How to be Rich

Minutes from my house, I have my favorite lounge to relax in; it’s called Parq at The Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. This is where I meet several of my clients, business colleagues, and all my new prospective clients. What they don’t know, is a little secret I am about to reveal; One of the reasons why I chose The Montage as my meeting point (besides conveniently located and just aesthetically beautiful) is because I observe my client’s reaction to The Montage. Parq is extremely luxurious, and the clientele is anyone from rock stars, actors, celebrities, CEO’s, wealthy business folks, etc. The place smells of money. Over the years, I have enjoyed the various reactions. It is clear that many of my clients feel very comfortable in that type of setting, while for others, it is clear they would rather be anywhere but there.
Amongst the goals they want to achieve, most of my clients have “make more money” at the top of their list. My prospective clients are very eager to tell me their woes about money and how they don’t understand why they are not making more. More often than not, these are the clients that are extremely uncomfortable at Parq. They are the ones making the negative comments about the rich that surround them. So I ask them, “what do you think about the rich?” and I usually get the same responses, “snobby”, “thieves”, “obnoxious”, “greedy”, “show-offs” etc.. In one of my all-time favorite books, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, by T. Harv Eker, he says, “you have to realize that if you view rich people as bad in any way, shape, or form, and you want to be a good person, then you can never be rich. It’s impossible. How can you be something you despise?” Eker continues by saying that growing-up he had the belief that rich people were “snobs and greedy” but that he then noticed that this wasn’t true at all. As a matter of fact, the richest people he knows, are also the nicest. This is very true for me as well. The wealthiest friends that I have are extremely nice, loving and generous. They are also the most Spiritual, creative, and inspiring. Yes, I said Spiritual. This brings me to my next point. Do you believe that in order to be Spiritual, you must be poor or middle class? Another one of my favorite books is The Science of Getting Rich, by Wallace Wattles. Wattles says, “you must get rid of the last vestige of the old idea that there is a Deity whose will is that you should be poor, or whose purposes may be served by keeping you in poverty.” I completely agree. I am very spiritual, and I believe that God wants us to live in abundance and not lack. Wattles continues, “It is the desire of God that you should get rich. He wants you to get rich because he can express Himself better through you if you have plenty of things to use in giving Him expression. He can live more in you if you have unlimited command of the means of life. The universe desires you to have everything you want to have.” Yes! I believe this 100%. What type of God would want his beloved children to live a life of sacrifice and struggle? In the book, Spiritual Economics, Eric Butterworth says that this notion that being Spiritual means to be poor, “is a doctrine that has had a tragic, repressive influence on millions of people through the ages of Christian history.” I can’t tell you how many clients I have spoken to that believe money is the root of all evil. They have the belief, that money turns you into a nasty person. So untrue! If you are a nice, generous person, more money will only make you an even nicer and even more generous person. If you are a jerk, more money will make you an even bigger jerk. The point is: there are nice people that are poor, and there are nice people that are rich. Just like there are jerks that are poor, and there are jerks that are rich. If you know rich people that are jerks, trust me that just means that they are extremely insecure. That has to do with their character, not their money. The more money my husband and I make, the more goes to charity and to volunteering, it is that simple.
So here are a few tips on creating more abundance, wealth and money in your life:
Be grateful- now! Butterworth says, “As you feel grateful…you release a vital energy that draws to you opportunities, employment, and a secure flow of substance. Everything begins to work in your life in an orderly and creative way.” This is one of the most important laws of life: be grateful for what you have now. Stop complaining. How many people do you know are constantly complaining about what they don’t have, and are not grateful for what they do have?
Be generous and giving. Most say, “once I am rich, I will give money to the poor. Right now I can’t!” but they have got it wrong. By being extremely generous and giving, we receive abundance in our life. But here is the catch: we cannot give only because we have an agenda to receive. It must truly come from our heart. Butterworth says, “if you give, really work in a giving consciousness, you must receive.” And in the book, Wealth Warrior by Steve Chandler he says, “A life based on giving becomes a life that produces wealth. A life based on getting is a life of anxiety and money problems.” Here is an example; are you a good tipper? Do you leave 20% or more? Or do you just leave a few dollars no matter how much the bill is?
Do you help others? If money is truly an issue and you are unable to give money to charity, then give your time and volunteer. There is always someone less privileged than you, so help them! Instead of doing pointless activities such as watching television, get out and help those in need. Become obsessed with giving, not getting.
Steve Chandler believes we must tap into our “creative side” and start creating. He asks, “What will you create that produces wealth? What product, what skill, what talent, what entertainment, or what service?” We all have a life’s purpose. And if you are still wondering what yours is I am going to lovingly tell you to stop pretending you don’t know. We all know what we love to do, it’s just that most of us are too scared and don’t believe we can make money by doing what we love. Society did not raise us to believe this. If there are several things you want to do, Steve Chandler suggests to just pick one and go for it. But if you just sit there and wait for your life’s purpose to come knocking at your door saying, “I’m finally here!” you will die waiting. Just get up and do something now.
Create something that inspires you. Figure out what skill/talent you have that people need and are willing to pay you good money for. Then, be committed to constantly serve. Chandler says, “To understand why you are not making the money you want to make, I first want to see where you are not serving…Businesses fail because they do not serve. Individuals too.”
Stop wasting time. Steve Chandler calls it “drifting”. Sure, we are really great about complaining about our life but how much time are we spending trying to change it? What takes up most of your time? How much time do you spend working on that business idea, your life’s purpose, or your path? No one is going to do it for you and you are not getting any younger. What are you waiting for?
Act as if you are already rich. Have you ever heard the saying, “fake it until you make it”? I am certainly not implying that you lie to people and tell them you are rich when in fact you are negative in your bank account. What this means to me is that you start visualizing the world around you from an abundant place rather than a place of lack. Are you always going around saying, “I can’t afford that?” or “one day I will win the lotto and then I can do what I really want!” Stop acting poor and start acting rich. It’s not fun when people constantly complain about not having money. This victim mentality will not get you anywhere. It has been proven that there is a direct correlation between positive people and success, just like there is a direct correlation between negative nellies and failure. You want to be around people that are happy, friendly, and have an overall positive disposition. It’s no wonder why big things happen to these individuals. People love working with them. Who wants to be around someone that is constantly complaining about their job, the economy, and life in general? Or around someone that is always frowning and doesn’t have anything nice to say? Think about when you walk into a store or a restaurant; how would you like to be treated? Those that give exceptional customer service truly understand what serving is all about.
Still convinced you have no idea where to start? Chandler tells an interesting story about a man that could not figure out that he wanted to do, so he grabbed the Yellow Pages and went through each page as if it were a life purpose menu. He narrowed his choices down to three and became highly accomplished in all three areas. The point is, he did not let the excuse “I just don’t know what I want to do” get in the way. He just chose. The most important thing you can do is choose and start right away. We are blessed to live in this amazing country where anything is truly possible. Stop waiting for things to happen to you and make them happen now.
Trust me, one of the greatest feelings is figuring out what you love to do, serving others, and making great money from that. Just as Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Sending you lots of love and positive energy,
Connie

When Anger Kills You…..

Once upon a time I had a boss who owned a multi-million dollar company and worked every day from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. (yes, you read that right). All day I witnessed how hard this man worked and how he constantly pushed himself. Although he had millions, it was never enough. What was even more disturbing was his uncontrollable anger. Anything would set him off and what followed was screaming, nasty emails, or simply, the silent treatment. After I quit, I came to learn my former boss had died of a heart attack. I was very saddened, but not surprised.

If you believe that emotions and feelings such as depression, anger, resentment, and bitterness do NOT affect your health, think again. High blood pressure, ulcers, cancer, or any “dis-ease” of the body is a consequence of negative emotions. And negative emotions are consequences of our thoughts.

One of my all-time favorite books is called “Supercoach” by Michael Neill. Neill explains that “every emotion you experience is a direct response to a thought, not to the world around you. The more clearly you see that your emotions are always reactions to your thoughts, not to the world, the easier it is to simply feel them and let them go. And the gift of that insight is that you stop needing to change the world in order to change the way you feel.” We have thousands of thoughts a day. Expecting us to have only positive thoughts everyday is silly. But what do we do when a negative thought presents itself? I like to compare it to a negative, pesky neighbor knocking at your door. You can’t control the neighbor knocking at the door. But rather than just not answering the door, thus allowing the neighbor to leave, we open the door, invite the neighbor in, offer them tea and have a full-blown conversation! In other words, rather than just noticing our negative thoughts, “he doesn’t love me!”, “I will never amount to anything!” or “no one cares”, we entertain our thoughts for a long time, and so the thoughts become stories, the stories become screenplays and next thing you know, we are watching a horror movie in our head. 

 Neill continues by saying, “Your day doesn’t create your mood; your mood creates your day. When your mood is low, the world looks bleak; when your mood is high, you feel as if you can take over the world…The difference is, as always, not in the world, but inside you. And a deeper understanding of how it’s being created will give you a whole lot more options about what to do about it.”

How you start your day is crucial. Personally, I start my days with a long hot bath while reading inspirational and personal development books for one hour. I then pray and get into a positive, relaxed mental state. Then, I have a healthy breakfast and I am ready to start my day from that state. I do not touch my phone or computer until after that. How do I avoid getting into a negative state? First off, I don’t watch the news nor do I watch any form of violence. You might ask, does that really affect us? Absolutely 100% yes! I don’t care if you say it doesn’t, it totally does.  It always baffles me to see parents cover their children’s eyes when a sex scene comes on, but when there is atrocious violence on, they don’t even flinch at their kids watching it.

Lately, I have been working on observing my thoughts more carefully. Neill says, “If you’re feeling bad, that’s like a red light warning you to disengage from whatever toxic thoughts are in your mind. You don’t have to try to stop thinking altogether; just don’t climb on the train and don’t fall for the sense of importance and sudden urgency your thoughts may seem to have.”

 

It wasn’t until much later that I realized it didn’t matter if my boss made 10, 20, or 600 million; the money did not make him any happier. He allowed his emotions and feelings to take over and in the end, the anger killed him. Neill states, “All happiness, well-being, and wisdom come from within. They aren’t the fruit of something you do; they’re the essence of who you are. And there’s nothing you can ask for and be given from the outside that will fill the hole you’ve been digging for yourself on the inside.”

Are you ready to be happy, now?

Sending lots of love & positive energy,

Connie

 

 

Forgiving: The Key to Break Free

“I never give people second chances,” I proudly used to say. “Once they cross me, they are dead to me!” I thought I was so cool by stating this. Now I realize there was absolutely nothing cool about such foolishness. I grew up believing that to forgive was to be weak. I thought I was strong by giving people the silent treatment and ignoring them. When I felt hurt by anyone, I made sure they knew. It wasn’t until I started to work on myself and studied with amazing mentors that I realized the only person I was hurting for so many years, was myself. The people who had “hurt” me had probably long forgotten, while I was still ruminating on the experience.

All of us have been deeply hurt at one point or another in our lives. I am sure there are a few people we can think of right away who we are unable to forgive. Perhaps they lied to us, or abused our trust. Or perhaps it was something even more serious such as physical, sexual or emotional abuse. We can justify our anger and give several reasons why this person is “unforgivable.” We believe we can get back at them by “hating” them for life.  They shall never receive our forgiveness. But who is really suffering? In her transformational book, You Can Heal Your Life, author Louise Hay says “being unwilling to forgive is a terrible thing to do to ourselves. Bitterness is like swallowing a teaspoon of poison every day. It accumulates and harms us. It’s impossible to be healthy and free when we keep ourselves bound to the past.”  I know several people very close to me who have the mentality of “I shall never forgive” and constantly bring up all the stories of how they were betrayed or hurt. As they speak of their story, they either get really angry or start crying. They are re-living the situation time and time again. They are stuck in the past and refuse to move on.

Most of us feel that if we forgive people, we are excusing their behavior. This is not the case. What we are really doing is freeing ourselves from the prison we created. It never feels good to be bitter, resentful, angry or vengeful. Best-selling author Marianne Williamson says “holding on to judgment, blame, attack, defense, victimization, and so forth are absolutely attacks on yourself.” We are truly not hurting anyone but ourselves by holding on to our grudges. We believe we are being powerful and strong, but we are actually being very weak. Forgiveness is not something we do for other people. We do it for ourselves to get well and move on. In his amazing book, Love is Letting Go of Fear, Dr. Gerald Jampolsky says “forgiveness does not mean assuming a position of superiority and putting up with or tolerating behavior in another person that we do not like. Forgiveness means correcting our misperception that the other person harmed us.”  Many people do not like to hear this, but nothing anyone ever does to us matters; what matters is how we choose to react to it.  When we are wronged by someone, we have choices. We can decide to learn a powerful lesson, forgive and move on, or we can decide to never forgive and in turn hurt ourselves and drink the poison. The choice is ours. Marianne Williamson continues by saying that “nothing anyone has ever done to you has permanent effects unless you hold on to it permanently.” Rather than upset us, this should makes us feel good. We can break free and let it go. We can start feeling good again and bless those that wronged us.

One of my favorite quotes from Louise Hay is “one of our biggest spiritual lessons is to understand that ‘everyone’ is doing the best they can at any given moment. People can only do so much with the understanding, awareness, and knowledge that they have.” Something that really helps me on a day to day basis is that when someone mistreats me, I realize that only someone who is in a great deal of pain could possibly want to hurt another human being. So if someone is rude to me, rather than take it personally, I realize that person is hurting inside. The greater level of violence, the more they are hurting and the more they are in deep pain. Famous Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh said “whenever another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help.” I know many people in my life who are perceived as not very nice and have all had very tough childhoods. I am not excusing their behavior; I am simply understanding their behavior for my own personal growth.

I am not suggesting this is easy. I have personally battled with “forgiveness” issues all my life. But I do know that I am a much happier person than I was a few years ago. This is because I now (more often than not) choose love over fear.  I am “for-giving” love, not hate. Issues still come up, and I am still challenged, but I know the choice is mine. I am not a victim of circumstances; I create my own reality.

I also want to make it very clear that forgiving someone does not have to be in person, holding hands and singing Kumbaiah. You can write them a letter you never send or you can practice a forgiveness meditation in the comfort of your own home. They never have to know. Remember, this is mainly for you. You will know you have forgiven when you can think of them with no ill feelings and wish them well.

Never underestimate the power of forgiveness. There is an extraordinary story about a man named Dr. Hew Len, who healed a ward of mentally ill criminals. Dr. Len was assigned to one of the most intense mental hospitals in Hawaii; most of the patients were serious criminals who had committed crimes such as murder or rape. The staff was frightened of the patients since there were constant attacks among the patients and toward the staff. Turnover was very high. Once Dr. Len came on board, he requested the files for each patient and would close himself in his office. He would hardly request to see the patients; he was more interested in seeing their files. Eventually, a few patients became less aggressive. Other patients stopped attacking the staff. Staff started to stick around since the environment was becoming progressively better. Ultimately, most of the patients were cured and discharged. The hospital closed a few years later. So what was Dr. Len’s secret? He would grab each file one at a time, place his hand on the file and say a simple Hawaiian prayer called Ho’oponopono that goes “I love You, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank You.”

Yup, that’s it. That’s all it took. I am going to say it again, never underestimate the power of prayer or the power of forgiveness.

Are you ready to forgive and set yourself free?

Sending you lots of love and positive energy,

Connie

Connie Costa is a Writer, Inspirational Speaker & Life-Coach

She leads transformational events and retreats in Beverly Hills, Ojai & Italy

www.ConnieCosta.comConnie@ConnieCosta.com

Your Soul Mate is Waiting

With tears in my eyes, I watched how my fiancé rode away in the Greyhound bus with a one-way ticket destined to Florida. I never saw him again. We had been together for several years and I was positive that he was “the one.” Sadly, a few years earlier, he became addicted to a harmful substance.

I was very young and naïve. I noticed Greg was behaving differently, but I had no idea what was going on with him. Greg’s behavior worsened. He became extremely jealous, paranoid, angry, depressed, and irresponsible. One day, I caught him having a conversation with his television. That’s when I decided that I was no longer going to put myself through that. Many times when a loved one is going through a hard time we desperately want to “save them”. For months, I tried to “save Greg”, but all in vain. I then realized that I could not save Greg; Greg had to save himself. Today I know the most important reason why I did not stay in the relationship: I love and respect myself. I did not want to stay in a toxic relationship, and I knew I deserved better.

How many times do we stay in a relationship that no longer serves us (or our partners)? We either stay because we hope they will change, feel bad for them, prefer feeling comfortable, or are afraid we will not find a better relationship. We fear the unknown and prefer to be miserable because at least we know what to expect. My Sicilian cousin, Gianni, was in a relationship for over 12 years, and for most of those years it had been an extremely toxic and unhealthy relationship. When I asked why he did not end it, he would always say he felt bad for her. I explained to Gianni that precisely for that reason it wasn’t fair to her, and that the best thing he could do was to end the relationship so she could move on and find someone who truly wanted to be with her. We are doing a disservice by staying in relationships we know are going nowhere. Gianni was standing in the way of his own happiness. Subconsciously, he believed he did not deserve a healthy relationship and that it was too good to be true. It wasn’t until he opened up to the possibility that perhaps his true soul mate was out there waiting for him and understood that relationships are not meant to be a struggle and full of pain. By the grace of God, I convinced him, and he is now in a healthy, loving relationship and recently got engaged. Gianni cannot thank me enough. His ex-girlfriend is now free to find her soul mate as well, rather than staying with someone who simply pitied her.

Too many people live in what I like to call a “life coma.” It seems as if they are living, but they really aren’t. They are just going through the motions. They are in loveless relationships, but make excuses as to why they should stay. “I am doing it for the kids” is a very popular excuse. Quite frankly, I think the best example we can give to our children is to be in loving, positive relationships even if it’s not mommy with daddy. Our children can sense when we are unhappy, so we are setting the example of sacrifice to our children. In essence, we are saying that you must stay in a relationship even if you are miserable for the sake of the kids.

I expected Greg to eventually return healed, so that we could finally get married. However, life had other plans. Months later, I started dating a lovely man named George, fell in love, and for over 12 years we have been going strong. Had you told me at that train station that Greg was not the one I was meant to marry and that someone else was my soul mate, I would have thought you were insane. I believed it with my heart and soul that he was the one. Now I know the true meaning of love, and I could not have chosen a better partner.

Most people go from one relationship to the next. Their deepest fear is to be alone. They act like monkeys; hanging on to the next branch before they let go of the first branch. I do not recommend this. I believe it is essential to take some time off and reflect on the last relationship. We cannot simply blame our ex-partners for what went wrong. We must see what part we played in the relationship as well. Only then, will we truly grow. Chew on this for a bit: are you always attracting partners that cheat, or lie, or criticize you, or___? Then is it safe to say that you have strong beliefs around these issues. If you are always saying things such as “men are all cheaters” please realize that that is exactly what you are going to attract in your life. Our egos want to prove us right, so we keep attracting the same type of people. This all happens on a subconscious level.  The only way to break the pattern and avoid this from happening is to do the inner work. Stop looking for your other half, you are not broken! And stop saying you need someone to “complete” you. The more you work on yourself the more you will attract an amazing partner. Alan Cohen says, “When you fall in love with yourself, you will be irresistible to everyone else.”

Please do not settle for less. We are all meant to have blissful, loving, and respectful relationships. Here are some fun exercises that will assist you in attracting your soul mate.

  1. First you must believe that your soul mate is out there.
  2. Write a list of your perfect mate’s characteristics, leave nothing out. Write physical and emotional traits. Do you want a partner that supports you in your career? That respects you? That is loyal? Write it all down. Make sure your list is positive and in the present tense, for example, write “my partner is loyal” as opposed to “my partner will never cheat”. This is really important.
  3. Write a list of the type of person you need to be in order to attract such a wonderful partner in your life. If you want a positive partner, then you cannot be a negative person. Like attracts like. Or if you want a partner that leads a healthy lifestyle you cannot be the type of person that eats chips and watches TV all day. Take steps towards becoming a better version of yourself.
  4. Know that you DESERVE to have this partner. Write a list of all your wonderful attributes.
  5. Be happy NOW. Schedule fun things to do such as dinner dates with friends, join a yoga class, read an inspiring book or go on a Spiritual retreat. Do things that nourish your soul. Be grateful for what you have now.

Your soul mate is waiting for you. Are you ready to let them in your life?

Sending you lots of love and positive energy,

Connie

Connie Costa is a Writer, Inspirational Speaker & Life-Coach

She leads transformational events and retreats in Beverly Hills, Ojai & Italy

www.ConnieCosta.comConnie@ConnieCosta.com

 

 

 

 

 

FEAR: False Evidence Appearing to be Real

“I need some drugs!” I nervously told my Doctor, “strong drugs for anxiety!” “For what?” she curiously replied, “I was chosen to be the commencement speaker and represent the Master’s in Clinical Psychology class. That means I will be speaking in front of thousands! HELP ME!” “Sure. I will prescribe something for you.”

The day came and I was skipping along, totally relaxed and laughing “aren’t you super nervous?” my classmates asked, “nope. I’m on drugs!” I happily replied. They gave me a disturbed look and walked away.

When I walked on stage, I delivered an impeccable speech (if I may say so myself) and when I got off stage several people walked up to me, embraced me, and told me they were deeply inspired. Little did I know that was the seed that was planted for a future of inspirational speaking.

Since then, I have spoken in front of thousands, minus the drugs. Today, I am against medication and prefer a holistic approach. The times I spoke after that I wanted to make sure I could do it without medication and yet I was very fearful. After all, did you know the #1 fear in America is public speaking followed by the #2 fear which is death. That means that more people would rather be in the coffin that giving the eulogy. No joke. But I kept at it, and even though I was super nervous I just forced myself to do it and eventually, I became less and less fearful. Today, I can speak in front of a large crowd with no issues (and again, no drugs).

Have you ever noticed just how much our life is ruled by fear? I have and it’s not cute. We are really good at asking “what if?” and creating a billion scenarios of all the things that could go wrong. Hence, we stay in our comfort zone and do not move forward because we are fearful of what “might happen”. Sounds pretty silly, right? In her amazing book, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, Susan Jeffers says that “it is reported that 90% of what we worry about never happens. That means that our negative worries have less than a 10% chance of being correct. If this is so, isn’t being positive more realistic than being negative?” Jeffers continues by saying that when she teaches the importance of being positive, most of her students tell her that it is not realistic to be positive. Then Jeffers asks a powerful question “what makes negative thinking more realistic?” Sure enough, they do not have an answer.

Truth be told, our mind is there to protect us. It finds a billion different “scary” outcomes because it thinks it’s helping us. Once you hear all the negative chatter in your mind, the best way to handle it is by talking to your head (make sure you don’t do this out loud unless you want people to think you have lost it) and say, “thank you, but I got this!”  My mentor Alan Cohen says, “Do you know what FEAR is the acronym for? False Evidence Appearing to be Real”.

I wish I could tell you there is a way to magically make fear disappear, but there isn’t. As long as there is growth, there will be some level of fear. If there is no fear in your life, that means you are stagnant and not growing. The good news is that the best way to ease fear is by simply “feeling the fear, and doing it anyway!” like Jeffers suggests. You will see how what you were afraid “might happen” will actually not happen and you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner, whether it was to start your own business, start a certain relationship, or leave that job you dread.

But what if you truly don’t succeed? Anthony Robbins tells us, “there is no such thing as failure, only results” which means that you take the results, study them, and learn what to NOT do next time. The great Michael Jordan puts it a different way, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Jordan goes on to say, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

So go ahead, what are you waiting for?

Sending you lots of love and positive energy,

Connie

Connie Costa is a Writer, Inspirational Speaker & Life-Coach

She leads transformational events and retreats in Beverly Hills, Ojai & Italy

www.ConnieCosta.comConnie@ConnieCosta.com