Yesterday we talked about zeroing in on the thoughts and feelings we have when we think about taking action on any of our outrageous ideas. We know we need to do this because doing what’s logical and reasonable isn’t always going to get us to our soul-prospering life. Sometimes we just have to let it rip!
We need to know how to handle ourselves, though, when those thoughts and feelings do come up because they can stop us in our tracks. We don’t want that. We want our soul-prospering life, the life of our dreams!
~Perhaps our first reaction is some form of anger because we “know” someone is going to take our hard work and our success away from us;
~Perhaps our first reaction is a form of sadness because we “know” we’re going to work really hard and there’ll be very little payoff at the end;
~Perhaps our first reaction is a form of fear because we “know” it’s too hard and we can’t do it. We may also “know” that the effort will crush us and/or that we’ll be worse off afterward;
~Perhaps our first reaction is to give up before we start–to not even try–because we “know” we’ll work, work, work, and sacrifice, and meet obstacles, and it’ll all be too much;
~Perhaps our first reaction is excitement and enthusiasm but then we soon lose interest, become bored, or numb, and move on to the next “shiny object”.
We may have a different go-to first reaction and thought than what we’ve talked about here and that’s fine. In a sense it doesn’t matter what it is, just as long as each of us knows what our own particular and unique feeling and thought pattern is. Once we know this, we can build and have handy a “Bag of Tricks” that’s ready when we need it. This’ll help us move through the obstacles we’ve previously thrown in our own path to stop ourselves.
Take time today–about 15 – 20 minutes in a place that’s quiet and where you won’t be interrupted–and think about what can help you soothe/calm/comfort yourself so you can be more in control of yourself. The goal is to be able to take the next step, even if it’s tiny.
Here are some suggestions:
This gets you up and moving instead of sitting like a “bump on a log” as the old saying goes. Vigorous exercise can be great for blowing off the excess steam if you’re angry and frustrated. Light, gentle exercise can be perfect for when you’re feeling sad or frightened.
Playing a musical instrument; singing or toning or making nonsense noises; listening to music that’s uplifting, inspiring, energizing, or soothing. Music can help you blow off steam or it can calm you or it can energize you or it can comfort you.
Taking a nap; make sure you get a good night’s uninterrupted sleep; relaxing.
Getting outside and taking deep breaths to oxygenate your system; enjoy Mother Nature’s beauty and majesty.
~To expand your mind and your knowledge base; reading something for pleasure; reading for inspiration; reading to deepen your spirituality.
Praying; meditating; contemplating; thinking about Something That’s Bigger Than All of Us.
Meeting with or calling trusted friends who will cheer you on; loved ones who encourage you; mentors who believe in you.
Gather the resources in a place that’s easily accessible to you. When you’re in the throes of some emotion, it’s tough to think straight and to remember where you put what you are desperately looking for in the moment.
Just like in your home you know where the flashlights and batteries are, you’ve stored the candles and matches in a particular spot, the fire extinguisher is handy, and you have your doctor’s and other emergency service phone numbers prominently displayed, this is the same thing. Have your Bag of Tricks, your emergency materials, handy, easily accessed, and ready-to-go for when you need them!
On Wednesday we brainstormed and yesterday we took those ideas and we put aside the practical ones, the responsible ones, the doable ones, which left us with the crazy, outrageous, just totally nuts ideas.
We took some quiet time yesterday to think about these ideas, as crazy as they are and as anxious as they might make us feel. We did this because it’s in the outrageous ideas where our future lies. It’s in following through on these bold ideas–or combinations of these bold ideas–that we’re going to be able to craft our soul-prospering life.
The life you dream of does not come from being practical, being reasonable, being logical. Crafting a soul prospering life, living the life of your dreams, comes from being bold, outrageous, stepping outside your comfort zone, pushing the edge of the envelope, doing what you never thought you’d be able to do, finding your limits and pushing past them.
That’s why these crazy ideas, these totally nuts ideas, are so important.
What were some of the steps that you came up with? Did you take any of them? If not, do something right now, something little. It can be something as simple as sitting quietly and visualizing your dream, what it would be like to live a soul prospering life.
How would you feel about yourself; how would you feel about your prospects and opportunities in the world?
How would going for your soul-prosper in life change you and enhance you make you a bigger, better person?
That’s what a soul prospering life is. It isn’t about having a million dollars in the bank or having a big, fat fancy house or becoming famous and popular. It’s about how the journey helps you grow and develop in ways you never thought possible; how it gives you a deeper, richer, more vibrant and juicy life.
Taking this kind of action is awkward stuff, really…which is why we haven’t done it before now. We DO have to step out of the comfort zone, we DO have to feel uncomfortable, we DO have to be unsure.
We have to learn how to live with not knowing and not being sure but taking action anyway.
Now that we’re talking about feeling awkward and uncomfortable, take a moment to identify exactly what your brand of awkward and uncomfortable is.
Some people feel some form of fear, other people feel sad, others feel depressed about the whole thing, and still others can give up and walk away even before they’ve started.
The fearful people may be driven by the thought that it’s too hard and they think they can’t, or they think they’ll be crushed in some way. Some of them worry that if they try for their dreams, they’ll wind up worse off.
Angry people may feel that they’ll work really hard only to have someone else get the credit and the benefits. Or, they may feel that their success will be taken away from them.
Sad people may think that it’s a long, hard road with only a very small payoff at the end.
People who throw in the towel before they even start may think that it’s work, work, and more work, and in-between times there’ll be obstacles, and difficulties, and even heartbreaks.
If you see yourself in any of these descriptions, don’t worry. Tomorrow we’re going to talk about what you can do about these feelings and thought patterns–how you can stop them before they stop you.
You’re doing GREAT! Come back tomorrow so we can continue our chat.
Today, let’s take a closer look at ALL the ideas we jotted down, NOT leaving out any idea no matter how nutty, crazy, stupid, outlandish, dumb, frivolous, etc., they may seem.
Now, let’s categorize our ideas. We’ll have only two groups (1) Reasonable, (2) Totally NUTS!!. Some ideas may be hard to categorize because they’re not quite reasonable but they aren’t totally nuts either. With these, tune into your instincts and let that help you choose which category to put the idea into.
Take some quiet, uninterrupted time, about 15 – 20 minutes. When you have your Reasonable group and you have your Totally NUTS group, put the Reasonable ideas to the side.
We’re going to focus on the Totally NUTS ideas.
Why? Because THAT’S how you’ll achieve your soul-prospering life!
You won’t achieve the life you yearn for if you are reasonable, rational, logical. This is the thinking that’s keeping you in your comfort zone, stuck in your rut!
It’s when you seriously look at your Totally NUTS ideas that you find your way out of your dead-end, unsatisfying life and step into your soul-prospering life!
Sit quietly without interruptions and think about steps you can take within a day or two regarding your Totally NUTS ideas. I know this is scary stuff, but you don’t have to take giant leaps or enormous bounds. All you have to do is take one tiny little baby step. That’s it!
Hang onto this list of Totally NUTS ideas because we’re going to talk more about them tomorrow.
WooHoo! Exciting stuff! You and me, we’re on our way! WooHoo!
A reminder: we’re brainstorming so that means all ideas are worthy of being jotted down and considered.
~NO blowing off
~NO disparagement of any kind
of ANY idea, no matter how crazy or outlandish it is.
Also, do NOT:
~worry about the practicality
~fret about the money involved
~angst over how much time an idea might take to work out
~lament over the very few ideas you’ve come up with
~freak out over how may ideas you’ve come up with
~despair over the illogical ideas your brain produces for you
~feel like an idiot because of any idea that your creativity has gifted to you
We may find that a piece of one nutty idea combined with a piece of an outrageous forms a blockbuster action that move us forward faster and better than any rational or logical idea we’ve come up with so far!
Take the time today to write down as many ideas as you can. Don’t worry about the number of them, just write down all that come to you in the time you’ve allotted–I recommend 15-20 minutes of quiet uninterrupted time, perfect to do during your lunch hour (just sayin’!). Keep a notepad and pen, or other device handy, so you can jot down ideas that come to you during the day–trust me, they will!
Tomorrow we’ll talk about these. Be sure to make time in your schedule for 15 – 20 minutes of quiet uninterrupted time.
It occurred to me that this is much different than asking ourselves “What have I gotten used to?”
Do you expect to be successful in your ventures yet you’re used to disappointing or lackluster results from your efforts?
Have you gotten used to being overlooked for promotions, recognition, when friends are getting together, when conversations are going on around you? You may expect to be treated courteously and have your efforts be recognized and rewarded, but perhaps the reality of what you’ve gotten used to is much different.
We can ask ourselves this question in all facets of our life:
~Have you gotten used to living and working spaces that are messy and in need of a thorough cleaning?
~Are you used to wearing clothes with fraying cuffs and collars, or that are unflattering even though they might be quite serviceable?
~Have you gotten used to Life’s crumbs and leftovers?
~Are you used to being treated unkindly, or not getting the benefit of the doubt?
~Have you gotten used to working hard with little to show for it?
Take the time today, and make time throughout the week, to think about what you’ve gotten used to, what you are tolerating. Jot these down. Note if you see a pattern and in which areas of your life you’re tolerating less than what your dreams tell you that you deserve.
Keep this list handy because we’ll talk about it tomorrow.
This work can be challenging to do because we don’t want to admit that we’ve become used to crumbs and leftovers. Recognizing this can be a shock and it can also be painful to realize what we’ve allowed to happen. As painful and difficult as this is, I urge you to do it because it’ll free you so you can live a more soul-prospering life.
Thank you to all who work hard to give to the world your talents, gifts, and abilities in the form of the products and services you offer or are part of the team that offers them.
I came across this poem that illustrates that taking action is essential to living a soul-prospering life.
Forever stars are winging
Their swift and endless race;
Forever suns are swinging
Their mighty globes through space.
Since by his law required
To join God’s spheres inspired,
The earth has never tired,
But whirled and whirled and whirled.
Forever streams are flowing,
Forever seeds are growing,
Alway is Nature showing
That Action rules the world.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox
When we’re unsure what to do, all we need to do is look to Mother Nature. As this poem so eloquently tells us, movement, stepping out, and taking action are what makes the world go ’round–it’s the name of the game. There’s always a little something each of us can do, a small something that will move us forward, even just a smidgen. Follow Mother Nature’s cue and do it!
Make yourself proud of you this week. Here are six inspirational quotes to keep handy to help you take a step, then then next one, then the one after that. Keep going!
Do not give up your dream because it is apparently not being realized, because you cannot see it coming true. Cling to your vision with all the tenacity you can muster. Keep it bright; do not let the bread-and-butter side of life cloud your ideal or dim it. ~Orison Swett Marden
Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth. ~Bradley Whitford
There can be no failure to a one who has not lost one’s courage, one’s character, one’s self respect, or one’s self-confidence. ~Orison Swett Marden
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. ~Confucius
If you do not feel yourself growing in your work and your life broadening and deepening, if your task is not a perpetual tonic to you, you have not found your place. ~Orison Swett Marden
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~Thomas A. Edison