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Don’t Let External Forces Control You!

Almost everything in life is an inside job: how we think, feel, respond, react and believe creates our life.

It is not coming from outside, no matter how much we would like to blame things on the world, conditions, circumstances and other people!

It is not only where we are coming from that makes the difference, but what we do with what comes to us.

newspaperToday I read an amazing article that is so on point with my thoughts that I wanted to share it with you.

It was published in the oldest newspaper in California, The Mountain Democrat, and it came to me in a Google Alert. (If you're not using Google Alerts to let Google bring you information on the subjects that most interest you, now is a good time to start and it's free.) The author, Bob Billingsley, has obviously been around long enough to know what makes things least, I guess that is because I agree with him so thoroughly!

Not only do we often let ourselves we pushed around by the expectations of others and our addiction to drama, we then use it as an excuse--OK, a reason if that makes you feel better--why we cannot create and live the life we say we want.

Right now, so many people have downloaded my free Personal Integrity Checklist, that I've created a group coaching program to help them complete it. I did that so that I can walk with them when they hit that old excuse for not completing things: "Life Intervened!"

I want to help them know the freedom of actually keeping their promises to themselves.

I believe that is what creates self-esteem. If you cannot trust yourself, you really won't trust anyone,you know. And, New Year's Resolutions are the proof. We make 'em. We break 'em. We show ourselves we don't matter because we're not worth keeping our promises to ourselves!

We are first and foremost about creating relationship: with ourselves, with our families, with the folks in the community and at work. Relationship issues abound.

How can we have inner peace without creating a loving, respectful, encouraging relationship with ourselves?

Our attitudes and action in relationship are demonstrations of our values, vision, beliefs and purpose. They radiate from us and can neutralize what is coming towards us.

That is why it is essential to not let external forces control you, your thinking, your choices. It's an inside job!

So, here's the article. Enjoy! I've read it several times and I encourage you to do the same. Thanks, Bob, for sharing your insights and wisdom.

Spread the word. Share this post!


  1. Gord Skillen - Reply

    I enjoyed the article very much, thank you. I am struggling with an issue where the past President of our non profit assoication was asked to resign because of some serious complaints againest him. He has in turn, bad mouthed me and the association to the entire national membbership. We are losing members becasue if it. How do I forgive and work with someone like this? He has never offered any apoligy to his clients for his wrong doing and continues to try and destroy me on a daily basis.

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      DrShaler - Reply

      Hello, Gord,
      Unfortunately, the situation you describe is not uncommon. Grace is often not the first consideration in their behavior. Your situation seems a few steps beyond graceless as your former president has over-extended himself by taking out his dissatisfaction at being “caught” on the entire association. That demonstrates immediately that he does not, and likely did not, have the best interests of the association at heart. From your comment, it seems he is still working there. That is unfortunate.

      So, with that said, I understand the difficulty of forgiveness and , in this case, it will likely be something you have to bring to consciousness over and over. On the practical, human, day-to-day side, though, it is important to have clear boundaries with this man–clarify them, express them and maintain them. You are well within your rights to tell anyone how you would like to be treated. Note, though, that this is telling him about you, your thoughts, boundaries, and preferences. Say nothing about him. That’s where things go seriously sideways in any relationship. The only thing we know about in a relationship is what and how we are thinking and feeling. We do not know anything about the other person’s workings. So, that would be my first suggestion. Here’s an example:

      INCENDIARY: “You’ve already underhanded and overtly done all you can to ruin the association. You need to quit because you are a >>>>>>>>>>.!@$%!”

      USEFUL: Step 1 – ” I feel very strong about the positive value of this association. The members deserve excellent service and great leadership. I am doing all that I can to provide what I can. I know they also need to heal and come together and be uplifted around the purpose of the association. I think it best if we focus on that and give them the best we’ve got.”

      He gets angry, or says he’s giving his best, or, decides to pull you down.

      Step 2 – “The association is not about me. It’s about us all pulling together to do the best job possible for the members. That is our mandate. That means unity and working together in the most collaborative and productive way possible. Do you agree?”

      He does not respond positively, or responds with a “Yes, but…..”

      Step 3 – Calm down and say “I think it would be best to have a mediation for our executive team (or whatever entity is involved) and get ourselves back on track. I’m going to suggest this at the next meeting and, if the majority agree, we will proceed.”

      Sowing peace is not a passive, doormat kind of approach. It means demonstrating our values, vision, beliefs and purpose in everything we do and say. You are likely a daily reminder to him of his “smallness”, and he hates that. Therefore, even though you have not done anything to contribute to that smallness, you bear the brunt of his discomfort and disappointment in himself. He is living in fear and there is little you can do to help him. But, my suggestion is to help the association. Take leadership and step up. Do not let anything but accurate information be offered. If inaccurate information is offered, simply say “In my understanding, or in my experience, these are the facts of the matter. Take all emotion out of it as well as personalities. When dealing with a person who is so sadly fearful, only facts work.

      I hope this has helped, Gord. Feel free to write back if I can add anything you need.

      I wish you well.

  2. Christopher Foster - Reply

    Dear Rhoberta, I think your website is fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed spending a bit of time here. You made a good choice featuring Billingslley’s article! I’m with you in your genuine and very empowering approach. Stay strong.

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      DrShaler - Reply

      Dear Chris, I’m so glad you enjoyed the website at You might enjoy also becoming a member at my other site, It’s free! There I encourage folks to discuss and have conversations about putting spiritual principles into action, whatever tradition they feel called to. I’m clear there, as you’ll note I say on the home page, that debate is not allowed, only discourse…lol.

      Elaine Gagne wrote to tell me that she was delighted I had “found” you. That was also a lovely connection.

      If you would like to write a blog post and send it to be with a bio, I love having guest bloggers. Or, simply share your insights on any of the blog posts. I’ll revisit your site to see if you have an RSS feed so that I’ll know each time you post. I’m sure you noticed the signup on my sow peace homepage.

      I look forward to more with you.
      Many blessings,

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