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Friday, June 26, 2009

Part Four: Addicted to Perfectionism?
"Wreck this Journal!"

Here we are at week four of the Wreck This Journal adventure! (To see my previous entries, go here for week one, here for week two, and here for week three.)

My main activity for this week was taking my book in the shower with me (pictures coming soon). At this point, I’ve already done so much to “wreck” my journal that it’s starting to feel pretty normal to me! In fact, after I had taken the book in the shower with me I decided I had done such a good job with that “task” that I may as well take things to the next level and submerge the book in a bathtub full of water!! I'm wondering if the book will be dried out enough next week to do any more wrecking in it... ;)

What’s really interesting to me about this whole experience, though, is the connection I’ve found between wrecking the journal and being a lot cleaner than normal in my living space. I’ve been thinking about it a lot this past week, trying to figure out if there’s an explanation for it, and I think I’ve figured it out!

Because I’ve been allowing myself to express my creativity through wrecking my journal, I haven’t felt the need to ‘express my creativity’ in my home. I’ve been making a mess in my journal, and therefore haven’t needed to make a mess in my condo.

Wrecking my journal throughout this experience has given me “permission” to do things I normally wouldn’t do, like rip and burn pages, smear condiments on the pages, and write various things all over the pages. Normally I treat books with so much reverence that doing these things to a precious book is just unheard of! Throughout this experience, however, I’ve been allowing myself to break out of my shell and bust through the walls of perfectionism that are usually held around me very firmly in place.

I think that by me leaving clothes and dishes lying everywhere around my condo (my normal routine) I am in a sense “rebelling” and showing the world that I don’t have to abide by the rules of keeping a clean house. I'm saying, “It’s socially acceptable to pick your clothes up off the floor and put the dishes in the dishwasher, but watch this! I’m going to leave clothes and dishes scattered all over the floor, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it!” I didn’t rebel much as a teenager, well not at all really, so I think this is my subtle form of rebellion.

Since I’m enjoying having a clean place to live in and would like to keep it that way from now on, I’ve learned that I need some sort of creative outlet where I can regularly express myself however I want to. In essence, allow myself to make a mess so that I don’t feel the need to make a mess in my living space!

Some ideas I came up with to start doing on a regular basis:

• Finger painting
• Playing with food
• Rolling around in the mud (not sure I really want to do this!)

Any others?

I’m curious, has anyone else noticed that they’ve been more clean and tidy than normal while doing this experience?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Special Interview with Liara Covert, Ph.D.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Liara M. Covert, Ph.D. from Dream Builders Australia. Liara is a dream analyst, author, and spiritual teacher whose purpose in life is to empower and inspire others to live and love more fully. What a great purpose!

Her new book, Self-Disclosure: Changes from Within, shows you how to awaken the dormant parts of your true self and understand how to identify the truth about yourself as you are now, offering you a key to unlocking your spiritual potential and opening the door to limitless happiness and love. I love the message of Liara's book, as well as the overall mission of Dream Builders.

Please enjoy the interview below!

Please tell us about your latest book and where the inspiration for it came from.

My new book is called Self-Disclosure: Changes from Within. It offers personal stories, triggers life-transforming revelations and universal lessons in form of dialogue and journal exercises. Readers decide whether this choose-your-own adventure experience involves a protagonist and a conscience or, other perspectives. Your focus at a given moment determines how you see and experience what the book offers. Each section ends with questions to invite readers to embark on their own journey to raise self-awareness. The book refers to over 144 inspirations. Many of these are presented in the form of quotes at the start of different sections. They set the stage for themes covered including esteem, fear, awakening senses, perception and love. I invite readers to explore http://blog.dreambuilders.com.au The book is available through this site, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and also other on-line and local distributers.

I love the name of your company, Dream Builders, because I believe that everyone has ability and potential to make all their wildest dreams come true. Can you elaborate on this a little? What is the mission of your business?

The Dreambuilders Australia Blog emerged from my passion for writing. It came into being in 2007 when I consciously chose to write for the pure joy of it. This site then branched into dream analysis services, a raising consciousness e-course, books (Harness the Energy of Your Dreams-July 2009) and forthcoming book-related workshops. The purpose of the business is to encourage dialogue, empower and inspire others to live and love more fully.

What do you think is the biggest thing that holds people back from achieving their dreams and what can they do to overcome this?

Fear is the biggest obstacle. People fear anything they perceive but refuse to accept. Nothing that you refuse to accept becomes part of conscious awareness. This is not dangerous except when you choose to view it that way. The strain of inner judgment becomes disheartening and intolerable unless people learn to remember fear is an illusion. People can choose to shift focus and concentrate on love energy which is opposite of fear. You do not experience inner peace because your ego chooses to fear instead. The ego is afraid of the spirit side of you. The only way to overcome fear for good it to undermine the ego thought process, to recognize it for what it is and choose not to permit it to control you. Attitudes and judgment are ego-based. The ego deludes itself into believing its version reality until self-induced conscious awakening changes everything. The truth is only ever felt, experienced when it is accepted fully.

What are some of the of the most important lessons you have learned on your life journey up to this point?

Everything you do is based on choosing love or fear.

Resistance to truth is futile and surrender is what heals delusion.

True inner knowing does not deceive but perception can.

Spirit or soul does not perceive and ego cannot know.

There is no death but fear nurtures belief in death.

Every loving thought connects everyone and everything.

Do you believe in the law of attraction, and if so, how do you practice it in your own life?

I live the law of attraction. I share specific examples throughout the book, Self-Disclosure: Changes for Within. It is the raising conscious awareness of my choices and their implications that transforms my existence and can do the same for every human being, if that is their choice.

What is one message you hope to get out with your new book?

To read through the experiences in this book helps prepare you to reframe your own lessons.

Those people who choose to read it are already awakening to a more conscious path. They are ready to learn to recognize their thoughts and feelings as they are and shift vantage points.

"The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” ~Khalil Gibran

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Part Three: Addicted to Perfectionism?
"Wreck this Journal!"

Here we are at week three of the Wreck This Journal adventure! (To see my previous entries, go here for week one and here for week two.)

Whew! This week brought up a lot of anxiety for some reason. Even just thinking about what I was going to do to wreck my journal made my heart speed up and practically jump out of my chest! Well, when you see what I did you’ll probably understand why…

One of the page’s instructions says to sleep with the book. Because I smeared mustard and chocolate syrup on some of the pages last week (see here), actually having the book in bed with me didn’t sit too well! Even though the mustard and chocolate syrup are completely dry by now, they’re still a bit “sticky” and I didn’t like the idea of the stickiness being close to my white sheets. Since this adventure is all about trying new things, though, I decided to really go for it and face-plant the pages with the mustard and chocolate syrup right onto my sheets!

Talk about anxiety!! This felt absolutely horrible, but I stuck with it for as long as I could handle it (about ten minutes). Gosh, even looking at the picture right now makes me feel really uncomfortable. Luckily nothing rubbed off on my sheets, although they do smell a bit like mustard now. ;)

After doing that, just sleeping with the book on the pillow next to me didn’t seem so difficult. I did accidentally roll over onto it once during the night, but he survived and was ready for our next adventure!

Finally, I’ve been wanting to burn one of the pages for awhile now since that’s one of the page's instructions. I tried to burn the cover first, but that didn’t exactly go as planned. (Note to others going through this experience with me: the cover doesn’t really burn). Next I tried burning a single page, and that worked like a charm. It smelled just like roasting marshmallows over a campfire!

I’ve noticed some pretty significant changes in myself this past week and I think at least some of them are directly related to this experience. I’ll list them here:

1) This past week I have been unusually CLEAN. I’m talking so clean and orderly it’s scary! I straightened up my condo last weekend, and normally it takes me all of about a day to destroy the place again. But here I am, a week later, and it’s just as clean as it was then! Maybe because I’m now giving myself permission to destroy my journal, I don’t feel the need to be messy in my living space anymore?! Food for thought…

2) I’ve noticed that I’m able to just sit with anxiety or other uncomfortable feelings and just let them be, rather than trying to run away from them or get rid of them all together. After all, they're just feelings and I can explore them and allow them to be until they're ready to leave.

3) I’m willing to try new things just for the fun of it! Instead of shrinking away from trying new things, I’ve been really going for it this past week. Because I’m trying so many new things with the journal, it’s carrying over to my life and it feels good. I'm learning that nothing bad happens from trying new things (hey, the sky hasn't fallen yet!)… it’s just a new experience I’ve never gone through before.

NEXT WEEK: Taking the book in the shower with me!

It's still not too late to join in on the fun if you'd like to go through this experience yourself. To join the group of us going through this together or to just follow along with how others are wrecking their journals, go here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Do Nothing!

I’ve been trying to think of a new blog post to write the past few days, but nothing hugely inspirational has come to mind. I’ve been writing my upcoming ebook, redesigning my newsletter, and rocking along on the Wreck This Journal experiment, so I really haven't had a ton of inspiration for blog posts.

The truth is, however, sometimes the best thing we can do on our path to achieving our dreams is DO NOTHING!! Believe it or not, sometimes just sitting back and doing nothing is the missing ingredient that allows everything to come together and fall into place.

In our society, it is easy to get caught up in the trap of doing more, wanting more, and thinking we’re not good enough if we’re not constantly on-the-go and taking action towards achieving our goals or dreams. If we lose ten lbs., we want to lose five more. If our friend gets a promotion, we start going for one too. If we haven’t yet achieved something on our vision board, we wonder what’s wrong with us and start taking extra steps to make it happen.

I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with me, though, when I say there are some days when action just plain doesn’t feel good! In fact, it feels like if you do one more thing you might just collapse and have a really hard time getting back up off the couch. Especially if you are juggling a job, a business, children, spouse, a workout practice, etc., or some combination of all that!

Sometimes our bodies need time to rest and recover, and just take a break from all the activity that has been going in our lives… and that’s okay! In fact, it’s needed from time to time and it’s actually better to take restorative breaks every now and then rather than crashing and burning from too much activity, whatever that looks like for you. Give yourself permission to just BE, to just go with the flow of life, and not have to constantly be doing, doing, doing.

I say, take as much action as feels right at a given time, but then allow yourself to take a few days off when needed, or just when the inspiration’s not there. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong or that your dreams aren’t going to come true; quite the contrary, sometimes it just means that you’ve done everything you’re required to do and now the rest is up to the Universe! Things might be taking place behind the scenes to bring your dreams to reality that you’re not even aware of. You might not be feeling inspired because you are not intended to do anything right now, except relax and take some time for yourself.

If it feels especially difficult to allow yourself some time off, question the thoughts you are telling yourself that make it seem so impossible. Be on the lookout for black and white thinking like, “If I don’t publish this article today, no one will ever hire me as a writer again!” Or, “If I don’t clean the house perfectly before tonight, my spouse won’t love me as much.” Use Byron Katie’s The Work or another process to challenge these beliefs in your mind so they don’t seem so set in stone. Remember, a belief is just a thought you have repeated many times and it can be changed!

So if you're feeling like doing nothing is the best thing for you right now, give yourself permission to do just that... and I'll do the same. :-)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Part Two: Addicted to Perfectionism?
"Wreck this Journal!"

Welcome to part two of the Wreck This Journal experience!

I must say, I’ve been having a lot of fun with this and have already noticed changes within myself that I think came directly from this adventure. I’ve included some pictures this week, so you can see what I’ve been up to. (To see what I had to say about part one, go here.)

Below is a picture of my actual journal, and as you can see it’s already well on its way to being destroyed… ;) Here I've ripped the cover, cut through several layers of pages, cracked the spine, and written on the side of the book opposite the spine.

The instructions for the page below said to "Scribble wildly violenty with reckless abandon"... and I did! It's hard to see in the picture, but I actually tore the page because I was scribbling so violently. Haha.

Finally, here's the picture I'm most proud of... This page instructed me to draw lines with either a pen or pencil, then lick my finger and smear the lines. For some reason, this provoked so much anxiety in me that I decided to REALLY GO FOR IT! So instead of smearing pen or pencil marks, I decided to smear chocolate syrup and mustard on the page!! And let me tell you, it was gross and fun all at the same time:) One of the future instructions is to sleep with the book in your bed, so I may need to re-evaluate that after this last wrecking.


Other things I did this past week to wreck my journal:

• Stood up high and dropped the book
• Ripped a page out and crumbled it up
• Cut one of the pages out, made a funnel with it, and drank water from it
• Bent and tore several of the pages

I have to admit, I really am starting to feel more liberated and am noticing changes within myself. I seem to be more accepting of my "flaws", or things I didn't necessarily like about myself before. For example, I think I'm going to be posting an introduction video of myself on my website soon! Up until now this just made me feel entirely UNcomfortable. Now I tell myself, "Eh, there are lots of people using video on their sites these days, and there's no reason I can't."

Another thing that I am really proud off is that I ripped up pictures of an ex-boyfriend! I had been hanging onto these for YEARS, but the other morning I just woke up, and rip, rip, rip! Just like that:) And afterwards I felt so much lighter and open to new experiences and people... I've also noticed that I've been throwing out other things around my place that I've been hanging onto for entirely way too long.

It's funny because as I'm doing the exercises in the journal, I definitely feel a knot of anxiety or just uncomfortable tension in my chest that does not feel good at all. Once I do the exercises, though, the tension dissipates and I'm finding that the anxious tension I feel in my life as a whole is dissipating. I've noticed I'm easier on myself and not so demanding that everything be perfect. I'm allowing myself to be ME... and that is a great feeling :)

Here's to breaking the addiction to perfection once and for all!

In case you're wondering, it's not too late to join in on the fun! To join the group of us going through this together or to just follow along with how others are wrecking their journals, go here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Addicted to Perfectionism?
"Wreck this Journal!"

Are you addicted to perfectionism like I am? Let’s kick the habit once and for all!

I just discovered a fabulous book called "Wreck This Journal"by Keri Smith and joined a 30-day book blogging experience focused on this book. The experience officially started this past Friday, and I will be posting about my experiences with this book every Friday throughout the end of June. If you have a blog and want to go through the experience with us, join us! It’s never too late to join (I actually joined a few days late myself). Even if you don’t have a blog or don’t want to post your experiences, I still encourage you to pick up a copy of the book and go through this exercise on your own.

"Wreck This Journal"is not your typical book. The pages are not filled with words, nor does it tell any particular story. Instead, each page contains instructions about how to literally destroy the book! For example, one page tells you to burn it. Another page tells you to spill coffee on it, or poke holes through the page, while yet another page tells you to take the entire book in the shower with you! Trust me, the point of this book is to completely destroy it by the time you are finished with it, hence its subtitle, “To Create is To Destroy.” The premise of the book is that many of us hold ourselves back creatively because we are scared of mistaking a mistake or not "coloring withing the lines." This book actually encourages you to not only color outside the lines, but to destroy the lines once and for all!

Now, I don’t know about you, but for me books are like my best friends. When I order a book from Amazon and it arrives with a slight fold in the corner or a scratch on the cover, my heart literally sinks. I keep all of my books in pristine condition, and even when I take them in carry-on luggage aboard airplanes they are carefully wrapped and protected so they can’t be harmed in any way! When I purchase books in bookstores, I always make sure to pick the one that is in the best condition. This 30-day exercise is definitely going to be a challenge for me, but one that I’m ready to embrace!

I’ll post pictures as I go along, but I’ve barely even started the 30 days and I’ve already noticed challenges coming up for me. First of all, when I went to purchase the book I had to ask a saleslady at the bookstore to help me locate it. When we finally found it, it was sitting on a table with other books and the saleslady just grabbed the top copy and gave it to me. But the top copy had scratches on the cover and lots of fingerprints from other people who had looked at it! Normally I would have immediately put this copy back and taken one from the bottom of the stack, but not this time. I just smiled at the saleslady, said thank you, and took a deep breath! “You can do this,” I told myself.

One of the instructions in the book is to take the journal with you everywhere you go. Once I had paid for it at the bookstore, I put the book in my purse unprotected... GASP! Normally I would never do this. I would keep the book in its own separate bag, so that nothing could touch it or make any markings on it. But I threw it in my bag, right alongside my keys, suntan lotion, phone, wallet, you name it… and I just took another deep breath and kept walking!

I have yet to do any of the exercises in the book because I’m still getting used to this whole idea of destroying a precious book, but I did manage to hurl the book on the ground once I got home from the bookstore and that felt slightly liberating. I am a perfectionist, especially when it comes to books, so this is going to be good!!

Join the fun and do this experience with us! To check out the other bloggers participating in this experience, go here.

Thanks to Ana at Creatuitive Coaching for recommending this book in her latest newsletter!

Finally, if you haven't voted yet for Best Coaching Blog of 2009, there's still time! If you like what you're reading here, I'd really appreciate your vote to help this blog get more exposure. Just go here, scroll down until you see the Self Help Goddess blog, and be sure to click the UP arrow. Thanks in advance for your vote!! :-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Be Happy Now!

Right now I’m in the midst of writing my my first ebook on how to create your ideal life, and am currently going through the process of selecting what topics to include in the book. The book will focus on some of the biggest secrets I have learned over the years from reading hundreds (maybe thousands!) of self help books about creating and living your dream life on a daily basis. I’ve been thinking about which particular secrets to include in the book, and what I’m about to reveal here may possibly be the biggest secret to creating your ideal life EVER.

Are you ready for this life-changing secret that can help you create your ideal life? Make sure you’re sitting down for this because you’re not going to believe how simple it is!

Here it is: BE HAPPY NOW.

I told you it was simple!!

Let’s face it, the reason most of us want anything in life is so that we can be happier or reach that state of eternal bliss and happiness. Think about it: Why do you want that million dollars? Perhaps so you can quit your job and travel the world, and be happier. Why do you want a fulfilling relationship with your ideal partner? So you can be loved and accepted for who are, and be happier. Why do you want to open that art gallery you’ve been dreaming of for years? So you can express your natural talents and gifts, and be happier.

The truth is, no matter how you break it down, the reason most of us want to create or attract anything in life is to ultimately get to a place of pure joy and happiness. It doesn’t really even matter what you want, because everyone has different wants and desires. Eventually, though, all anyone really wants is happiness, plain and simple. Happiness is always the treasure at the end of the rainbow!

Problem is that most of us condition our happiness on something outside of us. We think we can’t be happy until we get the fast red sports car, or the prestigious job, or the adorable children, or the muscular toned body, or perfect skin, or whatever. Society basically trains us from a very early age to believe that happiness is only accessible to us AFTER we’ve attained something on the outside. And the sad part is that many of us never get to that place of eternal bliss and happiness we are all searching for because a) we never accomplish the goals we think will make us happy or b) if we do achieve those goals, we quickly come up with new ones and condition our happiness on achieving those goals. It’s a never-ending battle, really!

But what if we just bypass all those goals and external things all together and allow ourselves to just be happy now! I came to this conclusion a few weeks ago in my own life and remember thinking how life-altering and mind-blowing this was. I was mentally going through my daily list of things to be grateful for and was repeating the same things I have said to myself numerous times: “I’m grateful for my cute condo. I’m grateful to have money in the bank and live in a great city. I’m grateful to have friends who enjoy doing the same activities as me,” etc. etc. etc. All of a sudden, though, it occurred to me that even as I was grateful to have all these wonderful things in my life, I wasn’t necessarily any happier, which is my ultimate goal (and I’m guessing it’s yours, too).

So I decided to just be happy now! I decided to be happy to be alive, to be able to breathe the air that I breathe, to be able to drink a cup of coffee when I wake up in the morning, or to have clean clothes to put on every day. Don’t get me wrong, it can take a little conscious effort to get to this place… but once you do, it is so rewarding! Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

The funny thing is, not only will you already be happier but you will actually begin attracting to you those things you thought you needed to be happy in the first place. Because you will already be happy, your attitude towards those things will change and relax, making it much easier for them to flow into your life. You won't need those things to be happy anymore, and once you release your need and desperation the Universe will have a much easier time delivering those things to you. The truth is, the Universe is practically “beating down our doors” trying to deliver our wants and needs to us. Unfortunately, though, we are usually in such a state of need, desperation, anxiety, etc. that we are unable to allow those things into our lives.

My advice to anyone trying to bring more happiness into their lives today is to just be happy now! Don’t condition your happiness on anything outside of you, just decide right this minute to be happy. Get yourself into a state of pure bliss and just be happy now! :-)

I haven’t actually read it yet, but I’m adding Marci Shimoff’s Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out
to my reading list. I’ve heard it’s a really great read about finding happiness, and includes stories and tips from 100 different people who are genuinely happy in life.

Finally, if you like what you're reading here at this blog I'd love your vote for Best Coaching Blog of 2009. Scroll down to Self Help Goddess blog, and be sure to click the UP arrow. Thanks for your vote!!