There is a lot that writing and putting my writing out to the world has taught me. I'd say the biggest lesson, which I think will never end, is the truth that happiness comes from within. When my self-confidence and good feelings are dependent on other people, situations and circumstances they can and will be taken away. A negative review has toppled me from a high vibration to a low one in a matter of minutes, but climbing back up always feels like it takes anywhere from hours to days.
I am always trying new ways to handle these moments of being toppled. One thing I'm practicing now, which is really helping, is pre-empting the down turns with daily reminders that I am good and worthy. I set two reminders on my cellphone, one to go off at 8AM and one for 8PM. All they say is, "I'm a winner!" Each time I see this I smile, and I think in my head "I'm a winner!" I can't help it. I don't have to force it, which is also a powerful reminder of how fast we take in information.
To think this without pausing to question feels great, but I think the reason it makes me smile is because it's so cheesy. Each time I see the reminder I think, "Haha, this is really rather silly." Whenever you can make something feel fun or light it's going to feel less resistant and go to your core so much faster.
You can never fully prevent people from getting you down from time to time. That's not the point of life. None of us are here to become so hard and tough that we're immune to feeling. We're here to grow and learn, and besides, if you never felt down again you would lose some much needed contrast in your life.
So my daily "I'm a winner!" reminders are not keeping me from slipping and feeling down from time to time. But they have helped me immensely in bouncing back quicker, in trusting and believing in myself more, and in feeling my core self-confidence grow. It also helps me to smile at times when I wasn't about to smile. It helps so much I even have reminders set on my computer! I hope you will give this little trick a try and see if you don't notice how you respond to things, and how quickly you let them go, changing for the better.
p.s. As we come into the holiday season you can also tweak this, so that your phone reminds you to pause and breathe, or to stop what you're doing, smile, and look up. Whatever feels good to you.
One day I was feeling dispirited about various things I was trying to get going. I was feeling that not only was I failing, but I was doing so for selfish reasons. I was struggling to fulfill my dreams, which were personal to only me, and that made my struggle feel so worthless. I needed a reason to continue to push against my fears and limitations, a really big reason that was about more than me. I needed something outside of me to help me get out of my head and back into my heart.
As I meditated, I got an answer that both lifted me up and has continued to motivate me. I heard that when you follow your passions, when you dive in head first and go for what you want in life, you positively impact one million people. At first I couldn't believe it. How could anything I do affect that many people? But then I realized, everything we do reaches far beyond what we see through the ripple affect. I could see how if I was feeling inspired, passionate and a spontaneous sense of joy for life I would be sending out a wave that would create a high vibrating energy farther than I could imagine.
It's like when something really good has just happened to you and you're bursting out of your skin with joy and excitement. As you go through your day and you tell people how you feel and why, you effortlessly inspire other people to find their own way to those amazing feelings. Or maybe they just feel a little happier, a little more hopeful than they did before. And they share that glimmer of hope with someone, and that person shares the hope they gained, and so on. Take a moment to think of a time when you really felt inspired and passionate. How did it feel when you talked to other people about it? Did they seem to raise in their energy also? Have you asked yourself how many people they shared that inspiration with? Take a moment to try and imagine just how far your moment of THIS IS AMAZING! really went.
You don't have to be exploding with joy and enthusiasm to make a difference though. I've noticed that I sometimes have the most impact when I'm scared and going forward anyway. When I face what I thought I couldn't do, and share that with someone, I can see in their eyes thoughts of what they might try. Every step you take affirms to someone, somewhere, that it's possible they can take a step also. There is no step too small, no action you take too insignificant, to affect a lot of people. Even just showing up somewhere, being yourself and sharing your truth is enough to ripple out and impact this world.
So if you are feeling disheartened or afraid, try thinking about breaking through a limitation not for yourself, but for the MILLION people who will be positively affected in some way through the ripple affect. Try meditating on this today and see how you feel.
And please, scroll back to the top of the photo of the guy on the wire. That guy is doing nothing more than what he loves. How many people walk down the street, delighted by what he's doing? How many smiles does he create? Smiling reduces stress, improves the immune system, lowers the heart rate, relaxes the body and just makes a person feel more open. Now imagine some people see him, they smile, and they de-stress a little. They slow down and think I like this guy. He's funny. And for that moment, they forget their troubles and feel good. And they share that good feeling without even thinking, perhaps smiling at some people on the street, or leaving a little extra tip at the local coffee shop... and that's how easy it is to do something that spreads to one million people.... or maybe more... who knows how big of a ripple you'll set off today?
Here is a short prayer you can use to help open yourself up to a new phase in your life. I find prayer can be most powerful when written out, so try writing this out in a journal or on a scrap piece of paper. Change the wording as it feels right to you and your situation. In the prayer, you ask to pull up your roots. This does not necessarily mean you must move or that you want to, but can imply a metaphorical move, into a more loving space, or a more abundant space. You know what's right for you and what you need a this time.
I release my attachment to this space and the life I am living now. I pull up the roots I have here and prepare to plant them somewhere that is more aligned with where I am meant to go next.
I release my need to be comfortable in order to feel safe. I release the energy related to this need, from the first point of inception to now. I move forward with trust, knowing I am fully loved and supported.
I am on a beautiful, sacred, and spiritual journey that is personal to me. And at this time, I choose to release what is familiar and embrace the NEW. I step into the new and fully submerge my energy in it. My roots plant there, even though I can't see what they are planting in yet, I trust they will dig in deep and take hold.
I welcome all of the gifts, adventures and opportunities that are waiting for me. I express my sincerest gratitude for helping me on all levels to release the old and embrace the new.
If you desperately try to remain young, it is usually to hide your own beliefs about age, and to negate all those emotions connected with it.
Whenever you refuse to accept the reality of your creaturehood, you also reject aspects of your spirit. The body exists in the world of time and space.
The experiences you may encounter in your sixties are as necessary as those in your twenties. Your changing image is supposed to tell you something. When you pretend alterations do not occur you block both biological and spiritual messages.
- Seth and The Nature of Personal Reality (via Jane Roberts)
Writing a blog about living a passionate life is an interesting thing. When I look back at past entries I can see clearly where I was and what I was feeling. It's like a graph in some ways, plotting my ups and downs. What I really enjoy about it is the more I share the deeper I have to dig into who I am and why I do things. So perhaps there's a lesson here in that for you. Perhaps you might consider starting a blog also as a way to breakthrough something. It might sound just like journaling, but when you write and share things knowing other people will read it you will gain a new perspective. You will discover clearly what you want to hide about yourself, why you want to hide it, and how you can overcome it. Don't worry how many people read your blog. If you do it from your heart you will find it serves the exact purpose its supposed to (and if you really do this, please tell me! I would love to read it!)
I've been going on a journey lately of increasing my self-confidence in the specific area of my writing. I used to be painfully insecure and shy in all areas, and I have come light years in that regard. It's part of why I created some of the meditations I did (in particular The Magic Cloud, which is still one of my favorites). However, I have been butting up against an inner wall lately, and its been driving me crazy. I can see I am ready to grow and develop an even deeper level of self-confidence, but it has been a pretty epic struggle.
Which is why I find this blog so interesting. I can see my recent posts were skewed more towards embracing the negative. Just saying, "I feel like shit and that's where I'm at." You can't make a wall go away in your physical life by closing your eyes. If you closed your eyes and walked into your bedroom wall you'd get nothing but a smack in the head. Our inner walls need the same acknowledgement, and once we've identified them, we can tear them down.
For years now, I have been working to see my dreams of being a self-sufficient writer realized. In the beginning, I took small risks and so I had small setbacks.
Eventually, I wrote my first novel. But after years of work.... nothing happened.
I felt my novel told the story I had wanted to tell, and so in that aspect, I had succeeded. But after a pile of rejections and no agent, I felt like a failure.
Soon, it became something people would ask me about that made me cringe with regret. I felt like I had wasted my time, like a failure because I was still broke, and even worse, I felt massively insecure, as if this rejection defined my whole life and being.
My novel fell into the black hole that so many others do, the empty well where it seems the more you reach for it and call it back, the further away it drifts until finally, you let go. With that, it feels like a part of yourself has fallen into that well. You feel like this is it - you tried and failed, and you don't have the strength to go through all of that again.
Staring down into the dark abyss of the well, longing for something that always feels out of reach, is a heavy feeling. It can spiral you down and away from ever taking another step towards seeing your dream realized. Finishing my novel was my first big writing risk, and with it, came my first big setback that truly knocked me on my ass.
Years later, I am finally writing my second novel. I learned a few things during the time I sat ass to the ground, unable to pick myself up.
For one thing, when you're on the ground, you're closer to the flowers.
Haha. But there is truth to that joking, because I have learned that even when you're down there can be good in it. When you're pausing, you're soaking things in, letting yourself BE rather than DO, which is quiet incredible. Yes, it's painful to fall flat on your ass, but we're not going to focus on that.
We're going to focus on how you transition forward.
If you think I'm going to tell you to get the hell off the ground and get going again - you're wrong! That's what everyone was telling me. To write another novel. Write short stories. Quit writing and get the hell on with my life. Whatever step I was going to take next, I needed to take it. I needed to do it immediately for my own sake. I find this advice both insensitive and counter-productive. When someone fails to see their dream realized they are told to move on, either try again or do something else.
To me, taking time to pause is a desperately needed concept in our maxed to the limit world.
Do you know that people who work shorter work weeks are actually proven to be more effective employees? So don't be afraid to take a breather. You won't get passed by, you'll be doing what others fail to get - that anything worth pursuing is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself and you will go far further than your hyper busy peers.
Just because everyone around you is doing the GO GO GO thing doesn't mean they have any clue what they're doing. They're just doing what everyone else is. You will always hear people telling you to keep going and don't give up. But what you don't hear is that you will also need to pause from time to time.
Yes, moving on is essential and vital. But so is pacing yourself.
This time to pause, reflect, and if necessary, to heal, is also much needed in our creative and dream fulfilling pursuits.
And yet, it's rarely granted. More often, we feel judged and afraid if we don't rush to the next thing. We feel we will be seen as failures, we will prove we're failures, and we'll single handedly drag down society by being lazy schmucks (because we can be both the most important person in the world and the least at the same time - or at least our brain will tell us this).
I believe our passion pursuits should be given the same respect, honoring and nurturing our relationships do.
When you write a novel, start a business, etc., you create a relationship with the project you've brought forth. When you go for something you do it because a big part of you cares deeply for it. The longer it takes, the more time you need to pause and reassess after. It's no different than dating. A short term relationship can be moved on from faster than a longer one, such as a marriage.
The bigger the pursuit, the more time you are allowed to offer yourself before jumping into the "What next."
If you have a dream and you've been knocked on your ass, unsure what to do next, here are some tips, which will hopefully help light the way ahead a little for you:
1 - Truly take time to just be and enjoy life! Seek out what makes you happy!
For at least a few weeks, don't try to do anything (within reason - if you have a day job or kids to care for, do that, but I mean don't try to be ambitious for awhile).
Go see movies. Laugh. Take walks.
All of these things are ones we feel guilty indulging in, the pressure to GO GO GO will make you antsy, but if you can give yourself time to just be, everything listed below will come more naturally and be more enjoyable.
2 - After you've taken time to just be, ease yourself back into doing. Try channeling your creative or passionate energy into something else.
Do what you love, but without pressure.
Everyone will tell you to write another novel, or if you're an entrepreneur, to begin again, or whatever it is you're moving towards. Do not listen to your well-wishers. If you're not ready you're not ready.
These YOU SHOULD START ANOTHER XYZ NOW champions can feel like emotional bullies as we move through the scary landscape of post-risk.
What I recommend is to find a way to stay open but in a way that is gentle to you also. If you plunge in head first and you're not ready, that's like exercising a muscle too soon after surgery. It needs time to rest for a reason. For me, writing screenplays was a wonderful way to stay creative, to write and not to feel the pressure of I must write a novel now or I will die. I also signed up for a song writing course recently. I am not a singer. I will never share this song with anyone. Anything that allows you to play with what you love, but without making you feel anxious over what will become of it, will help you to stay afloat until you're ready to really dive in again.
Essentially, do it because it's FUN. If it doesn't feel fun, forget it. Save it for later.
3- Find a way to stay away from feeling powerless
Sign up for some sort of short term challenge, or set a small goal. Perhaps run a mile if you're not a runner. Or finish a two week language course if you like to study languages. Whatever it is, keep it small and short. No pressure here.
I recently signed up for a 100 day dance challenge. Deepak Chopra is also doing another 21 day meditation event. Anything with a somewhat short time limit is perfect. It's enough time to feel accomplished, to remember you have the ability to self-discipline, to feel control over your life, and it'll get your mind off of things.
4 - Exercise
This can be combined with a short term challenge you choose, say walking or running every day for 30 days. Do not underestimate the importance of moving your physical body. This will help within any depression you might be experiencing. It will also help to clear your mind and energize your spirits.
5 - Try to avoid "I should" situations, especially ones that make you feel you're in a spotlight
If you start to should yourself, take a moment to pause, breathe, and ask yourself what you really want (i.e. I should go to this party, all my friends will be there.... I should go to this church event, people will know if I don't.... etc.)
If you need time in to take a bath, be alone, or listen to music, do it.
If going to a party where you know someone or many people are going to make you feel on the spot, fuck it. You don't have to go. You only have to honor where you're at.
But - and this is a big but - don't get sucked into hiding. Balance is essential here. If you feel yourself avoiding ALL social interactions, then you're going to eventually feel trapped in your own dark corner. If this is already happening, return to number four ASAP. Get out and walk. Look at the trees. Smile at people. Trust me. I've been there. You'll feel better if you get out and just breathe and move.
6- Know that this will pass, and that taking this time to honor and listen to yourself isn't holding you back
It's helping you to pass through it faster and to prepare for whatever it is you'll do next. And you will do something. One day, the urge will strike and you'll be glad you rested, healed and recharged your batteries so you can go for it full force!
I have officially joined national novel writing month, aka Nanowrimo. I have always been a curious lurker around this November writing madness process. This year I decided to sign up because it's been years since I've written a novel. I've written several screenplays and some short pieces since my last novel, but I have been feeling the call to write another book lately. So I'm taking one of my screenplays and using it as an outline. I had already been considering this screenplay should be a book, so now I've got the incentive to do it! I've already started and I'm curious to see what I'll have at the end of the month!
If you sign up also my Nano name is Missy12345. Add me as a buddy and we'll cheer each other on! You don't have to be a writer to do this, you only need a desire to try something crazy and a willingness to keep at it for 30 days. 30 days is what's generally considered the time it takes to form a new habit. So if you sign up for this, whether you're a writer or not, being disciplined while engaging with your creativity will be a habit by the end of the month. If you don't think you're creative that's okay - maybe even better, because developing latent sides of ourselves is one of the best ways to grow ourselves. I think this could be a fun way to get something out of your head that you can't let go of, perhaps as a way to heal the past. It could also be a good way to recharge your writing batteries, or your passion-for-life batteries in general. If you have a desire to do something, I promise you'll be fired up to do it once you finish a novel. It doesn't need to be a good novel (who can write a good novel in a month?), it only needs to be a novel. The feeling of accomplishment and that you went for it will be one you won't forget! Not to mention thousands of writers and non-writers will be joining in, so you'll be sure to feel supported and energized by the feeling of community.
For more go to the nanowrimo website, and don't forget to find me there!