Showing posts with label Transformation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transformation. Show all posts

Monday, 15 February 2016

20 Words to Change Your Life


BEGIN
Take charge of your life by beginning something you’ve always wanted to do. If your goal seems overwhelming, start small.

IMAGINE
Your imagination has no boundaries … dreaming about something is the first step towards achieving it.

LAUGH
Laughter is a direct route to the soul. It broadens your perspective, keeps you healthy, and makes an unbearable situation easier to deal with.

BELIEVE
Set your mind to predict success. Tell yourself you will succeed at whatever you’re doing at the moment.

SEEK
Allow yourself to grow by exposing your vulnerability and insecurity. Don’t live strictly inside your comfort zone – don’t always play it safe.

PLAY
We can always find something that needs to be done and we forget how to have fun. Make a conscious effort to take time off – you’ll feel refreshed and able to think more clearly afterwards.

TRUST
Being paralyzed by indecision is worse than making the wrong decision. You can’t grow if you don’t trust your inner voice.

LISTEN
Try listening carefully to the other person’s point of view first, without being preoccupied or distracted. You’ll really hear what is being said and the other person is more likely to pay attention to your views.

CREATE
Creativity maintains the balance in our lives. The more we use our creativity the more it develops.

CONNECT
Relationships are what pull us through the hard times, and make the good times meaningful. Take time to nurture the connections that uplift you.

TOUCH
Humans need touch to survive and thrive. Don’t forget to hug your loved ones. Pat your friends on the back literally and figuratively.

FORGIVE
Forgiveness is life giving because it puts you in charge. You become empowered.

PRAY
Prayer is asking God to transform the situation and become the heart of your life. Take time each day to nurture this connection.

HOPE
Hope is the knowledge that even in the worst of times we can triumph over hardship and sorrow and grow in spirit. Hope is what sustains humanity.

CHOOSE
We can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can choose our attitude towards them.

APPRECIATE
Admire the good in yourself and in those around you.

GIVE
Happiness involves giving freely to others and not necessarily wanting something in return.

READ
Reading removes boundaries.

WRITE
Words are freedom. Words are power.

RELEASE
Avoid doing something just because everyone thinks you should. Give yourself permission to relax.

Feed Shark

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Establish a Morning & Evening Routine


A morning and evening routine can create some sense of sanity and calm in your life.

These are two habits that you can start today that will make a big improvement.

Now, because of different things that have come up in my life, I’ve fallen a bit out of my routines. I’ve also been changing them over the last few months as my needs have changed.

So, this month, my challenge will be to focus on re-establishing my daily routines, refined and simplified.

I’ve simplified my morning routine, to give myself more of a sense of calm.




Here’s my new morning routine:

Morning routine
• Meditate
• Shower
• Coffee/Read/Breakfast
• Write
• Clear out email

In the evenings, I want to get ready for the next day and do a one-sentence journal reflecting on my day before winding down for bed.

Evening routine
• Clean up
• Prepare clothes
• Journal
• Read

Establishing routines:

It might sound easy to establish routines like the ones listed above, but it’s just as easy to fall out of them. You want to make them a habit that will stick.




The key steps to establishing routines are to:

1. Focus on them. Keep your routine as your foremost goal for one month, focusing on nothing else. Having too many habits at once spreads your focus too thin, and makes success less likely.

2. Make them rewarding. In the morning, I meditate, shower, have my coffee and breakfast, read and write as part of my calming routine. In the evening, I quietly prepare for the next day, review my day and read. They are both very satisfying routines.

3. Log your progress. Reporting your progress every day in a journal or some other type of log, or put up stars on a calendar. The key is to keep track of it and see how well you have done over the course of a month.





Source: Zen Habits
Ping-o-matic

Sunday, 22 November 2015

TRANSFORM YOUR THOUGHTS `★.¸¸¸.•°´ Spot Your Negative Thinking Habits



I wish I had a dime for every time I heard someone making a negative comment about me, about others, or about themselves. That last is really the worst. I could retire on those dimes.

The thing is, life could be so much better for many people, if they would just spot their negative thinking habits and replace them with positive ones.

Negative thinking, in all its many splendored forms, has a way of creeping into conversations and our thinking without our noticing them. The key to success, in my humble opinion, is learning to spot these thoughts and squash them like little bugs. Then replace them with positive ones. You’ll notice a huge difference in everything you do.

As the Dalai Lama said, “The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful.”

Let’s take a look at 9 common ways that negative thinking emerges (there are many more, of course) — get good at spotting these patterns, and practice replacing them with positive thinking patterns. It has made all the difference in the world for me.

9 Negative Thinking Sins

1. I will be happy once I have _____ (or once I earn $X).

Problem: If you think you cannot be happy until you reach a certain point, or until you reach a certain income, or have a certain type of house or car or computer setup, you will never be happy. That elusive goal is always just out of reach. Once we reach those goals, we are not satisfied — we want more.

Solution: Learn to be happy with what you have, where you are, and who you are, right at this moment. Happiness does not have to be some state that we want to get to eventually — it can be found right now. Learn to count your blessings, and see the positive in your situation. This might sound simplistic, but it works.

2. I wish I were as ____ as (a celebrity, a friend, a co-worker).

Problem: We will never be as pretty, as talented, as rich, as sculpted, as cool, as everyone else. There will always be someone better, if you look hard enough. Therefore, if we compare ourselves to others like this, we will always pale, and will always fail, and will always feel bad about ourselves. This is no way to be happy.

Solution: Stop comparing yourself to others, and look instead at yourself — what are your strengths, your accomplishments, your successes, however small? What do you love about yourself? Learn to love who you are, right now, not who you want to become. There is good in each of us, love in each of us, and a wonderful human spirit in every one of us.




3. Seeing others becoming successful makes me jealous and resentful.

Problem: First, this assumes that only a small number of people can be successful. In truth, many, many people can be successful — in different ways.

Solution: Learn to admire the success of others, and learn from it, and be happy for them, by empathizing with them and understanding what it must be like to be them. And then turn away from them, and look at yourself — you can be successful too, in whatever you choose to do. And even more, you already are successful. Look not at those above you in the social ladder, but those below you — there are always millions of people worse off than you, people who could not even read this article or afford a computer. In that light, you are a huge success.

4. I am a miserable failure — I can’t seem to do anything right.

Problem: Everyone is a failure, if you look at it in certain ways. Everyone has failed, many times, at different things. I have certainly failed so many times I cannot count them — and I continue to fail, daily. However, looking at your failures as failures only makes you feel bad about yourself. By thinking in this way, we will have a negative self-image and never move on from here.

Solution: See your successes and ignore your failures. Look back on your life, in the last month, or year, or 5 years. And try to remember your successes. If you have trouble with this, start documenting them — keep a success journal, either in a notebook or online. Document your success each day, or each week. When you look back at what you have accomplished, over a year, you will be amazed. It is an incredibly positive feeling.

5. I’m going to beat so-and-so no matter what — I’m better than him. And there’s no way I’ll help him succeed — he might beat me.

Problem: Competitiveness assumes that there is a small amount of gold to be had, and I need to get it before he does. It makes us into greedy, back-stabbing, hurtful people. We try to claw our way over people to get to success, because of our competitive feelings.

Solution: Learn to see success as something that can be shared, and learn that if we help each other out, we can each have a better chance to be successful. Two people working towards a common goal are better than two people trying to beat each other up to get to that goal. There is more than enough success to go around. Learn to think in terms of abundance rather than scarcity.




6. Why do these bad things always happen to me?

Problem: Bad things happen to everybody. If we dwell on them, they will frustrate us and bring us down.

Solution: See bad things as a part of the ebb and flow of life. Suffering is a part of the human condition — but it passes. All pain goes away, eventually. Meanwhile, don’t let it hold you back. Do not dwell on bad things, but look forward towards something good in your future. And learn to take the bad things in stride, and learn from them. Bad things are actually opportunities to grow and learn and get stronger, in disguise.

7. You can’t do anything right! Why can’t you be like Johnny?

Problem: This can be said to your child or your subordinate or your sibling. The problem? Comparing two people, first of all, is always a fallacy. People are different, with different ways of doing things, different strengths and weaknesses, different human characteristics. If we were all the same, we would be robots. Second, saying negative things like this to another person never helps the situation. It might make you feel better, and more powerful, but in truth, it hurts your relationship, it will actually make you feel negative, and it will certainly make the other person feel negative and more likely to continue negative behavior. Everyone loses.

Solution: Take the mistakes or bad behavior of others as an opportunity to teach. Show them how to do something. Second, praise them for their positive behavior, and encourage their success. Last, and most important, love them for who they are, and celebrate their differences.

8. Oh yeah? Well up yours too!

Problem: If someone insults you or angers you in some way, insulting them back and continuing your anger only transfers their problem to you. This person was probably having a bad day (or a bad year) and took it out on you for some reason. If you reciprocate, you are now having a bad day too. His problem has become yours. Not only that, but the cycle of insults can get worse and worse until it results in violence or other negative consequences — for both of you.

Solution: Let the insults or negative comments of others slide off you like Teflon. Do not let their problem become yours. In fact, try to understand their problem more — why would someone say something like that? What problems are they going through? Having a little empathy for someone not only makes you understand that their comment is not about you, but it can make you feel and act in a positive manner towards them — and make you feel better about yourself in the process.

9. I don’t think I can do this — I don’t have enough discipline. Maybe some other time.

Problem: If you do not think you can do something, you probably won’t. Especially for the big stuff. Discipline has nothing to do with it — motivation and focus has everything to do with it. And if you put stuff off for “some other time”, you will never get it done. Negative thinking like this inhibits us from accomplishing anything.

Solution: Turn your thinking around: You can do this! Find ways to make yourself a success at your goal. If you fail, learn from your mistakes, and try again. Instead of putting a goal off for later, start now. And focus on one goal at a time, putting all of your energy into it, and getting as much help from others as you can. You can really move mountains if you start with positive thinking.




Source: Zen Habits
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Monday, 16 November 2015

Daybreak: Make Your Goals Happen


The sun begins to come up, and the first rays of light begin to shine upon this fresh day.

What do you do with this time?

The most important thing:

If you have a project you want to happen (let’s say you want to write a book), this is the time to form a habit that will make that project happen. A morning writing habit will get the book done. Simply wishing for the book to get written, or saying you’ll do it “someday,” doesn’t make it happen.

If it’s important, you’ll make a morning habit of it:

•If you want to lose weight, create a morning walking habit. Or morning strength training. Or a healthy breakfast with fruits and veggies.
•If you want to start a new business, create a morning session where you work on it every morning.
•If you want to become more mindful during your day, create a morning meditation habit.
•If you want to work on your relationship with your spouse, have a morning habit of talking about your relationship over coffee.
•If you want to journal, make it a morning habit.




Why is morning a better time for important habits? Why not afternoons or evenings? Well, I’m biased, because I really love the mornings. But I’ve found the time to be quieter, less chaotic, better for reflection and focus. Some people will work better in the late nights, but I’m usually tired by then. So figure out what time is your magic time — I think for most people that will be mornings.

I’ve done pretty much all my important achievements through morning habits.

There are great habits you can create in the afternoons and evenings too, but I recommend trying a morning habit if you have something important you want to get done.

Make it a habit to do it first.





Source: Zen Habits

Feed Shark

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Mindfulness Practice


“Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water.
After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” – Wu Li


Mindfulness develops the skills of attention and concentration, with the focus of one's attention on emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment, to intentionally accept without judgment, which can be trained by meditational practices.

Mindfulness, which is an essential element of Buddhist practice, is also an attribute of consciousness long believed to promote well-being. Studies have indicated that the construct of mindfulness is strongly correlated with well-being and health; effectively reducing stress, anxiety and depression.

The essence of mindfulness is acting with undivided attention. Mindfulness is the discipline of doing one thing at a time with awareness — the opposite of how most people operate. Most of us think that if we do several things at once, we will accomplish more. However, those that do one thing at a time actually accomplish more than those who multi-task.

There are several advantages to doing one thing at a time besides increased productivity. When thoughts are racing, concentrating on one thing slows the mind. Doing one thing at a time decreases anxiety by focusing the mind on one thing, pushing from one’s mind preoccupations and worries.

You must guard your psychological space like a guard at the gate. The guard is alert to everything that happens. Like the guard, be alert to every thought, emotion, and distraction that crosses your psychological space. Such mind watching brings your attention back to the present moment. It is okay to take a zigzag path as you criss-cross psychological space to overcome distractions and return to the object of your attention.

Zen monks, are a great inspiration in the way they live their lives: the simplicity, concentration and mindfulness of every activity, the calm and peace they find in their days. For hundreds of years, Zen monks have devoted their lives to being present in everything they do, to being dedicated and to serving others. It serves as an example for our own lives.

Who among us couldn't use a little more concentration, tranquility, and mindfulness in our lives?

There are certain principles that can be applied to any life, no matter what your religious beliefs, spiritual beliefs, or your standard of living.

“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but
concentration on our usual everyday routine.” – Shunryu Suzuki
1. DO ONE THING AT A TIME: When you are eating, eat. When you are walking, walk. When you are bathing, bathe. When you are working, work. When you are in a group, or a conversation, focus your attention on the very moment you are with the other person. Do each thing with all of your attention.

If other actions, or other thoughts, or strong feelings distract you, let go of distractions and go back to what you are doing – again, and again, and again.

Concentrate your mind. If you find you are doing two things at once, stop and go back to one thing at a time.

When you are eating, eat

It is not unusual to mindlessly eat while watching TV, reading the paper, or walking around. Eating mindfully is very different experience than the way you normally eat. Mindfully eating concentrates on the eating experience. Only in the present moment do you experience the sensations of eating. When you are present you can taste, feel, and smell your food. The sensations are fleeting and there are many distractions. Mindful eating requires a commitment to do so. Eating a meal mindfully entails the effort to turn your mind away from distractions and return over and over to eating. You are more likely to notice when you are feeling full when eating this way. If you pay attention to the sensation of satiety, you will probably stop eating sooner. Eating can be an opportunity to learn self-control (directing your mind back to eating) and self-discipline (committing to restarting when you stray).

When you are walking, walk

Walking, too, can be a way to take hold of your mind. This is mentioned in the describe section, “… say in your mind … walking, step, step, step …” Describing walking this way slows your mind and focuses your mental energy on the “here” where you are, how you feel, what you are doing, and your breathing.

When you are bathing, bathe

Some people have a routine they go through every time they shower that allows them to concentrate on their actions mindfully. Focusing exclusively on this activity is peaceful and calming. Self-soothing with sensations of bathing copes with stress, relieves anxiety, and cultivates mindfulness.

Notice the feel, sound, and sight of water. Notice the smell of soap and shampoo. Notice the difference between wet and dry, hot and cold. Notice the transitions between turning on the water, getting in the water, wetting hair, shampooing, soaping, turning off the water, and drying. You will have the opportunity to repeat your observations daily.

When you are working, work

Work offers many opportunities for doing one thing at a time and overcome distractions. You may be surprised at how much you can be done if you set your mind to it. Such a commitment helps you learn mastery, doing one thing each day to make yourself feel competent and in control.

Think about what your work really is. Consider how your work expresses you and your place in the world. What attitude do you bring to the work you do? What part of your work is play and what part of play is work? What is your life’s work?

When you are in a group, or a conversation, focus your attention on the very moment you are in with the other person.

In conversation, your ability to be interpersonally effective increases by practicing mindfulness. No matter how nervous you are with another person, focusing your attention on the very moment liberates you from doubt, worry, stress, and fear. Part of mindfulness is letting go of what is interfering with complete involvement. Try mindfulness with a “boring” speaker. You might notice he or she becomes more interesting. People become more interesting when you show your interest in them.

2. DO IT SLOWLY AND DELIBERATELY: Do one task at a time, taking your time, and moving slowly. Make your actions deliberate, not rushed and random. It takes practice, but it helps you focus on the task.

Do each thing with all of your attention. The hard work of doing each thing with all your attention is a choice. Although the idea is simple the result of doing one thing with all your attention is powerful.

If other actions, or other thoughts, or strong feelings distract you, let go of distractions and go back to what you are doing – again, and again, and again.

Step back and be aware of what you are doing. If a thought enters the psychological space between you and the object of your attention, let the thought pass and go back to what you are doing. Distractions will enter your psychological space – let them go and turn your mind. A deceptively simple strategy when you find your thoughts wandering astray is to say to yourself, “Be here now” and turn your mind toward what you are doing.

3. DO IT COMPLETELY: Put your mind completely on the task. Don’t move on to the next task until you are finished. If, for some reason, you have no choice but to move on to something else, try to at least put away the unfinished task and clean up after yourself. If you prepare a sandwich, don’t start eating it until you have put away the stuff you used to prepare it, wiped down the counter, and washed the dishes used for preparation. Then you’re done with that task, and can focus more completely on the next task.




4. DO LESS: A Zen monk doesn’t lead a lazy life — he wakes early and has a day filled with work. However, he doesn’t have an unending task list either — there are certain things he’s going to do today, and no more. If you do less, you can do those things more slowly, more completely and with more concentration. If you fill your day with tasks, you will be rushing from one thing to the next without stopping to think about what you do.

5. PUT SPACE BETWEEN THINGS: Related to the “Do less” rule, but it’s a way of managing your schedule so that you always have time to complete each task. Don’t schedule things close together — instead, leave room between things on your schedule. That gives you a more relaxed schedule, and leaves space in case one task takes longer than you planned.

6. DEVELOP RITUALS: Zen monks have rituals for many things they do, from eating to cleaning to meditation. Ritual gives something a sense of importance — if it’s important enough to have a ritual, it’s important enough to be given your entire attention, and to be done slowly and correctly. You don’t have to learn the Zen monk rituals — you can create your own, for the preparation of food, for eating, for cleaning, for what you do before you start your work, for what you do when you wake up and before you go to bed, for what you do just before exercise. Anything you want, really.

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” -Thich Nhat Hanh




7. DESIGNATE TIME FOR CERTAIN THINGS: There are certain times in the day a Zen monk designates for certain activities. A time for bathing, a time for work, a time for cleaning, a time for eating. This ensures that those things get done regularly. You can designate time for your own activities, whether that be work or cleaning or exercise or quiet contemplation. If it’s important enough to do regularly, consider designating a time for it.

8. DEVOTE TIME TO SITTING: In the life of a Zen monk, sitting meditation (zazen) is one of the most important parts of his day. Each day, there is time designated just for sitting. This meditation is really practice for learning to be present. You can devote time for sitting meditation, or do what you do to practice being in the moment. You could use any activity in the same way, as long as you do it regularly and practice being present.

9. SMILE AND SERVE OTHERS: Zen monks spend part of their day in service to others, whether that be other monks in the monastery or people on the outside world. It teaches them humility, and ensures that their lives are not just selfish, but devoted to others. If you’re a parent, it’s likely you already spend at least some time in service to others in your household, and non-parents may already do this too. Similarly, smiling and being kind to others can be a great way to improve the lives of those around you. Also consider volunteering for charity work.

10. MAKE CLEANING AND COOKING BECOME MEDITATION: Aside from the zazen mentioned above, cooking and cleaning are two of the most exalted parts of a Zen monk’s day. They are both great ways to practice mindfulness, and can be great rituals performed each day. If cooking and cleaning seem like boring chores to you, try doing them as a form of meditation. Put your entire mind into those tasks, concentrate, and do them slowly and completely. It could change your entire day (as well as leave you with a cleaner house).

11. THINK ABOUT WHAT IS NECESSARY: There is little in a Zen monk’s life that isn’t necessary. He doesn’t have a closet full of shoes, or the latest in trendy clothes. He doesn’t have a refrigerator and cabinets full of junk food. He doesn’t have the latest gadgets, cars, televisions, or iPod. He has basic clothing, basic shelter, basic utensils, basic tools, and the most basic food (they eat simple, vegetarian meals consisting usually of rice, miso soup, vegetables, and pickled vegetables). Now, I’m not saying you should live exactly like a Zen monk — I certainly don’t. But it does serve as a reminder that there is much in our lives that aren’t necessary, and it can be useful to give some thought about what we really need, and whether it is important to have all the stuff we have that’s not necessary.

12. LIVE SIMPLY: The corollary of Rule 11 is that if something isn’t necessary, you can probably live without it. And so to live simply is to rid your life of as many of the unnecessary and unessential things as you can, to make room for the essential. Now, what is essential will be different to each person. To some, yoga and spending time with close friends might be essential. For others it will be nursing and volunteering and going to church and collecting comic books. There is no law saying what should be essential for you — but you should consider what is most important to your life, and make room for that by eliminating the other less essential things in your life.

“We have more possibilities available in each moment
than we realize.” – Thich Nhat Hanh






SEE RELATED POSTS:

From Failure to Success
Detox Your Mind
Rewrite Your Story
Journal - Progress and Support

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Rewrite Your Story


Detox Your Mind is about writing A Big List of Grievances in which you were asked to write down all your fears, cares, worries, upsets, grievances, everything that makes you afraid, sad, or hurt. You were asked to list people and situations that cause you any emotion other than perfect joy and happiness. THIS IS YOUR PAST… THESE ARE YOUR STORIES.

If you have NOT written your list yet, I urge you to do so. It’s like cleaning out the junk and putting everything in a trash bag and taking it to the curb. It is literally that simple. We love to analyze, fix and problem-solve, and hold on to situations we no longer want (hoping for change). We 'humans' love to make things into a big drama.

Look at your list. These are the stories that are active in your vibration. These are the thoughts that have been holding you hostage. BE AWARE OF THE STORIES YOU’VE BEEN TELLING.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT YOUR LIST ... JUST BE AWARE and realize that you can choose NEW stories that are TRUE from now on. You have a choice about what thoughts pass through your mind and you have a choice what words pass by your lips and out of your mouth.

This is what it means that ALL POWER HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOU ON EARTH AND HEAVEN.

You have the power to choose. You have the power to decide which thoughts you will think. You have the power to choose what words you will use when you are speaking to people. When some old habit emerges, like wanting to judge someone or complain or gossip, you have the power to say “I’m not going there!” It’s within your power to NOT go there. It gets pretty fun at this level!

Your stories are neither good nor bad. They are nothing, but to you they are NOT NOTHING. As long as they have a charge for you, as long as they keep coming up in your consciousness, you are a victim to your emotions.




For years, I spent the majority of time flip-flopping between various states of mind: feeling sorry for myself, expectation and excitement, anger, feeling sorry for myself some more, being pissed off at God, wondering what I was doing wrong.

I went through a period where I went into isolation and stopped interacting with people. I thought, “Well, maybe I’m just supposed to be alone and be quiet.” I seriously thought this, for years! I decided for years to be a victim.

A MIRACLE STORY by Myrtle Fillmore, co-founder of the Unity movement. She was sick with tuberculous and malaria her entire life. When she was in her late 40s, she was given the idea that sickness is an illusion, just an outward condition of a state of mind and that you can heal anything by standing firmly in the truth, and not wavering. She began affirming “I AM A CHILD OF GOD, THEREFORE I CANNOT INHERIT SICKNESS.”

Every day she lived in gratitude and appreciation as Spirit, not paying any attention whatsoever to her sickness, which she knew wasn’t real.

She denied all and every appearance, even though the doctors told her she had only a few months to live. The appearances did not change for TWO WHOLE YEARS! For two years, it looked like it wasn’t working. She still appeared to have malaria and tuberculous, but it didn’t matter to her!! She KNEW she was healed. She KNEW she was Spirit.

She kept living and affirming I AM A CHILD OF GOD THEREFORE I CANNOT INHERIT SICKNESS.” She kept on being alive and vibrant and grateful. She prayed daily making conscious contact with God remembering the truth of her Christ Identity.

And two years later, the appearances of sickness were gone. It had been healed two years previously on the mind level but for her it took two years to show changes on the physical level – and she went on to live 45 more years, being a huge inspiration in this world to millions of people.

It took Myrtle Fillmore two years of affirming the truth “I am a child of God, therefore I cannot inherit sickness” before the appearance of malaria and tuberculous disappeared. She didn’t waver. She held her perfection in her mind every minute of every day and DENIED APPEARANCES.

Read my miracle story of healing here: Miracle of Forgiveness




YOU CHOOSE A TRUE STORY AND YOU STICK WITH THAT ONE, NO MATTER WHAT. If you’re going to tell a story, you might as well tell a good one !! You might as well tell one that brings you joy.

“It is impossible to see two worlds. You must choose” - L-130

”Perception is consistent. What you see reflects your thinking and your thinking but reflects your choice of what you want to see. Your values are determiners of this, for what you value you must want to see, believing what you see is really there. No one can see a world his mind has not accorded value. And no one can fail to look upon what he believes he wants.” - ACIM

1. BECOME AWARE OF THE STORIES YOU TELL.
2. BE WILLING TO TELL NEW STORIES THAT ARE TRUE.

Become aware of your “I” when you speak. Who is the “I” that is speaking?
It is it the Christ, wholly powerful, certain, graceful, patient, and generous?
Or is it the fear-based Victim, the Complainer, the Worrier, the Doubter?

When you talk, who is speaking?
When you think, who is thinking?
Just start noticing.

You will start to notice it’s as if you have a whole cast of characters that live inside of you. ONE OF THESE CHARACTERS IS TRUE. The others are all false and want to keep you in hell, dangling a carrot out to you making you believe that “some day you will get there.”

Until the integration occurs – which is what the transformation is … when the two become one, duality ends, and there is only Oneness.

YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. You are magnificent, whole and creative. You have been endowed with all of God’s Power, with the ability to create like Him.


SEE RELATED POSTS:

From Failure to Success
Detox Your Mind
Mindfulness Practice
Journal - Progress and Support







Detox Your Mind


“Each day should be devoted to miracles. The purpose of time is to enable you to learn how to use time constructively.” – ACIM

Be daring; let yourself be born again and do something you have never done before. Fast from negative thinking or habits that no longer serve you, breaking old habits.

SPRING CLEANING

It’s necessary to look at conflict so it can be resolved. Make A BIG LIST OF GRIEVANCES; people who irritate you and problems or situations that annoy you.

In your quiet time, make a BIG LIST OF GRIEVANCES. Don’t try to be spiritual or holy. Make a list, in your journal or on a piece of paper, all the things that upset you or make you angry or afraid. Look with OPEN EYES at any conflict that is in your life. RELEASING, PURIFICATION and CLEAN-UP, most times, can look like a TOXIC wasteland, a much bigger mess than you started with.

Write out a list of NAMES OF PEOPLE.

Write out a list of SITUATIONS.

Write down the feelings you experience:  AFRAID … ANGRY … SAD …. FRUSTRATED

Then ask yourself, WHY DID I CAUSE THIS SITUATION? It’s an amazing day when you realize that you are the cause of everything that seems to happen to you.

What is my part in it?

What do I get out of it?

Are you willing to forgive yourself?

Are you willing to forgive others?

VERY IMPORTANT, MEGA IMPORTANT:

DO NOT – I REPEAT – DO NOT – POST THIS LIST ON-LINE. PLEASE DO NOT POST IT ANYWHERE. DO NOT SHOW IT TO ANYONE. DO NOT TALK ABOUT IT. DO NOT ANALYZE IT. JUST WRITE IT OUT.
 
This list for you and you alone. Your grievances and upsets have enough energy as it is, without you adding more energy to it by showing it to people or talking about it.




This work is about identifying THAT WHICH IS BLOCKING YOU and BEING WILLING TO LET IT GO. This work does not take years of therapy. It takes only one instant of willingness.

AND THAT IS ALL. We’re not going to analyze our hurts. We’re not going to attempt to fix them. We’re not going to feel guilty about the list. We’re not going to try to solve anything on the list. We are simply bringing our upsets into our awareness, front and center, where we can see them.

Bring these things into your awareness so that the LOVE THAT YOU ARE can heal them all perfectly.

In each of us is a memory of ALIVENESS, magnitude, grandeur, glory and grace. We know we are here to do something, which keeps calling to us, and we keep not doing it!

For the longest time, I would never look at problems or grievances. I tried to be spiritual and happy all the time. I would repeat sentences like “I have no problems"; "there is no world,” but I wasn’t in peace. I kept trying to push the conflict aside and just “be happy,” but I knew deep in my heart, I was missing some crucial piece of the puzzle.

Not looking at problems is actually the way to KEEP all those problems!

FORGIVENESS ENDS THE DREAM OF CONFLICT HERE -"Conflict must be resolved. It cannot be evaded, set aside, denied, disguised, seen somewhere else, called by another name, nor hidden by deceit of any kind, if it would be escaped. It must be seen exactly as it is, where it is thought to be, in the reality which has been given it, and with the purpose that the mind accorded it. For only then are its defenses lifted, and the truth can shine upon it as it disappears." L-333

The only way to really let problems go is to bring them into your awareness, into the light, and watch them change before your eyes. So we are going to look directly at conflict and problems with open eyes so that the light of our own forgiveness can shine it away! There is nothing to fear. Looking directly at your worst fear and walking directly into it would disappear!




When you are not fulfilling your function of living in love and creative expression (which is what You Are), you will find that every little thing annoys you and irritates you. Often people stay in jobs and relationships they don’t like, afraid to love, fearful of being creative and expressive. It often seems easier and more comfortable to keep playing small, than it does to step out of your comfort zone and start taking risks. 

Playing small is INTOLERABLE to the Spirit of you, the reaction is to be pissed off at everyone and everything. You wonder where and how your life went wrong. All you see about you is closed doors, missed opportunities, drudgery, routine and same old, same old.

“Trials are but lessons which you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain which what you chose before has brought to you.” – ACIM

So where before you might have attempted to solve or fix a problem “to get rid of it” now you can see that it is A LESSON that “you failed to learn presented again so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one.” And once you make “the better choice” in this situation, it will dissolve forever. Otherwise, it will have to be presented once again in some other future time until you learn the lesson it came to teach.

“There is a deep responsibility you owe yourself, and one which you must learn to remember ALL the time. The lesson will seem hard at first, but you will learn to love it, when you realize that it is true, and constitutes a tribute to your power. You who have sought AND FOUND littleness, remember this: Every decision that you make stems from WHAT YOU THINK YOU ARE, and represents the value that you PUT upon yourself. Believe the little can content you, and, by LIMITING yourself, you will NOT be satisfied. For your function is NOT little, and it is only by finding your function, and fulfilling it that you can ESCAPE from littleness. There is no doubt about what your function IS, for the Holy Spirit KNOWS what it is. There is no doubt about its magnitude, for it reaches you through Him, FROM Magnitude. You do not have to strive for it, because you HAVE it. All your striving must be directed AGAINST LITTLENESS, for it DOES require vigilance to protect your magnitude in this world. To hold your magnitude in perfect awareness, in a world of littleness, is a task the little cannot undertake. Yet it is asked of you, in tribute to your magnitude, and NOT your littleness. Nor is it asked of you alone.” –ACIM

When you have a sincere desire for your life to change and you say YES, YES to God, YES to a new way of living, the changes will come of themselves, you put things in motion.

You are being reborn; your past is deleted. You begin to allow yourself to BE SHOWN what to do next, where to go, what to say – with no reference to the past. My advice is DO NOT LEAVE SITUATIONS OR PEOPLE. Do not leave your job. LET EVERYTHING UNFOLD. Do not push things to happen. Just relax, trust, and everything lines up perfectly in a way you could never plan yourself.

Ask Christ to dissolve everything and everyone that is not part of the Divine Plan of your life – this includes sickness and addiction. Allow the Light of Christ to be in your awareness and imagine it dissolving everything that is a block or obstacle to fulfilling your God-given function in the world.

In the beginning, as you practice living in joy, finding out what you love to do that makes you happy (because your function is happiness), you might begin to experience things falling away.

Simply start living in ways that make you happy. Find out what you want to do and start doing it. Nothing is holding you back except your own judgments and grievances.




Now you may be wondering how to deal with these people in your life who push all your buttons, the people you have to live with that you can’t get away from. You’ve tried forgiveness and it doesn’t work. I know, I’ve been there.

With my family, there was a lot of conflict, with brief moments of joy. I would use ideas from A Course in Miracles thinking they would change into loving characters. But they didn’t change. In fact, things got worse. I woke up every morning thinking it was going to be a new day, but there was always more conflict. The main theme in my relationships was people pushing me away. At least that’s what it felt like to me – they kept me at a distance and I was always trying to figure out how to make things work. Then I had a revelation! Just stay in joy! Stay in my own space and be happy. Get out of the battleground! Don’t participate in it, not even a little! And that’s exactly what I did. I started finding my own joy, even while he was in the same room.

I started finding that space where God is. I looked at people with new eyes – as someone without a past to me, as a friend and brother in Christ, as someone I loved and appreciated.

Then it got even MORE uncomfortable. The happier I became, the angrier these people seemed to get. I kept standing in joy. I didn’t waver. I kept remembering God and I kept remembering not to participate in conflict (which can be difficult to do when it’s right in your face).

One of my very favorite lines in A Course in Miracles is this, and I use it daily:

I HAVE DONE THIS THING AND IT IS THIS I WOULD UNDO.

I kept taking 100% responsibility: I AM THE CAUSE OF THIS CONFLICT. I AM CAUSING IT, AND I DON’T WANT IT ANYMORE.

When you stand in consistent joy, the people around you will either:

1. change and join you where you are in that place of joy

OR

2. they’ll disappear entirely

Don’t participate in the conflict. Simply find ways to stay in joy. WHEN YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND, THE WORLD CHANGES WITH YOU.

“We have said that you cannot change your mind by changing your behavior, but we have also said, and many times before, that you CAN change your mind. When your mood tells you that you have willed wrongly, and this is so whenever you are not joyous, then KNOW this need not be

In every case you have thought wrongly about some Soul that God created, and are perceiving images your ego makes in a darkened glass. Think honestly what you have thought that God would NOT have thought, and what you have NOT thought that God would have you think. Search sincerely for what you have done and left undone accordingly. And then change your minds to THINK WITH GOD’S.” –ACIM

Change your mind to think with God’s. How lovely … How simple!

SEE RELATED POSTS:

From Failure to Success
Mindfulness Practice
Rewrite Your Story

pingoat

Monday, 31 August 2015

From Failure to Success



“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun

Failures are just as important as successes when trying to learn how to improve, especially when it comes to changing habits. I’m sure every one of us has tried to quit something and failed, or tried to do something positive and failed. The key, of course, is to not just give up after failure, but to reset and analyze what went wrong and why, and to plan to overcome those obstacles the next time.

1. DON'T TAKE ON TOO MUCH AT ONCE: Most of us have done this — I want to wake early, to start running, to eat healthier, to be more organized, and to write every day … all at once! No matter how much enthusiasm we have for all of these goals, taking on even just two habits at once is setting ourselves up for failure. It’s certainly possible, but it’s not for those of us who have difficulty changing habits. It's estimated that you triple or even quadruple your chances of success if you focus on one habit at a time, for one month at a time. Devote all of your energy to that habit change, and once it’s on autopilot, move on to the next one.

2. DO YOUR RESEARCH: With every habit change, it's important to read as much as possible about it, before and during. Do research to find out strategies for success, potential obstacles, good tools that will help you be successful and keep you motivated.

3. COMMIT YOUR PLAN: It’s easy to wake up, jump out of bed, and yell out loud, “I’m going to make a change today!” Who among us hasn’t done that? But just telling ourselves, whether out loud or quietly in our minds, that we’re going to change isn’t enough. You have to write down your goal. Write a start date. Write an end date (30 days is a good time frame). Write down exactly what you’re going to do. Write down how you’re going to be accountable, what your rewards are, what the obstacles are, what your triggers are: put it on paper and stick to the plan.

4. BE FULLY COMMITTED: I’ve done this a few times myself: I will say, “I think I’ll quit smoking today.” Then I would throw away my pack of cigarettes. Then I would go for as long as I can (often half a day) and then cave in and go buy another pack. Then I feel guilty for a little while until I half commit to quit again. That doesn’t work. You have to fully commit. That means tell the world about it — put it on your blog, tell your family, friends, or co-workers. The more people, the better! Publish your entire plan. Put up a sign on your desk and refrigerator. Make a solemn promise to your child (this worked for me when quitting smoking).




5. LOG YOUR PROGRESS: You can change habits without keeping a log, but a log just increases your chances of success — and why wouldn’t you want to do that? Things are hard enough without using all the tools at your disposal. A log helps you succeed because it reminds you to be consistent. It keeps you aware of what you are actually doing. It motivates you, because you want to write good things in that log. It helps keep you accountable before the people you’ve made a commitment to.

6. THINK THROUGH YOUR MOTIVATION: What people call discipline, I call motivation. Why are you disciplined enough to do something? Because you have the right motivation. When you lose the motivation, you lose the discipline. Before you start your habit change, think through your motivations. Why are you doing this? What will keep you going when you forget your reasons? Public commitment is a big motivator, of course, but you should have internal ones too. Write these down in your plan.

7. REALIZE THE OBSTACLES: Every habit change is a path littered with obstacles. Unfortunately, when we hit some of these, we often quit. Or we’ll try again, but hit the same obstacles again and again with the same result. Instead, think it through, and anticipate your obstacles. If you have failed before, think about what obstacle stopped you. If you have never done this habit change before, do some research and read about others who have succeeded and failed at it, and find out what obstacles you should expect. Then make a plan for what you will do when you face the obstacles.

8. KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS: This is an important key to changing habits. Every habit has at least one trigger — an event that immediately precedes the habit. Some habits have more than one trigger — for example, smoking triggers included waking up, eating, stressful events, etc. Each time these events happened, almost without fail, I would smoke — either that, or I would get the urge to do so. The more consistent the link to the trigger, the stronger the habit. So when you try to break a habit, you have to know all of your triggers (log it for a few days) and then create a positive habit to replace the negative habit for each of the triggers. Running, for example, can replace smoking when stressed. For positive habit changes, such as exercise, you need a trigger that will happen every day (or as often as you need it to happen). For exercise, you could exercise right after your morning coffee (if you have coffee at the same time every day already) or right after work, if you get off work at the same time every day. Put your triggers in your written plan, and be very consistent with them — when the triggers happen, do the habit immediately, every single time. The less consistent you are with your triggers, the weaker the habit will be. If you attach a habit to a trigger, you have to do the habit every single time, immediately following the trigger. If you do it sometimes and not others, you will not have a habit. Try not to miss a single time if possible, because once you miss once, you’ll be tempted to miss another time, and then a third, and then you’ve got nothing.




9. DON'T CHANGE FOCUS TOO SOON: Often we start a habit change, and within a week or two our focus changes to something else. The habit most likely isn’t firmly ingrained by then, and so we’ve wasted all that time trying to form a new habit and then abandoning it before it’s on autopilot. Instead, stick to this habit for at least 30 days, and be consistent as possible.

10. DON'T QUIT AFTER FAILURE: If you do miss once, or twice or three times, don’t give up. Just figure out why you missed, and plan to beat that obstacle next time. Then be as consistent as possible from then on out, until the habit is ingrained. If you quit, you’ve let the failure beat you. But if you reset your resolve, and learn from your failure, the failure then becomes a positive thing that helps you to succeed. Failure as a stepping stone to success.

11. HAVE SUPPORT: There will be times when you falter, almost invariably. Who will you turn to when you need encouragement? If you don’t have a good answer to this, you need to think it through. If you have a significant other, that’s a good choice, but have more than one supporter. Maybe your mom, your sister, your best friend, your boss. Maybe an online friend or three. Best yet, join a support group or an online forum full of people doing the same thing. Make the commitment to them, and ask them to help you when you hit rough spots. Make a promise to call them if you do. Put this in your written plan.

SEE RELATED POSTS:

Detox Your Mind
Mindfulness Practice
Rewrite Your Story





30 Days to Transformation



To change an old habit or form a new habit, it takes anywhere from 21 to 66 days. This of course, will depend on the individual and the habit or change being implemented. As change or growth is an ongoing process, I have chosen 30 days (or 1 month increments) to incorporate these new habits. This time-frame is not cast in stone. If it takes two months or more, or even less, due to various circumstances, so be it. There is no pressure 'to get it done' in any specific number of days. Stay focussed on the goal at hand and not the time.

If you could pick just one or two habits to create in the next few months — habits that will have the most impact on your life — what would they be?

I have shared some life changing habits below for consideration to develop and transform your life. If you have others that you would prefer to work on, please feel free to make those changes. I want to make this as stress-free as possible. Following one's own goals are much more motivating and productive then following a list that is of no interest or value to you.

I will set up a 'journal' section online if anyone wishes to share their progress or road-blocks publicaly, either for motivation or support.




How to Develop the Habits

• Do a 30-day challenge, focusing on just ONE habit.
• Write it out on paper, along with your motivations, obstacles, and strategies for overcoming them.
• Commit fully.
• Log your progress.
• Remain accountable — journal on your progress each day.
• Have support for when you falter — either in real life or online.
  —>For anyone wishing to journal their progress and support online, please click on the following link:  Journal - Progress and Support
• Reward every little success.
• If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again.

Six Life Changing Habits

1. POSITIVE THINKING: Positive thinking is the keystone habit that will help you form the other important habits. Positive thinking by itself won’t lead to success, but it certainly goes a long way to motivate you to do the other things required.

When I allowed myself to think negative thoughts, I would end up failing. But when I learned how to quash negative thoughts and think positive ones instead, I succeeded. Practicing this over and over, until I was able to form just about any habit I needed, has been invaluable.

Focus on this habit first, and you will have a much easier time with any of the others. Start by becoming more aware of your negative self-talk — journal throughout the day, making an entry each time you notice a negative thought. Soon you will recognize them, and be able to quash them.

2. FOCUS ON ONE GOAL: Focus on one task, one habit and one goal at a time. While it might seem difficult, focusing on one goal at a time is the most powerful way of achieving your goals. When you try to take on many goals at once, you are spreading your focus and energy too thin — the two critical components for achieving a goal.

If you have many goals you want to accomplish, pick one to focus on first. If it’s a long-term goal, break it into a mini-goal you can accomplish this month. Pick an action you can do today. Keep doing this until the goal is accomplished — complete an action every day, pick the next mini-goal to work on, then when your One Goal is completed, focus on the next goal.

Some goals are ongoing ones — like blogging every day, or exercising every day. In those cases, turn them into habits — focus exclusively on turning the goal into a habit, until the habit is ingrained. Then focus on the next goal.

3. ELIMINATE THE NON-ESSENTIAL: First, identify the essential — the things in your life that are most important to you, that you love the most. Then eliminate everything else. This simplifies things and leaves you with the space to focus on the essential. This process works with anything — with your life in general, with work projects and tasks, with emails and other communication.

This will change your life because it will help you to simplify, to focus on what is important, and to build the life you want.

See also: DETOX YOUR MIND

4. DAILY ROUTINE: It’s so simple, but creating a daily routine for yourself can make a big difference in your life. The best routines, I’ve found, come at the start and end of the day — both your workday and your day in general. That means, develop a routine for when you awake, for when you first start working, for when you finish your workday, and for the end of your evening.

This will help you get a great start to your day, and finish your day by preparing for the next day. It will help you firmly root the productive habits you want to firm in your everyday life. It will help you focus on what’s important, not just what comes up. It will help you make sure you get done all the things you really want to make sure gets done every day, and that can mean a lot.




5. SINGLE-TASKING: The opposite of multi-tasking — This is life-changing! A couple powerful reasons:

• You’ll be more effective with your tasks and get more done. It’s hard to achieve important things if you are constantly switching tasks and distracted by other “urgent” things.
• You will be less stressed overall and (in my experience) happier throughout your day.

6. KINDNESS: Kindness is a habit that can be cultivated. Focus on it every day for a month and you will see profound changes in your life. You will feel better about yourself as a person. You will see people react to you differently and treat you better, over the long run. It’s Law of Attraction … what you give, you receive.

First, make it a goal to do something kind for someone each day. At the beginning of the day, figure out what that kind act will be and then do it during the day. Second, each time you interact with someone, try to be kind, be friendly, be compassionate. Third, try to go beyond small kindnesses to larger acts of compassion, volunteering to help those in need and taking the initiative to relieve suffering.

7. EXERCISE: (Feel free to change or add additional goals, such as quitting smoking, eating healthier, meditation, etc.) Sure, exercise is healthy and all that, but how exactly is it life changing?

• It makes you feel better about yourself, and more confident. That leads to better success with other positive changes.
• It reinforces the positive thinking habit — you need to think positive in order to sustain exercise.
• It relieves stress and gives you time to think — this leads to better mental well-being in your life overall.





Journal - Progress and Support

Rewrite Your Story






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