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

 

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.

Wednesday Waves!

Inspired by DailyAlchemy.com’s Michelle Dobbins Monday Raves, a list of things that are going right for her, I’m offering you Wednesday Waves…inviting you to ride the waves of inspiration and appreciation!

Here’s a beautiful picture of Peter Mel surfing the local Northern California Mavericks, big wave surfing site. Get ready to ride this wave…

 

1 | Appreciating the beauty of nature   I am so blessed to live near some of the most amazing natural sites including mountains, Pacific Ocean, and marshes. The nature trails alone, are awe-inspiring vistas and filled with wild animals like deer, wild turkey, quail, hawks, rattle snakes, bobcats and mountain lions. If you have access to nature, consider yourself blessed!

2 |  Enjoying a walk in the sunshine  Even if I don’t get out to the nature trails, a walk in the sun in my own neighborhood is uplifting. It’s fun to see the ways different people have chosen to landscape their front and side yards. The area is full of all kinds of birds, including crows, as well as squirrels, cats, and dogs. The movement, fresh air, sunshine, flora and fauna all come together to makes it a wonderful sensory experience. With your endorphins flooding into your circulating bloodstream, this is a gift you can feel good about giving yourself often!

3 | Appreciating the power of kindness  On my neighborhood walks, I often come across stray dogs who just need a little help finding their way back to their Mommy or Daddy. Even when I get surprised by a loose pit bull, it’s fun to see them appreciate and gently respond to kindness. One time on a walk in a new area, I was frightened by a full grown Mastiff who was on a huge chain in his front yard. He was barking, growling, drooling foam, lunging and straining to get to me as I walked by. It was scary, and yet, something inside me made me stop, put my hand up, and command him to “Sit!”  Not only did he immediately sit, he wagged his butt furiously, and his eyes told me he wasn’t straining to bite me…he was straining to get attention from me.  At this point, it was pretty clear he was just lonely there on his chain, and wanted anyone who passed by to give him some undivided loving attention. What a big, slobbery Teddy Bear he was! 😀

4 | Loving all things kitty cat  Raised with dogs, I find kitties to be amazingly intelligent, gentle and benevolent creatures. They know they have a choice with whom they spend time, and they won’t abide someone who treats them poorly. Whenever a kitty blesses me with their affection, I know I earned it! Somehow it makes me respect and admire them even more. A day doesn’t go by where I have not appreciated a kitty. Whoever “thought up” the idea of kitties did a great job! 😀

5 | Inspired by affirming thoughts  I don’t know anyone, including myself, who feels positive 100% of the time. We all have our own issues, and can feel overwhelmed by them from time to time. Lately, I’ve really seen how quickly I can shift from negative to positive with a sequence of affirming thoughts. A Course in Miracles (ACIM) states that miracles are a shift in perception, and by affirming some good-feeling thoughts, we can shift ourselves into a miracle. Most of the struggle we experience is created by fear-full thoughts, often projected into the future…not the experience, itself. If you are feeling fearful, get yourself back into the present, and begin affirming what’s going right for you in this moment. Give it a try!

6 | Excited about inspiring interviews  My friend, Laura Gevanter of Present Tense Coaching is interviewing Bruce Lipton, PhD, the stem cell biologist and former medical professor who discovered at Stanford University (while on sabbatical) that human genes are NOT set in stone, but effectively turn on and off in real-time based on our thoughts and emotions. Laura will interview him about his latest book, The Honeymoon Effect. Listen to that interview live at 3pm ET, Wednesday, May 15th ~ or listen afterward to the recording on Life In The Present Tense Radio.

7 | Appreciating open dialogs  One of the things I know Laura will ask Bruce Lipton is about Angelina Jolie’s decision to endure a double mastectomy because she carries the “faulty BRCA1 gene”. While it is absolutely her body and her decision, I do wonder if Angelina would have made the same decision if her doctors hadn’t scared her into doing so. AND I truly appreciate that Angela’s action is opening the dialog about our bodies and our health. It’s blowing the door open on the women’s health/women’s body discussion, which I hope leads to a discussion of everyone’s health and body. Meanwhile, Lissa Rankin, MD, has responded to Angelina’s news with additional information that other women may want to consider before making the same decision. Ironically, Angelina’s news and Lissa’s post came on the heels of my watching her AMAZING interview on The Good Life Project that really opened my eyes to the horrors facing medical doctors as well as the science behind how we heal ourselves:


 

What would you add to your list of Wednesday Waves? Add your comments below and create the next wave…

Use the Holidays to Lift Your Vibe!

Whether you are feeling down this holiday season and need a quick lift, or you find yourself mired in negativity on occasion, having some positive resources to turn to is vital to keeping your energy positively focused. Here are some quick resources to have ready when you are looking to be uplifted or maintain your positive energy.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3…

I have been recommending for a long time to create your own JOY list. No one knows what makes you feel good and lifts your spirit better than you! So, get started on one or update the one you have and put it out where you will see it daily and remember to refer to it.

Check out my updated VibeLifters page with even more vibelifting goodies…free or for a fee, but all highly recommended! There are podcasts, books, audios, videos, and more! This list is constantly being updated, so bookmark it, share it, and check back often.

Watch something eye-opening and inspiring right now…Don’t have something inspiring to watch? Below is an interview Lilou Mace did with the co-founder of New World Library, From Drop-out to Multimillionaire. His story is eye-opening and inspiring on many levels. Grab a cuppa your favorite and treat yourself to something amazing:

How do you life your vibe during the holidays? Share your thoughts below…

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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