Category Archives: belief systems

Something Old – Something New

June is wedding season, so I thought I’d borrow an old adage in keeping with the times: Something Old – Something New.

“Something OLD” refers to a theme or message that I have shared for many years with my readers and my clients. It’s about belief systems and the various forms they can take in our lives. Often, we don’t realize that we are operating under unchecked belief systems as we make decisions or plans, but we are. It’s when we begin to raise our awareness to these ingrained patterns that we start to set ourselves free of the ones that are holding us back, and we align more deliberately with the ones that support who we are authentically.

Belief systems are not inherently bad. However, it’s the unexamined belief system that can be creating obstacles in your path without you realizing it. Last week, I explored one such belief system in a little bit more detail, which brings me to the “something new.”

“Something NEW” refers to a new format I am starting to embrace to help get my work more broadly into the world: video. Some of us learn better from reading, while others learn better from hearing or seeing, and I needed to honor this truth. I recently completed a marketing course, which I have referred to a couple times in recent weeks, in which I practiced the art of making video to share a message, idea, or topic. Trust me, this wasn’t easy for me – even though I was a drama major in college and spent most of my high school years on the stage. There’s something so immediate about video that makes it more intimate. So, it took some work for me to get to where I felt I was ready to show up and be seen in this manner. And I’m glad I did.

The feedback has already been overwhelmingly positive. Most importantly, I heard exactly what I knew to be true: for many people it was “so much easier” to grasp the concept from watching a 3- or 5-minute video, than it was to read a blog or a chapter in my book. Furthermore, several people told me that the teaching sunk in without them realizing it, as they suddenly discovered that they were more aware of their thought and belief patterns over the days following watching my video. This is the best result I could hope for.

So, with that, I share both of these first videos with you now. I will most definitely be making more, so stay tuned. And if you want to remain in the loop, you can catch all my videos on Facebook, with little snippets being posted on Instagram. And, if you click the “see first” option on my Facebook page you’ll know every time something new appears. Soon enough, I suspect I will set up a YouTube channel to manage all of this content. For now, however, I am keeping it simple.

As for the videos themselves, they’re all about the stories we tell ourselves, and how that can either be a cause for positive change, or a source of self-detrimental behavior. You can watch them here:

Stories: Part 1 (What Happens When We Make Up Stories – and we all do)

Stories: Part 2 (The Genesis of Story)

The Powerlessness of Living Outside Yourself

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
– Alice Walker

I came across this quote the other day, and it struck me with how simple it is. At first I wanted to disagree, because I was thinking that people mostly give up their power by having too many externalized hopes and expectations. They live outside of themselves, through others.

This is a common trait in codependency: you define yourself and your world through or in relation to someone else. Your identity is based on anything but you. It’s a very powerless place to be.

But then I re-read the quote again, and I realized the reason why I wanted to push back against it:

It scared me to believe that people truly don’t think they have any power to begin with.

Really? Is this the most common reason for powerlessness? If so, that’s a truly shudder-producing thought indeed, and it prompts me to wonder how someone could get from being a child who believes in superheroes and possibility to an adult who believes they are powerless and at the mercy or whim of their environment or situation. How is this possible?

And yet….

And yet, I see it every day. The quote is, sadly, true.

In my work I have met with countless clients who have shown up to our first session having no sense of their own innate presence, let alone power. Our journey together is about helping them to rediscover their joys, their voice, their passions, and their Self – which, frankly, can all be lumped into the word: Power.

Powerlessness is debilitating. Somewhere between five years of age (when we’re running around barefoot in the grass knowing without doubt that anything is possible and imagining a world in which we can be everything we know we are in our hearts) and 25 years of age (when we believe everything is limited by situation, environment and others) we have lost our Power. We have lost our sense of Self; we have lost our knowing.

Somewhere in our 30s or 40s (if we’re lucky) we stumble across a feeling that reminds us we are powerful, if even for a moment, and that creates a longing to remember the days of our youth. I think that’s why many people experience a “mid-life crisis.” We are trying to recapture the expansive nature of our childhood: our innate Power within.

So, what would happen if those who have forgotten their Power actually started to realize that it’s there inside them, within their reach?

I’d argue that we’d have a slight period of discomfort during the shift as we all adjust to a new, more natural, paradigm, followed by true peace, joy, harmony, and love.

Because our individual Power is not about power over others; it’s about living in alignment with who we are, with respect and regard for everyone else doing the same. Life is no longer lived in competition (a construct of living externally), but it is lived in mutual growth, understanding, and support.

We each have a unique role to play in this world. Though we may strive to “be like” so-and-so, at the end of the day, that’s not who we are. It would be better to be inspired by so-and-so, and live more fully as who we each are. That is the true goal of life: to realize who you are, and step into that more fully each day. That is the definition of Power.

The beautiful thing is: as we each begin to take steps toward this truth, we encourage and allow others to do the same. The ripple effect is vast. Through being in our own Power, we empower others to do the same. And… there’s nothing more powerful than that.

Manifesting…Powerful Tool? Or Gimmick?

There has been so much information shared about the power of manifestation in recent years that I thought I would toss my two cents into the ring. To begin with there is ‘The Secret’ – made popular by Oprah Winfrey, but there is also ‘Ask and it is Given’ by Esther and Jerry Hicks. These are the two mainstream works that come to mind when I think of manifestation – and there is a difference between them. While ‘The Secret’ focuses on the process by which you manifest things (mostly material things) into your life, ‘Ask and it is Given’ divides its focuses between the process and the allowing for the manifestation to occur. For that reason, I agree more with the latter. But, it’s still not enough. Why?

Because it all depends on your intention, actually. If the intention behind your manifesting is that of desperation and desire, there is an urgency in your thought process that carries with it a hint of self-defeating prophecy. It carries the energy of ‘lack.’ As a result, the Universe feels the ‘lack’ in your request and provides you with it. It’s like when someone says, “It’s just my luck.” Yes, it is – because you asked for it. Manifestation, in my opinion, is 50% asking, 50% allowing and 100% intention and purity of thought. Yes, I know that adds up to 200% – but bear with me.

The 100% I suggest simply implies that behind the asking and the allowing, you need to have purity of thought and intention. If you ask for something, but believe somewhere inside that it’s not yours to have, you’re not worthy, or it won’t happen – then there’s no point in asking. Likewise, if you ask for something with purity of intention, but in allowing it to come to fruition you sit in a place of skepticism and doubt – it won’t happen. That’s why, although it seems so easy, we have been somewhat misguided. Manifestation actually begins with modification: the modification of our thought patterns and belief systems.

So, my suggestion is to start small. Work with the idea of manifesting by choosing things in your life that you know (truly know) are possible and plausible. And allow the Universe to comply. Without the doubt, skepticism and negative beliefs, you will begin to see the power of this incredible tool. Then, gradually, as you believe, you will be able to manifest more and more into your life.

As a side note, tomorrow (Monday, August 9th) is a New Moon. It’s an opportunity for cleansing and creating. New beginnings are possible. Perhaps it’s time for a new belief system? Such as “I am worthy of all beauty, abundance and prosperity the Universe has to offer.” (And the Universe is limitless!)

Whatever you choose to do, the bottom line is: Intention Matters. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. It matters much more now than ever before as we enter into a new age. That also means that it’s more powerful than ever before. So, make the choice to live life from a place of love and compassion, from a place of selflessness and understanding, and from a place of abundance in all things; and the Universe will comply.

In Love and Light,

Martina

Insides and Outsides – Part 2 of 3

Last week we learned about how comparative thinking took root in our minds and developed into thought patterns and behaviors as children and teenagers – now we learn how it has played out in our decisions as young adults.

The story continues: Even though I was now seeing myself through another’s (more loving) eyes, instead of my own, it allowed me to get enough distance from the self-judgment. I started to realize that I really did have a lot more to offer. I started experimenting with my talents and gifts. I found that I had a gift for being a good friend, and listening to others. However, in order to please others and “be better” (judgment was still there), I carried it so far that I ended up sick. I still wasn’t listening to myself. I was seeing myself as others saw me, and I wanted to be what they saw. I wanted to embody what they needed or wanted. Again, I was living my life based on somebody else. This time, I was living my outsides, based on somebody else’s insides.

I think it’s at this point that we start to realize there’s something not quite right. Even though we can’t really pinpoint it – we know something is amiss. It’s also at this point where we start to experiment with who we are. Am I an actress? A businesswoman? A girlfriend? A friend? A daughter? A writer? A lawyer? Who am I? The identity questioning only gets compounded by the comparative thinking – but remember, this time, the roles have reversed. We are behaving more and more the way we think others want us to behave. So – naturally, our insides and outsides don’t sync up, and we slowly lose touch with our internal compass. Although we may no longer seem to have the low self-esteem we experienced in high school, we have a false self-esteem, generated by others’ perception of us, as we become what we think they want.

We spend much of our young adult life in this dance of becoming, reinventing, and becoming once more. Madonna mastered it. Nobody has reinvented herself more. The difference is, she was getting paid to do it – we’re not (well, most of us aren’t). So, where does that leave us? As young adults, on the heels of everything we’ve learned, we now spend our time walking through the revolving door of comparative thinking. Either we’re stuck in our old patterns of looking at others and comparing what we feel to what we see, or we’re stuck looking at others and comparing what they feel to what they see (or what we present). Did you follow that? Read it again. Now — can someone just stop the revolving door, for a minute?!?

Ahh. And that’s when it happens. We pause. We stop long enough to realize that this isn’t who we are, or what we are – it’s all based on forces beyond our control. It’s either based on somebody else, or something else. Sometimes awareness comes in the shape of illness, or tragedy. Other times it comes in the form of blessings and love. Either one is a gift – because both have given us enough time and space to become aware of our patterns of behavior and beliefs. And once we’re aware, we now have the ability to make changes. We’ll discuss those changes next week. For now:

THree THings

Body – Have you dressed a certain way, in order to please somebody else? Or kept your hair a certain way, or your body? Is it how YOU want to look? What changes would you make? Would you make any?

Mind – Using the above example, if you’re maintaining an image for someone other than yourself, what is that doing to your mind and your self-esteem? Are you being authentic and honoring who you are, by trying to be somebody you’re not?

Spirit – We can only do our best, every day. There is nothing more, and nothing less. When we are living authentically, we are doing our best – if we can be strong enough to honor that truth within us, we will stop the revolving door, and eventually remove it from our life. Can you imagine what that would be like? Just for a moment?

In Love and Light,

Martina