Acceptance or Denial? 5 Ways to Cooperate with the Universe (Read Time: 3 min.)

School 10Have you ever found yourself in a situation, circumstance, or experience that you absolutely did not want, wishing you could be in any other circumstance but THIS, feeling angry, frustrated, bitter and stuck because the hand life dealt you is not the hand you expected to receive?

Have you ever found yourself in a place where you thought, “If only I work hard enough, long enough, and I’m good enough, I will turn this situation around” only to  have things NOT go the way you planned?

Have you ever created a plan that, in time, made God laugh?

I think we all have.  James Allen has said, “Circumstances do not make the man; they reveal him to himself.”  Although the statement is true, when you’re in a circumstance you didn’t choose and you certainly don’t want, the truth of that statement falls on deaf ears.  But, at some point, when you’ve had enough experiences where you rail and kick and decide to become Manager of the Universe (only to figure out that it’s not your role and you need to hand it back), you begin to see that the amount of energy expended fighting life could be better used flowing with it.

For women breadwinners, this can be especially frustrating because we’re used to being in the driver’s seat, used to being on top, making things happen, and taking names as we rush on to the next big project or pursuit.  There’s a reputation that goes along with being SuperWoman but even SuperWoman has help.  When you find yourself in a situation that is less than desired, a circumstance that came at an amazingly incovenient time, you have two choices:

1) Accept it.

2) Deny it.

If you deny the situation, you do one of two things:

1) Pretend it’s not happening

2) Downplay the extent to which it is.

If you accept the situaiton, you do one of two things:

1) Decide EARLY what the situation means (positive) and

2) Decide quickly what the experience has come to teach you.

In denial, there’s defense.  In acceptance, there’s freedom. 

But how do you get from denial to acceptance, especially when the situation you’re fracing seems completely devoid of any possibility for a WIN?

Simple (but not easy):

Cooperate with the Universe.

What does that mean?

In the words of William James, “Be willing to have it so… Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.”

Yeah, so… get over the shock, embrace the new normal, choose an empowering meaning, stick to THAT meaning, get the lesson, and make a different choice next time.

Easier said than done?  Yes.

So here are 5 practical ways to cooperate with the Universe:

  1. Do ALL you can about what you can.
  2. If there’s NOTHING you can do about it, stop worrying about it.  Your worry won’t wave any magic wands.
  3. Bend with the inevitable rather than break under it.
  4. Trust that the process of life works FOR you, not against you.
  5. Absorb shocks as they come rather than feeling them before they even hit (i.e. get rid of the “waiting for the other shoe to drop” mentality; you’ll have enough to deal with IF it does hit; no need for advanced experience of things that haven’t happened yet).

Remember one final thing:

When you REALLY, REALLY want something, the Universe does conspire in your favor BUT REALLY wanting something also means, on some level, you truly believe you can have it. 

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What Self Doubt REALLY Means (Read Time: 4 min.)

woman 1Over the next 3 posts, I’m going to dive into some woman breadwinner psychology, namely the psychology of self-confidence.  When a woman leads her life from a place of overachievement, perfectionism, and meticulous attention to follow through and performance, it can seem like this woman has AMAZING levels of self esteem and self confidence.  To everyone who knows her, she’s a rock star.  She underpromises and overdelivers.  She multi-tasks to no end.  There’s seemingly no problem she can’t solve and no issue she can’t handle.  To the outside world, the woman breadwinner is a force to reckoned with.  But, far too often, what appears to be solid on the outside can be crumbling on the inside.  And no where is this more prevalent than in the woman breadwinner who conquers it all but, deep down, wishes she didn’t have to.

Being the person who is predominantly responsible for major life choices (finances, child rearing, buying a home, a car, moving, professional advancement) is tough no matter what gender you are.  For women breadwinners, it’s compounded by the fact that she lives in a world where people still believe that men ought to do what she does, where she may believe that she “should” have the right to not be in this role the moment she doesn’t want to (i.e. when she has a baby and would rather stay at home for a while or is fed up with the bureaucratic non-sense in her work environment and would like to take six months off to write and paint or pursue a life dream but can’t because she’s the one maintaining the family livelihood), and the guilt that comes with trying to do so much but knowing that somewhere along the way, some part of life will get less of her than she would like.  It all boils down to ovewhelm.

So what happens?

Well, the woman breadwinner gets frustrated, angry, resentful, and begins to question why she isn’t receiving MORE help, MORE support, why she’s even in a place where she feels stuck in a role that other people have gotten completely accustomed to her doing.  But, what’s interesting about women breadwinners who find themselves in this “stuck” place, is not where they are but the root of why they are there.  It’s not because their husbands aren’t breadwinners or more supportive or because they have a lifestyle that can’t be downsized to accommodate desired changes.  When we’re blaming others for our unhappiness, we think it’s about the money and the bills.  We complain about it being because we’re not getting enough help.  We nag and whine and throw pity parties because we believe we’re stuck in this position when that’s not the truth at all.

The truth is this: when a woman breadwinner feels stuck in her life and abandoned by her inner circle, she’s not angry because other people aren’t doing enough.  She’s worried because, deep down, she believes that she isn’t ENOUGH…

For the woman who’s used to overachieving and excelling far beyond most people she knows, there’s always an inkling of fear that says, “How long will you be able to keep this up?” or “What would happen if you couldn’t keep this up?” or “Who would do this if you weren’t here?”  That fear drives her frustration.  It builds the illusion that she’s stuck being the workhorse in her family and the indentured servant to her lifestyle because she falsely believes, in the presence of this fear, that if she were no longer DOING, she would no longer BE the powerful woman she is.  And that simply is a LIE…

You see, a woman breadwinner standing in her own divine feminine power will hear that voice of fear and will respond back with one simple statement:

“Let’s examine my record.”

She’ll trace back to every problem she’s ever faced and conquered, every situation where she was backed into a corner and had to fight her way out, every dark night of the soul where she cried and prayed and still got up the next morning grateful to be alive.  In that moment, as she reviews every miracle of her history, she will be reminded of the blessing of every fiber of her being and she will announce to the world what truly is the key to her success: Every single step of the way, God was with her.

The divinely powerful woman breadwinner reminds herself often that nothing she accomplished was done on her own, with human hands and a human heart.  EVERYTHING she attained, she was brought to through seen and unseen forces.  She ushered in her blessings by openly using her talents.  She walked through the darkness of places she did not know and could not see a way out of and, every time, God brought her through.  She didn’t buy into being lost or wounded because she knew that every experience of her life was on purpose and in the moment that she is reminded how divinely powerful the process of life is, she breathes, she laughs, and she steps out of the place she once called stuck because she now remembers that her power doesn’t stem from what she does but from who she is and WHOSE she is.

FINAL POINT:

Don’t worry about being stuck.  Don’t focus on the fear.  Remind yourself that who you are IS ENOUGH.  Whatever comes, you can handle it.