Attitudes and Values
Would you like to discover your path in life? Do you have an interest that you feel impassioned about? Would you like to find a purpose in life? If so, then this writing is for you.
In this blog I would like to share how I transformed my life. I was diagnosed with severe dyslexia and severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). By the time I reached young adulthood, I had no idea of what to do with my life. I was told by parents, professionals, and guidance counselors that I would not be able to succeed in college. I completed a trade school training program but could not find work.
Fortunately, I discovered a way to turn my life around. It started with changing my attitudes and values as well as changing the things I told myself. The methods presented here are an amazing way to turn one’s life around. I am living proof, and I know many other people who have used similar techniques that produced a transformation in their life. I was able to earn both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree by putting into practice these techniques. I have accomplished many amazing things in my life, and I plan to accomplish even greater achievements in the near future.
Before I discuss how to transform one’s life, I would like to share an example from my past that helped me change the way I saw the world and opened the door to life transformation.
Long ago when I was a boy scout, we used to go camping one weekend per month from August through May. I like to believe that our scout troop was different from most scout troops. One difference in particular was that the scout master enjoyed practical jokes and having fun. He had a sensible approach when it came to learning scouting skills, but at the same time a good adventurous practical joke took precedence. He believed it built character and created a tighter bond between the members of the troop.
Throughout the years of my scouting adventures, many jokes were played out. I became an instigator of many of them as well as executing quite a few of them on my own.
However, even I was not immune to other boy’s stunts. Often we went camping at one or the other of two official boy scout campgrounds. On this particular campout, we went to Camp Strake located in the pine forest. It was late spring and hot. So we went swimming in the pool that was located across the road from the camp headquarters. It had both a regular diving board and a high dive.
For the first hour we dove off the diving boards, splashed each other, and had fun swimming. Then I suggested we play a game called Minnow. The rules of the game were simple. One boy was chosen to be the catcher. His job was to catch the other boys and make them catchers. But there was a stipulation. A minnow could only be caught when their head was above water. As long as a minnow swam underwater, they could not be caught. The ends of the pool were a safe zone, but only to the count of ten; then you had to swim underwater back to the other side. With only one catcher it was easy, but as more and more minnows were caught and thus became catchers, it got more difficult. The last minnow became the winner.
I chose this game because I was great at swimming underwater. Every summer for the previous four years, I went swimming at the University swimming pool. I love swimming underwater and had built up my breath capacity to swimming the length of an Olympic size pool two complete laps back and forth with one breath. I would be gasping for air afterward, but I could just make it.
After the other boys realized my skill at this game, a few of them held a quick discussion out of my earshot on the far side of the pool after I had won two rounds of Minnow. Some of the boys gave up playing and went back to diving on the high dive. That pretty much ended the game, so I joined in doing flips off the high dive. As I came up to the surface, two of the bigger boys grabbed my arms while a third pulled off my swimsuit. Then began a game of me swimming after my swimsuit just to have it tossed to another boy. After my third attempt to retrieve it I thought to myself, “Do I really want to play this game?” I thought, “The damage has already been done, so turn the tables, Gigi”.
I quit chasing and swam to the ladder and climbed out of the pool. I climbed up the high dive and shook my hips saying, “Skinny dipping is great!” I glided through the water even better without the drag of clothes. I was hoping at least one other boy would join me in skinny dipping, but it was in full sunlight. I dove into the water and swam to the ladder. The boy holding my swimsuit asked if I wanted it back, and he promised not to toss it to another this time. I said, “No thanks; swimming naked is awesome!” It was and I meant it, for I had realized the initial shock of being naked had worn off, and I realized they couldn’t see any more than they already had.
The boy holding my swimsuit tossed it to me saying, “I don’t want this anymore.” I tossed it back and climbed up the ladder to do a flip off the high dive naked as I had never experienced doing a flip naked before. After I came up to the surface, the scout master made me put my swimsuit back on.
I tell this story to illustrate how attitudes and values can create a transformation in a life experience. I think most people would have continued chasing after their swimsuit if they were in a similar situation. But by adopting a change of attitude and focusing on the opportunity to swim naked, I became the hero in many of the boys’ eyes. When they tried giving me back my swimsuit and I honestly did not want it, the world shifted and transformed. It was this experience that taught me a valuable life lesson: listen to and believe in your own attitudes and values. Allow yourself to shift into who you want to be and if need be, play with a new set of rules and a new perspective. It can turn the tables.
Mind talk is the voice within our mind. It is the things we tell ourselves. Often we are not aware of our mind talk; we just listen to the inner voice as it tells us information. An example of some of my current mind talk are things like:
If others can do this, with time and effort I can learn how to do it too. It may take me a little longer, but with dedication, practice, and perseverance, I can do it.
I am unique and have an amazing perspective.
I approach life with a unique set of abilities, disabilities, attitudes, and values. With my life experience, I can succeed in achieving my dreams.
My mind talk has not always been like this. It took years of exploring, questioning, and challenging what I used to tell myself. When I was a young adult, my mind talk included the following:
I will not amount to anything. Learning is too difficult, it takes too much effort, it is a waste of time, and takes too long for a person with my problems and learning disabilities.
I don’t fit in to society.
I am worthless and don’t have any abilities that will be worth anything. What boss would value me? How can I ever make a living?
I share this here because I would like to illustrate that a person can change their mind talk. You may wonder what is the value of changing what we tell ourselves? What does it accomplish?
There was a time when I was at one of my lower points in life. It was not the lowest, but it was close. I was depressed. Everything I touched seemed to go haywire. Fortunately, a good friend took notice and started having discussions with me about my gloomy mood.
One of the first things I learned is that mind talk is a type of self-fulfilling prophecy. Through our mind talk, we create the world we live in. Mind talk can limit us or open new opportunities. Next, I learned that mind talk can be heavily influenced by the things we were told as we grew up. It can also be heavily influenced by life circumstances.
Mind talk has an unusual property. We don’t have to believe in our mind talk for it to have an impact in our life. So, whether we believe in what we tell ourselves or disbelieve it, it will influence our life and have an impact on our life. Mind talk is a type of forecasting of how successful or unsuccessful we will be in life situations.
By changing my mind talk, I was able to transform not only my life, but also how I felt about myself. I was able to value myself as a unique and beautiful human being. I was able to persevere through life challenges and succeed.
How does one change their mind talk? It takes several steps that take time to accomplish long term benefits. First, become aware of your mind talk. Don’t just listen; start to question it every time you find yourself telling yourself something. Ask yourself “Is this true?” Ask yourself “Where is this coming from?” Ask “Is this statement I just told myself helping me or holding me back?”
The next step is to take the mind talk statements that you want to change and rewrite the statement as a statement that you prefer to tell yourself. Write it down and say it to yourself several times a day, even if you don’t believe it.
For example, I used to tell myself I was worthless every time I failed at a task. Once I realized this mind talk statement was holding me back, I asked myself “Is this true?” I realized that just because I failed at a task once, it did not mean I was worthless. I realized that I do have amazing qualities, but they are hidden and masked by dyslexia and ADHD. So each time I failed at a task, I started telling myself that I have hidden qualities that are sometimes hard to see but are of great value. Even though I did not believe in what I was saying at first, I told myself that statement at least 3 times a day for a month. I found it helpful to say this statement every time I brushed my teeth because I brush my teeth 3 times a day, and it was easy to make a new habit by hitchhiking it with an old habit.
Within a month of telling myself the new statement, I realized that when I performed difficult tasks, instead of plunging into the task, I would take a few moments to wonder if I had a different approach that would tap into my hidden skills. Then it would come to me to use a different approach to the task at hand. While I still failed at a few difficult tasks, I was able to complete many tasks successfully. I was no longer failing as frequently, and I even excelled at some tasks that I had previously failed. Real change doesn’t happen overnight. However, small changes can happen overnight, and if you stick with the program, it is the small changes that add up to become major life transformations.
Attitudes and Values
We each project energy. The energy we project can be self-confident and positive or it can be negative energy resulting from a low self-esteem. The energy we project reflects our mind talk. If we tell our self, “I will succeed,” we project success. If we tell our self, “I can’t do that,” we project at best a resolve of giving up. Many people take a reactive stance in regards to life circumstances. If something bad happens, they react to the situation and tend to focus on the negative and get stuck dwelling on the situation. I am not saying that we shouldn’t have negative emotions. In fact, emotions are neither good or bad. It is what we do with the emotions and how we act on the emotions that can be good or bad.
There is a concept of resiliency. Resiliency is the ability to rebound quickly after experiencing a bad situation. Some people seem to acquire resiliency naturally. Others seem to have little or no resiliency. Fortunately, resiliency is an ability that can be developed, and it is through mind talk we can build resiliency. Instead of saying. “I failed,” change the mind talk to “What do I need to change to make this a success?”
Emotions have some interesting properties. Initial emotions arise from life situations and experiences. For example, if one received an unexpected large sum of money, most would feel elated and excited. When a person wins a competition, the reaction is a feeling of victory and accomplishment. If a person makes a mistake or fails at a task, they usually feel down and sometimes angry. This is natural and helps us grow and develop better skills.
Ongoing emotions, or our usual emotional disposition, are emotions that we generate. They are influenced by mind talk and by our attitudes and values. It is a scientific fact that our emotions influence the perceptions that we receive through our senses of the world. We do not experience the material world directly. What we experience of the material world is what we perceive through the five senses. Many scientific studies have proven that often our perceptions can be fallible.
If one’s usual emotional disposition is on the negative side, we tend to attract negative energy and miss out on opportunities due to not perceiving it for what it is. For example, if a person has a suspicious disposition and an opportunity opens up, they may focus too much on the motives of the people presenting the opportunity and not see the opportunity for what it is. Our emotional state can block us from positive experiences. How often have you received a compliment and disregarded it or perhaps you wrote it off as not all that important? Yet when we receive criticism, we zero in on our faults. Often we are harder on our self than anyone else.
For example, instead of disregarding a compliment, I have consciously changed my mind talk to a more realistic reflection. I tell myself, “It is wonderful that this person appreciates me, and I am grateful that I have made a good impression on them.”
We can improve our usual emotional disposition by performing the following:
Monitor and Improve Mind Talk
Perform Morning Affirmations
Perform a Daily Meditation with Creative Visualizations
Identify Your Personal Life Passion
Identify Your Life Goal
Each of these exercises will be covered in detail in the following sections. Plan to spend about an hour total each day to complete these exercises. Some days will require less time, some days a little more time. It is not important how much time it takes each day, instead focus on the concept of what results am I getting.
Monitor and Improve Mind Talk
The first step in monitoring and improving one’s mind talk is to become consciously aware of your mind talk. To become aware, tell yourself, “I listen to what I am telling myself, and I am aware of my mind talk.” Say this to yourself 3 times a day for 30 days. You do not have to believe it for this to work. Yet what do you have to lose by doing this simple exercise? For me, it gave me something to do while performing the boring chore of brushing my teeth. I gained a new mental activity to perform while doing a mundane task. You may discover a new awareness developing during your 30-day practice.
As you become aware of your mind talk, ask yourself, “Is this true? Where is this coming from? Is this what I really want to tell myself? Is this helping me or holding me back?” Keep a mind talk journal and answer these questions in the journal. Over time you will see patterns emerge, and you can begin the process of rewriting the script of your mind talk.
As you identify mind talk scripts you want to change, start with one script at a time, rewrite the script, and tell it to yourself 3 times a day until you notice positive change.
Perform Morning Affirmations
Take a few moments and envision an ideal self, the person you want to be. What are the specific characteristics you want to have? Who do you want to be? What would you like to be known for as a person? What qualities do you want to possess? Make a list of these. Take your time with this to ensure you have identified the qualities you want at this time in your life. In the future you can add to this and revise your morning affirmations, but it is a good idea to start with a solid foundation of what you want to achieve now.
From your list, take each quality and restate the quality as a statement of you personally possessing the quality now. For example, if one of the qualities you identified is leadership, then write the statement “I am a leader that people admire and respect. People want a good leader to follow, and I am that leader.” Don’t worry if you have leadership skills or not. Leadership skills will be learned through the process. Intuition can be a great teacher if we listen. Never be afraid to read and learn. Through changing our mind talk, opportunities open up in the process, and our powerful minds will find a way to follow the new mind talk. It really is just that simple.
Write statements for each of the qualities you desire. Once you have completed your statements, put them in an order that makes sense to you. These are your morning affirmations.
Each morning read your affirmations aloud to yourself. Make one statement at a time and visualize yourself exemplifying your ability in a life situation. This is a make believe vision. The important thing is to envision how you will demonstrate the new quality in your life.
For an example of a morning affirmation, go to the Sacred Harlot’s website at: http://www.covenofthesacredharlot.com.
Perform a Daily Meditation
A daily meditation is best done the same time each day. I do my meditation every night right before I go to sleep. It helps me relax, and I tend to sleep better and more soundly. There are many types and ways to meditate. If you already meditate, use the techniques that work for you. If you do not know how to meditate, there are suggested meditation instructions at the end of this section.
When you perform your meditation, take yourself to a relaxed state. When you are in a deep meditative state, add the following to the meditation:
Perform a visualization and see yourself as you desire to be. If it helps, picture a magic mirror that shows your future self. It may be a few weeks or a few months in the future. As you see your future self, take notice on how it feels to have accomplished your desires.
Have your future self express gratitude for having accomplished your desires.
Give your sub-conscious mind a directive / command to start bringing about the changes you desire now.
Visualize yourself on a beach, and written in the sand are the negative words that represent the things that have been holding you back. Some of these words may be things you were told to you when you were growing up. Take a few moments to read the words and then rub them out with your feet. Notice how easy it is to erase them from the sand and from your life.
Visualize a smooth rock cliff. Written in stone are all the amazing qualities that you desire. Actually you already possess these qualities; they lie hidden deep within your higher consciousness waiting to be activated. Read each word or statement to yourself. You truly are an amazing person.
It is important to actually perform the meditations daily. Just knowing this information intellectually is not enough to bring about change. When one meditates, one enters into a trance state. It is when one is in a trance state that one can actually influence the sub-conscious and bring about real change.
Sit or lie down and get comfortable. Close your eyes. Take three slow deep breaths.
As you inhale, bring in relaxation. Exhale and allow stress and tension to flow out of your body. Inhale energy. Exhale and release negativity. Inhale, bringing in mental energy. Exhale and release any lingering tension. Keep breathing with your own natural rhythm. You are safe and secure here.
As you relax, go deeper into yourself. You may feel heavy or light. Your hands and feet may tingle. Feel how good it feels to relax. Notice how much more relaxed you are now. Notice how good it feels.
Relax the muscles in your forehead and face. Let go of any stress you feel. Move down to your neck and relax your neck muscles. Go lower to your shoulders and release. Continue breathing in relaxation as you release any tension you feel in your chest and back. Move down to your hips and release. Feel your thighs and relax them. Gently move on to to lower legs and bring deep relaxation. Wiggle your feet and relax them. Let any remaining tension flow out of your toes.
At this point you should be fully relaxed and in a meditative state. If you have a creative visualization, picture it in your mind. Take your time and visualize every detail and aspect. Bring up details of your visualization and see yourself already there. Notice how good it feels to have accomplished your vision. Express gratitude for having achieved the vision.
Acknowledge the fact that you have a powerful mind and that you are in full control of your mind. If you have any directives for your subconscious mind, tell them to yourself now. Know that in the days, weeks, and months to follow, your subconscious mind will be working on solutions.
Picture yourself on the beach. Written in the sand are words that represent the negative things that other people have said that have held you back. Take your foot and rub them out. Notice how easily they vanish from the sand and from your life. These words will never hold you back again, for you have erased them.
Take a few moments to acknowledge the skills and abilities you possess. Recognize what an awesome person you are. See your attributes written in stone as a permanent monument of who you are. Read all the positive words and know that these words represent you. Take your time and notice how much these concepts are a part of your life and how permanent they are within your being.
When you are ready to end the meditation, tell yourself, “In a moment I will count to three. Once I reach three, I will wake up feeling fully energized, aware of my surroundings, and fully alert. One, two, and three. I am fully awake.”
Identify Your Personal Life Passion
Do you know what your life passion is? Perhaps you have more than one. If you have not discovered your life passion, then you are in the right place to discover it. There was a time in my life that I had no idea of my life passion nor what I wanted to accomplish in my life. I did not even know what direction my life should take. I felt lost and aimless.
Unfortunately, I did not have guidance with this matter. I accidently stumbled into my life passion and pursued it without realizing it. Then I discovered techniques to become crystal clear and put both words and meaning to my life passion. Once I identified that passion, my whole life transformed. I became whole and complete with talents and skills that had been hidden. I now have a roadmap for my life, which now has a special meaning.
You can identify your life passion using several techniques. First, make a list of all the things you feel passionate about in life. It may end up being a long list. Then perform daily creative visualization meditations with the intent of discovering your life passion. During your creative visualization meditations, give your subconscious mind the directive to reveal your greatest passions in life and give you clarity in defining your life passion.
One good resource is the Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard. He offers the book for free; you only pay for postage. Go to: http://www.motivationmanifesto.com/.
Through reading The Motivation Manifesto and performing daily creative visualization meditations, you can realize your life passion and mission.
Identify Your Life Goal
After I discovered my life passion, the next logical step was to set goals that would give me the ability to achieve what I wanted to do. I am currently accomplishing sets of goals that will provide me the tools and resources to create Raven’s Lair Adult Education Center.
Some of my goals I have already accomplished include the following: publish The Dominant’s Handbook in paperback, create a website for Raven’s Lair, create BDSM Training Films and sell them through my website, write the eBook Esoteric Adventures – A Sacred Harlot’s Photo Essay, and provide Dominant Training Program classes in Houston to teach Domination skills.
A life goal does not need to be this complex. What is important is to discover what your passion in life is and to follow your passion. As you follow your passion, it may seem complex at first. If it seems too complex, take a closer look and see how you can break it down into simpler steps.
While I have given just a short version of my goals, each goal is a stepping stone to reaching my life passion. It is through the process that I learn and grow. A quote I love that Brendon Burchard wrote is, “The most powerful faith in the world is the humble variety that says I believe in my ability to learn and figure things out. With enough focus time effort and dedication, I believe I can learn to do what must be done and become who I must become to achieve my dreams.”
The first step is to identify what you need to accomplish your dreams. Start with the big picture of what you want to accomplish. This is your life goal. Then break down your life goal into manageable and doable steps. For example, if your dream and passion is to open a bakery, then identify what you need to accomplish your dream. You will need to have a location for the bakery. You will need to determine what items you want to produce. You will need to save up money as most businesses are fortunate if they break even for their first year of business. You will need equipment and cooking supplies. You will need advertising. You may need a small business loan. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. List all the things you will need to open up your bakery. It is a good idea to talk to people who own a bakery as well as people who work in a bakery. Find out all the information you can. Make a list of all the things you will need to accomplish your dream. Once you have completed your list, break down the list into short term and long term goals. Organize your list within a time structure – what items need to be accomplished first and which items are less time sensitive.
Next, break down the big goal into small goals that you can start doing now. Determine what things from your list that you can start accomplishing within the next few months. Then determine what items from your list can be accomplished within a year. Write them down on a calendar and set deadlines for yourself. It is a good idea to set goals for the year ahead, then a three-year plan, and finally a five-year plan.
When you organize your goals on the calendar, I find it helpful to intermix goals that are exciting and fun with goals that are more mundane and seem more like tedious work. By doing so, it helps to keep one’s motivation levels higher. If you put off the less desirable goals till the end, it will be more difficult to keep focused and motivated once you have to tackle all the less desirable goals by themselves. It also helps to reward yourself after you have accomplished some of the more challenging goals.
There may be some goals that you find that you do not have the necessary skills to accomplish. There are two options. You can outsource them to a professional consultant for a fee, or you can learn the skills through research and/or by taking courses. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Outsourcing to a third party has the advantage that it is in most circumstances quicker and certainly easier for you. The disadvantages are that it costs money, you don’t have as much control over the end results, and if it is an ongoing task that needs to be accomplished, you will need to continue outsourcing the tasks.
Developing the skills and completing the tasks necessary to accomplish the goal will take time and effort on your part. If the goal involves complex expertise, it will take a lot longer to learn, and a professional will have the expert knowledge that may take many years for you to develop. On the plus side, by learning new skills and completing the tasks yourself, you will have more control on the outcome. Through the process you will develop new skills and you will save money.
For each goal that you do not have the skills and knowledge to complete, you will need to weigh the pros and cons for outsourcing or learning the skills and completing the project yourself. There is not a right or wrong answer, so give this some thought before making a decision to outsource or do it yourself.
I find it helpful to remind myself of the big picture on a daily basis. I have included my life goals and dreams in both my morning affirmations and in my daily meditations. It helps me keep focused on the passion and not get lost in the detail work. Keep a positive attitude, and with time and effort you will build success upon success as you go through the process. There will probably be setbacks along the way. Remember, there is no such thing as failure in a permanent sense, just setbacks that need to be reevaluated and new options that need to be sought out. By focusing for a short time each day on the passion and dream, you can keep yourself on track and see each setback as an opportunity to explore new options.
It also helps to have a mentor or life coach. This person could be a close friend or someone who has accomplished the goals you want to set. I recommend a half hour to an hour session once each week to meet with someone you can share your successes and difficulties with. Some weeks will require more time, especially when working through setbacks. Other weeks will take less time, especially when there are not many activities to perform. A mentor or life coach can provide invaluable insight as well as help you stay motivated and on track. Just having someone to report in with once a week will help you to stay focused and complete the tasks you need to complete.
I congratulate you on reading this material. May it open the door to your life passion and goals.
Individual Life Coaching and Sexuality Coaching
Do you feel that you are stuck in a rut and not able to make meaningful changes in your life? Sometimes we all need some guidance and assistance with motivation. If you need personal training in Attitudes and Values, I do offer individual life coaching in this area for a fee.
To book an appointment, go to: http://www.ravenslairleather.com. In the message section, let me know that you read this article, and I will give you a 50% discount on your first coaching session. My regular fees are posted on my website. You can improve your life and discover your life passion.
Are you ready to change your life?
While I cannot promise that you will get all the results you seek, as I do not know your life situation, what I can tell you is that I have provided people with the tools, guidance, and education to transform their life successfully. In addition, you are covered by Raven’s Lair rock solid 30-day guarantee. If for any reason you are not satisfied, send an email and you will receive a full refund covering the 30-day period.