Venturing Outside the Echo Chamber

“Safety” in the Echo Chamber

The echo chamber is this awesome place where your thoughts are always validated, everyone in there with you thinks you’re a genius, and this warm, comfy blanket reassures you day in and day out that you’re safe.

But, word of caution, the price you pay for such a love-fest means you stagnate—you cease to learn and grow, and you might even become overly argumentative, or even hostile.

I guess that’s okay if you already know everything, but if you have a sneaky suspicion you don’t actually know it all, you might want to try to step out of the chamber for a minute.

Even though I knew so much (with good reason at the time), I have still been extremely lucky to have been well-rounded with friends with or without similar religious or spiritual beliefs to mine, from Mormons to Muslims to Buddhists to Atheists.

Being willing to openly discuss views and opinions with them has been wonderful to keep me growing, though up until a few years ago, I did so with my mind already made up. Even so, I wasn’t offensive and the seed for seeking truth in a bigger and better way than I had known before was planted.

Opposing Views

Surprisingly, social media influenced me during that time as well.

Getting out of your own echo chamber means having an opportunity to see another view, and maybe even changing your own.

For those who say you can’t change someone’s mind on social media, I say “BS!” My views on public breastfeeding totally flipped a 180!

To be fair, no one else could change my mind, but they did influence me to change my own mind!

With enough exposure to reasons for the opposing view, followed by a stranger’s suggestion to step back and honestly ask ourselves why we viewed it our way, I was able to discover “filter” I was seeing the situation through was completely off-base.

I’ve met others who have said their minds were changed through social media as well. Here is a fantastic example from a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church!

The key is to get out of our own echo chambers and be willing to understand another view, even if you still disagree in the end. If you can say, “I don’t agree with that but I understand why they view it that way,” then you’ve made it!

These connections with acquaintances or even strangers of different views can have lasting meaning.

Demographic Differences

Same when connecting with different demographics.

I have an amazingly open friend, with whom I relate on many spiritual and life experience levels, even though we have a big difference in age. Because of our similar mindful and universal law studies and practices, I recently assisted her in a Mindful Aging course she taught for people over two decades older than me.

Some similarities I appreciated were that I turn 40 tomorrow, a number I can’t even comprehend, and to see some of the concerns I have discussed so openly with them was extremely comforting and helped me shift my mindset around them. I can start now before I get to the age where they are just starting…

A surprise bonus connection was that one participant was caring for a spouse who had dementia, and she expressed the difficulty in not knowing who she was going to be interacting with from one moment to the next. Even though the circumstances were different, I related to her with my own experience with my ex and his multiple-personality-type behavior, which meant my asking “Who is it?” more times a day than I care to remember.

Between various views and demographics, when we leave our echo chambers with an open mind and heart, we soon learn we have a lot to gain from our differences, and we have so much more alike than we ever thought.

Share some of your own connection stories in the comments!

Is God in Charge or You?

Ah, the everlasting balancing act of making things happen in your life, and letting go and letting God.

(Or the Universe, or higher energy, etc.—I’m going to use “God” in most of this post, but feel free to substitute with your own personal beliefs.)

I’ve heard this popular saying many times in my life (and I’ve seen it, or something almost identical, attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Augustine, and Dave Ramsey, all within the first few results of a Google search…)

Pray like everything depends on God.
Work like it all depends on you.

Who is really in charge here?

Is it all in God’s hands and going to happen as He wills regardless?

Is it up to you to decipher His will and fulfill it?

Is it up to you to decide what you’re willing to go for then make it happen?

Some might simply say, “What’s the question here? It’s so obvious—we pray to know God’s will and ask for His help in gratitude, and then we go do all we can.”

And they’re right—it is that simple… in our minds…

But take a good, honest assessment of your experiences and results in life, and the way you approach that “pray and work” balance. Are you really doing everything you can, or when failure appears imminent, do you stop your efforts with comments like, “Oh, well. I guess that wasn’t God’s will after all.”?

Look, there is nothing wrong with recognizing a bad turn here and there, but it is an epidemic when so many of us end up using “God’s will” as an excuse to stop short of excellence, to stop short of our goals.

Your Unified Relationship with God

Some scriptures state that when you do what He says, His hands are tied, but when you don’t, you have no promise.

Others remind us the lily in the field takes no concern for its care, it just thrives where it is without worry as the sun and dew nourish it.

Yet others remind us of the great power of choice we have been divinely given in this life.

So how do these fit together in our daily lives to move us forward, following the ultimate Law of all—the Law of More Life?!

Regardless of your spiritual or religious affiliation, here’s the high truth in this concept:

Whether you believe God is fully in charge or not, you must get up and get it done.

Whether you believe you are on your own or not, you must trust in at least the natural Universe to respond to your efforts.

This goes back to the “Straight and Narrow” concept where what seems to be polar opposites dwell in perfect harmony within you.

Whether your beliefs relate to the natural Universe, God, higher energy, Source, quantum physics, or something else, you are completely responsible for your efforts and how you experience life, AND you can rely on that force outside of yourself to respond back to you with a mirror and expansion of what you put out there.

  1. Trust your inner desires, because if they are not dysfunctional, they are assuredly divine.
  2. Trust in your personal development work—grow to stop putting out there fear of what you don’t want to receive, and put more out there of what you do want to receive!
  3. Do let go and let God, in the sense that all of your efforts carry an open energy, as you watch for the clues and opportunities around you.
  4. Do work like it all depends on you. Create a sense of urgency to drive you forward, while keeping the energy open and non-restrictive so you can receive all that is available to you, which is everything the Universe is and has.

Find that straight and narrow place where those truths coexist in perfect harmony and go out and LIVE!

From there, you can do anything! You can pay your bills on time. You can stock your favorite food. You and your children can create magnificent experiences. You can bless way more people in your business and charity work.

Start here now, and start experiencing what is “there” right away.

Stop Doing it Alone

Seriously, stop.

(And I can say this because I am the queen of doing it alone, and I’m so done with that, as evident by my own resurgence through high-level coaching and speaking support.)

I guarantee finding that balance, moving forward, creating real change, and transforming your life to the next level of your greatness is so much harder alone than with the right support.

If you are serious about the next level you want to experience, then you are equally serious about being a part of the universal community of giving and receiving in order to achieve it!

Remember that what you put out there comes back to you. Everything naturally works together in this way for your benefit and for the benefit of those around you.

Here is one opportunity to get that level of support, and get the give and take flow moving:

For May 2017 (or until spots fill, whichever comes first) I am slashing my coaching prices as I launch my new S.E.L.F. (Self-Empowered Life Formula) Coaching Program.

Send me an email with “schedule a session” in the subject line to Support@TanishaMartin.com. I will respond to schedule a complimentary SELF-Discovery session to see how your self-love mindset and success-driven actions rate and where they are stuck, holding you back from having the time, money, or energy to excel to your next level and to love your life right now.

You can absolutely rely on God and the Universe, and you can absolutely trust yourself to do what it takes. You just have to really want it, and set yourself up for success!

(I can help you with both of those.)

You’ve got this!

Why Forgiveness is No Longer for Me

I Forgave Myself

I forgave myself…

  • for not being as good a friend as I could have been, especially during times of their grief.
  • for getting into debt. Well almost. My plan was to fully forgive after I had finished paying off all of my debts.
  • for being socially awkward many times in my life, including a few recently that embarrassed me.
  • for taking too long writing and editing my memoir.
  • for not recognizing that I was in an abusive relationship, for putting him first to the detriment of myself, for staying way too long…

 

In fact, this major awakening around the concept of forgiveness I’m about to share started a few years ago, as I learned how the subconscious mind works, but really developed because there was a part in one of my book drafts where I made those exact self-forgiveness statements regarding my abusive marriage.

As I read that section again later, it occurred to me that other women who have been (or still were) in an abusive relationship might internalize those statements, and I absolutely did not want them to think that they needed forgiveness!

And if they didn’t need forgiveness, why did I

It became crystal clear in the context of having been a victim to a perpetrator abusing me, that I needed no forgiveness. What an absurd notion—to need forgiveness for the acts of another person?!

But what about the aspects that were my choice, such as staying with him when I knew I could have safely left. Those facets were at least partially attributed to his lies and manipulation, which convoluted my choice. However, regardless of whether my choice was absolutely clear in the big picture or twisted by circumstances, the answer is still obvious that still no forgiveness is needed.

Subconscious Programming and Awareness Levels Matter

I did exactly what I was programmed to do—sacrifice myself to be loved. In this case, that deep-seeded belief system showed up as my sacrificing myself for God’s bigger picture, for my husband to have a greater chance at healing and redemption.

Why would I need forgiveness for executing a hard-wired program that, in addition to being the filter through which we all process all of our life experiences, was (in theory and intent) completely in line with my religious upbringing?

No, I didn’t need forgiveness for my acting through my subconscious program (based on the fact that that is simply how humans function)! Nor did I need forgiveness for my then-level of awareness.

I didn’t need forgiveness any more than a child needs forgiveness for falling during her attempts to learn to walk.

Thus I have two solid reasons for not needing to forgive myself—I didn’t make his choices, he did, and my programming and awareness simply were what they were.

But what if I still felt like a stupid idiot? If so, I lean toward attempting to forgive myself anyway as a solution. I’m not going to go that direction, though, because the only reason to feel stupid is if I feel shame for what happened to me, shame for what he did, shame over my choices, or shame over any other aspect.

Judgment Creates Shame, Which Creates the Desire to Be Forgiven

 

Shame is merely me judging myself as being wrong.

While I would make different choices today, that is only because my awareness has expanded and I have grown as a person. It’s not because “I was wrong back then and I am right now.”

Without judgment of being wrong, there is no need for forgiveness.

Judgment leads to shame, which leads to suffering, which understandably can lead to the desire to forgive oneself (or others) in order to ease that suffering.

Most of us were taught through subtle (or not so subtle) messages that judgment is the overriding law of existence—live to be judged for it, so you better be good.

I submit that the truth is something better…

I submit that we exist to LIVE!

There are natural consequences to our beliefs, thoughts, and actions. There is no judgment attached those in nature or in the Universe.

If you are a jungle cat, you either hunt to eat or you don’t eat. You don’t worry about how stupid you were that your hunt yesterday failed. You just keep going until you succeed at filling your belly.

I propose we recognize the lack of judgment in nature and remove it from ourselves. I propose we stop forgiving ourselves altogether.

Removing judgment removes shame, which removes the need for forgiveness.

I’d far rather assess whether or not my life matches my divine desires, and assess if I am currently (or will be by achieving my desires and goals) harming myself or others. From those assessments, I can make result-based decisions—what serves me and others well and what doesn’t?

There is still evaluation and improvement, if one so desires, but it is all without judgment.

So much more can be done to improve ourselves when we are not caught up in judgment and shame!

Yes, forgiveness traditionally has helped with that shame, but how infinitely more effective is our joy if we remove the root cause of it in the first place?!

I propose that we love ourselves unconditionally. I propose that we see ourselves and others without judgment.

This open approach is even more complete and effective than forgiveness, because it eliminates the need for forgiveness and it is based in pure love.

I propose that we simply love.

Why We Can’t Leave it Alone

“You Leave But You Can’t Leave it Alone”

That is the criticism every non-silent former Mormon (or other religious tribe where this is a common issue) hears from still-member friends and all the way up the the leaders of the Church.

This is why people can “leave the Church, but not leave it alone” and “tear apart their family” in the process.

(No doctrine, history, or “anti” info here. Just an analogy to answer the question.)

I know its hard for those who believe to be left by those they love and to feel attacked. I was one of them. I know exactly how that feels, both in times when truly hurts and times when you easily “let go and let God.” I know how it feels to trust God and love them anyway.

…Love, but not truly hear…

The Family’s Favorite Uncle

It’s always the person willing to expose the family’s favorite uncle for abuse he’s committed, who gets blamed for tearing the family apart, rather than the uncle who actually committed those crimes.

Why?

In many cases it’s because the other family members can’t fathom the accusations are true. Even if there is proof—they already KNOW he’s wonderful, no matter what evidence there is to the contrary (including evidence actually admitted by HIM).

Or because they value not rocking the boat more than they value the truth, in spite of the accounts of those who have been hurt by him. Rocking the boat directly affects them because it is negative and feels horrible.

Or because of the great good he also does in the world.

Or maybe they feel he “got better,” thus don’t feel its important everyone knows about it, even in order to be informed and aware for the safety of their children, just in case.

Or they have seen some of the evidence but feel his rebuttal debunked it to their satisfaction.

Or they heard some of the accounts of abuse and felt forced to believe the victim was lying, or that it didn’t matter as much as the greater unity of the family, or that the victim somehow caused the incident, or other discounting views of the victim’s experience.

Or any number of other reasons.

Tragically, the one who was willing to step out of the family’s/tribe’s status quo to raise awareness about the harm, is the one who gets the heat.

Now, you may feel this analogy does not apply—you may feel it is false accusation, and for this discussion that is okay! We are not getting into the proof or debate on that.

All I ask is that you try to understand that many others you love feel it does apply, and thus it warrants compassion at the very least (how would you feel being the one having knowledge of the favorite uncle’s abusive behavior?), or even better, open listening and honest understanding.

Does this Change Anything?

Considering this analogy, do you feel there is a way to now mend the bridge over the pain between the two perspectives?

Why or why not?

Under what terms?

Empowerment Living and Faith Transition

Introduction to Commonalities Between Empowerment and Faith Transition

I have wondered whether I’d ever broach “faith transition” in conjunction with Empowerment Coaching, and the more I’ve shared about it on my personal Facebook Profile over the last year, the more I realize how it fits with the needs of many in our community here.

This is my first post on this topic on my Empowerment Blog, and I will import and add more here under a new category dedicated to experiences around “Faith Transition.”

There are so many joyful and challenging commonalities between the various aspects of a “faith crisis” or “faith transition” experience and personal development for empowerment!

Among them:

  • Living your authentic self
  • Recognizing your divine nature and worth with ZERO caveats
  • Dealing with criticisms of loved ones who don’t understand or can’t fathom what you’ve discovered or why you take the path you are on
  • Breaking out of the mold of the standard “middle/working class” mindset in favor of greater joy and abundance, and breaking out of the family and/or religious mold also in favor of greater joy and abundance
  • Leaving your tribe, your known world and community for the unknown
  • Embracing unrestricted access to all the Universe has for you

I’ve had many meaningful spiritual experiences and transformational breakthroughs in my life, and by far my faith crisis and subsequent transition has become the single most significant (traumatic, joyful, and important) event of my life.

If you’ve been through a faith transition, posts in this category will hopefully serve as support from someone who knows how traumatic having your entire world flipped upside-down in this way can be.

If you haven’t but know someone who has, I hope these will serve as a basis for understanding and thoughtful discussion.

Varied Beliefs Between Coach and Client

No matter what religious or other “package” you put around High Truth/Universal Laws, the Laws remain and are compatible with any belief system. I have experienced them as a firm believer in my former religion, and as a post-believer, and I’ve found they function the same.

Empowerment Coaching with me has no bearing on what religion, spirituality, or atheism you and I personally ascribe to, and as long as we both fully realize that, we can work together in utmost respect.

As always, the ultimate goal is for personal empowerment, whereby we can live our most fabulous lives and influence the world to do the same!