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

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Discover The Creative Edge: Curiosity

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“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

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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

Celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week

 

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Celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week 

World Creativity and Innovation Week was the brainchild of Marci Segal. During World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 people are acknowledged, informed, inspired and encouraged to use their creativity – to be open to and generate new ideas, to be open to and make new decisions and to be open to and take new actions – that make the world a better place and to make their place in the world better too.

It’s something you create it for your home, your school, your community, your business, with your customers.

Here are twenty things you can do starting today.

  1. Listen to my conversation with founder  and creative activist Marci Segal http://ow.ly/L9BhN
  2. Eat an ice cream sundae for breakfast
  3. Take a different route to work
  4. Make a meal you never did before
  5. Have your family make a centerpiece out of found objects
  6. Have a come as you wish you were party
  7. Talk to a stranger and ask them what they need…and get it for them                                                                             marci_segal_photo_
  8. Sing in the shower
  9. Learn something new
  10. Dream a better world and take one action step to make it a reality
  11. Imagine yourself as a superhero
  12. Ask what if questions
  13. Organize recess at your office
  14. Write a  big thank you to everyone you know and post it on Facebook
  15. Create a vision board on Pinterest
  16. Take a selfie
  17. Scribble and doodle
  18. Take an architectural tour of your hometown
  19. Plant a garden
  20. Visit a new art gallery or museum

The possibilities are endless, nothing is too small. This is your time to create new ideas, make new decision and take new actions.  Join me and other Creative Activists as we come together to support and share our creativity to make the world a better place. » bit.ly/CreativeActivists

 

 

Love Makes Your Life A Winning Adventure!

always based on love

 

Love Makes Your Life A Winning Adventure!

What does it mean  love makes your life a winning adventure? I received this email today and as I read it I cried. I hope these stories inspire you to think about  LOVE  and CONNECTIONS and what is really important in life. While you are reading them ask yourself the following questions: What do you value? What is your definition of success? Who do you want to spend your time with? Who do you need to thank? Who do you need to forgive? How can you be more loving? When was the last time you said I love you?

1.  Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class.  When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.”
 2. Today, I asked my mentor – a very successful business man in his 70s- what his top 3 tips are for success.  He smiled and said, “Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing.”
 3.   Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to meat the grocery store and gave me a hug.   When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001,  you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”
 4.  Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying.  And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.
5.  Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”
 6. Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed.   About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.
 7. Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling.  I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.”   I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?”  Because that’s where  I keep all my stuff,” she said.
 8. Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics,  I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.
 9. Today, a boy in a wheelchair  saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the  way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”
 10.  Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant.  When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today.  If you need me, I’m a phone call away.”  It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years.
 11. Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy.  Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said  was, “We can share it.”
 As we know, the best sermons are lived, not preached. What is one step you are going to take today to make LOVE  your  winning adventure.?