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Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

“Nothing is ever lost in Divine Mind. I can never be separated from my good, for it is the Presence and Power within me. Whatever that has been missing now returns to me, because it is mine by Divine Right.”

Everyone experiences loss at some time in their lives, whether it’s a friend moving away, a loved one passing on, a marriage breaking up, or one’s investments reducing. Each of these losses creates a vacuum in your life, to be filled by its equivalent or something better. If you believe something is lost for good, then you’re telling your subconscious not to recover it. However, the good it represents is still there for you to claim, maybe in another form. You may not have the exact, same person, place or thing magically returned to you. But it could be something comparable comes to you in a different way. Keep your mind open for the possibilities.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Learn To Say “No”

Learn To Say “No”

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Years ago, I got caught up in too many outside activities. During this period, I was assistant secretary of a community organization that planned a yearly event, the secretary of a creative group that held a yearly contest, a member of an artist’s co-operative, attended classes, acted in community theater, and wrote publicity articles for the same community theater.

I was so stressed that I got very little sleep and my health began to suffer. Finally, I began backing out of some of the responsibilities. For the first time in my life, I had to tell people “No, I can’t do it anymore.” The head of the community theater group pleaded with me to continue writing articles, because “There’s no one else available.” I stuck to my guns, even though it was excruciatingly hard. And I learned that I wasn’t irreplaceable. Someone else did step in and write the articles.

An Important Skill

Learning when to say “no” is an important skill. For if you don’t establish what you can do and what you choose not to do, the world will take advantage of you. You have a right to say “no.” In life, there are always choices. When I wanted to be able to sleep and be healthier, I had to cut some activities out of my life. I then focused on a couple of activities that I felt were most important to me. In another situation, a person may decide they want to go hiking instead of going to a family dinner with their parents. You sometimes have to choose between what others’ want from you and what it is that you really want to do.

When I realized that I was resenting my involvement in so many organizations, I knew I had to let some go. I wasn’t doing myself any good. And even though individually they were activities that I enjoyed, I couldn’t give them my best. In learning to say “no,” I stated to the Universe, and to the world, what I was saying “yes” to. You can do the same. By saying “no” to some things or people, you’re saying “yes” to yourself and to the things that you choose to experience in your life.

Affirmation:

I know that I always have choices to make in my life. Sometimes, I must choose between equally enjoyable situations. In other cases, I must decide whether to please myself or others. I now give myself permission to say “no” to conditions in my life that drag me down or that aren’t of benefit to me at the present time. I realize that as I say “no” to some circumstances that I resent, I’m saying “yes” to myself and to what I really want to experience.

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

Relaxation, harmony and ease are your natural state of being. When you’re tense, anxious or worried, you’re actually just blocking the flow of the Universe through you. The good that you desire hasn’t gone away, it’s just tied up in knots and can’t move. Your attention is on what you’re afraid of, rather than on what you want. And “where attention goes, energy flows.” When you let go, you let relaxation and good surface and express in your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

“I open my consciousness to a greater acceptance of the good that the Universe has in store for me. The Universal Mind is the only Presence and Power there is and governs my life. All of good is with me, right here and right now, as I rest in the knowledge that I am one with the Infinite.”

All the good you could ever want is already available to you. Let go of the ideas, beliefs and attitudes that have blocked it from expressing in your life. As you begin to open your mind to the possibilities, you’re clearing the channels for good to flow more freely. Rather than keeping your focus on what you don’t have, lift your consciousness to view a greater potential. And then be willing to receive more good.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

“4 Ways To Allow Your Inner Wisdom To Help You”

“4 Ways To Allow Your Inner Wisdom To Help You”

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Our culture considers asking for help a sign of weakness. You’re supposed to be able to take care of things by yourself. And most people were taught that “God helps those who help themselves,” which discourages turning even to God for assistance. So, you work to become self-reliant and try to bootstrap your way through the challenges of your life without any assistance.

But there’s a place where you can always go for help. Within you, there’s an innate core of creativity and resourcefulness that’s available for you to call upon. Most people don’t turn to it because our culture also doesn’t trust anything it can’t control. And you certainly can’t predict how instinct or intuition work.

Inner Guidance

Although you may not actively seek out inner guidance, you often tap into your instinct without realizing it. Whenever you have a gut response or a hunch, you’ve accessed it. You may get a sense that the person you’re dealing with isn’t trustworthy. Or you have an impulse not to take that particular route home. These are the types of incidents that cause you to automatically access your instinct.

Your instinct generally catches your attention through a physical or emotional feeling. Some people are more tuned into it than others. It’s very basic, and operates on an unconscious level. Instinct’s main drive is to keep you safe and help you survive.

Instinct is something you’re born with. But you can also draw on your intuition, which comes from your knowledge and experience. Intuition can be developed and be a valuable tool for guidance or to help you discover solutions. It’s simply letting the subconscious mind satisfy one of its essential purposes, to solve problems.

Whenever you need some direction or guidance, you can always ask your own inner creative power for help. It’s always willing, available and functioning. As you begin to listen, you’ll notice an idea come to mind, a word, a sense, or a slight urge in a specific direction. It may take awhile for the subconscious to come up with a solution, but since its always working, it will find one.

Access Inner Wisdom

Here are some ways to begin accessing and developing this valuable wisdom:

1. Ask for help, a solution or direction from your inner wisdom. A good way to do this is to write down the request. Then, ask about it several times a day, and let it go each time. This keeps the request at the top of the subconscious mind’s “To do” list, and lets it know that the issue is important. Answers may come when least expected, such as when your mind is occupied with something else. Be open to any ideas or promptings that might come and write them down.

2. Before bed, ask a question and forget about it. Then, “Sleep on it.” This allows the creative mind to mull over the request while you’re in slumber. In the morning, when you’re awake, an answer or at least a possibility to follow will probably present itself. If not, ask again that night.

3. Whenever receiving an answer, idea, sense, or hunch, acknowledge it. Even deciding not to act on the concept recognizes the impulse and validates it.  Valuing the creative mind’s efforts gives it permission and power to ponder the issue even more. French philosopher Theodore Simon Jouffroy said, “The subconscious mind will not take the trouble to work for those who do not believe in it.”  The subconscious needs to know that it’s being listened to and trusted.

4. Use your conscious mind to evaluate the idea and decide if it’s appropriate or fits the situation. The subconscious isn’t going to be right on target every time. It may come up with ideas that are close, but won’t actually work. Let your subconscious mind know if it’s on the right track or not. If it’s not, get more specific to allow your creative mind find a more suitable solution. But if it’s close and just needs more refinement, give your subconscious more information as to what is right about the idea and what doesn’t work. Then start the process over again.

This is a practice. You’re developing an unconscious awareness to be able to use it deliberately for conscious insight. By doing so, you can then take inspired action. And just as when you’re cultivating any skill, the more you use it, the stronger and more accurate it’ll become.

Affirmation

My intuition is a resource I can call upon for guidance and help. It’s a natural ability that I can develop as I use it. I’m simply tapping into my subconscious mind’s essential purpose to solve problems. I pay attention to any sense, prompting, idea or hunch that arises. As I listen to it and take the impressions seriously, the stronger and more accurate it is. I trust that my subconscious mind has the knowledge to direct me to the Divine Right solution.

As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, wellbeing and prosperity.To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, register for her FREE training video and accompanying action planning guide at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Update Your Internal GPS to Reach Your Vision

Update Your Internal GPS to Reach Your Vision

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Compass

You’ve probably used a GPS (Global Positioning System) in your car to find your way to a destination. You input your current location, then input your destination, and let the GPS decide the best way to get you there. The GPS tells you the best route to your location.

But the GPS isn’t always accurate. For instance, when repair people use their external GPS to find our house, they usually end up on the other side of town and have to call us for directions. A vehicle’s GPS often is wrong, based on old or incomplete information, and eventually will have to recalculate when new data becomes available.

How Your Internal GPS Functions

Some people say that we have an internal GPS that guides us to reach a goal, and that all we have to do is follow its directions. It’s true we have an internal guidance system, but it isn’t always accurate, any more than an external GPS is always accurate. This inner GPS motivates your decisions and actions. And you may have incorrect or outdated information in your subconscious mind that influences your internal GPS.

Your subconscious mind is the interface between the Universe and your conscious mind. Even though you’re always getting accurate guidance from the Universe, your subconscious filters it through its programming. The message you receive from the Universe may be garbled due to old programming and you don’t understand it clearly.

You can’t follow a GPS’ (internal or external) directions blindly. Without monitoring, old data may detour you, take you down a dead end, or guide you off a cliff. Literally. For example, my husband used to work in a mountain town nearby. Many times, a customer would come into his place of business and would tell him that their GPS had directed them incorrectly. The GPS had said to go left, which would have driven them off a cliff, instead of right, up the road to his business.

Using Your Internal GPS

Instead of mindlessly following directions, with either an internal or external GPS, stay present as to where you’re going and what you’re doing. Be mindful of what turns or steps you’re being guided to take. Engage your rational mind to check and confirm you’re still going in the right direction. There’s an old saying, “Trust, but verify.” You have chosen a destination, and you also have the responsibility to check if the next step is moving you in the right direction. .

If your inner GPS is prompting you to avoid a path, like taking a long detour, this may be old programming based on fear. That’s not intuition or guidance from your internal GPS. Avoidance can be an old idea that is trying to keep you safe in a situation that you’ve outgrown. Only you can determine if it’s warning you of a current danger or if it’s from the past.

Maybe you’re attracted by something new that may sidetrack or delay you from your vision. This could be for your wellbeing or your subconscious is using the detour to sabotage you. You may need more resources or knowledge before you can reach your vision. Or it could be that your subconscious considers your route threatening. Again, it’s up to you to figure out whether the delay helps or hinders you.

Updating Your GPS

It’s always important to assess your mindset about your goal or vision. Your mindset isn’t just about positive thinking, but about how you feel about yourself, your life, and your vision. Do you believe your vision is possible? Are you procrastinating taking action? If so, why? Do you have any resistance to achieving your goal? Are there any old beliefs that are holding you back? Updating your mindset so that it aligns with your vision will ensure your GPS can calculate the best route for you.

As you address each of these areas, your GPS may gain new information and need to course correct to get you to your vision. Keep your thoughts positive, take action and stay focused on your vision and you’ll stay on course. Your internal GPS will recalculate as needed to update its directions to find you the clearest path to your destination.

Affirmation:

I am being guided at all times by the still, small voice of Infinite Mind. I open my mind and heart to clearly hear that guidance. The Universe supports me to accomplish my goal or vision. Any old idea that restricts my path is outdated and now dissolves in the light of day. I keep my mind inspired and uplifted, make wise decisions and take effective action to achieve my dream.

As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, wellbeing and prosperity.To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, register for her FREE training video and accompanying action planning guide at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Listening To Your Intuition

Listening To Your Intuition

by Linda-Ann Stewart

A while back, I was lunching with someone who stated that she didn’t want to get between one of my friends and myself. I almost blurted out, “Since when?” Many years prior, that’s exactly what she’d tried to do. But I caught myself before the statement came out of my mouth. I reminded myself that she’d changed in the ensuing years, and that she was just trying to be helpful. I mistook my intuition for old information and second-guessed myself. A few months later, I found out that my initial spontaneous response was correct.

Intuition Is a Natural Ability

We’re born with the natural ability to instinctively know when someone is lying to us, when they’re trustworthy, when they’re threatening. But many people grow up in hostile environments, with family’s who erode that knowledge. For instance, in an alcoholic home, the child may recognize that Papa gets nasty and sleepy when he drinks that smelly stuff, but Mama says, “No, Papa’s just tired.” Since the grownup knows more, the child ignores his/her judgment. Parents may insist that no one outside of the immediate family can be trusted and the child shouldn’t tell anyone what goes on in the home. As children, we look to authorities to confirm or deny our truths to help us learn discernment.

The instinct of who to trust is still there in all of us, buried and ignored. It’s been called the “Still, small voice,” and is always whispering to us. Most of the time we don’t hear it, mistake it for something else, or our fears override it. Learning to tune into it again takes practice.

Fear Isn’t Intuition

In my experience, if you experience obsessive thoughts about a situation, such as “He always lies,” or “They’re going to steal my idea,” that’s not intuition, but old information trying to protect you. The subconscious is comparing the current situation to a past condition. The concerns may or may not be correct, depending on the circumstances. But generally it’s just mind chatter, coming from past fears.

However, if you have an instinctive response, as I did, to a situation, then I’d suggest you pay attention. Investigate further if you have a nagging feeling that won’t go away that something just isn’t right. A visceral, physical response to something going on is a definite sign. Having nightmares, tense muscles, anxiety, intestinal upsets, or frequently getting sick may begin to happen if you ignore the signals. This is the intuition getting more serious and forceful in its attempts to get noticed.

How to Determine What the Message Is

Once you identify that something has caught the attention of your intuition, begin using your analytical mind. Is everything that’s going on congruent? Do the person’s actions and statements match? Are they contradicting themselves, or what you know to be true? When you discuss the situation, do you feel satisfied with their responses, and how they treat your concerns, or are you still uneasy?

Ask the Universe for clarity. It’s amazing, once you do that, how often the truth comes out. But you have to be open to what you hear, because sometimes the answer will mean you have to make some hard choices. And there are also times when the more positive answer is harder to believe in the light of our old experiences.

Practice Being Guided

One way to learn to discriminate between your fears, logic and intuition is to begin asking to be guided in different ways. For instance, ask what you need to wear that day, what order you should do your errands, what route should you take to work, etc. You’ll begin to notice that sometimes you’ll be guided to do something out of the ordinary that proves to be of benefit to you.

As you learn to distinguish between your rational mind and intuitive promptings, you’ll be better able to pay attention to your instinct and let it direct and protect you. It’s always there, whispering into your mind. Tuning into your intuition will help you live a safer, smoother and more harmonious life.

Affirmation:

The Universe is guiding me at every moment of time and every point of space. It is always whispering to me. My intuition comes from that soft voice flowing through my subconscious. I have a true instinct of who is trustworthy, and when there is danger. I can now distinguish between my rational mind, my fears, old concerns and my intuition giving me relevant guidance. The Universe now provides me with clarity about any situation and I am able to correctly recognize the awareness.

As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, wellbeing and prosperity.To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, register for her FREE training video and accompanying action planning guide at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Book Review: How To Meditate: A Guide To Self-Discovery

Book Review: How To Meditate: A Guide To Self-Discovery

How To Meditate: A Guide To Self-Discovery
by Lawrence LeShan

The author is a psychotherapist and approaches meditation from both an eastern and western direction. Although the title of this book indicates that it’s a “How To,” it goes way beyond that. It delves into the different ways to meditate, their philosophies and gives directions for each of them.

Many people who begin to meditate get frustrated when they can’t immediately quiet their mind. And when they can’t, they get frustrated and give up.This book is a practical, deep examination of meditation, why they’re helpful, and how they work on deep inner levels of being. It goes into some of the temptations a practitioner can be drawn into and how to avoid them.

By blending the understanding of what meditation does and why it works from both the mystical and psychological angles, this book can give the reader a deep foundation in pursuing the type of meditation that fits them. I’ve cited this book over and over again in my articles and recommend it highly to any person new to meditation or experienced in its practice.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Transform Motion Into Action

Transform Motion Into Action

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Merry go round

Cookie was a fantastic artist, and art was her passion. She had all the tools of the trade, brushes, paint, easel, palette, canvas, etc. But she didn’t paint much. Being a wife and mother took up most of her attention. But she did make time to read artist’s magazines, go to art shows and talk with people about art.

She kept her skills sharp with her imagination. Neither the mind or body can tell the difference between the imagination and reality. When she saw something she’d like to paint, she’d describe how she’d get it onto canvas to her daughter. This satisfied her creative urge. She had hundreds of unpainted pictures in her head. The problem was that they didn’t make it to canvas so other people could appreciate them.

Doing the training and foundational work to support your goal or passion is important. You also need to have focus and know where you’re going. Without knowing how to draw, mix colors or compose the picture, an aspiring artist could start throwing paint onto a canvas and have it look nothing like they wanted. Working towards a goal, you could splash around great energy and enthusiasm, but create nothing worthwhile.

The Difference Between Motion and Action

Don’t confuse motion with action. Motion is when you do busy work that causes you to procrastinate taking action. You could spend your life in motion, like walking on a treadmill trying to get to China, but never get anywhere. It will build muscle and endurance but won’t get you where you want to go. Motion activities can be helpful, like when Cookie read her artist’s magazines. It creates a structure, supports your goal and can motivate you. But motion won’t translate into momentum.

When you have a goal, don’t get stuck in thinking, planning, organizing, and strategy. They’re motion related and all vital and necessary. But if they become all that you do, you’ll get stuck on the treadmill and never achieve your goal. They create the form for the Universe to flow into, once you act on them, by themselves, they accomplish nothing.

Visualizing your goal, and how you’d feel when you achieve it, is important. But it can also distract and derail you, as it did Cookie. It could fulfill your desire to accomplish it without actually making any headway. To remedy this, make sure you stay motivated. If you have a hard time converting from the planning stage to the action phase, remember your why you’re doing this. Why do you want this goal? What will it do for you? What will change in your life? These answers can inspire you forward.

When to Take Action

When you’ve done all you can with your planning, take some action. You may not know yet what to do, but getting moving in a direction will ground your decision. This isn’t just motion, throwing paint on the canvas. You’ve set the groundwork. Now it’s time to build some momentum. It communicates to your inner mind that you’re ready to move forward. Action also makes your goal more real and believable to you.

Maxwell Maltz, author of “Psychocybernetics,” said “Your automatic guidance system cannot guide you when you’re standing still.” You’ll be guided when you have your goal, steps and planning in place, motivation, and take action. Even if nothing happens immediately, because  you’ve dedicated yourself to your goal, you’ll be Divinely guided to contacts, opportunities or information that you need. Action also intensifies the energy of the Law of Attraction.

All of Cookie’s motion activities finally resulted in her getting into action after her daughter grew up. Eventually, she joined a group of producing artists. In that supportive environment, she began painting again. She created dozens of beautiful paintings that will be loved for years to come.

Motion activities, such as training, strategizing and planning, build the foundation and framework for you. You can use them to inspire motivation to get you into action towards your goal. And once you’re in action, you’ll gather steam and momentum. Are you ready to move towards your dreams? Then take that first step now.

Affirmation:

I accept that my talents and abilities are gifts I need to develop. They are innate and need to be shaped and molded so that they can create a beautiful life vision. Once I’ve done my foundational work, I start taking action. My efforts are Divinely guided, and everything I need for success is now provided.

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Is the Fear of Criticism Holding You Back?

Is the Fear of Criticism Holding You Back?

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Breaking chain

Fear of criticism is a frequent stumbling block when you want to change or achieve a goal. When you want to break a habit or grow as a person, others may object and find fault with your behavior. This is to manipulate you to remain the same so they won’t become uncomfortable with the changes you’re making.

Artists and creative people of all types often don’t express the fullness of their talent for fear of jealousy and being belittled. It’s not unusual to try to hide, conform or underachieve to avoid being singled out.

If the fear of criticism is affecting you, it probably stems from being unmercifully criticized as a child. You could have had adults, or other children, censure you for being too different.

Maybe bullies humiliated you, a teacher demeaned you, or you had a disapproving parent. These wounds can impact the way you view yourself and other people. It can also block your connection to the Universe, as you’re concerned that It doesn’t approve of you. But the Universe accepts you fully, as you are.  

There’s a difference between criticism, constructive criticism and feedback. The first is focusing strictly on a perceived problem. The other two identify an issue in order to seek a solution.

What You Do Doesn’t Matter

Unfortunately, a person who criticizes you is going to do so no matter what you do. This is a conclusion I came to after many years of trying to appease people around me. Criticism is what they do to make themselves feel superior and in control, and has nothing to do with you.

Remember, the best defense is a good offense. They’re attacking you, not because there’s something wrong with you, but because they feel insecure. And, take it from one who tried for years, there’s nothing you can do to reassure them. 

They’re going to condemn you, not for what you’re doing or not doing, but because of what they aren’t doing and who they are. Sadly, you can’t gain their approval. This is hard to accept, but the only thing you can do is move forward and do what you feel is right for you. The Universe completely supports you in choosing what is best for you.

Transform Your Beliefs about It

First, consider the kind of person who would be this way. It’s likely to be someone who feels vulnerable, envious or fearful and is lashing out at you. They’re trying to build themselves up by tearing you down. It doesn’t absolve them of responsibility, but when you realize it isn’t about you, it’s easier to let it go.

Second, keep reminding yourself that anyone who criticizes you is simply coming from their own point of view, opinion and issues. What they might find fault with in you is something that they might be uncomfortable with, or don’t like within themselves. They probably aren’t even seeing you clearly, but filtering their view of you through their own perceptions and misconceptions.

Third, remind yourself that you’re an adult now, and can handle the kind of criticism that might arise. You’re no longer a helpless child, and you don’t need to depend on anyone’s approval anymore. You know that everyone has as much access to achieving their dreams as you do. If they don’t, it’s not your fault or responsibility. They are every bit as much a part of the Universe as you are. They have It’s love and support, just as you do.  

Wayne Dyer said that when you achieve more, you can EXPECT to be criticized. It’s true. When you begin to achieve your dreams, then those who haven’t achieved theirs will may be bitter and want to hold you back, as well. That’s their issue, not yours. It’s okay for you to be visible now and to shine. The Universe wants that for you.

Affirmation:

I bless and release those who are not in harmony with me or my plans. The Universe accepts and approves of me fully, just as I am. I have a right to my choices and goals, and to live my life my way. The Universe guides and directs my decisions to be for my highest and best good. It completely supports me in my endeavors, providing me with all that I need.

Watch the accompanying video, How to Respond to Criticism.

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