Believing in More

For the most part I think we all wish to become the deliberate creators of our own lives.  We truly want to believe that we still have the freedom and capability to shape our own realities.
We all want to believe that we can succeed in whatever our dreams may be. Yet somehow we get stuck. Stunted by our limiting beliefs.
I’m too old.
I’m too young.
I’m not smart.
I’m not pretty.
I’m not handsome.
I’m not thin.
I’m not funny.
I’m not wealthy.
I’m not talented enough.
Beliefs that break our hearts and kill our dreams.
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But let us for a moment dissect what a belief is and what that “enough” might buy us.
Let me know if you agree. A belief is a thought that is backed by your confidence, faith, trust and acceptance – it is an assumed truth for you  and the best explanation that you have based on the evidence you have experienced so far in life.
The word “enough” is an opportunity to grow. Ask yourself, what would it require you to be “enough” of something. What would you need to be, to be enough? What would you need to believe? What would you need to sacrifice?
Take a moment to reflect. Are your beliefs a detriment or a benefit to you? That is a good question to ponder.  While you are at it, be honest about the emotional payoff you get from your beliefs.
How does “I’m too old” get you off the hook from embarrassing yourself?
How does “I’m not talented” keep you from failing before you even begin?
Perhaps believing that you are not athletic gets you off the hook from getting in shape.
Maybe believing you aren’t creative keeps you from the agony and frustration of trying something new and being a beginner at something like painting, drawing or dancing.
No matter how old, young or smart we are, we must experiment with our lives to build new beliefs about ourselves.  Grow baby grow.
In order to transform, one must pull all of these tragic beliefs by the root, weeding the garden of the mind.
Remove the seemingly innocent beliefs of . . .
  • “I can’t tell the truth because I may get judged…” Better to be heard, than care about being judged.
  • “I don’t want to get close to this person lest my heart gets broken…” Let your heart be soft and forgiving, beating and pumping that love juice. Love again. 
  • “I don’t want to ask for what I want because, I might be rejected” Rejection is your projection my darling. 
  • “I can’t trust people because I’ve been betrayed before…” But what if you aren’t this time around? 
  • “I can’t pursue my dreams because I don’t know what I’d do if I fail. I can’t afford the risk.” What is life but a risk?

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You become what you believe you can be. Before you can begin to grow, you must believe that you have what it takes.

Featured Artist

Mai @glitchostrich

 

Goal Reaching Skills

Reaching our goals can be quite the struggle. More often getting to the goal requires us to not do certain things to get there. The aspect we don’t discuss much is the ability to deny one’s impulse in service of hitting the mark.

When you set a goal, you require a change in your behavior. Sometimes this requires sacrifice and self-regulation.

Self-regulation involves taking a pause between a feeling and an action—taking the time to think things through, without making rash decisions that might side track you from reaching a goal.

Life will throw you all sorts of curve balls to ruin your goal reaching plans.

Developing a self-regulating system – a way to manage your behavior -a strategy that involves the process of guiding one’s own thoughts, behaviors, and feelings involves impulse control over short-term desires. These systems will help you resist impulsive behaviors and improve your chances of reaching your goals.

When you self regulate you learn how to tolerate uncomfortable feelings without getting overly frustrated so you can stay on course.

Self-regulation allows us to bounce back from failure and stay calm and collected.

Featured Artist

@teresalunt on Instagram

Feelings

Life becomes a little easier when you begin to realize that feelings are meant to be felt, not meant to wreck you. That sometimes the only thing that is really wrong is your mindset, not your situation. You have the power to create something wrong just by the way you are looking it.

Just because you have a frightening moment doesn’t mean your world is about to collapse.

featured artist

Aniela Sobieski

To Be Apologetically, Unapologetically Me

This post is a study on how to remain true to yourself while repairing some of your faulty framework. Madeline John

This post is a study on how to remain true to yourself while repairing some of your faulty framework. It’s about keeping the essence that is you, but knowing the parts of you that could use a bit of improvement. It’s about being apologetically, unapologetically you. It comes with being more self-aware and looking for clues from how others react to you.

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Those that know me know that I’m hard to hold back. I have a positive, enterprising, forcible way about me.  I do not enjoy wallowing or waiting.  If I see a change that needs to be made, a problem that should be solved, I persevere until it’s done, corrected, repaired. Those that love me appreciate this about me. I too, also value my tenacious approach.  The challenge is, while at times I may be an unapologetic  force to be reckoned with, I also have a tendency to leap before I look while stumbling to the finish line and bull dozing through any so-called obstacle that’s in my way.  Yes, I muscle my way through life, and while it’s unapologetically me, it can be extremely exasperating, vexing and displeasing. I therefore apologize and look for ways to be more graceful and thoughtful in my approach and tone.

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Featured Artist

@tmgallows on Instagram

 

In Search of A More Peaceful Existence

Enough with the busy, busy, busy going nowhere fast. Let’s find the time to do some deeper work. By Madeline Johnson

Each year, the Institute for Economics and Peace releases the Global Peace Index. This is a study of 163 independent nations and territories around the world that uses indicators to determine which nations are the most dangerous, as well as which are the most peaceful. At the top of this list is Iceland. This isn’t a surprise, as this nation has taken the top spot for 10 years in a row. Features that stand out in this country that make it the most peaceful in the world is low crime rates and “non-existent” tension among the economic classes. My husband says it’s because very few people live there.

Why am I searching for the most peaceful places in the world?

I am in search of stillness, peace and more time for me. A place where I can savor the day and not feel engulfed by the competitive madness and ongoing consumption.

It Takes Time To Be Better

You see, when you set out to improve your life, to be a better person, you take on the responsibility of owning your actions, behavior, thoughts, words and reactions to others. This process invites you to continually observe yourself and treat your life like an experiment. You are the lab rat.  This self-inventory and reflection takes time and deep thought. So most of us who claim we don’t have that extra time to focus on ourselves, are advised to get up earlier. Yes, rise up at 5:00 am so you can have an hour or so to yourself. Time to journal, meditate, pray and contemplate your existence without a flurry of text messages or email requests disrupting your concentration.

Now the rest of the day is spent showering, eating, commuting, emailing, talking, working, writing, waiting in line, food prepping, laundering, shopping, and the list goes on.  . .

I ask you, what kind of world do we live in that we are told just 10 minutes a day of meditation and a few yoga breaths and stretches is all we need to feel better?

Enough with the busy, busy, busy going nowhere fast.

Let’s find the time to do some deeper work. Some unraveling of our emotions, resting of our souls, listening to our hearts, feeling our emotions, basking in our spirit and rising to our light.

 

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Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.

-Rita Schiano

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Featured Art

Kulinovic Marko on Instagram

 

Unapologetically You

There is only one decision for you to make today. Do what is true and meaningful for you. By Madeline Johnson

To be unapologetically you – at your best –

gloriously flawed.

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It’s crazy how many people inspire others just by the way they live their lives. They don’t preach, they don’t coach, they just live their lives the way they see fit  – and through that act – they become an inspiration for others.

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There is only one decision for you to make today. Do what is true and meaningful for you. Time is running out. So get to it before you let someone else decide for you.

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Welcome this brand new day.

Use it as you will.

Waste it or fill it with goodness.

You have a choice.

Tomorrow it will be a memory.

Let it be a sweet one for all.

 

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Featured Artist

Stefano Bonazzi

 

One Very Smart Habit

Staying focused on what is important to you. This is a very good habit to start. By Madeline Johnson

I’ve gotten into the very good habit lately of asking myself throughout the day if I am focused on what is really important.

This habit is easy to learn.

I simply stop what I am doing, take a breath and then ask myself the question.

Am I focused on what’s most important right now?

Most of the time I find that I am not focused on what is important. I find myself getting milked by another on the phone, distracted by text messages or simply on autopilot working through the day.

Yet I know that I can catch myself.  So, If I find that I am concentrating on something that isn’t in line with what is important, I reset and start again. It feels like one long ride of falling and getting up again, but I know that training my mind over and over again will eventually let it sink in.

Staying focused on what is important to you. It is a very good habit to start.

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Train yourself to listen to your heart so that you know what’s true and important, and what is not.

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Featured Art

@Rogerscate on Instagram

 

 

What Changes Everything

Before you try to mold or change anyone in your life again, take a look at yourself and work on your own. By Madeline Johnson

When you are no longer able to change a situation, you are challenged to change yourself. And that changes everything.  – Marc & Angel

It is better to pay attention to the harmony and disharmony within yourself and eliminate the impossible task of trying to control and shape others.

Before you try to mold, shape or change another person in your life again, take a look at yourself and work on that which needs adjustment in your own life.

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Stop trying to control that which you cannot. Focus on the things within yourself that you can change.

Controlling your own behavior . . .

  • Your present and future behavior,
  • How you respond to the behavior of others,
  • How you spend your time,
  • Who you spend time with, the friends you keep, your participation and behavior in relationships,
  • How you apply your talents and strengths.
  • The strengths you choose to acquire, develop, and apply.
  • Initiative, drive, commitment, tenacity, focus,
  • Who waits for whom,
  • The promises you keep, and the people you betray,
  • Your level of nutrition and fitness,
  • Habits, both good and bad
  • The choices you make,
  • Preparations and plans you make,
  • Impulse control,
  • Integrity, authenticity, congruence, reciprocity
  • The path you take,
  • Your behaviors that annoy others,
  • Where you live, where you work, where you play, your career,
  • The responsibility you take for yourself, and who you choose to blame,
  • When you appease, when you acquiesce, when obey, when you submit, when you rebel, when you protest, and when you blow the whistle.
  • Where you shop, how you spend, and how you save,
  • When and how you use your power.
  • Reappraise, apologize, forgive, let go, and take responsibility for yourself.
  • Deciding to do your best, or less than your best.

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What you communicate to others . . .

    • What you say, how you say it, who you say it to, and when you say it,
    • The authenticity of your expression,
  • Who you greet, and how you greet them,
  • Facial expressions, body language, gestures, posture,
  • Grooming, dress, and personal hygiene,
  • The attitude you project,
  • What you write, say, and share,
  • Who you include and who you exclude,
  • Your public image,
  • The topics you avoid, and those you engage, when you are patient, when you show impatience.
  • Authentic information or deceptive, manipulative, incomplete, or disingenuous disinformation.
  • The promises you make, when you say “Yes”, and when you say “No”.
  • Who you like, who you trust, who you dislike, who you distrust,
  • The symmetry of the power relationships, including: deference, respect, fawning, condescension, leadership, or disrespect.
  • Who you show respect to and who you are disrespectful of,
  • What you are willing to tolerate, and what you take a stand on,
  • Who you interrupt and who you allow to interrupt you.
  • The trust you extend and the trust you earn.

What you know . . .

  • Facts you have gathered,
  • Understanding,
  • The evidence you consider,
  • The theory of knowledge you use to choose your beliefs.
  • Expertise, skills, and how you apply your talents,
  • Literacy, logic, quantitative skills, domain knowledge,
  • What you study, read, listen to, and learn,
  • What you question and what you accept,
  • Your self-image, including your understanding of your authentic self.

How you think . . .

  • Your values and goals.
  • What you believe,
    • stereotypes,
    • religious beliefs,
    • loyalty
  • The assumptions you make, the questions you ask,
  • Who you trust,
  • The points of view you adopt,
  • What you value, how you evaluate information, the priorities you set, what you want.
  • The focus of your attention, what you regard as important and what you regard as unimportant, your priorities.
  • Your mood, attitude, and point of view,
  • Your explanatory style; optimistic or pessimistic,
  • The alternatives you generate and consider,
  • How you balance inquiry and advocacy,
  • Your level of innovation,
  • Your compassion, empathy, and understanding of others.
  • Your level of skepticism, and openness to new ideas
  • Interest, investigation, imagination, and curiosity,
  • How you choose friends and who you regard as friends,
  • Who you choose as enemies, and who you fear,
  • Your willingness or refusal to hate others,
  • Who you love and who you decide to hate.
  • How you learn,
  • Your level of emotional competency.
  • The integrated and introjected regulations you maintain and respond to.

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What you hope, dream, and aspire to:

  • Your goals,
  • Your hopes and aspirations,
  • Your role models.

This post was wildly inspired by Leland Beaumont

Inspired Reading  Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Getting Back to Happy by Marc & Angel

You can’t control everything that happens to you in this crazy world, but you can control your response to it. Marc and Angel provide a grace-filled guide to navigate life and find happiness regardless of your circumstance.”
—Joshua Becker, founder of Becoming Minimalist and author of The More of Less

Featured Artwork

Denis Sheckler

It Really is Your Story

Stop searching for your purpose. Whatever you’re doing,  find the meaning in that right now.  By Madeline Johnson

And no one, I mean, no one, I promise you –  no one is going to create your story for you.

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Let’s challenge ourselves shall we? Let’s question the stories we tell ourselves–  about why we are here, stuck over there, or wondering where we are headed.

Loosen up the noose around your neck.

Take a breath why don’t you.

Free yourself of fixed ideas, of old stale notions about your story.

Flip the script you’ve been writing.  It’s time for a plot twist.

The truth about your story is you get to make it up along the way.  Every day.  You are the only one to give anything any meaning in your life.  And your life can mean anything you want it to mean.

What do you care about, what do you think is important? Not for the world, not for society, but for yourself?

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Your life is anything you want it to be.

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Stop searching for your purpose. Whatever you’re doing,  find the pleasure in that thing, place, moment, right now,. . .appreciate every aspect of it, and find the meaning in it.

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Inspiration

The 10 Essential Rules For Slowing Down and Enjoying Life More by Leo Babauta

Books

Essential Zen Habits

Featured Artist

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What do I care about, what do I think is important? Not for the world, not for society, but for myself?

Olaf Breuning

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