Category Archives: Balance

We Can’t Choose

This sweet animated video reminds us that we can’t choose whom we love or what we love any more than we can choose who we are. Learning how to identity and embrace our authentic nature with all of its glory and desires is part of our human journey. The process of embracing our true nature could have been easy if, in our early childhood, our family saw and celebrated who we are. But this is often not the case. Instead, many of us have felt shame and guilt for not being whom we are led to believe we need to be to be loved. To have a joyous life, it is important to remove this inner conflict about who you are and stand in your truth, not someone else’s truth.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB! art activities and videos for FREE because they are a wonderful way go inward, discover your true nature, and in the process create a more authentic and joyous life.

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Master of My Fate

I have come to the conclusion that the trick to living a good and purposeful life is to figure out how to keep your head screwed on straight in the middle of adversity and challenges. When you do lose your clarity, I feel it is important to know how to re-screw your head back onto your shoulders.

I have repeatedly talked about how I use drawing and the ICWIB! activities to move myself out of reaction and into my problem-solving mind or re-screwing my head back onto my shoulders. Today I would like to share with you the above poem that I have taped to my refrigerator because it perpetually reminds me how and why I need to re-screw my head back on.

William Ernest Henley wrote this powerful poem when he was recovering from tubercular infection—a very challenging, often life-threatening situation. However, I feel it also speaks to, and applies to, any test of faith. In times of darkness and confusion the words to this powerful poem, especially the last stanza have the ability to recalibrate my internal GPS and set me back on course.

With this in mind, I invite you to tape the poem to your refrigerator as well. I also invite you to explore some of the ICWIB! art activities and videos for FREE because they are a wonderful way recalibrate your internal GPS so you can continue to live a good and purposeful life.

If you enjoy these messages, Like us on Facebook and share it with others to enjoy. If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

Masks

We all wear masks from time to time. It is a way to protect ourselves, hide our inner most feelings, maneuver difficult situations, and explore new ways of being. Unfortunately, if you aren’t aware of your own mask and the reason you feel a need to wear it, in a certain situation you can lose touch with yourself, your purpose, and path.

As a street-performing mime in my twenties, I used masks to define my different characters and bring awareness to their body language. During that time, I was always observing and studying how and why people moved. I watched how their movement changed when they were wearing a self-created mask (pretending to be someone they weren’t) and how they moved when they felt the inner freedom to be and express their authentic nature.

Over time, I began to see how our body carries our story and how that story can limit our movement, and rob us of our vitality. During this time, I also began to see how movement could restore balance, deepen our sense of self, increase vitality, and allow our authentic nature to reemerge. These observations and my findings are at the root of many of the ICWIB! activities.

When you scribble or draw circles and lines, pay attention to how your body moves. Does your body and breath move together as one? Or are they disconnected? If they feel disconnected, which activity helps them to reconnect and move as one? The more you allow your crayon to move in an unencumbered manner, the easier it will be to go inward and reconnect with your authentic nature and what is important to you.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB! art activities and videos for FREE because they are a wonderful way reduce stress and release bottled up emotions so we can reconnect with our true nature and subsequently create a more joyous life.

If you enjoy these messages, Like us on Facebook and share it with others to enjoy. If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

Soar vs. Sore

When you feel angry or upset, do you allow those negative feelings to pull you down and drain your positive life-force energy? If things don’t work out the way you want them to, do you get angry or sore? Or do you know how to shake off unconstructive and negative feelings and re-embrace your positive outlook on life so you can soar?

According to recent research, every thought, word, or action we have affects our biology. Negative thoughts and situations can have a negative impact on our health and make it impossible to succeed. On the other hand, positive thoughts—I am not talking about an ungrounded Pollyanna perspective on life, but rather a positive, innovative, and proactive approach on life—can have a positive effect on our biology.

With this in mind, is there a way to shift your mind from a negative perspective to a positive perspective quickly and effectively? Yes! Any activity that relaxes your body, opens your heart, and clears your mind can help you make the shift. Many individuals turn to creative and physical endeavors to help them move inward, reflect, and restore balance within their system, while others prefer traditional meditative practices for restoring balance in their system.

Whatever approach you take, the mere act of stopping, going inward, and observing instead of reacting can provide you with a golden opportunity to create a new and more effective response. That one single action can have a profound impact on your life.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB! art activities and videos for FREE because they are a wonderful way to learn how to go inward and explore the art of introspection. This in turn can reduce stress and release bottled up emotions so you can reconnect with your true nature and subsequently create a more authentic life.

If you enjoy these messages, Like us on Facebook and share it with others to enjoy. If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

Congruent

When I woke up one morning I found the word “congruent” lodged in my mind. At first it was an interesting experience, but after about an hour or two its presence became annoying. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get it to go away, so I decided I needed to pull it closer, and explore why it was there. My first step was to look up the definition. According to the dictionary congruent is an adjective that means in agreement or harmony; (of figures) identical in form; coinciding exactly when superimposed.

So why was this word dancing in my mind?

I decided to view it as a metaphor and apply it to life, my life to be specific. To accomplish this, I began asking myself a series of questions: What does a congruent life look like? Is it possible to have a congruent life? Is my life congruent? How would I know if my life was congruent? How would I know if my life was incongruent? This series of questions then lead me to explore questions about the meaning of my life, my soul, and my purpose.

This thread of questions meandered through my mind throughout the day and as the light of the day began to dim some of my questions found answers.

When my life is congruent everything seems to unfold seamlessly. I feel happy, content, and have a deep sense of peacefulness. I have no need or interest in conflict—either inner or external. At the same time, when I am not congruent I find myself struggling with self-doubt, worrying about what others think, questioning if what I am doing is enough. In fact I find myself wearing myself out wondering, worrying, and struggling so much that I burn myself out before I accomplish anything, then I chastise myself for being so unproductive and drive myself into a deeper, even less congruent state.

It is obvious to me that I am far more productive when I am congruent because I am not wasting energy struggling with inaccurate beliefs or perceptions about life or myself. If this is true, why would I ever be incongruent? The answer, unfortunately is quite simple: habit or learned behavior. We learn behavior and acquire behavior patterns when we are very young. These patterns then play out automatically without our conscious awareness of them. Our only clue to their presence is by looking at our life.

So, is your life congruent? Is it a reflection of who you are and what you believe? If not, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB! art activities and videos for FREE because they are a wonderful way go inward and uncover incongruences so your life can be a true reflection of your authentic nature.

If you enjoy these messages, Like us on Facebook and share it with others to enjoy. If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

The Best Part is the Connection

Making a difference in the world or in someone’s life doesn’t require a lot of money or even a lot of time. It only requires us to “show-up,” and touch another person’s life in a positive manner.

Walking on the beach looking for answers one day, Megan Murphy realized that every time she found a special rock or piece of glass it would somehow carry a message back to her that she was not alone and that she was supported by something bigger than herself. This gave her great comfort. One day she had the idea that she could leave messages for others that might help them during difficult and challenging times.

The process began very simply: Megan grabbed a sharpie magic marker off the counter one morning on her way to the beach and put it in her coat pocket and when she got to the beach she started writing little messages on rocks and placed them back on the beach.

Megan feels the best part about her rock project is the connection. After people find her rocks, they take the idea back to their communities, and start the project there. Now, the rocks don’t just span across the United States, thousands of the rocks can be found in 9 countries around the world.

With this in mind, I invite you to think about small, simple things you can do to make a difference in other people’s lives. Look for ideas or things you can do that are easy and natural to you. One of the things I historically have done is carry pencils, crayons, and paper with me. Sometimes I use them to sketch something, but more often than not children in the vicinity come over and ask if they can color too. I see this as a golden opportunity for me to share my love of paper and crayons and one of the ICWIB! activities with them.

With this in mind, I also invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE so you can pass them one to others in a simple and effortless manner.

If you enjoy these messages, Like us on Facebook and share it with others to enjoy. If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under Resources.

Pier vs. Peer

How do you approach your relationships? Do you approach them as a peer—meaning you view the other person as an equal? Or do you approach them as a pier—meaning you think you need to prop up the other person or carry more than your part of the load? Or do you approach relationships from the perspective that you aren’t capable of carrying your share of the load?

When we approach a relationship from the peer perspective, we send a message to the other person that we value who they are and we view them as an equal. This creates a safe and empowering situation for all. On the other hand, when you think either you have to carry more or think you are incapable to carrying your share, you create an imbalance or a disempowering situation for all.

So why would someone approach a situation from a pier perspective?

When we are young, merely by observing our family dynamics we take on beliefs and behaviors that helps us get our needs met and fit into our family. Some children become caretakers, while others become over-achievers. Others may discover they can get more attention when they are under-achievers or appear helpless, so that is the behavior they take on. Unfortunately in all cases, the child is robbed of the opportunity to discover, fall in love with, and develop their true nature. This can create an inner conflict and imbalance in their system and make it difficult for them to create an authentic life.

So if you think you might be approaching some of your relationships from a pier perspective or needing to be carried by a pier and you would like to change that behavior, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE because they are a wonderful way reconnect with your true nature and subsequently create a more authentic life.

If you enjoy these messages, Like us on Facebook and share it with others to enjoy. If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

Mastering Your Thoughts

“Self-discipline begins with mastering your thoughts. If you can’t control what you think,
you can’t control what you do.”    -Randy Pausch

When was the last time you didn’t just think your thoughts, but consciously observed and dissected them so fully that you were able to uncover the underlying thread that linked them together?

Several weeks ago, I noticed a trail of thoughts moving between my ears about events that had transpired quite some time ago. At first glance these events seemed completely unrelated. Though as I turned each event over and over in my mind with the utmost curiosity, I began to see an underlying thread or theme. It was this curious exploration and observation that then allowed me to see the commonality between the events and eventually uncover a very important insight for myself.

What was the thread?

Each event was a situation where in retrospect I wished I had responded differently. Each event showed me how being in my reactive mind instead of my conscious problem-solving mind had created the opposite outcome I had hoped for. Each event was also reminding me of the importance of moving though my day at a pace that is manageable for me, so I can consciously respond to the directions of my conscious mind—not my unconscious tapes.

Sounds pretty simple—but it is often difficult to accomplish because our fast-paced world creates stress, and stress automatically activates the unconscious mind. It is also important to remember that the subconscious mind is also a million times faster and more powerful a processor than is the conscious mind. So what can we do or how can we approach our day so that we spend more time responding and operating from our conscious mind?

I think this is what Randy Pausch is talking about: We need to find a way to master our thoughts. There are many ways to do this, but they all have similar components: relaxing the body, slowing down your breathing, and exploring the options instead of forcing an agenda. What we are doing is activating the parasympathetic nervous system—moving our system out of fight or flight or moving from the subconscious mind to the conscious mind. Walking, meditating, folding laundry, washing dishes, and even scribbling can accomplish this.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE because they are a simple and effective way to learn how to activate your conscious mind and in the process attract a life that is more supportive of your authentic nature.

If you enjoy these messages, Like us on Facebook and share it with others to enjoy. If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

 

 

 

 

 

Tools

When I was around five years old, my father set aside some of his small hand tools in a toolbox for me to use. Often in the evenings or weekends when my father was working on a project, I would be there with him fashioning something from scrapes of wood he had discarded. Unfortunately, my father’s needing to remind me to use a specific tool for the task it was designed often disturbed the peaceful hum of us creating. “A hammer is for pounding nails, a saw is for cutting wood, a drill is for drilling holes,” he would say.

Many years later his words about using a tool for the task it was designed for came back to me, but in a completely different context. At the time, I was trying to be someone I wasn’t so I could fit in and have a sense of belonging. One day, as I struggled, once again I heard his words in my head. “Use the tool for the task it was designed for.” In this context he wasn’t talking about a hammer or a saw, he was talking about me being who I was—not who I thought I needed to be.

I felt his words were telling me to stop expecting myself to be like others and instead embrace who I really was, all the gifts I had to offer, and then walk that path. If I was a hammer, then I needed to just pound nails. If I was a saw, I just needed to cut wood—nothing more and nothing less. It was on that day that I saw just how deep the wisdom of his words was. I also realized the pushing, forcing, and ignoring were just symptoms of me not embracing the task I was designed to do and that I wasn’t living an authentic life. But when I allowed myself to be who I really was, I found that life was much easier and I was actually perfect for the tasks I was designed to do.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE, because they are wonderful way to reconnect with your authentic nature.

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If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

 

Turn Around Your Life

“You can’t change the first thought that comes into your mind,
but you can change the second and third thought.”

In this short video, Abbe shows how she physically used affirmations to help herself and then others learn to transform negative thoughts and messages into a positive and supportive internal dialogue. Knowing how to transform negative thoughts and messages into positive thoughts and messages is important, because our thoughts impact our biology and science has shown that 70% of our random thoughts are negative. This alone can have a detrimental effect on our ability to succeed.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore Abbe’s unique technique. I also invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE because they are also a wonderful way reduce stress, transform negative thoughts and messages, and reconnect with your true nature.

If you enjoy these messages, Like us on Facebook and share it with others to enjoy. If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under Resources.