Mea Culpa

Know Thyself

One of the most important aspects of my coaching is the work to really understand yourself. As we work on our development towards higher states of being we must learn which parts of self help us in our aim and which hold us back. In order to become aware of these things within ourselves part of what we do is observe ourselves in our daily life and personal interactions. We catch ourselves in our behaviours and thoughts and we notice how they affect us. This is one of the ways we keep ourselves on the path towards our aim of Self-realization and higher states of being or consciousness.

Sometimes the work is enjoyable but often it is brutal or embarrassing as we discover things in ourselves that are dark, judgemental or emotionally immature. We all have these aspects of self and usually are completely unaware of their existence and their pull within us.  Or we may be conscious of them and momentarily shut down our awareness thereby allowing them to leap into action. And it may take a while before we notice we’ve gone astray.

We’re All Human

It is also interesting to note that we can see other’s foibles quite a bit more easily than we can see our own so it wouldn’t surprise me to know many had already observed mine.

At any rate I caught myself today and I’m putting it out here as an example of what we can see about ourselves when we least expect it and to also say, “Yep, I’m human. I trip and fall too. And the work of Self, self observation and personal growth and evolution does not end.”

Ice Bucket Challenge

Recently on Facebook there has been much ado about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  There was a lot of very good, positive press and many people were participating. Suddenly, though things shifted and negative press started coming out. That was what caught my interest and I started posting under the guise of suggesting we need to think and make conscious decisions about where to put our focus and our energies. One kind woman even suggested this was my motivation. And in part yes it was. But not entirely.

Mea Culpa

During the course of these postings I suggested people were jumping on the bandwagon, getting swayed by their emotions and in a sense I was saying, “Look a little closer and don’t get yanked about by outside influences.” I might have heeded my own advice! For I jumped on another bandwagon “under the guise of acting through thoughtful, conscious decision making.” I did exactly the same thing just in a different costume.

 

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Bittersweet

March is a month of bittersweet memories for me.  My son, my father and now my friend Debbie Farrell have all slipped away in March.

When people die we wish for one more hug, smile, laugh, dance, “I love you”.  We feel we have lost them but really they’ve only stopped by for a while, touched us and left.

Some leave an indelible mark on us. We feel their physical departure as though a piece of us has been ripped away and we can tumble into grief.  It’s just fine to spend some time there as grief is an expression of the depths of our love for each other.

But I spent some time wallowing in this place and that is when grieving becomes unhealthy.  We can get pulled into feelings of guilt (why am I here and she’s not? or I should have done more for him.) or feelings of attachment (I can’t or won’t live without you.) or feelings of obligation (I’m not supposed to be happy)

When we hear it said that we must leave the past behind and move on we’re not talking about forgetting our loved ones.  We’re talking about releasing the pain, guilt and attachments and allowing ourselves to continue to live happy, fulfilling lives.

Our memories are our gifts of love and gratitude for having had the pleasure of spending time with each other.  Open them often and experience those delicious moments again. It can reawaken some of that sadness but that can feel sweet too.

I sing in a small choir that is currently working on a beautiful song by Eleanor Daley – In Remembrance.  The words are so touching I’ll share them here:

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glint on snow,

I am the sunlight on ripened grain,

I am the gentle morning rain.

And when you wake in the morning’s hush,

I am the sweet uplifting rush

of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there, I did not die.
Anonymous

Here is a gorgeous performance by the Stanford Chamber Chorale

Let your self enjoy the memories and then go out and create new ones.

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When You Wish You Could Take it Back

I overheard a young gentleman desperately trying to apologize to someone today.  He was making it clear that there are no excuses for the behaviour he regretted but then told her what had led up to it.

He had been walking his leashed dog when a van hit the dog and grazed him.  His dog had died and the driver of the van had sworn at him refusing to help.

I realized as I moved on past these two that I had been deeply emotionally affected by this story and the scene in front of me.  The young man’s runners were covered with fresh blood and the woman was so understanding. I could feel her compassion for him  and his pain, desperation and confusion.

At first I didn’t quite know what to do with all of these emotions that were swimming toward and through me as well as the feelings they brought up within me.  So I just allowed it all so that it could pass.

I thought about this gentleman who so recently had lost his dog, lashed out at the nearest person and then had the presence of mind and fortitude in all his inner turmoil to do his best to take responsibility for his actions and make a correction.

And I thought of the driver of the van and what might have led put to those actions.

 

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What Did You Say?!

When we fall out of self-awareness or out of our knowing-ness it can be like a small tremor or ghastly earthquake.  We all react differently to the insistent, persistent inner voices.

annoyed look    pirates fighting

We can certainly ignore them at least for a time but ego is very good at eventually getting our attention.  And then there will be a reaction of some sort on our part.  It may simply be a fleeting emotional response like sadness or annoyance or something physical such as a queasy stomach or a twinge in the neck or lower back.

man with sad eyes

And again we can ignore these signs or dismiss them as insignificant or unimportant because they usually go away….. at least that’s what we tell ourselves.  But then our mental chatter can become louder, or the emotion of sadness or anger begins to grow deeper or the body hurts more or becomes ill.

IS THIS TRUE?

When the voices are there (and we all have them) they tell us things that we don’t like to hear.  Then our experiences begin to confirm what the voices are saying.

  • One of the voices may say, “I’m so ugly.  Nobody likes me.”   You may see your reflection and you see your “ugliness” and begin to never look again.  You walk with your head down, your body sags and people begin to avoid you.
  • Another voice may say, “I’m so stupid.  I can’t get anything right.”  Your marks in school are low and whatever you try to succeed at you can’t get quite right.  People begin to tell you to try something easier or they even tell you to give up.

You have just confirmed the lies the voice tells you.  The more we listen, the more we confirm through our experience what we are telling ourselves, the deeper we fall into our personal pain and the farther out of alignment we go.

HOW TO AVOID THIS CYCLE OF PAIN

How do we stop that mental chatter, all those hurtful lies we hear in our head?  How do we stop feeling so sad or angry with the people in our lives or at the world in general?  How do we turn things around so our experience does not confirm the lies that now seem to be truth?

LISTEN

Start by listening to that voice.  Let it pour out all its pain, frustration and anger to you.  When we refuse to listen to and comfort someone who is hurting his pain grows larger.

Compassion stained glass

  • Be patient and kind to yourself and start by listening.
  • Do not judge the voice or yourself.
  • Do not get caught up in it by agreeing with it or feeling like it is right or wrong.  Just listen and hold a space of loving acceptance for yourself.

The voice will begin to quiet, your emotions calm and your body relax.

CHANGE IT UP

Next it is important to start telling a new story.   In truth these voices (often referred to as negative self talk) are lying.  We lie to ourselves so much we will be shocked when we really start listening to what we’re telling ourselves.

  • Begin to tell the truth of who you are.  You can start with “Thank you for your input but this is not Who I am.”
  • Describe Who you really are:

beautiful, loving, kind, compassionate, capable, honest, caring, helpful, smart, organized, competent, friendly, gentle, strong, energetic, deserving, worthy, loveable, wise, creative….

whatever fits the bill for the current negative talk.

BE CONSISTENT

We must catch ourselves in the act of lying to ourselves and consciously, continuously tell the story of Who we really are.

  • Keep listening to and observing yourself.
  • Notice how often  you hurt yourself with negative self talk.
  • Notice how this talk leaves you feeling.
  • When you notice yourself engaging in hurtful thoughts turn it around with a new story.

Tell yourself the truth of how wonderful you really are.

happy butterfly

GET REAL!

There is one voice that we often find more difficult to deal with because it couches itself in “logic” and “reality”.  This is a voice that if you believe what it says might seem to be keeping you safe but it is really keeping you very small.  If you need to you can start with baby steps.

  • Identify one thing about yourself that you really like:
  1. a talent you have always had
  2. a skill you have developed
  3. a personal quality or characteristic
  4. something you achieved that you may have thought you couldn’t
  • When you are being told “you can’t!” remind yourself that you can.
  • When you are being told “be realistic” remind yourself how quickly reality shifts and changes.  At one time the world was flat!

SHIFT YOUR FOCUS

What we focus on whether we see it in our mind as thoughts or mental chatter or what we see in our surroundings or interactions with others is what we will continue to see and hear.  Practise seeing and hearing something else.  See the potential that is there in you and in life.

woman looking to heaven

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A New Year – A New You

There are still a couple spots left for participation in this course!  

We begin Monday, 14 January, 2013 in Carleton Place and Thursday, 17 January on Skype.  Details below…

When we know that Life offers us more than what we appear to be experiencing we begin to search for answers.  We sense that in truth the answers lie within but for some reason we are not accessing them.

What better time than at the start of a New Year to begin the process of Self Transformation?

fireworks

Carleton Place 

Coach Mary will facilitate a small group (3 to 6 participants) in Carleton Place.  Our first session will be Monday 14 January 2013, 7:30 PM.  Join us then to experience the first steps in your new adventure and then register for the sessions following.

Contact: baerg-martens@hotmail.com

Long Distance – On Line

Coach Mary will facilitate a small group (3 to 6 participants) via Skype.  Our first session is Thursday, 17 January 2013, 7:00 PM EST.  Join us then to experience the first steps in your new adventure and then register for the sessions following.

Contact: baerg-martens@hotmail.com

Testimonials

“Mary is an amazing coach with the skills to get to the underlying matter of the challenges I was facing.  She was able to shift my awareness enabling me to see what I truly needed to focus on . . . the things within my own energy and life that I needed to shift to align myself with my Intentions and then inspire me into action I knew I needed to take to move forward.  Mary is a powerful partner in my continuing transformation.”

Dave

“I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank-you to you for joyously instructing.  Your coaching for these courses is enlightening and fun.  With attention to each participant discussions help to open our spiritual, emotional and mental way of being.  Your approach to meditation is soothing and rejuvenating”

Jill

LIFIWONDERFUL!

LIFE HAS CHALLENGES!

MOVE THROUGH THEM WITH GRACE AND EQUANIMITY

A Course in

Self-Awareness, Self-Development and Personal Fulfillment

In applying the tools presented in this course we achieve our goals whether that be

  • Improving relationships or entering into one
  • Finding a new job or moving ahead in a current career
  • Overcoming a personal tragedy
  • Increasing financial, physical or emotional well-being

STEP ONE

In any project or undertaking the first step is to know what we are dealing with.  So in working with ourselves to achieve our dreams or to change our life we first must become aware of what is really going on with ourselves.   The initial course is:

BEING THE OBSERVER

Two Seven-Session Modules

$140 per Module

  • When:  A new group meets Monday, 14 January, 2013 at 7:30 PM  (see details above for distance group)  
  • Who:  Mary Martens. Please use this link to read about Coach Mary

https://coachingmary.wordpress.com/about/.

  • Where:  Home of Mary Martens in Carleton Place (address upon registration)
  • What: In this first section of the course we will work with
  1. Self-perception
  2. Self-observation techniques
  3. Defining your particular obstacles to manifesting your desires
  4. Meditation
  5. Introducing the basic energy centers

CONTACT

Mary Martens

baerg-martens@hotmail.com

My intent is to assist my clients in moving with simplicity and ease through their healing, growth and evolution.

NOTE – if you are interested in this course but class time is simply not possible for you contact me to discuss other options

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Some Day I Hope You’ll Join Us

As we near the end of 2012 and the Mayan Calendar we may be wondering what is ending?  Or could it be a beginning?

I am living in a new world – one that I did not know existed a while back.   This world has always been here running parallel to or simultaneously with the world I inhabited but I was unaware of it.  There are many portals to this world through which we can step and in first discovering it we find ourselves being drawn back and forth across the threshold over and over as we continue to make the choice to live in this new world.  We get pulled from the real world back into the world of illusion as it is quite magnetic for many reasons.

Our collective past has us believing that this physical world we inhabit is real and concrete and that we have little affect on it.  We believe that what is IS and if we don’t like it we must fight it or put up with it.  We believe that because there are aspects to this concrete world that don’t fit our vision of an ideal world that it does not nor ever will exist for us.  We believe that because there are people in this world that hold mal-intent, selfishness, greed and dishonesty that those forces will too often win out.   And in holding onto these beliefs we hold this broken world in place.  We hold ourselves in it.

We are not here to suffer and yet so many do.  We believe such strange things about suffering such as it is our lot in life.

We deserve to be happy.  We deserve to be fulfilled.

We deserve to have comforts in life.

      

We deserve companionship and enjoyment.

Regardless of our circumstances we deserve these things.

No matter what, no matter how low or bad things go we can raise ourselves up to this new world.  The portals are within each of us to access.  And each time we pass through one another is there through which we can step.  And yes we will step back and forth each time as we raise ourselves and get drawn back down and raise ourselves again until we pass through the portal a final time to reside there a while before moving through the next and the next and the next.  Once we have been there we can go there again and again until we finally call it home.

I visit my old worlds often because I have many people in my life that still live in them.  But I do not stay there anymore.  My world is a world similar to what John Lennon sang of in his beautiful song “Imagine”.  Some day I hope you’ll join us….

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It’s an Odd Behaviour We Have

Strangely we have a propensity to view things negatively.  We tend to see the world as a nice place to be BUT (there is so often a “but”….)  We see something not so nice happen and start thinking “bad  things always happen”.  We see a moment when we don’t have something that we would like to have and we think “we’ll never get it” or once we have it that “we’ll lose it”.  We hear that a great big storm is on the way and that everything is going to fall apart around us.

We hear news of some virus that’s going around and we’re sure we’re all going to get sick.

Well yes, sometimes not so nice things happen.  However, look back on your life.  Out of all your moments how many were truly awful?

  • How many were pretty fine?
  • How many were comfortable?
  • How many were satisfying?
  • How many were filled with laughter and fun?
  • How many were filled with joy and excitement?

Life Is Pretty Good

Can we truly say that most of life is negative?  It is long overdue that we begin to change our perspective.  Our focus on horror, negativity, lack, greed, envy must shift to seeing what really IS.  Most of what goes on is beautiful, positive, abundant, caring, compassionate, joyful and satisfying.

Most of Life is wonderful!  And isn’t that what we would prefer?

But (and here’s that “but” again) – we hit a bump in the road and in the oddest behaviour imaginable we want to stay with that bump by

  • complaining about it.
  • analyzing it.
  • trying to fix it.
  • blaming someone or something for it.

We point fingers and panic!

Bumps in the road or challenges happen but when we focus on them in a negative way we make the challenge harder for us to move through.   This behaviour can even make the challenge bigger or worse (to use a negative perspective).

I’ve been asked over and over:

“Well, what do we do about those things that are not good in this world?”

First we must stop our negative focus, our negative reactions and importantly our finger pointing.  When we are in negativity and thinking someone or something is out to do us harm (whether or not they really are) we feel threatened and unsafe.

Second we must acknowledge what IS.  See the situation as it IS (just the facts).  This will give us a sense of some control.

Third we must know what we would prefer to what IS.  This empowers us.

Fourth we can now go about manifesting what we prefer.  This also empowers us.

Let’s take an example:

I often hear people complain about big companies that are selling things that are considered not good for us and yet the company claims these things are good for us and continue to sell and promote their ‘goods’.  A common reaction to this is to

  • complain about the company and their products,
  • petition against the company,
  • put forth government legislation in attempts to stop or hinder the company,
  • demonstrate against the company and its policies, etc.

Now, if we were in the company’s shoes would we not fight back?  And does that then not encourage us to fight back?  And on and on it goes.  So all of these things we think we are doing to make a better world are in fact keeping it just the way it is.

In this scenario what would we prefer?  What would our world be like for us if it were the way we prefer?  Probabilities might include:

  • having goods and services that are in fact good for us.
  • having companies that have everyone’s best interests at heart
  • a peaceful resolution

Envision that this is so and then begin to see how it would manifest.   We know it does not manifest well through aggressive means such as those listed above although it may with much adversity and anguish.   And we would prefer to have this new world or situation manifest with more ease.

Individually we do not have to be someone like Gandhi or Mother Teresa to make a difference.  What role can each of us play to bring about the change we desire without going into anger and finger pointing tactics and the roller coaster of emotional outbursts?

We must keep the focus on us and what we prefer.  Some possibilities include:

  • producing our own beneficial goods individually and collectively so that we are no longer dependent on the company’s ‘goods’
  • educating ourselves and each other on healthy choices
  • educating our leaders with the focus on what we desire (not what we don’t want)
  • consistently letting our leaders and the company know what we prefer by purchasing only beneficial goods
  • letting our leaders and the company know what we prefer by stating consistently, repeatedly and unwaveringly what that is.
  • discontinue talking and thinking about what we don’t want – keep the focus on what we DO want

What we are talking about here is a difficult relationship – between a company and the people and what amounts to a disagreement.  We could as easily be talking about a relationship between two people.  Focus on what you DO want.

The change in our world will not happen overnight but with consistency of focus on what we desire to manifest we become the change we want to see in the world and our world will change in accordance with that.

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