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In Chellie Campbell’s wonderful book, The Wealthy Spirit, she talks about how with all our mod cons (modern conveniences) we’ve lost the art of doing nothing.  After spending 2 days without power, I’ll take the mod cons, thank you.

The experience of being without power reminded me how blessed we are to expect to wake up warm and able to choose from a wide variety of foods.  What magic it truly is to flip a switch and have light, turn a knob and have water.  With a little patience, it will get hot, too.  Put pressure on a handle and whisk away any offending odors.  Push a button, click a mouse and have instant access to almost limitless entertainment and information. The immediate communication of email is the stuff of science fiction.  Mod cons do so much for our lives!  We felt lucky to have mod con cell phones when the land lines were down, plastic containers to collect ice, and an efficient refrigerator.

The mod cons are so integrated into our lives we barely take notice of how amazing they are, until they’re absent.  In the midst of it, when I knew full well we had no power, every room I walked into, I’d try to turn on the light.  Without thinking we pass by  these marvels day in and day out.

Perhaps we find it hard to do nothing because it’s so easy to do something. We’re not used to having to find something to do. The sun rises, the Internet is up. Television.  Pandora.  Phone. In my house, it’s movies, but the effects are the same.  We have all become just a little too addicted to these constant companions.  Life seems empty and boring without them.

During the outtage the neighbors gathered at the house with the generator.  There was much flurry around the television, charging cell phone batteries and checking emails.  It had only been 12 hours!

I missed my favorite TV shows, of course, but I also found myself longing for even a glimpse of another series we’ve been watching.  Sapphire and Steel.  It’s very 60’s stylish sci-fi series, I find hard to follow and left with nightmarish images.  But even that I would prefer to the same four walls.

Another neighbor, without cell phone or computer on a normal day, admitted how much she missed her TV.  And that she and her boyfriend talked more than they usually did.

Our mod cons are so important to our lives and how we live them.  But maybe they do prevent us from having to face our fellow beings on a more intimate and deep level.  It’s certainly possible.  It could be though, that we just forgot how to make idle conversation or sit quietly with another person.

I’d have to say it would take more than 2 days for me to detox.  But I intend to be better prepared in the future. There are practical matters I can take into consideration for staying warm and eating.  I wonder if I can better handle the denial of my plug-ins?

I’ll start by remembering how truly miraculous our mod cons.  And try not to take them so much for granted. And I will watch my dependencies and see where I can reduce.  Maybe start small and try music from time to time instead of television and see where it leads.

1) Getting the Delighted Idea.
Ooh la la!  Wouldn’t it be great to write about this! You can’t really start writing until you have an idea (or an assignment).  In life, this is the phase where you allow yourself to be led by your joy.  Where does my joy wish to go today?  This is usually an automatic answer, something that rises up inside of you.  (Or is handed to you.)

2) Developing with Love and Care.
This is the time to get clear on what it is you really want to say about this anyway.  I have written about the exercise   Where you talk to yourself on paper about what you want to write, without worrying about “writing” it. I like to do this by hand, so it’s closer to my heart, more flexible.  For instance, you might say, “I want to write about the phases of writing.  I want to show that it can be the same as phases of life.”  Writing easily about it and inserting notes like, “What about making it a numbered post?”  In life you might see this phase as figuring out just what you want.  Getting clear on it.

3) Type it Up.
At least in this day and age, it’s important to get it onto the computer.  This is tending well to it.  Rather than leaving it on a piece of paper which can get lost or stuck with other papers, this is a way of preserving it, making it real.  Even if you begin with a typed first draft, this is where you can play with it – now that it’s on the computer.  As you type it up or read it over, you can flow a little more with it, come up with new ideas, settle on a direction, rearrange your thoughts.  When we tend well to ourselves, we prepare ourselves well for the journey ahead.  We take care of ourselves and get what we need.  We give ourselves and the piece our attention.

4) Refining and Revising.
This is the heart and soul, the work of writing.  This is where it all happens.  Making it “money.”  In life, we are taking the steps toward what we want. Sending out the ships, as Chellie Campbell says.  There are those who teach that writing is really rewriting.  I see it as taking the raw materials and mixing them together into what you wish to create. Working the dough until you get it just right.

5) Letting it Go.
This can be tricky.  But there must come a time where you need to say it is finished.  I like to review it one more time to make sure it rings true and then let it go.  In life, we have to trust and surrender to the path in front of us.  Let go of things we no longer need and let our light shine for others to see.

Thanks for listening.

Part 2 of 2 – see below.  (This post is kind of meant to be read AFTER the previous post.)

I have written before about “The Wealthy Spirit,” a delightful book from Chellie Campbell.  In the book you will find an essay for each day of the year, along with a quote and an affirmation.  One of the essays is about the voices we hear in our heads.  Often these voices came from parents, teachers and other adults we were around as children. In one column Chellie lists the negative voices and another gives us positive words we can use to drown out the negative. Things like “Can’t you do anything right?” or “It’s for your own good,” can be replaced with more loving ones like “You can do anything you put your mind to” or “I appreciate you.”

One of my favorites is “Let’s create some fun together.”  I remember many times, as a child, when I was scheduled to go somewhere and at the last minute, I couldn’t.  Or when I asked if I could do something and was told that I couldn’t.  Children are not always soothed by the facts: “I’m sorry.  The car broke down and I can’t take you.”   “They cancelled the party.  There’s no place to go.”  These messages may not sink in, may not matter when your heart was set on it.  All you’re left with is a feeling of being deeply disappointed.

But what if someone said, “Maybe you can’t do that fun thing, but let’s you and I create some fun together”?  What a wonderful thing to do for a child! Offer him something fun to do.  What else might feel good right now?  Let’s accept the disappointment and move on. There are other enjoyable things in life. “We can sit down and draw or play a game together.  I’d say these are two of a child’s favorite things: playing and getting time and attention.

Play is a chunk of time to do something you really love to do.  For me, it would include creativity.  Doing art is how I like to play.   I emphasis doing because play entails some kind of activity.  While taking a bath might be thoroughly delightful and a healthy thing to do, it is not, strictly, “play.”  Playing might be taking a walk in the woods.  Better still, swimming.

Play is an amazingly healing thing.  But I think most of us don’t play enough.  Sure, there’s rest, but I’m talking about play.

One of the gifts of play is to use it when you’re otherwise disappointed by plans.  When plans change and you’re given a gift of time.  What are you going to do with it?  Sometimes that can be overwhelming.  Especially when you’re used to working all the time (see below).

Many times, when I find myself with unexpected time, I just don’t know what to do. Surely there must be something productive I can do with it.  That would be the thing to do, wouldn’t it?  Particularly since I’m always feeling behind. This could be a chance to catch up.  But then I find myself whining, “I doan wanna.  I want to do what I was planning to do!”

Wouldn’t it be great to use this disappointment to do something good for yourself? I try to keep a list of ways to play when I find free time. Play can be a perfect filler when your energy is cranked up anyway. Though I’ve not been very good at it (see the previous post), I think it’s important to figure out what would be fun for you.  Knowing this can really help a workaholic!

I happen to think that it’s a personal definition.  For some, going to a party is fun.  Not so much for me.  There are, of course, harmful ways to play.  But what I’m trying to get at here is just that one person’s play is another’s bore or turn off.

What a shame most of us didn’t have parents to model that for us.  Wouldn’t it have been great if we were taught how to make fun from disappointment?  Given tools for discovering what fun and play is for us?  What a great skill it would be to take with you into the world!

Now I am all for things that are productive AND play. Ultimately, isn’t that the idea?  To get to a place where everything is play. Cool, now I’m playing the Work game, digging my work, playing this part. Oh, now it’s time to play the Family/Loved Ones game!  Now I get to play with people I love.  How cool is that?  Next I’m going to be playing the Game of Caretaker, tending to needs.  Tomorrow I think I’ll play the Sports Game. . .

Life would feel a whole lot better if we played all the time.  What an amazing gift to give the art of re-setting to a child!  Easy to do, too. Just help them to find alternate plans. Create fun with them. Show them how good it can be when what you wanted or expected doesn’t show up!

Chellie Campbell is one of my favorite authors.  I read from her Wealthy Spirit book every day. Today’s reading was about wearing emotions. Every day we wear our emotions. It is in our demeanor, the way we carry ourselves.  Certainly, it’s in the words we use.

So what are you projecting?  What emotions are seeping out without your choice?

What happens when you wear something like abundance?  “Costly thy rainment as they purse will bear,” my mother used to say.  But you don’t have to spend a dime to wear abundance.  Feeling is all that’s required.  And what a difference it can make in your day!

I love the phrase, wearing life like a loose fitting garment.  When you’re in loose clothes you’re likely to have a lighter attitude.  Remembering this phrase can create the experience no matter what you’re wearing.

It think it’s important to set the tone of my day by choosing how to I want to feel.  It helps to keep me grounded when life tries to tell me how to feel.

As I carefully choose the clothes I will wear, I can also chose the emotions I will wear.  And watch my day blossom!


I was reading an excerpt from “The Wealthy Spirit,” by Chellie Campbell.  She told the story of having lunch with friends and talking about all the things they wanted to achieve success.  Someone at the table pointed out that success is not all fun and games – there is a down side.

Yikes!  I don’t go for that.  Though I suppose I can allow there may be some things about “success” that are not as pleasant as others.  The upshot of the reading was that if you want success, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get it, to accept whatever it brings.

My point is that success is in the eye of the beholder.  Depending on how you define it, every bit can be good.  For me, if I had lots of people praising my work, and telling me they got a lot from it, I could keep a smile on my face and happily greet strangers.  With plenty of praise and encouragement, those critics are a lot easier to handle.  I wouldn’t  even mind traveling so much if I could put up a few boundaries to keep my balance.  When we feel successful simply by being alive, aware, breathing and able to love, what’s the down side?

I’m of the mind (or is it the heart?) that if you want what you have, you always have what you want.  That’s successful!  The magic of life begins there. Every moment is a success and everything that happens merely another aspect of that success.

Here’s to everyone’s success!

 I have been going on a bit lately about feelings for my upcoming book.  How important it is to check in with how you’re feeling.  They are the gauge that tell you how you’re going.  Feelings are true and real, just not necessarily so.

Every day I read a page in Chellie Campbell’s wonderful book, “The Wealthy Spirit.”  I’m liking the notion Chellie brought up in one of the day’s readings that you can’t always wait until your feelings are where you want them to be.  If you did, you’d probably never do anything.

In regards to my recent experience in the car, I haven’t felt much like driving in inclement weather.  I was able to escape it yesterday. (Though the road crews were out early and with their high tech solutions, made the roads pretty clear, from my point of view, there was still a whole lot of snow and I was not inclined to risk any more poles.)  But today, I had to venture out.  If I waited until I felt like it, I would hide under the covers (at least inside the door) until well into April.

It is an interesting path these feelings take.  They come out of our thoughts: “I’m scared. I can’t do it.  What if?  I’ll mess up again.”  I think we’re all familiar with that song and dance routine.  These thoughts make me feel like I can’t, like I doan wanna.  Which keep me from moving.

There are two ways to go here.  One entails controlling my thoughts.  Meditation, I believe, can help in training the mind.  But it’s so easy to lose track in this multi-tasking, quick -cut, short attention span world we live in.  You can forget about calming the feelings.  That’s often a losing battle once it’s taken hold of you.

Ultimately, it must come back to the thought. But you need to change (or usurp) those chattering thoughts with one simple demand:  “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.”  Susan Jeffers had the answer way back in the mid 80’s.  There really isn’t any other way around it.

I would say you could use that same technique with any brand of fear you have.  Feel the reluctance, the insecurity, the nervousness. The plan is always to acknowledge the feeling, whatever it is, and then follow Dr. Jeffers and do it anyway.

First, you might want to scan it through your feelings, though, to see if you really do want to do it.  Even if it feels like your particular flavor of feeling, do you still feel it’s right to do? (I do want to go out, even if I don’t feel like it.)  If there’s something you can do to pad the way, by all means, do it.  If that means waiting one more day, getting the proper tools or supplies, asking someone for help, get busy and do it.  Just don’t forget (or get lost in the preparations) and just do it.

If I may, I’d like to add a short piece to my post on Surrender from yesterday.  In Chellie Campbell’s book, “The Wealthy Spirit,” Chellie shares this poem that speaks to this practice of Surrender ~

As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God,
Because He was my friend.
But then instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help,
With ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,
“How can you be so slow?”
“My child, “ He said, “What could I do?
You never did let go!”
 – Unknown

I have been deeply immersed in SARK recently. And haven’t been reading or working with anyone else but the Coach by the Lake and Maria Nemeth. So, I wasn’t sure what to do for, what I would like to become here on The Positive Slant, Teacher’s Day.

But there is always Chellie Campbell. Perhaps I need a vacation. I’ve put in a lot of focused and dedicated work lately. Chellie’s marvelous book, “The Wealthy Spirit” is full of great affirmations to keep going, smart advice on earning, spending, saving and caring for money. But she has much to say, as well, on the benefits of taking days off.

Some of her teachings are similar to or compliment SARK’s. I guess, in the end, we are all saying the same thing, just in fresh and different ways. Sometimes they intersect. One of Chellie’s quotes in “The Wealthy Spirit,” which my nose is always in, is this: “The more time off I take, the more money I make.” Reminds me of SARK’s, “The more naps I take, the more money I make.” They are both telling us to slow down. That you can’t be productive and make money if you’re run down.

Chellie is big on these days off. She is a proponent of the spend the day in bed philosophy. I sometimes find that hard. And if I do it, I generally bring “work” or something close to work with me. “Do Nothing Day,” Chellie calls it. We could all use them from time to time. Instead of getting sick and having that force you to sit down and relax, she makes the decision. So, what do you do on those sick days? Stay in bed, watch TV, nap, read . . . She does all that without having to feel lousy.

Afterwards, Chellie says, she’s “a bundle of energy and enthusiasm. Renewed, refreshed and once again eager to connect with the world and do the work I love.” You know sometimes I think, when you do the work you love, you shouldn’t need time off. But that is simply not true. I am better and more productive (and clearly a better writer) when I get a break.

I know that the best way to earn money is when you’re doing something else. That sleeping money I think they talk about in “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” If you are making money while you sleep, while you’re taking the day off, while you’re out having fun, that is Real Money. The kind that piles up when you’re not looking. Wages come as a direct result of your efforts and energy. Sleep Money doesn’t need a thing from you. Now, that’s the way to make money!

In working with SARK, I’m on the lookout for more ways to take exquisite care of myself. So I’m pondering ways to celebrate. Taking time off is a splendid way to do that.

Chellie says when she hears people are burned out or want to quit their job, she asks if they have taken time off lately. Most of the time it’s a foreign concept. But it is so true that giving yourself that time away refreshes and rejuvenates you. One of my favorite feelings is when I can’t wait to get to the desk in the morning! Taking time off can return that feeling when it starts to fade or waver.

Poker is one of Chellie’s favorite things to do. She does it wisely, just to have fun, but she allows herself to do things that are fun. She will spend money on herself. SARK talks about that feeling of having something new. I find it to be one of my Energy Expanders. Buying yourself just the right thing is a great way to experience a “break.”

Chellie points out that with 56 hours to sleep 8 hours a night, plus 40 hours to work, we have 72 hours for fun! If you love your work, you have even more time for fun!

Vacations are an integral part of Chellie’s program. She is willing to spend some money to have a good time, too. She believes that it makes her a better business woman. It takes good care of her CEO energy and her Inner Spirit energy.

There are days, sometime, when it’s just not happening. When you try and try and nothing comes, no clarity, no inspiration, no concentration. That’s a good sign you need a break. Even if you can’t get away for a vacation, a long weekend, or even the afternoon, try taking a walk, getting outside, changing your surroundings. Anywhere where you can let your thoughts ramble as they will. Just a few minutes to breathe and do nothing else can sometimes switch you back on. If it’s not working – maybe you do need some more extended time away.

Sometimes I think clients and customers (and even a boss or two) might appreciate and understand when you need to take time off. Give it a try. Everyone needs balance. Put whatever you must in place to make it smoother and easier for everyone and then just do it.

In Chellie’s essay on “Making Money While you Sleep,” she says, “If you set up enough passive income, your only job will be managing it. And you can phone that in from Tahiti!”

She reminds us that there are different rules for the long distance race that is life. You can’t keep sprinting with no rest in between.

For people who say they can’t possibly take time off, Chellie suggests going to your calendar and crossing off a day. Stay committed to it. If something really big needs to happen on that day, immediately schedule another. Trading, she says, is fine. “The irreplaceable million dollar piece of business equipment you own is your body – treat it with care, respect and regular maintenance. You deserve – and need- regular breaks!”

In an essay entitled, “Things are Getting Worse – Eat Chocolate, ” Chellie talks about how sometimes she takes way too many Nos and needs a Yes day. She plays hooky and allows herself to eat chocolate and say yes to whatever she can. You can’t do that for too long, but one day can be enough to refresh and allow you to take on the work of No a little lighter and easier.

In one of Chellie’s classes there was a woman who had highly developed CEO energy, but she had forgotten how to have fun. So her goal each week was to report on how many things she did to take care of herself, to pamper, to have fun and to relax. What’s on your list?

Every once in a while we need to give ourselves permission to take the day off. Chellie says there’s no cause to inflict your pain and crabbiness on everyone else. She describes her day off like this, “I shower my brain with as much white light and harmonius energy as I can muster, and gradually the dark dirt of desperation dissipates.” Just for one day, take the time you need.

Chellie Campbell is on my top 10 list of favorite teachers.  In regular rotation, I read from her book, “The Wealthy Spirit” almost every day.  This book not only offers daily bits of wisdom on being spiritually grounded, it also has some very practical tips for making money.

One of her concepts is Sending out Ships.  Some might call it Sales and Marketing, but this is more fun and, I think, more encompassing. It includes everything you might do to move you toward your goal.  For instance, if you want to be a dancer, a ship you might send out is calling up the local dance instruction studio and seeing what they have to offer.  I think of it as contacting people. Getting my words and my message out there.  Chellie calls it simply,  “taking action to achieve your goal.”

It pays to think clearly about ways you can send out ships.  It can vary from person to person.  Chellie says, “the money’s in the phone.”  For me, it’s in the Internet.  But the same concept applies.  There are the more obvious ships like sending e-mails, but also social networking and posting comments and guest blogs.  Every time I post to my blog, I send out a ship.

This is a more lively and breezy way to think about marketing.  Sales and marketing can sound so dry and boring!  And onerous.  Who wants to do that?  But when I think of it as filling my ships with my best stuff and launching it, bound for exotic seas, it feels a lot more fun.  It helps me, too, to get a grasp on all the many ways I can equip my ships.  What ways can I put myself out there to get what I’m after?  Whether that’s clients, students, a job, a mate, or a particular piece of gear.

Chellie says that it is up to us to send out ships, but not to bring them home.  We wave good bye to our ships and get busy readying more.  Not all ships make it back.  And once they’re at sea, there’s not much we can do. So we can focus on just putting more in the water and casting them off.

It is a great day when a ship comes sailing back into harbor, loaded with good things.  Sometimes the ship was launched not long ago, but it could be a ship you sent out months or even years before.  You never know when they will come in and what they will bring!  That makes it even more fun.

I love Thanksgiving.  Not because of the turkey – I don’t eat turkey.  Not the big meal.  Heaven knows I don’t need that!  Being with family and friends is always a pleasure, but that’s not it either.  I love Thanksgiving because it’s a celebration of Gratitude and I believe in the power of Giving Thanks.

All the spiritual teachers encourage thankfulness. Chellie Campbell plays the “Glad Game.”  Cheryl Richardson, the “Thank You Game.”  They want us to know it’s fun, easy and extremely healthful to regularly recite what you’re grateful for.

There is not one person I know that, given a few moments of peace, couldn’t rattle off a dozen or so things to be grateful for. The air we breathe, the beauty of nature, family and friends.  All that we need.  Pretty good digs to live in.  A song that fills you, a movie that lifts your heart, a book that enriches or delights. Once you get started, it’s hard to stop.

Just think what the world would be like if everyone held gratitude in their heart all the time!  It’s as easy as coming up with 5 things you’re grateful every day.  Watch that quadruple as you open your eyes to see even more. Paying attention to the things you have, rather than the things you don’t, will leave you feeling full and generous.

Look at what thankfulness can do when you’re in the midst of some not-so-glad stuff. Come up with a handful of reasons to be grateful for a person you’re angry at or estranged from, or something you’re not happy about. Then, without saying a word, watch the nature of the situation change to something that’s easier to hold in your heart. Gratitude paves the way for forgiveness. And forgiveness is the ointment that mends all tears. Like magic.

Cheryl Richardson suggests remembering to be grateful for the people who don’t usually hear it.  Any time I can tell these people how thankful I am for the work they do for me.  The staff of my insurance agent’s office who are always so kind and helpful.  The reference librarian who finds exactly the information I need.  The mail lady who brings packages to my door when it’s raining.

I wish for everyone lots of reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving and every moment of every day thereafter.

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