When The Most Important Thing to You is Your Two Week Vacation…

 

This commercial has me thinking about life, specifically a life lived only for a vacation. What the hell kind of life is that? This is your life! Do the things to create a better life:

  • Change jobs
  • Sell your house
  • Make new friends
  • Visit a local museum
  • Read amazing books
  • Call a friend and DON’T complain
  • Make new and exotic things for dinner
  • Get a dog
  • Get a cat
  • Get a fish
  • Start meditating
  • Go out with friends
  • Go to the Zoo
  • See a movie with someone you love…or all by yourself
  • Get a makeover
  • Go for a walk

You get the idea…

Be grateful for one new thing every day, then two new things, then three. Create a life you love.

End of rant 🙂

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A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action

Practically Magic blog

 

Or, what comes after affirmations…

We love to talk, right? we love to talk about ourselves and our ideas, our childhoods and all the horrors (imagined or real) of that, we love to talk about all the things we want to do in our lifetime. We. Love. To. Talk.

Talk, talk, talk…

But, I’m here to tell you, talkin’ gets you nowhere. Okay, let me back up, talking is great for creating and keeping relationships, great for brainstorming, great for coming to agreements. What it’s not great for is achieving those things in your life you dream of achieving, getting, growing.

You actually have to do sh*t.

When I was a supervisor, I had a direct report who was incredible at looking busy, and not just busy, but, BUSY with a purpose, he would stride forcefully around, look as if a great thought had suddenly come to him and then stride purposefully somewhere else. Then he would go make tea for 27 minutes.

I said to him, “let’s go in the office for a sec.” Probs not what anyone wants to hear, but he follows me in none the less, and then I say, “What have you been working on today?” He’s not sure what to say, a lot of “well…”s etc. And I said:

Here’s my problem, I haven’t actually seen you do anything.

That got his ruff up. As it would for many. So he said he could write me out a detailed list of all the things he’d done, I told him that wasn’t necessary, what I wanted was visible proof that he wasn’t just “doing” things, but that he was accomplishing the things that needed to be done. That others could look at him as part of the team.

Okay, so where am I going with this? I think you know…stop being coy.

We all are masters at doing stuff at being so incredibly busy, we don’t know where the day goes.

But where do we stand at the things that NEED to be done, the things that MEAN something. And, how do we stay accountable (whether to ourselves or our team)? Let’s loop back to affirmations. If my affirmation (dream) is to be an excellent and productive writer and I don’t do the actual writing, uuhhhh…I am all talk and no action! And, every morning as I’m saying my writing affirmation, out loud five times, my brain is going to be nagging me with whispers of “liar.”

So, a plan. An Action Plan, which is to say a plan that requires action. Action that you ACTUALLY do. That’s the kicker in the asser.

Start small please–and chunk it out. I  tend to create plans like this:

  • Finish 3 young adult novels (without breaking it down into any chunks)
  • Go back to school, get my degree
  • Run 3 days a week, Yoga 2 days a week, lift weights 3 days a week
  • Create online shop for the jewelry I started making but stopped…wait, what?
  • Read two classics a week

And then I get so completely exhausted by the list that I sit in front of the TV and watch Tiny Home something and do NOTHING. I know I’ve written about my incredible (read: horrifying!) lists before, but I just want you to learn from my mistakes, of which there are quite a few!

Anywho. My Action Plan now entails tiny chunks of action done in a very doable way. Plus an accountability partner. A serious one…my mother!

At first I was worried it might not s t r e t c h me enough, you know, that whole “get past yer comfort zone” thing. But, what I’ve found is, I’m ACTUALLY doing the things and not looking at my list and feeling all guilty and shame-y. I HATE that feeling!

Once you start the “action” portion of the plan, the daily affirmations start to have a different flavor on the tongue, there is a feeling to the words that wasn’t there before. I truly believe they work hand-in-hand-in-hand.

I just thought of this–it comes down to the three As:

Affirmations

Action Plan

Accountability Partner

What small thing could you do to move yourself closer to your dreams?

Thinking As If…

practically magic Amy Kennedy Fosseen

Are you afraid of how great the thing you want to do would be if you actually did it?

Does just thinking about it scare you?

Aren’t we hilarious–oooh, I’d like to do that, I think I might even be great at that…or, you know, maybe okay at it…I mean, I wouldn’t even know how to start. WHAT am I even thinking! I mean, AS IF!

As if. What if you took your “as if” denial and turned it on its head and you started to act:

as if you were already there

as if you were doing that thing you wanted to do

as if you believed

Think as if

Believe as if

Act as if

I’m not saying it’s one step from doubt to reality, but you have to start somewhere, or actually if you want to stay right where you are, you don’t HAVE to do anything.

Just like you’re doing now.

Nothing.

Crap.

I hate it when that happens. But, to be the you who creates the cool sh*t and creates the mind-blowing stuff takes work.

It starts with inside work–its an inside job, an interior renovation…you get the picture. And, like I said, the first thing is the thought–to think as if.

And the easiest way to start this is through, our friends, affirmations. I am not even kidding.

Now, I know how some affirmations can feel like bold-faced lies, because no matter how many times you say, I love myself unconditionally, if one of your first thoughts that morning was, I’m such an idiot! you are so not going to believe your words–because  you are not feeling the emotion that needs to accompany them. Adding four little words to the beginning of almost any affirmation will get you to the believing portion of this plan:

It feels good to…

Because, I bet at least once in your life you’ve felt creative, confident, talented, and accomplished. Even if it was in second grade Art class–hold that feeling, that truth as you say the words:

It feels good to love myself unconditionally

It feels good to create art that people want

It feels good to be confident

“It feels good to…” keeps it in the present yet makes it more palatable for those of us who have an affirmation of: I am an excellent and productive writer, I write every day and get my projects done–with the background thoughts of:

Gee, I didn’t write yesterday and wasn’t I going to brainstorm another scene…when was the last time I wrote?

LIAR! LIAR! LIAR!

And then my pants are on fire. Dang. I hate it when that happens.

But–I know with my whole being that it does, indeed, feel good to be a productive writer, so that way I’m all in, I’m living in belief city. And then every time there is proof of the “feel good to” it is further embedded in my subconscious. Yay!

We all can get there, I promise.

Next blog: A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action! What comes after affirmations.

Today’s supporting oil:

Abundance

 

 

 

 

Skoal! Goals!

Do you use the Amy Method of setting and achieving goals?

Not sure? Let’s test it:

  1. Decide setting goals is the way to go, because, A goal without a plan is just a dream, is a wicked cool quote even though it doesn’t quite fit…but you figure the first step is a realio-trulio goal.
  2. Decide on Goal, after further analysis, decide it scares the crap out of you, set a more reasonable goal.
  3. Write it down, really like the way it looks, decide to set more goals.
  4. End up with 10 goals written in green and purple ink in a nice notebook. It is a beautiful thing.
  5. Satisfactory sigh.
  6. Get busy with overflowing toilet (generic life-happening example).
  7. Occasional memory sparks of goals.
  8. More toilets overflowing.
  9. Settle in to life as you know it–not bad.
  10. Read article with statistic that people who set goals are 80 Bajillion times more likely to achieve those goals if they read them every day, also, if they ACTUALLY have a plan.
  11. D’oh!
  12. Find written goals, become overwhelmed with making plans for all ten. Decide on three.
  13. Go about day…forget to make an action plan for each of the three goals.
  14. AUTHOR INTERUTION: Remember that the whole point of wanting to write a blog about creating a easier, fun, exciting, better life is so I can learn right along with you–I have taken so many wrong turns! I want to share my missteps and discoveries so we all come out on the other side a little better.
  15. Decide to write post on setting goals…
  16. So, uh, write goals (not to-do lists, whoops).
  17. Write (reasonable) action plan.
  18. Set a timeline with all the goals and the plans.
  19. Print out and leave on bedside table. And bathroom closet. And purse. Also car.
  20. Find a GOALS partner! Let them know (that’s kind of key)that they are your goals partner. Check in with them!

So. There you have it on why you should NOT follow the Amy method! Well, the last five are pretty good. The trick is to do it all in one day. A Goals Day! Yay! What’s your number one goal?

Affirmations, Your Easy Button For Your Best Life

My mother,  Joan Kennedy has been saying daily affirmations for, gee, 50+ years, she’s been speaking and writing about the benefits of daily affirmations for 40+ years, I always listened to my mom and have been wowed by her public speaking talks for 30+ years. How long do you think I’ve been saying daily affirmations? Less than 1 year. Yup.

How does that happen? I liked what I heard and read from my mom (and others) and I saw firsthand how saying daily affirmations changed her life, and yet, I never made a habit of affirmations for myself until December of 2016. I think it was for a number of reasons:

  1. Why say them when I know how I wanted my life to be?
  2. What if I come up with WRONG affirmations?
  3. Tra-la-la…life happening, forget all about intentional living and affirmations…
  4. I’ll feel stupid saying them out loud–someone will make fun of me.
  5. What if I affirm something and nothing happens?

Honestly, there were probably more “reasons”–I can think of millions of reasons NOT to do something beneficial–but what finally convinced me was an idea I had about blogging on “My year of living affirmatively.” Welp, if I were going to blog about that, I had better start affirming. I’ve written a little about this, deciding to start, writing the affirmations, not doing anything with them, finding them again, re-writing them, and finally, finally starting to say them.

I found the easiest thing for me, was to say them in my car every morning on my way into work, and yes, I say them out loud–and no, I don’t feel stupid, turns out I don’t care, I mean, what do I care if the person in the car next to me thinks I’m talking to myself, I am! I started with maybe 5 affirmations, I did have a cheat sheet, but it didn’t take long at all to memorize them. Once I had the five down, I started adding on, it was an organic process to add affirmations (either ones I’d read from someone else, or others I’d created) and to let some go.

One of my favorite affirmations is: “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” This was created by French Psychologist Emile Coue (1857-1926), at the time, it was called an optimistic autosuggestion. It pretty much encompasses everything, which is why I like it! It was one of the first affirmations my mom told me about, another favorite of hers was/is: “I like myself unconditionally.” Which, some days can be a hard one to believe…on those days, I say: “It feels good to like myself.” Much easier.

The subconscious mind is funny and amazing, which is why affirmations should always be said in the present tense, as if it’s already happened and in a positive way, otherwise your subconscious will be all, oh, you want this thing someday? Errr, I don’t know what that means, must mean never. Instead of: I want one million dollars, say: I am grateful for all the money I have and could ever need in my bank account now. The first example will have your subconscious being all, fine, you will WANT this forever. You’ll be in a perpetual state of “wanting.” Whereas the second gets you in gratitude and opens yourself up to all possibilities.

As for the positive aspect, say: I am an excellent salsa dancer, rather than: I am not a klutz. Your subconscious puts a big red line through that word “not”–it only hears: I am a klutz. I don’t know why, besides I’d rather repeat something positive than something negative.

My favorite affirmation at the moment is one I took from the Brandi Carlisle song, That Wasn’t Me:

I make myself a blessing to everyone I meet

Saying this one five times everyday cements it in and in moments when I might not “make myself a blessing…” it’s as if my subconscious slides it into my conscious mind and I remember the me I am trying to be.

supporting oils: Frankincense and Valor

Do you say affirmations? Do you want to start?

 

How to be your very own BFF

Here’s how to love yourself, or, at least not be an ass to yourself!

Back in April I wrote a post Hopelessly Devoted to You, in it I wrote about being devoted to yourself–I’d like to continue the conversation, because it’s important, and because I like to repeat myself :).

Question, how often do you say to your best friend, What an idiot! Why won’t you learn? Could you be any fatter? No one is ever going to want you.

What’s that? Never you say? I should hope not!

So, I’m wondering why we think it’s okay to talk to ourselves like this. And I’m thinking if we started to talk to ourselves like we were our own best friend, maybe we’d be kinder and gentler with the only person who is always there. With us.

Joan Kennedy said one of my most favoritest (it’s a word) quotes:

you will never leave you, you will never divorce you,

you will never die on you.

It’s time to promise to love honor and cherish yourself,

and be your own best friend.

I don’t know about you, but the first time I heard that in one of her (she happens to be my mom! yay!) talks, I was blown away by the sheer why-have-I-never-thought-of-that? Because, duh! We are always with us!

Here’s something to try, the next time you want to beat yourself up over something you perceive as inadequate or idiotic, take a breath (even better if you’re wearing a necklace or bracelet infused with your fave essential oil) and simply say:

I’m getting better at this.

That seems totally doable, yes? Look, I’m not perfect at this either, knee jerk reactions fall out of my moth and pop up in my brain. But. I’m getting better at this…

{supporting oil: peppermint, for focus & ideas}

What’s one thing you do (or could do) to treat yourself like a bff?

 

Fashion Smashion–Does This Make Me Feel Happy?

Look, I love to flip through an In-Style or Vogue once in awhile–and I love to see what everyone’s wearing on the red carpet, but I am not a slave to fashion.

I am a happiness warrior. For others as well as for myself–you will be happy, dammit!

Which also means, I like to wear my happiness on my sleeve, shall we say. We shall! And by sleeve I mean all my clothing appendages. I try to always wear things that bring me joy, why wouldn’t I? I mean we all can use as much help as we can get–so let your clothes help you a little, wear the hot pink jacket, put on the floppy hat, the metallic belt, the punk rock boots, do it–maybe even all at once!

I never believed the adage “clothes make the woman,” but now I wonder if maybe clothes help make the woman happier.

Sometimes I help folks with their closets, there are times I might say, “Nope, that has to go.” but there are more times that I ask, “Do you feel good wearing it?” And if the answer is, “Yes.” well then they keep it. Simple as that.

We get so hung-up on “but it was a gift,” or “it will fit me as soon as I lose the weight,” but those aren’t the answers to the question:

Do you feel good wearing it NOW. You know the answer, you do.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to pick out an article of clothing (or a whole darn outfit) that makes you feel good. And then wear it!

Supporting oil: Joy