Who Am I Being ?
by: William Frank Diedrich

Who am I being right now? Who was I being in that situation? These are questions I ask myself every day? I want to know. If I am interacting and the interaction feels uncomfortable--who am I being that this feels so bad? Over the years I have created many images of myself which I find myself defending, attacking, or portraying to others. In my book, The Road Home, I call these false views of self. The Arbinger Institute, authors of Leadership and Self Deception (a must read book), call these self justifying images.

A few weeks ago I found myself in a conversation where the other person became very impatient with me. I, then, became impatient with her impatience. I called attention to her impatience and made it clear I didn't like it. The next day I asked myself: "Who was I being that the person talking to me became very impatient?" The answer came: "I'm the kind of person who deserves to be treated with respect". This person wasn't giving me what I deserved, so obviously she was out of line.

This is the kind of thinking that gets us into more conflict. A Course in Miracles says there are only two kinds of thinking--love and fear. In love, I am caring and responsive toward myself and others. I am able to see the good in the other person. In fear I feel threatened and resistant both toward myself and the other. I tend to add up the faults of the other person and, of course, affirm my virtues. I tell myself this other person is disrespectful, impatient, unappreciative of me, and doesn't listen. I tell myself that I am respectful, communicating well, and would never treat her disrespectfully. This is how the image justifies itself. Does this sound a little silly? I hope so, because it is silly. It is also common, everyday, insane communications between people.

Here's the rule of thumb: if I think someone else is a problem person, then I'm the problem. This doesn't mean people don't do inconsiderate and even horrible things. This doesn't mean that I never talk to someone else about their poor behavior. It means that my discomfort, my anger, my resentment, and my irritation are not about them. Who am I being that I felt and spoke and acted the way I did? As Stephen Covey has said: "How you see the problem is the problem.". Yet, it goes beyond perception. It's who I am being that is the problem.

If I am going through my day and I feel great, my relationships feel great, and I feel in alignment with my Self I get to say, "Great! I'm doing it. I'm in the flow. I'm responding to people and to life. I'm expressing love." If things aren't going well, people are impatient with me, and I feel uncomfortable, I get to ask myself the question: "Who am I being that these things are happening?" Am I the kind of person who prizes suffering? Do I maintain it by refusing to forgive others? Am I the kind of person who likes drama? Am I starring in a drama where everyone else is wrong and I, alone, am right? Am I the hero who is going to set everyone else straight? Who am I being?

There are many self justifying images that people create. Examples include "I am the kind of person who is hardworking (not lazy), compassionate (not selfish), smart (not stupid) or not appreciated (for all that I do). We find these images in areas where we are particularly sensitive, defensive, or emotional. My example is the image that I am the kind of person who deserves respect. If this is the image I am managing then I will be on the lookout for disrespect. When I think I'm getting disrespect I will be angry, resentful, irritated. I will tend to interpret the moods of others as disrespect toward me. Wherever I carry this self justifying image I will spend my energy demanding respect rather than giving it. I will focus my energy on me rather than the other person. I will resist people rather than responding to them. I will feel threatened and fearful, and my behavior will arise from a place of fear and threat. If a person offers me disrespect, my demand for respect will not encourage respectful behavior. It will invite disrespect. But, you may ask: "Don't you deserve respect? What does one do when receiving disrespect? How do we motivate someone to be respectful?"

These are good questions. A Course in Miracles says that fear is a call for love. I have the option whether or not to answer the call. I answer the call by responding. I respond by taking the focus off me and putting it on the other person. I may ask what the problem is. I might tell the other person to back off. I may sense a deeper issue in the person and speak to it. I may let it go and not say anything. It is not what I do that makes the difference. It is who I am being in that moment. If I am responding from a place of caring about the well being of this person; of acknowledging their needs and concerns being as important as my own; and of doing what intuitively feels right, then I will respond with love. Whether my behavior is soft or hard is not important. Love can be either. Responsiveness can be either. This is not about portraying myself as a caring person (another self justifying image). It is about actually caring.

It can be difficult to get past our self justifying images because we have spent so many years crafting and protecting them. The truth is, these images are a lot of work to keep up. We must be constantly vigilant and on the defense. Wouldn't it be great to let go of the job of image management and just respond to people. Once you have decided to become aware of self justifying images and let them go the results are immediate. You extend an open invitation to all others to do the same. A sense of ease flows through you. Relationships become easier when you are responding, recognizing the humanity in others, and seeing the good in them. Others begin changing because you have given them someone different to respond to. Your love inspires, uplifts, and enlivens each person you encounter. It's not what you do for others that uplifts them; it is who you are being.

About The Author

William Frank Diedrich is a speaker, executive coach and the author of three books, including The Road Home: The Journey Beyond the Spiritual Quick Fix, 30 Days to Prosperity, and Beyond Blaming. To learn more about his books, services, and free gifts go to



The Big Question for Any Relationship
by: Neil Millar

I’ve got one big question. It’s a question that will make everything in your relationship completely worthwhile… even the bits that get on your nerves and cause you head and heart aches…

It’s the type of question you wouldn’t ordinarily ask - but that’s okay, because you didn’t know to ask it… until now!

For most people, relationships don’t go smoothly. Undercurrents, disputes, emotions, periods, children, habits, morals, values, work hours and workloads, these are just a few of the kind of things that can cause conflicts. But what if I told you something…

What if I told you it’s not about the issue?

My philosophy is that no issue is bigger than the relationship. If we’re honest it’s never really the issue that causes the problem. What causes the problem is the emotions behind the issue.

And what causes the emotions?

What causes the our relationship conflicts is, at the core, very rarely the issue that’s in front of us now. This may seem hard to take at first so let me explain a little more.

When we react to something someone says or does we are in effect re-acting - behaving in way we acted before. This is what we might call learned behaviour. We may have learned that behaviour in a number of ways: watching our parents behaviour in a relationship, seeing it on TV, our own experience etc.

Are these learned re-actions appropriate in all circumstances?

I’d say no. A few days ago my partner made a sweeping statement that… well… to be frank, pushed all my buttons. What she said was like a red rag to a bull. Thankfully I caught myself before any real damage was done. I immediately knew there was nothing wrong with what she had said, or how she had said it. But the words she used, reminded me of someone else and a pattern of behaviour I ran with them. This is the type of conditioned, unconscious, response I’m talking about.

If your partner presses your buttons does it mean the relationship bad?

Conflict doesn’t have to mean the relationship is bad. It can indicate that you, or your partner, or most probably both of you, on occasions, have some things that you need to become more aware of. If you can begin to view your relationship as a playground to work these things out, the relationship can become a whole new arena of fun and games. And this is where my question can really help…

My question will get you thinking about the how you can help yourself and your relationship become a harmonious haven rather than a gladiator’s ring. It will help you be a more understanding person for your partner and it will help to spare you from saying things you’ll regret later.

The question is profoundly simple. But when you ask it and use the outcome effectively you begin to take your relationship onto a new level. Things that used to cause you problems will vanish. And when new things come up they’ll have very little power.

When you find your buttons have been pushed the question you have to ask is this: What’s this really about?

Simple isn’t it. But it takes you right to the heart of the matter. As I said, relationship conflict is rarely about an issue and more to do with the conditioned responses.

By asking my question what you do is take the conditioned behaviour and transform it into the conscious. In effect what begins to happen is this: you move beyond the past conditioned response that causes conflict and are left with the current issue. This question allows you to understand what’s going on inside you. Knowing this means you can then bypass the past and deal with what is currently before you.

But what if you don’t want to move beyond the past?

Then I guess you’ll continue to re-act it out… until the pain and loss get the better of you.

My very good wishes


About The Author

Neil Millar
I hope that my newsletter, on creating a better life, will help you create a life you deserve. Find out more at



Shhh...How About a Little Quiet Time?
by: Kevin Eikenberry

I often say that our world is very different than it once was. And when I do people often shake their heads knowingly – I suppose that statement conjures a variety of ideas based on how old they are and from what vantage point they compare today with the past.

As our world continues to change, I believe there are some things getting lost that need to be re-found. The good news is many of these things can be re-discovered, and we have that power completely in our hands.

One thing we are losing is quiet.

We don't make room for quiet in our lives. When we are in the car, the radio is on. When we are walking or riding a bike or mowing our lawns or waiting for an airplane (add your own favorite activity here), we are listening to an iPod or something similar. When we are at home, or in many public places, the television is on. When we are working, the sound is turned up on our computers so we can hear the funny email, podcast, audio message from the CEO, or radio program on the Web.

These are all intentional activities and none of them include the ambient noise of traffic, other people and so much more.

And while we have all this noise around us, instinctively we know that quiet is a good thing.

We value the pause when a speaker gives us a chance to soak in his or her points. We enjoy the brief respite of quiet from a noisy conference. We enjoy a retreat to a quiet park or forest. While we know quiet is valuable and useful, we don’t always take advantage of that knowledge – we don’t choose quiet often enough.

However, in order for us to choose quiet, we must first choose some other things. We must choose to slow down. We must choose to stop multi-tasking. We must choose to be introspective. We must choose to spend time by ourselves. And all of these choices come before the choice for quiet – they are required prerequisites.

Think about it, how much time do you spend in quiet each day? While I haven't done a formal survey, I'll bet for the typical person, it is time measured in minutes – not even closely approaching an hour.

Ways to Use Our Quiet

Once you’ve made the choice to turn off the TV or radio, to take the earphones out of your ears, or to (gasp!) not fill that last open hour on your calendar with one more meeting, you’ve got to choose how to use your quiet time.

Rather than prescribing a specific thing you should do with that time, let me suggest a smorgasbord of ideas for you to consider. As you read the menu, pick the one or two you feel most drawn to, and start with those.

Do stretching exercises.

Clear your mind.

Review your goals and your progress towards them.

Visualize reaching your biggest goal.

Think about your day – reflect on the happenings and the lessons that can be learned.

Mentally preview tomorrow – planning and visualizing great success.

Review material from a book or training session.



Practice deep breathing.

Think of creative solutions to a challenge or problem you are facing.

Count your blessings.

Recall pleasant memories.

In school our teachers said “Shhh” when they wanted us to be quiet and pay attention. I encourage you to tell yourself “Shhh” – to make time for quiet, to give yourself a chance to focus, to connect and to reflect.

It’s time for me to be quiet and to give you a chance to do the same.

About The Author

Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. To receive your free special report on Unleashing Your Potential go to or call us at (317) 387-1424 or 888.LEARNER.



Top 10 Excuses People Make For Dating Failure (Part Two)
by: Scot McKay

Last week we talked about the first five of the "Top Ten Excuses" single adults make for dropping out of the dating pool. Today we'll cover the second half of the list. Fair warning-the bottom half of the list is even more hard-hitting than the first five, so fasten your seat belts. If you are making excuses for dating failure, prepare to be challenged…in the best possible way!

The first five "excuses" centered around physical limitations, advanced age, kids, game playing and finances. Let's continue where we left off:

1) Shyness

If words are hard to come by and meeting people is not easy, you certainly aren't alone. For better or worse, women still largely expect men to approach them first, so men especially have to get around shyness. This is probably the #1 excuse men give (along with the next one), and citing it can only point to one thing: you simply lack the guts to go for it. Women love men who are confident, and being able to start a conversation with an attractive woman is a key indicator of this. So guys, you just have to find the courage to make conversations happen. There are innumerable books and articles written on this elsewhere, but the best place to start is simply to make conversation with waitresses, bank tellers and any other women you meet during the course of daily life. Once you realize they will be friendly back, you are on the road to getting over shyness. If, on the other hand, you find women are NOT responding well, it's time to address creepiness-because women will normally respond very favorably (if not necessarily romantically) to any man who is friendly and non-threatening.

Ladies if you find yourself clamming up when an interesting guy approaches you, the same concept holds true. Just treat the conversation as if with anyone you've already known for years. Easier said than done, I realize, but again practice makes perfect.

2) Fear Of Rejection

Ah yes…the second excuse that men so often make. Our poor egos would be sooo bruised if a woman fails to validate us. The quickest cure for this is for a guy to begin to view approaching women as an opportunity to validate HER as a potential friend rather than a "do or die" referendum on whether she "accepts" him or not. That way, there's really no "rejection" involved, is there? The prevailing scenario is-again-that typically women will be friendly to guys who aren't obnoxious or creepy. If they are in fact rude to a guy who approaches, my feeling is that the guy dodged a serious bullet. Who wants to get stuck with a rude woman?

Fear of rejection can manifest itself even after a relationship is rolling. If we've been "dumped" a few times in a row it's easy to give up on dating altogether. Once again, asking the right questions ASAP in a relationship can help make sure differences in goals don't show up later. It's also important to look in the mirror if we get dumped time and again-especially if for no apparent reason. Are you giving vibes that you might not be trustworthy long term? Have you become less personable as your "true colors" are shown? Are you pushing too hard for commitment too early? All of these are GREAT reasons to get "dumped". Make sure you aren't perpetrating your own revolving-door relationships.

3) Risk

Schedule a few dates in public places and you'll soon realize that most of your dates aren't "dangerous"…even the ones you meet online. Once such "physical risks" are mitigated, consider emotional risks carefully. If you are afraid of "getting hurt" consider the types of people most likely to inflict emotional pain and avoid them. This means asking the right questions regarding what is expected out of a ‘relationship' and-quite simply-not becoming emotionally attached to someone with a different agenda. Will you ever be able to take all "risk" off the table? No. But as Tennyson is so often quoted as saying, "it's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all." Believe that, and you've cured yourself of this excuse…especially when you realize just how much lower the "risk factors" can truly be when the right conversations happen from the beginning.

4) "No Man Can Handle Me"

This is the mantra of smart, successful and / or strong willed women everywhere. Don't "dumb down" for anyone, but do make an effort to position yourself where you have the opportunity to meet guys who meet your standards. I'll be the first to acknowledge that sitting at the top of the bell curve means that your dating options are limited as a woman in particular. But you can and will meet a man you can respect…if you are determined. Don't give up.

5) Disdain For The Opposite Sex

Well, I hope that it comes as no surprise that people who really can't stand the opposite gender have a tough time finding someone of that demographic who is willing to commit to them. When spelled out so clearly it actually sounds silly, doesn't it? If your sexual orientation is straight yet you don't like the opposite sex much, plan on being very lonely until that is dealt with. Argue with me if you so choose, but my personal experience is that people who don't like the opposite sex are typically hard to get along with for members of their OWN gender also. Go figure.

Healthy relationships are one of life's greatest gifts. Everything we do here at X & Y Communications revolves around that principle. Instead of "giving up" in the face of doubt, the better response is to make the effort to deserve what you want. Through doing that the weakness imposed upon us by excuses for failure are transformed into power by virtue of taking responsibility for our own success. Cool, huh?

As I mentioned, this is a three-part series. But we've covered the top ten excuses people give for dating failures already, right? I believe that there is an even greater specter looming so large over the lives of many people that the shadow it casts requires a discussion unto itself. Its diabolical power to keep people mired in loneliness will be exposed and unraveled in the next issue.

About The Author
Scot McKay's dating strategies are found at . Stop by right now and grab a FREE e-book ($20 value) when you sign up for the X & Y Communications Newsletter, which is always packed with unique and practical dating tips.



Top 10 Excuses People Make For Dating Failure (Part One)
by: Scot McKay

One of the most unfortunate truths in the dating world is that a disproportionately large number of single adults have actually given up on dating completely. Interestingly, some such people really have no concrete answer as to why this is. Others are readily able to come up with an excuse or two (or ten). Either way, it's tragic that so many people voluntarily choose a life without any chance of meeting a "significant other".

My personal feeling is that just about any one of us walking this planet could theoretically join the throng of those who have thrown in the towel on dating. Each one of us could cite some excuse of our own and be done with it-after all, nobody's perfect.

Yet there are plenty of people who experience wild success in the dating world despite their own subset of imperfections. The secret is figuring out what negative thoughts are theoretically limiting us and addressing them effectively.

While there are an infinite number of reasons people can cite for dating failure, there's a definite "Top Ten List" of excuses people tend to cling to for dating failure. Today we'll consider the first five:

1) Physical Limitations

While it's always a great idea to be in the best shape one can and to make some effort with regard to one's appearance, it's shocking how many people cite a relatively minor physical imperfection and automatically assume nobody will be interested in dating them. Ironically, many of what we see as "limitations" may be "perfect imperfections" in the eyes of a beholder.

2) Advanced Age

It's not uncommon to believe one is "too old" to date. Amazingly, this sentiment can present itself as early as 28 or 30 years of age for some people! Meanwhile, a simple look around shows that there are "newlyweds" of all ages out there. Logically, of course, all of these people had to start dating somewhere…and it probably wasn't years and years ago! Interesting, despite the stereotype of older guys dating younger women I find that men and women make this excuse in equal numbers.

3) Kids

How many single parents exclude themselves from the dating pool using their kids as an excuse? Many claim that they are just waiting until the kids "leave the nest" before dating again. This could mean ten or twenty years from now! Something tells me that someone who plays this card will simply utilize a different excuse after the kids are finally out of the house (maybe the one above?). Other single parents claim that "nobody will accept them and their kids as a package deal". Hey, how about all the other single parents out there? Would they not relate better to another single parent? If you are one also why deny them the chance to meet you?

4) Games

If you've been lied to, cheated on and / or stood up repeatedly it's easy to call it quits on dating just to make sure it doesn't happen again. How about asking key questions of prospective dates up front instead? Find out what others are looking for from a relationship and encourage honesty. If you've been stood up some, call out "flakiness" in the very conversation in which the first date is arranged. These options, although very direct, are a lot more comfortable than spending life alone.

5) Finances

"Women want rich guys and I don't make enough money." "Dating is too expensive." "I can't afford a babysitter". Yawn. Whatever happened to assuming the best from someone else? Not all women are "gold diggers". Likewise, if a single parent is financially strapped enough that hiring a babysitter is out of the question, it's not uncommon for a potential suitor to volunteer to cover the cost. Although it may be uncomfortable to accept such an offer, consider that denying it means you are depriving someone of the chance to date you…which is what he or she clearly prefers or the offer wouldn't have been extended.

Already you may be getting the idea that it's easy for just about anyone to pick an excuse and run with it-and that each one is often merely a front for remaining in one's "comfort zone". Indeed, dating is not for lazy people. Leaving that "comfort zone" is prerequisite for conquering fears or feeling of inadequacy and taking direct control of one's future happiness.

Stay tuned for part two of this three part series next week.

About The Author

Scot McKay's dating strategies are found at . Stop by right now and grab a FREE e-book ($20 value) when you sign up for the X & Y Communications Newsletter, which is always packed with unique and practical dating tips.



Affirmations To Give Yourself a Break this Christmas
by: Rebeckh Burns

Once upon a time the celebration of Christmas evoked a warm relaxed feeling. In today’s world it seems more like a manic, overly stimulated blur. We get pressure from all angles! Finishing off our last projects at work, not to mention the Christmas party, spending endless amounts of cash, overeating, organizing everything, dealing with the in-laws, and keeping the kids entertained during their holidays. This leaves us little or no time to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

However all the over stimulation can be quite fun. It gives us a buzz to have everyone united at this time, reflect on loved ones, catch up with friends and eat yummy food. But if you’re a mess then you won’t be much fun to be around, so don’t feel guilty, treat yourself, be yourself, don’t lose yourself in the madness remember balance is the key.

So here are a few tips for staying sane amongst all of the chaos. First of all don’t skimp on anything for yourself. Book a facial or a massage right now! And make sure that you give yourself the time space to enjoy some precious time for you. Then plan and budget for the next three weeks, don’t forget your Spa treatments! Buy yourself a gift, a fabulous new outfit, don’t spend all your money on everyone else. When you feel good you will project happiness and everyone else will react to this positively. When you start neglecting yourself and giving all your energy to everyone else people will pick up on this and reflect negatively.

Start planning early and buying some extras with your weekly shopping, so that you start to build a stash of goodies in the pantry. The same goes for presents. Instead of stressing at the last minute and making a mad rush to the shops with all the other midnight shoppers, start planning now and put things away. If you are finding it hard to make ends meet. Remember that things always have a habit of working out and you need to affirm this, it is universal law.

A lot of people see money slipping through their fingers during this time and don’t know how to control there spending or feel guilty from spending money. What you need to remember with this is that money will always be replenished, keep open to abundance and practice those abundance and prosperity affirmations!

Another difficulty common at Christmas time is dealing with relies. The key to dealing with negative people or situations is to remember that it is your reaction not Great Aunt Mildred, that is actually causing you grief.

Put a white protective aura of pure white light around yourself when you come into contact with a frosty neighbor or a negative relative and don’t let other people’s energy and words get under your skin. Life is to short, they have the problem not you, but it’s how you react that will cause you the problem.

With children, make sure you share the load with other people. If you are currently a single parent call on the services of a close friend or a grand parent to give you a bit of space.

Key things to remember – Start planning your Christmas day menu early, book yourself some treats and put a new outfit into your budget. Start budgeting for presents and making a list of what you will need and who for. Send positive energy to people that are negative. If you only react with a positive attitude this gives you far more personal power than a negative person. Plan to spend time resting and rejuvenating.

Affirmations for stress, prosperity and positive protection from negativity.

I am calm, confident and at peace with my life
Prosperity based on the power of the universe exists in me now and always
Prosperity is my natural state and a part of my mind and my life
I expect unexpected good things to happen to me this day and everyday
Perfect health is now mine
I send out a white protective aura of pure white light around myself
Any negativity I may be experiencing is just a transitional stage leading to greater good
Any negative energy that is directed at me is immediately meet and dissipated with positive energy

About The Author

With a Ph.D. in Metaphysics, Rebeckh Burns realised through her research the dehabilitating effects of negative thoughts.

You can find out more about Rebeckh and her range of Meditation Music - Affirmation CDs and Visualization Content at your website.



Hard to Change?
by: Miami Phillips

How many times in the past have you tried to change something about you?

Have you read an article discussing the benefits of time management and made a promise to your Self to follow the steps? Or, maybe the last seminar or teleclass you attended had some great ideas for changing your financial standing. Writing a book? Losing some weight? Self improvement?

How far did you get?

Don't worry, you are not alone. Most of us at one point or another decide to do something for ourselves or someone else. We have the best intentions in mind. We might even make some changes towards our goals, and go so far as to take some action steps. Have you ever bought an exercise machine? Yes, me too.

What happens to us? Why is it so hard to make these changes? There are several reasons.

The first and hardest challenge is our old friend the ego. Our ego is completely happy right where it is. Furthermore our ego absolutely hates changes and will go to great lengths to convince you that change is the worst idea you ever had. In fact, your ego will actually fabricate fear and pain in order to keep the status quo!

We have all heard it takes 21 days to create a new habit. We could change the statement to: it takes 21 days to break our ego of its old habits!

Another challenge is our network of friends and family. They don't want us to change either. If you change, they have to change as well. Since they know you as you are, if you change to something new they will have to adapt to the new you. Now your friends and families' egos are all up in arms too!

So how do we change?

1. Find a group to help you. Get some new friends who think like you. Find someone you know who is already doing what you are doing.

2. Plan your change carefully. If you have a plan to follow, it is much simpler to keep to your path. Blindly stumbling around attempting to make changes allows your ego way too many chances to throw blocks in your road.

3. Use a calendar to track your progress, and to make your plan. Review and celebrate your accomplishments as you reach them. We tend not to look back at where we have been. You will need the encouragement as you reward your Self. Review your calendar daily to remind you of your steps to come.

Make room in your schedule and do these crucial-to-your-future tasks first!.

Here is the last thing to remember about change. It is sometimes better to change gradually than all at once. If you hold a vision of what you want the changes to look like, set a plan to get there, and take action on a regular basis, one day you will realize you are living your vision.

Of course by then, you will have another, different, and better vision.

Your Coach and online friend,


Miami Phillips
Helping others find their path - and stay on it.

Quotation of the Week "Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change."— Confucius

About The Author
Miami Phillips is an ANSIR Certified Personal Coach and the founder of Creative MasterMinds who believes personal growth is an essential ingredient to being happy and contributing to this world. While his main focus is affordable personal and business coaching, he also offers motivational teleclasses, ebooks, reading recommendations and much more. To find out more visit his site at or send him an email at