Put Your Dreamer in Charge and Feel Really Good

beauty of your dreams

 

Put Your Dreamer In Charge and Feel Really Good

 

When you were a kid, you didn’t have any “real-world” duties, so it allowed you to spend your time inventing games, talking to imaginary friends, making tents out of blankets, being a superhero, a ballerina or an astronaut.  Basically doing whatever you wanted to do for most of the day. You lived in the realm of your imagination…you dreamed…A LOT.

Somewhere along the way your teachers said stop day dreaming, get serious, stop playing…and you did.  Now,  you have obligations and responsibilities that help make sure that everything runs smoothly. You map out logistics and build routines that create a sense of comfort, security and stability for you and your family. You have serious goals but are you really happy?

While those elements are essential to being a grown-up, we still need to dream and play and creatively express ourselves in order to maintain our sanity and build a life worth living. Scientific studies have proven that play does a body good. When we play, we send a beautiful chemical called endorphins cascading through our bodies, which makes us feel really good. Getting into a state of dreaming  and wonder opens us up to new possibilities. Creative expression allows us to generate new ideas and inspire new conversations and instills in us a general sense of well being.

Here are a few simple steps to help you put your dreamer back in the driver’s seat.

  1. Play Like A Child. Maybe doing cartwheels is no longer in your wheelhouse, but you can still run across an open field with your arms out like an airplane. You can sit on  swing and reach for the stars. You can lay on the grass and imagine the passing clouds as mermaids or castles in the sky.
  1. Love Your Friends. Before we learned to guard ourselves against rejection and heartache, we laughed openly with our friends, told them how awesome they were, and gave them lots of hugs. Guess what…you can still do all that. We need physical contact to feel connected to something other than ourselves and to feel a little less alone, especially in times of need. Hugs reduce the levels of cortisol in the body and lowers our stress level and therefore improves our mood. AND IT IS FREE.
  2. Creatively express yourself. We were all born creative  that is until someone told us “cows weren’t purple. If you want to be taken seriously you need that power suit.”  Creativity is your authentic soul yearning to be free. Take some time and scribble and doodle with crayons and see what emerges. Indulge your senses with a new cologne, find an accessory that says clearly who you are. You can put on your favorite dance music and rock out. Try out a new recipe for a spinach souffle or a decadent chocolate cake. Creative expression is your birthright.creativity1
  3. Be Curious. All too often we let our brain go on autopilot through rigid thinking.Don’t rush through your day, rather indulge in wonder. Ask open ended questions. What would I love? What feels better? What can I do with what I have to to experience more joy and happiness?
  4. Dream BIGGER.  Sure, it makes sense to put “realistic” goals on your list, but what about your “impossible” dreams? Let your imagination run wild and your curiosity guide you…What if you could end world hunger? What if you could have numerous homes all over the world? What is you could make the world safer for women and girls? What if you could  make a fabulous living only working four hours a day? Or lead the cause that ended global warming?   Let your mind become limitless again…and just see what happens.

One of the biggest keys to happiness is to do the things that you enjoy. Chances are, they are the simple things you’ve done ever since you were a kid.

 

How will you put YOUR dreamer in charge TODAY?

Join the creative activist community and collaborate with other big picture thinkers. Share your big dreams on https://www.facebook.com/groups/CreativeActivists/

Are You Tuned In?

 

 

radio Are You Tuned In?

Have you ever noticed yourself being the worst possible version of you? I have done a lot of noticing what I am noticing lately. Let me share a story with you. I had been waiting for my new eye glasses to come in. Last week the frames arrived and they were broken and had to be returned to the factory.  Yesterday they called and said here they are. I had gotten a new prescription and now it was several weeks and I am really annoyed because I can’t see very well out of my old glasses. The person who had previously waited on me had given me the cost. A new gentleman rang it up and it was $200 more. Needless to say I was upset and told him so.  But I could see how unfriendly, nasty I was being. I asked myself who do I want to be? If it all worked out perfectly what would that person do? Well I changed my attitude and inquired how long he had worked there and changed the energy of the experience. The manager came over and reduced the cost to the original price I was quoted.

Fast forward a few hours and I picked up the mail. I had been waiting for some checks, actual refunds from my airline travel insurance. When mom got sick and I had to change my reservations. The airline charged me additional money and I wanted to be reimbursed, isn’t that why you buy trip insurance. Well I did not get what I thought I deserved. I went into a tail spin. When I get upset, my first response is food, drown my feelings in vast quantities of food even if it healthy and good for you.

After I calmed down a few hours later. I knew there was something I needed to look at. I was so mad at myself, beating myself up for eating and my “unskilled behavior today.” Through my mindfulness practices I noticed twice today the same core message showed up.  “Life is hard, you have to fight for everything, the world is not to be trusted. ” I knew I did not want these messages running my life anymore so I dug in.  So I started tracing it back to some real old stories about deserving easy and effortless. (Here is part of my inner dialogue, maybe you can relate)

“I can’t believe this is happening again. I am so sick and tired of this experience. Everyone else seems to have it easy. They say they want something and it miraculously appears, happens. They are lucky. I have never been lucky. I must have done something really bad to have this repeatedly be my path.”

I have been blessed with some wonderful coaches and I stay in a container of success; study people I admire,  read books, listen to positive tapes, I have a cadre of tools. This one comes from Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor on  page 127. To clear old messages and beliefs he suggests this practice:

Dear Spirit please locate the origins of the feelings and thoughts you want to release. Write them down. Take each and every level, layer and area analyze resolve it perfectly in God’s truth… Come forward in time healing every incident based upon the foundation of the first…until I am at present filled with the light and the truth, Gods’ peace and love, forgiveness of myself…With total forgiveness and unconditional love I delete the old from my DNA, release it and now let it go…I feel and fill in the blank ( I am attracting into my life calm, peace, riches that will make my life easier and allow me to expand into a greater version of myself doing work I love in the world. I am a vibrational match for easy and effortless.) I allow every …problem and inappropriate behavior based on the old feelings to quickly disappear. Thank you Spirit for coming to my aid and attain the full measure of my creation. THANK YOU.

Are you tuned in?  What messages are running your life? Please share how you clear limiting beliefs.

Eliminate the Monkey Chatter in Your Head

monkey chatter

Eliminate The Monkey-Chatter in Your Head

There are only 79 days left in this year. Have you reached your goals? Are you any closer to writing that book, losing a hundred pounds, finding the love of your life or getting that promotion at work?  When you think about what you did not accomplish what do you say to yourself?  Who would buy your book anyway? I have lived alone so long I would not want to compromise. Why try I will never have a perfect body. I would have to go back to school for that job and I can’t afford it. “

 

We all have negative voices in our head.  For some they are subtle, passive, and even deceive us into thinking they are there to protect us and keep us safe.  For others, they are much more aggressive, and downright mean.  Sometimes we are aware of their words and influence of the monkey chatter.  Most other times we are oblivious to their destructive messages , and they impact our beliefs, sense of self, motivation, and happiness.

 

One of the best ways to become savvy to the negative inner voices in your head is to practice mindfulness: to notice what you notice.  To be more mindful means to be more aware of your thoughts, feelings and actions in the present moment.

The problem with not being mindful of our thoughts is that we treat our thoughts as facts. We just simply accept whatever comes into our mind as truth without giving it a second thought. And we have these thoughts so often that we believe them as fact. But really a thought is not a fact.  A thought is just a thought. And when they are destructive (which they mostly are), they have very negative ramifications.

You may have the thought “I am no good at this,” or “I’m fat,” or “I’m not smart enough,” or “Nobody understands me,” or even “I don’t deserve love” Does thinking it make it so?  Once or twice, probably not. But if we think it enough, our mind will accept it as truth. It will affect your ability to take consistent actions toward your goals. It will keep us stuck in the status qua.

Changing our thought begins with noticing what you notice. Being simply present and aware. To improve your mindfulness, try this activity.

Activity: Notice What Your Noticing

Start this activity with mindfulness of your breath.  Focus specifically on your breath –slowly in and out. Pay attention to how it feels as you inhale through nose. Does it tickle? Is it cool or warm?  Speak the words in your mind. “I breathe in deeply, filling my lungs, and then exhale slowly, emptying my lungs.” Do this three times.

Then as you continue to breathe, allow yourself to notice any thoughts that come into your head. Pay attention to these thoughts without judgment. Thoughts are just thoughts – it’s whatever is going on in your mind at this particular moment.

It may sound like this:

“This is different – O.K. I’m going to do this.  I can hear the ambulance going by. There is spider crawling down the wall.  Breathing in, exhaling out.  Ouch, my neck hurts.  I should just get back to work.  There’s me thinking about work again. This is stupid. Give yourself a break for a minute.”

Then it may go to something like “I’m sitting here thinking of my thoughts…  O.K.  It’s a beautiful day.  My stomach is hungry.  I have to grocery shopping. How am I going to get the kids to the dentist and back to work on time? Hmmm, I can’t do this very well.”

These are all valid, normal thoughts. And very often they are all over the place like the example you just read.  Allow yourself time to think about your thoughts. Don’t rush, don’t judge, and don’t stop.  Find curiosity, interest and even humor in your thoughts.

Imagine yourself lying on the grass watching your thoughts float by like clouds in the sky. Notice each passing thought and then the one that comes after it, and then the one that comes after that. You may notice that just at the moment you become aware of a thought, it passes and is replaced by another thought. That’s what happens – thoughts come, and they go.

Finally, to end this exercise bring yourself back to the awareness of your breath.

The value in this exercise is to realize first how little attention we pay to our thoughts, yet how extremely powerful they are.  Learning to notice what we notice can lead us to better control our thoughts and ultimately serve us better.

Please share how you eliminate the monkey chatter?

Dream Big, Live on Purpose, Be Unstoppable

*     *     *     *     *

Discover The Creative Edge: Curiosity

                                                                                                                                      n-BINOCULARS-large570

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” -Leo Burnett

Creativity is a part of your very soul and a key element in every area of your life. Creativity is the ability to see the possibilities and potential in your life. Creativity is being able to see solutions while others see problems. Despite what you may think—“I don’t have a creative bone in my body”—creativity is not the exclusive domain of artists, musicians, and professional designers.

You are creative when you:

  • Make a gourmet meal out of five ingredients from your panty.
  • Chaperone twenty 10 year olds to a museum.
  • Stay on budget and on time for that new project at work.
  • Figure out how to drop one child at dance rehearsal and the other at volleyball.
  • See a potential problem with your client’s strategy, and diplomatically propose an alternate solution.
  • Organize a food pantry in your community.
  • When you ask what if.

Everyone has the ability to think creatively, problem solve, and generate more ideas. It requires practice, the same way you need to train your body for the marathon. All too often, we let our brain go on auto pilot and fail to nourish our creativity. One of the keys to being more creative is to be curious.

Walt Disney said “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” As Walt told it, his inspiration for Disneyland came from having a “Daddy’s Day” with his girls. They would go to carnivals and the girls would play the games or ride the carousel while Walt would sit and watch. As he looked about at other parents, watching their kids, he thought what if there was a place where parents and children could play together as a family.

Brian Grazer, producer of Apollo 13 (1995) and A Beautiful Mind (2001), has let his inquisitiveness run wild by pursuing what he refers to as a “curiosity conversation” with hundreds of movers and shakers. He says the secret is to allow the conversation to flow freely. In his new book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, Grazer chronicles a lifetime of talking to strangers in an attempt to expand his own capabilities.

We were born curious. We used to ask endless questions, much to our parents’ dismay. We used to taste everything, sand, bugs and snowflakes. We made up stories and wondered why. We freely expressed ourselves in fun and exceptional ways. As children, we were told: the cow is not purple, stop fidgeting in your seat, stop daydreaming, and there is only one right answer.  It is time once again to discover the creative edge and play in the realm of your imagination and intuition, ask endless questions, ponder what if.

What are you curious about?  Pick a subject and research on line or go the library. Take a class. Try a new recipe. Ask someone about their life experience. What if you could change the world, what would it look like? Be curious. Interested in finding out moreGet an advance copy of The Creative Activist: Make the World Better, One Person , One Action at a Time. bit.ly/CreativeActivistsPubslush

Crowdfunding: The Creative Activist

badge

The first time I heard about crowdfunding and crowdsourcing was at Steve Olshers’ Internet Prophet Speakers conference from Jake Nickell, founder and CEO of Threadless.  I was so intrigued that I contacted both Steve and Jake and interviewed them. Little did I know several years later I would be using crowdfunding to raise resources for The Creative Activist: Make the World Better, One Person, One Action at a Time and my initiative to build a community of creative activists. It’s a beautiful concept: have readers/friends fund your book directly in exchange for access to the process as well as exclusive gifts and goodies available at various pledge levels.

My publisher, Amy Quale of Wise Ink Creative Publishing suggested I speak with Pubslush. Run by mother-daughter team Hellen and Amanda L Barbara, this company is focused on providing crowdfunding services tailored to the needs of authors, agents, self-publishers and small presses, which aren’t necessarily the same as those of technologists, filmmakers and musicians.

 

There are two main differences between Pubslush and other crowdfunding sites, the first of which is that Pubslush offers its project owners “personalized, one-on-one advice, targeted for books,” said Amanda L. Barbara. For a fee you can hire a coordinator who will help you with levels of gifts to marketing ideas.  The second difference is that once a crowdfunding campaign is successful, the ‘fund’ button morphs into a ‘buy’ button so that anyone late to the project can easily find out where the book is for sale, hooking into Amazon, Itasca or Barnes & Noble.

 

I think what clinched it for me was their commitment to global literacy. Their cause is “for every book sold a book will be donated to a child in need.” I believe in giving back and collaborating with community partners.  Ten percent of the proceeds from bit.ly/CreativeActivistsPubslush campaign and all book sales are going to http://www.nwcasa.org/. The Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault. They provide counseling services for survivors and their families and outreach into the community.

 

The Creative Activist: Make the World Better, One Person, One Action at a Time is an inspirational toolbox to help clarify your passion and purpose and to develop effective strategies to be the change maker you wish to be. It contains thirty-six stories form change makers who are dedicated to using their imagination and creative expression to make a positive difference for individuals, communities and the world.

 

I have a big dream to have creative activist’s communities/clubs in the workplace, on college campuses, and around the globe. Too often I watch the news that is so horrible and devastating and I feel helpless like everyone else, I often wonder, Why should I try? What can one person do to make a difference, anyway? I am here to tell you one person does make a difference. You have more influence and impact than your think. You have a sphere of influence—your kids watch you, you have friends and coworkers, etc. We are all more creative than we think. Creativity is not just for artists and designers—creativity is the way you think and the way your unique mind works. It’s different for all of us. Ideas are the most important currency in solving world problems today. Everything you say and do matters. We need new voices and visions to open door and create changes.

 

The Creative Activist Community on Facebook  bit.ly/CreativeActivists and the Creative Activist Retreat: Be the Change You Wish to See in the World being held at Catalyst Ranch in Chicago, September 25th, 2015 are places that encourage inventiveness, originality, and creativity to teach, bridge gaps, foster understanding, build self-esteem, and solve problems.  It is where you can find a tribe of like minded people who can be your partners in believing. The spirit of The Creative Activist is found in kindness, compassion, and every act of paying it forward.

 

Imagine what the world would look like if we all made a commitment to improve the quality of life for all. We each have a dream, an inherent drive to make our mark on the world and leave a lasting legacy.

Supporting bit.ly/CreativeActivistsPubslush   is your opportunity to leave a lasting legacy. Be a role model, mentor or volunteer. Thank you for your generous donations.                                                                                                                                        TCA-3D-mockup