I derived The Giving Formula™ after decades of work in the field of fundraising and philanthropy combined with coaching people to deep self-exploration of values and actively seeking purpose. It is in the giving that we receive, and it is in the getting outside of ourselves that we create legacies to be remembered.
Don’t ask yourself ‘What if I fail?’ Ask yourself ‘What if I succeed?!’ What then?
Two words can change your life. If you seek change, if you desperately want something different, I encourage you to realize the power of a Power Phrase. For years, I was desperately seeking something in my marriage. I thought I could explain it in words. But in the end, and after much work, I realized that what I wanted was to feel something. I had put the responsibility of this in my husband's hands. I saw myself through his eyes and I experienced life in the way that I thought he experienced life [I was wrong]. I took a long journey to move towards ‘Being’- for myself, by myself, with myself; getting quiet and going in. I found and accepted my responsibility for my own life. And, surprise! I found and felt more control!
Over the years, I lapsed periodically. One of these times ended up in a bad fight with my husband after which I told him-again-we needed to go to counseling [something he had always refused]. Shockingly, he agreed. His soul, too, must have been yearning to feel better with me, no? I was the one who took responsibility to figure it out. The old me would have spent time resenting that. The new me was filled with gratitude that we were going.
Two busy professionals, I couldn't find a good time. I got creative and looked for marriage counseling retreats. I found one on karma sutra, but he wasn't exactly comfortable with that! I continued to search. And I found a Gottman weekend retreat. I knew this was exactly right because Dr. John Gottman's book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, had already played a role in my personal transformation regarding our marriage. Magically, we were both available for that weekend. The short story was that we arrived with open hearts, both ready to commit and do the work to feel better together. It became clear that we were already Masters in our relationship and that we were doing just fine. It was all quite remarkable. But there was one key lesson I still use to this day, the Power Phrase ‘Turn Towards.’ If you're feeling badly about something with your mate or anyone, try opening your heart and turning towards him or her. That's all, the simplest thing in the world: “Turn towards instead of away.”
Here are the elements that I’ve added to turn these words into a power phrase: come to conscious awareness of your thoughts, ask yourself “How do I want to feel right now?”, breathe, open your heart, take responsibility for your feelings...for who you want to be and how you want to be. Then, Turn Towards your mate [or whomever you want to love].
Can you apply this? Mostly our hearts are closed through busyness, anger, resentment, sadness, loneliness, anxiety or fear. Take responsibility, open your heart and Turn Towards the person you want to love.
What is it that is on your mind that you want, want to have, or want to do?
Whatever it is, are you ready for it? Are you ready to receive it, to accomplish it, to feel it, to see it? Or, are you only seeing it as a wish or a dream? Something that you ‘would love’ or ‘would do if you won the lottery,’ or ‘only happens for others, but not me’? If this is the case, I encourage you to imagine the possibilities.
Imagine the possibility that the thing in your mind could happen...for you. Just imagine. It’s possible, it’s possible; yes, it’s possible. I know this because it happened to me. When I went from needing to have it all right now, to figuring out what was truly important and letting go of the other [expectations of self that were imprinted from legacy, society or anyone else at all], plus allowing time to be my friend [instead of my imposing/pending enemy], and then bringing structure to my desire, things started happening that were exactly as I had dreamed or imagined.
Often, we imagine things to be impossible because we have not brought structure to the thought, and whatever it is, we want it all and we want it now. If you open your mind to the possibility that this ‘thing’ could be yours if you plan for it, incrementally, over time, then you can have it/achieve it/do it.
If, with intention and commitment, you move the idea from dream to possibility, what might that look like, what would it take? Exactly, precisely, what structure and what steps would it take for you to achieve the dream if you planned for it? If you were highly intent on running a race, would you simply show up on race day and expect to be in the best shape?
Not likely. You would plan for a course of training over a period of time to make sure your body was in shape, and your stamina was high enough to compete. If you were entering a cooking contest, would you show up without the exact right ingredients, having tested and tried the recipe repeatedly?
Adopt this mindset! Look that thing you want straight in the eye and imagine it in hi-resolution. When you do this, you may realize that you should ‘be careful what you wish for!’ Or, you may affirm to yourself, “I want that.” And, set an intention, commit to it, make a plan and practice/train/re-imagine on the way to achieving or obtaining this thing.
Finally, be sure that you see what is right in front of you! You may not even realize that parts or pieces are falling into place in front of your eyes! One day, as happened to me, you’ll be launching your signature workshop in Sedona, Arizona!
Is your way the ‘right’ way?
Could it be there is more than one way?
Could it be that my way is good for me, your way is good for you, and her way is good for her?
Is it possible that ‘ways’ can ebb and flow, weave and bob, and all be ‘right’?
Traveling can open your eyes to the ways of others. But what if you can’t travel? [I can’t afford it, I don’t have time; I don’t have child/pet-care; my job/charity/parents need me]
Then find ways right where you are. Look for people who are different, they may look different, eat/pray/love differently, even think different thoughts; they are there, right beside you.
Why is this important? …To open your heart to the ways of others.
We must. We are living evolution. We are in it. We are it. It is happening. It is now.
The entire universe at your fingertips; life evolving in microscopic moments. Yet, our hearts remain closed; secure in the “I/Me/Mine.”
What if we open our eyes/ears/hearts to the possibility that there are many ways?
Will I become diluted? Will I drown? Will I get lost? You don’t have to. Go ahead—be sure, be secure in your way. And…
Realize that if you don’t ‘open,’ then you will close-up/close-in, shrivel and die [mentally, spiritually, emotionally].
Open your mind & heart to the possibility of ‘other’ and you will grow more worldly, breathe easier, love heartier and live a more expansive existence. Don’t be afraid. Grow.
Do you feel comfortable in your own skin, in your own mind? Your time is now! Get comfortable, get confident, come into your own!