Limbo

I remember not to fear or worry or doubt myself for that is the ultimate sin against life. Imagine a Dove doubting its ability to fly? Madeline Johnson

There is so much advice out there about taking an honest look at yourself. You must be courageous enough to face your bloodiest wounds to change. So many experts telling us to be brave and bold enough to recognize our faults.  Advising us to replace negative thinking and habits with better ones.

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At one point in time, in what still feels like the recent past, I was addicted to the feeling of being anxious and angry.  It actually felt very powerful and energizing to feel this way.   Now, as I begin to deliberately focus on letting go of that anger,  I notice that I am no longer feeling righteous and in charge, it can feel really uncomfortable.

You see, anger was once my anchor and complaining my crutch. Both made me feel superior because nothing was good enough for me. I had “higher” standards than most. These emotions also helped me feel less vulnerable and small.  If I remained angry, no one could touch me. They would fear me. This is what I thoughtlessly thought was powerful.

Now, the more I meditate, the more I pray, the more I remain mindful in the moment, the more peaceful I feel.  To be completely honest, feeling peaceful and calm feels strange. It’s actually a bit uncomfortable. I can actually witness my mind wanting to grasp onto what’s wrong with everything and I literally have a battle with my brain to correct my thoughts.

I am in transition and in between the two worlds of ego and serene essence.

Changing my consciousness and altering the way I think about everything, requires fierce discipline. It is as if I am constantly keeping a watchful eye on my thoughts throughout the day.  I weed out those thoughts that just don’t work.

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My logical mind knows that my old way of thinking was lazy, sloppy and useless. It was also very, very defensive and protective. I had built a fortress in the name of self-preservation. But what was I preserving? A shell of myself.

My old consciousness was me against the world, and frankly this way of perceiving people no longer serves me. It actually enslaved me into an endless loop of struggle. I was cynical, skeptical and scanning for threats. I was looking for the bad in others.

Now, as I realize that letting go and forgiving is so freeing, I feel a sense of peace and serenity that feels like floating through life. There is nothing to control. Yet, sometimes this floating feels very frightening, because I am floating in a sea of unknown.  I vacillate still between want to control and wanting to let go.

I sometimes no longer fear the future or think about what might happen next. I am practicing surrendering my control to a higher power of intelligence, to my view of God, to the universe and the divine and it is equal parts glorious, gratifying and frightening as hell.

To be a spiritual warrior is to go to war with the worry.

I remind myself to remember not to fear or worry or doubt myself for that is the ultimate sin against life.

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Imagine a Dove, a Seagull or a Blue Jay doubting their ability to fly?

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Porcelain Bee 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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Kadambari Pathania

Thoughts That Change Everything for The Better

Choosing how we think and understanding the power of each and every one of our thoughts is a game changer. By Madeline Johnson

Choosing how we think and understanding the power of each and every one of our thoughts is a game changer.

The thoughts that pass through your mind are responsible for everything that happens in your life. Your predominant thoughts influence your behavior and attitude and control your actions and reactions. As your thoughts are, so is your life.

What you hold in your mind, you are attracted to in life.

Your mind can’t distinguish between a REAL event and something you actually think about.

The Astonishing Power of Belief

Whatever belief you have in your subconscious mind will become your reality and 96 to 98% of the time you are on autopilot allowing your subconscious mind to make decisions for you.

10 minute watch The Incredible Power of Your Beliefs

Our thoughts create us and we have to be extremely careful about what we are feeding our minds.  Be thoughtful about what you read, watch and learn.

On a physical level, negative thoughts in your mind can release stress hormones like cortisol into your blood which weakens the immune system and inhibits the action of your white blood cells, increases the chances of infection and promotes weight gain.

We have on average 60,000 thoughts a day and most of the time, they are the thoughts we had yesterday. They are thoughts that are dwelling on something bad in the past or something that can potentially happen in the future.

There is absolutely no situation in the entire universe that can cause you to experience anxiety. It is your psychological reaction to the situation that causes your anxiety.

You create your anxiety by the way you think about a situation. You have the power to think differently about everything that happens to you.

 

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Ra.in on Instagram

 

Speed Demons: Breaking the Habit of Being Busy

We are all still so busy, using meditation as medication to calm ourselves down. By Madeline Johnson

While I have noticed more and more mindful coaches, lifestyle experts, AI-powered apps like Woebot and the exploding popularity of meditation used to calm down the mind, busy is still the commander’s intent. We are all still so busy, while using meditation as medication to calm ourselves down. We are using meditation the way we use camomile, lemon balm and kava and marijuana, wine and Ambien to cure us of the business of being busy.

Caught in a chaotic, frenzied pace, we are all on the chase. Chasing money, influence, success at the cost of our own peace of mind.

A herd of speed demons.

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What are the costs of being a speed demon? We live under a weight of demands, real and imagined, that is debilitating. We see an alarming increase in stress-related disorders of all kinds for all ages, beginning with elementary school-age children who are struggling with obesity, depression, anxiety, attention disorders and all kinds of learning disabilities, a list of problems for all ages. Read more about our destructive speed demoning here.

The antidote is patience.

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Impatience

the tendency to be impatient; irritable or restless. To be agitated, edgy, nervous.

Impatience feeds feelings of anxiety, anger, and fear. It can crush relationships and careers. Being impatient isn’t a great trait to have and results in feelings of guilt for your out-of-control behavior. Being impatient can get you into some bit trouble. It can also make you physically ill.

When you’re impatient, you view life as a something to get through; the task in front of you is something to just get done. When you’re impatient you’re trying to rush into the future.

When you are working on something – anything –  a business,  a writing assignment, losing weight, or writing a book – whatever it is – it is easy to get frustrated and wish you were further down the road – closer to your goal. . . but you may find it easier to do something different next time.

Go easier on yourself.  Give yourself sometime. Screw the frenzied pace of the outside world.

Be grateful for each small step closer to your goal –

  • If it’s your business – then appreciate that your sales are up today.
  • If it’s a writing assignment – than give yourself more time than you think you need.
  • If you are dieting – set a goal date that is realistic and journal your intake.

 

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Patience

the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

When we are patient, we are willing to stay in the moment, letting go of the tight grip, releasing control.

Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a thoughtful outlook on life. Patience leads to wisdom and peace. How does this happen? When we are patient we slow down, and in taking our time we’re able to see the complexity in life. We are able to hear all that is being communicated to us. When we are patient, we become conscious of the natural rhythms of life.

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In the words of Rob Bell . . .

Every moment spent working towards your purpose, calling and joy should be celebrated.

 

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Russell Weiss

 

Trusting Yet Knowing The Truth

How can we trust, and at the same time know the truth? By Madeline Johnso

I am suspended somewhere between holding onto my childlike naiveté about the way things should be, yet knowing that there is a strong amount of grotesque greed and selfishness in the world.

I am at a cross road – confused -facing my deep desire to believe that people are generally good but  certain that everyone has their own agenda. I must keep a watchful eye.

I want to fall back into my life. On to a soft cloud of pure honestly.  I want to roam free where everything is safe and meant to support me.

How can I trust, and at the same time know the truth?

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@Trippy Artwork on Instagram

 

No one Can Dance For You

How to face the frightening unknowable and uncontrollable future with less fear and trepidation. By Madeline Johnson

You are the facilitator of change in your life. Ultimately it’s all on you.  You have a choice. Stay stuck or move forward.

Face the demands of life voluntarily, respond to a challenge, instead of bracing for catastrophe.

– Jordan Peterson

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I suffer from catastrophic thinking and it is awful. I turn most problems into the sinking of the Titanic and I bring everyone along for the drowning.

Swimming Through the Unknowable & Uncontrollable

Here are three ways I have discovered to help anyone through a moment of worst case scenario distortions — so they may face the frightening unknowable and uncontrollable future with less fear and trepidation.

1. All is Good Right Now

Sure something bad might happen in the future, but “It’s not happening now.” Yes, it’s certainly possible that a catastrophe could occur, but it’s not happening now. This phrase may help you see that, at least at this moment, you are safe. All is well.

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2. You Made It This Far

“Whatever happens, I can cope.” This statement reminds you of your own inner resources and gives you the determination to meet the challenges of life. (The concept comes from the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tradition.) Here are 50 ways to get through an anxious moment, that really work.
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3. Can You Stop?

Gain perspective. Instead of telling your brain to stop, ask yourself if you can. If you think about it, you are the cause of your own suffering. Can you stop the anxious loop? The first part of this statement has its origins in Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.  B.png

Read the entire article 3 Ways to Stop Imagining The Worst

Featured Artwork
Naoto Hattori was born in 1975 in Yokohama, Japan, studied graphic design in Tokyo before moving to New York to study. In the year 2000 he received a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts. He has received Awards from the Society of Illustrators, the New York Directors Club, Communication Arts and also he has won numerous awards from many art competitions and has been published in numerous art magazines. Of his work, He says: “My vision is like a dream, whether it’s a sweet dream, a nightmare, or just a trippy dream.

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.

 

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Rob Shields

 

Shifting Your Focus & Redirecting Your Energy

What to do when you feel like your life doesn’t align with your dreams. by Madeline Johnson

Everything is Energy.

 

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Your thoughts are energy

and everything we create begins with thinking first.

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Negative thoughts = negative energy
Negative thoughts lead to anxious days. Sometimes miserable ones at that.
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Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be changed from one form to another.

– Albert Einstein
Fresh New Vibes
Your ‘vibration’ is a way of describing your overall state of being. Everything in the universe is made up of energy vibrating at different frequencies. Even things that look solid are made up of vibrational energy fields at the quantum level. This includes you.”
Read Raise Your Vibration here.
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What to do when you aren’t doing what you really want to be doing, but you must.
When you’re taking that job to pay the rent.
When you’re just way to comfortable with your significant other.
When you feel like you just don’t have any real friends.
When you’re feeling like a sell out.
When you’re not following your passion.
Or pursuing your purpose.
When you feel like a fake.
An imposter.
When you feel ugly on the inside, and maybe on the out.
When you feel like your life doesn’t align with your dreams.
You must redirect your energy. . . reconfigure that negative thinking.
You must change your mind.
Shift Your focus.
Yet still respect the rules.
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Realize you may be too close to see your reality.
Recognize that you are ruminating again. (but make sure you’re not problem-solving, which is a good thing).
Take charge of your thoughts, your life again.
Anxious rumination can pull us in and take on a life of its own, providing a superstitious feeling of security and control.
To get unstuck and outside of our heads, we can activate our right (nonverbal) brain by doing a simple physical activity such as a walk (without ruminating), or jogging in place for a minute or two. Or we can soothe ourselves, for example, by focusing on our breathing in a meditative way, drawing or painting, or listening to music. In this way, we can contain anxiety and unnecessary torment, as well as safeguard our psychological resources for genuine problem-solving, creative thought, relationships, and other challenges that pay off.
Allow yourself to rest first. Take a moment to pause.
Now begin to question and remove every thought that is not serving you well.
Physically change your environment. Put down the phone, close the laptop,
get the hell off of Instagram. Please.
Take a walk. Go for a bike ride. Stop and change your location.
Just move.
Take another moment to protect your energy. . .
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Understand that negative, anxious thinking is positive energy turned bad, spent complaining, fretting, crying, worrying, comparing and hating yourself.
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You must struggle to redirect it. You channel it. You take that pain and anguish and put it into something new. Let it out. Use that energy to make something new. Something that looks a little more like what you want.
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You take that energy and you journal a bit, go for a run or a walk, blast your favorite music. Make your bed. Clean the kitchen. You break out the water colors, turn to the fresh page, press open the notebook. You click on a new project on adobe. You put on your yoga leggings and grab your mat.  You walk to the market and pick up a wickedly healthy salad.
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When You Are Feeling Overwhelmed & Anxious

How to calm down that overwhelming feeling of anxiety. Madeline Johnson

In the Chinese script, the word for busy is the same as the word for heart-killing.

When we take a moment to pause in the present moment (just stop what you are doing for a few seconds) it gives us a chance to come home to our hearts again.

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To get ahead of one’s self . . . to do or say something sooner than it ought to be done so that the proper explanation or preparations have not been made. 

To be driven to the point of having unrealistic expectations, disappointing one’s self and living with our head in the clouds. To feel like you are less than you should be.

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To get ahead of one’s self. . .

To focus excessively on one’s plans or on prospective future events without paying adequate attention to the present.  To develop an opinion based on insufficient information or to take action prematurely.

We become anxious, frustrated and fearful of the future.

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The moment you start to feel overwhelmed, like you are getting ahead of yourself, take a moment to pause.  I promise, if it is important, it will get done.

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Read

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

 

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Using Your Anger to Illuminate the Fundamental Truth of Your Self-nature

Most people – “the good vibes only” people in particular – tend to shy away from and may even passive-aggresively shame people who come to the party of life angry.  No drama here. No conflict. No, no, no. . .they will have none of it.  Confrontation just freaks them out.

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I’ve come to know anger on a very intimate level. We’re like BFF’s and believe me you, more recently in my life, my anger has served me well.  It has acted like a guiding light, helping free myself from the pain, guilt and shame I’ve been lugging around for years.

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One of my first really angry memories involved being bitten bloody on the arm by my raging cousin Ralph. Oh what a misfit he was. A terror. It hurt like hell. A big imprint of his huge buck teeth piercing the broken skin on my upper arm. It was a typical Sunday dinner at nanny’s house. Steaming plates of pasta and a big loud Italian family, all talking on top of one another, no one listening, ignoring the children, the women complaining and the men, oh the bravado and machismo. A scene out of . . .

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I was so enraged that I ran up to the dining room table and decided to let all of the adults at the table about what happened. I yelled at the top of my lungs, “YOUR SON JUST TOOK A BITE OUT OF MY ARM, HE IS AN ANIMAL.”  And in less than a split second everyone at the table began to laugh out loud at me. The table was rolling with laughter. I was astonished.

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Ignoring anger, any type of anger, whether it is yours or someone else’s, is not a strategy, period.

Pretending your not angry, “working out” your rage at the gym, downward dogging that dreaded pain and/or massaging your mind with positive affirmations will only create a deeper harbor for anger to anchor itself in your subconscious, and those are some deep and dark waters my friend.

I have been accused of being angry most of my life. I have damaged friendships, relationships and have gotten shunned by almost every member of my family for being angry. We are all good now, but it took a lot of deep digging to find out why I was a rage-full mad woman.

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I have come to learn that anger needs some proper investigation on a regular basis because it is a sure sign that something in your life is out of alignment with what you value and an indication that you are in need of some loving care.

Fear

 

It’s a red flag that your needs are not being met. And damn we have to meet those needs. Anger actually is a powerful emotion that protects us from feeling hurt and hopeless. Maybe even powerless. Feeling powerless is about as low as  you can go.

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Anger can be a very necessary emotion which will let you know without a doubt when you are feeling threatened and vulnerable.  When we approach anger with curiosity, when we ask ourselves “why the hell is this making me so angry?” when we take a peak at what is behind the anger curtain, the root of the problem, we find that we may be feeling hurt, betrayed, disappointed and disillusioned.

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It is to this place we must go, to the pain behind anger, with open arms, where we feel ourselves turned inside out, where we feel raw, bloody and wounded- that is what is underneath the anger. If you really want to become less angry, this is the bleeding wound that must be healed.  And you can’t rely on others to rub in the ointment and wrap the bandages. Oh no, this is an inside job.

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So if you struggle with a low tolerance for frustration or someone tells you that you need anger management therapy, try a bit of self-care.  Investigate that anger. Get up close and personal with the pain.

From Uprooting the Seeds of Anger

We might explore this possibility by asking ourselves about where our anger really comes from. What is the other side of anger? Fear. We can’t free ourselves until we work through both our anger and our fear. And what is the cause of fear? Ultimately, it is the fear of nonexistence, death, the fear of losing ourselves and being forgotten. But a fear of death translates into a fear of living, because impermanence is itself a fundamental condition of our lives. In this fear lie the seeds of anger.

So now, how do I deal with angry people? I realize that hurt people hurt. I approach them with curiosity. What is behind that big, bad bark? 

For myself, now when I get angry, I know how to soothe myself (a very good thing to learn how to do by the way). I take to the waters and I meditate.

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Now I know. . .

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