LOVE BRAVELY

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I was invited to a Bridal Shower. I had the gifts and the card, all I needed was something other than last years Christmas wrapping aka a gift bag.

Have I ever told you how I hate to spend too much on things that might get thrown away? Like 7.99 on a birthday card…I don’t think so, I’d rather throw in another mini Lego set, thank you very much. Well the same goes for gift bags–I mean, I re-purpose and reuse, but what if you don’t?

So, I’m in Target looking for a gift bag that’s just right and won’t cost an arm or a leg…nothin’.

But then I saw this one bag with perfect colors and the size was right…okay, also, it was on sale.

“Live Bravely”

Yes! Live Bravely is a good command, or, you know, suggestion, maybe not the best slogan for a bridal shower–and suddenly, I knew what I would do (you probably do to if you looked at the photo :))

I would change “live” to “love” because, let’s face it, you have to be pretty fricken brave to love someone, especially with the “till death do you part” business thrown in. Yet, if you go into it knowing you should LOVE bravely, well, that puts a whole new spin on relationships, yes?

Loving bravely is all about truth

And vulnerability (yes, it is)

And accepting your significant other’s truth and vulnerabilty

Showing ourselves can be scary, and accepting someone else’s truth and vulnerability is not exactly for the faint of heart. No, it is for the brave of heart. ❤ ❤ ❤

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The Funny Thing About Problems…and what to do about them

I accidentally drove past my childhood home this past weekend and it was tiiiiiiiny! I mean it was a normal sized house, just not the size I remember. And the vast side yard? A quarter of the size I remember. There were still pine trees in the front yard but the lower branches had been cut and you could see the house–the small house–from the street.

What was this?

The busy wide street that went around the lake at the end of our street wasn’t busy or wide–no wonder my mom and dad let me cross it and ride my bike on it!

All this got my thinking about problems (hang in there with me) and how we carry them around with us. And with all their aspects and complexities they can seem daunting and gnarly and BIG.

But, what if they are all just childhood homes and if you could get a “grown-up” perspective you’d see they are not insurmountable. To be clear, I am not talking about health (disease, addictions, or the loss of a loved one). I’m talking about work or coworker problems, stuck in traffic, I hate change problems. Those day to day (and some not so day to day) problems that we build into oversize childhood houses (childmansions). I bet even if you grew up in a mansion and then moved away (as a child) it’s not as big as you remember. I feel like the only time this wouldn’t work is if you continue living in your childhood home–it and you continually right-size each other.

So. How to get that “grown-up” perspective:

First: Recognize that your problem may not be as big (or as bad) as you first thought. A great way to do this is to ask yourself a question: Is this as big as I think it is? Just asking the question gets you out of stuck mode and readies your brain for something different.

Second: Take your problem out for a viewing, this will give you a different perspective–you can’t just continue to hold it and turn it over and over, it wasn’t until I drove past the house and saw it that I realized its actual size.

  • So, get it down on paper–yup, work–writing something down helps. Words on the page can create new pathways in your brain. Maybe you’ll see something you hadn’t before.
  • Talk to someone, not someone who’s heard you complain about it, or worse yet shares in your complaint, you’ll only end up in a bitch session with no forward motion! Lay it out with: I’m wondering if I can talk to you about something I’m trying to get a new perspective on?

Third: List one or two small things you could do immediately to feel better. Maybe its redirecting, so, if you’re always triggered by a coworker (or your boss) prepare for it, tell yourself they may say something that sets you off, but you are in control of how you react. Ask to talk (if your problem is with a person) to them without blame. NO: you always do this. YES: It makes me feel or I feel.

I hope this helps you deal a little easier with something or someone.

An (in)Elegant Life

How often do you feel like a 7 year old? Let me be more specific, how often do you live with the metaphorical feeling of your socks balled up in your shoes just living with the uncomfortableness of it?

How often do we live in the uncomfortableness of a situation? Job? Relationship?

It’s okay, you are not alone, far from it, I have been uncomfortable for years on end–but thought it was my “duty” to be there in that vat of uncomfort.

{{{Aside: I make up words, just so you know, “uncomfortableness” and “uncomfort” are not realio-trulio words. But I like them.}}}

At times I blamed it on my sense of “worthiness” or lack there of! But lately I think its fear–fear of pain, fear of unknown, fear of being better.

But I truly believe the most common reason is it seems far less uncomfortable than extricating ourselves from said situation, maybe it would feel embarrassing or even painful. The payment seems too dear for the payout.

In the short term.

We think it will be worse, and yes, it might suck…for a little while, it might be messy…to begin with, you might not know exactly what to do…until you do, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (as my, slightly older than 7 year old, crush Yul Brinner said in The King and I).

And then it will start to feel a little better. And better begets better. It’s a law, and an equation, possibly a mandate. Trust me on this.

Are you willing to share when uncomfort became too much?

 

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?

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?