Leveling Up

Sometimes it feels like we are too close to our lives to actually know when we are missing the mark. We could do better, we know we can, but we don’t speak up. We don’t take action. Trapped in a haze of busyness, we miss the bigger opportunities to level up, to ask for more and own our position.

Nose to the grindstone, head buried in the sand, we get caught up in accepting things the way they are. We are too busy doing other things.

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Featured Artist

@surrealing.you.in

If you are in Your 20’s, Here is What You Should Do Next

Slow down. Stop being so nervous. YOU GOT THIS. You are capable of anything you put your mind to – Madeline Johnson

Here is what I recommend you do . . . 

Slow down. Stop being so nervous. YOU GOT THIS. You are capable of anything you put your mind to – just stop with the worry and fear. It only holds you back. 

Take care of your health. Workout every day. Get that body you want. Meditate. Do yoga. Take EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA care of yourself everyday. Get weekly massages if you can. Do your nails, your hair. Pamper yourself every single day. 

Stop spending the money on jewelry, clothes, food and furniture. You have it all now. Get yourself on a budget.  You must put the money back into your career or your business in order for the business to grow and build savings for your future. Cook at home. Stop eating out all of the time.

Start paying down the student loan to $0.00 and start saving for your retirement.  Compounded interest and smart investments are your friend.

Save up money for a down payment on a house or a condominium. You need to have a separate savings of at least $100,000 in order to buy something decent. Start now. Save as much as you can and keep your credit clean.  Live below your means.

Stop with the “I need a vacation”. You can have one next year. You need to take care of yourself every day and you won’t get so burnt out and stressed out that you feel you have to run away. You don’t have the money yet to do the travel every three months  thing that you want to do. Focus on buying something to invest in.  

Don’t take things so personally. Don’t be so open with everyone that works for you. Seriously.  Business is business. Your team members are not your best friends. You have look for great best friends outside of work. One or two of them. That is all you have time for.  It might be your sister or your brother and one other person.

Slow down. You can’t do everything at once. So stop trying dammit. Slow, thoughtful, enjoyable. The day-to-day is what must be enjoyed. Have fun just “being”, have fun at work. Have fun with your friends. Enjoy the process of living.

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Appreciate everyone in your life. All of your team members. Your family. Everyone. Be ever grateful and stop complaining. Complaining is draining and does nothing for you. Never complain again. It is a WASTE OF TIME. Pray instead. Give up your problems to God. Say – Dear God, help me with this problem – and watch the miracle happen. You are never alone. God is working with you all the time. You are not designing your life alone. God is doing it with you.

Understand that it is better to be selective and find the right person than jumping into the next thing. Stop believing everyone. They all lie during the getting to know you process. They exaggerate. Forgive them and get the best out of them.

Keep your life simple and never cynical. Simplify everything  you do so a five year old could understand it. If someone is cynical or complicating things, let them go.

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Featured Art

Buzea Flavius Tiberiu

 

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.

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Featured Artist

Mirella Nania

 

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.

 

Featured Artist

Ra.in on Instagram

 

Best Use of Your Super Powers

You have super powers. You do. We all do.

You can choose to ignore your super powers and let them got to waste, or you can ignite them today and do some good in the world. We need more goodness.

Super Power #1 Your Imagination

Activating your imagination is a super blessing. We can create something that wasn’t there before, even if it’s only in our minds. Use your imagination to create beautiful things.

Super Power #2 Your Impactful Connection

You connect with life through reaching out. You can touch another with words, thoughts and prayer or with your hands and your body.  Use your ability to touch and connect to send loving kindness to the world. We need more of that. Less critics and more lovers. A hug is a great super power tool. Hug more people today.

Super Power #3 Your Smile

Another wonderful connector. A smile can light up a whole room. I know mine does. Smile today and turn on the love light in everyone you meet. Your smile is a reminder to everyone to remember, it’s all okay.

Super Power #4 Your Words

They are powerful. The words we choose have a remarkable way of bringing goodness out in the world.  Choose your words wisely. Let them encourage someone today.

Super Power #5 Your Thoughts

Your thoughts help you navigate the world. Where do you want to go next? What is your purpose today? Guard your thoughts. Think better. Clearer. Smarter.

“To lead a free life, a person must separate him/herself from negative imprinting and remain open and vulnerable,”

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Featured Artist

https://www.instagram.com/anotherbel/

 

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.

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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

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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

Letting Your Soul Shine Through

My soul doesn’t require organic greens and cage-free pasteurized eggs. No, it needs a different flavor of delicious sustenance to thrive. By Madeline Johnson

Question: How do I let my soul shine through everything I do today?

My soul so immense – housed in this beautiful body of mine- electrifying every cell, charging ever impulse, igniting my nerve endings – the fire of my fiber, the igniter of my life.

I light up like lightning. Soul-shining.

Powering Up The Soul

My soul doesn’t require organic greens and cage-free pasteurized eggs. No, it needs a different flavor of delicious sustenance to thrive.

I must go where I feel free, where I feel happy and connected and at one with the world. I must soar through the inner and outer worlds.  I go to where I can feel fueled up by the forces of nature. These are the places where my soul spreads wild. Where I feel washed over by the strength of the sun and flow with the fluid movement of the ocean tide.

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

― Mary Oliver

Read: Mary Oliver’s Devotions

Where does my soul want to play today?

My soul wants to dance and move to the rhythm of life’s music. My soul wants my body to feel loose, mystical and free.

My soul wants to consume the natural beauty of this wonder world. My soul seeks adventure.

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But first we must let our souls wash away our cares.

We are made to resolve ourselves. Paint over the tragedies meant to finish us off. . .

Show me the most damaged parts of your soul,

and I will show you how it still shines like Gold.

-Nikita Gill

Read: Nikita Gill’s Your Heart is The Sea

My soul will pour out of me today. . .in thoughtful words, reassuring smiles, deep, warm hugs, long, releasing stretches,  beautiful, resonating song. My soul will soothe even the most difficult of moments today with compassion and love.

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My Soul Completes Me

I am a living, breathing connector. A connector of life here and spirit and soul everywhere. I am a whole human as far as I can tell. A human with a soul and my soul is immense. My soul sits in this body but my soul spreads through time and space.

My soul soars above it all and takes my mind and body with it.

I am going to let my soul take over this body today.  My soul connected to God has come here to spread through this planet and soar through time and space.

My soul – huge, tremendous, so big, so magnanimous. So forgiving and so free.

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Featured Artwork

@morysetta on Instagram

Self-Renewal

Your higher voice needs to be listened to. It is the one with the best advice.  By Madeline Johnson

This new chapter of my life is called smiling again.

The truth is, everything will be okay, as soon as you are okay with everything. 

– Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul

Reinventing yourself begins by slowing down. Being at peace. Staying calm.

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But how does one learn to chill out?  A 3-minute listen to the wisdom of Jordan Bach here.

Your higher voice needs to be listened to. It is the one with the best advice.  In the past two weeks my inner, deeper, more knowing voice told me loud and clear – do not complain and do not doubt.

Consult not your fears, but your hopes and dreams.

Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential.

Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.

Pope John XXIII

 

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Featured Artwork on Instagram

 

 

How Language Shapes Your Emotion

The power of the language.  Sometimes a simple switch of a few words to describe what we want in our lives can make all the difference. By Madeline Johnson

We all know that a better system of thinking creates better outcomes in our lives.  Honestly,  if we want more than what we currently have in life, we must change the way we think about everything.

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And we must guard our precious minds from even the subtlest of negative thoughts.

Read 13 Subtle Thoughts That Could Be Signs of High Functioning Anxiety

But how about the power of the language you use?  Sometimes a simple switch of a few words to describe what we want in our lives can make all the difference.

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For example . . .

What you have to do vs what you really want to accomplish?

You want to meet nice friends or do you want to meet interesting, kind and fun friends?

Do you want to travel to new places or plan a wildly adventurous life?

A higher level of thinking + a new vocabulary can lead to a whole, new perspective.

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New words to use that pack a powerful punch

Elysian (Greek) [el-ee-zee-an] (adj.)

Beautiful or creative; divinely inspired; peaceful and perfect.

Querencia (Spanish) [keh-ren-see-ah] (n.)

A place from which one’s strength is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you are your most authentic self.

Meraki (Greek) [mehr-ah-kee] (v.)

To do something with soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself into your work.

Her paintings were full of meraki, and because of it they were some of the most realistically brilliant pieces he had ever seen.

Eloquence is fluent, forcible, elegant or persuasive speaking. It is primarily the power of expressing strong emotions in striking and appropriate language, thereby producing conviction or persuasion. The term is also used for writing in a fluent style

Coruscate (Latin) [core-us-skate] (v.)

To reflect brilliantly; to sparkle.

Like… “Her eyes coruscated with such inner beauty that even the stars couldn’t shine brighter than the heart within her.”

Halcyon – Happy, sunny, calm, care-free.

Imbue – To infuse, instill.

Redolent – Fragrant.

Sumptuous –Lush, luxurious.

I am building a list. What are some of your favorite new words and phrases?

 

 

 

Featured Artist

Marcos Guinoza

 

 

 

Calibrating Your Inner Compass

You always have a choice about how you face the day. By Madeline Johnson

While routines are good for your brain and smart habits conserve energy for better, more creative use – if one is not careful, a disciplined life can become dull and monotonous very quickly.  A way around this slope into slumbering through your days is to remember that you have a choice. You always have a choice about how you face the day.

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This doesn’t mean one has to chart an entirely new course everyday. No, sometimes it is a simple switch of lanes. Instead of trundling down one, you swiftly shift gears in another.

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Today is a good day to look at old things in a new way. A time to inhale a fresh, new energy into your existing life. Thinking in new ways about your thoughts, emotions and behavior – your attitude and approach to life.

Starting with a new mind – a new way of staying interested in your life and moving it forward. Your life is not the same as yesterday, you’ve added something new.

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You lift your own spirits.

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Featured Artwork @mr.babies