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

 

 

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How to reStart Doing the Thing(s) You Stopped Doing. Unstick That Stuck.

ring a bell to clear the air

Ring a bell to clear the air, redirect your thoughts and give an angel their wings!

I wondered about my inability to write a blog post…okay, inability is wrong, I’ll do anything but write–paint the bathroom, rearrange my office (although, this might have actually helped me*), vacuum, wash the kitchen floor–my resistance to writing a blog post.

Why was I actively avoiding it? I’ve read The War of Art, I’ve listened to Melissa Dinwiddie’s Podcasts, I’m the daughter of Joan Kennedy for goodness sake! What the ever loving heck?

I wrote in my One Good Cup notebook:

What if I unstick myself in this situation and write about it…maybe I can help someone else in a similar situation.

Clearly much has been written about this before, I am not a pioneer, but I am a pilgrim and a lover of acronyms, sometimes, when they work. And when they seem the only way out of my stuckness! A while ago I made an acronym for S.T.U.C.K. and F.R.E.E.D. I haven’t shared it yet because I’m still playing with it, but my pen wanted to play so I let it!

Scared: This is the main thing, right? Call it scared or resistant–ego gets in the way.

Tired: I wasn’t feeling the zest for the project.

Unmotivated: So, why bother, why make an effort?

Cautious: Don’t want to make the wrong move…should I do this? Or that?

Knowledge (lack of): Who am I to be writing this? Creating this?

(Kind of silly…but it got me excited and motivated to figure out F.R.E.E.D. Plus it was fun–and fun kept me going.)

Feeling: How do I want to feel? I will do the things to support that!

Ring: a bell*. I am not kidding! I rang a bell (repeatedly), plus an angel got their wings!

Eyes: No one sees the world the exact same way I do.

Essential Oils: Of course! Oils can raise my frequency, help me focus & motivate.

Desire: Go back to desire–back to what I love. I have to fall back in love with my project, remember why I started it and what I wanted to accomplish.

*I painted this bell and blinged it out, it stands before me on the window ledge in front of my desk to remind me to keep going!

I’ll be working on this for awhile, you don’t just make up an acronym and change your life (or habits) around! But I know action–movement in the right direction helps, things start to loosen up, an outer shell starts to break away. Just a little bit.

I hope you all are moving forward in whatever your dreams are! Tell me how you stay the course.

 

 

How To Take Over Your Life!

Easy steps to a brilliant life!

Has this happened to you? You’re strolling along–actually, not strolling, you’re rushing along through your life–get up, get kid up, off to school, get to work, EMAILS, drama, EMAILS, more drama, plus emergencies, rush home, dinner, dishes, drama, dog for walk, treadmill (because, uh, the walk wasn’t really enough)…PHEW! By this time all you’re ready for is some veg time with some quality Netflix.

Repeat.

Is it any wonder we forget our dream, our aspirations, even our day to day goals? Also, WTH? Clearly, this is my routine–give or take–on any given day, but I bet you have some rendition of this, if you don’t, you can stop reading.

We are supposed to LIVE our life–not be swept away by it!

This is a lesson I learn repeatedly. I’m not beating myself up over it, because I understand each time I Re-learn it a little more sticks. The other day, I got to work and didn’t check my emails. I sat down with a cup of coffee and a notepad and sat. Some of you might be familiar with my One Good Cup project–if not you can read about it HERE–but this was different, this was a work related one good cup.

This was to create space for me to be able to plan what I wanted to get done that day. And it was marvelous. I’m toying with the idea of adding an automatic reply on my work email–something like, “thanks for your email, just so we’re clear, I read my emails at 10:00, 1:00, and 4:00. If you need an immediate answer, call me, thanks.” Just kidding. Here’s the other reason I loved taking the time to think about my work day: it made me ENJOY my work day! I know!

I am firmly in the camp of, if you want to create something awesome, you have to feel like you are in awesomeland now.

I was gifted a Planner this year…it’s a marvelous, beautiful, makes you think about what you reallyreallyreally want kind of Planner. Everyone should have this kind of Planner. I plan. And then, even better, I do! I’m not perfect by any means, or, I should say, yet! But making progress on things makes me want to make more progress.

Which brings me to the first rule:

The more energy you give to something the more energy builds around it. You’ve experienced this, I know you have, whether for good or bad.

And now the second:

Working toward what you want shouldn’t feel like work! Okay, I’m not saying it might not be a lot of work, but it should be joyful work!

Let’s hear it for the third:

Uh…you don’t actually have to have complete clarity on what you want to start working toward! Amazing, I know. But, you see, the better you feel and the more cool energy you put toward anything, well, great things actually feel obligated to come to you…and then once you get great things other things become clearer.

And, I-am-the-Fourth rule:

Take time for yourself, your life, your dreams. T a k e  t i m e. M a k e  s p a c e. Good things come in the gaps.

There are way more rules–laws, actually–but you get to make them up as you go.

Tell me about your dreams and plans. How are you taking over your life?

 

 

 

THERE ARE NO RULES

The following is a post from my old blog, but I like it and actually I needed to relearn it! So, here it is:

Twice yesterday I received the message, “there are no rules.” Once from *The Universe (I am not even kidding, we’ll talk more on that later!) and once from a newsletter I subscribe to. The first, actually said, “there are no rules.” My shoulders relaxed. The second time, it was more of a message gleaned from, “You’re never going to get there by trying to get there. There is no path you just need to find…”

My brain did one of those fast action thoughts, all jumbly and toppling over each other: wait, so all those marketing techniques, and sales funnels, and Pinterest analytics I’ve been searching for and stressing about, all these outside “rules” don’t mean anything?

It’s up to me to create the way I want to do this.

It is up to me.

Pretty heady stuff–there’s definitely responsibility attached to “it’s up to me.” I’m responsible for my own stuff. Right?  There are no rules does not mean there is no working your ass off. It means you decide how the work is done and what kind of work you do and most importantly why you’re doing the work.

And, when I say “work” I don’t necessarily mean your job, unless that’s what you want it to mean, because this can work for work, but it can work for your life too.

So, there is a load of personal responsibility with “there are no rules” but there is sweet sweet freedom too.

I stopped writing for a while–nearly everything–the manuscript I was working on, my blog posts, Facebook updates, even tweets were too much for me to muster, because I thought I was doing them wrong. My tweets weren’t as clever as this person’s, my blog was nothing like that much more successful person’s, my book will never touch another person the way this author’s books do…

And so I just stopped. When I tried to be like these other people (follow their rules) it didn’t work, it came out flat, I felt like a fraud (duh). So I stopped trying and stopped writing. How sad.

DIGRESSION ALERT:

When I first became a supervisor a few years ago, I struggled. Not that I couldn’t do the work, I could. I struggled with what kind of a supervisor to be–I read books (not the right ones!) I took webinars (blech!) I went to classes (okay) and yet every single day I walked into work nearly sad, shoulders slumped, and with no idea who I was.

And it wasn’t until I was having a random conversation with one of my nephews (thank you Nick!) where I said: “I don’t like being a supervisor, I don’t know how I’m supposed to be one.”

and he said: “Amy, they hired you for who you are. Be you.”

Shoulders relaxed.

“oh.”

This opened up my world. I fell back into me. I stopped TRYING to be a boss, and instead became me again–really good at all things circulation, kind of goofy, really happy, laughing a lot, expecting great things from the team. I led by example and made my expectations clear, I also admitted my weaknesses. And I was okay again, hell, I was great.

My point is:

stop trying to live up to who you are not.

stop trying to to follow a set of made-up rules that maybe worked for some other person, but sure the heck are not working for you.

Be you and make your own rules.

(Unless you are a serial killer, and you are trying not to be one, then, yes, please keep trying.)

(Also, this isn’t a free keep smoking card.)

But the word “try” is so damned full of I-probably-won’t-succeed-and-then-I’ll-have-to-FRACKIN-try-mofo-try-again, and that just feels deflating and long and icky.

There are no rules

Freedom, not anarchy, but freedom to create from who you are to get you to who your best self is.

FREE

*future me again, this was before I finished The Desire Map–and really understood what my core desired feelings would end up being.

I’m reading Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map. AWESOME book, (fantastic website) helps you figure out not the tangible goals for your life but how you want to feel–and then figure out how to feel that. So, one of my core desired feelings is free, I want to feel free. Free to work how I want, at what I want, free to take the day off and hang with my kids or my mom or anyone. Free to not worry.

After I read: there are no rules, I realized freedom (free) is not something I have to reach for, I already have it. I just needed to recognize where in my life it existed. Sure, I’d like it in more aspects of my life (can you say, fly to Paris?) but that is a huge part of manifesting something–already believing you have it, to find examples in your life now and then to focus on it and love it and really feel it–which will bring more of it to you. Holy Shootzky.

*Now, as promised, here’s my Note from the Universe:

 So, are there any made-up rules are you’d like to stop following?

Guilty Pleasures

image

Why do we associate guilt with pleasure? And why do we feel guilty for something that is fun and easy and non-intellectual? Why can’t we just enjoy something?
I was at a meeting and we were talking about our favorite authors and someone said, well, my guilty pleasure is so and so, she’s fun and easy to read and the books make me laugh.She rationalized for everyone else why her favorite author wasn’t Proust or Dostoyevsky. To be fair I work for a large library system so, we know books. And apparently snobbery, because heaven forbid you like someone who’s a page turner!

But I felt for her for some reason (and frankly the person she considered a guilty pleasure most people would just consider a good read) and since many of the authors I enjoy might be considered…not classics, I too went with a “guilty pleasure” and spoke of my love of romance, queue the gasping, although no one did because we’re all so good at “no judgment” judgment.That sounded judgmental!

I saw her guilty pleasure and upped the stakes to some pretty sexy romance! Ha! Take that! But I still called it my “guilty pleasure.” Which got me thinking about how often we deny our pleasures, wants, and needs. Or we call them Guilty Pleasures, owning up to our sin(s): see, I know it’s not “good” for me and I’m owning up to it. Mea Culpa.
Why can’t it simply be a pleasure? Why the guilt?

Just we’re clear: If you’re pleasure is hurtful to others or harmful to yourself, that’s a different story. I’m speaking about the littler things–the things that don’t interfere with our day to day or anyone’s lives.
I enjoy this. Fun books are FUN. Fun TV is FUN. Fun food is FUN. And, as we know, fun is good. Pleasure is good. It’s okay to want to read a fun book, watch a fun show, or eat fun food, if you enjoy it, then enjoy it–don’t apologize for your pleasure.
What do you enjoy that you’ve always thought of as a guilty pleasure?

What Do You Want? Or, How Not to Have Ungreat Expectations

expectations, getting what you want, declaring your goals

You are never going to get what you don’t really know you want. Declare your Expectations

I’m thinking about expectations. Other people’s for me, mine for other people and mine for myself.

Sometimes I think I’ve made my expectations clear, only to be disappointed–is my disappointment someone else’s fault or my failure of clarity around my expectations? Yeah. The latter. Dang.

No one can meet meet our expectations if we’re not clear about what they are.
We think we’re telling people what we want when in reality we’re only hinting, or worse yet, expecting them to just know.

What do you mean, you don’t have ESP?

Get clear–state what you need/want. And make sure you’re clear on others’ expectations.

All of these have been challenging for me, but the biggest was figuring out my own expectations for myself. Maybe we have a nebulous idea floating around and maybe there’s a touch of guilt and/or shame attached to it because somehow we aren’t doing/being what we VAGUELY think we should!

We do the same darn thing to ourselves that we do to other people, hint at what we want or think the Universe will tell us what to do and or be.

doobee, doobee, do…

You are never going to get what you don’t really know you want. Ever.

I started the “earning dollars” phase of my life with no direction. None. Oh, I had a thought that it didn’t matter what I did, because I was going to be discovered!!!!!

I am not even kidding.

Just me tra-la-la-ing waitressing or bartending and SOMEONE would see me and offer me SOMETHING. Was I working toward this nebulous dream of vague outcomes? HOW COULD I? Okay, I spent a good chunk of my school life on stage, so I came by the nebulous dream honestly and after I was out of school I did audition exactly once for something–didn’t get it and that was it.

Really? Really.

But I still held fast to my “dream.” And I still thought something would happen–like some sad fairytale princess waiting for someone else to save her.

I wrote a little bit, had no set genre, or time frame, didn’t take any classes (read a few writing books)–and even submitted a couple things (years and years apart) got two lovely rejection letters, (they really were lovely with good advice) and both times I stopped writing. Instead of listening to the advice and persevering, I stopped… There was always being DISCOVERED…

I don’t know why I expected success when I’d barely worked at it. But then again, how do you work at something when you’re not sure of the outcome you want? Sheesh.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized another aspect of this: if I had no hard core attachment to a specific outcome, I couldn’t really try for it–and if I couldn’t really try, well, I couldn’t really fail.

No investment equals no (horrible) return.

So, no specific expectations for myself meant never letting myself down. Except, I always felt as if I weren’t living up to something, soooo, I was, in fact, letting myself down. Icky, icky circle.

Am I set with this now, golden with the whole expectations? Nope! Still working on it–but now I’m not kidding myself. I’m super happy I worked through The Desire Map and know that it’s the feeling we want, which doesn’t mean I don’t need/want goals, I do.

Now, I’ll start with how I want to feel, from there I can build my expectations for myself and then commit to them. And then build my goals accordingly.

Unless I get discovered first.

I kid.

Have you set your own “great” expectations? How about for folks around you? Let me know!

Soul Journies #2 Desire Map–I Gotta Feeling!

imageIt’s been a while since I posted my progress with Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map,  and I thought I’d share my findings on my Core Desired Feelings–first though, more of the process. We can’t just get to the Tootsie Roll center!

As a re-cap, Danielle LaPorte’s premise is: it’s not the actual goal we want–it’s the “…feeling you hope reaching the goal will give you.” If you get clear on how you want to feel you can then set your intentions for that feeling!

She has you look at 5 areas of your life: Livelihood & Lifestyle, Relationships & Society, Body & Wellness, Creativity & Learning, and Essence & Spirituality. And within those areas you choose your core desired feeling.

Lists and lists and more lists of lavish and lovely words ensued (after I’d done the work of what’s working in those 5 areas, and what’s not).

image

One of the things I loved about this process is she tells you you can do this in a number of ways–make it easy, make it hard, breeze through it, take your time. I took my time. I made my lists of words, rolled them on my tongue, considered their frequency with my soul. Then I came back to my lists and chose my favorites…then I let it sit again. And then I was done taking my time! I wanted to get crystal clear on my Core Desired Feelings.

I thought I sort of already knew what my 5 would be because I’d been playing around with them for so long. But, when I sat down to really choose, different words rose to the occasion, and for one area: Essence and Spirituality, no word felt completely right–until I pictured myself standing with my arms wide open, head back, heart open.

Another surprise was “brave” for Relationships & Society. I was sure my word would be appreciate…or love… or connected. Nope. Brave popped out at me from the sidelines, reminding me that I want to feel like it’s okay to speak my mind, and it’s okay to feel what I feel, and it’s okay to reach out for friendship. I love this.

My Core Desired Feelings:

LIVELIHOOD & LIFESTYLE: thriving

BODY & WELLNESS: vibrant

CREATIVITY & LEARNING: inspiration

RELATIONSHIPS & SOCIETY: brave

ESSENCE & SPIRITUALITY: heart wide open 🙂

I feel committed to these feelings–I was afraid that when I finished this process, I’d be worried that I hadn’t chosen right. And that I’d keep changing my mind. But I can feel the rightness of these in my heart.

So, yes, feeling all smushy and delighted with my bad self, but I know this is not the end. I am not simply planting these seeds and walking away, I will tend to these daily. My #onegoodcup now includes my core desired feelings as guideposts for the day, as Danielle LaPorte says, “What do I need to do to feel the way I want to feel?”

This only works if I give it my attention* (which happens to be my word for the year–I love me some words!). Making it a daily habit reminds me to move in the direction of the way I want to feel. So, since my CDF in Livelihood & Lifestyle is thriving then one of the things I want to do is play more with this blog–because I feel as if I’m thriving when I’m giving attention to it and not stressed about my job! And I am certain that when I am rocking my goal feelings, it will ripple out to the people around me.

Have you read The Desire Map? If you could feel one thing every day, what would it be?