The Story of “The Ham”
Years ago, I read a story about a young girl who was in the kitchen, watching her mother prepare the ham for their family dinner. When it was time to place the ham in the baking pan, her mother cut the exact amount off of each end of the ham, and then placed it in the pan.
Wondering why the recipe called for the ends of the ham to be cut off before baking, the young girl asked her mother about it, “why do you cut the ends off of the ham before baking it?” The mother replied, “I’m not sure, but that’s the way my mother always did it so that’s the way I’ve always done it!”
The daughter thought for a minute and said, “I’m going to call grandma and ask her.”
The daughter called her grandmother and asked about the importance for cutting the ends off of the ham before baking.
The grandmother replied, “I’ve always done it that way because my pan was too small for a whole ham.”
Just like this family tradition of cutting the ends off the ham before putting it in the pan, family traditions are handed down generation after generation. These “family traditions” become beliefs (something we automatically do without questioning why).
This may not seem like such a big deal when you’re talking about preparing a family meal but what about the beliefs we’ve created around relationships, health, money, college, career, etiquette, social hierarchy, divorce, marriage, religion, race or gender bias, politics, music, health care, the government, child rearing…?
As children, we’re taught right from wrong based on what another person views as right or wrong, good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable.
When every choice is made, based on a belief (something we automatically do without questioning why) is it any wonder why there are millions of adults asking themselves the same question: “why do I keep doing this to myself?”
Our stories give us the power to achieve our success goals but they also have the power to convince us of why we don’t deserve to have something we say we want. Everything we have or don’t have is based on a belief (ours or the people who taught them to us).
What is the holiday tradition you've created a story around that creates feeling of obligations, resentment, guilt, and the reason you're choosing to allow someone else to determine how you will spend your time?
Holidays can be associated with beliefs about obligations and traditions that no longer serve you and only you can decide when it's time to go beyond your story about why the things that no longer serve you must continue to be followed.
If you don't enjoy being around certain people, if the demands of others conflict with your own happiness or way of living or even if you want to create new traditions in your life, remember this...
"No" is a complete sentence.
Learn to put your wants and needs before the wants and needs of others. When you are happy and fulfilled, you will attract more of the same in every choice you make.
Choose to live your best life!
Sensei Nancy Mueller
From a very early age, my belief about what it means to forgive had been taught to me based on the religious dogma I was raised with.
I can only speak for myself when I say I was taught that forgiveness means thinking about another person who has wronged you and finding a way to be OK with what they did.
I now have a more enlightened understanding of what forgiveness means; an expanded knowledge of what it means to forgive.
Forgiveness isn't about finding a way to make it OK for whatever the person chose to inflict on you, forgiveness is about allowing yourself to let go of the negative feelings and emotions that are keeping you mired in the negativity as well as continually being triggered by the feelings and emotions each time you think about the experience.
I recently posted on social media about the death of my father. Here is that post:
My Father Died Today
I have no tears, no sadness, no feelings of loss but neither do I feel relief. As I sit here and ask myself what I’m feeling, the only answer that feels genuine is “completion”.
Every ending creates a new beginning, so what happens next?
If I were to stand up and talk about who my father was and how I will remember him, what would I say to explain my feelings of completion?
The man who was my father was known for many things; son, brother, uncle, father, husband, ex-husband, stepfather and grandfather.
Our family knew him as angry, unapologetic, violent, tormentor, sadistic, abusive, sexual predator, pedophile, sex addict, sadist.
His unapologetic lifestyle choices has left hidden scars that each of us has dealt with in our own way.
Scars that have torn a family apart out of anger, shame, denial, self-doubt, self-loathing, revulsion, choosing sides, blame and judgment; towards each other as well as ourselves.
My younger self tried, I tried to be the protector, but I was too young, too small, too weak, and too afraid.
And then I got older, and I stopped being afraid. I stopped being afraid of the threats, the fear of retribution and what others would say when they found out. I stopped putting the wants and needs of others before my own.
I started to speak up, I started to share my story, and I realized by sharing my story I was gradually shifting from victim to victor.
I quickly learned that sharing my story meant there are going to be people who are empowered by my story, enraged by my story, and even disbelieve my story.
The disbelievers became angry and judgmental which left me with two choices; I could once more choose to remain silent or I could choose to stand in my power.
But how does a person stand in their power against the disbelievers, or the angry and judgmental people?
How do you stand in your power and stand up for yourself when those around you are telling you you’re wrong to be talking about something they don’t want to hear about?
In my experience, the best way to stand in your power is to understand that the people who are judging you, the people who are angry with you, and the people who disbelieve your story are the people who realize your story makes them uncomfortable because it hits too close to home for them to hear.
To accept what I’m saying would mean they would have to take a look at their own choices. They would have to ask themselves if there were signs that they saw but ignored either out of social diplomacy or ignorance.
There is nothing left unsaid, there is nothing left undone, and that is why what I am feeling today, more than anything, is completion.
Being treated better started with me. I had to learn to stop the self-loathing and self-judging and learn to be self-loving. Forgiveness started with me forgiving myself for not seeing my value.
For me, forgiveness of "self" led to completion.
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei
It's been two years but I remember it like it was yesterday; I met a woman named Debbie at a virtual networking event. I live in southern California and she lives in the UK so we made arrangements to meet for "virtual tea" to get to know each other.
During our conversation, I shared about my work and my books and happened to mention that my great-granddaughter's nursery was decorated with elephants and I was looking for information to create a plaque for her room.
I saw Debbie's eyes light up when she told me she is originally Africa and proceeded to educate me about elephants and gave me exactly what I was looking for to give my great-granddaughter the perfect gift.
Of course, neither Debbie nor could have foreseen what the Universe was putting into motion with that conversation over "virtual tea" and elephants!
I learned about her company and her passion for supporting entrepreneurs as a virtual assistant and website builder. Debbie purchased one of my books and booked many more video sessions with me to discuss mindset work and what she was learning from my my work.
Not long after Debbie began applying the mindset work I teach, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
I followed Debbie's cancer journey and when she was on the other side of her journey, Debbie scheduled a time to talk with me on a video call. I can't begin to tell you how much I cried during that call when Debbie told me that she credits being able to hold a positive outcome to her cancer because of my work and how it supported her through every step of her cancer journey. She told me that before she met me, she hadn't known how her mindset can work miracles!
I'm happy to report that Debbie is now cancer-free and returned to work exactly when I was ready to have my website updated. I ask you, who could be better to represent my work through my website than someone who practices what I teach!
We never know the reason someone is being placed in our path but when you have complete faith that what you need will be there when you need it most, it will happen. Embracing my work supported Debbie on her cancer journey and when she returned to work, Debbie's work supported me and the message I share.
When Debbie unveiled my new website to me, I cried for twenty minutes straight because the depth of her understanding for who I am and what I teach shows in every page. I could never have asked for a more perfect person to help me share my message and I am so grateful for her passion and commitment to her work.
And that's how elephants helped drive traffic to my website because during the course of our conversation, what started out as two women getting to know each other over a conversation about elephants was just the beginning.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear!
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei
A woman called me the other day with this question: "I am preparing to divorce my husband. For financial reasons we are still living in the same house but lately his narcissism has escalated and I fear he is going to get violent. Would you recommend I take a self-defense class?"
If you find yourself asking a similar question, my answer may be helpful when making your decision.
As a student, competitor and teacher of the Martial Arts, in 1998 I began teaching self-defense to women.
This was an exciting time for me because it's how my Mastering Your Beliefs program got its start. As a Martial Artist, I was learning the physical as well as the mental aspect of Martial Arts. The more I understood why our mind is our most powerful weapon; I wanted to share how empowering this can be with other women. When you understand how to use your chi (energy) as both offense and defense, you create synergy between you and your opponent. But if you learn the physical without the mental (mindset), you will often find yourself in a mindset of victim mode (wanting to right the wrongs you believe were done to you) or the anticipation of a physical altercation.
I've been there, I know what it's like to feel so powerless because another person chooses to victimize you. I also know what it's like to be in the very same situation as the woman who called me looking for advice. The most powerful weapon you possess, is your mind. If you want to take self-defense classes, it's important to know "Your Why".
Are you in a situation where you fear for your life? (If you fear for your life, CLICK HERE for professional resources.) Are you in a situation where things aren't too bad at the moment but you fear the situation will escalate? Most women I talk with want to learn self-defense "just in case" - but they don't stop to think about what "just in case" really means to them.
When you "Master" something, it means you've learned to make it part of your daily habit and have done the necessary work to be able to draw on it whenever you require support and guidance. As a Martial Artist, we train for hours, days, months and years to be able to act instead of react so our mind instinctively knows what to do. Much like driving a car, there are many steps involved but it all happens without you having to think about it. You can't take a class or spend a few hours a week and expect to master the art of self-defense.
I have experienced how domestic violence can escalate very quickly when the situation becomes physical but the best way to win any fight is not to be there. Remember, everything is energy. The people and experiences you attract into your life are teaching you what you want more of and what you want less of. You are attracting your experiences based on how you feel (energy).
Everything is energy and every one of your thoughts are associated with a feeling (energy). Why are you attracting the energy of being in your current situation? Your definition of fault, attracting, and responsibility for your actions can be confusing if you are unaware of the law of attraction (energy).
Based on the mental, verbal and physical abuse that escalated to sexual abuse by the time I was 12 years old, as an adult, I was still carrying the energy of those experiences. It felt "normal" to me to be afraid of people and situations where I could easily be victimized. This fear included feelings of being a victim, blame, shame, guilt, degradation and low self-worth.
My child-self had created a belief about who I am and what I could do, be or have based on my childhood experiences. When my adult-self was still making choices based on childhood beliefs, my feelings (energy) were vibrating at a level that was attracting more reasons to be a victim. Being raised with violence, I believed violence was the answer to stop feeling like a victim.
When I learned that our feelings are our internal GPS, and are guiding us through every choice we make, I finally understood why I kept attracting the people and experiences I did not want. If your beliefs are based on negative feelings, you will attract negative people and experiences into your life.
You can take the long path to understand how to keep yourself safe, like I did by learning to fight, or you can take the easy path and learn how to master the beliefs that are creating your thoughts, feelings and emotions about your current situations or experiences.
Every feeling is associated with a belief - what do you believe about why you need to learn to defend yourself? Do you believe you're weak, vulnerable, easy prey, or have no choice about your current situation? Do you believe that lack (lack of funds, lack of knowledge, lack of having what you deserve) is keeping you from living the life you want?
You do have the power to remove yourself from any unwanted situation or experience but first you need to know "your why". Why do you believe you are where you are and why do you believe there is only one choice?
Every choice we make is based on one of two choices - you choose from fear or you choose from faith. Faith based choices are made from your highest levels of "SELF" (self-love, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-image, self-worth).
You have an inner strength that is powerful beyond measure. Learn to pay attention to your "why" because "your why" is what you believe you are, or are not, capable of. As you get better and better at identifying your beliefs, you create the opportunity to master any belief that feels like fear.
I believe that every person has the power to step out of negative, unwanted situations. Do you?
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei
What does it take to be truly happy?
Are we born happy or when we're born, are we taught what it means to be happy?
These are the questions I pondered in my own search for happiness and I've come to understand that we are all born happy. It wasn't until someone took it upon themselves to teach us what happiness means that we even knew we had a choice to be unhappy!
If happiness is a choice, why would anyone choose to be unhappy? The answer is; we choose to be unhappy because someone taught us that true happiness can only be found from an external source.
As children, we're not taught the meaning of happiness in specific words; we can sense the feelings and emotions from others. We knew when our parents or caregivers were feeling happy and that feeling of happiness created a sense of security and well being in our world. But just as we were able to sense feelings of happiness, we also sensed the feelings of unhappiness.
The true nature of who we are yearns for the happiness we were born with so we learn, at a very early age, to navigate the emotional ups and downs of those around us and at some point, we created a belief that this is what it takes to be happy.
As you got older, you held onto your beliefs and continue the practice of navigating the emotional ups and downs of others to get what you want. This practice takes on many forms such as putting yourself last while you make sure the needs of others are met before your own. You've created a belief that the only way to be happy is by making others happy.
The flaw in this belief is understanding that no one has power over another person.
The only power you possess are the thoughts you think and the choices you make. If you choose to continually put the needs of someone else over your own needs, and that person is having a bad day, week, month, year or several years, you are literally putting our life on hold until someone else chooses to be happy. You believe you're being loving and supportive only because you've been conditioned from a very early age that your happiness is dependent upon the happiness of others.
But, it isn't!
Happiness is an inside job; it's about learning who you are, your value and how you can be true to yourself. It's about putting your needs and wants ahead of everything and everyone else so your cup is full. Happiness is an emotion, something you feel inside that lights you up. This can only happen when you are loving who you are!
The first step to being happy, is to understand what happiness means to you. Is your definition of happiness the innate happiness you were born with or what someone taught you? Is your definition of happiness conditional (meaning you have to do or have something before you can experience being happy).
The second step is to WANT to be happy. This may sound easy but when you've had years of choosing to be unhappy, it shows that you've created a belief that being unhappy is part of life. It doesn't occur to you that being unhappy is actually a choice!
The third step is to get very clear about what you believe is causing you to be unhappy as well as what you believe will bring you happiness. Make a list and once you've finished, look over your list and cross out everything that is conditional. Examples of conditional happiness are: someone else has to do or say something before you can allow yourself to be happy, a purchase (either large or small), changing something about the way you look, a bigger bank account, leaving your significant other, finding the perfect romance, travel, changing your job or location and anything that requires that you receive something before choose to be happy. Once you've done this, you'll be left with the things you can easily see are within your grasp this very moment.
The good news is, when you choose happiness as your way of being, you also create a feeling of abundance and prosperity that's so powerful, you can't help but attract experiences of abundance and prosperity.
Once you've identified where you are in these three steps, if you really want to be happy, you'll move heaven and earth to make it happen. You'll find yourself smiling more, you'll stop blaming other people, experiences or conditions as a reason to be unhappy.
What are your limiting beliefs? Which of your beliefs are causing you to choose to be unhappy? Only you can decide when you're ready to master your beliefs and free your mind to embrace the happiness you were born with. Who taught you the definition of happiness? Is that person still around? Do you see evidence of happiness in everything that person says or does? If not, why would you choose to follow their example of what it means to be happy?
Happiness comes from inspired thought, not from action taken. The more inspired your thoughts are, the happier your choices will be.
Being unhappy is not real, it's a manifestation based on your belief about what you deserve. Being happy is not only something you deserve, it's an innate gift you were born with.
Remind yourself that life is all about choices; you can choose to be happy just as you can choose to be unhappy. If you are unhappy more than you're happy, you've merely created a habit of being unhappy based on your beliefs.
When you're ready, make the decision to be happy. Smile more, judge less (yourself and others), sing like no one is listening, dance like no one is watching, laugh more, be grateful, and be open to letting go of the people and experiences that try to rob you of feeling happy.
Have fun discovering your own definition of happiness and stop allowing what others think or say about you. When others can't see your value it's usually because they're shielding their eyes from the light that is shining so brightly within you.
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei
In the past, if someone were to ask me why I wasn't happy, healthy, wealthy, or loving my life, I used to tell them all the reasons why.
I actually believed it made perfect sense to explain why I was miserable, struggling, or feeling inadequate.
That's what I used to believe until I began to understand the power of my words. Simply stated; "Your thoughts create your beliefs, your beliefs create your words, your words create your story. Your story is what you tell yourself and others about who you believe you are and what you believe you're capable of.
Can you imagine my skepticism when someone first told me that my words create my reality? As I began mastering my beliefs about the power of my words, I started with something easy for me; I began using the word "fabulous" when someone would ask me how I am.
In line at the grocery store, when the clerk asks, "how are you?" My answer, "fabulous, and you?" 9 out of 10 times, the person responds one of two ways; they either say, "Fabulous, I don't hear that very often" OR "Well, I'm certainly not fabulous but I'm doing ok."
I made it a practice to change my story about my life and give my "fabulous" answer each time someone asked me how I am. The more times I answered "fabulous" the more I noticed people giving me reasons why they are not fabulous or why they couldn't be fabulous. Most of the time I never even asked them why, they'd just offer reasons to justify why they weren't fabulous.
That's when I started realizing that people were actually arguing for their limitations.
If I would ask them what it would take for them to be fabulous, they would often give answers such as: I would need to get a raise, a new job, make more money, lose weight, dump my boyfriend/girlfriend, get a new car, move to a new city, pay off my student loans, get out of debt, find a job, get divorced, save my marriage, etc.
As my practice of answering, "fabulous" turned into weeks, months and years, out of all the reasons people have given me about why they aren't fabulous, I came to realize that very few people believe being "fabulous" can be a state of mind.
You don't have to have millions of dollars in the bank to feel wealthy, you don't have to look like a supermodel to feel attractive and you don't have to be a scientist to know night follows day.
What is your story? What are the thoughts you think, over and over that have become your limiting beliefs and why do you argue for your perceived limitations?
Every time you say, "I can't do that because..." or "I can't have that because..." you are arguing for your limitations.
What do you wish, with all your heart and soul, could be different in your life but you only talk about the reasons you are limited from having it? What is the story you tell yourself (and anyone who will listen) about why you don't have it, why you can't have it or why you'll never have it?
Every word you speak holds a vibration based on the energy, attention and focus you place on it. When you argue for your limitations, you are confirming to yourself and others why it's impossible.
Every time you tell yourself or someone else why your life isn't the way you want it to be, you are arguing for your limitations. What if your new answer is, "fabulous" instead of arguing for your limitations?
When you choose to answer, "fabulous" you may notice that little voice inside your head saying, "oh yeah, what's so fabulous about it?" That's the perfect time to look for reasons to see evidence of something fabulous.
Who knows, when you start looking for reasons to be fabulous you may even learn to stop arguing for your limitations!
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei at MasteringYourBeliefs.com
There was a time in my life when I believed I didn't have anything to be grateful for.
This was the same time I believed the things that would make me grateful could never be mine!
Anyone who knows anything about the Law of Attraction can see how this flawed belief kept me in a continuous cycle of lack; lack of love, lack of prosperity, lack of self-worth. Lack became my cycle of attraction!
As a young wife, the thing I prayed for most was a child; the day came when my prayers were answered, twins were on the way, and then they weren't. So I prayed for another child and that prayer was answered; she was on the way, until she wasn't.
When my daughter was born, I was so eternally grateful for this third chance, but at the same time, there were so many things I didn't know how to do and fear of failure would often overtake my thoughts. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear; my desire to be a good mother gave me what I needed to succeed at motherhood.
The thing about getting what you ask for is; once you have it, it can be easy to forget how much you wanted it and the gratitude you felt when you received it. It's easy to forget because life has a way of getting us to focus on the absence of something rather than the joy of having it.
When we focus on the bills we don't know how we'll pay, the new car we know we'll never be able to afford, the home repairs that seem endless, the arguments with our spouse, the problems with our in-laws, the unbearable co-worker, the unrelenting boss, the vacation we want but can't afford, the romance we yearn for but never receive, and wishing our lives away by waking up every Monday morning and wishing it was Friday because we hate our job, we keep ourselves in a never-ending cycle of the belief that our life can never be more than it is.
We dwell on everything we don't have until something we do have is taken away from us. Loss can make us beg and plead to a higher power to give us what we need and want and we don't even stop to realize this very same asking place we were in before we received the thing we just lost.
All too often, this becomes the life habit for so many people. They say they have faith in "what could be" but their faith actually lies in what they believe they can't have.
When we receive something we've asked for we fear celebrating it because someone has taught us that talking about our prosperity is wrong so we choose not to make a joyful noise. Instead, we see our good fortune as dumb luck and live in fear of losing what we have. We continue to follow the rules that everyone seems to adhere to and hide our light. We hide our light because we fear being "too happy" when we know others are not. We would not choose to give up being healthy so that all the people who are unhealthy will feel more comfortable around us so why do we insist on downplaying our prosperity?
We secretly go about wanting more but feeling shameful for wanting it because we are following a misguided belief that wanting more is wrong. Wanting more can only be wrong because we believe it's wrong. When we feel shameful or guilty for wanting more, we are unable to remain in a vibration of receiving and the opposite of receiving is losing.
We don't see the habit of experience we are choosing every day because somewhere, someone told us this is the way life is.
But what if it isn't?
What if you could be more abundant, more prosperous, more joyful, more happy, more excited about life and all it holds?
Every ending creates a new beginning, a new opportunity a new possibility unless all of your attention, energy and focus is on whatever is ending.
I was blessed with two beautiful daughters and one day they grew up and started their own life. The ending of having them in my home created a new beginning for them to create the prosperity they continue to bring to our family.
The divorce that devasted me was an ending that created a beginning to the life I now live. The ending of a job created a beginning for the work I do now. These new beginnings could only arrive as soon as I was willing to let go of what was and be grateful for what "could be".
Focusing on what "seemed" to be, only attracted more of what I had. Focusing on what "could be" attracted more of my desires.
I am the only one who has the power to create my life experiences; both positive and negative. Being grateful for what I have brings me more of what I desire. Whether I can see it, feeling it, taste it or touch it doesn't matter because I don't know what I don't know and when my desires are flowing to me, I am always blessed with more than what I imagined they would be.
This is why I make a joyful noise about what I have, because there was a time in my life when I believed I didn't have anything to be grateful for and the things that would make me grateful could never be mine!
I'm happy to let you know I was wrong about this and if you'll give yourself permission to be wrong, you will realize the only place you will find happiness resides within you!
Learn to enjoy life instead of only achieving and you will find happiness instead of always looking for it because it resides within you. All you need to do is tap into it and let it expand!
Sensei Nancy Mueller ~ Founder at Mastering Your Beliefs
When I was about 7 years old, I had just returned home from visiting a friend and was excited to show my dad the dance I had just learned. In my excitement, I asked him to watch me dance the Irish jig and I remember feeling so proud of myself as I eagerly awaited his praise.
When I finished, I looked at him expectantly and he said, "do you think just because you practice something for a couple hours it makes you good enough to show it to others?"
At that moment, my child-self created a belief that no matter how much I thought I knew, I would never be good enough to teach what I know.
As an adult, my inner-child held on to that belief for years, creating self-doubt and bouts of "impostor syndrome" whenever I was asked a question.
Every one of us has the power to heal our inner-child and stop believing we must continue to be who someone else taught us we are! When our child-self creates a belief based on a negative experience, the feelings and emotions associated with that belief stay with us and because we FEEL it so strongly, our adult-self will continue to attract experiences to justify the feeling.
When we are able to master the belief, we release the feelings and emotions from our body and stop attracting unwanted experiences into our life. Once I was able to master my belief about teaching others, my passion for teaching became my vocation for my life's work. Every one of us can be, do or have whatever we desire if we are open to letting go of the negative experiences from our childhood that our adult-self is still holding on to.
Every person has the ability to master any belief that is creating struggle in their adult life experiences. There are no accidents in the Universe, if you attracted this message, you are being shown an answer to the questions you've been asking.
The next question is, are you ready to let go of your limiting belief?
Sensei Nancy Mueller at MasteringYourBeliefs.com
It was a morning in October of 1971; I woke up and realized we were late for school and my mother was still sleeping in her bed. Because it was not like my mother to sleep in, my inner-child care-giver mode kicked in and I tried to shake her awake while letting her know we were late for school.
She rolled over and told me to go back to my room. Thinking she wasn't grasping the situation, I was trying to tell her to get out of bed when she said, "trust me, go back to bed, I'll explain everything to you later."
Several hours later, mom gathered me and my four siblings in the living room and told us our dad had left us. He had quit his job and left town with his secretary and then she took us to school. I could not wrap my head around what had happened and couldn't understand how we were expected to go to school as if nothing had happened.
When I got home from school, I walked up the driveway to find my mother's wedding gown, wedding pictures and pictures of my dad in the trash can. In 1971 the stigma of coming from a broken home was truly something to be ashamed of. It took years for me to heal the feelings and beliefs of shame, guilt, degradation, humiliation, and abandonment.
Looking back, my rational, adult-mind used to wonder why his abandonment of our family didn't bring us happiness. Why hadn't we thrown a party and danced every happy dance we knew now that he was out of our lives? After all, now that he was gone, I would be free from the mental, verbal and physical abuse that had escalated to sexual abuse by the time I was 12 years old.
But that's not how my child-self saw our situation. I did not have the "knowing" at that time that I had created beliefs from being mentally, physically, verbally and sexually abused and then abandoned, that this is who I am.
In the 1970's there was no internet, and yet the Universe has always been there, guiding me, watching over me and showing me The Way! I don't know how or where I found it but I came across a message called "Don't Quit". I remember writing it down and sending the message in a letter to my dad. I wanted him to know that I thought quitting our family was not acceptable.
And now, 50+ years later, I am still sharing this message with others. At some point I learned the value of this message was not to admonish someone else in judgment of their choices but for me to remind myself to never quit believing in my value, my self-worth and my dreams.
And now, I'm sharing this message with you to encourage you to never give up on yourself:
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
when the road you’re trudging seems uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but do not quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victors cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
Its when things seem worst that you must not quit.
Sending you love and light and reminding you that everything you dream of having can be yours,
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei
As children we often want to fit in with our peers, we want to belong and feel part of the group. No one likes feeling like an outsider. Childhood is full of opportunities and experiences that teach us how to fit in or how to deal with not fitting in. Whether we fit in or don't fit in, each experience is attached to a feeling and emotion that creates our beliefs about who we are.
We hold onto these beliefs throughout childhood and our adult-self uses these beliefs for every choice you make.
Beliefs your child-self created that often go hand and hand with our adult-self not fitting in can include seeing yourself as a third wheel, you're often left out, you don't belong, there must be something wrong with you, you're odd, better to remain in the background and not draw too much attention to yourself, not speaking up for yourself, feeling uncomfortable in social situations, difficulty making friends, you're not smart enough, pretty enough, good enough, educated enough; the list is endless.
When your adult-self is trying to "fit in" it's often because you haven't yet learned who you are and the value of being you. When you know who you are, you set standards and boundaries you are unwilling to allow others to undermine. You are mindful of your time because you know if you don't manage your time, others will manage it for you. You say what's on your mind because you know your suggestions have merit but you are also open-minded to what others think and say. You understand that every healthy relationship is reciprocal and you deserve to be heard, seen and valued.
Understanding that your inner child is still very much a part of you, if he or she is still holding on to those feelings and beliefs about what it felt like not to fit in you may find yourself going out of your way to give more than you have to give. You may allow others to dictate how you spend your time (this often shows up when you feel obligated to volunteer for something) or you become an "over-giver" giving to others and not having enough to fill your own wants and needs. You spend more than you can easily afford to keep up with friends and neighbors which then wreaks havoc on your financial status. You spend time and money at the gym or on products that promise to defy the aging process. You join in on the local gossip about another person or event because you desperately want others to know you are knowledgeable with what's going on in the world, your town, your neighborhood or your family.
What if you simply stop trying to fit in? What kind of peace of mind would you be able to enjoy if you weren't constantly trying to be everything for everyone else and started being everything you need for you? Would you have more time for yourself and the people who are most important to you? Would you feel less obligated to show up the way others expect you to show up?
Can you do that? Or is your inner child still holding on to those feelings and beliefs about the importance of fitting in?
Have you been trying to fit in for so long that you don't know what true freedom feels like just to be you? Do you want to be able to share your dreams, thoughts and hopes without feeling judged by others? What would your life be like without being shackled to the demands of others?
You have the power to change your present day experiences when you learn to let go of past experiences that are still demanding your time, energy and focus.
Letting go does not mean giving up; letting go means giving yourself the freedom to show yourself and others who you are and what you're capable of. All this can be yours when you stop trying to fit in!
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei