Let's get to it! This is part 2 of 2, 10 things to ditch for 2014! The last posting was getting a bit lengthy, and wasn't even including any practical ideas for ditching those pesky little energy suckers, many of us struggle with. What good is it to know that you over-think, if there aren't any simple, easy to follow tips to ditch it? So here we go with some really, very practical, easy to follow ways that you can work on every day without any special tools. Maybe a pencil/paper or your favorite hobby in a bag. But really the whole point of my posting these tips, is to keep them practical and manageable so you will be more likely to stick with it, rather than just quit and keep doing defeating practices that certainly won't help you move forward quicker, happier and with a whole lot less pain!
Quick Re-cap of 10 things to ditch
1)Over-thinking ~ It's as simple as making something far more complicated than it needs to be.
2)Searching for ~ Believe it or not, we have all the answers we need, if we are open to receiving those answers.
3)Comparing ~ We are all uniquely wonderful in our own amazing ways! Trust YOUR story!
4)People pleasing ~ If it's not serving your purpose, you won't do your best to begin with. Choose wisely.
5)Resistance ~ Comes in many subtle forms ex. procrastination. Learn to be aware of what's getting you off track.
6)Uncertainty ~ Nothing in life is a sure thing, uncertainty keeps you in a place of fear.
7)Attachment to outcomes ~ What if you just let go of how your mind thinks everything should be?
8)Guilt ~ It simply feels bad and is a useless tool to keep you feeling just that, BAD.
9)Clarity ~ The inability to move forward at all, because you haven't connected all the dots yet.
10)Fear of ~ Lack will keep you frozen and paralyzed for a very long time if you allow it. Make a choice and move beyond lack and trust YOU!
I have created a little list of simple, easy to implement techniques that are useful for ditching what isn't working for YOU. Most of these tools can easily be used for any of the above, and if one works particularly well for a certain quality you are trying to create a new habit for, I have written that next to the tool.
1) When you have a thought that just won't go away, I keep a pad of paper & pencil on me at all times. I scribble down my thought, and tuck it away. If it's something I know I have no control over and I am just worrying for the sake of worry. I actually will write something under neath it. I have no control and am letting it go! I then cross it out and put away my pad. If it's something nagging at me that I have to do or make a choice over, then I scribble a deadline next to it as to when I will get back to it. Then in the mean time I can move onto better things and allow my attention to be fully present with what I need to work on now! Easy....
Over-thinking, Resistance, and Guilt
2) As I have written before, I meditate faithfully. It's been an ongoing practice I have had for years, but I remember well that in the beginning I only did it when I went to my class. Then I started doing it more on my own time, then it became daily. It wasn't an overnight process, but a practice I had to put in place by first being aware that I was benefiting from it. The benefits were a profound sense of calm and inner peace despite the chaos surrounding me. That in itself is a priceless commodity. To this day I still use meditation and journaling daily to stay focused, present and calm. A very simple technique that can be used anywhere is to focus on your breathing. I use it in crowded stores, waiting in lines, or even when their is conflict at work. You simply focus on deep breathes in and out. When thoughts come to you, acknowledge them with one breathe and release the thought when you ex-hale. Again easy! Keep breathing til you notice an inner sense of calm.
Over-thinking, Searching, Resistance, Uncertainty, Attachment, Clarity and Fear
3) Since over-thinking produces virtually nothing, you may as well have something to show for your over-worked brain. Simple hobbies that you already love and require little concentration except for staying focused on your project are perfect to help resolve over-thinking. I'm not talking about taking up a new hobby and trying to learn while you are also trying to calm your brain. I'm talking about something you already know and love so well, that it requires little from your brain other than to focus on your creation. For me it's photography, weeding my gardens, walking in the woods, fishing, art journaling, beading and collecting rocks. I've been doing these things for so long they automatically calm my brain and I get absorbed into my project and actually have something to show when time has passed. Unlike over-thinking, I have nothing to show and the knot in my stomach I usually have for wasting the day away
Over-thinking, Searching, and Fear
4) Here's a feel better quickie, so to speak. If you haven't already figured it out, I love old fashioned paper/pencil and pen. Grab your trusty little black book, and scribble 10 quick self esteem boosters. Ex. I'm compassionate, trustworthy, hardworking, honest, creative, loveable, great mom, dog lover, simple, bohemian style hippie chic. I write down quickly a sentence that makes me feel good about me in that moment. It doesn't have to be overwritten, over thought about, or more than ONE sentence...It just has to list why YOU are wonderful!
Comparing, People-pleasing, Uncertainty, and Guilt
5) Celebrate ~ No really, getting out of our own head can be an exhausting process. So I love to give myself credit when I know I pushed the envelope and successfully did something, that maybe doesn't mean poop to someone else, but it means boat loads to me! Celebrate your victories!!
All of the above!! Celebrate YOUR wins, personal accomplishment, empowered choices!
6) Get in the practice of giving yourself time. Don't make choices when you are feeling rushed, pressured, stressed or even overly joyous.
People-pleasing, Attachment, and Guilt
7)Learning to say no without excuses takes practice. If I know I am going to have to say to NO to someone, I will really practice in front of the mirror! Be strong, assertive but mostly calm with NO excuses. When you start giving excuses, you are also giving them a window to change your mind! Just don't go there...Learn NO is NO! Practice daily...:)
People-pleasing, and Guilt
8)Create ~ Honestly, it doesn't matter what you are creating at that particular moment, as it does that you are moving through, forward, not sitting still. As you create, your unraveling the process of life. Your creating clarity. Creating through journaling, art, mixed media, letter writing, photography, beading, wood carving etc. It all tells a story, and that creation leads to discovery. Discovery leads to a more in-depth, in sync YOU! Start making it a habit to create. By exploring creativity your paving YOUR journey, connecting the dots, celebrating YOUR amazing, unique self and learning what a profound individual YOU really are! My personal choices for creating are: Journaling, mediation, and mixed media. I gain so much into what's important to me each time I write or create works that explore what is going on inside my heart, mind and soul. Everyone has abilities to create, it's a matter of exploring what brings your inner joy to the outside world.
Over-thinking, Searching, Resistance, and Clarity
9)Practice listening. More often than not, choices can be made that are actually win/wins for everyone if we learn to listen, and create a balance of compromise. Compromise isn't about being a door mat, or being a bully. It's a fine act of of hearing everyone who is involved, and concluding choices that allow for everyone to feel heard, appreciated and benefited. When compromise comes out where everyone benefits in some way, it really doesn't sound like a compromise...Does it?
Comparing, People-pleasing, and Guilt
10)Practice Renewal ~ Daily! Many people and sadly more women are finding that they are spread far too thin. Walking a line of slipping off that tight rope of life, at any given moment. They don't have a safety net, often not a supportive partner, their foundation is crumbled and they are physically and mentally wary. I can't emphasize enough that taking care of YOU is YOUR only true responsibility. Get enough sleep, do things that feed your spirit, get outside, eat healthier, practice self love, and most importantly learn to trust your self. If you know you have over extended, say NO. If your tired, rest. If someone is bringing you down, let go of the situation and them.
Over-thinking, Comparing, People-pleasing, Attachment, Guilt, and Fear
Many of these tools can be intertwined and tweaked depending on the circumstances or situation. This is just a small tool box for building a stronger, healthier, and happier you. It all begins with building YOUR solid foundation in which to create your garden to grow and prosper.
Life is very much a process. There are no crystal clear defined set of rules or directions. Sometimes it seems like it's coated with complexities and struggles. But I can assure you that by practicing some self-love you will find that life really is one step in front of the other, and most of our complexities are created in our OWN minds.
As I embark on 2014, I am optimistic that by me practicing more I will break through my own struggles with Over-thinking, Attachment to Outcomes and Clarity. I am energized and eternally grateful for the opportunity of participating in such a wonderful group of writers, inspiring artists, and innovative idea makers! If I had allowed fear, uncertainty, over-thinking, comparing etc to remain at the fore front of my life, I would not have had the opportunity to meet and be exposed to this amazing group. This challenge has provoked and inspired me to continue reaching for the stars!
Thank you for reading and Happy New Year to ALL!