Reduce Holiday Stress and Experience Peace of Mind

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Reduce-Holiday-Stress-Peace-of-MindWith holiday festivities to host and attend, families and friends to connect with and visit, gifts to buy, food to prepare, with time and money at a premium, you may find yourself tied up in ribbons.

The American Psychological Association, reported that one in three adults in the U.S. experience extreme stress on a continuing basis. I imagine these numbers are compounded during the holidays.

I invite you to remember that it is my true nature to be happy, healthy, full of energy, creative, expansive, inspired. It is my true nature to want connect with others, imagine what is possible and create it.I experience stress when I am out of alignment with my true nature.

  • I could be out of alignment because what I am thinking, saying or doing is really not true to me. It’s not what I envision or hope for myself and others.
  • I could be out of alignment because something is happening or someone is behaving in a way that is different than what I expect, what I believe, what I have learned, what I have practiced, what I value.
  • I could be out of alignment because I am in a state of force.
  • I could be out of alignment because of how I am thinking a thought.

When I am out of alignment for whatever reason, my brain acts as if I am in physical danger and, delivers to me the fight, flight, and freeze thoughts that I have practiced.

Of course, I am not in physical danger. My brain, bless its heart, doesn’t know that and goes into a state of flight, fight, or freeze anyway.  It delivers thoughts of worry, frustration, anxiety, anger, disappointment, insecurity, criticism, depression….and other fight, flight and freeze thoughts that I have practiced in similar circumstances.

Without self-awareness, that’s where I remain–in fight, flight, or freeze. With self-awareness, I can pause, take a breath, and add light to the situation. I can choose thoughts that move me in a direction that helps me create what I truly want and be my highest vision.

Here are some powerful thoughts to practice during the holiday season to rise to a new level of consciousness, restore your ability to discover what truly matters to you, receive ideas on what to do next, and experience peace of mind and the joy of the season.

  1. List everything you think you want to accomplish during the holidays, and ask yourself, “What does this bring me?” for each item. Keep asking and answering the question “What does this bring me?” until you get to the essence of what you want. If the essence of what you want does not bring you peace or inspire you, then you can cross the item off your list and wonder what you could think, say, or do to accomplish the essence of what you truly want.
  2. Notice  “I have to,” “I need to” and “I should” thoughts. As soon as you catch yourself thinking one of these forceful, often judgmental (and exhausting) thoughts, restate the thought using “I am,” “I choose,” “I am committed to,” “It could be great if” or “I wonder how I can” and finish the thought with what difference you are making for yourself and others by doing what you are choosing to do. Turning these forceful thoughts into thoughts of intention and wonder help us to reclaim our lives, discover what we really want and open us to the many ideas on how we could achieve it.
  3. Take a deep breath,  focus on the exhale, (holding my breath actually contributes to stress!) and think “I wonder what truly matters in this moment?”  Take as many breaths as it takes until you feel a click, back in alignment, true to you. Re-invoking the state of wonder is a sure-fire way to reduce stress, spark creativity, and  stay fully present and focused on what really matters, what truly brings peace and joy.

I invite you to practice any one of the above suggestions and see what happens.

 

© 2014 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

How are You BEING Today?

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Mary J. Lore How are You BEING Today?As I reflected on the recent Labor Day holiday, I realized that we have become a nation of laborers.

We love to labor. We are busy, busy, busy, doing, doing, doing.

When we face a big challenge or a difficult situation, we labor. We cancel vacation, skip lunch, work through the weekend, and stay late to fix the problem, put out the fire, accomplish the result.

To succeed, we labor. We struggle, strive, do whatever it takes. We put in the hours, persevere, expend blood, sweat, and tears-no pain no gain!

Our heads are filled with what we need to, have to, should, and must do. We do things to force ourselves to get motivated. We even go into labor when we are giving birth to our children!

In my Managing Thought® workshops on Inspired Leadership, I ask everyone to think of the best and worst leaders they have ever worked with and what about these leaders made them the best and worst.

The big aha! is that nothing on these lists is about doing. It’s all about being:

Being of service.
Being honest, sincere, humble, trusting, consistent.
Being thoughtful, caring, compassionate.
Being thankful, appreciative, giving, and forgiving.
Being open, receptive, adaptable, curious.
Being a teacher and a continuous learner.
Being energetic, optimistic, fun.
Being on purpose, intentional, inspired, and inspiring.

It’s about BEING a leader.

As a nation, we tend to do in order to become. We have practiced and mastered believing that doing, motivating, forcing – laboring – brings results. It doesn’t. It brings linear, less than 10%, kind of changes, short-term results. And we find ourselves stressed, ill, unhappy, and uninspired.

Being brings step-function changes, profound change, significant and long-term results. And we find ourselves happy, healthy, and energized.

When we are being, we focus on being who we are and what we truly wish to create in any moment. The ideas on how to BE and what we could create naturally follow, naturally flow. Our channels are open, our minds are clear, and remarkable things start to happen.

We start being our highest vision of ourselves. We notice the difference we are making. Our work becomes effortless and we become energized because our decisions and actions are inspired.

Many of us do in order to become – at some time in the future.

When I am being, I am being what I am becoming-right now. I AM my highest vision, I AM inspired, I AM whatever I am choosing to become  right NOW-in this moment and in this moment and in this moment.

Stuff happens all day long. In every moment I have the opportunity to BE what I am becoming.No matter what has happened or is happening. I have the power to pause, take a breath, and wonder how I could BE a leader right now, BE a parent, BE a friend, BE of service, BE thankful, BE happy, BE healthy, BE the change I wish to see in the world…BE whatever I choose to BE.

I invite you to notice when you are operating from a love of labor-when you are busy doing, in a state of fear and force, trying to motivate yourself or others, in the need to/have to/must mode.

Change it to a labor of love and inspiration. Take a breath (perhaps several breaths) and wonder:

  • How can I BE my highest vision right now?
  • What can I create from this?
  • How could I be of highest service right now?
  • How could I help?
  • How could I demonstrate love and ignite inspiration?

Then take some time to be quiet. Take a walk, get some fresh air, exercise, do what you enjoy and WONDER.

We all have the ability to wonder and get our answers.

What’s your M.O.? Love of labor or labor of love? Being or Doing?

How are you BEING today?

© 2014 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Guest Blogger Kris Taylor Asks: What Word Should (Might) You Want to Remove from Your Vocabulary?

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No ShouldingToday’s guest blogger is Kris Taylor, the founder of Evergreen Leadership. Kris is a respected colleague and friend with a proven track record of promoting, leading, and implementing positive change.

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I had the opportunity to meet a brilliant young man this week. His list of accomplishments was long, his skill-set was broad, and his impact on others was positive and deep. Yet it was clear that he was struggling with a bad case of the “shoulds” – and the second-guessing that came with it. He should have gone to college sooner, should have had a better idea of where he was headed, should have stuck with his business venture longer, should be in a better job…

We all carry around some “shoulds” – both past and present. The list of past ”shoulds” is long and may include: I should have gone to different school, followed a different major, pursued a different career, tried harder, risked more, married differently, taken that opportunity, stayed with it longer.  And we all have an equally long list of present ”shoulds”.  They might include: I should make more money, have a better house, be a better boss, be a better parent, spend more time at work, spend more time at home, go back to school, exercise more, eat less, be kinder, make more money, work harder, relax more.

I’d like to suggest that you banish the word should (and even need to) from your vocabulary. The words connote an obligation or duty, rather than a choice or free will. “I should get a new job.” is heavy and onerous,  and conveys inaction and guilt. The “shoulds” wear us out – make our load heavy. Our past “shoulds” have us looking in the rear view mirror and beating ourselves up for missed opportunities or perceived missteps. Our future “shoulds” burden us with obligations that may or may not serve us well.

Contrast the thought “I should get a new job.” to these:

  • “I am choosing to stick with this job for the next year.”
  • “I am committed to making the best of this job, even if it is not where I want to be forever.”
  •  “It’s time for me to find a job that is a fit for me.”
  • “I wonder what steps I might take to find a job that is a fit for me.”
  • “I am curious about what I would like in a different job.”

Mary Lore, whose work on Managing Thought inspires me, provides a list of substitute words – that are accountable, freeing and focused. Instead of using the words need to, have to or should – try these substitutes:

  • I am choosing…
  • I am committed to…
  • It’s important to me that I…
  • I could…
  • Based on where I was, I chose to… Today, I am choosing…
  • I wonder how I can…
  • It could be great if…

When I began to substitute these words for my “shoulds” – there was a little jolt. This was followed by a sense of freedom – and letting go of some guilt and pressure I put on myself. I began to forgive myself and let go of past decisions and actions – and make conscious choices in the present. And I began to own the choices I was making – and make them with intention based on what I really wanted, rather than an amorphous obligation weighing on me from some other source.

So see if you can shed some “shoulds” and see what happens.

© 2014 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

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Kris Taylor has brought together her keen insights about organizations, change and leadership to create Evergreen Leadership.  Over the past 9 years, hundreds of leaders from 50 companies across the country have worked with Kris and her talented associates for help in successfully implementing large scale, mission critical change initiatives. Evergreen Leadership reflects Kris’s signature talent of creating high impact learning programs where leaders emerge with deep insights about their own personal leadership and learn how to lead others in today’s fast paced and uncertain environment.

Being vs. Doing

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Mary J Lore Being vs DoingIt’s self-awareness month and with the recent celebration of Labor Day, I am reminded that we are a nation of laborers. White collar, blue collar, working, not working—we labor. We are busy, busy, busy, doing, doing, doing.

When we find ourselves with a big challenge or facing a difficult situation, we have taught ourselves to labor, to do, do, do. We cancel vacations, skip lunch, work on the weekends, stay late, and force ourselves to think until we have our answers, solved the problem, put out the fire, accomplished the result.

We believe that doing, laboring – force – brings results. We do in order to be.

What if we started with being?

Think about it—when do you get your best ideas? When I ask this in a Managing Thought® workshop, most people say – When I am in the shower.  When I first wake up.  When I am on a walk. When I am exercising.  When I’m driving. When I am relaxing. When I’m on vacation. When I am meditating. When I’m having fun and doing something I love to do.

What’s in common with these responses? You got it — we let go of our thoughts! We’re not forcing ourselves to think our thoughts. We’re not doing. We are being. And because we are being, we gain access to our highest awareness and creativity and what inspires us.

When our channels are open, our minds are clear, the world changes, and remarkable things start to happen. Creative ideas emerge when we give our minds a rest, when we do what we love to do. We don’t waste time, energy, or money. Gone are the constricting feelings of heaviness, burden, and stress and the thoughts of struggle, striving, obligation, overwhelm and being a victim.

When we are being, we focus on what is significant. We start being who we wish to become and what we wish to create. What we do naturally follows, naturally flows. Our work becomes effortless and we become energized because our decisions and actions are inspired.

So the next time you notice that your thinking and doing is labored, instead, wonder what the solution could be, wonder how you could be who you want to be and what you wish to create. Then take some time to be quiet, take a walk, get some fresh air, exercise, do what you enjoy, and see what happens.

We all have the ability to ask ourselves questions, wonder and listen for the answers. We discover the right thing to do and how to do it.  We find a power within that indeed transforms us. We become inspired and inspire others.

What if you could BE who you truly are? Learn how at http://www.MindfulnessMonday.com

 

For daily self-awareness thoughts and inspiration follow Managing Thought on Twitter or “like” Managing Thought on Facebook to receive them as they post.

For additional ideas on cultivating your life-well lived, check out this inspiring video: Resolutions, Intentions and Affirmations for a Life Well-Lived.

© 2012 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Replacing Weak Thought Patterns with Powerful Thought Patterns

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Replacing Weak Thought Patterns Mary LoreWe shape our thoughts by choosing our intentions, asking ourselves powerful questions, and making powerful statements to ourselves. We also shape our thoughts by replacing weak thought patterns with powerful thought patterns.

In my book, Managing Thought: Think Differently. Think Powerfully. Achieve New Levels of Success., I refer to the book Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins, MD, Ph.D. I mention that the energy of a thought can be measured and that “the difference in power between a loving thought and a fearful thought is so enormous as to be beyond the capacity of the human imagination to easily comprehend.”

When I first read this, I was taken aback. I experienced an incredible aha! Until that moment, I approached my work and my own self-cultivation by looking for what was wrong and then working on making it right.

Another big aha! for me was learning that what I considered to be less virtuous bad thoughts were neither good nor bad. They were merely a function of viewpoint, which is the accumulation of my thought patterns.

The biggest aha! for me was the realization that by lifting my thoughts higher and higher each day, I make a difference.

The current theme of my Daily Inspiration Thoughts of the Day is Replacing Weak Thought Patterns with Powerful Thought Patterns. There are three posts a day offering guidance on choosing and focusing on powerful thoughts vs. weak thoughts. Follow or visit Managing Thought on Twitter to receive them as they post or come back to this blog daily and view the Daily Inspiration on Twitter feed in the right-hand menu bar.

For additional practical guidance on powerful and weak thought patterns, check out Chapter 15 of Managing Thought or David Hawkins, MD, Ph.D’s book  Power vs. Force.

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Spring is a Great Time for Renewal and Achieving Balance

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BalanceI always look forward to the coming of spring. It’s a time of renewal and growth. And just as I choose the seeds I wish to plant in my garden, so do I choose the thoughts I intend to cultivate.

Many of us wish to cultivate balance in our lives. We say that other priorities get in the way or that we lack discipline and thankfully, these are not the reasons that balance evades us.

The current theme of my Daily Inspiration Thoughts of the Day is Balance. There are three posts a day offering guidance on how to transform the thinking that actually gets in the way of achieving balance. Follow or visit Managing Thought on Twitter to receive them as they post or come back to this blog daily and view the Daily Inspiration on Twitter feed in the right-hand menu bar.

If you really want to cultivate balance in your life, click here to listen to audio, download a PDF or read the online version of my newest Forward ThinkingTM Reminder, Want Balance? Here’s How to Make that Goal Stick.

I also did an interview on balance on my Heartbeat Radio show with Michelle Wargo. Click here to listen.

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Thinking Powerfully is Positive Thinking on a Whole New Level

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Powerful ThinkingIn my own journey, when I started practicing self-awareness and managing my thoughts, I was surprised to discover that I was making thousands of choices and thousands of decisions every day. I was surprised to discover that in one moment, I could dramatically change the course of my life, my work, my relationships, just by understanding and changing how I choose to think. I also realized that practicing “positive thinking” or thinking “happy thoughts” as we are often taught to do just doesn’t work.

So I don’t use the term positive thinking in Managing Thought®. I use the term powerful thinking.

There is a distinctive difference between thinking positively and thinking powerfully.

Positive thoughts often do not work. Often, if they do work, they work only temporarily. We’ve all experienced this when we get all motivated to make a change after we have listened to a speaker, read a book, made resolutions, or heard a rah-rah pep talk. Two weeks later, we’re back to the way we were.

Powerful thoughts, on the other hand do work. Powerful thoughts inspire us, spark creativity, access our highest awareness, and bring us ideas that move us in a direction that serves our purpose.

The current theme of my Daily Inspiration Thoughts of the Day is Thinking Powerfully. There are three posts a day offering guidance on how to transform negative thinking and focus on what you want to achieve significant results. Follow or visit Managing Thought on Twitter to receive them as they post or come back to this blog daily and view the Daily Inspiration on Twitter feed in the right-hand menu bar.

If you want more on thinking powerfully, click here to listen to audio, download a PDF or read online.

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

The Power of Imagination

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This blog is blog number four in a series of reflections on lessons in Managing Thought during the recent sudden move of my parents — lessons we can apply every day at work and in life.

When I was helping my parents with the move, I found bags and bags and bags and bags of bags! I share this to give you an idea of what my dad was feeling when he said, “What am I gonna do with this stuff? It won’t fit in the apartment. Maybe we shouldn’t move.”  He was clearly experiencing the flight and freeze of fight, flight or freeze.

As he started rummaging through it all, he became increasingly overwhelmed, “Why did we keep this? We don’t need that,” criticizing himself and my mom.

I suggested to Dad that he focus on what he wanted to keep. I imagined Dad doing what he loves to do.  He loves to cook, golf, read, listen to music and educational tapes, go on walks, exercise, tinker, purify his water, watch war movies.  He often said he’d like to get back to doing water color.

We had agreed to take this “journey of a thousand miles”, one step at a time. So I first suggested he gather everything he wanted to keep relating to his art supplies. When that was done, he focused on his golf keepers. Then he gathered the books and tapes he wanted to keep …

As he gathered these things, he perked up. He started talking about what he planned to paint and how he could set up his bench in his room. He spoke of the golf league he wanted to join and jotted down a note to himself to call about signing up. He wondered how he could practice French and put that on a list to talk about with the activities director at his new place. He was no longer stressed and concerned by all the stuff. And he was developing an action plan to accomplish his vision. The stuff that was left was what was left! He could choose to give it to friends or family, donate, sell, recycle or put in the trash.

When we take a moment to imagine ourselves doing and being what brings us joy and inspires us, then we become inspired and we receive ideas on how to create what we imagine. When we stay focused on what we truly we want, on what really matters, in work and in life, we receive ideas on how to create and expand upon what we really want.

We don’t waste time, energy, and money, getting rid of or letting go of what we don’t want. What we don’t want or what doesn’t matter is no longer a focus and shows itself out.

Einstein said, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.”

Are you focused on what you really want? Or on what you don’t want? What could you imagine?

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

The Do-Over is an Amazing Managing Thought Tool

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I call the Do-Over the Amazing Managing Thought tool. Because Self-awareness takes practice. True happiness takes practice. It is a constant awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and choices. Telling ourselves that we need to think more positively or be happy doesn’t do anything. And criticizing ourselves for thinking “bad” thoughts doesn’t work either. It is practice that makes permanent. It’s practicing noticing our thoughts and feelings and, if they are not in alignment with who we truly are, taking a breath (focusing on the exhale), adding light, and choosing thoughts that move us in a direction that serves our purpose. Remember, our brains are fast—very fast. And we want them to be fast. So there’s no reason to be surprised when our brains continue to quickly deliver to us old, habitual thoughts (followed quickly by our mouths!) That’s what the do-over is for—to give our brains a script and practice the script to re-wire our neural nets. It’s like learning to ride a bike, play tennis, or golf! With practice, our new way of thinking and being becomes natural for us.

My next series of daily inspiration thoughts of the day on are focused on do-overs and making slow gradual changes that are lasting.

Visit or follow Managing Thought on Twitter to receive the Do-Over Daily Inspiration Thoughts of the Day (three a day) as they post or read the Daily Inspiration on Twitter feed in the right menu of this blog.

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Focus on the Now

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In my Managing Thought book and workshop DVD I talk about how there is no such thing as the future, that the future is an illusion. What we do have is a NOW followed by a NOW followed by a whole lot of NOWs. We do not suddenly become bankrupt. We have a series of bankrupt NOW moments. We do not suddenly become a great leader or a great parent or healthy. We have a series of great leader or great parent or healthy NOW moments. And it’s the same with accomplishing a goal. It doesn’t suddenly happen. Goals are fulfilled when we have achieved a critical mass of NOW moments that are in alignment with our vision.

Asking powerful questions in a proactive rather than a reactive way and focusing on the NOW brings about a state of wonder and generates ideas and possibilities for this NOW moment. In the words of Tennessee R. Harris – It’s not the answers that show us the way, but the questions.

The current theme of my Daily Inspiration Thoughts of the Day is Focus on the Now. There are three posts a day offering guidance on how to focus on the NOW to achieve significant results in work and in life. Follow or visit Managing Thought on Twitter to receive them as they post or come back to this blog daily and view the Daily Inspiration on Twitter feed in the right-hand menu bar.

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Goals are fulfilled when we have achieved a critical mass of NOW moments that are in alignment with our vision.