Forget the Reward Mindset: 3 Tips to Release Energy, Rejoice in Your Business, and Relish Your Life More

reward yourself phrase handwritten on blackboard with heart symbol instead of O

When you are working with one foot in a more conscious, spiritual, and aware world, and another in a project or business of some kind, it becomes really vital to your own health, energy and soul to make sure your actions are coming from a place of integrity.

It would be lovely if business in and of itself was conscious, spiritual and aware, but it’s only just beginning to change more towards this, and in the meantime it’s up to you and me to honour ourselves and our businesses or projects and do things differently!

I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common ways you may be blocking the natural energy of your own life and business. All of them are about releasing energy; it is quite amazing the extent to which human beings hold energy back, or at least try to. Go through the list, tick off the ones that apply to you and then read on to discover how you can begin to let them go.

Energy Blocks:

  • illness of all kinds, small or big
  • tension
  • not coping with potentially stressful situations
  • being crabby
  • being inappropriately angry
  • going off in a huff
  • sitting on top of something you know needs to be expressed
  • blurting out what you think in inappropriate situations
  • having a strop
  • insisting on being right
  • refusing to listen and hear another person’s point of view
  • being stubborn
  • being consistently disorganized
  • Keeping on going to your own pity party
  • Focusing on what you haven’t got
  • Wishing things were different, without taking any action

And there are no doubt lots more – if you know one of yours that’s not on this list add it in the comments below!

So here’s 3 specifics to help you on a daily basis with these energy blocks:

  1. Forget the reward mindset – do the thing you really want to do first.

When I recommended this at a networking meeting recently, there was horror on almost everyone’s faces. Comments such as

I couldn’t do that! I’d never get anything done, ever!
I’d just spend my time doing what I love and not get to the other things

Oh my goodness! I’d feel much too guilty for that

There was only one lady who had a thoughtful look on her face. ‘Mmm’, she said, ‘that means I’d have to trust that I would eventually do the thing that needed doing, whether I liked it or not.’

And that’s true. This pointer is all about how much you are willing to trust yourself. If you are heavily into the very common belief that says ‘you need to do what you dislike first, get it out the way, and then you can get onto what you love doing’, then you’re in the reward mindset. Which is not surprising as that’s the way most of us have been brought up, reinforced by the educational system in the West, and reiterated by the business culture.

But Wild Wisdom says do your work or business, and your life, differently.

In this case it means being willing to turn the reward system upside down, and give yourself the reward first, thereby releasing huge amounts of energy which you can bring to the thing you didn’t want to do.

Yes, it is risky! Yes, you will have to try it and see what happens! Yes, you might fall at the first fence – but I doubt it. It’s much more likely you will have a go and discover all sorts of things about yourself that you didn’t know.

I first discovered how much this way of living and working suited me when it was snowingSnow one Monday morning, many years ago. I really wanted to go out and play in the snow, not be tied to my computer doing what needed to be done by lunchtime. My mind said – ‘get the work done first, and then reward yourself by going out in the snow.’ My heart said, like a small excited child, ‘Snow! Snow! I want to play out there now!’ – and this time I heard it. So by 9.30 am I was out in the garden playing, and I’d had enough after an hour. Returning to my desk, and the work that needed to get done, felt fine. What’s more, I completed it within plenty of time (even though I had started over an hour ‘late’). So you see – energy is released that often allows the completion of what needs to be done in a much shorter space of time!

  1. Educate yourself about marketing and then throw much of it out the window.

Goodness, is this sacrilege? There are so many ‘gurus’ out there telling you exactly what to do to get your message across, to sell more, to be more successful, to make more money, to get more clients. They often have useful information to share. Plus they often have very tempting programmes or products to sell.

I’ve spent a lot on quite a few of these, studied with some of the biggest names in the online sacred marketing business, like Mark Silver, Bill Baren, Kendall Summerhawk to name but a few.

And I still come down to the bottom line – learn what you need to learn and then adapt it to your own market. But not until you have taken time out, checked in with your heart, and can make a decision that is not based on an emotional state. Because decisions based on emotions may be fine – but they’re often rooted in fear, which is likely to cause havoc further down the line.

So it is important to learn, but it is also important to value what you already know.

Not because you know better; not because what you are being taught doesn’t apply to your particular market; not even because everyone should value what they know.

But because if in the long run you don’t listen to your inherent wisdom, you will be out of integrity with yourself which can cause all kinds of problems.

And remember you can only listen to your wisdom to the extent that you do! You may even make decisions thinking you are being wise, only to discover years later that they weren’t that wise after all! You cannot know for sure – but you can give yourself every opportunity to listen to the still, small voice within, and then to act on its’ instructions.

I know about this, because I learnt a lot about buy to let property and how to invest in it; and then, in a rush to buy in case prices went even higher (this was at the height of the property boom) I got an attack of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and bought 2 properties. I thought I was doing exactly what I had learnt, but I missed a few crucial pieces of information, and the most important was taking the time to really quieten down, release the excitement, and discover what was wanting to be heard.

I’m now paying the price in the form of considerable negative equity and challenges in renting. A hard way to learn this lesson – and all because I obeyed the experts, and forgot that the only person who can be an expert in me, is me.

  1. Move towards feelings you don’t like, rather than away from them.

I used to encourage people to feel their feelings, actively. And you may be someone who doesn’t easily connect to what you are feeling, in which case learning to feel is really important. But it can often be your feelings which get in the way of you creating a life and business of ease and grace. Why? Because the amount of time you spend resisting whatever you feel is directly proportional to the amount of time you spend suffering.

This means that the longer you ignore what is really going on, the more you keep your head in the sand, the further you push away a niggling feeling under the surface, the more likely you are to be having a bad time – simply because you are resisting.

Imagine that a feeling, say fear, comes knocking at your front door. You know it’s fear, you can feel the stirrings of anxiety, you desperately want to keep the door locked, the lid on, to tie the battens down.   The very last thing you want to do is admit there is any fear there at all, let alone let it in.

And yet, this is exactly what needs to happen. An emotion is there because it has a message for you. You don’t need to open the door wide and invite it to stay for ever. It won’t anyway, as the one thing guaranteed about feelings is that once they are felt, they move and change.

However, my suggestion is that you open your front door wide, and open the back door at the same time. The feeling can then come in, be felt, and flow easily through your house and out the back door, having delivered whatever message it has.

I learnt this well in relation to anger, and I learnt it from my late husband, Philip. He was brilliant at approaching me when I was obviously angry. The anger would be coming out in irritation, being a bit spiteful, short-tempered maybe. Instead of retaliating in kind, or ignoring me, he would (literally) walk towards me, asking what was really going on underneath. For my part, I was willing to look under the anger to the message it had, and to admit that. In these moments, the anger would dissolve, the issue would come to the fore, and we would be walking in tandem once more.

Instead of retaliating in kind, or ignoring me, he would (literally) walk towards me, asking what was really going on underneath. For my part, I was willing to look under the anger to the message it had, and to admit that. In these moments, the anger would dissolve, the issue would come to the fore, and we would be walking in tandem once more.

Invitation: On the next Monday morning, if you’re feeling resistant to what needs to be done, do something you would really love to do first instead. Be kind, keep it small and simple, like me going out in the snow. I dare you!

Where’s The Energy Flowing? Follow That!

Stumble.

Struggle.

Effort.

Toil.

Trouble

Turmoil.

These words may be familiar to you, perhaps overly familiar. They usually are accompanied by sighs, frustration, tearing your hair out, wondering if you’re in the right ‘job’, and so on.

When this is happening, you are going against the flow.

Waterfall Kamienczyk in Karkonosze in Poland

That’s a common phrase, but let’s look at it in a bit more depth. Flow is what happens when you turn the tap on. It’s what happens when you see a river (unless it is a stagnant river, in which case that’s another story). It’s what happens when a volcano erupts and lava pours down the mountainside.

It is a natural occurrence and it happens easily.  If something gets in the way, then the matter that is flowing simply finds a way around the blockage – it doesn’t stop flowing.

This applies to energy too. If you are involved in any of the healing modalities you will know this. Blockages in the natural flow of energy in the body cause problems, just like a piece of wood in the river. It causes something else to happen, other than a straightforward flow.

Flow can happen in your work too. You’ve probably experienced it – when things just seem to happen easily. Or synchronous events occur to support the flow.  It’s not even that exciting when flow is happening. It just is the way it is.

So when my coach said to me in our last session ‘Where is the energy flowing? Follow that!’  I paid attention. Because anything else is going to be trying to push against the river; trying to stop the flow of water out of the tap, let alone the flow of lava.

You’ll know this already, very likely, from common statements like ‘go with the flow’. But have you ever thought about it the other way round? Like – where is the flow happening?  Can I follow that, if I am not already?

This has been up for me recently, when it finally dawned that energy was flowing around friends or colleagues asking me how I wrote Gifted By Grief, and how I am getting it out there.  It was only after the 5th person had contacted me, and then asked for some coaching, that I finally got the message – this is where the energy is flowing! And my job is to follow that.

So ponder these questions for yourself:

  1. Where is the energy flowing in your life and work?
  2. Is it in what you are currently doing, or is it in some other place or manner?
  3. How do you feel about where it is flowing?
  4. Can you follow that?

And here’s a call to all budding or wannabe writers – if you’d like to have a conversation about how to get your book done/out there/marketed better/sold, then email me now using the contact form. I’ll get back to you pronto and we’ll see what the energy is saying!

Work Less, You’ll Get More Done. Honestly!

‘I’ll never get it all done in time!’ The words of someone under stress, harried and flustered. Very common, in all walks of life, not just work. It seems that the word ‘stress’ as in ‘I’m so stressed’ and ‘It’s so stressful’ have become a normal way of speaking and thinking. But what to do if you agree with these statements? Is it really possible to be less stressed AND get more done?

I know that it is, because it has happened for me. Since my husband’s death, which stopped me completely in my tracks, I was forced to find another way to work. I had no choice.

Hopefully you won’t be in that situation. Hopefully you won’t have to wait until a major life circumstance hits and you are forced to make changes.  Here’s 3 tips on how to do less but get more done.

  1. Stop thinking that stress is the problem.

Yes you may very well be facing difficult circumstances. It’s how you meet those that make them more or less stressful though.

Stress is just another word to which we have given too much power. You can lessen it’s power by remembering that how stressed you feel is actually down to how you meet your circumstances.  This is a turnaround, and definitely one of the attributes of Wild Wisdom!  So it’s not that there’s a stressful situation out there – situations are just what they are. Some are more intense than others of course, some are more challenging, but you can considerably lessen how stressful they are by thinking about them in different ways. For instance, if you’ve got a lot to get done on a day, re-prioritise. There is usually very little indeed that needs to be done by a certain time; it’s just that we get attached to a plan, or are trying to be efficient, or fit too many things in.

  1. Be willing to act on inspiration. When the muse takes you, even if you can’t do anything about it in that moment, make a note (verbal or written) of something that will remind you of it, so you can come to it later.  The reason this is important is because when you create from an inspired place, it always takes less time. (You can read here http://wildwisdom.co.uk/inspired-action-motivated-action/ more about the difference between inspired action and motivated action).

It takes practice to discover this, but here’s a story to inspire you. I had the idea just recently of creating a gift to give away to readers of my new book. The idea of it popped into my head (Grief Support Statement), I took action immediately and the content just poured out with ease. The whole thing took about half an hour, including formatting it.

  1. Set yourself a time limit and focus on the task for that time only. By doing this you’re creating a container within which your creativity can be safely unleashed. Once you’ve set the time, and are clear what the task is, take a few moments to settle in your chair. Close your eyes; let the edges of your body soften; notice your breathing. Relax. Then start your doing. This is the practical application of my mantra Stop. Be Still. Listen. And Only Then Act. When you do this, you’re opening the channels for flow to happen more easily, and when things are flowing they of course take less time.

If the back to front thinking in this article is proving hard for you to actually put into practice, and if you really WANT to work less, but produce more, then contact me.

August, traditionally a month of holidays, is not a holiday for me. Instead, I’m here to help you. 🙂 Email me with the answer to this question:

What is it about getting work done that is the most challenging for me?

And I’ll contact you to set up a time for a free Wild Wisdom conversation.

London Bombings, Grief and Taking a Stand

In the wake of the tenth anniversary of the London bombings I’m writing this to anyone still affected by grief after a long time.

Ten years and two days ago, a horrific thing happened, which hardly bears thinking about, even now. It affected many people, not just those caught up in the incident themselves.

When tragedy strikes in the unexpected manner in which it did in the 7/7 London bombings, it is, of course, appalling. The shock, horror and all other emotions are overwhelming. Some may have come through this and become stronger as a result. Others may still be struggling, even years on.

My heart goes out to you if this is the case; I cannot imagine what it must have been like if you were a direct victim of the bombings, or a family member of someone who died, or someone who witnessed the suffering of those affected.

I do, however, know what it feels like to have a husband die from cancer (no comparison I know, and not intended to be). What I’ve discovered, though, is that in the grieving there is a gift to be found.

If you find yourself reacting to this statement, then maybe you are still hiding from your gift. Let me tell you about what I discovered.

I found my gift as a result of my husband’s death, there is no doubt about it.

I was propelled into an obsession with discovering what it is that is in a body that makes it alive one moment, and dead the next. Everything else was irrelevant.

As I watched my husband move from breathing to no breathing, I began to need, with a burning passion, to find out what it was that had been in the ‘filled skin-and-bones bag’ that had now become an empty bag before my eyes.

The life had been literally sucked out of him, leaving behind just a lifeless body, like a deflated balloon.

Discovering that we are not a body was a profound moment of realisation.

When you know beyond doubt that you are not a body, and neither is anyone else, then when the body dies it does not matter quite so much.

A heretic statement, maybe, and it certainly doesn’t take away the pain and sorrow of the loss. But it gets to be experienced in a different way.

Because when your thinking has turned upside down, and you realize that the body, with all its thoughts, feelings and sensations, is just a temporary home for who you really are, instead of your identity being solely housed in your body, then you awaken to moments of being.

Those are eternal; not subject to the laws of time, and allow connection with those that have died.

You may have found the gift in your grief already, whatever it is for you.

It may be nothing to do with not being a body. But if you haven’t found your gift, then I invite you to consider getting curious about what a body really is.

To explore this and discover for yourself that perhaps you and your loved one really are just a breath away.

 

 

You Cannot Capture Silence, It Captures You

For me, the two correctives of all spirituality are silence and service. If either of those is missing, it is not true, healthy spirituality.

Without silence, we do not really experience our experiences. We may serve others and have many experiences, but without silence, nothing has the power to change us, to awaken us, to give us that joy that the world cannot give. And without clear acts of free service a person’s spiritual authenticity can be called into question. Divine Love always needs to and must overflow!

To live in this primordial, foundational being itself, which I am calling silence, creates a kind of sympathetic resonance with what is right in front of us. Without it, we just react instead of respond. Without some degree of silence, we are never living, never tasting, as there is not much capacity to enjoy, appreciate, or taste the moment as it purely is. The opposite of contemplation is not action, it is reaction. We must wait for pure action, which always proceeds from a contemplative silence in which we are able to listen anew to truth and to what is really happening. Such spiritual silence demands a deep presence to oneself in the moment, which will probably have the same practical effect as presence to God.

You do not hear silence (precisely!), but it is that by which you do hear. You cannot capture silence. It captures you. Silence is a kind of thinking that is not thinking. It’s a kind of thinking which mostly sees.

Silence, then, is an alternative consciousness. It is a form of intelligence, a form of knowing beyond bodily reacting or emotion. It is a form of knowing beyond mental analysis, which is what we usually call thinking.

All of the great world religions at the higher levels (mystical) discovered that our tyrannical mode of everyday thinking (which is largely compulsive, brain-driven, and based on early patterning and conditioning) has to be relativized and limited, or it takes over, to the loss of our primal being and identity in ourselves. I used to think that mysticism was the eventual fruit of years of contemplation; now I think it all begins with one clear moment of mystic consciousness, which then becomes the constant “spring inside us, welling up unto eternal life”.

by Richard Rohr

About the Author: Richard Rohr is a Franciscan friar, an internationally known speaker and author, and a founding director of the Center for Action and Contemplation. The above passage is from his book ‘Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation’.