December 6, 2007

Expanding Your Repertoire

After taking piano lessons for eight years, you'd think I'd be pretty good at playing piano, right?

Actually, I am. Or rather, I am really good at playing two songs. That's it. They're the only two songs I kept playing after I stopped lessons as a teenager.

When I play these two songs, I sound REALLY good. Like a gifted pianist. It's pretty impressive! (Or at least I like to think so.)

But ask me to play anything else and I'm lost. I actually won't even attempt it any more, because it ruins my fantasy of being talented.

I thought about this as I've been giving clients the example lately of a girlfriend who has practiced misery so well she can turn any situation into a reason to be miserable. (She's doing it right now, as a matter of fact, because I won't pick up the phone to hear her complain about her brother.)

Any self-respecting girlfriend would drop me as a friend. But since she's doing the misery tune and I fit perfectly into that song of hers (since I won't listen to her complain), she uses me as another reason to be miserable. Yes, she's gifted at "miserable."

Her story is that she was miserably married for 14 years, got a divorce, then was miserably single, then started dating, then was miserably dating (that was really miserable), then got a boyfriend (fabulous guy), then was miserable because she wanted to be married to this guy, then got married (after dating four months), then was miserable because the family integration was challenging, then got counseling for that (which helped), then was miserable because the honeymoon was over WAY too fast in her opinion, then was miserable because her parents like him more than they like her, then was miserable because ...

That's her tune. Miserable.

I tell clients until we practice the vibration we want, it won't matter WHAT happens in our lives. If we only know a small repertoire of vibrations, we can't experience any others.

We have to practice the vibration we want FIRST, before we have a "real life" reason to sing that tune. We have to expand our repertoire by practicing the feeling(s) we want.

I realized I can stop using my girlfriend (whom I love dearly) as an example because I have my own example.

Years ago when I quit my job to start coaching, I was stressed out because I had no clients and thus no income. (I was still holding the belief that I had to earn money. Can't say I've dropped that one 100% yet - but making good progress.)

Anyway, I was stressed out for having no clients, then stressed out because I had only a few clients, then stressed out because I had all the clients, but wasn't sure there would be more in the future, then was stressed out because I continually had too many clients than I could fit in my schedule.

I went from where I was (no clients) to where I wanted to be (successfull coach) without my vibration changing one iota. Okay, maybe an iota, but not enough to really notice the difference.

I was stressed out from start to finish. Because I hadn't practiced anything but "stressed out." That's all I knew.

It started in my corporate world with a management change, and I didn't do anything to manage my vibration other than quit my job, which I thought would change how I felt. As you just read, that didn't happen for me.

Taking the action, changing the circumstances, making things happen isn't what makes us feel better!

Changing how we feel is what makes us feel better; outside circumstances don't do that. They can't. I don't care how many times we get married, or quit our job, or pay off our debts, or lose ten pounds ... it isn't the "thing" that makes us feel better. You make you feel better. Nothing and nobody else can.

So if we don't practice a new feeling, we'll never get to it.

The new song I'm learning next? How to be happy in a long term relationship where we live under one roof and expect that's a wonderful, beautiful, rewarding thing. Because we are house hunting right now, so it's time for me to get good at this one.

Luckily I know how to practice new vibes.

Otherwise, you KNOW the posts you'd be reading about next, right? Right. I'm not playing that song.

Instead I'm playing the one where I am so glad to have learned enough about myself and myself-in-relationship that I know how to be flexible and appreciative and focusing on what matters and considerate of my partner and believing that everything works out deliciously. And how nice it is to truly be in an intimate partnership where we know, love and support each other in ways neither of us has ever experienced before. Delicious!!

So, anyone who cares to join me in expanding their repertoire, I'd love to hear what new vibration you're practicing, so that your next success feels as good as you expect it to. Maybe even better.

Namaste.

31 comments:

  1. ...and if you want to expand your piano repertoire, let me know. I've been writing pieces aimed at the less advanced student but which sound interesting anyway. (Long irrelevant story abbreviated, but I do think it'd be cool for you to get confidence in your ability to expand your musical prowess.)

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  2. You certainly can play any song you want on your computer keyboards = I feel "music" every time I follow your growth through your words - and (as I'm sure you intend) I grow, too. I find myself practicing the basic "scales", - gratitude and abundance meditations. Your last blog reminded me to "pray" for abundance from a place of fulfilment and gratitude, not from a place of want and lacking. Practice doesn't make perfect - perfect practice makes perfect!

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  3. That sounds like a cool project, John. Do you play/teach other instruments as well?

    Thanks, Steve, for expanding on the fun analogy! Your comment made me smile!

    Indeed, gratitude and abundance are excellent "scales" to master. If I were only going to know two songs - those would be my first choices! :)

    Thanks for posting, guys!

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  4. Jeannette,

    This post had so many wonderful nuggets of wisdom hidden in it!! It helped me see clearly, maybe for the first time ever, that no matter how good a life we may have on the outside we will never feel good if the stories we are telling ourselves on the inside do not match up with what we want... Despite having tons of friends, a great relationship, and abundance all around me, I still operate from an outdated story that I am lonely, unlovable, and unsuccessful... and I end up feeling not very good most of the time. But your post helped me realize that I can change my story, so that my inside matches up with the wonderful outside life I already have! So I think I'll change my story (or song) to one of being lovable, successful, and loved from all directions!!

    Thanks so much for you beautiful insight, Jeannette...

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  5. It is so true, Anonymous .. and I know it from personal experience. In fact, just last night my ex reminded me how lucky I was.

    Out of curiosity, I asked him, "how do you figure?"

    He said, "you have the best job ever, you make good money and you hang out with your dogs all day."

    When he first called me lucky I thought it wasn't luck, but when he put it like that, I thought, "Yep, he's right."

    Before the conversation I was feeling tired and overwhelmed. A little perspective shift compliments of the ex had me uplifted again. I AM one lucky girl. :)

    I like your theme of love and success, Anonymous. It's a good tune to whistle!!

    Thanks for your post, my friend. It means much not just to me, but to others who will relate with your story and find inspiration in it.

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  6. As always, an amazing (and amazingly timely) post. You have certainly helped me change my "tune" today.

    Thank you for being you.
    Andi

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  7. Glad it helped, Andi, and thanks for posting!

    I've found even though I know this stuff, often the reminders help.

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  8. That is exactly my way of thinking Jeannette. WE make ourlives, not the situations themselves. If we feel happy, then happiness will be spread all around us...

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  9. Great post Jeanette!

    At one point, I was struck with a hilarious and slightly bizarre image: you were talking about how overwhelmed and tired you had been feeling and a comment from your ex lifted you.
    I flashed that if we, here in this life and place, are more than we currently experience here at this node, our personalities are like sock puppets that our Self (the one we are saying Namaste to) is using to have a puppet show with others. the whole idea really lifted me.

    Thanks for the great sharing that you do. It creates wonderful sparks that light the flames.

    As far as what new vibration I am practicing: Fun. I am practicing having fun with ideas and words but I am slowly introducing it into my physical activities and my interactions.

    Yippee-Ki-Yay!

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  10. Me, teach? No, but my kids did want something advanced-sounding but within their abilities for recitals, and they weren't real happy with what they had found. So I'm writing a couple collections, thence to publish. Kind of fun.

    Oh, and you ARE one lucky girl! Of course, knowing that it's much more determinable than luck makes it all the better for those of us who want to achieve similar ends on our own paths.

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  11. Well said, Thinker. Thanks for eloquently reiterating the point!

    And Rick, I'm loving the sock puppets and puppet show analogy!! Way to bring some FUN into this world we're co-creating!

    John, I agree, it isn't really luck - sometimes that's a nice thought, but it is also a nice thought to know there isn't any such thing as luck. It's all about what we vibrate, which brings all possibilities to our fingertips.

    Ha - sock puppets and fingertips - it's all connected! lol

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  12. Another well-written, relevant and wonderfully personal post, Jeannette - you are such an inspiration.

    Your great fan in Denmark,
    Toni :-)

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  13. I am currently working on my Christmas repertoire. The old song goes, no money, no more inspiration for making a silk purse
    out of a sow's ear, relatives are not fun, trapped with them for three days, nobody loves me.
    So here goes I am packing all my unconditional love with me when I go see the relatives. My younger son and me are going to be amazed how the time flies by.
    My father-in-law claimed Christmas this year as he paid for his youngest son living in Germany to come home. How great is that! We will all be there, even nephews and wives. Hey it's only fourteen people after all.
    And how lucky can I get, my sister-in-law is a professional chef and cooks the Christmas dinner which is always spectacular.
    And I have had an amazing year learning from Jeannette and other's around her that I going into this Christmas with way more tools of conscious creating.
    I have a much stronger sense of myself these days so that I know how to love, honor and protect myself. I know to not let energy stick and to let it just roll off my back like water on a duck. Christmas in the past have been excruciatingly boring and hard on my spirit but I have expanded my repertoire this Christmas. I am going to have a great time this year because I am taking the party with me.

    Love Leslie

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  14. Thanks for reading from Denmark, Toni! How nice to have you in our community!!

    Your positive feedback is much appreciated, my friend.

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  15. Taking the party with you!! ha ha! I love it Leslie! Now THAT'S a nice new tune. :)

    Your wording in this post reminds me of something Michael Neill said last month about the power of our language to make an immediate difference in our experience.

    He suggested instead of thinking of our "problems" we think of them as "challenges" or "opportunities." I thought even as "games" might help shift the energy around it.

    Then he offered an example of the power of this change in language. Think of something you're planning to do tonight, and play with the verb-words around it.

    Like, if you're going to dinner, say "I have to go to dinner." And then maybe "I should go to dinner." "I must go to dinner." "I want to go to dinner." "I'd love to go to dinner." "It might be nice to go to dinner." "I could go do dinner."

    Simple exercise, but you can definitely feel the shifting energy with the different words.

    Even for me, instead of thinking "I better get this new tune figured out" or "I need to get on board with this before we buy a house together" to think of it as "I GET to ... " or your "How lucky am I to ... "

    Thought-provoking post. Thanks, Girlfriend. :)

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  16. Leslie said: "I am going to have a great time this year because I am taking the party with me." That's the PERFECT new vibe for me to practice - as I'm off to a holiday party, where it can be a bit dodgy without the right attitude. Thanks Leslie, and thanks Jeannette, I'll toast you both tonite

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  17. I'd love to do all my holiday parties with Steve and Leslie. :)

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  18. Jeannette,

    Speaking of holiday parties, any tips we could use for staying centered during the holidays, especially with respect to dealing with our families during this stressful time? I know that when I go home for the holidays, I often have a hard time holding onto the larger vision I have of myself, verus the smaller version my parents and other family members have of me... Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!

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  19. Good question, Anonymous. You're not alone in dealing with this, and I don't recommend the method I've been using for years (which is not seeing them). lol

    Not caring what others think is a good start, although I know it's easier said than done. What they think of you is none of your business.

    We also have a way of projecting our fears about self onto other people, so it seems as if THEY'RE the ones who think this or that, when in reality that's our projection.

    Remembering that you're complete and whole and perfect is a good way to shore up.

    But my favorite way to handle it (which I do practice with other people's families and challenging outings) is to hold in mind beforehand how it is you want to feel through this activity or exchange. If you can capture that with a single word or phrase, it makes it easier to remember. (Like your personal mantra for the moment.)

    Then when you're confronted with something that might take you out of your game, you can recall that phrase (this takes awareness of how you feel, but you're up to the challenge) in order to reconnect with your commitment to how you want to feel.

    Example: Russ dragged me out of the house yesterday to go shopping for snow boots. Holiday shopping?! Oh my gosh. Potential nightmare material for me. In fact, I took a big deep breath even THINKING about that as I typed it! Ugh! I really don't like the crowds and the senseless consumption and the way it kind of makes you feel like you "need" more.

    Anyway, that's what I DIDN'T want. What I DID want was a pleasant productive excursion with my sweetie. "It's all good" is the phrase that captured what I wanted to experience.

    I held that in mind as we left the house. "It's all good."

    As we took the exit to the mall - oh my gosh - traffic was already backed up at the light and we weren't even to the mall yet. Russ saw me roll my eyes with my mouth agape, and he said, "have patience!" That was my reminder that I wanted this to be "all good." Not challenging. All good.

    "It's all good." ha! I almost forgot. It's all good. Silly me.

    He was driving after all. Surely I could be a patient passenger. We drove around FOREVER - ok, maybe more like nine minutes - looking for a parking spot. I suggested twice we just go for ice cream instead (I'm a stress eater) but he just laughed at me.

    We got into the mall and it was mass confusion. The shelves were a picked over mess. Cashiers were harried. It was ... pop quiz ... a nightmare? Or all good?

    It was all good when I remembered so.

    I got my boots (five stores later). And I also saw some cool boots made by www.earthvegan.us at Dillard's, but they didn't have my size (11 - yes. 11. Is it any wonder I hate to shoe shop?) But I checked their site out at home.

    And I felt even better about my choice in sweeties; this guy handles himself really well with me.

    We even had time to swing by one of the new neighborhoods we're house hunting in before it got dark.

    Because I said "it's all good." I didn't let old nightmares get the best of me.

    Do you know your core values, Anonymous? You can connect with one of those in a pinch, too. It works MIRACLES!! Literal miracles.

    Just set the intention to experience one of your core values through the interaction with family, and you'll be surprised how much better it goes. Just doing that little intention. (My favorite core values to intend to experience are connection, authenticity and nature.)

    I use it every holiday and it was a life-saver when I was in the dating world a couple years ago.

    I also know other people reading this have valuable tips to share ... so please do so!! : )

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  20. Thanks, Jeannette!! Your suggestions are very helpful and I plan on putting them into practice ASAP.

    Happy Holidays to you! :-)

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  21. "Mine goes to 11." (If you don't know that quote, watch Spinal Tap for that and a lot more very quotable hilarity! A band member had his amp's volume knob marked 1-11 instead of 1-10.)

    Excellent advice, Jeanette! I'll definitely be keeping that in mind to keep myself in the correct frame. Not losing that is my biggest issue, by a long shot. Good habits can take a little while to form.

    Must point out a speed bump in your road, though: Numbers. So hung up on numbers! It's a girl thing, I recognize, but since you're past so much other traditionally problematic issues, why not kick that one to the curb as well? You know, of course, that the higher-priced clothing stores mark things with smaller numbers, the better to stroke their clientele's egos and extract their money. It's why the sizes of women's clothing are nearly meaningless any more. So many women, hung up on numbers, as though the ink on a dress' tag hides the fat lurking a couple feet south.

    You, Coach O' Mine, are well and truly beyond that sort of nonsense. You know that you're complete and whole and perfect and beautiful, your feet are exactly what they're supposed to be (compared to others, you have a good Under Standing, no?), and that it's all Good. A number's a tool, that's all. Don't confuse the moon with the finger pointing at it, as the Zen saying goes.

    And if all else fails, you can just claim that "mine goes to 11."

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  22. Ha! That reminds me of a post I've been thinking of writing all year long, John. How we let numbers hang us up. Numbers from the scale, the bank account, our age, etc.

    Yeah, breaking free from that is a good step to true liberation.

    As we were driving home from shoe shopping, Russ asked, "So if there was anything you could change about your body it would be your feet?"

    I'm grateful to say I didn't consider such a ridiculous idea for even one second. "TSUH! No!! I would change the shoe stores to cater to people my size." Duh.

    I wouldn't change my beautiful feet for all the money in the world! ... now my hips. That I might think about. lol

    Nice reminder. Thanks for posting, John!

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  23. Ah, I see! Yeah, I have trouble finding my size, too. What a nuisance...

    Looking forward to that Breaking Free article!

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  24. Well shoot, I think maybe YOU should write it, John!!

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  25. Hi Jeanette & Everyone,

    There are so many gems of insights in this post and all the comments.

    Thank you!!!

    One thing you said stood out very strong for me. You were talking about your girl friend. You said, “I won't pick up the phone to hear her complain . . .”

    I’ve had a question around this all year. What do we do when our friends are vibe’en misery, doom and gloom? What if I have a friend who expounds streams of bad news every time we catch up? LOA (and Carl Jung for that matter) says that if they are in my life, they have something to do with me! I’m not thinking about all that miserable stuff, or I wasn’t, before they walked through the door. By the time they leave I’ve had an hour of non-stop saturation in heart conditions, death beds, bad debt , horrible men, failed goals and debilitating health problems.

    It’s so pervasive I have to take a shower, or go for a swim to get clean of it!

    What to do? I’m confused about what action to take. With some I don’t call or answer the phone. Some of my friends I never see any more. Others I adore so much in spite of their ‘glass is half full (of toxins)’ attitude I am still in contact with but ???

    So you see the dilemma?

    Does anyone else experience this?

    What do you think, Jeanette? What’s your approach?

    Thanks again for bringing this up.

    xxx Namaste,
    Kim

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  26. Really good question, Kim. I've grappled with it myself over the years, and sometimes still do.

    But when I remember to ask myself, "What would feel best to me?" and go with that, I'm in good shape.

    Like, this same girlfriend I wrote about phoned just an hour ago. I hadn't spoken to her in a while, and as I saw her #, I thought hmm . answer or not? It felt good to answer. When she started complaining about her brother, I made no bones about interrupting her to say, "How are things with YOU?"

    It stopped her in her tracks, she refocused, and caught me up to speed with her life. It involved a little complaining, but ever since I told her to stop expecting her husband to make her happy and to start making HERSELF happy, she's not so excited to get me in on the conversation. lol

    And honestly, sometimes I'm in the kind of mood where talking to someone else who is down really helps. It helps me remember I don't have it so bad, and that at least I have a friend who doesn't avoid my bad mood.

    I will also say I've learned a LOT from this woman. A lot of good things. So I do value my relationship with her.

    But .. always coming back to "what feels good right now?" or "what would feel better?" seems to offer good direction.

    What do you think?

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  27. Looking forward to that Breaking Free article!

    Good Vibe Coach said...
    Well shoot, I think maybe YOU should write it, John!!


    Me?! Haaaaa ha ha he haaaaa! Oh dear... Ok, I could maybe write something along those lines, but at this point I'm still largely at the theoretical/initial-learning phase, with precious little to point to for verification. 'Course, there has been a rather startling breakthrough lately, but the correct topic to mention it hasn't come up, and this is something a bit different.

    What the heck. I am totally, entirely at the beginning edge of this LOA experience, but perhaps that's where I should start chronicling the path? It'd prevent the haze of memory from altering how it actually was!

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  28. AB SO LUTELY!!!!

    When can you start??

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  29. Hi Jeanette,

    That’s very helpful.

    “What would feel best to me right now?”

    Remembering to ask that question before I pick up the phone or decide to meet for coffee etc means I am tuning in and choosing based on my feelings. And they can fluctuate!

    Sometimes I’m feeling resilient and warm and incredibly generous and want to spend time with the people in my life, even if they focus on things that make them unhappy. (your hints on how to shift the energy of a conversation are excellent...a whole workshop topic in itself, don’t you think?) Other times I’m not feeling like I don’t want to do it... ‘be there’ for someone in a foul space. It feels to depleting. If I tune into my energy levels first, I can choose, and that alone feels better!

    You’re right. There can be gifts everywhere, in both joyful communions and whinging bitch sessions. And if not gifts, then opportunities to make a shift.

    Thank you, Jeanette. This is such an intricate topic because it involves both our ability to attract and our ability to choose.

    Xxx
    Kim

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  30. Well... ok. I have actually been thinking about doing precisely that for a while, like I said. Having verified that (a) manifesting can and does work, and (b) be careful what you ask for, what I need to do is make time without destroying my livelihood.

    Whereas my current means of livelihood appears to be clobbering my time, one can see where that line of thought is going. But then again, I always say that help comes not so often from where you least expect it than from where you do not expect it at all. So here goes.

    In the mean time, I work toward the goal, see it coming (though the means be hazy), and collect ideas of how to best do it. Probably the answer to that last will be "blogger.com". It's ready to go, so I just need the time to organize my thoughts into something worth reading.

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  31. Well keep us posted, John. We are waiting with baited breath! :)

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