Your Own Personal Meditation

Wholeness and your connection to your authentic self always exist within you, but when you become stressed that inner clarity can become clouded leaving you feeling unhappy, lost, and unsure of yourself. When this happens it is time to stop, quiet your mind, open your heart and reconnect with your soul and the Divine.

I was reading an article in this morning’s paper about how meditation has gone viral. It is no longer a fringe activity. Even the medical profession and the corporate world are whole-heartedly embracing it. Why? The answer is simple; we are living in extremely stressful times and you don’t have to look too hard to find some research about the short and long term effect of ongoing stress.

With this in mind, should you cultivate some form of meditation practice, or reflective stepping out of the fast lane in your life?  Probably. Do you need to go on a retreat to learn a specific form of meditation? Probably not.

Meditation does not have to be tied to a particular religion, though most religions have practices like prayer or chanting that help can an individual step out of the stress of day-to-day life, quiet their mind, open their heart and listen deeply to their inner guidance.

From my perspective, the aim of meditation is to activate the parasympathetic nervous system—basically move you out of reactivity or fight or flight and into your conscious problem-solving mind. This can be done in many ways, but there are some key components: the slowing and deepening of the breath and the purposefully focusing of the mind.

When my children were very young, like many working mothers, I didn’t have a lot of free time, but I also knew that if I didn’t purposely de-stress my system on a daily basis, I couldn’t be present and I would be more reactive and unconscious in my parenting. So I began converting my daily routines into a meditation practice.

I am a firm believer that most of our daily activities can be turned into a reflective, soul feeding and transformative activities. On the other hand you can change a profoundly transformative activity like yoga into a competitive non-restorative activity. Meditation helps us become present in the moment. This is important, because when we are present in the moment we have the capacity to transform inaccurate beliefs and perceptions and ultimately create a life that is a more accurate reflection of our authentic self. This is why some kind of daily meditation practice is good.

As we come to the final weeks of winter, I suggest you take the time to transform at least one activity each day into your own personal form of mediation—remember it is not what you do, it is how you do it. Vacuuming the rug, washing dishes, folding laundry and even picking up toys off the floor can become a restorative practice. You merely need to focus on your breath and link your breath with your movement. This will get you out of your thinking mind and into the present moment. Inhale as you move the vacuum forward and exhale as you move it back. Inhale as you swirl the sponge over the dish, and exhale as you rinse. Exhale as you lean over to pick up a toy or dirty sock and inhale as you straighten up.

Years ago when I was teaching aerial movement one of the challenges I used to give my students was to move from one side of the studio to the other (a 30 foot distance) in five minutes. From the moment they started they needed to stay in constant motion and they also needed to take the full five minutes getting to the other side. This incredibly simple activity helped them become more aware of their body, quiet their mind, and drove them into the present moment, and into their conscious mind.

Create a simple practice for yourself and you will see how simple it is to shift into the conscious mind and reconnect with yourself and what is really important to you.

Also, if you use an activity like vacuuming, washing the dishes or picking up toys off the floor for your meditation you will have the added benefit of a clean house.

Nancy Marie is leading a three-hour interactive workshop at the Wesak Celebration in Mount Shasta, CA. This is the first year that Wesak (The Celebration of the Birthday of Buddha) has offered an in-depth interactive workshop.  This is also the first time that Nancy has taught both The Beckoning Song of your Soul techniques and the I Create What I Believe! art activities in the same workshop. Participants are in for a real treat!

Title: Restoring Balance and Rekindling Inner Wisdom

Date: Saturday May 2, 2015

Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Location: Mount Shasta, CA

For more information or to register for this event: http://wesak.us/index.php?ref=NancyMarie

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! program, Nancy Marie or her books: http://www.ICreateWhatIBelieve.com or http://www.InnerEyePublishing.com

A Time for Self-Reflection, and Change

Winter is the time when all of nature takes a deep breath and goes inward. It is a time for self-reflection, deep healing, changing of perceptions and gaining clarity about who we are and what wants to be born through us in the spring. It is during this winter cycle that many people make News Year’s resolutions. I did this as a teenager, but by the time I was in my mid-twenties I found it was more beneficial for me to practice deep listening to what wanted to be born in the upcoming year.

This was not a quick process in the beginning, rather it required me to learn how to use my breath and subtle movement in my body to still my mind, and become deeply rooted in the present moment. I have talked about in recent newsletters how I accomplished this with my artwork, aerial movement, and sound and movement meditation. I have also mentioned how activities as simple as scribbling or even vacuuming your living room can be used to pull you out of discord and into alignment with yourself and your purpose.

Life is really quite simple, but we are bombarded with so many distractions and such an overwhelming amount of stimulation it is easy to lose our focus and in the process lose track of our chosen path and ourselves. At the same time, if you take the time (and it can be as little as five minutes every hour) to go inward and still yourself you will find that you are far clearer, and more productive throughout your day. You also might find that your life is filled with a deeper richness and sense of purpose.

You don’t have to set aside a special time to meditate. You can just focus on deep abdominal breathing every time your car is stopped at a red light. You can also turn washing the dishes, making the bed or vacuuming the living room into a meditation. You can scribble, doodle, draw, knit, sing, or do a million other things to still your mind. It is not what you do, it is how you do it that decides if you are going to create more stillness in your system or create more internal chaos in your system.

The reason I find stillness so important is that it is in the stillness that I am reminded of my innermost needs. I also become more aware of my tolerance or intolerance for the opposite states of chaos (unpredictability) and order (predictability).  I used to resist and try to override this innate sensitivity, but now I use it as a barometer or gauge to help me stay on course. This awareness is a steady reminder to let go of my agenda, listen deeply, and make appropriate choices for me. When I don’t, my system gets out of balance, I lose my clarity and my health and vitality diminishes.

We only have about nine more weeks of winter. If possible, take the time during this inward season to go deep within yourself and get clear on what wants to be born though you in the spring. This will set a tone and direction for your whole year.

On January 31, 2015 Nancy Marie is leading an all-day I Create What I Believe! workshop for preschool teachers, parents or individuals working with young children at Shasta College in Redding, CA.

For more information and to register: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/i-create-what-i-believe-tickets-14362096417

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! Program: http://www.icreatewhatibelieve.com/

Water

I recently had the opportunity to attend a writing group. For a couple of hours we spontaneously wrote and shared the thoughts, and images that sprung in our mind from a single word. This painting of words was a very uplifting and inspiring experience, because it fed my soul in a very deep way.

One of the words we wrote about was water. Before that day I had not thought about how water, when poured from one container to another holds its integrity, and yet at the same time it has the capacity to fill the new space or shape. Listening to the discussion I realized that this was a great metaphor for the challenge of life –To remain who we really are as we flow from one situation to another.

I, like water, am who I am—no better and no worse. I, like water, also have the ability to moisten and give life, or to flood, ravish and change the shape of life.  Both are acts of creation and both have value. But which one do I choose? The answer lies in being present in the moment. This is what this simple act of sitting with others with only paper and a pencil gave back to me.

As we come to the end of fall, the season of letting go that which we no longer need, I think returning to simplicity and creativity are a great way to reconnect deeply with yourself and become more present in the moment. The act of creating and authentic sharing in the writing group that day pulled me so fully into the moment that I became aware of how parched, disconnected and drained I can become if I don’t create. For me it is as important as breathing.

As you move into the Holiday season remember that taking the time to create something can help you sooth you jangled nerves, restore balance, help you stay in touch with yourself and be fully present in the moment. The act of creating can be as simple as making an arrangement for your table, cooking some good food, or taking some pictures to share with friends.

In the act of creating, we step out of automatic behavior to make something new and in the process we activate our conscious problem-solving mind. If you can stay in your conscious mind during the Holidays Season, then you can avoid the usual over-doing, and over-extending and have a reasonably stress-free Holiday.

On January 31, 2015 Nancy Marie is leading an all-day I Create What I Believe! workshop for preschool teachers, parents or individuals working with young children at Shasta College in Redding, CA.

For more information and to register: https://icwib.eventbrite.com

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! Program: http://www.icreatewhatibelieve.com/

ATTENTION all preschool teachers!

Nancy Marie is teaching a four-part I Create What I Believe!(ICWIB) workshop for preschool teachers in Medford, Oregon. The training begins October 2, 2014 and is funded through the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities Inclusive Child Care Program. See attached Flyer for details of this amazing opportunity to receive the ICWIB training for FREE.

To register call: Child Care Resource Network at: 541-842-2610 or 541-842-2590

For more information about the training you can contact Nancy Marie at: info@innereyepublishing.com.

Head Start Teachers’ Stories

Earlier this year, I had  the opportunity to teach the I Create What I Believe!(ICWIB) program to 22 wonderful Head Start teachers who teach at nine different schools in Shasta County, California. They did a remarkable job of adapting and implementing the program into their classrooms in a very short period of time.  They said the children really enjoyed the program and they all saw noticeable changes in both their students and classrooms. I spent the last two months creating nine short videos so they could share their experience and stories with you. I hope you enjoy them.

If after viewing these videos, you feel inspired to learn and use the ICWIB program in your classroom, please contact me about upcoming trainings. It has been very exciting to see how the ICWIB program can make a significant difference in children’s lives.

I look forward to sharing the ICWIB program more in the upcoming year.

Nancy Marie

To view the videos: http://www.icreatewhatibelieve.com/inaction.html

To contact Nancy Marie about ICWIB training: info@innereyepublishing.com

For more information about the ICWIB program: http://www.icreatewhatibelieve.com/

Finding Your Rudder

When I was a teenager my father, a man of very few words, once said to me, “There is only one person in the world that you need to care about what they think of you—make sure you can look at them in the mirror every morning.” At the time, I thought he was telling me to be honest, and think about the consequences of my choices before I made them.

Now many years later, I think he wasn’t just talking about being accountable for my day-to-day choices, but was telling me to go deeper, and ponder the ‘why’ of my choices. I think he was trying to help me see that the reason I was bouncing around like a little boat without a rudder on the ocean was I didn’t have a clear sense of purpose or direction—especially not one that spoke deep enough to my heart that it could help me overcome my fears, ineffective behaviors, and handicaps.

It has taken me a lot of years, but I have come to see that having a clear sense of purpose and a commitment to that purpose can serve as a rudder that can guide you through the rocky waters of every day life. A sense of purpose can also serve as a solid foundation for good, and solid choices to grow from.  Our day-to-day focus can change as we move through life, but I have also found that within each of these ever-changing road markers there is usually a consistent thread. In my mind, this is purpose.

Purpose, from my perspective, is a burning desire or a calling to make a difference in a specific way for a specific reason. When I was younger I wanted to make a difference, but since I lacked a rudder of clear purpose I ran around trying to fix everything and everyone. My clear sense of purpose now is like a lens that I look through or frame my every choice.

Finding my purpose and holding tight to that thread has made me strong, and provided me with an unlimited supply of inspiration, creativity and courage. Whenever I question a choice or response, and I do it often, I force myself to go back to step zero-my purpose and look through that lens. From that vantage point I ask myself a series of questions: Why do you want to do or say that? Does this choice move you further away or closer to the change you want to facilitate? Is this choice driven by old fears and learned patterns or is this choice really in alignment with the difference you want to make in the world? Sometimes I have my answer quickly and sometimes it can take me several days to unravel the maze of confusion to find my answer. It is my father’s words and my commitment to my purpose that gives me the strength to keep going until I have my answer.

I have also found that a true sense of purpose often stems from our life experience—a wrong we want to make right. Our sense of purpose can come from an experience we had as children or something that we saw others endure that had a deep impact on our perception of life, sense of justice and/or our ability to thrive.

I found a thread of my purpose when I was 30.

I was standing on the corner of Fillmore and Jackson in San Francisco waiting to take the bus to the financial district to teach a movement class, when all of a sudden my life began flashing before my eyes. This was not a death experience, but rather an opportunity for me to see and experience how different my life and my relationship with my mother would have been if she had known what I had come to know through art and movement. It was at that moment that I made pledge to Universe and myself that I would do everything I could to help other moms and children have a better chance to grow and thrive. Since that moment my life has taken many twists and turns, but my father’s words and my commitment to my pledge to make a difference has given my boat a rudder.

The I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) program is an outgrowth of that pledge. It has proven over the last 10 years to be a very effective tool for helping adults, parents, and children reduce stress, change perceptions, discover their authentic nature, make healthier choices and create more success in their life. Over the years it has been very rewarding to witness individuals move out of reactive patterns and create new more conscious responses. About three years ago I was given the opportunity to teach the ICWIB program to preschool teachers. The result has been beyond my wildest dream.

I was delightfully surprised by how quickly a 2 ½ and 3 year old could learn to identify when they were in their subconscious or reactive mind vs. their conscious problem-solving mind. I also pleased to hear how quickly they were able to switch from their reactive behavior autonomously using the ICWIB activities. Weekly I was hearing stories of children using the ICWIB activities to calm intense emotions and re-enter cooperative play effortlessly. I also heard stories of how the activities helped children express their needs, and move through difficult situations gracefully. These stories have touched my heart because what the teachers were seeing and I was hearing was the fruits of my pledge to the Universe.

Everyone has a purpose and everyone can make a difference, you just need to choose to look through that lens and  move through your day in that way.

I invite you to explore the free ICWIB activities on our website: http://www.innereyepublishing.com/support/ as a way to help you reconnect with your authentic nature and purpose. If you are interested in exploring the program further join us on facebook or sign-up for our free newsletter so we can let you know about upcoming events, both locally and globally, that are available to the general public.

For more information about the ICWIB program: http://www.icreatewhatibelieve.com/

Reconnecting with the Ebb and Flow of Life

Our family moved to the seashore when our daughter was three and for several years my life revolved around the constant ebb and flow of the tide. Early each morning my daughter and I would walk on the beach to see what “gifts” the ocean had brought to us. Sometimes we would find shells or smooth pieces of glass, while other times we would find interesting seaweed, a broken toy, or parts of an old boat. We would collect our treasures and head home for breakfast.

Over our morning meal, we would make up stories about where the different treasures had come from, and how they ended up in the ocean. It was great fun, each story becoming more elaborate than the one before. In the late afternoon, at low tide, we would hide gifts in the sand or build a castle using the treasures we had found in the morning. Then the following morning we would run like children on Christmas day out to the beach to see what was taken and to see what was left behind.

The ebbs and flows of life can rip things from our grip in a second, but they can also bring us unexpected gifts—just as the ocean does. Sometimes when our view of life becomes too fixed or limited, it takes a major force of nature to release us from what we no longer need (or need to be) and in its place leave us with new life opportunities.

In order to see the new opportunities as a gift instead of being caught up in being distraught about what we have lost, we need to be mindful, and have an inner clarity, and resilience. The development of these qualities begins when we are very young.

While we are growing in our mother’s womb her experience of life is chemically passed to us. If she feels loved, safe and is adequately supported we too benefit from that experience. We receive the belief that life is good and our needs will be met.  On the other hand, if she doesn’t feel loved, safe and isn’t adequately supported this sets up a completely different belief and pattern. We can begin life with the belief that life is a struggle and we probably won’t get what we need. This perspective puts our body in a constant state of stress.

Working with preschool teachers over the last three years I am constantly reminded of how critical this time is in a person’s life. The patterns, beliefs, and behaviors we acquire during this time  set a template for the rest of our life. (Remember our mind will work hard to make sure reality reflects the data we acquired during this time until we change those beliefs, perceptions and/or patterns.)

Working closely with so many wonderful teachers I am really beginning to digest the implications of teaching the ICWIB program to children at this age.  If a child at this age can learn to identify when their system is stressed and restore balance with something as simple as scribbling or drawing circles and lines, it means they don’t have to be shackled by the patterns, beliefs or perceptions of their parents or families. This is huge, but is it really possible?

The teachers I taught last year have had no behavioral referrals since they implemented the program into their classroom and the teachers I taught this spring are already seeing amazing changes in their students.

I am excited when I hear about a child who normally was not able to be focused enough to participate in a group, and now is able to stay engage throughout the whole circle time. I am happy when I hear about a child who normally has difficulty waiting being able to now wait his or her turn, and then stand in front of the whole group and share their story. It thrills my heart when I learn about how a child was able to soothe his or her self with the scribbling, and then join the group; or how a child who normally has had difficulty calming down after being angry and now is able to do it quickly with the scribbling.

Each one of these changes tells me the child is gaining a new and more effective way to restore balance in their biology, and in the process is learning to be mindful. This in turn develops into inner clarity, and resilience.

In these difficult times, when the ebb and flow of life can be unpredictable and harsh, I feel it is important to prepare our youth not only with reading, writing and math, but with ability to trust themselves, speak their truth and to give them simple and effective tools that will help them work with the unpredictable changes of their future. Daniel Pink in his book, The Whole New Mind, says the world currently has a great need for creative, right brain thinkers. He is talking about the same thing. We need to focus now on helping our youth find ways to restore balance in their systems, thus gaining an inner clarity and sense of purpose because that creates resilience—which translates into the ability to weather the storms or changing tides of life.

ICWIB is one way to provide this to our youth. Historically this has been accomplished through creative expression and returning to nature. So, take the time with a child to step away from electronic devices and plastic toys and do something creative. It can be as simple as going for a walk, playing at a park or drawing together in your apartment. Whatever you do, notice how that activity changes your behavior or a child’s behavior. It is that simple.

Remember:
We might have been given poor and ineffective patterns,
but we don’t have to live with them our whole life.

If you are interested in learning more about the I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) program, this upcoming event is open to the public.

Introductory ICWIB presentation
Date: Wednesday April 30th
Location: NHSA in Long Beach, CA
Time: 3:00-4:30
Presenters: Nancy Marie, Kate Ashbey and Cathy Scott
For more information about the conference or the presentation view the conference website: http://www.nhsa.org/?e=events.detail&event_id=108

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! program: www.icreatewhatibelieve.com

We Have a Choice

There has been an explosion of research over the past decade that shows how important the first few years of a child’s life are in terms of social, emotional, and cognitive development. For many years, preschool and infant toddler care providers have focused on helping children compensate and overcome traumatic experiences and home life deficits.

Their devoted work has shown that just because a child has experienced trauma or grew-up in an unstable home doesn’t mean they are destined to create the same life for themselves as an adult. Basically we don’t have to be victims of our past. However, in order to really shed the constraints of the past and be creators of our future, we need to understand how our mind works, what triggers those old ineffective patterns and beliefs, and how to change them.

So let’s begin at the beginning.

While we are growing in our mother’s womb, her beliefs, which are triggered by her experiences, are chemically passed to the growing fetus. So if the mother feels safe and is in a loving and supportive relationship then her body will release chemicals into her bloodstream that send the message to the growing fetus that life is safe, and good.  But if the mother does not feel safe, and adequately supported by her partner or is ingesting substances that alter her brain state then the chemicals that are sent to the growing fetus will send a different message. The message might be, life is difficult, unsafe, and you will not get your needs met or you won’t get the love you need. Unfortunately it doesn’t take into account that the mother’s experiences might be out of the norm or an inaccurate assessment of life.

During this time a child also learns patterns.

Here is an example: The mother has an experience that triggers feelings of angry or fear. The chemical of those emotions is passed through the placenta to the growing fetus and is experienced by the fetus. Now let’ s imagine, that then in response to that feeling or in an attempt to squelch that feeling the mother eats a sugary donut. That sets up a pattern that anger or upset will trigger a desire or need to eat sugar.

Since the child does not realize the limitations of the parent, he or she takes on the pattern, which then sets up a pattern of struggling and ineffective outcomes.

Let me give you another example: When I was growing in my mother’s womb, I experienced a series of traumas. These experiences set up a pattern of fear in my system, which eventually metastasized into an array of learning challenges and medical disorders. For years I felt victimized by what had happened but then in my mid twenties I came to the realization that I could choose a different path and I did. I chose the path of learning and growth instead of the path of fear and victimization.

How did I see that I had a choice? What lead me to that point? I think there were several contributing factors. At the time I was in college studying art, I was very curious by nature, and loved to spend hours observing and pondering things even though I was often riddled with fear.

In my first video, I talk about how I was up late one night trying to finish a drawing that was due the next day. It was an optical illusion done in pen and ink. Since it was due the next morning, and one misplacement of ink would ruin the whole drawing, I had to really pay attention to what I was doing. This created a lot of tension and stress in my system.

So in an attempt to not make a mistake and reduce the tension in my body I drew from my movement background and began using my breath to focus my mind and integrate my body and mind. As I slowed my breathing down and focused on having my breath propel my pen I began to notice changes in my demeanor. At first they were subtle—less tension in my neck and hand. But then I began to notice changes in my breathing and my mindset. I wasn’t wrestling with my usual overwhelming cloud of fear. The more I worked on the drawing the more I noticed I was becoming relaxed, felt lighter and happier. This process went of for several hours as I slowly and carefully finished my drawing.

The thing that really caught my attention the next morning was that the old cloud of apprehension and fear seemed to have disappeared. It was like waking up twenty pounds lighter. I assumed the change was only momentary, but that old cloud remained at bay for quite some time. Where had it gone? Would it return? And what brought about this change? These questions and that sudden change in my consciousness catapulted me into a life long fascination with the mind, and its power to heal.

If you are interested in learning more about the I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) program here are some upcoming events that are open to the public.

Introductory ICWIB presentation
Date: Saturday March 15th
Location: JCAEYC Conference in Medford, Oregon
Time: 10:00- 12:00
Presenters: Nancy Marie and Cathy Scott
For more information please call Sara Stearns at (541) 552-8225 (W) or email her at stearnsms@sou.edu

Introductory ICWIB presentation
Date: Friday April 4th
Location: CAEYC Conference in Pasadena, CA
Time: 10:30-12:00
Presenters: Nancy Marie and Kate Ashbey
For more information about the conference or Nancy and Kate’s presentation view the conference website: http://caeyc.org/main/page/navhome

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! program: www.icreatewhatibelieve.com

Searching for the Real Me

When I was growing up I can remember spending a lot of time trying to be someone I wasn’t. Every year; through junior high and high school I can remember creating a new image or persona before the beginning of school.  This was not just an image in my mind. I created new clothes, a new philosophy and sometimes even a new way of walking and talking.  Each time I would say, “This is the real me!” Unfortunately each time the ‘image’ would last only about a month before I realized that it wasn’t really me. Then I would fall back into my familiar state of silent confusion and disappointment. What I didn’t realize then was that the driving force behind this behavior was the shame I carried about myself.

How could I be me when I had repeatedly been taught that I was hopelessly flawed, inadequate and valueless? To be that person would be too embarrassing. I had to be a different person—one who was smarter, more talented, skinnier, more beautiful, and more lovable.

During my childhood I spent so much time trying to be someone I wasn’t that by the time I was in my early twenties I couldn’t remember who I really was. I remember sitting on a rock by a creek one day trying to digest the reality that I had only a vague sense of who I was, and what I wanted to do. It was at that moment that I set upon an internal crusade to find and reclaim the real me.

This was not something I could talk about to anyone because I was so riddled with shame. So my journey became a silent and solo journey. During this time I tried many things, but the two things I kept finding myself return to was drawing and movement. Whenever I was moving, either my body or my pencil, everything seemed right. I felt okay, content and at peace.

It wasn’t until much later that I began to understand why these two activities were so helpful in guiding me through my internal confusion and helping me eventually learn to be comfortable with and love myself.

The I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) program is really an outgrowth of my own personal journey back to myself. I invite you to explore one of the activities that I have used over the years, and continue to use to reclaim my clarity whenever I lose track of my path or myself. http://www.innereyepublishing.com/support/labyrinth.html

WORKSHOPS:

For the last several years I have primarily been teaching the ICWIB program to teachers and individuals who work with at-risk children.

Now, I am happy to announce three upcoming ICWIB introductory workshops that are open to the public.

Here are the upcoming dates:

Introductory ICWIB presentation

Date: Saturday February 15th

Location: Ruch, Oregon

Time: 11:30 -2:00

Presenter: Nancy Marie

For more information and to register contact Nancy directly at info@inneryepublishing.com

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Introductory ICWIB presentation

Date: Saturday March 15th

Location: JCAEYC Conference in Medford, Oregon

Time: 10:00- 12:00

Presenters: Nancy Marie and Cathy Scott

For more information please call Sara Stearns at (541) 552-8225 (W) or email her at stearnsms@sou.edu.

——

Introductory ICWIB presentation

Date: Friday April 4th

Location: CAEYC Conference in Pasadena, CA

Time: 10:30-12:00

Presenters: Nancy Marie and Kate Ashbey

For more information about the conference or Nancy and Kate’s presentation view the conference website: http://caeyc.org/main/page/navhome

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! program: www.icreatewhatibelieve.com

Beginner’s Mind

As we step into a New Year, traditionally people make New Year’s resolutions. These might be about losing weight, exercising more, or pursuing an interest that never seemed to make the priority list.  Whatever the resolution, it really is about consciously choosing to approach life in a new way. This year I suggest a different approach.

Let’s all think about rolling back the clock and approaching life in a new way—with a beginner’s mind. Let’s all think about approaching life from the perspective that we are all amazing, wonderful, and capable of doing anything we set our heart to. Let’s imagine that no one has ever told us that we couldn’t, or weren’t capable of materializing our wildest dreams. Let’s imagine that all of the adults we grew-up with truly believed this and role modeled trusting ourselves and taking calculated leaps of faith. Let’s imagine that we didn’t have any experiences in our younger years that left us fearful and apprehensive to move out of our comfort zone and seize the day. Let’s imagine that no one ever judged, blamed or criticized us when our plans weren’t completely successful. Let’s imagine that instead they said, “…not bad for a first try, give it another go…”.

Consider  how different life would feel if you were taught that each and every one of us is wired for success, and that all we need to do is figure out how we are wired and approach life from that perspective. We call that our natural learning style. We don’t learn the same way and we don’t approach life in the same way, but we all have the capacity to be successful. So what separates the people that succeed from those that don’t? I think it is 95% perspiration, but in order to have that kind of drive and motivation you have to be doing something that really fascinates you and helps you feel the rightness of who you are and what is important to you. This does not mean we all have to be the next Nobel prizewinner.

Here is an example:

Many decades ago I was a service representative for Ma Bell. This was before computers so each of us had a big desk with 3000 accounts that we were responsible for. If any of our customers had a problem with their phone service their call was directed to our line and we would help them solve the problem.  Each month our work performance was reviewed and every month my supervisor told me the same thing. “Your calls run longer than any of the other representatives, but your customers are all more satisfied with your service than any of the other representatives”.

Why was this happening? Well, I had figured out that my customers weren’t just calling because their phone cord was twisted they were calling because they needed someone to listen and connect with them. They needed to be reminded that they were good, and important—at least important enough that someone would come and fix their phone for them. I was also aware that my tone, the rhythm of my voice, and my intent made a lot of difference in how they felt. I also made a point of not getting off the phone until I felt they had “regrouped” and were feeling better about themselves and life.

So what was I instinctively doing about 45 years ago? I was helping them begin their day with a beginner’s mind. I was helping them wipe the slate clean and start fresh. I was providing them with an opportunity to change their perceptions and approach life in a different way.

As I look back at that time, I am reminded that I was helping people change their beliefs so they could create what they really believed—not just what their automatic subconscious mind was dictating.

We have all had negative experiences. We have all been needlessly judged and criticized.  But we get to choose if those tapes are going to create our life. We get to choose if we are just going to repeat history or create the life that really belongs to us. It takes courage, guts, fortitude, and tenacity to realize a dream. Do you have those qualities? If you do, begin this New Year with a beginner’s mind and have fun realizing your dreams!

Nancy Marie

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! Program, products and Nancy’s teaching schedule: www.ICreateWhatIBelieve.com