If Bill Gates says so…

Brrrrrr. It’s freezing cold here with  lots of snow, school closing, and howling winds. Hello February.

Just because it’s dark and cold and the big gift giving holidays have passed,  you don’t have to stop giving or receiving gifts. February is really an excellent time to be extra friendly to yourself.

Start with a gift from you to you. How about permission to drop, “I should be able to do this alone?” If you don’t believe me, check out this 1.25 minute video of Bill Gates  telling you the very same thing 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLF90uwII1k&feature=youtu.be

Then get a gift from me too:  Permission Granted: Move Into Change With Your Own Approval here.

And another one, this lovely poem…

All I live for is now
All I stand for is where and how
All I wish for are magic moments

As I sail through change
My resolve remains the same
What I chose are magic moments

Because ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are made for
The mind could stretch much further
But it seems that is not what our minds are trained for

We call for random order
You can’t control Mother nature’s daughter

Ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are built for

The witch hunter roams
The scary thing is that he’s not alone
He’s trying to down my magic moments

As we sail through change
Ride the wind of a silent rage
And sing laments of magic moments

– unknown

Don’t be shy! If you like this, share it. Comment if you have something to say. I would love it. Thanks!

moveintochange.com

Why You Need a Vision

featureThat’s what goals are for.

Are you confused about the difference?  A big vision is the starting point for change.  A big vision give us something to reach for. Hint:  If it’s something that feels just enough beyond your reach that it’s a tad scary, it’s a sign that you’re on the right track.

Goals ground us in the practical, in what specific parts of our vision will look like in real time, real life, in our real life. A big vision without goals is like dreaming of cooking the best meal ever without deciding what will be on the menu. It would be the folks at NASA imagining a man on the moon and leaving it at that. However, goals that don’t come out of a big vision exist in a type of limbo, purpose-less, limited, and therefore much harder to act on with authentic enthusiasm.

Why have a big vision anyway?

Humans won’t create something we can’t imagine. We’re designed that way.

We’re actually using aspects of visioning all the time. When we go shopping we may have an idea  – not always fully formed – of what we want. The feeling of, “I’ll know it when I see it,” tells us we trust visioning, that we know a real item can get very close to matching this unclear picture we already have. Or you may say, ” I want a bladdedy bah coat with boop bap beep on it, in cocoa brown,” giving rise to a picture of your coat while you describe it. That image may even look like something you’ve seen already, but not quite.  For some of us, this happens so quickly or under the surface that we hardly notice it while others use this function of our brain more consciously, more easily, more often.

If visioning is done well, it taps into our subconscious, into our emotions, our values – the roots of our drive and motivation. A big vision galvanizes us. We’re energized and alert.

Conjuring an image is one aspect of visioning, but not the whole enchilada (did you picture an enchilada when you read that?). A big vision needs to tap into meaning for us, and that usually translates to us seeing how what we want benefits someone else, or something larger than ourselves. Somehow connecting our personal agenda with  “the better angels of our nature” grows passion, which is another word for drive. With a fully fleshed out vision, the urge to go forward increases exponentially.

After that, come the goals.

Visioning answers the questions What if ? and Why? Goals answer the questions, What? and When?

What’s easiest for you, visioning or setting goals?

Don’t forget to leave a comment and share with your friends! Would you like tips and tools for self coaching?  Sign up for the Move Into Change FREE non-annoying newsletter here.

Wednesday Words: Deviate Baby

crapsdiceroll It’s possible that life could get better by chance…it could happen, it sometimes does. But to paraphrase Jim Rohn, it’s more likely that life, your life, my life, will get better by change, not chance.

And, if you’re like me, the phrase “Get out of your comfort zone” feels a bit stale  (wise as this advice might be). Instead, think about the shift a small deviation can bring. Want something specific in your life to be different than it has been? Ask yourself, “What’s normal for me?” and then deviate.

Neuroscience tells us something fascinating about our brains; while one system craves routine and “normalcy,” the other thrives on variety and change. No wonder we strive to get into a groove and then before we know it that system becomes a numbing rut!

When I moved our entire household for the second time in four months, I couldn’t help but notice how essential it was to establish routines. You know, for those areas of life where going on automatic makes it possible to think about something beyond “Where’d I put the spoons?” At the same time,  it was delightful to see our stuff in new places and to register the absence of the usual. Fresh sights, sounds and smells made me more alert and I could be a smidge more present to my immediate surroundings.

You don’t have to move to experience small changes lthat remind you of your vitality.Tiny deviations, a new route to work, wearing your watch on the other wrist, saying “No” when you’d normally say “Yes,”  or, saying  “Yes,” when you’d habitually say, “No” can wake you up.  You shift perspective.  Loosened up and re-connected you just may feel emboldened to discover a different response to a persistent problem, or even go for that new form of exercise, eating habit, meditation practice, job, or who knows…

Invite some playfulness and creativity into this practice- nothing more needed than what you can already muster – and take a look at at what you can tweak this week. Post your ideas here!

Enjoy!

Judy

Sample Move Into Change Newsletter here.

Wednesday Words: Too Short For Shoulds

  • too short

Our inner score-keeper keeps track of how often and how well we live up to its demands. It’s favorite word is “should.”

  • I should exercise.
  • I should be nicer, kinder, more accepting.
  • I should eat healthier food.
  • I should read these types of books.
  • I should watch these types of movies.
  • I should be the kind of person who wants to read those books and sees those movies.
  • I should be more assertive, confident, proactive.
  • I should be grateful for what I have.
  • I should work harder, smarter, and more productively.
  • I should have better relationships with my family.
  • I should be more successful than I am.
  •  I’m not keeping score, should I?
  • I should obey the voice that tells me what I “should” do and then I’ll be…

When was the last time obeying a “should” truly gave you the sense of well-being you thought you’d get when you cajoled (coerced, convinced) yourself to do the thing you “should” do – which, let’s be honest – isn’t very often?

Never? Or, not for very long until exhaustion, apathy, resentment, rebellion, or avoidance show up. That’s because when we “should” ourselves we are aligning with only one part of ourselves. That part is prone to black and white thinking. Its solutions to our problems are usually pat prescriptions.

The “should” voice is likely an external judgment we internalized long ago and because it’s old, it lacks the nuance and flexibility of mature creative thinking (despite logical sounding adult vocabulary).

Have you noticed that when you succeed at doing  the “should,” you may experience momentary relief and then there’s a sense of hollowness. You feel empty because the “should” had no real meaning for moving your life forward now.  You may not even realize your predicament because, before you know it, more “shoulds” jump into the void.

Since it’s always asking you to keep up (because you lack whatever it’s telling you to do) keeping score can only lead to anxiety and more negative thoughts. Never enough…not good enough, if only I could get myself to do this I’d be a ___ person.

The trick is to recognize “shoulds” for what they are; only one part of many ways we talk to ourselves. No more true or right about us than any other part. We don’t have to believe it. When we are aligned with the score-keeper, when we see it as the whole truth and nothing but the truth, we do believe it and that’s where the struggle begins.

Clues that we’re aligned with the “should”:

  • Obviously, the word “should” as in, I should stop saying “should” – don’t fall for that one.
  • We get excited at the idea that finally, this time, we’ll be able to live up to the expectations.
  • We are feeling shame and this offers us the way out – but it doesn’t really protect us.
  • We don’t want to do it, whatever it is.
  • Or, we are avoiding or resisting the very thing we want to do.
  • We are worried that if we don’t listen something bad will happen, like we’ll become lazy, dishonest, a homicidal maniac, a bag lady, unlikeable, immoral, or unworthy.

We can’t banish “shoulds.”  We can learn to recognize when we’ve bought into the score-keeping attitudes. We can spend time watching our thinking so we can see that we’re more than those thoughts. We can sense in our bodies that we are more, much more than any set of rules.

We can tap into life, which is too short to waste on trying to appease the score-keeper.

Wednesday Words: Also true…

more or less

I’s pretty obvious that I love quotes. Sometimes a particular quote will be just what I need and at other times it’s hollow, holding no meaning for me what.so.ever. Or, sometimes one thing is true, and another time just the opposite is true, or more accurately, also true.

Take the overused “less is more” quote. Japanese brush paintings, slowing down to pause, small tasty portions, keeping it simple sweetie, all speak to the satisfying elegance of less is more.

But it isn’t always so, because sometimes more  – Hieronymous Bosch paintings, the ocean, fractals and outer space – is  inspiring and exhilarating because of the promise of well, more.

There are gazillion and more (hee hee) examples of more equalling less. The dizzying amount of breakfast cereal, satellite TV channels, and Starbucks coffee options, requires us to use more brain energy than, say, 3 choices might, which means less bandwidth for important decisions. Need I mention that addition distractions in the form of beelps. blerps, tweets and pings, give us little time for clear sustained action or deep focused and creative thinking?

I have clients who don’t understand why they are feeling bereft despite getting raises, owning gobs of expensive clothing, going to massages, spin classes, and vacationing at increasingly exotic locales…it’s because, in these particular situations,  more does equal less. If we aren’t  Watering Ourselves, if we lack the will ” to show up for our real needs, it doesn’t matter how many people love us or how much external pampering buy – we’ve left a person who really matters (us) by the side of the road. And nothing, can make up for that.”

Though silver linings are real and the desert exists due to lack of water, less money to feed a hungry family isn’t more no matter how you cut it. No question about it, less is really less. And in our inner world, less confidence, low self-esteem, and lack of joy in life don’t add up to any type of more that I’d want.

So all of the above are are true… sometimes. It’s important not to get locked into one. When a quote rings true (note the lower-case “t”) for you, take some time to ask yourself what about it is meaningful right now. Ask yourself what is also true. Following these threads can lead to important insights into where in your life cultivating more or shifting to less will be moving you forward in the direction of the life you want.

Wednesday Words: Water Yourself

Right to growIf you’ve been reading this blog for a while or are getting my Move Into Change newsletters, you already know how much I adore Cheryl Strayed. This quote comes from Tiny Beautiful Things, a small book whose outsized compassion and powerful writing knocks me out every time. It’s a must.

The above quote reminds me of two foundational aspects of personal growth that I forget to talk about sometimes.

1) The right to grow is in our very nature. We often think that we have to prove to someone that we have it – but we don’t. A gazillion years ago, Byron Katie  told me that if I thought of myself as the tree outside my window, it would be simple to understand my own worth and then get out of my own way. I never forgot it.

Now I know  she meant that to participate in and contribute to the ongoing creation of life as it moves forward from moment to moments is our birthright. Trees don’t question it, so maybe we don’t need to, either.

2) The moment when I recognized that I wasn’t showing up in my own life was the precise moment II began to grow up. Don’t ask me how old I was…

Recognizing that we all must do this for ourselves is basic, yet so many of us resist.  Looking for others to do for us that which we refuse to do for ourselves leads only to disappointment, anxiety, isolation and a a profound sense of loss. Attempting to teach other people (like our children) how to do this is futile unless we live it first. By the way, all things I llearned the hard way.

Do not misunderstand, I don’t mean that we shouldn’t ask for help or trust others to support us. If we lack the core ability to show up for our real needs, it doesn’t matter how many people love us (or how much external pampering we give ourselves),  we’ve left the person who really matters (us) by the side of the road. And nothing, can make up for that.

So, grow yourself and don’t forget that you can carry the water.

watering