Everything at Once

It’s not suppose to be easy, but all these expectations only make it harder.  Madeline Johnson

Sometimes I wake up excited about everything. Well to be honest, I am both excited and terrified. Excited about the opportunity the day brings and terrified that I won’t accomplish anything great in my life.

I’m excited to start the day and I’m ready take off and I am terrified that I will not have the time.

Juiced up, I find myself in a frenzy of desire to do this and do that.  Like a child, I am lit by the divine.  I just want to get everything started already. I want it all at once.

I am oozing with enthusiasm. My soul is on fire. I am determined to co-create with God.

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I begin with the desires. I’m going to find that new place to live, start writing that new book, I am going to learn this and learn that.  All at once.

All of the ideas come flooding into my brain and I am energized. I’m supercharged with an unrealistic belief that I must begin everything right now.

I believe I might be touched by delusion.

I am ready to go. Today’s the day.  All the beginnings will be made at once.

By midday I crash. I exhaust myself mentally. I am tired before I begin. I overwhelm myself with the thought of it all. It’s self sabotage really. It’s also immaturity.

I know better. I know that everything takes time. It’s not suppose to be easy, but all these expectations only make it harder.

Most importantly, I must enjoy the process.

I remember that I am in between.

Start again with small steps. One thing at a time, one moment at a time.

I take a deep breath and begin again.

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Featured Art

Bahri Genç @bahrignc

 

 

Rising Up To Your Highest

Today is the ideal day to let go of what you think is protecting you and create a life that supports you. Madeline Johnson

I find that the quiet early mornings before the sun rises and anyone has awoken, I hold a moment to myself to examine my consciousness. This gift of time presents a wonderful opportunity for me to rise up. An opportunity to let go of any fear of the future and anxiety about my abilities or abandoning myself.

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The rituals, the exercises, the journaling, the meditation, the prayer, the gratitude serves a single purpose and that is to elevate my thoughts so I can rise up and shine brighter today.

Today I must let go of what I think is protecting me and create a life that supports me.

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Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD, is an internationally recognized authority in the fields of psychiatry, health, business, and education. He has published extensively, including classic bestsellers “Forgiveness”, “Teach Only Love”, and “Love is Letting Go of Fear”.

Featured Artist

Victor Whitmill

A note from the artist. Questions are generally more interesting than answers. So…I paint to raise questions. The answers aren’t the point. Being entertained by not knowing is. Depth comes from wonder. My work isn’t deep. However, viewing it might be. 

 

 

Thoughts That Change Everything for The Better

Choosing how we think and understanding the power of each and every one of our thoughts is a game changer. By Madeline Johnson

Choosing how we think and understanding the power of each and every one of our thoughts is a game changer.

The thoughts that pass through your mind are responsible for everything that happens in your life. Your predominant thoughts influence your behavior and attitude and control your actions and reactions. As your thoughts are, so is your life.

What you hold in your mind, you are attracted to in life.

Your mind can’t distinguish between a REAL event and something you actually think about.

The Astonishing Power of Belief

Whatever belief you have in your subconscious mind will become your reality and 96 to 98% of the time you are on autopilot allowing your subconscious mind to make decisions for you.

10 minute watch The Incredible Power of Your Beliefs

Our thoughts create us and we have to be extremely careful about what we are feeding our minds.  Be thoughtful about what you read, watch and learn.

On a physical level, negative thoughts in your mind can release stress hormones like cortisol into your blood which weakens the immune system and inhibits the action of your white blood cells, increases the chances of infection and promotes weight gain.

We have on average 60,000 thoughts a day and most of the time, they are the thoughts we had yesterday. They are thoughts that are dwelling on something bad in the past or something that can potentially happen in the future.

There is absolutely no situation in the entire universe that can cause you to experience anxiety. It is your psychological reaction to the situation that causes your anxiety.

You create your anxiety by the way you think about a situation. You have the power to think differently about everything that happens to you.

 

Featured Artist

Ra.in on Instagram

 

Paying Attention To Our Lives

Try to loosen the grip on life. Stop white knuckling your way through the day. By Madeline Johnson

Life does not guarantee us time here. In an instant our lives may be altered in some way. In a moment, our trip may be over. Waste not a minute in worry.  It’s mind-blowing really . . . .

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In the entire history of the universe, let alone in your own history, there has never been another day just like today, and there never will be another just like it again. Today is the point to which all your yesterdays have been leading since the hour of your birth.

It is the point from which all of your tomorrows will proceed until the hour of your death. If you were aware of how precious today is, you could hardly live through it.  Unless you are aware of how precious it is, you can hardly be said to be living at all.

Frederick Buechner

Perhaps the most unifying theme throughout all of Buechner’s writings (pronounced “BEEKner”) is to “pay attention” because God is constantly at work in our everyday lives. A writer and theologian, his books are on my reading list and include Secrets in The Dark.

The message today – to remember how precious life is, how sacred this day is. I know I will make more time to enjoy, to relax, to release myself into everything I do.

I will loosen the grip, noticing how I hold on to things so tightly. In an effort to control, I white knuckle though my days. Now I soften the grip, so I may remain calm and let life be.

I will remember how supported I am. How much love and encouragement surrounds me and how it lifts my heart and helps me propel forward.

The entire universe opening up to give me – giving me more time to focus on what is important. To do what I cherish.

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I will know without a doubt that God is within me, loving me and guiding me all the way.

I know that my intelligence is something that I can trust. That clarity comes from tapping into my moral compass – doing what is right and best not for just me but for all.

And if I become anxious, concerned, if I don’t know something, I will go to the wisest ones I know, to seek and to learn.

I will remain open so God can show me what I may be overlooking,  because . . .

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eyes.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Read Life’s Little Instruction Book

Featured Artist

@lesslightmorebright on Instagram

What We Learn Along the Way

Life happens. Life teaches. 
Some of the most important things I have learned along the way. By Madeline Johnson

Life happens. Life teaches. We live and we learn.

Some of the most important things I have learned along the way.

Life can be unpredictable. The weather can get dark and stormy.  Clouds roll in. No matter what happens, be prepared and stay centered. Don’t let every little thing that happens throw you off balance.  You get to decide what rocks your boat, what drives you crazy.

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Pay attention to the details. Sloppy and fast requires do overs. You don’t want to have to redo what you didn’t want to tackle in the first place.

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Sometimes that thing we don’t want to do – what must be done. Do your best and move on. 

We don’t listen deeply enough to each other. Communicate clearly and elegantly. Get your point across. When it’s your turn to listen, listen with all of your senses. 

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Most of us want bad situations to be over as soon as possible. We will do anything to escape confrontation. We just want to move on. Sometimes they take time to work out. Patience really is a virtue.

When bad things happen, it’s even more important to take extra good care of yourself. Provision yourself well –  to ride out the storm. 

Think long and hard before you say yes to commitments. Especially long term commitments.

Don’t rush into relationships or situations. Weigh your decisions carefully. Uncover the truth, then take smart, calculated risks.

Always remain grateful, even when all you have is just a little.

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You don’t know what you or someone else is capable of doing until they’re really desperate.

Pay attention to your life. Don’t be lazy. Do what needs to be done now.

We are never really blind-sided. Heed the warning signs. Examine the red flags. Listen to the small pains that can become big headaches. Don’t wait. Act now.

Focus on the good that is happening in your life, even when times are dark and bleak.

We all lie. We lie to ourselves. Big lies, small lies, white lies, dark lies. We deceive each other. We do this because we don’t want to hurt ourselves or others. Face the truth. The truth will set you free. Seek what is fact, not fiction in life.

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Most of us see situations the way we want them to be, instead of how they truly are – stay in reality.  Reality may be harsh, but it is your friend

Know that when someone is lashing out in anger, they are usually very sad and frightened. 

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Featured Art

Anna Tsvell Anna’s surreal portraits are full of bohemian melancholy mood. She paints women of almost alien appearance which makes her portraits extremely recognizable and attractive for the art collectors all over the world.
Long curved necks ,chaotically combined parts of the face and body (since summer 2018) are the main distinctive features of Anna’s remarkable style .

 

 

No one Can Dance For You

How to face the frightening unknowable and uncontrollable future with less fear and trepidation. By Madeline Johnson

You are the facilitator of change in your life. Ultimately it’s all on you.  You have a choice. Stay stuck or move forward.

Face the demands of life voluntarily, respond to a challenge, instead of bracing for catastrophe.

– Jordan Peterson

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I suffer from catastrophic thinking and it is awful. I turn most problems into the sinking of the Titanic and I bring everyone along for the drowning.

Swimming Through the Unknowable & Uncontrollable

Here are three ways I have discovered to help anyone through a moment of worst case scenario distortions — so they may face the frightening unknowable and uncontrollable future with less fear and trepidation.

1. All is Good Right Now

Sure something bad might happen in the future, but “It’s not happening now.” Yes, it’s certainly possible that a catastrophe could occur, but it’s not happening now. This phrase may help you see that, at least at this moment, you are safe. All is well.

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2. You Made It This Far

“Whatever happens, I can cope.” This statement reminds you of your own inner resources and gives you the determination to meet the challenges of life. (The concept comes from the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tradition.) Here are 50 ways to get through an anxious moment, that really work.
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3. Can You Stop?

Gain perspective. Instead of telling your brain to stop, ask yourself if you can. If you think about it, you are the cause of your own suffering. Can you stop the anxious loop? The first part of this statement has its origins in Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.  B.png

Read the entire article 3 Ways to Stop Imagining The Worst

Featured Artwork
Naoto Hattori was born in 1975 in Yokohama, Japan, studied graphic design in Tokyo before moving to New York to study. In the year 2000 he received a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts. He has received Awards from the Society of Illustrators, the New York Directors Club, Communication Arts and also he has won numerous awards from many art competitions and has been published in numerous art magazines. Of his work, He says: “My vision is like a dream, whether it’s a sweet dream, a nightmare, or just a trippy dream.

Under the Gun Thinking

If you’re in a hurry, you’re also more likely to fall prey to other biases.  Avoid the rush to solve bias by slowing down decisions whenever possible. By Madeline Johnson

The player who is “under the gun” in poker is at at a disadvantage due to their position. The under the gun player is the first to act in the first round of betting, which means that every single one of the other players at the table will act after them. To be under the gun is to be under pressure. Too often we over estimate the sense of urgency – the pressure involved to make decisions in our lives. So often we put ourselves under the gun when we don’t need to do so.

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Sometimes we make decisions because we just don’t want to deal with the problem any longer.  So we make sloppy decisions.

Don’t apply unnecessary pressure. Fortunately, we have the time to think things through. Most decisions don’t need to be decided right now.  Remove the pressure.

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If we desire to make better decisions we must ward off the rush to solve bias.

If you’re in a hurry, you’re also more likely to fall prey to other biases.  Avoid the rush to solve bias by slowing down decisions whenever possible. Awareness is the first step to improving quality of judgment.

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It’s difficult to make smart, creative decisions when we are under the gun, when we apply unnecessary pressure. Most of the decisions we make are controlled by our mental shortcuts known as cognitive biases.  A brain under real pressure needs cognitive biases to help drum up a good idea as quickly as it can.  These biases are built into our brains to protect us from failure yet unfortunately they also hold us back from thinking of new and better ways of our solving problems. They block us from seeing solutions creatively.

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Our minds are so tricky. Our brains wired to scan for potential threats. Sometimes, even when we aren’t under pressure we spend time worrying about what might happen in the future. When we contemplate about what might happen to us, when we spend time in our own minds, guessing about what might occur, we tend to bring along unrealistic thinking and perhaps even fear to help protect us.

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Trying What is New and Unknown

Our ambiguity bias keeps us from embracing change in our lives because we fear unknown outcomes and we tend to favor that which we already know. We mistakenly choose to think about the tried and tested instead of the new and novel. This leads to doing the same things over and over, expecting different results.

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What You Want vs. What You Worry About

As you take action and make decisions today, try to overcome your biases and tie your “to do’s” to what you desire for tomorrow. For everything you do today will have an impact on the rewards you reap in the future.  Apply just a little more thought and intention, a little more time and a little less pressure to thinking about what you want to happen instead of what you worry might happen.

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Read  Mini Habits

A printable version of the Cognitive Bias Codex here.

Featured Artwork

The award-winning Illustrator and Art Director, Mario Sánchez Nevado, runs the Madrid-based studio Aégis Illustration, creating artwork and designs for bands and publishing houses all over the world.Part magical storyteller, and part sobering messenger of society’s ills, Mario’s work compels a deeper consideration of the world around us.

Altering Your Attitude of Mind

Very often human beings are  living on autopilot,

reacting automatically to what happens. 

– Betrand Piccard,

Our thoughts are constantly helping us to interpret the world around us, describing what is happening, and trying to make sense of it by helping us interpret events, sights, sounds, smells, feelings.

Our automatic brain attempts to keep us safe like an overprotective parent. Scientists have proven that our brains react more strongly to bad events than good.   There is a greater surge in electrical activity. Thus, our attitudes are more heavily influenced by disaster and doom than good news.

The Purpose of Our Negativity Bias

Our capacity to weigh negative input so heavily most likely evolved for a good reason—to keep us out of harm’s way. From the dawn of human history, our very survival depended on our skill at dodging danger. The brain developed systems that would make it unavoidable for us not to notice danger and thus, hopefully, respond to it. Read the full article on Psychology Today.

The automatic brain responds only to danger, threat or vulnerability, but these thoughts are also great teachers. When we question them, we can become more intelligent about why we do the things we do.

Believing in negative thoughts is the single greatest obstruction to your success.  

Charles F. Glassman, author of Brain Drain

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Questioning Our Automatic Negative Thoughts

Recognize when you are confusing thoughts with fact.  For example, I woke up this morning and I looked at my schedule and thought, I will never finish everything I have to do today. Oh the dreadful feeling of defeat before dawn. This is not something new for me. This fear-based thought always makes me feel frustrated, unsettled and unsuccessful before I even began the day. It overwhelms me, but is it true?

Now, I have no evidence that I won’t have a productive day. This is not a fact.  The challenge for me is to ask myself why I think I won’t finish everything I have to do today.

Perhaps it is because I have over scheduled myself. If I look at this fearful thought as a tool to help me, I realize I have the opportunity to prioritize my list and set up myself up for success by removing unnecessary tasks until tomorrow, or the next day.

I can also ask that negative thought if I have the right tools to have a productive day.  I can question the fear of not having a productive day, with “What will it take me to have a productive one?”

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Questioning our automatic thoughts can free us from fear and help us alter our attitudes for more positive outcomes in our lives.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” 

– Viktor Frankl

Read Man’s Search for Meaning

Featured Artist

Leonora Carrington Her approach is deemed visionary and strongly personal, while her symbolism is considered entirely new and authentic. The relationship between Carrington’s writing and her paintings is another topic that has been popular among many art critics and scholars. The same goes for an important role in feminism in the new analysis of Carrington’s art. The scholars claim that Carrington’s highly personal visual expression which combines folklore and magic led the way aspiring female artists who wanted to explore new ways of addressing and portraying female identity.

Our Greatest Weapon Against Self-Doubt

How to challenge our negative self talk and align our desires with our subconscious beliefs.
by Madeline Johnson

Whether you succeed or not begins with what you believe to be true and sometimes what we believe to be true about ourselves just isn’t so.

You can look at it this way.  Whatever you hold in your mind (whatever you think about constantly) will tend to happen in your life.

If you continue to believe and act as you always have, you will get precisely what you’ve always gotten.

If you don’t like where you are at in life, then it’s time for a change in your thinking.

It’s simple and it can be easy, if you believe you can do it. You can change your thinking for better results in your life.

Our thinking leads to our behavior and there are ways we can behave to make situations worse and there our ways we can behave to make things better. 

Accurate & Actionable Thinking

All action starts with a thought and when your thoughts are a mixed bag of desire and fear you will create mediocre results at best. You will start that project but quit. You will start to lose a bit of weight and then binge. You won’t succeed at the new goal you have started.

It’s not like you aren’t trying, so it’s finally time to get to the root cause of your lack of progress. It starts with establishing what you know and what you don’t know about yourself. Discovering what is true about you.

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It’s finally time to remove your self-doubt, those limiting beliefs about yourself that are ingrained in your subconscious. I am talking about unpacking the stale and old beliefs that are stored in your subconscious mind. These deep-rooted beliefs are what really drive us to behave the way we behave and are the beliefs that get in the way of our success.

97% of our thoughts are unconscious and autonomic – similar to how our heart beats and our eyes blink. Read more about shifting paradigms *changing your beliefs by Dr. Catherine Collautt

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You simply can’t hold a positive intention in your head and mix it with self-doubt or fear.

Your desires and your belief must be the same.

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Our thoughts and subconscious beliefs must be on the same page or we will self-sabotage our success.

I truly believe you can have anything you want in life,

when you give up the belief that you can’t have it.

Note: There is a difference between believing you can have something and thinking you deserve it.  The key to success is starting with the belief and then working really, really hard at achieving what you want. It has nothing to do with thinking you deserve something.

The Way You Think When You Support Your Limiting Beliefs

When we are thinking from emotion (not a good idea), we must become aware of our cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are simply ways that our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true. Here is a description of 15 of the most popular ways in which we use them to reinforce negative thinking or emotions.

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The greatest weapon against self-doubt and fear is our ability to choose one thought over another.

 

Featured Artwork

Rob Shields

 

Shifting Your Focus & Redirecting Your Energy

What to do when you feel like your life doesn’t align with your dreams. by Madeline Johnson

Everything is Energy.

 

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Your thoughts are energy

and everything we create begins with thinking first.

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Negative thoughts = negative energy
Negative thoughts lead to anxious days. Sometimes miserable ones at that.
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Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be changed from one form to another.

– Albert Einstein
Fresh New Vibes
Your ‘vibration’ is a way of describing your overall state of being. Everything in the universe is made up of energy vibrating at different frequencies. Even things that look solid are made up of vibrational energy fields at the quantum level. This includes you.”
Read Raise Your Vibration here.
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What to do when you aren’t doing what you really want to be doing, but you must.
When you’re taking that job to pay the rent.
When you’re just way to comfortable with your significant other.
When you feel like you just don’t have any real friends.
When you’re feeling like a sell out.
When you’re not following your passion.
Or pursuing your purpose.
When you feel like a fake.
An imposter.
When you feel ugly on the inside, and maybe on the out.
When you feel like your life doesn’t align with your dreams.
You must redirect your energy. . . reconfigure that negative thinking.
You must change your mind.
Shift Your focus.
Yet still respect the rules.
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Realize you may be too close to see your reality.
Recognize that you are ruminating again. (but make sure you’re not problem-solving, which is a good thing).
Take charge of your thoughts, your life again.
Anxious rumination can pull us in and take on a life of its own, providing a superstitious feeling of security and control.
To get unstuck and outside of our heads, we can activate our right (nonverbal) brain by doing a simple physical activity such as a walk (without ruminating), or jogging in place for a minute or two. Or we can soothe ourselves, for example, by focusing on our breathing in a meditative way, drawing or painting, or listening to music. In this way, we can contain anxiety and unnecessary torment, as well as safeguard our psychological resources for genuine problem-solving, creative thought, relationships, and other challenges that pay off.
Allow yourself to rest first. Take a moment to pause.
Now begin to question and remove every thought that is not serving you well.
Physically change your environment. Put down the phone, close the laptop,
get the hell off of Instagram. Please.
Take a walk. Go for a bike ride. Stop and change your location.
Just move.
Take another moment to protect your energy. . .
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Understand that negative, anxious thinking is positive energy turned bad, spent complaining, fretting, crying, worrying, comparing and hating yourself.
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You must struggle to redirect it. You channel it. You take that pain and anguish and put it into something new. Let it out. Use that energy to make something new. Something that looks a little more like what you want.
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You take that energy and you journal a bit, go for a run or a walk, blast your favorite music. Make your bed. Clean the kitchen. You break out the water colors, turn to the fresh page, press open the notebook. You click on a new project on adobe. You put on your yoga leggings and grab your mat.  You walk to the market and pick up a wickedly healthy salad.
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Featured Art
©HannahLemholtForLoveWarriorsDogmaQuote.jpg