Self-Esteem and How to Succeed at the Job Interview

job interviewI had horrendous self-esteem issues for most of my life. The inner critic used to throw a lot of knock out punches my way and it kept me pinned down to the floor.

Whenever I went for job interviews it was tough. Getting in the door is tough enough, and when the mind starts chattering it becomes a no-win situation.

Whatever the mind would see, it would tell a story about it. If the interviewee reminded me of someone, I was pulled into the past and thought, “Oh, that person didn’t like me, so they won’t like me either.”

I didn’t have access to the Internet for the early job hunting days, so there wasn’t much research that you could do about the company. When the interviewee asked what I knew about something company-related and I didn’t know, the inner critic would chime in: “That’s it, you blew it. You don’t know anything!”

There is a way out from the inner critic — meditation and other mindfulness techniques. This allows you to place the inner critic aside.

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From I Can’t To I Can

When I followed the “I can’t” voice, I suffered. My diseases continued to get worse. By saying “I can’t” I was denying the present moment, I was resisting what is.  I was giving energy to what I didn’t want.  When I stopped giving this voice free reign over me then the diseases went away. It took some time, but I was willing to do the practice.

I see many people following the “I can’t” voice, and they are still under the delusion that life will magically improve by itself. It won’t.

We have to be willing to improve, and not want it to improve without doing any work.

The work is simple, the mind makes it tough. The mind wants to stay in control.

It is simply a matter of watching the chest rise and fall with the breath. When the mind is engaged with watching the breath…thoughts cease. The “I can’t” voice goes away in that moment.

We have hundreds of moments a day to watch a single breath. Any time you find yourself waiting — waiting at a red light, waiting in line, commercial breaks on TV, waiting for the laundry to finish. All those moments of waiting are ideal practice times. In time, the “I can’t” voice will lose power over you.

What are you waiting for? Go from I Can’t to I Can.

Divine Timing – I’m Not In Control

Divine TimingIt’s 7:20 a.m. on Friday morning and I am heading to work.  In front of me I see smoke billowing.   The area ahead contained shopping centers, restaurants, and a few houses.   A few minutes later I find myself stuck in traffic.   Ahead of the traffic I see a lot of flashing red lights, which is at the base of the hill before the shopping centers.   I only know of homes and a horse farm in that area – I sense something is wrong but unsure exactly what it is.  I send my love to those impacted.   There are many folks turning around. I wait a few minutes.  Traffic remains at a standstill, I decide to turn around and I plot an alternate way around the area.

I belong to a Facebook group for heart-based (spiritually minded) entrepreneurs.  I read a post celebrating 1000 members, and it asked a few questions along with supporting a member that has posted right before your message.  I tend to answer questions right away or I will forget about it.   I also enjoying answering questions, and I seem to make a new discovery about myself as the questions serve as an inquiry practice.  It didn’t feel right to answer this question at 6:30 a.m.  so I put it off.

Around Noon at work I decided to type into Google “Buckingham accident” to see what happened this morning.  I read a short article that two unidentified people died in a fiery crash, not many details at this time.  I send both their families love and support to get through this difficult time.  Then I take a moment to reflect on this morning, and how I was running a few minutes late.   I am normally in that section of the highway around this time.  I remember how odd it was to see frost on my windshield which was only in the area on the driver’s side, and nowhere else on my car and there was no sun hitting the vehicle.  I spent a few minutes to scrape my windshield.   This little delay may have spared my life.

Later in the day I feel the impulse to return to the Facebook group and answer the questions and offer support to the one who posted before me.   I was amazed to see when I went there and saw who posted before me.  It was Veronica Lee.  She is the one who added me to this group!  What timing!   She saw I needed support for my manuscript and thought this group will be a perfect fit (it was).   I worked with Veronica for a short period of time, and she offered a lot of support and guidance.   Now, it is my turn to support her.   I am unsure how, but I trust I will know how soon enough.

I thought I was in control of my life, but this isn’t true.   The people driving this morning had no idea what they were about to experience.   I’ve also been in some very bad accidents and was lucky to survive.  We simply do not know what will happen when we get into a car, a plane, walking across the street, or thinking we are safe in our home.   Accidents beyond our control happen.

There is a divine plan at work, the intelligence of the universe that is beyond comprehension.  The events today showed that there is a synchronicity to life, with divine timing.   With all the mental chatter it is hard to see.  When the mind is quiet it is easy to see how amazing life can be.

I thought the universe was done for the day and this was the end of the article, but something else happened.

I was sitting in meditation at River Yoga on this Friday evening,   this studio sits in-between the firehouse and the deadly accident.   I heard the siren blaring from the firehouse.  Whenever I hear the siren, I send the fire personnel strength and safety for the scene they are about to encounter.   After I sent the intention, my mind was “pulled” to the accident scene.    Suddenly, I got very cold and the hair on my bare arms stood straight up.   When I mentally “arrived” on the scene of the morning accident I encountered a young woman with dark shoulder length hair looking very sad staring at me.   I mentally said to her “I am so sorry dear one that you had to go through this experience, have faith that it will be okay.   Go to the light, your loved ones on the other side will be waiting for you.”

After she disappeared I returned to a normal, quiet meditation practice.   Then after some time I notice that tears are flowing down my cheeks.   I really don’t understand what took place — this is first time that the divine used me to help a soul move along to the other side.   I simply allowed the experience to unfold, without questioning.  I have developed a deep trust in the universe that is hard to explain.

Driving home from the yoga studio, I had a profound sense of deja-vu as I drove through the scene of the accident.  I got a mental flash of what transpired.  All that matters in the end is that two families are deeply suffering and my heart goes out to them.

Most of the world is not aware of the unseen forces of the universe, always assisting us…shaping our experiences to allow our soul to grow.   The mind cannot comprehend it, so it will deny its existence.

Are you paying attention to all aspects of life unfolding around you?   Or is your view narrow?

Relearning to Play: Lessons from Abdy and a Near-Carjacking

A man jumps out of a white, midsized car in front of me wearing a green skull mask, and starts walking toward me. A few seconds later I see a young male driver without a mask and another male passenger exit the car.

I was driving home from work, and I was in my hometown of Warrington, Pa. Warrington is an urban area. The men realize they’re on a major road when they see a lot of traffic approaching, and they run back to their car. They speed away, and I haven’t seen them again.

I was watching this all unfold, but I had no reaction (there was never any fear). I’m witnessing the world around me, but not interacting (getting away from them in my car).

The next day I was in New York City for an Abdy event. I recently wrote an article, “A Divine Dance with Abdy,” that discusses my experience. Abdy gives everyone a unique blessing; in my case he focused on my heart. I found this interesting since I was working on my heart chakra (it felt a little weak).

The theory is that the heart chakra determines our level of compassion, gratitude, and our feeling of oneness. I was trying to return it to balance, and I made no mention of this to him. He does not talk to you, since he moves on his intuition alone.

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A Divine Dance With Abdy

AbdyI feel Abdy grab my hands and pull me up. I see his brown eyes staring directly into my eyes. He moves closer until he is about two inches from my face. I feel a deep sense of love emanating from him.

After 15-20 seconds of this stare, he leans down and touches his forehead onto an area on my chest near my heart.  He gives me a gentle nudge to lie down.

I arrive in New York City on March 15, 2014,  and I take the three-block walk from Penn Station to the Subud Chelsea Center.   There is a nice crowd for the first session — around 50 people.

I go into the wide, carpeted space and roll out my yoga mat.  I see Abdy talking to a few folks, I make my way to him to say hello.  I return to my mat and wait for the two-hour session to begin.  The co-hosts, Alan and Val, talk for a few minutes about Abdy and their experiences. Then Abdy quickly reminds them that everyone will have a different experience.

Abdy states that he will talk at the end. Then he begins the session.

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Find Truth Within Suffering: Being Open To Life

Truth Within Suffering

It is a warm summer night — I am wearing my MS cooling vest.   I am alone in a room of 25 other people, on a Paranormal Tour of Ft. Mifflin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   What am I doing here?  I am a skeptic when it comes to ghosts.  There are a hundred plus people here, split into various groups exploring the large fort.  There is barely any light in the damp and large cavernous room.   The nearest person is a few feet to my right, sitting on another bench.   She is dressed in a TAPs t-shirt, and jeans. She is fiddling with a flashlight.   I came alone, only my wife knows I am here.  I glance around the room, hard to see anything.  It’s quiet.  I’m bored.   Then I see her putting her unlit flashlight onto another bench.   She is talking to no one, “Turn this light on.”  I stare at the unlit flashlight, barely able to make out the silhouette.   About 10 seconds pass and suddenly the room is a blaze in light.  Someone gasps.  I realize it was me.  A few seconds later, the weight and presence of what feels like 200 men report for duty.  I feel someone slide into the seat next to me – but no one is there.   I don’t move.  I am enveloped in cold.  Every single hair of my bare arm springs up.  “Turn off the light,” says the woman.   The light snaps off.  We are bathed in darkness again.  I’m not the same person I was moments ago.

If I missed out on this experience I would still be a very sickly man.  Through this profound experience I switched from reading health books (that kept me stuck in diseases) to reading spiritual books.   When I read about inner peace that comes from meditation, I knew I needed that.   A bipolar brain is not peaceful.   It is a constant war with the storyteller although you don’t realize you have a storyteller.   You believe all your thoughts are the absolute truth and it is hell.   My storyteller was a mean inner critic often telling me that I wasn’t worthy resulting in suicidal thoughts that required hospitalization.

I recently asked my readers if they would go on a paranormal tour.    Around 70% said they would, while the other 30% had various excuses why they would not.

Each one of us has a storyteller in the mind.  Constantly talking to us about everything we can perceive.   The story is being created from our various life experiences.   We rarely see things as they are – the mind filters based on the past experiences.  For the 30% that would not go, the mind told them “no.”  They missed out on this experience.

We never know how our experiences will shape our future and by denying ourselves an experience we stunt our growth.

Life is constantly offering experiences to help us grow, often times we push away from the experiences.  The more we push away the more “stuck” we become.  Life becomes routine and boring.

I am reading a wonderful book now from Dr. Wayne Dyer “I Can See Clearly Now.”  He talks about his various experiences throughout life and how they shaped him.   When he did not pay attention he was often left frustrated or overwhelmed with his life situation.   If he listened to his heart (the divine wisdom within) then life seemed to flow more easily.

I too can see clearly now.   I can see how I was constantly closing the door to life by denying the various the various experiences that life was offering – I wasn’t open to receive.  The inner critic was in control — the storyteller.  When I was given a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, I didn’t pay attention.  When I was given a diagnosis of Migraines, I didn’t pay attention.    Life kept giving me more and more health ailments, and I continued to not pay attention.  I continues to look at side of myself for answers (medicine,  doctors — the knowledgeable people).  After I acquired MS, I was in rough shape.   It was a life filled with pain and suffering.   Yet, the divine (universe, God) did not give up on me.   It continued to offer experiences.   After the Fort Mifflin experience I went searching for answers.  Then the divine placed a book in front of me that talked about meditation.   Through meditation I learned to look inside for answers.  All answers and solutions to our life situations are within us, never outside of us.  We are our own Guru although at times we need someone to help point the way (for me it was a book).

Now the universe is offering me this experience of a peaceful mind with the ability to help others.

There is always a way out of suffering if we are willing to go within and find our own truth.  We simply need to pay attention to the lesson that the divine is offering.

Are you open to all experiences of life?  Or do you continue to push this experience away?

The Last Breath

be here nowNo one knows when that day will come, but it comes for everyone. The latest government statics show that 160,000 people die each day.

I suspect at least of quarter of those who passed expected to be here tomorrow. They had hope and dreams for tomorrow. Perhaps they spent their last day full of worry and stressing about something that never came. Or they died after a big argument with their spouse; now their spouse is leaving a life of regret wondering if they were the cause of it. Perhaps a young boy had harsh words with his parents before bed, and he wakes to find that his mother died overnight. This boy is now devastated, wishing he had another moment to tell mom how much he loved her.

Life is a mystery,  and we never know what is around the next corner.

Many folks act like they are invincible. They are making plans, setting new goals, putting off something until another day (procrastination), etc. They are forgetting about this moment, this moment is the only thing that is certain. Tomorrow may never come.

It’s easy to say to enjoy each moment, but it’s actually a difficult task. Through our various life experiences we have developed a strong bond with our thoughts. Our thoughts become the absolute truth. This mental chatter is constantly expressing its views, opinions, and judgments. Since the mental chatter becomes your truth, it becomes very easy to call people “wrong” and arguments/fights occur. The mental chatter is stuck in a loop — repeating the same information (programs). This mental chatter is rooted in the subconscious.

The subconscious contains all the programs on how we move in life. Some programs are useful — walking — but most are not. The programs save time and energy, but they will pull us into the past or create an imaginary future — they keep us out of the present moment.

One has to make conscious choices whenever possible and not allow the subconscious to make a default choice. This is a challenge, since it becomes a normal behavior to live from the subconscious. It takes practice, a practice worth undertaking. Life is more enjoyable when you are in the present moment — you are not weighed down with all the mental chatter and a false sense of “truth.”

The mind loves to stay in control, and it will generate numerous ideas on why it doesn’t want to practice being in the moment.

We have a choice to remain stuck in thoughts or set a new course for a freedom.

What do you choose?