“I have always believed that change is possible and I know without doubt that the desire to change has to be intrinsically motivated. Yielding to the pressure from outside sources may produce some evidence of change for a limited period of time, but the brain has to follow the heart on this for change to be lasting. And “by the heart” here I mean that inner desire, passion, and conviction to make things different; there has to be a compelling reason to do the work of change.” Lynne Johnson, CPO-CD, COC.
Last week, I reached my goal with this blog. I wanted to see what connections I could draw between the work I do as a professional organizer, and the work I pursue through recovery and transformational work. The result I declared was to create 90 posts in 90 days, and to have at least 300 views in that time. I accomplished 90 posts a week ago Friday on day 86, with over 600 views, and gained, unexpectedly, 20+ followers.
Having little experience blogging, the 90 days was an adventure. Committed to posting, even when I wasn’t sure what to post, the posts took interesting twists and turns. They turned out to be a bit of “everything but the kitchen sink“, and probably revealed more about my messy mind than I usually like the world to see, but I also gained the satisfaction many bloggers must experience in having a public, traceable record of the inner workings, impulses and musings. To see people choose to “follow” these machinations is fascinating and ego-tweaking.
So, to recap, my goal was to engage in a creative process contained by a structure that defined it’s scope and gave it discipline. I was free to explore and create whatever I wanted within the framework I gave myself, and it was the framework and my commitment to it, that gave me the accountability to get it done.
For the past two years, I’ve been working with a tool I received during a 90-day transformational leadership program I took. Ninety days is commonly considered the amount of time it takes to break a habit or learn a new one, so this course uses the 90-day framework to help participants do just that.
At the beginning of the program, I wrote a document in which I created an overall vision for my world, and a vision statement for each of the realms of Friends & Family, Career & Education, Community, Finance, and Health & Well-being. I then created about three declarations of results I’d be creating in each of those realms within the 90 days. Note the emphasis here is on the results I’d be creating – not what I want to see, what I hope to see, what I’ll be in process of achieving, but what will actually BE created in the world because I said so, regardless of circumstances or self-doubts.
The program was intended to stretch me beyond what I’ve already accomplished, and beyond what I may have already been on track for, and to show me what I’m capable of when I have a clear vision fueled by urgency, committed action, and operating from ways of being that will bring about the results I’ve declared. Pretty neat stuff.
I’ve chosen to continue using this tool and write a new document about every three months. I’ve done it in collaborations with partners or small groups of others who have gone through the program. We give each other accountability and support to complete all we’ve declare each cycle.
Some highlights of declarations I’ve completed have been: creating a 70th surprise birthday party for a good friend, collecting 2,224 pairs of shoes to donate to Haiti for Soles 4 Souls, getting my Dad’s sculpture website up and running, planning a secret weekend of home repair for my parents while they were away, going to Haiti and becoming a sponsor and raising money for a school there, becoming a volunteer for NY Cares, serving over 500 meals for Hurricane Sandy victims, doubling my income, declaring and receiving additional clients for my business, learning to belly dance, educating myself & others about the US election process, singing in public, getting my driver’s license and becoming vegetarian.
I’ve found 90 days to be a great amount of time to declare results and achieve them. It’s an amazing integrity booster to complete what I’ve declared to complete, and if there’s something I’ve declared that I find out is not as valuable to me or others as I expected it to be, I can choose differently for my next cycle.
Someone said “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re sure to get there.”
I think creating your own road-map is crucial to authoring the life you want rather than have circumstances dictate what you’ll get in life.
Here are the aspects of the goal-setting that make any road-map vital:
- Have a clear vision that inspires you to create beyond your circumstances.
- Make the results you declare specific, tangible, and measurable.
- Make the results be about more than what you’ll get out of them. In other words, ask, “With this declaration, how am I contributing to the world?“, “How am I”, as Gandhi said, “being the change I wish to see in the world?”
- Be accountable. It’s much easier to let go when the going gets tough when we’re doing it alone. Accountability partners can keep you on track.
- Refer to your map often. Be clear about where you stand in the time-frame you’ve declared.
- Know it’s more about who you’re being than what you’re doing that has your vision turn out. Choosing to be powerful, loving, joyful, open, connected, courageous, passionate, authentic and outrageous, when needed, are the keys to success.
Dare to declare your vision and have it turn out! xxoo
P.S. – I declare to continue this blog, posting weekly for the next 90 days.
One way to go through the day is to focus exclusively on what we have to get done. Another is to pay attention to what’s motivating the doing.
“How Would Love Respond in This Moment?
Every single moment we have the choice between the thought systems of Love or fear. Our focus today is to pay attention to what we are choosing all through the day. Love brings peace, gentleness and happiness; fear brings tension, conflict and efforting. If we don’t pay attention to where our mind is, we can easily be led by the fearful thought system of the ego. But we can always choose differently.
Our prayer today is for help in strengthening our awareness of Love’s Answer in each moment. Love will lead us to the happy joining with Love and release us from the guilt of judgment. We choose freedom from judgment today. We listen to Love’s healing guidance. And we give thanks that what we ask for we receive. As we are willing to let go of the past, we receive the gift of Love that fits perfectly in the present moment.”
© 2013, Pathways of Light. www.pathwaysoflight.org
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Happily I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
from sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
–William Shakespeare Sonnet XXIX
Shakespeare’s sonnets are punctuated by un-named, often remote-seeming lovers who supply the narrator strength, courage and depression-lifting qualities. The muses, in Greek mythology, were the divine daughters of Zeus who presided over the arts. Writers and and artists of all stripes credit the muses with the inspiration needed to create. “Musing”on their beauty, perfection and ethereal un-attainability is credited in lifting artists to a higher realm of creation, flow and access to strength, love, articulation and expression.
We are all creators, narrators of our own lives. We are creating what exists moment to moment. I believe there are divine principles, that when followed allow us to experience the higher realms of creativity, flow, articulation and expression. This elevation is available to us at all times. Often, we look outside ourselves for sources of strength and inspiration, but what if we woke up every morning deciding, “we’re” the one we’ve been waiting for? What if we choose to find love by BEING love, choose to find inspiration by BEING inspiration? We can elevate ourselves to that higher realm of creative living we all aspire to, and become the muse, not only for ourselves, but for all we meet.
PFA124418 Lassitude, 1910 (oil on canvas) by Godward, John William (1861-1922)
oil on canvas
© Bonhams, London, UK
English, out of copyright
…has not worked for me.
There is a difference between the order we strive for in our environments that allows us to accomplish what we intend, and the control we desire to make sure things go our way.
I’ve found my desire to control comes from a place of not wanting to look bad,fear of being overtaken by circumstances or overpowered by other people. Living by control has had the paradoxical effect of my life becoming unmanageable and out of control.
If you can conceive, as I believe, that we author our own lives, which means we are responsible for manifesting all around, and you don’t like what you see around you, ask, “What am I not accepting within?”
For me, bringing love and shifting the focus inward, even if scary, has been a much more fruitful practice than trying to control what going on around me —even if it’s just my own clutter. It may mean there’s some inner housekeeping that needs to be done: an apology to someone, a re-commitment to my word, a letting go of a belief that’s holding me back, or a stepping up to esteem- able actions. Forgiveness and love are crucial. This is the inner organizing that matters most. When I shift, my world tends to shift. The outer always reflects the inner. Who will I be in all this chaos?