Mind Training

Beware of Always Wanting More

I’ve spent most of my life yearning for more…more money, more success, more sales, the list goes on.

I proudly considered my perpetual wanting a healthy sign of a robust ambition. Until I began studying neuroscience and realized how truly unhealthy this kind of thinking actually is.

Here’s why: We literally sculpt our brain by what we dwell on. The more we think a thought or feel an emotion, the stronger that neuropathway becomes in our brain.

By constantly hungering for more, I was inadvertently telling my brain “I don’t have enough.”

The more I repeated that thought, the stronger the “not enough” neuropathway grew, until I’d unconsciously do things that kept reinforcing my experience of ‘not enough.’

Slowly it dawned on me. How can I expect more, if I was repeatedly focused on what I had not yet attained? Clearly, I needed to shift my focus to rewire my brain.

I decided to experiment. Every time I felt myself coveting anything, I stopped, took note and shifted into appreciation for what I currently had.

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Your Brain on Savings

There’s actually a positive side to being stuck at home. Personal savings have skyrocketed. But my guess is that when the pandemic passes, savings will plummet.

The fault may lie in our brains.

A recent study by Cornell University neuroscientists discovered that our brains are biased toward earning and against saving. Perhaps it’s the immediate gratification our paychecks offer while putting aside small amounts feels about as gratifying as watching grass grow.

“Fundamentally it comes down to this: saving is less valuable to our brains, which devote less attentional resources to it,” said the co-author Adam Anderson. “Our brains find saving more difficult to attend to.”

Yet fixating on earnings can be fool hardy. I call it the Illusion of Affluence. I see it all the time. Successful women spending too much, saving too little, plowing all profits back into their businesses or on classes for personal growth (deceptively calling it “an investment”).

Their ample earnings gives them the illusion, but not the security of true abundance. The real measure of wealth is your net worth…not what you earn but what you keep.

My Journey Through Fear

I had a rough few days.

As I watch the world implode, the virus surge, the markets plunge — my doctor tells me I need cataract surgery. Anything with the eyes terrifies me.

My head fills with worse case scenarios. I fall into a very dark place, unable to find my way out.

Then I remember what A Course in Miracles calls “the most important concept that exists in the universe—”the Law of Cause and Effect.”

The Course explains this law very differently from the world’s more generally accepted Newtonian explanation.

Here’s What Really Needs to Change

Am I the only one feeling this way?

Yes, the protests—peaceful or not—have led to incredible changes. Companies are hiring more blacks. Communities are implementing radical police reforms. The shares in black-owned businesses are soaring.

But to create true and lasting equality, we must look beyond the external. To change the collective, we need to transform the individual.

I say this from experience.

I came of age during Women’s Lib. Enraged by rampant discrimination, we took to the streets, burning our bras, demanding gender equality. And lo and behold, the workplace opened its doors, albeit a crack. The banks gave us credit cards without requiring a man’s signature.

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Feeling Like an Imposter? Time to Rewire

I just read that award-winning Maya Angelou, after publishing her 11th book, thought to herself: “Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody.”

Can you imagine Maya Angelo feeling like fraud!! But looking back, I think of all the  courageous, confident, highly successful women I’ve interviewed who told me they still felt like a fraud long after their careers were flourishing.

Sadly, the imposter syndrome is epidemic among women, even the most successful ones. In Neuroscience, I found a possible explanation as to why. Despite their achievements, these women never rewired their old belief systems.

They didn’t prepare themselves mentally as they pushed themselves physically. Because they hadn’t changed their thoughts, their brains remained wired to see only the past.

Their low self-image hadn’t caught up with their incredible successes. Their old neuropathways still dictated their current perceptions.

The moral of this story:  before you focus on changing your behavior, you must transform the causes of that behavior—your thoughts and beliefs. 

What thoughts and behaviors could you begin to rewire for success? Leave me a comment below.

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Reinventing Normal

I’m hearing the same thought from numerous sources. Once the pandemic has passed, don’t expect a return to normal. Life as we’ve known it will never be the same.

That can feel scary. Indeed, uncertainty is frightening. But what if the current crises is not to be feared? What if we welcomed it as a much-needed wake-up call?

I’m reminded of a 2019 Ted Talk by Ashweetha Shetty. Though her subject was education, her words feel eerily prophetic.

 “All of us are born into a reality we blindly accept,” she said, “until something awakens us and a new world opens up.”

I’m wondering if that’s what’s happening now. “Something” (Spirit. perhaps) is trying to awaken us to other possibilities—possibilities other than the reality we’ve “blindly accepted.”

What if we all used this time in isolation to imagine the new normal we’d love to create? What if we reimagine a future unlike the past?

Think about the life you crave, not the one you live. Consider the legacy you wish to leave. Allow your imagination to run wild, to dream audaciously. Make it fun, as if you’re a child playing make-believe.

Notice if your thoughts tell you it’s not practical or even plausible. Know that’s your brain defaulting to old neuropathways.  Resist the urge to acquiesce.

Instead, trust this is your intended future yearning to emerge. Allow the ideas to sink into your psyche. Adopt them as your new story.

Repeat this story often (especially when tempted to tell your old one). Focus on it in meditation. Visualize it as you fall asleep.

Rest assured. This new story is not some grandiose tale told by your insecure Ego, but guidance from your loving Soul, urging you to step into your Greatness, shining your light in a world steeped in darkness.

Tell me about your new normal—the one you’d love to start living.  Share in the comments below as if it’s already a reality.

LogoCould you use some extra support during these crazy times? I’d love to mentor you in my 5-month ReWire Mentorship Program. Click here to learn more about this life-changing program.

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Questions for A Quarantine

Ten years ago, a coach bluntly told me: “You’re too into doing, Barbara. You need time for just being.” I was depleted, burned out and knew she was right.

I cleared my calendar, eliminated all but the essentials and created space for self-reflection.  My mantra was “I surrender and receive.” 

I believe this is exactly what Covid-19 is calling us to do—Surrender and Receive. Surrender need not be passive but can be highly productive.

Believe me, I had no idea at the time that a whole new body of work was living inside me. By slowing down and tuning in, I “downloaded” what would become my next book, Sacred Success.

The “downloads” came as I asked myself a series of questions. I’m happy to share them with you. The first question most people ask themselves, when facing uncertainty, is ‘what should I do?’ Actually, that’s the last question to pose.

The first question to ask  is: What do I need to let go of? Letting go, especially of what causes unhappiness or ceases to serve you, creates space for better to come. How do you know what needs to go? It’s probably that which you’re most afraid to release.

The next question to ask is: What do I want? This helped me get in touch with my deepest desires rather than the ‘shoulds’ and ‘ought’s” that I often gave into. I took a deep dive into my Soul’s wisdom by asking myself these 4 questions:

  • If I knew I had only 6 months to live, where would I be? Who would I be with?  What would I be doing?
  • If I died today, what would be left unlived?
  • If nothing changes, not one thing, what would my life look like in 5 years?
  • If I was on my death bed, how would I most want to be remembered?

The final question to ask is: “What should I do next?” Follow the advice of artist Vincent Van Gogh: “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you cannot paint’, by all means paint and the voice will be silenced.” 

How are you using your time in quarantine?.  Leave me a comment below.

LogoCould you use some extra support during these crazy times? I’d love to mentor you in my 5-month ReWire Mentorship Program. Click here to learn more about this life-changing program.

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Let Go! A New Future’s Emerging.

In one of my books, I tell a story about a mountain climber who falls off a cliff,  grabs hold of the ledge, and dangling in midair, desperately cries out, “Lord help me!”

The Lord answers: “I will help you. But first you have to let go of the ledge.”

I believe this is what we’re all being called—or in some cases, forced—to do:  let go of the ledges that once kept us safe.  And that’s scary as hell.

But I’m beginning to think this may be the whole point. Widespread global fear is triggering our own personal fears, especially ones we’ve long kept buried. 

Our tendency is to avoid uncomfortable feelings, stuff them down. But these bottled up emotions must come up to be healed. Or they will forever hold us back, tethered to the past. 

A new future is emerging. And we are being asked to take time to reflect and release dysfunctional emotions that are weighing us down. 

My daughter, Melissa Siig’s experience mirrors what many of us are feeling. She found herself becoming increasingly irritable and unhappy, struggling to adjust to all the sudden changes. Then one day, she realized, “I had to shed my old skin to make way for the new.”   Here’s what she shared on Facebook:

 “Last week, I took a shower, went into my closet to get dressed, laid down on my closet floor and stayed there for two hours, curled up in the fetal position in the dark.

“I cried and mourned and let my grief pour out of me for what my family and I and the world had lost. I needed to release my life as it had been for 47 years to make way for acceptance of something new.

“I had to let go. I needed to be reborn. Like the butterfly breaking through its cocoon, I slowly emerged from my dark womb and made my way to my bed. I laid in bed another hour or two. My family worried about me, I worried about me.

“But eventually, having purged my old self, I reemerged, transformed. I wiped the tears from my eyes, went upstairs, poured myself a glass of wine, and played Clue with my family.”

What ledge do you need to let go of, what do you need to shed, to make way for the new? Leave me a comment below.

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A Spiritual Solution for Scary Times*

*Adapted from my upcoming book: Rewire for Wealth

I’m turning to A Course in Miracles (ACIM) a lot more these days. 

As many of you know, ACIM is a spiritual text that calls itself “a course in mind training,” and declares its sole purpose is “to restore awareness of the power of the mind.” 

I may not be able to control the frightening unfolding of current events. But can use the power of my mind to control how I react to them.  

“The only way to make prudent decisions in a plunging market”, my favorite WSJ  columnist, Jason Zweig, recently advised, “is by creating a circle of calm around yourself.”Amen to that! 

How do you train your mind to “create a circle of calm?” You must understand what ACIM calls “the most important concept that exists in the universe:” The Law of Cause and Effect. 

ACIM (as well as neuroscience, quantum physics and many spiritual teachings like Buddhism) explains this law very differently from the more generally accepted Newtonian version. 

To the world, a cause is an external incident which produces an internal effect. The market crashes (cause) and you panic (effect). But this view is very disempowering. Blaming something or someone else for ‘making’ you unhappy or fearful turns you into a victim.

According to ACIM, nothing ‘out there’ has anything to do with you feeling happy or upset.  Your thoughts are always the cause. If you want to change the effect (your experience)—greater abundance, more happiness, increased peace of mind—you must first change the cause (your thoughts). 

Mind training is about far more than positive thinking. It requires you to shift the source of your feelings from the world out there and point your finger where it belongs—your own mind. 

Or as ACIM puts it: “Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.” 

Join me on March 19, for a FREE call to learn a simple, but radically different Formula for Mind Training. When you understand how to control your thoughts, you’ll discover how much power you have to create the life you desire. 

What thoughts do you need to change for greater peace of mind? Leave me a comment below.

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Pruning vs Pushing

A little over 10 years ago, in a rush of adrenalin brought on by a surge of ambition, I suddenly shifted into high gear. I hired a team, restructured my website, created a new marketing campaign, purchased complicated new software, and created all sorts of new products. I was driven.

Until my enthusiasm dwindled and I couldn’t understand why. The answer came loud and clear when I helped my daughter, an organic farmer, prune the fruit trees.

“If you don’t prune back most of the new buds,” Anna explained, “too much of the tree’s energy goes into producing foliage instead of growing fruit. You don’t want the trees to spread themselves too thin, reducing the amount of fruit they bear.”

The metaphor was inescapable. I was that fruit tree, spreading myself too thin, letting too many budding projects sap my creativity, my energy, my focus.

Busyness, or the act of spreading oneself too thin, is an occupational hazard for high achievers. It’s basically the absence of discipline. Discipline means doing with discernment, thoughtfully pruning rather than tirelessly pushing.

I wonder if we instinctively recoil from discipline, like a kid ordered to eat veggies. It may be good for us, but damn it, we’re not going to like it and we’ll try anything to get out of it.

Instead we slip straight into our drug of choice. I call it ABTS—“Addicted to Busyness Syndrome.”  We stuff every cranny of our lives with so much activity that we’ve lost touch with what’s really essential and what’s truly irrelevant.

But ask us to lighten our load, actually say no to a task, and we start to panic. As if our world would shatter if we slowed down.

Over time, I learned to value Disciplined Action—making prudent, sometimes unpleasant choices, doing what I need to do to, even if it’s not what I want to do. It’s the only thing I’ve found that allows me to successfully do what I love without sacrificing my sanity, or my Soul.

Where are you pushing in your life when you should be pruning? Leave me a comment below.

Want to learn the art & science of rewiring your brain for Wealth & Well-Being? Join me for a FREE call—March 19, 2020. Register Now!

Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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