Are You A Giver? How Giving Can Be Used For Creation.

Heart Giving

I was listening to the radio today and the host said that if he won $100,000 he would give most of it away because some people didn’t even have enough money to turn on the heat. He talked about giving to others who had less than he did. That led to an awkward moment when his co-host said he would probably buy a Corvette with the money.

 

What would you do with the money? And what could you create in the world with what you already have?

 

Since today is Thanksgiving in the USA and many of my friends are giving thanks, it made me reflect on the joys of giving and whether or not giving something of mine to someone else was the best way to express gratitude and create change.  I realized that I didn’t need to win a large sum of money to give something valuable right now. And I realized that I did not have to leave myself short or overworked or overwhelmed to give something now.

If I win money (to use the example that spurred these thoughts) and I give it to someone else who has less than I do, then I am not really creating MORE with the money, I am just transferring it from one person to another. I do have heat, so while I am sure the person who could now turn on their heat too would appreciate it, I realized there was so much more that could be accomplished with what I’d like to call ‘generative giving’.

 

Does giving money to someone create more in the world or does it just move the money from one place to another? What would create more?

 

I spent a bit of time researching the answer because I wondered if there were places creating big changes that could benefit from my giving and expand and exponentialize it instead of just allowing money to go from one set of hands to another with no real or lasting change being created.

 

For example  in London England they are using the body heat that is trapped in subways to heat 500 homes as part of the CELSIUS Project.  Imagine how much change we could create with many people donating small amounts of money to companies that were developing the technologies needed to harvest free sources of heat and electricity?

I also found a project on Kickstarter called “Rocket Mass Stoves” that shows you how to make your own stove for $3 and then heat your home for 1/10th the price of natural gas and 1/10th the CO2 emissions. Donations began at $1 and over $100,000 was raised so that professional DVDs could be created to share this information more easily with more people.

 

Can you see how we can use a little bit of money to help create something that makes life better and healthier or more affordable for everyone?

 

What if you do not have a dollar to help fund a campaign? Do you know what else grows exponentially with little effort and time? Kindness. With every word we speak and with every action we take and every bit of information we post online we have the opportunity to spread more kindness in the world. We also can take away some kindness by adding to the fear, the anger or the judgement that is so easily given. In giving your opinion, are you adding kindness or taking away from the kindness?

 

What are you giving to the world today?  Would you be willing to tune into what you are creating and to see the butterfly effect of your thoughts, words, actions and your giving?

It doesn’t take much, and it doesn’t even take money, but it does take some awareness to make a new choice and to give in a new way. Will you choose it today?

Do Flowers Deserve Abundance?

Flowers showing us how to be abundant

As part of an abundance challenge I joined, I was presented with an affirmation that said “I deserve to live an abundant life”. There was something about the affirmation that felt limiting to me so I started to ask some questions to see if I could find it.

What if we take deserving out of the equation?

How often do we feel like we do not deserve more than what we have?

Or we think – shouldn’t we just be grateful for what we do have because wanting more would make us greedy?

 

 

Could these thoughts could keep us from having all that we desire?

 

I’ve been going for daily walks this month and I notice the abundance all around me in nature. I started to think about  abundance and the judgement that can surround having all that we desire.

Do flowers deserve to have dozens or hundreds of petals?

Do they have to show off so much?

Do trees deserve to have hundreds or thousands of leaves each?

Shouldn’t they save some for the other trees?

Does the beach deserve millions or billions or more grains of sand?

Isn’t that selfish – what if there is none left for the desert?

Does a field deserve to be filled with endless blades of grass?

How much green does one field really need?

Flowers showing us how to be abundant

 

Can you begin to see how we limit our abundane with those kinds of silly thoughts that I can only assume nature never thinks about itself? Flowers may not deserving of abundance; they simply ARE abundant and they know it.

They don’t push out one petal and say, Ah that’s enough, I don’t deserve more. Or I don’t deserve the same abundance as the other flowers do – I’m not worthy. Of course they don’t say that. They ‘say’ I AM abundance and I will grow as many petals as I want, I am unstoppably abundant! Well they maybe don’t say it. When you are something you don’t have to go around telling people about it; it’s just obvious.

What would it take for us to embrace the abundance that nature is showing us that we can have and that we BE? Let’s take the word deserve out of the equation and know that we are abundant and we have abundance and we can claim it without shame, guilt or fear.

How can you be more like these flowers today? What do you know that you are that you haven’t been sharing? Is it time to blossom?

 

photo by GrimmRuki at DeviantArt.com

Kintsugi – Proof That Our ‘Flaws’ Make us Unique and Awesome?

Kintsugi Method

A form of Japanese pottery called Kintsugi,  uses gold dust to repair broken pottery.  Often the finished piece has more character and charm when attention is given to the flaws.  I like this because it shows us that our flaws actually created our unique beauty.  Instead of listening to society’s idea of how we should look, what if we could embrace our uniqueness instead?

I’d like to offer you 5 simple ways to celebrate your imperfections and appreciate your own unique beauty.

 

1) First, stop calling them imperfections or flaws.  Your words have a lot of power. Instead call them your charming qualities or quirks. Besides how boring would we be if we were all exactly the same? Your uniqueness is a gift and it’s more of a gift when you can appreciate it too.

2) Don’t worry about what others think about you.  Once you realize that both compliments and negative comments are judgements, it is easier to realize that others’ opinions are ever changing and shouldn’t be what we base our self worth on.

3)  I love this advice from Brene Brown. Go to bed at night thinking “Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave.    And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.

4)  Change your focus to things that you are grateful for instead.  When you realize all the the good things in your life that you have, it’s easier to see that your flaws don’t have to negatively impact your life.

5)  My favourite….turn it into a little research project. Find examples online of people  who have used what you consider to be a flaw and have turned it into a positive in their lives.

 

One last thought. I love these lines from Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

Want To Play A Better Game?

 

I wanted to share something with you tonight because I found myself feeling a little helpless, and it’s not a feeling that I enjoy. I know I can make a different choice. I did make a different choice and that choice included sharing a new game with you.

 

 

Sometimes it’s a game that we play without even thinking.  Sometimes it is almost second nature because we do it so often.  Have you ever played it? It’s called the Blame Game. It is a game we play when we say things to ourselves or others like:

  • I would have been on time except the phone rang as I was rushing out the door and then I hit every red light on the way here and the car in front of me was going wayyy below the speed limit and there was too much traffic for me to pass.

 

  • I wouldn’t have eaten that second piece of carrot cake tonight but someone put an empty bottle of salad dressing in the fridge so I didn’t make that big salad to go with supper and I was still hungry.

 

  • I would have finished my taxes on time but  the phone was always busy when I called my bookkeeper/accountant and someone put my receipts in the wrong drawer.

 

 

I understand how easy it is to do. And no I didn’t eat a second piece of carrot cake because my dog grabbed the container off the counter and ate it. It’s obviously the dog’s fault, I am not to blame for leaving it out!!  😉

The problem with this game is that it takes away our power. It makes us feel helpless and like things are out of our control. We give our power away to the ringing phone, the red lights, other people, and yes the dog too.

How would you like to play a new game? It might be less easy than the Blame Game at first but when we start to see that the next time we can make different choices, it helps us to see that we really do have all the control after all.

 

How can you take control today? How about in the above situations, do you see a new game that can be played? Maybe next time you’ll choose to let the phone ring and check the message (if one is left) once you arrive at your destination. Or maybe you’ll choose to leave 10 minutes early so that some extra traffic or a slow driver aren’t seen as issues. And even when things do crop up, we always have the choice to allow it to make us feel or act a certain way. It does take practice, but I think it’s a game worth trying.

P.S. The sweet dog in the photo is not the culprit who ate the carrot cake off the counter. The next time I will choose to put it in the fridge and not assume the last person to have a piece did it.

 

Why Getting Quiet Matters For Our Happiness

I think a lot of us identify so much with the thoughts in our minds, that we think we ARE those thoughts. The constant chatter filled with regrets from the past (leading to depression) and fear of the future (leading to stress and anxiety) keeps us from living in the joy of moment and believe me – it is there for all of us.
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Although the numbers I’ve read varies between 60 and 90 thousand, we have an incredible amount of thoughts every day. Most days it is the same thoughts repeated over and over, day in and day out. And researchers say 80{6d4aff0a40d9ce9f29c72141583e1f493a9852f12b112e946c808ec1e4b97ab4} of those are negative. Yikes!! It’s so easy to think the same thing automatically. Changing our thoughts and having original thoughts does take some effort or at least means we need to pay attention.
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Practices like yoga and meditation and focused breathing and vocal toning can help us to detach from those repeated thoughts any time we want so we can move away from the sadness and stress and move towards the happiness and peace that we crave. It is right here, right now, when we make room for it.
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The good news is that by beginning to incorporate any of these practices into our daily lives, we can see these are easy things to learn and great habits to begin. Because once we do, we will find that the quiet and the happiness is inside of us all day and every day and is worth getting quiet enough to feel and hear over the roar of the negatives.
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If you’d like some help starting to find this happiness and peace, set up a free appointment with me and we can either talk on the phone or by email confidentially and I’ll give you some tips to get you started today.
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Businessman taking time to meditate
Taking time to quiet your thoughts can be done anywhere and anytime.

Gee *Squint* Where’s That Bright Light Coming From?

Let your light shine2

Oh of course, it’s coming from you!   Can you see it too?   Or when you look in the mirror, have you lost some of your brightness?  Exhaustion and the belief that we aren’t good enough can dim even the brightest of the bright over time.   But it’s still there inside of you burning brightly.

Whether you need to fan the flames of your spark or or just blow some dust off to let your natural brilliance out, there are many tools you can use to shine brightly again.

 

The first step might feel silly but silliness is a great way to shine brighter.  Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you love you.  Do it every day.  And smile while you say “I love you, you are AWESOME!”

 

If you haven’t started a gratitude journal yet, try it for a week.  At the end of seven days, look back at all the things that you were thankful for and see if it doesn’t make you shine a little brighter.  The more you look for things to be grateful for, the easier it will be to see them everywhere.  If it’s hard at first, pick easy things.  I have this New York City mug that is just like all the other tourist store mugs but I love it. When I use it, I am grateful for every trip to NYC and all of the fun and interesting things I experienced there. Yes, even for the 3 hours spent browsing endlessly at the world’s biggest Toys R Us store.

 

Move your body; outside if you can.  I won’t say “exercise” because it’s not about sit-ups or a cardio class.  It’s about releasing built up tension in your body and enjoying a stretch or the deeper breathing that moving around can bring.  And if it is done outside, just looking up and outside of yourself and seeing some green (hopefully!) can help you shine brighter too.

 

Sit quietly in the morning and in your mind connect with the things you enjoy and would like to have more of in your day. Even if it is just five minutes of paying attention to your breath and quieting your thoughts about what you think the day holds for you.  Let it go and be open to inspiration and creativity and spontaneity and fun.

 

To make it easier to shine brightly again, choose one new action for a week before you add in another. You’ll have three new things at the end of three weeks to be help you get see what was already inside of you waiting to shine through again.

 

If you’d like other ways to shine brighter, let’s talk and see what we can come up with together!

Where Did THAT Box Come From?

Freedom Illustration

I don’t think I ever question why a blog post was written when I read it.  I guess you probably don’t either.  But I’d like to share why I am posting this tonight.

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On December 6, 2012 a friend of mine asked for some help because  he wasn’t happy and he felt trapped in both a job and relationship that were not satisfying him. He lived his life with “can’t” and “should” and “try” and without passion or smiles.  He had given up and had chosen to live in a restrictive little box with no way out.  It wasn’t a fun place to be but he couldn’t imagine living outside of it.

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He asked me to send him daily inspirational messages that he could read. He wasn’t ready to take any action but he thought he could read something every day.  Every day for 114 days  I sent him a message.  Most had cute pictures or song lyrics attached.  At some point about 80 days in, his box closed so tightly that he wouldn’t even allow hope or inspiration or faith in anymore. I kept writing and hoping he would read them and see some light coming from outside the box he was trapped inside of.  He didn’t.

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A lot of time and energy and love went into sending those emails. I couldn’t delete them. So I have been slowly turning them into blog posts that I hope will help others trapped in boxes. We all hold the key to getting out. It is in our grasp. We just need to turn the key and be willing to step out of the box we have created.

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What is your box made of?  Excuses?  Old memories of a happier time?  Fear?  Guilt? A feeling of not being good enough or deserving? The thought that it is too late or too much effort to change things?

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For now, just have a little peek  and imagine the world of possibilities outside your tiny box. I hope some day soon you can take that first step out of the box. There is a whole world of fulfillment and adventure out there to explore!

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If you would like help figuring out what your box is made of and how to step outside of it, use the contact form  to set up a time for a free chat with me without judgement.

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With Gratitude

Faith

 

How To Shift From What If Into Action

That “What if…..?”

“What if…” is the single most stimulating and frightening phrase in human communication.  Many of us have grand plans and dreams, but very seldom follow through with them.

Why?

Because we are afraid.  The haunting  “What If…” hounds our steps everywhere.  How do we let go of that constant replaying of “What If?”

Let’s break it down to one step at a time.

blog post what if

  1. Start small. It can be hard to silence twenty years or more of discouragement all at once.  Choose one area of your life to start with.  That could be healthy living, procrastination, or finally taking that leap into the unknown.  Make an agreement with yourself, like “I will not smoke that cigarette this morning like usual. I will chew sugarless gum instead.” Slowly one cigarette turns into two, then three, and etc. When you fall off the bandwagon, just pick up where you left off; everyone wavers.  Forgive yourself and move on with the day.

  1. One thing at a time.  Don’t take on the whole world.  If keeping a clean home is a struggle for you, do one thing a day. For example: Mondays clean the bathroom, Tuesdays vacuum the carpets, Wednesdays dust the furniture, Thursdays organize the kitchen, and Fridays wash laundry. Or skip Wednesdays – dusting? What is dusting??? 😀

  1. Enjoy your work.  When you have work to do, just do it.  Don’t worry about how long it will take or if anything gets accomplished.  Make a small goal and chip away at the bigger picture.

  1. Acknowledge progress.  When you reach a small goal, celebrate it.  Watch a movie you enjoy, get a pizza, go dancing, or whatever you enjoy.  Those small goals will add up over time and you enjoy your life as you make positive changes.

But what about that anxiety that settles into the pit of your stomach when you think of a “what if?” Well there are some tips for that too.

  1. Just do it.  Really, just do it! You are a success for starting.  Worse case scenario it falls flat and you have to start over. At least you’ll have a better idea of how to go about it.

  1. Tell it to your journal.  If you don’t have a journal, then start one.  Writing down what holds you back puts it into perspective.  Talk yourself through it, and you may find that fear is baseless or even silly.

  1. Remember trial and error.  When you fail, there is a lesson.  Sometimes this lesson is more valuable than the objective.  It’s okay to fail, just don’t let failure stop you.

  1. Don’t slow down to get scared.  If you give yourself time to think about it, you might talk yourself out of it. This doesn’t mean ignoring common sense or instincts.  Just remember you’ll never know until you try.  Use the energy that comes from new ideas to act immediately and break through the fear.

 

After all…What If your success is on the other side of the fear?

Bring Your Dreams To Life

DreamsPostUsing Confidence To Create Your Dreams

Only one person can keep your dreams alive… you.  No matter how hopeless a dream may seem; how you approach the problem is the deciding factor.  Here are six points to keep in mind to bolster your confidence.

 

  1. Accept that you are all you need.  It doesn’t matter what others tell you, at the end of the day, you are the one decides what happens in your life.

  1. You are not your past.  Sorry to say it, but no matter how “evolved” you become, other people will always hold your mistakes over your head.  It’s not fair, but that’s life.  Just because you have made mistakes doesn’t mean you don’t deserve happiness. Don’t let your past define who you are or who you can become.

  1. You are not other people. Yes, you can learn from what others have done, but your path is your path. No matter what the history of a problem is there is a still a chance you can solve it by going “left” when those in the past went “right.” Just realize that history is a great teacher.  That’s all it is… a teacher.

  1. Protect your dreams.  Sometimes your dreams need to stay private.  It’s nobody’s business what you want out of life.  There are people in this world who gain energy from crushing dreams.  Don’t give them the satisfaction or allow you to doubt yourself.

  1. The world is not conspiring against you. You are not a martyr, and you are not the exception to the rule.  Dreams come true through hard work, and if you put the work in the universe will respect that.  This doesn’t mean life is fair, but this is a universal truth it’s not personal.

  1. Don’t get tangled up in the circumstances.  Sometimes the stars just haven’t aligned yet.  That doesn’t mean your dream isn’t possible.  It just means you aren’t to a point where the events can be set into motion.  Accept the present as it is and keep moving forward every day.

 

There is always time to chase a dream.  It’s about attitude and perseverance.  If a dream is worth having, then it’s worth working towards.  Have Faith and have the confidence to keep working.

 

Giving To The Universe

Deepak Quote

Deepak Chopra, a New Age guru, and alternative medicine practitioner has become one of the most influential people in his field. One of his down-to-earth teachings is the “Law of Giving.” In a famous quote he says,

“Practicing the Law of Giving is actually very simple; if you want joy, give joy to others; if you want love, learn to give love; if you want attention and appreciation, learn to give attention and appreciation; if you want material affluence, help others to become materially affluent. In fact, the easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.” ~ Deepak Chopra

In the Hindu religion this is known as “Karma.” Christianity teaches that if you give to God, then He is generous with you. Generosity is a universal truth that is a cycle. Those who give, also receive. The one who loves is also loved. On the opposite side of the coin, those who destroy are also destroyed (maybe not immediately, but eventually.) Those who hate are hated. Some consider this a transfer of energy while others consider it “The Golden Rule.”

“Do unto to others as you would have done unto you.”

Whatever your personal reason for observing this “Law of Giving,” there are deep meaningful truths in the teaching. Giving is a freeing experience it means we don’t hold on to the material things of this life. It helps us to see our fellow man as equals. It also gives us a steady foundation to build our faith. It is an intimate part of faith, which is what we are giving is going out for the greater good. That goodness cycles back and blesses us as well. Give only that which you are willing to receive.  It does come back to you eventually.