The Power of Habits

Habits are tricky beasts. Powerful familiars when tamed but dangerous gremlins when they take on a life of their own.

It’s tempting to sort habits by good and bad but life is messy.

Healthier labels might be good for me and bad for me.

Situations change and we add right now to the label then things change again and the precarious misuse of caveats can take up into a never ending spiral.  One way to keep focus to constantly reminding yourself to ask “is this good for me right now or is this  bad for me right now. Good and bad are measures of comfort they are thought about how things in and around you help you or hurt you and predictions about how the experiences you take on today build a better tomorrow or tear away good things in your life.

“Am I in control of this habit or is this habit in control of me?”

Habits have no moral compass so instead giving them characteristics of good and bad try viewing them as beasts. Are your habits destructive and controlling you or powerful and serving you. Does the dog walk you or do you walk the dog?

Healthy developed habits give you control over your life but bad habits are a sort of addiction that causes negative doubts and excuses.

Life is always getting in the way of things I want to do.

Maybe I have too many ambitions.

Perhaps I’m a dreamer instead of a doer.

We all have habits.. what are yours?

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The Power of Habits

What is Legacy?

After death there is an absence for the living.

A void left full of things that no one will ever know.
The stories are gone.
The memories and the accomplishments of your beloved will eventually fade.
At the very least they will morph into something new- colored as words pass down.

People talk about legacy. Civilization encourages us to carry the past forward and religion shows us how to talk to the dead and honor the spirit keeping the life and the person’s contribution ever present in the beyond.

Reeling in grief, grasping for comfort, desperate hope evokes fantasies that the lost one will walk through the door. Speakers for the dead weave illusions telling stories of the past.

SONY DSCThen, I realize something true.

Understanding washes over me reconciling my rejections of what feels like de-escalating hyperbole wishing me well and consoling my anguish.

The stories are gone and the recontour will be forgotten but that’s okay because the memories and the holding on is not the legacy.
The legacy we leave behind can’t be quantified because it isn’t the story of our life it’s the way a single person’s presence alters the moments around their existence. dancing michelle nana

Legacy isn’t the stories we create it’s the stories we change and stories that would never happen. The inertia multiplied forward like the telephone game spawning infinite changes to the fabric of society that can only evolve in the space left by the void and the passing of life.

You are not gone… you are everywhere.

Colorful bird-fish
Created in markers by Tanya Richey.
What is Legacy?

See Demons Find Miracles

We all have demons and gremlins in our lives. The experiences we don’t want. The trauma we’d rather seal up and cast away. The people who hurt us.

We look for angels- for the guardian or savior or string of good luck that is going to turn things around. Hoping tomorrow will be better. Declaring “This week the lemons will be lemonade and I’m going to find that window people talk about- the one that opens when the doors close!”

The problem with angels is that so many of us looking for them have not read the Bible to understand what these warrior hands of God and do. Angels are not fairy godmothers looking over your shoulder solely focused on your well being. They are not leprechauns or fairy creatures that will tether to your life like a therapy dog.

The demons and the gremlins, and the monsters make up essential fibers of our being. Those experiences lend Teflon threads, wool threads, and moisture wicking technology into the wardrobe of our life weaving together with the silk and cotton moments.

When life overwhelms us imagination takes over and the legitimate painful experience pushes everything else out like a two ton gorilla in a tiny enclosure.

See the demons for what they are and why they are.

You don’t have to make friends with them but pluck some hair and weave the strength into the fabric of soul. The mark is going to be there no matter what so weave in just enough to create the miracle you need.

See Demons Find Miracles

21 Hours to 100

The 100 Hour Theory looms in my mind.

A different approach to goal setting where instead of focusing on the ultimate goal we put energy into the pursuit of our ambitions.

We set goals and sometimes we meet them but usually we either fail, quit, or modify the goal line.  Popular approach toward making your dreams come true is

Decide what you want (goal)

Break it into smaller steps (benchmarks)

Make is happen one step at a time.

Fantastic advice and it works… except when it doesn’t. 

Why Most of us Need a New Way

Modern society has a horrible negative connotation to failure.  We see failing as bad and we see not attaining a goal as failure. Every time you set a goal and don’t attain it you teach yourself that the outcome of trying is failure.  In response we try harder and when the plan doesn’t lead directly to the expected outcome goal the belief in failure grown and confidence shrinks.

Now, you may be the most strong headed, full throttle, risk taker in the universe but this goal is thwarted and with each failed attempt it gets harder and harder.

Of course, there are people who don’t suffer from this phenomenon of growing potential for failure with every new attempt to succeed.  To those folks, “sincere congratulations! Keep doing what your doing- it’s working.”

The rest of us haven’t found our secret recipe to manifesting our ideas and making our ambitions real.  I recommend changing from hard and fast traditional goal setting to a more fluid, mindful pursuit. The big goal is your aspiration and your benchmarks are the time you spend working toward you aspiration.

By the end of The Hundred Hour Program you will feel successful.  You will have an accomplishment that bolsters you.  You will be inspired to continue working toward you aspirations and have a stronger sense of your personal patterns, procrastination bait, and inspirational triggers.

Honestly, 100 hours is totally doable and at the end of a hundred hours you will have learned and achieved but most people get bogged down before they get a quarter of the way through so,

Part One of 21 to 100.

  1. Thinking
    What do you want?  Why do you want this?  How do you think you can achieve it?
    How have you gone about this before?  Have you met your goals about this in the past? Did you loose the gains you made?  Did attacking this goal turn out differently than you expected?  Why do you think you didn’t succeed the first time?Get a notebook, post it on social media, type it into your phone notes app.  While or after you swirl all this around in your mind and soul WRITE IT DOWN.
  2. Narrow
    “What I want” in a single sentence.
    I want to loose 50 pounds. I want to get promoted.   I want to reconnect with my family.  I want to play the guitar. I need to find a job. I want to take a trip around the world. I want to learn to cook.  I want to write a book.  I want to be able to …Don’t worry about if your goal is too big or two small the hundred hour approach with help you sort that out later. Just get a starting point.
  3. Because
    “I want to __________________ because I think it will _______________________.
    You’ve already done your thinking so just write the sentence. If you have multiple goals look for connections between them and maybe your aspiration isn’t to be skinnier and make more friends and not spend to much time at doctors appointments or being avoiding pictures- perhaps your aspiration is to find your comfortable self because you think you will spend less time worrying and have more energy to be happy. Don’t just think these things in your head WRITE IT DOWN.
  4. Define and Commit
    Fill in the blanks and then say out loud, speaking clearly:
    I will spend/devote/commit One Hundred Hours pursuing _______________________.
    All of my time counts.
    The work I’ve put in never expires.
    I can set a set a schedule but if it takes me three months or thirty years I will keep working toward my ambition and make time and space, one hour at a time, to _______________________________________________________________________________.

Part Two of 21 to 100 TRACKING

  • Figure out a way to keep track of your applied time.  ALL moments spent working on this count.  You may take credit for 10 or 15 minutes at a time but be sure to tally your hours.  It’s a good idea to track them on a calendar or a list with dates so you will be able to spot patterns later but the main thing is deciding on a ay to track your hours.
  • Log the hours you have already completed!
    You read this article, you though about this article- it’s bounced around in your head and you’ve developed a system to track your hours.  That’s at least an hour.
  • Continue finding time to put effort into your ambition and be sure to tally that time.
    Anytime you spend focused on the ambition counts.  Signing up for the gym. Researching how to take a continuing education class.  Deciding if you really want to try this.  Telling friends or family about this crazy idea.. it all counts.  This wasted time is part of most people’s process to success and you must give yourself credit for the energy your spending! Later on in the program there will be a time to assess procrastination and avoidance but during this first 21 hours if your thinking about or doing it track it. Want a promotion? Getting a haircut and improving you appearance is energy spent- track it. Learning to play an instrument? Acquiring the instrument and searching the internet learning more about it counts- log it

Part Three of 21 to 100

  • Apply 21 hours of effort toward your aspiration and keep going.
  • If you’ve accomplished 21 hours you can accomplish 10 more.

If the specific goals toward your aspiration have shifted a bit that’s fine… in this program you never start over you just keep moving forward finding your Path to Yes, changing dreams to aspirations and manifesting a fulfilled, balanced life.

Let me know how your doing and what you think. Comment, follow /aprilbairwriter and @aprilbair on social media or email me at writerbair@gmail.com

Do something new today!

21 Hours to 100

Balance

“Life is full,” my uncle will say, “but not always of what you want”.

“Live every day to the fullest” people encourage.

“Live in the moment… be mindful and present…” the advice continues.

Most days I just hope things will be uneventful.

I hear people talk about wanting more adventure in their life and I’m sure it’s a grass is always greener situation like the way people with curly hair work hard to straighten is and beautiful brunettes die there hair blonde.  I think it’s all about feeling your have some control.  Control over your life, your appearance, even the big risk takers and spontaneous wonderers do it looking for a feeling of control.

Chaos and havoc influence a good part of my universe.  The unexpected looms just up and to the right waiting to drop a shoe on my head.  The insurance company commercial personifying Havok is the video portrayal of my life.  It’s not bad luck or terrible and the chaos can’t be avoided so years ago I changed my perspective.

“Take life as it comes” is a popular phrase in the therapy world.

“Bend like Gumby” is practically military doctrine.

Neither of these quite captures my secret to dealing with the chaos. I’m not going to take life as it comes and be pushed around like Gumby twisted and pulled around by the chaos I can’t control but I can’t control the chaos.

I’ve found my survival in striving for balance.  The chaos will always be there, truth be told I might miss it is it disappeared, but it’s possible to manipulate that chaos into order by finding your way to work in concert with the word instead of trying to take over or give up.

Like dancing partners.  One leads and the other follows but neither is really in control.  For the dancing to be enjoyable and with out injury they partners have to work in concert and their engagement has to be equal.  There has to be balance- we have to find balance.31537b

My personal balance is a bit like being on Pogo Bounce ball between caring for family, nurturing myself, doin work with guaranteed reward, and investing resources to a professional career in writing with may be a lark.
Worry that I’m doing the right thing tries to push me off the Pogo Ball, guilt that time spent on one things isn’t being used for something else… the chaos tries to push me off balance but the secret is using the forces of chaos as a support system instead fighting is as an enemy.  Get to know your chaos.  Get to know what pushes and pulls your where and then instead of fighting things you can’t control it becomes easier to work in concert with them and turn the chaos into order- to find balance.

Balance

Working After Death

The first Friday of each month my fledgling publishing company releases a new book.  Once my mother was released from her Earthly life I was working with ghosts instead of documenting spirit.

SOJ 8 CoverThe Spirit of Japan Art and MyKu Collection by Tanya Richey was her final collective work and it succeeded at what she did best- capturing moments in time and sharing her vision via brush and pen strokes.  Her work became my project in 2016 with a plan to publish Tanya’s brilliance in books for browsing beginning my arduous journey converting vibrant paintings to printed pages.

Her life concluded in June and I was left to carry her spirit forward through the books we had designed together.  I was left to release the six remaining books of her artist journey through Japan without the benefit of her last minute notes and changes.  Those changes had always been frustrating and she often asked for tiny tweaks of impossibility.  Unrestrained by what the book industry expects manifesting her vision and blending it with my functional reality pushed every detail of the Spirit of Japan MyKu & Zengo books in directions I would not have imagined.

Her life has ended but the work continues and now, I travel this path making choices from memory.  Listening for her spirit instead of walking into the next room to ask a question.

Copious notes clutter digital and physical surfaces throughout my workspace.  Quotes, expressed thoughts, notes on how and where each art piece evolved but there is always space between words of documentation- in that space are the moments she experienced now replaced by the moments we experience.

Leaving for a two year adventure in Japan she learned that ancient haiku masters tanya tori pathbelieved women are too emotional to construct proper haiku so, in an appropriate emotional outburst, she wrote hundreds of haiku style poems.

“These are MyKu,” she would say. “No one can say they are wrong; they are mine.”

Finishing the publication of her twelve book Spirit of Japan series I take those words to heart.  The space between her art and interpretation of visualizations is now solidly in the perception of the viewer. The conversation between artist and audience has migrated to viewer response and her philosophy on the importance of artist intend is being played out in real time.

She has lain her visions out for you to take them as they come to you.  No one can say your interpretation is wrong. Everyone sees things differently. This part of her spirit nudges me through self-doubt as I work through the remaining MyKu volumes.

Art was Tanya’s way to center herself. Perhaps these books will pass a bit of that meditative experience along.

 

soj 1 to 8
Available on Amazon, FaceBook, or direct order tanya@tmrart.com
Working After Death