Drew Rozell, Ph.D. partners with a select number of dynamic individuals who understand the value of raising their level of awareness to deliberately create the coolest version of their lives.
“This stuff works”
Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. This is the view from our balcony. The volcano has its own weahter system — the clouds dance around it constantly. I could have sat and watched it all day…
As I type, the snow is falling outside my window. A harsh contrast from riding the seventy-five degree Pacific Ocean waves on a private beach in Costa Rica. Karin and I returned from our honeymoon earlier in the week. (You can read more about it and see some pictures in the post that follows this one). A bit strange to come back to snow and Christmas, but we’re adjusting and of course, no matter how great the vacation, it’s always nice to be home.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to offer your thoughts on my book title last month. There were some really great entries and a couple of the responses provoked me in a positive way. As a result, I came up with a new title and angle for the book. So, thank you! I will share more when a publisher says yes.
I hope you like the new format of the newsletter. I did my best to maintain the look and feel. Having it online makes it easier to distribute, allows you to comment (please do below!), expands possibilities (audio, video, etc.) and hopefully gets you in the habit of checking this blog!
Between marriage, launching the Very Cool Life Network last month, and my honeymoon, there’s been some big life events taking place lately. I am even in the process of revamping my Evolution Coaching site after a decade of serving me well. I think I’ll let the New Year roll around, then it’s time to get crankin’ again.
What’s coming up?
Many people who were unable to be a part of the VCLN group expressed a desire to be part of a community/discussion regarding the dynamics of living a very cool life. I love sharing what I know in this regard and will create such a group in January. We will meet over the phone, be very affordable, easy to join/leave, and open to all. Look for an announcement after the holidays. Perhaps I will see you there!
A quick note about coaching. I have two openings for January if this is the time for you to consciously upgrade your life. In my opinion, it’s always a good idea, but the timing has to be right for you to really benefit. If you’re feeling the pull of your desire to expand, contact me and let’s see if we can create something great together. If you check my new (and expanding) services page, you’ll get a sense of some of the options. Be conscious. Evolve. Upgrade. Improve.
I hope you enjoy this month’s feature on negotiating with yourself.
Okay, that’s enough for now… Time to put away the swimsuit and pull out the skis!
Wishing you and your family a fun and peaceful holiday…
P.S. I enjoy hearing your thoughts. Please share your comments below!
The lactic acid in my hamstring burns through my body, up to my brain. Inside my head, my thoughts speak.
“ENOUGH! THIS IS UNCOMFORTABLE. RELEASE FROM THIS STRETCH.”
At this moment, the trainer reminds me to clear my thoughts. Breathe, he says. Breathe deeper. Empty your mind. Hold the position.
I am in need of his coaching because the discomfort in my body is causing my attention to wander from my leg to my brain. I notice that inside my head, there’s a conversation taking place.
“Wow, this stretch is really uncomfortable.”
“Man, you got that right.”
“I’m just not as flexible as these folks on the screen.”
“Yeah, you’ve never been too flexible.”
The discomfort swells even further. The trainer says to hold the position for 10 more seconds.
“Hey, I’ve done pretty well here. At least I’m working out early in the morning. Most people are still in bed.”
“You are so right.”
And I release the stretch eight seconds before the trainer does.
“Better than not stretching at all,” my inner voice adds.
As I continue through my workout, the same conversation plays out and I usually fall short of my goal to keep up with the trainer.
A few days later, I was doing some movements with my Tai Chi instructor Rich. Rich was coaching me on getting deeper into my postures. Yes, this is where the discomfort lies, Rich said, but he added that with no discomfort, there was no benefit.
Rich continued speaking to me, sharing the lesson his master had shared with him.
“Stop negotiating with yourself,” he said. “When you negotiate with your thoughts, you begin to compromise.”
The meaning of his words took root as I was holding that stretch. Indeed, there was a conversation going on in my head. Back and forth. In fact, it was a negotiation between what I really wanted (to do the workout completely) and what I thought I could have (to do a good job “for me”). The more I paid attention, the more I saw the same pattern: As soon as the discomfort hit I went right to my head and the talks began.
The result of those negotiations was always the same: I settled for less than I really desired.
The fact is that when you engage in this sort of negotiation, you have invited your ego to sit at the head of the table. And when given attention, your ego is a powerful seducer. Keep in mind, your ego is not the real you; it is a collection of your beliefs and conditioning. Your ego represents who you have been. Your ego is not who you are or who you can be. Those definitions are determined in the now.
Far and away, the biggest challenge we have in creating the coolest version of our lives is allowing our desires to come into our experience. That seems odd, and it is. But indeed, it’s your old patterns of thinking that cut your deepest desires off at the knees. Those old patterns are your ego.
The stickiest thing about your ego is that unless you are actively looking to notice its influence on your life, it will remain and operate at an unconscious level. And you will continue to create in your life by default. You cannot change what you experience and create until you actively choose to become more aware in your life. Of course, much like working out to create a more flexible body, this will require your effort and attention. However, in my experience, the benefits far outweigh any perceived costs (and with time, the benefits are so great, the very notion of “costs” disappears.)
Shine the light of awareness on the places your ego has been blindly leading you. A good place to start is to begin to notice where you negotiate with yourself. Notice the conversations that take place in your head shortly after feeling the spark of desire arise within you.
“Oh, but I couldn’t afford that.”
“She’d never be interested in me.”
“Someday I’ll take that risk.”
I still find those hamstring stretches difficult. I do not always hold the pose for as long as the trainer. But by noticing the voices that play in the old tapes, I am able to shift my attention away from those thoughts and onto my desire. My results are much better.
In creating your life, remember the old saying, “You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.”
Perhaps another way to put it is that you deserve to stop negotiating with yourself.
|Marley and Me by John Grogan
When you’re at the airport in Costa Rica and you’re not in the mood for a Stephen King book, Marley and Me stands out. Especially if you love dogs and there’s an oohh-so-cute blonde lab puppy on the cover. This book sold over 3 million copies and it made for decent enough reading on the plane. However, I’m not sure any of it will stay with me beyond a week and I could not shake the feeling I had read a better version of this story many times over. C
|Ballad of the Whiskey Robber by Julian Rubinstein
This one jumped up at me in the Vermont bookstore. It sat around for a few months before I threw it into my bag for vacation. The subtitle is: A true story of bank heists, ice hockey, Transylvanian pelt smuggling, moonlighting detectives, and broken hearts. That hooked me and the book lived up to the billing. A-
MOVIES (I need a good comedy!)
|The Last King of Scotland – Solid performance by Forrest Whittaker and good story. Heavy on the violence though. B|
|Blood Diamond – Leonardo Dicaprio and Djimon Hounsou deliver some good acting as lives collide in the pursuit of a diamond. Will make you ponder the rocks women wear on their fingers. Violent, but it is called Blood Diamond! B|
|City of God – Heard some good things about this and the Netflix computer recommended it to me based on my previous rentals. Decent story but heavy on the violence for me. B|
RANDOM NEURAL FIRINGS
|I really need to learn to speak Spanish.|
|I’ve about had it with SPAM. Thinking about moving to Gmail. If anyone uses Gmail for mutiple business accounts, (you have multiple professional e-mails and domain) I’d love to hear your experience.|
|Like coffee? Try this… Make your coffee. Add a teaspoon of pure cocoa — the good stuff, not Hersheys. Add a teaspoon of Grade B maple syrup. It may sound funky, but it is both delicious and good for you. Honest. Regular coffee will not cut it anymore!
Th-th-that’s all folks! Check this page for updates throughout the month! Scroll down for more!
ISSN: #1530-3101 Library Of Congress, Washington D.C., USA
© Copyright 2007 by Drew Rozell, Ph.D. – All Rights Reserved