Apr 202020
 
Sparks of Insight

When some difficult situation comes up, the automatic response is to react to it from an habitual place. Instead, use it as a way to practice your spiritual beliefs. Look for the silver lining, use compassion, seek understanding, view it from a broader perspective in relationship to your whole life. This isn’t easy, especially when challenges bring up fear, anger or guilt. Take a mental step back, out of the trees, so that you can see the forest. In doing so, you’ll raise your consciousness and encourage your subconscious mind to discover the blessing in the situation.  

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Apr 182020
 

5 Powerful Mindset Shifts to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think

When you care about what other people think, they will always have power over you. Other people’s opinions have nothing to do with you and you’ll never be able to please everyone. Using the mindset shifts in this article will allow you to live more authentically and reclaim your power.

Feeling Insecure? 6 Tips To Quiet Your Inner Critic

The voice in your head constantly comments on what and how you’re doing. But instead of being objective, most of the time it’s negative and holds you back. You don’t have to give it so much power over you. You can tame it with these tactics.

13 Simple Habits to Cultivate Self-Compassion

Many times we’re more compassionate towards others than we are to ourselves. It’s time to show the same kindness you have for others and show it to yourself. When you exhibit self-compassion towards yourself, your perception of yourself and your life will change. Practice just a few of these tips and notice how your life improves.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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.
Apr 152020
 
Sparks of Insight

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.– Claude M. Bristol

You learned your “A-B-C’s” by repetition, as well as your arithmetic tables. In the same way, you repeated negative and derogatory statements to yourself until you believed them. You can use that same learning tool to turn things around and cultivate a belief in what it is you want. It takes time to transform it into a conviction, but when it happens, watch for miracles.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Apr 102020
 

10 Excuses the Mind Will Tell You Before You Take the Next Step

The mind is an excuse-making machine that frequently tries to convince us not to take actions we know are good for us. The mind wants to stay in the familiar or a comfort zone. When you overcome its excuses, you’re empowered to make the changes you want in your life.

How To Meditate: A Beginner’s Guide To Meditation Practice

Meditation is one of the most valuable practices that someone interested in personal development can utilize. But as with so many things, meditation is very easy to learn, but difficult to master. This article will explain the many benefits of meditation, answer some common objections to it, teach some meditative techniques, and how to make meditation a part of your life.

How To Stop Being Lazy And Get More Done – 5 Expert Tips

Some days the to-do list seems bottomless. Just looking at it is exhausting. We all want to know how to stop being lazy and get more done. This article addresses some of the misconceptions about how you can be more productive and gives specific strategies to help you get more done.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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.
Apr 082020
 

During this crisis, people are feeling stuck, stressed and off balance. It’s hard to think clearly or to know what you can do that’s productive and positive. So most people just remain immobilized. Here’s a simple strategy you get you back in control, reduce your stress, and allow you to regain your balance.

Transcript:

Thank you for joining me. I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist. Today, I’d like to talk a little bit about how you can reduce some of the stress you may be feeling as a result of our current crisis. We’re in unknown territory.

Everyone is feeling out of their depth and off balance. They’re worried about their health and that of their loved ones, worried about finances, and uncertain about how long this crisis will last. All of this worry and uncertainty causes stress. And with stress, it’s hard to make rational decisions. We react, and can’t think clearly of how to respond in a productive way.

Instead, it’s human nature to either fight, freeze or try to flee from the danger. We either feel angry, immobilized or fearful. It’s nature’s way of helping us deal with a threat, right? Well, we can’t fight a virus. I mean hand-to-hand combat. And we certainly can’t flee from it while we’re quarantined, can we? However, people  have complained the most to me about feeling frozen, stuck or helpless.

The way out of feeling stuck is to move, to actively do something positive. There are a lot of things you can’t control or do anything about right now. But what can you control? You can control your actions and attention. So focus on what you can do, just one thing you can do.

What one positive thing can you do today that will make you feel like you accomplished something? It could be as simple as taking a shower, changing out of your pajamas or changing a light bulb. That’s your first step. When you get one thing done, no matter how small, it will give you encouragement to do something else. You could reach out to a loved one or friend. Send a greeting card. Try out a new recipe. Do something creative.

As you take action, it becomes easier to do it again. Feeling in control reduces the feelings of stress, which means you’ll be able to think more clearly. You may be able to plan for what’s next. Who knows? You might even end up cleaning out the garage. Maybe. No pressure. But even if you don’t achieve that massive task, you will still have been able to regain your sense of balance, by just doing one thing at a time.

If you’d to achieve a 90-day goal more easily, download my free comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www. Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You’ll receive the blueprint, as well as a video of that walks you through it with tips and directions to support you in you in accomplishing your goal.

Thank you for watching. My wish for you is to stay well, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Read the complementary article, When Life Gives You Lemons…

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Mar 302020
 
Sparks of Insight

To open your mind and unlimit your thinking, consider, “What if?” What if things flowed smoothly for you? What if opportunities fell in your lap? What if what you thought was a disaster turned out to be the best thing that could have happened? Play with the possibilities to unstick your mind from the rut it’s in. Don’t be attached to any of the ideas you come up with, just daydream to lift your energy and get it moving again. 

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Mar 272020
 

Manage Your Attention, Not Your Time

So many stimuli compete for your attention each day that by the end of it, your brain feels like scrambled eggs. You can prevent that from happening by being more conscious of how you divide your attention over specific tasks. Here are three ways to keep your focus flowing.

5 Habits That Turn Off Negative Thinking

Negative thoughts only affect you if you give them power. But all too often they catch your attention and disturb your effectiveness. But you have the ability to turn that around and reduce their damage. You have control over your mind, and this article gives you some direction on how to take charge.

Impostor Syndrome: Why Success Makes You Feel Like A Fraud

The imposter syndrome typically happens to high achieving individuals who have a hard time adjusting to their success. It refers to the fear of being found out that their success is due to luck and not their abilities. This article explores this syndrome so you can understand it more fully and suggests ways to combat it.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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.