Do you have a particular negative belief on automatic replay in your head?
Maybe you have more than one ‘voice’ telling you you’re wasting your time pursuing a dream. Maybe you were told once a long time ago when you still dreamed in rainbow colours that you would never grow up to be a star or an astronaut or a marine biologist or a published author:-) and those icky words still clog your mind like black sludge.
Maybe today you woke up thinking that inner voice has a point. Maybe you’re reaching. Maybe despite all the hard work and effort you’re still very much on the last rung of that proverbial ladder. Maybe you should just give up; throw in the towel and let your life revert to …what? someone else’s idea of normalcy.
In my extended family there are a handful of people who whenever they see me at certain family gatherings and hear I continue to write(still working on that novel?) shake their ol’ heads and laugh. I believe we all know someone who has tried to crush the life out of our dreams or continues to throw cold water on our hopes. I have learned over the years to do three things:
1) Grow a thick skin
2) Cut ties and let go of people who do not support my dreams
It takes time to grow a leathery hide with the magical ability to deflect negative opinion and it takes an equally long time to find a pair of scissors to cut those ties that bind us to people who pull us down.
3) Challenge my thoughts. I challenge my negative beliefs on a daily basis. You can do the same. Every time you hear yourself think ‘I can’t do this. It’s too hard.’ or ‘I’m not clever enough or rich enough or connected enough’ stop and remember Einstein.
The thinking that has brought me this far has created some problems that this thinking can’t solve
Oftentimes we need to look at a ‘problem’ from a new angle. You have to examine your ‘problem’ the way you would an elephant. Start with the trunk and end with the tail. Sometimes you do have to follow a certain path like studying further or practicing your craft. Sometimes you just need to get out more and broaden your horizons. Invite a friend over for a cup of tea or coffee and get a fresh perspective on what needs to be done to get you to achieve a certain goal.
Remember we live in a world where we are constantly reminded of our limitations rather than our potential. Take the challenge and defeat that negative inner conversation!
What negative belief do you wrestle with the most?
I have got a lot better at keeping my butt on the chair…so much so that I gained oh, fifteen pounds (maybe more) last year in my quest to keep my butt on the chair and my eyes on the screen/or page. But keeping my butt on the chair didn’t equate to more writing or more reading. In fact going over my journals (yes I keep more than one for each year) I did a lot more cutting and pasting and doodling and drawing than I did writing. While this realisation does not exactly make me want to whoop with joy it did help me realize that I was actively creative in 2013. And that, for me, is a good thing. My intention is and has always been for every day of every year that I am breathing to do something creative and to be open to new ways of exploring my creativity.
How do you explore or nurture your creativity? Do you stick to one craft or passion (like cooking or knitting or taking pictures) or do you dabble in several?
I promised to share with you my goals or intentions for this blog for 2014.
I would like this year to be the year I write more. I plan to share not only my thoughts and points of view but also (more importantly) some of my stories. I can tell you I break out into a cold sweat every time I think of sharing my fiction with others. I know I am not alone in this. So I found this beautiful poster by benttuba.com to remind those of us who struggle with ‘putting ourselves and our work out there’ to be brave.
On a more personal note I hope to give more of what I want this year. This I can assure you also calls for lashings of courage. The sharing of our passion and time and resources calls for not only a radical shift in thinking but some serious time management! The principle is simple: The more you give out, the more you take in. So if all you put out is anger, frustration, lack or limitation that is what you get back. This year I hope my actions will reflect my thoughts on love, gratitude, abundance and creativity.
What do you hope to give more of?
Happy 2014 everyone! I have to agree with most posts I have read and add to the chorus by saying that I was quite happy to see the tail end of 2013. I am looking forward to a brighter, healthier and happier 2014 not only for myself and my family but for everyone.
I start every New Year not so much with a resolution but with an intention or theme for the coming 365 days. That theme is usually comprised of one word. 2012 for example was my year of CREATIVITY. My intention then was to be more available and open to creative outlets. So not only did I write a novel but I started drawing again which I loved doing as a child but stopped when I got my training bra.
My word for 2013 was RESTORATION and I have to admit here that it was in fact a word chosen for me and not a word I would have consciously decided on. You may already know from previous blogs that I read the Bible or at least I try very very hard to carve the space and time to read it and reflect on a passage from the Bible every day. I knew by late 2012 that 2013 was going to be a challenging year for my family and I. Not only did we have BIG goals to meet as individuals and a family but we also had to meet certain residency requirements and make Canada, once and for all, our permanent home. For those of you who have moved countries/immigrated you will know what I mean when I compare it to moving mountains! (which I can assure you God will do for you if you ask nicely). I don’t have a ‘systematic’ way of reading the Bible since I have read it from cover to cover many times. Instead I open it up and read whatever chapter catches my eye. I got this idea from Debbie Macomber’s wonderful book One Perfect Word.
(The theme of RESTORATION comes up throughout the Bible but the passages that I was ‘compelled’ to read were mostly found in Jeremiah, the Psalms and Acts I)
Now you don’t have to be religious to find your word for the year. You don’t even need a Bible. What you do need I believe is faith. Faith that your Spirit knows what lessons need to be learned or qualities need to be explored or earned and it all starts with some quiet time. I made that time for myself yesterday and I discovered that my year of RESTORATION was also my year of APPRECIATION. I learned that real change only comes after you have learned to appreciate your current circumstances. Demanding change in yourself or in your environment only creates tension and builds barriers to progress. You have to start by appreciating what you have right now. 2013 was the year the scales fell from my eyes and I saw things clearly. I have a lot to be thankful for even when it felt at times, like I was ‘losing’ out on so much by turning down what I knew would be soul-crushing work and letting go of certain ‘friends’.
My word for 2014 is REFRESH and again it was chosen for me. I know. It’s strange. I need to ponder on this one.
What is your WORD (or words no need to limit yourself!) for 2014!
In the meantime I can tell you I am working on my goals for this blog and I am looking forward to sharing them with you.
In my twenties I read every self-help book I could lay my hands on. This included classics like Norman Vincent Peale’s Power of Positive Thinking, James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh and the lesser known but equally worthy Florence Scovel Shinn’s The Game of Life. I was hungry for knowledge, especially any so called ‘secret’ knowledge that would get me promoted quicker or married sooner or making millions. The problem was I was going to scale mountains, this included Mt. Everest, in my twenties. I was going to own my own house and I was going to be married by the time I was thirty and it was all going to happen because I had a vision board on a wall of my small apartment bedroom.
It certainly didn’t help that I was a lazy cow or that I thought that if I stared long enough at Brad Pitt he would call or that the dollars would translate into lottery millions. He didn’t and I didn’t win the lottery. Well, not yet.
I still plan on achieving certain S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) goals that, back then in my twenties, were certainly S.M.A.R.T. Not so much now. Like, living with a jungle tribe in the Amazon or learning how to touch my head with my feet while doing a handstand in yoga (known as the Handstand Scorpion).
In order to achieve anything of substance you have to actually go for it and you have to work for it. And work hard. And you have to do things you probably never imagined you would have to do like wait on tables or clean other peoples’ houses or run errands for your boss. And it’s all good. Because experience builds character and what writer (with perhaps the exception of Emily Dickinson) could not do with more experiences?