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1) Make a Choice to Do It.  
Setting the Intention and putting some enthusiasm behind it is the best way to get going.

2) Plan Wisely.
Be sure to know how I’m going to do it.  Don’t overload.  Consider how I’m feeling and what else I need to do.  What will my overall energy requirements be?  Find a good time to do it.  And know the steps I’m going to take.

3) Know  the Reasons I Want to Do It.
This will increase my enthusiasm and seal my commitment if the going gets rough.

4) Accept That it May Not Get Done the Way I Picture It.
Doing what I say I’m going to do,
Has nothing to do with when.
Not being able to do it now (or when I planned),
Doesn’t negate doing it at another time.
Simply say when I will try again and stick to it.

5) Check to See if There’s an Easier Way.
I increase my chances of doing it if I make time to find the quickest route.

6)  Get Into the Good Feelings.
Remember how wonderful it feels to do what I said I would do, to follow through on my promises.  How about that feeling of  crossing it off the list, knowing I did it!

7) Remember the Steps for Goal Getting.
First is knowing what you want to do.
Second is figuring out what it will take to get it.
But nothing gets done unless you Take the Steps.

8) Stop to Appreciate the Accomplishment.
It’s so easy to jump into the next thing.  If I make sure to appreciate the accomplishment, I strengthen my will muscle and my commitment for the next goal.

We all have them.  Doesn’t matter what you do – full time worker, unemployed, freelancer, mother, billionaire . . . we all have places where we waste or lose time unnecessarily.  Sometimes we may choose to do nothing or are forced by physical or emotional woes.  I’m talking about those that we are often unconscious of.

For instance, in the company I work for (which employs thousands of people), I happen to still be the delegate for two people who have left the company. Every time someone sends out an email to everyone, I am inundated with multiple copies that I must delete.  This is an energy leak.

How about an illustrative example?  Let’s say you have a leak in your roof.  Whenever it rains, you have extra work to collect and dispose of water that gets in the house.

Sometimes energy leaks occur for me when I say I’m going to do something and I don’t do it.  I expend a lot of energy remembering what it is I’m supposed to do, or reviewing it and transferring it from To Do List to To Do List.

If you pay attention, you can often feel the energy flowing from your body, though you are clearly not exerting yourself.

Items such as broken appliances draw energy from you when they don’t work properly. It certainly zaps your energy when things that are supposed to save you time and energy, add to it.

I often waste a lot of time trying to find the right socks.  I’m a working girl, so there is no reason why I can’t afford to buy myself a few more pairs of socks to stop this ridiculous waster.

There was a time in my life when I struggled day after day with a litter scoop that clearly wasn’t making my life easier.  I was at the store one day when I noticed a scoop that would do the job so much better.  I believe it cost $1.49.  I couldn’t believe I had wasted all that time and energy when all I had to do was spend this small amount of money to change everything!

Things like litter scoops and socks seem like small potatoes in the hurry up and keep up world we live in.  But they can add up and make you feel far less energetic than you should.

What I try to do is, once a month or so I take an inventory of places where I think my energy is leaking.  It’s important, I’ve found, to give myself a little quiet time to think about ways to plug those leaks.

Very often it’s simply a matter of taking a step.  Taking action to get what you need.  Maybe calling a repair person, or taking something back to where you bought it.  Remember that things on a To Do List can be very draining.  I know, it’s hard to find the time to do things as they come up, sometimes.  I often keep a list through the week, when I don’t have the time, and then deal with them on the weekends.  I reserve 30 minutes for doing all the little things that pile up through the week – like picking up and putting away, sweeping, sewing a button, etc.

The trick, really, is to deal with things, as soon as you can.  Taking even a small step can often cross the thing off your list or at least help to regain some of the lost energy.

Another place you may find energy leaks is in relationships.  There are some people who just zap your energy.  I admit, I haven’t figured out how to protect myself from this.  I suspect  preparing myself for it, knowing what will happen, and accepting that I’m going to leave some energy behind, I can at least keep it from compounding.

Maybe the leak is a matter of saying what you need to say to someone.  Things left out in the air can definitely drag you down.  A writing tip here would be to write a rough draft of what you want to say (even if you’re going to say it out loud).  Don’t hit the send button (or seal and stamp, or open your mouth) until you’ve thought it through a bit.  Just make sure you promise yourself to do it.  You’ll be surprised how much energy will rush back into you when you let that go.

I like to make a game of plugging energy leaks. Whenever I catch myself doing things more than once, or gritting my teeth and feeling like something’s a chore.  When I find I’m not comfortable with someone or some situation. When I say to myself, why am I doing this?  I challenge myself to come up with ways to make it easier.

The Universe is made up of Energy – molecules, electrons, atoms . . .  All coming together in various speeds to form our life of matter. It stands to reason that if you move any of that energy around, it moves the whole shebang.

If you put something out there (even words which surely have power) something will come back. We may miss it sometimes because it can come back from a totally different angle.  I’m here, facing this direction, moving things forward when something appears behind me.  It’s not readily apparent that I made that happen. But energy can bounce around in all kinds of directions.

Anyone who has done social networking knows about this. The slightest movement out there can bring all kinds of replies. The space between us is revealed to be small.  You can touch someone else’s energy on the other side of the world!

My mother used to say you have to send letters to get them. I don’t know if things have changed in this instant digital world, but I don’t see that happening.  Emails are not necessarily answered quickly. But I can surely stir up some kind of energy when I send out emails.

So, I suggest, if things feel stuck, do something. Anything at all.  Just something different, something reaching out to others. Move the energy.  Then sit back and watch what comes back to you!

As we approach Thanksgiving, everyone is talking about being grateful.  Anyone who reads this Blog knows I am a strong proponent of Gratitude. Forgiveness is a marvelous key to open the gates of appreciation.

I have had many discussions with those who say complete forgiveness is impossible.  There are just some things which are unforgivable.  How can I forgive someone who is so clearly in the wrong, or has hurt me so deeply? Fiddle faddle!  I don’t know if I can convince the doubters, but maybe my humble treatise on forgiveness may help change the minds of one or two.

When something happens which creates one of those difficult things to forgive, your heart is filled with anger, hurt or disappointment.  And those feelings grip you tightly.  They crowd your mind with thoughts of the incident over and over.

Forgiveness could be another word for release.  What it does is release your heart and mind from its constant churning. That’s all.  It might have some residual benefits for the other person, but only if that person loves or cares for you.  The big and important change is in you.  It is all about bringing more peace to you.

I had an experience recently with someone who hurt me deeply and left a trail of destruction in her wake. She is out of my life now; I made my peace with her.  But I still think of the situation too often, wanting some kind of vindication. Only total forgiveness will free me from this. That forgiveness will not offer her anything and it will never erase what she’s done.  It will, though, lighten my heart and my mind.

With that lightness comes more energy.  Anyone who has not forgiven knows the amount of energy (and time) given when you are in that state. When you can’t get it out of your head. (I’ve also been known to spend a lot of ink on the subject.)  There’s so much you can regain simply by releasing all your angst around the situation.

Acceptance is part of the process of forgiveness.  I am of the belief that Acceptance is a truly powerful gift we have.  The simple act of acceptance can profoundly effect every aspect of your life.  Just think how easy life would be if you accepted everything that happened to you!  Far from making you weak, it keeps you from getting bogged down in trying to change things you can’t and empowers you to change what you can.  The first step to releasing is accepting what happened.

When you get really good at accepting, you negate the need for forgiveness.  You forgive in the next breath and keep moving. Like magic, the need for forgiveness evaporates right before your eyes.  This doesn’t mean you won’t be careful next time. In fact, without the cloud of unforgiveness you are likely to be more aware and avoid the kinds of situation which can cause you to need to forgive.

This acceptance and release gives you much more space for gratitude.

Forgiveness NEVER says it’s okay to harm another.  Nor does it eliminate the possibility of punishment for the other. It has nothing to do with any of that.  Forgiveness offers the forgiver calm, happiness, lightness, clarity and flowing gratitude. Pretty good stuff!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Spaciousness.  I’m finding that it impacts my life in many  areas.  For one thing, spaciousness means having the time to just breathe.  To spend some time just being, instead of always doing.  When life is spacious, there isn’t such a demand for multi-tasking.  It feels like I have more room when I only have to do one thing at a time.  When I can focus all my energy on what I’m doing, without a million distractions.  Those distractions suck up the space.  I suppose you could call multi-tasking an admirable trait.  But when you start adding more than 2 or 3 things, or you double and triple up repeatedly, you’re not really giving your best to anything.

An aspect of spaciousness is  being outside time.  Most of us are tied to the clock and what it tells us we must do.  I like not caring what time it is.  When you get in that zone, look up at the clock and cheer that you still have plenty of time to keep doing what you’re doing.  Man, that feels spacious to me!

Spaciousness permits room for sideline things:  an interesting email to read, a sweater that needs a button, a cluttered drawer asking for attention, a phone call from a good friend.

When there’s space you can breathe, you can spread your wings, express yourself  Sometimes, I don’t feel I have the space to write.  One of the beautiful things about writing is that you don’t need a lot of physical space or equipment. A lap, a clipboard, or a hard surface is usually enough.   A piece of paper and a pen or a laptop and you’re on your way. However, sometimes you need psychic space for the thoughts to well up and spill out.

It is one thing to be in an uncluttered space, free of distractions.  It’s another to have the open space in your head.  Wide, open spaces can be rare in our worlds.  But you can always generate that free, spacious feeling from within. 

I’m having fun finding and acknowledging those moments when I feel spacious.  As with most things, the more you notice, the more you discover.

Cheryl Richardson wrote this week about breaking the spell of worry.  It’s sort of like the song lyrics getting stuck in your head.  When you get going on the possible negative scenarios you dig yourself deeper and deeper into worry.

Cheryl describes it as if you were under a spell. You can’t seem to help yourself as you spin more and more dire circumstances. I think many of us feel like we have to stay in that pool of scary stories  As if we owe it to whoever or whatever might be at risk.

But your magic wand, pointed to where you choose to put your attention, can reverse the spell.

The truth is we do more for ourselves and the other if we change the march from bad to good.  Cheryl suggested writing out at least 5 positive outcomes (or in process scenarios) for the thing we’re worrying about.  How would you like it to play out?  In an ideal world? Instead of repeating the “Oh my goodness, what if  . . .” affirmations, try instead, “Wow, maybe this could happen!”

I believe we can actually affect the energy. If not single handedly, we can at least help to trend the energy in the direction we prefer. Clearly we are the masters of our own universe.

Use your magic wand to change the spell, alter the affirmation, replace the repeating lyric in the your head to something positive.  Then watch the magic you can make!

I am wondering if being sleepy is all in my head and something I can change.

I feel tired.  My eyelids want to shield my eyes from too much input.  My chin starts to fall as if it had a small weight suspended from it. My muscles relax, becoming one with the chair. My hand or foot may even start to feel a little numb. A bit of blues has me swaying.  I have visions of placing my head on a soft pillow and shutting off.

But I can’t!  I’m at work, I must participate!   That pillow is miles and hours away.

I begin to calculate: Have I gotten enough sleep?  Well, depends on how you count it.  A little short of eight, but many of those minutes were restless. Maybe all tallied, I didn’t get enough. As I continue to buy into this lack of sleep and need for rest, I become even more exhausted.

What if it’s in my head? What if my problem is not that I didn’t get an adequate amount of sleep?  Maybe it’s more about the quality of my thoughts, rather than the quantity of my sleep.

What if, instead, I got up and did something?  Or just got my mind engaged in something other than how many units of sleep I got and how much I want more? 

Perk up those thoughts!  I’m sure there’s something more active or exciting I can put my mind to.  Get up and stretch, take a walk to the bathroom or to get a file.  Anything.  It’s simple really: instead of thinking about how tired I am, how I feel, put my attention elsewhere.  Anywhere else will work.

Am I only dreaming?  (Check out the song this line comes from.) Walking around in a haze, thinking I’m so tired.  I’m awake, I’m writing this script, I can change it.  Shift the scene of my dream and tell myself how much energy I have and get busy and do something!

I need to find the right word. Energy abators, downgraders, or compressors.

SARK talks about what makes your Energy Contract.  These are the things that bring you down like toxins, exhaustion, isolation, stress, worry, co-dependence .  .  . I’m trying to find the positive slant on this. And settle on a different name: Energy Abridgers, Dwindlers, or Whittlers.

What if you’ve had a busy day?  Maybe even a long one.  You’re tired and you want to rest, but you can’t settle down.  Even if your body is weary, your mind may still be reeling. There are times when you truly just want to relax.

Surely there must be healthy, fast ways to calm down the energy.  To modulate or minimize it when it’s pumping out of control.

Herb tea isn’t bad.  I tried a cup of Holy Basil tea last night that worked quite well.  Chamomile might do the trick, too.  Still, it’s not as fast or easy as pouring a glass of wine or opening a beer. And, depending on how late it is, tea can get me up in the night. Meditation would be good if I could sit still long enough for it to take hold.

Foot rubs (or any kind of massage) would certainly downsize or prune my energy level.  But I need to have a willing massager, ready whenever the need should arise.

A heavy meal comes to mind as well, but that doesn’t qualify in the healthy department. Political discussions have the opposite effect.

Any ideas?

At the heart of the Dream Boogie with SARK Class, are the Boogie Books. Each week, after the live tele-class, we can go to the Boogie Beans site and easily download the book for the week.  These are 12 to 13 page books designed from the playful and colorful mind of SARK. They are a joy to behold and chock full of fun things to do! 

You can see what she calls her sillybus on the web site.  But here’s my take: In Week 1, SARK helps us to define our dream, get clearer on it. For Week 2, we discover what’s in our way, seeing the bigger picture. Week 3 is all about energy management and finding the energy we need to make our dream happen.  Week Four talks about getting things done, including the amazing Micro Movements.  The next week, Week 5 teaches us how to get the support and help we need to make our dreams happen.  In Week 6, we are learning to create balance, not forgetting to build a wonderful life aside our dream. Week 7 talks of commitment and its power to keep you going. Week 8 discusses how to go the distance with your dream.

I’ll give you a glimpse into the Boogie Book from “Adventurous Week Three – The World of Yes – Creating the Proof of Your Dream.” As the tele-classes closes with a prayer, song or story from SARK, the books open with an “Inspiring Invocation.”  Here is SARK’s message for Week Three: “May our courage be activated and strengthened by more consciously applied yesses.  May we let lose the wonders inside us, and be thrilled at what’s in there.”

The Boogie Books always open with a discussion that is an adjunct to the class material, not a repeat. SARK tells us about ways to bring more Yes Energy to our dreams.

Each week we get “Own Work” which is SARK’s version of Homework.  We need to do one thing in each of the categories of Visualizing, Intending, Sharing, and Doing.  Really, not much at all.  And SARK gives us fun ideas for each one.  This week, she suggests, for Visualizing, to make a list of your own Activators – those things that boost your energy and remind you why you’re going for your dream.  For Sharing, she asks us to share some of our ideas about Micro Movements on the Forum. For Doing, there is a Positive Challenge in each Boogie Book.  This week it’s about making a map of your dream with pictures that represent what you want.  Lists of why you’re excited about it and what you can do when you feel stuck. You might put on there the micro movement wheel of steps to take, people to call when you need inspiration . . .  A fun project.

For Intending, SARK suggests doing the Dream Digging questions in each Book. These are several thought-provoking questions about the subject at hand.  It always ends with an Intake: Three things my dream Needs from me; Three things I need from my Dream. The Dream Digging Questions are always my favorites.  Some examples: What role does energy play in my life?  What is my energy style?  How am I managing my energy?  What can I do to expand my energy?  What are some things that contract energy?  SARK says to take your time.  Do nothing in between questions, ponder them a bit, be easy with them. I’ve come away with something important from every session with the Dream Digging questions.  And the beauty is, the books are mine to keep forever and ever!  I can always come back to them.

It doesn’t end there, either.  Next comes a Boogie Buddy Challenge.  This week’s is to share evidence of your dream coming true, what you’ve done to move it ahead.  See if your Boogie Buddies can see things you’ve missed.  Find a way to celebrate together, everyone’s accomplishments, the movement you’ve all made.

There is also, included with every Book, a Dream Download. A piece of some of SARK’s inspiring art.  This week is a pinwheel that you can print out, put a pin in and use as a reminder to stir up your energy.

Finally, there are Radiant Resources in the back of each Boogie Book.  Books, web sites and things that can give further illumination to the topic at hand.  Her book suggestions in Week Three include Shakti Gawain’s “Creative Visualization” and Henry Miller’s “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird.”  Web sites like Martha Beck, the Goddess of Coaches and one of the best writers on the topic of creating your life in a sane way.

Time is running out to join the Fall Session of Dream Boogie with SARK.  Do it now!

From the book, “The Energy of Money,” by Maria Nemeth, Ph.D.

As promised this week is all about support.  Maria says, “Behind every great success is a team of supporters.”  I have also found this to be true.

We are energetic beings. And we are all connected.  The giving and taking energy is what created us and what sustains us.  What are we without others to interact with?

There is much we can do on our own, but there is not one of us who hasn’t felt scared or unsure at one time, or many.  When you’re in that state, it’s not easy to bring yourself out of it.  It’s like trying to pull yourself out of quick sand.  You, literally, don’t have the footing.

Others can give us the courage we need when we feel we don’t have it.  They can remind us of the promises we’ve made and lift the mirror so we can see all we are and have to give.

It is my experience that people love to talk about what they know.  I am in awe of the generosity of my writing support team.  There is never any hesitation or competition among writers.

Must of us want to help each other and are eager to share what we have.  The water can get murky when we don’t know what to give.  I have often struggled with trying to give someone something they didn’t want or need.  I’ve had many do the same to me. One of the challenges I face in this give and take game is that I don’t always know exactly what I want or need.  How can I possibly know what others want?

So, step 1 in getting support is to figure out what you need.  I think that makes it so much easier to ask. That is the second step (and one many people have difficulty with).  You are unlikely to (or you leave it up to chance to) get the support you really want if  you don’t ask for it.  Step 3, to connect the two, is to receive.  I was surprised to find how difficult that is for me. SARK says most of us are far more used to giving. You need to stay open to receive and allow the other person to give.  Finally, to complete the exchange, say thanks; let the other person know.

Some people think it’s selfish to ask for help.  But this process is always of mutual benefit.  Maria says, “letting others know their value to us is far more precious than any gift you could buy them.”  Self esteem, Maria reminds us, comes from creating value for others.  Does anything feel better than that?

Maria also wants to warn us that support is different from co-dependency.  In co-dependency the other is trying to fix us.  Notice how the help feels.  Does it make you feel empowered or lacking?

Exercise: Getting Support on Your Hero’s Journey.
Maria asks us first to take a look at our structure of knowing about getting support.  Be willing to go beyond that.

Here are some qualities of a good support team person:
* Genuinely supportive
* Someone you like and trust who cannot be manipulated
* Someone who will not manipulate or collude with you in talking about what you don’t have
* Ruthless compassion in reminding you of your promises
* Without a vested interested in the outcome

1. Make a list of the people who have these qualities.
2.  If you come up short, Maria assures us that the act of thinking about how to “give and get quality support” will open us to ideas.  Allow yourself time to ponder, if necessary.  (Really, I’d say, one or two is sufficient to get started.  For this exercise, you only need one person.)
3. Choose a project in which you are willing to be supported. (I like the way she says that.)
4.  Of the people on your list, ask, “Am I willing to let this person have success in supporting me?”  Maria suggests looking at the ways you have used in the past to avoid support.  See how you have kept yourself from moving forward on this project.  It may be uncomfortable to look at that, but the results of doing so will be well worth it.
5.  Within 48 hours, ask one of the people on your list  for help.  You might share with them the ways you have used to get out of it doing it in the past.
6.  Tell the person about the project and make a promise to do a specific Authentic Action in the next two days. This action should be a bit of a stretch, but one you are relatively sure you can do.  Success breeds success.  Tell the person to call you to support you before you do it, or afterwards to celebrate it.
7.  She says you might give the other person your Standards of Integrity so he or she can throw them in your face if you’re not following them.
8.  Tell the truth!  If you haven’t done it, say so. Restate your promise and try again.  Keep coming back.
9.  Acknowledge each other.
10.  If you want to, make another promise.
Maria, of course, adds to write about any thoughts or feelings that come up.

The rest of the chapter goes into detailed instructions of how to create a success group.  Here are the questions she wants you to answer:
1.  What specific qualities am I willing to contribute to the group session so that all of us will be successful?
2.  Am I willing to dismantle my structures of knowing?
3.  Am I willing to use everything that goes on in the group session as a personal lesson for myself?
4.  Am I willing to listen to the support others in the group offer?  Even if I do not agree with what they are saying . . . especially if I do not agree with it?  It’s possible you are being defensive.  Check for that.

This “Sturdy Platform of Support” as SARK calls it, according to Maria will, “Feed you the energy to go beyond where you would normally stop yourself.”  And that’s how we can all be successful. Here’s to moving forward!

Next week – Gratitude, ahhh!

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