Catching a Break

breakLast month, I did something very important, which I highly recommend for your well-being and entrepreneurial success: I took a break from posting a blog!

While I had a few ideas rolling around, none of the ideas inspired me enough to move forward. I took notes, mulled over the ideas, and ultimately…realized it was simply time to give myself a well-deserved break!

As I wrote in a FB post last month, I have been publishing this blog for ten years, and I learned early on to only publish what inspires me and feels important to share. Which is why it was easy for me to give myself a break last month  and why that lesson is part of the message this month. I know from past experience that when nothing feels inspiring, I will come back with inspiration after some time to relax and recharge.

Giving Yourself a Break

More and more, psychologists, brain researchers, and successful entrepreneurs are discovering how much more productive and healthy (and successful) we are when we experience regular rest, relaxation, and fun!

It makes sense, too, because we now know that the brain begins to lose clarity and become less effective when it is tired or stressed. If productivity and creativity matter, then giving yourself a break is essential.

You may even have experienced being overwhelmed and stressed, then notice that you feel so much better after a few minutes laughing with colleagues and friends, spending time with loved ones, getting some fresh air while watching clouds go by, or taking a drive in your car. These are just a few ways we can ‘catch a break’!

I don’t know anyone, employed or self-employed, who isn’t working long hours and juggling their personal and professional lives. The human body is not meant to work 18 hour days on an ongoing basis.The importance of building in some time to relax, mentally unwind, rest if needed, and find some joy in life cannot be over-stated.

Catch A Break Every Day

breakYou might be thinking: WHEN am I going to find time to take a break? Here’s the ‘catch’: We don’t need to take a month away from our work to benefit from a break! In addition our regular vacation time, we can easily build ‘break’ time into every day life.

In fact, developing a regular wellness habit of resting, relaxing, and having fun every day will make you less likely to need long vacations.

Below are ways you can develop a regular wellness habit:

• Set boundaries and Honor Them – If you’re not used to doing this, give yourself 30 days to commit to setting boundaries around your work and personal life, and the demands put upon you by other or yourself. Know what works for you, and make the boundaries clear to yourself so there’s less blur and more clarity!

• Meditation and Mindfulness – Both meditation and mindfulness provide important rest to the mind, body, and spirit. If you already have a meditation practice you love, that’s great. If you’re still working on one, consider Intentional Resting or even just taking time out to watch clouds or the wind in the trees. Nature provides endless ways to stop, notice, and watch (plants, animals, birds, bugs, wind, clouds, etc.).

• Exercise – Whether it’s full-on time at the gym, a walk around the ‘hood, or 15 minutes dancing in your livingroom, exercise helps us release built-up stress and is it’s own form of relaxation. Whatever form of exercise you choose, it’s suggested that we ‘break a sweat’, the body’s way of letting go of emotions and toxins (along with deep breathing)!

• Laughter, Joy, and Appreciation – For me laughter tends to be spontaneous, and my kitty is often the source of laughter, great joy, and deep appreciation. Find some sources of laughter, joy, and appreciation you can seek out every day. It might be a certain YouTube channel, or a favorite book or movie series. A gratitude journal lets you milk the joy and appreciation even more.

• Wind Down – I started doing this a few years ago, and find it contributes to sleeping very well at night. I set a time, at least a half hour before bedtime, to turn off all screens and (if possible) all lights. Backlighting on electronic screens send a signal to the brain that it’s *daytime*, which keeps us awake and unable to wind down before bedtime. Turn off all screens, and give yourself a good 30 minutes to be…mindful, meditative, or just deep breath while snuggling with your pet(s) or family. You’ll be amazed how much better you sleep!

The added benefit of developing a habit of ‘catching a break’, is that you’re energetic sending a signal to the Universe that you value your time, that you enjoy the journey, and that you are ready for more ways to experience value and enjoyment. Imagine what wonderful experiences you’ll bring into your life!

How do you catch a break every day? Share your experiences in the comments section, below…

Image Credit: Barry-Jansson & Associates
based on image from iciakp.


Nancy Barry-JanssonNancy Barry-Jansson is a Metaphysical Teacher / Mentor who specializes in helping creative and healing women entrepreneurs grow and prosper through their businesses. She has spent more than 33+ years with metaphysical studies and been running her own creative business for more than 23 years. Learn more at AffirmingSpirit.com.

Showing Up for *FUN* (instead of work)

View this photographer's pageWhen you think or hear the word “work“, what goes through your mind? Do you automatically think hardship, difficulty, frustration, irritation?

What do you feel in your body? Do you feel angst and tension in your body? Maybe a feeling of dread?

When you think a thought often enough, it becomes a belief. When you hold a belief long enough, it becomes ingrained in the cells and tissues of your body. This is nature coding and preparing your body so you can act quickly in the face of potential danger. Instead of lions and tigers (OH MY!), these days most folks are facing stress and perceived danger from their health, relationships, and yes…their work.

Most of what we believe about work is what we were taught by the adults in our life when we were young. Most of us were taught that no one would pay you to do something fun. We were taught the big money comes from doing the hard, frustrating, dirty, and difficult jobs. Now that you are an adult, you get to ask yourself: Is what I have been taught about work REALLY true? Is there a different way to view work?

If you doubt there is a different way to look at work, remember how you felt about work when you had been out of work for a while.

Is it possible to show up for FUN (instead of work)?

Well, I not only think we can…I *KNOW* we can! But, first, showing up for fun (instead of work) starts with reprogramming our mind and body to view the work we do for a living in a different way. Chances are, you’ve been affirming (every day for many years) a lot of negative ideas about work.

There are lots of people every day who make good money doing work they enjoy and having fun along the way. In fact, the people who make really big money are often the ones having the most fun and saying things like, “I’d still do this work even if they didn’t pay me!” Who says you have to suffer and dislike your work experience? (Where you got the message that work had to be so unpleasant is much less important than making the decision NOW to experience more FUN, instead of work!)

To experience something different, it’s time to start affirming something different…something aligned with all the fun you ALREADY experience in your work! Put the spotlight on the fun you experience at work, for a change. Keep affirming the fun, and the universe will pick up on your new signal and begin mirroring it back to you!

Try this exercise:

• Write down all the ways in which you have fun in your current work

• Remember to include the social relationships and connections you have because you work

• Include the things about work you often laugh and joke about

• Post the list somewhere you can see it every day when getting ready for ‘work’ fun

• The next time the subject of work comes up in your mind or conversations, recall the list you’ve compiled

When you begin focusing on the FUN you have at work, you’ll start remembering it more, and attracting more FUN into your job every day. The more fun you attract and acknowledge, the more you’ll prepave FUN into your day! Give it a try.

NLP Practitioners tell us it takes at least 21 days of regularly repeating a new habit to create a new neural pathway in our brain. So, once you have your list, keep it handy and give it some attention every day for a good 30 days or more.

I’d love to read your stories about showing up for FUN instead of work? Share them below in the comments…

Effective Solopreneur: Getting Personal with Your Business

Getting Personal with BusinessWhen I was a kid, one of the most common phrases I heard was, “It’s not personal, it’s business!” Of course, like any kid, I soaked up that message in the media and movies, believing that somehow business relationships were vastly *different* than, and separate from, personal relationships. The message was that to be successful in growing a business, one must also be cold, ruthless, and uninvolved.

Then, I started my own businesses and realized that concept was way off the mark!

In every single business, what has brought the fastest and most sustainable success has been developing and nurturing *the relationships*. Relationships with new and existing clients. Relationships with potential clients. Relationships with vendors. Relationships with fellow service providers. Relationships with providers of complimentary services. Relationships with fellow associates and networkers.

Running and growing a successful business is pretty much ONE BIG relationship-fest, all of which is very personal!

Clients do not hire unless they feel you will deliver on your promises. Vendors do not support your business unless they feel you will deliver on your promises. Associates do not refer you to others unless they feel you will deliver on your promises.

Realize that you are also a client, a vendor and an associate to other business owners. Yes, healthy and successful business relationships are a two-way street.

When clients feel heard, treated with respect and appreciated, they want to do business with you. When vendors feel heard, treated with respect and appreciated, they want to do business with you. When associates feel heard, treated with respect and appreciated, they want to do business with you.

Is that really different from any other relationship? Don’t we all want to feel heard, treated with respect and appreciated?

Along the way, I’ve heard a lot of advice regarding business relationships. One of the most helpful was actually focused on human relationships in general, and I applied it to business: Jack Canfield said that it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to appreciate you. Holding that expectation sets us up for disappointment and resentment which poison our relationships with others.

However, he also said…

When you walk into any room: Approximately 25% of the people in the room will like you immediately before you even speak. Approximately 25% of the people in the room will dislike you immediately before you even speak. And, the remaining 50% of the people in the room could care less, either way.

Applying Jack’s point to business, I realized this: Give your attention and energy to the clients (potential, new and existing), vendors, and associates who naturally appreciate you and your services.

Stop trying to impress the unimpressable. Release the need-to-please the unpleasable. Let the unhappy ones go about finding those service providers with whom they naturally connect so they have a chance of being happier.

Set your intention to work with clients who appreciate and value your products and services.
Let it be OK that it’s not 100% of the people and businesses on the planet. Trust me, with 25% of the businesses appreciating you, you will do very well! Plus, because you are happier, those 25% will hire you more and refer you more to like-minded business owners.

If you’ve got existing clients who never seem happy, who are always complaining, it’s time to have a talk with them. If you have had a happy client suddenly shift into an unhappy one, take the time to find out if it’s a temporary or permanent issue. If there is no way to fully support the client in a way that’s enjoyable for you, it’s OK to encourage them to find another resource. That’s my diplomatic way of saying fire the client. Someday, they’ll thank you!

Following this process of focusing only on the clients who truly appreciate you, and letting go of those who don’t, allows you to savor the happy relationships with clients, vendors, and associations while having more fun in your day-to-day business! Successful and happy business owners take the time to get to know and support their clients, vendors and fellow associates. They also appreciate clients, vendors, and associates who support them. Are you one of those clients, vendors and associates?

It’s your turn to share your stories and thoughts in the comments below. What is one step you can take today to focus on the clients who appreciate and value you?

Crafting Your JOY List

So…you’ve decided what you truly desire. With your clear vision, you’ve set your intent, connected your mental image with the related heart-felt emotion, and can feel that your request has been granted.

Now what?

Well, now it’s up to the Universe to deliver it to you. The trouble is, often whether or not you have wanted something (person, thing, or experience) for a long time, or you really-reeeaaallly-REEEAAALLY NEEEED it as soon as possible, there is often such a strong emotional charge to receiving that we are actually unconsciously blocking the very thing we say we want.

That emotional charge is sometimes referred to as resistance. It comes in a variety of flavors, including but not limited to: neediness, anxiety, worry, frustration, irritation, and flat-out desperation. At worst, you begin immediately assuming that what you want is impossible, which triggers a feeling of heartache.

Buddhists suggest that you ‘let go of the attachment to the desire’. While I understand the concept they are advocating, I personally find it *very difficult* to suddenly stop wanting the very thing that I really-reeeaaallly-REEEAAALLY believe I want or need. To me, it’s like saying, you know that itch that’s driving you crazy~the one that is driving you WILD right now? Don’t scratch it. Whatever you do, DON’T scratch that itch!

Being OK with NOT getting something you really want, or worse, are in dire NEED of, is a huge mental shift. While I do believe it’s doable, I leave that particular technique to those more evolved souls who rival Christ Jesus and Buddha.

In my experience, at my level of consciousness, it’s a WHOLE lot easier and more efficient to just go do something FUN! Seriously. When you are doing something fun, you are usually more relaxed, breathing deeper, maybe even smiling or laughing, and you almost always are thinking about something else besides your worries and fears. As you relax, breathe, smile and laugh, you are also raising your vibration…all of which contribute to manifesting faster!

As I explained in my article, Getting Out of the How Business, I needed the help of my kitty cat to shift my energy into a better feeling place. It was worth that shift: Hours later, my desire showed up. We often need help to step into a better feeling place, and if you know this, you’ll feel better about seeking that help.

To facilitate this, I have created my own JOY LIST~ my ever-evolving go-to list of experiences that I know always lift me up when I need a little help in feeling better.

My list looks like this:
> Hang out with my kitty cats (any beloved pet will do nicely)

A friends puppy with the stuff toy I bought for him.

A friend’s puppy with the little stuffed hedgehog toy I bought for him.

> Spend time with children or loved ones (who are in a good mood and won’t discuss my creation process)

> Doing something with friends, like go for a drive or watch a movie (making a point not to discuss my creation process)

> Get out into nature (go for a walk or hike, picnic in a nearby park)

> Certain music (including *singing* certain songs like Zippity-Doo-Dah or I Can See Clearly Now)

> Exercise (moving my body’s energy)

> Other creative endeavors I enjoy: painting, drawing, baking, etc.

Don’t have a pet? Visit sites like Catster.com & Dogster.com for a quick pet-video fix.

These are in no particular order, although I find hanging out with my pets to be very effective mood shifter. It’s important to remember you are getting your mind off your desire, as you would if you *knew* what you wanted was already a done deal. I don’t have to do all of the things on the list at the same time. Each one of them does the job, depending on how I am feeling.

Once I’ve relaxed and feel better, and depending on the day or time, I often get inspired ideas to take action. Sometimes that means taking a nap (how’s THAT for inspired action!?!). It’s amazing how many times I have woken up from a nap to discover that what I wanted had manifested perfectly while I was napping!

Have you crafted a JOY LIST? If not, write one out and put it near your computer or bathroom mirror so you’ll know where to find it when you need it.

Already have a list? What’s on your JOY LIST? It’s your turn to share your stories and comments below

Are you having FUN yet?

Last night I was working on my computer and decided to listen to HayHouse Radio online. I came across a show hosted by NLP expert Michael Neill, author of You Can Have What You Want (same name as the show).

It was interesting how he coached people in identifying ways to move forward in their life and listen to their intuitive guidance. Neill emphasized asking specific questions to elicit guidance and they mostly focused on fun.

He suggests you decide what you want to create in your life, then ask two questions:

1. What needs to happen? (what’s the outcome?)

2. What can I do? (variations of this question includes What would I love to do? What’s the next step? What’s the easiest thing to do now? What’s the most fun?)

Let’s face it, most of us don’t ask what we would enjoy doing. Most people see their to-do list as drudgery and feel they can’t have fun until later. If this sounds like you, be patient with these questions. You may have to ask yourself this daily for a while before you begin receiving guidance.

Don’t let yourself get bogged down with how to do what you want or why you feel you can’t do what you want to do or what happened in the past.

Instead, ask yourself the question…Wouldn’t it be nice if…(you could do what you wanted)? Focus on the ideas that feel fun or get you excited. That emotional response is your guidance that you are headed in the right direction.

Lighten up and look for ways to have more fun and create the life you really want to live!

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