Why You Have to Change Your Mind

flower - 1“Whatever is lovely, true, noble, right, pure, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy, think on such things.”

Philippians: 4.8

Recently, I descended into my ego again.  You know…..that arrogant, conceited, pompous state of mind that criticizes and deprecates everything and everyone around her.  That braggart who knows more, is better than, who gets pulled into convincing herself she’s superior to those around her.

Why do we do that?  It’s obvious, isn’t it?  Well, something or someone caused me to doubt myself, so my ego was on the watch for  ways to convince me that I am more than I fear I might not be.

I remember, in the past, how I would stay in that frame of mind for days, weeks, months.  I’ve even been there for years.  My disparaging thoughts would shift from thinking about other people to judging myself, depending on my vantage point.

Now that I know better, it’s hard to conceive how I could allow that pac man invasion to continue.  But I didn’t know better.

When I was in the midst of that mindset, I couldn’t sleep.  I didn’t get much accomplished.  I kept looking for something outside of myself to make me feel better.  And some things helped for awhile.  But not for long…..ever.

It wasn’t until that mentality began to not just attack my mind but began to assault my body, too, that I finally asked for help.  My need to prove to myself that I was good enough and I was worthy was now causing me to have not just thoughts to deal with, but real bodily concerns.

I surrendered and looked for help.  Some books provided insight into what was happening to me.  Some suggested using positive affirmations. Others gave me new ways to see my circumstances in a more positive way.  Again they helped for awhile, but not in the long run.

Negativity entrenches itself into your mind because we fear we’re not okay.  This is a part of a natural fight or flight response our bodies uses to help us stay safe.  In the midst of an onslaught of negativity, it’s impossible to change your mind.  The voice in your mind is just too loud.  But there is a process you might do to find happiness and peace once again:

  • Don’t react to the thoughts as you listen to them.
  • Instead, observe the thoughts.  You’re not the one thinking them.
  • Something magical happens when you acknowledge and disassociate with the negativity.  Negativity loses it’s hold in your mind.
  • Once the  thoughts lose momentum, replace those thoughts with some thoughts that make you happy, like the ones in the quote above.

As you keep practicing this, you’ll begin to notice that it’s getting easier and easier to know when you need to stop thinking the thoughts that make you suffer.  You’ll be able to turn around the negativity quicker.

Appreciation of what you see around you, all that which makes you feel good, is a higher vibration.  The vibration of Love is where Happiness resides.  Embrace happiness and help yourself and the world heal.

 

Painting a Picture

couple for wordpress - 1

This commissioned painting is one of the last I recently completed.  I copied a picture I was asked to reproduce.  I did make a few changes, though.  For instance, I wanted to have the couple walking towards something, and that turned out to be the light in the background.  Everyone who’s seen the painting is impressed with how real the painting looks, telling me, “It looks like a picture.”

I asked myself, “Why paint something when all you manage to achieve is something that looks like something else?”  That question led me to question why I wasn’t painting what I really wanted to paint.  I’ve always wanted to paint something like a Chagall, something ethereal.  Or something so spiritual, it would stop the viewer in his/her tracks trying to figure out why the painting seemed to speak to their soul.

I found that the answer I was so easily able to express ended up being charged with all the reasons I haven’t painted what I really want to be able to do.  I’m afraid that if I allow my subconscious to control the outcome, people will judge me for what I painted.  If I give up control, I’m afraid that something I’d rather not see will emerge in the painting.  Painting out of my control will make me feel vulnerable.

I’m ready to tackle those fears now.  How about you?

Hiding

woman-and-flowers-1

As I was looking through pictures of my paintings to post on my blog, I came across this one.  I painted this several years ago while my life was changing and I was facing challenges.  When I paint, sometimes I don’t understand what motivated me to paint what I did at the time.  In many of those instances it might take several years to realize what I couldn’t have before.

When I first painted the woman in this painting, at first her image was dominant, then she began fading , becoming muted into the background.  I write this as if she played a part in the actual painting of herself, and of course an image in a painting can’t do the painting, but she represented what I was feeling and it was the feelings  deep inside me that led the decisions I made painting.

I realized today that she had faded because she’d been going into hiding.  So apropos for what I want to share today, because she was me as I allowed fear to cause me to run into hiding while in the midst of a challenge.  When we dismiss our fear by hiding rather than confronting it, we lose that part of us that is alive, creative and inspired.  We sink deep into mindlessness, doing out of rote and necessity instead of out of a higher calling of purpose.

And, even more dire and harmful circumstances can evolve when we aren’t connected to our higher vibrations of love and peace.  It’s not because we’re bad that this occurs.  It is because fear creates more to fear.  In my case, each time I tried to hide to stay safe, I experienced physical repercussions.  Luckily none were severe and life-changing, but they did cause me to question why this was happening to me.  In each case I investigated, I discovered the fear that had sent me into hiding in the first place.

In the case of this painting, the fear was one of being afraid to move forward.  Actually, that was the same fear I have had countless times, but I’m stubborn, I guess, because I had to allow the fear to stop me so many times I finally was able to get the message that not doing anything about the fear would end up like this, the fear producing more situations to fear.

So, if you want to be free of fear, listen to it, tell it you know you’ve been afraid of this before but you’re no longer going to let that fear stop you.  Then take one step to confront the fear.  Providence will take over after that one step, or after several more steps, but those deliberate steps you make in the direction of what you once feared will melt the fear away.

 

 

Curiousity

judy-1

When we were as young as this toddler above, curiosity was something we practiced every day.  We were open to learning.  It was exciting to discover.

As adults, we have formed opinions, we have built judgements based on what we think is right and what’s wrong, and we have taken on beliefs that have been passed on to us.  Our thoughts run the gamut of ways that we have used in the past to keep us safe, to remind us how best to act, and, sometimes, they are self critical.  All this thinking keeps us from new possibilities, from new perceptions, and seeing anything creatively.

We have lost the art of curiosity.  We are no longer open to learning.  We are so satiated with all we’ve experienced and seen that we no longer look to discover.

I’m not saying that we have to start over.  The point I want to make is that, maybe, there’s more.  Maybe, if we were open to it, we might discover a better way to do something.  Maybe, if we were more eager to discover, we would come upon something innovative that would make our lives more meaningful.  Surely there must be a better way of being when we realize we’re not as happy with our life anymore.

The world is in a state of flux right now.  A lot of us are questioning why there’s so much more tumult in the world today.  There is a lot of change going on now.

The only way, in my opinion, to get through all this change is to begin questioning.  To begin to be curious about everything that impacts us.  To allow ourselves to not take everything so seriously and to open up to possibilities.

We get the choice to focus on what we want to.  Choose to focus on something that excites you.  Be curious.  Open yourself up to discover more.  Learn more about yourself and what makes you happy.

You’ll be glad you did.  You’ll discover more and be led to more possibilities for your life.  You’ll free yourself from the mindless chatter in your mind, and you will be happier.

More about this later.  In the meantime, I invite you to ask questions and leave comments. Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

 

Reflections

cropped-womans-reflection-in-water-1-2.jpgreflection-1

I’m in the process of making a blog design makeover.  I also want to continue writing about change.  Change is a constant.  From one moment to the next, each moment is different in some way.

When we resist change, thinking, “Oh, no, I don’t want to go there”, you’re perceiving something that scares you.  Think of it this way, say something comes up in your life, like for me now, when I realize I have to make changes on my blog in order to be able to achieve all I want for the blog.  My first reaction is, an emphatic, “No way!”  I’m no techie, I don’t know what I’m doing with all that, I’ll fail miserably.

Well, guess what?  If you want to go forward, there will always be something that scares us to do.  Take the painting above.  I got to an impasse after I painted the woman on top.  How was I going to best express the woman in the water at the bottom of my painting?What did I want to convey?  (I can’t remember, but I think that what scared me was having no idea what I wanted to convey.)

I let the painting sit for awhile…not too long to encourage more fear to come up.  And, if it had, I would’ve jumped right back into the painting and would’ve taken one stroke at a time, each step closer to something that would inspire to continue.  Baby steps, one after another, always lead to BIG changes.

The inspiration for what to do with the reflection of the woman in the water came out of these baby steps.  The idea came from deep inside myself, from feeling like my not knowing what to do was telling me that this reflection was complete as it already was, a line drawing in ink I’d made before.  All that was needed was the transparency of the water to finish the whole painting.

Fear is an indicator that you’re focused on the future.  Once you let those thought dissipate, try to talk to yourself, tell yourself that there’s just right now, and right now you can try something out.  If it doesn’t work, that’s okay.  Now you know what doesn’t work.  In the next moment, try something new.  Something happens that’s amazing if you keep at it.  At one of those moments, an idea comes out of the blue, one that excites and thrills you, and you feel more powerful, more unlimited than you ever have.

This blog is about going from ordinary to extraordinary and there’s no way to get there without risk.  Try it, see it as a choice instead of a challenge.  And then play and have fun with it.  Change will never be the same spooky and intimidating experience ever again.