Strength and Empowerment Through Failure

Have you failed at anything? That’s an interesting question. If you’re like the majority of people who get asked that you’re already feeling some kind of emotional reaction.

Guilt, shame, anger, disappointment and denial are just five of the most popular you’ll encounter. The denial response is often found among New Agers and even some New Thought students who believe failure is impossible; or worse, unthinkable!

But here’s the kicker with ignoring or explaining away failure:

We miss the gift in failing.

By ignoring the fact that something didn’t work out the way we planned we gloss over the problems that most need our attention. Our ego will rise up through a dramatic entrance to any situation that even mildly alludes to us being wrong, incapable or inadequate. Guess what? We can be all of these things at times no matter who we are.

Ever watch a toddler learning to walk? She tries. She fails. She tries again. She falls down, probably giggling. Eventually, after many unsuccessful attempts, she stands on her own power and takes her first tentative step. That shows strength and character. Her ego hasn’t developed enough yet to be judge and jury for every minor or major foible she will encounter in growing up.

It’s not solely from the disappointment alone that we learn from our failures. It’s from recognizing what didn’t work and knowing that we have within us the power to do better next time. No matter how badly we screw up we have the assurance that we did the very best we could with the information available to us at the time.

When we have improved information, perhaps from failing at a task or relationship, we are better prepared to make more informed decisions in the future. Knowing that it was our decisions that created the situation with which we are now dealing assures us that we are empowered to change our thinking and enjoy results more to our liking.

And, even if the outcomes we come across appear to have been creating by others, we still have the choice to be at the effect of those situations, or draw upon the power within us to change our experience.

More than one person has said that if we aren’t failing from time-to-time then we’re probably doing very little and taking few chances. Step out now and move forward. If you’d like to be further encouraged by the successes of others who have dealt with failure, click here for a link to a truly inspiring webpage from the University of Kentucky.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

Do You Find it Difficult to Make Decisions?

Do You Need to Have it Your Way?

Do you find yourself faced with too many choices? It’s definitely a “first world” problem. People in third world countries search for clean water on a daily basis. Meanwhile, we’re stumped at our grocery store trying to decide which of the 20 different types flavoring we want in our bottled water.

A great thing about realizing we are empowered in life is the power to choose. The downside of that is that we may be confused about what to choose. We know we can manifest that which we desire; but exactly what it is that we want?

There is a rule of thumb when focusing on a goal or using affirmative prayer:  Be specific. Yet part of the joy in seeing our desires come into our life is watching how those things occur.

Being specific in our desires doesn’t mean we have to control the process. We can continue to be precise and detailed, but then turn it over to universal intelligence for the work necessary and the guidance needed. We don’t have to design detailed ways for things to happen. If fact, putting too many parameters on the way we expect our desires to come about can slow down or even stop the process.

If we truly believe in a power greater than us that we can use, then we would do well to balance our pragmatic desires with some good, old-fashioned trust. There are numerous examples in my own life and the life of others that I can think of where the outcome came about through completely unexpected means.

It’s not that the outcome was unexpected – there’s not much point in praying about something if we don’t expect it to happen! Rather it was the way in which it happened. By trusting in the process we open ourselves up to personal fulfillment as well as unique and amazing ways to be supported.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

Here’s Why Multitasking Sucks

Why being bad at multitasking may be a very good thing

Are you good at multitasking? If you say, “Yes!” you’re not alone. I’ve often said I’m very good at it. Many of my friends tell me they are, too, and they do so with a great deal of pride.

This blog is about why we’re dead wrong.

lot's to do

It’s also about why being bad at multitasking may be a very, good thing.

I completely understand multitasking. When my husband once told a colleague what I do for a living (full-time job, run my own business, head up a non-profit foundation, and volunteer extensively), his friend remarked, “Oh, so you’re telling me he really hasn’t figured out what he wants to be when he grows up.”

Ouch!

One of my heroes, Marie Forleo (marieforleo.com) describes herself as a “multi-passioned entrepreneur.” I can relate. Like me, Forleo has followed a number of passions and paths to get to the level of success she enjoys today. The trick, however, is that when we multi-passioned entrepreneurs are working on one of our areas of interest we are working ONLY in that area.

That’s the key to being involved in many activities and interests:  We must be focused on only one thing at a time. We must practice mindfulness.

Forleo explains that the act of multitasking is a conflict between having a single versus a split/multiple-focus. “A split- or multiple-focus approach will slow things down – it’s obvious, but we don’t always admit it!” she teaches.

Being a consummate multitasker for years I immediately objected when I heard her say this in an interview. But, given that she has a proven track record in success I decided to try it out for myself.

For about a week I refused to attempt doing two-, three- or more things at once. To help with this, each night before bed I created a list of accomplishments for the next day, categorizing them by level of importance.

The next day I followed the list to the letter. Plugging in space for unforeseen events or circumstances helps with this. I checked and responded to email and social media once in the morning and once in the afternoon (unless a list-related action required posting). I took time to make food for myself and/or my family; no reading, use of mobile devices or TV watching during eating. I even stopped making or taking phone calls while driving, even though I have a hands-free Bluetooth system in my car.

Boy did all that slow me down! But here’s the kicker:

I got more done.

My lifelong work has been to teach others how to have a life worth living through the use of vision and mission statements. There are many points to my method in doing that, but the two most important are focus and intention. Letting go of multitasking – which I’ve also called “doing many things poorly and getting little accomplished” – allows me to re-focus my intention.

The results over the past few months have been stunning. I’m happier, more content, definitely more productive, and my blood pressure is lower.

If you’re used to multitasking and feel you’re only successful if you’re exhausted at the end of the day from completing a list, give the information in this blog some thought. What are you willing to let go of so the project or direction you want to see manifest can get there more rapidly?

Hop on over to my “Making Sense of Life” blog to leave a comment! That link is:

http://blog.terrydrewkaranen.com

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

Looking Forward to a Good Whine?

What do you look forward to in life? Have you noticed how you may be excited to see some friends, but dread running into other people? One reason might be the energy and attitude those people bring to the party, regardless of it being encouraging or depressing.

Granted, we all have those times when we’ve over-planned and over-scheduled our lives. We may be living the life we love, but have gotten out of balance by too much work and not enough relaxation time. That can lead to us becoming cranky and irritable, with a tendency of leaning toward having a good whine.

It starts out innocently enough. Someone asks us about our day and before we know it the flood gates of all that bothers us come surging forward. We go into excruciating detail – most of it unnecessary – and the bottom line is that we just want someone to feel sorry for us.

The problem with that line of reasoning is that we’re asking the other person to validate our own actions, the over-planning and over-scheduling, that got us into the situation in the first place.

We want someone else to pity us and, like it or not, we can slip into being very whiny … and VERY annoying. We become the type of person we ourselves don’t want to be around. But don’t we have the right to whine now and then?

I used to have a prayer partner years ago. If one of us had the need to whine the other one would set a timer. We had five minutes to verbally hurl all over the other one. But when five minutes was reached that conversation stopped. “I’m not done yet!” one might exclaim, but the other would counter with, “Yes, you are. Now what’s the Truth?”

Whining and other less productive ways of complaining are examples of two actions:  focusing on the problem and playing the victim. What we focus on increases; focus on the problems, the injustice, or the inequities and we get more of the same. But turn our full attention to solutions and violá – those appear.

And, while we may be a victim from time-to-time through unforeseen circumstances or our own doing, we do ourselves a disservice by staying in that mindset any longer than is necessary. One might ask if it’s ever necessary. That’s something for each of us to determine. Everything we do – whether it seems productive or destructive, positive or negative – has a measure of value for some reason in the scheme of things we call life.

Perhaps having a good whine every so often is like having a good cry. Our whining might just lead to a good laugh when we realize how ridiculous we sound, just like a good cry can rid our body of toxic chemicals through the release of our tears. Would you be willing to observe your own whining today? Don’t judge yourself, just observe whether or not you’d like to listen to what you’re saying or thinking. Oh, yeah, forgot that part. Most of our whining is in our own heads. Cool – nothing like setting ourselves up to lose without the help of anyone else, right?

Here’s a great note from the wise Mike Dooley. It speaks to how we seem to have a bit more to whine about these days than ever before:

What we're seeing is the "storm before the calm," spontaneous and unpredictable flares of individual and collective angst, caused by a pent up demand for a more fair and just world. The temporary blockage, however, has come from many expecting a broken system to fix itself, instead of realizing only individuals can do that.

Our choice. Our decision. Our life. All we have to do to change our experience is change our thoughts and actions. Let’s be less concerned about what others are doing that we view as wrong, and be more concerned about what actions we are taking to affect the changes we desire.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

“Mr. Watson – Come here – I want to see you.”

Do you know where your cell phone is? Perhaps not. Many of us misplace them more often than we’d like to admit. Today, of all days, we might take a moment to appreciate why we have them in our lives.

It was 141 years ago today, in 1876, that Alexander Graham Bell is purported to have spoken the words of today’s blog title to his assistant, Thomas Watson. “The rest is history” pales at best considering where we’ve arrived today. But exactly where is that?

It’s been said that the Millennials don’t know how to communicate because we find their noses in their phones instead of talking to one another out loud. The opposite is actually the case. That generation keeps in touch in real time more effectively, in the sense of exchanging information, than does any other generation. The instant social media platforms are their apps of choice; email and voicemail are for older people. Communication, however, is not the issue.

The problem is the lack of meaningful, physical connection that Millennials don’t seem to have. But they are not alone. What so much of today’s society has become – both young and old – are communicators without intimacy. The emojis and other pictographs aren’t the same as seeing the smile of our beloved, the sparkle in someone’s eyes, or receiving the hug we desire.

That day in 1876 Bell was not interested in conveying information to Watson; the inventor wanted to see his assistant in person. We can learn from that on the anniversary of the beginning of telecommunication. Our devices are tools to be used by us, not gadgets to enslave us. Yet the latter is exactly what they have become.

May I offer you a suggestion? This idea will be as psychologically and spiritually uplifting as it is economical – you’ll save on your data plan! Here it is:

Stop getting constant updates on all your apps.

We have become a “what if” society. We don’t want to risk missing out on anything. We may feel compelled to be the first person to post the latest travesty of government or tragedy of a celebrity onto our social media pages.

Starting right now, check your email no more than twice per day, then disconnect from it. If someone really wants to get a hold of you they will text or (gasp!) call you. Set your other apps so that you have to access them to get information, as opposed to being pinged, tinged, jangled or otherwise alerted every other minute.

Seriously, our brains aren’t evolved enough (yet) to handle this kind of information overload. According to recent studies being bombarded data has become one of the top reasons for stress, anxiety, depression and anger in our society.

How much we resist this idea of disconnecting is a glaring indication of how addicted we are to our electronics devices. Consider all the time you’ll have for other activities when you aren’t spending all your time occupied by what others are doing, or deleting yet another spam email every three-to-five minutes. Amazing! Join me?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

Big Girl Panties

Have you got anything bugging you this week? I mean something, or someone, that has just gotten under your skin? This time of year can bring out and up all sorts of “stuff,” for lack of a better word.

Our challenges are unique and often very personal. What may appear to be a huge obstacle in my mind may be a mere trifle for you. However, having said that, I am brought to the reason for the title of this blog, “Big Girl Panties,” as in “Bitch, put on your big girl panties and deal with it!”big-girl-panties

I was looking for sympathy from a friend who believes in tough love. That’s the response I got. Word … for … word. His bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired. But the truth is I was whining and he wasn’t having any of it. At all. Nada. No way. The blessing is he was right. He’s wise enough to know when to stop me from pretending I’m useless, weak or powerless.

Challenges can be opportunities for growth or they can be just the reason we are looking for to stop us from moving forward. Most people are far more afraid of succeeding than they are of failing. Most of us know really well how to fail at something. But how will we deal with success? What will change? Will we lose our friends? Staying stuck can actually be comfortable.

At times like this – and understand that you are the only one that can determine if the time is right – we have to grow out of Pampers® and put on our big girl or big boy panties. How will you know? My answer to that is that when I’ve had to ask it turned out I wasn’t ready. I’ve you’re not ready then stay where you are for now – when you’re ready you’ll know it, so don’t force the issue.

For me, I usually know when I have to go for the “Suck it up, Buttercup!” method. It’s when I start to lament to people about my latest challenge and halfway through the story I start getting bored! There’s that still, small voice inside my head going, “Really? Seriously?”

Take a moment today to ask yourself what “little” irritation has been going on long enough in your life. Determine if it has outlived its usefulness and make the necessary changes to move forward if that’s indicated. Reach out for help if needed, but decide today to blast through one problem child this week. Let me know how that turns out for you!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TerryDrewKaranen
@TerryDKaranen
#IAN1

Terry Drew Karanen © 2011, 2016

 

When Abundance Becomes Clutter

What is your personal idea of abundance? First-world thinking about this is far different than what we find in third-world countries. More technologically-advanced countries tend to allow marketing and advertising to dictate what abundance means, while less-developed areas find joy in a simpler life-style.

We don’t have to fall into the corporate trap of “more is better.” Magazines, for example, abound on store shelves claiming the best way to lose weight or gain muscle. The vast majority of these articles have nothing to do with reality or scientific fact. What they do have is a sincere and dynamic desire on the part of the publishers to sell magazines.

Similarly, we are bombarded by ads on TV and now even on our mobile devices. Once again, these ads are devised to get us to buy products, even if the purchase is clouded in the reasoning that doing so will somehow better our lives or pocketbooks.

As the animals in the northern hemisphere prepare for winter we observe frantic gathering around us. How closely do we reflect this frenetic activity in the accumulations of possessions?  There’s nothing wrong with having our stuff. Our stuff, whatever that stuff is, is fun! We live on the human plane; that means we get to play with all the material things that give us joy.

But at some point the stuff is all just … well … STUFF! This is the perfect time of the year to wind down and see exactly what it is we want to take through the winter with us into a new year.cluter

Look around at just one area of your life. That can be your desk, maybe a closet or a whole room. Whatever you choose, make it manageable so as to not overwhelm yourself. There’s an old metaphysical saying that the Universe abhors a vacuum. In other words, the Universe will fill the space if we make it available.

The problem is no two things can occupy the same space at the same time. If we are to experience more abundance and joy in our lives we must make time and space for those things. The clutter we see around us is gunk and clogs up the flow of our prosperity. Take some time to de-gunk your life – the blessings we receive in return are amazing!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

There is Power in Disempowerment

Do feel like you live from a place of power, meaning you feel empowered in your life, the decisions you make and the direction of your life? My friend and colleague, the well-known prosperity speaker and Unity minister, Rev. Edwene Gaines, introduces herself as a “woman of power.” That rubs some people the wrong way and Edwene couldn’t give a rat’s patooty about it.

It seems society teaches us to vie for power and then criticizes those who pursue it, particularly if that person is female, LGBTQ or non-white. But this is especially true for women of power. Men are extolled for their achievement of power, regardless of whether or not they use that power wisely or as a trump card for being a ruthless, uncaring and callous bully. But if women wield power they are considered ball-busting bitches. Yeah, I’m a feminist if you haven’t already gathered it. But I digress…Blog

The question is not about how inconsistent society is in the way it glorifies and at the same time disdains power. Victims of violent crimes, particularly rape and long-term abuse, are encouraged to take back their power. This process is not only cathartic, but also tremendously effective in advancing the healing process. This is one example of when the gaining and building of our power is life-giving and a positive action.

Here’s a question we can each ask ourselves:  Is there a time when we should let go of power to, in effect, disempower ourselves? Is there a place in this time of modern technology that allows us to be in control – empowered – in so many aspects of our life to simply be powerless? I believe there is and here’s how it looks.

Disempowering areas of our lives doesn’t mean we have given up or failed. Disempowerment is not about playing the victim or the martyr. What it IS about is choice. Have you allowed other people or society to decide for you where YOU need to be empowered? Do you notice if you have fallen into the media, advertising and marketing trap of needing the right car, perfect career, trophy mate or best clothes to feel empowered?

Nothing you see advertised – with VERY few exceptions – is being thrown at you with your best interests in mind. Rather, the push to buy, lease or otherwise obtain the stuff being puked up at us all over social and other media is to benefit the promoter of the items. That’s not to say manufacturers, artists and inventors shouldn’t be paid well for the products they produce. They should. It is, however, to say that we don’t need what they sell to achieve and enjoy the true power we seek.

Take some time this week to see where you’ve pushed for power or empowerment in areas of your life that leaves you with the sense of, “What in the hell am I doing this for?!?” Then, disempower THOSE actions and take back the power of choice in your own life to create a life truly worth living!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TheGlobalVision
#AWorldThatWorksForEveryone

Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

 

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What’s Your Vision

Do you have a “vision?” One of the most important tools we can have for success is a personal vision statement. It succinctly articulates what we want our lives to accomplish, what we want to enjoy, how we wish to live, with whom we wish to live it, and what impact we intend to have on the planet using the gifts that are uniquely ours to give.

This week we continue to discuss The Global Vision:  A World That Works For Everyone, brought to us by Centers for Spiritual Living. The organization has chosen “What’s Your Vision?” for discussion this week. As you may already know, this topic is one of the mainstays of my teaching, my ministry and my own life. I’m very excited to share these ideas with you specifically this week.

A vision statement, and its accompanying mission statement, has become a necessity for businesses and organizations over the past few decades. We’ve come to expect them to be prominently displayed in offices and on websites.

What is often missing, however, is a personal vision, something just for us. For us to have a world that works for everyone – meaning we all have enough food, a comfortable place to live and a sense of belonging – we must be clear individually as to what that means for us personally.

It is only by being firm in our own direction that we can be of use and service to others. To serve without a vision is to flounder in uncertainty, accomplishing little and ending the day with a sense of dissatisfaction and confusion.

Over the next week at the Facebook® page for Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation I’ll be discussing this week’s topic by providing a free-of-charge, mini-course on this theme from my last book, “How to Find Your Vision and Get a Life! Using a vision and mission to create a life worth living.”20150623_093529

I hope you’ll join me and actively participate in the daily lessons and discussions. (Spoiler Alert:  I’m developing an entire eight-week course on this book for individual and organizational use that is expected to be available in the fall.) See you over at SMBF on Facebook®!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TheGlobalVision
#AWorldThatWorksForEveryone

Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

We Are More Than We Know

Has anyone ever told you that you should live up to your potential? I’ve heard that, either directed toward me or in passing when one person is discussing someone else (usually their husband or child).

My first thought is always, “How do you know the ultimate potential of someone else?” My second thought comes something along the line about the person minding their own darn business, but I digress …

30AWe are more than we realize in the sense that we have abilities (not just potentials!) far beyond what we’ve been taught we have at our disposal. For example, it used to be that positive thinking was just some woo-woo idea taught by charlatans trying to get our money; or people who said they were spiritual, but not saying the same thing the churches were.

Today we have scientific evidence through numerous studies and other research that prove our thoughts (positive or negative) impact the outcomes in our lives. Catch yourself this week if or when you say, “I can’t … “ Really? You can’t? Why not? What’s stopping you?

Now don’t go getting all ridiculous on me and say, “Well, I can’t fly, so I guess you have to admit there are things we can’t do!” Well, of course. DUH! Seriously though, if that’s a person’s first reaction then we don’t judge them, we treat them with kindness. They may be looking for reasons to fail, to be a victim, to have people feel sorry for them … or, they could be just trying to be a smartass, in which case an argument is a waste of time.

We stop ourselves or make excuses for our lack of success all the time, but why? Because someone else thinks we can’t and we decided, for whatever reason, to believe them! Why? Because we’ve bought into being too old, or too young, or too fat, or too skinny, or too whatever which, in society’s eyes, says we can’t. That’s our BS and you know what that is:  Our Belief System.

This week decide to get a new BS degree. Get a new belief system that supports you in being magnificent and fulfilling a potential you either know you have, or at least suspect you might possess, that will propel you into a life worth living in ways you’ve not even yet imagined.

P.S.  This week over at the Facebook® page for Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation we’ll be talking more about our potential, how to increase our awareness of our abilities, how to break the barriers that binds us from having an amazing life and much, much more. It’s all part of our 2016 theme, The Global Vision:  A World That Works For Everyone. Come join the conversation!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TheGlobalVision
#AWorldThatWorksForEveryone

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Description:  We are more than we realize in the sense that we have abilities far beyond what we’ve been taught we have at our disposal.