Read an Excerpt
Simply ... EMPOWERED!Discover How to CREATE and SUSTAIN Success in Every Area of Your Life
By CRYSTAL ANDRUS
HAY HOUSE, INC.Copyright © 2010 Crystal Andrus
All right reserved.
Chapter OneClean it up
* * *
"Staying busy exhausts us. Holding on keeps us stuck. Avoiding 'what is' robs us. Running away disempowers us. Our saving grace is that our consciousness will continue to show us what must be cleaned up in order for us to heal, evolve, create, and sustain." - Crystal Andrus
When it comes to creating an amazing life, most of us just want to get on with it and get to the good stuff. We're ready to get down to business. We want to forget the past and move on. Let bygones be bygones. We're embarrassed about, or ashamed of, certain parts of our lives. What's the point of looking back?
And yet, inevitably, similar to a very long anchor that gets dropped overboard as we're sailing down that wonderful river of life, something always happens that keeps us stuck right where we were. Why can't we keep our raft going downstream? Why are we replaying the same story over and over? We thought we'd dealt with this! Or worse, why are we replaying the same story with just a differentperson or scenario?
Well, until you've truly cleaned things up, they will keep cropping up!
Until you face your past, your not-so-wise choices, and your debtors and demons; and until you confront the reality of what you've fed your body and how you've starved your soul or shrouded yourself in shame, you can continue to avoid the truth, but you can't hide-at least not from yourself! Your guilt and fear will eat away at your ability (and, eventually, even your desire) to succeed; they'll rob you of your power and keep you struggling in the dark. Playing it small will become normal, and you'll never realize your potential.
Self-sabotage is a clear sign that you have something weighing on your conscience. Repress your feelings-your embarrassment, blame, sorrow, sadness, anger, or jealousy-in whatever way you've learned, and they'll find a way to reappear. As long as you try to resist uncovering "it," dealing with it, or healing it, it will persist. The burden of carrying it, whether or not you're aware of it, will exhaust you. Weight gain, financial messes, health problems, addictions, disorganization, and relationship woes are ways in which repressed thoughts, feelings, fears, and unmet needs manifest themselves in your outer world.
If you can't seem to create or sustain success, you clearly have unfinished business that must be cleaned up first! Only you can clean up your own stuff-even if you think it would be better for someone who's bigger, stronger, richer, or smarter to step in and save you!
What I promise you is that once you clean things up (no matter how hard it may seem), you can take the next step in creating an incredible life! Unfinished business drains your energy and robs you of strength and integrity.
It Is What It Is
Most of us have a hard time seeing the truth about our own lives: the truth about ourselves, our situation, choices, fears, and motivators. We have a hard time accepting that we've created the circumstances we're in-that life is what we make it!
So if things aren't so great in your life, you must ask yourself, Why would I create this? Whether or not you choose to see it, the answer is always there: It is what it is.
Are you willing to face the truth and shine a light on "what is," without any judgment, excuses, justification, shame, blame, guilt, or regret? If so-if you're ready to take a peek at things-you're ready to begin the process of creating a magnificent life. If not-if you'd rather choose to deny accountability or not face yourself-then this book isn't for you ... at least not right now.
Cleaning up your life takes courage. It takes honesty and hard work, and you must be prepared to face the music. It can feel tough at times, but so illuminating at others. It all starts with stepping outside of yourself, almost like an observer, and letting your life be your mirror ... your truth ... your gift.
Why not look at your life today but with one catch: Imagine that you didn't know the person staring back at you. Try it. Stand before a full-length mirror and describe the person you see. What would you think of her? What would your reflection tell you about her? Would you see someone who takes care of herself? Someone who eats well, exercises, and honors her temple? Would you see someone smiling, happy, confident, and self-assured? What do her eyes say? Her skin? Nails? Hair? Teeth? Clothing? Weight? Posture? How does she talk to herself when she's all alone?
Now imagine you're a fly on the wall in her home. How does she speak to her family-spouse, children, parents, and/or siblings? How do they treat her? Does she thrive on stress, always creating drama and complications? Or does she speak her truth, even if the people around her don't always agree with her views? Does she keep secrets, preferring to handle things (or at least some things) alone? Or does she live her life like an open book?
Does she spend beautiful quality time with those she loves most? Does she hug, kiss, and say "I love you" often? How does she talk about her friends when they aren't around? Her mate? Parents? In-laws? Children? Is she as honest in person? Is she honest at all?
How is her sex life? Is she passionate and uninhibited or uptight and boring?
Does she constantly think about her past, reliving old fights and hurtful comments? Has she forgiven those who've hurt her, or does she bring things up whenever she needs justification or quick retaliation?
Is her home harmonious, loving, and light? Is her bedroom a beautiful, sexy, feminine sanctuary? Is her bathroom a mini-spa retreat? Are there soothing candles, soft music, and wonderful bath products to caress her skin? On the other hand, is her kitchen cluttered, her freezer stuffed with old food, her closet crammed with clothes, and her basement filled with stuff from 15 years ago?
Does she have a poverty-hoarding mentality, or does she trust in the flow of life, spending and saving?
What about her income, debt, and long-term planning? Does she know her worth, and does she receive it? Is she financially independent? Does she live within her means? Has she planned for the future while enjoying the present? Is she afraid or excited?
Look at her work. Is it fulfilling, purpose driven, and satisfying? Does it light her up? What does it say about her? Is it balanced with play?
Examine her health. How does she eat? Does she smoke, drink excessively, or take drugs? What's her cholesterol ratio? Her blood pressure? Resting heart rate? BMI? Does she even know the answers to these questions? Does she take responsibility for her well-being, or is she expecting her doctors to fix her when things fall apart? Perhaps she's so much in denial that she doesn't even believe anything will ever fall apart, even though she's neglecting her health?
Review her habits and hobbies. (And not the version she's been sugarcoating.) The truth! Does she eat too much, drink too much, shop too much, or gossip too much? Does she waste time on mindless Internet sites or spend money carelessly? Or does she read great books, listen to motivational CDs, journal her feelings, and take action on her plans and dreams? Is she in denial, squandering her most precious commodity-time-or is she clear, sharp, focused, and inspired?
Look deep into her heart. Do you see trust, acceptance, love, and forgiveness, or frustration, anger, animosity, and regret? Do you see long-term true-blue friendships and an honest and deeply committed passionate relationship; or do you see a few fair-weather friends, a lack of intimacy, fear, longing, and loneliness?
What does her reflection say about you?
This is your life. She is you.
Let her life be your mirror. It will show you the truth if you'll allow it. You can keep pretending that it's going to magically get better, but it won't.
* * *
This exercise isn't intended to shame, blame, or judge you, nor is it meant to make you beat up on yourself. (You probably already do a lot of that!) The purpose is to pull you out of denial and into the reality you've created. You cannot change that which you are unwilling to face. The truth will set you free!
The simple fact remains: You can run as far as you like but whenever and wherever you stop, you'll discover that you're still with yourself-your story, your shame, your guilt, your blame. And no one can save you from that!
"Shh! No One Knows ..."
Okay, so maybe your boss has no idea that your two-week absence last month wasn't really because you had mononucleosis, maybe your husband doesn't suspect that your late nights at the office aren't really to finish an overdue work project, or your business partner has no idea that you've been secretly hiding money. It doesn't really matter-not when it comes to creating and sustaining an amazing life. Maybe no one else knows but you ... and that's enough!
Whenever you lack the courage to be honest in your life, you rob yourself of your own dignity, success, and integrity You unconsciously disempower yourself The truth is that we all know that insurance companies stick it to us, banks hit us up with ridiculous fees and hidden costs, and the government overtaxes us; but when we're manipulating one area of our life for the sake of another (and think we're outsmarting everyone-including the Universe), we're setting ourselves up for complications, drama, and a whole bunch of bad karma (And you wonder why you can't sustain success?!) Just like the saying "what goes around, comes around," the loose ends in your life will eventually unravel. Besides, the secrets don't ever have to be found out-your own fear, guilt, and shame will sabotage you!
Face the Music
We all have things we've held on to for far too long, such as:
* Sad stories from our childhood
* Bitterness from a relationship gone bad
* Anger at someone who has hurt us
* Disappointment of a failed business
* Shame from lies we've told
* Guilt for promises we've broken
* Humiliation of being fired or dumped
* Toxins from too many parties, too many pills, or too many pizzas
* Regret of the "should've been," "could've been," and "ought to have been"
* Total overwhelm from collecting too much junk in the garage
Whether it's money you've borrowed but never paid back, a mess that's piling up in your basement, sorrow stuffed away in your heart, or impurities clogging your body ... until you clean up the mess you've been collecting, consciously or unconsciously, you can never build something strong, safe, solid, and sustainable. You'll have a hard time trusting anyone because you can't even trust yourself! Just look at how many times you've let yourself down. Look at how often you've let others down.
Facing yourself is the most important first step you must take. Trying to dodge this will land you right back to your starting place (here, eventually). When your mind, heart, body, and/or home are filled with self-defeating, self-limiting, toxic baggage, there isn't room for magic to manifest. It's like trying to plant a garden with the most magnificent flowers in a bed of weeds, rocks, and depleted soil. No matter how gorgeous the blooms are or how much you want them to flourish, if you don't clean up the mess that's already there, you can't (no matter how much you wish, want, or visualize a great garden) create it.
It reminds me of the Disney movie The Lion King. Do you remember the popular song that the two little drifters taught Simba, the lion king? It was called "Hakuna Matata," meaning "no worries." For a while, the three friends try to put the past behind them, but eventually, Simba's Great Spirit (the voice of his father) urges him to remember who he is. He realizes his destiny and knows that he must go home, face the mess he left behind, and take his rightful place in the world.
We are all Simba. We all have a destiny, a rightful place in this world.
Maybe you've felt scared and even ashamed, unsure, and unworthy of your destiny. And now you too are just trying to move on and put the past behind you. But don't the worries always follow you? Doesn't the shame eventually wrap around your ankles, whispering in your ear that your life will never be better because you aren't? Hasn't the pressure of trying to do enough so that you'll feel like you're enough exhausted you? Don't you often find yourself feeling stuck, unsure of where to go or what to do, replaying the past, wishing things had gone differently?
Of course you do ... if you haven't cleaned things up.
The Circle of Life
Imagine a wooden cart with four wheels, the spokes all the same length. As it rolls down a hill, can you see it picking up massive momentum as it moves effortlessly toward the bottom, gently clearing the rocks and small mounds along the way?
Now imagine another wooden cart beside it. Its wheels have different-sized spokes. Some are half a foot long, others are four feet, while a few are only a couple of inches long. A pretty pitiful wheel! Can you picture how rocky that ride would be? It would be fairly predictable to say that this cart might flip over halfway down the hill, or at least, it would get there much more slowly than the other one.
Not only is your life similar to a wheel-like a circle with birth, life, and death-it rolls much like a wagon, so much more smoothly when you take the time to clean up all the areas of your life, making your spokes balanced! The larger the wheels, the better the chance you have to coast over any small obstacles that might be in the way.
If your body is filled with impurities, your mind burdened with worry and frustration, your spirit numbed in a dead-end job or toxic relationship, your heart filled with anger or sorrow, or your home cluttered with mess, your circle of life will feel just like that second wooden cart-a complicated and bumpy ride.
So what's off-kilter in your life? Are your spokes different lengths?
Let's divide the areas of your life into a few different categories, and then together, we'll begin to face them, one by one:
My Relationships My Finances My Spirit My Mind My Home My Body
After you've looked at your life through the lenses of an objective observer, you need to write down all the things that need cleaning up. I'm not asking you to tackle them all today, but you do need to get very clear with yourself. You simply can't rewrite your future and sustain success if you aren't honest about everything.
The Circle-of-life Assessment
Read the statements in each of the six categories of your Circle-of-Life wheel. If the statement is true, check the box. At the end of each category, count up the number of check marks.
(Check only those that consistently apply to you.)
I get seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night in a dark room.
I drink eight to ten glasses of pure water per day.
I perform a minimum of 20 minutes of cardio exercise daily.
I do some type of resistance exercise three times per week.
I have orgasms regularly! (Surprised you, didn't I?)
My blood pressure is good.
I drink fewer than three alcoholic drinks per week.
If I drive or sit for long periods of time, I stop and stretch my body every two hours.
I don't drink soda.
I rarely consume caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate, or soda).
I eat only organic foods-primarily fresh fruits and vegetables.
I have comfortable and natural bowel movements daily.
I go for massages, facials, chiropractic adjustments, and/or other alternative-health and spa treatments.
I clean my skin before bed.
I eat fish two to three times a week.
I rarely have mood swings or angry outbursts.
I use a steam bath or sauna a few times per month.
I cleanse my body at a cellular level yearly.
I express my anger in a healthy way.
I bathe in Epsom salts or relax in a hot tub a few times a week.
I cry when my feelings have been deeply hurt.
I have never smoked.
I don't eat red meat.
I rarely eat fast food.
I avoid anything containing hydrogenated or trans fat.
I don't take any drugs.
I rarely eat "white" carbohydrates-such as white bread, rice, pasta, and so on.
I am comfortable in the skin I'm in.
I eat breakfast within one hour of rising every day.
I take omega-3 fish-oil capsules daily.
I eat primarily raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
I limit my use of the cell phone.
I floss daily.
I limit my sodium intake to less than 2,000 mg per day.
I rarely watch television.
My weight is in the ideal range and rarely fluctuates.
I rarely get indigestion.
My cholesterol is at a healthy range.
I have a yearly physical examination with my doctor.
Excerpted from Simply ... EMPOWERED! by CRYSTAL ANDRUS Copyright © 2010 by Crystal Andrus. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.