TWENTY-ONE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE IN 2021

Beginning in 2015, I began publishing a list of ways to improve your life. Last year I published, “Twenty Ways to Improve Your Life in 2020.” The year before that I published “Nineteen Ways to Improve Your Life in 2019.” You get the idea. The tradition continues this year, with the addition of No. 21.

New Year’s resolutions often lose their power so quickly and completely that they have become cliché. But there are real, easily achieved ways to positively impact your life beginning this first week of January.

Here are 21 ways to unlock personal power in 2021. They aren’t in any particular order, so you can pick any one to start with.

If you complete just five, you’ll notice a demonstrable improvement in your existence. But if you get through nine of them, you could remake your life.

1. Try to recall one dream you had as a kid – whether it was being a poet or a rock drummer or a multimillionaire stock trader – and take just a single step in that direction. So often, the ideas we had as children were good ones, and we abandoned them out of fear. The step in the direction of your childhood dream can be very modest – signing up for a symposium on poetry, scheduling a single drum lesson, or buying a DVD on stock trading. Even just telling two people about your quiet dream can move it forward. Frozen dreams have a way of thawing out rapidly when you warm them just a tiny bit.

You’ve got to expect that your dream might well wrestle with you to remain just a fantasy. We resist our dreams because fully embracing them provokes anxiety – like jumping onto a raft that will take you down thrilling, but heart-stopping rapids. Your dream could argue that you should put it off until later, or that it’s entirely irrational, or that you don’t have the energy or the time or the money to pursue it. Don’t expect to feel great taking the first step in the direction of your dream. Take that step, in spite of your anxiety.

2. Think of your life story, going all the way back to infancy, as an autobiographical book that you can hold in your hands. Now, imagine which page or paragraph you are tempted to tear out and remove from the story. That page or paragraph might be the one that makes you feel profoundly sad or powerless or guilty or ashamed. Next, share it with someone who knows you well but has never heard about that event or phase in your life. Being willing to disclose the events in life we want to turn a blind eye to takes away the power those events have over us.

You can’t be loved unconditionally, especially by yourself, if you think some part of you or what you lived through is too dark to bring into the light.

3. Give a meaningful gift to a friend of yours on a random day – not his birthday or her anniversary or Christmas. Giving gifts on those days is fine, but that isn’t the same as an unexpected, unscheduled gift. Those are the ones that feel riskier to give and have more power to bond you to others who receive them. And that’s because they’re real and independent expressions of friendship, affection, admiration or love.

Giving gifts has an interesting side effect; you’ll feel wealthier, even though you’ve just spent a little money. Why?  Because human beings either feel bountiful or barren. Giving of yourself doesn’t deplete you. It fills you up.

4. Send handwritten notes to three people you admire most in the world, no matter how powerful or famous, tell them sincerely exactly why you admire them and ask to meet for 10 minutes. There’s a real chance one of them will take you up on the offer. And that one meeting could change you, because great energy is contagious and being in the company of it can stay with you.

Very few people actually reach out, personally, for help from those who can give it the most. Do you know why?  They worry they’ll be rejected or made fun of. But think about it. If you have no attachment to the outcome of your note-writing campaign, if you understand from the get-go that you may receive no replies to your three notes, then there’s really no risk. Here’s another hint:  You could send out 50 of them. Or 100. And there’s no rational reason not to.

5. Give some amount (no matter how small) to the charity you care most about. As I said above, giving is a miracle, because it helps others while also telling your unconscious mind that yours is a life of abundance, not scarcity. And that invites more treasures into your existence. Here’s one I just gave to, which I happen to know is completely legit and does great work, the Warrior Reunion Foundation Here’s another one I’m giving to today: www.barnsanctuary.org.

6. Stop telling yourself you love people just because you grew up with them. This is a big one, but a really important one. Did your parents and siblings earn your love by unconditionally loving you as a child? If so, great. But if you’ve been wishing that had been the case and have felt unwilling to let the dream of having had unconditionally loving parents or siblings slip away, then loosen your grip. If the people you grew up with weren’t focused on helping you stay true to yourself, then admit it to yourself. You might stop unconsciously recruiting people just like them into your life.

Here’s the key question:  Who has loved you and who has been attached to you? Loving you requires the intent to know you as an individual and to honor and foster your uniqueness. Attachment can feel very powerful, but it is closer to owning you than celebrating you.

7. Schedule an initial life coaching, counseling or psychotherapy session. These are the gold standard ways to begin to get to become the person you were always meant to be. In a world of distractions and depersonalization, these are professions reliably focused on restoring your connection to your true self and your full potential. Hopefully, that first session will convince you of the power of teaming up with a coach or counselor to change your life, and you’ll schedule more. No one with the financial ability to do so should deny himself or herself that transformational opportunity.

One caveat: Not every coach, counselor or psychotherapist would be a good fit for you. Some aren’t a good fit for anyone, because they aren’t very talented. If your first session leaves you cold, try scheduling one more with someone else. The first counselor I went to wasn’t worth my time or my money. The second one utterly changed my life.

8. Get angry about something unfair, say so out loud and don’t stand for it. Anger gets a really bad rap in our culture; it’s accused of everything from destroying people spiritually to causing heart attacks. But suppressed anger can be more toxic. When you’re offended by something you hear about in the news or you see unfolding in your personal life, try saying so, in no uncertain terms, when you’re asked about it – or maybe even if you aren’t. For those of you who have been living lives of quiet frustration, letting yourselves be very direct and very mad about something that sincerely outrages you can start to crack the shell that has your most powerful self inside it.

Here’s one of my favorite Bible verses: Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Galatians 4:16 King James Version (KJV)

9. Take two minutes to think about life as a labyrinth. Mazes are built to frustrate people and get them lost. They’re full of dead ends designed to make people give up and call for helicopters to pluck them out. Not so with labyrinths. Labyrinths may wind this way and that way. They may take you far from where you thought you were heading. But they always, always lead to the center. And that’s what life is like. Keep walking, keep your faith and life will take you where you are supposed to go. The turn toward the center could be just a few steps away, when you least expect it.

Now, keep this in mind, too:  You don’t get to choose the day or week or year that turn toward the center happens. It could be tomorrow or it could be many tomorrows from now. The point is to know that it is coming, not to know when.

10. Try praying, at least once. If you haven’t prayed ever or haven’t prayed lately, you’ll discover that the act of praying for what you care deeply about has the effect of reminding you what that thing or those things really are. It also has the effect of reminding you that there is a great power in the universe that you are a part of. There’s something interesting about praying; even people who say they don’t believe in God are loathe to pray for the opposite of what they really want. How come? Is it because that, underneath all that cynicism, they actually do believe?  I recently completed my graduate certificate in pastoral counseling at Liberty University.  The power of prayer has never been clearer to me.

11. Read “Franny and Zooey” by J.D. Salinger, “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield, “Self-Creation” by the great psychologist George Weinberg (used copies available online), “Blue Dog” by George Rodrigue, “Fear God and Take Your Own Part,” by Theodore Roosevelt, “Zen or the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig, or “The Betrayal of the Self” by Arno Gruen (or, even better, all seven). These seven volumes have the power to transform people, and I keep handing them out to patients and friends (along with – please forgive the narcissism – my book, “Living the Truth”). If you’re really short on time or intention, just read the Afterword to a later edition of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

12. Buy one piece of original art. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It just needs to appeal to you. Why? Because art is the antidote to our sometimes sterile, technologically driven culture. It makes humanity go viral in a way that YouTube can’t. It also confirms your connection to things that can’t be measured – like your personal vision of beauty. A good alternative is to create a piece of art. Just be sure to buy yourself the proper brushes or paints or glue or wood to create it. That will be a signal to yourself that you value what you are manifesting.

13. Watch the movie “Miracle,” with Kurt Russell. This film about the 1980 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team defeating Russia’s team is so good, it can convince you to take on the next great challenge in your life. I don’t know anyone who has watched it and been unaffected by it. Also watch the closing argument by Paul Newman at the end of the film “The Verdict,” the scene of Sylvester Stallone and Talia Shire on the beach in “Rocky III,” the monologue by Al Pacino toward the end of the film “The Scent of a Woman” and any performance of “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood. They can help make you a better person. No kidding.

14. Tell your romantic partner one thing you would find exciting that you have not yet told that person. In my experience as a therapist, I’ve found that people can remain strangers to one another, in terms of passion, even after 10 or 20 years of marriage. We keep secrets. Let one out. You can write it down and pass it to your partner as a note, like we did back in grade school, before cell phones. See what happens. Take the risk.

15. Stand up for someone else. You’ll have the opportunity this year. I promise. Maybe in your home. Maybe in your neighborhood. Maybe at work. Maybe online. Defending someone will reassure that person and empower you.

16. Take 20 minutes to pretend that you are speaking to yourself, from the heart, as though you are your own ideal parent. You can do this out loud, if you have the stage presence, or silently. An ideal parent is empathetic, but honest in assessing his or her child and giving that child advice. Sit yourself down, get very quiet and, then, tell yourself – with the same care you would summon for a son or daughter – two things you really admire about yourself and one very limiting, very disappointing thing about yourself you really wish you would try to change, because it could limit the whole rest of your life. That one thing should be so on-target and so necessary that it has the power to make you angry, make you anxious, bring you to tears or bring you to your knees. Focusing longer (say, 15 minutes) on the admirable qualities is something you’d do for your kid, to take the sting out of the next 5 minutes, so do that for yourself. And keep in mind that 20 minutes is a long time. You’ll be tempted to avoid it or shorten it. But you shouldn’t.

17. If you are a parent, resolve to mimic a habit I stumbled upon when my kids were younger. It really helps me stay balanced during times that might otherwise cause me lots of stress. Here it is:  Whenever I get a phone call or an email or a text from someone telling me a project of mine or a goal or a relationship has hit a rough patch, I tell myself silently: “Yeah, well this isn’t like a pediatrician calling me.” What I mean is that, short of bad news about a child of mine, coming from a pediatrician (or, if your kids are older, like mine, an internal medicine doctor), nothing can really rock me. Because all of us parents know exactly how much time we would have for what seem like the big problems of our day or our week, if the phone rang, and a doctor on the other end said something like, “Can I ask where you are? Because I’ve seen your son, and I have something serious to talk with you about. I’d like you to come in.” I’d have no time for all my other so-called problems, and neither would you. So, things are actually better than we actually realize, most all of the time.

18. Remind yourself that neither you, nor I, nor anyone else is assured of another New Year’s Eve. I know that may sound morbid, but it’s also true. This could be your last year. It could be my last year. Don’t deny that fact, embrace it. Try waking up as many days as you can thinking to yourself, “If I can leave a bit of a positive mark today, I will.”  Maybe it will be as simple as listening a little longer to someone than you might be inclined to. Maybe it will be complimenting someone who deserves it. Maybe it will be calling an old friend to tell her you were thinking of her. We are all a series of thousands of actions. Every single one of them matters. And there’s no way of knowing when we won’t have another chance to add to the list.

19. Write out a thoughtful, healing, motivating message to yourself and read it every morning.  Your journey through life is an ongoing one, but it also begins anew each waking day.  Reminding yourself of the grand roadmap you intend to travel can create a silent and powerful narrative that plays at the back of your mind, coaxing you toward higher self-esteem—and your dreams.

20.  Think of one person you respect or like a whole lot, whom you’ve lost touch with.  Get back in touch, by the end of the day on January 8.  That gives you a week to reach out—by email or text or, even better, by writing a letter or calling on the phone.  Chances are that the person you select is someone you’re “supposed” to be back in touch with. Why?  Because you’ll have chosen him or her, and the universe is a lot less random than you might think.  One other thing:  Let the person know that he or she was your first choice of 2020—of everyone possible—to reconnect with.

21.  Write out a list of goals for 2021.  I know that seems obvious, but most people never get around to it.  The goals can be related to your work or your personal life or—even better—to both.  Make them as specific as you can and try to follow each with as detailed a strategy as  you can think of to help you achieve it.  Before you make your list of goals, you may want to use a few free resources I developed to clarify your thoughts and expand your horizons.  Try out the ebook How to Let Go and Move Forward (https://www.pain-2-power.com/ebooks/) and the action sheets Purpose and Personal Empowerment (https://www.pain-2-power.com/action-sheets/).

So, there are your 21 keys to making 2021 a transformational year. As I did last year, I give them to you with the certain knowledge that you still have, inside you, all the wonderful potential you did the very first day you were born. You haven’t lost one bit of it. It’s all there, just waiting for you to discover it.

Don’t delay. Start on the list today, and by this time next year, God willing, you’ll be ready for the 22 steps for 2022. Life is like that: a never-ending process of self-improvement.

Dr. Keith Ablow

    

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The Person You Were Always Meant to Be

In order to become the most powerful creative force you can be in the world, you will need to know who you truly are.  What does this mean?  It means you will need to look into yourself, at the deepest levels, to SEE what events, forces, relationships and beliefs in every chapter of your life either contributed to your authenticity as a person or detracted from it.

Being the person you were meant to be from all time—your authentic self—is the strongest foundation from which to build any creative work.  That is the case because only this authentic self can precisely choose which creative work to focus energy on.  Only this authentic self can summon the creative power to communicate heartfelt ideas and feelings and have them be received at the deepest levels by other people.  Only a real, authentic self can create transformational work that endures over time because it reflects the ultimate creation—the human soul.

To become the person you were meant to be from all time requires some creative work, too.  You need to dispense with denial and explore the early chapters of your life story, shedding the patterns of emotion, thought and behavior that are false fronts—transplants from other powerful (often less than positive) people in your life.  You need to put down the shields you have been deploying to defend against less-than-comforting, or even truly traumatic, events you survived and claim the real person who lived through them.  How else could your creative work be infused with humanity, when humanity is all about feeling and foibles and suffering and surviving?

That’s why Pain-2-Power is a pathway of healing and empowerment I created, in part, for artists, inventors and entrepreneurs to become the most creative forces they can be in our world.  As Carl Jung put it:

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

When you are ready to take this journey, I am ready (and will feel privileged) to take it with you.

Dr. Keith Ablow

    

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No, You Don’t Have Forever: Power Into 2021

Okay, I hate to break this to you:  You don’t have forever.

Right, you’ve heard that before.  But, you haven’t heard it from me, and probably not in just this way.

Here:  If you have a gift, you had better get busy honoring it.  I don’t want to stress you out, but none of us should assume we have many years to express the God-given talents we were blessed with.  I have seen too many lives interrupted by outside intrusions (like the economy going south) or illness to advise you that you can put the creative projects you want to undertake on a timeline stretching ten years into the future.

No one knows a thing about ten years in the future.  You or I may or may not be on the planet ten years in the future.  Either of us might be hit by a car and be spending most of our mental energy trying to manage chronic pain.  Either of us might have had a stroke and be trying to speak, let alone start a business or write a book or run for a political office.  Then, there’s Covid . . .

I know.  I know.  This sounds very stark.  Well, so be it.  I don’t want to feel responsible for not having told you.  I don’t want to pretend I didn’t see people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, never mind their 50s and 60s get dire diagnoses when I trained at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  I don’t want you to miss out by planning too far out.

Got a dream?  Get started actualizing it.  Now.  Stop denying the ravages of time.  Stop denying death.  Stop denying your destiny.  Embrace it.  Manifest it.

Power into 2021.

If you’re not sure what your greatest gift is or how you can make the most of it, then email me or call me, and we’ll team up to find out and roll it out.  Simple.

I’ve been accused of quoting Salinger too much, but I don’t think one can quote Salinger too much.  So, here are his words:

You’d better get busy, though, buddy. The goddamn sands run out on you every time you turn around. I know what I’m talking about. You’re lucky if you get time to sneeze in this goddamn phenomenal world. {…} I used to worry about that. I don’t worry about it very much any more. {…} I want an honorable goddamn skull when I’m dead, buddy. I hanker after an honorable goddamn skull . . .

I know what I’m talking about, too.  Get busy.

Dr. Keith Ablow

    

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Why Did it Take Me Six Decades?

Just a few days ago, I posted this quote on my Facebook page.  I believe it is from Carl Jung, but I can’t be certain.

This is perhaps the most frightening piece of surrender: the laying down of who we have constructed as ourselves in order to make space for who we truly are.

One of my Facebook friends commented, “Why did it take me six decades?”

And I replied, “Take heart.  It takes lots of people longer.”

That happens to be true.  I routinely work with people in their sixties (their seventh decade of life) to more fully embrace their core talents and more completely express their potential—in personal relationships, in their creative pursuits and in successfully pursuing financial success.  I have working with plenty of people in their 70s, too.  Not infrequently they, too, are discovering new parts of themselves—and, not infrequently, some of the most important parts of themselves.

Why is this?  Why do human beings not infrequently pose or posture as people other than who they truly are, sometimes for so long?

One reason is that few families are growing places that foster self-expression.  Most offer love conditioned on conforming to certain expectations—for example, the pursuit of particular kinds of success, the expression (or parroting) of certain beliefs or the embrace of specific values.

Another reason is that our society rewards some forms of self-expression more quickly or with far greater probability than others.  Becoming an artist or an entrepreneur, or a teacher, means accepting the reality that even moderate financial success may be elusive.  And saying what you really think about yourself or the world around you—when it doesn’t match up with the prevailing sentiments of one’s community—can expose a person to criticism and even contempt, instead of support and praise.

In short, we give up some or all of ourSELVES out of fear that we will be unloved or alone or come to some sort of harm.  But the trade is never worth it and never works.  Because nothing is more important than authenticity and nothing other than authenticity can stand the test of time.

Can it take most of a lifetime to recapture one’s authenticity?  Yes.  Is it always worth the effort?  Yes.  Is it ever too late?  No.  Not ever.

Dr. Keith Ablow

    

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REKINDLING YOUR CREATIVITY

This blog has a pretty simple premise:  People are often afraid of the creativity of others. Not infrequently, we’re also afraid of our own.  Why is that?  It’s because we aren’t the originators of the energy behind that creativity.  God (or the Universe, if you prefer) is.  And being the conduit for an infinite reservoir inexplicable, immeasurable creative energy can be anxiety-provoking.  We can fear being obliterated by the sheer force of it.

This is the same reason that adults often advise gifted children that their creative interests might make for fun hobbies, but aren’t the right way to spend a whole lot of their time. I think the adults feel their kids could be lost to those interests—absorbed by them.

I have helped hundreds of men and women who listened to adults when they were children and all-but-forgot very deep interests they had in painting, music, writing and many other forms of self-expression—including starting businesses (and, sometimes, groundbreaking ones).  Coaxed to share with me any beloved hobby they had as kids or any big dream, it’s not at all unusual for them to mention an art form, or an idea for an invention, or a goal to become the very best in the world at something very specific and then recall someone who advised them that they needed to be less obsessed with it—that being well-rounded was the key to a happy life.

How about you?  Did you have a passion as a child, adolescent or young adult that you shelved because someone told you it was taking up too much of your time, or that it was an unlikely way to make a living, or that you could use a part of it in service to a “real” career?  Did you get “serious” or get “practical” and leave a dream behind?

One of my clients was a very successful and very unhappy lawyer who recalled drawing houses and buildings as a junior high school student and loving it.  She was actually disciplined by more than one teacher for drawing during math and science classes.  And she forgot all about it, until we discussed interests she had left behind early in life.  Once she remembered it, though, she couldn’t quite get it out of her mind.  She took an architecture course at a local college and then decided to take the huge and life-affirming leap to get a degree in it. Today, she no longer practices law, instead designing and building magnificent homes.

Another client of mine—a car dealer—loved music as a boy.  He played more than one musical instrument.  But something about his love for music seemed to threaten his parents. Maybe, he wondered in adulthood, his parents were worried he loved the music more than he loved them.  They set rigid standards for his grades and, when he couldn’t meet those standards, they punished him by taking away his time to play music—his “hobby.”

My client didn’t stop working as a car dealer.  But he did rekindle his love for music by buying a guitar, taking guitar lessons and starting a band.  Summoning the memory of a deep interest of his from long ago that was resisted by others turned out to be a key to his creativity as an adult.

How about you?  Did someone talk you out of a creative passion when you were young?  If so, that may be a good hint that it’s worth revisiting.  Because it may well have been a genuine love of yours—and, therefore, a little scary (or more than a little scary) to those around you.

Dr. Keith Ablow

    

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Pain-2-Power and Romantic Love

Real love requires two authentic people who are genuine with one another.  People bond most deeply when each of them is open to expressing what has really happened in their lives and how it made them who they are today.

Unfortunately, human beings have a kind of emotional Achilles’ heel.  So many of us believe that we will be most lovable if we seem perfect.  And this includes loving ourselves.  So, we raise all kinds of shields against our internal truths.  We cover up what we really felt in our families of origin, our deepest fears, our greatest dreams, the moments in our childhoods that sent our souls soaring and others that left us saddened or saddled with self-doubt.

When you don’t know yourself, you can’t find your match.  You’re doing constant false advertising, so those who respond to you will either be people looking for something very different from the person you are inside, or they’ll be intent on hiding their true selves, too.

People connect more through what difficulties they have survived or continue to face as what achievements or hobbies they could list on a resume or a typical dating site.  Sure, there’s some amount of discomfort when you look back with clear vision at your life, but it’s much less intense than the great sense of self that will make you love yourself and be compelling to others looking for love.

One of my clients was a man named Colin who had been bullied as a child.  He was so intent on seeming tough and invulnerable as an adult, that he gravitated toward women who relied on him completely and who valued him for his physical strength.  But what he really needed was someone who could understand that his tough guy persona was just a shield, that he was a sensitive and loving and vulnerable person who had been chased into a suit of armor.

Once Colin was willing to think about being bullied as a kid and feel his anxiety about that period in his life, he started to open up about that pain with others, too, including women.  He began attracting women who were nurturing, as well as admiring of his strength.  And he found someone to truly love who didn’t expect him to keep wearing his suit of armor.

How about you?  What shields are you carrying that keep your true love from seeing you?  Isn’t it time to figure that out and then put those shields down?

Dr. Keith Ablow

    

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 Truth Triumphs ~ Kathi Fairbend, MS, RPT

Mark Twain said, “Tell the truth and then you don’t have to remember what you said.”  George Washington and Abraham Lincoln each told famous childhood tales about the importance of honesty. Truth, as a guide to life learned early in life, is freedom.

Truth is eternal, critical and consequential.  If one is spiritually inclined, God may be that person’s absolute path to real and consistent truth.

Mathematical tables are based on sets of facts or logic which reflect truth or fact.

Truth resonates with people.  The famous television show, “To Tell the Truth” showcased three people each stating identical facts about their lives.  The audience was tasked with deciphering which one was telling the truth.

Lack of specific facts opens the door not only to interpretation, but also to deceit, misinformation and manipulation.  When the truth is disregarded, human beings are, quite literally, disheartened.  They lose confidence in the world around them.

While those who lie do damage to those who are taken in by those lies or who live in a world partly shaped by those lies, the person delivering the untruth is harmed, as well.  That person knows, her core, that she is building on a shaky foundation.  Lies derail business and personal relationships.  I believe they are toxic enough to undermine psychological and physical health, as well.

Most individuals have been subjected to falsehoods at least once. This behavior from someone   personally close can be particularly damaging, hurtful and disruptive. The turmoil from deception and vague ambiguous half-truths can temporarily sidetrack one with sadness loss and grief.

The best path would seem to be gaining insight and seeking personal growth when exposed to untruths.  That can reverse the damage that would otherwise be done by the person telling the untruth.

Heath care providers have an ethical responsibility to be truthful and accurate with patients about their diagnoses and their prognoses and their progress toward health.  Only reality will do.  That’s why I have enjoyed my work as a physical therapist all these years.  I can’t use a falsehood to get someone truly well.  It just won’t work.  Only the truth will do.

Kathi Fairbend, MS, RPT

Author, Stand Up to Depression

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Becoming YourSELF Can Save Your Life

More than ever before, forces are aligned around us that threaten to deprive us of our autonomy.  These include the intrusion of technology which can encourage us to create fictional narratives suitable for easy posting on Facebook, government actions which seek to empower the state and disempower individuals, the urgings of those who suggest freezing in place (physically and psychologically) during COVID-19 and the ever-present threat of addiction to substances including alcohol and marijuana.

The impact of any one of these forces, let alone the collective impact of all of them together (and others), threatens our capacity to think and act independently.  But it also threatens our very lives.  The manipulation of the health care delivery system and the information streaming forth from it means—more than ever—that preserving your health requires assessing threats to it yourSELF, along with your trusted advisors.  The manipulation of the political system means—more than ever—that individuals who want to avoid needless wars and not be victimized by violent crime in their own neighborhoods must use their own resources to ensure their safety.  The manipulation of the economy and our currency means—more than ever—that individuals who want to preserve their wealth need to educate themselves about alternative assets.

Becoming yourSELF is the best antidote to all the threats around us—threats that could literally cost any one of us his or her life—because each of us has the capacity to reflect, to identify what seems to be most truthful and to act in accordance with that truth.  This capacity is the literal antidote to the economic, psychological, political and physical threats to our existence that now gather around us.

It is time to immunize yourself against this pandemic of disempowerment.  Working with me and Pain-2-Power is one way.  But whatever way you choose to begin . . . begin.

Dr. Keith Ablow

    

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Pain-2-Power and “The Law of Attraction”

At first blush, the principles of Pain-2-Power might seem to have little in common with “The Law of Attraction,” a theory made popular by the film and book called The Secret.  After all, Pain-2-Power primes a person to get to core level truths about the SELF, thereby unlocking massive untapped reservoirs of power.  It takes real work, not just wishing.

The idea behind The Secret is that what we think and feel has the power to attract real events into our lives.  Think positively and envision a powerful future, The Secret says, and it can be yours.

So is Pain-2-Power the opposite of The Secret?

It isn’t.  I, too, believe that thinking of (and planning for) a spectacular future can attract individuals and resources to you that help fulfill your dreams.  People have a sixth sense for how they can join you in your real hopes and dreams and be part of something positive that comes from your heart.  True creative energy is contagious that way.  The universe does respond to it.

But here’s the potential problem with “The Law of Attraction”:  Without an exploration of your past that frees you from negative patterns of thought and behavior, the self-fulfilling prophesies you create (no matter how much you say or wish otherwise) can be self-defeating.  That’s because we gravitate naturally toward flawed dynamics left over from earlier events in our lives, until we examine those events and become free to choose clearer paths in life.

The real secret to unlocking the magic of the Secret, is first becoming yourSELF.

You can wish for true love with all your heart.  But until you are willing to see why it alluded you in the past, you are still at risk to attract someone who can’t love with all his (or her) heart.  You can wish for financial success.  But until you are willing to examine the toxic lessons about money taught to you in your family of origin, riches will be elusive.  You can wish to lose weight or stop smoking or drinking.  But until you look back at the emotional roots of your dependency on food or tobacco or alcohol, you will find them tethering you to old habits.

Pain-2-Power is actually the key to using “The Law of Attraction” effectively.  It makes it possible to intend the best for yourself and project that intention clearly to others, to leave psychological orbits defined by the past and chart new journeys of self-discovery and self-actualization, to look to the future and see the new chapters of your life story clearly because they are not obscured by imperfect pages from the past.

We are as powerful to create the future as we are brave enough to face the past.  This is as true for individuals as it is for countries.  It is true for me, and it is true for you.

Dr. Keith Ablow

    

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