Have A Little Faith In Your Life Already

I’ll take faith over fear any day. Yes, one good thing about getting older and wiser is that you reach a certain point in your life where you can just say fuck to fear. You have gone through so much that you just know this is another thing that will pass. You have faith.

Yes it is true. You will get here, you will reach this point and you will fall in love with your fearlessness because you will realize that most of the things you are afraid of are only in your mind and most of the problems you think you have – will magically work themselves out – without our worry or intervention.

And, if you have grown spiritually, you let God do the heavy lifting. You will ask your co-pilot for some assistance during the turbulent times.

Other than that, sit back and relax. Enjoy your life. It’s short.

It’s not to say that you shouldn’t pay attention to your life. Please do.

Like if you have a deep gash that is spouting blood and needs medical attention right now or a flat tire on the highway during rush hour. These problems need immediate attention. The others, I promise, you will survive.

Just watch your life unfold.

98% of the time, the things you were worried about – those problems you think you had – they just disappeared. 

Here are the three most common things that happen.

  1. The person you’re really angry with does exactly what you feared they would do and nobody dies. And nobody cares. And nothing came of it. It came to pass.
  2. Somebody else takes care of it.
  3. You realize it wasn’t really a problem in the first place.

Problems.

There is always something to worry about, isn’t there?  It wouldn’t be life without the drama.  It seems like one problem fades away and then another just pops up. And we couldn’t of even predicted it.

You know what we should have instead of more problems?  We should have more fun.

You know what we should do with the unnecessary self-imposed drama? Ignore it. Just refuse it.

If You Ignore It, It Will Go Away.      If you have more fun, you’ll need less drama.

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References

Stop The Drama Train 6 Steps To A Drama Free Life

Avoid Life Dramas With These Tips

3 Simple Steps To Remove Drama From Your Life Immediately

 

Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter. A protégé of Gustav Klimt, Schiele was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. His work is noted for its intensity and its raw sexuality, and the many self-portraits the artist produced, including naked self-portraits.

 

A Deliberate Leap in a New Direction

There is something thrilling about second, third, fourth and fifth chances. Every minute of every day is a new opportunity to start over. Madeline Johnson

There is something thrilling about second, third, fourth and fifth chances. Hell, every minute of every day is a new opportunity to start over, clean the slate, tabla rasa. This one second of the 1,440 minutes you have today is the moment for momentum. It’s fresh, it’s new and it’s an opportunity to make life better.

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In an instant everything can change. Simply morph into something beautiful.

My inner wisdom tells me starting over begins with simplifying.  The older I get, the less I need. I am removing what no longer serves me. Clearing my mind of old thoughts, my desk of old mail and notes, discarding pens that no longer write well, beat up notebooks and calendars with dates gone by and mounds of scribbled on scraps of paper.

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Starting over by clearing the clutter, purging the non-purposeful. Removing the old and beginning with new – new tools, new hope and new faith.

It requires confidence to begin again. Confidence and clarity.

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Featured Art

Miles Johnston Art

From his bio. . .

I work primarily in graphite and oils, using the human form as a vehicle to attempt to process the intensity and profound strangeness of the collective human experience. The distortions and transformations my subjects undergo serve to represent the experience of our internal state during crucial moments in our lives. Instead of focusing on literal representations of the world, I depict the surreal and abstract qualities of our subjectivity with the goal of creating works with a deep emotional resonance.

I have a strong sense that art makes the world a better place, and I am giving all I can to be of service in this way. My work means whatever it means to you.

Believing in Ourselves & Receiving Love

Start asking yourself “How would the person I’d like to be, do the things I am about to do?” By Madeline Johnson

I have become obsessed with understanding all of the ways I stop myself from believing in myself and why I have such a difficult time receiving love from others. I think the two are connected some how and I am on a quest to know how I can swim through that undercurrent of self-doubt and vulnerability that I feel each day.

Low self-confidence can feel like a life sentence, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  I believe that self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered–just like any other skill.

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Why don’t I believe in myself? Well, I actually do, to a certain extent, but for some reason, I get to a certain level of confidence and then I tense up, I can’t let go – I can’t seem to grow into more of who I can be.

I am not imagining this, for it is real and it is my challenge. I know somewhere deep inside that I am capable of many great things, but I have blocks to believing that I am capable, worthy and deserving of love from myself and others.  I honestly want to remove these blockages, so I can upgrade my level of confidence and move forward to become a more powerful version of myself. Not just for me, but for my work and for everyone I encounter.

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It was a healer, a shaman from Columbia, his name Jesús, who I let examine my heart during a healing ritual. It was pretty trippy because I went back to a vision of myself living as a shaman in an ancient Mayan village. Jesús told me I must learn to believe in myself. He asked me over and over, why don’t you? why don’t you believe in you?  Why don’t I believe that I am much stronger than I think I am?

More recently, I noticed that I have blockages to receiving love.  It was during a spiritual session at Casa Mana Bliss, when our guide was taking our group through a guided meditation of giving out and receiving love and compassion –  while doing gamma breath work with diamond mudras and immersed in a beautiful symphony of sound bath therapy.  This was one of the most creative sessions that I have experimented with – and I have been to many a healer, shaman and retreat. It is fascinating to work with people who are attempting to shift your way of thinking, who are trying to help the world expand their consciousness.

I applaud anyone attempting to do this.  It is not easy.

Now while the meditation was a beautiful experience, what I really took away was a very important lesson. I was very aware that I had a difficult time taking in that love and compassion for myself.  No problem giving it out – but an inability to breathe it in like I want to.

Wait a minute, you lost me, what the hell is gamma breath work?

Gamma Breathing is meant to upgrade your brain processing power and change your state of breathing. It is a great way to get out of a funky mood.

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So far I have concluded that in order to believe in myself more, I most do more.  I must be willing to test, experiment, and try new things even when I feel uncertain that they will work or that I can do them.

The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you.” –William Jennings Bryan

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If you are working towards becoming a better version of yourself, than perhaps you should start asking yourself “How would the person I’d like to be, do the things I am about to do?”

Watch: TedX “How To Believe In Yourself

Read How facing discomfort can help you believe in yourself @zenhabits

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Featured Artwork

Julia Lillard on Instagram @julialillardart

 

Trust Not The Theater of The Mind

Learning how to relax and be calm is one of the best ways to find peace in your life. By Madeline Johnson

It happens to all of us. We get caught up in our own drama. Most of the time we are doing one thing, but thinking about another. We are driving the car but thinking about how we have to work over the weekend. We are making dinner but fighting with our ex about how it was their fault. We are meeting with a friend over cocktails but were wondering if were going to meet “the one” tonight.

We are every where but here and the last thing we are is relaxed in our own skin.

We aren’t calm, centered and balanced. Every time we get caught up in the frenzy and fantasy, the theater of our mind, we abort ourselves from reality.

And like any good theater production, the dialogue around drama in our mind is powerful.

There aren’t many peaceful, calm moments in our mind, but we all yearn for them.

Evidently, the search engine query “How to be calm all the time” is a very popular one.  Now why would that be?

It turns out one of the biggest stressors is lack of money. Yes, money is the biggest source of stress for Americans, research shows. Indeed, a survey by Northwestern Mutual found that money was the dominant source of stress for 44% of Americans, followed by the 25% who said personal relationships, and just 18% blaming work. And data from the American Psychological Association also shows that money is the No. 1 stressor for Americans: “Regardless of the economic climate, money and finances have remained the top stressor since our survey began in 2007,” the results revealed.

We all know what stress can do to us. Read more about how chronic stress can debilitate your life, and is the main cause of chronic health conditions and addictions here.

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It seems that so many people are seeking that sense of peace throughout their day, including myself.

We want that feeling that everything is okay, I can take care of it all and I can stay confident, balanced, and chill while I am doing it.  We are all looking for ways to be calm in all sorts of situations. Search engine queries around staying calm and centered also include. . .

How to be calm during an interview.

How to be calm at work.

How to be calm and collected.

How to be calm during a presentation.

How to be calm before a test.

How to be calm and assertive.

How to be calm before surgery.

We are all looking for just a beautiful sense of centered peace and being. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits has some very good advice about how to stay calm. Read here.

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Featured Artist

Alia Josephine Fawaz on Instagram @goastray_stayaskew

 

Positively at Peace

When we become more aware of our negativity biases we can begin to work with them to see the upside of events. By Madeline Johnson

The more I learn about what it takes to become the best version of me, the more I am convinced that the two most important strategies to produce consecutively good days are a positive outlook and a calm demeanor.

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“It’s easy to think about positive psychology as a magic carpet ride,” explains Dr. Rick Hanson, author of Resilient, his latest book about growing an unshakeable core.  For example, someone recommends you keep a gratitude journal and that is what is suppose to transport you to a new level of happiness and joy.

While remaining grateful sounds like good advice (and I know from personal experience that being appreciative of what you have is a better way to be) – – – what happens in the real world? How does keeping a gratitude journal help with the everyday stress and difficulties we deal with and the the reality about hard things in our lives?

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While I haven’t read his book yet, Dr. Rick Hawkins reminds us that if we want to improve our lives we must be aware of our bias towards negativity.

It is perfectly natural for us to look for bad news, threats that might effect our lives and then focus upon the negative and possibly over react to it. This is the fast track to becoming extra irritable and anxious throughout our days.

When we become more aware of our negativity biases we can begin to work with them to see the upside of events, the opportunities and the possibilities that can even come from difficult and challenging experiences.

Two habits that I am nurturing to help me are guided meditation (I highly recommend Jordan Bach’s free 7 minute giveaway guided meditation) and pushing myself to at the bright side of everything that happens. Finding one slice of goodness in even what looks like the worst possible scenario. These are simple strategies, and they are working for me.

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Read Dr. Rick Hawkins books

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books are available in 26 languages and include Resilient, Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s BrainJust One Thing, and Mother Nurture.

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Resilient because it’s vital to grow strengths inside like grit, gratitude, and compassion—the key to resilience, and to lasting well-being in a changing world.

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Hardwiring Happiness because life isn’t easy, and having a brain wired to take in the bad and ignore the good makes us worried, irritated, and stressed, instead of confident, secure, and happy.

Buddha’s Brain draws on the latest research to show how to stimulate your brain for more fulfilling relationships, a deeper spiritual life, and a greater sense of inner confidence and worth.

Just One Thing is a guide that offers simple things you can do routinely, mainly inside your mind, that will support and increase your sense of security and worth, resilience, effectiveness, well-being, insight, and inner peace.

More at Scientific American on the roots of embodied cognition.

Featured Artwork

Yoskay Yamamoto

 

Clarity About Your Contribution

I believe if we can share what we have learned along the way, we might be able shed light on the dark edges of the path for others. By Madeline Johnson

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.  

-Anne Frank

I keep telling myself, “you can’t do everything, but you can do something.”  My issue, is scattered energy. I struggle with staying focused and seeing things through. I start, I stop and I keep bouncing around from one great idea to another. Everything and nothing excites me all at once.

It’s probably why I am reading Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul for the third time. The only thing I can do is laugh at myself. Such a beautiful mess.

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Seeking More Clarity About My Contribution

So, of course I was inspired by Jordan Bach today. Yet another one of you on the world wide web sharing wisdom and inspiration. I am in awe.

Jordan encourages his community to petition God, the Universe, their Higher Power for more clarity about their contribution to the world.  What is it that you want me to do with these gifts I am not sure I actually have?

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Jordan guides us to believe that only loving thoughts are true.  The rest of your fear-based spin outs, that “negative thinking” thing we all do – the “doubting thing” that is  simply false and harmful?

We must remember no amount of negativity will serve us well at all.

To Be Such A Beautiful Mess

We are all human, and to be human is a very complex way to be. Most of our lives are messy.  Some of us have created a more beautiful mess than others, but a mess just the same.

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The question is, as you become more centered and grounded, as you get closer to what your unique contribution looks and feels like – are you going to share your mess or are you going to share your message?

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Are you sharing the grace and illumination you have received from the pain you have suffered?  This, I believe is a hint, a God wink, to where your contribution might reside.

I believe if we can share what we have learned along the way, we might be able shed light on the dark edges of the path for others.

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Inspiration

Wisdom of the Oracle cards

Jordan Bach

 

Featured Artist

Irina Silviu

 

Peace of Mind, Your Highest Goal

Let peace of mind be your highest goal. Madeline Johnson for Undisputed Origin

One day, after so much anxiety, you wake up and realize that peace of mind is everything and you do nothing that disturbs it and you guard it with your life.

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APPLY WITHIN

You once told me
You wanted to find
Yourself in the world –
And I told you to
First apply within,
To discover the world
within you.

You once told me
You wanted to save
The world from all its wars –
And I told you to
First save yourself
From the world,
And all the wars
You put yourself
Through.

 

Poem by

poet, writer and philosopher Suzy Kassem

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Recommended Reading

40 Ways to Create Peace of Mind  by Lori Deschene the founder of Tiny Buddha and author of Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions

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Featured Artwork by

Jason Limon is a painter and sculptor that was born in San Antonio, Texas.

Slow is Strong & Stillness Your Superpower

Stillness has power. By being still, you gain the power to think your thoughts more clearly. You gain the power to separate the right thoughts from the wrong ones. And this gives you the power to do the right action, and say the right words.

Be still

Be still your head and allow your senses to become heightened.

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Artwork

Sebastian Ospina

Everything

To Express The Creative Capacity of Our Essence

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.  – Joseph Campbell

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Absolute freedom. A life devoted to creative self-expression.

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A life that is fundamentally free is one that is free of certainty.  Purpose, passion, goals. . .they do not matter. The only guarantee of success is that every outcome is uncertain.  Their is no guarantee. Our purpose is not to be found or “discovered”. Our essence is to be expressed or we may fall into arrested expansion.

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To become completely comfortable with uncertainty is total freedom.

To live a life that is full of curiosity, enthusiasm and wonder.

To be free to live open to every situation at one time that we imagined would be difficult or a conflict.

To express the creative capacity of our essence.

This is how our lives become a work of art.

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To live in direct contact with the perpetual, dynamic uncertainty that is implicit in the power of life itself.  To appreciate the mystery of life.

This is equal to living in the heart of intimate freedom.

When we simply are, we are free.

There is no purpose to be found. Just the creative expression of life itself.

As you stroll along, if you’re awake enough, you will be led by your curiosity and excitement.

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Recommended Reading

Will I Be The Hero of My Own Life

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Links

Why Finding Your Passion is Bullshit @ThoughtCatalog

The Bullshit Question Your Ego Loves

Screw Finding Your Passion @markmansonnet

 

Quotes

The granddaddy of the consciousness movementGeorge Leonard was a co-founder of the Aikido of Tamalpais dojo in Corte Madera, California. He also developed the Leonard Energy Training (LET) practice for centering the mind, body, and spirit.

Art

Arrested Expansion by George Grie

Cairo is my muse by Huda Lutfi

Featured Art by Penelope Slinger

Seeking What Makes Us Feel Calm & Confident

I was thinking today about how it feels to be continually thrown off balance. To be provoked and manipulated by others, especially those that are harder-to-handle.  I was wondering how it is we can become reactive to every annoying thing that is thrown our way and what we need to do to remain composed in the face of unreasonableness. How we can train ourselves to cultivate an inner calm beyond meditation. How we can feel more centered and even more balanced, maybe top that off with a deeper faith and confidence in ourselves and humanity, and ultimately feel downright comfortable in our own skin.
When you are truly comfortable in your own skin, not everyone will like you, but you won’t care about it one bit. 
All day today, I thought about what makes us feel that we are all right with the world. What connects us with the wiser part of ourselves and what activities bring us the necessary strength to deal with the chaotic and the craziness that every day daily living can conjure up.  I look at these activities as the stamps in our passports to getting our own power back.
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They are the things we do to help strengthen us and stay balanced when life knocks us around. When we are beaten and busted and feeling agitated and disgusted. When we are overwhelmingly frustrated.
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A part of seeking what makes us feel strong is deciding the places and spaces and situations we put ourselves in order to build back that serenity and peace and stillness that keeps us sane.
I believe it is our responsibility to seek what makes us strong. I think it’s easier to do if we begin by relinquishing control of what we cannot possibly change.
One of the most rewarding moments in life is when you finally find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.
So what do we do to travel back home, to comfort ourselves, to relieve that pain and suffering brought on by this daily struggle called living.
Things we do to be present to our own selves. To show up for ourselves. Praying in church, meditating in the morning, running in the rain, crunching and squatting at the gym, journaling for ourselves,  browsing through a book store, enjoying coffee and croissants with friends, a long walk by the water. . .
We start by carving out some time for ourselves.
Seeking what brings us back to center gives us a sense of control, a boost of needed energy and a dose of self love that keeps us sustained and encouraged to keep the party moving forward.
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A healthy practice to embrace, we have become use to a low-level of generalized anxiety and confusion as we navigate our daily lives. We are so entrenched in the movement of go, go, go that we don’t even acknowledge how revved up and in knots our spirit and our essence has become.
Of course we are more reactionary when we lose ourselves in the daily nonsense and bull shit of life.
While turning inward can be helpful to touch the peace you oh so need, I also believe it is the activities we do, the places we choose to go and the people we decide get our attention that also activate and/or deactivate our inner peace.
We must seek more pleasurable moments. First we must identify how many we are having in a day.
Inspired by “Turning the Mind Into an Ally” by Sakyong Mipham.
Cheryl Richardson: Personal Growth: How to Give Yourself a Radical Upgrade
on The James Altucher Show.
Joe Dispensa – guided meditations
artwork by Barbara Kruger
 
I am experimenting with capturing the art of daily living on camera while creating short shorts that emotionally resonate on some level in your mind and heart.