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 Sole Author of Your Conditions

In Yuval Noah Harari’s book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century he explores our increasing reliance on algorithms to make decisions for us.

Artificial Intelligence is being deployed in health care and warfare; it’s helping people make music and books; it’s scrutinizing your resume, judging your creditworthiness, and tweaking the photos you take on your phone. In short, it’s making decisions that affect your life whether you like it or not.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Featured Artist

Robert Steven Connett @rsconnett on Instagram

 

Letting Others In

If you met me in person you would see that I come across as independent, contained, confident, and un-needy. Avoiding emotional engagement in relationships is my speciality. I give love out, but I can’t take it in.

In addition to fearing rejection, I  keep distant because  I don’t trust that any connection or acceptance will last. I am ambivalent about relationships—some part of me wants connection, but I am also frightened—I succumb to fear and pull away at the first sign of a disconnect, an argument, a fight.

I’m the emotionally stoic mother, wife, sister, and friend and I am rarely able to share my vulnerability.  Nobody knows my true inner feelings about why I push love away, not even myself.  I like to be the giver in a relationship. That way I never owe anyone anything. I feel like running the other way whenever anyone tries to make me feel like I’m obligated to do or feel something I don’t want to.

This is about to change.

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Featured Artist

Joanne

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

Inspired By Every Version of You

The practice of putting down the score card of assessment and focusing on loving our selves as we are – in constant transformation. By Madeline Johnson

Your true essence is unchangeable but you can choose a different identity at any time.  Your identity is who you see yourself to be; as you express this identity, it becomes the ‘package’ by which others identify you.

If you’re no longer inspired by the way you see yourself and others see you, you can adopt a new identity by changing your beliefs, choosing to accentuate other personality traits, emphasizing different values, or adding a new flavor to your self-expression. 

Our beliefs and values can change overtime, and what used to define you strongly may no longer be an authentic part of you.

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Our bodies know this instinctively. Our bodies are in a state of constant transformation and renewal. On average, our small intestine and stomach cells turnover every 3 days. Our bones renew their osteoclasts every two weeks. Our skin sheds every 10 – 30 days, depending on our age.

Up until very recently, it was believed that our heart cells could not regenerate.

Each morning, we awake a slightly new and fresh version of ourselves.

Yet we continue to judge ourselves. We are especially good at judging our old selves. We practice self-judgement every time we compare who we are with who we should be.

Yet, every day we are given the opportunity to be someone new.

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The practice of putting down the score card of assessment and focusing on loving our selves as we are – in constant transformation – is the perfect anecdote.

Featured Artist

Instagram @strangecomplexbeauty

 

How To Face Your Day

Gently mold and shape your conditions to fit your current needs while using the tools that God has given us. The tools of free will, reasoning and intuition.

There are a multitude of ways that you can show up for your life each day.

You can resign to your life and continue to adapt to your current conditions, no matter how unsuitable they may be. You can move through your day with resignation. You have a choice you know,  you can show up as the victim, if that is what you want to be.

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Or you can be fierce and fiery and self-righteous as you attempt to muscle your way through your day. As you make big attempts to control every aspect of your life; white knuckling your way through the day with worry and fear.

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Or you can gently mold and shape your conditions to fit your current needs while using the tools that God has given us. The tools of free will, reasoning and intuition.  You can do this by remaining calm and empty of your ego and co-creating with the spirit of God in your heart.

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Featured Art

@eugeseveso

 

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

 

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. 

 

 

Judge Us Not

Judging others is something we all do. Breaking this bad habit is really difficult for me. I am not saying it is impossible but it is proving to be as challenging as getting rid of negative thinking.  That took me a while to do. That was a tough one.  A lot of practice, day in and day out, weeding out all of the cynicism and skepticism from my monkey mind. Making an attempt to be a better person, free and clear of the nastiest of faults, takes a ton of practice and a whole lot of hard work. It’s a retraining of the brain.

I am far from there, but it is the only horizon I can see that makes sense. If I am not at least trying to raise my standards, then what am I doing here?

Judging is such a lazy habit.  Judging seems to make us right about things. But what for really?  It’s such an easy way out. Judging is such a great excuse and way to let ourselves off the hook. It makes us feel like we are powerful and more superior than others.

I’m thinking about the measures I use to judge others. I judge others by what I value. I value a great work ethic and sense of self-responsibility.  So if someone appears to be blaming others for their problems or not working up to their potential (my measure of “potential”) than I judge them. In my eyes they are wasting their time, not giving the world the best of their talents and using others as a crutch.

However, what has all that judging done? Nothing really. Nothing for me and nothing for the person I am judging. Nothing for the world.

“The act of judgment is an act of pride. It involves looking to our own store of knowledge, putting together a few facts, figures or fancies, and coming up with some sort of answer or solution to a given problem or situation. All too often it is the wrong solution or answer, and because of pride, we refuse to correct course. You judge, and then to make matters worse, you believe in your judgment. You’ve looked at the evidence, you’ve made a judgment – it must be right! There couldn’t possibly be any other conclusion to arrive at but the one your’ve chosen, could there? What you don’t see, don’t understand, is that your judgment leads to suffering – your own suffering. It does not touch the person judged; he or she is free of you and your thoughts and your judgments. You cannot change their behaviour by even a hair’s breadth by your judgment.”

Read more here Stop Judging

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Featured Artist @welderwings