This might seem like a simple thing but I believe that often so lost in what we’re feeling, expressing or thinking in the busyness of everyday, every once in a while we tune out to the simple rule that when we send out these intentions of wanting more or better the Universe is constantly listening, observing and putting in our path or along our journey what it believes we are ready to receive. As even I have had experience wishing for more and wanting different things thinking only that my relatives (who hear these complaints far too often) have heard my wishes not realizing until later that they had been received by the world too. It appears and occurred to me recently that it is always taking stock of our energy (good, bad or indifferent). When things are too good they become boring and slow- and so we’re wishing for more to happen and do-, well what happens, we get what we asked for; things become busy and hectic again, as we become swamped in work and we wonder why or how that happened so fast. There’s this saying “the calm before the storm”, and when we recite this it often brings up suspicions of something far more challenging that we dread. By entertaining this thought we elicit the storm instead of appreciating the calm. Now sometimes there’s not much we can do in the way of preventing what’s to come but by appreciating the calm perhaps we can better prepare ourselves for whatever is to come (better or worse). I have learned this most recently, and unexpectedly by wishing there was more work to do I have brought upon that and more in the near future instead of appreciating this time of quiet without chaos to reflect and perhaps grow in my work. Having said that, I believe for the next little while this will be my intention to appreciate the help while I can before I am on my own.
Whatever you do, be yourself and let your heart (not just your head) guide you!
There is nothing more rewarding, to me, then making plans, committing to something or working a little harder and following through on what you said you would do. Yes, it may seem like a common sense thing (and it is) where it’s tricky sometimes is the moment we realize there might work or extra work involved- especially for me-. This is something I’ve struggled the most with in the past that tricky follow through. Usually, it hasn’t been until later that I came into terms with whatever “it is” involves. On paper I got it and seems doable but once the date comes closer I worried that it might have been more than I truly could handle- the “oh shoot” feeling kicks in as I realize that it takes actual effort to do causing some anxiety right up to the day. In the past on that day, I would have complained, thrown a fit, made excuses and been grumpy or miserable doing whatever it was. It obviously didn’t do me any good complaining about being there- in fact it always seemed to take extra energy I could have used to put towards extra tasks instead of dreading doing whatever it was. That was the past, now I want to proudly say that I have turned over a new mature leaf- of course, there is a bit of anxiety and stress leading up to the plan (healthy anticipation I’ll now call it) which is good. Now, though (I realize) I accept what I’ve signed on for with a positive attitude to follow through- as hard as it may be at times-. For me not only is that a huge victory celebration, but I feel so much prouder of myself for getting through with a positive attitude- it seems the reward is doubly sweet.
There is something so cool too about setting intentions with a smile on your face. It seems that by setting these new limits and intentions as you challenge yourself, learn and, grow you are expanding what you are capable of and discover how much you can be up for. Empowering is what comes to mind.
So let the sky be the limit, and inspire and amaze yourself at what you thought you can do!
As with any skill to be learned, I’ve realized that there is a muscle to be strengthened- whether it’s your brain and it’s various thinking processes or your physical body and exercise. If you don’t keep up that muscle consequently it will weaken. A thought that fits somewhere along the lines of “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it!” logic that parents scare into kids in getting them to be more active but can be applied in many different aspects of the self and life- whether it’s a natural talent one’s hoping to hone in on, revisiting an old skill or even learning something new it all comes down to PRACTICE, and practice daily (that is if we wish for success).
This I know for certain that the only way of becoming confident in doing something is through experience and what does that create, you may ask–> Practice. Yes, simply by doing something, again and again we become better, funny how that works. I came across this strangely simple logic while fantasizing about becoming a writer without actually writing and only relying on my very unpolished, raw talent to be enough to carry me through. As most creative types, I was coming up with all these brilliant ideas but barely had the practice or discipline to see them through, that was until I realized that the only way to become better was through continuing to write and learn more about my craft. Surprisingly, it wasn’t long till I grew my confidence in writing- even at difficult blocks, I knew there was only getting better through gradual steady practice and picking myself up from my fall.
Which brings me to my second point, practice doesn’t always make perfect but I guarantee it will lead to progress. With each new step you take towards improving on your objective you’re one step further than you were before. So, be gentle with yourself when you fail, get back up and try again with everything you know now and the conclusion that there is no going back. By making our aim progress over perfection we allow in err and the* -kl,………..5\\\\ – *ability to be gentle on ourselves- because nobody is perfect, but we are always able to make progress.
Potential Helpful Ideas:
- Remember to take small steps, if you find the bigger leaps daunting. As eventually they will all add up towards accomplishing your goal/objective.
- Don’t get discouraged, be gentle on yourself and make note of that you’ll try again tomorrow if at first you don’t succeed
- Consider using a calendar to keep track of progress and celebrate your successes, because only acknowledging downfalls will not help in motivating you along in your journey
- Lastly, if you are the journaling/logging type keep one of your progress to look back on or help you track your progress!
Remember as Joyce Carol Oates says; “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Author’s note: speaking of err the *kl,…(etc.) was my funny cat contributing to this post
Finding Your Voice and Starting Conversation
I may have said this before but finding ones voice especially as an introvert (or extra special listener) can be tough especially if we find ourselves surrounded by people who are mostly extra talkatives (better known as extroverts). The world truly needs both types of individuals, and yes those who are trained in bringing us out of our shells while at the same time acknowledging that sometimes we prefer to listen are a special type of friend or family member, that if we’re lucky we already have someone like that in our lives.
While other times we are with different individuals-who not by any fault- don’t allow us to shine as much or practice using our wonderful voices- that yes, do matter and add valuable perspective to the world. A tricky dance to be done by both sides; just as our more outgoing cohorts may find it challenging to take backseat in conversation, we may in return have trouble leading conversation or participating in it. Too fearful of saying the wrong things or not knowing what to say we prefer to let the other person lead.
My advice to that, and to all is take a chance, and don’t be afraid of those awkward moments. Yes, it may not have turned out as planned but eventually you’ll be able to figure out what went wrong and learn from. You can also try to truly observe other people in conversation and listen to the types of questions they use mimicking theirs until you are comfortable using our own. No matter what, don’t give up if at first you don’t succeed- as we all have those awkward moments of conversation- those “I shouldn’t have said that’s”, try again. It’s really as simply as “just trying” you’ll feel better trying than not and living with the regret of what you could have said versus what you said and at least tried.
- To start off or discover your voice try pursuing other/alternative ways of expressing yourself- whether journaling, writing, art or music- these will help you discover what/who your form of expressing is.
- You may even find doing this that a new interest, hobby or passion emerges in the process and VIOLA so does a topic of conversation too. “You like writing. What type of writing do you do?”
- Everyone knows that if it’s something we are truly passionate about it’s much easier to talk about versus something we have little knowledge in.
Well, I’m sure as I have been experiencing -we all do- have those days of lack of motivation or focus. Whatever it is, it seems to either stop you or distract one from getting done what we want to accomplish. Most of the time for me, this is finding the will to chose the right choice– which is writing- over the easier, quicker fix for my attention- put on a movie, surf the internet and veg instead of saying to myself: “You know what if writing is important to you make it a priority, make it happen!” Sometimes, I find myself not needing to “make” anything happen, I’m already on that track and thoughts flow from my head to the screen or notebook like magic. In those cases, it’s my type of leisure where no work is involved on the other hand there are days where it’s just not there- or just around the corner- that takes a little more motivation and self discipline (yes, there’s that word I mentioned before) to come up with what and how I want to say things that burning my “creativity candle” rarely helps.
I suppose that is all a part of the process of creativity; finding your rhythm, accepting the days where you know what veg’ing is what you need to recharge and come back refreshed ready to output your now fermented thoughts and ideas onto paper, or screen- in this case of a modern world, and be grateful for those magic days of free flowing thought. What I find important is asking yourself key questions to determine how genuine your motivation is, and whether this pursuit is enough of a passion to allow one to gain motivation again when coming back from taking a break from it. As well as: Is this something I could never give up? Do I thoroughly enjoy this-even with all it’s up*s and downs and lastly do I find it rewarding? These are the types of questions that I personally ask myself on tough days- along with some more specific ones- to carry on through uncertainties and frustration.
Remember, whatever you’re doing or pursuing to follow your heart and do all things with heart, because it will lead you to what your passion is and what matters most.
In the spectrum of variety I’ve learned that we are all different, and bring something different to each connection and person we meet. Some enjoy being social and starting conversations (or are more natural at it), while others- Introvert’s- take our time in opening up, expressing our thoughts, ideas or feelings. For us, it is more of a process of becoming comfortable in what we want to say and finding the right words, and thinking first and speaking second. This can is also quite true in getting to know new people, as we get to know our new friend/friends more, we become more comfortable sharing and opening up to this person- revealing our true selves-. Even though, it may take time piece by piece you’ll get the chance to learn who we truly are. Sometimes, I understand, it can tricky to be brave and open as it may be tricky for those more extroverted to sit back and listen. So here a couple helpful hints in encouraging my fellow introverts to get out of our shells and for the extrovert in our lives to help encourage us to open-up while being who we are:
Opening up is a process for anyone starting a new connection, introverts though may take longer in feeling comfortable doing so. Therefore, it might take us a bit longer to open up we approach most new situations cautiously and like to feel there is a little certainty in taking that risk. Once we are more comfortable and are willing to open up sharing becomes easier. Take your time, and move at your own pace- as long as you move forward doing so. It can be rewarding sharing with the right friend (you don’t have to share your life story), but what’s relevant and you feel comfortable will show the other person that it’s not just a one way sharing streak. When sharing is equal, then the friendship as a whole is more balanced.
To all the introverts out there, when you find the true friends out there who let YOU be YOU! It’s well worth sharing your story!
BE YOU and stay tuned for more…
Image from: https://www.google.ca/search?q=friendship&sa=X&biw=1366&bih=753&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ved=0CBwQsARqFQoTCOSfkKXo28cCFYx7kgod4YkMZw#tbm=isch&tbs=rimg%3ACZdpg-2fMR3rIjiUBqO3UmqQT2kLJj4WNon29bZ0op3J-o85jq0uvBD7dsFCGyfh_16xIRXYbALp_1wtuJbDDa0ZfKQCoSCZQGo7dSapBPEdJkPAapIsaIKhIJaQsmPhY2ifYRrzKDGlXb84gqEgn1tnSincn6jxGC-z9cRGxruCoSCTmOrS68EPt2EUgwANU4vzBDKhIJwUIbJ-H_1rEgRc-JpUcF0PawqEglFdhsAun_1C2xG0ywuYXhymSyoSCYlsMNrRl8pAEXKrSbQ2v8v7&q=friendship&imgrc=l2mD7Z8xHeuXXM%3A
Do you ever start off a week or day with the best intentions and just as suddenly see them slipway? For many, we probably know the guilty culprits to be right at our fingertips- yes, the very helpful but distracting phones seem to be the leading cause, along with TV, the internet and technology in general. With so much going on online and in the world of “social media” we can easily get distracted and side tracked from what we were initially going to do. Yes, these are very helpful tools in allowing us to stay connected but often can be too distracting if we don’t limit how often we incorporate them into daily routine. What’s important to remember is that it can feel more rewarding doing something truly productive for yourself or the overall goal- for me it could be tidying a workspace, writing or brainstorming new ideas for writing-, or whatever it is then getting caught up in distractions. Each time we take a step towards accomplishing it we’ll feel better doing it too.
This is where “setting limits” and “scheduling” come in handy.
- Setting Limits: If you know you only have X # of hours left in a given day then-hopefully-you’re more likely to make the best of that time in a productive way. ON the other end of the spectrum setting your own limits and chunking your day into time slots might help allocate how much time you spend on what- and having an awareness of where the time went I know will help with productivity in the future. For me, working part time does the trick because I know for certain that I’ll either have mornings or afternoons to buckle down and get to work writing- if the mood truly strikes me… if not I’ll be viewing kitty videos of them playing with each other completely forgetting my objective. I’ve become better with self discipline though saying “you know what, you’ll feel more productive once you actually write versus thinking about writing (or whatever the task may be). Motivating myself to get refocused is more enticing than having someone help me do it too.
- Scheduling: can be quite important too if you truly want to be accountable. Create a routine around how often or frequent you plan on accomplishing the task without worrying about scheduling it in your mind taking up extra space. Thusly, allowing space for more important thoughts and action steps you can visually see in moving one step further towards completing the goal or task.
To sum up, even the best intentions can be forgotten but if we set limits and are written down on a planner or desk calendar they might be harder to forget or ignore. So, there you have it my tricks and tips for staying productive and on track. Hope they help. Remember, stay true to what feels right for you and always be YOU!
Pictures: timer on phone, and my dayplanner