Mindfulness

How Do You Manage Your Life’s Bandwidth?

A Life Lesson I Learned From My Smartphone

Alejandro-garrido-navarro-umbrellas
Photo by Alejandro Garrido Navarro on Unsplash


I was on the phone with my sister discussing an upcoming call about cryptocurrencies. She asked if I was going to tune in. I felt my breath quicken and my stomach churn, and it hit me. “I don’t have the personal bandwidth to take anything else into my brain right now,” I said.

My next call was to make a doctor’s appointment when up popped a message on my phone: “You’re almost out of storage.” 

Twenty minutes later Outlook sent me an email: “Your mailbox is nearly full.” And, I had to laugh out loud. No kidding!

Seriously, all three things happened within 45 minutes. Okay, okay I get it! I have no more bandwidth and am almost out of storage. The truth is I have a lot going on and that morning I realized just how overloaded I’ve been. I know I’m not alone on that score.

How has it affected me? Full disclosure, it was my cardiologist I was calling to make an appointment. My heart’s been racing enough to keep me up at night, I’ve been sighing heavily, often, and I’ve been forgetting things, like where I am and where I’m going. Pretty scary at times, actually. Fortunately, it looks like everything is fine physically and we’re altering medications which can also effect the ticker. All good. AND, he told me to slow down.

My Smartphone told me to “manage my settings” in order to deal with the dwindling amount of storage space, giving the choice to either buy more space or clean out existing apps/files to make room for what I want to keep and for when I want to add anything new. It’s pretty simple on a phone as you just go through your existing apps, examine how much storage they require and then decide if it’s worth keeping.

It got me thinking about the same rules could apply to my overloaded and over stimulated life. Time to make some room on my life bandwidth. I took a lesson from my Smartphone as I also pulled out my Marie Kondō's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Here’s a helpful 6-step process.

Place Everything in Front of You –

This is literal and metaphorical. First of all, think of your life as a big file cabinet, or dresser or basket or closet. Everything you’re working on, classes you’re taking, jobs you’re performing, all commitments, everything in your life is in that space. I’m calling mine a closet: my life closet. All lined up -- or actually kind of piled haphazardly -- are the four classes I’m taking, including all of the projects and homework involved, my work assignments, relationships, book clubs, writers groups and all other time commitments.

My life in a metaphorical closet.

Now, now take everything out of your life closet. Everything. Empty out your “space” by mentally removing them from your mind bandwidth.

One way is to list them out, don’t worry about the order yet, just get them all down. Or what I did, give every item an index card. Lay them out on the floor. Get them out of your head and onto the physical plane.

Sit in the Emptiness –

Interestingly, while I was going through this process I pulled a healing card for inspiration. The word on the card was Emptiness. I know, you just can’t make this stuff up. That inspired this next step.

Once you empty your life space and clear off your mental bandwidth, spend some quality time in the emptiness. Breathe into it for several moments. Take a look around at all of that room, the vastness of it, free from mental clutter. Feel the time open up as well, no deadlines, no ticking clock.

Just space.

There will be plenty of time to get back to all of those index cards on your floor. But, now is the time to honor your life space. What I discovered was how powerful my life energy is and how sacred my attention is in utilizing my life energy for my highest good.

Truly, take as much time as is necessary to truly honor how special and powerful your life energy is. Appreciate the sacredness of your attention because when it comes time to put things back in your life space, this will be vitally important.

Rank Them –

So, look at your list or your index cards. As on your Smartphone, give each item a value based on how much storage they require, how important they are to you in your life, timeliness and joy.

This is where you spend time with each thing. As Marie Kondō espouses, pick up each item and hold it, only keeping what brings you joy.

“The act of discarding things on its own will never bring joy to your life. Discarding is not the point; what matters is keeping those things that bring you joy." Marie Kondō

Conduct a Yes Survey

As you ponder each item in front of you, ask yourself these questions, or a version of these questions:

  • Does this bring me joy? If it’s not a hell yes, it’s probably a no.
  • Does this feel in alignment with my heart’s desire?

"Why go knocking at every other door? Go knock at the door of your own heart." Rumi 

  • Does this serve my highest good and/or the highest good of others?
  • Will this connect the dots between other items on my list?
  • Does it feel good in my body?

If you answer yes to these questions, then it’s worth your sacred attention and is deserving of valuable space in your life. If the answer is No to any of these, release them.

  • Is this a time and energy suck?
  • Do I keep losing interest or find myself not thinking about this?

The decision is obvious if you get a yes to either of these.

Give Yourself Permission

Once you’ve gone through this process with each life item in front of you, give yourself permission to delete, cancel, remove or quit the things that aren’t a 'hell yes' in the joy, alignment and soul’s calling departments.

This is where a lot of us stop ourselves. We’ve spent good money on classes or products or partnerships so there’s a part of us that can feel like a failure or a quitter if we don't complete them or hang onto them for good measure. But, the only person you’re failing or quitting is you, if you don’t end what isn’t doing you any good anyway.

So give yourself permission. Quit! Cancel! Delete!

Marie Kondō says to honor each thing before you release it, thanking it for it's contribution to your life. It helps. 

It really opens so much more time and space for all of the high vibrational in-alignment things in your life that you love. Keep doing more of those!

Mindfully Fill Your Closet

Now that you’ve carefully and thoughtfully selected those, and only those, things in your life that answer all of those yes questions, it’s time to place them back in your life space.

Slot them in mindfully, allowing the room, time and care they deserve.

Now, take a step back and give it a good look. How does it make you feel? What a joyful and purposeful life you’ll have redesigned for yourself.

Now, when something new comes along, you’ll take much greater care in what you place in your life space. It’s very special in there; you’re creating with purpose and intention.

I know for me, my intuition now has a clear guide. If I don’t get a hell yes, it’s not getting in!

 

Here’s Another Clear Guide

If you want to further expand your thinking while elevating and operating your life at a higher level, please check out my simple 8-step checklist that will help you get there.

Click here to get the CHECKLIST right now


Here's What Happens When You're Not Being Present

And, what to do about it so you are.

  Grocery store

Big weekend plans were looming, with house-guests and an event that’s been a year in the planning. Everything coming together. Ticking off the to-do list, with still-needing-to-be-done phone calls and emails and conversations rolling around in my head and a ball of nerves in my gut. But, I’m gettin’ it done. I think.

A couple days beforehand I head to the grocery store to get stocked up, and I take time to fill a beautiful cart with necessities and delectables including a lush mint plant. I smile as I picture serving fresh mint water to my guests. 

I get to the cash register. “Oh, I don’t have my wallet,” I say, with a bit of a panic rushing into my voice as I dig through my purse. It's never not in my purse.

“Is it in your car?” the helpful cashier asks. I try to think of the last time I used it. The mind is blank. But wait, I can write a check. I forget about my checkbook because who writes checks anymore.

“Yes,” she says. So I write the check. “Oh, but I need your ID,” she says sweetly.

“It’s in my wallet,” I say flatly. (sorry but adverbs are kind of key in this story) Meanwhile, I’m answering texts and she’s bagged up my gorgeous groceries into my favorite shopping bag (it has lemons on it so you get how special it is). Seriously, I feel like Martha Stewart with my perfect bag of yummy goods, with the mint leaves cascading over the top. So, I run out to my car to look, while she holds the line for me.

Sure enough, there’s the wallet, sitting lazily on the front seat.

Out of breath, I pay for the groceries, while the lovely people in line behind me wait patiently. The cashier tells me to have a better day and I roll the cart happily to my car, my lemon bag bouncing along inside the cart. One more thing to check off my list. I start the car and drive off, my head already at home, making dinner and following up on stuff for the event.

I pull into the driveway, and you’ve probably guessed, I left that gorgeous bag of groceries. In the cart. In the parking lot. Twenty minutes away. Of course, I sit in my driveway and call the store. After five minutes someone finally answers (seriously five minutes) and the woman, her name was Angel (truly), is so kind and looks all over that parking lot and store for my pretty lemon-enhanced bag. Of course, it's not there.

I was so mad! First and foremost at myself. How could I do that? I mean, I was really beating myself up. What an idiot! What a waste of time and money! Then, I got mad at whoever took it. Couldn't they see what a special bag it was and that it surely meant something to the person who owned it? I mean, who does that?

And, then that’s when I took a breath. Who does that? Who takes a bag of groceries that clearly someone forgot?

Someone who needs it, that’s who. I have to believe that my beautiful bag of deliciousness went home with someone who could really use it. A friend of mine said, “Someone who didn’t need the groceries would have rolled the cart back into the store so that whoever left them could come back and get them.” She’s so right. Another friend shed a beautiful light on it when he said, “You made a donation to someone you don’t know and will never receive thanks for it. How great is that?” He’s also right. He now asks, “Did you stop at the store where you made a donation?” I love that.

It got me thinking about how un-present I was. I wasn’t at all present. In my head, I was 20 miles and three days away from that parking lot when I got into the car and drove off.

Then, get this. The next morning I put on my makeup. Twice. I was 10,000 miles away from my bathroom, in some other mental stratosphere adding to my to-do list. So I applied my makeup a second time, not realizing it until I was almost done. Sure, my makeup looked great, but I was a mess. Later the same day I walked off and left my keys at the office.

I. Was. Not. Present. Not even in the vicinity of being in the Now.

There's an even deeper reveal here - the real lesson - not only was I not being present with myself and what was in front me, I wasn’t being mindful. At all. My head wasn't in the game, which never results in a winning proposition. And it only makes sense that if I'm not being mindful while putting groceries in my car and putting on my makeup, where else am I being mind-less?

Being mindful is the action of being present. To be deliberate and mindful in all of one’s actions is to be fully present, in the now.

So, my friends, learn from my stumble… Here's how I came back. 

Take a moment - just stop.

Pay attention - to what's in front of you.

Get present - not tomorrow, a week from now, or 10 minutes away. Get in the here and now.

And, be mindful. Mindful while making coffee, mindful while eating, mindful while paying for groceries and loading in the car, mindful in conversations and relationships and most importantly, be mindful with yourself. Really pay attention to each action and moment.

Be mindful toward every thing and everything. 

Oh, and when I went back to the store - because I still had to stock up - I asked for a new bag with lemons on it, 'cause it's still my favorite. And, when I told the cashier what had happened to the previous one, just because it made a good story, she gave it to me for free. Actually she gave me two. So, I'm thinking I made out on that deal, mindfully.

 


Want to Grow? Look Beyond What You Know

There's so much there to find.

Edge of waterBy Cindy Yantis

The temp read 101 degrees as I pulled into Ralph’s parking lot. It was a challenge as usual to find a parking spot which was further exasperated by the fact that I was hot and didn’t want to walk a mile to the door. So, again as usual, I trekked up and down the rows of parked cars watching for brake lights indicating someone was pulling out.

I turned down the last row, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a ramp. I have no idea why I had never noticed this any of the numerous times I’d been to this grocery store, but today it felt it had been put there just for me. It led to underground parking and as I drove down the ramp it was like finding a secret passage way. I found a spot right by the door so I whipped my Mini Cooper S into place.

I grabbed a cart and rode up the elevator next to a man with a beard and a twinkle in his eye that made me think of Merlin the magician, or a young Professor Dumbledore. I said, “This is the first time I’ve parked down here. It’s like a whole new world.” Without skipping a beat, he said, “a whole new world that’s a whole lot cooler.” Well said, Professor.

It got me thinking about what can happen when you look beyond what you already know, or think you know.

How often do you find yourself thinking something won't work because the thing you tried, failed to make it happen? Or a solution to a problem feels less than satisfactory, but it was the general consensus so it's what you go with? Or you've fallen into a habit or routine that used to work for you but it's lost it's power or value, however you keep doing it because it's what you've always done? Or you just can't figure it out so you quit? Or you can't find something, so you give up?

We've all done it. No judgment here. Heck I didn't even know there was underground parking at a shopping center I've been going to every week for almost two years!

But, what I experienced made me realize - or remember- that there's always another way. There's always something beyond what we already know. There's nearly always another way into it. 

So... Want to grow? Look beyond what you know.

Or simply ask, what else is there? What's beyond what I already know? Take a breath and allow the answer to reveal itself.

Then go there. You never know. Looking beyond what you know could lead to a secret passage way to exactly where you want to be. 

"Unless you try to do something beyond what you've already mastered, you will never grow." Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Related: Here's What It Means to Level Up


The Key to Unlocking the Door to Your Best Life

Do this one thing and it will change the way you live your life. And, it's simpler than you might think.

Key in door
photo by Isabela Kronemberger

By Cindy Yantis

I was going to be seeing some people I hadn’t seen in awhile, a couple of them with whom I shared some history. Enough history that I had some angst about seeing them. Enough so that I started rehearsing dialog in my head days before, playing out various scenarios – some good, some not so good – and rummaging in my closet to decide what to wear so that I looked more at ease than I felt.

Ever been there? Sometimes it can take over and become another character in the room, the character that plays out the scenarios which stops you from being present with what’s really happening in the moment. Stops you from being you.

At a recent women’s retreat I was part of fabulous discussion where we tapped into a notion that flipped a switch for all of us. The idea of being Available. Wha??? Certainly, it's a word we're all familiar with, but this way of thinking about it was new and enthralling.

To get to that aha moment, we acknowledged where in our lives we were not there, where things felt stuck or stagnant or scary. Where we stopped ourselves from moving forward or from having a tough discussion or from asking for what we want/need. Where we had showed up halfway for fear of the not knowing, or where we edited ourselves down to being a fraction of who we are because of wanting to avoid conflict. Where we were trying to control the situation so much that we put others off and eventually lost control in a bigger way.

So we asked, what’s the shift that will change who we are in those circumstances? It’s more than being authentic, although that’s vital too. It’s more than being present. It’s more than being open.  

It’s being actively present and open, which we determined meant being Available.

Being Available means being actively present and open. That unlocked the gateway. Or rather, blasted it wide open!

Then, we gave it voice, which birthed a mantra that carries you boldly into any situation. It literally calms and revs your energy at the time. It centers you, gives you confidence and allows your heart to lead the way. And, being mindfully available is a starter, not a stopper. And, it’s simple.

Follow “I’m available” with whatever you’re about to do, or what you're desiring to make happen.

  • I’m available for this meeting.
  • I’m available for this discussion.
  • I’m available for my next, better job. I’m available for this interview
  • I’m available for, to and in this relationship.
  • I’m available for this phone call.
  • I’m available for this date.
  • I’m available for my body to be healthy.
  • I’m available for and to my best life.

Try it! I’m available…

It makes it even more powerful when you incorporate it into conversation with people. "I'm available to and for creating the best solution for all of us." Taking ownership of your availability is so incredibly empowering. 

Being in a state and mindset of availability allows you to really show up. It can be a baby step toward fulfilling a big goal, or toward conquering a fear. Just be available for the baby step, and just the baby step. Then, the next step and the next. And, when the big opportunity presents itself, you’re ready and AVAILABLE!

Being available - and stating that you're available - helps to release expectations and false foregone conclusions. 

Being available means being undefended, knowing there's nothing you have to defend. Being defensive or defended closes off your availability. You're just available and that's enough. 

Consistently being available makes what seemed impossible much more possible. It removes the chains that have held you back from all that is possible for you.

Thus begins a new way of thinking, of showing up for ourselves and to the world. I do it all the time now and guess what? I'm available!


Here's What it Means to Level Up

And, here are 8 steps to start leveling up in your life.

By Cindy Yantis

Inhale exhale

"Level up!" This was the attention grabber in a recent email I received. 

What is actually said was, "Level up, Libra!" It began the week's horoscope full of "time for a mid-year reboot," and "the new moon will bring a boost to your professional life." Okay, I'm in! 

I love the phrase "level up." Not only is it motivating, but it got me thinking about what that might look like in all areas of life. 

What does it mean to level up?

Simply put, it means to improve your current station in a way that feels like a powerful shift. And, it starts with a change in thought, a shift in mindset, followed by brave action. And, the fuel that drives all of it is Passion.

No sooner had I begun pondering this question when an another email popped into my inbox with the subject line, "Level up the passion in your life." Well, now I'm really paying attention. The email was about a yoga retreat and this Nelson Mandela quote was front and center. 

“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

So, with passion powering us, here are some thoughts about leveling up.

  • Start with the questions - Take time with your journal. In these areas of your life, where do want to step, or leap, to the next level? 
  •     Career/Purpose - stretch your wildest dreams
  •     Health/Wellbeing - get real with where you are and where you want to be
  •     Relationships - current as well as future-desired
  •     Spiritual - where you desire to be more mindful and conscious in connection to your Source & Self
  •     Life Enrichment - skills you want to learn, places you want to travel or live
  • Define the big step - ask yourself what feels like a big step. I took 10 minutes and made a list of 25 actions that feel like big steps for me, in all areas of my life. What is for you? Is it making that phone call you know could change things for you? Or booking a venue for a new program you want to launch? Or asking someone out? Or booking the dream vacation? Or having a difficult conversation? Or going back to school? Or quitting a job that doesn't fulfill you? Or hiring a trainer? Go to the place that scares you. Start your big step from that place.
  • Say YES to the things that feel like a level up - and say NO to those that don't. Some aid you and some stop you. This is where you trust your gut and intuition. When you slow down to listen to the voice of your body, you'll know which is which.
  • Acknowledge the Yeah-Buts - we all have them. These are the fears, which feel real but mostly are imagined. The yeah-buts are simply expectations of outcome that we've made up to protect ourselves from those fears: I'm not good enough, they won't like me, I don't have enough time, I'm too old, it's too expensive, I'm too fat, I'm too young, I don't have enough experience, I don't like to fail. Leveling up is recognizing the yeah-but and then doing it anyway. That's brave. So, meet the yeah-but with -
  • Oh yeah? - it's the self-pep talk to squash the yeah-but. Oh yeah? Here's what I know I am good at. Oh yeah? My people, my divine right matches will love what I have to offer. Oh yeah? I have the time because I make the time. Oh yeah? I'm not old I'm seasoned! I'm not old, I'm wise. Oh yeah? I'm not too young, I'm smart and eager and ready to go. Oh yeah? Here's what experience I do have. Putting the focus on where you rock paves the way to your next level(s).
  • Inhale the future, exhale the past - don't stay stuck in old stories and patterns that have held you back in the past. It didn't work then and it certainly won't work in moving you up.
  • Visualize you - living at your up level. What does it look like, feel like, smell like? How's the air up there? See in your mind's eye a day in the life of you, living your big life.
  • Give someone else a lift up too - offering others a hand up as you level up pays dividends exponentially. It's just good karma.

And, as with all things, do it from and with passion.

“Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.” – Jon Bon Jovi

Passion, joy and love. After all, isn't that what life is all about anyway?

 


How A Broken Wrist Changed My Life

Womans hand holding coffee

By Cindy Yantis

Man, did I have grand plans for 2017. I mean, I couldn’t wait to hit the ground running with a very full plate of flavorful projects waiting to be completed and/or started. Every day was Ready, Set, Go...

Then, on Christmas Eve, seven minutes after I arrived at my sister’s for the family celebration, I stepped around the back of the couch to slip my gifts next to the tree. Unfortunately, the only things that slipped were my feet on the hardwood floor, clean out from under me as I fell and broke my wrist, broke it badly in fact, both the ulna and radius bones, which meant surgery, which meant a steel plate holding my wrist together, which meant wearing a cast for weeks (albeit one in a pretty color), which meant having to learn how to use my left wrist and hand all over again. 

Can you say Projectus Interruptus? It was more like Life Interruptus.

To say that starting this year with a broken wrist shook me would be an understatement. And what’s entirely laughable is how I tried to fight it, looking at it only as an obstacle keeping me from doing ALL that I’ve been wanting to do. Laughable because that is one fight I was never going to win. When you have one usable hand there’s only so much you can do.

I had no choice but to just stop

What immediately started to happen? Fears started to bubble to the surface that once and for all I was required to recognize, study and distill. Fears about running out of time or of missing out on that next great idea or next opportunity. And, it exposed something very big. It allowed me to take a hard look at myself as the chronic multitasker that I had become.

The multitasker moniker is one that I have worn loudly and proudly. I'd have a running to-do list, set multiple timers, creating fancy systems for said timers, jumping from one idea or one task to the next, and many times doing more than one of them at the same time. I definitely have a record of completing many of these tasks and getting things done and many of them fairly well. Crossing things off my to-do list, nirvana for multitaskers!

But, what often happens with this chronic multitasking? Mediocrity becomes the norm. Things get done but excellence often is not reached. And, focus is splintered in a thousand different directions.

Research has shown that multitasking causes the brain to work at a lower cognitive level and for an extended period time keeps it at that level. So, then it's harder to focus on projects that take a higher and deeper level of thinking and concentration. According to a Fast Company article "These Are the Long Term Effects of Multitasking," multitasking actually has addictive effects on the brain, can diminish IQ and the constant "task-switch" leads to a destructive cycle of distraction that stops productivity. 

So my broken wrist got me thinking about how the universe was giving me a very big message to slow down. To stay with the present moment and the present task at hand. The big Truth is that’s all there is, this moment, in this realm, in this space. And the truth is you can only accomplish one thing, well, at a time.

As a multitasker, I’d packed my plate with as many things as possible and when that plate was full I started another plate. It’s like continually going back to the buffet table that you know, even before you approach, is filled with delectable things you want to try. Things you know you don’t need, are not good for you and will derail you from your healthy Vision or Intention.

But now, if I attempt to carry my typically full plate with my only one good hand, there’s no doubt it’ll come crashing down, shattering into a pile of chaotic unorganized mess that will be nothing short of sad and depressing!

Going From Multi to Monotasker

Being focused on one thing at a time means staying away from the buffet table and removing the distractions that steal focus. It's like ordering from the menu the one thing that serves your vision or goal. And to help safeguard the commitment to being singly focused, if it’s actually a menu that you have pragmatically designed so that every item available to you serves your mission, then you’re in complete control of whatever goes on your plate on any given day.

So, for me I started by taking literally everything off of my plate and my menu of a thousand projects. I spent hours meditating and getting back in deep touch with my core values and my core truths. And, then I just got quiet. I allowed my GPS to re-calibrate as my single task menu items floated to the surface. Then, I sat with those for awhile, then cut them down again. What came out of the process was a clean, simple plate with very few projects on it that I'm absolutely madly in love with. 

And. It. Feels. Good. Really good.

Now, as physical therapy strengthens my wrist, I work to continually retrain my brain to stay focused on the one thing at a time. I've given up my place at the buffet table. I'm more cognizant of my electronics time so am mindful of distractions. And, I'm happy with what I'm doing.

Turns out, my broken wrist was one of the best things that ever happened to me. 

 

Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com. Please visit us on our Facebook Page: Facebook.com/ThoughtChanger  


What's Your Fall Back Plan?

By Cindy Yantis

How's Your Foundation These DaysReminders abound for us to change our clocks to standard time again this weekend. And, always when that happens, I stop for a second to remember whether I get to sleep in an hour longer or need to get up an hour earlier. Then, I recall the old adage: In the fall you fall back and in the spring you spring forward.

So we’re falling back into standard time. There’s a certain comfort in that, as if things are setting into the way they’re supposed to be, into the solid foundation of time.

It got me thinking about my own foundation and how important it is to feel a solid base underneath, a smooth platform from which to create, to thrive, to live.

The truth is it hasn’t felt so solid lately.

How do I know this? I notice little things slipping, like home routines that keep my house in order, and self-care commitments like journaling, meditating and exercising, and responding to emails and messages in a timely manner.

And, I haven’t been writing. When that happens I know something’s off. It pokes holes in my foundation because all of those things are vitally important to me and are the elements or standards that I fall back on. I start to feel a sense of disconnection, from myself and from others.

Seismic Shift in Foundation

There are many things that can cause this shift on the personal Richter scale. Internal conflict and expansion of consciousness can both be uncomfortable and take up space and energy. Those I prefer and welcome because to my way of thinking they are signs of growth and the louder they are the better because that means change is coming.

But, for me I think what’s creating craters the size of potholes in my foundation is external. Certainly, it’s easy to get overloaded with obligations and opportunity. However, something else has crept in that has been a shock to my very being, and one that I didn’t see coming. And, I know I’m not alone.

It’s the divisiveness, fear and hatred that have surfaced so fully in this election season. It has rocked me to my core. I watch as it causes hateful exchanges on social media between “friends,” creates deep rifts in families and fosters a canyon-like chasm of discord throughout humanity.

There’s almost a gladiator mentality that has descended upon us, where you watch incessantly and feed rabidly on the lowest of the low, of what began as a need to be informed and to know the truth, became an insatiable addiction to dribbles of manipulated truths, conspiracy theories and one-upmanship for digging up the worst stories possible about the other. It’s worse than politics. It’s dirty pool. It’s cannibalism of the human spirit.

And, it saddens me deeply, simply as a human being. I find myself in a constant state of disbelief because in my heart of hearts I know it’s not real. Is it? That this fear-driven chorus won’t last. Will it?

Well, with potholes and cracks in my personal foundation it’s easy to see why things have been slightly askew. For me, is started with forgoing my beloved morning routine of meditating, journaling and exercising for waking up, rolling over and flipping on the morning news. It just spread out from there to other areas of my life.

Time to Reflect, Reframe and Rebuild the Foundation.

Deepak Chopra said recently that you must have “willingness to let your consciousness and awareness expand.”

When I heard this, the first word I thought of was compassion. Ah, that made me breathe deeply. Those breaths of compassion started to slowly fill the holes in my foundation, like liquid settling into place. And, as this happened I felt an opening.

This started with feeling compassion for the fear flooding the ether right now; compassion for the people in fear who lash out in pain and hate; compassion for leaders, compassion for followers, compassion for those seeking a better existence and have no idea how to get it. And, compassion for myself as disgust fills my mouth and tastes like metal and as I feel my own raw humanness. Compassion then leads to understanding, tolerance, love and a sense of center.

The power of compassion, along with the notion of time falling back into standard, got me thinking about the elements or standards of a strong foundation, and remembering them is bringing me back into alignment, back on solid ground. 

7 Standards of Foundation:

  1. Core Values – remind yourself what really matters to you, what base values are non-negotiable. For me it’s respect, for self and others, living and speaking my truth, understanding and honoring differences and being kind.
  2. Wisdom – guidance from your higher self that all will be okay, within. And when the within is solid and firm with personal conviction based on core truths, the external shite won’t and can’t annihilate the foundation.
  3. Soul Food – what feeds your soul and fills you up? Re-focusing on that which makes your spirit sing fosters a feeling of wholeness. For me it’s all of those things I’ve been missing of late: writing, self-care and home routines. Maybe it’s running or teaching or being with family or knitting, whatever it is for you, make it front and center.
  4. Deeper Connections – this means heart-to-heart, person-to-person connections, intimate relationship vs. crowd surfacing on social media, piano bar vs. rock concert. For me this will mean disconnecting to connect, spending less time online and more time face to face.
  5. Presence – being fully present with what’s real and happening each moment in your life. This means recognizing and letting go of distractions. They’re everywhere and can weaken your foundation.
  6. Conscious Languaging – how you speak to others, including comments and posts online, and how you speak to yourself. Ask yourself if this is the highest vibration of conversation you can possibly have. If you hesitate, take a moment and reconsider. This is not about holding back your voice, but rather giving your voice it’s highest power to communicate, to heal, to value.
  7. Solid Surroundings – only allow environments and people within your inner sphere who are going to nourish and strengthen your foundation.

So, as the clocks fall back into standard time, consider this:

How is your foundation? What do you know you can fall back on, solidly? Where are your convictions? What are your core values? What feeds and deeply enriches you? What makes you feel connected?

Fall consciously into your own standards of foundation. It’s nothing less than home.

 

Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com. Please visit us on our Facebook Page: Facebook.com/ThoughtChanger  


#WordsMatter - Use Yours Wisely

By Cindy Yantis

Utterances by their very nature are often said in passing, not meant to stick around, not meant to be given weight. An utterance is defined simply as “a smallest unit of speech.” And, stringing together a series of utterances constitutes a complete thought, whether it’s our side of a conversation or an improvised speech at a podium or simple off-the-cuff observations. We often don’t give much mind to our daily utterances.

But, we should.

A word. It’s such a small elemental thing. But, can have such a tremendous impact. It’s the impact that lingers, has weight and sticks around for as long as the impact has an
effect on someone. Words matterWordsMatter

And, it’s not just in this day and age of the fast moving Internet, where words travel at the speed of a Tweet and Retweet. The truth is words secure history. They define things like character and reputation and acumen. Since the beginning of recorded time, words have taught, inspired and marked the foundation of beliefs that people still follow and hold true today. Words have also led fear-based revolutions that destroyed governments and created generations of people lost and without hope.

It’s easy to think of historical figures on both sides of this spectrum that have had an impact, positively or negatively. Yes, actions define a person and there is truth to the adage that sometimes actions speak louder than words. However, words are recorded in history and are carried forth from generation to generation. In many cases, it's the words that have defined characters in our human life history. We’re still quoting people who lived hundreds of years ago and are still moved and motivated by their words. It’s probably why #quotes – or many variations: #lifequote, #quoteoftheday, #words, #todaysthought, #wordstoliveby, etc. – are the most used hashtags on social media.

And, it’s why there’s such raw credence to the simple truth that words matter. We feel words deeply, which is why people often have such visceral reactions to what is said, either to them or about something for which they feel strongly.

Words can hurt or elevate us, enrage or sooth us, drive us or stop us in our tracks and make us laugh uproariously or cry hysterically.

Someone said, “Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.” I don’t know who first said it, but it’s so simple and true. We can’t control how our words land or how they’re interpreted. The only thing we can control is what and how they come out of our mouths.

Think before you speak. Yes, be mindful. Own your words. It’s simple, relevant and essential. #WordsMatter. Your words will define in your history. 

 

Related ~

The First and Last Word

Here's the Truth About Truth

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com


Lean Into What's Working

By Cindy Yantis

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were on CBS Sunday Morning to talk about the Ron Howard documentary, EIGHT DAYS A WEEK: The Touring Years (which is in my Hulu queue!). They talked about the rocket ship early days in 1963 when they rode their unprecedented meteoric rise on the simplest of ideas. “It was really simple in the beginning,” Paul said, then added, “We were a great little band.”

Then, things got crazy! Beatlemania took off to the point where they needed to find a place large enough for their growing surge of adoring fans. The first concert at Shea Stadium happened in 1965 and arena rock was born.

Paul McCartney: “We didn’t plan for anything.”

Ringo Starr: “We just went with it.”

They just went with it. In other words, they leaned into what was working. And, kept leaning in as things kept working. Until it didn’t. Paul said the reason it ended, is it just got too complicated. In other words the energy shifted as they each made the choice to lean in other directions.

It got me thinking about leaning into what’s working in our daily lives. As illustrated by Paul, Ringo and the rest of the Fab Four, when we keep going in the direction of what's going well and focus on that which is igniting us, then more of the same will keep coming and propelling us upward and onward. It’s the very basis Lean into what's workingof the law of attraction: what you focus on expands, what you attract is also attracting you. Until it’s not.

Sometimes, however, we invest energy into something and keep investing energy even when it’s not working. We keep trying to make it work. When, if we really check in with ourselves, we know it’s not right, at least not right now. Right? What can often happen if we keep investing our time and energy in this kind of scenario, is that we give away part of our personal power and we run the risk of closing ourselves off to other invitations or opportunities or relationships that are willing to meet us where we are.

I've certainly experienced this phenomenon from both perspectives. And, I gotta be honest, not only can it be simply awesome to ride the wave of explosive rightness; it can also at times be rather derailing when it's not working, shaking me to my core, rocking me temporarily off course, particularly if it's something that is truly desired, like a special opportunity or a deeper connection with something or someone. Occasionally, I have invested my time and energy into something that has come into my path in which I saw potential and great value. So I leaned in, fully, in anticipation of receiving an equitable return on investment. It worked initially so I kept leaning. However, eventually in some cases, I wasn’t met there with equal investment or energy, a mutual leaning. 

When you find yourself at this juncture, a suggestion (which has worked for me) is to lean back. Then, assess the information presented so you can regain clarity about your original intentions. From that place of inner wisdom, pull back the energy, acknowledge the gifts this situation gave you (because there always are some) and then let go of its active hook in order to allow your energy investment to move on toward where it’s working and flowing, toward the invitation and the acceptance, the equitable ROI. 

Certainly, there are ebbs and flows in experiences, jobs, opportunities and relationships, where one side is more invested than the other at any given time. But, if you’re consistently not met where you feel satisfied, encouraged and in alignment, then leaning in another direction is a valid and powerful choice. At least for the time being. It can always be revisited at another time, but then it's from a fresh perspective, a renewed sense of value and purpose. 

Until then, keep leaning into what's working. 

Related:

Life is a River

How to Get to the Heart of the Matter

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com