Should You Learn Self-Defense
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 Is Happiness?
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
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei