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Posts from the ‘Motivation’ Category

Forward, Full Speed Ahead

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” – Marcus Aurelius

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” – Marcus Aurelius

We spend so much time running FROM things – change, the past, regrets. What if we invested half of that time running TO things, head on, full speed, filled with optimism? Planning for the best-case scenario rather than settling for worst-case thinking that steals our joy.

My latest article on Start3Things is on releasing the vise grip of limiting beliefs. Change your thoughts, change the depth and quality of your days.

One of my favorite daily activities is to run the dogs up to a wooded path where they can run off leash. Sasha wanders and explores while Abby stares until I throw the ball. She chases every ball like it’s the first time she’s ever chased a ball. Rigorous, focused, disciplined play.

Stop running from the dark and run swiftly to the light. Hurl yourself forward into awe and wonder.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius

Keep Daring, Again and Again

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Our regrets lie in what we don’t do or try. Failure is not in the falling, in making wrong decisions, but in indecision and not daring to venture into new things, to be a beginner. There is a Japanese proverb called Nana korobi ya oki, which means fall down seven times and get up eight.

We learn from our successes and more from our mistakes. We never learn or grow by staying in neutral. Each step we dare to take weaves together into the hero’s journey as defined by Joseph Campbell who also advised “find your bliss.”

One of my favorite quotes that Brené Brown starts her book Daring Greatly with is Teddy Roosevelt’s, The Arena:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Stay in the arena and never give up. Keep daring, again and again.

Take Monday Back!

“When life gives you Monday, dip it in glitter and sparkle all day.” – Ella Woodward

Mondays have a bad rap. The beginning of the work week when our schedules spin out of control into meetings, the email pours in and we start making our plans for the next weekend while multitasking.

Take Monday back and dip it in glitter.

Drive a new way to work, take a walk at lunch and give Monday another chance to experience joy. We change our scenery when we take a new route, shift our mindset and make a new habit. Every habit starts with a psychological pattern call a “habit loop” consisting of three parts: cue/trigger, routine and reward. I just wrote an article on habit on Start3Things and optimism is an important habit that can fuel more habits. What’s the risk? Joy, delight, laughter? Sounds good to me.

This post is day 7 of 30 day of optimism and positivity. 30 days is a good time frame to start a habit and make it stick. So take this Monday back and seize the day! Now off to work, not on my regular route for sure.

“Positivity is like a muscle: keep exercising it, and it becomes a habit.” – Natalie Massenet

Taking Flight

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou

I have been writing Cast-Light for 8 years with almost 900 posts and intend to continue. And because of this endeavor, I am also launching a new website called Start3Things. It’s been ruminating inside of me for over 3 years and today, on Freedom Day 2019, I am lighting the bottle rocket and launching this new endeavor. It is unfinished and still evolving just like me, but it’s time to launch so it can get momentum that comes from starting, committing and doing the work every day.

I’ve shared the depth of this concept for the past few years with co-worker and good friend Nicki Brunner, Minnemama. She listened, questioned, looked confused and then pushed me to finish the sentence per se. She is a phenomenal human being, artist and writer who designed my Cast-Light logo and designed the Start3Things (S3T) website, which will eventually become my “retirement” business in a decade as it evolves into additional income through subscriptions, e-books, freelance writing and whatever else comes up as it transforms and takes on a life of its own. Maybe even a book – who knows? That’s the goal and the dream. And now comes the work to get there.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s “official” launch article:

“The original concept was based on doing 3 things everyday that move you to your purpose. To becoming the you that you are called to be. And it’s still true today but I realized a few months ago that it’s more than starting and finishing. I’ve been caught the last three years in the middle. I started and then I sputtered and stopped. We have hundreds of ideas of starts but not a proportional amount of finishes. Why? The middle – the working ground. Starting again and where we are at is where living and being intersect.

So S3T started to make more sense as the concept evolved and I evolved my thinking along with it. The only way to the finish is starting but we need that grit and fortitude in the middle to keep going.  Starting is easy compared to the work demanded in the middle to finish.

And the concept of 3 took on more itself as well. Life is a series of beginnings, middles and ends. It’s cyclical and dynamic. And in all areas of our life in one of those areas all at the same time. We are complex beings living in a chaotic world. And the one thing we all have in common to be sure is that we are here for a purpose in our daily life, on our years and in what we leave behind.”

Over the next month, I will be digging in with discipline and rigor to research, curate and write content including a weekly enews, building out pages and articles and posting regularly on Facebook and Instagram. Over time, I will be looking at a mobile app and other features to make this a valuable resource to return to again and again.

Thanks to all who have followed Cast-Light, encouraged me with comments and likes and helped me improve my writing. I am grateful and excited to continue to evolve and develop my writing and have fun along the way with both Cast-Light and Start3Things.

Happy Freedom Day!!

“Metamorphosis has always been the greatest symbol of change for poets and artists. Imagine that you could be a caterpillar one moment and a butterfly the next.” – Louie Schwartzberg

Teflon

So much of the narrative of our life is defined by others, our past and what we all have allowed in. Change the narrative, change the story. Be mindful and careful of what you allow in and keep out.

Like Teflon, don’t let fear, other people’s shallow criticism and comments control your now and your future. Our regret rarely lies in what we’ve done but rather what we haven’t done. Dreams we didn’t pursue, activities we didn’t try, things we didn’t say.

Worry and fear hold us back from trying at all ages and stages of our life. And with one step, we can change it all. Do it afraid. Silence those voices by trying things, learning and growing until your last day on this earth.

Like a sponge, soak in possibility, confidence and hope. Let that feeling of “I Can” stick. Fear is a liar.

“When he told you you’re not good enough
When he told you you’re not right
When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you’re not worthy
When he told you you’re not loved
When he told you you’re not beautiful
That you’ll never be enough

Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar”

Zach Williams, – Fear is a Liar

Get your Teflon on.

It Adds Up

The steps that you take today add up. What they add up to is up to you. Fulfillment and fruition require effort and time. Short cuts are detours that take us off the path we are intended to take.

Do today’s work, allow time to do its work and be gratefully present in this day. Be positive, kind, hopeful, generous and lighten up. Laugh, sing and dance along the way too. We are a work in progress, called to daily joy, growing in preparation to bloom in due time.

Stay in the Game

“Will is to grace as the horse is to the rider.” – Saint Augustine

Keep going, even when it makes no sense.

Risk is not in doing but in stopping. Stay young, at least mentally, by participating. A summer weekend at a cabin included waterskiing, sleeping in a tent and jetskiing at 55 mph across the lake.

With my weak wrists and neck, waterskiing would not be the most logical choice, but it was the right one. Five tries later, I was up on skis twice, taking in the waves and soaking in the blue skies. A few minutes of sheer joy. I’m sore, tired and achy and quite satisfied. I may not be graceful, but I am gratefully aware of grace, every day.

Keep getting back up on the horse, even if you need a ladder to do so. Stay in the game.

The Unknowing

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

We want to know the end before we start. We hesitate, freeze, hold back, analyze and run the opposite direction of the unknowing. We take comfort in the familiar, especially when it’s time to move on. But it is in the unknowing, in the mystery, we find our true capacity, strength, depth, resolve, resilience and at its core, our very soul and its longing.

Keep moving and release the hollow fear that is holding you back from fullness of living, from the very breath of life. Return again and again to a beginner’s mind, ready to learn, to make mistakes, to risk being the fool. For the fool is unhindered from what others think and self-imposed limitations. The fool transforms into a genius by moving swiftly into the unknowing until it becomes known.

Move fiercely into the unknown and discover with a renewed enthusiasm where the road less taken will lead you.

“Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.”

― Dr. Seuss

Imaginary Boundaries

It's opener, out there, in the wide, open air.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!

It’s opener, out there, in the wide, open air.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

We create imaginary boundaries that keep us from crossing the line into possibility and abundance. In our scarcity mindset, we fixate on change, fight change and prepare for change rather than letting change unfold and tell its own story.

Start looking past the changing leaves of fall that lead us into winter and gaze into the blue sky that remains boundless in all seasons. Imagine no boundaries and see how far you will go. Oh, the places you will go!

Time More Than Times

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” – Ausonius

We spend a good part of our life competing, going faster in the pursuit of the prize. And I love a good competition as a way to keep improving and challenging myself to stay in the game. Never been a fan of showing up trophies.

As the years have passed, I have a new appreciation for time rather than recording new times. Time with good friends and family with an acute awareness of the brevity of time. Not only showing up but trying and not accepting anything less than doing our best, whatever that may be.

Today, we ran the Minnesota State Fair Milk Run, a tradition. We all run different paces. Rather than worrying about my time, I wanted to run for the experience of time with friends who are a part of the fabric and color in my life. We didn’t set any records but created a memory to treasure, especially when things change as they always do.

Enjoy each day, laugh and cast your bright light over those shadows that the world pulls us to. Be present with people and create time for yourself for gratitude and the sacred awareness of the blessings in your life. Dive deeper into this moment, rather than racing through your life.

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