Are you setting up a goal or expressing a desire?

With this post I feel rather ambitious, but in my opinion it is a really important topic to understand who we are and what we want.
At the same time, for some, it may seem trivial and obvious, but to me, it is very close to my heart since it has resolved a lot of uncertainties.

I have previously talked about how our desires are formed, and how the path taken to achieve them is equally important.
Unfortunately, however, the real question that always puts anyone in crisis is not “What are your desires”, but “what are your goals?”.
Often and willingly, when asked this question, we feel almost intimidated because most of us really don’t think that building a goal is something realistic, but rather a hidden desire, the fulfillment of which depends mainly on the events, not from us.
And of course, answering such a question is not easy if we think that the goals are our desires, as it would make us feel vulnerable, especially if they do not come true.

How many of you can relate to that?

I myself, until recently, had no idea that there really were any differences between the two, and I never gave them too much importance until, looking inside, I realized that what I was doing with my life, and the value I gave to it, depended on my choices and my actions, as well as my thoughts. Therefore, I had to act without fear to really feel that I was living a life of value.

And so I started working on it, and I tried to figure out how to create goals, the main step to get something out of life.

This made me realize how far I was from reality.

First, how to distinguish a desire from a goal?

According to the NLP it is useful to follow this pattern:

S – Specific

M -Measurable

A – Attainable / Assignable

R – Realistic / Rewarding

T – Timebound/ Tangible

So just ask yourself some questions?

If your desire is to find work as an astronaut, then ask yourself:
Is any kind of mission as an astronaut okay? Are you okay with fixing the bathroom at the International Space Station like Howard from Big Bang Theory, or do you want to go and discover new planets? Do you want to be an astronaut in space, or just training is enough? How many hours of work would you like to have per week?

Then I would ask myself if this goal is really measurable, that is, to what extent do you think you can define yourself satisfied with what you have achieved? When will the achievement of your goal be evident to you?

Another fundamental question is whether that goal, for what you feel, for what you have lived in your life in the past, is a concrete and achievable goal. If you didn’t have financial problems, do you think you would be able to?
But even more, an essential part of this process is to understand if the goal is in fact achievable: do you think that with the economic problems you have you might not be able to do it? Could someone or something interfere with your goal? Do you have to find another job in the meantime? Do you have the time to do everything?

Finally, the essential question is that of time. It is here that everyone, absolutely everyone, fails, because it is when they understand how much all the previous questions are important when we relate them to time.

All the questions asked so far make you understand very well how a desire is really achievable to make it truly a goal, but of all the questions, for me that of time is the most specific, and it is the one that made me achieve most things.

At first, I was cheating.
I didn’t even notice that I was cheating. I kept pretending to have these bizarre and obvious goals, with a date so far away, that when that date arrived I didn’t even remember my desire anymore.
Since, “I want to learn a new language”, “learn to play the ukulele” and “become a dancer”, all these wishes are absolutely achievable. If you reflect in these words I can only tell you to do it and with joy, but learn well to distinguish desires from goals because otherwise they can only bring you a huge disappointment if you don’t reach them quickly.

I also thought I had learned the distinction between the two when I tried to start using this NLP method to become a web designer. I gave myself quite a long time to learn everything, I looked for a community that would help me reach the necessary milestones, and mental support, I bought courses, I invested time and I also made a lot of progress, but I forgot, or better, I deliberately left out some fundamental things. If my determination were unalterable with the passing of time and difficulties, because unfortunately the more a goal is far away, the more external elements and factors will come to get me in trouble, then undermining mental health and physics.

So I took a step back and looked at the things I’ve done in my life. All those goals I have achieved in my past life have one thing in common: I wanted them, they weren’t insurmountable, I did them consistently and without thinking, they were quantifiable, they had an expiration date, and they made me improve as a person.

This, I repeat, does not mean giving up desiring, on the contrary, you will often and gladly find that things will come to you before you even ask yourself all these questions, almost by chance, but it is important to know how to recognize the real objectives, and to be able to teach the little people you raise and educate.

In addition to this method, there are also many other techniques to understand well how to create a goal or even just recognize it. There are goals so ambitious that to reach them it is inevitable to have the work of an entire team working together for the same goal, and you often have to create micro-stages to keep motivation and mood high (such as to become Olympians).

Meanwhile, I want to say that the biggest and most beautiful goal I have for this year is regarding this blog in which we have a well-defined time, a very strong team with Antonella, and a great motivation.

Luna

The Unfolding of a Thought

Ok, I decided to start writing this post even though I have very little time, and I really have a million things to do. More than a post, perhaps this will be a booster post: short, intense and energetic. I need to really gather all my energy for this. All the positive and negative energies that I have inside me, as they are all needed!

Maybe I can’t explain everything exactly, but I’m sure I can explain how it got here. In Lisbon, with a new job and a new life.

It was February, under lockdown, closed at home with my mother, no money or prospects for the future. Resumes and rejection letters from all over. In fact, I had chosen to send my resumes on AngelList where they keep you in suspense for 1 or 2 weeks and then send you a detailed rejection letter in detail. I was rejected by 8 unpaid jobs, 14 paid jobs, and they didn’t even want me as a volunteer (because they didn’t want me to waste time looking for work).

Once I finished the jobs where I could apply I started sending them to Italy, where at least they don’t really reply to you, and although the ego is not to be fed, I think that at least I love mine enough not to ask him to stand there and take all the bull*. I mean, even the ego needs a little love occasionally. And so, of 42 resumes sent, I received one response from a job as a telemarketing saleswoman, at €500 per month on evening shifts that include the weekend, without a contract.

To say that I was depressed is an understatement because in addition to having no prospects, I also had the growing guilt that has been put on my shoulders by society that demands not to leave my old mother alone, and at the same time ask me to accept any job otherwise I’d be considered demanding.

And although I really wanted to be a good daughter, to show all the love I have for her, I had anxiety attacks every day, with the prospect of having to sacrifice my life in a place that never guaranteed me any right, where I would not be able to live alone, where I couldn’t feed myself, or be able to live independently. Not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t be able to be seen, and appreciated for who I am.

This blog, for me, was a real lifeline because I resumed past studies on NLP, and it forced me, somehow, to take back my thoughts and strength. As the director of my coaching school, Antonella Rizzuto, says in a recent Unicomunicazione post: “What you think is your world”, a way of saying that the map is not the territory.

And there I really sought my strength. I tried to accept my anxieties and fears, but also to dissociate myself from them, because after all I chose what to think. What I am I choose with the things I love, with the music I listen to, with the people I attend, with the ideas that I have of myself that are not still in a moment, they are not static, but are constantly moving, like thoughts.

And emotions don’t represent who we are, emotions are like a guide, and they make us realize if we’re really following our nature or if we’re stuck at a deadlock that we need to figure out how to unlock.

So, with a lot of courage, I collected every moment of lockdown solitude to try to connect more and more to the emotions that I relate to freedom and love.

Some days I spent hours alone in the terrace of my building listening to my favorite music and connecting to it while admiring the sky and trying to imagine myself in different situations while I continued to appreciate the present moment. I was looking for joy in admiring the sky, the freedom of birds in flight, and I was trying to remember what it feels like to feel free to be who I am, and to love me for who I am with all my limitations and vulnerabilities. I tried to let go of the idea that I could be everything. To be the perfect daughter, the perfect niece, the perfect cousin. I realized that I had only one responsibility to my mother: the responsibility of really living every day.
I can’t prevent the other things, I can only take them one day at a time.

And it was only when, looking up at the sky, I connected with the world, I remembered the 68-second rule.

Visualize what you want, down to the smallest detail, when you feel it can happen for a minimum time of 68 seconds.

If you’re able to keep that image undisturbed for 68 seconds, it will come true, or rather, the universe will slowly unfold it in front of your eyes in such a natural way that you won’t even realize that’s exactly what you asked for.

And this is how an insignificant opportunity on paper has turned into a huge opportunity for growth.

I’ve changed my country, and the city I live in now is absolutely wonderful. I have found a house exactly as I had asked it, I have met great people, and the job offers an incredible opportunity of growth that was exactly what I had asked the universe.

All this during one terrible pandemic, and with unemployment rate never as big.

My job now, is to remember who I am. A person with the faculty to think, and if you can think you can be who you want.

Luna

One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. Friedrich Nietzsche · 

Dreaming
Receiving

On bad feelings and emotions.

Lately I wanted to get the best out of myself. Take every opportunity that life offers and take advantage of it without paying attention to anything else.

I was raised and educated to only pursue freedom and independence. All the other things that put a limit on my life, fits tightly, and I push it away, regardless of the consequences, feeling numb, as if I was disassociating myself from them.

I always thought it was a great achievement to be able to select the emotions I feel, and I started practicing NLP for that very reason and to be able to make the most of the Law of Attraction.

Because, after all, that’s how it works. 

Feeling like winners helps us to win, feeling happy, helps us to achieve happiness, feeling loved helps us to attract lovers. Overturning emotions instead, always leads us into oblivion, it makes us doubt ourselves and attracts all sort of troubles.

Only lately, for me, everything has been working out too well.

I got what I wanted, and all I had to do was just be able to disassociate myself from the penetrating and persistent feeling of fear mixed with shame, insecurity that I felt as I could not do more and be imperturbable against the adversities of life. 

Against the curse of C19, against a difficult family situation, against loneliness, and against the lack of support in EVERY field of my life (family, love, work, money and health). 

Basically, it can only be said to have survived thanks to good new friends and swimming.

Personally I tried to find all the possible techniques to conquer the world, and I also managed to handle them quite well.  I was able to achieve the unimaginable … seriously!

I have tried everything: Soka Gakkai Buddhism, Brahma Kumaris Raja Meditation, Richard Bandler’s coaching and NLP courses, Eriksonian Self Hypnosis, psychotherapy, sports visualization, Abraham Hicks meditation, Reiki, the transcendental meditation, vippasana, traditional and untraditional yoga etc. and the conclusion, contrary to what people think, for me, they all work!

They work to improve yourself, to improve your body, to get more of what you want, to see yourself in a different light, and also to simply recognize ourselves better for who we are, but on one thing they all fail.
They don’t teach us to appreciate negative emotions when we feel them. Furthermore, they do not teach us to look them in the face and accept them when they come like a raging river. And we live in constant fear they might show up at any time.

Of course, there is psychotherapy that aims at pulling out these emotions, and recognizing them (at least so it happened to me), but when you go to therapy you know you are not alone in your thoughts, so you don’t look at the emotion in the face when they suddenly show up … It is a different approach.

Often these ghost emotions are associated with the past, and are able to take possession of your present preventing you from even dreaming anymore.

For me, every time, this situation is traumatic.

Being very good at managing thoughts, having this great ability to carefully select emotions in times of need, and the luck of being able to visualize what I want to achieve, I am always petrified in front of the disruptive recurring negative thoughts, and I realized that the only way I have to deal with them is to give them space, to hug them and to make them feel welcome. 

Ghost scary emotions help us too. They, too, are there to make us better.

Without them, without fear, without anger, without depression and despair, only with joy and peace we would be automatons without any glory, nor satisfaction.
Too often I see “spiritual minds” taking refuge in “light” and “blessings” they don’t feel.  Too often they have a real fear of facing the darkest parts of themselves, the fear of recognizing their obscene sides and the shame of finding they are actually vulnerable.

But when we all are.
This, more than anything, is the key to unhappiness, and there is no Law of Attraction that can truly make you evolve in this world if you are unable to admire yourself in the most fragile moments of your life, and value it.

With this, today I take my fear, my insecurity and my shame in hand, and I carry it with me on my new adventure in Portugal, where many new challenges await me, and where I will probably feel very lonely, but where I will always try to respect me and take care of myself.

Meanwhile, I thank the sweet people who have been my friends here in Rome, and made my lockdown days more special, and my swimming team, PantaRei that taught me resilience and passion. 

Luna

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Why we desire, and why we never get it done.

Aladdin's magic lamp, and the Genie that is coming out of it.

There is so much in a person’s life.

Why we desire what we desire, and why do we always feel the need to justify with ourselves what we desire?

I had the chance in life to get to know something about NLP and how to achieve our goals, how to set our goals, and how to determine when you reach a goal.

One thing NLP doesn’t explain, though, is why we desire what we desire, why we have certain attitudes rather than others, why, since childhood we are more keen on one behavior rather than another one.

There are probably tons of studies on the subject, but, one explanation that my intuition (and my intuition only) feels right is the one Abraham Hicks gives.

Desire comes from contrast, and contrast comes from the universe for our personal growth and spiritual expansion.

The fulfillment of that desire happens only when you are aligned with your inner self, and that you feel that spiritual expansion, all the other ways will not be satisfying.

This is really why most desires are so difficult to realize, and also why we always desire something that is so difficult to achieve.

Abraham talks a lot about desires, but when people ask questions they are mostly concerned about the outcome, and not so much on how to enjoy the trip.

All the desires in the world seem pretty common.

When we ask to express a desire, and it’s the outcome that we believe will make us happy, when actually, the fulfillment of a desire can be dangerous if you don’t align body and soul to it.

When thinking about “I want to become a superstar” I Imagine Britney Spears that had the talent, the capacity, the momentum to achieve that goal, supporters, money and fame, but did not have real family support and laws to protect her, that made it obvious that she was not happy. (And yes, she also attracted some herself with her songs, but that’s something else).

I don’t know if any of you have ever watched “Forrest Gump”, that is my favorite movie in the world.

There is a part of the movie where Jenny, Forrest’s all-time best friend says: “I want to be a folk singer and live on that!”.

The Universe is quite literal sometimes, it takes you seriously, and even though it is only a movie, it’s quite the way it happens in real life.

After a long time they didn’t see each other, Forrest finally has a chance to visit her, and he is so happy for Jenny who finally had her wish come true. She was singing a folk song on a stage and making money with it, not noticing that she was naked, and really unhappy.

The Universe will always provide, and it will always make sure your wish comes true, but how to get fulfillment from those desires comes only from us, and on how much we align to the process, not to the outcome.

A singer that doesn’t like to perform every day, can’t be happy and fulfilled by one time they had success with it.

An athlete that does win an Olympic medal, can’t be proud of what he has achieved if they took drugs, or if it was simply super easy for him.

I’m thinking, for example at Ian Thorpe, famous unfortunately for training while being in a suicidal state, while being hungover and for achieving all swimming goals anyway with ease.

Most of the people that are happy in life, have one basic skill in common.

They transform their desire in achievable goals, they consciously or unconsciously align with it, with the process. They overcome contrast, obstacles, pain and limiting beliefs to align with the process, not the goal.

And they enjoy.

It’s a little ironic that I write this right today, because I myself have a hard time following this path.

In my life I only had one true desire: being accepted for who I am, by being free.

Funny enough, life has given me an unsupportive, judgmental family, disappearing friends, unasked responsibilities, unwritten rules, and unstable codependent issues with partners.

Ironic, isn’t it?

But it’s always soothing for me to remind myself what would Abraham Hicks do if he was standing in my physical shoes.

I know what he would tell me. He would tell me to breathe. He would tell me to enjoy my breathing. Furthermore, he would tell me to enjoy what I do, to focus on what makes me feel good in each moment. And only when I feel so much joy that my body can’t contain it anymore, to change that desire in a goal and be specific about my desires. 

Because in the end, things are always working out for me and for all of us, we just have to better live with chaos, and accept what we can’t control.

Luna


I just simply enjoy listening to this, especially when I forget the potential of wellbeing we all have. ❤

Uncovering my limiting beliefs.

Here I am, writing my first few lines about this fresh path my friend and I decided to take.

We created this blog together because of the great interest we both have in the field of self-development, Coaching, and in my case Neuro-Linguistic Programming and even the Law of Attraction (well yes, but not in the way you might think).

I can’t claim to be an expert on the subject, but I can firmly say that NLP changed my life for the better, even if I forget very often how much impact it had in my life.

In this world, there are so many resources for self-improvement that you can think of.

I can easily say I have tried most of them hoping, passively, I would reach this great state of well-being and knowledge that would make me feel so good about myself that nothing would ever upset me anymore.

I genuinely thought I had to be good at yoga, read a lot of books, detox my body, do a lot of sports, go out only with successful people, avoid making mistakes, maybe some magic EFT, some auto-hypnosis and, maybe therapy, to become this perfect and successful person, extremely confident, with high self-esteem and self-worth.

Unfortunately, though, I realized that it’s the lack of self-confidence that made me do those things, this constant feeling of having to fix myself, of becoming something more instead of becoming my real self.

It was a time for me that everything was very, very confusing, everything was changing, and everything was new to me. In one year I have moved away from the country I was living for five years, I fell in love for the first time, and I was temporarily visiting my partner in New York while I was trying to plan my life again in Italy, where I had only my mother, very few friends, no jobs and zero interest in actually living there.

I seriously thought of millions of alternatives so that I didn’t have to go back to Rome, but I knew that anything I did was going to be wrong in the end, because the country I wanted to live in, was unfortunately unreachable for me, so the only thing for me to do was get deep into myself.

I found out about NLP exactly one week before going away from New York. It was in the middle of the winter, all this bad pressure was giving me GERD attacks and I read this article about NLP where I finally understood what it meant to have “mental programs” and ultimately, how to change them with your brain (neuro), and communication (linguistic).

There was an itinerant school in Rome that provided free introductory courses on NLP and Coaching and, with some real courage, I ultimately decided to sign up there.

It took great courage for me to start this path because I knew that these people have the power to manipulate you into doing something you might not want to do, and also because I knew that it would have changed me to the point of no return. Somehow, I knew it.

But I was at a point in my life where I had nothing to lose, I was burned-out of all my energies; I was constantly complaining about my situation; I was mad at my family for raising me in this ultra-negative environment, and I was mad at my parents for never providing a loving home for me, and never really explain to me how life is meant to be lived.

In my head, I knew it was my responsibility to get out of this negativity, but nothing, so far, was working.

In the introductory class, I was looking around and checking the other people, and, as usual, I was looking if there was anyone there that I could relate to.

I felt like I was an alien, a casual weird yogic woman surrounded by highly skilled men in a suit, women with perfect hair, makeup, and designer clothes, and young students with already more certainties in life than me. I tried to hide in the backseats, but since the class wasn’t full, right at the beginning of the lesson, they made me move in the front row.

“Of course!” I thought, “why don’t you even start asking me personal questions then?”.

And that’s exactly how it went.

The teacher started asking us specific questions about ourselves, and everyone who could relate to it had to raise their hand.

“Do you ever feel that you only like the same type of people?”, “Do you enjoy living out of your comfort zone?”. I look around, and suddenly everyone seemed nicer and nicer, each question they answer. Each and any of us there wanted to feel better about ourselves, feeling more comfortable in our skin, and we wanted to get some tools to make our lives a little easier.

On just that first day I realized I had a pattern I always followed to like people, and I did never gave a chance to anyone a little different from that, assuming that if I didn’t like them immediately, they also wouldn’t like me. Just on that first day, I realized what is a limiting belief, and how big that one was for me, and how many experiences in life I was missing just because of that.

You know how it feels when you have an idea about someone… not speaking to a guy because he’s too handsome and he would never like you back, and every chance you have you make fun of his attitude, his manners, etc. but then you never actually took the time and effort to get to know him and to show him who you are.

Well, this is what I was doing all my life with everyone, completely unconsciously.

I was always unconsciously assuming my bosses didn’t like me and were giving me unpleasant jobs on purpose. I was always assuming the friends I had were just really unaware of who I was, that’s why maybe they liked me, I was convinced that my relatives didn’t talk to me because I wasn’t worthy of their attention.

All those things hit me in my head like with a baseball bat on that first introductory course.

Because the words you use every day with yourself and with others have the power to give you energy or take energy away from you, limiting your capability to improve your life and effectively respond to life challenges. Your inner communication, when you meet new people, when you have a new job, when you try to do something new, often determines the outcome you will have.

With this in mind, I started this journey where I learned how to deconstruct my mental programs, and how to rebuild them with more intention and awareness, not to become perfect, but to live more happily and create better opportunities for myself.

Luna

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