The Fine Art of Procrastination

I’m a recovering procrastinator – and not at all afraid to admit it, especially now that I see this big bugbear for what it really is.

Who amongst us is not guilty of a little procrastination once in a while? We put off doing things we think aren’t terribly important or which can wait just that little big longer… or until a deadline looms uncomfortably close.

A few months ago, I finally figured out that it was my need for perfection that was the root cause of my procrastination.

In my quest for understanding more about this bugbear, I discovered my own twelve steps that put me pretty much on the road to recovery.

1. Understanding the dynamics of how things work

Everything in the Universe operates with Law of Attraction in the background. Each thought carries a vibration and therefore is capable of attracting thoughts that are on a similar vibrational frequency. This creates momentum which can move in any direction – beneficial or not.

Procrastination like everything else, is all about the balance of energy in one’s psyche. The thoughts we think, carry a vibration that is more real than any of us might care to admit.

2. Making peace with the ‘enemy’

People who procrastinate are actually wiser than those who rush into action. Procrastinators are sensible enough to know that their energy (their net balance of thoughts) is not lined up and they realize on a subconscious level that this does make a big difference.

Before I realized that the need for perfection was stalling my efforts, I too procrastinated without knowing why I found myself hesitating.

Simply put, no amount of action can compensate for energy that is not aligned.

3. What is this ‘energy’?

This energy is the chatter of thoughts that percolate our minds everyday. We want many things, but we often sabotage our own desires, with doubt. 

4. Your power is in the ‘Now’

No matter how bad things may have gone in the past or how critically your actions have ever been evaluated, everyone’s true power really begins in each new moment. As conscious creators, we do have the power to direct our thoughts in a way that is more productive.

5. ‘And’ or ‘But’

Consider something you really want and then pay attention to the thoughts that follow. For example, take this simple statement of intent:

‘I’d like to write an article…’

‘I’d like to write an article but I’m not sure who’s going to resonate with it.’

Or‘I’d like to write an article and I’d like a lot of people to resonate with it.’

The first statement has plenty of doubt, while the second one is open to possibility.

(There’s nothing as frustrating as having split energy, when you want one thing but doubt that you can ever achieve it.)

I know this may sound like a trivial point, but it does make a huge difference. Try it for yourself and see.

6. Rev up your energy

Each of us gets to choose what we want in life and it’s up to us to get our energy moving in a direction that serves us.

Start with anything that you think is fun or interesting to do. It may not necessarily be on the subject that you are procrastinating about. But it creates a feeling of satisfaction which can be the starting point for some positive momentum. A happy vibe puts you in the right mood to approach your bugbear with less trepidation.

7. We’re all in it together

The Universe (or God) is certainly able to provide anything you desire, but you have to be a vibrational match to it. Religions call this faith, which is that certain ‘trust’ which allows you to surrender to a higher power, enabling you to move steadily towards your goal without diluting it with doubt.

I guess we all assume that hard work and action is the only way to yield results.

I buy into the philosophy that getting your energy aligned (i.e. creating a positive and fertile environment) before taking action, is the magic button that opens the door to anything you set your heart on. Circumstances and events line themselves up perfectly and things seem to fall into place pretty effortlessly.

8. Every step counts

Creating a cheerful atmosphere for yourself is the first step. Taking the teeniest step towards the very thing you had been procrastinating about is the next step. If it was an article you hadn’t yet got down to writing, maybe putting a few words down on paper might be a good start. It doesn’t even have to be something spectacular – just starting it is a great step forward. As the saying goes, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. And so it is. One cheerful step leads to another and another.

9. Use your emotional radar

It’s easy enough to slip into shades of dissatisfaction, especially if you are a born perfectionist and have some high standards to meet. But you can use your emotional radar to ‘feel’ if you are on the right path or not. A cheerful feeling means you are harnessing some positive momentum and have more likelihood to moving towards your goal, rather than away from it.

10. Harnessing your own cheerleaders

It’s great to have people who encourage your efforts but it can get exhausting for them too, especially if they feel duty bound to do so. I think the best cheerleader one will ever need, is a feeling of satisfaction. Each thought of satisfaction vibrates like a veritable cheerleader. And by harnessing more of these satisfying thoughts you can put together your own little team of cheerleaders tucked away quietly in the privacy of your mind.

11. Let everyone else off the hook

When you are focused steadily enough on your goals you are the only person who has any obligation to keep them in sight without worrying over any current situation that has the potential to derail or sabotage you. People might give you their perspective on what you should do, which can be dampening or maybe even infuriating. But it’s your job to calmly refocus and get your act together, so to speak.

12. Follow your path of least resistance.

Only you can truly know what floats your boat and what does not. There are many paths to achieving any goal and you decide what the best fit is for you.

Here’s a lovely insight I came across recently from Abraham Hicks, which makes perfect sense:

Make a decision and then make it right. There just are no wrong decisions. You could go this way, or that way, and either way will eventually get you to where you want to be. But in the moment you start complimenting yourself on the decision you’ve made, in that moment, you come back into vibrational alignment with who you really are.” – Abraham Hicks.

Oh by the way, I did say I was a ‘recovering’ procrastinator, didn’t I? If I were fully recovered, this post would’ve been out much earlier;)

But I’ve made a big step in my own journey and if you’d like to take a leaf out of my book, you’re more than welcome to do so!

© 2018 G.A.I.L

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Change The Way You Look At Things

Dr. Wayne Dyer has been a huge influence in my life. Over the years, my thinking has been molded ever so gently by many interesting philosophies he shared through his writing and through his talks.

Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change is a simple enough statement, yet so very profound. For me, it has been the metaphoric key that managed to open many doors.

It’s not too difficult to see the value of how changing the way you look at things can provide that shift in perspective that may seem minor, but is capable of making a huge difference.

Dr. Wayne Dyer I believe, was advocating people to look within themselves to find solutions, rather outside themselves. This makes perfect sense, especially now that I understand the mechanics of how Law of Attraction operates.

We tend to ‘react’ to circumstances because that seems to be the most natural thing to do. If people are callous or unkind, our gut reaction is to feel hurt or angry. We often buy into the misconception that people/circumstances need to change before we can be happy.

But what I’ve come to learn is that we do have a choice in every moment, to move in the direction of how we’d prefer to feel. I’ll admit it’s not always easy though. Yet ‘changing the way you look at things’ does make a big difference.

To me, that single decision to look at things in a different way is like a pivot, capable of creating a totally different reality. And that is because we can utilize the leverage that Law of Attraction provides.

Rather than feel slighted by someone’s actions, simply understanding that they may be having a bad day (which has nothing to do with you) can soften your gut reaction to the behaviour they are exhibiting at the moment.

Now that you no longer feel like a target, you can be who you really are at the core of your being – more centred and nonreactive. It is somehow easier to be more compassionate and less judgemental. There is a certain unnecessary resistance that crops up when you question ‘why’ someone may have treated you the way they did.

Law of Attraction which is always operating in the background continues to gather thoughts that are on a similar vibrational frequency.

Very soon a new momentum begins from the more neutral starting point of compassion. More general, kindly thoughts begin to find their way in – and not long after, the very thing that had seemed so awful before, tends to look a whole lot better. Bingo! The thing you looked at initially did change because of the way you looked at it!

The very same condition that had initially seemed like a roadblock, now becomes just a temporary setback that can be overcome, because the door to possibility has just been opened and many solutions can now find their way in.

I believe that life is fluid and dynamic and any condition can be molded into something more satisfying at any point.

In my own experience, a few years ago I found myself face to face with a serious medical diagnosis and later a paralyzed arm. Thanks to what I’d learnt from Dr. Wayne Dyer and others like him, I found it easy enough to pivot away from a situation that had the potential to be bleak and overwhelming, to one that is more life-giving.

Rather than allowing my physical condition to become a roadblock that might prevent me from enjoying life, I chose to see this experience as an opportunity to find ways to work around my disability. I get a special thrill of attempting to do things I feel inspired to do, even though they might seem totally unnecessary to any onlooker. Maybe no one will understand why I ever bothered sewing a dress for myself with one working arm, when it would’ve been more ‘normal’ to ask someone else to do it for me. The dress turned out perfectly wearable and I was thrilled that my effort paid off so well.

I reckon that pushing the boundaries of my creativity gets my juices flowing … and the satisfaction of accomplishing something new, is what smooths my path and makes my journey more joyous.

And each time, my door opens just that much wider.

© 2018 G.A.I.L

Inspiration and Motivation

From time to time I come up with an idea that I cheerfully dub a ‘brilliant brainwave’.

Not all my so called brainwaves materialize into spectacular events but a few of them find their way into something tangible. My blog is a perfect example. It had been in the pipeline for a while but sneaked out from the shadows one fine day as a ‘brilliant brainwave’

Of course it wasn’t overly brilliant, but it certainly was the spark for me that got my creative juices going and became a satisfying outlet for me to find something that ‘floats my boat’ so to speak.

I’d call that an inspired thought, or ‘inspiration’ which is on a slightly different wavelength from ‘motivation’

Motivation, as I see it, is more like being driven (even if it is yourself that’s doing the driving) to do something because the outcome appears to be rewarding in some way or other and therefore something to reach for.

On the other hand, I think an inspired thought is a thought that manages to float free of any resistant thought that might normally hold it back.

My sister had suggested I start a blog a couple of years ago, but my resistance to technology at the time, made me relegate that idea to the back burner. (I’ve always enjoyed the thrill of writing, but had no particular topic in mind and was certain that (aside from my writing skills), starting a blog would require more technical acumen than I possessed.)

Then one fine day, when I happened to be pleasantly occupied and happily busy with something totally different, the idea of starting a blog peeked out from the shadows.

This time though, my guard was down and suddenly the idea of a blog seemed like a ‘brilliant brainwave’. Suffused as I was, with my then freshly discovered ‘Law of Attraction’, a blog seemed like the perfect platform for me to share my thoughts with anyone who was on a similar journey and would appreciate/resonate with my insights. I had no idea how to go about it but was simply eager and excited to start. It wasn’t long before I happened to think of a friend I knew who’d be happy to help. I asked her and she obliged very willingly. Everything then flowed smoothly into place.

Looking back I can see the mechanics of how this unfolded.
My passion for writing, combined with my enthusiasm for understanding how life works, had transformed themselves into an energy that was bubbling within me, ripe and ready to be released.
Then one day, caught up as I was in a happy relaxed mood, any guardedness on that subject I may have had was lowered and without any effort I managed to get my ‘ducks in a row’. The momentum of my thought suddenly outweighed my resistance and my inspired thought floated free into my conscious mind as a ‘brilliant brainwave’ Then, with Law of Attraction operating as it always does in the background, one inspired thought led to another and another.

Of course I could’ve motivated myself to start my blog the minute it was suggested, but it would’ve been a totally different journey for me. I’d have had to hack through my resistance (of technology), rather than let it melt away with the passion of my bubbling desires.

I guess I prefer the fresh and scenic path of inspired thought rather than the more scripted route of ‘motivation’.
And I truly believe each one of us has far more inspired thoughts than we realize – simmering within us, just waiting to be released!


© 2018 G.A.I.L

Path of Least Resistance

There are a myriad of different ways to go about doing anything, but we tend to choose the path that feels the most comfortable. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that! In the same way that water finds its own level, I guess we all have our own unique styles of figuring out ways to achieve our goals.

In my case, my kids helped me to see that there isn’t just one prescribed way of accomplishing anything. As a new mother I’d happily assumed that I knew better what was good for them, simply because I had more life experience than they did. I also believed I could see further down the track than they were capable of doing. (I dare say most mothers are guilty of exactly the same thing.)

But that was before I even realized what the path of least resistance was all about.

As a lot of parents do by default, I simply assumed that my kids needed to follow my path of least resistance and not their own path! When they were little, I insisted on a bed time of 8 o’clock. This was pretty much non-negotiable because I truly believed that rest was important and I was keen on them developing good habits. My own childhood had been a little chaotic, with no fun bedtime routines and no enforced bedtime either. I would often end up sleeping later than I probably ought to have and seldom woke up fully refreshed. My path of least resistance therefore, was to chalk out a better routine for my children and guide them to follow it.

They however resisted my carefully structured routine to different degrees. My older son insisted he couldn’t get sleep and I was powerless to dispute that. I slowly began to relax into allowing them some degree of autonomy over the years, rather than insist on them doing something I was convinced was ‘good’ for them. I began to sense that any resistance on their part would most certainly negate any good habits I might’ve been forcibly trying to heap on them.

Needless to say, I now see things a lot differently. I believe there is a River of Life that exists for all of us, that we can choose to go with—or not. I now understand that we go with the flow when we’re satisfied— and we move against the current when we’re not.  There will always be people around us on similar journeys (but of course not at exactly the same point) who will give us a friendly tip or two. It is up to each one of us to consider carefully any advice that comes our way and see if it will serve us, either at that moment or sometime in the future.

While children may often seem uninterested in the things that seem important to us, they really are carving out a path for themselves which to them, is easier and far more satisfying. While it may not yield the results their parents were hoping for in the short term, they are indeed having a more scenic and fulfilled ride.  And as they course down their own path of least resistance they often make a definite contribution to the whole, as in with new inventions or a new way of doing things.

Many of the older generation believe that kids spend too much of time on their devices. I don’t disagree at all with that observation. But I would argue that even whilst they do so, they are in fact picking up valuable skills that can enable them to navigate easily and confidently through a rapidly evolving technological world. Isn’t that simply their path of least resistance—as they move from one satisfied moment to the next?

There is a certain degree of incongruence in expecting children to blindly follow their parents’ ways without question. If that were the case, then nothing would’ve moved past the Stone Age where people rubbed rocks together to light a fire!

Many of our beliefs hinder our journey in the same way that rocks or fallen tree stumps force a river to alter its course. Thoughts of unworthiness, guilt or even a perceived misconception that we may not be good enough, can block the flow for a while.

But in my understanding of how the Universe works (with Law of Attraction as the engine that drives it along) there will always be a path of lesser resistance that opens up to create a manifestation. What I mean is that we, (as consciousness personified) actually attract to ourselves, experiences and rendezvous that move us along the River of Life. While illness, accidents and ‘disasters’ of any kind are definitely the most undesirable of all manifestations they also hold the potential for immense spiritual growth.

With the benefit of hindsight I can now see how my journey through illness was the path of least resistance for me. I attracted a medical condition that was not absolutely life threatening, but was serious enough that I had to stop and take stock of my life and everything that was important to me.  I had always had an insatiable thirst to know more about the purpose of life and how everything fits together. But my curiosity always seemed to take a backseat to my role as a mother, which I took very seriously.  And through a somewhat convoluted path, I managed to find answers to many of the questions I had asked. My new found ‘clarity’ may be old news to many people, but it’s huge for me. And now that I get it, it all seems so simple…

I know my viewpoint will seem incredulous if not outrageous to a lot of people and I certainly don’t expect everyone to buy into my philosophy. But l do feel inspired to share my insights because there may be someone on a journey close enough to mine who can hear what I have to say, use it if it resonates, or store it for later.

I’m okay with that … because after all, there isn’t only one prescribed way of doing anything. At the end of the day all of us get to choose which path we take.

 

© 2018 G.A.I.L

Bending Reality

I’ve been brought up to tell the truth and I dare say I’ve always done a fantastic job. But now that I think of it, the ‘truth’ could always do with a little bit of whitewashing now and then.

People call this a white lie and any self-righteous person will recoil at the very idea of making peace with something so horribly taboo.

I’m beginning to think there are occasions when reality can be bent just a little bit, especially when the situation demands it. It’s easy to overlook the incredible power that a simple stroke of whitewash can give, in mitigating a bad situation and soothing it into a better place. What’s even better is that it accomplishes far more than a bucket load of explanation!

One perfect example of this is when I was a little kid—probably around five years old or so. I can’t remember exactly how, but I’d just come upon the realization that death was inevitable.

I was totally shocked to know that I too was doomed to die some day and I simply could not bear the thought.

I can still recall that feeling of panic rising in me as I confronted my mother about this.

“You mean all of us die?” I asked, quite horrified.

“Yes,” she replied, taking the time to sit me down and explain quite seriously that that was just how it was.

“But I don’t want to die,” I whimpered desperately.

Young as I was, I was fully aware of the concern in my mother’s eyes as she seemed to understand my fear, yet felt justifiably bound by parental responsibility.

“But we all have to die,” she explained patiently, watching with a tinge of sadness as I crumbled before her very eyes.

There and then you see, my world was shattered!

Up till then I’d been pretty sure that my mum could fix any problem—and here she was, admitting that she was powerless to save my life!

Most sensible people will agree that my mum’s response was very reasonable indeed.

I on the other hand, believe that a ‘white lie’ here would’ve been totally justified.

In my opinion it would’ve been that soft cushion of hope that had the power to soothe a childhood fear and pave the way to accepting the inevitable at a more suitable time.

My own response as a mother would’ve been totally different. (In fact I’d been waiting patiently all these years for my own kids to come along and ask me the same question, but unfortunately they never did, lol.)

I’d have said, “Yes I too have heard that we all die, but I’m not sure that has to be the case for everyone.”

I’d wait for that to sink in before I continued quite matter-of-factly, “I’ll just tell God that you don’t want to die …and you won’t have to, alright?”

I’m sure any mother could’ve gotten away with this, because especially at the age of five, mothers mean the world to their kids—mine certainly did! Of course everything changes with the onset of the teen years, when almost anything a parent says seems downright ridiculous—but that’s a different story.

People make too much of a deal about ‘always speaking the truth’.  Because when you think about it, the story of Santa Claus is the jolliest white lie ever told!

© 2018 G.A.I.L

Missed Interpretation

I was off to visit a friend with my sister-in-law, and asked my older son (who was around three at the time), if he’d like to come along.

‘I’m going to see Myrtle,’ I said. ‘Would you like to come?’ He had no idea who this person was and my invitation was very casual. He’d been busy playing with his favourite uncle and I seriously didn’t think he’d want to interrupt that, for a visit with one of my friends. But he came along very readily which surprised me, and I couldn’t help feeling a little pleased that he chose me over his fun uncle.

When we reached, Myrtle was pleased to see us and ushered us in.

My son however was rooted at the doorway, staring down at a spot on the floor, a look of expectation on his face. ‘Where’s Myrtle?’ he asked looking around hopefully.

‘Here,’ I said, indicating Myrtle, who was amused because she guessed he was confused since he hadn’t met her before.

The look of hope on his face was being replaced quickly by disappointment and suddenly I had a flash of insight that made me chuckle.

He had interpreted Myrtle as ‘turtle‘ and was expecting to see one he could actually play with! (We had been to the aquarium a few times before and had seen plenty of turtles there.)

Fortunately for us, he handled his disappointment well and I didn’t have to confess this innocent misunderstanding to Myrtle. But I did explain it to him on the way home and he seemed to understand the subtle difference in sound that had made such a big difference to him.

I think of this incident often when I realise that people often hear one thing and interpret it as something quite different, based on what is currently active in their lives at the time.

I guess all of us can see only through the lens of our own perspective. That’s the same reason why eyewitness accounts are similar, but never exactly the same. Everyone reports a different aspect of the same situation. We choose to see different aspects according to what’s going on vibrationally within us.

For example if we’re feeling vulnerable for whatever reason, any idle comment can very easily be perceived as something totally different from what may have been intended.

Law of Attraction which is always operating in the background tends to offer thoughts of similar vibrational frequency, which only adds momentum to a thought.

Very soon a small little negative thought can end up into a deep rooted belief that actually creates a totally different point of attraction.

I think it’s always a good idea to take sticky subjects with a ‘pinch of salt’ so to speak and give the other person the benefit of the doubt. This can prevent a situation from getting into a potentially negative spiral which can often spin out of control.

I used to get pretty bummed out when people did not respond to any well meaning overture of mine – be it a mail, a message or anything in between. I’d often interpret this as them not ‘caring’.

I finally had to invest in that proverbial ‘pinch of salt’ and convince myself that everyone’s outlook (or interests) are not always the same as mine and don’t have to be.

I’ve given myself permission to be who I ‘be ‘ and let them be who they ‘be’.

And the best part is that I don’t ever need to tell them that Myrtle never really was a turtle! 😉

© 2018 G.A.I.L

Finding Resonance

I have no quarrel with people who think blogging about philosophy is a waste of time. After all, why waste time ‘thinking’ when you could just as easily live life and enjoy every moment for what it’s worth?

I agree completely.

But what about people like me who actually thrive on figuring out the pieces to the puzzle? Philosophy like everything else need not be everybody’s cup of tea. But it certainly is mine 😉

I guess I’ve always had an insatiable curiosity to know how life works. I honestly get a thrill every time I resonate with a thought or an idea someone else may have figured out before I did.

Dr. Wayne Dyer is one person whose philosophy has always struck a chord with me. He has shaped my thinking over the years with his various books and really expanded my understanding. One of his favorite quotes was “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change”. What an interesting concept, that has the potential to yield such amazing results!

Perhaps each philosophy I resonate with is something I may have subconsciously suspected, which suddenly makes total sense when I came across it and makes me feel connected in a way I cannot explain.

Sometimes I’m faced with a question to which I have no immediate answer. For instance, the other day a good friend asked me what might be the end result I hoped to achieve by starting this blog. Besides my hope of finding resonance with other people who are reaching for the same understanding as I am, I could think of nothing.

And while this question was still brewing in my mind I came upon a quote by Maya Angelou (literally within a few hours) which left me quite startled.

Her words were, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” This was a perfectly accurate description of how I see myself, yet her words said it far more succinctly than I could at the time. My blog is simply a reflection of that feeling.

I’m a great example of someone who’s not perfect, but who thinks that life is! We get to enjoy the perfection of this universe any way we choose.

Far from feeling cheated about my illness, I found that my innate desire to know about life sent me on a journey of self-discovery. My illness was simply the catalyst that propelled me forward.

I stumbled upon something I never even knew existed until then—i.e. Law of Attraction, which I’m discovering is very real and very consistent. I also realized that I was never going to be content with just surviving, but actually thriving!

I thought it was a remarkable coincidence to come upon Maya Angelou’s quote at that time.
Coincidences as we see them are incidents that come together, in a seemingly random fashion. But are they really all that random?

I truly believe in the theory that every thought that has ever been thought still exists in a cyberspace of sorts. Law of Attraction simply organizes the rendezvous with these thoughts when our asking is strong and we have no resistance to receiving the answer.

My unspoken question (to the Universe) about my purpose in blogging attracted to me an answer that filled in the blank for me.

I do not consciously intend filling in anyone’s blanks for them. I’d rather just put my thoughts out there for anyone to use when the moment is right. And I don’t have to be the one to choose that moment for them. Law of Attraction will take care of that!

© 2018 G.A.I.L