Harness the Power of Your Metaphors!

It is has been said, “there are two things that you can count on in life, death and taxes.”  In my case, there’s one more and that would be visiting Kristy’s grandmother, lovingly called Gnin in Cantonese every weekend in Monterey Park, California, where everything is in Chinese and a tall white guy always seems a bit out of place.

Gnin is going on 90 now, and if that weren’t enough of a reason to see her every week, she’s a real hoot, cute as a dumpling, speaks very little English and is brutally honest. She loves anything sweet and reminds Kristy and I on a continual basis that she’d like to see us pop out a baby soon.  Fortunately for us, Kristy’s brother just had a boy so that should take a little bit of the pressure off for now.

Without fail, as if programmed into our genes like a pair of migrating African Lovebirds, Kristy and I get up early every weekend, regardless of our desperate need for sleep, in an attempt to beat the LA traffic, see Grandma and take advantage of the breakfast specials at one of the thousand Chinese restaurants in Monterey Park.  Last weekend was no exception, but this time something quite remarkable happened.

Jumping on the 101 South from Hollywood, we were pleasantly surprised, if not shocked, to find very little traffic.  But as we turned the bend through the heart of downtown we could see across the divide the 101 North, our usual route back home, was already bumper-to-bumper.

As if Kristy could read my mind, which I think she can at times when she’s not hungry, she uttered,  “Wow! That looks like a parking lot.”

“Yes it does.”  I replied.

“Maybe we’ll have to take the streets back.” She said.

“Maybe.  Hopefully it will clear up by the time we head back.” I replied trying to sound optimistic.

Continuing on our way unimpeded and with a constant view of the opposing traffic, I couldn’t help but notice how easily it was for both of us to see the opposing traffic as a parking lot and something bad.  The mood in the car immediately changed from a joyful “to grandmother’s house we go” to a sobering “Crap!  Look at that traffic.”

Wanting my joy back, I began to wonder if I could perhaps see it another way, choose another metaphor, throw the parking lot out and replace it with something more positive.

Searching for the positive, I began to see the traffic as an opportunity for people to relax, slow down, listen to good music, spend more quality time with each other and do a little sight-seeing.  I began to see each car as an oasis for meditation and personal reflection, a chance to learn a foreign language or finally reset the clock on the dash.  I saw symmetry and cooperation as each car edged ever so slightly forward.  I even saw it as a piece of contemporary art.

Sharing my thoughts aloud as we passed this beautiful still life entitled “Cars on a Highway,” we both began to laugh and the mood once again returned to joy. Gone was the negative metaphor we both shared, replaced by a plethora of positive ones.  Traffic would never look the same way again.

*******

The power of a metaphor, much like a 90-year-old grandmother, should never be underestimated.  A single metaphor, much like a single comment from a loved one, has the power to bring us down and stop us in our tracks or raise us up to a world of unlimited possibilities.  Fortunately, we have power over the metaphors we use.

Whenever I notice myself using a metaphor, I ask myself “Is this a meta-for or a met-against?”  If I feel good and empowered by it, I call it a ‘meta-for’ and make a mental note that it’s a keeper and available for use at any time in the future.  But if I notice any negativity around a metaphor I have just used, I call it a ‘met-against,’ let it go and set an intention to replace it with something positive and empowering.

While this may seem all too simple, I assure you it works and it’s fun, not to mention it keeps me from thinking about those two other things I can inevitably count on, death and taxes.

Copyright 2010 Rob Gruber, M.A. Life Mastery Coach

Across the “OUR”niverse

DSC_6045While tending to the small vineyard in our backyard, I noticed the grapes growing up and over the garage were not as plentiful as last year.  Thinking it was due to the new Los Angeles water restrictions the city implemented to move towards sustainable water conservation, I accepted the few grapes that had came forth and appreciated them all the more.  But it wasn’t until a few days later that I discovered the real reason for my lighter than usual harvest.

It was late in the night, well past midnight.  Kristy and I were sitting in the back office catching up on each other’s day when all the sudden we heard through the screen door what sounded like someone eating.  Startled, Kristy jumped up from her seat.  Trying to stay calm myself, I got up slowly from my chair, flipped on the back light and cautiously peered out the screen door.  As my eyes adjusted to the dimly lit backyard, I heard the rustling of vines over the garage.  Looking in the direction of the sound, I was pleasantly surprised to find a rather large raccoon sitting up and looking right at us eating our grapes.

Relieved it wasn’t an intruder and taken back by the sheer beauty of this creature, Kristy and I stepped outside to get a closer look.  Unaffected by our presence, he continued to eat while staring back at us as if we were just as interesting to look at.

As we watched him eat, Kristy exclaimed, “But he’s eating our grapes!”

“Yep.”  I said with a grin.

“Can’t you stop him?” She asked.

Not wanting to fight with Mother Nature or even knowing what to do even if I had wanted to, I asked in all sincerity, “What if we made him ours?”

“What do you mean?”  She asked.

“Well, if we made him ours, accepting him as part of our family, he wouldn’t be eating grapes that weren’t his.” I replied.

With a smile and nod, she said  “Yeah.  I like that.  Let’s make him ours.”

Making him ours, we shifted our perspective from wanting him to stop eating something that wasn’t his to hoping he was enjoying his grapes as much as we enjoyed watching him eat them.

After some time, appearing to be satiated, our newfound family member slowly turned and disappeared into the night.  Wishing him a goodnight, we headed to bed, feeling fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend such quality time with our raccoon.

A few days later, just as Kristy was leaving for work, she turned to me and said with a smile, “I think I heard our raccoon eating again last night.”

“I thought I did too.”  I replied.

“He sure is a noisy eater.”  She remarked.

“Yep.  He sure is.  If only we could teach him to eat with his mouth closed.” I replied.

****

Making him part of our family really opened our hearts.  So much so that I can’t help but wonder, “What else in my life could I make ours?”

Rob Gruber

Life Mastery Coach

Copyright 2009

The Frequency of Love

While waiting for a friend in the arrival area of the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, I noticed a young Korean woman pulling a large cart of luggage.  As she passed customs, she found an empty seat right across from me.

Just before she was about to sit, she pulled out from one of her bags the most adorable, fluffy, brown poodle that licked her profusely as she lovingly spoke to it in Korean.

As she sat down, she placed her little dog on the ground and opened a magazine.  Completely taken by this magnificent creature, I leaned over, reached out my hand and attempted to call it over to me.  Instead of rushing over, he just cocked his head and looked at me as if I were speaking another language.

Then it dawned on me that I was speaking English and he understood Korean.   Wanting to connect to this little bundle of joy, I dug deep into my memory for the few Korean words I learned years ago living in New York City and asked it to come, but still nothing.

Its owner, hearing me speak Korean, looked up from her magazine, smiled and politely complemented me on my Korean.  She explained that Louis was shy and didn’t usually respond well to strangers.

As we both continued to wait for our respective parties, it occurred to me that perhaps it wasn’t Korean that Louis was responded to.  Perhaps it was the love he felt coming from his owner.  And if that were true, I asked myself,  “Would Louis respond simply to my love?”

To test my hypothesis, I closed my eyes and focused on the most loving thing I could think of.  As I held that thought, I began to feel my love grow.  When I felt I could no longer contain my own love, I imagined sending all that love to Louis.

When I opened my eyes, I no longer felt the need for him to come to me.  I felt only love.   Ironically, it was at that very moment he walked right over to me. I reached down and he began licking my hand like we were the best of friends.

Witnessing this, the young woman exclaimed, “Wow!  How did you do that?”

I smiled and said, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“Please,” she said. “I’ve never seen him do this before.”

“I imagined something I love with all my heart and when my heart was full, I imagined sending all of that love to him.” I replied.

“I see.  That’s good.”   She replied, “That makes sense.  He’s a rescue dog and he responds best to love.”

“As I imagine we all do.” I replied.

Copyright 2009 Rob Gruber

Present Life Mastery Coach

Unbridled Permission

It was at this very spot!On a cool summer morning, at the impressionable age of six, I joined the swim team at the neighborhood pool. Decked out in my new warm-up suit, Speedo and goggles, I was ready to go.

When Coach Thomas blew his whistle and hollered, “Let’s go guys, let’s get in there and warm up.” I tore off my warm-up suit, put on my goggles and ran across the deck of the pool to dive in. But just as I was about to make my first big dive, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, my fellow teammates had barely even moved.

A bit confused and not wanting to look silly, I slowed down and nonchalantly walked back to my original position, waving my arms back and forth as to make it look like this was all part of my warm-up.

As I stood there swinging my arms with my goggles still on, waiting for what felt like an eternity for my fellow teammates to get moving, Coach Thomas, seeing my excitement, came up from behind, placed his enormous hands on my small shoulders and said with a gentle nudge, “Go get’em Tiger. Show them how it’s done.” Without skipping a beat, I ran across the deck, dove in to the frigid water and swam my heart out.

At the end of practice, while attempting to warm myself up from a mild case of hypothermia, Coach Thomas, walked over to me and said, “You did good kid. Real good.”Before I could say anything, he turned and walked away. But then, all of the sudden, he turned back around and said. “Oh Yeah, and kid? You don’t need my permission to get in that pool and swim. You got that?”

“Yes, Sir.” I answered through shivering teeth.

“Good.” he said, turning and walking away.

From that day on I was the first one in and the last one out of the pool each and every practice. In no time at all, I became and remained one of the best in the league in my age group.

Looking back over the years, I often wondered why I didn’t excel in everything I endeavored like I did swimming. And then it occurred to me a few years back, the missing ingredient was unbridled permission. Coach Thomas, perhaps unknowingly, gave me the incredible gift of unbridled permission by making it clear I didn’t need his to swim my heart out.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize his words applied to anything I wanted in my life. But I am glad I finally realized I don’t need anyone else’s permission to live my heart’s desires.

And while I don’t need anyone else’s permission, I do need my own. To remedy that, I crafted a bunch of permission slips I write to myself that say this. I, (I fill in my name), give myself permission to (whatever I wish to be, do, have, create or experience) with all my heart and soul. After I have written my permission slip out, I read it to myself often and carry it with me wherever I go. It has made all the difference in the world.

Copyright Rob Gruber 2009
Present Life Mastery Coach

Accept … Love

The phone rang.  It was my sister, 3000 miles away, telling me that our mother was rushed to the hospital.  As she shared with me the news of her condition, I hung on her every word.   But as soon as I hung up, my emotions overtook me.  I wanted it to be different.  I wanted everything to be different, and the more I wanted it to be different, the more I suffered.

Realizing I was the maker of my own suffering, a suffering that was of no service to my mother or myself, I did the one thing I hoped I would never have to do. I accepted the fact that my mother was in need of critical care and I could do nothing to change that fact in this very moment.

As I slowly moved into acceptance, the most remarkable thing happened.  My emotions gently subsided and I became present once again.  In my newly found present state, I was not only able accept what was happening in the moment but was also able to consider what could be in the next.  I did this by asking myself a very simple but powerful question. “Accepting what is, what is the most loving thing I could do now?”

Before I could even finish asking the question, the answer came forth from deep within my heart.  “Go to her! Love her!  Be there for her!  Now!” And within minutes I was booked on the next available flight home.

Copyright 2008 Rob Gruber

Present Life Mastery Coach

Go for the Gold – “Love Yourself”

One of the most remarkable characteristics of gold is its ability to be forged into almost anything without breaking. Applying this same principle to The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would want done unto you,” I created a few new rules from the same vein.

The first two, and my favorite, are The Golden Rules of Self-Honoring (or Self-Love), designed for those souls that always seem to put everyone else before themselves. They are the following.

Love yourself the way you wish to be loved.”

And

“Allow others to love you the way you wished to be loved.”

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of these rules, they are powerful.

Some additional Self-Honoring Exercises you may enjoy include:

Breathe in Love

1. Find a comfortable place to relax, Imagining your breath is nothing but love.
2. Inhale, imagine being filled with light and love
3. Exhale, imagine that same light and love going out into the world.
4. Repeat for as long as you wish.

Recite your New Golden Rules as Affirmations

“I love My Self the way I wish to be loved.”

And,

“I allow others to love me the way I wished to be loved.”

Take Time for Self-Honoring Inquiries

“What’s the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?”

and/or,

“How could I be a little more loving to myself right now?”

Create a Self-Honoring To-do List

Write down at least two ways you will love (take care of) yourself today.

Copyright 2008 Rob Gruber Present Life Mastery Coach

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Live by a More Golden Rule

While having tea with a friend on her garden patio, her playful and loving orange and black tabby cat, Tig, jumped up onto the table, gently placed a lifeless little field mouse in front of me and jumped back off.

Shocked, I gasped.

My friend’s reaction was quite the opposite. She simply smiled and commented, “Awe, look. He likes you.”

“Really? He sure has a funny way of showing it.” I replied motionless.

“It’s just his way of showing you how much he loves you.” She said.

With Tig long gone, that little field mouse suddenly opened his eyes, got back on his feet and ran straight off the table, landing not so gently on the ground and scurrying into the dense foliage of the garden, never to be seen again – at least not by me.

********

In a way, Tig was following the golden rule, “Do unto other as you would have done unto you.” And while I was grateful for his expression of love, I was, unfortunately, not able to fully appreciate his gift at the time.

All too often we are much like Tig, giving to others what we would want for ourselves. I call this the 14 Karat Rule, acting from our own limited preferences. While thoughtful and often appreciated, it occasionally falls short of its intended result.

A more golden rule, which I call the 18 Karat Rule, is this. “Do unto others as you would imagine they would want done unto them. In Tig’s case, with a little imagining, he may have chosen to simply climb up onto my lap, allow me to pet him and purr like there was no tomorrow.

While cats like Tig don’t have the capacity to imagine what others would want done unto them, we humans do. Possessing this capacity, we have an opportunity in each and every moment to live this rule in a more loving way.

If we were to all live by this 18 Karat Rule long enough, imagining and doing unto others what we imagine others would want done unto them, I believe we would all eventually come to the conclusion that we all want the same thing – love.

Realizing love is the answer to all our wants, an Even More Golden Rule, the 24 Karat Rule, might go like this. “Love others as you imagine they would want to be Loved.” Or simply, “Love others.”

Looking back at Tig’s gift, now, I can’t help but love him for loving me the only way he knew how.

Copyright 2008 Rob Gruber

Present Life Mastery Coach

Interested in being coached toward a Life of Self-Mastery?
Email me at rob@iwishicouldtellyou.com!

Perspective – Seeing Through the Eyes of a Child

While assisting a local preschool program for children in an economically challenged area, I had the rare opportunity to see through eyes of a child that had so little but saw so much.

It happened on their lunch break. That day, I was in charge of handing out small, brown-bag lunches to ensure they would each have a least eat one nutritious meal that day.

As all the children carefully emptied the contents of their bags, I noticed one boy ever-so-gently pull out an orange, lift it to the light of the window and exclaim, “Wow! This is the most beautiful orange I have ever seen.” He then turned to me, holding his orange with both hands to his chest, and said “Thank you! Thank You!”

Taken aback by his gratitude, I was barely able to muster up the words, “You’re welcome.” My heart felt as if it was about to explode. I can honestly say I had never experienced such a genuine expression of gratitude and joy before in my life.

As I regained my composure, I noticed he didn’t eat his orange. Instead, he wrapped it with a paper towel and put in his backpack.

Curious to know why he didn’t eat his beautiful orange, I asked him why.

Looking me straight in the eye, he replied, “I love my grandmother very, very much and I know she has never seen an orange as beautiful as this one. So, I will bring it home to her and we will share it together.”

I can honestly say that I have never looked at an orange or a small child the same way since.

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber

Awaken Your Inspiration!

Within all of us lies something quite magical, loving and uniquely our own, we need merely to awaken it!

About five years ago, I picked up a magazine featuring a series of articles on some of the world’s most creative minds. Just as I was finishing the last article, it occurred to me. All of them had one thing in common. They all had their own very unique way of getting their inspirations out of their heads and into the world in a moment’s notice. One designer went so far as to resurface his workspace with a blackboard type material.

Inspired by his genius, I decided to cover the walls of my workspace with artfully hung, clusters of dry erase boards. I cannot begin to describe the sense of freedom and assurance I have felt since the moment I hung my first board. Over the years, I have filled my boards with anything from gibberish and doodles to bouts of inspiration that have profoundly changed the way I look at and love my life.

You too can Awaken Your Inspiration!

1. Open up your journal and write a love letter to your inspiration, inviting it to take a more active part along your path of growth.

2. Develop a way to take notes and record what your inspiration is telling you throughout your day. When I’m not in my workspace, I carry a pen and pad.

3. Schedule a time to meet with your inspiration each day. The morning works best for me. Find a quiet space, close your eyes, relax your breathing and imagine your inspiration coming forth in anyway it feels comfortable. Once you feel it is present, have a conversation with it. When you are finished speaking with it, thank it for coming and invite it to visit or stay with you throughout your day. (I’ve also had a great deal of success working with my inspiration, when I am doing things that require little thought, like washing the dishes or brushing my teeth.)

4. Listen to the many subtle and loving cues you are receiving from your alignment with your inspiration.

“Wisdon that remains in the mind as an idea, rather than being incorporated into the tapestry of who we are, cannot change us.”
– Joan Borysenko, Guilt is the Teacher, Love is the Answer

Copyright 2008
Rob Gruber Life Mastery Coach

Interested in being coached toward a life of Self-Mastery?
Email me at rob@iwishicouldtellyou.com!

Run Barefoot on the Grass!

If I were to ask you to finish the statement, “The grass is always greener,” you would mostly likely answer “on the other side of the fence.” Am I right?

Now, how did I know that? Could it be that I, like you, have accepted this seemingly harmless idiom as true, made it a part of my belief system, and am now able to rattle it off whenever called to do so? Well, yeah. That’s exactly how I did it.

Unfortunately, this widely accepted idiom is wrong. The grass, a metaphor for life, is not, nor ever will be, greener on the other side. “The grass is always greener under your feet.”

The reason I say this is because the grass you are standing on is where you are now, and where you are now is where you are able to grow, love and experience life.

That grass on the other side can’t offer that. It is but a reflection of light we have been misled to believe is greater that us and that is simply not true. Making it, in my opinion, a lighter shade of green.

So run barefoot on the grass and know that it’s always greener under your feet.

______________________

A Present Moment Exercise – Questioning Beliefs

1. Monitor your thoughts and language throughout the week.
2. Catch yourself when you begin to express beliefs that require little thought or effort to express.
3. Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions:
Did I create this belief or was it given to me by society?
Is it true or false?
If it’s false, could I create a new, better and more loving belief to replace the old one?

I realize questioning your beliefs may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but I assure “an unexamined idiom is not worth living.” gruberism

You Were Whole All Along!

“You were whole all along
How could you be not?
You are nothing but love.
You just simply forgot.”*

At the moment you arrived into this world, you were whole. So much so, you had to expel fluid from your lungs just to take your first breath.

You were whole. Take a moment and let that sink in.

Here’s a Wholeness Exercise to help you recreate the experience.

1. Close your eyes and relax.
2. Imagine you are taking your very first breath.
3. As you inhale, say to yourself, “I am.”
4. As you the exhale, say to yourself “whole.”
5. Repeat for as long as you wish.

Having recreated your wholeness, let me ask you this. What has changed since your birth to make you think you are anything but whole? I would argue that nothing has changed accept your awareness of your wholeness.

When you came into this world from the safety and warmth of your mother, you were immediately subjected to an abundant source of new stimuli from the external world. Slowly, as your awareness shifted away from your wholeness to this new stimuli, you began to identify with your experiences of this stimuli rather than your wholeness. Over time, you simply forgot all about the wholeness you possessed.

In your forgetting, a myth was born. That myth was the belief that “something in my life is missing, but I just don’t know what it is. So I will search for it and never stop until I find it.” In your searching, you never thought to look in the most obvious spot, within you. Not looking within, you spend the rest of your life searching for something you have possessed all along.

You can end this myth and your endless searching by the doing the following.

1. Stop searching outside yourself. The moment you do, a shift of awareness will occur.
2. Accept the myth as a myth.
3. Practice the Wholeness Exercise.
3. Create a new truth to replace the old myth. I say new, because the idea may be new to you.

Your New Truth could be something like this.

“Nothing is missing in my life.
I am whole and complete.”

Or

“I need not a thing to make me feel whole,
I am nothing but love, mind, body and soul.”*

Or

“I have not a want, not a wish or a need.
I am nothing but love, in thought, world and deed.”*

These are my truths and I use them in meditation and whenever I feel I am going off course. You are free to use them or create a truth all your own.

Copyright 2008 Rob Gruber Present Life Mastery Coach

*excerpts from my book coming out at the end of the year.

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Interested in being coached toward a life of Self-Mastery?
Contact me at rob@iwishicouldtellyou.com!

Claim your Presence in “The iwicty Registry”

Hello Folks,

Today I would like to announce a new collaborative page called The iwicty Registry.

It is here you will be able to claim your very presence in the here and now!

Simply click on the folder tab above marked “The iwicty Registry” and sign the registry.

Carpe Praesentium!

Sincerely,

Rob Gruber

Copyright 2008 Rob Gruber

Present Life Mastery Coach

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Create an Echo in Your Youniverse

Get more out of your affirmations with this powerful technique I call affurmations.

An affurmation is an affirmation that is redirected back to you by replacing the “I am” with a “You are.”

By directing your affirmations back to you, you activate another aspect of your being. In essence, you complete the cycle. It can feel as if you are hearing from an outside source.

To Create an Affurmation

1. Create an affirmation just the way you always have, using “I am” and stating what you wish to experience in a present tense as if you are already experiencing it is you wnat.
I am living a life of love!

2. Now, change the “I am” to “You are.”
You are living a life of love!

To Utilize Your New Affurmation

1. State your affurmation to yourself in the mirror.

2. Write down your “You are” affurmation on a piece of paper and place it wherever you will be able to see it.

3. For those who require a little privacy, encode your affurmations by writing down the first letter of each word on a small piece of paper and placing it wherever you feel the need. Post-its work great at the office.

5. If you have a supportive partner or friend, state your “I am” affirmation to them and allow them to confirm it with a “You are” affurmation.
You: I am beautiful!
Them: You are beautiful!

Do this until you believe you feel you have shifted closer toward the fulfillment of your intention.

Some Benefits

1. You will hear your affirmations in a whole other way.

2. You begin to see that which you are affirming in others.

Copyright 2008 Rob Gruber Present Life Mastery Coach

i wish i could tell you

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Awaken Your Very Essence from the Outside In

On a recent trip to the theater, I had the pleasure to see a production called The Rat Pack. The show transported me back in time to a night at the Sands Hotel in Vegas with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. at their very best.

Watching the confidence of Frank, the charm of Dean and the poise of Sammy filled my very being. In their presence I began to assume their essence. I was profoundly changed, not only during the show, but for many days after.

Over the next week, I noticed that my profound change was starting to wane, and I wanted it back, but how? And as sure as I asked the question, the answer arrived, in the form of a question? “What would Frank do? Or Dean? Or Sammy? And as I asked these questions, I began to experience once again the essence I attributed to each of them.

Frank, Dean and Sammy didn’t give me anything I didn’t already have, but awoke in me, an essence I attributed to each of them. And when I asked the question, “What would ______do in this situation?” I was able to re-awake the very essence I attributed to them.

As I ask the question, What would Frank do? I begin to smile, walk taller, and know that “I have the world on a string…What a world, what a life – I’m in love.”

An Awakening Essence Exercise for Determining Action

1. Choose someone or something in your life that you attribute a certain essence, quality or characteristic you wish to experience more of. This can be a hero, an actor, a religious figure or a natural wonder. It really doesn’t matter what it is as long as you attribute a quality or essence to it that you wish to possess.

2. Ask the question.
What would ____________ do (in this situation)?

3. Allow the answer to flow from your sense of the essence you have given that person or thing.

4. Experience the fullness of the answer and determine if it is the right course of action. If it is not, enlist another hero, person or thing into the process and ask again?

Copyright 2008 Rob Gruber Life Coach

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Listen and You Shall Hear

While waiting in line at a local coffee shop, I overheard the young woman in front of me order “a medium coffee with room for cream.” The barista, not listening, quickly handed her a medium coffee filled to the rim.

Seeing the full cup, she replied, “Excuse me, but I asked for room for cream. Could you…”

The barista, annoyed at her request, replied back. “Just pour what you don’t want in the garbage can behind you. Can I help the next person?”

Despirited, the young woman attempted to pour out the excess coffee only to spill a good deal of it on herself and the floor.

I ran over to her with a pile of napkins and asked if she was OK. Attempting to keep her composure, she simply nodded in appreciation as she confessed, “All I wanted was a little room for cream.”

I sincerely replied. “I know…I heard you.”

Realizing she had been heard, her whole demeanor changed as she replied gratefully, “Thank you. Its nice to be heard.”

————————————————————-

To speak and be heard, to listen and truly hear, those are truly precious, present moments.

A Present Moment Listening Exercise

Throughout your day today, allow yourself to realize that every conversation or exchange you have with another human being is a request to be heard and connect, and a wonderful gift and opportunity for you to connect and be present.

Or you can turn it into a mantra

Every conversation or exchange I have with another human being is a request to be heard and connect, and a wonderful gift and opportunity for me to connect and be present.

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber  Life Coach

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Seize the Present!

The expression Carpe Diem, “seize the day”, has always held wonderful connotations for me. I love the intention. Just saying it aloud makes my heart beat a bit faster. But more often than not, the idea of seizing a whole day leaves me a bit overwhelmed.

So, to remedy this situation, I did what most of us would do when presented with a task that appears too large. I broke it down.

My first inclination was to seize the moment, “Carpe Momentum.” Then I realized I wasn’t being specific enough, because I found myself on many occasions dwelling on a past moment or getting caught up in a future thought.

Then it dawned on me that what I really wanted to seize was the present, or Carpe Praesentium. The moment I set my intention to “Carpe Praesentium,” I immediately woke up, as if from a dream. Everything around me became clear. My feeling of overwhelm was replaced by a sense of peace and wholeness with everything around me. It is here, and only here, I wish to reside.

Carpe Praesentium!

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber  Life Coach

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Assistapants Unite! – We First Technology

At the end of a workshop I recently attended, one of the instructors expressed her sincerest thanks to the assistants that were occasionally asked to participate in some of the lessons, by whimsically saying, “I would also like to thank our lovely assistapants for all their wonderful assistance and participation. Thank you.”

While I realize this in not a word, I think it should be. So here’s a humble definition.

Assistapant – someone that assists another’s growth through active participation.

This is so much more that just showing up, instructing, leading or telling others what to think or do as students listen and try to imagine the implications. This is experiential learning, where teachers, assistants and students work as one to co-create an environment where everyone grows, students developing awareness and teachers and assistants developing mastery.

An Inquiry

What if you became an assistapant to those you love? What if you took a more active part in their growth and grew in the process? How would your world change? What could be possible?

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber  Life Coach

i wish i could tell you

Become a Modern Day Alchemist

An Alchemist, in ancient times, was a philosopher and metaphysical chemist that sought to transform common metals into gold or create the elusive elixir of life.

While I have yet to transmute any common metals into actual gold or brew the elixir of life, I do consider myself a modern day alchemist and am becoming quite competent in transforming my world.

Here’s a simplified version of The Principles of Modern Day Alchemy.

1. Every thing in the universe contains its opposite, e.g., light and dark or love and hate.

2. The essence of Everything is contained in every Thing, as the poet Blake described seeing “a world in a grain of sand.”

3. You have the ability to choose what you wish to focus on.

4. What you choose to focus on, in your mind, will expand.

5. Once your level of internal focus reaches a critical mass, you will begin to look for and see evidence of it in your outer world.

6. Knowing every thing contains the essence of everything, you will now be able to see that which you are looking for in that which you are looking at.

“The modern day alchemist does not change anything into gold, but rather, sees the gold which is contained in all things.” – gruberism

May you harness these principles to transform your life!

Sincerely,
Rob Gruber

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber Life Coach

i wish i could tell you
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Create an Affirmational Commitment!

This is an excerpt from a children’s book I am writing.

“We all have a path, a path all our own.
And when it is time, it makes itself known.
If I had just told you, you would not have heard.
You would have just laughed, and then thought me absurd.”

I am sharing this with you as part of a process I have been working on with my coach to create what I call an Affirmational Commitment to complete a book I am writing.

An Affirmational Commitment is a statement that is set in the present that declares an intention to complete or experience a desired goal in an affirmative way.

The Process
1. State what you wish to experience in the future.
2. Declare that you will experience it.
3. Set a time by which you will experience it.
4. Bring your declaration into the present by shifting from “I will _______” to “I am _______ing”
5. Now, describe the nature of how you wish to experience the process using powerful adverbs. This is not a step-by-step “how to” approach but a description of the overall action or experience along the way.

My Affirmational Commitment

1. I wish to write and complete a book. (Imagining in detail what it feels like to complete a book)
2. I will complete the writing of my book.
3. I will complete the writing of my book by December 31st, 2007.
4. I am effortlessly and enthusiastically completing the writing of my book by December 31st, 2007.

Once the affirmational commitment is created, refer to it as often as possible. Let it become a part of you. Let it sink into you very being.

You will notice that I don’t get lost in the step-by-step details of how I am going to complete the writing of my book.

A Confession
I don’t know exactly how I am going to do this.

The Truth
I don’t need to know exactly how. The how will reveal itself along the way, that’s how “hows” work.

An Inquiry
What if a commitment is not met?

An Answer
There is learning and growth in everything. If I don’t meet my commitment, then there is something very valuable to experience, learn and grow from.

“Remember it’s the journey not the destination. Without destinations we will never begin our journeys. There is nothing wrong with changing course. Sometimes that is the wisest and most courageous thing to do.” – Gruberism

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber Co-Active Coach

i wish i could tell you

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

I was having a wonderful conversation with a colleague over coffee about coffee, something we both dearly love and attempt to give up from time to time, when she shared with me something quite profound. With sincerity and joy, she looked me in the eye and said, “I’ve spent the last thirty years of my life playing around with my coffee, only to find I like it best black.”

I chuckled and replied. “Congratulations.” We raised our cups to each other, sipped our selective brews and then I respectfully inquired. “Why’d it take so long?”

She sincerely replied. “Social Conditioning. I was taught from a very early age to always want more and never be satisfied, that the status quo was “a status no.” On my quest for the perfect cup, I have ordered every drink on every menu and modified them whenever I could, priding myself on being high maintenance. When I couldn’t get them to modify it, I added sugar, cinnamon, or nutmeg. You name it. I did it. I was never satisfied, until last week, when a coworker of mine went on a coffee run for the office and mistakenly handed me the wrong cup. I took a sip of what I thought was my coffee and, to my surprise, found exactly what I was looking for all those years, a simple cup of hot, black coffee.”

“All that from a cup of coffee?” I asked.

“All that and more,” she proclaimed. “Realizing my quest for the perfect cup was just the tip of the iceberg. I took a personal inventory of all my predominant thoughts and discovered that many of my resistant thoughts were given to me by society. Wanting to live my own life and have my own unique thoughts, I now make a conscious effort to stay present, listen to my heart and see things for what they truly are instead of how others have led me to see them, recreating myself in each and every moment. I thought it would be hard, but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop. Now, I can’t imagine living any other way.

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber Co-Active Life and Wisdom Coach
i wish i could tell you

Live a Life of Ease. Choose Your Path of Least Resistance.

When I first moved to New York City, I did what most artists do. I sublet an apartment. In the first three years, I moved a total of 6 times until I found the neighborhood I would eventually call home, Hell’s Kitchen.

The first couple of moves were effortless. I packed up my duffel bag and hopped on the subway. But by the sixth and final move, I had to borrow a buddy’s truck.

When I pulled up to my new place, I was filled with excitement. But by the second climb up the four flights of stairs with my arms full, I began to question if I really needed any of this stuff.

About halfway through the move, a kid that was sitting on the stoop watching me move, spoke up and said. “You know you don’t have to take the stairs, right?”

“How else am I going to get all that stuff up there?” I asked.

“There’s an old elevator way in the back.” He said. “It’s real scary, but it works. My mom won’t let me use it, but the old man on the third floor does when he buys groceries.”

“Really? Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” I asked.

“I thought you knew, but then I thought maybe you didn’t,” he replied.

Embarrassed but grateful, I thanked the kid, patted him on the back and moved the rest of my stuff into my new place.

The kid was right, that was one scary elevator, and I never used it after that day.

I lived there for three wonderful years. When I did move, I packed up two duffel bags and gave the rest away, making my next move effortless once again.

______________________________________________

“You don’t have to take the stairs.” – Gruberism

I believe that many of us take “the stairs of life” when we don’t have to.

What do I mean by “the stairs of life?”

“The stairs of life” is the hard way. The belief that we must toil, suffer and sacrifice to acquire, accomplish and deserve what we want.

I am here to tell you that you don’t have to take the stairs of life. There is an easier way, a path of least resistance that is uniquely yours.

You will begin to realize this once you begin asking yourself this very simple question.
What would be the easiest way for me to accomplish this goal?

Here are a few additional suggestions that may help you along your path.

1. Stay present, focused and positive.
2. Recognize your ability to create a path of least resistance.
3. Consider any and all possibilities, asking “what if” questions.
4. Leverage your strengths, talents and skills.
4. Utilize every aid that becomes available to you.
5. Ask for help, from the universe and others.
6. Continually monitor and adjust your thoughts, emotions and actions toward ease.
7. Be open to adjust or change your path when it no longer serves you.

if you like this blog, you may also like Let Go to Grow.

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber Life Coach

iwishicouldtellyou.com i wish i could tell you

End Rejection Now!

“Life is a Selection Process, not a Rejection Process.” – Gruberism

When you woke up today, did you think to yourself, “I’m going to reject my way to what I want?” At the restaurant you last ate at, did you purposely reject everything on the menu before you chose what you wanted? Of course not, that’s not what you do.

You, by your very nature, are a selector of things, not a rejecter of things. From the day you were born to the day you die, you will actively select, not reject, those things you believe are best for you.

And while you are out in the world making your selections, the rest of the world is doing the same thing, selecting, not rejecting, things they think will bring them happiness.

With all this selecting going on, where is that stinging rejection? It’s not there, because it never took place. It couldn’t because we were all too busy selecting our next greatest thing.

Then what is that awful feeling we call rejection? It’s your ego, kicking and screaming, wanting to get its own way and feeling threatened when it doesn’t. Your ego wants to have its cake and eat it too by not only controlling your selections but the selections of others.

And while I’ll acknowledge that the ego is only doing what it thinks is best, it doesn’t serve you in this situation. Because the ego can’t control anything outside itself and when it attempts to do so and fails, you experience the pain we call rejection.

To stop the pain of rejection, we must recognize the following:

1.We are, by our very nature, a selector of things not a rejecter of things.
2.Nothing, including you, is ever actively rejected, but rather simply not selected.
3.We can’t control the selections of others.
4. Any need or attempt to control another can lead to great pain.

To stay in a state of natural selection:

1.Celebrate your ability to freely select what you believe is right for you.
2.Allow others to freely select what they believe is right for them.
3.When you feel the ego creeping in, take control of your situation and remind yourself that rejection is only a state of mind, a state you have control over.

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber Life Coach

iwishicouldtellyou.com i wish i could tell you

If enjoyed this blog you may also enjoy, Achieve Perfection by Redefining Perfect.

For a Lasting Change, Try The 90/90 Principle

If you want lasting change in your life, consider this.

Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho Cybernetics , discovered that it takes approximately 21 days of conscious and consistent effort to create a new habit.
While the creation of a new and healthy habit is a good place to start, it may not be enough to keep the old bad habit at bay. According to Michael Lemonick in his July 5th, 2007 TIME cover story “How We Get Addicted” it takes approximately 90 days “for the brain to reset itself and shake off the immediate influence of a drug” habit.

So, if it takes 21 days for the brain to create a new habit but 90 days to lay an old habit to rest, wouldn’t lasting change be more likely if we were to perform our new habit in lieu of an old habit for at least ninety days?

Accepting this argument, I present to you The 90/90 Principle – 90 days of total immersion of a new habit over 90 days of complete abstinence of the old habit.

To master a new habit, you may consider the following.

1. Write down your new habit and refer to it often.
2. Imagine what it will feel like to have mastered this new habit.
3. Post positive reminders throughout your world.
4. Join a support group if one is available or create one of your own.

Do as much of this on a daily basis as you can for at least the next 90 days.

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber Life Coach

iwishicouldtellyou.com i wish i could tell you

The Secret and Powerful Gift within the Insult or Critique

Recently, an artistic colleague of mine did something quite remarkable and courageous. He had an idea, developed a plan, executed it faithfully and invited the critics. I call this remarkable because rarely do our ideas get past the idea stage, and courageous, because he invited the critics.

I salute him for that. Unfortunately the critics did not.

No, the critics were not kind. The pen was mightier than the sword that day. A sword would have been swifter and less messy.

While it is a shame the critics were so ruthless, there is a powerful lesson to be learned here. That lesson is that there is a gift within each and every insult or critique. That gift is the gift of attention upon you.

When someone critiques you or insults you, from your performance to your hair style, they have just made, in that moment, their entire world about you. You have become their focus. You have become the center of their universe.

To better understand this, I have created “The Time-line of an Insult or Critique.”

1. Somehow you got their attention. (Often unknowingly and unsolicited)
2. You then held their attention.
3. They then decide to formulate a response in their mind about you.
4. They think and rethink about you, refining their response.
5. They often share their thoughts about you with others, further refining their response.
6. They see you and determine whether to actually respond or not.
7. They respond to you.
8. They wait for your reaction.

Knowing what you know now, could you possibly react differently the next time you are insulted by someone that has just made you the center of their universe?

When I’m insulted or criticized in a nonconstructive way, I often smile and reply. “Thank you for noticing.” And do you know what? Most of the time I mean it.

If you liked this blog you may also like Peace of Mind is Closer than You Think and Visually Sculpt the Life You Want.

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber Life Coach

iwishicouldtellyou.com I wish I could tell you

What You Focus on Expands – PART 1

grand canyon rob gruber iwishicouldtellyou

Expansion Theory via Travel Log

5:30 a.m. My cell phone alarm goes off. Despite the early hour, I awake feeling well rested.  (I’ve just spent the last two days living on the south rim of the Grand Canyon with my better-half Kristy and now we’re off to Sedona.)

5:45 a.m. I begin packing up the car under the starry night sky as Kristy checks us out of the Bright Angel Lodge.

6:00 a.m. The sun, eight minutes from rising, slowly brightens the morning sky. I do one last check to see if I’ve dropped anything while packing in the dark.

6:08 a.m. – Sunrise. The first rays of light break over the East Rim. We get into our car, look over our TripTik and begin the second leg of our journey.

6:15 a.m. Following the signs out of the canyon, I slowly turn left onto a one way road. Just then, Kristy yells, “Stop!”

Thinking I took a wrong turn, I stop the car and ask her, “What? What is it?”

With her eyes open as wide as I’ve ever seen them, she says “Look.”

I turn and look but don’t see anything.

“Right there.” She says, “See? a baby deer,” pointing just over the right corner of the car.

I look again and suddenly it appears, like magic, a baby deer standing on the side of the road. It literally appears before my eyes, like one of those three-dimensional objects that are hidden in abstract posters sold at novelty shops. One minute I couldn’t see it and the next minute I could. Maybe because I was too used to looking at road signs, but once I did, it was as clear as day. In that very moment I became acutely aware of what deer look like along the side of the road amongst the tall grass and trees at sunrise.

Kristy, now looking for its mother, taps me and whispers. “Look, there. The mother!”

Now knowing what to look for, I immediately see the mother patiently waiting for her baby to cross the road. Not seeing us as a threat, the baby deer dashes across the road and into a small clearing.

As it stops in the clearing, something even more amazing happens. Kristy and I begin to see deer after deer appear before us. And I do mean appear, as if from out of nowhere. They slowly materialize in front of us.

Now, I do realize that deer just don’t appear and that they must have been there all along, but I also believe that if it wasn’t for our close encounter and intimate connection with this little baby dear, we wouldn’t have had developed the ability to see or focus on the rest of the herd grazing amongst the tall grass and trees.

How did we develop the ability to see the rest of the herd? Through Expansion Theory.

As we focused on this little baby dear, our ability to see similar images increased (or expanded) which allowed us to see the mother and then finally, the herd.

___________________________________________

What will you focus on today?

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber Life Coach

iwishicouldtellyou.com i wish i could tell you