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?

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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?

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?

 

Hopelessly Devoted to You

 

Who are you hopelessly devoted to?

Child

Lover

Partner

Parent

Sibling

Friend…

What about yourself?

Did that make you feel a little squeemy? (It’s a word.) A whole lot selfish, or maybe you think I’m selfish for even asking the question.

Well let me tell you why I ask this; I was feeling lost in my own life a while back. Like, reading the lines and entering on cue but not part of the writing team, not a producer or a director. It got me thinking: if I don’t care about my role, I don’t care about anything.

We all know this: you have to love yourself before you can truly love anyone else.

We know it, but do we believe it? And if we do, do we really understand the depth of what it means to love yourself? It’s not something we do by rote, like answering the priest with our, “thy will be done” said without any conviction or awareness. Yeah, yeah…love myself unconditionally. Got it.

No. I didn’t get it. Or, rather, I forgot it. We have to fall in love with ourselves again. I’m not talking Narcissism, that is definitely not what I’m talking about.

This is not about seeking attention from others.

This is about paying attention to who you are and honoring that.

Devotion. I love that word, it makes me feel all gushy and intentional. It’s my core desired feeling for Creativity and Learning, one of five areas of our life Danielle LaPorte writes about in The Desire Map. But now I see it’s how I want to feel about myself, my whole self too. And not just feel it, I want it to be a verb for my life.

Merriam-Webster’s definition of Devoted: having strong love or loyalty for someone or something.

Maybe if you’re still feeling squeemy about being hopelessly devoted to yourself you could swallow being loyal to yourself–it reminds me of Shakespeare’s “To thine own self be true…” Be loyal to yourself and the things that are important to you.

For me, the first step in being loyal to myself is remembering who I want to be, and honoring that–making steps toward that next higher version of me.

How does this look?

The first thing I did was start saying affirmations. I am not even kidding.

Actually, the first thing I did was decide on the affirmations I wanted–what changes did I want to see? Those became the basis for my affirmations, then I wrote them,

…and then I let them languish

…and then I found them and rewrote them

…and then I said, “You are gonna start doing this today, dagnabbit! And you are committing to a year of living affirmatively! Ha!”

And then I started saying them. Every day. Out loud. Five times each.

I keep a Bullet Journal and in it I made a mini daily accomplishment thingy and affirmations are one of my daily goals–I really really like seeing all the boxes colored-in for saying them.

Then some little things started to happen, then some other things…one thing that happened was I spoke in front of an audience of about 125 people with my sister, and I wasn’t heart-pounding nervous–I had fun doing it.

One of my affirmations is: I’m an excellent speaker, logical, well prepared, and completely at ease in front of any group. I’d been repeating that 5 times a day out loud for 2 1/2 months.

I’ve been re-energized to do the things that move me forward and bring me joy–like writing and exercising, like being re-committed to helping folks support their health and happiness through essential oils Young Living

This is a continuous effort and a re-commitment every darn day (and evening).

I’m going to continue this conversation in upcoming posts–because its important and there’s lots to say!

What one thing could you start doing to show your devotion (loyalty) to yourself?

 

Young Living Distributer #933549

 

 

Muscle Memory

Have you ever noticed how, when you stop doing something good, like: writing, drawing, dancing, exercising, meditating, delivering a baby,* even if you start to want to do it again, your “this is so good for my soul” muscle says, “um… sorry, no.”

*Of course I have to tell you the story of the interruption of delivering a baby…

1987: I was in the birthing room with my sister, (husband was there, but had a hard time with that kind of thing) things are progressing smoothly, this was my second child plus my sister was my breathing coach. As I was transitioning, we’re talking full blown labor, dilated to 10, the nurse comes in to check and she says:

“You can’t push yet, the doctor isn’t here.”

In case you’ve never experienced labor, my ENTIRE essence, all my cells, everything was on the only mission there was–which was to push with each contraction, each contraction that were now from finish of one to the start of the next probably 30 seconds apart. Every 30 seconds and lasting for 60-90 seconds the MAIN DIRECTIVE was to push my baby out.

The nurse said:

“Do your breathing exercises.”

When your body is trying to turn inside-out and someone tells you to “breath” to get through it, many bad thoughts about that person flit through your head…luckily, my sister was there and she really did coach me to breath the right way–because, also, when the whole body inside-out thing happens, you really do forget how to breath, at least how to breath the right way for that circumstance.

S L O W F O R W A R D 30 minutes…the doctor is in!

All-righty, let’s get this show on the vaginal canal road!

Except, I had interrupted the natural “body in motion” of child birth, I had stalled it and now, my body said, “um…sorry, no.”

Eventually I did give birth, but the fact that I could stop a natural process and then not be able to simply, naturally, begin again was, to say the least, disheartening–I felt like some kind of birthing failure. I didn’t understand this at the time, but when I think about it now I admit I wonder what hope I have with any process whose habit I haven’t sustained?

I don’t have an easy answer for this–wish I did! We all need to come to our own way, maybe you need a “coach”–my sister helped me “not deliver” but then she was able to coach me back to the natural state of labor and delivery.

Maybe you need to remember why you’re here–I’m here to have a gosh-darn baby, today, for cripe’s sake! Dagnabit!

What ever it is, the first thing is realization that you’re NOT doing something you want to be doing–don’t worry about why you’re no longer doing it, don’t even worry about how you’re going to start again–not once did I think, well, geeze, how am I going to get back to wanting to push.

You do need to find your WHY for DOING IT. I wanted my baby in my arms. And it helps to find a coach, whether that’s someone you admire online, from a book, or it’s a real relationship.

I’ve been struggling with why I haven’t re-started the things I want to accomplish and do. I think I’m on to something, and then I let it peter out…I hate when I realize I’ve let something slide. Then, yesterday I saw something, it was a blurb for someone’s book that was going to be published in 11 weeks–11 weeks out, I think is how it read.

And something clicked. 11 weeks. What if I made a plan based on the outcomes I wanted in 11 weeks? And then sort of worked backward, what would I need to accomplish everyday, week and month? And what if I made my mom be my coach. (off-topic, we’ve been talking about creating a Master-mind group–cool, huh?) She hasn’t actually said yes yet…

I wrote out a rough draft, then I re-wrote it, I created landings–as in every Sunday, plan out the week, every night plan out the next day, NO TV until all goals for that day are done. This is my first day in my 11 week journey and I’ve hit three of my 5 goals for the day so far. Yippee!

By the way, semi-off topic: I believe our hearts have a muscle memory too–the more we practice/act open-hearted the more we are open-hearted.

My supporting oils for today: Young Living’s Abundance, it smells like everything-I-want-to-accomplish-is-done, ha!

Please share something you realized you’ve stopped doing that you’d like to start again.

Life is Like a Handful of Magic Beans

Magic Beans:

Everyone else thinks they’re crap and nothing happens until you plant them!

I am the queen, nay empress, of handfuls of magic beans:

  • hey, look at these beans, aren’t they cool? Not really. Oh. ~~~~Garbage
  • hey, look at these beans, what should I do with these beans? You should set those beans aside and concentrate on this solidly boring thing over here. Oh. ~~~~Garbage.
  • hey, look at these beans, should we move forward with these? Yes, and I shall take all the credit. Oh~~~~shit…those were my beans!
  • hey, look at these beans… They’re stupid. Oh. ~~~~Garbage.

Are you like me, always asking other people what they think about your magic beans, or asking them what you should do with your magic beans? Or maybe you’re just holding onto your magic beans–no one gets to see them! Including you!

Well. Stop it. Now. I mean it.

And when I tell you to stop it, I’m actually telling myself to stop it. It’s just easier to tell you to stop. And you probably need to hear it too.

To be fair, magic beans make other people nervous–people around you who don’t know what the heck to do with their own magic beans, let alone want to hear about yours.

Become comfortable with your MBs. If you’re not sure about ’em, who will be? Not until you’re comfortable with them yourself, and you’ve found a spot to grow them, and you’ve tended them for a while and not, you know, let them whither and die because you were too busy…

Clearly, magic beans are ideas–not just any ideas, not those ideas you freely scatter all over and if someone thinks it stinks, so be it. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn’t. Magic Beans are not those, they are the ideas that wake you up at night, those ideas you can’t shake. The big ideas. The ideas that if someone says stinks, you’ll be crushed. Yeah, those ideas.

Again, what to do, what to do. Get an idea buddy, not a “yes” woman, but someone who is there to help you flesh out the idea, not to squash, but maybe to question and hold space for your accountability–its a reciprocal relationship, you’d be there for them in the same capacity. Put it on your calendar, bi-weekly, or monthly meetings specific to ideas (magic beans ;)), hold space for incubation and idea formation, and have faith in yourself.

Here’s to MBBs: may you find one and may you be one.

If you’re willing to share, I’d love to be an honorary MBB, tell us your big idea! Amy