Jul 142021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

So many people seek their purpose in life. They ask themselves, “What am I supposed to be doing?” or “Why am I here?” They believe their purpose must be a job, work or calling that gives them joy, and their life meaning and fulfillment. They’re looking for some occupation which will make them feel satisfied. But to find their purpose, they’re looking in the wrong place – outside themselves.

Your purpose may not necessarily be a vocation. It’s possible that your purpose will find expression through your job, but not be the focus of it. For instance, if you want to be of service, you could fulfill that desire through being a waiter, shopkeeper, clerk or in customer service. Or you could want to express your caring, and be a nurse, CNA or hospice worker.

Each of these careers has the opportunity to impact others in a positive and transformative way. Someone in a service or caring profession could say or do something to lift the mood of someone who’s having a bad day or dramatically change the course of a customer’s life.

Finding Meaning in Life

Don’t fixate on your purpose being your job. Volunteering at an animal shelter or working with model trains might satisfy you at a deep level. You can find meaning in any job, if you seek a positive or useful way to express yourself. You may want to share more love with the world. Or your mission could be to wake people up to their greatness. You can do those in virtually any work environment.

Your value has nothing to do with the size of your impact on the world. Many people work with little recognition, with no one noticing that they keep the infrastructure of life together. For instance, the custodians, utility workers and mini-mart clerks are necessary to keep the world functioning. They keep the foundation of society running smoothly. And although they work mostly in obscurity, their contribution is vital.

Be the Change

Your purpose generally isn’t a task you’re to accomplish in the outer world or for others. It may be to expand your inner world. Learning new languages, or exploring philosophies may be your passion. Sometimes, people are persuaded by others that they have to share their knowledge or gifts with the world. You may not have the drive to go out and market your gift to others, but choose to use it to only improve your life, which is perfectly valid.  

If you do want to make a living through your purpose, the best way to get there is to start sharing  it where you are now. Incorporate your purpose more and more in your life. Find ways to weave it into the work you’re doing currently. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Only by fulfilling your purpose in the present, will you be able to expand it to the public.

Living Up to Your Potential

When you’re “on purpose,” you’re living up to your potential. You may seek to simply live your life more authentically or to explore your creativity. To find your purpose, look at what draws  you, what you feel strongly about, when you feel most fulfilled, and remembering when you feel the most alive. Your primary mission in life is to discover and become more of who you are.

It’s a mistake to tie your purpose to your vocation. Living on purpose is more internal than it is external. Some people can merge the two, but most often, your purpose is how you want to live in your life. Your purpose is so much bigger than what you do for a living. It’s more about being true to yourself and nurturing your inner self. That is your true mission.

Affirmation:

I’m being Divinely guided and directed to my purpose in life. When I’m on purpose, I feel fulfilled, satisfied and at peace within myself. I realize I can fulfill my purpose through any job, work or vocation. I open my mind to new possibilities on how to do so. My inner being knows what my purpose is, and now aligns me with it in a joyful way.

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.
Jul 082021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Confident Woman with Values

People are attracted to you, personally and professionally, based on your behavior and what you stand for. In business, many times, this is called your brand. But in your personal life, people also decide whether you’re trustworthy, someone they want to spend time with or be around, based on this same standard. And all of this is grounded in your values, the beliefs that promote your actions and attitudes.

Positive and Negative Values

Some values are positive, such as integrity, determination, and compassion. But not all values are constructive. I’ve known people who were proud of personal values such as, manipulation, deception, and carrying a grudge. Negative values like these are based on fear and insecurity. They’re defensive and developed to react to external circumstances. Positive values are internally motivated and proactive. They allow you to be intentional and choose your actions deliberately.

You can reframe a negative value to be more beneficial. For instance, a negative value, like being crafty or cunning, often means you’re scheming or dishonest. This value was probably created to deal with situations where you were concerned someone would take advantage of you. However, reframing that value to one of being clever or innovative allows you to approach situations from a stronger and more resourceful position.

Why Knowing Your Values Is Important

When you know what your values are, you’re able to make decisions based on them that support those principles. Living according to your values increases your self-esteem, self-respect, and sense of authenticity. Your image and perception of yourself will improve, as will your self-confidence. You’ll be known by what you stand for, and people who appreciate what you value will be attracted to you. What values are most important to you? Those are the ones that show the world who you are.

Affirmation:

My values are important to me and I choose to live by my values. They are beliefs and ideas that put me in alignment with my deepest self and the Universe. I feel at peace with myself when I stand by them, even when it’s inconvenient. I support and empower myself when I act on them, and the Universe approves of me, as well.

Watch the accompanying video, Act on Your Values to Improve Your Well Being.

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.
Jun 032021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Stress and Overwhelm

Life can sometimes unexpectedly speed up and come at you fast. Suddenly, you have a cluster of challenging events to deal with. It could be a major health issue with the upheaval of all the medical appointments to schedule around. Or it could be several expensive home repairs at an inconvenient time (is there ever a convenient time for expensive repairs?). Or you may be trying to juggle extra work with family demands.

Any kind of turmoil like this can cause stress and feelings of overwhelm. You feel like life has spun out of control and you have no stability. Your mind narrows its focus and you start reacting from old habits that may not be helpful in the present situation. This also creates static with your connection to the Universe. It makes it harder to access your intuition and Divine Guidance. With your attention focused on immediate concerns, you can’t notice potential solutions.

Take Back Control

While it’s important to have your vision in mind, in times of overwhelm, your vision can be beyond your ability to consider. You have to find some equilibrium first. To get back into balance, there are some things to do, and not do.

Don’t multi-task. This just makes the situation worse. When you multi-task, you’re quickly switching your attention from one task to another, and that increases the stress hormones. You may feel like you’re being productive, but you don’t accomplish much, which just increases your feelings of frustration.

Slow down. Give yourself time to think and assess the situation. Ask yourself, “What are my options?” This allows you to stop reacting and being impulsive, and instead encourages you to make better choices and decisions. 

Focus on one thing at a time. You’ll be able to reclaim a sense of control. Wash the dishes. Do the laundry. Make that call you’ve been procrastinating. Once you’ve done one task, move on to the next. Stay mindful about what you want to accomplish and take it one tiny step at a time.

It’s all about being mindful, and creating an island of calm in the present, while re-establishing your connection to the Universe. Once you’ve taken charge and lowered your stress level, your mind can think more clearly. You won’t feel as pressured and can open your mind to handle a bit more. By re-establishing a sense of stability, you’ll have more resources at your disposal and be able to expand your horizons once again.

Affirmation:

I’m always connected with the Universe, and being guided and directed. When life gets hectic, I quiet my mind, slow down and assess what my best option might be. I focus on my next step, allowing my mind to become organized and clear. Peace and serenity flow through me and all things work out in the best way possible for my highest good.

Watch the accompanying video, 3 Steps to Being More Focused and Effective.

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.
Jun 022021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Steps to Success

Over the past couple of years, Robin gained 30 pounds. Looking back to see what had created the extra weight, she realized she’d begun a new job two years ago that had included donuts in the break room. Every day, she’d grab one or two of them. Because of the unconscious habit she’d developed, eating more calories than normal, she’d gained an unwelcome amount of weight.

Have you ever noticed that when you do something over and over, it not only becomes a habit, but it has a certain outcome? This may be a goal you want for yourself, such as a healthier lifestyle. Or you may receive a result that you didn’t want, like gaining weight, as Robin did. But when you consistently take the same actions, you’re going to reap the rewards or the consequences of what you’re doing.

For instance, Carol got into credit card debt by not paying off her balance at the end of each month. Instead, she’d regularly let $50-$100 dollars pile up each cycle because she didn’t have the extra money to apply to it. Carol didn’t realize that each month she was spending more than she made.  

The same idea happens to smokers. Earl didn’t start out smoking 2 packs a day. His smoking increased slowly as he associated more and more situations and activities with a cigarette. When any of these circumstances surfaced during the day, he’d reach for another hit of tobacco. Eventually, he built up to his 2 pack a day habit.

Each of these examples didn’t get to an overwhelming level overnight. It took a constant series of the same actions over a period of time that changed a little problem into a big one. There are many other challenges that are like these: personal, professional, lifestyle, financial, and health. Big problems don’t form in an instant. They build up slowly over time as you perform one action on top of another to create a habit that results in your challenge.

What You Need to Be Able to Change

If you want to change the problem, you’ll need consistency and discipline to do so. Just as the problem built up one decision and action at a time, you’ll need to take one step at a time to undo it. You’ve had the issue for a long time. It won’t be undone in a few days.

The solution is the same as what created your problem. Success comes from taking a specific action over and over again. Take small consistent steps that chip away at the issue. It’s like turning a car around in a narrow road. You have to back up and pull forward a number of times before you can go in the opposite direction.

The same is true of making these changes. It may take a few months, a year, or even several years to get to your goal. But if you don’t make the changes, your problem will continue to grow.  

Whatever goal you desire, choose sustainable actions you can take that will move you in that direction. When you do, think of the outcome that you’re aiming for. This will help to keep you motivated, even when the results are slow in coming.

Why Consistency Is Important

Your choices and behaviors communicate to your subconscious that you are willing to do what’s necessary to achieve your goal. Consistency means there aren’t any mixed messages impressing your subconscious. As long as you’re true to moving in the new direction, the Law of Attraction will begin to draw whatever you need to fulfill your mission.

For instance, the way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you expend each day and include regular exercise. If you want to pay off debt, reduce expenditures each month and apply that money to pay down your credit cards or other debts. To increase your business, create a plan to consistently reach more people through networking and marketing. If building your savings is your goal, commit to putting a minimum amount of money in that account each month.

For greater peace of mind, meditate every day. Using affirmations each day will impress your subconscious to make an improvement in your life. To move towards your goal, you have to focus on where you want go and decide to move in that direction.

Consistent actions created the life you have now, and consistent actions will create the new life you want. When you’re persistent in making decisions that result in different behaviors, then you’ll receive the new outcomes that you want. Choose your goal, create the steps to get there, and then take them one at a time. The journey to your future begins with the steps you take each day. Consistency is the key to your success.  

Affirmation:

When I’m consistent in my thoughts, decisions and actions, I communicate what I want clearly to my subconscious and the Universe. Every action I take leads to greater success and fulfillment. The Universe completely supports my endeavors. I am Divinely Guided in my choices and direction.

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 You Improve Your Life by Being Mindful

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May 072021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Mindfully smelling a flower

Several years ago, I’d arranged to meet a friend for lunch. She visited our area infrequently on business, and when she did, we tried to get together to catch up. The week she was in the area, I had a full schedule of clients. But I’d set aside over an hour to spend with her and looked forward to our conversation.

Shortly after she arrived, she got a call on her cell phone from another friend. Instead of telling the person she’d call them back, she chatted with them for most of the hour. She ended the call shortly before I had to get back to my office. Once she realized that she’d wasted our time together, she was contrite. Disappointed that I had to leave, she tried to convince me to stay. I couldn’t reschedule my clients on such short notice, and had to leave.

Instead of being in the present, she’d automatically answered the phone, and remained on the call without considering the consequences. Have you ever done that, or had it done to you? How often are you absent in the moment, simply reacting or taking an action without thinking it through?

Mindfulness vs. Habits

It’s been estimated that 95% of the time we act out of habit, like my friend did. Her phone rang; she answered it on autopilot, and stayed on the call. Instead of being mindful, she was mindless in that moment. Habits are useful. They can help our minds problem solve and assess information. But they’re not helpful when they take over your decision making process.

Situations like this crop up all the time. Instead of working on your project, you answer each call, text or email as it comes in. The notification triggers you to deal with the immediate distraction, rather than staying focused on your task, which is more important. Or you accept that piece of cake you’re offered without considering your diet. Paying attention to what you’re doing, and want to be doing, helps you accomplish more of your priorities.

Benefits of Mindfulness

You can’t be mindful all the time. Letting your mind wander occasionally opens you to creativity and innovation. But to fulfill your potential, there needs to be a balance between dreaming and being consciously aware of what you’re doing and thinking.

Choosing to be more mentally present in your life has numerous benefits. Your relationships improve, you make fewer mistakes, are less stressed, make better decisions, have more constructive habits, improved communication, reach goals more quickly, and are more efficient, effective and productive.

Practice Being Present

To use mindfulness to improve your life, practice the following steps:

  1. Be in the present. Let go of the past, and ignore the future for a while. You can address the future a bit later. For the moment, pay attention to what’s going on right now. Who are you with, and what are they saying? What do you need to be doing? This will allow you to be more effective in your life.
  2. Accept what is. We all have expectations of how we want life to be. But that attitude is counter-productive. Instead of resisting reality, wanting a situation to be different and resenting that it’s not that way, accept the facts. Only then can you begin to rationally deal with the situation and find a better outcome.
  3. Respond intentionally. It’s natural to want to react when you’re stressed and lash out when you’re upset. But it will only cause more harm. Don’t let stress trigger you into going on autopilot or let anger control you. When you’re distressed, be aware of your thoughts and feelings about what’s going on. Whether you’re stressed or angry, when you have to choose a course of action, consider your options and and decide the best way to respond.
  4. Focus on your steps. It’s important to plan for the future, but also important to focus on the current steps you need to take to get there. Keep in mind why your goal is important to you. But instead of being overwhelmed by how far you have to go to achieve your goal, just work on the next step.

You can only impact this moment. The past is over, and the future is yet to be. When you are mindful about the present, then you’re making wise decisions and taking actions that will bring you a much better today and tomorrow.

Affirmation:

I practice being present in my life. The Universe guides and directs my attention and actions. When I accept the reality of the moment, I can decide how to handle it for my Highest Good. I choose my responses wisely, by consciously considering my options and taking action on the one that is best for the situation. Each moment builds on the one before, and by being mindful, I create a wonderful future.

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.

Don’t Slow Before the Finish Line

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Mar 082021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I don’t watch much sports, but my husband and I do enjoy the summer and winter Olympics. Over the years, I’ve noticed something interesting about many athletes who are in speed contests. Whether they’re runners, ice skaters or cyclists, when they’re in a race, they often ease up as they approach the finish line. Sometimes the front runner, who has slowed down, is passed by another athlete who has kept up their pace until after they’ve crossed the finish line.

This isn’t just true about athletes. It’s also true in any kind of goal achievement. The same problem affects changing a habit or achieving a sales target. Do you have the finish line in sight and slow down or stop your efforts? Often, when someone is about to accomplish a goal, whether personal or professional, they sabotage their attempt. They’ll stop putting energy towards the goal, try to coast across the line, stop just short of it, or abandon it completely just before they’ve reached their objective. If you do this, you restrict the amount of abundance from the Universe.

Some Reasons You Hold Yourself Back (and what to do about them)

There are a variety of reasons for this kind of self-sabotage. Here are a three of them, and suggestions to maintain your progress until you’ve accomplished your goal.

Fear of success. You hold yourself back because you’re afraid of what success would bring, such as extra responsibility, criticism or envy of others. As long as you fall short of your aim, you avoid the potential consequences. For instance, you work on a project, but as you approach completion, you get distracted. Or you procrastinate finishing, because it’s not perfect. If you turn in a less than stellar result, you can use it as an excuse for not getting that promotion.

If you’re concerned about extra responsibility, take some extra training so you can deal with the additional authority. And you aren’t responsible for how someone else reacts to your success. Don’t take it personally. You are simply their latest scapegoat for their own insecurities. Just focus on doing your work to the best of your ability and take pride in that. The Universe supports you and will provide whatever help you need to deal with your concerns.

You overreach. You set a goal that is more than what you actually want. For instance, you state you want to lose twenty pounds, when your actual intention is to lose fifteen. The issue is that your subconscious knows your actual goal. You can’t fool it. Your subconscious will support you to your true target, but not any farther. That means that as you approach your desired weight, you start eating foods that aren’t on your diet. You indulge in some snack chips, then a cupcake, and your weight reduction grinds to a halt near your internal desire.

To remedy this, remember that your goal is an artificial ideal. Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, shift your attention to the process that’s getting you there. In this case, your attention would be on eating healthier foods, in smaller amounts, and getting more exercise. Small servings of desserts would only be for special occasions. Your reduced weight is then the outcome of your lifestyle shift.

This can be true of sales goals, as well. Spend more time concentrating on your daily task of creating and contacting leads instead of your eventual sales. Your process will result in with more sales than aiming at a target, though the target is helpful to keep you going in the right direction. Your goal tells the Universe what you want. Your job is to follow through with your process and the Universe will provide the result.

Stay in your comfort zone. You’ve set a goal that you’re comfortable achieving. You have confidence that you can reach your aspiration without much difficulty. It doesn’t stretch you and you just go through the motions to accomplish it. Once you do, you feel so good that you repeat the process so you can feel uplifted again. But you stay in the same place and don’t improve.

Stop limiting yourself. Open your mind to the abundance of the Universe. It is safe to accept more good. If you’re not expanding out of your comfort zone, that zone will shrink and it will be harder to maintain your current level of performance. Motivational gurus and coaches encourage people to choose a goal that scares them. This allows you to grow, learn and gain more confidence as you progress. What objective would make you feel a little intimidated and uncomfortable? Start taking steps, baby ones if need be, and accept the fear.

Focus on Your Steps

If you undermine your progress when approaching your goal, stop thinking about the end result. Instead, focus on the steps of your plan and your procedure for moving forward. When you accomplish one step, tackle the next one. That way, you won’t be as intimidated or concerned about where you are in relation to the finish line. And who knows, you might exceed your goal and reach the stars.  

Affirmation:

The Universe wants the best for you and supports you in all your endeavors. Whatever you need to achieve your goal is provided. You’re Divinely Guided in your direction and activities. As you take the steps necessary, the Universe takes care of the result.

Watch the accompanying video, Overcome the Obstacles to Your Goal.

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 Demonstrate Self-Love

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Feb 042021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I have always loved the 1927 poem by Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, and have done my best to live by its wisdom. I especially love the paragraph, “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” To me, this means treating myself kindly, loving myself and taking care of my needs, because I have worth by just being here.

Whenever I am tempted into some decision or behavior that isn’t for my well being, I pause. I ask myself questions like the following:

  • Is it going to contribute to my self-respect or erode it?
  • Do I need it or want it?
  • Does the behavior or decision support my goals?
  • Will the temptation be worth it, or will I regret it later on?

It’s not easy, but most of the time, I choose to avoid the lure of temptation and support my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs. (Full disclosure: I sometimes stay up too late at night watching a television program and regret it in the morning.)

Needs vs. Wants

Are you treating yourself well and addressing what you need for health and well being? Many people confuse taking care of their needs with indulging in what they want. Your wants may be old habits or ways of reacting. For instance, there’s a part of you that wants to eat that entire bag of chocolate candy, even though it’s bad for your health. The chocolate isn’t something you  need, it’s something you want. Giving into a chocolate binge is a short term tactic to satisfy a craving. The gratification lasts for only for a few minutes, and isn’t worth the risk of weight gain, cavities or self-reproach afterwards.

Instead, healthy eating habits are long term strategies to treat yourself kindly. You show yourself love by eating fruits, vegetables, protein and getting enough exercise. These are behaviors that are necessary for a healthy and happy life. They build self-respect and self-esteem. With self-love, you take actions that may make you uncomfortable, but you know will eventually bring you what you ultimately need and desire.

Your Relationships Improve

When you show up for your well being, you demonstrate that you value yourself. Your relationship with yourself improves because you think better of who you are. This attitude translates to your relationships with other people. Because you have self-love, you love others more deeply and have more to give to them.

As you treat yourself with care, you attract others who also treat you that way. If they don’t respect you, your sense of self-worth causes you to recognize they don’t belong in your orbit. This realization includes friends, clients and customers. Set boundaries and take actions to appropriately protect yourself against those who can’t appreciate you the way you deserve.

Forgiving Yourself

Treating yourself kindly also means to forgive yourself for any mistakes you might have made. They were simply learning exercises. Mistakes are how we learn and grow. But all too often, we chastise ourselves for infractions for far longer than we should. This can create a cycle of self-abuse that drags you down and keeps you stuck in the past. Systemic self-criticism also leads to other negative decisions that shred your love of yourself.  

Instead, once you learn the message a mistake has for you, any guilt from it has no further purpose. You don’t have to castigate yourself after you’ve made amends and set an intention not to repeat the error. Be gentle with yourself. Accept that you’re human and grow from the experience.

Demonstrate Your Love of Yourself

Self-love isn’t just a warm feeling about yourself. It also includes “a wholesome discipline,” as the poem says. When you demonstrate caring for yourself with actions, you prove how much you appreciate yourself. Treating yourself in a kind, gentle and loving way, and one that supports your worth, allows you to thrive and to fulfill your potential.

Affirmation:

The Universe recognizes my worth, because It put me here. I now accept my value and treat myself with respect. If I’ve made a mistake, I learn from it, forgive myself and move on. I attend to my needs, and support my health and well being. When I love myself, it translates into better decisions and actions.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Encourage Positive Actions.

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 Become More Positive When Things Go Wrong

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Jan 072021
 

By Linda-Ann Stewart

Haven’t you had days when everything seemed to go wrong? You spilled your coffee on your proposal, the copier jammed, and you had a flat tire. Or maybe you’ve had times when the future looked dark and it was hard to see any light. When you’re down, it’s hard to see that there’s a way up. It becomes difficult to remember a time when things went well.

In these times, it’s challenging to stay positive, even when you know that being optimistic brings better results. You know shifting into a more upbeat frame of mind can turn things around and open doors for you. But when you’re down, it’s hard to focus on being positive. And this shuts down your ability to innovate.

What if you had a journal of evidence to remind you of times when things worked out? When you read about instances when you had good things happen, your mood lifts. Shifting your attention to something better changes your perspective and life flows more smoothly. You open to a broader range of possibilities and engage your creative mind to find solutions.

When you keep a journal of times when you were happy or when a situation worked out, it keeps you focused on the positive. And a journal gives you something to refer to when you need a mental boost. The more often you add to this journal, the more you train your mind to look for joy in everyday occurrences. You create an upward spiral of positivity that buoys you up when things go wrong.

There are several types of journals you can keep, and none of them take much time to update each day. Consider creating one of the following:

Gratitude. Evidence shows that writing three to ten gratitudes each day can improve your attitude within three weeks. People who keep a gratitude journal feel better about their lives as a whole and make more progress on their personal goals. Also, they better at bouncing back after adversity.

Falling Star. This is when you have something amazing drop into your lap. For example, you talk to someone in line at the store and gain a new customer. Or you mention that you need a plumber, and your neighbor gives you a great reference for one. By remembering that good things come when you least expect it, you prime your mind to seek opportunities for you.

Bright Side. This is when a situation looks grim, but suddenly turns around. For instance, I had to find a new home insurance policy after my old one had increased substantially. My new agent found one, with the same coverage, for almost half the price. This one could also be called “Dawn,” as in, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

Awe. What inspires awe for you? A beautiful sunset, a hummingbird hovering, or crashing waves? Awe can be found in the smallest of moments and can bring a sense of happiness and joy. When you take note of them, you remember how you felt at that time. Referring to a moment of awe can reduce stress and improve your well being.

Manifestation or the Law of Attraction. When have you successfully attracted or manifested something you were focusing on? Describe it in this journal so you can recall it in the future. Include your attitude and belief about the situation. Your item could be as simple as finding a great parking place or as complex as being offered the perfect job. This journal can encourage and support your spirituality.

Daily practice with any of these types of journals conditions your mind to seek out the positive, which keeps you more optimistic. And being able to refer to them when you’re down reminds you that things can, and will, get better. It brings you back into a sense of balance. It takes a bit of effort and dedication, but the rewards will be long lasting.

Affirmation:

The Universe supports all of my endeavors. When I keep my thoughts positive, I provide a clear channel through which the Universe can work. I stay positive by remembering times when events have gone well for me. In so doing, it creates an upbeat attitude and allows me to be more effective.

Watch the accompanying video, Use Journaling for Mindfulness and Success.

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.

The Kindness Paradox: Give Kindness and Receive Joy

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Dec 032020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

How do you feel when someone is kind to you? For instance, when a friend sends you a card, gives you a compliment or your spouse does the dishes for you. Don’t you feel uplifted? And how do you feel when you do something nice for someone else? Maybe you do an errand for a friend, call to see how they’re doing, or help a neighbor carry in her groceries. Don’t you feel a sense of satisfaction? And what if you see someone be generous to a stranger? Doesn’t that give you a warm glow and motivate you to do something considerate, too?

When you see, do, or are the recipient of kindness, it releases hormones that cause you to feel good, inspired and happy. It stimulates the reward centers of the brain. Within a few minutes the hormones have stopped flowing, but by remembering the action, you can recreate the joy. Kindness is like a pebble thrown into a pond, with the ripples extending outward and touching places unseen.

The Benefits of Kindness

The paradox of kindness and compassion is the benefits it brings to the one who acts, as well as the recipient. Not only do you impact the person you’re giving to, you’re receiving good feelings in return. Remember what your mother used to say, “It’s better to give than receive”? In this case, you receive far more than you give.

Showing kindness and compassion to others bestows the following on you:

  • You’re more attractive to others, personally and professionally.
  • People like and trust you more.
  • You’re more creative.
  • Your self-esteem and self-worth increases.
  • Your optimism and positive thinking grows.
  • You feel calmer and happier.
  • Your stress, pain, anxiety, depression and blood pressure reduces.

Kindness Can Be Challenging

Sometimes being kind can be challenging. There are people who irritate you and you may want to lash out at them. But you don’t know what has happened in their life that has caused them to be annoying. These are times when being altruistic and compassionate can have the best results. You may just change someone’s life, in addition to your own.  

For instance, consider being kind in the following conditions:

  • Smile and compliment the grouchy clerk. They might have had a bad day full of grumpy customers and it’s rubbed off on them.
  • Let the aggressive driver into the lane in front of you. They may be running late to an important appointment that could be vital to their well being.
  • Don’t complain when the elderly gentleman cuts ahead of you in line at the grocery store.  He may have mild dementia and not have even noticed you were there.

In difficult situations, consider what the other person might be dealing with that’s caused them to be rude. You’re not kind just for them. You do it for you, because it’s better for your health, mentally, physically and emotionally.

Focus on Kindness

The more you focus on being kind, the more you want to be kind. And the kinder you are, the more you’ll grow that area of your brain. Pure altruism brings you all the rewards mentioned and more. As you’re being kind to others, don’t forget to be kind and compassionate towards yourself. You deserve to be treated well, too, by yourself and others.

In the Christmas season, we focus on peace and goodwill towards others. Why can’t we have this spirit all year long? Think of the life we’d all have. It begins with each one of us being kind, on a daily basis. It’s a very simple mindset that takes on a joyful life of its own.

AFFIRMATION:

Whenever I have a choice of how to respond to a situation, I choose kindness. Kindness allows the spirit of the Universe to flow through me, blessing my life and the life I impact. I cultivate a generous spirit and compassionate attitude towards myself and others. I generate peace and goodwill towards all people, every day of the year.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation for Kindness.

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.

Be Mindful of Your Vision

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Nov 062020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Being mindful and having a vision may seem contradictory. Your vision is all about the future, where you’re going and your destination. Mindfulness teaches you to stay in the present moment, without concern about the past or future. It sounds like vision and mindfulness are in opposition, doesn’t it? But they actually have a lot in common to help you be successful and achieve your goals in life.

For instance, your vision, although you keep it in view, necessitates you to have a plan and take steps to reach your destination. With your vision, the Law of Attraction knows what to draw to you. Mindfulness involves being intentional, focusing on one task at a time. Once you’ve completed that item, you focus on the next goal. In this way, you stay on course to your objective. Being mindful also opens a clearer channel to the Universe.

Vision and Mindfulness Are Complementary

That’s where vision and mindfulness intersect. When you’re mindful about your vision, you focus on one step at a time, accomplishing it, then moving onto the next one. Each action builds on the one before and puts you in flow with the Universe. You know where you’re going (your vision), but your attention is on your current activity (mindfulness). By mindfully working through your plan, you’ll reach your vision with the Universe supporting your endeavors.

Being mindful of your vision can be challenging, as life is full of pitfalls and distractions. Only by navigating through challenges, and staying intentional and focused, can you be successful. Here are some suggestions to help you stay mindful and focused on your path, so you don’t get lost in the weeds. This makes it easier for the Law of Attraction to know what it is you want.

Execute your plan. You can’t just develop a plan and then ignore it. To stay on course, create mini-steps so you take one each day. With a plan, the Law of Attraction knows what to provide you to fulfill your goals. The habit of taking action will propel you along so that you then take bigger and bigger steps.

Be present. It’s easy to get lost in the future of what could be, or the past of what could have been. Instead of trying to leap forward, or berating yourself for what you didn’t do, ask yourself, “What can I do right now?” Pay attention to what you can control now. Those actions add up.

Don’t multitask. This is the very opposite of being mindful. You’re trying to do several things at one time, and this results in not doing any of them well. It gives you a false sense of accomplishment, but when you look back, you realize you haven’t really made any progress. Multitasking dilutes your energy and confuses the Law of Attraction. Take one task, complete it, and only then move on to the next.

Take a mental step back. When faced with the temptation to detour, stop and think about it. Be present with what’s going on. Why are you being distracted? Are you bored or uncertain about your next step? Mentally think it through and decide if that distraction or procrastination is worth taking the detour.

Talk yourself through temptation. If you aren’t paying attention to what you want in the moment, your environment is going to grab your attention. This is when distractions and interruptions pull you off course. After you’ve decided you don’t want to take that detour, keep yourself on course by being your own cheerleader. Tell yourself something like, “Stay the course,” “One thing at a time,” “I’ll take care of that detail later.”

Shift your attention to the positive. Sometimes your mental meandering will take you into the undesirable realm of negative thoughts. You doubt yourself, get upset at something not going your way, or become frustrated at not making progress as fast as you’d like. This blocks the flow of Universal energy. Again, take a step back and ask yourself, “Is it worth it to dwell on these ideas?” “Will this move me forward?” or “How much will this matter in a month?” Then shift your attention to something beneficial and productive. Acknowledge something that you’ve accomplished to change your energy.

In the best of times, mindfulness and vision complement each other. They make each other stronger and improve your success in every area of your life. Mindfulness connects you with the Universal flow and your vision gives the Law of Attraction instruction. As you keep your vision in view, and practice being mindful in your daily life, you’ll make the progress you seek.

Affirmation

The Universe wants the best for me. I develop a vision of what I want, and Universal energy and the Law of Attraction help me to fulfill it. As I am mindful about my steps, I remain on course, and stay in the flow of the Universe.

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.