Author Archives: KK

Willing to Make Bad Art

Someone who practices diligently, is consistently applying herself, and sticks with things long enough to get good, really good, at it.  This is not a description of me.  Yet.

It would be exceedingly ridiculous to complain about being the type of person for whom many things came easily.  But I’m finding, as I endeavor to learn things that I am not naturally good at, there is a downside to that history.  I never learned any stick-with-it-ness.  Here I am, 55 years old, and still haven’t learned good study habits.  Making good grades in school came easily for me.  Excelling in sports came easily for me.  I only practiced the various sports I participated in as much as I did because it was fun.  It certainly wasn’t because of my stellar discipline.

Creating art, up to a certain level, came easily.  Photography, up to a certain level, came easily.  Progressing beyond “advanced beginner”, however, apparently does not come easily for me.  The problem is, though, that I am now no longer satisfied with being an advanced beginner, or even sorta skilled.  I want to be good at it.  Really good at it.  But [heavy sigh] I am still a novice.  The real bummer part is that the only reason I am still a novice is because I have not been willing to put in the time and the effort to do the work of getting good, particularly when I deemed the product I was creating as sorta crappy.

I heard an impactful quote about achieving creative excellence:  “You have to be willing to make bad art.”WillingtoMakeBadArtSmallwish I knew who to credit, but I do not.  I have not, thus far, been willing to make bad art.  I had great intentions, envisioned something beautiful, gave it a try, and when the thing did not turn out anywhere near my vision – as it so seldom does – I weenied out and walked away.  I gave up and moved on to the next thing.  I justified it, of course, by telling myself things like, “Well, that must not be my thing.  That obviously wasn’t my passion,” or other B.S. things that made it okay for me to give up.

There’s a problem, though.  I just really don’t want to give up and move on this time.  I really like making art.  I’m stuck between not loving my current ability to create and being unwilling to give up.

So – and this is a little scary — I guess I will just have to learn discipline, and develop the willingness to make bad art.  I’ve heard it said that it takes 10,000 hours before you get really, really good at something.  100 down, 9,900 to go.

It helps to have a clear understanding of the creative process.  I need to understand that Steps 3 and 4 (below) have great potential to derail my process – and commitment.  But since I now know this, and know that Steps 5 and 6 will make up for Steps 3 and 4, then I can muster the necessary motivation to stick with it.  I just didn’t fully realize that making crappy art was just part of the deal.  Really great artists have made their share of such art.  They just didn’t necessarily publish it.  I have not been able to find the original author to give credit, but here it is:

The Creative Process:

  1. This is awesome.
  2. This is tricky.
  3. This is sh*t.
  4. I am sh*t.
  5. This might be ok.
  6. This is awesome.

Since I now understand this crazy process a wee bit better, and get it that I must make art and lots of it, I am now more motivated and well-equipped to continue the journey of 10,000 hours.  I feel as though I have been picked up, brushed off and set back on my creative path.  I just hope I can remember this as I create my next crappy piece of art.  Hopefully, I will also make some brilliant pieces of art along the way and some mediocre ones, too.

Good thing you can just paint over most of them and keep going…

I’m Gonna Get In Trouble

For as long as I can remember, I have had this nagging, low-level feeling that I’m about to get in trouble.  It has been an ongoing theme playing in the background of my mind for decades.  I think people do that.  They pick up a tune in their head and it just keeps playing over and over, and is adapted to fit whatever happens to be going on in their life.  For me, I have versions of the “gonna get in trouble” tune that I have played at work, with regard to chores around the house, and in relationship with friends and family.  Sometimes I play a slightly different version, “I know I am forgetting something”, and of course, having forgotten whatever it is will get me in trouble somehow.

There are endless varieties of tunes, but some are on the most popular list and get adopted a lot, tunes like “I’m not smart enough,” or “I’m not pretty enough”.  Another popular one is, “I’ll probably get sick.”  Probably less common, but there are also happy tunes, like “Things always work out for me.”  I like that tune.  I want to have that one on my playlist.

These tunes actually shape and influence the outcomes of people’s lives.  Our brains hear the themes we repeat endlessly to ourselves and then sets out on a mission to find things and situations that align with them, and filters out anything that doesn’t.  We all have these themes, or beliefs, that run our lives, and until we make it conscious and notice what we are doing, it will continue playing and influencing what we let in to our lives and what we filter out of our lives.  There is an unlimited abundance of ideas, resources and opportunities right in front of us that we are totally overlooking because our brain filters them out as a result of the stories we tell ourselves and the theme songs we play on auto-repeat.  It defines our identity, who and how we think we are.  I suppose you could call it “I tunes”, since we use them to define who we are, who “I” am.

My “I’m about to get in trouble” theme started in my childhood at least by the summer in which I turned 12.  This was the summer my family moved to a tiny town called Oologah.  We lived in a mobile home, or house trailer, some folks called them, parked in the middle of a cow pasture.  I have three older sisters and a younger brother, and each of us kids was assigned chores, such as vacuuming and dusting or carrying out the trash, and we would get in trouble if we didn’t have them done by the time Mom got home from work.

I was a procrastinator, even way back then, and that was on a good day.  Most days it was worse than procrastination.  I just didn’t get it done.  And I constantly had that “I’m gonna get in trouble,” feeling hanging over me.  One of my sisters was quite fond of reminding me of my impending doom as well.  But still, whatever it was that diverted my attention apparently seemed more important to me than getting my chores done and avoiding punishment.  Honestly, I can’t even remember what the punishment was or if it was ever really carried out.  I can’t remember that part.  Just the feeling, “I’m gonna get in trouble.”  It wasn’t an intense, terrifying feeling.  It was just a low-level nagging feeling, and it is still with me today.  I think it might be time to take that old record off the record player.

But how does one go about doing that?  That will be a topic for further investigation, but what I do know for sure now is that it will never change until I do the work to make it conscious and become aware in the moments I am playing this theme.  You cannot change what you do not notice.

For now, I will not worry about changing or fixing the theme.  I will not attempt to wrestle it to the ground and kill it.  I will sharpen my awareness and hear the message it has for me.  I trust that some part of me is replaying that tune over and over to communicate something important to me, to be of service to me in some way.  The whole of me will benefit by giving that part of myself a chance to be noticed, heard and understood.

Life Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect To Feel Better

Kona

My sweet girl, Kona

When you are feeling difficult emotions, whether it be stress, anxiety, sadness or overwhelm, here is a little trick.  Get distracted.

Even though I have studied personal development for many years, and have focused particularly on the subject of emotional wisdom, I have to admit that I am throwing a little pity party for myself this afternoon.  You see, I got some sad news yesterday.  I wasn’t surprised.  I’ve seen something like this coming for a while now.

I took my 14-year-old Chocolate Lab to the veterinarian yesterday.  She has a boo-boo on her foot which has been giving her some problems, so I took her in to see if Doc could give her something to make her foot feel better.  Which he did.  But, dang it, he didn’t stop there.

He saw some telltale signs of a much more serious problem.  I had noticed some changes, but didn’t have the education and experience to know exactly what that meant.  I thought she was just slowing down a little bit.  He thought her kidneys were slowing down a lot.  This diagnosis brought her mortality to the forefront of my mind.

As a coach and teacher, I help people understand that they feel the way they feel because of the thoughts they are choosing to think.  This situation is a perfect object lesson to help me remember my own soap box speech.  I am feeling sad because of what I am thinking about.  The diagnosis has brought my attention to the fact that in the near future I am going to have to say goodbye to my friend.  When I think that particular thought, the corresponding emotion is there immediately.  I have Kleenex nearby as I write this.

In the midst of all of this sadness, a funny thing happened.  Not funny ha ha, funny interesting.  My cell phone rang and it was an unwanted call from a solicitor.  I was thoroughly annoyed.  Downright indignant.  I jumped on Google and queried why in the heck solicitors are calling my cell phone.  I saw tons of irate comments from other victims, so it did not take long to realize that I clearly am not the first one to be ticked off by this development.  It actually sounds like I’m lucky it hasn’t happened sooner and more often.

Then I noticed something.  I noticed that just a minute ago I was feeling very sad about my dog and now I am feeling very cranky about unsolicited calls from solicitors.  My attention was diverted, my focus shifted, and now I am thinking about something different.  The emotions followed my thoughts just as they always do.  It is a perfect system.  If you pay attention, your emotions are a clear indicator as to what you are presently thinking about and how you are thinking about it.

With that knowledge, you have the power to feel differently at will by choosing to shift your attention and focus and therefore your thoughts.  Distraction or any other means possible is all fair game.

It is a choice, and it is okay if you don’t shift your attention.  For a few minutes, I chose to stay with the thoughts and feel sad about my sweet dog, Kona.  The thought of losing her hurts and I allowed that thought and feeling to just be there for a little while.  I love it that I get to choose, because for the vast majority of the time I have remaining with her I want to just enjoy her and make it easy for her to enjoy me.  She is sensitive to how I am feeling and she would probably prefer that I don’t drag both of us down in the dumps for the duration.

So, yeah, life is not perfect and happy things happen and sad things happen.  This is why I am so appreciative that I get to choose how I feel by managing my own focus and attention.

What I Need to Know is My Next Step, Not All 47 Steps

 

…and needing to know all of the steps keeps me from taking the next step.  Isn’t that silly?

What I’m Doing

No matter what the project or goal is, procrastination, wasting time, pretending to be busy or pretending to be confused, and getting caught up in absurd analysis are all incredibly effective ways to keep from moving forward.  Or moving any direction.  Not getting anywhere, just growing mold right where I’m at.  It would be great to create some movement – any movement– even if it’s wrong, bad or counter-productive.  But, alas, I keep myself stuck.

I have been unintentionally refusing to take action of any kind because I don’t know exactly how to get all of the way to the end target.  The concept that evades me is quite simple:  I just need to know the next step, not every step.  I don’t take the next step because I am too busy throwing a tantrum about not knowing all of the steps.  Okay, this might be a bit melodramatic, because it’s not like I haven’t accomplished anything.  I just haven’t accomplished anywhere near what I think I should have been able to accomplish by now.  Sound familiar?

What Might Be Better

I would rather let go of all of the mental gymnastics, let go of trying to figure out things impossible for me to know at this moment, and just joyfully go about doing what I do know to do.  I know some things that I can do, yet I don’t do them because I’m thinking about everything I don’t know.  And maybe there’s another part.  I also don’t do what I know to do because it might be wrong.  Oh, no.  Not that!

How Am I Going to Do It

I could clobber myself over the head and try to beat myself into submission, using the power of the white knuckle and clenched jaw to overcome my resistance.  But not only is that incredibly ineffective, it’s no fun and just downright mean.  There’s a better way.

Rather than staying focused on how I’ve missed the boat and anguish over all the time I’ve wasted, I choose to learn from my mistakes and take a different approach.  I shall employ the tools of Awareness, Attention and Focus and do so with Structure, Discipline and Consistency.  I will intentionally engage in effective practices to get clarity and overcome inertia, get started and then build momentum.  It’s how I’ve been thinking about the project that keeps me from moving forward, and the only way to correct that is to choose a different set of thoughts:  design a structured way of thinking that creates the right internal environment that naturally propels me into actually wanting to move forward, feeling like I can, and having clarity to know what to do, what steps to take.  Working to get into a feeling of “want to do it” is way different than dragging myself by the hair to do it.

In Summary

Here are the steps to shifting my patterns of thought:

  1. Get really clear about what I want to accomplish and why I want to accomplish it. Having a weak, vague notion of what, exactly, the project is and the reasons for doing it has no juice.  It’s limp and will fizzle out long before the final steps.
  2. Determine what stands between me and success, if anything. If there is something, fix it, remove it, reframe it, whatever.  Just remove it as an obstacle.
  3. Make a plan. This plan does not look like this:  Step one, start.  Step two, finish.  Break it down into clear, actionable, I-can-do-that steps.  Put these steps on the calendar.  If the discrete steps are not planned out and scheduled on the calendar, they will not get done.  I have been proving that.
  4. Show up every single day and make progress. Set a timer and do not get out of the chair or chase shiny objects until the timer goes off.  Repeat as necessary.
  5. This is not really Step 5, it is really something to be doing throughout the project, from beginning to end. Really, it is something to be doing through your life, from beginning to end.  Manage your thought life.  Notice when you are thinking thoughts that result in a disempowered, de-energized emotional state.  And then clean that schtuff up.
  6. Complete the project and celebrate like you mean it.

That’s it.  My new approach.  I will have to return to this plan over and over and over, as I develop new habits of thought around this particular project and life in general, and that’s okay.

Rudderless

HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY IN A WORLD WITH WAY TOO DANG MUCH INFORMATION

I have been concerned with my weight and general physical condition a few times over my 55 years. Probably not the first two or three years – I thought I looked great in a diaper! But there’s been too many times I’ve felt much angst when I look in the mirror and see a big round belly poking out. It’s not like I am devastated by it. Then I would do something about it. It’s just an ongoing, low-level annoyance.

When it starts bugging me too much, I turn my attention out into the world to find what the experts propose as a solution, as if there is a single real answer and if only I could just find that answer, then all would be well. That’s magical thinking. There isn’t a single solution. There’s a bazillion solutions, many of them contradictory, each with their own very official and trustworthy sounding scientific evidence to back them up. How is a girl to find her way?

One eating plan says to most definitely go vegetarian, and lists rather horrendous effects of eating meat. Makes sense. Then there’s the ancestral diet. Eat meat. You need your protein. Vegetables are good too. Then there is the low-carb camp. Whatever you do, do not eat carbohydrates of any kind. Bad. Evil. If you read enough of the prevailing literature, you will soon have the realization that you cannot eat anything. Don’t even drink the water. No matter what type of food, there is a highly-respected, double-blind, sound, scientific study that proves it is poison.

My exhaustive search led me to conclude that there are really only two choices: eat evil food or starve to death. It seems there is no way to win. I read so much expert advice that I literally couldn’t eat anything without fretting that I was eating something damaging. I didn’t know which way to turn. I was without direction and feeling rudderless.

Then one day, I realized I was just hungry and, quite frankly, fed up with worrying about getting it right. I just wanted to eat because I was hungry. I decided the diet that I needed to go on was an information diet.

I have landed on the conclusion that it does not pay to run around in circles, listening to this expert and that, because it does nothing more than create massive confusion in my head. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying it is bad to learn from experts. Heck, no.

What I am saying is that without your own internal guidance as the grounding element, it is impossible to effectively (and sanely) navigate the world of endless information in which we live. You have to be able to sense from within what path is right for you, and then trust and relax into that path. It is great to learn from the abundance of resources in the world – just don’t disregard your own wisdom in the process.

I realize that what is true for me is that worrying that the particular food I am eating is bad for me is what is bad for me, not necessarily the food itself.

It’s sort of paradoxical that the very reason that I went out into the world searching for information is because I felt unsure of what eating plan to adopt. But the more I went “out there” searching for guidance, the more confused I got. But when I go “in here”, searching inside myself to find my way, and then, if inspired to, I might read some information or research to help flesh out the details.

Flesh out, now that was an interesting phrase to use right then, huh?

Furthermore, the same is true whether you’re navigating nutrition and fitness, relationships, career, or any other area of life. The greatest and most valuable research you can do is to learn how to sense within yourself what is right for you.

Announcing My New Book: A Life of E.A.S.E!

 

I’m beyond excited to announce the release of my very first book! It is titled A Life of E.A.S.E., Four Steps to Creating Ease and Flow and is now available in Kindle format on Amazon, with the print format soon to follow! This book has been rolling around in my head for um… well, longer than I care to admit.  But it is now out of my head and into the world!  If you would like to understand yourself, your emotions, your behavior and the results you get in life, as well as getting tips and resources to improve your skill with all of that, grab the book. If you like it, please leave a review on Amazon!

Clicking on the image below will take you to Amazon…

ALifeofEaseCover

 

Themes and Synchronicities

When I notice themes and synchronicities in my world, I sit up a little straighter and pay a little more attention.  Like when you have some random, obscure thing like chicken meatballs with sundried tomatoes for lunch, and then you see a recipe for that very thing in the magazine you’re flipping through at the doctor’s office that afternoon.  What are the chances?

When this happens, I know I am in alignment.  I’ve managed to get out of my own way, which means that things I have been asking for are lining up for me, and not just meatballs.  That is just to get my attention so I don’t miss the awesome thing that is on my doorstep.  This is one way I receive divine guidance.  I like to think of it as little love notes from the Universe.

Lately, I’ve been noticing that a current theme for me is all about getting unstuck and into forward motion.  For a very long time, I have been feeling quite rudderless about figuring out what I want to do when I grow up (I’m in my fifties!), but I knew I wanted it to involve writing.

Recently, I heard about an upcoming week-long writing retreat with a well-known author in Taos, New Mexico.  Taos?  I love Taos!  I wanted to go, thinking that could be a catalyst to jumpstart a writing practice for me.  However, I was hesitant because it would require travel and substantial expense, and the experience sounded scarily touchy-feely for my tastes.  Mostly, though, I really didn’t totally resonate with this particular writer.

But I really wanted to somehow get my writing flowing.  I ping-ponged between going and not going for two or three days, then finally landed on a definite no.  Going just didn’t feel quite right.  So, since I still was kinda worried that I might be missing out on something important, I assured myself, “Not this workshop, but if I get the opportunity to work with an author whose writing I LOVE, then I’ll jump all over that!”

That very afternoon I received an email from an author whose work I adore announcing just such an opportunity.  Synchronicity!  She was offering a virtual workshop designed to help the participants reach the “one big goal” they are hell-bent on achieving within the next eight weeks (mine being to actually write something!).  The program is a combination of private coaching and group mentoring with loads of teaching, inspiration, butt-kicking, a little profanity and lots of accountability.

It did not sound touchy-feely in the least, and would cost much less, too.

The divine guidance was spot on.  I am already making incredible progress, and the significance of this fact cannot be overstated.  Seriously, up until this recent overpowering of inertia, I had been stuck and stagnant for years with regard to my writing life.  I was making myself crazy because I felt I had not found my “right work” — you know, the opposite of soul-sucking work – and I just couldn’t get warm and fuzzy with that void in my life.  Between refusing to give up and exploring new ways of approaching the dilemma, I am finally getting some real traction.

A very key element in my victorious emergence from the quagmire is the assistance I got from the Universe as I followed those success clues.  They were easily identifiable because they fit the theme.

Awareness of themes makes it is easy to spot the abundant resources swirling all around that support me in keeping the momentum going.  Right now the specific repetitive topic that most has my attention is a handy little concept called “strategies for GETTING THINGS DONE”, and tons of resources and ideas that address that issue are showing up synchronistically for me.

Here are some brilliant productivity books I have found to be ridiculously useful:

“Getting Things Done:  The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen:

David Allen presents methods based on two key objectives:  (1) capturing all the things that need to get done, or might need to get done, now or in the future, into a logical and trusted system outside of your head and off your mind; and (2) disciplining yourself to make front-end decisions about all of the “inputs” to your life so you will always have a plan for the very next actionable step.  Without this, there will be “incompletes” or “open loops” and that is what creates the stress.

Once the “open loops” are more effectively controlled, there will be greater relaxation, better focus, and increased productive energy.  You will know exactly what needs to be done, when, and you will have the focus and energy to move forward with it.

“Get it Done:  From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day” by Samantha Bennett:

An interesting idea in this book is that procrastination is genius in disguise and is reminding you that the project is important to you or you wouldn’t be feeling pain about not getting it done.  There is also advice about how to choose which of your 37 projects to tackle first, but the meat of the book is about how to keep making progress in spite of all of the obstacles that will invariably show up.  Here are her top three “Nearly Miraculous Daily Habits”:  1)  Allot 15 minutes a day to your project, NO MATTER WHAT, preferably the very first thing you do; 2) find an idea catcher, a system for making sure all those great ideas you are having all day long are not lost; and 3) allot 15 minutes a day for deliberate daydreaming.

If all you do is faithfully implement the first “Nearly Miraculous Daily Habit”, you will be pleasantly shocked at how powerful that is.

“Juicy Pens Thirsty Paper” by SARK:

This book is written to encourage writers to gift the world with their words and stories, and about creating the time and energy to actually do it.  There are just so many wise and encouraging concepts in this book, but the one that stands out to me with reference to getting things done is her recommended practice of micromovements.  This is a method she has used to write numerous books, as well as being more productive in all areas of her life.  Micromovements are tiny movements that lead to huge results, five minutes in length or less.  It is a way to develop of habit of completion rather than the more common habit of procrastination.  She says that most people commonly think of their projects as HUGE and this just will not fit in most people’s lives.  However, if you think of it in terms of a string of tiny steps that take only seconds to just a few minutes to accomplish, that fits in in all kinds of places and spaces around and between all kinds of other things.  Of course, many, many times, once you just get started, you end up working much longer and get much more done.

When I do this, I stay productive.  When I do not, well, my level of accomplishment tanks.

Of course, these are just examples that work for me.  The resources are endless.  Once you latch onto a system of productivity or make up your own, just do it.  Looking for the perfect scenario and then analyzing the thing to a slow and gruesome death is just counterproductive and is probably really just un-examined fear.  Just ask me how I know.  So pay attention, follow your divinely highlighted path, and GET THINGS DONE!

Things I Do and Things I Do Not Do

I was doing what I do, which is to read all kinds of inspiring educational stuff, filling my head full of ideas and possibilities, when I realized that what I just read inspired me to stop reading.  At least for a little bit.  I was reading a blog post entitled  “Creativity and Entrepreneurship: Lessons Learned By My 40th Birthday” by Joanna Penn on her blog at www.thecreativepenn.com, which reveals the most important things she has learned on her journey out of a miserable job into doing something she loves with her life.  The story details her journey of leaving a corporate IT consulting job, in which she was incredibly miserable, and creating a career that she was excited about.  I, of course, immediately identified with her, having had my own long, miserable career in the corporate IT field while desperately wanting to create my own fulfilling career.

This is not to say that all people in the corporate IT world are miserable.  Misery only ensues when the job and the employee are not a good fit.  I was not.  Apparently she was not either.  She was describing her re-invention as an “authorpreneur”, an entrepreneur who makes a living writing.  I identified even more, because this is what I want to do.  However, I am still navigating that gap between leaving the old world and landing at the shores of the new world.  The glorious day came when I permanently exited the corporate IT world, but I am apparently still sorting out, “Now what?”

The desire to create a viable venture just won’t quite leave me alone.  I can’t shake the desire to invent myself as an entrepreneur, even though I am in the enviable position of it being by choice and not financial necessity.  As much as I endlessly and exuberantly appreciate the fact that I don’t have to work, I still want to create a successful venture with my own talents and efforts.

What Joanna Penn wrote in that post smacked me right between the eyes.  She was laying out a bullet-point list of the lessons she learned that propelled her to success.  First point, take 100% responsibility for your life, which she first heard from Jack Canfield in his book, “The Success Principles”, its 10th anniversary edition released in January of 2015.  I was already on board with this.  I totally agree that I create my own reality.  Point number two is the one that jerked me to attention.  “Balance consumption with creation.”

That is it!  That’s exactly why I haven’t moved forward.  I keep reading and reading, learning and searching, planning and scheming, seeking more inspiration, getting ready to get ready, endless studying, following rabbit trails and shiny objects, but NO ACTUAL CREATING.  If an entrepreneur does not create something, build something, offer a service, create value, create SOMETHING, then, well, they just really aren’t an entrepreneur.

There were several points to follow, but point number two was so compelling that I stopped reading and started writing.  I responded to that call to action, and these words have been written.  I have created.  I have written, conjured, captured, crafted and, heck, even spell-checked.  I have nudged the balance between my own consumption and creation ever so slightly more to the side of creation.  I feel much appreciation to Joanna Penn of www.thecreativepenn.com for balancing her consumption and creativity and, in the process, inspiring me to more of my own balance.

Affirmations and Magical Phrases

EnergyFlows

Magical phrase:  “Wouldn’t it be great if _____________”

 

I learned this magical phrase from my very first life coach.  I was really having a struggle with life, pretty much all aspects of my life at the time.  This is an elegantly simple process that she offered to me to help me shift my attention, and therefore my energy, to a better-feeling place.  This always creates better-feeling results.  It has worked incredibly well for me and I have used it many times to easily shift my energy to a more positive, pleasurable, productive place.

 

It is incredibly mind-blowing to experience the power and speed of this process.  It’s just a matter of remembering to do it.  And doing it, of course.  The reason it works so well is because it shifts your attention to what you do want and away from what you do not want, but it does it in a soft, gentle way that does not cause resistance.

 

This might remind you of another popular process:  affirmations.  Some people swear by them and adamantly insist that affirmations are the best thing since sliced bread.  It is true that affirmations work great for some people, but it’s just as true that they don’t work worth a flip for other people.  My theory for the apparent disparity in results is that there is a flawed premise.  Many, if not most, people believe that the power of affirmations is in the words themselves.  But the real power is the resulting feelings, because that is the indicator that your current thoughts are in alignment with your true self, you larger self, your inner being.

 

Affirmations are only helpful if they inspire you to a better-feeling emotional state.  Many people grit their teeth and keep saying them, purposely disregarding the fact that the affirmations are actually making them feel worse.  The worse feeling typically comes because the particular affirmation is not believable, it is out of reach for where a person is emotionally in this moment.  It would be better to completely toss affirmations out the window if they do not make you feel better, because using them is causing your energy to shift in a negative direction.  Affirmations are highly effective if you design them so that they help shift your energy in a positive direction, as evidenced by better feelings:  even if only a little better.

 

The phrase, “wouldn’t it be nice if ________” is so powerful because it facilitates getting your attention on what you really want without it being too much of a stretch to believe.  Therefore, it is a wonderful tool to help fine tune skill in shifting focus, but without the negative side effects of trying to convince yourself of something that you just really can’t believe.

 

Intention-Attention-No Tension

These four words, cleverly assembled, deliver an epic message.  Kind of sums up a highly effective approach to life, and quite succinctly at that.  I wish I knew who to attribute it to.  Somebody other than me.  It is my experience that if I deliberately and by design set my intention, pay consistent attention to that intention and adjust what I’m doing accordingly, and can find a way to relax about it and let things flow, letting go of all that exhausting struggle and strife around things, then I find myself just enjoying the heck out of life and invariably see things work really well for me.  I like it.  I like it a lot.  Creating this tag with acrylic paint, stamps and ink was pretty fun, too!

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