Let’s Play Outside the Sandbox!

Are you stuck? Are you going in circles? Are you trying to move through a challenge but keep finding yourself back at the same place of not knowing what new step to take?

OK! Take a deep breath and get ready to throw some sand around . . .

1. This one is always fun! Grab your pen and paper and play with this question: If I had five other lives to live who would I be, what would I do, where would I live and who would I be sharing my life with? Don’t hesitate, don’t think too much, just put on your biggest smile and leave your critical self in a different room. This variation of one of Julia Cameron’s exercises in The Artist’s Way encourages and allows you to think big, think wild, use very broad brush strokes and respond with unleashed passion! You might be surprised by the amazing things that bubble to the surface: hidden dreams, core values you’ve put on a shelf.

2. Create a Play Day! Wait … don’t ask “Who is she kidding? I don’t have time for a play day!” Instead pick one icky sticky issue that is frustrating you and holding you back. Now schedule a day THIS WEEK to devote to that issue only ~ one of my personal favorites is when I get in the mode of judging myself (and often times, others, also) too harshly. So my game day focus becomes “Go one full day without judgment” – not an easy one sometimes. But, create some consequences for each time you slip up during the day, i.e., eat a spoonful of pickle relish (ick), pay my spouse $1, express gratitude to someone. Allow yourself to be truly outrageous about whatever potentially serious or heavy issue you’re facing – give yourself the freedom to be so outrageous that your thinking is truly shaken up and creates equally outrageous solutions and probably some laughter as you consider them. And, at the end of the day reward yourself with something special for your efforts. You really cannot lose at this game of discovery.

3. One of my favorites requires you to ask the following question and be willing to really hear your answer: “What benefit am I getting from staying stuck in my box?” Does staying in your box allow you to remain in your comfort zone? Are you scared that you might not be able to handle the risk taking that in your mind is closely associated with cliff jumping? Whatever your answer is, quite often the answer can bring amazing discoveries launching your forward.

4. Finally, have you listened to your intuition lately? The purpose of getting out of our current (sand) box is self-expression and growth, living our possibilities. So, every day for the next week set aside 15 minutes to do nothing! Sit on the patio and gaze at the stars, curl up in a comfy chair, put down your book, turn off the television and music – whatever feels good and right for you. Just BE! And then … simply acknowledge what comes up.

Congratulations! You have thrown sand all over the place! That tidy little sandbox shows evidence of true creativity and movement … and the joy of an unfettered spirit!

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Staying Young!

I had an opportunity this week to spend some time with a friend who is feeling “old” and a bit under-appreciated. She is having difficulty with the concept of staying young right now.  She has family and friends and is quite active on one hand. But on the other hand over the last several months finds herself withdrawing from her usual level of social activity without having a reason she can clearly define ~ she sees it as perhaps taking a “meditative sabbatical”.

As our conversation continued and I observed her sometimes animated stories balanced by some that were quite introspective I realized that her conversation was sprinkled liberally with references to things she “could no longer do” ~ or at least not as easily as in years past.

Obviously this conversation has stayed on my mind and as I’ve dissected it I decided to come up with what I choose to call a …

STAYING YOUNG BLUEPRINT

• Throw out all those nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.

• Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down and they are often the ones who tell you to “act your age” and stop trying to feel young “again”!

• Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, writing a book, whatever sounds interesting to you. The key here is to never let the brain become idle. We’ve all heard the saying “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop” sometimes allowing our imaginations to create less than positive things to contemplate.

• Enjoy the simple things.

• Invest in spiritual time for yourself: meditate, walk a labyrinth, gaze at a baby’s face and ponder the wonder of life, read a book that guides you to contemplate a power greater than self.

• Giggle with glee. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

• Moving through life brings tears. Endure, grieve, and move on. YOU are the only person who is with you for your entire life! Be ALIVE while you are alive.

• Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, books, whatever. Your home is your refuge. Make it your place of comfort.

• Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

• Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to the closest city to a foreign country, to a park … but NOT to where the guilt is.

• Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

And so, for my friend and my readers, I wish you love and laughter, joy and exuberance, a quiet mind and a peaceful place as you as you travel the path of STAYING YOUNG.

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Don’t Give Up Your Dream!

Don’t Give Up Your Dream

There are a lot of people in our current environment who have lost jobs and are either thinking of creating their own business or have already launched it.

Generally these people are ready to accept and take responsibility for their own success … they no longer want to feel dependent upon the whims of an employer so they take the initial steps toward setting up their business, they determine what they want to do, they choose a name for their business, they start to think of creating a website, home office or renting office space, etc.  . . .  and WHOOSH ~ fear comes flying in!

That fear puts all of us in the position of living out of our memory, not out of our creative imagination.  We know we can do this but so many of our friends think the best path is to keep searching in corporate America for yet another job. Our heart says we need to move forward; we don’t want to look back because we don’t want to go back.   We start to feel like we’ve outgrown the people and concepts that we have held close and dear for so long.  And that is a scary thought indeed ~ who will we turn to when we feel lonely or need to seek advice?

That hesitation can be a major killer!

So let’s consider the well known story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree:
The tree is planted, given water and fertilizer but shows no growth that first year,
The second year the tree is given water and fertilizer and shows no growth in the year,
The third year the tree is given water and fertilizer and shows no growth in the year,
The fourth year the tree is again given water and fertilizer and still shows no growth,
The fifth year the tree is given water and fertilizer and … shows 90 feet of growth by year’s end!

Might I suggest the moral of that story is that you don’t give up your dream because you don’t see anything to show for your efforts immediately?

Instead, follow the 3 R’s:

Reputation – Create and maintain a standing in the opinion of others in your community that reflects your integrity, attainments (both personal and professional), respect, and your good name.

Reliability – Keep your word.  Always!  Be the person that clients can depend on for great service, great products and great support.

Relationships – Develop, nurture and support relationships in the community, neighborhood, schools, spiritual centers to create and increase referrals and repeat business.

 Believe in Yourself and Be Bold!

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What Have You Learned?

Last week I had a long distance “coffee” with a dear friend – our time to each sit with our coffee and just chat since we seldom have a chance to get together in person.  One of the first things she asked me was “Well, Sally, what have you learned lately?”  It is sort of a running joke among many of my friends that I simply never seem to stop researching, reading, exploring – all in an effort to learn more about spirituality , this world we live in and how it, and the myriad of people on it, all function!

And so, I spent a little time pondering her question and making a list of things I have learned so far in this lifetime . . .  Today I’m sharing five of those things with you ~ can you relate to any of them?

  • I’ve learned that a strong code of ethics is reliable like a compass. Honoring my promises to others and myself and maintaining high integrity will keep me on a mindful and positive path.
  • I’ve learned that to accomplish anything really worthwhile, I must enlist the help of other people.
  • I’ve learned that education, experience, and memories are three things that no one can take away from me.
  • I’ve learned that is impossible to teach without learning something myself.
  • I’ve learned that most people resist change, and yet it is the only thing that brings progress.

I had such an enjoyable time considering some of my life lessons to date that I have decided to add “What I have learned today. . .” to my daily journaling process.  Each lesson learned is another blessing to celebrate in my Gratitude Journal.  I invite you to join me by celebrating your life lessons also!

For all that has been, Thank You!

          For all that will be, Yes!              

                                                        ~ Dag Hammarskjold

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No Worry!

One of my sons frequently says “No worry” as a way to diffuse any leaning toward undue levels of concern about something. It always makes me smile and immediately lightens my thoughts about whatever topic we were discussing. “Not to worry,” is another familiar remark used by many with, most likely, the same intent. Either has a reassuring effect when said out loud and seems to carry with it the promise that everything is fine in spite of any evidence to the contrary.

There really isn’t much benefit in worrying. Nothing is wrong with legitimate concern, but worry suggests that we have taken our concern and let it get out of control. I recall hearing from a friend “Worry is interest paid on a debt that may never come due” and thinking what a profound statement that is. We have become so accustomed to worrying that almost every time we are confronted with thoughts or reports of money shortages, unemployment, disease, or other situations of concern, we worry,  worry, worry. If we dwell excessively on these negatives, we actually bring them into our experience, for that is exactly how the Law of Attraction works – we bring into our world what we think most about. If, however, we mentally reject these things as not being the truth of our experience, then they have no mental equivalent from which to form. As I have shared in previous posts, what we think about and give energy to, we bring about in our lives.

Perhaps one of the best cures for worrying is to train our minds in the opposite direction – to contemplate harmony, peace, abundance, and love; to create mentally the pictures of what we intend to see become reality ~ for our own well-being as well as that of others.

My wish for you is “No Worry”

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Is It Time For You To Tumble Some Blocks?

Have you ever watched an exuberant child playing with a set of blocks?  First, he concentrates mightily on building an elaborate structure.  Then, with great joy, he knocks his tower down, scattering blocks all across the floor.  His giggles and laughter rings in the air.  He scrambles to gather his blocks.  He is eager to begin again.

As responsible adults, many of us lose our sense of humor in knocking down some blocks we have carefully stacked in our lives.  We look at the desire for change and call it failure.  To leave a stagnant job or end a painful relationship may feel impossible.  We feel imprisoned by the choices we have made.

Dakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.  To refuse to leave when something in our lives has outlived its value can be a mistake that only deepens our pain and frustration.  Particularly when a situation is destructive to our well-being, we must learn to move on.  Continuing on that current path deprives us, and the others involved, too.  To keep an unsatisfying job deprives me of joyful work, and another of a job that would be of value to them.  It deprives my employer of an employee eager to participate in the business.

The Hindus sometimes describe a Hindu triad as the manifestation of the supreme God in three faces – the creator, the maintainer or preserver, and the destroyer or transformer.  Each of these roles is important in realizing the full experience of our lives.  When it is time to start over, we can call on the divine transformer within us to help us exit that particular segment of our life with grace and gratitude.   Are you ready to ask for help?

My job is to keep renovating the structures I build …  thereby giving me new adventures and opportunities to grow as well as freeing energy for others to utilize in manners more suitable to their needs also.

And so, I learn to let go!

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ARE YOU READY TO FIRE UP YOUR DREAM?

My wish for you … That each of you receives the gift of inspiration that will be the spark to ignite you to make your goals and dreams happen in the next six months, 12 months, two years!

It doesn’t matter where you are now; you can still change your path and be where you want to be by whatever deadline you have set.

Believe me when I tell you that it is not a matter of skill, but a matter of attitude and willingness.  You must want it badly enough to cultivate and nurture the attitude that YOU CAN HAVE ANYTHING YOU WANT IF YOU ARE WILLING TO DO WHAT IT TAKES.

The word “willing” is the key word.  So many of us put limitations on what we are willing to do and then become disappointed when our goals are not achieved.  Nothing worthwhile in life is attainable without the willingness to work long, hard and consistently!

It seems that those three words sometimes scare people off.

How very sad, because they will never experience the fullness of achievement or have the satisfaction of knowing “I can do anything … Where there is a will there is a way!”  It is so interesting that those three words become softer words, easier to wrap your arms around, when you love what you are doing and it no longer feels like a burden to work long, hard and with consistency.

The bottom line of all of this is:  If you will double, triple, quadruple the effort that you are putting out now and not sabotage yourself with “just activity”, you will have double, triple or quadruple the results that you have today.  Anything is possible if you want it badly enough.

I know you probably have some lofty goals,

therefore you must believe that you are a lofty person!

“There is inside you all the potential to be whatever you want to be, all the energy to do whatever you want to do;  Imagine yourself as you would like to be, doing what you want to do and each day take one step towards your dream.  One morning you will awake to find that you are the person you dreamed of being – doing what you want to do simply because you had the courage to believe in your potential.”

(Author unknown – but greatly appreciated)

Please consider seeking guidance from a trusted friend/adviser as you consider these questions:

What do you feel best about?                                              What do you feel a bit weak about?

Who do you think may be of assistance?                            What don’t you know?

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