What is True vs. Truth?

The Heart Knows the Truth

As a person who has been involved in self-help, personal and professional development for decades, I like to experiment on myself and see how it turns out. The time frame was 21 days; some say you need three weeks to change a habit, behavior, or be on the path to learn something new. The experiment: Connect with your heart every morning by placing your hand over your heart and asking, ‘What would you like me to know now?” During the day, be mindful of the given message. At the end of the day, reflect whether it was true or not. The hypothesis was to determine whether it’s your heart or intuition speaking to you or your ego. I’ll highlight the most profound experiences I had for the purpose of brevity.

Day 2:  Go forth with love. (messages in italics) I decided to donate 90% of royalties earned from my trade book Mindful Communications to New York’s City Meals on Wheels in honor of my late, paternal Grandmother who volunteered a lot of her time with this nonprofit.

Day 3:  Self-compassion. My inner critic was being mean to me telling me I had made a stupid decision with a business venture that flopped. Self-compassion made me cry releasing the pain caused by the inner critic. I reflected there is relatively no right or wrong only learning experiences on our journey in life.

Day 9:  Steady progress. It’s about the journey. Patience with the journey, not the destination. I can be very impatient so this is a continuous life lesson. Patience is about observing what’s emerging for you while making steady progress, being assertive when it’s time to step up. We are both creator and observer on our journeys. I don’t remember the source but I came across this question once, “What’s true vs. truth?” True is the ego talking and Truth the Soul. Hence, Truth Knows=Soul knows the Truth.  This is one way how to discern whether your Ego or your Soul or Heart is speaking to you.

Day 12:  It’s okay to have pauses, rest, rejuvenate. Downtime prepares me for the times when my life takes off so I have energy rather than feeling depleted when it’s most important to have the energy! As an entrepreneur, I sometimes feel the need to be in overdrive so this is a nice reminder for self-care and soul-care.

Day 16:  Joy! My Ego interrupted, “Joy? You gotta be kiddin’. I haven’t experienced true joy in a long time.” My heart and soul responded, “Joy, I allow myself to receive Joy today.” I witnessed a battle between my Ego and my Heart and Soul. I was curious how Joy would unfold in my life that day. As it turned out, a friend from out of town delightfully surprised me with a visit, I had an enlightening chat with a female CEO of a very successful tech company, and I learned my family would get together for my upcoming visit to my Mother’s—a rare occurrence. Oftentimes, it’s the simple things in life that bring tremendous joy like friendship, comradery in the workplace, and harmonious family relationships when it matters most. My heart and soul spoke the Truth!

Day 21:  Trust your Intuition. An appropriate end to my 21-day experiment connecting with my heart to listen to its message, being mindful throughout the day regarding the message, then reflecting upon the day’s message and day’s events to determine whether it was true or the truth.

It’s a fun experiment, doesn’t take a lot of time—a few minutes in the morning, checking-in during the day, then a few minutes in the evening for reflection. I encourage you to embark on this experiment and learn something new about yourself. It’s worth the 21-day commitment. Remember, we are both creators and observers in life!

Originally published on Thrive Global, August 3, 2018

New Year's Eve Reflection

May 2018 Exceed Your Expectations!

What does the tradition of celebrating New Year's Eve mean to you?

Upon reflection, for me, it's about letting go of what's no longer needed, being grateful for all the wonderful people in my life, celebrating my successes big and small, getting rid of clutter physically and metaphorically that allows space for new meaningful ideas, projects, and activities in alliance with my values. In essence, the new year is opening me up to explore and expand my life, mind and world!

What's your new year's reflection?

The Issue Behind the Issue

First published on HuffPost, December 2, 2017. Published again on Thrive Global, March 9, 2018 under the title "Inner Mastery/Outer Impact".

The “issue behind the issue” is breaking the habit of being yourself (Dr. Joe Dispenza), discovering your “who” (inner mastery) to create high impact in your external environment. It takes time and commitment to change our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It takes courage to surrender to the unknown and let go of the need to be in control of one’s environment. It takes practice and experiences to reorganize the neural pathways in our brains to be in alignment with the idealized self, i.e., proven by the science called neuroplasticity.

It's normal to think “in the box” because we’re attached to our conditions in life, neuro-chemically and psychologically. It’s time to be aware and witness these conditions and begin the process to think “outside of the box”. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, open, and dream of that greater you and step into it, step by step, like Gandhi, Churchill, and Mother Teresa have done. They had a vision and kept going regardless of the many roadblocks and curve balls thrown at them. Dreams can be achieved when your inner and external environment no longer hold you back.

Practice breaks the habit of being your old self and opens you up to positive change towards becoming the new you, unfolding that new chapter in your life. Although it’s helpful to understand your past and heal your stories, it’s time to rewire and transform your brain into a new map of your desired future. The future you that you want to become—to achieve inner mastery for high outer impact which is in essence the meaning of getting to the “issue behind the issue”. 

One of my roadblocks was not wanting to be in the spotlight, center stage, the center of attention. The “issue behind the issue” links psychologically to a childhood story—better to be seen and not heard, keep quiet, remain behind the scenes. I’m sure many of us grew up in households whereby our parents meant well as they wanted us all to behave well. The “issue behind the issue” is like peeling off the layers of an onion. That was the first layer.

The second layer related to my Mother’s competitive nature with me while growing up. My teenage story concerned me not shining or expressing my voice because when I did, my Mother would withhold her love for me because she had to be the center of attention. After years of psychotherapy, self-help, and coaching, I have uncovered this story and have healed it. Most everyone thinks my Mother is a nice lady and she did the best with what she knew on how to raise children. I honor my Mother’s presence in this world.

Digging deeper, the third layer is fear of authentically expressing my voice because of being hurt by criticism and judgement by others but this can be rectified with my new story to not take things personally. At a Hay House Writer’s Workshop in Bristol, England, CEO Reid Tracy, mentioned that there will always be people who criticize you and they’re in the minority. Most people give good reviews. The message is to focus on the positive and discern what is considered constructive criticism and take it into account.

Personally and professionally, there may be more layers to uncover but I’m ready to enter the new chapter of my life with a stronger voice.

That was the threshold I crossed at Dr. David Drake’s three-day retreat “Crossing Your Next Threshold” in New York City that I co-organized as Team Leader as well as having facilitated one group session. Through experiential learning, my brain became rewired to accept being in the spotlight with authentic self-expression. As a coach, trainer, facilitator, leader, and writer, one has to be center stage for awhile until it’s time to co-lead or co-create with others. Hence, I shall continue practicing leading self, leading others, and leading communities with authenticity, humility, nonjudgment, loving kindness, mindfulness, and compassion learned from my chosen role models. After all, life is an interactive journey.

Now, I’m exploring my new map of my desired present and future, although most of it remains unknown. I’ve taken the leap with faith and trust.

What’s your “issue behind the issue”?