Oct 012020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Elation

Whether positive or negative, your attitude impacts your outcome. Your mindset affects how you filter the world around you, and as a result, determines how you respond to situations. When you expect the worst, your behavior makes that belief a self-fulfilling prophecy. Expecting the best can do the same. And isn’t that a better way to live?

If you expect the worst, you’re braced against that possibility. Your mind rehearses how to deal with a crisis, what you’re going to do in the worst case scenario, and how you might avoid it. This means that all your mental resources are tied up with dealing with difficult situations that might never happen. You aren’t left with many mental resources for moving forward. Because you’re focused on the negative, you’re instructing the Law of Attraction to bring it to you.

The Universe wants the best for you. Therefore / However, if you expect the best, then your subconscious mind searches for opportunities to fulfill that belief. Your subconscious mind is a problem solver. When you set your intention to derive the best from a situation, then your subconscious mind seeks opportunities to create that reality for you. You’re creating the mold for your subconscious mind and the Law of Attraction to fill.

How to Create the Best Result

Life brings all sorts of experiences your way, positive and negative. You can always improve your outcomes through altering your perspective. There will be times when you’re working on a goal, or “shift happens” and your results don’t live up to your hopes. When that’s the case, use these tactics to extract the best possible outcome. Your attitude communicates your intention to the Universe, your subconscious mind, and the Law of Attraction, which responds accordingly.

Be aware of the negative, but don’t focus on it. This doesn’t mean that you ignore or deny the possibility for difficulties. You just don’t focus on them, or rehearse them. In “Psycho-Cybernetics,” author Maxwell Maltz uses the analogy of golf to be aware of negatives. A golfer needs to recognize where the sand and water traps are, but not dwell on them. Instead, the golfer puts their attention on where they want the ball to land. Notice the negatives, and make preparations to avoid them. Have a “Plan B,” if necessary. Then shift your attention to what you want to create and put your energy there. This puts you in the flow of the Universe.

Flip your attitude. If something untoward does happen, instead of giving up or getting discouraged, flip it to be more positive. This way you take charge of your response and it gives you more power to deal with the situation. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” or, “How can I make something beneficial out of this?” This instructs your subconscious mind to find a way to extract something good from a disappointing circumstance. You open the way for the Universe to develop a new direction for you.  

Don’t take it personally. When someone hurts or offends you, instead of taking it personally, realize it’s probably not about you. They have their own issues that they’re taking out on you. It’s likely they’re defending themselves against a perceived threat, which is probably from their past. It doesn’t mean you excuse their behavior, but you can seek to understand their motives. Ask yourself, “What’s their agenda?” or “What are they trying to achieve?” That can give you valuable information on how to positively respond to the situation.

Achieving a goal. When you’re working on a goal, don’t just focus on the end result. This gives your subconscious mind a direction to follow, which helps you take steps towards it. For an even greater outcome, open your mind to the possibility of something even better happening than what you can currently conceive of. The Universe has greater plans for you than you know. Not only does this give your subconscious mind permission to find other paths to accomplish your goal, but it instructs your inner mind to “achieve this or something better.”

Living in the Possibilities

When you live in the possibility of your best case scenario occurring, you instruct your subconscious mind to put its resources to work to that end. You may not have the information to imagine what the best outcome could be. You can only provide your subconscious mind the image of what you can consciously conceive of at the present time.

There may be a greater outcome than you can imagine. Opening your mind to the possibility of something better means that your subconscious can override outdated, limiting beliefs. And when you choose to live in an attitude of expecting the best from every situation, you create a life of joy, abundance and success.

AFFIRMATION:

The Universe wants the best for me. Therefore, I choose to expect the best out of every situation. If there are challenges, I shift my attention to what benefit can come to me as a result. When I decide on a goal or outcome, I set the intention of, “This or something better.” Only good comes to me from every circumstance.

Watch the accompanying video, How to Achieve Your Goal More Easily.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.
Sep 042020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Many people chase after the elusive dream of success, thinking it will bring them happiness. They work harder and harder, but continue to feel unsatisfied. They achieve periodic goals or milestones, and get transitory elation from them, but that jubilation doesn’t last. What if they have it backwards? What if a sense of well-being leads to success, rather than the other way around?

We all know successful people who are driven and unhappy. So, it’s true that some people are successful even though they’re miserable. However, they’re using work as a drug to avoid their distress. They’re trying to fill a deep well of insecurity and inadequacy with power and control. But they’ll never have enough success to feel happy or complete.

Why Well-being Matters

Studies show that people who have a sense of well-being and optimism have a likelier chance of achieving the success they seek. They also have a greater sense of satisfaction in their lives, both personally and professionally. They’re more productive, creative and resilient in life. Since that’s the case, wouldn’t it be a better idea to seek well-being before success?

Your brain and subconscious can be altered by your focus. When you take positive actions, you rewire the brain and build more resources for the subconscious mind to use to help you. You can improve your happiness and well-being with some simple exercises to change the way you think.

How to Cultivate a Sense of Well-being

You can train your mind with the habit of being more positive and peaceful. Here are four ways to cultivate a sense of well-being and create more satisfaction in your life.  

Be kind to others. Volunteering and helping others engenders well-being and improves productivity.  Even just smiling at others increases your happiness. Recently, a couple of my friends have been sending cards to their acquaintances and they feel uplifted by doing so. I’ve been one of their recipients and it’s uplifted me as well. For this kind of boost, you can also send an email that acknowledges or compliments a friend or coworker.

Be mindful. For only a couple of minutes a day, just be present with yourself. Notice how you feel, mentally and physically. Become aware of your thoughts and feelings. Scan your body to notice where it might be tense, and then relax that area. Because I spend so much time on the computer, I will periodically close my eyes and relax various areas of my body. What impacts the mind, impacts the body and vice versa. When your mind is tense, so is your body. And when your body is relaxed, your mind is at peace.

Do deep breathing. A couple of minutes every day do some deep breathing. Breathe in for a count of four, breath out for a count of eight. This signals your nervous system to calm down. After stressful experiences, practicing this activity has quickly lowered my blood pressure to almost normal. This is a good exercise when you feel pressured with a deadline or decision. You’ll be more effective coming from a peaceful frame of mind.

Keep a gratitude journal. Every day, write down three things you’re grateful for. This exercise makes you notice positive things around you. One day last month, a heavy rainstorm came and passed while I was in the grocery store. It seems like a small thing, but I was grateful that my timing was such that I didn’t get wet. Studies show that within three weeks of daily gratitude practice, you’ll be more optimistic.

You only need to do one of these each day to notice an improved mood and mindset within a few weeks. When you have a sense of well-being and a more positive mindset, your actions have a better outcome. Instead of waiting to be successful to be happy, why not feel better while you’re working towards success?

Affirmation:

The Universe created me to be successful and supports me in my endeavors. There is a Divine plan for my success in life. Everything I need for success is provided. To align myself with the Universe’s plan for me, I cultivate my sense of well-being, happiness and positive attitude.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

4 Ways to Manage Your Stress

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Aug 072020
 
Woman surrounded by stressful thoughts

by Linda-Ann Stewart

When a stressful situation arises, your brain perceives it to be a threat. As a result, your mind instructs your body to react to the circumstance and keep you safe. Any change to your routine or situation is also considered stressful, even if it’s beneficial, like a promotion. And it doesn’t matter if the danger is mental or physical, real or imagined. Your mind can’t distinguish between them, and signals your body to prepare for a fight or flight.

This survival mode closes down the pathway to your Higher Self. You operate instinctively, to protect yourself, and can’t access your intuition, which is a higher level insight.

For instance, your boss might call you into his office, and you’re dreading a confrontation. You feel tense and worry about what it could be about. Instead of being angry, he wants to praise your work on a report. Your stress was caused by your imagination. If the cause of stress isn’t addressed and relieved, that pressure can escalate to a feeling of free floating anxiety and depression.

How You Deal with Stress

When you’re stressed, all of your mental resources focus on handling the crisis. You feel like you have no control. To cope, your attention narrows to what’s right in front of you and you can’t think straight or be creative. Instead, you act reflexively, as you have in the past, whether it was helpful or not. And you remain in this habitual state until the stressful situation passes.

Although you may not be able to control outer circumstances, you can control your reactions. By changing the way you respond to stress, your results change. When you feel in control, you make better decisions and can innovate to solve problems. Taking charge of your actions is vital to your health and well-being.  

Many spiritual people object to the idea of being in control. They want to be “in the flow.” Being “in the flow” is different from drifting at the mercy of outside forces. Spiritual people also associate being in control with “control freaks,” who run on fear and lack of trust. Being in control means making conscious choices and being intentional about your actions.

How You Can Gain Control

Here are some ways you can manage stress, rather than letting it manage you.

1. Delay your reaction. Remember, as a child, you were told to count to 10 when you were angry? There is a valid reason for this. When you pause for 10 seconds, it gives your conscious mind time to assert itself. That allows it to move to a more rational position and lets you recognize the consequences of losing your temper. You also have more access to other solutions. To give yourself time, take a walk, go into another room, or do something to take your mind off of it temporarily.

2. Be mindful. Instead of getting swept along by your anxiety, focus on the present. Ask yourself, “What can I control in this moment?” You may not be able to control the environment, the situation, or other people, but you have authority over other things in your life. For example, you can do something nice for yourself or others, remember all the things you’re grateful for, or read something inspirational.

3. Take small steps. Instead of getting overwhelmed, do one tiny thing, like wash the dishes. Then do another. Take one tiny aspect of what’s stressing you, and deal with it. For instance, if you’re concerned about finances, balance your checkbook. When you take action on a single thing at a time, you’re able to calm down your nervous system.

4. Use self-talk. Talk yourself through the problem. When you have an internal (or out loud) conversation with yourself, it allows you to be clearer about the issue. You’re able to organize your thoughts and evaluate what your options might be. Also, you’ve shifted your attention from feeling powerless to seeking a way through the stress. This engages your problem solving partner, your subconscious mind.

Feeling in control is your first step to reducing stress and moving towards a beneficial outcome. As you take charge, you have more power to change your habits and behaviors so you create the life you want. And you’re able to access your Higher Self and your intuition, so you can mine the treasure they bring to create your ideal situation.  

Affirmation:

The Universe is always available to help me deal with stress, but first I need to help myself. I have control over my reactions to situations that cause me stress. Once I acknowledge that truth, I can start taking action to reduce the pressure I feel. The more in control I feel, the more energy I have to create the ideal life I desire.

Watch the accompanying video, Reduce the Overwhelm of Stress.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Lessons from Resisting Change

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Jul 222020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Resistance to change is a normal part of being human. It’s natural, even if what you’re resisting is the very thing you need to do for your progress, health and happiness. Most people don’t like their status quo disrupted or to be forced out of their comfort zone. But change is the order of the universe, and resisting it just brings frustration and suffering. The Universe is trying to move you forward, while you’re holding yourself back.

There’s a saying that, “What you resist, persists.” This means that the energy that you’re putting into resisting makes the undesired change become stronger. It’s like a tug-o-war. You’re putting all your attention into not being pulled from your spot, which means you aren’t thinking of alternatives. What if you let go of the rope, and started considering how to turn the situation to your advantage? This allows you to get into the flow of the Universe, rather than trying to block it.

Learn from Your Resistance

You resist whenever you procrastinate, use busy work to avoid doing something else, are confused, or refuse to commit to a decision. Generally, resistance is fear based. You’re afraid of the loss, unknown, discomfort, or difficulty that you think change will bring. But when you resist moving forward, you close down opportunities and possibilities. Also, the Law of Attraction can’t be creative and bring you your desires.

There are lessons to be learned from resistance. The way you resist shows how you sabotage yourself and hold yourself back. If you recognize how you do that, you can then address those issues. This allows you to make the transition easier from where you are to where you want to be. It opens the channels for Universal good to flow to you.

Ways You Resist

1. You’re rebelling. When you’re forced to do something you don’t really want to, even if it’s in your best interests, resistance becomes rebellion. You think that rebelling puts you in control, but the opposite is true. If you’re rebelling, you’re handing over control to the opposition.

For instance, many smokers use cigarettes as a way to rebel, and resist quitting for that reason. This is true even when they know smoking is hurting them. One way to turn that attitude around is to rebel against cigarettes, which will turn the negative habit of smoking into a healthy behavior. Using that idea, how could you use your rebellion for your benefit?

2. Most people dislike being told what they “should” do. Or they feel guilty when they don’t live according to what they think they “ought to” do. Generally, instead of being compliant, they avoid those injunctions, even if it’s what they want for themselves.

For instance, you know you “should” exercise for your health. You whip yourself for not doing so, but it’s easier to just sit on the couch. Or you know eating less sugar is better for you, but it’s much more satisfying to indulge. You may feel guilty about your behavior, but you still repeat the negative activity. Instead of “shoulding” on yourself, focus on the benefits you’d receive by taking the action you’ve been ignoring.

3. Denial can be a coping strategy when there’s been a significant loss. It gives you time to absorb and process what’s happened, prior to adjusting to the change. But if you use this strategy in your everyday life, it will sabotage you at every level. You resent what’s necessary, and pretend that it doesn’t matter. But when you ignore a necessary step or action, it blocks what you’re trying to accomplish.

For instance, if you want to lose weight, but reject that you need to eat less. No matter what you do, you’ll not be able to achieve your ideal weight. A business person who thinks they can keep all the details of dozens of orders their orders in their head will have a hard time meeting deadlines and being successful. Before you can move forward, you have to accept reality and what is necessary. Instead of being dismissive, shift your attitude to it being your choice to take your next steps. 

How do you normally resist moving forward? Learn this and it will give you important information so you know when life is pushing you to change and when you’re combating change. When you encounter resistance, dig into your motivation and focus on what you really want. When you shift your attention from resisting change to embracing the benefits it will bring, you’ll be able to adjust your course and make progress.

Affirmation:

The Universe wants the best for me. I’m willing to make whatever changes are necessary to open up to greater joy, health and abundance. I recognize when I’m resisting my good, and choose a better course. I’m Divinely guided to make the wisest decisions for my highest good.

Watch the complementary video, Meditation to Learn from Your Resistance to Change.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Finding Your Course in Unstable Times

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Jul 162020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

People are feeling knocked off balance by the Covid-19 situation, the shut-down, economic chaos, and everything else that has happened in the past few months. It’s hard to find direction, focus and to create a plan, when you don’t know what’s going to happen next. It’s like your foundation is gone and you’re walking on shifting sands. Unfortunately, I suspect this is probably going to be the situation for a while.

Upheavals Happen

We get used to life flowing on, smoothly, and think that’s the way it will always be. Often, changes happen only in one or two areas of life at a time. And, generally, there’s a warning and transition from one point to another. But then there are times when there’s a sudden upheaval that rocks every aspect of our lives. Losing a loved one, a natural disaster or man-made catastrophe can alter our entire internal and external landscape. And that’s what we’re dealing with now.

The Universe often uses these situations to knock us out of our comfort zone. We’ve stayed too long on one level of consciousness, or held onto people and conditions that we’ve outgrown. The more we fight moving on, the harder the transition will be for us. The flow of the Universe will shove us until we have to let go and allow it to take us to a greater life.

There are those who are still resisting the reality. As a result, they’ll have a harder time adjusting. Instead of trying to live as if everything will go back to what they’re used to, they could use that energy to plan for a new future. For the rest of us, the idea that we’re living in a new reality has sunk in. But we’re still struggling to adjust to and handle our sudden change of circumstances.

How to Get on Track

There are some strategies you can do that will help you get back on course.

Develop a new vision and plan. What worked a few months ago won’t work now, personally or professionally. We had similar issues after 9/11 and the 2008 recession. Those upheavals changed much of how we did things. This time, instead of face-to-face contact, we’re connecting virtually. In person meetings will return, but not at the level they were before. Virtual meetings for personal and professional interactions are here to stay. How can you incorporate this technology, and other changes, into your strategies?

Be flexible. Your goals may have to be adjusted on the fly. If you try to be too strict with how you achieve goals, you could find yourself missing your target. Conditions may change quickly, and you’ll have to roll with them. Create a plan B and C, just in case you have to alter course in an instant.  What kind of contingency plans can you develop to deal with your circumstances?

Learn to live with uncertainty. It’s hard to get comfortable with this idea, because we want to be in control. It’s normal to want stability and security.  But for a while, the conditions we’ve always depended on are going to be fluctuating. Letting go of the need for control will give you more freedom and ability to adapt. How can you open your mind to today’s available possibilities and opportunities?

Difficult times come and go, but with flexibility, you will survive. Although expansion may be on hold for now, this is when you need position yourself for future growth. As the months progress, you’re going to be acquiring new skills, abilities, and resources. They will serve you well in the future.

Affirmation:

Life is constantly changing. I now align myself with the flow of the Universe and accept that change is happening. I adjust to the shift that’s taking place, and find ways to thrive through it. Something wonderful for me emerges from this situation.

Watch the complementary video Finding Focus in Unsettled Times.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Creating A Treasure Map To Achieve Your Desires

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May 212020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Sages say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This is true because images are the way the subconscious mind processes information. A word or verbal phrase translates into images in the inner mind. Think of the difference between reading “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” versus watching the movie. Which one was more powerful and evoked more emotions? Most likely it was the movie. The words on the page had to be transformed into mental pictures, but the movie was in the very language of the subconscious, thus grabbed it more directly.

This is why so many goal setting techniques suggest using visualization and cutting out pictures of what you want to help to manifest your desires. We co-create our world by the images we hold in our minds. Looking at pictures of our goals helps to keep our minds focused on what we want. There are lots of different terms for this technique. Master Mind designates it “image book pages,” Joseph Murphy and Mary Katherine MacDougall call it “treasure mapping,” and Catherine Ponder’s phrase for it is a “wheel of fortune.” More recently, they’ve been called, “vision boards” or “dream boards.”

The Basic Technique

No matter what it’s called the basic technique is the same. A person cuts out and collects pictures from magazines that represent what he/she wants. The action of finding the pictures, cutting them out, then pasting them onto paper helps to convince the subconscious that you really do want this goal. The pictures may simply evoke the feeling of the desired result, such as a sunset for peace, or a lit candle for enlightenment, or specific pictures of a cruise, car, income or job. The idea is to find pictures that speak to you. For a job, you might find pictures of someone doing that specific job, or a picture that symbolizes it to you.

Underneath the pictures, you write an affirmation that directs the mind. The affirmation can be “I know that my Higher Mind wants this for me, and my creative mind finds the best way for it to manifest” or “I now have a lavish income of X coming to me easily and freely.” Any statement that clarifies your goal and supports the belief that Spirit is manifesting it now will work. This helps keep you aware that the Universe wants this for you as much as you want it for yourself.

Different Ways to Use the Basic Technique

There are different ways to use the basic technique. For a single goal, such as a job, relationship, travel, or new house or car, you can get a page of colored construction paper or large posterboard and paste the pictures on it. Use a color that connects with you and your goal. Such as green or gold for prosperity, blue or green for relationships or relaxation, red or orange for a new position or some change in your life, purple or lavender for spiritual growth. I had a friend who created a treasure map and placed it on the inside of the door to her closet, where she saw it every day. You can also use a corkboard or styrofoam to pin the pictures and affirmations to, and change them as you choose.

For several different goals, you can get a posterboard and divide it into the areas of your goals. You could segment it into four parts, such as: work, play, relationships, and health. Then paste the pictures and write the affirmations as you would with a single sheet in each area. At the center, you could have a picture and affirmation that recognizes that the Universe is the Source of your good.

Another Way to Use the Basic Technique

One of my early metaphysical teachers used a notebook for his treasure map. He was a businessman and kept it in a drawer of his desk to look at several times a day and said that all of the desires he put into it came to pass. You can take a folder with fasteners, like you used in school, and put pictures and affirmations on sheets of unruled paper. Again, each goal should have its own separate sheet of paper.

How to Use the Treasure Map

With a treasure map, you need to have it where you can look at it several times a day, but where no one else can see it, such as a closet or drawer. This keeps it private, between you and your Higher Self. If you have someone who will be completely supportive of your goal, you can share it with them. Look at your map several times a day and each time give thanks that the Universe and your creative mind has already given you what the pictures represent. By giving your mind a picture of your desire, keeping your attention focused on it, the Universe will find the perfect way to transport you to your destination.

Affirmation:

I know that the Universe wants the best for me, the Highest Good of abundance, health, harmony, ease and comfort. As I put the pictures of what I want into my mind, it powers my Higher Mind to create a perfect outcome. I don’t need to know how it will manifest. My Higher Mind knows just the right way to deliver me to my desire. I give thanks, knowing that the Universe has already granted me what I want.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

How to Adjust to Change

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May 082020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

During the shutdown, many people felt unmoored, unsettled, anxious and depressed. Many over-achievers wandered from room to room, unable to focus on doing anything. Part of it was that their routine was destroyed, and they didn’t know what was coming next. And part of it was that they realized that life wasn’t going to go back to “normal.” There were going to be changes that they would have to adjust to. Without realizing it, they were grieving over what they’d lost, and trying to accept the changes that would become a permanent part of their lives.

Whenever there’s a change, whether good or bad, you mourn over what you’ve left behind. Grief isn’t just limited to the death of a loved one. For instance, you get a promotion, but there’s a part of you that’s yearning for the simpler responsibilities you once had. Even a smoker who quits generally grieves over giving up cigarettes, even though they’re thrilled to welcome their new found health and freedom.

With any change, there’s always a sacrifice. You gain something new while you let go of something old. The Universe always wants the best for you. But And when your new circumstances aren’t immediately better than the old ones, your feelings of grief increase. Those feelings can be addressed and understood.

The Stages of Grief

When you’re able to recognize what’s going on, then the feelings can begin to move through you. It helps to be able to identify the different stages of grief. You probably won’t go through these states in order, and may go through one of them more than once.

1. Denial or resistance. You feel shocked, refuse to believe that things have changed or resist the changes that are necessary.

2. Anger. You’re furious over what’s happened, even though you know it was no one’s fault.

3. Bargaining. You try to find ways to change the past or reduce the adjustments you must make.

4. Depression. You’re deeply sad, overwhelmed, and feel hopeless and helpless.

5. Acceptance. You come to terms with what’s happened and begin to put your life back together in a new way.

6. Meaning. You seek to find the lessons for you in what’s happened. This connects you to your inner and Higher Self, and opens you up to Universal good.  

The Importance of Finding Meaning in Life’s Changes

There are always lessons to be learned from any challenge you face. When you look for what those lessons might be, you find purpose in what’s happened. That purpose can shift the situation from unhappy to manageable, and possibly even positive. You’re taking control of your thoughts about it and determining to make the best of it.

Some of the questions you can ask yourself are:

  • “What do I still have that I can use to rebuild my new life?”
  • “How has the situation changed me?”
  • “What do I appreciate that I have had or now have?”
  • “What have I learned from this that can help me moving forward?”
  • “What good has emerged from this?”

Finding meaning in what’s happened empowers you. It transforms the outcome of an awful situation from disabling to fulfilling. You decide how change is going to impact you and how it’s going to help you grow.

Affirmation:

The Universe always wants the best for me. When one thing leaves my life, something new enters. I allow myself to mourn what’s gone, while I welcome what’s new. As I uncover the meaning that the situation brings to me, I regain my power and purpose.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Adapt to Change.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Your Write To Self-Discovery

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Apr 162020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Journaling Notebook

Many years ago, I took some creative writing classes in which I was taught a valuable technique called “freewriting.” I used it frequently to help me break through writing blocks. Solutions came through me that I would never have conceived of consciously. Some time later, a friend was describing a process she’d learned in a journaling seminar.

I recognized the instructions and said “Oh, that’s freewriting.”

“No, it’s not.” she snapped at me. “It’s called journaling.”

Gingerly, I asked her for more information on the process and realized that the technique might be used for a different purpose, but it was the same method I’d learned in my writing class.

Ira Progoff calls it “journaling,” Dorothea Brande, writer and writing teacher from 70 years ago calls it “writing exercise,”  Julia Cameron, author of “The Artist’s Way,” calls it “morning pages,” writing teacher Natalie Goldberg calls it “writing practice,” someone else called it “rapidwriting,” my high school english class called it “stream of consciousness,” and I learned it under the term “freewriting.” I’m sure there are many other labels for this method, but they all describe the same process.

What Journaling Does

The idea is to start writing, without thinking about what you’re writing, or thinking about how to say it. In this way, you bypass the mental editor that tells you “You can’t say that, it’s not nice,” “Don’t say it that way,” or “You forgot to dot the ‘i.'” When you do this, it allows you to mine the true thoughts and feelings of the subconscious mind.

In my writing class, there was a family man who was looking forward to attending his family reunion. He was someone the entire family looked up to and depended upon for guidance. One week, we had an assignment to do a freewriting. He did the assignment early in the morning, shortly before the reunion. During class, we each read our freewriting aloud.

When it was his turn, it was the first time he’d read his freewriting since he’d written it. One of the passages he read was that he was “bracing” himself for his reunion, with all of the demands his family would place on him and the difficulty of trying to keep the peace between family members. After he read his piece, he said in a bewildered tone, “I didn’t know I felt that way.”

Creatively, the technique works because you’re able to follow the normal meanderings of your creative processes without interference. The method acts in much the same way during journaling, by keeping the internal critic out of your processing. In all cases, it builds a trust in yourself, your mind and your feelings.

Benefits to Journaling

There are tangible reasons to practice this technique. Research indicates that those who write down their feelings about the challenges or traumas of their lives are actually healthier, with stronger immune systems, than those who don’t write. Studies are also showing that writing can alleviate symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as lowering blood pressure, improving depression, anxiety and self-esteem. Writing about your challenges helps the mind to release the pent-up emotion and integrate the situation in a new, healthier way.

How to Practice the Exercise

Begin writing, don’t pause at all. Keep the pen or pencil moving at all times. Write whatever comes into your mind, even if it’s “I don’t want to be doing this. I’d rather be washing the dishes.” These conscious thoughts are normal, what I call the “detritus” or debris of the mind. They’re surface thoughts, from the conscious mind or censor trying to gain control and get you to stop. If you write through these objections, you’ll get beyond them to what your subconscious wants to say.

Don’t cross out words, don’t try to punctuate, spell correctly or capitalize if it’s a bother. Just keep the pen moving, writing anything at all, even if it’s garbage. If another thought comes to you before you finish a sentence, leave that sentence and begin writing on the new thought. Follow where your mind takes you. It has its own logic and reasoning that doesn’t agree with the analytical mind. Don’t try to think about what you’re writing or worry if it makes sense or not. Trust your mind.

Set a time limit of writing for at least twenty minutes a day, or write at least two pages a day (Julia Cameron suggests three pages). This lets the mind know what is required of it, and how long it has to get its ideas through to you.

You can begin your writing with something that’s made you angry, sad or scared. Or you can start with the phrase “I feel….” and go from there. Write about experiences that have affected you deeply, whether positively or negatively. If you feel blocked in some area, write about why you feel that way and what might be causing it.

Recommendations

It’s recommended that you practice the exercise for several days in a row to get the mind to flow. Dorothea Brande and Julia Cameron suggest that the best time is in the morning, before the day’s responsibilities pounce on you. But if you can’t do it in the morning, anytime is good, as long as you do it.

As a technique for self-discovery and personal growth, this is one of the best. You learn to trust yourself and listen to the wisdom of your own mind. For you have all your answers within yourself. All you have to do is take the time and listen.

Affirmation:

I now take the time for myself each day and journal. Although the feelings that come up may be uncomfortable, I know that they’ve been a part of me and need expressing. I let myself write what I want to, without interference from my censor. In this way, my  subconscious mind can re-assess the challenges of my life, releasing what no longer serves my Highest Good. When I write, I follow where my mind wants to go and trust its wisdom.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

When Life Gives You Lemons…

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Apr 092020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Shift happens. Generally, it’s unexpected and unsettling. Bull markets eventually stop rampaging, hibernate for a while as the country experiences a recession. You find out an old acquaintance has been trying to undermine your relationships with mutual friends. Just as you get settled into a new home, you lose your job and must adjust to a lower income. The only constant in the Universe is change. It’s a signal from the Infinite that you’ve outgrown your current circumstances and it’s time to expand to a greater reality.

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Response

The attitude you have towards these distressing events impacts their outcome. Epictetus, the Greek philosopher, said, “People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.” Your perspective determines whether your response will be positive or negative.

If you respond positively to a situation and believe it will get better, you’ll take actions that bring about a beneficial result. However, if you bemoan the situation and sink into immobility, then you’ll end up worse than when you began. The Law of Attraction acts on whatever your predominant mindset is, not just on one area that you’re focusing on.

One of the ways to adjust your attitude is to alter the way you look at the situation. Over the years, clichés, proverbs and quotes have helped people to realize that there is more than one way to look at a problem. When you do, you open your mind up to other possibilities. Here are some ideas that will help you keep things in perspective:

Necessity is the mother of invention. When there’s a problem, let it inspire creative efforts to find a solution. If there’s no problem, we coast along and don’t make progress. How can you engage your creativity even when there isn’t a problem?

Into every life, a little rain must fall. No one gets through this life without some difficulty or upset. Right now, it seems as if it’s pouring. But the storm will pass.

Make the best of a bad situation. Accept what’s happened. Then, figure out what tools you have to work with and get resourceful. How can you find something beneficial in the situation that makes things bearable or better?

This too shall pass. In early adulthood, this phrase got me through a very bad day at work. It became my mantra for the day. It was my lifeline. That day did end, as all do. Eventually, your crisis will also be in the past.

“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do” Robert Schuller. You’ve made it this far in your life, so you’re tougher than you know. You have the ability to make it through this, too.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. What lessons can you learn from the current situation that you can use in the future?

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”Albert Einstein. Challenges get people to think about problems in new ways. Consider how people are now figuring out how to use 3-D printers to create vitally needed medical equipment. It’s unlikely that would have happened without this crisis. What opportunities can you find in life’s difficulties for yourself?

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This sums up the situation. We have a lemon of a situation right now, no doubt. But if you shift your perspective, you’ll be able to develop something sweet and pleasant.

What Are Your Next Steps?

This isn’t to say that you should ignore feeling scared or upset. Take the time to mourn what’s gone or not currently available. Acknowledge it and let it flow through you. Just don’t let the grief immobilize you. The longer you stay immobilized, the longer it will take you to start living again and moving in a positive direction.

Take a deep breath, and another. What steps do you need to take to move forward? Get creative. Life is always changing. You will get through this and the Universe will support your endeavors. And you can find a way to make the situation work for you, to come out of it stronger, and more resourceful. And you might even have some lemonade.

Affirmation:

The Universe will protect and guide me to my greater good. I know that something beneficial emerges from this for me. I don’t know what or how it will happen. That’s not my responsibility. My responsibility is to keep my thoughts positive and optimistic. As I do, the Universe finds a way to deliver my good to me.

Watch the complementary video, How to Get Unstuck and Reduce Stress.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

What Motivates You?

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Mar 272020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Do you wait until the last minute to do your taxes or a report? Do you procrastinate and avoid thinking about them until the night before they’re due? If so, you may be motivated to try to avoid pain, until the last possible moment. In the meantime, your attention is divided, knowing that the project is looming over you. While you’re trying to go about your life, dread nibbles at you.

Or are you someone who does your taxes, or a report, as soon as can? If so, you’re motivated to get your refund faster or to move on to the next task. You look forward to not only getting the unpleasant task done quickly, but to the reward of receiving your refund and clearing your desk. You’re motivated by seeking pleasure. You take your time and make fewer mistakes, because you aren’t pressured.

How the Pain Pleasure Principle Works to Achieve Goals

People are motivated to avoid pain and/or anticipate pleasure. To find out which governs you the most, assess how you deal with unpleasant aspects of your life. If you generally procrastinate or let things go until the last minute, you’re probably motivated to avoid pain.

To achieve your goals, you stir up the pain until it’s so bad that you must move forward to reduce the discomfort. This is fine for the short term and to initiate change, but it’s stressful and extended stress leads to burnout. You’ll associate your goals with pain and eventually abandon them.

Using pain to flog yourself forward wounds the inner self. You also block the flow of the Universe and the Law of Attraction. Your attention is on the pain, and not on your vision and your connection to your Higher Self. To avoid the discomfort, you move in any direction that eases the pain, even if it’s the opposite way you want to go. Or you do the least amount possible to make the pain go away, and that won’t take you to what you ultimately want, either.

To function at your best, your subconscious and inner self need safety, which is the reverse of stress. If you’re motivated by seeking pleasure, you feel more secure. You’re able to be more creative and effective, and have a greater range of resources from which to draw. The Universe and the Law of Attraction are able to expand more good into your life. You also have your focus on what your goals will bring you.

Getting tasks done ahead of time gives you a sense of satisfaction and your attention can then be freed for your next step. Your brain likes the completion, and rewards you with a feeling of being uplifted. Being motivated to anticipate pleasure is better for long term progress. It draws you forward towards your vision. It activates the Law of Attraction to draw to you what you need for your desire.

Using Your Motivation Style to Your Advantage

No matter if you’re someone who avoids pain or anticipates pleasure, you can use this motivation principle to more easily achieve your goals. If you’re been someone who stirs up the pain to initiate action, that’s fine. Once you’re moving, you can shift to the longer term strategy. Here are four steps to help you be more successful.

1. Your goal must be realistic. Create small steps that you can accomplish so you feel like you’re progressing. For instance, if you expect to accomplish five projects, when you only have time for three, you’re going to feel like a failure. Even if you must scale back your expectations, make sure your steps can be achieved in the time allotted.

2. Write out your ultimate vision. Write down what it will look and feel like to achieve your goal. Explain why you want your vision. What changes will it bring into your life and how will that improve your situation? This stirs up the anticipation of the pleasure you’ll feel when you’ve reached your goal.

3. Reframe the pain. Once you get moving, don’t continue to drive yourself with the fear of what will happen if you don’t take the next step. Instead, give yourself credit for each step you’ve taken along the way. The subconscious likes the appreciation and you’ll feel encouraged to continue. Look forward to the benefit you anticipate from your actions.

4. Take mini-steps. Work on your goal in short bursts of energy during the day. Think of it as a series of small sprints, rather than a marathon. Alternate your actions with some other neutral or pleasurable activity. You’ll stop associating the goal or task with pain and negativity when it’s not overshadowing your life. Once you see how much you’re getting done, and feeling the satisfaction, it becomes easier and easier to work on.

It may feel uncomfortable to make a shift to a different way of motivating yourself. You’re breaking a long standing habit. But if you do, you’ll be much happier, more productive and successful in all of your endeavors.

Affirmation:

The Universe wants the best for me and I deserve it. By keeping my vision in mind, I create a mold for the Universe to fill and draw to me everything I need. I acknowledge and appreciate every step I take towards my vision. Each step brings me closer to the achievement of my dreams.

Watch the complementary video, Motivate Yourself with this Strategy.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.