Tag Archives: personal development

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.

Eyes to Seize Opportunity

My boyfriend and I bundled up for the chilly but bright Colorado morning trek down the road to Nancy Lewis Park.

Its year-round pond fountain, meditation garden, and landscaping are still thriving in the winter! (Though this photo was taken at the end of the summer.)

Nancy Lewis Park Fountain

Even though much of the pond was iced over, ducks and geese were still swimming or sliding about! Mallards quacked in anticipation as we opened our bag of corn and tossed some in the water, then onto the bank. Once they realized we were giving away treats, more rushed out of the water to greet us.

Across the concrete path was a large grassy field where a hundred more ducks and a several dozen geese were pecking the ground.

As we approached them, the group slowly migrated away.

We grabbed a handful of corn and tossed it in there direction where only the fringe ducks noticed and edged closer to us, while the rest kept eking away. What rebels! They were the only ones brave enough to see that we had far better food than the dirt they were digging into.

A few ducks, and zero geese ate a fabulous treat today.

Are You a Duck or a Goose?

I looked at my boyfriend and said, “Oh my gosh, this is just like people! We don’t see the opportunities for something better or more or easier or exciting—we won’t even see it when it’s right in front of us!”

If we won’t see it, then we can’t take it.

This is how important mindset is—being willing to SEE, being willing to BELIEVE. To KNOW that everything we need is here somewhere waiting in the form of an opportunity to be seized.

Are you going to stay stuck in your best, but often unfruitful efforts with beak to the ground, afraid of anything that comes along that you think is too big for you? Or are you going to keep your head up and rise to the occasion and simply take hold of the opportunity for growth and amazing fulfillment?

Do you look around at a hundred people next to you digging in the same dirt? Or do you look to the fringes where successful people are growing in ways they never imagined?

You can be and have the results of either—it’s 100% your choice!

I hope you will be that duck, that lucky duck!

2017 could be your year to do it bigger and better than ever before! Design Your Empowered Life with Tanisha Martin will support your focused, step-by-step growth in five key life areas for the first 90 days. Learn more and register here: TanishaMartin.com/empoweredlife

P.S. I awesomely neglected to remove the Early Bird discount on time a week ago, so today is the last day to grab it at this incredible rate before it’s gone.

The One True Straight and Narrow Path

For some, the term “Straight and Narrow Path” is a moral code.

I grew up in a religion that used the phrase to indicate that moral code, plus a collection of behaviors, rites, and rituals one must accomplish in order to receive exaltation.

Years ago, well before my traumatic but beautiful faith transition, I started to see a new meaning unfold.

As I took step after step into my own personal awareness journey, I started to connect on a deeper level with character attributes—where they served me, where they went too far, and where they didn’t go far enough.

If I was working on a new coaching program, kung fu skill, or speaking engagement, I had to infuse my own confidence into the project in order to keep pressing ahead rather than quitting at every whisper of my past screaming at me that “I can’t.”

If I took that confidence too far, it turned into arrogance, infused with ego, and stopped me from seeking valuable support or feedback.

If I remained humble, but remembered all of the proof in my life that I’m truly “less than the dust of the earth,” I slipped into self-doubt and depression.

I started to realize there is a perfect place where confidence without arrogance, and humility without depression coexist.

This is the Straight and Narrow Path to ultimate joy and love.

This is that perfect place of BEing within ourselves that serves us and others in the best possible way.

Amend this Common Dichotomy Immediately…

This Straight and Narrow applies to all of the vast dichotomys of life, however one stands out to me today as I see clients, students, and friends subconsciously use one beautifully true principle to squash an even more important truth—the value of their own self-love.

Serving others is a critical component of a fulfilling life, however, hands down, most people overvalue serving others and undervalue honoring themselves.

Regardless of how much they know and believe this principle intellectually, the real, tangible results in their life indicate they don’t actually believe it in their very being.

If you take an honest look at the evidence in your life and discover this is you, then it’s time to flip it on its head!

You MUST begin with the utmost love and respect for yourself in order to create the best you to give to others—the best energy, value, hope, friendliness, love, clarity of mind, and the list goes on.

There can be no other way to successfully render loving service but to begin with you. To attempt to forget yourself and begin with another person, is to destroy the order of existence, and to deny those you would serve of the very best of yourself.

Those in my Tai Chi classes will recognize the successful resolution of this dichotomy in the principle of the substantial vs. unsubstantial, as it relates to the anchor of your self-love feeding the ability to serve others as much as you would like.

Of course, do not restrict yourself in serving others until you feel fulfilled—it’s a symbiotic relationship, in which you’ll rapidly achieve your balance when you use both aspects to feed and uplift the other.

The Many Faces of the Straight and Narrow

What other character traits are valuable, but can easily contradict each other when taken too far or not far enough?

Here are some examples:

  • Confidence & Humility
  • Self-Love & Serving Others
  • Exuding Joy & Processing Grief
  • Living in Abundance & Budgeting Realistically
  • Being Actively Fit & Pampering/Resting/Recovering
  • Working IN Your Business & Working ON Your Business
  • Productive Drive & Relaxation

Which of these do you feel are on point? Which are struggles for you?

Are there others that come to mind?

It’s a lifelong process to establish and live fully in your One True Straight and Narrow path of balance for benefit of your own greater good and of those around you. Awareness is the first step, followed by a commitment to adjusting.

Though this doesn’t happen overnight, we will establish the foundation for your balanced Straight and Narrow Path with the next group or private coaching offering.

UPDATE:

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 at Support@TanishaMartin.com 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.