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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Practicing Meaningful Habits

I’ll be honest, there are times when I don’t want to write a blog post. Actually, it’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that I can’t think of anything in particular that’s inspiring me to write an entire post.

I always try to write about something that’s relevant to my life and hopefully to yours, and some days (or weeks!) I’m really just not feeling it. But (and this is a big BUT), I know that if I don’t write a post I will ultimately end up feeling worse than if I had just dug a little deeper to find an interesting topic to write about. Here, let me explain!

Expressing myself creatively and speaking/writing about topics relating to creating your ideal life are true passions of mine. They jazz me up and fill me with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Also, connecting with other like-minded souls (like the people who read my blog) is very essential to my overall happiness. I don’t get a lot of one-on-one interaction in my “real” life with people who are as into these topics as I am, so connecting with people on-line is especially important to me. And during those weeks when I don’t publish a blog post or get a newsletter out I can really feel a difference! I just feel off, a little sluggish, and less in-tune with my authentic self and overall purpose.

So I’d like to use this opportunity to ask you: What are the things you do in your life that fill you up, inspire you, and allow you to express who you really are? First and foremost, do you have things like that in your life? If not, get busy discovering some! And more importantly, are you making these things an integral part of your life?

Sure, we all lead super busy lives and situations pop up constantly that demand our time and attention. That’s a given. But the thing separates those who are merely surviving on a day-to-day basis from those who are really thriving on a daily basis is a commitment to doing things that really fill you up and give you a sense of joy!

Take working out, for example. Anyone who works out knows that there are days when you just do NOT feel like exercising. Maybe you’re tired from a long day at the office, or you don’t want to get sweaty, or your energy is just really low. We’ve all been there. From years of experience, though, I know that if I give into my exhaustion and skip my workouts too many times in a row I will ultimately end up feeling worse than if I just exerted a little extra effort and did the workout. I do yoga 2-3 times a week these days, and even though there are days when I would honestly rather stay home and lounge on the couch, I know that I'll feel better after I do yoga than I would if I just stayed home and relaxed.

The point of this blog post is to point out that yes, often in life there are things we don’t feel like doing. It would be so much easier to expend less energy and take the easy way out. But ask yourself how fulfilled you are living that way. I have a full-time job in addition to running my website and blog, and there are definitely times when it all gets to feel like too much. I also know, however, that I feel the most alive and fulfilled when I work on my website and blog. When I let that go I can tell a huge difference in my energy levels, happiness, and overall satisfaction with life.

If you are truly committed to living your ideal life (and I know you are since you are visiting my blog!), then you’ll want to find a way to include meaningful activities in your life that give you a sense of purpose, no matter how difficult you think that might be. If you have to reprioritize your schedule or cut certain activities out of your day all together, then go ahead and do that. If you have to let go of old friendships that are no longer adding anything to your growth and expansion, then that might be the path to take. Maybe you can start reading uplifting books on your subway commute to work in the morning, or for ten minutes every night before you go to bed. The point is, find a way to include things in your life that fill you up and give you a sense of aliveness. It make take a little more schedule juggling on your part, but you will be so glad you did!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Finding the Hidden Benefits

This post is for those of you who’ve been trying to create something in your life for awhile now, but just can’t seem to make it happen. Rather than staying stuck in a place of sheer frustration, this post will show you how to take responsibility for the circumstances you've been experiencing and move out of them once and for all!

I'm going to be honest with you and cut to the chase: If there’s something you’ve been wanting for a long time but nothing has changed in your life, it’s possible that some part of you doesn’t really want that thing or situation you’re trying to create! Obviously, this assumes that you’ve actually been expending energy and effort trying to get this thing to work, otherwise your lack of effort is the reason behind why you’re not succeeding.

But if you’ve been making an honest attempt at trying to lose those last five lbs., or trying to make more money on-line from your website, or deepening your relationship with your spouse or children, or attracting new like-minded individuals into your life, etc., and still nothing is budging, then that usually means that something inside of you is not entirely on-board with whatever it is you think you’re wanting.

I know what you’re thinking! You're convinced there’s no possible way this is true. After all, you want this thing or situation SO badly, so it can’t possibly be true that part of you *doesn’t* want it. However, while this is not necessarily a case of self-sabotage, it is likely that there’s a hidden subconscious reason why you’re not making as much progress with your particular goal as you'd like. So let's take a closer look at these subconscious motivations and bring conscious awareness to why you might be staying stuck in an experience you thought you so desperately wanted out of!

Even though I get asked out regularly on my fair share of dates, I’ve been single (not in a serious relationship) for awhile now. And even though it would be pretty easy to blame this on the fact that I’m just not getting asked out by the “right” guys, I’m also not doing a whole heck of a lot to put myself out there to meet my match! Ultimately I do think I would like to be married and have a family, but I also wonder if there’s some part of me that isn’t entirely committed to being in a long-term relationship. Otherwise, I would probably already be in one!

Can you relate to this? Maybe it’s not in the area of relationships, but in some area of your life where you think you’re committed to one thing but the results seem to show otherwise?

So, what to do when this happens? Hint: beating yourself up is not the answer!

Instead, spend some time investigating whether there are any hidden benefits to your situation being the way it is now. Take out your journal or a piece of paper and at the top write, “Benefits of My Current Situation.” Next, list as many benefits (at least 5) as you can come up with regarding your situation as it is right now. You might have to stretch your mind a little at first and look at your situation in a whole new light, but go ahead and do that! Not only will doing this exercise help you uncover (possible) hidden motives behind your desires, but it will also help release any resistance you may be flowing around this particular area of your life.

For example, in my case it might look like:

Benefits of My Current Situation:

• I have complete freedom to spend my time however I want
• I don’t have to check in with anyone
• I don’t have to worry about anyone but myself

Oftentimes just uncovering the hidden motivations are enough to clear up the issue. By bringing them to light, you are able to see things you weren't previously aware of.

If this exercise doesn't clear things up, however, you'll want to find a way to reconcile what you are ultimately trying to create with the benefits you are experiencing from your current situation. For example, in my situation I am enjoying being single because it allows me to experience freedom, but that doesn't mean I have to forego relationships all together! It just means I would be well-served to find a relationship that provides me with a great deal of freedom, as well as closeness.

If you've been trying to lose weight but uncover some hidden benefits of staying your current size (maybe you don't want to have to buy all new clothes to fit your new size!), then you'll want to find a way to reconcile your overall desire to lose weight with your desire to not have to buy a whole new wardrobe. For example, maybe your sister is the same size as your desired size and you can take over some of her old clothes. Be creative and find ways to reconcile your two desires!

Whether we want to admit it or not, there is always some reason why we are in the situations we are in, and it's usually not because the Universe is against us! Even if our motivations are subconscious and hidden from us, they are always there, driving our behavior. If you're finding that the actions you're taking are not lining up with the results you had hoped to achieve, do the exercise above to see if you have any hidden benefits to your current situation that might be preventing you from moving forward. You might be surprised by what you find!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Scripting Your Ideal Life

For the past few weeks I’ve been leading weekly scripting calls over at my new favorite hangout on the web, Good Vibe University. Scripting is the practice of speaking about something you’d like to manifest as if it’s already happened, i.e. that thing or situation is already a part of your life.

At first this can seem a bit awkward, because when most of us talk about things we want, we talk about them from a place of lack. These things haven't made an appearance in our realities yet, and therefore we're still in a vibe of wanting them. Scripting is a fantastic exercise to activate the vibration of having something, which speeds up its attraction to you. Remember, the law of attraction states that "like attracts like." By scripting and talking about things as if they’ve already happened, you're invoking the energy that is needed to make your dreams come true.

The good news is, you don’t have to join a scripting call to get benefits from this sort of exercise. In fact, you can start scripting in your mind right this very second!

Think about a particular goal or desire you’d like to see come to fruition in the next few months. It could be anything: weight loss, improved finances, a new relationship, more energy, etc. Next, think about how you would speak about this goal to others if it had already come true. What would you tell your friends and family, now that this thing is a part of your life? Would you talk about it more or less? Would the tone of your voice change, or the energy behind the words you speak?

You can also call to mind someone who already has success in that area that you’re trying to replicate. It could be someone you know, or even a character in your favorite movie or television show. Think about how this person talks about what you're trying to manifest, and even how they talk to themselves about this particular thing. They may not even talk about it very much at all because it’s already a part of their life! Is there a particular body language associated with how they talk about it?

You know the next step. Start using those same words, self-talk, behavior, etc. in order to manifest that thing or situation into your life! In some circumstances it might not be feasible to script out loud, but you can certainly script in your mind at all times. Talk to yourself as if your desire is already a reality in your world. How does that change the way you talk to yourself in this particular area?

If this feels too awkward for you at first, try imagining that you’re an actor in a play or movie and that you’re playing the role of someone who is living your ideal life. Really get into the character and feel the emotions that this person would have. Even if you’ve been playing the role of someone who's not successful in a particular area up until now, you can change the role you’ve been playing in your life at any time you choose!

Here's an example: Say you’ve been thinking about taking up yoga, but you’re typically a wallflower or homebody and not very comfortable meeting new people. As much as you’d like to start a weekly yoga practice, the thought of joining a studio where you won’t know anyone is just not appealing to you. Instead of allowing this to hamper you and hold you back, try some of the methods I described above.

You can start scripting to your friends about how excited you are to join the new yoga studio (even if inside you feel completely the opposite). Next you can actually go to the studio to sign up, and assume the role of someone who is confident, outgoing, and open to new situations and people. Rather than falling into your old pattern of keeping to yourself, try striking up a conversation with the person behind the front desk or even one of the yogis at the studio. I’m not saying these changes are going to happen overnight, and it might require a little willpower on your part, but it is possible and it can be done!

I'd love to hear your experience with any of the above techniques! By using them on a consistent basis, you will begin to feel more comfortable actually having your desires as part of your life and it won’t feel so foreign to you. Once that happens, it's only a matter of time before those things seem to magically show up in your reality!

For more details on scripting and additional exercises to create your ideal life, be sure to check out my ebook, Secrets to Creating Your Ideal Life! (That's it in the top left corner of this page).