The Kickboxing Bag

The following share comes from Mindset Mastery Program Honors Graduate Laura Da Silva, who writes:

“At the end of 2017 I became interested in learning kickboxing (it was like my body was “craving” it). So for Christmas my husband, Laerte Da Silva, got me 10 classes at a local kickboxing gym. I loved it! I loved the results!

“But I wasn’t impressed with the monthly price, so I decided I wanted to get a kickboxing bag so I could do it at home! In the meantime I continued to kickbox with just my gloves as I kept thinking how great it would be to have a bag.

“A few months later I wrote the following statement:

“‘I am so happy and grateful now that I have a kickboxing bag that is 69 inches tall (the one in the picture has 4 height levels to choose from!) and 18 inches in diameter. It cost $50. It is a free standing bag that is easy to fill with either sand or water. it has a vinyl cover and is made of high density foam, making it strong and durable. It is black and goes from the base up. I enjoy using it to strengthen my body. It is also a great way to release any negative emotions. I love using it, as I continue to love kickboxing.’

[An bag like this generally sells for $140-$300]

“Within a week my husband found one as described, and brought it home to me! So excited!”

Congratulations, Laura!

Laura da Silva owns a mental health clinic in Riverton, Utah called Lighthouse Counseling Services. She is the author of 3 articles: “Parenting – A Sacrifice Well-worth It,” “Battling on the Frontlines of Life”, and “Keeping the Flame of Motivation Alive”. She is also the author of 3 children’s self-help books: “When I feel Sad,” “When I Feel Mad,” and “When I Feel Scared.” In her practice, the laws of the Universe are practiced and taught. She also runs a family therapy retreat, twice a year, in Heber, Utah for families who are struggling with communication and unity. You can learn more about her services at: www.LighthouseMHCounseling.com

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How to make changes that really last

My thoughts today are on the topic of change. How to change. Why we don’t change. How to make changes that really last. Let’s explore this, shall we?

Years ago, I learned in a science class that all living things are impelled toward growth. That’s one indicator that a thing can be classified as “living”. I think deep down we all want to grow, and change, and improve different aspects of our lives – even when we are content – because a desire for growth is part of our nature as a living thing.

But change can be hard, because of…

Programs

Programs, like software on a computer, run in the background of our minds. They carry out instructions, like the programs that run self-driving cars. But most of the time, these programs running silently 24/7 are leading us to places we really don’t want to go. They aren’t fundamentally nefarious, they just do what they’re designed to do: to help us live into the images in our minds, to which WE have given the most intense energy.

That can be a problem if we’ve spent a lot of time worrying about failure, or fearing rejection, because programs dutifully steer us subconsciously to behave in ways that deliver those outcomes. We have programmed our minds through repetition and thoughts charged with (positive or negative) emotion.

But there are also programs that were established long before we were old enough to know good from bad, right from wrong. Many of these early-established programs are some of the worst kind. If we don’t identify, uninstall, quarantine, or replace these faulty programs, our destination in life will likely be a terrible disappointment.

There are programs on our mental hard drive that were uploaded by outside influences, too, and we have accepted them. Each program, when certain data input is received, directs us to think a certain way about it. That way of thinking shapes our behaviors, and our resulting circumstances are a natural byproduct of those behaviors, and the programs that shaped them.

So if we want to change our behaviors or our circumstances, we must begin with taking an inventory of, and making necessary upgrades, to our mental software.

As a marvelous computer – the most marvelous computer ever designed – your mind began receiving data input even before you were born. As you grew and continued to gather data, you didn’t know that you could choose how to think about what took place. When you didn’t know how to think about something that happened to you, you looked to your parents or other trusted models, to adopt thinking habits that helped you fit comfortably into the world in which you were born.

  • If they hated money, you learned to hate money.
  • If they worried about having enough, you learned to worry about having enough.
  • If they got angry when things didn’t go well, you learned to get angry when things don’t go well.

It’s not their fault, and it’s not your fault; we’re all just doing the best we can to cope with life’s challenges the best way we know how. But regardless of your upbringing, the good news is that there is good to be gleaned from every kind of family environment, positive or negative. Once you discover your power to choose, your background or upbringing is no longer a determining factor in your success.

It’s time to realize that how we think is truly and ultimately our choice.

So even though our results have been a direct outcome of the way our mind processed the input it received previously (ie. our experiences, conversations, media), we can begin right now to override any program that holds us back.

It begins with understanding the process. It goes like this:

data comes in -> programs run -> triggers are tripped -> we react to the triggers -> we experience results

  • Data = experiences, words we hear, other people’s behaviors, health conditions, checkbook balance, anything that can be perceived with our 5 senses.
  • Programs = long-established thought patterns, or behavior conditioning,
  • Triggers = an event that bugs, offends, angers, hurts, or disappoints you.

When data comes into your mind through your five senses (ie. you see a late bill, you hear your spouse criticize you, you feel your muffin-top press into your waistband), there are programs in your sub-conscious mind that are already running. And if the data input matches the memory of an experience already lived, a program kicks in and throws back the trigger to initiate a similar response to the one you experienced the first time. Not because it’s the best response, but because it is familiar, and therefore “safe”.

(After all, you didn’t die the first time, so subconsciously, it’s a safer bet than any other potential response, which – you never know – could be fatal! Or so it thinks.)

To get better results, we have some options. We can either:

  1. Control the data input
  2. Respond differently to our triggers, or
  3. Change our programs.

But no matter how hard we try, we can’t always control the data input. All we can control is our response to that data. But it isn’t easy to control our response when it’s initiated by a trigger thrown up by one of our long-established programs. Our reactions are often habitual, on auto-pilot, like a self-driving car that keeps going straight, even when we really want to take the next exit.

So if we can’t effectively change the data input, and if we’re not super good at choosing better responses to our triggers, that leaves programs.

As we change our programs, it no longer matters what the data input will be. It no longer matters what our triggers have been. It’s the source point where we reclaim our power, our agency. And changing our programs has a direct effect on our results, putting us squarely back in the drivers seat with full navigational control of our life.

So ask yourself this:

  • How long have I been struggling with my relationships?
  • How long have I dealt with financial issues?
  • How long have I been feeling that way about myself?
  • How long have I been addicted to _________?

With programs constantly running in the sub-conscious mind, repeated results are sadly predictable.

Would you like something to change?

I promise you this:

When a better internal program has been uploaded, better results come naturally. With better programs running, you’ll be astounded at how people’s responses to you improve. Improved health habits will feel like a natural part of you. The money will start to flow in faster than you spend it. It can all happen naturally, as you begin to improve the way you think, because of Universal Law which cannot err.

Are you 100% excited about your life just the way it is?

If not, if there are some changes you’d like to see in your environment/relationships/checkbook/health, then you no longer need to get frustrated about trying to make changes that just don’t stick. Your mind is the greatest computer ever created, and the only thing that needs to change are the programs you allow it to run.

What programs are running now?

If you’re always strapped for time or money, then you may have a sub-conscious program making sure that never changes. That is your ‘truth’ about life. To you, that is just the way life is. A new truth will never take hold until your mind has been scanned for the ‘virus’ that infected your belief system. You’ve got to turn it off, uninstall it, or at least quarantine it. And then most importantly, turn on a program that supports the truth you choose: I have all that I need. I have plenty of time and money to do all that God put me here to do.

No matter how successful you are, check for programs that aren’t serving you.

I thought I had life pretty well figured out. After learning the principles and applying them consciously for about 6 years, I was happy with my results. I felt like I had all the understanding and tools I needed to make other changes, as I continued to discover areas where I could improve. However, a trusted mentor talked me into attending another training, where I discovered one major program that was running my life, which had not been noticed on anything more than a superficial level.

So, even though I was feeling pleased with my results, my mind opened up to see a way in which it could be infinitely better, as I consciously recognized the program, and took care of it the way I was taught. As the old saying goes: Pigs don’t know pigs stink. Sometimes we have to submit ourselves to an experience before we will recognize additional areas where we can improve. The rewards for this kind of continued self-exploration are amazing.

So I’d like to invite you to attend a seminar that will help you do just that. It costs $1000.

 

 

 

 

bam –

 

 

 

Bam –

 

 

 

BAM!

 

 

 

Did you recognize any of your programs firing away when you saw the price: $1000?

Maybe a program said:

  • ‘I can’t afford that, no matter how good it is.’ Or…
  • ‘What a scam.’ Or…
  • ‘She’s just trying to make a buck off of me.’ Or…
  • ‘Pshh. That’s nothing.’ Or…
  • ‘I’d have to go into debt if I did that.’ Or…
  • ‘No seminar could be worth that kind of money.’

Did any of these pop up for you? Or did it trigger a different thought altogether?

Maybe it said:

  • Wow, sounds powerful. I’m going to find a way to be there. There’s got to be a way.

I challenge you to take a look at how you responded to the simple data input: the program costs $1000.

Can you think back to what happened in your life to create the program that fired when you saw the price?

If you don’t remember, you could probably find out, if you allow yourself to experience a(nother) life-changing event or training.

Did you notice the response that said, ‘Pshh. That’s a drop in the bucket’? There are actually people who think that way, and who would refuse to go, because if it’s that cheap, it must not be very valuable.

Isn’t it interesting how one statement – one bit of data input – triggers a different program in every individual who sees it. The data itself is just dots on a paper, and has no inherent meaning, until you assign meaning to it. But most of the time we don’t realize that we’re the ones who assigned meaning. It was so automatic, so quick.

Side note:

Be careful not to judge a person’s thinking by their outward circumstances

Even if a person is not wealthy, having a healthy wealth-consciousness will put him or her in a state, which, like a magnet, will attract to them every event, person, and circumstance they will need for it to eventually come true in real life. It’s not where you are that matters, it’s where you’re pointed, and the way you think determines the direction you’re going.

So don’t be automatically impressed by a person who appears to have it all. You don’t know how they think, or whether they might be pointed toward disaster. By the same token, don’t be automatically unimpressed by a person who appears to have nothing. They may be pointed in a very admirable direction, poised to enjoy greater success than the one who currently appears to have it all.

I challenge YOU to behave as though you already have the quality you want. Think: how would a wise and wealthy person respond to an opportunity to learn something new?

When people think, ‘I can’t afford that,’ they’ve already shut down the part of them that picks up on the idea (which does exist) that allows them to invest in themselves without jeopardizing other financial obligations.

If you thought, ‘I’d have to go into debt for that,’ then although you may attend the event, you’ll predictably incur debt to do it. Did you know that it doesn’t have to be that way? Don’t tell me you’re on a fixed income. That’s an excuse. You can attend it, even if you don’t have the money right now, and you could attend it by going into debt, but you don’t have to. You can do it even without going into debt.

“But where will the money come from??”

Wherever it is NOW.  Don’t shut out the solution simply by deciding there isn’t one!

Instead of freaking out that you don’t have $1000 for a seminar that will help you change your life, take a deep breath and see yourself feeling the joy and experiencing major breakthroughs, and you will put your mind in tune with the ‘way’ to get yourself there, if you’ll relax and allow yourself to move forward ‘as though’. Make the commitment to be there. Expect to find a way. Don’t wait until all the lights are green before you pull out of your driveway. You’ll hit some red lights, but don’t stay home just because of a few red lights. Your solution already exists, and you’ll likely find it at the end of the things you can do right now.

The person who hopes for, and expects to find a way is the one who finds the way. People who allow the program ‘I can’t afford it’ to determine their behavior are the people who remain trapped.

Now I know, I know. A seminar won’t change your life; you will. But a seminar can provide you with the environment and the support to get it done. And no, I’m not offering a $1000 seminar. It was just an example. But there ARE two seminars that I do highly recommend:

  1. PSI Seminars, not affiliated with me, described in my article called The Heart of the Matter. I receive no compensation for recommending it.
  2. Genius Bootcamp, my baby. At this event you get 3 days immersed in the best of the best of what I’ve learned and gathered over the last 18 years. (Not all of my Bootcamps are facilitated by me, but I will be teaching the one in August 2018. Join me near Phoenix, Arizona for a memorable, life-changing experience! Click here to learn more.)

So take a step. Let me help you change your programs. If you choose not to attend Genius Bootcamp with me, at least read the book that inspired it. It’s a free download: Portal to Genius.

Oh, there is so much abundance waiting for you, in ALL of the areas of your life! Let’s go claim it!

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And Along Came a Spider

Some time ago my eleven year-old daughter came home from orchestra practice simply devastated. She had been the first to arrive, and as the others filed in, nobody chose to sit by her. She sat at the edge of the room, the only student with an empty chair at her side.

She felt rejected and alone.

So the next day, as I dropped her off, I encouraged her to hold back and let some of the others sit down first, and then make her choice to sit by someone she’d like to get to know better. “Find someone who might be having a bad day, and BE the one to make a friend.”

I encouraged her to have a prayer in her heart, picturing herself with an abundance of friends, and reminded her that choosing to be positive and confident would help others want to be around her.

So she pulled herself together with an intention that things would be different this time. She agreed to pray in her heart and try to think more positively.

But what happened next surprised us both…

When I picked her up from school, she was excited to report that she ended up right between two girls that she was excited to get to know better.

How did it happen? Not the way we thought it would.

Contrary to my advice, she still showed up earlier than most; and out of habit decided to sit in her regular chair on the edge of the room. As a few of the other students filed in, the pattern threatened to repeat itself.

(That’s the power of subconscious thoughts right there…)

However, just then, she noticed a scary spider on her music stand. Creeped out, she took her folder and tried to push it off.

Instead of successfully getting it out of her space, it fell onto her leg. She jumped up and shook her pants, and wasn’t sure where it ended up. Assuming it was still at her chair, she decided that it would be better to move.

It took her out of her comfort zone and into another chair. One of the girls she’d like to know better came in and sat right next to her. Before long, a second girl took the empty chair at her other side.

Admittedly she said she thought the answer to her prayer would show up in the form of an idea, or an added measure of courage to do or say something uncomfortable.

But no, it showed up as a spider.

This micro-experience captures the essence of how God so often deals with us. When we ask for things to be better, he doesn’t just make things better. He creates conditions in our life that make us get out of our comfort zone and put us somewhere else – somewhere, where the blessing we’re asking for can finally be received.

Sometimes we get moved out of our comfort zone and still fail to receive the blessing. This can happen when our thoughts are not inclined to look for the hidden benefit in our adversity.

It would be like my daughter getting out of her regular chair and into another, and being so upset by it that she doesn’t even notice the potential friendships on either side of her. By her response to the hardship, she could have completely denied herself of the blessing that the change contained.

In that case, the girls that flanked her could have picked up on the downer-energy and might have been inclined to just ignore her.

I’m grateful that she was thoughtful enough to give credit to God for sending a spider, because it prepared the way for her to receive the very thing she was hoping for all along.

My dear reader… What’s your spider? What ugly thing has showed up in your life that’s opposite to what you’ve been praying for?

It’s there for a reason.

(To watch additional clips from this event, click here)

A Hardship is always a blessing in disguise. Pay attention to how it “moves” you.

I’d like to help you make sense (cents) out of your setbacks. Are you ready for a better future? Click here to learn more about the life-changing Mindset Mastery Program. Originally published September 22, 2009

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Keeping Your Eyes on the Horizon

We were newlyweds of only one year. My husband and I decided to drive twelve hours to attend a conference which would help us start a business. Tensions were high because we couldn’t afford the trip, and our disagreements left us both feeling hurt and misunderstood. Because of a previous accident the year before, I was nervous about crashing again on this road trip, but to him, my fear was a personal jab against his driving skills.

We arrived safely, but I was still upset that he was offended by my fear of crashing. One of the guest speakers was a professional comedian who started to make fun of women with poor depth perception.

He explained that there’s this man at the wheel, and the woman next to him just suddenly SCREAMS out of nowhere. Well, of course the man swerves the car and after regaining some control he looks at her and screams back, “WHAT?!?”

“That car tapped its brakes!”

“Woman, that car is a quarter mile ahead of us!”

I’m thinking, Okay that is NOT funny, but the truth is, I couldn’t hold it in. I had been trying SO hard to stay angry at my husband. I did not want him to think I was enjoying myself, for, in my mind he needed to be punished. However, when the comedian popped the punchline, all of my pent-up emotion came bursting forth and I literally laughed until I cried. I laughed so hard that no sound escaped my lips. My abs curled until they burned. Basically, that comedian described ME, during our twelve hour trip to the convention, and I knew it.

My husband and I continued to laugh throughout the rest of the meeting, and our contentious feelings melted away. We talked about it later, and I reminded him that I was a nervous wreck only because we had both fallen asleep and driven off the road the year before. Road travel made me nervous, period. All the way to the function I had been watching to see if we were getting too close to the shoulder or center divider. Any deviation which brought us any nearer to the edge caused instant panic resulting in a gasp and reflexive grab of my shoulder strap. Any minor swerve which caused us to close in on another car caused the same reaction. And, yes, if a car even a quarter mile ahead of us put on their brakes, I braced for impact.

Even short, local trips on the freeway made me nervous. Rounding a bend was especially frightening, because I’d see the tire and paint marks from cars that had crashed there before. I’d say, “Oh… this must be a dangerous spot; look at all the crashes that happened here!” Of course, I’d prepare for impact, just in case. I’d even look ahead at semi trucks and imagine the horrific wreck that would result if they suddenly cut us off.

Over the years I finally learned to calm down. I reminded myself that my husband didn’t want to die any more than I did, and he’d be careful with or without my incessant reminders. I practiced trusting him, and trusting in the Lord to keep us safe. I also found a visualization strategy which worked wonders: instead of imagining a possible wreck, I’d close my eyes and picture myself tucking my children in bed that night; a vision which presupposed our safe arrival home.

It took me a long time to get my road travel fears under control. Our driving improved as we learned that we stayed nicely in the center of our own lane NOT by looking at the line painted on the road at our side (which resulted in constant adjustments and a jerky ride), but by looking to the horizon where the road was headed. Even if the road followed a long bend, by looking to where it disappeared on the horizon, the car seemed to naturally stay in the center of the bending lane. I discovered that by looking to what I wanted and where I wanted to be (literally, as well as figuratively), I was implementing a powerful method for not just dealing with my fears, but for achieving the results in life I wanted. What a wonderful lesson to learn.

And then one day I realized the lessons from this analogy ran even deeper than I realized:

Ten years later my old fear of driving in traffic was tested to my limit. I was at the wheel, trying to speed ahead at seventy miles per hour to pass a semi truck on my right, with a pile-on and no room for error on my left (due to road construction north of Salt Lake City prior to the 2002 Olympics). The lane was three-fourths the width it should be, and there was nowhere for me to go but straight ahead. I noticed that when I looked at the semi by my side, I started to close in on it. I only realized my error when I’d look forward again and realize how far over I had drifted. I discovered the only way to make it through was to look straight ahead, with my white knuckles on the wheel, and aggressively ignore the obstacles at either side. If a vehicle was going to swerve into my lane, then at least with my eyes on the goal I’d be less likely to overcorrect and cause my vehicle to roll, doing potentially fatal damage to myself and others around me.

This is how to reach your goals. Stay focused. Keep them vivid in your mind’s eye, and don’t let the obstacles, difficulties, disappointments or distractions divert your gaze. Your ride will be smoother. You’ll stay in the lane that gets you there. You’ll avoid collisions. You’ll even deal with sudden or unexpected threats more effectively.

This landmark experience also made me think of life in general. We’re all traveling this fast-paced, sometimes scary road called life, hopefully heading for a glorious eternal reward with our loved ones in the presence of our Father in Heaven. But along this road, there are obstacles that can take us off course or slow us down or cause a wreck, so to speak. The only way to proceed safely is to NOT give the distractions or obstacles your focused attention, even if it’s in an effort to avoid them, because doing so can cause you to drift toward the very obstacles you are trying to evade.

Sometimes when I forget, and look too long at the danger nearby, I don’t always realize how far I’ve drifted until I finally look back toward my goal. I must try to always look straight ahead and keep my eye on the prize. The obstacles will pass, one by one, if I just press forward with full purpose of heart. Should an obstacle swerve into my lane despite of my efforts to stay on track, I will be able to respond without overreacting, and keep my life from rolling out of control.

As one man named Alma taught his son: “The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever … Yea, see that ye look to God and live.” (Alma 37:46-47) Originally published December 20,2009

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