Recently I’ve created many opportunities that have pushed me to make decisions. I’m deciding on bigger things like, taking a part-time job, upgrading my website through a third-party and accepting volunteer opportunities that stretch me.
This is what I signed up for this year because my word is DECIDE. Something I couldn’t have predicted is learning the real power of the word AND. Over the years I’ve either heard or read about leaning into the AND versus having either/or, black-and-white thinking. Conceptually I was all in with the idea of AND. This year, I am experiencing AND, and it feels so fun and expansive. Who knew?
My biggest AND at the moment is that I have taken a fun part-time job in the city which gives me exposure to creative energy and PEOPLE (have I told you I am an extrovert?). This opportunity came as a surprise even though I applied for a posting way back in 2013 (way back sounds like it is so long ago).
One of my many ‘fun’ applications for jobs both strategic and tactical finally had a hit. The tactical job won out which is very cool AND it is part-time which allows so much more for me to expand on what I want to be/do/have at this point in my life. My experience of AND in this situation is that I get to have a fun, creative, collaborative and energetic work experience AND I get to build out my coaching practice. I can do both (the photography is a bonus AND). For whatever reason, I am now LOVING the word and am looking for more opportunities to experience it. It is as if I am now addicted to AND. I’m looking for another hit!
Just as I started developing this post, a colleague of mine posted about the SAME topic read here.
I’m on to something! What are your ANDs?
My thoughts about how difficult today was going to be were much worse than the reality. The day was actually reasonable. The puppies tolerated/played with each other….to the point of exhaustion. They now are flat-out on the floor at my feet.
There are several other situations in my life that have a continuum of potential outcomes from easy to terrible…and my mind is trying to write stories of the bad outcomes…and then I have to consciously bring myself to the truth of this very moment. The truth is, the event does not exist in this moment and that the negative outcome is only in my mind.
Choosing a peaceful possibility is in my control in the moment and I choose to create that story…for now. Here is how I do it…in the form of 5 Rs.
- recognize the negative future-focus
- remind myself I can choose another possibility
- reframe the thought to either a neutral or positive outcome
- release the thoughts of the future altogether
- re-engage in the moment at hand.
This is a lifelong practice. For some unknown reason to me, the brain has a habit of going toward the negative future outcome. The only purpose I can see for this is to have a sense of being prepared for the worst.
Instead of preparing for the worst, what I would prefer to do is to create the CONSISTENT story that says…
I am resourceful and will meet each situation with the intent to create as much peace for myself (and others) as possible. Therefore, I can trust myself and release the need to prepare for the worst.
Up NEXT…creating the story that tonight’s sleep is restful because Harley sleeps through the night!
I cannot get enough of it. I have been known to say that I am doubtful that I could tire of connecting authentically with people.
I would love to do an experiment to see how long I could go (with bathroom and food breaks) before I am tapped out. As an extrovert that is not daunting; it is exhilarating. For an introvert that would most likely sound like torture. What I would love to do in that time is to meander in a nonlinear way through ideas, issues, solutions, dreams, desires, beliefs that serve and those that don’t and other undiscovered topics in between. I call these types of talks…circling the wagon (or exploring the issue/opportunity from all angles).
The reason why I mention this is because today I got a “hit” of meaningful connection with a re-acquainted friend. The purpose of the meeting was to dig deep on a meaningful topic. My friend had read Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is and wanted to gain more perspective on it. I LOVE to share what I know, what I think, what I believe, how I see things and then random stuff like animal totems and metaphors. It is this beautiful exploration of the tapestry of our thoughts, feelings, and experience of our lives: that brings me into a state of ecstasy (still using the ‘drug’ metaphor here). This drug, I will never say no to!
I knew I’d get it some point in my life. I had heard that those who’ve had a small case of chicken pox would likely get shingles. So, I somehow knew it would come. It did!
Here are a few things I gleaned from it.
- I have a tendency to catastrophize things…so when the pain started (before rash), I was brewing a story of cancer in lymph system.
- My husband is not one for talking about medical things, but when I told him of my pain and rash, he diagnosed the shingles! So, my reframe for my husband is that he deals with medical things when it is important.
- I am proud that I took myself into the doctor…my normal mode is to wait it out. If I had waited, I would not have been able to get the medicine to reduce the symptoms and duration. My lesson is that I can trust myself to do what I need when I need to, and things work out for me.
- The minute I was officially diagnosed, I DECIDED that I would have a mild case. I held the belief the whole time…guess what, I had a mild case.
- When I told people of my shingles, I found MANY people have had it. That is where they would then tell me in detail of their symptoms. That was a tricky spot for me because I had decided to have a mild case…and focusing on harsh cases didn’t feel like a good place to be. I held myself neutral and reminded myself that I was going for mild.
- When the significant nerve pain started, it was Christmas-time. It was a blessing for me to be focusing on myself and not worried about how everyone else was doing. I stayed right smack in my own business where I belong. As a result, I had a pleasant family experience (I didn’t say pleasant physical experience).
As I shuttle out the remains of my rash, I feel in some ways blessed to have gotten it out of my system and to have learned a lot about myself in the meantime. To recap…I learned.
- Assume the best not the worst
- Stay in my own business – always.
- Trust that my husband also has intuition about his own health – and remember #2.
- Trust my instincts
- I get to DECIDE how I experience everything (even the seemingly unfortunate)…and in most cases, the experience rises to meet my expectations.
- When being exposed to topics and information I don’t like…stay neutral and keep mentally focused on what I DO want (change the subject if possible).
- See blessings in everything. They are there if I open to them.
In Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life. The affirmation for shingles is:
I’m relaxed and peaceful because
I trust the process of life.
All is well in my world.
The first of the year is deemed PAJAMA DAY for me. I not only stayed in my PJs all day, I showered and changed into CLEAN PJs in the evening. The first day also usually involves some beginning-of-the-year rituals. I created a visual journal page celebrating the Year of the Horse. I started a new year in my 5 year, line-a-day journal. I wrote in my daily journal (the last day I wrote was October). I finished some work for clients and started developing a class for a non-profit. While the day was relaxed, it was also meaningfully productive; a very nice start to the year.
Another ritual (like Pajama Day), is to pick a word for the year. Last year’s was Elevate. I reflected a little on what Elevate meant me in 2013, and honestly there isn’t anything that sticks out as super significant, but I can see where I’ve achieved things that have raised my possibilities. For example, I signed up to be certified in a coaching process based on the law of attraction (www.goodvibecoachingacademy.com ). I updated my resume and began to research career opportunities for me to work in a creative and collaborative environment (this will be in addition to my coaching and photography). I opened my heart to a new puppy. I stood down from the auction committee at the elementary school (normally I would have stuck it out). The list could easily go on if I spent more time thinking of the specifics of my year. I can see that each contributed to my concept of Elevate.
This year’s word came to me in a flash. The flash was due to the fact that I was in a group discussion and I had to come up with something ‘on-the-spot’. I decided to go with whatever came to my mind and chalk it up to divine inspiration. So, the divinely inspired word for 2014 is DECIDE.
That word can be a little bit overwhelming to me because it involves possibly having an opinion about things that I normally am flexible about. I also know that my Myers Briggs Type of P (perceiving) is naturally inclined to leave things ‘open’ so that I don’t close down other options. Deciding sometimes feels like a very risky thing to a P. The other uncomfortable part, is that my type in terms of the Enneagram (I am a 9) has a tendency to not focus on my own needs, but looking out for the good of the group. So this DECIDE word feels more challenging than it does peaceful…buuuuuut….I know that sometimes the things that make me want to drag my knuckles on the ground and mope, are the ones that, in my soul, I know are only going to provide growth and expansion for me.
My other belief about the word DECIDE from a law of attraction perspective is with clarity of desire, comes alignment and ease of manifesting said desire. Alternatively, if you give out ‘wishy-washy’ desires, you’ll manifest wishy-washy results, which may be fine in the short-term, but will then require more clarity over time to fulfill the ultimate desired feeling state that one is looking to achieve.
So, DECIDE for me will be a lot about knowing what I desire from a feeling state, and also owning some clear boundaries and decisions on what I really want next for my life. Two areas of specific interest to me are my career and my relationship with abundance. I may actually have to have some opinions about both…and that scares me a little…in a good way (I think).
Alas, this day is about to come to a close for me, and most likely tomorrow will involve wearing ‘outside’ clothes (not that wearing pajamas outside is a bad thing). I am feeling a sense of peace peppered with anticipation. It is a good feeling state for me because I live in a state of contentment with my simple life, but also am activating the desire for more and better. All is well.
I have been both enjoying the process of gaining clarity and also have been overwhelmed by the options and all the limiting beliefs I have about what it means to work.
The thing I love about this process is that I realize that I actually can get things done and can make good strides. I don’t see myself putting things off. I DO see that there are roadblocks that I must plow through and brave moments I must have. I am practicing the art of putting my neck out there and knowing that I’ll be ok.
What I DO want is to feel empowered and that I have choices. What I DO want is to have fun figuring this out. What I DO want is this to be a fun story to tell in the end. I DO want to clear out some of the ‘thinking muck’ as I go along so that when the opportunities present themselves, I can address them from a place of personal choice (want to’s) versus fear (have to’s).
It is all coming together nicely, in due time and with greater and greater clarity…and dare I say fun.
Today I caught myself in some black and white thinking. All or nothing; yes or no.
It is fascinating that when we are making significant choices that have unknown outcomes…the mind wants to create order…and it stops from seeing all potential options. Coming from someone who plays in the possibilities; I know black and white thinking doesn’t serve (except maybe in things involving life and death and such).
Luckily I am willing and able to reach out to others to gain perspective and to see the rigid thinking as it truly is. I still am not 100% clear on my decision but I have been reminded that there are more than one way to metaphorically “slice a pie”.
What a relief to see this option. In my belief, even subtle relief can open up to other possibilities…and relief from suffering (even minor) is where all the magic starts to show up: opportunities come without effort, information literally lands in your lap, problems disappear without notice.
I am glad to have witnessed my thinking today. I am glad to know that I have resources to gain relief. I am glad that possibilities are endless if you are willing to see them. AND I am glad that my decision isn’t made yet…because maybe just maybe, something is happening “behind the scenes” for it to be a very easy decision one day soon. Wouldn’t that be grand!
If I were to have a defining statement, I could see that being mine. It reflects how I show up, write, photograph and how I connect with others.
Finding the phrase made picking my word for the year easy and interesting: ELEVATE!
The definition: raise to a more important or impressive level gives me a tickle of excitement in my tummy. Now my job is to be mindful and present enough to notice how ELEVATE shows up in my life. Fun times are certainly ahead!
If you were to have one word as an intention for the year, what would it be?
Besides undressing the tree and finding homes for our new gifts, I’ve done other ‘releasing’ type activities like unscubscribed to a few websites and emptied most emails from my inbox.
I was also compelled to do a metaphorical release of my limiting beliefs that have been circling my head probably for my adult life but on loudspeaker this past fall. I did this by putting them into the “Old Story Pot” on the website Good Vibe University (where I’m a member). This is a brilliant forum (within the website) to articulate your limiting beliefs and release them. Then other members support that release by either offering positive reinforcement, a new perspective, or a virtual ‘high five’. This is what I threw in the pot today:
I release my disempowered thoughts and feelings around my worth, deserving and access to money and fabulous things in my life. More specifically…
- I release the thoughts…’my life has always been blessed, who am I to want more’.
- I release the feelings and compulsion to ‘ask permission’ for things I desire in my life.
- I release the feeling that I need to ‘earn’ my wellbeing and abundance.
- I release the suffering and ‘playing small’ that has been a result of the above thoughts.
In turn I invite the thoughts/statements:
- I am worthy beyond measure.
- I get to decide what I want and how much.
- I allow more expansion into my life and I deserve even more than I can articulate or know in this minute.
- I am here on earth to share my gifts and talents with others and I allow more and more people to experience them than I can even think possible.
- I deserve what I have and I deserve even more and better.
- Life is good.
- I trust myself.
- The Universe/God supports me.
- I get to decide.
- I choose THIS AND BETTER!
What would you throw into the pot? Release it here and we can start with a clean slate in 2013. Namaste
My extended mental back and forth on whether I should write or not, and how often, and for what purpose and for whom and back around again has gotten veeeeery tedious to me. I feel like throwing up my hands and saying ENOUGH ALREADY! But that doesn’t really solve the problem. If I say WRITE ALREADY…well that makes some sense.
My job now is to allow…the words, the time, the flow and to be ok with the not knowing of the for whom, and for what reason and the for how long….that will come in due time (or not).
Curiosity, connection, creativity, learning, authenticity and fun are my biggest values at this point in my life. My writing and photography are natural vehicles to explore and share these values in a highly meaningful way…to me! If I believe that doing what I love is the conduit to having the life that I love….why the heck have I created a spin cycle around my writing.