The Power of Philanthropy

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How much of your time, energy or resources do you give to others purely to help the world around you be a better place?

Last night I watched an excellent TED talk with Bill and Melinda Gates. It was about their Foundation – The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – and what it is currently achieving and what it hopes to achieve over the coming decades.

It was truly inspiring and has given me so much more hope for our planet.

So let’s start with philanthropy: What exactly is it? It is the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes. Generally, very wealthy people set up philanthropic causes around something they are passionate about. For some it is the arts whilst for others it’s education or health.  It doesn’t really matter what the cause is, and I am sure each of the causes across many different areas are abundantly happy to receive the help.

I have always wanted to be a philanthropist ever since I found out what it meant when I was 16. I am sure that on some level I loved the idea of being super rich, but I loved the idea of giving it away even more. I think that is why I am so inspired and fascinated with what the Gates are doing.

The idea of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was born in the 1990s. They had been on a trip to Africa to see the animals but it was the people that really caught their attention. They found them to be so open and wonderful and were deeply saddened by their challenging lives. They were walking along a beach in Zanzibar at the end of their holiday discussing why it was like it was and what could be done about it.

Bill and Melinda had already decided that their post-Microsoft years would be about charity and giving back, but this trip to Africa prompted their philanthropic journey to start much earlier than planned, and their Foundation was born in 2000.

The philosophy of the Foundation is to tackle just a few big problems very well. They choose extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries, and the failures of America’s education system. They have a global approach which is highly commendable! When we are happy to take the resources from developing countries, I believe we have an obligation to take care of their people as well.

On the Foundation’s website there is a letter from the Gates explaining who they are and what they stand for. In the letter they share some advice that Warren Buffett gave them around philanthropy: “Don’t just go for safe projects,” he said, “take on the really tough problems”.

They have and they are making a massive impact in the world!

The other thing that I love about the Foundation is who they have got to join them. Being as affluent as they are, they swim in circles where there is a lot of money and a lot of influence. And really, these are the people who will be changing the world, not our governments.

Bill and Melinda Gates have currently given 80% of their wealth to the Foundation. By the time they leave the planet they will have given 95% to the Foundation. In 2007, Warren Buffett called his friends Bill and Melinda and asked to donate 80% of his wealth to their Foundation. Between these two alone, we are talking billion and billions, if not trillions of dollars! Trillions of dollars that is being spent with intention, research, testing to ensure they are doing the best thing, and simply changing the world to be a far better places for millions of people.

Now that blows my heart up!

Aside from Warren Buffet, there are now over 150 other super rich people who have committed over 50% of their wealth to the Foundation. The influence that the Gates’ actions have had on leading their peers has been so powerful and the philanthropic spirit has been ignited in a way that the world has not seen before.

I am nowhere near being in a philanthropic position but the Gates inspire me to continue to give where I can. Whether that is a small donation to a charity, giving away things that I could sell to someone who needs them more than me, or simply coaching people who want to make a change and are not yet in a position to pay for the help. It really doesn’t matter if you are the Gates or me – it is about the spirit of giving and taking care of others who need the help.

If you get a chance to check out the TED talk, do so! It is full of hope and is a great opportunity to see what two people who are committed to a more equal planet can achieve.

The world has gone mad!

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I have been noticing more and more that political correctness is becoming a problem in our world. It has gone so far that it has actually gotten a bit stupid – well totally bloody stupid to be honest! I understand the intention of political correctness and I believe (like many things that end up skewed) that it was born out of good intention. But so was communism, vivisection, and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest – yet we have come far enough to appreciate that these things are not actually good and do not benefit our society or world.

Political correctness was born in the 1970s to reduce sexism, racism and social bias while promoting equality and equal rights. That all sounds pretty good! For a period of time political correctness (“PC”) assisted our communities and countries to move forward towards a fairer and more equal world. Derogatory words describing both African Americans and Aboriginal people became inappropriate to use – an excellent example of healthy PC. The names of roles which were male dominant such as “Chairman” were broadened out to become “Chairperson” – again a positive development for equality. Yet somewhere at some stage the pendulum kept on swinging past logic, reason and sensibility and into the realms of the ridiculous.

Here is an extract from The Shovel that I think beautifully sums up what we are up against:

“The often-used term ‘political correctness gone mad’ should be changed to ‘political correctness that has become anxious or psychologically distressed’, a government committee has recommended.

The four-month study, which included a panel of 28 experts, concluded that the term ‘mad’ had the potential to stigmatise those with psychological issues and was out of step with current attitudes.

The report has led to outrage on social media channels, with many saying it is yet another example of political correctness gone mad. Insensitive arseholes.”

I am blown away that the Australian government has paid 28 experts to sit around for four months and talk about this. Maybe I am wrong, but I feel there are far greater issues at hand that 28 experts could be putting their time and energy towards.

Another example is provided by David Morrison, the former Chief of Army. He said that Australians should no longer use the word “guys” to refer to a collective group of persons (really!!). What does Dave want us to call them – “youse lot” or “my posse”? The fact that this was all over the media is an indication of just how far PC has infiltrated our lives.

If we were talking about equal pay for men and women or acknowledging and honouring different religious practices (or indeed voting yes for same sex marriage!) then count me in, but the crazy level of PC at the moment has got me scratching my head, asking myself where are we going to end up?

PC has barred us from openly discussing race, religion, sexuality and so many other topics. If freedom of expression is limited, we lose opportunities to explore more about ourselves, the society we live in and the world around us. This is a huge tragedy and will actually create the divide as opposed to closing it up.

People will always get offended – we are all different and we all see the world differently. PC has become about not causing offence to anyone as opposed to promoting equality and unity.

As adults, I do believe that we are grown up enough to accept a difference of opinion and even have a robust debate about those opinions. Guess what? We don’t have to agree, we don’t have to like each other’s views, and yes, those views may even cause us offence. I mean, put your big girl undies on and suck it up! (or should that be big person’s undies, so I don’t offend the men reading this?).

It is our job to manage ourselves, it is not the world’s job to ensure that we never experience emotions that might be uncomfortable.

Political correctness, it is time to put your leash back on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can’t be serious!!!

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On the second last day of August I was at the shops buying a present for my dad for Father’s Day. In Australia we celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September so I had left it a little bit late, but I knew exactly what I wanted to get him so I was just focused on getting to the menswear department and grabbing the gift.

I was in one of the big department stores here in Perth called David Jones, and as I hopped off the escalator on the second floor, I came to a screeching halt because of what I saw.

I was in shock, it couldn’t be, SERIOUSLY!?!?!

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS!!!!

I literally stood there for minutes staring at the woman filling the shelves with tinsel and ornaments. I was dumbfounded… and then I got angry!!

I had to have a little chat with myself so I didn’t go over and have a word with the shop assistant. I certainly wanted to voice my opinion but I also had enough wisdom to acknowledge it wasn’t her decision to put the Christmas decorations out a whole FOUR MONTHS before Christmas.

As I walked into the menswear department I was mentally writing a letter to the store manager describing my annoyance about this. It really had me fired up, and it normally takes a lot to fire me up!

Now I am sure some of you a wondering why I got so annoyed about this. Let me share with you my list of reasons:

  1. In our consumer-driven society, we are constantly being led, persuaded, influenced and manipulated into buying more and more and more and more and more!! I know some Western Australians would love a wintery Christmas but putting out the Christmas decorations in August is not the same as having a wintery Christmas! It just screams “Spend more money! Buy MORE! Buy NOW!”. I am sure the first sale on Christmas wares will begin in the next two weeks too, in pursuit of getting us to put our hands on our wallets.
  2. The world needs more presence. We are suffering so much because many of us are living in the future and because of that we are missing out on the NOW! It is very hard to be in the nowwhen the retail industry is pushing us to December 25th on the 30th of August. It’s this feeling of constantly being hurried through the year – first it’s Christmas, now it’s Easter, now it’s Christmas, now it’s Easter.
  3. It really pisses me off because I love Christmas and this really dilutes the specialness of it all. It’s not one special day of the year, rather it’s become six months of selling stuff to the gullible consumer – a retail extravaganza that goes on for MONTHS!! Imagine if the Christmas stuff didn’t come out until mid-November? It would signify that holidays and family time are coming, it would be within a reasonable amount of time to have a countdown for the kids, and there would be an opportunity to get excited because Christmas is just around the corner. The meaning of Christmas has become so commercialised because of this retail component.
  4. Some people don’t have a great time at Christmas. Someone they love may have died around that time. A friend of mine lost his mum on Christmas Day and therefore Christmas has some tough feelings attached to it for him. When he walks into the shop to buy himself something in September, he is confronted with the Christmas decorations and is transported back to that time. It is unfair that he has to be reminded of that event for SIX MONTHS OF THE YEAR!!

I know other people feel similarly to me because it has been mentioned numerous times over the last few days with friends and family. So my question is what do we do about this? How do we get the retailers to respect the event and not flog us cheap Chinese crap (aka Christmas decorations) for months prior to the event?

Do we write letters?

Do we all agree to buy nothing Christmass-y until November?

Do we write to our local politician and ask for a bit of respect for the special events of the year, regardless of what they are?

I am not sure and I would love to hear anyone’s opinion on this one. It really has me stumped!

I feel better now that I have that off my chest. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day J

 

Uncertainty, how much can you handle?

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A great teacher of mine once told me that the quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.

This means that if you can handle a lot of uncertainty, you tend to have a higher quality life. A higher quality life is a life where a person experiences more high quality emotions – they feel better more of the time. If uncertainty is something that you avoid like the plague then more than likely you will experience less pleasure and joy.

So what is uncertainty? It is the state of being uncertain. Some synonyms include: unpredictability, unreliability, riskiness, chanciness, precariousness, unsureness; changeability, changeableness, variability, inconstancy, and fitfulness.

This is definitely something to think about. I wanted to explore this concept further so I started to talk to people around me about the level of uncertainty that they could comfortably handle. I wanted to see if this statement was actually accurate in my world.

I have one friend who loves uncertainty – she adores not knowing what is coming and is adamant that if life was predictable and certain she would absolutely go mad. “In fact, I think I might even die” she said.

She works in the aviation industry as cabin crew, has an ever changing roster and rarely starts work at the same time each day. Sometimes she will come to work thinking it will be a six hour day only to learn that in fact it is now going to be a ten hour day. This excites her – she likes the uncertainty that her job brings her.

And yes, she is very happy. She is someone who puts herself in new situations regularly and is comfortable starting up a conversation with a complete stranger. She regaled me with a recent story of her car breaking down and how she ended up having coffee with the man who pulled over to assist her. She framed the situation as “an adventure” and now has a great story to tell her friends.

I have another friend – she also flies as cabin crew yet has a very different attitude towards uncertainty. This lady likes to control everything, wants to know what’s coming at all times and spends hours thinking, planning and predicting how her life should be going.

When I chatted with her about uncertainty, her belief was that things can be controlled (and should be controlled) so that everything works out “how it should”. I asked her how she goes about controlling everything that she can in her world and she replied: “To be honest, life does feel like a bit of a battle sometimes. I just hate not knowing how or what is going to happen”.

This lady’s energy is that of a warrior, and not a happy warrior I might add!  The tension she lives with is visible – she often feels like the world is out to get her and there is an obvious lack of joy in her life.

So does this come down to uncertainty, or wanting to be certain all the time?

I wasn’t sure so I looked around at the people in my life who are truly happy and content the vast majority of the time and I thought I would ask them.

It surprised me how consistent the answers were to my questions around uncertainty (change, disruption to life, spontaneity, adventure, unpredictabiilty) and certainty (safety, security, comfort, knowing, routine, predictability).

There was definitely a common theme amongst these people. They could handle higher levels of uncertainty and they actually enjoyed it. Life wasn’t “doing it” to them, this was just life and life is sometimes unpredictable. They said things like, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and “Everything is an opportunity, you just have to see it that way”.

Interesting!! So I have come to the conclusion that my teacher is right. The more uncertainty we can handle, the more joy and happiness we have in our life.

 

If plan A doesn’t work there are still twenty five letters left in the alphabet

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I was with my nieces on the weekend and we were talking about “The Plan”. We are off on holidays soon and were brainstorming ideas about what to do and how to get around. I was questioning one of the plans because of time and location and my niece said to me:

“If Plan A doesn’t work, Auntie Kate, there are still twenty five letters left in the alphabet”.

I smiled from the bottom of my soul when I heard this! I thought not only is it very cute, it shows that the girls are adaptable and flexible and willing to go with the flow. These are such important “soft” skills for kids to learn.

All of these traits I would put under the one umbrella of “behavioural flexibility”. Behavioural flexibility is one of the most important skills we can teach our children. If they understand it and can demonstrate it, then they are on the road to a successful adulthood.

Behavioural flexibility is the skill of being able to change our behaviour to meet the person or situation in front of us. The opposite of that is a person expecting the world to always come to them. If it doesn’t come to them they tend to show their unhappiness is a variety of ways – everything from not speaking and sulking, right through to a complete emotional hijacking or tantrum.

One of my favourite sayings in the world is: “The person with the most behavioural flexibility controls the room”. That means that whoever is the most adaptable and can engage with each person (even though each person is different) becomes the most powerful. By powerful, I mean influential.

The same can be said for situations: the person who is able to adapt quickly and graciously and remain in a resourceful state is going to be the person who gets promoted and moves up the chain of command. They have demonstrated that they can handle uncertainty and are willing to come up with Plan B through to Plan Z if need be. In a non-working environment they are the person who is able to move through life with minimal stress and far more pleasure. They roll with the punches!

Behavioural flexibility is really about uncertainty. It’s about how much uncertainty you can handle whilst still remaining in control. For some people, if Plan A doesn’t work the wheels fall off and the whole thing becomes pointless – a total disaster! For others, if Plan A doesn’t work they see it as a chance to get creative and think outside the square. The major distinction here is that one person hates uncertainty and fights it, whereas the other person sees it as an opportunity for growth and development.

One of the great disservices we are doing our children at the moment is not allowing them to experience high levels of uncertainty. We are therefore limiting the development of their behavioural flexibility. Everyone getting a ribbon at the sports carnival, or every layer of “pass the parcel” having a gift in it is actually way more damaging than we realise (in my opinion). These types of situations are the practice ground for real life disappointment and uncertainty, and when we take away their chance to practice in a safe and secure environment we are setting them up for a big fall.

I work with young adults (18, 19 and 20 year olds) and it astounds me that when Plan A doesn’t work they immediately look to someone else for guidance or become so overwhelmed that they’re actually a bit useless. They have not yet developed the ability to think outside the square and their behavioural flexibility is SO limited. This is not because they can’t do it but because their opportunities to practice these soft skills during their childhood and adolescence were so limited. Everything was taken care of and they have not experienced or had to self-manage some of those emotional states that feel yuk.

This is not their fault. We need to be looking to ourselves as adults and question how we can develop more behavioural flexibility – not only within us but in our children too.

Behavioural flexibility really is one of life’s greatest skills to acquire.

 

 

 

Perseverance, where are you my Friend?

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Why do some people give up while others just keep on pushing through? Is perseverance a learnt behaviour or is there an innate predisposition to it?

I recently returned to yoga after a couple of years off.  Yoga for me has always been more about the mental exercise rather than the physical exercise.  I do hot yoga so as well as my body being stretched to its limit, I also have the heat to contend with and heat – I have learnt over the years – brings a whole other set of mental challenges.

What I noticed over my first few weeks back was that I was very quick to give up on a posture once it hurt too much or was too uncomfortable.  The mind chatter would start and totally let me off the hook: “Kato, you don’t want to hurt yourself, maybe you should just have a little sit down” or “Kato, your heart is beating particularly fast, I think you should rest for a minute”.

The first month or so I gently eased myself back into yoga, not even considering for a moment that I could have been working much harder. I mean, I was just loving myself for finally getting back in the room. That was my “Get Out Of Jail Free” card: I was there so I don’t have to push myself too hard!

It wasn’t until I was in a class being taught by the studio owner, Hannah, about five or six weeks in.  Hannah is an old friend of mine and funnily enough we did our very first yoga class together back in 2008.

Hannah is an excellent teacher and I noticed that as I participated in her class I dug deeper, tried harder, gritted my teeth through the pain more, and turned a corner. I left that class feeling amazing – I knew that I had given it everything I had and I was basking in the glow of tired muscles and a detoxed body.

It was after this class that I really got thinking: “How come I was willing to work so much harder in today’s class? How come my perseverance really showed up today?”.

I realised that I wanted to do my best for Hannah.  I am externally motivated and because I care about her, I wanted to give it 100% to show her I appreciate her teaching.

This bought up a new question: had the perseverance always been inside me or did I just develop it today?

The intuitive answer that came to me is that it was always there – I just hadn’t tapped into it in a really long time.  It had been dormant or I had totally ignored it.

Yesterday I was talking with a friend of mine, Lee.  She has just returned home from Mount Kilimanjaro and I was fascinated to hear about her trip and more specifically the walk up the mountain. I thought she would be able to offer more insight into perseverance.

Lee’s journey sounded tough! It took five days to get up the mountain and on the fourth night, they slept for just a few hours before getting up at 2am and then hiking for 11 hours to the summit. She said it was so cold and her bones were aching with fatigue. It was minus 20 degrees at the peak so the exhilaration of getting there was heavily balanced with staying warm.

I asked Lee what it took to get up that last section of the mountain and she looked me in the eye and said “Everything. It took everything.” and she smiled that wistful smile of a person who has conquered the world. She said: “I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it – it was literally a step-by-step process.  Everything hurt and I was just so cold and tired. I used up every last resource I had in my body”.

How easy would it have been to quit? Very!!

Except she couldn’t quit: she had flown across an ocean to get there, taken time away from her family and friends, used leave time from work, spent the money, and gotten nine tenths up the mountain. She was therefore totally invested.

And her perseverance showed up when she asked it to.

I truly believe that we are capable of so much more than what we expect from ourselves. Maybe it’s our beliefs around not being good enough or the task being too hard. Maybe it’s us worrying about what people think or don’t think, and maybe for each of us the reasons are different, but I feel certain that perseverance lives happily and well within all of us.

We just have to call on it more often.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ho’opono’pono

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I first heard about the Ho’opono’pono in 2013 at a Tony Robbins event. It is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness and is simply very beautiful. We did the practice together as a room of 1300 people and the energy and love that was generated moved me very deeply.

The Ho’opono’pono is a simple four line verse:

I love you

I am sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you

When I returned home from this event, I Googled the Ho’opono’pono and did some more reading on it – where it came from, the intention behind it and some of the amazing transformations that this verse had created in people. I had intended on committing to this daily practice after the deep emotion I experienced in the room at the event, however over the space of a couple of weeks it fell by the wayside as life got busy and I simply forgot.

It wasn’t until 2015 that the Ho’opono’pono came back on to my radar.  I was doing some work with an amazing Body Code Healer, Aimie Smith, in Sydney and she mentioned a book called Zero Limits.

Zero Limits is written by a man called Joe Vitale in collaboration with Haleaka Hew Len PhD, a Hawaiian psychologist and shamanic practitioner. It is the story of how Dr Hew Len healed a group of criminally insane patients in a locked ward at Hawaii State Hospital even though he NEVER spent any time with these patients directly.

Dr. Hew Len set up an office within the hospital to review his patients’ files and he repeated the phrases “I love you” and “I am sorry” over and over again whilst reviewing each individual’s file. He was “cleaning” his energy and therefore cleaning their energy.

After a few months the patients who were shackled were allowed to walk freely, patients were taken off medications and even the hopeless cases were eventually released back into society.  The staff stopped calling in sick and the ward eventually became over-staffed because patients were being released.  After four years the ward was shut down because it was no longer needed.

The book delves deeply into the Ho’opono’pono practice and the power that lies in the ongoing repetition of it.

When spoken, the four lines act as a “cleaning agent” on negative, low vibrational energy.  The belief with the Ho’opono’pono is that everything that comes into our reality is our responsibility. What this means is that if we witness someone being cruel to another person, for example, we are responsible for that and therefore need to “clean” on it. If we have our house broken into, we are responsible for that and therefore need to clean on it.  If our child is bullying another child and it is in our reality, we are responsible for it and need to clean on it.

I realise it is a pretty confronting idea the first time you hear it!!  How can it be MY fault that those people are being cruel?  How can it be my fault that someone broke into my home and stole my things?

It’s all about energy, connection and quantum physics.  I don’t fully understand how it works but I believe it in completely. Since I have been consistently practicing the Ho’opono’pono I feel that my life is more peaceful, fulfilling and connected.

There is so much more going on in this world than what we can see, hear, taste, smell and feel!

It is a truly amazing story and the book Zero Limits gives excellent history, insight and stories on the Ho’opono’pono. If you get the chance to read it, please do – it really is very profound and in my opinion, life changing.

 

 

Leap of Faith

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When I started my coaching journey back in 2011, it was the first time in a long time, I had started anything so completely new.  I hadn’t done any study for a long time and I hadn’t put myself in a new community to such a great extent in years.  This was a large leap, way beyond the edge of my comfort zone.

I remember before I flew to Sydney to start the course that I felt quite nervous.  I was unsure what to expect and I hoped that there would be some people that I really connected with.  I didn’t know the area where the course was being run and I didn’t know a single other person who had been associated with the coaching school I had selected.

All of that being said, I felt excited.  I was so ready for something new and being a natural adventurer, I had enough certainty in myself that I knew all would work out well.  It feel good to be moving outside my comfort zone.

I was looking out the window as we landed into Sydney and I remember thinking “This is the beginning.  The beginning of what, well I don’t really know, but I can’t wait to find out”.

It was an exciting thought and I was so ready.

My coaching course was two years long and it started with this three day weekend in Sydney.  It was a spectacular weekend!  I had an amazing teacher called Joe Pane, who to this day, is one of the best speakers that I have ever had the privilege of being taught by.  I made a beautiful friend called Juls who will be in my life forever and was the recipient of my very first coaching session during that training (which was diabolical!)

The reason I share this story is because it was a great reminder for me that a leap of faith is good for the soul.  In fact I believe its necessary for the soul.

As much as security, safe and comfort are all emotional states that make us feel good, being scared, stretched or uncomfortable make us feel alive and that is really what our very being yearns for, that sense of aliveness.

Some people find that feeling closing business deals, some find it by climbing mountains or jumping out of planes, some people find it by joining new groups and clubs.  It doesn’t matter how you personally get your fix, its just important that you get it.

Prior to taking this particular leap of faith, I spent several years experiencing mild discontent with my working life, a bit of boredom, a bit of apathy and a general loss of interest in my work.  Yet, I wasn’t prepared to throw caution to the wind and take any risks. Really, the pain hadn’t become great enough for me to move.

That is until the Universe kicked me up the bum through my Mum becoming unwell.  My Mum’s illness prompted me to reevaluate what I really wanted to be doing with my time.  If my life was going to be cut short, would I have done all the things that I wanted to do?

The answer was a resounding no and I was finally knocked into action to take the leap of faith that my soul had been nudging me towards for the last few years.

And I learnt a valuable lesson…..

Take those leaps of faith, regularly and often. They are as important to us as water and food and air.  Like those things nourish our physical body, the leaps of faith nourish our spirit and grow our soul.

 

 

Water, Consciousness and Intent

 

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Dr Maseru Emoto is the bestselling author of the books Messages from Water, The Hidden Messages in Water and The True Power of Water.  He has spent many decades studying water and how it is linked to our individual and collective consciousness.

One of his more famous studies focused on what happens to water molecules when they are exposed to different phenomena – things such as positive words, beautiful music, names of murderers and swear words. He observed how the water molecule responded to these things. He also observed how a water molecule is shaped differently depending on where it has come from – like in a city sewer as opposed to a mountain stream.

This study is truly fascinating, particularly because the human body is made up of over 60% water, as is our planet.  If water molecules can be so radically impacted by the energy of music, pollution, essential oils, harsh language and so on, what does that mean for us as human beings and for Mother Earth?

Dr. Emoto has been visually documenting the molecular changes in water by photographing them microscopically. He freezes droplets of water and then examines them under a dark field microscope which has photographic capabilities.

Some observations from his works include:

  1. Water from clear mountain springs and streams had beautifully formed crystalline structures, while the crystals of polluted or stagnant water were deformed and distorted;
  2. Distilled water exposed to classical music took delicate, symmetrical crystalline shapes;
  3. When the words “thank you” were taped to a bottle of distilled water, the frozen crystals had a similar shape to the crystals formed by water that had been exposed to Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” – music composed out of gratitude to the man it was named for;
  4. When water samples were bombarded with heavy metal music or labeled with negative words (such as Adolph Hitler), or when negative thoughts and emotions were focused intentionally upon the samples – the water did not form crystals at all and displayed chaotic, fragmented structures; and
  5. When water was treated with aromatic floral oils the water crystals tended to mimic the shape of the original flower.

This is a truly spectacular discovery!

From this study we can safely assume that even though we don’t often see immediate results from our prayers, affirmations or incantations, the water in our body is still being impacted by our positive words and thoughts.

When we love our body through our words and actions, it responds.  We when we love Mother Earth with all of her water, she too responds.

Perhaps having seen the evidence of this through Dr Emoto’s study we can begin to truly understand the awesome power that we possess.  Through choosing our thoughts, words and intentions we are able to heal both ourselves and the earth. If only we believe.

Whether you participate in global meditations, or simply do this inner work in the quiet of your own loving mind and heart, what we have been shown is that we can heal our earth and recreate a clear, pristine world to hand down to our children.

Beyond that, by having a daily practice of self-love though positive thoughts, affirmations, incantations, meditation, yoga, being in nature, nourishing our body with energy-rich food, and simply looking at ourselves in a mirror whilst thinking loving thoughts we are able to influence every molecule of water in our body.

Powerful huh!

 

 

Expectation versus Appreciation

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Expectation versus appreciation is a very simple concept, yet it is one that I find many people struggle with (me included!).  It seems that we tend to wander through life with a set of expectations that more often than not trip us up and cause us pain. We have these ideas of how things should be, how people should behave, and sometimes even what the weather should be doing.

Why do we do that? That is the million dollar question!

An expectation is a strong belief that something should go a certain way or be a certain way. This presupposes that we must have some level of control over what is happening outside of us for there to even be that belief in the first place.

Yet we know (normally from past experience) that that is simply not true.  In fact, as we get older, most of us realise that we have very limited control over anything that is outside of ourselves.

We can only control how we show up, how we respond, how we communicate and so on. Basically, we can only control us and nothing else. Yet we still have this very lengthy list of expectations tucked into our back pocket that we pull out at every possible moment – usually to our own detriment.

I feel confident enough to say that there would be a direct correlation between the amount of expectations one has and the amount of let down or pain one feels.

Appreciation, on the other hand, is the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.  Appreciation is all about what is in front of us right now.  It requires presence and utilises a totally different focus.

Appreciation is underwritten by gratitude, and gratitude is an exceptionally powerful emotional state.  Gratitude has been proven to improve things like our sleeping patterns, physical health, self-esteem and so much more.

Spending more time coming from this place has to make sense: appreciation clearly looks like WAY more fun than expectation!

The premise of this tool (which I learnt from Tony Robbins) is that when we can trade expectation for appreciation we enjoy life so much more. We are in the moment and are focusing from a higher vibrational place: from love as opposed to fear.

If, in that moment when you experience frustration because your partner hasn’t cleaned the house while you were out (an expectation), you were instead able to appreciate that they welcomed you home with open arms and a cup of tea, how different would the conversation be?

What if, when you experienced unfairness and annoyance because you didn’t get the promotion you honestly thought you had in the bag (expectation), you were instead able to trade it for appreciation at the excellent feedback you got on how you could improve next time?

Now I am not saying this is an easy path to walk, I know that I have certainly been challenged living by this at times.

What I do know though, is that it is certainly the happier path – the path of more joy, acceptance and gratitude.

And who doesn’t want more of that in their life?