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Friday, November 13, 2009

Review: The new and Improved Gratitude list

Originally posted: Saturday October 17th, 2009

Time to adjust the tude. In a recent list, I made mention of changing things up a little. Of new goals, new look for the list and new philosophies combining to make one of my own. In doing so I hope to help me move past the “baby steps” that have brought me this far. To help me continue my journey with a more mature walk.

So, with this goal in mind, I had the Orc clean out the brain. He used his magic feather duster to remove the now empty baggage, and organize the existing baggage into more manageable piles. Then I started collecting thoughts, ideas and philosophies I liked and thought I could work with. Digging and researching several, I came up with 4 I want to work with. They are:

WWJD: a great Christian marketing scheme to drum up business for a church in crisis. Putting aside why it was created and how it was so over saturated into the mainstream it became a joke, the fundamentals of it are sound. When facing a decision or crisis stop and think “What would Jesus do?” I mean, whether or not you believe Jesus is the son of God, we all know he existed and was a profound educator. His teaching was all about loving, healing, helping one another and giving. In all the writings of the Bible, there is only one instance of Jesus getting pissed off and come one, if you know the story, can you really blame him? He was the ultimate socialist, the original free love hippie. He taught freely to all. The rich tax collectors, the poorest of the poor, the outcasts and the lepers, the Roman officers all were treated equally. He loved, he fed, he taught. Yes, WWJD is a philosophy I can embrace. When I’m faced with a decision and I’m unclear which direction to go, I will ask myself “WWJD”.

Yes...And: is a technique used in inprov. What Yes...and, is it's about listening to other people's ideas, accepting those ideas, hopefully with enthusiasm, and then building on to those ideas with something connected. If you want to hear more about it, check out this video.

I first learned of this philosophy watching “Inside the Actors Studio” and Amy Pullen was the guest. I was astounded how poised she was and how thoughtful her answers were. If you get a chance to watch it, you should. Anyway, she explained how she learned the “Yes…And” technique early on in her career and how adapting it in her everyday life changed it for the better. I started digging around to get more information and came to the conclusion that the “Yes…And” technique was for me. When I’m given an opportunity to be of service, when I’m given an opportunity to improve my life or the lives of others, when I’m given an opportunity PERIOD, I will say Yes with enthusiasm AND give more than is required in return. Why “Yes…And”? Try this article.

The Secret: Yes, yes, by now we all know about the laws of attraction. What you put out, you get back. If you're like me, the whole “I’m gonna get rich just by thinking” aspect of The Secret completely turned me off. I mean come on, if I chant “I’m going to win the Lotto” but never buy a ticket, what are my chances? But, to be honest, The Secret is “technically” what got me started on this journey in the first place. Watching Oprah talk about it brought about my Aha! moment when I thought “how could trying to live a more positive life hurt?” So, I started poking around “The Secret” again and came upon this quote “Choose your thoughts carefully, you are a masterpiece of your life” Now THIS is something I can work with. If I carefully think about what it is I want to accomplish, if I dig deeper than “I want to be rich”, and if I put ACTION behind my thoughts then I can indeed attract it. I believe in Karma. I believe it has roots in the Bible “Love thy neighbor” is Karma in it’s most basic form. I believe that what you put out, you get back and I’m living proof of the law of attraction works. For those rare few that have read my journal entries from my first few steps on this journey, you KNOW how fast my life changed. From the very first few days, even though I was struggling, rewards fell into my lap so swiftly I began to feel off balance. I remember thinking “This is NOT what I want. I don’t want all this “stuff” I simply want to be BETTER.” So, now it’s time for me to kick it up a notch. I’m going to start doing a once a week gratitude list for things I am grateful for NOW that have not happened yet and I’m going to put feet on them by taking action to move myself in that direction. Example: “I am grateful I completed my ASL degree” then, I will get off my lazy ass and get back to my classes. Even if it’s only 2 hours a week on a Saturday morning. I will be grateful and I will take action.

The Tao of Pooh: Read it. Live it. Currently I am a Piglet. I am fearful, I worry and fret. My goal is to become a Pooh. Calm and quietly assertive. To BE the uncarved block of wood. To embrace P’u. To explain P’U I will quote the author Benjamin Hoff: From the state of the Uncarved Block comes the ability to enjoy the simple and the quiet, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work, odd as that may appear to others at times. As Piglet put it in Winnie-the-Pooh, "Pooh hasn't much Brain, but he never comes to any harm. He does silly things and they turn out right." How could striving to be “Pooh like” bring me to any harm? I’ve seen P’u work in my own life. I’ve seen how my energy has changed and how it has rubbed off on those around me. When I find my inner Pooh and live it, the freaks become less freaky, my daughters take note and seek out my company, I am able to write. Yes, one day, before the end of my journey, I will integrate all of my personalities and become Pooh.

There you have it. How I plan on moving forward from here. Baby steps are behind me and I bid them farewell with gratitude and respect for how far they have brought me. I’ve placed no time schedule or limits on how long or how far this next chapter will take me. Hell, I’m still amazed where I am. You are welcome to come with me, to build your own path, or to simply watch me face plant in the dirt. I’ve braced myself and reminded myself how painful the first few steps will be. I reread my original journal and I’m ready for what lies ahead. I’ll begin by looking back, and then look forward. See you on the road!

Looking back:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

This positivity stuff is difficult to say the least. I’m trying not to get frustrated with myself and just take things as they come. I had this fantastic weekend and then I get all negative again. It’s been a rough few days for me. Not that anything particularly bad has happened, just attitude wise. I am finding my old negativity slipping back in. At least now I am aware of it and try to do things to make it better.

After a few days of being my old self (not quite as bad as I used to be, but still bad enough) I made a conscious effort to readjust. I reminded myself of all the wonderful things going on, about how great my boss has been with all my time off, June and I got to ride in Sally to the Doctors, I took June to lunch and we ate AT Burger King instead of the drive through, June and I made cup cakes for daddy, I treated her to a new game for her gameboy as a reward for being so good about being sick again, I made a great dinner, and after dinner we all took a walk together. Funny that the next day this came as Lisa’s challenge. Tonight would have been impossible due to the party. I think my eldest has developed a 6th sense these days. This is the 2nd time she has challenged me to do something I have already done. I always knew she and I were in tune; guess this is just more proof.

I feel better about everything today. I am tired, I have a headache, but I “Feel” good. I even had a brief moment of thinking I can quit smoking. *twitch* It passed as fast as it came, but I guess all things start with a single thought.

Looking Forward:
Today I am grateful for:

Completing my ASL degree

Being invited to speak on Oprah about my book & spreading gratitude to the masses

Losing 50 lbs and being one hot sexy Granny.
Paying off my mortgage

Successfully housebreaking the puppy

Enjoying my 25th wedding anniversary in Hawaii

Raising money for my church’s missionary program w/ sales of my photographs

Sales of my book reaching a new level

Giving 5% of my profits from book sales to Cancer Research

HA! Now that’s a roaring start! I have more, but I’ll save them for next week. Have a great weekend FB! Mwaaaah!

Mustang Sally. She was one of the very first things I "Attracted" into my life. The man gave her to me in the same month I started this journey. I'll never, ever forget that day.

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