Day 31: The End

I cannot believe it’s the end of August. This month has flown by. And I’ve done so much! It’s actually pretty cool to think about how much you can do in 31 days.

  • I started a blog, finally
  • I kept up with it for 15 of 31 days (hey, at least I didn’t quit completely!)
  • I worked out for 12 of 31 days (the first 2 weeks I did really well; that full day CIZE training class threw me off)
  • I got certified to teach CIZE LIVE!!!
  • I visited with two childhood friends
  • I had sushi with a new friend!
  • I watched a lot of reruns of Frasier and True Blood (just a fact. Too much TV.)
  • I test drove 5 cars, including a BMW and a Mini Cooper
  • I got voted in as Vice President of Public Relations for Toastmasters
  • I spent a week by myself while Mom and Troy went on vacation
  • We watched Stranger Things season 1
  • I booked a stand-up comedy gig at the Ice House in Pasadena during my LA trip in October
  • I booked a trip to LA in October!

I did a lot this month. I’m so proud of myself. You can’t forget to pat yourself on the back. That is so key to living a happy life. You can’t just constantly be checking off the to-do’s and not recognizing how hard you worked.

I may have not written every day like I said I would, but damn – I sure learned a lot anyway!!

I will continue this blog. The next category is “September” 🙂

Day 30: This idea is FREEING

“Spirit is always for expansion and fuller expression.” – Thomas Troward

Dude. You know what this means? This means you never have to worry about not being enough. What you aren’t today, you can be tomorrow. Don’t cry that you’re not there today. It’s coming!

Suddenly, I see trying new things as a privilege instead of a requirement. I don’t have to do anything. And I realized that before, but when you learn something for the second time, you learn it through new eyes. Not because the material is different, but because you’re different. Learning is a robust experience, not just fact-gathering. When you open your mind to a new idea, it’s not just that idea that comes in. You don’t let one raindrop in. It’s a flood!

“Spirit (God) is always for (encouraging/supportive of) expansion (growth/increase) and fuller expression.” Isn’t that wonderful? Spirit/God/the Universe WANTS you to grow, experience, expand, express. When I think of this as the purpose of life, then heck yeah! Let’s do it! I’ll grow and increase. I’ll try new things. I’ll plant the seed and nurture it!

Suddenly, all the negativity, all the thoughts that say “if you were really any good, you’d already be there” is just laughable! The whole purpose of life is to improve. If you were just given the destination, you might as well die now. It’s done. But you’re not, you’re given the journey. That’s the fun part! Growing and learning and getting better at something…enjoy it. It’s a beautiful, exciting thing.

There’s truth to the old story of how the devil’s prized possession is discouragement. It’s so true. Discouragement prevents you from taking any action at all, and that sucks every potential good from your life. F%$# that! There’s no place here for discouragement. Spirit is always for expansion and fuller expression, so if all that means to you today is that you got out of bed and went for a walk, well good for you! Way to expand and express. Each day that you expand and express, even if it’s just the smallest little bit, you’re a success. Enjoy it. Soak it up. Give yourself a hug and a pat on the back. And look forward to doing more tomorrow.

I love this line so much. I hope you do, too.

Day 26: Relentless

I started the Bob Proctor Coaching program on May 11. That was 107 days ago, a little over 3 months. He said I’d need a telescope to look back, and I believe it, but I’m only 3 months in to the 13 month program. So I’m at the point where I’m really excited about what I’ve learned so far, and really looking forward to what’s coming up.

What I’m learning is you have to be relentless. Relentlessly positive. Relentlessly focused. Relentlessly active. Relentlessly self-encouraging.

(I’ve said relentless so much, I need to make sure I know the definition…  Ah, yes: “oppressively constant.“)

This is the only way to change a paradigm! To study over and over and over and over. I’m glad this program is 13 months long because it takes time and dedication to change your habits. It’s like eating – you have to do it every day. Yesterday’s nutrition doesn’t last today. You have to eat every day. And so you have to study every day. Nutrition for your mind and soul.

I admit, there were times in my past when the thought of having to “fight” my anxiety and depression every single day made me even more anxious and depressed. I was like, my work is never done??? Well…yes and no. I’m certainly not anxious or depressed anymore! But there are times that creep up, times when I’ve gone for a few days without nurturing myself and focusing on the good stuff, and I start to feel down again. It’s those old, bully paradigms trying to hold me down! Well, not today, sista!

So we knew this going in to this 30 day blog. I said “writing causes thinking,” and that “My main objective of blogging every day for 30 days is to create a constant stream of new thought in an attempt to improve myself and my results.”

Well. As you know, I didn’t write every day, but that’s my point – in this process I have learned that (1) it’s easy to get sidetracked with other things, and (2) when you do, it’s just as easy to start sliding back down Progress Hill. I was definitely getting down on myself the days after I didn’t blog. It wasn’t because I wasn’t writing – it was because I wasn’t thinking. I wasn’t relentless in my march toward a new paradigm.

Now, to be fair to myself, I was still reading, listening to audios, and attending Bob’s webinars. But listening without taking action is just not as powerful. The act of composing your thoughts with order…the act of stringing letters into words and words into sentences…the physical act of putting pen to paper, or in this case finger to keyboard – these are the actions that make a difference. I can feel the neurons in my brain firing up and fusing into new neural pathways as we speak, people!! My brain is getting so toned.

Be relentless. Every day. Nurture your mind. Do it, Amberla!

Days 18-24: The Truth About Procrastination, part 1

I am learning so much about myself this month!

Something is holding me back. Something is keeping me from my goals. And that something is procrastination. (Well, duh). But procrastination doesn’t just happen. There’s something much deeper at work. Habits? Paradigms? Laziness? Fear? Fear of failure, fear of success?

I’ve known for years that I’m addicted to TV. I just love stories! I love TV! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. But I do feel guilty when I watch one episode after another. Because I know when I’m avoiding something. 

Obviously I’m avoiding something considering I watched two seasons of True Blood this week. Oops.

I’ve always been a good girl. I do as I’m told, I get good grades. But I have a rebel streak in me…and unfortunately it’s rebelling against my very own self. This is the worst way to rebel!!

I have got to learn that I am not the bad guy. Can I do this? Of course! Will I? If I make the decision to. The last time I read and applied this article on Decision making by Bob Proctor, I was very successful! I did things I never believed I could do before – like going to the gym 5 days in 1 week and completing an abdominal exercise that I could never do before.

But right now, I’m making True Blood more important than my dreams. Wow. When I say it that way, it’s really sad.

How will I stop? Is it okay that I’m watching True Blood? Sure! Is it okay that it’s almost 1am and I just started another hour-long episode? Well…if I didn’t have to get up for work tomorrow it might be. What am I missing out on by indulging in this (delightfully Eric-full) episode?

Whoa whoa whoa whoa wait. I’m reading over this and I just realized that I said “I’ve known for years that I’m addicted to TV.” Paradigm alert! (1) Someone taught me to believe this a long time ago, but (2) it doesn’t have to be that way. As long as I believe I’m addicted, I will be.

If I were to turn off the TV right now, how would I benefit? I guess I would get a little more sleep. Or I might spend the time fine-tuning my speech for Toastmasters tomorrow! Or I might spend the time improving my skills for, oh, I don’t know, that CIZE LIVE class I’ll be teaching soon!! Or, hell – I might spend the time working on my jokes for the Blue Whale Comedy Festival I’m performing in 2 weeks from now.

Grief. I have a lot to work on! Maybe I’m watching True Blood to relax? To keep my mind off of these things? Why would I do that?! You know why? Because I’m scared. I’m intimidated, and if I allow myself to think about these things, I already know that I’m going to worry. I’m going to worry that I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not worthy, I’m not funny. But…half the time I don’t worry like that. I’m conflicted.

This post will require a part 2! Until then…

Days 11-17…

Well…

I didn’t blog every day for 30 days like I said I would.

And guess what?

I can feel it!

The whole idea of blogging every day was to think every day, because writing causes thinking. I’ve definitely still been thinking but…maybe not constructively. Actually, maybe it wasn’t so much “thinking” as it was “habitual mental activity.” You know how your paradigms keep you thinking the same old crap over and over? Yeah. That. I definitely got dragged into some old negative thinking since I wasn’t forcing myself to write out new ideas. Bum-mer!

I have an excuse for each day I didn’t blog. Do you want to hear them? Of course not. It doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t take time to sit down and write. Long story short: I drove 8 hours to Houston and 8 hours back, and in between I got certified to teach CIZE LIVE and I visited 2 childhood friends. It was great! It was terrible. It was eye-opening.

First, I hit the Terror Barrier hard the minute I stepped into that dance room. It was all excitement and fun signing up, telling everyone I was going to do it, and even the drive down there. Then BAM – all these negative thoughts hit me at once. “What were you thinking? You can’t dance! You definitely can’t teach dance. This is way harder than you thought. How are you going to have time for this, you have to become a totally new person to pull this off! This is only for really beautiful and cool and fit people, and you’re none of that.” Can you believe this?! It was so powerful. I think I did a pretty good job of hiding my fear from the others in class, but I know I wasn’t vibrating on a top frequency. And that bummed me out, too. It was one thought after another burying me into a depression I haven’t felt in months.

It sure felt like I shouldn’t be there. And then I remembered what Bob said in his Freedom Series audio: your paradigm can trick you into thinking it’s your intuition. Was it intuition telling me I didn’t belong here? Or was it my pesky paradigm trying to scare me back into submission?

I was embarrassed and I didn’t even want to call my mom afterward. But I did. And I told her how I felt “intimidated” by the dance and the fact that I now had to learn it and teach it. And to that, she said, “well – that says to me that you find something worthwhile in it!”

Wow. If I wasn’t sure which was intuition and which was just a negative ol’ paradigm before, I was now. Mom was right! My intuition led me to sign up in the first place. My intuition knew that I would enjoy it! My paradigm held me to a lower standard – it said that for x amount of reasons, I wasn’t able to dance or teach dance. Is that true? Hell no! I am just as capable as any other human to dance. And if I really want to teach it, I can do that too.

I’m intimidated, sure. But like mom was alluding…being intimidated means you’re in awe of something, either because it’s frightening or because it’s impressive. I’m impressed by dance and dancers. I’ve always been around dance, but I’ve never really gone after it. There’s something telling me I can’t; that I’m not good enough or free enough. I can’t quite pinpoint it. But I feel it whenever I’m (1) around people who are watching me when (2) I’m not feeling confident.

I’m not “dancing like nobody’s watching”…!

Damn. That’s the problem!

Bob told me that worrying about what other people think of me is a “dumb game.” And I know he’s right. And most of the time I don’t! But look here, this is exactly what I’m doing.

I’m not allowing myself to enjoy the music. I’m not allowing myself to enjoy moving. I’m not allowing myself to have fun!

This is bogus, man!

The rest of my week was eye-opening. I thought a lot about this. I spent time with old friends. I thought about who I was when I knew them, vs. who I am now. Things sure have changed. And you know what? They are still changing. I have some cool new chapters in front of me. I’m happy to keep reading!

Day 10: I Am Dynamo & So Are You

I had a friend in 4th grade who was jealous of me, and she told me so. She bawled; I’ll never forget it, that day on the playground. That day, I decided I would never make anyone jealous of me ever again. I didn’t want to see anyone in pain, ever, and certainly not because of me.

For the next 25 years, I didn’t dare shine too brightly. As if my shining was going to be the shadow over someone else.

And when I did shine, I made sure to make fun of myself for it. I was self-deprecating because if I was going to shine, at least they would know that I didn’t mean to.

Looking back now, there was nothing I did to cause that person to be jealous. In fact, I now know that I can’t CAUSE anyone to feel anything because we are all responsible for our own emotions! Isn’t that wild??

I’ve thought about this many times over the years. I’ve been shiny, and then I’ve been dull, and I’ve talked myself into shining, and then I’ve retreated back into dullness.

What I’m learning now through Bob Proctor Coaching is that it really does take repetition to change a habit. It’s lovely to recognize that I don’t have to be dull when I really want to shine. But HABIT is what controls me, not an occasional lovely thought here and there. I have to put those lovely thoughts into practice over and over before I will change.

Honestly, even writing this is giving me the creeps because I know (I don’t know, actually – I’m engaging in an Automatic Negative Thought (ANT) of Mind Reading)…I “know” that someone out there is going to read this and think “oh, she thinks she’s so great” and I’m going to be like, “No! I don’t think that!” and then I’ll retreat back into my corner where I don’t disturb anybody. Man, this is a baaaad paradigm of mine.

Jealousy is unnecessary, people! I should think I’m great! You should think you’re great! Today, Bob called me “dynamo locked up in a physical body” and you know what? So are you!

Someone said this is what society does to women, it pits us against each other to weaken us.

Well, you know Bob Proctor and I don’t focus on problems – we focus on what we want instead of what we don’t want. No more blaming society. Oh, society made you a jealous cynic? Fine – now that you know, take responsibility for yourself and take action. I am aware now and I’m done with it. I want to shine. I want the women around me to shine. I want them to blind me with their light!

And guess what? My light is not mine. It’s everyone’s. When I shine, I’m representing…shininess. Yeah, that’s what I said! The light that I project is not mine alone. I can project it, you can project it – it’s just a matter of tapping into it and sharing it with others!

I love the Howard Thurman quote, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” It’s so true. We love people who are alive, on fire with their passion, and who share it with us. That’s shining, and you know what? I’m giving myself permission to shine. Are you?

Day 9: Money, part 2

Today I studied “The Law of Compensation” (chapter 7 in Working with the Law by Raymond Holliwell).

This law is all about having a positive self image, so that you know of yourself that you’re providing value, and thus value will be rewarded back to you.

I love this line: “Your right place is where you can enjoy success and plenty; this is natural, as the Law intended; your failure to realize these things is a miscalculation, a mistake.”

This is changing everything for me. Instead of looking at “the haves” and feeling like a “have not,” this concept says everyone is a “have”! In Chapter 12, “The Law of Success,” Holliwell says, “God intended every individual to succeed. It is God’s purpose that man should become great. It is God’s will that man should not only use, but enjoy every good in the universe. The Law of God denies man nothing.”

Man = me! AND you!

It goes on to say “Man is made for progress…Advancement into all things is the Law’s great purpose.” This means God wants you to grow and try new things and have endless opportunities to experience goodness.

(Sidebar: I don’t know if you know this, but I’d suffered with depression and anxiety for many of my adult years. After fashion school, I was so burnt out that I checked myself into a 3 week intensive outpatient therapy program. The therapy was great…and so was the Prozac. 2 years later, after my divorce, I went off Prozac and it was not easy. For me, what I’m learning in the Bob Proctor Coaching program is helping me heal from the inside out. I have never been so inspired, happy, calm, wise, enthusiastic, excited, and on-purpose. I know now that I will never choose to be negative again. There’s no reason to be. Immersing myself in this kind of thinking has opened my eyes to my personal power.)

I didn’t mean to turn this blog entry into an informercial…but here’s a good example of me feeling great!!

Okay, so back to Compensation…and this is where we attack some more paradigms I have about money!

Holliwell states, “If you are not succeeding, if you lack any good thing, look more closely to the cause. It is not outside; it is somewhere within. See where you fail to use the Law correctly or where you fail in your consciousness to think rightly. There are three points common in everyday life where one may fall into a snare and a delusion:

  1. Do you EXPECT SOMETHING FOR NOTHING? This is violating the law. If you, knowingly cheat another of a dollar, it may cost you many dollars for the mistake.
  2. Do you hunt for things that are cheap? There’s energy in words, and the energy in the word “cheap” is cheap! “Cheap thoughts can only bring cheap returns. You place yourself in a vibration that limits your thought to a state where you support underselling, cutting, bankruptcy and dishonesty on the part of the seller.
  3. Do you HATE TO PAY YOUR BILLS? Stop! Release money cheerfully, when you realize the value of what you’re paying for. Note how you love and are grateful for the service that the bill represents: the warmth and security of your heating bill; the safe food that is protected in your electric refrigerator; the connection you have to others with your internet and phone bills! Send this money forth with gratitude. Holliwell says that this kind of increase of appreciation increases the flow of abundance, like a faucet.

That’s all I got for today. I’m sure I will have a part 3 and probably part 4 on the topic of Money. It’ll be like Fast and Furious over here.

Happy Tuesday!

Day 8: Oh no – I’m a Hater

I thought I was going to write about self-image today, but I’ve been interrupted by a flash of inspiration.

And since you have to roll with inspiration, and not let it get stale, here we go!

It has occurred to me many times in my life that I am often “late to the party” or “slow to get on the bandwagon.” To be honest with you, I always kinda prided myself on this. Either because I thought I was funny (I love thinking I’m funny) or because I roll my eyes at people who want to be trendy. (Now that I’m changing my thinking, I don’t want to roll my eyes at anyone, but we’ll save that for a future blog).

But…am I cool for trying not to be cool?

Here’s a list of things that I resisted at first but eventually grew to love:

  • Friends (the TV show; I scoffed at the show until I actually watched it!)
  • Smashing Pumpkins (thanks to my sister; I didn’t appreciate Billy Corgan’s strange voice until she bought the Adore album)
  • Mariah Carey (who drove me nuts until I was able to see my teenage, lovelorn self in her lyrics, hahaha)
  • Lost (the TV show – I finally gave it a shot when they were in season 4 and I became such a Lostie that I went on the 5 hour tour in Oahu!)
  • karaoke
  • Macs
  • computers in general (I never begged my parents for a computer and I’m pretty sure I was the last in my class to get one)
  • iPhones
  • Hugh Laurie
  • Adele
  • purses (I remember in Jr. High thinking carrying a purse was something I would never do)
  • manicures (until I worked at OPI!)
  • heels (…actually, the jury is still out on this one)

You know what I did when I resisted these things? I scoffed. I rolled my eyes. I thought negative things about them and the people who liked them. I put myself in a negative vibration, AND WORST OF ALL – I subconsciously told myself that if these things weren’t likable, chances are, neither am I.

embarrassed

Yikes.

I’ve cheated myself out of some pretty cool stuff because of my resistance to try new things. I’ve been a hater!  Whoaaa. I didn’t realize. I thought I wasn’t a hater since I liked Hanson when no one else did and therefore everyone else was a hater, not me! (LOL I’m still pretty proud of that).

WRONG.

This is definitely leading to my self-image blog because you know what this means? It means these actions are proof that I think of myself this way. And as a result, I’m missing out. Maybe the bandwagon isn’t so bad. It doesn’t mean I have to love everything that is popular, certainly not! But…I think I should give new things a chance.

Day 7: Don’t Be a Victim

I wasn’t sure what to blog about today. But something has been bothering me since I went to the mall yesterday, so I think writing about it will help me.

As I went to get in line to check out at a department store, there was an incident of confusion where someone cut the line on accident and went to get rung up before it was her turn. Then I overheard the person they had cut in front of. She stood there angry and mumbling to herself how rude it was…and yet she continued to stand there and be a victim. I pretended not to notice that she went on and on about how people should do this and shouldn’t do that, and where have manners gone, etc. etc. Of course the person to which her anger was directed at was out of earshot and didn’t get the message.

So many people shortchange both themselves and other people when they allow injustice – even little stuff like line cutting. She could have so easily said “excuse me, I was next” but instead she has been taught to believe that she can’t. That instead she has to stand there and take it. And she probably assumed that if she did say something, it would be met with resistance or conflict.

What she doesn’t realize is that she caused her own distress, both by not standing up for herself (external), and by not believing that she had any control (internal). She’s so powerful and she doesn’t know it. Instead she stood there stifling anger, stuffing it down inside and continuing the pattern of helplessness and victimization. She is a victim and she will continue to be until she realizes that she has a voice, and that it’s okay and actually helpful to use her voice – by saying that she was next, she could have made the other person more aware of her surroundings, and she could have been an example of how to say something like that kindly and without awkwardness – a lesson we could all use!

But even more importantly than the act of speaking up is simply knowing that you can. When you know you have a voice and you can use it, you are so calm – you just love that it’s there inside you; you don’t even need to use it all the time. You could even choose to let the other person cut without saying anything because you have better things to focus on than who goes first in line.

I have been this victim. In fact, at one point I wanted to start a movement to bring back manners 🙂 Manners are great, of course, and promoting them is noble, of course. But complaining about people not having manners is, well, bad manners! I think we’re better off understanding that you can’t control other people. And in fact, it’s disrespectful to try. I’ve learned through my codependency recovery that to assume someone else can’t do something is to take power away from them. And when you take power away from someone, they learn to depend on you instead of themselves. I want to influence people – but now I know they have to want to be influenced. I want to respect that, manners or not, adults are adults, too. And they are also expressions of God, therefore they are just as capable of having manners as I am 🙂

I gotta tell you – I am so happy and grateful that I am no longer the victim of circumstance, that I am aware of my personal power, and that I can see the personal power of others.

Day 6: Growth

Today was HUGE.

Today, I did something I’ve never done before, and suddenly everything I’ve been learning about Man, and the Law, and what we’ve been made capable of fell into place.

Today, on my 5th workout of the week, with my muscles more sore than they’ve ever been, I successfully performed my first ever perfect leg-lower during the abs track. Without struggle and with muscles I didn’t know I had. This is something I see the others doing all the time. They do them over and over without stopping. I’m jealous and cynical when I see them in the mirror. And in the back of my mind I’ve always thought “my abs aren’t strong enough…not like them…and they never will be.”

I was wrong. Today it all clicked, what we’re capable of. Even me. And as I lay on my mat during the cooldown, I laughed and cried in exhilaration (as quietly as I could – exhilarated or not, I didn’t want the others to think I was nuts). I was in awe and sudden understanding. This was probably my first “religious experience.”

“God intended every individual to succeed,” Raymond Holliwell writes in Working with the Law. “The powers inherent in [man] are inexhaustible… Man is made for progress. Every man contains within himself the capacity for endless development. Advancement into all things is the Law’s great purpose.”

Now, not only do I believe it, but I have proof.

Have a wonderful, progressive weekend!