A Picture of the Rant

painting by Claudia

The ranting that goes on in our heads whenever we do anything different or brave!

It’s never easy to fight the head game, but I’ve learned fear only needs a wave of hello, not our hearts, or our ideas.

You look, acknowledge, and then ignore and keep moving forward despite the tightening in your chest.

Brave is always better!

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A Market for Hope

Sometimes when we are looking, creating and building, we get more focused on what other people might like rather than what we are good at giving.

Since we can’t always predict what people will like, it’s better to simply offer what we are good at giving.

When we give from this place we are more likely to offer hope rather than just a hollow “how to….” And there is a huge market for hope!

Do you know what you are good at giving? How can you offer us hope in a way that both greets our humanness and helps us move forward?

“I’m human, you’re human, let me greet your humanness. Let’s be people together for a while.” Anne Lamott 

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Do it Afraid – Looking at the Fear That Plagues Us

I’m working on a new project, and everyday, even on a good day, I feel fear nagging at my belly and nibbling at my courage.

It jumbles my thoughts, and drifts my visions into the not so courageous category. Into Easier, less risky, guaranteed to please… and work.

Fear really brings a lot of clutter into our heads, have you noticed this? The stupid chatterbox just never shuts up!

It’s the flashing light which catches our eye and flip-flops our attention and intentions. It’s a flat path that lures us down it’s lazy, easy stretch, “this way is easier.” It’s the puddle which we choose to skip over rather than the lake which we know we need to paddle through. It’s also busyness, tiredness, and kids. They are great places to hide!

Fear makes us feel dusty, old, tedious, and pitted. It’s worse than a hacking cough.

It steals our life, if we let it.

But here’s one thing I’ve learned from experience and observation – we don’t have to let fear steal or direct our lives.

If we have a clear grasp on where we want to go in life and the dogged perseverance to keep moving forward, we are able to notice fear’s presence but still DO the things that change us and help others.

I believe if we are doing courageous work (this looks different for everyone) fear will always be drifting around (its the villain!). But we can keep it distant if we routinely DO our courageous work anyway. When we stop, and question, and waffle, and waver, and second guess, fear catches up and throws its webbing over our spirits. Than we move slow, hesitant and afraid.

So, don’t stop!

Fear doesn’t like movement and it has a much harder time entangling us as we continually leap into brave work.

BUT, we have to leap while we are still afraid. “Do it afraid,” I recently heard Jeff Goins say on his podcast about fear and creativity (a great listen btw!).

Fear is part of the picture but not the whole picture. It’s part of any great story, but it doesn’t have to dictate the type of story we choose to live, or the role we play in our story. We get to choose our role and our storyline, even with fear in the picture.

Bravery in the midst of fear, purpose in the midst of clamor and chaos, soul and passion in the midst of lifeless-ness. This my friends is what we desire and admire. This is a wholehearted life!

Question:

Has fear been dictating aspects of your creativity and life? Has it pulled you away from that brave thing you know in your heart you need to do? This is a reminder for me and you… DO IT AFRAID!

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Two Lifechanging Words From Seth Godin

Years ago, I heard an interview with Seth Godin where he was talking about how to approach projects. He said two words that completely changed my life…

1. Simple

2. Scary

The idea he presented was this:

Keep your projects simple enough that you can get them off the ground quickly, but scary enough that you know you are doing brave work, work that matters.

I love this approach, especially since we don’t know if an idea (a brave idea) will work!

Simple allows us to keep moving forward because we haven’t invested years or millions, and scary keeps us humble and human.

 

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Every Fluff Flies

Dandelions are really, really good at spreading.

They each develop fluffy, irresistible heads that shatter into a thousand parachutes and waltz off into the wind. Perfectly suited for sailing on the breeze, they twist and swing until they reach earth again.

Predictably, not all of the fluffs land on dirt. Some get caught on screen doors, others land on wooden decks, get tangled in little girls’ ponytails, and crushed into pavement. But every fluff flies. None refuse for fear their flight might not be successful.

Surely there is a lesson here. How we could be fluffs, ready and willing to sail the breezes of our lives?

Remembering our words and thoughts spread. Our ideas give hope and courage. Our uniqueness gives perspective.

Some of our ideas might not work. They might land in water glasses, or birds nests, but sailing is still worth it. Waltzing in the wind gives us the wild courageous look we are all attracted to. We love the ones who are willing to fly. Why not be sailors ourselves?

What do you have inside you that needs to shatter and parachute on the breeze?

What can you offer that gives us hope and encouragement? Do you have knowledge, passion, or empathy?

We need you to fly!

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Whirlpool Nautics

Life is full of whirlpools.

You know the feeling.

Life’s waters spin and we get twisted and twirled.

A new baby, a move, a death, a new job, an illness etc. Life starts rotating at an incredible speed and when the water finally settles we can feel exhausted, waterlogged, and groggy.

We often find ourselves washed up on a new shoreline wondering,”What just happened?” and “Where was I headed before this crazy season began?” Continue reading

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Who Do You SEE?

When you look in the mirror, WHO do you SEE?

Do you see someone who is confident and excited about the life ahead of you? Or do you see someone who is tired, discouraged, frustrated, and angry?

Do you see a man who hurts people and scars friendships ?

Do you see a woman who always makes the wrong decisions?

A boy who is too sensitive?

A girl who is ugly?

A dad who always yells at his kids?

A mom who is lonely and insecure?

There are a million ways we can see ourselves. And each one has either been taught to us from childhood, or we ourselves have accepted it at some point along the way.

Whatever we see when we look at ourselves or even think about ourselves is our SELF IMAGE, and it is one of the most powerful forces you will ever experience in life.

Our self image is so powerful, that, for instance, if deep down we believe ourselves to be a failure, we must in all circumstances be a failure.

If we believe we are unlovable, or forgetfull, or bad, we will even self sabotage our own success (even in situations we have hoped, prayed, and dreamed will come true) because we can’t help but be consistent with our own SELF IMAGE!

You can see, therefore, the importance of exploring our own self images and dissecting what we truly think of ourselves.

We can NOT act out anyone but who we believe ourselves to be.

But, the amazing part is we can change our self image and become our “real” selves, the selves we were actually created to be rather than a limping, wounded version of ourselves.

God created you in his image. And if he created this (as only one of billions of examples) I don’t think you were meant to live thinking you are a failure or any other way other than amazing, talented, brave, courageous, successful, clear headed, confident, full of vigor, fulfilled, and deeply happy (to name a few).

If you are still alive, your life purpose is still ahead of you. You have not completely fulfilled your purpose here yet. And if you have an inclination that your self image needs some improvement (I think all of us fit into this category) you can work at changing it!

Here are two books I am currently reading myself to help me in this area, and I am loving them both!:

Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwwell Maltz

At Home With Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott

And there are thousands of others!!!! List some books in the comment section that have helped you change your self image.

Lets live a full, fulfilling, wholehearted life shall we?!

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We’re Looking at the Wrong Stuff!

I’ve heard most of us look at our phones over 100 times a day.

All this endless looking at stuff momentarily fills a void doesn’t it? Somedays I feel it too. This restlessness, this covering over. Why?

Sometimes it’s habit, but many times we look repeatedly when we feel stuck or restless.

For one reason or another we are thinking or acting in circles and can’t find our way out. We feel frustrated, helpless, and useless. So, we start looking at stuff to distract ourselves and fill the void.

Here’s the thing: We are looking at the wrong stuff to fill the void!

When we start looking at THE STUFF that we know we need to, the stuff we are afraid to, the stuff that matters, the restlessness fades. When we start doing brave things, the things we know are deep in our hearts, the things that help other people and make a healthy difference in the world, we will feel needed and encouraged and the void will be filled.

The endless looking at the unimportant can stop.

“Part of being our best selves is having the guts to not avert our eyes, to look closely at what scares us, what disappoints us, what threatens us. By looking closely we have a chance to make change happen.”  Seth Godin (from the blog post Avert Your Eyes)

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Squirrels Don’t Collect Happy Thoughts

They collect nuts, it’s in their DNA. They choose which nuts they want, but nuts are about all they collect. They don’t have a choice in the matter.

We, however, we get to choose what we collect. We get to choose what friends we collect, what skills we collect, what ideas we collect, and what words we want to collect in our minds and hearts.

We even get to collect world views and character traits for ourselves. And if we don’t like the ones we have, we can throw them out and collect new ones.

We can collect happy thoughts or sad ones, proactive habits or lazy ones.

We can collect healthy relationships or unhealthy ones, wisdom or foolishness, kindness or cruelty, generosity or greed.

We can even collect light and darkness. It is our choice.

The amount of freedom we have to shape our lives through what we collect is unlimited.

But the decision is our, and ours alone. We are given a body to live in and a timeframe for which we are here, but the wake and legacy we leave as individuals is completely up to us and is entirely influenced by what we choose to collect.

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Fringe Minutes

These are the minutes that sit on the edge of one activity, looking into the horizons of the next.

They are minutes we have very little control over physically, but are some of the most influential mentally.

Many of mine are spent rocking my little girl to sleep, or stirring soup.

Usually fringe minutes are wasted by trying to be two places at once. We do one activity while our minds skip ahead to what we are anxious to get to next. This makes us present in neither moment for when we get to the next, our minds skip forward again…. and so we go through our days.

It’s a crummy habit, for life can only be lived in the moment we are in.

Today I experimented with some of my fringe minutes. I made myself think of nothing else but what I was doing. I shut out the thoughts of the next thing and gave myself permission to simply BE in the moment I was in, and enjoy it.

An amazing thing happened. Time slowed, I am sure of it, and I felt fully present, un-rushed, focused, relaxed, and fulfilled.

It was like spending time with that one amazing person who looks you full in the face as if you are their one and only concern in life. (We all love those people!)

I found life to be vibrantly alive in the fringe minutes. Almost electric in its refreshment.

I learned two valuable lessons today:

  • My days activities do not have to dictate my feelings or my thoughts. I have control over my thoughts and feelings during every single minute of my day!
  • Fringe minutes are some of the most valuable (and probably least used) sources of refreshment!
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