Be Curious… Observe the Clues

In order to observe our world or at least our surroundings, we need to develop a curiosity about it all. If we are only interested about what lands on our desk or in our email during the day, our view and experiences are limited to only what we know and that can be a very small space. I have friends that travel a lot. They love meeting newArt Brushes people and seeing how other cultures live. Their world view is much bigger and their hearts and minds are noticeably expansive in that they are more excepting and aware and able to go with the flow when their surroundings change. I like this about them and it also challenges me. Peggy Lee sang a song in 1969 called “Is That All There Is?” It is a song about experiences and wondering after one experience is over, is that all there is? Tier veggiesThere is a reference of feeling like something is missing and wondering if there is anything more to this thing called life. Yes!!! There is something more. There is always something more. But we need to be curious and look for it or choose to step out on a whim and try something new and stretch ourselves.

If we don’t know what is next or what we want to do with ourselves, do something. Follow an urge. Engage with a person at work you have not talked with before. Ask to be on a new project. Try something new after work Cookinglike cooking classes, painting, or planting vegetables. Observe what comes to your mind as you ask “what would I like to try?” Listen for the clues that lead you to that answer and then engage yourself. Continue to observe the clues. More will show up as you are being led by your curiosity… which is really just your intuition guiding you to your greater path.

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Things that Write…

4 color penI remember when my pencil / pen addiction began. It was in grammar school in the early 70’s. I saw that blue and white pen that had four sliding color switches around the top of the barrel; red, blue, black, and green. Four colors with a cool way of switching between them. I remember envying the kid who got one for their stocking stuffer. Regular pens with caps were bland and besides, the cap always got lost. But, I did get good at converting the tube pens with lost caps into paper wad shooters. A little puff of air and we could hit a classmate in the back of the head with a little wad of damp paper. Maybe this is why I enjoy Nerf darts to this day? But, that pen with four colors intrigued me. I loved the magic of it and the mechanical way it worked. Pentel puts out a fabulous dryPentel Dry Highligher highlighter with eight multiple colors that can be switched from one to another. I have been using one of them for at least ten years for classes and person study and just last month, in my small town on the Southern Oregon Coast, I found a red and black version of the four color mechanical pen with a comfort grip! You bet I bought it! I love to write with tools that delight me. It makes the craft fun and joyful. Don’t get me wrong, I love to write, but there is a giddy joy when acquiring a new tool to scribe my thoughts and stories upon the pages of unique journals or electronic devises.

Stacking Point PencilsThe pencil that had my attention as a child was the plastic one that had about twelve leads in them, all sharp and all encased in a little plastic housing. As one dulled, I would pull it out from the bottom, push it back into the top of the pencil which then pushed out a fresh pointed lead to write with until it became dull and short. These pencils were colorful with either flowers, animals, or shapes decorating the plastic tubes. We also had to put an eraser caps on the end of it or use a cube eraser if needed. I finally got one around the fifth grade and thought it was the coolest thing. I used it proudly. The mechanical pencil with .05 or .07 retractable leads has since replaced that plastic pencil with the little lead pods, but I am always on the prowl for a writing tool that sparks a little joy in my heart.

Observing What We Tell Ourselves: Thoughts by which to End 2018

Choosing to get our creative juices flowing is just that, a choice. A choice to set down that which distracts us and to become mindful of the things we do daily that detours us and keeps us from doing something new, something that expands us verses keeping us in our round hole of numbness. We must choose to become awake and press the edges of our comfort zones to experience life. Have you ever done something so against your norm than when you look back you can say that you were not looking at what the consequences were going to be, but that you were only looking in the moment. That vacation you took with a stranger to a place you never been before, the new restaurants you discovered by saying no to familiarity, the new people you met as well as towns and ultimately your new home because your first choice summer plans were not available and you chose to go where you never went before, all of these caused you chose to live life anew and fresh.

The Lie of Lack:

What about those things you love to do but you don’t give yourself permission to do them. Why? Too busy? Too tired? Feeling that it wouldn’t make a difference? Hogwash!!! We have these desires in our hearts because they are to be acknowledged. They are seeking us and that is why they are there. Too many of us had dreams that were squelched by well-meaning parents in our childhood telling us to be more realistic, or by folks that didn’t know how to encourage the creative, expressive, powerful thinkers that we came into this world to be. By our thoughts and beliefs, we can stir up creative ideas and work them into our reality as long as we don’t believe the lies of lack!!! You know what those sound like. “There is not enough time,” “I don’t have enough money,” or “People like me don’t have many options.” These are road blocks to your success and by success, I mean the movement forward into the life you desire. Nothing stands in your way more than your belief in lack. Your thoughts are powerful and when you choose to focus on something, you will notice more of that in your life. You will notice it in the news, you will see it as you are driving down the road, you will hear more of it in the conversations around you. You will even say, “see it is true!” it is true because you make it true, because you have believed in it and bought into it as many others have and the group mind gets swallowed up in believing this is how it is.

How to Start:

Start thinking about what you desire not what you don’t like. Not what makes you upset. Not that which presses itself in our news feeds. What is it you want to do? Stir yourself up and spend 10 to 20 minutes each day writing about it. Diagramming what it will look like, feeling how you would feel as it manifests into form. Sense that, dare to taste it, and then act as if! Act as if it is around the corner and you are doing what you need to do to be a part of it. Your dreams need your action. What can you do each day to take you closer to what you really want to do? Knock on all the doors, not just those that you think you should knock on. Be led by your intuition, that inner guidance you were born with. It can lead you to someone who will share a tidbit of information that is key to your next perfect step. Observe, listen, journal, vision, and share with like-minded people along your path. This will expand your dream! Keep working and take that 10 to 20 minutes a day to see what your next step is. Make a vision board, go to that store downtown that draws you in and shows you things that you need to know. Write that blog, start that YouTube channel, create that book club and see where this leads you. The next step will always show itself. If you are feeling fear, good. That lets you know that you are pressing up against that edge that you have been staying on the safe side far too long. Push through it and fling open that fake locked door that has prevented you from moving forward. You know that locked door I am talking about. A belief, a lie, and even a disability. Push through it. This world has many movers and shakers that have turned their lives around because they were tired of living small, tired of living like a victim of circumstances. Your thoughts and beliefs and desires are SO MUCH MORE POWERFUL than any news story or statistic. Choose to live your life the way you want to live it. Start today and write down what you love, what you want to do, and bash down the walls of doubt and lies. Choose to be who you came into this world to be. If we all do this, imagine what that energy could do and the true freedom it can create!

Final Thought

What stops you from doing something you want to happen in your life? Belief. Belief that it is too hard, too complicated, too expensive, too painful, too boring. Want to be healthier? Choose something today that emphasizes that. Tell your life that you want to be healthier by doing something that proves it. Take a 30-minute walk. Floss your teeth. Drink two extra glasses of water during the day. The action you take moves the energy in you and around you and opens a door to more. What to write? Write for 10 minutes a day even if no one else sees it. Want to move to a new place but you have no clue as to when, where, or the means? Don’t focus on that! Focus on the desire to move and start clearing the clutter; giving away the stuff that you don’t use that is using up precious space and energy. Want more friends in your life?  Think of ways you can be a friend. Volunteer at an animal shelter or a hospice store. Unplug from the activities, or the lack of activity, that keeps you from your fabulous expansion. Want to be more tuned in to your intuition. Start meditating 10 minutes a day… even five minutes twice a day begins the process. There are so many ways we can choose to make movement in our lives. The key is to believe you have the power to do so and it is crucial to change the thought you have been saying over and over that is contrary to what you really want out of life. State what you want to experience and do something each day to make it so. Life is for you. Life is a force of energy that is activated by your thoughts. Your beliefs are just thoughts that have been thought about over and over. Your beliefs can be changed by changing your thoughts. Then as we put action into it, we generate the power we that changes our lives.

If you think your consistent thoughts are not powerful and can’t change your daily experience, just experiment and choose to focus on negative things for 10 minutes straight after you wake up and then go and try to have a peaceful morning. Now, take those same 10 minutes and think of those things that please you. Your favorite place to visit, your grandchildren’s smiles and giggles, the person that you love and the things they do that makes you feel love and goodness, your puppy or cat, your favorite food, or something else that really excites you. See yourself in the midst of this for 10 minutes. Feel the smile, feel the joy you experienced and experience it again. Ok, the 10 minutes are up and you open your eyes and move from the place you were sitting while thinking of these beautiful things and you enter into your day with that energy inside of you. That power of goodness feels a heck of a lot better than 10 minutes of thinking negatively. It is time to consciously to change our lives and focus on that which we love. Doing what we love is NOT a waste of time. It opens the chasm for more to spew out, gushing into where it has longed to be, transforming you into the beautiful being you were meant to be, that which you planned to be. It has been seeking you. Open yourself to it! Don’t tell me to be realistic! Don’t tell me to take off my rose-colored glasses. I have seen what happens when I change the way I look at things, when I choose to think differently than those around me. I have experienced what it is like to stop blaming someone else, or some group of people for my lack of happiness. Blaming gives away my power. You are 100% responsible for how you feel right now. You can always… ALWAYS choose a better thought and that changes the way you feel. I am not saying that if you are in despair to try and feel joyous and exuberant. But you can try and choose to feel angry instead of despair. If you feel bored, you can choose to think something that makes you more hopeful or inspired. It takes some effort, but if you can, each day, catch yourself in a negative thought and think of a better thought, you gain the wisdom of what it is to change your immediate world. And that is what I desire for you at the end of 2018. That you can make a difference in your life and you do not have to wait for someone or something to happen before you can be happy.

I am creating some new journals this week and calling them “books of positive thought.” Should one get stuck in a thought that takes them away from what they want to feel, they can open this journal and start writing down what they like about a person or situation verses thinking about what they don’t like. If something positive cannot be written about the person or a situation, just change subjects and start writing a list of things you like and love about something else. The idea is to change your thinking before it starts making you feel less than you want to feel.

Dr. Edward Viljoen, from the Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa, CA, used to say that our minds should never be left unsupervised. They will go to places that is not for our best interest. Learning this and practicing changing our thoughts and evaluating them early on can save us pain and stress. Stopping the made-up conversations in our minds will extinguish physical stress in our lives just as if it was a real conversation. Our bodies don’t know the difference. Starting this kind of practice can be overwhelming at first for some people but it is of great importance. Maybe you never thought that changing your thoughts can change your life. There are many safe and caring coaches and counselors that can help. If you need a recommendation for someone in your area, I can help. Meanwhile, let’s end this year with a new thought pointing us to how we really want to live our lives. You have it within you. You’ve had the power all along!

Observing Connection

Pen and paperWhen I was a child, there was this thing called pen pals. A pen pal was someone you didn’t know at first, but started to write back and forth with and become long distant friends. There were ads in the TV Guides and the newspapers that help children around the country to become pen pals with other children of the same age. It helped strengthen writing skills and foster learning about other ways of living. I think my parents had to give their consent / signature to allow me to become a pen pal.

Once the letters started arriving, they would be long and descriptive. We would learn the names of each other’s siblings, pets, and what we liked to eat. We would share about visits to grandparents and what we liked about school. I would check the mail daily when I thought enough time had passed and that a letter would be probable. When I finally received my letter, I would read it over and over again. I would imagine in my mind the events that were described to me. Sometimes a picture, usually a school picture, was shared and it would add a little more to my imagination as I read the words from my pen pal. I would spend a few days writing my return letter and sharing about what I did and what games I liked playing when I was outside. I also shared about meals and other things that I did.

We were kids and the topics were simple, but that experience provided something to disney-blue-mailboxlook forward to every few weeks. I would look forward to replying and taking my letter to the local mail box on the corner. I thought it was magic. I would place a letter in the blue mail box at the end of the street and several weeks later a letter showed up in our mail box on the front porch. I even remember our mailman’s name… Tony. He delivered our mail for 10 or more years. Eventually, the letters waned and we no longer stayed connected. But this did not stop me from writing. When I entered high school, letter writing made a comeback. I would see my friends every day at school and we would go over to each other’s homes to visit, but writing our thoughts on paper and mailing them or dropping them through the slots of our lockers at school was special.

When I moved and joined the Coast Guard, it was easy to write and to stay connected through this medium. I experienced the anticipation of receiving a letter from everyone I wrote and then taking the time to write back; to write my thoughts and hopes in confidence to people in which I desired to stay connected. There were also phone calls. Those helped clarify that changes were indeed taking place; that I, as well as my friends, were evolving and becoming different as our lives grew bigger and experiences changed our ways of thinking. I savored those letters and had a special box to keep them in. I remember being hurt one year when I learned that my letters were not saved. They were read and replied to, but then thrown away. It was my belief then that those letters were a part of me as I also believed that the letters I received were a part of the person who took the time to pour themselves onto the paper with ink.

As my friends and I got older and married and started to work real jobs and take care of real homes or apartments, the letters decreased. Yet, we continued evolving and growing, changing and moving into new phases of our lives. A funny thing happens though. The thoughts and perceptions I had about my friends became frozen in time to the last known understanding I had about them. I remembered what they last looked like, what their home looked like, what their food preferences were, what they believed in, or what I thought their relationship to life, others and activities were. Months and sometimes years later, when I or we take time to catch up, we learn how our separate choices and dreams took us on different journeys. What we may find in common now may be only the past we had shared. I am grateful for the opportunities for true re-connection and authentic sharing. Sometimes, that spark that was there in the beginning of the friendship re-ignites the chemistry that originally brought us together as friends, warming our hearts and merging the past and present back together.

Image result for twitter logoPresently, I stay in contact with many friends via social media rather than pen and paper and yet, I may not really know what is going on in their lives and hearts. It is my experience that Facebook and Twitter pages show only what we want to reveal and I Image result for facebook logodon’t often expose the inner workings of my life in cyber land. I save that for heart to heart talks in person or on the phone. Also, my perceptions and observations of how a friend is doing can only be based on my last real conversation that took place with them; a conversation beyond sharing emojis and pictures of sunsets and plates of gourmet food. And, just like my pen pal from so long ago, I only know the last thing that was shared unless a newer connection is made.

I share this observation as I have been pondering and talking with others about the lack of true connection on social media platforms. It seems, for me, that the convenience of touching base electronically has out-weighed going out for a meal, or tea, or meeting up for a walk to enjoy fresh air, good conversation, and moving the body.

So, I shall grab my walking shoes and my calendar. It’s time for some in-person connections.

Sue

Boots.with.a.View

Observing Distraction

 

Our society has never been as distracted as it is now. Our ability to hold our attention on one thing at one time is challenged by our multi-tasking minds and our over active devices notifying us when our Twitter feed has a new follower or a new friend request has been accepted. We have apps on our cell phones to inform us about the weather, how are stock is doing, when our packages will be shipped, and now managing the temperature of our new digital coffee cup! But even in this, I digress.

The distractions that are on my mind are the ones that prevents us from truly living and Image result for Picture of being distractedmoving in the directions of our dreams. It is the type of distraction that is used as a smoke screen so we don’t deal with the hard questions about who we are, what we really love to do, what excites us, and what will it take to motivate us to climb out of a routine that stagnates our minds? We have become so mechanical in our patterns of living that days turn to weeks and weeks turn into years until two or three decades have past and the only thing that has changed is either the girth of our waist or the color of our hair or both.

I am quite sure that if we allow ourselves to ask if we love and enjoy what we do everyday, most of us would would say “no, but what else can I do?” We have worked ourselves into a lifestyle that requires us to continue doing what we do to pay for what we have that we don’t get to use because we are to busy working and commuting to continue the cycle. STOP!

Our lives as we know them have become the very distractions that prevents us from doing what we really love and some of us can’t even remember what it is like to wake up with enthusiasm or joy. We have become jaded and hope that once we retire, we have the energy to do some of the things we have put off for years.

Image result for Picture of being distractedWhy wait? What is it that you love to do? What has been distracting you from doing it? What fears have kept you from pursuing the creative ideas that rattle around in your mind? What can you change to begin to feel like you are living again instead of surrendering yourself to someone else’s dream? Make the space!!! Make a list of what you miss doing and how you can start making room for it in your life now. Observe how it feels to imagine doing what you love and follow that feeling.

Dropping the Distraction,

Sue

 

 

Observation… Wrong Turn!

Observation… Wrong Turn!

Have you ever being driving down the road, and automatically got off at the wrong exitSign.Freeway because you have used that exit many times before? Unconsciously, your body made the same decision and took you on the path you have gone before so many times. This happens to me we I get on a local freeway, but from a different location. I have the GPS set for my desired destination, but I take that familiar exit which I had no intention of taking. ARGH! I, then, maneuver myself back on the freeway and continue my way as the GPS is doing course corrections.

Recently, it happened again and I observed how this can be equated to how I, and maybe some of you, find ourselves thinking thoughts we no longer want to have or saying words we no longer want in our vocabulary. Words and thoughts have created patterns in our consciousness for so long that we are unaware we are using them until we are 5 Sign.Thoughtsminutes into a conversation in our minds or with someone else. Words and thoughts are so powerful. They evoke emotions and perpetuate the same actions and reactions for which we are trying to free ourselves. I know that I have conversations in my mind… conversations that have never happened in real life. But, inside my mind, my thoughts and words are churning me into a fit of undesired emotions which cause physical reactions in my body. Why do we do this? PATTERNS! Patterns are very comforting even if they are unhealthy. They are known, reliable, and familiar. It is easier to stay in a pattern that is unhealthy than create a new path for the mind to learn and thus, create change.

When I get on the local freeway from a different location, I have to consciously remind myself where I am and where I am going. If I start talking or listen to some music, the familiarity of the exit that I am not supposed to take is very powerful. So are the thoughtsSign.Changes and words I wish to no longer practice in my life. I need to stay mindful about what I want in my life so that I have mastery over my thoughts, words and actions. This is also a time where I can look at how I think about different topics and why I believe the way I do. Is it a habit? Do I truly believe what I think? Do I enjoy the outcome of my thoughts, i.e., do they make me feel better or contribute goodness and peace? Taking the wrong exit off the freeway doesn’t make me feel good. I lose time and it shows me that I was not being mindful. The same is true when I speak or think in old familiar ways. It doesn’t make me feel good, it wastes time, and it can cause needless pain to myself or someone I care about.

Thoughts.RopeWhat are your observations? Are you on automatic, going down the same old path of thoughts and words that steal your energy and time? Taking a new path requires more than just telling our GPS where we want to go, it takes consistent mindful awareness as we navigate to our new destination.

 

Course Correcting,

Sue

Solstice Shift: The Ritual of Awareness

A new season of the year has begun. Did you notice? We took time last night to be outside and feel the excitement of the shift. We saw the last light of Spring and welcomed the first light of Summer as the western sky was still illumined by the sun that sat less than an hour before. We were silly. We took selfies. We opened our hearts to what is yet to come even though it is the unknown, but our intention was that we were welcoming more Good, more Joy, more Life and more Love.

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The ritual of recognizing or honoring the incoming new season gives us a marker… a line in the sand as to an awakening of shift. It is also an allowing of change while being present in the now. And, by making it a point to become conscious of presence and of our intention, it becomes a wand of sorts. Our thoughts, intentions, and beliefs go out like seeds… and that we can control. We assert or declare, like the wave of a wand, that which we what to come into our lives. And, instead of resisting what we don’t want, which has its own metaphysical responses, we release what no longer works for us, what no longer brings joy, or what no longer nourishes us to become a greater version of our self.

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Intending something is to be coupled with action. In practicing purposeful intention setting, we also learn what is ours to do and what is ours to allow the Universe to do. Each day we can ask what is something we can do to take a another step into our desires, into our Good. The End result or the HOW is left to Source to manage. In taking steps that nourish us each day, we allow Source to show us the next step and guide us in ways we could not think of if we are trying to micromanage the “hows” and “whens.”

Even though last night was Summer Solstice, it spills into today and tomorrow as we will also have the same number of minutes of light. In this, the earth has not yet begun its return tilt towards the next season. Take time to notice. Sit Image may contain: one or more peoplein the stillness for a bit today and tomorrow and ask yourself, “what it is that I desire to lean into?” Where would I like to shift and welcome into my next expression of my perfect Self? Plant that seed and in that, it will be as if you are waving your wand… casting your word out into that which is greater than you to act upon as you do what is yours to do in the present moment.

Happy Solstice,

Sue