Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tying the knot

Life is filled with lining up. Lines are an inevitable part of living. Red lights. Grocery stores. Banks and post offices. Line-up and wait.

Every time I wait at a red light, I'm in line waiting. Whenever I stand in a grocery story, waiting to pay, I'm in line.

How I wait is up to me. Am I impatient? Tapping my fingers on the steering wheel? Counting the groceries of the person in front of me, mentally willing the checkout person to scan faster?

Or, do I take the waiting opportunity to breathe some peace of mind into the moment. To calmly center myself in patience?

Some days I'm more adept at centering the car in front of me in the cross-hairs of my bazooka-like impatience than I care to admit!

Bottom line -- I wait in line because I have a goal. I'm getting somewhere. I am inching forward.

Dreams don't wait in line. Dreams are always there, eager to be realized. Often, however, I let my impatience with myself, my lack of drive, my inability to focus, or to 'do it', take over my thinking. I mire myself in negative thought and let go of the actions I know I must take to make my dreams comes true.

Life is a series of steps moving forward. Through intersections, check-out desks, up the corporate ladder, down the garden path. Life inevitably moves forward -- with or without my dreams coming to fruition.

When I tell myself I must wait for outer conditions to align themselves with the stars, or for my inner state to clear up after the storm, I need a reality check -- because if I'm waiting for something out there or in here to 'be ready', I am not moving forward. I am not creating the life of my dreams. I am standing still.

In the 1% solution, I must do one thing every day that moves me one step forward towards my dream. If I don't -- I'm doing nothing but moving further from where I want to be. My commitment today is to do that ONE thing. That one step that will state unequivocally, I am committed to making my dreams come true. I am in motion.

Moving forward requires me to make a choice -- to take action towards my goal, or not.

When I clutter my mind with self-defeating chatter, when I tell myself there's nothing I can do to change my life, my job, my situation, I am choosing to pull myself away from living the life of my dreams.

It's up to me.

It's up to you.

Here's an idea.

Ask yourself, what do I want more of in my life today? For me, the answer is focus. I want to be more focused on being in the moment, doing the things I need to do, want to do, to make my dreams come true.

Now, make an affirming statement about what it is you want more of. My affirmation for today is: I joyfully focus my energy on creating the life of my dreams.

Next, take a piece of ribbon, or string, (I like a brightly coloured slim piece of ribbon because the colour reminds me to be enthusiastic). State your affirmation. Tie a knot. Keep stating your affirmation and every time you do, tie a knot -- you should be able to get about 20 knots on your ribbon.

Put your string/ribbon in your purse or pocket and carry it around for the day. Remember to touch it, and when you do, state your affirmation.

You can use the same affirmation tomorrow, or create a new one for that day.

It's up to you.

This practice works really well to dislodge those negative thoughts that creep in. Get conscious. Every time you say something about yourself, like -- I can't do it. Why bother? What's the point? Nobody cares. I'm so stupid. -- touch your knotted ribbon and say your affirmation.

When you're sitting in traffic, standing in line, touch your ribbon and say your affirmation -- why not fill your mind with positive thoughts rather than constant grumblings of slowness of the world around you?

Try it for a week, or two, or three -- give yourself room to embrace a new habit of speaking positively about yourself while you rid yourself of negative chatter.

Opportunity isn't just going to show up on your doorstep one morning and say -- here I am. Pick me up.

Opportunity appears when you take action, every day, that move you closer to where you want to be.

Get acting. Get active. This is your one and only life. Get living it the way you want it to be!

The question is: Are you willing to do something different today to take you closer to your goals? Are you willing to rid yourself of negative chatter by prompting yourself with positive action?


CZBZ said...

Dear M.L Gallagher,

I hope other people find your words to be as motivating as I do. Focusing on Ourselves is a challenge when we see so much injustice in the world.

For those of us who are in a position to tip the scales towards justice, we do the best we can to make a difference in an unfair world.

Even so, we must be fair to ourselves by accomplishing personal goals.

I'm figuring you're the right person to counsel me since your first book has been published and mine hasn’t even been written.

Maybe other people are similar to me, but most times, we're not even conscious of the 'negative chatter' holding us back. We’d best start listening to ourselves deeply in order to catch our Inner Critic in the act!

You asked: "Am I willing to do something different today to take me closer to my goals?"


I'm tying a red ribbon to my monitor as a reminder that while it's important to serve others, we have an obligation to serve ourselves!

Today, I will listen to myself, allowing self-limiting fears to rise into consciousness...where I can catch that Inner Critic and tie her up with a red satin bow. ha!

Great Post today!


M.L. Gallagher said...

Hi Carolyn -- Thank you!

You know, about nine months before I finished my book, I had to ask myself -- what do I want? To write my book was the answer. And then the tough questions had to happen. Really? So, if that's what you want, why do you spend all your time doing others things -- like writing on forums and playing Spider Solitaire (love that game -- had to ban it from my computer!).

Truth is -- when I'm doing other things, that while they serve 'mankind', if they're not serving my purpose, they're pulling me in the wrong direction. Until I take care of me, I'm in no position to take care of others.

You have an awesome story to share, Carolyn. An amazing 'voice' -- it's up to you to do what it takes to stand up and be heard -- to write it out and get it out so millions can learn and grow through your experience.

Write on!