Acting on Inspiration

inspiration

Although I’ve previously written about Intuition and Inspired Action, this post is really about the finer art of acting on inspiration.

Chances are, as a creative or healing entrepreneur, listening to your intuition is like second-nature to you. There’s no need to preach to the choir about the power of intuition.

Acting on Inspiration

Inspiration is defined as the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Some thoughts are inspiring, others not so much and there’s a good reason for that.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: True inspiration comes with the energy to act upon it. In fact, it’s common for inspiration to be so moving, that it propels you forward into action before you’ve even realized it. So many times, I’ve realized I was inspired when the action itself is nearly complete. THAT is the incredible power of inspiration!

If you have a thought that doesn’t feel inspiring or come with the energy to complete the task, that emotional response is a sign for you to STOP.

Does this scenario sound familiar…

Just as you are winding down for the day, you get this GREAT IDEA that is so exciting you almost do not want to go to sleep…so you write it down to take action first thing in the morning. The next morning, you look at the idea again and it barely warrants a shrug. You wonder: What was I thinking when I bothered to write this down? Your excitement to take the action has transformed into doubt as to why you’d ever want to give that idea your energy.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. It’s not all bad news, either. Great ideas come to entrepreneurs ALL the time. Reminds me of the phrase, “Ideas are a dime a dozen.” But it’s not the idea’s fault or problem that it didn’t stir you the next day. Ideas, themselves, are neutral.

Let’s start with the REALLY GOOD news: Ideas are flowing to you. Celebrate that. Seriously! It’s a very good thing to have a consistent flow of ideas, especially as an entrepreneur.

The most successful entrepreneurs appreciate good ideas, even the ones they won’t be taking action on! James Altucher has written about his practice of generating 10 ideas a day for others, honing his skills for coming up with (hopefully some) good ideas for himself, as well.

However, having a steady flow of ideas doesn’t mean every idea is meant for you or your business. If the idea no longer appeals, it’s meant for someone else to take action. Let it go.

That late-night flash which felt so good at the time is still a great idea…but it’s not the great idea for you to act upon when the positive feeling is gone the next day. Don’t *diss* the idea, itself, just recognize that the lack of juice is showing you it’s not for you to take action upon.

Pet Peeve: Misleading “Massive Action”

There are many motivational speakers insisting everyone take “Massive Action” to attain success. People are told to take action, ANY action, and a LOT of it! This is a very masculine approach to life…Get out there…Assert yourself on everything and everyone…GO, GO, GO!!! If you snooze, you loose…

Even when it’s the wrong action for you or your business. Even if you’re flailing. Even if you’re burning yourself out. Even if you’re miserable and making everyone around you miserable. Even when the results are no where near what you desire. Just keep forcing yourself to do more, do it faster, and never stop.

Let’s not forget all the shaming of those who don’t feel inspired to take action.

By comparison, the intuitive entrepreneur can continue to generate a flow of ideas, while honing their ability to sense which ideas are theirs to act upon. Which ideas feel good and have a positive energy to them? Which ideas do you find yourself acting on with ease and joy? Which tasks have you almost completed while contemplating the idea?

This is a more feminine approach to life, but it also preserves our energy for important things (not just our business), and makes our work more enjoyable. Taking action in this way feels good, productive, positive, and meaningful. No flailing or burning out. Just ease, flow, and a deeper connection with our own sense of purpose which brings more energy back into our experience.

Allowing Inspiration Creates More Ease and Flow

For me, who tends toward overwork when I’m not consciously aware, I have noticed that really feeling into an idea helps me determine if it’s right for me. Blog posts area a great example, and a reason why I don’t post daily.

When the inspiration is real, it’s not just excitement I feel but also the powerful energy that comes with it. I’ve learned to let go of the interesting ideas that didn’t have that underlying positive energy, knowing they are meant for someone else.

For some of you, that underlying positive energy might be anger. When you have felt helpless and depressed for a while, anger is a step up the vibrational scale and feels like relief.

Multimillionaire author, musician, and founder of New World Library, Marc Allen, talks about not working on Sundays or Mondays (Moon Days). At all. Working only after 1pm Pacific Tuesday through Friday, and half-time on Saturday. Allowing himself to relax more, watching clouds go by. Great ideas come to Marc when he’s relaxed. (BTW, this is true for all of us.) Songs compose themselves. Book ideas float to top of mind. When it is time to take action, he feels more in the flow of life. In his Millionaire Course Workshop (3CD set), Marc gives further details on how entrepreneurs can support themselves in the process of growing their businesses.

Inspiration vs. Getting Stuff Done

Sure, Nancy, this all sounds great…but what about the stuff that just has to get done? I’m not inspired to sweep the floor and take the garbage out, but it’s gotta get done!

For the things that just have to get done, all entrepreneurs have the choice to do the work themselves, or hire someone else. Yes, there ARE people who find cleaning inspirational and offer those services. Yes, there are people inspired to do the work that does not inspire you!

When I first started my design business in 1994, I convinced myself I couldn’t afford an accountant. That was, until it took me 20 hrs to calculate my quarterly tax estimate and I still wasn’t sure which of the 3 numbers I came up with was correct! That experience left me stressed, tired, and frustrated.

I then hired an accountant who cost me one billable hour (19 less than I had spent, on my own) to come up with the correct number. That’s when I learned that it’s worth hiring others to get some things done. (She’s still my CPA and I rave about her!) Even if I don’t mind doing the work, like accounting, I’d rather pay my CPA to do it faster and better. Hiring others to complete work that is not inspiring to me frees me to focus on what matters in both my business and life.

There is ample ROI (Return on Investment) for hiring others to take your (uninspired) actions which need to get done so you have time and energy to act on your own inspirations.

What do you think? Share your thoughts, questions, and experiences in the comments below.

Image credit: Barry-Jansson & Associates,
using image from CHOREOGRAPH

 

Making It Easier

easierMaking It Easier

Ahhh…do you feel the ease in that statement? I realize “easier” is not the message most of us are accustomed to hearing, when it comes to our businesses, but bear with me. Starting and building your business can be easier and more fun than you have been taught or might have imagined.

If you’ve been struggling to start or build your business, it’s possible that you have been reading and listening to experts who make it seem difficult and complicated. Without knowing what step to take next, the whole process can feel overwhelming. Most of the business experts, themselves, share and compare business hardship stories as if that is the only way successful businesses function.

Emphasis on ‘Easier’

Businesses have their trajectories, which are a reflection of the owner/leader’s energy. The focus of this post is on EASE: There are many tips and tools that we can combine to make the process of starting and running a business easier.

If you’ve grown up hearing other ‘grown ups’ talk about business, likely they were talking about how hard it was to find clients, get paid, grow their business. What they affirmed (hardship) was confirmed to them, so in their minds, they were right.

Self Check-In:
What are you affirming / confirming about your business with your words, thoughts, feelings, and actions?

The energy generated from your words, thoughts, and feelings drive your actions, and the resulting outcome. The one(s) who line up energetically, SEE, FEEL, and KNOW themselves as successful before they take any actions toward their business are more likely to experience successful outcomes.

This is why two people can start the same business in the same city, but one succeeds while the other fails before they even open their doors. What you hold to be true about your business in your words, thoughts, and feelings establishes how you will experience your business.

First, Alignment!

Before you take another action toward your business, get into alignment with your success:

• SEEING: In your mind’s eye, your imagination, practice seeing yourself successful. Imagine you are in your place of business, or at a networking event meeting new clients. See your schedule filling up with a list of great clients. If this feels awkward, keep doing it until it feels natural.

• FEELING: Notice how you feel when you’re imagining your successful and thriving business. How do you feel when you’re working, when you’re reviewing your financials, when you’re paying bills, dealing with vendors and clients/customers? What do your successful business days feel like, and what do you feel at night as you’re drifting off to sleep?

• KNOWING: As you practice seeing and feeling your success, and the idea of success and the feeling of success will become second-nature to you. This is when you are ready to begin knowing within yourself that even if you don’t know everything about your business…you are capable of learning, growing, and guiding your business. Knowing may initially come to you in flickers and hope-filled thoughts. That’s good! Nurture those until the knowing grows within you.

Pre-Pave Your Success

Abraham-Hicks talks about Segment-Intending as a way of pre-paving future events so they will transpire easily and joyfully. You can also use the basic concept of segment-intending to pre-pave your business success:

• Start by making a list of all the steps you know you’ll need to take with your business
– Setting up your business structure, business location
– Setting up promotional materials: website, business cards, stationery/envelopes, brochures (if any)
– Identifying potential clients and letting them know about your products / services
– Networking to meet potential clients / customers
– Speaking / Writing to increase awareness of your products / services

SEE, FEEL, and KNOW yourself taking the appropriate action in each list with ease, and with a highly successful result. In our imagination, we can ‘take the journey’ first, energetically. If it feels awkward, we’re not yet in alignment. Keep going until it feels natural, and the positive outcome feels obvious to you. Clarity and confidence will fill your being. This is on-going practice for the successful business owner.

Actions you take after getting into alignment and pre-paving will have a much better outcome and likely to feel easier, than if you are taking the same actions from fearful or frustrated energy. The feeling of the journey has a direct effect on the outcome.

Address Your Fears

When I first started my illustration and design business, I realized that I was literally afraid to ‘sell’ my services. Selling would be important to my business success, so I had to address it if I was going to move forward.

Fortunately, before I started my business, I had (even before knowing about these processes) FELT myself highly successful. I didn’t know HOW, I just felt that I would be and I milked that feeling long before I took action. So, when I realized my fear around selling I immediately sought resources that could help me. A book on marketing one’s services gave me the tools I needed and my confidence began to build. I saw myself successfully identifying possible clients, educating them about my services and how to reach me, and then letting those businesses decide if they would like to hire me. My job was to market / educate. This took the ‘sales’ pressure off, and I felt ready to move forward.

Within a few days, I was making cold-calls to area businesses who might need my services. Of my total list of 50 potential clients, 2 of them called me back to hire me then, and for years afterward. None of that would have happened had I not addressed what I feared, and pre-paved a positive outcome!

Know that you can make starting and growing your business easier using the tools I’ve shared here. You ARE capable of starting, running, and thriving with your business!


For the past decade I have specialized in working with female healing and creative solo- and entrepreneurs in various stages of starting or growing their businesses. If you’ve been struggling to start or build your creative or healing business, it doesn’t have to be that way. You always have the choice, and help is available when you are ready for it.

Image Credit: Barry-Jansson & Associates
with a photo by maridav

 

 

 

Romancing the Struggle

romancing the struggleIn my work with creative and healing business owners, I’ve noticed that some people really enjoy experiencing struggle. Where none exists, they’ll create some to ensure there is plenty to go around.

For these people, struggle makes them feel more alive, satisfying their need to complain, push against someone/something, and ‘have an enemy’ to confront.

Some are wired this way, and those who are not have subconsciously succumbed to the belief that there is no other choice—and they don’t question that thinking. Fighting amid the struggle allows them to justify the belief that nothing good comes without a struggle.

Romancing the Struggle

I know because a while back, I was among the unconsciously struggling group. I didn’t enjoy the struggles, but everyone around me was parroting that ‘life is hard’, ‘making money is a struggle’, ‘we all have to settle; no one can get what they want’. I listened to and believed their complaints and worries and fears, and never once did I question those thoughts.

At the time, I didn’t even realize I had a choice! I didn’t realize my own power to create struggle or create ease.

It took me a long time to realize that life was merely mirroring what I claimed to be true. I not only had a choice, but I could question the ‘life is a struggle’ thinking, and I could make room for ease and flow in my business…and every area of my life.

Bottom line: Your life and your business are only as difficult as you decide they are.

We decide each time we observe ‘what is’ and label it ‘the way it will always be’. Or observe others in struggle and claim ‘that will happen to me, too’. We can decide something different at any point, but only we can do it for ourselves.

If you enjoy romancing the struggle, then I’ll leave you to it. This post isn’t really for you, so you’re excused..carry on and have fun.

Ready to Start Romancing the Ease?

Here’s what you can do if you are ready to experience more ease and flow:

1. Decide to let go of your struggle romance. – Nothing can change until you decide you are ready to let that go. Write your struggle romance a break-up letter. Thank it for what it has taught you, and tell it goodbye. Then, get ready to make a new commitment. From time-to-time, you may benefit from re-committing to this decision when you find yourself slipping back into bad habits of struggle.

2. Make a new commitment. – Intend to experience more ease, flow, fun, and joy. Some people find it supportive to craft and use affirmations every day reminding them of that ease, which helps them move forward. Become a regular visitor to Easy World. Visualize the ease you’d like to experience. Tune into how you’d like to feel when all is said and done.

3. Question your thinking. – Once you’ve made the decision and commitment, start consciously choosing to shift your thinking into alignment.

What’s ‘in alignment’ mean?
• Thoughts that feel good are in alignment with committing to more ease and flow.
• Conversely, thoughts that feel bad are not in alignment with committing to more ease and flow.

When you find yourself spinning on a subject, getting caught in struggle, look at the underlying belief and apply The Work: Is this true? Can I absolutely be sure it’s true? How do I feel when I think this thought? Who would I be without this thought?

4. Increase your awareness of the physical feelings in your body. – The body compass can tell us way more than our mind, if we’re willing to listen to the messages. If you are stuck in your brain, chances are very good that you are obsessing rather than resolving your struggles.

Get still, become aware of your breath, feel your arms, hands, legs, feet, chest. Notice your heartbeat. As you sense your body, the thinking centers of the brain turn off. Notice where the tension is, and let it go. Notice where you feel tight, or have sensations like aches or pains or itching. Awareness of these sensations is not only healing, but opens space for old, stuck issues to come to the surface. This is an ongoing practice.

5. Find time every day to meditate and relax. – Brain science shows us that our best thinking happens when we’re relaxed, not when we’re stressed. Just 5 minutes a day of relaxed awareness on the breath begins to rewire our brain to be less reactive. There is a reason some successful companies require their executive staff to meditate regularly. You will be amazed by the health and mental well-being benefits of this one step, alone!

6. Look for ways to romance the ease already existing in your life. – Some people find it helpful to keep a gratitude journal, or an evidence journal, or a hybrid of both, to record the good, the ease, the miracles showing up in their life…and it’s a good way to become more aware of the ease already flowing.

7. Talk, Write, Think, and Act As If. – Put your new story of ease and flow into practice. Talk about the ease in your life. Write about the ease and flow. Think about (and give thanks for) the ease and flow in your life and business. Walk, drive, eat, and behave like a person who is immersed in ease. Be the business owner who embraces ease.

Now it’s your turn: Are you ready to let go of the struggle and begin romancing the ease? Have you already made the shift? Share your stories below…

Image credit: niserin

Is Your Business on the Creative Plane?

The Creative Plane is felt and known

In the Autumn of 2006, I was contacted by a Silicon Valley design firm, a potential client, to work on a new project. They requested that I go with them to one of their client’s offices to meet with the executives.

Once we entered the conference room, there was one thing that was really clear to me: The executives at this company neither liked or agreed with each other on a number of topics. Although they were not speaking when we entered the room, they were glaring at each other and the energy of the room was thick with un-ease.

After the introductions, the discussion began about what kind of help they needed and how we (my potential client and myself) could be of service to them. As they began to speak, and disagree with each other, I had a flash of insight.

To explain this insight, I first have to mention that over that previous summer, I had watched the movie The Secret (first version with Esther Hicks) and purchased several DVDs for myself and family. I had the chance to re-watch the move and the DVD extras that included a conversation about Wallace Wattles’ book, The Science of Getting Rich, which inspired the movie.

In his book, Wattles explains the difference between the Competitive Plane and the Creative Plane. The competitive plane is contentious, fraught with difficulties and antagonism, while the creative plane is heart-centered, filled with ease, focused on service and win-win solutions for all involved. When I read this part of the book, I could see it as two overlapping dimensions of reality. Both are invisible, yet undeniably felt in our bodymind and heart. We get to choose which one we play in.

You see, we are ALWAYS creating…whether we are conscious of it, or not. Whether we believe in the Law of Attraction, or not. We are creative beings and the Universe is always assisting us in creation based on our vibration. Wattles knew this, and he knew that those who choose to run their business in the Creative Plane look for ways to be of service and benefit greatly from that choice:

Wallace Wattles wrote:

“When you enter upon the creative plane of thought you will rise above all these things and become a citizen of another kingdom.

But remember that your thought must be held upon the creative plane; you are never for an instant to be betrayed into regarding the supply as limited, or into acting on the moral level of competition.

Whenever you do fall into old ways of thought, correct yourself instantly; for when you are in the competitive mind, you have lost the cooperation of the Mind of the Whole.”

—excerpted from The Science of Getting Rich, pg 145, 1915  edition

So, back to this contentious business meeting in the conference room and the insight I received…

As the executives resumed fighting among themselves, I realized they were all (unconsciously) playing in the Competitive Plane! As I sat there observing them, I consciously CHOSE to be in the Creative Plane. Although I said nothing, I changed my own energy from what I was feeling in the room to one of appreciation, and I wrote on my note pad “Creative Plane”, establishing my commitment and as a reminder of where I was choosing to be.

Within moments, the heated argument settled down, and one of the executives turned to me for input. From there, I expressed ideas that bridged the ideas expressed by the executives in the room. They began agreeing, nodding their heads, and I felt the shift in energy in the room. I knew, in that moment, that they had been receptive to my suggestions because I was speaking to them from within the Creative Plane. They might not have been able to articulate that, but they clearly felt it…and were responding accordingly.

By the time we left, we not only had consensus, but the energy of the entire project had shifted to one of cooperation and satisfaction.

Abraham has often said that it only takes ONE positively focused and clear individual to shift the energy of thousands. On that day, in that conference room, I was the one who chose to shift the energy.

When you have business meetings, make business decisions, and take actions in your business, are you functioning in the Competitive or the Creative Plane?

Here’s how you know from which plane you are operating:
• If you and others around you are in the Competitive Plane, people are jockeying for position and recognition. Everyone’s feeling un-ease, decisions are difficult, frustration abounds, and the whole experience is draining.

• If you and others around you are in the Creative Plane, everyone feels heard, ideas are flowing, there is a fun feeling of cooperation, ease abounds, decisions are easier, and the whole experience is uplifting.

Just from reading these descriptions, chances are good that you’ll recognize where you spend most of your business time. If the Creative Plane is sounding a lot like ‘Easy World’, you’re right…both are an alternate reality where everything is easier and more relaxed.

If you are spending more time in your business in the Competitive Plane than you’d like, and reading this post has encouraged you to consider shifting into the Creative Plane, it’s easier to do than you might think.

A. Start with the clear decision to operate in the Creative Plane. It sounds simple, but making the decision is part of the shifting process, and it sends a strong signal to the Universe that you are changing course. When you really make this decision, it makes it easier if/when you are tested to remain in the Creative Plane.

B. Find the feeling in your heart of love, appreciation, and enthusiasm for your business, and everyone affected by your business including your clients, your vendors, business/joint venture partners. Let the positive feeling for your business and all the people it touches overflow in your heart.

C. Know that you are in the Creative Plane when you are functioning from your heart, then ask yourself: What could I do in this moment to be of greatest service?

Whatever answer you receive, do it even if the answer surprises you. The answer to this question might be solving an existing problem, or it might be something like ‘go meditate’, or ‘take a walk’, or ‘take a nap’, or ‘call that customer and offer them an olive branch’. When you are in the Creative Plane, even the tasks that previously felt draining will now feel doable and good-to-do in this moment.

Have you had experiences running your business in the Creative Plane? How about struggling with your business in the Competitive Plane? Share your experiences in the comments below…

Image Credit: Composite image created
by Barry-Jansson & Associates, from
images by Igor Goncharenko (sky)
and Mark Grenier (pattern)
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