The Power of No

You give up trying to fix other people’s lives, and let them own their own. You give them the gift  to mend and heal their own pain.

It’s amazing how much lighter life feels when you let go of the weight. It’s as if you grow wings. Fly baby fly.

If you say no to someone, and they get angry, it doesn’t mean you should have said yes.

You can soar now.

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Yes, you have permission, you can hang up your cape. Go ahead now, let someone else swoop up and save the day. 

I promise you, you still matter. You matter very much.

What were you thinking?

I know what you were lacking. A bit of self-worth.

You – everyone to everybody but you.

Look at you now.  No longer feeling the need to shoulder the many burdens.

Isn’t it so strange how we decided to pick them up in the first place? Even odder – how we get use to the weight and the heaving lifting. We don’t even notice how much we are bearing, until we put them down.

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Life becomes light as you put down the problems you are not suppose to solve.

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You are done with lifting and lugging around the guilt and pain you never caused.

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You give up trying to fix other people’s lives, and let them own their own. You give them the gift  to mend and heal their own pain.

Because it was never yours to hold in the first place.

 

Featured Artist

Maurizio L’Atrella

 

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

 

The Balancing Act of Daily Living

It can’t be a go, go, go kind of day, everyday, all day.  One must leave some room for rest and relishing in the goodness. By Madeline Johnson

There is beauty in the act of staying open to life. Staying open to the organic experiences that aren’t on the calendar – that aren’t on the schedule.

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Saying yes to new opportunities is a wonderful idea. Saying yes to invitations, offers and experiences. Saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes is a solution to staying relevant and valuable in today’s uncertain times.

Saying yes can also lead to dead ends, to new problems, to over commitment and letting others down.

But there is a problem to saying yes to too much. There is struggle between how much time one has, how much you can commit to and how much sanity you need in your life to stay balanced.

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The struggle between slowing and rushing, the pushing and plotting, the busyness of life and the feeling of being over committed and stuck on the wheel of progress and production. Too much work leaves one feeling depleted yet too little and you feel left out, unnecessary and irrelevant.

This is the fine balance of carving enough time out of each day to breathe and dive into the work – to produce a better quality of work.

It can’t be a go, go, go kind of day, everyday, all day.  One must leave some room for rest and relishing in the goodness. Some time self care and reflection.  It is in these small windows of time that one transforms. When you sit back at the end of the day and decide what worked and didn’t for you and then decide what you will say no to – tomorrow.

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Featured Artwork

Aykut Aydogdu was born in 1986, Ankara – Turkey. He started studying Fine Arts at high school and graduated from Faculty of Fine Arts – Graphic Design. He has various works on commercial illustrations, magazine covers, movie posters. His surreal figurative works are mainly concentrated on the dilemmas of the daily life.

Recognizing The Gems From The Junk

We learn by default every day anyway. Why not be more selective about what we absorb? By Madeline Johnson

Welcome another day. This one cool, wet, windy and wild. The weather is doing its thing. A downpour upon us. Everything is sopping.

This day, a new day, so many different ways to play it.  Flow a little, push a little, try a little. Put some things down for good.

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Some mornings it feels like I am being forced back into existence.  This time perhaps, a bit more discerning. Not skeptical or cynical, no not that.

I rise with more intention. To be more discriminating about my life – about what I say, I do or agree to.

Which makes sense, because someone with discerning tastes or a discerning eye is good at distinguishing the good from the bad and sifting out the gems from the junk.

So I spend some time fine tuning my mind. Scanning my brain and examining my heart. It’s a good exercising for the early hours. Oh inner wisdom, do tell me what I need right now.

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The seeking, wanting, and knowing the difference about the way things are and the way things could be.  I didn’t say should, I said, could.

Viveka – To Perceive More Clearly

Discernment is described as “keen perception; insight; acumen”.  Viveka, the Sanskrit word for discernment, is about seeing things as they are. Insight is seeing into something, from our inner self, not from outer rigid standards, opinions, or social pressures.  When we use Viveka, we are tapping into something much deeper than our egos passing judgment.  We are using the ability to perceive clearly.

Viveka is a Sanskrit term that can be translated as “right understanding,” “discrimination” or “discrimination knowledge.” It is one of the four attributes of a spiritual disciple. It is the ability to differentiate between the real and unreal, eternal and temporary, Self and non-Self, pleasure and bliss. It is a spiritual practice of realizing the Truth and the Soul.

For a while I was seeking the truth. I wanted to be absolutely certain.

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Now, like a cosmic sleuth,  I seek the soul truth.

There is always far more to be seen than the obvious. Tune within yourself to connect.

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My soul says no.

When we say yes to everything, we are lazy. It’s difficult to make decisions. Decisions take thought and energy.

Do fewer unimportant things in order to do important things more frequently.

We learn by default every day anyway. Why not be more selective about what we absorb?

Featured Artwork

Alexandra Mia Monkewitz

 

Grace Full

And remember to learn, learn, learn. Open your mind to the wonders. By Madeline Johnson

Do what you please, follow your heart.

It is your life.

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Just be. Be natural, positive, grateful. Grace full.

Stay light if you can.

And remember to learn, learn, learn. Open your mind to the wonders.

In the words of Mary Oliver. . .

And that I did not give to anyone the responsibility of my life. It is mine. I made it. 

And can do what I want with it. Live it.

Give it back, someday, without bitterness,

to the wild and weedy dunes. 

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Read: Upstream by Mary Oliver, Selected Essays.

Featured Art

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on Instagram @hecatombedeesperanzas/

Not Knowing, Always Growing

Continue to build trust in your intuition, but let your life unfold from truth, not from fear. By Madeline Johnson

I’m letting go of my tendency to make assumptions about my life because they lead to nightmares, fairytales and made up scenarios that form my future. I don’t have a crystal ball and I am not psychic.  I continue to build trust in my intuition, but I want my life to unfold from truth, not from fear.

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I believe the practice of remaining curious and open minded will serve me well.

Learn, grow, evolve.

It’s okay not to know.

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Today is the first day of a deep dive into knowing myself better.

  1. What am I good at?
  2. What am I so-so at?
  3. What am I bad at?
  4. What makes me tired?
  5. What is the most important thing in my life?
  6. Who are the most important people in my life?
  7. How much sleep do I need?
  8. What stresses me out?
  9. What relaxes me?
  10. What’s my definition of success?
  11. What type of worker am I?
  12. How do I want others to see me?
  13. What makes me sad?
  14. What makes me happy?
  15. What makes me angry?
  16. What type of person do I want to be?
  17. What type of friend do I want to be?
  18. What do I think about myself?
  19. What things do I value in life?
  20. What makes me afraid?

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What am I happy about in my life now? …

What am I excited about in my life now? …

What am I proud about in my life now? …

What am I grateful about in my life now? …

What am I enjoying in my life right now?

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Read 

Darius Foroux process for self awareness

Featured Artist  

Mariano Peccinetti

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