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Our Survey Says!

18 Sep

I just had to put a photo of Richard Dawson with the post. I mean, c’mon!

Anywhoo, thank you to everyone who took my Are You Living Consciously Survey. I will end the suspense and reveal the responses as I’m sure you are all just sitting by your computer waiting to find out what they are…if so, please go directly outside your door and walk around. You need a life!

Here we go!
28 people took the survey (which amazes me really because I thought I only had 7 blog fans)
All 28 people answered every question

Responses to: Do you ever feel like you are drifting through life with no direction?
Always – 10.7%
Sometimes – 64.3%
Never – 25%

Responses to: Do you know how you got to where you are today?
Yes, it was my choice. – 75%
No, stuff just kind of happened to me. – 21.4%
I have no clue how I got here.3.6%

Responses to: Are you doing what you want to do with your life right now?
Yes – 53.6%
No – 25%
I Don’t Know – 21.4%

Responses to: Do you find yourself wasting your time doing things that aren’t important rather than focusing on completing the things that are very important?
Always – 21.4%
Sometimes – 75%
Never 3.6%

Responses to: Do you know what you want out of life?
Yes – 85.7%
No – 7.1%
I Have No Clue – 7.1%

Responses to: If you could change one thing about your life to live more consciously, what would it be?
Set a Goal and Work Toward It – 17.9%
Show More Appreciation to Important People In My Life – 10.7%
Spend My Money on Things That Align with My Values – 0%
Use My Time on Things That Are Important To Me – 46.4%
Make a Positive Impact on My Children, Family, Friends, or The World – 25%

Responses to: How will you keep yourself on track for making that one change to live more consciously?
Keep A Journal – 10.7%
Review My Progress in 3 Months – 25%
Ask a Friend or Family Member to Keep Me Accountable – 14.3%
Invest in a Life Coach – 3.6%
I Don’t Know – 46.4%

What do these results tell us about ourselves (all 28 of us). Well, for one most of us are attempting to live consciously. We know how we got to where we are in our lives, and we’re doing what we want with our lives right now. We sometimes goof off and we’d like to do less of that but we don’t know how.

Now…why is living consciously so important to us? Well, I can only answer for myself. I don’t want to be a zombie, walking through life without a brain only focused on what I need for my own existence. I don’t really want to eat brains either. Although some people have told me that head cheese is really good. I simply say, no thank you.

Living consciously to me means thinking about your actions, both good and bad, and how those affect other people. It also means making decisions based on what you value in life and living your life in a way that aligns with your values. It means taking responsibility for when you are a zombie and attempting to always improve.

Hope you enjoyed my little survey and that I’ve given you some food for thought. By the way, you might want to visit Zen Habits if you have time. It’s a great web site for tips and advice on living consciously.


Are You Living Consciously?

16 Sep

As I was driving to “work” after dropping the kids off at school this morning I started thinking about how I live my life. Yea, I know…deep stuff for 8:35 am. I was contemplating the things that I really care about and whether I actually put my money, energy, and thoughts into those things consciously or if I’m just slogging through life, just hanging on to a thread barely able to keep up with the crap that blows my way.

Maybe the reason why I had this in my head was because I was listening to Oprah Radio on XM Satellite…we all know what happens when I start doing that.

Anywhoo…it got me thinking. Do we really life our lives consciously or are we just drones who get up, eat, sleep, work, procreate, then die? And what is the benefit to living life consciously? Does it really work?

Then I decided to do a little survey of my 7 blog fans to see what you all think. Why? I don’t know, just because we can. Maybe I’ll take the information and write about it. Maybe I won’t. Just go with me on this and let’s see where it goes, k?

If you’re up for it, take my Are You Living Consciously? Survey:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

It only takes like 30 seconds to take the survey and you can do it anonymously. Heck, I did it. I’ll leave this post up for a few days and share the responses with you.

Let’s do it!

Finding Magic

15 Sep

I believe that when passion and talent meet there is magic. Magic that beams brighter than the sun, and all who witness it are amazed.

Take for example: Yo-Yo Ma.
He began playing the cello at age four, and was clearly talented. This talent was fueled by a passion for expression through music. He has created some of the most breath-taking music of our time. His music not only transports you to a place of peace and beauty, but it’s also almost like he’s singing through his cello. Like his voice and soul are dancing through the air on musical notes.

For most of my adult life, I’ve admired people like Yo-Yo Ma, those who are able to create magic by embracing their talent and passion. I’ve been searching for my talent and passion in hopes of creating magic. I’m not sure if I’ve found it so I keep looking. Maybe I’ve wasted time on things that really didn’t amount to much other than an interesting experience. Maybe I’ve gone down so many paths that I am lost not sure where to go next. Maybe I’ve gotten stuck down the wrong path with no way to turn around. Maybe I’ll be wandering aimlessly for the rest of my life looking for something that was never there to begin with, or that can never be found.

But, here I am. Typing away and bringing to life whatever jumps into my head. I always come back to the keyboard. Whether I have something valuable to say or not, I show up willing to tell a story. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s really, really dumb, sometimes it’s pointless and I ask myself, “what the hell did you just post on your blog?” Like right now.

In the vastness that is the blogosphere, millions of people want to be heard, understood, and validated; I stand with them hoping for the exact same thing. We keep doing it because we can’t help it. If we don’t, we might explode because whatever is inside must come out to possibly live an existence all it’s own. Thousands of blog posts are created yet only a few survive and reach the eyes that need to read them, like sea turtle eggs hatching and trying against all odds to make it to the sea without being eaten.

We want to create magic because if we do, we too will become the brighter than the sun.

Too Much Self Help?

12 Aug
 (Photo by Jill)

I think it started when I turned 30, and I read my first self-help book, The Power of Positive Thinking by Normal Vincent Peale. Then there was Doing Less and Having More by Marcia Wieder followed quickly by 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Every time I walked into a book store, there they were and I had to have them. It was kind of like when you see a dress you really want and suddenly you start seeing every woman on the street wearing it. You must get it, or you’ll be stuck wearing your gray sweats and once-white but now gray t-shirts for the rest of your life.

I was addicted to self help books. I mean, come on, with titles like the ones above and others like this one, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace by Wayne Dyer, how could you not get addicted? Who doesn’t want success, or peace? Oprah didn’t help either. For a period, it seemed as if she was the guru of self help books to end all gurus. If Oprah told you to get a book, you went out and got it. How on earth could you possibly live your best life without them!?

My addiction got so bad that I was trying to figure out what color my parachute was, writing in my gratitude journal, checking off my snacks and meals while getting with the program, taking the tests to figure out how to rescue my relationships, and making my dreams come true using the law of attraction. While all of these tactics and strategies are great, none seemed to get me the holy grail I was seeking: which was to be perfect. That’s what all this self help stuff was about anyway, right? Somehow, we are inherently messed up, broken, bad, f*cked up…or are we?

As I neared my mid-thirties, I slowed down on my intake of self help because it appeared as if I had read them all. Then, I got pregnant. A whole new world of self help books opened up to me: The Hip Mama Survival Guide by Ariel Gore, Girl Friend’s Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Ione, The Baby Whisperer by Traci Hogg, or Super Nanny: How to Get the Best From Your Children by Jo Frost. This addiction kicked in full bore because like most moms, I had no clue what I was doing (and still don’t). Some of these books did help me, a lot, and some of them made me paranoid and insecure, like I wasn’t measuring up to ideal mom-ness.

I’m not bashing self help books here. Not at all. I’ve learned many valuable tips from them, but I soon realized that improving myself became more important than living my life. I would constantly check if I was using the proper technique, saying the right words, referring back to old books or getting new ones to make sure I was on track. I had completely abandoned my intuition, which had served me well growing up (especially that time I left a party when it got out of control and somebody got arrested for starting a brawl). It also seemed as though I was in this perpetual state of preparing myself for life yet never actually getting there.

Well, I can’t say that I’m off the band wagon yet. The other day I just bought another parenting book because Dr. Oz recommended it. What I know for sure is, I need to simply live life and trust my intuition. I am no more messed up, broken, bad, f*cked up than anyone else on this planet. Maybe letting go of the ideal of perfection is a good idea too, and staying away from Oprah Radio for a while.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress, but I’m not writing it in a journal!

Through the Wormhole

10 Jun

Last night a new series aired on the Science channel, “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.” I’ve got to admit I love s@it like this! Quantum physics, cosmology, astrophysics…are so damn cool! If I didn’t SUCK so bad in math, I would go back to school and learn all this stuff. Plus, Morgan Freeman is one of my favorite actors of all time.

If you want to totally trip out without drugs or a hangover, you should watch this show. I had a hard time wrapping my brain around some of the concepts but last night’s episode was all about whether the Universe came about my random circumstances or if there is a creator (I know! CONTROVERSY!). The cool thing is the show explores all current scientific theories…including Intelligent Design. It was very balanced in that way. The other theories presented were just as mind-boggling: Inflation Theory (alternate universes), the God Experience (it’s all in our heads, literally), our future selves are the creators (kind of like the Matrix theory…it’s all a dream), or the theory of everything (it’s all a math equation that came about randomly).

Whatever you believe that there is a creator or that we came about randomly…it’s cool to contemplate other ideas. Upcoming shows will focus on “What Happened Before the Beginning?” and “Is Time Travel Possible?” and “Are We Alone?”

Check it out!!

Role Survivor

3 Jun

Have you ever noticed that the person you see in the mirror is not the same person you think you should be? The one in the mirror looks tired, stressed, and well, old. When did this happen? After your first date? While you were at work? During that long weekend with your in-laws?

You may think the person you should be is a wonder human-being who can do fifty things at one time, perfectly. If you don’t do those things perfectly then you suck. And you suck really bad. In fact, you probably suck more than any other person on this planet. You are also ugly, stupid, and have cellulite.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we think we have to be awesome, gorgeous, perfect, and wealthy…and if we’re not any of those things, if we are say AVERAGE, then we’re total losers? Why can’t being just average be okay?

We’ve learned that we can have anything we want, all at once. We’ve learned that in order to be happy, we have to be like Suzie Q. Celebrity or Johnny Doe Athelete and all we need to do is follow a simple five-step formula, then whalla, all our wishes come true. Or we just need to buy a new, clinically-proven, not-yet-available-in-stores, cream that makes all of our problems, like cellulite, vanish. If that doesn’t work, we can hire a motivational, life coach who will tell us we are good enough if we buy her eight-CD volume gift set on ways to create a positive outlook that will attract everything from money to cheese cake. As a last ditch effort, we can always refer to Oprah’s guru network. There is a guru who can offer us help when we’re purchasing an airplane ticket on how to get the safest seat, when we’re buying jeans on how to make our butts look slimmer, or when we’re having a mid-life crisis on how to achieve a meditative state of bliss.

I say, NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

We are not meant to fit into nice neat little roles and stereo-types of whatever society thinks is beautiful, perfect, intelligence, wealthy, etc.. We are not meant to be consumers of crap that will give us buns of steel, more hair where we want and less where we don’t want, super white teeth that are really sensitive to cold, or the ability to speak 10,000 languages in three days. We are not meant to be so damn stressed out trying to achieve these unreal ideals that we are killing ourselves or turning ourselves into plastic blow up dolls (case in point below):

Do you want to become a role survivor? Do you want to just be the average person you were meant to be and be PROUD of it? Do you want to throw away your 1,001 self-help books and DVD pilates work-out collections so you have room on your shelves for interesting books and DVDs? Then let me hear you say, “YEA!”

C’mon everybody…YEA!!! Power to the average people who are holding up this country, and for that matter, the world!!!

Monkey Mind

19 Apr

Monkey Mind is a term used often in Buddhism that refers to the “untrained” human mind. The monkey mind jumps from thought to thought, subject to subject, idea to idea, like a monkey jumps from tree to tree. Rather than existing in the present moment, the monkey mind focuses on one thought after another, and these thoughts distract us from existing in the present.

So I’ve been trying meditation recently to deal with my monkey mind. I think my mind is jacked-up on espresso beans and Red Bull. Simply sitting for 5 minutes is like torture, which only proves that I need to seriously calm down or I’m gonna blow a gasket.

The meditation starts out okay.

*breathe, focusing only on the inhalation and exhalation*
*mind clear…*
Wait, did I make sure that my daughter has a fruit in her lunch today? Fruit…yum. I’m hungry. I really want a blueberry scone. Uh oh…off track.
My back hurts. Now my necks hurts. I think I’ll have some tea…oops.
When I’m done with this meditation, I’m going to start that new client project. Boy, that one is gonna be hard. I’d better take extra time to do research…I’m still hungry. Dammit!
It’s only been 5 minutes! I don’t feel relaxed at all! Crap, the phone is ringing! Ignore the phone. Ignore the phone. Wait, who’s calling?

And so it goes. I’ve been doing it now for two weeks straight every morning before I work. I guess I’ve noticed that my shoulders have lowered a few inches away from my ears and I can count that as progress. The thing that is difficult is persistence when you have no clue what you are doing or if you will ever get anywhere. But then, it’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.

Now, where’s my coffee?

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