Energy is Magic

2008_11_energy_cartoonEnergy fascinates me. The thought that we are all “energy” makes sense…in a way. We’re all fueled by ‘something’. Of course many different schools of thought on energy exist. Let us take a look at a few:

The scientific/practical:

Energy – In physicsenergy (Greek: ἐνέργεια energeia “activity, operation”) is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems. Since work is defined as a force acting through a distance (a length of space), energy is always equivalent to the ability to exert pulls or pushes against the basic forces of nature, along a path of a certain length.

The psychological:

EnergyMental or psychic energyor activity is the conceptof a principle of activity powering the operation of the mind or psyche. Many modern psychologists or neuroscientists would equate it with increased metabolism in neurons of the brain.

The esoteric:

Energy – The term energy has been widely used by writers and practitioners of various esoteric forms of spirituality and alternative medicine[1][2] to refer to a variety of phenomena. Such “energy” is often seen as a continuum that unites body and mind. The term “energy” also has a scientific context, and the scientific foundations of “physical energy” are often confused or misused to justify a connection to a scientific basis for physical manifestations, properties, detectability or sensing of “psychic energy” and other physic phenomenon where no presently known scientific basis exists. It is sometimes conceived of as a universal life force running within and between all things, as in some forms of vitalism, doctrines of subtle bodies or concepts such as qiprana, or kundalini. Spiritual energy is often closely associated with the metaphor of life as breath – the words ‘qi’, ‘prana’, and ‘spirit’, for instance, are all related in their respective languages to the verb ‘to breathe’. Sometimes it is equated with the movement of breath in the body, sometimes described as visible “auras“, “rays”, or “fields” or as audible or tactile “vibrations”. These are often held to be perceptible to anyone, though this may be held to require training or sensitization through various practices.
Whoa…freaky, right? Did I lose you? Come on back…take a deep breath. OK, here’s what I thing about energy – there’s definitely something to it and I’m open to learn more. I don’t have exhausted evidence of all kinds of ‘energy’ working in my life, but I have enough to be open-minded. How many of us have felt a negative or positive energy about another person at some point in our lives? I think our whole country has gone through both negative and positive times (usually associated with the economy, since we have made money energy in our bountiful capitalistic society).

I have personally felt subtle energy shifts in my own life, which is why I’m interested in learning more. Some people claim amazing results from energy healings, chakra cleanings, etc. I attended a free seminar on energy healing once and found it very interesting. They offered each attendee an energy healing session, lasting a few minutes (although one could say the entire time was an energy session). I didn’t feel a rush of ecstasy or welling up of emotions during my session. However, the remainder of my day was pretty darn good. My spirits were up, felt a bit floaty yet confident and purposeful. My first thought was: sure, it’s psychosomatic. Then I immediately thought, so what if it is? I feel good, don’t I?

chakra_imgWe all put up a good fight (thanks to our egos), nobody wants to look stupid or feel like they are having one pulled over on them. But if you open your mind and take positive actions to FEEL better and it works, why question it just because the rest of society does? Have an open mind.

I read an interesting article on this topic via the Huffington Post called “It’s All Energy” by Vaishali…here are the highlights:

  • Everything is energy. Atoms vibrating at different frequencies form matter. In the physical world the only thing separating a chair from a rock is their rate of vibration. Even non-physical entities such as thoughts, memories, feelings, love and fear are forms of energy with their own frequency and magnetic signature as well.
  • Awareness, what are we giving our attention to, is the most life-altering form of energy available to us. It is our awareness that has the greatest influence on the body, our perceptions and emotions.
  • The sequence is: thoughts attract emotions that, if unresolved, may cause physical problems. Unresolved emotions build up and become increasingly exacerbated by what you habitually give your attention to. Thoughts fuel the emotional fire.
  • The inner narrative and dialogue you are running, your so-called “story,” attracts toxic emotions that in turn accumulate in the body and poison it, if you do not release them. If you keep reliving a negative experience, or one your awareness considers negative, it will make you sick.

 

  • Spiritual Law: you are what you love, and you love whatever you are giving your attention to. All the energies that make up physical human life are fundamentally organized and vibrate according to what you give your attention to and how you feel about what you give your attention to.

 

  • The body, emotions and perceptions are giving you the results they are under the impression you want based exclusively on your awareness.

 

  • The old saying, “We have seen the enemy and it is us,” has never been truer when it comes to what we habitually give our attention to. We invite, accumulate and aggravate our miseries according to what we give our attention to.
  • Conversely we also heal, overcome and breakthrough life’s challenges according to our awareness. The empowering aspect of this situation is that what lives in an unlimited, Heavenly place is only as far away as what we are focusing on.

 

There you go…believe what you want. All I suggest is that you have an open mind. What about you folks who have experience in energy working in your life? Share your story with us in the comment section below…inspire us…

Intention = Power

FotoSketcher - Cedar Key BirdI wanted to share this powerful post from Marcia Weider on About.com …it’s such a great read about the power of setting an intention. I think so many of us (myself very much included) say or think ‘yeah, I’m going to do _____ one day’…but we never actually say it, write it or tell anyone else. This has to change. I hope your inspired by this post like I was…share your thoughts and intentions (if you like)…

 

The Power of Intention

Four Steps for Setting an Intention

It’s time to change the way we think and speak about our dreams. Transforming a conversation, just like manifesting a dream, begins by setting an intention. Your intentions will assist you in taking greater control of your life.

A working definition for intention is: “to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim.” Lacking intention, we sometimes stray without meaning or direction. But with it, all the forces of the universe can align to make even the most impossible, possible. My intention is to transform the conversation around dreams from fear and doubt, to hope and possibility, followed by action and results.

Some might say this is not the right time to dream. The media and masses say, “It’s time to be realistic.” Consider this. Without our dreams all we have is our present reality. Reality is not a bad thing. We have to know where we are so we can design the appropriate strategy for getting to where we want to be. The challenge is our attitude around “reality” and being “realistic” and what being realistic has cost us. Often that’s our passion and joy, our hopes and dreams.

Given the unknowns and sometimes craziness of life, there’s never been a more important time to dream and setting your intention is the first step. When should you set an intention? You could set an intention every day. Your intention could be to work less and make more, or to find a new career that you are passionate about. It could be to get healthy and physically fit, or to spend more quality time with loved ones or alone. It can be specific and about something in particular or more like a quality, such as to be more relaxed or involved with life.

At seventy, Bessie set an intention to become a world famous photographer. Although many thought she was too old, she didn’t. She entered a photo contest where she won the first prize of $10,000. Her prize-winning photo toured around the world with a Kodak exhibit. She told me, “We’re never too old to make a dream come true.”

People set intentions on all kinds of dreams; to get married or have children, to get a job or make a career change, to write a book, lose weight, or move to a foreign country. When you set an intention and then act on it to demonstrate your commitment, amazing things occur. Intention can also give us fortitude for dealing with tough times. I am currently rebuilding my home. I simply wanted to add on a new bathroom, but with all the surprises an old (and charming) house can offer, every turn has been a shock, sometimes even a nightmare. It looks like the entire building may need to be rebuilt. My intention is to live through this process with dignity and grace. I am tested daily. It’s often not easy, but this intention has helped me maintain composure, sanity, and on a good day, a sense of humor. Intention can be used for community or social issues, global events or (literally) in your own backyard.

For example:

  • Before you get out of bed, you can intend to have a fun or productive day.
  • Before you leave the house, you can intend to have quality time with your family or roommate.
  • Before you start your car, you can intend to have a safe ride to work.
  • Before you enter your workplace, you can intend to learn something new or be helpful.
  • Before the meeting begins, you can intend to be brilliant or calm.

Four Intentional Steps:

1. Get clear about something you want and write it down.

2. Share your intention with someone in a way that will supportively hold you accountable to taking action.

3. Do something today to demonstrate your commitment to your intention.

4. Acknowledge that you did what you said you would and then, take the next step.

By setting an intention, you make it clear to yourself and others, just what you plan to do. Set an intention to redefine what it means to be serious about your dreams.

Say What?

dirt poorDo you ever wonder the meaning of certain expressions? Piss poor? Chewing the fat? Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water? It’s raining cats and dogs? Saved by the bell? Well wonder no more…my beautiful cousin Courtney forwarded an email to me this week with some explanations of these sayings. I found it so interesting I wanted to…you guessed it…SHARE. Now I don’t know if any or all of these are true (it was just an email forward) and I haven’t researched them for authenticity. Why? Because its fun and today is Monday…which should be all about fun. Ready? Set? Go…

Where did “piss poor” come from? Apparently they used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot. And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery…if you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”. But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot…they “didn’t have a pot to piss in” and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell, Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals(mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

“There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.

Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.

That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

peas porriageIn those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old”.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom; “holding a wake”.

gravedyardEngland is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.

 

So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell” or was “considered a dead ringer”.

 

Do you know the meanings of any other old “sayings” to share?

 

 

 

 

PR State of Mind

I’m often asked: What exactly is public relations?

Some define PR as the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders, and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization and the public interest. Stay with me now…

Others define it as the practice of managing communication between an organization and its publics. However you define it, public relations undoubtedly provides an organization or individual exposure to their audiences using topics of interest to garner a third-party endorsement, ideally without payment. We call it “earned” media (vs. “paid” media our friends in advertising get). Common PR activities include speaking at conferences, events, working with the media, crisis communications, social media engagement, and employee communication.

220px-Edward_BernaysOK Chad, thanks for the lesson on PR, now how can this help me? Why should I care? Well, can you imagine yourself as a company? Your own organization? Do you feel you have something to offer anyone? If so, PR can help you achieve your goals…personal or professional.

Did you know the “grandfather of public relations”, Edward Bernays, was the nephew of Sigmund Freud? He based many of the core principals of PR on the psychoanalytical studies on crowd control. There is a science to PR. Ahhh but you say, “I’m not famous and I’m surely not an organization!” Settle down. This will all come together soon enough, trust me. PR is all about promoting goodwill between yourself and the “public”, whoever the public is to you.  It may not be the masses, it may just be your small circle of friends or family.  Next you may ask if PR involves crisis and scandal? Sometimes it does, but hopefully for this exercise the only crisis we need to deal with may be your own ‘internal’ crisis of ego.

I’m all about action these days, thus the various exercises I try to give you guys in my posts. I hope you’ll play along. Think of this as a creativity exercise, which is really what it is. You have a grasp of PR and a personal passion. Even if it’s a pipe dream you’ve never told anyone about…have some fun. Maybe you always wanted to open a coffee shop or a dance studio. Unimagined dreams of becoming a henna tattoo artist or a clown? Weekend poetry slam events or a lemonade stand? Now is your ch

press-release-template-tipsance to bring them (somewhat) to life…all in good fun. Ready? You. Can. Do. It. Have fun.

ASSIGNMENT: Write a press release on yourself! What the heck is a press release? Well, not to get too technical, but a press release, news release, media release, press statement or video release is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy. Typically, they are mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, and/or television networks. This press release will be JUST FOR YOU…hang it on your fridge or by your desk for inspiration.

I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty about HOW to write a press release, there are plenty or resources online (see below). It’s easy and only has to be one page (longer if you choose). Remember, this is fun and it doesn’t have to be perfect…it’s just a way to get your passion out of your mind and into reality (just a baby step, no need to distribute your press release to news media…not yet anyway).

Resources:

http://www.ehow.com/how_8793_write-proper-press-release.html

http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp

http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Press-Release

Assignment 2: Tell us what your “headline” is in the comment section below…

Strategize My What?

strategyStrategy: A careful plan or method toward a goal.

Snooze, right? Every time I hear “strategy” I get a bit exhausted. Why? Because it usually means some work is involved, and I can be a lazy human. Good news! The strategy we’ll be discussing is all about YOU. It’s fun because the end result will be benefiting you and YOUR cause. Yes! To take some real action we need a plan. Boring, I know. Stay with me. Check it out, if you’re a blocked creative, my guess is you need a sturdy plan…a nudge if you will. How can we make this as easy and painless as possible? That’s up to you. Remember, we’re dealing with YOUR passion, something you love. Creating an action plan around this should be fun.

Let’s say I’m an aspiring fiction writer. Fiction is my passion. I have an incredible idea for a novel which has been reoccurring in my mind for years. I even have various characters and storylines plotted out in my mind. Yes, only in my mind. I haven’t got a plan to actually get pen to paper. Why? Fear. I can’t be a professional writer and make money. What’s the point? Hello critic! We all have them, yes we do. That voice in our heads that tells us to “get real”. Is this the voice of reason? Perhaps. Only you can be the judge. Our critics can protect us from this harsh reality we live in. Ahh, but with no risk, there is no reward. Right?

Go out on a limb. Take a risk. I challenge you to DO LIFE. Take action. Action can be your buddy. Don’t let fear of the unknown paralyze you. Even if you have a seemingly “full life” (as many of us do). Ask yourself, is your “full life” spent doing what you love?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAASSIGNMENT: Action Passion Plan (APP)

1. Get a sheet of paper out.

2. Write your strategic statement at the top. For example: My goal is to write a simple book on how people can use public relations tools to ignite their passion in life.

3. Next list 4-5 goals to accomplish within the next month. Goal 1: Create an outline. Goal 2: Begin writing. Goal 3: Edit and transcribe writings. See, not so hard. All the research you did on your last assignment should help you out.

This doesn’t have to be complicated. Trust me, there are MANY ways to create an “action plan”, feel free to Google it and see what works for you. My only advice is KEEP IT SIMPLE. If you’re like me, you’ll find fifty versions of action plans and get so overwhelmed you’ll forgo the action plan for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a Golden Girls  marathon. Keep it simple. Give yourself thirty minutes to create your action plan. It’s that easy. Our brains like to complicate things, they enjoy the workout. You control the workout. Acting on your passion can be like yoga for your mind, a great workout combined with relaxation and spiritual purpose.

 

 

The Simplicity of Momentum

Freeway Photographed In Slow MotionMomentum: strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events

Did you ever do the research on your passion? If not, don’t you worry…there is still time! You are the master of your own time. Your passion will just sit and wait for you, all your life if it has to. How often do we throw our passion by the wayside? We don’t make any “money” from it so why bother, right? Wrong. Money shouldn’t be a driving force for your passion, it just shouldn’t. Yes we all need to make a living to survive, I get it. Trust me, I have been there – and I’m still there! I thoroughly enjoy writing, but ninety percent of my ideas have never left my brain.  Ten percent have (thus this blog you are reading), but lack of momentum has crippled me. Momentum carries us through the good and bad patches. It gives us a track record of ‘there, I did that…’ even if it doesn’t feel like much at the time. Momentum should be part of your life strategy. How can you add momentum? Weave it in as simply as possible. Find your own way. You have the tools, here are a few example of setting aside “passion time” each day:

-          Thirty minutes of ______ each day (insert your passion)

-          Fifteen minutes of meditation about ______ passion.

City_lights_in_motionKeep it simple. Give it a go! Do you need an inspirational quote to get you started? Yeah, I thought so…check this one out from Tony Robbins:

Success comes from taking the initiative and following up… persisting… eloquently expressing the depth of your love. What simple action could you take today to produce a new momentum toward success in your life? — Tony Robbins

I haven’t read any of his books or attended his seminars, but you gotta hand it to the guy, he’s built an empire from something he’s obviously passionate about. How will you begin to build your empire today?

 

My Secret Sauce: Morning Pages

artistswayMorning Pages: Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages– they are not high art. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Occasionally colorful, more often than not Morning Pages are negative, fragmented, repetitive or bland. Good!  Worrying about your job, the laundry, the weird look your friend gave you – all that stuff distracts you from your creativity. It eddies through your subconsciousness and muddies your day. Get it on the page first thing in the morning and move on with your day with a freer spirit.

Listen up, in January of 2011 I began the daily practice I found in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron called Morning Pages and I can honestly say it changed my entire perspective on life. Huh? Really? How can writing three pages of nonsense stream of consciousness first thing in the morning change your life? Umm, I don’t know…it just does! Here’s the deal, if you have a human brain like me (chances are you do) that goes round and round like a hamster running that wheel as if his little life depends on it – then keep reading. If you feel an inner peace at all times and you think you’re the Dali Lama, you can skip this post.

hamsterMorning Pages has allowed me to be more creative throughout my day by giving me a place to dump all the nonsense I have going on between my ears. In my experience, the nonsense becomes less and less and then some pretty cool creative stuff pours out on the page. Stuff I never expected. I think it’s magic, kinda, sorta, maybe? Or maybe I know have stacks of journals with the scribbling’s of a mad man, who cares? I feel better. This blog was spawned from Morning Pages, so there!

Here are some guidelines to make this exercise most effective:

-          They must be done in the morning

-          They must be written by hand

-          No editing, just write

-          Don’t show anyone else your pages

-          Don’t go back and read them right away (you can further down the road if you like)

I can already hear your resistance to this exercise…

I’m too busy to do them in the morning…I can barely get to work on time!

-          Get up early!

I write much better at night.

-          Nope, end of the day writing is fine but it usually turns out to be a review/dumping of the day you just had. Doing these in the morning will free up your mind to have a more creative day – trust me.

My handwriting is awful, why can’t I type them?

-          Writing longhand will get you more honest pages, trust me. There is something about writing longhand and the stream of consciousness…just at least try it. I spent months typing them and didn’t see the same results – although this is just my experience (I actually think just DOING them is a huge step, no matter what your process is).

I’m much more verbal, why can’t I say my thoughts into a recorder?

-          Nope, same reason as above…writing longhand produces more honesty. I’m willing to bet you will ‘write’ more crazy thoughts than actually say them out loud…just sayin (you know who you are).

genius-image-300x300Living in great cities like Los Angeles and Dallas, I have had the luxury taking an Artist’s Way Workshop with Kelly Morgan in L.A. and with Barley and Joanna at Studio Arts Dallas – both of which I highly recommend. It was helpful to hear others say these same excuses in the workshop. My teachers would give the same advice I’m giving to you: just give it a try. Simple. If you want creative change in your life, try it.

Trust me, these aren’t easy. They also aren’t hard. I still have trouble on some days. The point is to JUST DO IT. Check it out…my pages obviously change on a daily basis. They can start off something like: I’m tired, writing this early sucks. When is my coffee going to be ready. How long will I walk the dogs…where do they wanna go? I wish they could talk…nah, they may complain too much. How can I be creative today? I wonder if my car needs new brakes? I better call Nana back. You get the drift? Good…trust me, they get good. Sure it may be crazy for a while, give it time. My Pages have turned into some really cool stuff.

Challenge: Write Morning Pages for One Month

-          Get yourself a pen you and enjoy and a notebook/journal (I find the standard 8.5 x 11 spiral notebooks work well)

-          Set your alarm for 30-45 minutes earlier than usual

-          Make coffee or caffeinate (if that’s your thing)

-          Sit down and WRITE at least 3 pages (more if you like)

I hope you’ll take this challenge – keep it simple. I only gave you a month and hope you’ll continue – trust me, I had no idea Id do them this long. I don’t plan on stopping, I suppose I’m hooked. If you want to learn more about Morning Pages, definitely get The Art’s Way book or Google it and you’re sure to find lots of other evangelists like myself.

 

 

 

Find Your Tribe: Creative Influencer Engagement

Engagement: The act of engaging or the state of being engaged. Betrothal.  A promise or agreement to be at a particular place at a particular time. A hostile encounter; a battle. The condition of being in gear.

Oh my, so many variations on this one word. IGame_of_thrones_cast think betrothal is my favorite, just because it sounds medieval. “Who has forsaken my betrothal to the people?” screamed Queen Regent Cersei Lannister (I just had to use a Game of Thrones reference – what better example of engagement and influence could there be). The word engagement can mean different things to you depending on your specific passion and goals. Do you want to share your talents with the world or just a chosen few? This doesn’t have to be a daunting task at all, it can be fun. Baby steps are allowed and encouraged.

Influencer:  A power affecting a person, thing, or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort.

First, let’s define what an influencer is to you. Are they family, friends or teachers? Maybe they consist of your shrink, priest or rabbi?  How about professionals in your chosen career? It could be all of these, one of these or none of these. Who will be honest and supportive of your talents? Who will help you grow creatively? (Sidebar: at this point it’s vital you have identified at least one passion to continue this exercise. Again, this ‘passion’ isn’t something you have to keep forever, if anything it’s something you could think of as a hobby. Test the water. Go with it.) I think it’s also important that you envision the remainder of the narrative of this post and subsequent challenge in a British accent. No, I’m not British, but I think this accent will appear more “official” and “authoritative”. You can envision a French accent if your truly a romantic, insert German or Russian if you feel you need a firmer hand. OK, now that we’ve finished stereotyping various cultures, let’s get started!

audience1-400x300Challenge: Create Your Influencer Engagement Plan

-          Take out a sheet of paper and write your strategic statement at the top (for example, mine would be: My goal is to write a simple book on how people can use public relations tools to ignite their passion in life)

-          List at least 5 individuals you feel are potential influencers for you

-          Write the best way to communicate your passion to each person. For example:

  • Mom – Call and describe latest pottery and commit to sending her images
  • Best friend Dave – Email him a link to a YouTube video of my latest dance recital
  • Mrs. Clatchet (2nd grade teacher) – Send a letter with my latest poems included
  • Aunt Katie – Plan a coffee date to personally invite her to next play and share plans to act professionally

-          Create a six month timeline with dates you plan to check in with each influencer to give them a progress report, ask for feedback, etc.

Done. Easy. Simple. Something like this can hold you accountable. You’re involving others, I know this can be scary. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You Can Do It!

If Only…Faux Passions and Clock Time Mattered

FotoSketcher - e-a4If only…my dogs could do dishes. If only…so many of Rihanna’s songs weren’t so annoying. If only…I could travel the world. If only…money were no object. If only…not using your turn signal were punishable by death. OK, the last one was harsh, I know.

Did you know the simple definition of passion is ‘any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling’…hmm. I can be just as passionate about chocolate ice cream as I am about tax reform. Awesome! Ever heard of clock time? This refers to what we all run by each day, the clock. The 9-5 day we manage our lives by. Are you living your clock time to the fullest?

Are you one of the lucky few that actually makes a living utilizing your passion? Even if you tell me you don’t have a passion, I challenge you. We all have passions. Mine are in constant evolution, but I have a few staples. I’m passionate about dogs, travel, public relations, social media, spirituality and food. How do you find out what you’re passionate about? Well, sit quietly and think, so far in your life, what have you found powerful and compelling? Don’t be afraid to visit your childhood. It helps me to think in terms of what topic I could find myself sitting around talking about for hours. So sit quietly, meditate if you can, and think of all the things in life that truly bring you joy. A quick plug on meditation, I know it’s not for everyone, especially in today’s fast paced society. It takes practice. For me, the first twenty minutes of meditation is mind racing madness. Then it clears up. Give it a go. Think of what makes you happy. I have also found meditation in writing and hiking/walking. Although I’m usually hiking or walking with my dogs so I’m constantly yelling “don’t eat that” – thus, writing has become my meditation. I practice something called the Morning Pages, I highly recommend.

meditatingQuick Exercise:

When you’re ready, make a list of things that make you happy. Yes, you can be passionate about more than one thing (and hopefully you are). Try not to let “faux passions” slip in. These are passions you may have convinced yourself you’re passionate about simply because it makes the family happy or you can make boat loads of money at it. Only you know the truth. My list would consist of: writing, dogs, PR, food, humor, yoga, educating, meditation, social media, appetizers, travel, hiking, beach, nature, sobriety, cooking, etc. Take the list as far as you can go. Once you have the list:

  1. Circle the things you do on a consistent basis.
  2. Rate them on a scale from 1 (least passion) to 10 (most passion). Be patient with yourself, don’t get frustrated…this isn’t the only time you can do this exercise.
  3. Once you complete your scaled list, take a look at the top three.
  4. Can any of them be combined? For example, let’s say you’re truly passionate about dogs and exercise. Perhaps becoming a dog trainer who focuses on fitness is your path. Don’t rule anything out – this early stage is all about brainstorming.

I’m going to take a wild guess that one of your top three items is a passion area of yours that could change your life, if you allow it to.

FieldofDreamsFamMany of you may find your passion in your current line of work, which is great. Ideally one can make money with their passion, but it’s not always possible (sorry all you aspiring mimes, it’s a tough market). If you can’t make money at your passion, does this mean you can’t live a happy and fulfilling life? No way! Of course you can, anyone can choose happiness. There, I said it, channeling my inner Deepak Chopra. Life isn’t nearly as hard as we sometimes make it out to be. Keep it simple. Asking for help, both physically and spiritually, has been a game changer for me. Do you have what it takes to be truly happy? What is happiness to you? Can you feel it, touch it, smell it, taste it…live it? Any “Field of Dreams” fans out there? Remember, if you build it…they will come. If you’re asking, build what? It’s OK, just be patient with yourself. Buy a small notebook and place it by your bed and begin journaling your dreams for the next few weeks. I don’t know if dream journals work, but it sounds like you may need something to do.

I shall leave you with a few quotes I find inspiring…

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

-          Nelson Mandela

“Nothing is so intolerable to man as being fully at rest, without a passion, without business, without entertainment, without care.”

-          Blaise Pascal

“My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery – always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What’s this passion for?”

-          Virginia Woolf

 

The Four Agreements Challenge: Peace and Harmony in Just Three Hours!

the-four-agreements-cover-300x300Are you interested in a life filled with love and happiness? Sure, who isn’t? Does the economy have you down? Are you sad this season of Girls is over? I know, I know, me too…life can be tough. Listen up, it’s time for an oldie but goodie. I read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz years ago and found it extremely enlightening. As I was de-cluttering my bookshelf (thanks to the inspiration of Musings From Melody), I came across my old copy and thought it was worth another read. Then I decided to just download it from iTunes because it’s one of those books you want to listen to over and over again. I do this with The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, which has too many inspiring nuggets to take in all at once. These are books that never really get old, you know the kind, each time you read (or hear) it you learn something new.  Great for the spiritual and or creative tune-ups we seem to so desperately need sometimes.

Agreement: harmony of opinion, action, or character; an arrangement as to a course of action.

Yes, Oprah has discussed The Four Agreements, so some of you may be familiar with them and how practicing them in your daily life can be life changing. If you are, keep reading because you probably need a refresher like me. Author Don Miguel Ruiz has an inspiring story of neurosurgeon turned Shaman following a near-death car accident which lead him back to his Toltec roots.

ToltecsWho the heck are the Toltecs? Glad you asked. The Toltecs were an ancient group of scientists and artists formed to explore and preserve the practices and spiritual knowledge of the ancient ones. While it’s not a religion, but a way of life that embraces spirit and honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. Toltec wisdom arises from the same essential unity of truth as other sacred esoteric traditions that are found all over the world. The Aztecs also saw the Toltecs as their own predecessors whom they glorified in order to be able to legitimize their own structures of power by claiming royal descent from Toltec lineages. Official enough for you? OK, let’s move on…we have Agreements to discuss! Are you ready for some personal freedom? Are you a Spiritual Warrior? YES. YOU. ARE.

The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

Sounds good, right? Accepting these agreements is quite simple, but actually living in them is a HUGE challenge. Simple yet difficult. Good and evil. Black and white. Dark and light. We live in a world of two extremes. We’re all so busy in the rat race of life, running here and there. Manipulating to get what we want, many times at an unconscious level. If awareness is so important, how do we become aware? Read books like The Four Agreements. Don’t let the daily challenges of life keep you away from your quest for spiritual growth (which I think we all have, whether we know it or not). I could go into much more detail about this book but I really want YOU to get the book and embrace it in its entirety. As a post on Project Dre LA suggests, set your intention now. For the day, the weekend, the year; then make it happen.

peter-coyoteREADING CHALLENGE: The Four Agreements

-          It’s a short book so dedicate 2-3 hours to read it or listen to it (Peter Coyote narrates it and does a great job), it’s much more impactful to do this in one sitting. Quit your whining, you know you’d spend this amount of time or more watching reality TV shows in one sitting.

-          Once complete, write out the Agreements and put them somewhere you will see them when you wake up and start your day:

  • Be Impeccable With Your Words
  • Don’t Take Anything Personally
  • Don’t Make Assumptions
  • Always Do Your Best

I hope you enjoy this read as much as I did. Don’t be shy, tell us what you think…let your Warrior free! Or just leave a comment below…