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.
At the very bottom of the foundation of our lives are our thoughts–whether they uplift us or discourage us. For this reason, the very first thing we must master if we are to live soul-prospering lives is our thought pattern.
We know this requires mindfulness and we also understand that it involves being positive and optimistic.
But what about the days when it isn’t possible to do this, what do we do then? Perhaps we had a difficult day at work and, to top it off, we had to stay late. Or maybe we’re handling challenging situations in our personal life. It just might be, though, that we’ve been working on moving toward our soul-prospering lives but the progress is tiny, and now we’re plain old discouraged. During times like these, we just don’t have the wherewithal to monitor all our thoughts and when we try to be positive, it feels like we’re being incredibly naïve and foolish.
Mindfulness doesn’t mean ferreting out and hearing every tidbit of a thought that we have and then measuring each one with some sort of positivity scale. It would be an impossible task and, most likely, we’d drive ourselves batty if we tried it.
Also, it isn’t reasonable to expect that every thought is going to be positive. We’re allowed to be discouraged, sad, angry, worried, and the like. Feeling our emotions is what make us human and is what adds depth and richness to our experiences. “Negative” emotions are “bad” only when we find ourselves wallowing in them or when they are the only emotional responses we have.
To get a handle on our thoughts, schedule time to learn what triggers negative thoughts in us. For instance, we know when we’re with certain people we tend to become easily annoyed, or when we’re called on to give a presentation we know we become tense, nervous, and worried. We may discover that when we’re faced with an unfamiliar task, whether in our professional capacity or in our personal lives, we find ourselves thinking I can’t or it’s too hard.
As I said, it’s okay if we find ourselves responding in a knee-jerk fashion with the thoughts we’re accustomed to thinking. As we work with mindfulness and adding more uplifting thoughts into our thought patterns, we’ll lessen these habitual responses.
When we identify our triggers, prepare phrases and words ahead of time that, when you need them, they are handy.
Don’t stress over making these phrases and words positive. Instead, strive to make them as uplifting as possible. They’ll ring truer and be more believable, especially when the circumstances are particularly difficult.
Here are some thoughts that uplifted me when I felt foolish using positive statements:
~I’ll figure it out somehow. I don’t need all the answers right now; I just need one bit of information at a time;
~I only need to take one tiny little step–just do what seems to be the next best thing;
~I can call or I can ask my mentor/friend/librarian/colleague;
~Right here, right now, I am okay;
~Universe, I put this in Your Hands to work out because I have no clue what to do next. Show me what I need to do and make it very clear!
~Universe, I have no idea how You’re going to work this out because it seems impossible to me. I trust that You have it all figured out and that You’ll let me know when it’s my turn to do what I can.
Let me know if any of these helped you. Also, let me know what uplifting thoughts you use. Thanks!
To get a fresh perspective on your circumstances, change your location!
If you live in the city, try getting out to the country. If this isn’t possible, go to a neighborhood park that you’ve never been to. If your only option is to go to your usual park, then go to a different part of it–not your usual walking path and not the usual place where you sit. Change it up! The slower pace may be just what you need to let go and open to your inventiveness.
If you live in the country or a town, go to a nearby city–or a town that’s bigger than yours. Is it busier than what you’re used to? Is it noisier, too?
Perhaps you feel discombobulated because the pace and the noise are jarring. Change your thoughts about this. Instead of thinking of this experience as confusing and upsetting, think of it as stimulating and energizing you in a new way. How is this sparking your creativity–how can you think of this in a way that does spark your creativity?
What would I see if I would look at this situating from the top, from underneath, from the side, or at an oblique angle? To do this when you’re looking at problems–a difficult co-worker or trouble with your personal finances–it’s metaphorical to look at it up, down, backward, inside out, and you can also do this literally.
For instance, if you live in an urban area, is there a tall building with an observation deck or a restaurant that overlooks the city? If you live in a town or out in the country, is there a scenic overlook where you’re viewing the town from a higher elevation. Is there a place where the view gives you a wide open perspective of endless open space?
Also, is there a place where you can go low? Perhaps there’s a small valley or low spot in your town. Do you have a basement you can sit in quietly for a time, or maybe there’s a restaurant or other public place that’s in a basement-like area.
The point of this is to shake it up, change the way you’re looking at your situation. This is all exploratory so you aren’t committing to anything. You’re trying to jar loose some ideas that are different from the ones you usually get from your habitual ways of thinking.
Today, let’s do the same thing and build a Gratitude Album for ourselves. By doing this, we are aligning with the “good stuff” in our life and the more in tune with it that we are, the more of it we will notice and the more we will bring into our life.
Making a Gratitude Album and referring to it often reminds us that there are wonderful things in our lives even if everything around us looks hopeless. Looking at the album first thing in the morning and last thing before sleep helps us also remember why we’re pressing forward in spite of the odds and in spite of the naysayers. Taking peeks at the album throughout the day can give us that boost we need so that we don’t give up or knuckle under.
Just like your Vision Album, your Gratitude Album doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy or contain every little jot of every little thing you’re grateful for. You can add to and tweak the album as you go along–it isn’t something chiseled in stone, so you don’t have to “get it right” the first time!
It can also have symbols. For instance, you can include a picture of the gorgeous cherry tree in front of the public library and this can be your symbol of your gratitude for all of Mother Nature’s majestic beauty.
Above all, have fun with this! Make it a point to pull a few pictures together today–even one image from a recent event in your life will do. Regularly add a little bit here and there as you go along!
Having a positive Vision of the future you’re headed toward is a powerful motivator, especially when the going gets rough.
If you find yourself getting discouraged easily and being influenced by what others are telling you regarding what can and can’t be done, then your Vision for your future is NOT strong enough!
Building a compelling, highly motivating Vision is an excellent use of your waiting time.
Build a photo album of things that thrill and delight you, such as places you’d like to visit, people you’d like to meet, activities you’d love to do, events you want to participate in, and the like. This photo album can be a digital slideshow stored in the cloud so you can view it on your computer and mobile devices, or it can be an “old fashioned” photo album filled with pictures you’ve taken as well as those you’ve gotten out of magazines and off the Internet.
Keep it handy where you can view it first thing in the morning when you wake up and the last thing at night before you fall asleep. Also, keep it handy–or if it’s in hard copy format, keep a few images handy–so that you can take a quick peek at it during break times in your day.
You must look at it every day, and frequently throughout the day, to keep your vision in the forefront of your mind!
When you look at your Vision Album, get excited about it–let its power infuse every cell of your being. Then use that energy to take the next best step.
You can do it; you CAN figure it out!
No matter what Life throws at you and no matter what obstacles are in your path, you have the intelligence, creativity, and inventiveness to figure it out. It may not be easy, but you can do it; you have what it takes.
Setbacks can be very disheartening but you’ll also find that they may point you in another, better, direction. They’ll also challenge you to find the sleeping giant within. Brush off your skills of resourcefulness and ingenuity and use them to help yourself figure “it” out.
Remember that you don’t have to go the whole way alone. You can do research on the Internet and in your local library; you can talk to others who have experienced something similar to what you’re going through; you can bounce ideas off a trusted friend or loved one; you can take classes online or at a school; you can read books or magazines…. There are plenty of resources out there that’ll support you in figuring it out.
Trust in yourself–your know-how, your curiosity, the gifts inside of you, and your determination–and you WILL figure it out!
In other words, you WILL figure it out by::
~Putting on your thinking cap;
~Roll up your sleeves;
~Every moment strengthening your spirit and your resolve with pep statements;
~Pressing onward no matter what!
You CAN do it, you WILL do it, and you ARE doing it!