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Who Else Wants to Stop Procrastinating?

Posted July 25, 2015

tomorrow


I am wrapping up a month-long sabbatical by lamenting all the things I didn't get done while I had the time.

The stack of books I was going to read.

The projects around the house.

The writing and creating I had planned.

Nope, I did almost none of it.

I don't understand procrastination, I really don't.

Well, I do, because sometimes I'm an expert at it. But I don't understand why I let projects hang over me for weeks or months then become a big hectic deal at the end.

Or never get them done at all.

Why do you think so many humans procrastinate? Is it laziness? Is it some sort of spiritual failure?

I even procrastinate things I love to do, the actions I know I'll enjoy once I get started.

This blog, for instance. How many times have I finally written it on a Saturday evening, with just hours to spare before it goes out, at the same time I'm also scrambling to write a sermon!

Some little projects are a dull chore, like going through the stacks of paper that have accumulated on every flat surface in the house. Or cleaning the kitchen one more blinkin' time.

But other projects are significant endeavors that might very well improve my life, and I put those off, too.

Do you procrastinate even on the good things?

I think it's fear of inadequacy. As long as we don't do something, we can't fail at it.

I've heard it called the Imposter Syndrome. It's that deep sinking feeling that you're a fraud, and it's most likely to strike whenever you step up to speak, teach, advise or share your creative work with the world.

According to the imposter theory, you put off a project until the last minute and finish in a flurry. Then, whether it goes well or not, you can console yourself with: “Well, if I'd had more TIME, it really could have been great!“

I'm not the only who does that, right? I hope?

Actually I've gotten much better in the past few years. Better at NOT procrastinating, I mean. Because I sought Professional Help.

There's a woman in California who works with creative people so they can finally accomplish the projects they've been wanting to pursue.

You might have heard me mention Samantha Bennett before, because I'm so grateful to her. Watch her short video here about procrastination and perfectionism. And her book, Get It Done, includes dozens of ways to beat procrastination.

But the gold standard is: 15 Minutes a Day.

Whatever you are working on – whether it's something you love or not – tend to it for 15 minutes a day. That's it.

It doesn't require getting up before dawn or going into hiding (well, it might if you have kids). Even busy people can carve out 15 minutes a day.

I finally finished writing a book this way. I had to force myself to start, but by the time I had written for 15 minutes, I was so deeply into writing that I wouldn't stop. Sometimes for hours.

You can stop after 15 minutes if you have to and still make amazing progress.

Try it with writing or art projects.

Try it with meditation.

Try it with exercise.

I really can clean the kitchen in 15 minutes. No point putting it off.

And let the record show I'm writing this blog on a Friday, instead of waiting until crunch time on Saturday.

So improvement is possible!

I still wonder why so many of us have the procrastination gene. Have you found clever ways to get past it?

I hope you'll share them below.


PS -- For those of you who have asked, the next book, Hell in the Hallway, Light at the Door, is moving steadily through the publishing process. Help me hold the vision that it comes out around Sept. 1.

   

10 Truths You Need to Know

Posted July 19, 2015

confused angel


Do you know Mike Dooley, the wacky spiritual writer and teacher who sends daily emails called “Notes from the Universe?”

I love him.

He seems to be fascinated with dead people, especially with what they are able to see and understand after they leave their bodies. He has now written a book titled, The Top 10 Things Dead People Want to Tell You.

But he sent an earlier email that I saved because I was so struck by its wisdom.

He called these the top 10 things people claim they took for granted while they were alive.

Picture them getting to their after-life review and being reminded of these, then claiming, “Oh yeah, I knew that.”

Do you know them about yourself? For sure? Because when you get to other side, you will kick yourself for not realizing how great things were when it could have made a difference.

Here are Dooley's top 10 with my comments:


10. How important they were to so many.

You are important and you would be missed! If nothing else, I would miss sending you these blogs every week. No doubt others are deeply invested in your life and well-being. More than you know.

9. How easy life was when they stopped struggling.

Have you tried this? To stop struggling? I did it recently with a project that had been hanging over me for a couple of years. Just decided I didn't have to do it. What a relief! I was stunned at the energy that opened up.

8. That all of their prayers and thoughts were heard.

God can't help “hearing” your prayers because you are in God. It's all one. You are never separate. The Universe picks up your every vibration.

7. That there really were no coincidences.

Because it's all working out perfectly, created by your higher self for your specific journey.

6. How far ripples of their kindness actually spread.

Again, you probably have no idea the lives you touch and how treasured you are, even when you do a kindness for a stranger.

5. What really was important: happiness, friends, love.

As opposed to, say, work, money or keeping the house clean.

4. That any and all of their dreams could have come true.

Because it's all being created by your higher self in an atmosphere of pure possibility. All you have to do is believe it and be open to it.

3. How good looking and fun they always were.

Have you read many reports of near-death experiences? Women, in particular, sometimes recount floating along the operating room ceiling, looking down at their bodies and thinking, “I didn't realize I was so pretty.”

2. How much guidance they received, whenever they asked for help.

Just remember to ask! Then pay attention to what shows up, especially the unexpected opportunities.

1. That God was alive in everything, including themselves.

Imagine! God alive in you. The force field of love, intelligence and creative energy that we call God or the Universe IS you. How easy life can be when you truly know it!


PS – Got more? What one thing do you know for sure that enriches your life? I hope you'll share below.

   

10 Ways to Be a Spiritual Badass

Posted July 11, 2015

woman walking away from explosion


A handsome young dude in my church walked up to me after a Sunday service and gave me the most wonderful compliment any minister could hear:

“You are a spiritual badass!”

Moi? Why, thank you!

I swaggered for the rest of the day.

Now, what exactly is a spiritual badass? I didn't ask.

But let's think about that for a minute.

I looked up badass in the Urban Dictionary and, amid the profanity and violent ideation, I saw that contributors have struggled for years to put words around this concept.

Awesome to an extreme level, thereby leveraging unquestionable authority.

A person who defines supreme confidence, nearly divine ability, and a frequent disregard for authority.

Someone who does not ever look back at an explosion.

By these definitions, badasses could range from Dirty Harry to Jesus.

The consensus was that someone so enviably cool never strives to impress, is always true to himself, never gives up yet has nothing to prove. This allows for actual kindness to others. Peace through strength.

Interesting. Those are actually spiritual qualities.

But that's a generic badass. How can we apply it specifically to spirituality?

A spiritual badass:

  1. Is consciously connected and has a palpable sense of oneness with the divine, with all beings and the universe.
  2. Reacts from love, whether he is cut off in traffic or sent into war. What would love do?
  3. Assumes the best about other people and acts with compassion rather than judgment.
  4. Assumes the best about situations, knowing most things work for good, and that ultimately, all is well.
  5. Is consciously aware of our human role in creation while surrendering to higher powers.
  6. Trusts the future, knowing crises are not wasted, and every event is an opportunity to engage the divine more deeply.
  7. Sees the gifts in difficult situations, not from forced optimism but from a deep reserve of well-being.
  8. Has a sense of himself as worthwhile.
  9. Has a sense of purpose, whether it's a clearly defined path or faith that the path is being revealed one step at a time.
  10. May become a great teacher to share her discoveries and her joy. But a spiritual badass makes no effort at conversion, merely inviting others into the realm of oneness.

You can't tell whether someone is a spiritual badass until you see how they show up in the world, how they express Spirit day in and day out.

And badass-ery is in the eye of the beholder. You know one when you see one. If you think you are one, you aren't.

So you're never going to feel like a spiritual badass. I certainly don't.

After all, we're not seeking spiritual awareness to impress other people with our awesomeness. It can only be an inner journey, and we always know there's more depth to explore.

But you might be a spiritual badass if:

  • You feel confidence in your ability to handle any situation.
  • You feel support from the unseen; you know you never have to cope alone.
  • You sense the universe is friendly.
  • You feel immersed in an ocean of divine love no matter the circumstances of your life.

With those superpowers, you could walk away from any explosion.

   

Level Four: The Whole - AS Me

Posted July 4, 2015

heart zen symbol


So here's a question:

What are some of the attributes in Jesus or the Buddha or some other spiritual teacher that you see as evidence of their divinity?

Qualities such as love, compassion, forgiveness, inclusivity or healing, right?

Do you have any of those qualities? On a good day?

That's AS Me, allowing the divine to express AS you. Each of us brings God to the earth. We just have to let it out!

This idea shows up in every spiritual tradition: that we are divine, each of us made in the image of God.

And there are moments when we glimpse the divine in ourselves, often in hindsight.

  • You might realize you showed up as love or peace,
  • or you spoke the word and created something,
  • or you comforted someone
  • or said the right thing,
  • or you knew just what to do in a difficult situation.
  • You might even be a healer.

AS Me is realizing the truth of who you are and living effortlessly from it.

I have given many names to the state of As Me: divine consciousness, unapologetic divinity, living as the Christ, oneness, enlightenment, superconsciousness and I AM.

I've compared this divine human to a drop of ocean water that contains all the elements of the ocean, part of the whole.

I've talked about spirit, soul and body. Spirit is the God part of us, the higher self, and we are never separate from it. We always have access to this energy of life, love and wisdom.

AS Me is the goal of spiritual growth, at least for this time and place. We have learned and incorporated the previous levels or ways of seeing the world.

To recap:

TO Me – Stuff just happens; I have no control.

BY Me – I create my experience with my thoughts.

THRU Me – I surrender to a divine power or higher self and allow it to flow through me.

AS Me – I am awake, expressing Spirit naturally in everything I do. God is who I am.

People who live in AS Me full time are remembered throughout history, and we have no better example than Jesus. (If you have Jesus issues, bear with me. He was teaching us who we are.)

Not simply his actions, but Jesus' way of being in the world, set him apart. Apparently people wanted to hang out in his energy, so much that they walked all over Palestine with him, even when they were in danger.

Jesus knew his spiritual Self and constantly affirmed it. “I and the Father are one.”

And he kept trying to tell us, too, Don't you know you are gods? He insisted, You are the light of the world.

Nice. But you're probably asking HOW to live in that kind of divine awareness.

Personally, I suspect Jesus and others developed it over many lifetimes, then took human form to teach it. We're still trying to understand.

But a shift is under way, don't you think? Communication with the other side is becoming common, and fewer people think you're crazy if you talk to the dead or channel information from the non-physical. Or if you just say, “I feel guided.”

More and more people see themselves as spiritual beings, in touch with something greater.

So how does that show up in our lives? What does our divinity look like?

We're not the first people to ask this question.

Buddhism has an eight-fold path for how to live awake. It includes right relationship to yourself and to life. Not “right” in the sense of right and wrong, but of wholeness, living in oneness.

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul wrote about “fruits of the spirit” – those qualities we exhibit when we are living in divine consciousness.

My church, Unity, has something called the 12 Powers. Co-founder Charles Fillmore listed 12 divine qualities he believed are hard-wired into every human – faith, wisdom, love, zeal, etc.

Fillmore said, “We know that we are sons of God; then why not acknowledge it and proceed to take possession of it?”

Yeah, let's start acting divine!

I suspect a large component of AS Me is leaving behind our fear, the belief that something or someone can affect me or those I love.

True, they can affect my body or life circumstances. But that doesn't change my true nature, my divine essence. And it cannot disconnect me from the Source of all things.

Our great challenge is to live in this physical world without being fooled by the human condition, without succumbing to fear and doubt; to be self-contained as a spiritual being, in the world but not of it.

There are two ways to be in God consciousness. One is to try. The other is just to be there.

We're still trying in BY Me and THRU Me. We are consciously working to remember who we are and what's possible for us to do.

In AS Me, we just are – loving, forgiving, compassionate, wise, zealous. It is effortless because it is our nature.

Frankly, I don't know where the line is. When do we move from consciously surrendering our lives to a higher power (THRU Me) into merging with that power and living from the One Mind (AS Me?)

We have overcome the victimhood of TO Me, most days. We no longer see ourselves as pawns on God's chess board.

We have learned our own creative power in BY Me, and we have partnered with a great power in THRU Me, becoming a channel to bring divine love and light onto the planet.

Now with AS Me, we've come full circle, returning to our true nature as divine beings while still living as humans on the earth, fully integrated.

Emerson called this state of being the Wise silence, the universal beauty, the eternal One.

Author Elizabeth Gilbert said, “We don't realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.”

When that self is living fully through your human form, that's AS Me.


PS – Can you remember a time when you spoke or acted from your supreme self? What makes you feel divine?

   




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