Authentically Humble

The world would benefit if we were all a bit more authentically humble, for this living is a joint affair. It’s an agreement to exist together and to work together and dare I say thrive together.  I won’t just tolerate you. I see you. I feel you and through knowing  you, I’m beginning to know more of me.

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If I listen deeper with more of an open heart, I may be able to hear the things you are too vulnerable to to say. I want to understand what you are going through too.

For what you are struggling with –  is also mine. Not to carry, but to respect.

By honoring you, I humble me. I strengthen me.  It makes this living thing, a lot easier to do.

Being humble does not mean you are meek, small or invisible. It doesn’t mean you are  silent or that you should stand by the sidelines of life.

A vulnerable and humble being has the strength of character to realize that they don’t know all the answers. They are strong, fluid and connected to others.

The act of humility allows for openness of communication and knows that good ideas can come from anyone. A humble human doesn’t brag about accomplishments. They act with decisiveness and integrity, and inspire through actions and not publicity.

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Read more: Jocko Willink’s Extreme Ownership

Featured Artist

Yoko Kimiko on Instagram @robot_minds

The Stories We Never Share

I don’t know about you, but I want to be the heroine of my story. By Madeline Johnson

Let’s examine those stories we never share for a moment, shall we. The stories we never share but they rule our world.  The stories that live in the recesses of our minds.

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The back stories that run a narrative  and lay a track over our the lives in the here and now. The scary stories of love, abandonment, rejection and hurt.

The stories that hold us back from exploring something new.

Why do we run the old stories through new beginnings?

We interject a pain from the past into our future.

Do we think somehow this will protect us from hurt?

Do we think only the paranoid survive?

I don’t know about you, but I want to be the heroine of my story.

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@mattattack426 on Instagram

Freeing My Mind

Retraining your brain, reforming your life. by Madeline Johnson

I am training my brain to replace my worries and fears with positive, grateful and loving thoughts.

Staying still. Noticing moments so holy, so beautiful, so sacred.

All day, I stay focused on emptying my mind and freeing my thoughts and clearing all negative emotion. It seems crazy, like I am talking to myself, and I am.  I just no longer want to be sad and struggling. There is no other way out. I want to connect.

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What a shame to have wasted all that time, thinking things that never came true. Unnecessary struggles. A stunning waste of headspace.

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I want to show up like an empty vessel to conversations, events and meetings. I don’t want to contribute my judgmental mind and ruin the potential of something potent.

This must be what they mean when they say get out of your own way. 

This is the most difficult thing I have done in my life, but the voice inside me tells me it must be done. Free my mind.

Read, Practice, Learn The Seven Day Mental Diet by Emmet Fox

 

Featured Artist

Ariel Katzir

 

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. 

 

 

What Love Requires

It is the act of loving that love requires. Love needs nurturing. Love needs attention. Love needs care. Love demands appreciation and respect. Love requires giving. Sometimes giving more than you take.  Without the execution of loving acts, love dies.

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“Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.”  ―Erich Fromm

 

Featured Artist

Paulina Galka from Poland on Instagram

 

The Freedom of Discipline

Once this day is gone, once the sun has set, the day will be a memory. Let it be a good one.  By Madeline Johnson

Study and seek as I may, the only thing I know for certain is that I will never get this day back again. Once this day is gone, once the sun has set, the day will be a memory. Let it be a good one.

Am I doing my best in this moment right now. Am I paying attention to my life? Am I listening and learning? Are my actions reflecting my pure and bright mind?

You often hear people say you have to get out of your own way to improve. They’ll remind you to remove yourself from the problem. Or perhaps they will recommend you simply let it go. Surrender.

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The battle continues when you struggle  to hold on to that which is no longer here – what is gone – what no longer serves you. Let it go. And victory is had when you give up the fight and move forward with faith into the future. This tug of war is the essence of our challenge and the secret to our lives.

Don’t kid yourself and don’t listen to others that tell you to simply meditate. It really is a struggle to release yourself from the ever-controlling, powerful ego. The part of you that wants to control everything.  It is frustrating to remove the old speak from your mind.  It’s hard to do, but it is possible. With enough discipline and self-encouragement, you can steady yourself on the right path with the right thinking.

This spiritual journey is not all incense, crystals and dream catchers.

The path is not for the faint of heart.

Strong discipline is required.  It begins freeing and disciplining your mind.

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Featured Art

@psychedgallery on Instagram

Useful vs Useless Thoughts

Listening to negative thinking and unwanted thoughts is a pointless, time-consuming habit that does nothing but leave us stuck.  Madeline Johnson

What stops us from having a productive, peaceful mind, a mind that is fluid and lucid, a mind that is energized, capable and fully determined to reach our highest goals  is having a mind that is filled with resentful road blocks, self-destructive detours and cynical and suspicious beliefs.

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Listening to negative thinking and unwanted thoughts is a pointless, time-consuming habit that does nothing but leave us stuck.  But, when we are angry, when we are frustrated and when we have had enough, we can use that energy to fuel ourselves into something more. With the right attitude, we can take that victimizing rage and turn it into a powerful strain of strength to fuel to rocket us to a whole new level of powerful confidence.

I’m getting into the habit of replacing all useless thoughts for useful ones.

How do we know when a thought is useless?  We can simply ask – what good will this ruminating thought bring us? Will it bring us closer to harmony? to feeling good? Feeling empowered?  Or will it only frustrate and aggravate us even more?

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I am giving myself the permission to stop the worrying and self-pity.

And I am making great progress focusing on the productive, peacefulness and power of this present moment.

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Featured Artist

 

Kadambari Pathania

The Real Reason You Don’t Believe in Yourself

Pay attention. Catch myself in moments of self-destructing justification. Trust that I am not alone and God will help me along the way. Madeline Johnson

I finally understand why I have a hard time believing in myself.  It’s because I say one thing and do another.  I overpromise and under deliver and then justify my poor behavior based on some crazy cognitive distortion.  I am stuck in a continuous loop of self-sabotaging denial.  Oh for the perpetuation of anxious psychopathological states.  To believe in myself, I must keep the promises I make to myself. 

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The broken promise: No more wine at night. It’s mind- numbing sugar poison and wakes me up at 3:00 am. I will drink valerian root tea before bed instead.

The contradicting behavior:  Find myself pouring a second glass of Sauvignon by 10 pm.

The destructive justification: I need to relax this little monkey mind, wine does the trick, it’s white, only 90 calories a glass – it’s so important that I fall asleep already.

The broken promise: No more cheap clients and time-sucking work. It’s time to double down on building up my savings and getting ahead of debt. I promise myself that I won’t overload my schedule tomorrow and I will only accept projects that pay me what I am worth.

The contradicting behavior:   Then there I am, frustrated and annoyed, panting and racing to finish a lousy paying writing project, begrudgingly hunched over my 13″ lap top screen until 9 pm at night.

The destructive justification:  Fear sets in. The money grab.  Say yes to everything.  Jump on the work while I can.  You never know when the well will run dry. Be grateful for everything that comes my way. Take it and don’t be ungrateful.

The broken promise:  I swear to myself that I won’t mindlessly snack on junk food like calorie-packed, nutrient-deficient  milk chocolate raisins and tasteless chick pea crackers between lunch and dinner. I want to get down to fighting weight and I will count all incoming calories.

The contradicting behavior:  Hand in bag, candy smeared on the keyboard, while I stare at my MacBook Pro and wonder how to juggle all these crazy little poor-paying projects and get it all done by the end of the day.

The destructive justification:  I am so stressed, my brain needs energy. I am thinking so deeply. Doesn’t the brain consume most of my calories? Alright, maybe not most, but a lot of them. Oh, these calories are nothing. I’ll go to the pool and swim them off later. . .

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Pay attention to my life. Catch myself in moments of self-destructing justification. Trust that I am not alone and God will help me along the way.

Featured Artist

Yamandu Pazos on Instagram

 

 

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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.

 

Uncomfortably Content With Our Lives

Now, as I mature, what I seek is to feel content, that is – to live in a state of peaceful happiness. Madeline Johnson

For as long as I can remember, from the time I was a young girl, I’ve always had a very strong aversion to being “comfortable”.  There was something foreign to me about the feeling of being okay with the way things were.  To be complacent was something I never wished to be.

To me, comfortable meant lazy. To feel comfortable felt like you didn’t want to put in the effort.  It meant not caring enough to make anything better. It meant going along with the way things were – not wanting to strive for better.

I believe that when we are comfortable, we don’t question anything. We’re not affected by life. We’re checked out.

I am thinking about how this aversion to feeling comfortable has effected my life. I am a seeker, a striver and person willing to adapt, change and remain open to something better.  It has been both a blessing and curse.  I am never satisfied with the way things are and unwilling to accept being comfortable, so this living feels uncomfortable and at times feels like a struggle. Nothing in my life is ever good enough – in my mind, it can always be better.

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Now, as I mature, what I seek is to feel content, that is – to live in a state of peaceful happiness. My desire is to feel tranquil, serene, satisfied and grateful.

My crown is in my heart, not on my head, Nor decked with diamond and Indian stones, Nor to be seen: My crown is called content:

A crown it is, that seldom kings enjoy. 

– William Shakespeare from King Henry VI

2.pngFeatured Art

Ruthbell on Instagram @rbellart

Read: The Difference Between Happy & Comfortable