Monthly Archives: June 2012

Envisioning your Future

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We are all capable of anything. Dr. Gordon Livingston.

I invite you to sit quietly with your heart or go for a walk in nature and ponder over what fills your heart with love and joy? What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning? What are your passions in life? What do you want your life to look like and how to you want to contribute to the lives of others?

Whatever answers/ideas/thoughts rose up inside your heart, I highly recommend taking one of the many webinar and love-inar virtual sessions offered by Veronica Krestow to help mentor and support your process in bringing to fruition all that belongs in your heart.  Sessions begin with meditation and grounding, setting intentions to work towards that week, teaching relevant skills, and mentoring through the virtual sessions collectively and individually by email.  A copy of the mediations, guided visualizations and a copy of the session is recorded and sent to your email as well as any hand outs relevant to the work in the sessions.  Please check out Veronica´s website for further information. http://veronicakrestow.com/Home.html

To get a feel for Veronica and her work or if you are not able to take any of her courses at this current time, Veronica shares very openly and honestly about her life and how she tries to stay living in her joy and gratitude and shares many tips, tools, and strategies to help inspire every one along their journey in life.

Here is a recent video I recommend:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0yaT0m8un0&list=UU-_et9c1jxGq1gKbFqQ-FnA&index=1&feature=plcp

For any one struggling to discover what they really want in life I recommend a technique that Dr. Raj Persaud writes about in The Motivated Mind called the Perfect Day exercise.  This exercise helps you to recognise what motivates you that you might not consciously be aware of and this information can be used to better guide your life in the direction you really want to go in.

To begin the Perfect Day exercise, you need to allow your imagination to run wild and flow, let ideas and thoughts come without any judgement or forcing particular images to come to mind.  Imagine I give you a blank canvas where for one day you can live your perfect day any where in the world, with any one in the world, or even by yourself if that is what comes up for you, you can have any job, do any activity, live any kind of life you want to for one whole day – your perfect day.  If you are not used to using your imagination it might take you a few tries to get into it.  Just let your imagination run loose.

Imagine your Perfect Day in as much detail as possible – where do you wake up, what does the room look like, what do you smell, what are you wearing, do you wake up alone or with someone beside, what do you do next, what do you eat for breakfast, what does it taste like, do you go to work, what day is it, what is the weather like etc. Basically live the day out in as much detail as possible minute by minute and really notice with all your senses everything you want to experience.  Remember this is your perfect day, there are no wrong answers and no one is going to hear about your perfect day so allow your imagination to flow with whatever comes up for you.  I will reveal at the end of this post an analysis to help you uncover your true motivations.  The idea is not that your perfect day will come true if you are disappointed that this couldn´t happen for you in real life, and nor is the point to then try and create this perfect day in your life now.  The exercise just helps to uncover our unconscious motivations which can help guide our real-life goals in the right direction.

An example, you might look taller/prettier, you might be married to Tom Cruise, own your own island, play for Real Madrid, win an Oscar, be a world-class chef, live in Paris, speak five languages, be a superstar, play the piano, spend all day at the beach, be a maths wiz, be a kinder person, have ten people in love with you at the same time, write a book, save humanity from hunger, create a new invention etc.   Please try the exercise first before reading the analysis at the end of the post.  You will miss out on revealing important self-knowledge about yourself if you skip ahead before trying it first.

Another revealing exercise you can try which Sonja Lyubomirsky highlights in her book The How of Happiness is the Best Possible Selves diary.  It has empirically shown to enhance well-being.  Spend between 20-30 minutes visualizing your life in one, five or ten years time and imagining what your life will look like knowing that everything has turned out perfectly, that you worked hard and achieved all you wanted to do or become. Writing can be insightful and until you start writing you never really know what is going to flow.  It may surprise you the life you envision yourself living in the future.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.  Henry David Thoreau

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. – Robin Williams

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!
― Audrey Hepburn

Everything you can imagine is real. – Pablo Picasso

 

 

***WARNING only read after trying the Perfect Day exercise***

What does the Perfect Day exercise reveal about you?

In Dr. Raj Persaud´s book The Motivated Mind he gives two examples of people who came to him with problems and he used the Perfect Day exercise to figure out what their real motivations revealed that helped to solve their problems.

Example one: A highly successful career woman who has achieved all the career goals she had wanted came to Dr. Persaud for problems with depression because she had nothing to be sad about and couldn´t figure out what was keeping her feeling down.  The Perfect Day exercise revealed that she spent most of the day singing lead soprano at the New York Metropolitan Opera despite having never sung in her life.  The exercise revealed her passion for singing and she joined an amateur opera group and her depression lifted because she had found her joy, her passion.

Example two: A novelist came to Dr. Persaud because he had problems with finishing writing his novel and he couldn´t figure out why.  The Perfect Day exercise revealed that he was friends with the Spice Girls, owned his own island, was playing world-class football and living a rich and wealthy lifestyle.  Not one thing in his perfect day related to writing or publishing a book.  The exercise revealed that he only saw writing as a means to an end, a way of creating wealth if he sells a lot of books and a way of becoming famous and well-known.  He was having trouble finishing his book because he is not passionate about writing.  His real goal is to acquire wealth and prestige and there are many different ways to accomplish that.  It doesn´t mean that because he is not passionate about writing that his goal won´t happen but it helps explain his writing block and lack of enthusiasm for his writing projects. Perhaps he might be able to also find other means that he finds more interesting that also lead to wealth and fame.

I hope your Perfect Day helps you in your future endeavours.

Dream Big

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No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true.
― Walt Disney

Watch this video of a veteran called Arthur who had been given the prognosis of never being able to walk again, as he defies this limiting belief and circumstance and begins to heal himself and his life with yoga: http://omtimes.com/2012/05/inspirational-video-of-how-yoga-can-heal-your-life/

We can learn from Arthur to live in courage and keep going no matter how difficult the mountain is to climb; every time we stumble or take a couple steps back, we just need to pick ourselves up and keep trying.

This is a great opportunity to take  a look at an area of our life right now where we are not getting the results we want and ask how can we turn this into a positive?  Remember all success is built on the stepping stones of failure: the more successful you are, the more you have failed.

Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections, failed twice in business and suffered a nervous breakdown before he became the president of the United States. Wall Street Journal

Whatever dreams you have, keep believing, then take small incremental steps each day towards your goal.  Most important of all, enjoy the process, have fun and laughter along the way.  It´s the journey, not the destination that counts.  It´s how you choose to react and take action about a particular circumstance that shapes who you are, not the actual circumstance or situation.

Have fun dreaming and creating big!!!

I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.  – Thomas A. Edison

Be the Change…

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The secret of happiness is: Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it.
— Dan Dennett

A great website http://freerice.com/ allows us to help be part of the change we want to see in the world by feeding the hungry in third world countries.  All we have to do is play some word games and other quizzes for free and for every correct answer the UN donates 10mg of rice to help feed those in need. For language enthusiasts the games come in different languages English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Korean. It´s easy to do and all from the comfort of our computer.

It´s also an opportune moment for us to ask ourselves how do we want to experience the world, our communities, our home environment and ask are we living in this way, are we being the change we want to see in the world and in our personal lives?

We all like to think of ourselves as decent, kind, generous human beings, but I urge us all to take a serious moment to be silent and still with ourselves and reflect on how we are living, treating others and most importantly treating ourselves.

If we want to see, for example, more kindness in our lives and around the world, we first have to manifest kindness within.  That means looking in the mirror and thinking kind, beautiful words about your reflection; being self-compassionate even when you make mistakes knowing that we are trying our best and will make amends and grow from the experience; doing and being joyful on a daily and moment to moment basis.  Only then will we truly be able to offer genuine kindness without needing or wanting anything in return and living in kindness knowing that it will all somehow be paid forward by the universe.

Writing a list of the changes you want to see in the world and then keeping a journal to see how you are manifesting these changes in yourself will help us all to become more self-aware and make tweaks where necessary in how we act and behave in our lives.  Once we have made the changes within, watch the rippling effect it has on your family, friends and how far reaching it can spread in the world; the more people we affect with positive consequences, the more people they affect in return.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead, Anthropologist      

http://freerice.com/

Look Up

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Don’t let one cloud obliterate the whole sky.  ~Anais Nin

This is a post response to the wonderful blog by Dr. Brené Brown about courage to be ourselves and be vulnerable which in turn allows us to reach out to love, joy and others and rest more easily in gratitude for here and now, with what we do have www.ordinarycourage.com.

For 2012 Brené´s word to live by and stay in inspiration is light. Our inner light will guide us through the darkness and to remind us to spend time with people who keep that light bright and being joyful in activities that light us up.  Thank you for the inspiration Brené to keep our lights on, keeping us open and bright.

My word for 2012 is rainbow. A reminder to stay in hope and faith and be present because when you stay silent and still in the beauty of the moment you will see your rainbow peaking through the clouds and rain; as you grow and expand from your experiences, the full glory of your rainbow will be revealed and the infinite colours and possiblities of your dreams will manifest inside of you.

Walk on a rainbow trail
walk on a trail of song
and all about you will be beauty.
There is a way out of every dark mist
over a rainbow trail.
~Robert Motherwell

I highly recommend Dr. Brené Brown´s talk at TED because not only is she a charismatic, funny story teller but her research spanning over a decade has important implications for how we can all live and lead more vibrant, whole-hearted lives by embracing who we truly are and walking through our vulnerabilities into open arms of love and gratitude instead of living in our self-imposed prisons of fear and insecurity and numbing the pain with destructive behaviours and addictions that can not only tear ourselves apart but destroy any meaningful present and future relationships with others. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Qm9cGRub0

If you are interested in Brené´s research in more detail check out her website where you can also find her blog that I posted the link to at the beginning of this post and you can find out more about a few of the books she has written on the topic of being vulnerable.  Enjoy!!!

Remember, whilst you are in the midst of all the clouds and rain and waiting for your rainbow, help someone else find theirs; then your rainbow might just appear sooner than you think 😉

Inner Wisdom

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Happiness depends upon ourselves. —Aristotle

Life is a paradox.  Carl Jung highlighted this in his work saying the very things that bring us happiness like family, relationships, friends, work are paradoxically the very things that can cause our pain and suffering.  For this reason Buddhism teaches us the art of detachment, living in the present moment in peace and harmony with whatever is.  A difficult task for many when our culture and society rewards and encourages a certain linear set of successes to be achieved at certain points throughout life and anything less than perfect will just not do.

An interesting article by Alex Lickerman on the Psychology Today blog writes that our lives are constantly revolving around whatever person/goal/situation we are obsessed about or are devoting our life to in that moment which when it is not going well is the cause of all our suffering and affects all aspects of our life.  To remedy this, Lickerman looks to Buddhism which teaches us to nurture and practice using our inner wisdom.  Choosing to devote ourselves to being the best we can be by growing our inner wisdom and learning from our experiences instead of staying attached to ideas/goals/people that may not be for our best interests.  By choosing to cultivate wisdom in ourselves on a daily basis, it will help all areas of our life grow and expand and with clarity make better informed decisions that not only benefit ourselves but are for the highest good of all concerned.

When we decide to reclaim our inner power, we make a definite shift in our lives that helps us to constantly create new realities for ourselves as we begin to realize that nothing in life is fixed or for forever,  that moment by moment we are all malleable; thus we take better control of our own happiness and no matter what happens, we can make the best of a situation and apply our own inner wisdom to overcome anything.

Here is the link to Alex Lickerman´s article:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201206/choosing-the-object-your-devotion

It is only possible to live happily ever after on a daily basis. —Margaret Bonanno