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

 

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. 

 

 

From Painful Problems to Passion & Purpose

How to find optimism and opportunity in every difficulty. By Madeline Johnson

We must remember that the end of anything is the beginning of something.  The closing of one door, the opening of another. Endings are not final, they give birth to something else.  A bad breakup – the start of a fresh, new relationship (sometimes with ourselves); the loss of a job, the start of a brand new career path; the death of a loved one, the beginning of grief and transformation.

Every ending gives you an opportunity to grow, to reevaluate your relationships, your own performance and the direction in which you want your life to go.

Think about it. If your life were a Netflix or Amazon original series, what type of review would you give it? How many stars? A thumbs up or a thumbs down? It is time to be the hero and heroine of your own life.

Have you troubles? Welcome to the world.  What opportunities do your troubles bring? What could you do to create a plot twist, what could your character learn? What must you change about yourself to grow?

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How do you find optimism and opportunity in every difficulty?

I own a home on the beach. It’s a lovely, beautiful home and it’s for sale. I have owned it for over 15 years. I raised my family in this home and we have all types of memories there. Beautiful memories, horrendous fights, near-death accidents, messy break ups, crazy breakdowns, demonstrations of great bravado, real-life family drama, the revitalization of relationships and memories of amazing, joyous moments.

Now the house is for sale, but unfortunately because the real estate market is slow and in order to pay the mortgage, I had to rent the house out to keep from losing it.

Unfortunately I rented it to a person who hasn’t paid me rent in two months and now going on the third month. She is officially squatting in my home.  Now, if you have never had this experience, well, all I can say, is I hope you never do.

At first I wanted to scream, I wanted to throw her out on the street, I wanted to do something to cause her so much pain. How dare she? What type of person does this? How could I have been so stupid to not check references? I was disgusted with myself. I called the lawyer, signed the eviction papers. I did everything I could think of and it became an obsession. I was the victim, beating myself up for being an ass for renting to her – until one day, I woke up and realized that all of this anger and rage is only making me sick. My heart and breath so tight. My mind racing. I could not allow the stress to take over my mind and body. I knew I had to do something. So, I thought about the situation in a completely different way.

How could I make this horrible situation- where I  am quite obviously getting taken advantage of –  become a power tool for my growth?

At that moment, I decided, I was lucky to still own a home. There’s the gratitude. It has been a big investment, our life savings. What I could do instead of complain and moan about the injustices done to me?

I could work smarter and harder to pay the mortgage and the rent where I am currently living. I would look at this as a temporary opportunity to double down on my career, focus on building my skills and take all the time that I spent obsessing about how much I wanted to strangle this crazy-lady-squatting tenant and do something good for me. 

Yes of course I put all the proper actions into place to get her out, but what I did was asked the question, how can I let this God-forsaken obstacle make me stronger? What opportunities does this challenge bring me? 

Well, first there is the lesson. Next time, I will be be more diligent about background checks and collect three months rent ahead of time.  Next time, I won’t have a lease. And, right now I will do everything to try to sell my home faster.

Now, there is still the challenge of paying the mortgage, another $3,200 a month to pay on top of my current living expenses. How? Where would I get the money? I rolled up my sleeves and dug into Upwork, LinkedIn and other sources for freelancers and began to work around the clock, seven days a week. I spent my time consuming less and creating more. Sooner rather than later, I found that this obstacle has helped me hone my skills, meet new clients and improve my career skills.

In a way, I almost want to thank the crazy-squatting lady for giving me this opportunity to double down on my life. 

I have employed this “opportunity” technique over and over again in my life. I allow the obstacle be the way.  Ryan Holiday wrote a damn good book about it. You can read it at The Obstacle is The way, The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph.

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Featured Artist

Paulina Galka a collage artist based in Wroclaw, Poland.

Not Knowing, Always Growing

Continue to build trust in your intuition, but let your life unfold from truth, not from fear. By Madeline Johnson

I’m letting go of my tendency to make assumptions about my life because they lead to nightmares, fairytales and made up scenarios that form my future. I don’t have a crystal ball and I am not psychic.  I continue to build trust in my intuition, but I want my life to unfold from truth, not from fear.

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I believe the practice of remaining curious and open minded will serve me well.

Learn, grow, evolve.

It’s okay not to know.

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Today is the first day of a deep dive into knowing myself better.

  1. What am I good at?
  2. What am I so-so at?
  3. What am I bad at?
  4. What makes me tired?
  5. What is the most important thing in my life?
  6. Who are the most important people in my life?
  7. How much sleep do I need?
  8. What stresses me out?
  9. What relaxes me?
  10. What’s my definition of success?
  11. What type of worker am I?
  12. How do I want others to see me?
  13. What makes me sad?
  14. What makes me happy?
  15. What makes me angry?
  16. What type of person do I want to be?
  17. What type of friend do I want to be?
  18. What do I think about myself?
  19. What things do I value in life?
  20. What makes me afraid?

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What am I happy about in my life now? …

What am I excited about in my life now? …

What am I proud about in my life now? …

What am I grateful about in my life now? …

What am I enjoying in my life right now?

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Read 

Darius Foroux process for self awareness

Featured Artist  

Mariano Peccinetti

Unchain Your Heart

Today could be the day that you start releasing yourself from the past. By Madeline Johnson

Today could be the day that you start releasing yourself from the past. Today could be the beginning of a new moment and movement for you – a new time in your life where you choose to see people, places and even yourself with a fresh new pair of eyes. Today could be filled with promise of something new for you.  The day that you decide to start over.

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It’s about letting go of past mistakes and poor bad behavior and the painful problems. It’s about beginning with a clean slate.  Tabula Rasa.

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It’s about letting go over the old stories to make room for something more immense.

It’s about holding no hostages and understanding your propensity to love. Your natural inclination to love deeply.

Today’s post is about understanding that the healthiest thing you can do is start new and start again, without carrying all of the baggage you’ve collected a long the way.

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Letting go of the luggage – – – the heavy weight of resentment,   shame and the disappointment.

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Listen to Navigating Conflict with a Wise Heart by Tara Brach

 

Featured Artwork

Esther Sarto

Chasing What You Already Are

What happens around you is out of your control. What happens within you is yours to own. By Madeline Johnson

Words from the masters of mystical experiences. From those that have sought after and achieved a true shift in consciousness. Thoughts from Eckhart Tolle, Sadhguru, Adyashanti, Mooji. . . .

What you are chasing is what you are.”

If you wish to find truth you must vanish.”

The one who is searching is in his own way.

I often wonder, what keeps us from moments of true awakening? Are we not all capable of daily moments of grace?

The idea of achieving a heart-felt revelation becomes even more distant, seems even more impossible, when one feels angry, threatened, let down, provoked.  When one holds a heart of embittered, annoyed and withdrawn emotion.

How then can we get closer to peace? Perhaps by loosening the tightness and remembering. . . .

What happens around you is out of your control.

What happens within you is yours to own.

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So often, when we become angry, frustrated and disappointed with the things that happen in our lives, we begin to interpret those events and identify with the destructive self-talk inside of our heads.
We listen to the automatic, compulsive narration that acts as a running commentary over everything happening in our lives.  The script that we create to give these events more meaning. The stories we tell ourselves to help manipulate our way through them.
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Many of our ideas and beliefs about ourselves and the world are so deeply ingrained that we are unaware that they are beliefs and take them, without question, for the absolute truth. 

-Rupert Spira
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Featured Artwork
Aykut Aydogdu was born in 1986, Ankara – Turkey. He started studying Fine Arts at high school and graduated from Faculty of Fine Arts – Graphic Design. He has various works on commercial illustrations, magazine covers, movie posters. His surreal figurative works are mainly concentrated on the dilemmas of the daily life.

Controlling Your Own Climate

Better to learn how to adapt and overcome and to face ordeals head on, while watching carefully, what conditions shape your heart.  Madeline Johnson

Warning, this is not another conspiracy theory on climate control. This is about navigating the storms that can soak your soul with sorrow, harden your heart in a hailstorm of hatred and parch your mind until it’s baked and fried.

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What interests me here is understanding what we can control in ourselves as we face our daily struggles. Like the weather, we can control some things.

Nothing new, cloud seeding is the process of adding particles to clouds to force them to rain or snow.  The goal is to increase precipitation in places with water shortages. Snow to pack the slopes of Colorado, rain to grow the crops in Texas and water to fill the damns of Idaho. While a helpful advancement, cloud seeding doesn’t give us the ability to control all weather.

The Weather (like life) is Unpredictable

Most days, the winter weather conditions here in Delray Beach are really unpredictable. Visitors think Southeast Florida is always warm and sunny. Not the case, the weather is also quite localized.  Depending on where you are change can come on quite suddenly.  All in a single day – one can experience strong, blustery gusts of wind, then momentary clear, blue skies. Within minutes a sudden warm sun shower followed by a soft breeze and puffy passing clouds, until. . .thunderheads in the distance – a threat of a down pour.

Now, life normally doesn’t move along this quickly, but just like the weather life is always changing. The conditions, whether good or bad, come and go.

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Life brings on all types of conditions. Some we can control like cloud seeding and some we might have predicted if we paid closer attention. Then, there are the conditions that take us completely by surprise.

Life. Half the time we spend time doing stuff and the other half cleaning up our own messes. Sometimes we create our own storms. 

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I wake up sometimes wondering- what kind of dramatic weather will I be subjected to today? How will I be prepared to prevail -to move forward in the face of anything?

Who knows what today might bring?

There’s no such thing as being completely ready for whatever life throws you. You are never going to feel that you’ve got everything sorted and all figured out. If you get to the place where you’re just a little bit more excited than afraid, that’s when you go for it. That’s when you go all in. To hell with playing safe.

Better to learn how to adapt and overcome and to face ordeals head on, while watching carefully, what conditions shape your heart. 

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Read

The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

Featured Artist

David Altmejd

 

 

Bad Choices & More Thoughtful People

Thoughtful people are self-aware, take care of their mental and physical needs and are engaged in the present moment. Madeline Johnson

Decisions. We have so many to make every day. Although unscientifically proven, there seems to be a general consensus that we make about 35,000 decisions a day on average.

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Decisions vs Choices

According to Cornelia Schepis, there is a distinction between decision and choice. Every time you decide you’re literally killing your possibility to be self expressed. You’re putting up with something and there’s lack of freedom and power right there. When you choose you are freely and powerfully creating space for self expression and possibilities. This is a distinction that most of human beings unfortunately isn’t aware of. So don’t feel bad. I’m glad you brought this question up. Said that, we live in a society and often we are required to make decisions and not choices. I’d say as long as you know the distinction and you’re aware of which you’re choosing, it’s “ok”.

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Guided By Our Intuition

As we navigate our lives, we normally allow ourselves to be guided by impressions and feelings, and the confidence we have in our intuitive beliefs and preferences is usually justified. But not always. We are even confidant when we are wrong and an objective observer is more likely to detect our errors than we are.

From Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

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What Thoughtful People Do

Thoughtful people are self-aware, take care of their mental and physical needs and are engaged in the present moment. They are observant to the needs of those around them and are as kind and considerate as possible.

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They learn from the past, prepare for the future and act in the present moment.

They don’t walk away from arguments. They see other thoughts and ideas as a challenge to think bigger.

Incredibly curious about whatever they are studying. They ask the best questions.  They don’t settle for what they know. They understand that “If you don’t seek, you don’t know.”

They decide that everything that happens to them is feedback, lessons to be learned. Good or bad, they take in the teaching and move forward stronger.

They have taken the time to decide what is important, what really matters in their life. Relationships, good work, enjoying the ordinary. They know how and with whom to spend their time.

Thoughtful people build from what they have in the moment. They make best use of their current situation and work with what they’ve got.

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They know what they can control and what they can’t but they also understand that they have choices. They exert self-control. After deliberation and consideration, they make thoughtful choices.

They review all possibilities and focus on possible best outcomes, knowing full well, that the only thing constant in life is change.

Read: This is How High Achievers Make Smart Decisions

A Case For Being More Thoughtful 

Your (intuitive) brain is lazy and causes you to make intellectual errors.

Take the test –

A baseball bat and a ball cost $1.10. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

I’ll give you a second.

Got it?

If your instant and initial answer is $0.10, I’m sorry to tell you that system 1 just tricked you.

Do the math again.

And?

Once you spent a minute or two actually thinking about it, you’ll see that the ball must cost $0.05. Then, if the bat costs $1 more, it comes out to $1.05, which, combined, gives you $1.10.

Another way to understand this –

Although $1.00 + $0.10 does equal $1.10,  if you take $1.00 – $0.10 you get $0.90, but the problem requires that the bat costs $1 more than the ball.

So, the ball must cost $0.05, and the bat must cost $1.05 since $1.05 + $0.05 = $1.10

Fascinating, right? What happened here?

Sometimes your brain perceives problems as simpler as they actually are.

Why does your brain do this?  The law of least effort states that your brain uses the minimum amount of energy for each task it can get away with.

Read even more: 17 Ways To Tell The Difference Between Intruding Thoughts And Intuitive Ones

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Featured Art

May Ray

André Breton once described Man Ray as a ‘pre-Surrealist’, something which accurately describes the artist’s natural affinity for the style. Even before the movement had coalesced, in the mid 1920s, his work, influenced by Marcel Duchamp, had Surrealist undertones, and he would continue to draw on the movement’s ideas throughout his life. His work has ultimately been very important in popularizing Surrealism.

 

 

 

 

Free To Be

Freedom is a state of mind. By Madeline Johnson

Do not impose limitations on yourself when you can use your beautiful imagination to create a life of limitless possibilities.

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If you choose to look at your life in a brand new way, you will focus on the possibilities instead of the problems.

 

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What you think is attainable is just a function of what you know at the moment,”  “Remember that great expectations create great capabilities.
If you limit your goals to what you know you can achieve,
you are setting the bar way too low.”
Read Ray Dalio’s Principles
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Read The Art of Possibility

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Photographs by Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry has been a one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

 

Trust the Process

Trusting the process and reaching your goals. by Madeline Johnson

Goals can be so absolutely frustrating. Some days they seem to be so out of reach. Setbacks require creativity and a successful process. Read: Movement & Creativity.

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Trust the process.

Trust the Process has become a catchphrase in sports. It means sticking to a long-term plan even in the face of bad short-term outcomes. … Trust the Process means sticking to a well-grounded methodology to accomplish a long-term goal.

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Much of this calls for redefining, or refining, one’s relationship with time, and all the qualities and skills that will only come from engaging time more creatively and effectively. 

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The Difference Between Goals and Processes or Systems

  • If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a successful business. Your process (system ) is your processes for sales, marketing, fulfillment, operations, etc.
  • If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your (process) system is what your team does at practice each day.
  • If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your (process) system is the writing schedule you follow each week.
  • If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. Your (process) system is your training schedule for the month

The repetitive process, the habit, the ritual, the daily “doing” is what gets you to the goal. If you focus on the goal, you will get frustrated. Basically, you give up the need for immediate results. Transformation doesn’t happen in a moment, it happens over time.

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Better to Iterate

Think of repetition as doing the same thing with the same data over and over. Think of iteration as doing the same thing with different or refined data.

& Measure your success with feedback loops.

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Remember

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Books to Read to help you develop your creative process.

Steal Like An Artist

You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.

Big Magic

Elizabeth Gilbert digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.

Featured Art

Kiki Smith Woven Tapestries

Kiki Smith works at the scale of the tapestry, creating large collages on paper from cutout drawings, photolithographs, and various textural elements. The collages are sent to Magnolia Editions, photographed, printed at scale and sent back to Smith for more handwork and collaging; this cycle continues (often for months) until the design is ready to be translated into a digital weave file and sent to an electronic, double-headed Jacquard loom for proofing as a textile.

“It’s the way that I work,” she told me from her studio in New York last summer, “making sculptures, too, I do the exact same thing: I make drawings, and from the drawings I make rubber stamps; from the rubber stamps I make impressions in clay, then waxes, and then sculptures. It’s a transformation, moving from one way of generating an image to another, which makes a hybrid.” Smith’s choice to compose her tapestries at scale rather than enlarging smaller images is crucial to their impact. To work large is “to emphasize the holiness of it,” she explains: “historically, these things were made to blanket walls… They’re blanketing space. In mosques you have the kilims that are hundreds of years old sitting on top of each other for prayer, and there’s that relationship between cloth and life and protection.” …

Kiki Smith’s critically acclaimed tapestries depict “a mythical world wherein human and animal forms entwine with natural phenomena” (Artforum); they have been exhibited internationally at venues including Pace Editions (New York), Timothy Taylor (London), Haus der Kunst (Munich) and Lorcan O’Neill (Rome). This 2018 survey of Smith’s tapestry editions to date features an interview with the artist and an essay by Nick Stone.