains as to how to handle the incident and all that came up was forgive them. They don’t understand what they are doing. They are scared of us. Spurring hatred toward them will do nothing but only make things worse. By quietly sending them love an angel came through to relieve us from our pain.
A few years later I let go of the religion and began a more spiritual path of living. During my evolvement from religion toward spirituality family members began to act in strikingly similar behavior to those boys from my teenage past. During those times I found it more difficult to separate myself from their hateful actions simply because we not only knew each other but these were people I assumed loved me. It was only after I realized that they too as those young boys are acting from fear of the unknown and therefore being controlled beyond the logical mind or their spirit. Their fear and judgement clouded any opportunity for them to accept me. It was only after I surrendered to their non acceptance and accepted their actions that I was able to be at peace.

The key thing to remember is when someone spurs anger and hatred your way, hatred is not what will get you toward happiness. Sending back anger will only give you more of what you gave. You’ve heard the expression what you give, you get back tenfold. It is in times of hatred that we have an opportunity to express love. By doing this we can heal those that don’t understand the power of love and heal ourselves.

What to do?
In Conversations With God, Book One, Neal Donald Walsh shares a beautiful suggestion, “In times of conflict, whether it is with an ex, children, business partner or friend ask yourself what would love do now?” Love is the answer to everything.

In my book The Power Within Me, coming out this fall I discuss this idea in length and bring many more examples of how I implemented love in the presence of hate and how powerfully my life shifted.

For more articles on shifting through pain to love please visit Esther’s Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/estherhadler#!/EstherWarrior.

Esther has a coaching program designed to help you shift out of any painful experience with grace and swiftness. To learn how you can experience a free half hour session, please contact her at EstherAdler@EstherAdler.com and put in the subject line coaching, or simply call 908 764-5672.





Turning Pain Into Peace

3 08 2010

There are many things in life that can cause us to spiral out of control. Our boss can snap at us, we break a toe, we lose our wallet or delete the thesis we’ve been working on for the past 3 months. Life has many surprises. Some feel great like a surprise trip to Hawaii or an unexpected party we’ve been invited to but more often than not life hits us with a death in the family, divorce unexpected, a loss of job, a diagnosis of a disease and many more stories that can cause us to spiral into a pit so low that we can’t fathom how we’ll get out if it.
I’ve had many such stories happen to me. When I was seven years old I woke up early one summer morning to find my father crying over the kitchen sink. I asked him where my mother was and his sobs became stronger. I got scared and began to back away, when he told me that my mother had a stroke. My seven year old mind could not comprehend what was said to me but i knew it was serious. He told me that she was very sick and was unsure when she was going to come home.
A year and a half later I was reunited with my mother. A new shock had entered my life on that fateful night. As I helped my mother eat her slice of pizza but cutting into small bite size pieces and helping it into her mouth I realized that our roles were reversed. I now was her caregiver. This early trauma was one of many that I experienced which I go into detail in my upcoming book The Power Within Me. In my early years I viewed each shock or trauma that I went through as a slap in my face. I felt alone and victimized. I kept rehashing the events that took place before the fateful day and pondered what I could’ve done different to prevent the painful experience, or I future tripped and fretted over what my life will be like because of the perceived horror I endured. There was one thing that took me out of the pain and brought immediate peace, no matter what the situation was.
Presence has always been the tool which took me from pain so deep it left me gasping for air, to being enveloped in peace and love I was able to feel in the deepest levels of my soul.
Since my early life altering experience with my mother, during many other challenges such as divorce, incurring Diabetes and the loss of my own children wanting to be with me, presence has been the tool I’ve used to center myself and move through the pain.

You see, if you really put all of your attention onto the present moment no pain exists there. Everything is truly perfect in the present moment. In this moment your problems don’t exist, just the idea of them. Our problems reside in our mind, as we break down our situation over and over again, asking what we did wrong or how we can fix it. If we focus on what’s right in front of us, perhaps our dinner, a bird on a tree, the carpet under our feet and put our full attention on it, nothing else exists and peace enters in that space.
Presence was something I had to learn. I spent years in hellish pain, unsure how I would survive the next day. Discovering the power of presence is what changed my perceived problems into bliss. By being present I began to see opportunities, rather than pain in my new situation. I stopped thinking of my life situations as problems and started to view them as opportunities. By doing this, opportunities arrived daily.

If something in your life is causing you tremendous pain, practice presence. Start by going for a walk, preferably in nature. Notice each blade of glass you walk on, notice the birds in the trees, walk slowly, one foot in front of the other. Notice how each foot feels as you place it on the ground. This level of presence will slowly shift you from your pain into peace. I encourage you to make this a way of life. Don’t save this exercise just for when you experience a painful life situation. By making presence a practice your whole life begins to shift and you’ll experience is presence. If all you experience is presence then all you’ll experience is peace.

If you are experiencing a painful life situation and need a guide to help you through it. My transformational coaching program can do this for you. Email me at EstherAdler@EstherAdler.com, subject line coaching and I will extend to you a free hour consultation.

Resources:
A great book on presence is,

The Power Of Now, by Ekhart Tolle.





Sad is Not Bad. Moving Through Life Transitions With Grace

15 06 2010

Our society is bombarded with transitions. In fact every few months almost every American goes through a transition, a transition from school to camp, from single life to relationship, from marriage to divorce, from health to disease, from sharing love to loss, from life to death. The list goes on. We all experience one form of transition or another in our life . Another name for this is grief. Grief is a normal process in life. In fact when dealing with grief it’s not uncommon to swing from one emotion into another. John W. James and Russell Friedman, authors of The Grief Recovery Handbook define grief as, “conflicting feelings caused by the change or end of a familiar pattern.” This means that graduation can cause grief, having a baby or going on a trip. When people experience conflicting emotions confusion and fear take over. This is due to the fact that most Americans are taught that sad is bad, anger is dangerous and crying is dysfunctional. We tell our children if you don’t stop crying I’ll give you something to cry about.
Americans in particular are extremely fearful of emotions. Yet our country is flooded with life situations that causes tremendous grief. Divorce is rampant, disease is spreading on an epidemic level and our economics are suffering greatly. What tends to happen is that when we experience a shift we are taught to suck it up and move on with our life. The truth is that by not stepping into our pain, taking a good look at it, feeling it and experiencing the waves, we will not heal and move on with our lives. Instead our pain will keep creeping at us, spooking us like a ghosts haunting us in the dark night. How can we move past our grief, live in our society and come out stronger on the other side? Another question to ponder is why do people stay in situations that bring them pain when they know there might be a better solution for them?

Let’s tackle the first question.

I’ve gone through many transitions in my life. Some of them created huge waves and shifts I never would’ve expected. My grief started at a young age when my father physically abused me, almost killing me several times. My mother also had a stroke when I was seven years old. This left me feeling orphaned and shifted me into the role of caregiver. I go into great detail in my book, The Power Within Me on how my life situation gave me an opportunity to shift from a victim mentality into a warrior role. At first glance one would look at the trauma I lived through from a very young age and agree that I experienced pain inflicted by outside circumstances. I instead decided to flip the situation and find the blessings and opportunities. But it was not until I faced my pain, cried my tears, and shed my old self that I was able to transition. I had to go through the experience fully. Walking through the fire is done by an escape artist. Sitting in the fire is done by a warrior. Allow yourself to die through the pain, the grief and the fear. By truly facing it you diminish its power.

Now let’s tackle the second question.
One major transition I went through was when I was going through my divorce. The conflicting emotions I was experiencing surprised me because it was something I had wanted for a long time. Then why did I feel so sad, angry, scared and excited all at the same time? The unknown is a scary place for us. We have nothing to base it on. We have no past we can relate the unknown future too. When we step into unfamiliar territory, a new pattern, fear is the first thing that comes towards us. This is why many choose to stay in an uncomfortable situation, simply because it is what they know. They would rather be in pain then venture into unknown land. “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know”. I was once working with a client who was experiencing a lot of pain. She kept returning to her abusive husband, clinging to him for support. All she got in return was more abuse. She later told me that she knew that he could not provide the love and comfort she was seeking and knew that there might be a better solution for her if she left him for good. It was her fear of possibly being alone the rest of her life that kept her going back to her abusive husband. After a few guided exercises we did together, allowing her to face her fear of the unknown she finally left her dysfunctional situation. A year later she met her soulmate. She was only able to accomplish this by facing her fear, feeling it, sitting in the fire.
Many of us are facing crossroads in our life. We truly know what is right for us to do but are afraid. The unknown is too frightening for us so it keeps us where we are. In order to truly make a shift and move from pain to bliss we need to face our pain, sit in it and move to the other side. Imagine looking straight at an arrow coming toward you. If you move toward the arrow and keep walking through it, the arrow will bend. If you resist and fight it, the arrow will hurt you. Let go of resistance and open your life up to what it can be. Don’t stay in fear. Don’t let it rob you of your life. Know that there are limitless possibilities. By facing your fear and keeping the faith your life will turn into a wondrous journey.

Esther is a transformational coach. For more great tools become a fan of her page at http://www.facebook.com/estherhadler#!/EstherWarrior?ref=ts

Esther provides a powerful 3 step system, guiding you from the transitions you are experiencing toward the life you are yearning to create. This program is designed for those dealing with a shift in their lives and are ready to take the steps to heal their wounds and create a great life.
If you are experiencing,

A divorce,
A loss,
A newly diagnosed disease,
Abuse,
A new career,
A change in relationship
this program is for you.

Email Esther at EstherAdler@EstherAdler.com to set up a complimentary half hour session.