So it’s January 1st…is it me or do we all kinda dread the new year? Don’t get me wrong I love new beginnings and clean slates and all but c’mon isn’t the new year more of an exercise in thinking about all that went wrong the past year and trying to right it all on January 1st? (or at least in the first few weeks). What pressure! I can’t tell you how many people I have heard say, “I am so glad 2015 is over, it was such a bad year for me. I am ready for 2016!!” As if 2016 is going to be THAT much better. I mean what was sooo bad about 2015? January was just being January like it is every year, cold and long, kinda boring. And February was just being February with its 28 days and homage to St. Valentine…June was June and August was hot like it always is. October through December embodied the holiday madness it always does. It’s the same, year after year! So what was so darn bad about 2015???? Well, I can tell you it was not the year itself that was bad. The year was the year, twelve months and all. But I can tell you what made you want to vacate 2015 with such rapidity…It was how you chose to THINK about 2015 and how you continue to think about it.
I am not saying bad things don’t happen. 2014 was a doozy of a year for me. Taking care of my sick mom up until her death in October of that year was not fun, not fun in any way, BUT, and it’s a big but (not an homage to Sir Mix-alot), I cannot say that there were not moments of deep learning, understanding, growth, fun, tears of joy, laughter, friendship, fun, passion, success and so much more. I don’t want to declare 2014 a bad year. It was a hard year but not a bad year.
So often we look upon the year that has just passed to figure out what we did wrong, what went wrong, what we can do better and resolve to do better. That is all well and good. I want you to do better. But wouldn’t it be nice and perhaps helpful to look back on this past year and commemorate all the times we got it RIGHT!!? All the times when life worked in our favor, when all the “stars aligned” and when we met with great success and felt accomplished. Why don’t we take THAT list, bring it to this brand new baby year and let our work be to amplify all the good that happened in 2015!!
Let’s figure out how to hit the accelerator on all the success we have had and put a spotlight on all the good we experienced then maybe, just maybe it will shift our energy as we move into 2016 to create positive change, success and prosperity. It is not just seeing the glass of 2015 as half full, this is about shifting how we think about circumstance. This is about not allowing our conditions to rule our spirit. And isn’t it true that we are all just spiritual beings here to have an experience of humanity? If so, and I believe this to be so, then let’s look back at 2015 with compassion so that we can show up in 2016 as the beautiful, successful, spiritual beings we are and create more of that.
So 2015 wasn’t THAT bad right? You can find some things you want to amplify and create more of right? When we get into the practice of searching for the good, our brains start to automatically scan our world looking for the beauty that is abounding. 2016 is going to fly by and I want you to be able to look back upon this year that is just barely getting started with compassion love, and pride at yourself and all that transpired. So don’t let your focus be to fix the negative. Shift your focus to amplifying the positive. You will see an amazing shift in your world if you do.
Happy New Year. Here’s to living a life you LOVE!
Want to learn how to tap into the joy of living again? There are 3 main ways to get us in motion towards living our DREAM life. Learn how right now!!
To be perfectly honest, it really is no “secret” how to live a life you love. Most of you will read this article say to yourself, “Ya, I know that”, or “Tell me something I don’t know”…But here’s the deal, if you really knew, you would be living it. So I caution you to NOT have the “I know that” syndrome. Read this article with a beginners mind set. And know that even though you may have heard some of this before, today you are listening with new ears. You are not the same person you were 3 years, 3 months, or even 3 days ago…YOU come new to each moment…Welcome!
That first Secret to living a life you LOVE is you must have a Clear Defined Vision. It seems simple right? But I cannot tell you how many times I have asked a client or even a friend what it is they would love for their lives and they cannot quite come up with an answer. So there is a technique that I use that helps me, my friends and my clients tune into their purpose. Two keys in finding your purpose…Notice your LONGINGS and notice your DISCONTENT. What would you like more of? What do you want to dial UP? And what would you like to see less of in your life?
You have to start thinking about what you would LOVE for your life. Seems easy, right? But most of us think about what we believe is possible given our current circumstances, and that is a very different thought process. So the first key is really tapping into the Dream department in your mind to create a clear and defined VISION for your life!!
The second secret to living a life you LOVE is understanding the power of your paradigms. First off, what is a paradigm? It is a set of beliefs you have about the world that has been set up over your lifetime. Society, parents, teachers can all set up a belief system about life that may or MAY NOT be true…Whether it’s “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “You gotta struggle to get ahead” or any other ideas you have about life, yourself and what you can and cannot do, these paradigms can govern your logic and allow you to believe that you are not capable or worthy to live your dream. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right!” And this is true for your paradigms, if you believe you will always be sad and alone…well then you will. If you believe you can do ANYTHING…Well, then you CAN. So the idea here is to understand how your paradigms are creating your thinking pattern! This takes presence and practice to be aware of your thoughts. The next step then is to start changing the pattern if it is not serving you. It can be done! But, it’s like anything else you aim to get good at…you must PRACTICE!
The third Secret to living a life you LOVE is a Support Structure!
No man is an island. No one goes it alone. Having a profound support structure is of paramount importance. There is an entire chapter in “Think and Grow Rich” about the power of a Master Mind group. Hill doesn’t suggest that successful people have support, he says if you don’t have it you can’t possibly be successful! It’s one of his 13 points on how to “Think And Grow Rich”.
Without support, or accountability the gravitational pull towards your old life, the old way of doing things, the old outdated ideas of yourself and what you can and can’t do, is so great that it is easy to let your dream slip away.
We see support structures everywhere. It is most prominent in sports. You see that coach on the field, you or on the court or in the arena. You see it in the gym. You see it at the Oscars/Emmys or any award show when actors thank their acting coaches for bringing them to this level of performance. In business we have coaches. Even Oprah Winfrey during her trial against the meat industry back in the 90s had a coach. You might know his name very well today, but back then he was a total unknown. That person is Dr. Phil McGraw. The point is here, ALL successful people have help!
So to sum it all up, the Three Secrets to living a life you LOVE is having a Clear Defined Vision, Understanding the Power of your Paradigms and having a Support Structure to help keep you on track in fulfilling your dream life. I want this life for you. You deserve to live it. Now go get it!!!
Have you ever taken a guitar lesson? Or maybe piano is your jam? Or maybe you have taken martial-arts or yoga. We have all elected to take a class of some kind in our lives to broaden our horizons or to expand our knowledge and talent base. It’s awesome that we live in a world where we can work to get good at things…I mean if we practice. I myself take yoga now and again and every time I leave class, I know that if I don’t get back into that room soon, the progress I made will all go in the shitter!
When I was in my early 20s I started taking piano. I even rented an upright and had it delivered to my apartment, which if you have never seen a piano delivered to a 2nd floor apartment, is no small feat! I was so excited about that piano and started taking weekly lessons with a teacher on Sundays…until it got hard, I mean real hard. So I stopped. That piano sat and mocked me daily for over a year until I had the men come and pick her up and get her outta my place. It’s much easier going DOWN the stairs with a piano by the way. Anywho, GUITAR is what I really want to learn I thought! I mean, I can carry that thing anywhere and take it to open mic nights and sing!! I can be an actual rock star! So I started taking lessons every week. I started building some callouses and even playing some simple songs. Then, in order to get really good and play some cool songs my fingers were required to “bar”. Getting my fingers to bar was incredibly hard. I mean, I don’t think my hands were made to get into those positions! So I stopped. Sigh…So this idea of getting good at stuff requires practice. I myself have quit multiple things because I was unwilling to practice anymore to get good at it. Now, I am not a slacker in all ways. I do have some discipline and determination when it comes to physical activity. I have gotten really good at Crossfit over the last four years doing pull-ups and Olympic lifting. And I have been taking dance for over 25 years which I now teach as a Zumba Instructor! I love doing physical activity. I even got quite good at running (for me anyway), and ran my first half marathon in March of this year. I am not as good at running now, in November…
So, this idea of practicing to get good at something does not stop with music, dance, martial-arts or any other extra-curricular activity. If it takes practice to get good at guitar, it must also mean it takes practice to master our thinking about ourselves! We all have ideas and beliefs about ourselves due to our up-bringing, our society and our personal history. Sometimes these beliefs about ourselves result in a poor self esteem or a limiting belief system that keeps us locked in our comfort zone. I once heard it said that you can never outperform your own self esteem. That’s no joke! So that said, we better get good at how we think about ourselves. We might never achieve all the grand plans we have for ourselves, let alone even allow ourselves to think about a grand plan, if we don’t up-level how we think about ourselves. We have to start trying on a new identity that is based in possibility, in potential, in our greatest vision of ourselves, not based on our past. And then, like a guitar, we have to keep picking up that new vision of ourselves everyday and practice being “The Woman Who…” or “The Man Who…” You get to finish that sentence. So who do you want to be? Decide. Then practice, practice, practice! We want to get good at thinking about ourselves in the grandest version of the greatest vision we ever had about who we can be! If it is true that we can never outperform our own self image then we have to practice picking up an image every day that reflects our greatness! Even if it is a greatness you cannot yet see in yourself!
As a Life Coach I help clients install new beliefs systems much like one would install a new Operating System into a computer. The difference is a computer does not reject the OS saying “This system is too good for me” or “I don’t think I can handle this new OS, I don’t have any experience with it.” Know what I mean friends? But we reject perfectly wonderful ideas about ourselves simply because we have never seen ourselves in this way before, or someone banged into our head that we are not good enough! Well, I am here to tell you that this is a practice. We practice being fabulous and wonderful and mindful, and up-leveled. We practice practice practice. And when we think we have got it…we practice some more.
Zig Ziglar once said, “People say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it every day.” So, we don’t just put down limiting beliefs one time and let them go forever. No. We put down those beliefs every day and sometimes every hour. It’s like practicing guitar. Getting good at how you think, so that the thoughts you have serve YOU in life, is a practice. Now get back into that yoga class, pick up that guitar, work hard for that black belt, AND remember to keep practicing setting down those limiting beliefs. This is what a wonderful life is all about. Practice makes perfectly, imperfect…so keep practicing!
– See more at: http://michelleakda.com/life-is-a-practice/#sthash.3JuKU7Bs.dpuf