Repeat after me



Repeat-after-me-writing-exercise




I am not my fear. But I am willing to face it.


I am not my body. I am free.


I am not my work, but I’m willing to do it daily.


I am not my failures and I am willing to show up again.


I am not my inner critic. I am willing to separate us.


I am not my anxiety. I know I can do this.


I am not my job, but I’m grateful for it.


I am not my anger, but I’m willing to feel it in my body.


I am not comparable to anyone, except to myself from the past.


I am not alone. The entire Universe is supporting me.


I am opened to see better.


I am opened to receive.


I am opened to give.


I am ready.


This day is just as it should be.


I am exactly where I need to be.


Creative energy is translated through me.


I am ready.


Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say and to whom?


I am ready.


Show me what you’ve got.



This was my writing exercise named:


REPEAT AFTER ME.


I wrote an array of lines that I needed to hear. It looks like the preparation for the creative process. Or for the new day. It might look like the list of affirmations.


(Btw, the coolest affirmations that I’ve encountered were those from the book “May Cause Miracles”. Before that, most of the affirmations that I’ve seen were like: “I am living in ____, I am working at____, I am happily married and have two kids.” Blah! Gabby has created miraculous, inspiring, thought provoking affirmations. I brought them with me every day and I identified my subtle, tangled patterns of thoughts and behaviors. “I am not my body. I am free,” is one of those.)


Now it’s your turn to write and repeat. Open a blank document, and spill your guts. Create a list of affirmations. Good reminders. Non-automated thoughts. Write and repeat. (Don’t forget to reflect, the repetition itself may not be enough.) But it will feel good. It has to.


You don’t have to invent the metaphysical wisdom that the world hasn’t yet seen. Your affirmations can be small and ordinary. It’s not that we don’t know. It’s that we forget. ((Tweet this!)) We get distracted. We get busy. We get anxious. We need the reminders.


Try this exercise out and share a few of your lines with me in the comments below. Jim Kwik uses the acronym HHH (Head- Heart- Hands) for quick learning. If you read this post (Head) and it resonated with you (Heart), you have to do the writing exercise (Hands) so that the lesson can stick.


Enjoy and repeat.


XXX


Miss Strangelove


P. S. Cookie of Wisdom: “Man more frequently requires to be reminded than informed.” Samuel Johnson ((Tweet this!))

Celebrate your evolution



Butterfly



Inspired by Danielle Laporte’s brilliant post.

We are running and working and driving and striving. Which is awesome. But let’s do something else today. Pull out your notebook and pencil, open a blank document or note, set 20 minutes on your stopwatch. Today write 20 minutes on the prompt:


HOW FAR HAVE YOU COME?


Take time to stop. Turn around. What do you see behind you? How far have you come? How have you changed? What obstacles, difficulties, limiting beliefs have you overcome? What seemed impossibly hard and bad, but led you to this moment and this state of mind? This is the celebration of your personal evolution.


Let me try. 10 years ago (feel free to choose any time frame):


* I was wild. Crazy. (Read: going out and drinking a lot.) And deeply unhappy. Resentful. I was waiting for other people and outside circumstances to make me happy. Now I know it’s my job. I live in a peace. I am happy. But I still drink. Moderately. (That’s good for the mental health, right?)


* I constantly needed to prove something. Probably because I wasn’t approving of myself. Now I don’t prove anything. (Except for my hypothesis in a research.) I am living my life and doing the best I can. You can choose what do you want to believe in. I don’t mind.


* I judged another people. I felt constant need to change and fix everyone. Probably because I myself needed a major repair. Now I accept. I let everyone to be whoever they need to be. Everyone is fighting the battle I may not be able to see.


* I knew that I am not good enough, smart enough, capable enough and that drove my ambition. Now I know that I am good enough, smart enough, capable enough and that drives my ambition.


* I spent tons of time feeling resentful about my past and anxious about my future. Now I spend more time in NOW.


* I have got a few degrees, diplomas, certificates, cool thing to write in my CV. But I consider my own evolution more valuable than all of that.


* I didn’t want to wear shorts. Don’t ask me why. I probably had a good reason.


I was a jerk. I know. But look at me now! Isn’t that great? What an awesome evolution I went through! Now it’s your turn.


Try to remember absolutely worst moments and details. These are more valuable because you overcame them. Small things count, they take you far away. Hard times count, they make you who you are. Glorious moments count, these are worth remembering. List everything. And celebrate!


There is only one catch. Only one party breaker. That is the comparison. With others or with your own (or someone else’s) expectations. “Yes, I came this far, but look at Jane, she came even further!” Or, “Yes, this is nice, but at my age I should have been married with two kids.” These are toxic thoughts.


Comparison with others doesn’t make any sense. We are all different beings, with different gifts, talents, interests, backgrounds, different purposes and circumstances. How can we possibly compare so that it makes sense? And then the expectations… they kill the joy. “You should be XYZ at the age ABC.” Who says so? Since all of us are different, how can we all be compared based on one criteria? Cookie cutters don’t work well in real life.


The only comparison that makes sense is the comparison between you today and you from the past. That is your evolution. Celebrate it!


Day and night are changing, seasons are changing, grass is growing. Acorn turns into an oak and caterpillar into a butterfly. You are evolving. And growing. Every single day. The only constant in life is change. Acknowledge it. Celebrate it. It will foster more growth, more evolution and more reasons to celebrate. ((Tweet this!))


Your turn. Jim Kwik uses the acronym HHH (Head- Heart- Hands) for quick learning. If you read this post (Head) and it resonated with you (Heart), you have to do the writing exercise and answer the question in the comment below (Hands) so that the lesson can stick. And the question is: “What is the single thing about your evolution you are most proud of?” Share it with me in the comments and let’s celebrate it together.


And if you have a friend who feels stuck, encourage him or her to celebrate his or her evolution by sharing this post with him or her.


XXX


MISS stRANGELOVe


P. S. Cookie of Wisdom: “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to the change.” Charles Darwin ((Tweet this!))

Find zen mind through this writing exercise



zen-mind




A simple free writing exercise. Set 20 minutes on your stopwatch, kill the distractions, take a pen and paper or open your Evernote/ Word/Notepad and


GO WITH THE FLOW.


Enter the river of your thoughts and sail smoothly. All you have to do is translate your thoughts onto the paper or in a document. Don’t be pressurized to come up with a brilliant piece of wisdom. Simply follow your thoughts. 


This exercise is perfect for emptying your mind, brainstorming, pushing the problems out. I do it every morning when I wake up. According to Julia Cameron‘s idea, I call this practice “morning pages”. It sounds nice, especially when you consider that this writing is a whole bunch of BS that’s rambling on my mind. When I shake it out in the morning, everything I do during the day is more focused and productive.


Michael Neil (also known as Supercoach), uses an interesting wordplay. He says: “When I have MORE ON my mind, I can easily turn into a MORON. When I have LESS ON my mind, I can learn an important LESSON.” This exercise is first step towards the option number two.


There is an ancient story about the man who had an educational background in Zen Buddhism and wanted to learn more from a great Zen Master. When he came to visit the Master, the man started talking about his extensive knowledge. Master listened patiently and then made a tea for both. When the tea was ready, the Master took the man’s cup and started pouring the tea. The cup was full but the Master kept pouring. The tea was overflowing and ran all over the table. The man shouted: “Stop, stop! Don’t you see that the cup is already full?!” “Yes,” the Master said. “And this is the lesson. Your mind is like this cup of tea. Full of ideas and conceptions, but you still want the new knowledge. Empty your cup so that you can receive.”


Don’t wait any longer. Declutter your mind. The best time is now. Jim Kwik uses an interesting acronym related to an efficient learning: HHH. It means Head-Heart-Hands. If you read this post (Head) and it resonated with you (Heart), you need to implement it (Hands), so that the lesson can stick. Try the exercise out and let me know how it went in the comments below.


If you know someone whose mind is cluttered, share this exercise with him or her.


XXX


MISS stRANGELOVe


P. S. Cookie of Wisdom: “If I do not write to empty my mind, I go mad.” Lord Byron ((Tweet this!))

When you feel like flying….do this



Flying-lesson




Are you ready for the velocity? Are you ready for the catalysis? Are you ready for the JOY? Yes? Here you go!


Today invest your precious 20+ minutes to do a free writing exercise on a topic:


WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU KNEW YOU CAN’T FAIL?


Forget excuses, limitations and obstacles. Forget about the lack of time and money. If you had everything you needed and my guaranty that you will succeed, what would you do? Would you really stay where you are? Would you ask for a raise or promotion? Would you even ask anyone for anything? Would you play your own game? Would you start your own crazy thing, your own revolution, your own tribe? Would you then try to find your creative genius? When you stop caring what will others think and what is the “logical next step”, what would you do? Remember, failure won’t happen.


At the first glance, this exercise will seem easy. With enough resources you might end up at Maldives, drinking mojitos untill the end of time. That’s why you have to write for 20 minutes. What will happen when you get tired of mojitos, partying and stretching on the beach? You will probably start your search. You will start wondering. You will help someone. Or you will create art. You might say “I love you”. Remember, failure is not an option.


There are a few takeaways you can get from this exercise.


First, you will remind yourself of your goals and dreams. If you don’t define them and remind yourself of them, they will stay out of reach. Your goals and dreams are first layer.


Second layer consists of…..obstacles. When you write what would you do without obstacles….you will realize that the greatest obstacle is……in your head. This exercise might force you to get out of your own way.


Third layer is action. How far away are your dreams? How impossible are they? Maybe there is little something you can do today to get on the right track. I bet there is. If you want to save world from hunger, make a sandwich to homeless in your street. ((Tweet this!)) If you want to publish a novel, write for 20 minutes today. ((Tweet this!))


Fourth layer: this exercise will prepare you to win the lottery. Research has shown that lottery winners end up in the same place where they were before in just couple of years. Don’t let this happen to you. Plan ahead. What does your soul wants? Think about it before you register your BMW.


Finally, the fifth layer is the layer of joy. This is not the writing exercise. This a flying lesson. ((Tweet this!)) 20 minutes long. Feel the wind in your hair. Breathe. Use your wings. I bet you will end this exercise with smile on your face. Which is good reason to give it a try.


Don’t wait any longer. Start your flying adventure right now. Write for 20 minutes. Longer if you enjoy the flight. Once you’re done, answer this question in the comments bellow: What is the craziest thing you would do if you knew that you can’t fail? I am looking forward to hear from you.


If you liked this flight lesson, share it with your friends who might also want to try.


XXX


Miss Strangelove


P. S. Cookie of Wisdom: “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” James Mathew Barrie, “Peter Pan” ((Tweet this!))

Get freedom, clarity and courage in 20 minutes



Clarity freedom




Confession alert!


OK, I’ll admit. I am scared of mice. They are small, but dirty and nasty and……I don’t know. All insects and reptiles are not as scary as mice. I am afraid of height but not too much. I do a lot of hiking and climbing. What fears me more is loosing balance. You know, like when you want to cross the creek, jumping from one rock to another. I am terrible in mountain biking. I oftentimes fall off the track and/or hit random stuff on the sides of narrow trails. Just because of my fear. I am afraid of getting myself hurt. Of pain and tedious recovery. Especially in the US…….


Then, I am afraid of bad dreams. As if my subconsciousness is trying to send me the message about terrible stuff that’is happening out there. I am afraid to grow up. It is God damn boring. But I am also afraid of staying stuck among the kids I don’t even identify with. I am afraid of getting stuck between here and there. My life is generally good, but I am afraid that somewhere else it could be better. Sometimes when I get sad, I am afraid I’ve made the decision I won’t be able to correct. My major fear is fear that my freedom will be endangered. That I won’t be able to pack my suitcase, say Goodbye and ride into the sunset whenever I want.


I am afraid that I won’t make enough of a difference. I will make world a bit better, but it might be trivial. I’ll make couple of people laugh, think and wonder and…..that will be it. Does my work make sense? Do all these hours in the lab make sense? What am I doing? Will my durable concrete change the world? Will I be acknowledged? Will I care? Will I numb and become one of them, crazy, antisocial, engineering freaks, with a lot of money and lack of time or ideas for spending it? I am afraid of empty life, of wasted time. I can never get it back. I am working my ass off, day in, day out, but is this it? Am I doing the right thing? The idea that it might not be freaks me out.


Then my creative work! I don’t want to neglect it. But I am afraid that I am not enough into it. I cannot devote to it completely because of my research. Vice versa, I cannot absolutely devote to the research because I want to be creative. Creatives will say: “She is an engineer, what the hell does she know about creating?” Engineers will say: “Get serious, stop doing that woowoo kind of messing around. Focus on real stuff.” I am afraid I won’t be able to justify my motivation. I am afraid that I will die with my music inside me. Or that I won’t be able to express it. That people won’t get it. That they will laugh. Or ignore. Or say: “Who the hell is she to talk about that?” Or : “Hey, I thought she is cool but she is apparently fucked up!”.


I am also afraid that they will like it. Some did. And I will have great responsibility. They will compare everything I create to that first piece that rang their bell. I am afraid that I will loose my mojo. That after initial success, everything I create will be blabla-beige. That I will deplete my source. That they will ignore. Or laugh. Or criticize.


These are my fears. The worst thing that can happen is for me to stop trying (almost) every day. Fears will never leave. So I choose to dance with them.


Phew, there I said it. Now it’s your turn. Set 20 minutes on your stopwatch and write on a prompt:


WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST FEARS?


20 minutes will be enough. You won’t be able to sweat and shiver more than that. Procedure will probably go in the following way: you will write about mice, spiders, snakes, death, height, claustrophobia, your grandma’s dark attic and scene from Little Mermaid when Ursula takes Ariel’s voice (that one still freaks me out). Then about diseases, loss of loved ones, fragility of life. Meaning. About time passing, about what you are creating and what you are dedicating most of your time. Fear of failure and fear of success. Fear of being criticized. Fear of publishing. Fear of being seen as vulnerable, imperfect being. You will nail it. It will unravel perfectly.


Walk through scary avenue of your fears. Look under the bed. Take a peek into dark, scary old closet. Write about things you never told anyone. Write about your silence.


What will this unpleasant process give you? Why torturing yourself for entire 20 minutes?


Freedom is on the other side. Your burden will lighten. Your perspective will shift. Fears will show you what is important. If you are afraid you won’t have enough chances to say your mom how much she means to you, do something about it today. If you are afraid you will die with your music inside, it would be good to start singing today. (No one will write: “I am afraid I won’t be able to respond all that emails sitting in my inbox.” ((Tweet this!)) )(No one will write “I am afraid I won’t be able to respond all that emails sitting in my inbox.”


Fears have high potential for growth and development. If you don’t care about something, you will be listless. But if something means a world to you, you will react intensely. (Most likely feel the fear.) Good actors choose the rolls that scar them. If there is no fear, there is no growth. This prompt will give you the clarity.


One more thing. Writing about fears weaken them. Looking at fears will make them fade away. I do this process once in 6 months and when I reflect to my old fear lists, I find them …..not super scary. I have scared a lot of my fears. Extra dose of courage!


Now it is your turn. Do this writing exercise today and share answer these two questions in comments bellow. How did you feel before, during the process and after the process? What was the greatest benefit: clarity, freedom or courage? Or something else? I am looking forward to hear from you.


XXX


MILENA stRANGELOVe


“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” Jim Morrison ((Tweet this!))