Thursday, October 31, 2013

Going Your Own Way

Going Your Own Way

Have you written your manifesto? I like the word because I like to feel like I am a good manifestrix.

A manifesto is a written statement of goals and beliefs, perfect for we who are cleaning up our acts.

To write my manifesto, I need to know some stuff. I need to know what my goals are. On the one hand, thinking about my goals can make me roll my eyes, I mean, really, free spirits don’t have goals, they just live! They let life unfold before them. They live in the moment. Except that if I don’t have a good idea of where I want to go, I’ll end up somewhere else, and maybe not where I wanna be.

What makes me decide what I want? Why do I choose? How do I know I have preferences?

Thinking about what I do want is so worthwhile in a bunch of ways. When I am clear on what I want, and what I don’t want, I can let go of what I don’t want and put my energies towards what I want.

A clear goal is specific. “I wanna be rich” is not specific. “I will own a million dollars by my birthday in 2018,” That is specific. It has a how much and a by when.

We can do the same with any goal, just make it specific, and be sure to include a by when time.

One of the other things I need to include in my manifesto is some of my beliefs. It is especially helpful to include here things that I want to believe, but maybe haven’t quite accepted yet.

A good place to start is with your Creative Questions card deck. Flip through your deck and notice  the questions  where you get a bump. These are the questions where you have some resistance, the ones you can do a little work on.

When you have your list of goals and beliefs, you are ready to write. Use pen and paper, not the computer, to start. Writing with a pen is a very organic tool to help get your whole system involved.

Do you have a theme you like to live by? Mine shifts around a bit, but the gist is this:

*I believe that each of us has within us our perfect self and our natural life. I see my work as providing a safe place for us to nurture our perfect selves and natural lives.

*I believe that happiness is a choice. I believe that peace is a choice. I believe that I have the power to choose.

*I choose to double my readership by April 2014.
*I choose to publish my ebooks by April 2014
*I choose to simplify my space by April 2014

(In case you didn’t guess, April is my birthday month. That’s a nice goals marker.)

There are a hundred websites that tell you how to write your manifesto. If you feel stuck, use them for inspiration.

If you want my help, message me.

How have I changed from drifting through my life to choosing my own way?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 10312013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Taming the Dragon

Taming the Dragon

I think it’s fascinating how many of us undervalue ourselves. We are a few minutes late for work, we get an overdraft, we come down with a bug, we forget a special date, and we feel like we are bad people.

How do I know I am valuable?

Here’s the rub. If I feel like I’m not worth very much, you will treat me like I’m not worth very much, even if you treat me with respect and kindness. I won’t see respect and kindness, I will see that somehow you treat me poorly. I expect it. Occasionally, we may find someone who bucks our system, but for the most part, we will get back what we put out. That’s how our filters work.

Dang. Stupid Law of Attraction.

What makes me recognize my worth?

So then some of us start to strive. We strive to be good people. Problem is that we fall every time we screw up, and end up feeling worthless and bad again. Sometimes, we have that self-worth sensor set to such a sensitive setting that we never even feel relief, we never get to savor the feeling of being a good person, feeling like a worthwhile contribution.

Some of us just end up saying what the heck, and go for it.

We can feel that dark side of ourselves.

Some of us fight it, some of us give into it. Some of us accept it and move on.

When I fight my dark side, the qualities I dislike most in myself, I see them all over. These are the things I “hate” about other people. I am miserable.

When I give into my dark side, I act out the qualities I dislike most, and deny my light side. I am miserable.

When I accept my dark side, I see the qualities I don’t like, and recognize that I am human. I shoot for excellence, not perfection. I own that I have stuff, and since I don’t have to fight it, I have a little more juice to catch it when I go there, and shift it around. Or I apologize. I used to envision my dark side, my evil twin, as a terrifying monster. Now I see it more as a big but approachable dragon. When I get dark fantasies, I don’t worry that I’m bad, I understand that I might want to take some nurturing care of me.

When I accept me, I accept the light and the dark. I know that the dark side is nurtured by traumas, many of which happened a long time ago. The more I feel plagued by my dark side, the better I will feel when I release my old crap. My dragon feeds on stress, fatigue, hunger, lonesomeness, guilt, and worry. The more of those I get, the more “dark side” I feel. When I get enough rest, when I eat well, have some fun moving my body, spend time with people I love, release guilty and worry, my dragon goes to sleep, so to speak. And I can see my value, I can feel my worth, and recognize my contribution.

How have I changed from fighting my dark side to loving my whole self?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 10302013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How to Cultivate Leisure

How to Cultivate Leisure

Did you know that the word “school” comes from the ancient Greek word for leisure? The point was that you have time to study if you aren’t scrabbling everyday just to put food on the table, if you have a table.

So now most of us have leisure time, that is, time when we aren’t at work. The question I put to you is this: How do you spend your leisure time?

If you are like a lot of people I know, you have your time off packed so full that there is hardly time to breathe. With your stuff, and your kids’ stuff, there isn’t time to lollygag, or dillydally. It’s the time we get to ask my favorite question, “What do I want to do next?”

What I have found out is that I have to put it on my calendar. I do what I can to have three chunks of lollygagging time a week, two with friends and one alone.

What makes me lollygag?

I have also discovered that building sleek routines into my days gives me more time to be flexible, to be spontaneous, and still get done what I need to get done.

I check the weather report and my todo list, give the cats their snack, prep my work satchel for the next day, and make sure I know where my boots/umbrella/sunglasses etc are for leaving the house.

I lay my clothes out for tomorrow, put on my jammies, and practice my qigong in one fluid motion.

I hang up my coat, put my keys in the bowl, set my cell phone out for recharging all as one thing.

Why do I enjoy my routines?

I don’t do those things without thinking, I do notice what I’m doing, but they are my groove, and since I am not reinventing the wheel every day, I figure I gain about 20 minutes in the morning for 10 minutes in the evening. I like that return. Plus, my mornings stay calmer, so my day starts smoother.

Why am I peaceful?

Sometimes, what we need to do with our leisure time is waste it. Wasting time, as a treat, is a glorious thing. Giving myself an hour to lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling, so to speak, is rare treasure for me.

And like so many treats, more of it doesn’t make us feel better, but can set up a routine that leaves us feeling depleted, guilty, and bad. It’s like procrastinating. And when I can find the beginning of the habit loop, and disrupt it, I take control again over my habits.

What do I want to do next?

How have I changed from filling up my free time to savoring my time off?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 10292013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Opulent Support

Opulent Support

What would it mean if all creation is for you? If all creation is meant to support your happy life? What if everything is here to help you live your best life?

What would that be like? Can you imagine it now? How would it feel if every breath of air, every sip of water, every leaf, every microbe were supporting your personal well being and evolution?

When you imagine that, where do you feel that support in your body? Where do you feel it in your emotions? In your spirit? Why would you deserve to feel so supported?

When I feel that kind of lavish, unconditional support, I feel empowered. I feel powerful. I own my super powers.

When I feel that kind of support, I trust that I can cope with the flow of my life, whatever comes my way. (Notice that I didn’t say “like” but rather “cope.” Nothing in the rule book that says I have to like it, just that it’s best if I don’t fight it, if I allow it, let it flow.)

Cultivating my super powers; decision and choice, creativity, compassion, wisdom, engagement, and peace, to name a few, cultivating my sense of being supported by my environment, being a part of the natural order, all these things help me bring my essence to fruition, help me cultivate my particular set of skills and talents, help me feel included, engaged, connected, and supported, help me love and be loved unconditionally.

I like those feelings.

I endeavor to remember, when something happens that I’m not crazy about, to look for the gift.

I endeavor to remember, when someone is giving me a hard time about something, to slow down on the inside, to feel compassion, and to remember that I like to behave in a grown up manner, so I don’t have to be apologizing for acting like a jerk all the time.

I endeavor to remember that when I am feeling scared, or anxious, or worried, or pissed off, that I am in a habit loop and can change my response quickly and easily. That having those feelings is like a warning light on my dashboard that I am responding in a funky way, and resisting the flow.

I endeavor to remember that my desire to evolve as a person isn’t everyone’s choice. It doesn’t have a qualitative stamp on it, and is only as useful as I make it. (I had a really intense spiritual experience the other day, super cosmic, and came away from it with the understanding that 1) I had witnessed a Truth, and 2) beyond being really fun and interesting, it doesn’t make any difference. Hilarious! )

I endeavor to remember that my body is telling me stuff all the time about how I am. My physical well being is tied in to my mental well being, my emotional well being, and my spiritual well being. When I remember that, If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your oxygen mask first, and then assist the other person.” That is, I make sure I am paying attention to what I need as well as to what I can do to help you.

When I remember that all creation is for me, I can relax.

How have I changed from fearing outside influences to trusting they are for my benefit?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 10282013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reeling Tyche

Reeling Tyche

The last few weeks have been full of car, um, situations. It’s been super interesting to me for one important feature, namely, I have felt extremely lucky.

On the one hand, it culminated in $800 worth of repairs. On the other hand, it could have been as much as $2300 if my shop weren’t so honorable, and thrifty. On the third hand, two of the things that went wrong could have been deadly.

I am so lucky.

It got me thinking about luck, our attitudes about luck.

I used to think that luck, like happiness and connection, came from outside me. I really did.

I thought that there was some force like, Tyche, the blind goddess who reels and staggers around whomping into folks and changing their lots in life. Some people always seemed to get whomped goodwise, and others always got whomped badwise.


Turned out I was wrong. Again. I love all the crappy stuff it’s turned out I had wrong.

Luck isn’t a blind and tipsy goddess, luck is an attitude.

Why am I so fortunate? What makes things go my way? How do things always work out for me?

When I am all focused on how awful stuff is, that’s what I sort for, that’s what I put energy into, and that’s what I notice I’m getting. I start scanning my world for awful, I scan my body for aches, pain, and dis-ease. I scan my activities for draining, or abusive. Oh, yes, I do. And I am one unlucky sombitch.

When I start running Creative Questions that imply good fortune, things shift. I sort for good things. I seek silver linings, I notice how good I feel, I see nice things happening for me, I notice all the things I do that are fun or rewarding. I feel so blessed.

And the more I do, the more I do. Feel lucky, that is.

So it turns out I am my own lucky charm.

The day the car stopped dead in the parking lot, not on the freeway, not in the middle of the busy street during marathon celebrations, I had twenty minutes sitting in the car in the rain, to think about my attitude. I could easily have gone all pissy. My plans for my day were shot. I knew a new alternator was gonna cost.

And then I remembered that I had drawn the “Playful” card, and decided to have fun instead. And I ended up noticing how lucky I’d been, the rain cleared so I could do my errands shanksmare, and felt satisfied at the end of the day.

I am the only one who can decide how my life goes. Things happen to everyone. I decide if I will be beaten by them, or thrive.

How have I changed from wallowing in adversity to showering myself in blessings?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 10272013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Adding My Light

Adding My Light

What a difference you make. Just showing up. You have such an impact on so many people, do you even know that? I love to ask you from time to time just to remind you that you are being seen. People notice the little sweet things you do. even if they don’t say.

Did I tell you that one of the habits I have instilled in me is blurting out compliments?

I love doing that.

One reason I love to do it is that we all mostly like a spontaneous compliment. It’s fun to have a stranger say, “Cute shoes!” or “That was so kind of you” or “I saw you help that person.”

It has also put me on the look out for people doing nice things for each other, especially young people. I wonder if you notice those during your day.

I’m not even talking about normal things like holding the door for someone. It can be astonishing to see.

People taking a few minutes to have a conversation with the panhandler on the sidewalk.

People helping someone ladened down with heavy boxes.

People buying ahead in coffee shops.

People expressing appreciation for little things that people do, beyond a conventional thank you.

What are your favorite ways to help people?

I like to do what I like to have happen. So I will tuck quarters around the public hallways at my day job, since I think it’s fun to find money. Sometimes I even get to see a person spot one. The value of a quarter is considerable when it is found money.

I like to feel like my efforts are appreciated, so I like to voice my appreciation to the person, to their boss, and to write little thank you notes.

I like to ask questions of the clerks who wait on me, and then pay attention to their answers. So often, the job they are doing is a Clark Kent job, that their passion is music or acting or they are in business school.  

Sometimes they tell you a very tender personal thing, and then they get to have a stranger care.

Sometimes the stuff they tell me is kind of creepy.

Sometimes they ignore me. Oh, well.

Little interactions like this serve, among other things, to remind us that we live together. That we need each other, and can help make each other’s lives a little nicer or a little colder. That we each have our own ways of coping with the flow of life.

Little interactions with strangers we encounter in normal situations reminds us that we each are naturally important to each other for so many reasons. That a simple gesture of kindness or compassion can be a highpoint in someone’s day.

How have I changed from spewing negativity to bringing a little light to the world?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 10262013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Betrayal, Perfidy, Dishonesty

Betrayal, Perfidy, Dishonesty

I could care less, but I like how much I care now. Or, rather, I like what I care about now.

Didn’t always used to be like that.

Back in the dark ages, I used to worry about everything. One of the things I liked to worry about was what felt like my lack of compassion. What was wrong with me that he was crying and I was unmoved? I felt so much better when I found out that I often don’t feel anything when I’m being emotionally manipulated. Good to know. I’ve saved a lot of money on emotionally manipulative movies, and learned to steer clear of emotionally manipulative people.

Why do I learn from my emotions?

Back in the dark ages, I held on tight to resentments. I would regularly pull out and burnish betrayals. I hung onto hurts. I took it all personally. I even worried that strangers were talking about me. Life was exhausting.

Back in the dark ages, your opinion of me was worth more to me than my opinion of me. In fact, your opinion of me often became my opinion of me. But only if it were poor. Opinions in general were not my strong suit, except for all my negative emotional judgments. I couldn’t tell you my favorite colors (today, magenta) or my favorite foods (today, soup) or my favorite kind of music (today, Cantopop from the 40s and 50s). How do I know what I like?

Oh, dear, life was complicated back in the dark ages.

And then I started to take responsibility for me. And then stuff started to get better. And I felt better. I felt lighter. Life felt easier.

When I rehearse my bad feelings about something someone did to me that I didn’t like, I’m not changing anything for the better, I just hurt me. I stunt my emotional growth, I hold a negative vibe around me, and I make my life harder in general.   

Why would I choose to let go?

When I seek revenge for a perceived wrong, I am perpetuating a set of negative interactions, and sometimes I am escalating that bad scene. If I want to evolve, I have to stop that. And, while I often find revenge movies entertaining, revenge is not a mature or compassionate lifestyle.

Why do I choose to forgive?

By going inside and cleaning out my resentments, I make a big difference in the quality of my days. I have a lot more room for nice feelings, feelings like bliss, or joy, satisfaction, peace, that sort of thing.

By going inside and cleaning out my resentments, I make room in my perceptions for you to grow. If I am stuck, you are going to seem stunted to me, too. But as I mature, as I forgive, and release my old crap, I become willing to see you make progress in your life, too, and our relationship can grow. I like that.

How have I changed from anchoring me to my past with resentments, to letting go and feeling free?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 10252013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How to Chinwag Good

How to Chinwag Good

You know how much I like to talk about super powers. Probably comes from all the hours I stole from sleep to spend reading Superman comics in the middle of the night. Be that as it may, learning to harness our super powers transforms our lives.

Because learning to harness our powers for good is part of growing up, and not harnessing them causes all sorts of trouble.

Empathy one of yours? Until you learn to control it, you can end up feeling crazy, rageful for no reason, sobbing, and so on. Uncontrolled empathy is exhausting.

Creativity is another one. Uncontrolled creativity will often manifest as worry. Uncontrolled creativity loves to play the “what’s the worst that could happen” game at 3:00 AM. Bwahahaha!

Decision and Choice are wonder twin super powers. Unharnessed, we can find ourselves making amazingly awful decisions over and over again, hideous choices that can have a deleterious impact for years.

The one I’ve been thinking about today is communication.

Crappy communication destroys worlds.

Learning to communicate effectively was very interesting, and very challenging. I specialized in snark. My sarcasm had a laser edge and I slashed with it. (I am so sorry that I hurt you with my words.) I could scream hysterical ravings with the best of them, I was a blamer and a shamer, and would try to guilt you into the next country. I hated me, and so I hated you. I often spoke to you as though you were an idiot. (I am so sorry.) I craved your company, longed for kind words, but was pretty much deaf to them.

Crappy communication skills do weird things.

I actually had to take communication classes, and practice like mad at first, but, as is so often the case for me, it’s really paid off.

For example. Unless you are warning me of danger imminent, yelling is just emoting, and once you start yelling, I hear yelling, not communication. It floods me with adrenaline and can easily lead to things getting way out of hand.

For example. “You” statements are likely to fire up the listener, especially if there is a conflict.

For example. Being vague or circuitous leads to huge misunderstandings.

Turning communication into a super power is a multi-faceted undertaking. I have to want to improve my communication skills. I have to have some respect for me, and some respect for you. I have to be willing to change what I’ve always done, and to allow new stuff in. I have to be willing to experience what changes clear, respectful communication brings. Sometimes the hardest thing is tolerating good stuff when I’m not used to it. On the other hand, clarifying my communications makes life easier because I have said, “1, 2, 3,” and you responded with, “4, 5, 6.”

How have I changed from communicating poorly to enjoying communicating effectively?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved 10242013