Posts tagged: making decisions

The Best Solutions Come From Love

solutions-love-coffee-Vondenbrink

“The best solutions will be found through loving thoughts and perhaps a good cup of coffee.” ~ Jen Vondenbrink

What I’ve found to be true is the best, most creative solutions have come when I’ve given up the “have to” thoughts and instead focused on loving thoughts.  When the solution presents itself, I find myself saying, “Of course, that is the right way to go.”

Loving thoughts are those that have no agenda but the good for all concerned.  In the business world, this may be called a “win-win” solution.  No one loses.  Everyone gains.

When you engage in thoughts that are not loving when trying to find a solutions, you will arrive at a very long to do list that feels overwhelming.  Literally your heart will not be in it.  As you proceed, you begin to dread each action.  Soon what seemed like the perfect solution, ends up being pushed to the side, ignored or faced with obstacle after obstacle.

I’ve seen this in my own personal life with my financial goals, weight loss or even relationships.  The more I solely focus with my head, the more off track I become.

I’ve also seen this in corporate and business goals.  At the beginning of the fiscal year, anything seems possible.  Budgets are refreshed.  Outlooks are positive. Goals are set with heads.  By this time of year, panic sets in because you haven’t looked at those goals in months.  When you do, you realize you are off the mark.  Then you spend the rest of the year trying to make up the difference.

I fall into this trap.  Every year I dedicate a notebook to the following year’s goals.  I engage my brain in what logically makes sense.  I write plans.  I write calendars.  When I look at this year’s notebook, sure I’ve accomplished some of those objectives, but the women’s retreat I’m planning for October wasn’t even on my radar.  That solution came strictly from my heart and it has been a joy to work on.

If you have a problem you are struggling to solve, grab a cup of coffee, tea or your favorite beverage.  Find a quiet spot and engage your heart in a solutions discussion.  If doing this is new, you will need to pay attention to the small whispers.  They won’t seem like much, but capture them for they are the seeds of something great.

Seeds of Wisdom

Life Simplified - Seeds of Wisdom

photo credit: h-k-d via flickr

…become aware that you already posses all the inner wisdom, strength, and creativity needed to make your dreams come true. – Sarah Ban Breathnach

A Packet Of Seeds

I was a t the local garden center the other day and they had tons of seeds and bulbs.  I got all excited and bought some herb seeds.  Spring is on it’s way.

When I got home, I dug out my planters from last year, filled them with potting soil, sprinkled the seeds over top and watered them.

Then I walked away.

Seeds Are So Smart

I didn’t go back and push and prod the seeds to grow faster.  I didn’t dig them up and put them in “better” soil.  Nope.  Just let them do their thing.  They’ve got it all figured out.

It’s the same with us.  You have all you need to achieve your dreams within you.

Don’t Wait for Change…Create Change

Cliche, I know, but true.  That’s what Sarah is reminding us of today.  Instead of waiting for some external force to create change, why not choose to change in the direction of your dreams.

Many people come to me when they are in transition caused by an outside source.  They are scared and confused.  The work we do together allows them to tap into the wealth of knowledge they have within.  They tap into those seed dreams and start to water them.  With time a patience they sprout new leaves and branches they never knew they had before.

It’s scary to admit to yourself that you have the power to make whatever you desire come to pass.  As Sarah talks about today, you can become complacent and let external forces create the change in your life or you can take back the reins and drive your life.

I’ve come to choose the later.  How about you?

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Want to work together to start planting the seeds of your dreams and goals, email me for a free consultation.

The Gift of Helping Without Expectations

The Gift of Helping Without Expectation

photo credit: thinkingisstillfree via Tumblr

 

Every day we have at least one opportunity to help a friend, a loved one or even a stranger. It is our responsibility to do what we can, when we can, to assure that someone else does better.  Iyanla Vanzant, from Facebook

Young Samaritans

My nephew and his friend are working with me for the summer.  On Wednesday they came to work all excited.  “We were Good Samaritans today!” they shouted as they came in the door grinning ear to ear.   This coming from a couple of 14 year old boys peaked my curiosity.  You never know what that might mean.

Luckily enough, they actually did help someone.  On their way to work they passed an older man who’s car was stuck.  Without prompting, the two asked him if he needed help.  When he said yes, they jumped in with gusto.

Helping Without Expectation

Helping without expectation means you don’t expect anything from the interaction.  All you do is help. It’s when you start keeping score to yourself that the problems begin.

Helping and Expectations Don’t Mix

Have you ever helped someone and felt wiped out?

That’s because you probably expected something to happen during the experience that didn’t.  Maybe you thought they would be more grateful.  Maybe you thought they would participate in the help.  Maybe you thought they would repay you.

It’s these thoughts that deplete your energy, not the helping.

What’s interesting is when you do help without expectation, like the boys, you get an energy boost rather than drain.  Think about a time when you helped someone without expectation.  How did you feel?  See.

Who Can You Help Today?

Over this Memorial Day weekend, take a moment to help someone without expectation.  I’d love to hear your stories and we promise to share our own.

Oh the boys…yes, they were able to help the guy get his car unstuck.  They talked about it all night too!

 

Be Joyful In What You Ask For

Be Joyful In What You Ask For

photo credit: kazzpoint0 via flickr

Often – even when you believe you are thinking about something that you desire – you are actually things about the exact opposite of what you desire.  In other words, “I want to be well; I don’t want to be sick.”  “I want to have financial security; I don’t want to experience a shortage of money.”  “I want the perfect relationship to come to me; I don’t want to be alone.”  ~ Abraham via Esther Hicks, Ask And It Is Given

What You Think About Comes About

You’ve heard that before.   You’ve tried to focus on what you want in your life; a new car, a soul mate, a thriving business, but things aren’t working out like you planned.

Could you be thinking about what you don’t want rather than what you do want?

Ask And It Is Given

You know what you want, but you are feeling the lack of it.  This feeling of lack focuses you on the opposite of what you desire.  For example, positive thought: “I want a new computer.”  Feeling of lack: “I can’t afford a new computer.”  Without knowing it every time you say, “I want a new computer” you are actually saying, “I don’t want one because they are too expensive.”

A New Lesson

I’ve read Ask And It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks a hundred times.  Never before did I pull out this lesson until just recently.

After my initial ah-ha moment,  I looked back on my life.  When I set goals and was positive about an outcome, I got exactly what I desired, and pretty quickly I might add.  More often than not, however, when I asked for something I unconsciously focused on the lack behind it.  In those situations I was given exactly what I asked for…more lack.

Discovering the Lack

Through this activity, I realized I’d built a habit of focusing on lack.  The key to breaking a lack focused habit is to check in with your emotions.

Here’s an example.  I’ve wanted an iPhone forever.  However, when I thought about having an iPhone, my focus was on not having one.  Even when my phone was due for an upgrade and an iPhone was an option, I didn’t get one because I came up with a dozen excuses.  I now see those excuses were coming from my thoughts of not having an iPhone rather than having one.

I felt horrible during this process.  This was my first clue I was focusing on lack.

Let Your Emotions Be Your Guide

I’m still learning to tap into my emotions as I set new goals, create new visions, and develop new plans.  When I don’t feel good, I check in to see how I’m feeling. These feelings always point to my thoughts of lack.

Listen to your emotions.  If you don’t feel good, do a check in, like I’m learning to do.  When you think about your goal, vision or plan you should feel excited and passionate…like you are standing on the brink of something very exciting.

That’s when you know you’re on the right path.

Learning to be an Optimist

Glass Half Full - Learning to be an optimist

photo credit: gfrphoto via flickr

Negative Chatter

All the chatter with the political campaign drives me crazy.  Everyone says they have the only answer, they are the only positive choice, and the opponent is a miserable human being.

Really?

Is this how we decide on who will run a company?  Do you slam the competition when you interview for a job?  It sounds ridiculous in those terms, but that’s exactly what the presidential candidates are doing.  Watching too much of the political stuff can really drain your glass.

Is your glass half full or half empty?

This week, a friend commented on my Facebook page that my cup is always half full and someone else suggested overflowing.  I can’t deny that I look on the positive side of things.  It does, however, take work.

I don’t surround myself with negative stuff.  I avoid the commercial news.  What I read is inspirational – biographies, success stories and information that enhances my life, not depletes it.

When you choose to be an optimist, you can spot negativity a mile away.  You don’t get sucked in.  You can see through the negativity to something deeper.  I can’t say I’ve done a lot of this with the political campaign, but I will before I vote.

Learning to be an optimist helps you make sounder decisions.  You aren’t swayed by the emotional tide someone else as created.  Instead optimism opens the door for you to follow who you choose.  There’s a freedom, a lightness, a sense of peace in learning to be an optimist.

Warning: People don’t always like optimists.  They think you should get caught up in their drama.  You should believe the negative stories they’ve been telling themselves.  They want you to this so you’ll validate their point of view.  When you don’t, it can be a little uncomfortable.  Believe me I’ve been there.

A theme has arisen in the month of January I didn’t expect.  You have a choice.  You can choose to follow the negative messages, or you can choose to become an optimist.  Which do you choose?

 

Concsiousness is a Choice

Consciousness is a Choice - Stroke of Insight

photo credit: amazon.com

Own your own power and show up for your life. ~ Jill Bolte Taylor

A million things happen every day.  Most slide through our lives unnoticed.  The scent of spring in the air.  The chirping of a bird.  The smile of a stranger.

What if they were all taken away in a moment?

That’s what Jill Bolte Taylor experienced when she had a stroke in her mid thirties.  Being a brain scientist, she knew what was happening.  She recorded her conscious thought through the stroke and healing in a wonderful book, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.  In the book, she tells us moment by moment how simple things like dialing a phone slipped away from consciousness.

As she was recovering she writes:

“…it was clear that the “I” whom I had grown up to be had not survived this neurological castastrophe.  I understood that the Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor died that morning, and yet, with that said, who was left?”

Jill was able to rebuild a life completely from scratch.  No memories.  No baggage.  At the same time she felt “enormous grief for the death of my left hemisphere consciousness – and the woman I had been, I concurrently felt tremendous relief.”

It doesn’t take a stroke

It doesn’t take a stroke or a terminal illness to have these revelations.  All it takes is choice.

You have a choice every day to give up the pieces of your life you don’t like and choose the pieces you want to remain.  Like Jill you can rebuild your life into the life you choose.

You also have a choice to recognize the pieces of your life, give a prayer of thanks, and move on.  Or continue to move blindly through the next 24 hours.

Today Taylor is convinced that the stroke was the best thing that could have happened to her.  it has taught her that the feeling of nirvana is never more than a mere thought away.  By stepping to the right of our left brains, we can all uncover the feelings of well-being and peace that are so often sidelined by our own brain chatter.

Do you choose to be conscious or unconscious today?

 

Happiness Is Not A Possession to be Prized

Happiness is not a possession to be prized

phot credit: markhillary via flickr

I’m Obsessed

Okay I’ve been obsessed (and not the good obsessed) since the holidays.

I want an iPad…NOW…and a new computer.

I know I talk a lot about not succumbing to media pressures, but if you didn’t know, I love new technology.  I feel so behind with everyone showing up to meetings now with their tablets in hand and I still have my notebook.

It’s a weakness, I know.

When I think about getting an iPad, I think somehow it’s going to make me happier, make things easier or whatever.  Deep inside I know those are only excuses.  That still doesn’t stop me from being jealous whenever I see someone whipping theirs out to show me something.

Happiness Comes From Within…I know

Then I got admonished by Sarah this morning in today’s Simple Abundance meditation:

“Happiness is not a possession to be prized, ” Daphne du Maurer wrote in Rebecca. “It is a quality of thought, a state of mind.”…Let’s stop thinking that things outside our control will bring us happiness.

As much as I think an iPad (or tablet) will make me happier, I know happiness comes from within.  It’s remembering that when wandering through the isles of Best Buy.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype by the media to want the new and flashy.  If we’re looking for happiness we can take a lesson from Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and remember there’s no place like home.

But when I do get my iPad, Dorothy…watch out ! 🙂

 

Increase Your Self Esteem…without the lard!

 

Am I Good Enough? - Life Simplified

 

 

 

Really?

That was my first thought when I say this.  An actual ad getting people to eat lard.  Sounds incredible to us today, but back then, this was “good advice.”

Let’s say you have a great Aunt Millie who was alive during that time. Do you think she still thinks eating lard will make you happy?  Maybe she does.  Yikes, that’s scary.

Our Critical Mind

When we listen to our critical mind, it’s like listening to great Aunt Millie.  Your critical thoughts have been formed not just over your life time, but over generations.  Some information is valuable (don’t touch hot stove). Other information (eat lard to be happy) doesn’t make sense any more.

What would happen if you were sad and great Aunt Millie suggested you eat lard.  You’d probably roll your eyes and say, “Okay Aunt Millie.  I’ll have to try that,” never intending to eat one ounce of lard.

Unfortunately we don’t apply the same rules to our critical mind.  When it says something crazy like “Are You Good Enough?” we pay attention.  We even take action on that thought.

 

What If Aunt Millie Ran Your Family or Business?

Think of the consequences if you put great Aunt Millie in charge of your family, your business, or if she lived with you and you had to do everything she said.  You could be eating lard every day.  I know that doesn’t sound logical, but when you listen and take action on your critical thought without examining them, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Welcome it

I’m going to suggest you welcome those critical thoughts.  Accept they’re part of you.  Don’t let it run crazy in the background dictating your actions.  Once you accept them (which doesn’t mean act on them, it just means listen), your critical voice looses effect.  You begin to see some of it’s warnings are false.  They served you and your family well in the past, but they don’t apply any more.

Walk Away

Let’s say great Aunt Millie did come to live with you.  You accept her.  You welcome her.  When she starts talking about lard, however, what do you do.  Smile, nod and walk away.  You chalk her suggestions up to her past experience.  You realize they aren’t relevant to your life today.  You don’t buy lard and you’re okay with that.

How To Live With Your Critical Mind

The same can happen with the critical voice.

  • Listen to what it says.
  • Ask, is this true?
  • If the advice is inaccurate, continue on your path. The conflict is gone.

Next Time

When your critical voice says, “Are You Good Enough?’  Answer, “I am thank you.”  Then confidently excuse yourself, grab a glass of lemonade and throw the lard in the trash.

 

Photo credit: Ravinsmagiclantern via Flickr under creative commons license

 

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Wasting Time

Wasting Time
I’ve come to realize most of us, me included, waste an awful lot of time.  It’s not waiting in line or getting stuck in traffic.  It’s more about worrying about things we don’t have control over, talking negatively to ourselves and over indulging to fill the holes.

All the minutes you waste when you’re having a “bad day” are minutes you’ll never get back.  All the sunsets, kisses with your kids, hugs with your honey, and laughs with your friends you miss are gone for good.

What do you do to fill the void?

You over indulge.  Maybe you dive into the Ben and Jerry pool.  Maybe you have that extra glass of wine.  Maybe you watch tv while the world is passing you by.

I’m not saying you don’t need down time or that you should be Pollyanna.  You do need to bring consciousness to those bad days.  When the negative self talk is running the show, become conscious of what you’re saying to yourself.  Choose whether you want to continue that conversation or start a new one.

If your kids are driving you crazy, maybe it’s because you haven’t taken time for yourself.  If you loathe going to work everyday, maybe you need a change.

Whatever the situation, creating awareness of the moment will open up windows you didn’t know were shut.

I’d love to hear the difference a choice made for you.  Feel free to share below.

 

Photo Credit: Tiberiu Ana via flickr under creative commons license

It’s All About Attitude

It's All About Attitude - Appetite for Life
For my first vacation book I chose, Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach.  It’s a story of a 50+ year old woman’s journey through Paris, England and Italy.  Unlike one of my favorites; Eat, Pray, Love, Alice is approaching life from more of where I stand in my life’s journey.

One theme she talks about is having the right attitude.  Whether it’s about being adventurous, not being shy, or just choosing her table at Cafe de Flore like a native, attitude is what propels you forward.

Can you relate?

Have you ever been in a situation where you started to doubt?  Why are you there?  You don’t fit in, you should just leave.  Even worse, you have these thoughts way before an adventure and you don’t even step outside.

We’ve all been there.  When you let this feeling dominate your life, you miss out on so many opportunities to grow, laugh and even cry.

The Key Is Attitude

When you summon up the right attitude, it’s the strength you need to confidently express yourself.  It allows you to open doors without hesitation, step in and become part of the action.

How to Summon Up The Right Attitude

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned from Alice’s book:

  • Dress the part.  Even if you aren’t the fashionista, dress the part.  You’ll be amazed what the right clothes can do for attitude.
  • Get into character.  Before entering your situation, take a moment and center.  Focus on an image you have of someone successful in that situation.  Imagine yourself as them.
  • Take a deep breath.  After you center take a deep breath of courage and confidence.
  • Open the door.  Take that first step in the direction you want.  Then take another.  Keep your image in mind and move forward.

By creating the right attitude, you will be successful whether you are meeting with a new client, going to a parent teacher meeting for the first time, going in for a job interview or getting your own seat at Cafe de Flore, the Ritz or wherever.

Remember it’s up to you not anyone else to determine the right attitude.  Are you ready for your next adventure?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

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