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What it Means to “Hold On” to Your Pain – Chris caade

by Chris Cade

Recently I shared with you a bit about happiness, and my friend Arina’s explorations into the topic. While it’s important to find ways to cultivate happiness, there’s also a silent (or sometimes not-so-silent) killer of happiness: our pain.

Many people hold onto their pain like a kind of “badge of honor.” In fact, most of us have some aspect of our history, something painful or difficult, that we have a silent sense of pride about… as though when we tell the story, we know people will empathize with us. We’ll be seen. We’ll be comforted.

In fact, we might even mistake the support we receive for a distorted illusion of happiness.

Since that kind of connection between people feels supportive, we hold onto the story of our pain. We can tell the story again sometime (even if it’s just to ourselves). The interesting thing about “holding onto our pain” is that it actually takes us away from happiness, authentic communication, and it prevents us from living our lives fully.

When we “hold onto” our pain, when we bring our past difficult stories with us, what we’re really saying is: “I don’t want to be here, right now, as things are. I also don’t want to know what potential my future holds. I’m more interested in being with the more familiar experience of my painful and uncomfortable feelings.”

Nobody wants to admit that to themselves.

Yet it happens -every- time we continue to dwell in pain over something that is not occurring in the present moment. This can be as simple as telling your friend later in the day about that “jerk” who cut you off in traffic, that co-worker who talked bad about you behind your back, or your partner or friend who was so involved in his/her own story that you never got a chance to actually connect.

It happens in big and small ways. It happens to me every day. Not because I want the pain. Not because I want to avoid the present moment or the future. It happens because that’s a habit of the Inner Critic and my subconscious mind.

(and yours too)

If I were to oversimplify, I would say that when we “hold onto” our pain, what we’re really doing is giving up on life. After all, if we truly felt otherwise, we’d live in the moment and not in the past where our stories of pain reside.

Byron Katie nailed it when she named her book, “Who would you be without your story?” Really. Candidly speaking, while I have a few clues as to who I’d be, I don’t truly know. Not from a 24-7 experiential perspective.

And if you’re reading my messages, this is also true of you to some degree… 🙂

Your Partner In Transformation,
Chris Cade
Liberate Your Life

P.S. To be clear, I’m not suggesting that acknowledging or experiencing your pain is bad. In fact, it’s absolutely necessary to living a happy and fulfilled life.

Thus the question for you to explore is: How can you live so that the inevitable pain of being human doesn’t become a story (or badge of honor) that drags you back into the past?

If you would like to take the next step with Chris, sign up sign up for his Free “Getting Things Changed” 7-part mini-program that exposes the inner and outer obstacles conspiring against your best efforts to transform your life.


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Let Me Tell You About “God” – by Chris Cade

by Chris Cade

Just saying the word “God” sends some people into a rage and others into profound peace. It causes wars and creates divine unions. People blame God for the bad in their lives while praising God for the gifts.

I find it amazing how one word can have such different meanings to so many people. There are as many meanings for the word “God” as there are people on the planet.

To some, God is personified – an all-knowing sentient being who consciously and intentionally creates situations (whether it’s pleasure or suffering, peace or war, cancer or miracle healings).
To others, God is an omnipresent field of organizing energy which has no conscious awareness, yet all consciousness arises from.
And others don’t even acknowledge the concept of “God” in any form.
Regardless of what you may believe about God…
Regardless of what you may have discovered to be personally true about God…
I think it’s important to really acknowledge that God means different things to different people. The thing is, what I’m writing isn’t really about God.
It’s about you and every experience you’ve ever had, are having, and will have. Because each and every one of them, every thought, every emotion, every story you’ve ever told yourself…
Means something different to you than it does to anybody else.

And if we can get so riled up about a three-letter word such as “God,” consider how much more we get riled up each and every day with entire sentences! 🙂

Your Partner In Transformation,
Chris Cade
Liberate Your Life

P.P.S. Only by acknowledging how you fundamentally view the world differently from others can you develop the awareness to have compassion for those who are different from you.

P.P.S. And by “those who are different from you,” I mean everybody you ever come into contact with.
If you would like to take the next step with Chris, sign up sign up for his Free “Getting Things Changed” 7-part mini-program that exposes the inner and outer obstacles conspiring against your best efforts to transform your life.

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The Difference Between Your Ego and Your Inner Critic – Chris Cade

One of my Liberate Your Life program participants emailed me this week and asked that very question. It’s an interesting one, and I thought I’d share with you how I answer it within the body of my work. Although other peoples’ work may define these things differently, this is what works for me and for the people I work with.

Think of the Ego as your identity.

It’s who you take yourself to be. Maybe that’s a man or woman, mother or father, daughter or son. Maybe it’s an employee, a manager, a friend, and so on and so forth. You could sum up “Ego” as the who and what of your thoughts about yourself.

Think of the “Inner Critic” as the judgmental critical voice that has opinions *about* your Ego.

For example, the Inner Critic might look at the list I just wrote and expand it like this: “Insensitive man, ugly woman, unavailable mother, inconsistent father, distant daughter, burdensome son, incompetent employee, overbearing manager, callous friend” and so on and so forth. You could sum up “Inner Critic” as your opinions about yourself.

I’m aware that some people teach the ego to be “bad” or something to “rid” ourselves of. Unfortunately, that perspective *IS* the Inner Critic trying to judge how a person should go about their own path of inner growth.

(that’s just a more cunning version of the Inner Critic)

Rather than think of the Ego as something to get rid of, I prefer to think of it as something to understand. It’s not inherently bad to be a parent. However, it is important to understand what it means to be a parent, how that awareness affects your life, and how you can live both as a parent in the worldn… -without- all the judgments of the Inner Critic about what kind of parent it thinks you are.

Similarly, while I sometimes joke about “obliterating” the Inner Critic, that perspective only has very limited use (for the purposes of channeling certain types of aggressive energy more effectively).

As I teach in Liberate Your Life, it came to be in your life for very important, survival-based reasons. Rather than try to “get rid” of the Inner Critic, again I find it most useful to try and understand it. Explore it.

In my experience, trying to get rid of certain thoughts within my head is only a temporary remedy. The thoughts always come back. The only approach that has ever given me truly lasting freedom from the harsh judgments of my Inner Critic is awareness and understanding.

I hope those examples help clarify, at least within my evolving and developing body of work, where the differences lie between the Ego and the Inner Critic.

Your Partner In Transformation,
Chris Cade
Liberate Your Life

The Gift You Give Yourself by Teaching Others – Chris Cade

by Chris Cade

“We teach that which we most need to learn.” ~ David Bach

Some version of that quote has been used by leaders for as long as I can remember, and for good reason. While it’s wonderful when we learn something new, the best way to integrate new knowledge and make it stick in our lives is to teach it.

This is because teaching challenges us to really understand what we’re learning.

It challenges us to understand it with such clarity that we can effectively communicate it to others.

Teaching also exposes us to feedback from others, and that feedback is helpful (and sometimes even necessary) for us to understand something deeply enough to integrate it into our lives.

Those are just a few of the benefits you get by teaching something. Studies have shown that when you are first learning something, that if you teach it to somebody shortly thereafter, you’ll remember what you learn more effectively and understand it more thoroughly.

In fact, some teaching methods ~ ironically ~ require students to immediately turn around and teach others what they learn.

The beauty of this approach is that it doesn’t only deepen learning; it also creates more effective leaders in the world.

And it’s no mystery that one of my favorite aspects of teaching is that it’s a means by which I can work with you to co-create an increasingly more amazing world… one email, one video, one person, one step at a time.

So next time you want to learn a new skill, remember that one of the best things you can do is to try and teach it to somebody else.

And even if you don’t want to “teach” it, at the very least, discuss it candidly with somebody else to explore your new knowledge more deeply. Even the process of sharing what you know with somebody else will help you immensely.

Your Partner In Transformation,
Chris Cade
Liberate Your Life

If you would like to take the next step with Chris, sign up sign up for his Free “Getting Things Changed” 7-part mini-program that exposes the inner and outer obstacles conspiring against your best efforts to transform your life.


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What Inspires You When Nothing Else Can? – Chris Cade

My friend Jaime Mintun recently posted on her blog, “What Inspires You When Nothing Else Can?” I got to thinking about that question rather seriously, and what I discovered was interesting.

The spirit of the question was intended as “When you can’t get yourself going, what do you do to get going?” Inspirational quotes, thoughts, videos, poems, stories, etc.

And while I use those on a regular basis, if we don’t take them in fully, they become just more platitudes and cliches for false positive thinking (like my recent email, “The LIE about positive thinking.”)

In my serious discovery, I decided to take the question further and explore it from a “Dark Night of the Soul” perspective. In other words, what can we do when we experience life as so beyond miserable that NOTHING else can inspire us?

The answer surprised me…

When *nothing* else can, only 1 thing works: entertaining distraction.

That’s because when life seems miserable, your mind is so consumed by a negative state that it can’t even recognize there’s a positive aspect to the world. This negativity becomes a habit so bound to your psychological state that it can only be broken by completely severing your connection to that negativity.

That isn’t easy because it requires an equal and opposite consuming force.

Something so consuming that you completely forget about the negativity long enough to break the downward spiral your mind is in.

And in a moment where you lack even the basic self-awareness to realize you’re in a deeply negative state and you don’t want to be, there’s almost nothing you can do to bring yourself up.

That’s why in my experience with extreme circumstances, entertainment and distraction are the keys to opening that door. It becomes a way that the mind can literally “forget” about the negativity. All it takes is a small crack to let a little bit of the light in.

There’s two things to keep in mind about this though:

(1) Make sure that your entertaining distraction includes humor and/or inspiration.

No horror movies. No purely action flicks. No dramas. All of those will only serve to reinforce your negative state in one way or another.

Instead, fill your mind with stories of success and triumph. Fill your heart with moments of laughter and joy. In other words: choose something that can help align you with the way you’d like to live.

(2) Don’t make the entertaining distraction a habit of its own.

When you do that, you’re only trading one distraction for another. And while it may feel better, it perpetuates the lie of positive thinking. That keeps you from living a truly happy and fulfilled life.

Instead, see the entertaining distraction as a momentary gateway to lift you up. From that initial lift, start re-using your personal transformation tools: meditation, affirmations, brainwave entrainment, EFT, and whatever else you can think of.

The entertainment and distraction won’t heal the fundamental problems that brought you into a negative state. Only self-awareness has that ability.

Still, when you find yourself completely down and out… in a negative hole you can’t find your way out of — find an entertaining distraction. And if at all possible, one that will make you laugh.

If you can find a laugh, you can find a light. 🙂

Your Partner In Transformation,
Chris Cade
Liberate Your Life

P.S. Out of curiousity, what inspires you when nothing else can? Press REPLY and let me know!

How to Stop Getting Burned – Chris Cade

by Chris Cade

This last week I’ve been sick, and after being down for a day I finally had my hunger back. Armed with a bowl of freshly made vegetable broth pasta (thanks Mom!), I joyously scooped my first spoonful. Then felt that “oops” sensation of the top of my mouth and tastebuds burned.

Despite my ravenous hunger, I cautiously waited a minute before scooping again. Apparently though, I wasn’t cautious enough. “Oops” again. It took me a few times before I finally figured out to wait a little bit longer. But by then it was too late.

In reflecting on my experience, I am reminded of this *famous quote:

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Yes, my hunger blinded me. I became insane with the insatiable hunger of being energy deprived from my illness. When I started to feel somewhat human again, I realized something interesting. Our impatience is one of the most frequent reasons we get burned in life.

Whether it’s a burn from a relationship gone bad, an unwanted habit that prevents us from living as full as we’re capable of, an employee who delivers poor performance, an employer who can’t recognize a great employee, an investment gone bad, a student who seems to never learn the lesson, or a hot broth…

We most often get burned because we have some sort of insatiable hunger coupled with the lack of patience to wait for the optimal timing.

We want something so bad we don’t notice the warning signs or we don’t test reality adequately enough. In other words…

We become temporarily “insane” and lose touch with the inherent wisdom in the present moment.

If all I did was pause long enough to be more present, then I would have safely tested my broth to see how hot it was. I would have waited until it was cooled before eating it. And I wouldn’t have burned my mouth.

It only required a brief pause. Not a long one. Yet my hunger blinded me while my impatience burned me.

Something tells me I’m not the only one though…

Public Service Announcement:

It happened to me. It could happen to you. 🙂

Your Partner In Transformation,
Chris Cade
Liberate Your Life

P.S. Although the above quote is often attributed to Albert Einstein, others including Benjamin Franklin, Rita May Brown, and Mark Twain have also been attributed

Make a Choice

There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either IN or you’re OUT. There’s no such thing as life in-between. – Pat Riley

I’ve been very unposty for the past week or so, for a couple of reasons.  I’ve been wicked busy with a lot of stuff, but also, I was feeling very wishy washy about things.  I wasn’t as committed to this as I should be.  I’ve been doing this for me, yes, but also because I want other people to benefit.  But I wasn’t getting real feedback from people about if/how they are benefiting from this.

What’s funny is that when I was putting together the Daily Positive Thoughts for the week I thought this was a nice quote, but I STILL didn’t get it.  It wasn’t until I was reading the Daily Positive Thought email this morning that it hit me.  I have to make a commitment to this.  There is no halfway…or as Yoda said, ‘Do or not do. There is no try.’  I have to do this…if not for anybody else, for me.  I need to look at my life and find the positives.  I need to celebrate those positives.  If other people benefit, that’s fantastic, but I have to commit to this for ME.  I hope you commit to it for YOU, and we can benefit together.

The Lie About Positive Thinking – Chris Cade

by Chris Cade

You’ve heard it all before…

“Think more positively and you’ll get what you want. Visualize, affirm, and manifestation will happen effortlessly. Oh and be sure to overcome those pesky limiting beliefs! Affirmations, gratitude, and positive thinking will cover that one for you. Life is easy if you just think positively enough!”

I have one word to say about that kind of positive thinking…






Okay, so by the time my subconscious was done ranting I discovered I had more than just one word. 🙂

That’s not to say positive thinking is bad. It’s fundamentally important to living a happy, fulfilled, engaged life. However, the lie and myth is that positive thinking is all that’s needed.

The reality is that we have difficult and painful emotions for a reason. They arise out of a self-protective compassionate need to SERVE our selves more effectively. Like physical pain, emotional pain is a compass that helps us see when things aren’t quite working right inside ourselves.

When we ignore physical pain or mask it over with overmedication, our body degenerates and ultimately finds more pain (not less). The same is true when we use Positive Thinking as a form of “overmedication” for our soul.

By not honoring and owning our emotional pain, then our soul… our heart… our spirit… call it what you will… ultimately will degenerate. Our psyche isn’t designed to repress and suppress pain indefinitely. That’s a big reason why some higly successful people have emotional breakdowns. They just kept overmedicating (or ignoring) until finally they couldn’t do it anymore.

The flip-side is equally as dangerous. When we completely identify with the negative painful thoughts, when we allow them to run our lives, to make us forget how magnificent we inherently are, then we also breakdown. We aren’t designed that way either.

Instead, I suggest accepting and acknowledging painful emotions as a compass – like a thermometer – to help you more effectively focus your attention and energy. Notice the “warning signs” that negative thinking presents to you. It’s not like I never have negative thoughts. I have them every day!

The thing is, I don’t take them so seriously. I strive to see them for what they are: helpful information that can point me TOWARDS living a happier and more positive life. They show me where more attention and self-care is needed in my life.

By using negative thoughts and painful emotions in that way, then the positive thinking is no longer a crutch – it’s no longer an addictive medicine that silently degenerates us until it’s too late.

Instead, positive thinking becomes a support to help you through the negative thoughts and ultimately take your happiness to the next level.

Chris Cade

If you would like to take the next step with Chris, sign up sign up for his Free “Getting Things Changed” 7-part mini-program that exposes the inner and outer obstacles conspiring against your best efforts to transform your life.


Click Here Now to get started…

Are you Opened or Closed – Chris Cade

Here’s a quick and simple “test” to see how open you are in a given moment:
Is your body physically more open or closed?
For example …
– Are your arms crossed? Is your body hunched or curled over?

You are probably feeling defensive and closed.
– Are your arms outstretched or facing upwards? Is your body upright?

These are more open and welcoming postures.

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” – Chinese Proverb

The other thing to consider is how your body feels in a given moment. When life is going your way, when it’s smooth and flowing, you typically feel relaxed. It’s your natural state.

On the other hand, when life is tough and there’s challenges, usually you’ll feel tense and constricted. This is a sign that you’re not aligned with your True Nature.
Same is true of your body. When it’s tense, that’s a sign that it’s out of balance and not as “open” to the world. When you feel relaxed, there’s an inherent openness that welcomes all of the world into your experience.
As always though, don’t take my word for this. Try it out. 🙂

Notice what you’re thinking and feeling when you cross your arms or certain muscles in your body feel tense. Similarly, when you feel totally relaxed and at ease, notice what your body posture looks like.
Your Partner In Transformation,
Chris Cade
Liberate Your Life


If you would like to take the next step with Chris, sign up sign up for his Free “Getting Things Changed” 7-part mini-program that exposes the inner and outer obstacles conspiring against your best efforts to transform your life.


Click Here Now to get started…

One Step Backward. Two Steps Forward – Chris Cade

by Chris Cade

There actually are great spiritual secrets. They exist.

The thing about spiritual secrets is that you can tell them openly.

Because the ability to understand something and then the power to integrate into your life are two very different things.”

– Guy Finley

As people on the path of conscious living, we almost always have a gap between what we know and how we live. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just that living 100% of what we believe to be true is difficult because there’s so many subconscious barriers to doing it.

We might live 75% of what we know on one day. Then life challenges shift us closer to 50%. Then we do some inner work, and it bounces up to 80%. And this process continues. This kind of “two steps forward one step back” is fundamental on the path of conscious living.

On one hand, we can punish ourselves emotionally for not doing what we “know” is right. That’s the Inner Critic taking its hold on us. Telling us we “know better” and “should do better.”

On the other hand, we can accept our humanity and recognize that each step “back” is an opportunity to learn. Learn what?

How to take those two steps forward! 🙂

This is the process of growth. It’s the choice we make when we no longer choose to allow other people and life circumstances decide everything for us. As you know, it’s not an easy path.

No more evident has this been to me than in the last couple of months. It’s not like my “Dark Night of the Soul” has suddenly disappeared. These times have been immensely difficult for me. Each day seems to be that struggle between steps forward and backward. Sometimes my Inner Critic counts the steps:

“Oh, Chris. You took THREE steps backward today and only one step forward. You could have done more. You should have done more.”

Yeah, that Inner Critic can be cunning (to put it “mildly”) at times. Fortunately, I don’t take it as seriously as I used to.

Sure it says things I may not appreciate. By not giving its words the weight and power that -it- wants to have, I don’t have to experience the pain that the Inner Critic tries to inflict.

I look beneath the words to see the scared little voice trying to control, limit, and diminish my life. I realize I don’t have to listen to it if I don’t want to.

And neither do you…

Your Partner In Transformation,
Chris Cade
Liberate Your Life


If you would like to take the next step with Chris, sign up sign up for his Free “Getting Things Changed” 7-part mini-program that exposes the inner and outer obstacles conspiring against your best efforts to transform your life.


Click Here Now to get started…

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