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smoore9375@aol.com

 
Testimonials

"Now, instead of being lost, I found a clear path on which to tread. And more importantly, I am enjoying the wonderful reward that comes from seeing a student or client’s eyes light up when they say, “That’s what I’ve always wanted to do! Now, I’ve got it!”

-V. Mahoney   Life Mission Coach   January 11, 2009

"Inspiring!"
"Thanks! Wonderful!"
"I Loved the Humor, Connections & Genius of your work. Inspirational!"

- Comments from participants in the International Career Development  Conference in Los Angeles, CA

 
Editorial

 

SPILLED MILK RUNS DEEP.

Are you drowning in a river of regret?  Maxed out on coulda, woulda, shoulda’s?

Regret, like resentment, is a heavy emotion and can weigh us down, impede us from getting on with life as it presents itself to us, here and now.

Self-observation and life review are normal and helpful for emotional development.  But to indulge in harsh self-recrimination, excessive or prolonged mourning over necessary, unavoidable or unforeseeable losses,  serves no purpose.  A brave and positive willingness to grieve losses or admit mistakes, make amends where necessary and the determination to go forward is a must if we want to fulfill our dreams and deeper purpose in life!

How do we acquire the lightness of spirit to stay on top of the water, in frustrating circumstances, after terrible tragedies and/ or  deep losses?

Buddha sat down by the Bodhi tree to contemplate the age-old question, why is there suffering and how can I be free of it.?  The Tree was by a River, as I recall.  He came up with a drastic idea, let go of all desire.

Our philosophy at Life Mission Associates is not that drastic.    Our simple pescription:   reduce a lot of self-inflicted pain by letting go of  unnecessary emotional baggage.

Although for some the path of renunciation best fulfills their Soul’s karma, for others there is a distinct purpose to be fulfilled in this life, i.e. the path of desire.  Heartfelt desires should be recognized and fulfilled. Regret, resentment and remorse are emotional roadblocks that get in the way of fulfilling those desires.

When we let go of excessive regret,  and just keep on keeping on, we can begin to experience a delightful lightness of being, which helps us rise above obstacles or challenges. In Naomi’s famous words, I lighten up and am enlightened.

Five Regret Buster Tips:

Self-Analysis:  List each of your major regrets on a big postit. The people, places and circumstances involved, and what you learned from this particular experience.  Try to discover five positive responses  or five good things that came out of it.

Amends:  If you have hurt others, or left some unhappiness in your wake, make amends if you can.. Mend fences.  Build bridges.  Make repairs.  Make reparations.

Forgiveness.  Forgive yourself and others.  You were probably doing your best under the circumstances.

Focus on the here and now.  What is my biggest priority now?  What are my opportunies?  What can I be grateful for?  Wake up and smell the coffee.  Or the flowers!

Cultivate your sense of humor. The best jokes are about painful, embarrasing or unpleasant facts of life. Write a piece of standup comedy about your latest fiasco or flop.    Remember:  Life is just a bowl of cherries, don’t take it serious, life’s too delerious!

Sue Carroll Moore, LCSW

Co-Founder and Co-Director

LIFE MISSION ASSOCIATES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Roots of Resentment/The Roots of Love

“Love Resides in the Roots”

Recently I spent some time with my Life Mission Colleague, Naomi, and her partner Julie,  who are now living in Germany, north of Berlin. Na needed surgery, and as a friend, I wanted to give them  my love and support.

It was a tense time for all of us, hoping the surgery would go well, and so to work out my anxiety (Turn Anxiety into Action, a favorite maxim of mine) I decided to spade up their garden, which was neglected and overgrown with weeds.

Gardening is a sweaty, physical task, hard work, but I’ve always enjoyed digging, even as a toddler (Clue!). For those of you not familiar with or new to our work, a clue is a puzzle piece, a piece of the mosaic that metaphorically or in fact reflects our personality. Clues can be favorite movies, favorite songs, articles we read in the net or newspapers, favorite books! Collecting clues and putting them together into a coherent picture is an important part of our Life Mission Process.

(See Chapter five, Gathering Clues, in the Life Mission Workbook.)

A clue in my clue journal: I dig digging in all aspects, digging in the dirt, digging for clues to my life mission and the mission of friends and clients, cracking walnuts and digging out the meat from the shell, digging to bring psychological mysteries and traumas to light.   

Quickly and efficiently I spaded up roots. As every gardener knows, it‘s not enough to cut out the tops of dandelions, crabgrass or other weeds, you have to go deep to dig out the roots, otherwise those tough little suckers and their runners quickly grow back

Every system of spreading roots was a victory and a pleasure, (however, remembering the lessons from Findhorn that weeds are simply plants that belong somewhere else, I apologized to each one of them).

Which led me to sweatily consider: What a great metaphor! The roots of resentment crowd out the roots of love. In the garden of our soul, we need to dig out those nasty roots of resentment to give room for the fruitful roots of love and creativity to spread out and thrive.

Dig deep!  Be vigilant and sharpen the spade of your analytic thinking and self-observation.

What are the roots of resentment in your life? Who denied you access to the resources and support you needed to fulfill your dreams and aspirations? Was a father critical, punitive or absent? Was your mother uncaring or unappreciative of your true gifts? Was a teacher harsh and rejecting? These roots can spread out like crabgrass in every aspect of our life path, spreading to resentment against bosses who fired us, coworkers who competed against us, spouses who denigrated or disparaged our dreams. And paradoxically. we sometimes water these roots, because then we can blame someone else that we are stagnant, fearful, depressed, or are neglecting our all important life mission.

It has been proven that resentment is number one on the list of destructive emotions, blocking our positive responses and progress. It is number one on the list of precursors of a variety of illnesses, cancer, heart, gall bladder and liver problems, alcoholism, you name it. Anger or sorrow are transient emotions which can be experienced and dissipated, but resentment is an internalized, chronic emotion buried deep within our psyche, a nemesis. If we are nurturing resentment, we become our own worst enemy.

It is also a primary emotional block (see Moduler 3, Overcoming Blocks, Barriers and Boundaries in the Life Mission Workbook)..

How can you dissolve/resolve resentment?

1.) Acknowledge and list these resentments, the people, places and circumstances involved.

2.) Pray to release resentment you have against others, and for those who may have resentment against you, to release these resentments and grudges, as well (see Catherine Ponder, The Dynamic Laws of Prayer) 

3.) Forgive yourself and all others who are participating in the blame game in your life.

4.) Seek Positive Revenge. The desire for revenge is a normal human reaction when we or our loved ones are wronged.  Where you have been wronged, do your best to right this wrong.

Example, Cindy Lightner,  the founder of MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving,.decided to organize other mothers who had lost loved ones at the hands of a drunk driver to organize stricter legislation and penalties for drunk driving in the State of California. She needed to do something positive to work out her anger and resentment.  With appropriate action, resentment can be turned into an active force in your life, a powerful  motor to drive your Life Mission.

Make room for the roots of love!

 

Sue Carroll Moore, LCSW, Co-Director and Founder

LIFE MISSION ASSOCIATES

 

P.S. You can contact me at lamoore329@aol.com or at www.lifemissionassociates.com. Your comments and responses are welcome!

 

April 1, 2010  Los Angeles

When I was in highschool, my chums often chided me, "You think too much."  I would say to myself (didn't have the nerve to express this outloud), "That's because you think not at all, and I have to make up for the both of us."

Even in those days, it seemed to me a form of mental laziness (another name for Traegheit) not to have well-formed opinions you are prepared to defend.

But also, a form of stupidity if you get new information or insight, not to change your mind and admit it.

Lately, I have been preoccupied with the so-called "right-to-die" argument behind the legal battle over Terri's predicament.   Probably  because the recently passed "healthcare reform bill" originally contained stipulations for end-of-life counselling. Also because in several recent startling instances, people in a "Persistent Vegetative State), or thought to be brain-dead, proved to be conscious and "there", after as many as 15 years.

At the time of Terri's travail, I was sitting on the fence about her dilemma and "the right to die".  It seemed to make sense, from a progressive point of view, to "pull the plug" on Terri.  Her husband claimed she was no longer "there", and that she had expressed to him (before the near-death incident which left her severely brain-damaged) that she would not want to live indefinitely on life-support ("no tubes") should something happen to render her brain-dead.

As you may remember, a fierce court battle ensued between Terri's husband and her parents, which went all the way to the Florida Supreme Court, including demonstrations by the Catholic Church, and an attempted intervention by Jeb and President Bush.

Terri's parents insisted that Terri was still responsive to them, and they wanted to care for her.  Michael, her husband, insisted on the basis of his guardianship that her wishes to end life-support should rule, and as her husband, his will eventually prevailed, supported by a controversial court ruling.

Feeding and hydration were discontinued, and Terri died a slow and agonizing death, with Michael and his lawyer by her side.  Although Michael and his lawyer insisted that she was in no pain.

The Catholic Church, Terri's parents and many sympathizers who believe in the sancity of life cried "murder most foul!"  Progressives applauded this step toward a more humane approach to disabiity and the "death process."

But several aspects of this controvery continued troubling my mind since then.  The picture of Terri smiling when she saw her Mom (the docs said this was a mere physical reflex).  The fact that Terri's alleged wish to end life-support was never expressed in writing, just a matter of hearsay on Michael's part.  The fact that Michael had taken a new lover, but didn't divorce Terri so he could maintain control.  The fact that Terri's parents were willing and able to care for her.  The fact that a considerable amount of money was involved.  The fact that after life support was removed, she took so long to die.

Gradually, a new take on her situation began to merge in my mind, like a slow-devloping poloroid snapshot.  Could it be, that Terri,  although severly disabled in mind and body, was still "there"? That her sould continued to inhabit her body?  That she was in a state of bliss?  That she was staying on this earth-plane out of love for her parents and a need to complete her life mission?  That if she really wanted to die, she'd have gone long before?

Yes, I have changed my mind.  And I am also going to change my "living will", where I signed an advanced medical directive.  I thought at the time I framed this will that I wouldn't want to live on in a severely impaired state.  But how do I know what it is like to be in a "persistent vegetative states?"  How do I know about such states of consciousness?  How do I know when it will be time for my soul to leave my body?  Why am I trying to play God with myself. Because I am afraid of being disabled and dependent and a burden to society? What if I were to wake up conscious in an apparent coma, wanting to live on, without any power to change what I have written before?

Dear Terri, wherever you may be, I hope you hear these words.   I do sincerely apologize for my short-sighted ignorance, and thank you for the lessons you have taught me through your ordeal--that a life mission is not always about daring deeds, climbing mountains, doing a dream, but sometimes just about being there for those who love you.  Thank you for extending my appreciation of the sanctity and gift of life in whatever form it is given.  And do forgive those well-meaning folks who "know not what they are doing", those who participated in the nefarious deed of doing you in without a full understanding of the ramifications and unitended consequences of their actions.

SCM

 

February 9, 2010
THE SIN OF OMISSION.
Question:
What is the difference between ignorance and indifference?
Answer:
I don’t know and I don’t care.
While going through my spam backlog, I came across this “joke”, which is really no joke but a splendid piece of sparkling wit, a conundrum.   I laughed out loud.
Applying this question to our favorite topic:
What is your mission in life?
If you answer:
“I don’t know and I don’t care” you may be committing one of the seven deadly sins.
Which is variously called sloth, despair, unremitting sadness, or in German, with a slightly different connotation “Traegheit.”  Or in Latin:  Acedia.  A state of lethargic indifference, torpor, ennui, melacholy, lack of movement, stagnation.  Or in clinical terms: depression.
For some reason, my philosophical bent of mind (one of my string of pearls) recently led me to wondering about the Seven Deadly Sins.  The Seven Deadlies, my college pal, Carolyn and I used to call them. Doing an internet search I find that the Seven Deadlies were an invention of the early Catholic Church, a moral path and compass.  Something like the 10 commandments, but a different list.  There are various versions of this list of cardinal sins, with a corresponding list of virtues.  But let’s stick with the sins.
Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.  That’s seven sins.  Despair is sometimes listed separately, or lumped together with sloth and Acedia.
Sin is an unpopular concept in this era of Relativism. However, I think the idea that we can do ourselves mortal damage (therefore the word deadly) by indulging in any of the above deserves revisiting.
Note that unlike the other active sins, greed, wrath, envy, gluttony, lust and pride,  indifference or despair is a negative state of mind which results in inaction.  It is not a sin of commission, but of omission. My premise, if you are indifferent to your mission, if you are not actively doing your damnest to manifest that  mission, you are falling down on the job, wasting your precious time here on earth, and  impeding your soul’s progress. And, check your emotional pulse, you may also be depressed.
In these progressive days, it is more popular to think of such states as clinical entities. Depression is not a sin, it is a disease.  Ditto alcoholism. Ditto drug abuse.  This takes away the judgmental, moral sting that we are all loathe to endure.  But the Aginbite of Inwit, the bite of conscience, might advise us otherwise, that indeed indulging in depression, too much alcohol or food, prolonged  grief,  or any of other above listed sins, may not be a disease, but a moral failing which does ultimately result in disease.
Great minds, they say, think along similar lines, independently of one another.  Imagine my surprise to find Salman Rushdie’s recent ruminations on the same theme, in an article appearing in the January 30/31 issue of the Frankfurter Rundschau.  Title: “Traegheit--das kosmische Laster.”  Translated from the English by Andrian Widmann, translated back into English by SCM, “Acedia--the Cosmic Burden.”
Other modern minds have come to a similar conclusion:  Dennis Prager, the noted radio personality commentator, wrote an excellent book on the topic “Happiness is a Serious Problem”. (Harper Paperbacks, 1998)  Basic thesis: it is not only our right, but our responsibility to strive toward happiness, no matter what  external challenges or circumstances beset us.  To be unhappy, or in despair, is essentially a separation from and denial of God.
Another great, but obscure work, by an English psychologist, Dr. Paul Hauck, advances what he calls a new theory of depression in his book, “Depression, Why it Happens and How to Overcome it.” ( Sheldon Press, Great Britain, 1974. ) To whit, three major causes of depression are Self-Blame, Self-Pity and Other Pity.   He advances a cognifive, direct and simple solution to depressive states:  Observe and Correct Your Thinking! Get Off the Pity Pot!
Back to my main theme:  If you are not enthusiastically living out your mission in life, full of abundant hope and energy, using your multiple  talents in a purposeful and disciplined pursuit , you may well be depressed, and in fact committing the most deadly sin, the sin of Omission, missing your Mission!
Sue Carroll Moore
January 19, 2010

 

Rick Warren, I have a major bone to pick with you.  In your website, promoting your “Purpose-Driven Life” philosophy, you attack Life Mission Associates and our approach, broadside.  You imply that we who help clients find their way by looking within, by closely examining their hopes, dreams, talents and aspirations, are superficial secularists and way off base. Instead, you claim we can best find our unique life purpose by reading the Bible.  Everyone’s purpose is to serve God, and a Christian God at that.

I do not deny that much truth and inspiration can be found in the Bible.  But do you mean to say that Muslims have no discoverable purpose in life?  Buddhists? Hindus and Yogis? Agnostics?

For all those who believe in a beneficent Divine Source, it is axiomatic that our ultimate goal is to find her/him and to reflect her/his love and goodness in our actions. But having said that, our experience with thousands of clients has proven that generalized moral imperatives are little help in explaining exactly what unique role we were destined to play in the cosmic drama. That purpose, we teach, is born into us, delivered to us by our Soul.  It is intrinsic in our DNA, in our natural proclivities.  It is reflected in the people who nurture us (or abuse us, for that matter) and in the events, places and circumstances that we encounter along our path.

To put it otherwise, we believe that the Divine Source has delegated personal responsibility to our Soul to fulfill a unique mission. Our Soul in turn delivers us a set of instructions at our birth, a roadmap.  It is up to us to read this roadmap to find the way. In Yogic philosophy, this highly individualized set of attributes and challenges is our personal karma.  Or as Socrates (according to Plato) wisely said, Know Thyself.  You and all of humanity are the book of life, every bit as important as any other.

That is why we call our approach, Fulfill Your Soul’s Purpose. Each person is one of a kind—you are one of a kind--only you can fulfill your Soul’s imperative. And this is the best way to serve yourself, others, and ultimately, God/Goddess/Allah/Jehovah/Krishna or whatever you choose to call the Divine Source.   It is all up to you.  Of course you can pray to ascended masters and saints for guidance and protection, but don’t forget your own immortal Soul and the wisdom she has delivered to you in this precious lifetime.

Sue Carroll Moore, LCSW

 

To friends, clients and Life Mission Associates worldwide.


Happy New Year, 2010.   

Last year, 2009, was a tough one for many, politically and economically. Of course we hope for the best, but there is no guaranteeing that the economic and social challenges we at LMA long ago predicted are going to abate any time soon.

Whether you are jobless, forced to downsize, move or whatever to cope with these new realities, you are nevertheless not relieved of the responsibility you bear to fulfill that purpose for which you are uniquely qualified.

Sometime back in the 80’s at a career conference in Los Angeles, I picked up a copy of very wise counsel, I don’t remember now who wrote this piece—A Pledge of Adversity. The basic idea, not only must we expect adversity, we must accept adversity as positive, a chance to show our mettle, self-discipline and self-knowledge in the face of resistance and difficulty.

We at LMA have proven our mettle in the last 30 years, carrying a powerful message to many cities across the United States, and that is we all come into life with a unique calling, built into our genetic design, a purpose that we and we alone can fulfill. We pioneered in the coaching movement, as well, serving thousands of individual clients, guiding them on their path to greater self-realization. A few of these clients have received certification to become Life Mission Associates themselves.

Now we ourselves are in the midst of a great transition, having recently established a base in continental Europe, where the notion and practice of individual enterprise and initiative is just beginning to catch on. We will be publishing our groundbreaking self-help book, Fulfill Your Soul’s Purpose, in a German version, provisional title, Beruf/ung.

We look forward to working with you, face to face, by phone or email. Contact Sue At smoore@lifemissionassociates.com, or Naomi at lmahelp@aol.com.

Sue Carroll Moore, for

LIFE MISSION ASSOCIATES
Sue Moore, LCSW, ASCAP
Naomi Stephan, PhD., ASCAP

 
Words to Live By

remember the things you did as a child

slink past the obvious to the underneath leaf

think of an abiding love ... something you could not live without