Accept . . . Then Act

Meditation & Yoga practice started today with our teacher sharing her lessons on “having to be right” that sometimes shows up as the “need to be understood.”  Both can interfere with the acceptance of what is.  This set the stage for our intention to live in the moment – breathing and doing yoga.

Letting go . . . accepting what is; not my strong suit.

Thirty years ago I started applying techniques not exactly consistent with acceptance.  The philosophies behind these techniques, they’re everywhere.

  • If you want to accomplish something – write it down. Yes; put those goals on paper.  Being a Psych and Self Help aficionado – this advice is ubiquitous.
  • Visualize the result – it will materialize.  Every New Age enthusiast and reader of The Secret knows this!
  • The power of positive thinking – thank you Norman Vincent Peale.
  • Think it – say it – do it . . .  or as my bestie says:  thought – word – deed

The power of these concepts rests in the strength of our belief.  Some of it is just how our brain works.  Negative people see crappy shit.  Positive people see the good around them.  Our brains focus on what we look for, filtering out everything else.  Takes a nice knock on the head to thump us out of our rut.

After thirty years of writing down my “wants” – creating vision boards, scrap books, life goal lists – how do I turn that off?  Should I?  What is real and when do I follow my bliss?  Can I know when I’ve crossed the line to “magical thinking?”

I’m not opposed to holding contradictory beliefs – we all do to some extent.  A juicy paradox can be so appealing.  It can also make me crazy.

Letting go . . . of things, people and situations.  Not easy, but possibly a key to happiness.  Marie Kondo, in her “Tidying Up” book says I should release anything that doesn’t bring me joy.  Let me live without a bunch of “stuff” that I don’t even use; let toxic people exit my universe; leave a bad … whatever; could mean peace – and yes, joy!

So why do we hold onto every damn thing?  According to Daniel Kahneman in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, we all have a serious aversion to loss.  We “attach values to gains and losses rather than to wealth.”   We’ve grown up with the proverb “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” – so we see the risk as too much.

Well, Thoreau did say that  “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”  Could be they’d rather live with the devil they know.  Ouch.  Let me give risk a try.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

“Accept – then act.  Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.  Always work with it, not against it.  Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy.  This will miraculously transform your whole life.” ― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

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It’s All In My Head

Who reads dystopian novels when politics and social norms are going off the rails?  When deadly hurricanes, monsoons, fires and earthquakes consume the planet?  That would be me.  Just finished Margaret Atwood’s hellish trilogy: Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAdam.  Her imagination is extraordinary, and in today’s environment sadly believable.

Between my fixation on the political hullabaloo, reading apocalyptic books and Yuval Harari’s Sapiens, History of Humankind, I’ve indulged a serious look at the worst case scenario.

Curiously, I’m more aware than ever that “worst” – “best” – “bad” – “good” are just words.  World events may seem scary, dangerous; even infuriating.  For some they’re deadly.  How I internalize them, how I meet them, is peculiar to my personal beliefs.  This perspective determines whether I’m miserable or content.

A character in MaddAdam was weeding a garden and thought:

“… Weed is simply our name for a plant that annoys us by getting in the way of our Human plans.”

It struck me how easy it is to label things, even people and events as weed-like when they annoy me and intrude on my plans.  They aren’t – that’s all in my head.

As I digest all this the Serenity Prayer comes to mind:

The “wisdom” part – that’s what I need.  Knowing when to chill and when to act is hard AF.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

“I have invented the world I see . . .   I have invented this situation as I see it.” ― A Course In Miracles (Lesson 32)

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Incremental Daily Progress – Drip, Drip, Drip

“… incremental daily progress (negative or positive) is what actually causes transformation. A figurative drip, drip, drip. Showing up, every single day, gaining in strength, organizing for the long haul, building connection, laying track—this subtle but difficult work is how culture changes.” – Seth Godin

Today’s blog post by Seth Godin reveals the key to making change.  It’s not flashy, sexy and provocative … no, it’s ordinary, unadorned tenacity.  The kind of resolve sustained by passion.  A want so deep and strong it pulls me through the misery of tedium.  Thru the monotonous research, analysis, writing, corroboration; re-writing.  The dull study, practice, training and tweaking before more rehearsal.  If it’s worth having it’s worth the trudge.

Four years ago I read the book, Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge, M.D.  They told me that if I want to be vital and energetic; to maintain the get-up-and-go that gets more elusive each year – I need to stay active (“Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life”).  Oh; and I need to eat right (“Quit eating crap!”).  Two of my favorite things!  HA!  Gotta REALLY want health to make that effort.

The same goes for my education, my writing, my activism.  In his book The Dip, Seth Godin says, “The Dip is the secret to your success.  The people who set out to make it through the Dip—the people who invest the time and the energy and the effort to power through the dip—those are the ones who become the best in the world.”

“The Dip is the long slog between starting and mastery.”   

“IMPORTANT NOTE:  Successful people don’t just ride out the Dip.  They don’t just buckle down and survive it.  No, they lean into the Dip.  They push harder, changing the rules as they go.”

Not everything is “dip worthy.”  I must ask myself: am I settling for being “average”?  Am I making a difference in this rat race?  Am I living in a “cul-de-sac” AKA dead end”?  Is my job a cul-de-sac?  What are the time wasters showing up in my life (Facebook, TV, solitaire)?

Seth encourages me to “find a Dip to conquer” – to quit the idling cul-de-sacs, quit the stuff I don’t care about; stop doing what I know I’ll only ever be mediocre at.

Life is the little things; and the “drip, drip, drip” of the Dip.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

 “Water is fluid, soft & yielding but water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield … what is soft is strong.” ― Lao Tzu

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Time to Wonder Woman Up!

mean faceThere are many obvious ways that people try and make us feel small.  The more obvious the insult, the less likely I’ll believe it.  It’s those sneaky, sideways slights and cheeky comments from people I know and like that trip me up.

My new mantra: “Don’t Take Things Personally,” lifts me above the crappy wave, but it’s still a crappy wave and easy to get sucked under.

In her book Presence; Bringing your BOLDEST SELF to your BIGGEST CHALLENGES, Amy Cuddy tells me to believe and own my story.

“Presence stems from believing in and trusting yourself – your real, honest feelings, values, and abilities.”

Yes!  When I trust myself those snarky comments don’t take root.

She also suggests that we “can pose our way to presence … The way we carry ourselves from moment to moment blazes the trail our lives take.”

“Your body shapes your mind.  Your mind shapes your behavior.  And your behavior shapes your future.  Let your body tell you that you’re powerful and deserving, and you become more present, enthusiastic, and authentically yourself.” 

Do I choose “Powerful” – or “Powerless” poses?  Which of these poses from her book strike a chord?  Yikes – I see myself, ouch.

Power Poses

“The way you carry yourself is a source of personal power – the kind of power that is the key to presence.  It’s the key that allows you to unlock yourself – your abilities, your creativity, your courage, and even your generosity.  It doesn’t give you skills or talents you don’t have; it helps you share the ones you do have.  It doesn’t make you smarter or better informed; it makes you more resilient and open.  It doesn’t change who you are; it allows you to be who you are.”

Cuddy suggests we identify the best parts of ourselves – and believe them.  Start by answering to a few questions posed by organizational behaviorists:

  • “What three words best describe you as an individual?
  • What is unique about you that leads to your happiest times and best performance?
  • Reflect on a specific time – at work or at home – when you were acting in a way that felt “natural” and “right.” How can you repeat that behavior today?
  • What are your signature strengths and how can you use them?”

IDENTIFY, KNOW AND BELIEVE!

“When we feel powerful, we make ourselves bigger”

Thank You!  It’s time for me to get my Wonder Woman on!

Wonder Woman 1.2

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

“As we let our own light shine, we .. give other people permission to do the same.  As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

This talk was presented at an official TED conference:

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Okay Universe – Whatever it is; Bring It!

Tybee IslandThe quality of the affirmations I valued and kept 27 years ago surprised me.  Yes, this is Now-me judging Then-me. Being seriously woo-woo back in the day, I was nervous to see what I wanted to manifest into my life.  I’m rather delighted with Then-me.  Two favorites:

“It’s okay to make noise.  I express myself freely and joyously.  I speak up for myself with ease.  I express my creativity.  I am willing to change.” – Louise Hay; You Can Heal Your Life

“I am harmonious, happy and divinely magnetic, and now draw to me my ships over a calm sea.” – Florence Scovel Shin; Your Word is Your Wand

The visual of drawing harmonious, happy “ships over a calm sea” is flat out appealing.  Not limiting “my ships” to a material, relational or personal specific was brilliantly done Then-me!  Considering some of the crazy going on at the time the desire for “a calm sea” wasn’t surprising.

Eight years ago my affirmations were full of “success” appeals – somehow I’d morphed into a full-fledged follower of the “prosperity gospel.”  Our culture, the media, my workplace and some golden handcuffs had me chasing all sorts of worldly things that won’t necessarily bring lasting happiness.

Most recently my affirmations were about what generates joyful emotions within me.

  • Learning; the spark of joy when I “get it”
  • Being Physical Fit; strong, graceful and confident
  • Prayer & Meditation; feeling connection to “the All”
  • Connecting with my Power; knowing, without a doubt I create my world
  • Hiking with Friends; the peace of nature and loving camaraderie
  • Being with my husband & pets; chillin’ and playin’
  • Work that makes a difference and brings rewards

When I pair positive thoughts with this joy – I get giggly – or so darn grateful tears come to my '95 - Girls weekend, Meeyes.  THIS; this joy is worth manifesting in my life.

Instead of simply thinking myself a better reality; I can feel that reality into existence.

In his book You Are the Placebo, Dr. Joe Dispenza says that when we combine a thought, a clear intent and “embody the event emotionally” we change our brain; our “autonomic nervous system.”   Dr. Joe says this “is vital because that’s the seat of the subconscious programming that’s been calling the shots.” 

“It’s generally accepted in psychology that a person who experiences intense emotions tends to be more receptive to ideas.”

When these intense emotions are “Elevated” vs. “Limited” I’m building my brain to a better future.  By focusing on gratitude I generate “the ultimate state of receivership.”

Let me embrace the attitude of gratitude and allow the Universe to bring it!  What it looks like is immaterial.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥Mud Run

Nothing is too good to be true

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