Creative expression through the written word

Posts tagged ‘focus’

Swimming Upstream

Have you ever felt like you cannot get ahead no matter what you do? Like you struggle for every inch of forward momentum in your life only to find you haven’t progressed at all? I call it swimming upstream. 

I’ve been in that place more often than not. I wish I could say that I’ve only ever seen that happen in other people’s lives but that isn’t the case. I set goals. I prioritize. I work hard. Sometimes that just doesn’t seem like enough.  Been there? Understand that?

I’ve had a few days lately where it definitely feels like I’m swimming upstream. I can see the dream. I can see the end result that I want but man this hamster wheel just keeps circling and circling. I think I need some new inspiration, some new focus. I think I need to see progress in a few things so I don’t feel like I’m fighting the currents. 

Anyone got some advice for getting out of the cycle? 

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C . r. E. a. T. i. V. i. T. y.

*taken from the Premier Event Connection  (premierec.wordpress.com) blog post, As that is the blog I write for my company I get to hijack it, if I feel like it. 😊)

Creativity is the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. Anyone who has been involved with the creative process knows that getting stuck or hitting a wall is part of the process. Everyone struggles sometimes to renew their creative spark. Being in a business where we need to stay creative makes that a bit of a bigger challenge so we have to have ways to re-energize that creative spark. Here are the just some of the ways that we do that: • connect with someone you think is creative and let their creativity generate some new ideas for you.

 • change up your routine.

 • doodle

 • play a game

 • free write

 • listen to new music

 • keep an idea journal with you at all times

 • play with toys

 • color

 • listen to a TED talk

 • take a class

 • get cooking in the kitchen

 • explore the outdoors

 • research on Pinterest

 • create a vision board

 • talk with children

 • walk through an art gallery

 • watch movies
Creativity is all about being open to the impressions of life as they flow and swirl around us. Its about letting that energy flow out of you and create something unique to you. Enjoy the process and don’t give up when you feel like you’ve hit a snag in the creative process. It’s easy to spark again.

Double dipping

Double Dipping…. I am not talking about double dipping your veggies or chips in dip. Although I am sure I could make a post on that too. No today I am using the reference of double dipping in regards to the fact that for the next 90 days I have agreed to take part in the Team Heart 90 Day Live Facebook challenge and I blog. A lot of what I am doing in the 90 day Live video challenge is stuff I could just as easily write and post to my blog. 

I guess I decided to save myself some time and share across platforms as I can and maybe not have to create double the content. Cheating? Um….probably but that’s okay it won’t be word for word, just maybe theme for theme. 

So today in my live video I talked about taking action even when afraid. Now I am no expert on doing something despite my fear. I can honestly admit that yes, I have allowed fear to hold me back. I have allowed fear to make my decisions sometimes. It sucks. What’s worse is that no matter what I have told others I know the real reason I didn’t move forward, chase a dream, or take action. Living with my self after that is way worse than if I had just faced me fears head on and taken action. 

Fear can be debilitating. Paralyzingly so. You can literally have a whole body physical reaction to fear. I’m learning to not let fear stop me. I’m learning to take action despite the risk, real or imagined. I’m learning to stop the conversations in my head about doubt and unworthiness and I am learning to quit making excuses so I can stay in fear. I mean, who wants to live there anyway?

Everything I want, everything I dream about is literally on the other side of fear. I have to want those things more than I want fear in control. Believe me it’s a work in progress but at least I am consciously working on it. I’m choosing every day to take at least one step beyond my fear. 

Am I a raging success? Well, no but I can be as long as I don’t give up. As long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other. My point to all this? You can do it too. Just push yourself through the rapidly beating heart, sweaty palms, barely breathing moment and do it. You’ll live – I promise! 

 

Focus! Focus! Focus?

I once worked with a gal who told me a bomb could go off when I was working and I wouldn’t notice. We shared a good laugh at how focused I can get and went back about our business. Over the years I have heard similar things but I’ve never really thought about it. 

I know some people that have a very difficult time staying focused on a task. I have seen how it can disastrous. I have also watched as people struggle to stay focused when everyone and everything around them is a major distraction. Through this process I have come to realize that I am blessed with intense focus. 

Of course I have also learned that I need to be invested in the task or I am just easily pulled away from my focus. Like housework- I can easily lose my focus on accomplishing that but everything else? Well, once I focus on it I just kind of tune everything else out. I’m not sure how I do it exactly. I do know when my environment is chaotic that all I have to do is pop in my headphones and turn on some music and everything fades away but what I need to focus on. 

So maybe a bomb can go off around me when I’m working but….I get my stuff done. 

Can I live in the Past?

I have never been one to throw my political opinion around. I tend to keep pretty closed mouthed about it because all I have ever seen come from politics is strife and division. I firmly believe that everyone has a right to their own opinion and a right to pursue a life of happiness, however they define that. I am more than happy to honor everyone’s rights in this matter and all I ask is that others don’t shove their beliefs and opinions down my throat and disrespect my own right to believe as I see fit even if I am not vocalizing that opinion.

In an effort to maintain peace, I long ago decided to never discuss politics, even with family members. I would much rather spend time with those I love fostering love and connectedness then separateness and division. That doesn’t mean I live with my head in the sand pretending the world isn’t in chaos. Rather, I chose to focus on the positive and the things I can personally do to make this world a better place. I believe that what you put your focus on grows and I want beauty and light and love to grow.

That being said, one of the topics for this month was to share thoughts about todays events and I’ve put it off because I hate (and I do not use that word lightly) the light that is being brought to humanity at this time. The light that lets us see that for all our progression as humans we still have major root issues that divide us from the collective ALL. I’m watching families shutting each other out, friendships being destroyed, people spewing vileness, hatred, and division against the very people they say are doing the same and my heart weeps for us and the generations behind us that must find a way to bring connectedness to the ALL that we have been unable to do to this point.

So….I do my best to stay positive. To believe that the Divine works through everything, even when we cannot see it or understand it. And yes, I daydream regularly about living in the past where times were simpler. Where one was focused on homesteading and surviving not surrounded on every front by billions of people’s individual opinions and actions. While I can’t live during that time I can hold some of the things that helped people in that time live with me today.

  • Don’t expect a free handout
  • Always help a neighbor in need
  • Be strong and courageous
  • Live simply
  • Protect those around me
  • Believe in the Divine
  • Work for a better life

Poverty Mentality

My topic of the day is “A mistake that helped me grow”. Not exactly a topic I’m excited about. I mean, who wants to go shouting about their mistakes to the world?

I’ve decided to be courageous and talk about my mistake and how it helped me grow because I know that everyday, people make mistakes. Hopefully they also learn from them and grow as well.

I’m going to talk about “Poverty Mentality”. So, several years ago when my kids were little my best friend took a risk and told me one day that I was teaching my kids to have a poverty mentality and that I needed to stop and fix their ideas about money and finances. To say that I wasn’t angry would be an outright lie. I was pissed! I was beyond pissed but then I really spent some time thinking about her words.

She was right.

I was teaching my children to think in a poverty state of mind and once I realized I was doing it I set about changing my own perception and attitude so I could change my children’s as well. It was no easy task but I spent a long time, several years in fact, working on this and I have to say that it made a profound impact on myself, my spouse and our kids.

I had been teaching my kids poverty mentality by saying things like, “We can’t afford that….” and “there isn’t enough….”. I was teaching them to see themselves as victims to circumstances. To believe that struggle was the only way to live. I was teaching them to live from fear. Talk about feeling like a failure as a parent.

So….I started saying things like, “We can get that later, just not at this moment” and “Let’s figure out how we can create this as a possibility”. I watched all my negative speaking and only allowed myself to speak positively in front of my kids. To come from a place of empowerment and love instead of fear. Positive words and affirmations didn’t miraculously change my life but it changed my attitude about life which allowed me to be open to opportunities and that changed my life.

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and to be honest….I didn’t realize how much my family had changed until a couple of years ago when I had an opportunity to be around a family that was “Poverty Mentality” focused and I literally found myself remembering feeling like they did, coming from the same place as they were but I couldn’t go back to that place and I wanted so badly to shake them and make them see that life could be so different if they were willing to change their mindset.

Choosing change is never easy and as I said, it took years to fix the damage I had done but change is worth it in the end and a better life for my family was more than worth it.

Looking Forward

Today is the first day of 2017 and I find myself wondering what this New Year will bring to me and my family. A lot can happen to a person in 365 days. Heck, a lot can happen to a person in 24 hours.

Looking forward is an interesting concept – it requires one be fully present in the now to have a clear grasp on what can come in the future. It’s a part of being aware of your desires and dreams but not missing the here and now. It’s about clear focus. It can be so easy to get lost in the future and lose track of the now. It’s a life skill that not many people pay attention to. They just go about their business and then get surprised when things they want either don’t show up or even more surprising to some – they do.

So for this first day in January I am flexing my looking forward muscle and honing the skill in the hopes that every day will bring me closer to the dreams of my heart. I am looking forward to seeing what moments are going to make up this year. What snippets of time, laughter and memories are going to be the hallmark of 2017.  I think I am most looking forward to this journey of self-discovery I have put myself on. I have no idea what is to come, what revelations these series of questions will bring me but I fully intend to enjoy the journey.

 

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