Monday, January 23, 2012

The 30-day Challenge


Today is the Chinese new year. We're now entering the year of the Water Dragon and more than the prediction of the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar, we should focus on the great things that 2012 has to bring. In essence, the year of the Water Dragon will bring so much blessings to those who are generous and kind, to those who are embarking on new adventures and those who  make this world a better place to live in. All of us can do our part, even if it means just changing one bad habit. After all, habits are what make the success and failure patterns  of our life. It's those little things we do everyday on a consistent basis that will dictate the direction our life is taking. 

Do you notice that there are people who always make their dreams come true while there are others who always seem to run out of luck? It's all about their habits. Success and failures are not actions. They are the results of the habits we do every single day. 

Perhaps, you have this small habit of watching TV for extended hours instead of exercising or doing something more productive. Maybe you're the type who is perpetually late for work. Maybe you have this habit of putting off urgent matters. Or maybe you smoke too much and would like to quit but just can't. These are just some of the things a lot of us wish we can change to make our lives a little better but somehow, we always fail at stopping them. I've been there before. I've smoked myself to sickness; I've bummed for a long period of time; I was always late for work; I used to procrastinate all the time. On several different occasions, I just decided to stop them and replace them with new and good habits and since then, my life has been better. If I can do it, so can you. 
Here's how: TAKE THE 30-DAY CHALLENGE

  1. Choose ONE bad habit you have and replace it with something else. Maybe you start your day facebooking and before you know it, unproductive hours have passed and you're late for work.
  2. Be specific with what you want to accomplish. For example, instead of saying "I will exercise everyday." make it "I will go to the gym and exercise from 6-8am, MWFSun and go biking around the village 6-8am TThSat."
  3. Once you find a replacement for your bad habit,  do it for thirty days. According to psychologists, 21 days is actually enough to stop any bad habit. But we want to go beyond the passing grade so we're going for thirty. 
  4. Do it consistently. If you stop, then it's back to zero and back to day 1.
  5. Study the good habit you want to acquire. Perhaps, you want to start a small home business. So instead of watching telenovelas at night, you can spend an hour or two of research online about this business that you want to pursue.
  6. Find support. Ask friends, families and colleagues who may be embarking on the same endeavor as you. Find a gym buddy, a business partner, or friends who will want to support you in your pursuit of better life. 
If you do this every month, by the end of 2012, you would have changed 12 bad habits and acquired 12 awesome ones! Think how better your life will be by then!

The Chinese New Year is another opportunity for us to start what we failed to achieve last year, or failed to do the start of this year. Happy Chinese New Year to all and may all our dreams come true!




Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Jan. 3 Gratitude Journal

When we have gratitude in our hearts, we attract more of the things we want.  So for today, let me take this time to thank God and the universe for these three things I consider my blessings:
  1. That I am able to do what's on my list for the first 3 days of the year. (I hope to be consistent for the next 362 days of the year)
  2. That I was able to book cheap flights to Siargao and Cebu this summer. (I hope I can find cheap accommodations too as I will be staying there for 17 days)
  3. That I have work I like and hobbies that give me joy. (Since I have been allowing myself to spend more time making my herbal jelly soaps, I am happier and surprisingly excited to continue doing my VA jobs this year.)
Thank you, thank you, thank you!




Monday, January 2, 2012

Peace and Inner Guidance

The past year, I have not listened to my inner guidance on several occasions because of other seemingly important and urgent matters. It made me resentful, unhappy and even depressed. I hope to change all that and start living in peace and harmony within myself. This new year serves as a very good platform for personal rebirth.

According to the Para-Gram PEACE by Paramahansa Yoganada:
Change yourself and you have done your part in changing the world. Every individual must change his own life if he wants to live in a peaceful world. The world  cannot become peaceful unless and until you yourself begin to work toward peace. It is only by removing hate from our hearts that we can live a Christlike life.
But how does one remove hate within himself? Since its source usually comes from the fact that we are always doing what is expected of us rather than what we really want to do, then it just means that when we change ourselves according to the dictates of our inner voice (that voice being of God's or from something greater than all of us), then we will start achieving peace and divinity within ourselves.

This also resonates with a quote I read by Shakti Gawain:
Every time you don't follow your inner guidance you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness.
This is why we easily get tired and lethargic when we do things we feel are not meant for us to do; This is why on occasions that we do listen to our inner voice and follow our own bliss, we feel much more alive, powerful and full of unconditional love. A balance can be attained if we don't want to risk everything just yet for that one thing we want to do. We can enjoy the process and continue learning from it while slowly changing the direction of our lives to our true calling.

I now include these quotes in my daily reading to bring me peace, and to guide me in my quest for creativity. You can also use them if you want to bring to the surface your creative spirit rather than remain as a shadow of your divine artist self the coming years.





Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ten Basic Creative Principles

As I embark on more creative adventures this year, I always go back to these ten basic principles I got from my current 12-week course on the Artist's Way:

  1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.
  2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing in all of life - including ourselves.
  3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator's creativity within us and in our lives.
  4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
  5. Creativity is God's gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.
  6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.
  7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: Good orderly direction.
  8. As we open our creativity channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
  9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
  10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move forward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

These are part of the things I read everyday, after I wake up and do my morning pages, as part of my daily meditation, affirmation and mantra. Doing so opens up my subconscious to a greater power far beyond my human conditioning and power. 

If you also have this yearning within you to be more creative and you feel like you are stuck where you are (a job that's starting to bore you or task you don't like, a relationship that has become stagnant, a life of sickness and chaos, etc.) read these ten basic principles of creativity everyday and see how your life slowly transforms for the better... you'll be more inspired to do things you've always wanted to do and you see yourself starting to listen to the creative forces within and around you. 

Once you start feeling happier and less skeptic of other people's happiness, less critical of their sense of art and creativity, that means that you're starting to unblock your own creative self and you're going to appreciate more the beauty in each and every person, thing and event.

Here's to a more creative you this new year!

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