What’s Holding You Back From Moving Forward?

Imagine being out in the wilderness on a beautiful spring day.  There is a stream flowing downhill filled with colorful fish, rocks and leaves.  The birds are singing and you can feel the sun shining on your face.  Ahhhhh!  You start to walk along the stream and follow a school of fish swimming by.  Up ahead, you notice some bark from a tree is blocking part of the stream.  Leaves and rocks are starting to form a barrier making it very difficult for the fish to pass through.  It seems as though there is not enough room for the fish to move forward and break on through to the other side.  Because of this “perceived” illusion, the fish start to give up.  Now what? (Can you relate?)

As a life coach, one of the common topics clients want to focus on is moving forward in their lives when something is holding them back.  Their goals, dreams and ideas are like the rocks and leaves in the stream.  The stream represents the flow of life events and experiences.  The tree bark  and leaves are the fears, mental blocks and false beliefs that appear to hold them back from moving forward.  With coaching, I help clients become aware of all the paths in the stream of their minds they might not have seen.  We discover ways to put a plan of actions in place to take action, grow and change.

What’s holding you back from moving forward?  Now is the perfect time to dive into the stream of change.


If you need a motivating push towards overcoming your fears and creating positive changes in your life, schedule your free intro coaching call at freelifecoachingcall@jenniferbridge.com today!  To learn more, visit  http://www.readytochangelifecoaching.com

Spiritual beings having a human experience

This quote inspired me to change the name of my blog to “A Human Experience.”  It reminded me that we are all one.  We are spiritual beings by nature.  Our journey through life is paved with experiences.  These experiences are something that we all have in common, collectively.  We can help one another by sharing them.

And so it begins.  The new focus here will be on my random experiences as a human.

Elements of Living Lightly

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Post written by Leo Babauta.
Today I’m going to suggest a small change in mindset that could change your life.  I won’t keep you in suspense. Here it is: think of nothing that happens as either good or bad. Stop judging, and stop expecting.

It’s a tiny change — all you have to do is say, ‘That wasn’t good or bad, it just happened, it just is.’ It’s tiny, but it takes practice, and amazingly, it can knock you on your ass.

Why? Because with this little change, you will no longer be swayed up and down depending on whether good things or bad things happen to you, whether people (and their actions) are good or bad. You will learn to accept things as they are, and move within that landscape mindfully.

You will no longer expect good things to happen (or bad things), but will just take things as they come, and be content with whatever comes. This means you’ll no longer be disappointed, or unhappy.

“When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good, other things become bad.” ~Lao Tzu

A Little Excercise 

Think of something good that happened to you recently, and how it affected your mindset. Now think of something bad that happened, and what that did to your mindset.

Now imagine that neither event was good, and neither was bad. They simply happened, existed.

How does that change how you would have felt as a result of those events? How does it change your happiness, your mood? How does it change what you do in reaction?

When you stop judging things as good or bad, you are no longer

Nothing is good or bad

Hamlet said, ‘There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’

He was right. Without the human mind, things just happen, and they are not good or bad. It’s only when we apply the filter of our judgment that they become good or bad, beautiful or ugly.

A weed is only a weed when we don’t like it. Children are only naughty if we don’t like their actions. Life only sucks if you judge it as bad.

But what about truly horrible tragedies, like a plague or tsunami or the Holocaust? Surely those are bad? Sure, through the lens of the judgment we’ve been raised to make, they are terrible. But then again, remove the judgment, and then … they simply happened. Death and cruelty will probably always make us sad, but they’ve always happened and always will, whether we like them or hate them.

Holocaust survivor and author Victor Frankl wrote of a rich woman who went through the Holocaust, and who was grateful for the experience, as much as she suffered, because it opened her eyes. It transformed her. I’m not saying the Holocaust was good, but perhaps we can say that it happened. It serves as a lesson — one we should heed, by the way, in these days of politically charged hatred, of blaming our ills on immigrants and minorities.

There are other tragedies that happen that aren’t necessarily bad. They’re devastating losses, without a doubt, but in life there are always losses, and people will always die. It’s how we judge them that determines our reaction, and determines whether we’re capable of dealing with it sanely.

Great Expectations

The second half of this change is just as small, but just as important: dropping expectations. Not lowering expectations, but eliminating them.

Think about it: when we have expectations, and things don’t go the way we expect (which happens quite often, as we’re not good prognosticators), we are disappointed, frustrated. It’s our expectations that force us to judge whether something is good or bad.

When you expect something of a friend, co-worker, family member, spouse, and they don’t live up to that expectation, then you are upset with them, or disappointed. It causes anger. But what if you had no expectations — then their actions would be neither good nor bad, just actions. You could accept them without frustration, anger, sadness.

What if you went on vacation, to a place you had high expectations of, and it wasn’t what you thought it’d be? You’d be bitterly disappointed, even though it’s not the fault of that place — that’s just how the place is. It’s your expectations that are at fault.

When people disappoint you, it’s not their fault. They’re just being who they are. Your expectations are at fault.

The Why

But why make this change? Why should we stop judging? Why should we stop expecting?

Because judgments stop us from understanding, and can ruin our happiness. When we judge, we don’t seek to understand — we’ve already come to a conclusion. If we stop judging, we allow ourselves to try to understand, and then we can take a much smarter course of action, because we’re better informed by our understanding.

Judging makes us unhappy. So do expectations.

When we leave judgment behind, we can live in the moment, taking what comes as neither good or bad, but simply what is. We can stop ruining our happiness with our thinking, and start living instead.

The How

So how do we start doing this? In small steps, as always.

1. First, start by being more aware. Throughout the course of the day today, note when you make judgments, note when you have expectations, and when things don’t live up to them. Over time, you’ll notice this more and more, and be much more conscious of these types of thoughts.

2. Next, pause each time you notice a judgment or expectation. Take a breath. Then tell yourself, “No expectations, no good or bad.” Repeat this, letting go of the judgment or expectation.

3. Third, seek to see things as they are, and to understand. Be curious as to why things are the way they are, why people act the way they act. Investigate, empathize, try to put yourself in people’s shoes. See the landscape of your life as it actually is, without the filter of judgments or expectations.

4. Next, take what comes. Experience it, in the moment. React appropriately, without overreacting because it isn’t as you hoped or wanted. You can’t
control life, or others, but you can control how you react.

5. Then, accept. When things happen, understand why they do, without judgment, and accept them as they are. Accept people for who they are. Accept yourself, without judgment, as you are. This takes practice.

6. Finally, know that the present moment, being as it is, also contains infinite possibilities. And those possibilities are opened up once you see things as they are, without judgment or expectations.

Leggo my Ego

This morning, I was reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.  The part that stood out to me was about nonreaction to the ego.  The way that he describes it really helped me to clearly see how often my ego gets in the way.  I am not my ego, but I tend to live through it at times.  The words “Leggo my Ego” keeps popping into my mind. 

This process of change is lifelong.  However, I believe that gaining awareness is the seed of change.  In order to put that change into action, I need to be ready to change, willing and patient with myself.  I also need to be able to see when my ego gets in the way or takes over and not react to it. 

Below is the powerful portion of the the book that I read earlier:

“Nonreaction to the ego in others is one of the most effective ways not only of going beyond ego in yourself but also of dissolving the collective human ego.  But you can only be in a state of nonreaction if you can recognize someone’s behavior as coming from the ego, as being an expression of the collective human dysfunction.  When you realize it’s not personal, there is no longer a compulsion to react as if it were.  By not reacting to the ego, you will often be able to bring out the sanity in others, which is the unconditioned consciousness as opposed to the conditioned.  At times you may have to take practical steps to protect yourself from deeply unconscious people.  This you can do without making them into enemies.  Your greatest protection, however, is being conscious.  Somebody becomes an enemy if you personalize the unconsciousness that is the ego.  Nonreaction is forgiveness. To forgive is to overlook, or rather to look through.  You look through the ego to the sanity that is in every human being as his or her essence.” ~Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth

Detour to Personal Freedom – Get Unstuck

At times, we all get stuck driving up and down the same path of thoughts in our mind. This can lead to feelings of frustration, anxiety, numbness and sadness.  Some of us stay stuck in this traffic of the mind way too long.  Whether it’s the freeway of fear, the side street of self pity, the road of relationships or an alternate route, we become trapped. How do we find the detour to break free? Freedom comes from awareness, letting go and moving forward.

The first step towards personal freedom and getting unstuck is to gain a true awareness.  Is there an area of your life that you feel stuck in?  Take some time to really think about it. Some examples are feeling stuck in a dead-end job, relationship, financial debt, unhealthy habits, resentment, the past and fear.  It might be difficult to step back and become aware of it right away.  Especially if you have gotten used to the repetitive cycle of unhealthy thought, feelings and patterns.

Once you become aware of what is keeping you stuck, you can begin the process of letting go of the illusion.  The reality is that staying stuck is a choice.  It might feel like there are no other options or ways to break free, but there are.  Let go of the false beliefs and fear. It is time to take a detour to a new path of thoughts in your mind.  Change your outlook and you will see endless roads of possibilities.

Letting go can lead to a shift in the way you feel about what kept you stuck.  That is the freedom that can be found from letting go.  Embrace it.  Now you’re ready to move forward.  The mind traffic is no longer there. Nothing is holding you back.  You are free and can move forward on whatever path you chose to take. Stay aware and you are less likely to get stuck in any mind traffic.  You have discovered the detour to personal freedom and are moving forward.


This article was written by Life Coach Jennifer Bridge.