Category Archives: Balance

Historically

When I studied art in college I had a wonderful teacher for life drawing who changed the way I drew and changed my life. At the beginning of each class he had us draw on very large tablets of paper because he felt it was a great way to encourage us to bring our whole body, mind, and spirit into the drawing. Each drawing or sketch was timed and the time was shortened with each drawing. The faster we drew, the more we had to bring all of our body, mind, and spirit into the drawing. I can still remember the sweat pouring down my body and the “high” of the energy running through me. I was no longer thinking, looking, measuring, or calculating. I was sensing the model and I was breathing with the model. In the process I became one with the model.

Some of my best drawing “erupted” in that class, but more importantly I learned how to merge with my subject matter and let it speak through me. I think that is the reason I am so addicted to drawing—it shifts brain states and helps me connect more deeply with life.

I still have my teacher in my head guiding me at times to get me out of my thoughts and connect more deeply with my subject. When I can’t hear him or feel his energy guiding me, I turn to the first activity in the ICWIB Program, Just Scribble. Why? Because it pulls me inward, increases my focus, relaxes my body, and silences the chatter in my mind. In the process, I return home to myself, which ultimately is my real goal.

Historically, I have also used the Just Scribble activity to bring forth images for my artwork, crystalize my clarity, and reconnect with myself in a deeper way. If I don’t have crayons and paper with me, I use my finger on my leg or the palm of my hand. In the process I am able to slow down, pull myself inward and focus more deeply. What I am doing is purposely shifting from my reactive mind, which is where our tapes are stored, to my conscious, problem-solving mind.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE.

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

 

Fear and Deception

In this short video Bruce Lipton talks about how fear is a great motivator and if you can get people to live in fear you can sell them anything. He goes on to explain that when we are in fear, our chemistry changes and our stress hormones change the operation of our brain so we become less intelligent, more open to manipulation, and further disempowerment.

How does this happen?

When we are in fear our stress hormones constrict the blood vessels in our forebrain, which is where conscious reasoning and logical thinking takes place. It then forces the blood to the hindbrain where no thinking takes place and we operate from reactive behavior.

If you find yourself feeling fearful, stressed, or overwhelmed, how can you move back into your forebrain or conscious mind?

The I Create What I Believe! Program, endorsed by Dr. Lipton and based on his research, offers fun and scientifically sound tools to help both children and adults learn how to activate and move back into their conscious mind (forebrain) with activities as simple as scribbling and drawing circles and lines.

Explore and Ponder: Activity Two

Each I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB!) art activity is built upon the previous ones. In the first activity, Just Scribble, which is an introduction to the art of self-reflection, you learn to use the movement of your crayon and your breath to increase your focus, go inward, and observe. In this second activity, Explore and Ponder or the preschool version, Circles and Lines, you learn to uncover how drawing specific-shaped lines and patterns can shift your mind-state quickly and effectively. In the process, you are creating a “tailor-made” set of tools for shifting your mind-states anywhere or any time.

As you explore drawing both circles and lines, pay specific attention to the size, direction drawn, and amount of pressure that gives you the most pleasure, because feeling pleasure and joy are indicators that you have activated your conscious mind (forebrain). When you activate the conscious mind, the feel-good hormone oxytocin and the neurotransmitter dopamine are released into your body and brain.

Once you have uncovered the pattern that gives you the most pleasure, use it as your own personally tailored stress-reducing tool. I also invite you to share this ICWIB! activity with your family, friends, colleagues, and community, because I think everyone—both young and old—could benefit from having their own tailor made stress reduction tools.

Explore the ICWIB! Program further and continue to follow our weekly posts here.  If you enjoy these activities, Like us on Facebook and share in the conversation.  We’d love to hear your feedback—see you there!

Pure Love

I have been told that one should not touch or engage with a service dog when they are working because it can be distracting and stressful for the dog, but in situations like this I break all of the rules.

I was in a store with Alex when this very young child spotted Alex, broke away from his parents and ran as fast as he could towards him with an expression of joy on his face. When he reached Alex he immediately wrapped his arms around Alex’s head and buried his face in Alex’s fur.

In that moment, I could feel Alex soften and let the child fall into him. At the same time, his parents began running towards Alex and their son. When they reached us, they took their child’s hand, apologized, and walked away.

Seconds later, the child ran back to Alex and wrapped his arms around him again. This time Alex became amazingly still. The parents once again took their child by the hand, apologized, and walked away again. When the child broke away and ran towards Alex a third time, I squatted down next to Alex and asked him if this was okay with him. He just leaned against me, smiled, and opened his heart wider.

When the child reached out to hug Alex this time, I handed my cell phone to his mom and asked her to take a picture of them together. Then this tiny child leaned in and kissed Alex.

It is moments like this that my faith in the Universe is restored.

I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE.

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

Go To The Trees

I have written many pieces about how we can acquire negative programs in the first six years of life, and how these patterns can make it difficult to realize our dreams and thrive. I think it is also important to remember that most of us have also acquired some good patterns. (I don’t think we would be here today it we didn’t.)

I personally acquired a lot of negative programs when I was young, but at the same time I am very grateful for the good programs I acquired even if some of them were the result of very difficult situations. One of the patterns I acquired when I was young was what I call “Go to the Trees!”

So how did I acquire this pattern and how do I consciously use it in my life now?

When I was about five, my mother, father, older sister, and I moved from our flat in the city to a house on some land outside the city. There was seasonal creek running through the middle of the property with the house sitting on one side of the creek and woods on the other.

Whenever I got in trouble, which was often, I would leave the house, cross the bridge over the creek and go into the woods. It felt quiet, calm, and safe in the woods and being there helped me unravel my confusion and reconnect with myself. Sometimes I would hold onto a tree while I cried or talked myself through my current problem. Other times I would just stroll through the trees or play with a stick until I felt ready to go back to the house.

To this day, whenever my stress level rises to a certain level, I get a feeling deep within my bones that lets me know that I need to just drop everything and “go to the trees.” When I do, the quiet calm generated by the trees helps me reconnect more deeply with myself.

With this in mind, I recommend you take some time to walk back in time and explore how you responded to difficult situations as a child, and in the process you might uncover some good programs you created to survive those difficult moments. Life will never be devoid of challenges, but if you remember your good programs they can provide you with inner strength to change negative beliefs that are hindering your ability to thrive.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE, because they are another way reconnect with yourself more deeply and gain the inner strength to change negative beliefs that are hindering your ability to thrive.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Am My Own Big Dog

When I was young I wanted a big dog with soft fur and a heart of gold. He also needed to be a noble being that helped me feel safe.

My mother said dogs cost too much money and my father said they were too much work, but my grandfather, the owner of many dogs, took an interest in my dream dog and asked me lots of questions whenever we spent time together.

Would your dog protect you, love you, and find you if you were lost? How could a dog help you take care of and be true to yourself? Would your dog have to work on the farm like Jake or would taking care of you be his only job? Each time, his questions encouraged me to go inside and find an answer.

Over time I began to realize that I needed someone to be there for me, listen to me when I was upset, and to love me even if I had done something they didn’t like. I don’t remember how many times we talked about my dream dog, but I do remember the day I realized I could be my own big dog. I realized I could love, protect, and find myself when I felt lost, and when I did this, I felt happy and alive. So with some help from my grandfather, I became my own big dog.

The ICWIB activities are another way to go inward and find your own big dog.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE.

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.

 

We Were Born

We weren’t designed to be merely linear beings. We are a blend of body, mind, and spirit and were born to be connected to all living things. Unfortunately, our lives today don’t always support this union. Consequently many people spend much of their lives disconnected from their spirits and walk through life as distant and isolated observers. This is very sad, for when you disconnect in this manner you can lose touch with your authentic nature and what is really important.

I know no greater feeling than the bliss of knowing who you are and that you truly belong. A union and connection of this magnitude can give you the energy and confidence you need to pursue your dreams. But without this connection to your spirit it is difficult to be fully alive and make your dreams a reality.

So how can you know when you are disconnected from your spirit? If you have lost your hope or your direction, then you probably have lost your connection with your spirit. If you have lost your ability to love and be loved, or just being alive doesn’t make you happy, then you most likely have lost connection to your spirit.

When this happens I think it is time to go inward and reconnect with your authentic nature. You can accomplish this many ways. When my children were young and I had very little time for myself, I would use my daily chores and breathing techniques to slow myself down so I could reconnect with myself and remember what was important to me. As my children got older I was able to return to my pen and pencil and also model for them how to use scribbling and drawing to reconnect with themselves in a deeper way.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE.

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 Chain of Harm

When we are young, our minds are predominantly in a theta brain state—copy and paste. This allows us to learn an immense amount of information quickly as we adapt to new environments. Unfortunately, we don’t have the capacity to question the appropriateness of what we are learning during these early and formative years. This means we can take on beliefs, perceptions, and behaviors that are ineffective and produce unwanted results.

My mother was an extremely reactionary and destructive person, even though in her true nature she had a heart of gold. When she was stressed she would blame and attack others—saying and doing very harmful things. As a young child, I became very fearful of others, and also acquired the same knee-jerk response pattern. When I became aware of this pattern and the negative impact it was having on my life, I began to watch and observe myself in stressful situations. I came to understand that if I could remain calm and centered in a triggering situation, I also had the capacity to respond differently and create a new pattern for future interaction, as well.

While process was uncomfortable in the beginning, over time I was able to let go of the learned behavior with the simple act of being conscious and present in the moment. By remembering that her behavior was unconscious and learned from others helped me be more compassionate, and not take her behavior so personally. In retrospect, I can see that accomplishing these small steps helped me to break the chain of harm.

The ICWIB activities are a great way to gain a deeper sense of self and change ineffective patterns and behavior.

I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE.

If you enjoy these messages, Like us on Facebook.

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

 

 

The Programmable Mind

At UPLIFT Festival 2014, Dr. Bruce Lipton shared how “your life is not coming from your conscious wishes and desires, your life is coming from your program.” He stated the function of the mind is to create coherence between beliefs and reality and simply put quoting Henry Ford, “If you believe you can, or you believe you can’t—you’re right.”

Dr. Lipton explained that scientific research shows we are only truly conscious 5% of the day, meaning only 5% of the day comes from our creative wishes, desires, and aspirations. The other 95% of the time we operate on autopilot with the default program that resides in our subconscious mind. The problem with this equation is that the majority of the programs that reside in the subconscious mind are negative, limiting, and disempowering, and stress triggers this part of the mind to take over and run your whole system.

So how can we shed our negative programming and create more from our wishes and desires when we live in a high stressed culture?

The I Create What I Believe! Program, endorsed by Dr. Lipton and based on his research, offers fun and scientifically sound tools to help both children and adults learn how to change their negative programming with activities as simple as scribbling and drawing circles and lines.

Explore and Ponder: Activity Two

Each I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB!) art activity is built upon the previous ones. In the first activity, Just Scribble, which is an introduction to the art of self-reflection, you learn to use the movement of your crayon and your breath to increase your focus, go inward, and observe. In this second activity, Explore and Ponder or the preschool version, Circles and Lines, you learn to uncover how drawing specific-shaped lines and patterns can instantly shift-mind states for you. In the process, you are also able to create a “tailor made” set of tools for shifting your mind states anywhere or any time. This means you won’t have to be a victim of your programming anymore!

In the programmable mind video above, Dr. Bruce Lipton says, “…The way to create peace is to help our children not acquire negative programming.” I would like to add, “…and provide them, their parents, and teachers with tools so they can all release any negative programming they have already acquired.”

How could doing the ICWIB! activities help bring about peace? When you shift from your reactive mind to your conscious mind your heart opens, your mind becomes clearer, and you experience an inner peacefulness. This in turn shifts your perceptions and allows you to move through life in a more open-hearted and compassionate way, instead of responding from your negative programs.

So with this in mind, I invite you to collectively join together and learn, practice, and share the ICWIB! activities with your family, friends, colleagues, and community, and when you do, please share your stories with all of us on our ICWIB! Facebook page.

Explore the ICWIB! Program further and continue to follow our weekly posts here.  If you enjoy these activities, Like us on Facebook and share in the conversation.  We’d love to hear your feedback—see you there!

Cause and Effect

One of the stumbling blocks I encountered with my first child was how to deal with toys not being picked up and put away. I knew I didn’t want to nag or yell, but being a new parent I didn’t know how to recruit my daughter’s cooperation in a consistent and effective way. I was fortunate that she had several wonderful preschool teachers who offered me guidance along the way.

I can still remember sitting in one of the tiny chairs talking to her teacher one day after school about the perpetual problem of toys on the floor. As I described the situation I can still remember this sweet, warm, and knowing smile spread across her face as she said one word, “consequences.” Children learn best through consequences or cause and effect. If she leaves something on the floor and it gets stepped on or broken, she will learn through the consequence. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell her something, it won’t be as an effective teacher as a consequence.

This was a hard lesson for me to execute in the beginning because like many first-time moms, I wanted to spare her from pain. Over time, however, I saw that consequence was a great teacher not only for her but for me as well. So now when my life if not playing out the way I would prefer it did, I ask myself “How is this event connected to a previous choice I made”? “What belief do I need to change”? and “What am I trying to learn”? Once I know the answers to these questions, I am able to change my thinking and create a new response.

I historically have used the Just Scribble activity in the ICWIB! Program to explore these questions. With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB! art activities and videos for FREE.

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.

 

 

Wandered

What do you do when you feel lost? What do you do when you feel disoriented or confused? What do you do when you or your mind wanders so far you can’t find your way back to yourself?

When I was younger I used to try and muscle through those moments. I tried to pretend they didn’t exist. I tried to ‘fake it until you make it’, but then one day I realized that I was just running. I was running from myself and I was running from life.

That day I made a choice. I chose to stay. I chose to be present. I chose to explore what I needed to change so I could be present and make a difference. On that day, my life changed.

Now when I find my mind wandering too far, I stop and ask myself what am I avoiding? What do I need so I can approach life in a more present manner today? It is a simple question and a simple step, but it has made a huge difference in my life.

There are many ways to help you come more fully in the moment and find your way back to yourself.

I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE.

If you enjoy these messages, like us on Facebook.

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