Spiritually Woke

More often than not, the people we like the least, those that frustrate and anger us the most, can be very beneficial to our spiritual growth. They are our true teachers and we must remain open to the lessons. Woke.

Yes, the people we wish we could avoid, are those that will demonstrate precisely what we need to learn and possibly what we need to change about ourselves.

Woke to see the weaknesses in ourselves through the behavior in others.

More often than not it is the very subtle things they do that softly hit us over the head.

The Softer Side of Strong

There is a softer side of strong that is unbreakable. Madeline Johnson

When I was young and silly I thought that being strong was about being mighty, powerful, outspoken and relentless. Ungovernable.

woman

I thought being strong was about being in control. Standing firm and determined, demanding, forceful and willful.

Ridiculous.

 

sensitive

I have uncovered a softer side of strong that is unbreakable.

This style of strong is still, calm, clear and confidant.

Solid.

Collected and rooted deep in love. Yet freely open in spirit. A soaring type of strong.

Both solid and fluid.

2

 

Recommended reading

Keeping Your Thoughts Strong As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

Keeping Your Faith Strong  Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox

Disciplined & Strong Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink

Featured Artist

Nancy Friedland, Gallery on Instagram

Moving On

There comes a time when you must simply move on from a challenging, and painful situation. Madeline Johnson

There comes a time when you must simply move on from a challenging, and painful situation. Even though it may feel like you are leaving things undone, messy and unfinished, there is simply nothing left that you can do. You’ve tried it all.

1

This could be moving on from a half-hearted relationship, a thankless job, a place called home, a long worn friendship or the saddened death of a loved one. You’ve cried, screamed, fought, thought, mourned and now you are simply out of emotions to feel. You draw blanks. The painful experience has run its course. It’s time to go. You are emotionally barren or maybe you are full of the opposite you once felt. Either way, you have changed.

2.jpg

Hopefully you learned a lesson or two.

Sometimes you simply can’t win, but that doesn’t mean you’ve lost.

You can lose a battle, but win the war.

g.png

 

Featured Art

@the.walkiest.lady

Your Energy Field

From a spiritual viewpoint we are deathless souls using a physical, energy-body to gain experiences here on Earth. The body is the vessel used by the soul. Like a driver and his car.

Since we and everything around us is energy we must also be connected with everything. We are entangled. ‘

 

If we take this one step further it would mean that the way you think and feel can change the world for the better. Thinking positive thoughts can influence those around you – causing a ripple in this energetic ether.

Think about how you show up in the moment. The energy you bring to others.  The way you make other people feel, even when you haven’t said a word.

Top-30-Deep-Inspirational-Quotes-positive-vibes.jpg

 

Thoughts cause ripples in this field  and a shift in one part of the field ripples on and causes shifts in the parts next to it and they cause shifts in the parts next to them and the ripple goes on forever.

Because you are part of the universe, the ripples come back to you and give you back a doze of similar essence.

From The Energy Body

Featured Artist

Teresa Lunt on Instagram

 

Your Soul Retrieval

One must wander, wonder and get lost in life and in newness. Anything actually that whispers an ounce of inspiration to you. Madeline Johnson

Some Shamans practice what is called a soul excavation. This is a healing ceremony and an act of rescuing someone’s soul, a reviving of that part that can be lost after experiencing difficulty or trauma or a period of soul sucking work. It could be a doomed relationship, a failed venture, a broken partnership or a depressingly cold winter season of  life. Regardless of how one lost their mojo for living, they haven’t lost it forever and it is their responsibility to heal.

soul excavation

None of us have time for things that are soulless.  We want to feel inspired and charged with energy and love.

I believe we all have the natural ability to practice a soul retrieval each day. It takes persistence and can at times be exhausting, but it can be done. It starts with stillness and a search. A relentless quest for that breath of life that gives you wings and helps you soar.

Reviving your soul involves play, curiosity, exploration and continuous effort. Being fully persistent and curious about what turns you on, what awakens your spirit once more.

Many recommend that you think about what made you come alive as a child, but I argue, we aren’t children any more. Sure we might be emotionally, but not physically.  New passions will activate our soul now and will make us come alive again with a spark of joy.

broken.jpg

One must wander, wonder and get lost in life and in newness. New places, people and spaces. Sometimes in new creative acts. Acts of creation like dance, music, painting, singing – anything actually that whispers an ounce of inspiration to you.

2.png

 

Featured Artist

Robert Steven Connett @rsconnett on Instagram

 

Choosing The Path With Heart

How to choose the path with heart. By Madeline Johnson

So many problems. So little time.

How do you begin to tackle difficult problems?  Your own and others?

Remove yourself emotionally. Do not take the problem personally. It isn’t about you. Even if it is your own. It doesn’t define you. Whether you solve the problem or not doesn’t make you more or less of a good person, but it is best that you learn the lesson.

Is it a new problem that has you perplexed? Do a bit of brain mining and reframing.  Search your mind for old solutions that you can apply to your new problem. You need to see your new problem in a different light, so it feels less mind-numbing.

Be hyper realistic – make sure you understand what part of the problem is true, not what you wish to be true. Beware of false evidence appearing as real (your fear about the problem).

Tease out what is not necessary. Are you worrying about parts of the problem that don’t have to be solved? This will only make it that much more complex. Get to the core of the problem.

Now that you are at the core issue, state each element of the problem simply. Explain your problem as if you were going to tell it to a five year old.

Write out the questions that you don’t understand about the problem.

Research and understand what other’s have tried to fix the problem. Is there anything you can learn from your mistakes?

Use divergent thinkingexpanding what could be possible. Divergent thinking is a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions.

After you have come up with an acceptable amount of new ideas, use convergent thinking to refining ideas and looking for patterns.

Here a 3 minute explanation from Harvard’s Anne Manning.

carlos-castaneda-writer-look-at-every-path-closely-and-deliberately.jpg

2.png

Featured Artist

Mirella Nania

 

Excellent But Not Enough

Don’t limit your way of thinking to “this is the way it is, this is the way it has to be.” Challenge your mind to be open to possibility. By Madeline Johnson

The title of this post is from a phrase created by Edward de Bono, a very creative thinker who has impacted many, many people. I like it because it reminds me that while we can generate many great ideas, ideas that are actually excellent; we should never limit our thinking. We must remain open to the possibilities of life, for they are infinite.

I am interested in developing new ideas, not only for myself, but to also help solve the challenges of the world. I enjoy opening my mind and practicing the process of creative thinking.

The purpose of creativity is to change, to make things better, which is the mission of this blog and my life.

To make things better, one begins by opening one’s mind up to new solutions. Don’t limit your way of thinking to “this is the way it is, this is the way it has to be.” Challenge your mind to consider the possibilities.

The next time you are in conflict with another, when you are arguing –  make an attempt to move past being “right”.  To be “right” is okay but it is not enough.

second.png

If you are simply trying to prove another person wrong – then you have lost the fight. An argument should aim to open the conversation to new possibilities. 

Start with an effort to understand rather than argue and attack.

Open things up, rather than close things down.

Sometimes the situation is only a problem because it is looked at in a certain way. Looked at in another way, the right course of action may be so obvious that the problem no longer exists. 

-Edward De Bono

Edward de Bono is one of the pioneers of Brain Training. In 1967 he invented the world famous Lateral Thinking technique. He is a proponent of the direct teaching of thinking as a skill. He has dedicated his life to help people from around the world improve their thinking abilities and creativity skills.

Instead of simply judging and fulfilling your need to be right – perhaps you should attempt to improve your thinking by elaborating around the possibilities of what could be.

Read: Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono

third.png

Featured Artist

Ellen Jewett

Each sculpture is handmade and painted with no more tools than fingers and a paint brush. By virtue of this primal process, each creation is completely unique and produced in a fluid and intuitive manner.

Follow @ellenjewett on Instagram

Stillness

Somedays we just have to listen to our bodies. We must become more sensitive to what our body is trying to tell us. Madeline Johnson

Let us be silent,

that we may hear the whispers of the gods.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Somedays we just have to listen to our bodies. We must become more sensitive to what our body is trying to tell us.

1

 

Featured Artwork

Rie froehlich

Evolving to Resolve Ourselves

There is nothing more thoughtless than a life unexamined. Make some time in your day to confront your existence. By Madeline Johnson

Three simple ways to have a more interesting and enriching life.

Tell the truth.

Say what you mean.

Don’t do things you hate.

2

 

Thoughts about turning your

resentment into resilience.

A recipe for becoming a self-reliant, immovable force.

We all want to feel strong, empowered, confident and ready to take the world head on, but more often than not, we are a mixed bag of worry and concern about our day-to-day existence.  It’s time to make some time.

solitude

There is nothing more thoughtless than a life unexamined. Make some time in your day to confront your existence. Think about the people and problems in your life that you believe are holding you back, weighing you down and making you miserable.

3

Step 1

Separate fact from fiction. Think objectively about why you are feeling burdened. If you are bitter, angry or believe that life should be treating you better, examine that.  If your heart is hardening and you are disenfranchised with the world, proceed with intelligent caution.  Strive to understand that part of the problem might be you. Maybe you just need to grow up, mature a little.  Perhaps you are whining about your resentment towards someone, instead of truly owning and accepting your part. How can you be better, stronger, smarter about this problem? Stand up for your better self.

Step 2

Humbly face your enemies and your problems in a brave new way. Once you have sorted out the part you are playing in the anger game and you are ready to own that bit of it, you must know what you want and need and have the courage to ask for it.   You cannot move forward without first forgiving yourself and making a pact with your soul never to betray yourself again.  Next. Do the thing that most of us never want to do. Pick the right place and the right time and humbly open up and confront those who aren’t respecting you. So often we play out conversations in our heads, but we don’t actually have them. We aren’t brave enough to actually speak the words. It’s time to learn how to do just that. Let others know what you need and specifically what would make the situation better.

Step 3

Then put it down. Shed those past grievances. Release your clenching grip of control. Practice and proceed with intelligent caution. Start fresh and move forward with realistic optimism about your future.

3ebc17de7eed41781b8a9c974ddb0b36

4

 

 

 

Featured Artwork

Welderwings

 

 

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

2.png

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?”

3

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.