Living an Inspired Life!



Living an Inspired Life!


June 21, 2016

What if we lived in a world where everyone jumped out of bed every morning filled with energy and inspiration and excited to take on the adventures of the day.

Imagine a world in which we didn’t look forward to the weekends or vacations because our daily life was so fun, fulfilling and fabulous!

Think about a world in which everyone was EXPECTED to take good care of themselves; to eat right, exercise, spend time in nature, meditate, and take time out for creative self expression and spirituality.

What if we lived in a society in which gossip was not tolerated; a place where it was each citizen’s responsibility to build other people UP, not tear them down.

Imagine a world in which everyone's primary goal was to expand their awareness, knowledge and understanding in the present moment, instead of competing, and clawing our way to the "top", and trying to prove our worthiness all the time.



Imagine a world in which the sustainability of the environment was a part of our identity.

Imagine a world of conscious people who were awake and aware and who embraced the values of love, appreciation, sufficiency, trust, peace, optimism and kindness, instead of fear, negativity, suspicion, violence, and scarcity.

I would like to live in a world like this, a world where every day is a celebration of life.

This world that I imagine begins one person at a time; one person waking up, and then another and another and another.

5 years ago the 6th grade teacher at Charles River School in Dover, MA, Bill Walsh, wrote a song called Lovingkindness for the Martin Luther King Jr. Assembly. With the help of another teacher, Sylvie Essex, the students created a video to accompany their singing.


"Lovingkindness" by Bill Walsh

This song has been an inspiration to me every since I first viewed it and serves as a reminder for me that we are all in this together. It makes me ask the big question, “How can I serve?”

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent questions is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

I have come to the conclusion that the best thing I can do for others right now, with the strengths and knowledge that I have, is to turn more people on to this way of thinking.

To that end, in a couple of weeks I will be launching The Imagination Club, an online community open to anyone and everyone who is seeking to pursue and live an inspired life.

I am so excited about this because for so many years I was NOT living an inspired life. I was asleep at the wheel, floating aimlessly and unconsciously along with no direction until a frightening diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis forced me to wake up.

Thank God for that because it motivated me to finally start taking care of myself, and it launched me on the decade long journey that has led me here.

When I think back to those days when I was struggling, trying to find my way, I wish there had been a trail blazer; someone who knew the way and could have held the lantern for me, who could have encouraged me as I stumbled down the path in the dark.

I would like to help light the way for you. I would like to try and be the trail blazer!  

That is why I have created The Imagination Club which will offer a plan for how to live our lives based on our values (what is important to us) and our goals (how we want to grow and where we want to go).

It is my goal that The Imagination Club becomes a community of like minded global citizens who have decided to answer their soul's calling; people who are committed to building a better world and committed to supporting each other in the process. 

More coming soon!

Have a great night!

With love and gratitude,

Annie



Invite Your Soul To The Party!

Invite Your SOUL To The Party!

June 17, 2016

In my early 20s, I lived in Brookline, Massachusetts, right outside of Coolidge Corner at 1471 Beacon Street. Back then, one of my favorite things to do on the weekends, was to trek over to the Cantab Lounge in Central Square, Cambridge, to see the ever soulful, Little Joe Cook, sing late into the night. 

The place was a dive, and tiny, and always packed and filled with smoke. Little Joe sang doo-wop and old rhythm and blues, and I was transported to another world as soon as I walked in the door. 

I remember this one song in particular that went "hooooooo sexy lady, from the beauty shop, you make my heart go bippity bop, bippity bop!" 

Little Joe Cook knew how to bring his soul to the party. 

Watching this man in his 70s, singing his heart out, song after song, was unforgetable, and he played at the Cantab Lounge every week until he was 84.

He loved performing and singing and he didn't just exude inspiration, he was inspiration. You could feel his soul jumping for joy!  He was doing

exactly

what he was put on this earth to do. No doubt about it. 

Just listen to

Down at the Cantab!

Someone who is living their life so ON purpose is unusual and maybe it's a mark of greatness depending on how we define it, so I think it is important that we ask ourselves, "Are we bringing our souls to the party?" and "Are we doing what we were put on this earth to do?" 

If you have already discovered your soul's calling and are already living an inspired life, that is amazing! If not, I don't know all the answers but here's what I think I understand so far.

Discovering our soul's true calling comes down to

listening

.

Our soul is always calling to us, but the problem is we are rarely listening or paying attention.

It is very difficult to hear what our soul is trying to communicate to us in our overstimulated world. The lights, bells, dings, whooshes, and televisions everywhere, drown out our true essence. 

However, if we are able embrace mindfulness and silence, and stay present in the moment as much as possible, we can begin to listen and look for signs from our soul. We just need to wake up, slow down, and start paying a little bit of attention. 

Sometimes our soul communicates through a certain song on the radio, or a billboard on the highway, or a book that the cat knocks off the shelf, or a feeling after we meditate, or a conversation we have with the sexy lady from the beauty shop. But we often miss it or even worse, resist it. 

We resist our soul's calling for a lot of reasons, usually because of the limiting beliefs I talked about on Wednesday. But if we can start to become conscious of the ideas, people, thoughts, emotions, and suggestions that keep popping up in our lives, over and over again, and trust that they are not just coincidences, we could begin living a magical life. 

The energy of the Universe, the Force, is desperately trying to flow through us, every day. If we don't allow it to flow by expressing our soul's calling, it gets stuck. And once the energy becomes stuck and stagnant, it becomes toxic, just like water. 

Blocked energy can make us really sick.

But there's good news! Once we start listening and following our hearts, we enable the Force to flow through us, through our own unique form of creativity, allowing the best version of ourselves to emerge. OUR TRUE SELF. And, to me, this is what living an inspired life is all about. 

What do you think your soul might be trying to tell you? 

Thank you and have a great weekend. 

Listening,

Annie :-)

-

How to Overcome a Limiting Belief

How to Overcome a Limiting Belief.

I was listening to a Hay House radio show the other day (my fave!) about limiting beliefs and how they shape our lives. The message was what we have all heard before but sometimes forget.

What we choose to believe determines our decisions and our decisions create our lives. 

What they didn't point out in the show, and what I think is important to note here, is that there are 2 kinds of limiting beliefs; ones that are conscious and ones that are subconscious. 

The subconscious ones are what I want to talk about today. 

These beliefs fly under our radar and can cause problems because we are not even aware that they are influencing our thoughts, feelings and actions every minute of every day. 

In fact, when I first started to recognize some of my subconscious limiting beliefs about 10 years ago, I was frightened to realize that I had been walking around making all sorts of important decisions based on irrational distortions of reality, which were rooted in these powerful beliefs that I didn't even know I had! OMG!

I was actually living in an alternate reality based on all these misconceptions that had become my foundation.

I believed things like: 

1. Life is something that happens TO me. I am a victim and that is just the way it is. I have no power. 

2. I am my childhood. I am my past.

3. I need to pretend to be someone I'm not because who I am blows.

4. Other people have an agenda and are looking for ways to manipulate me. I can't trust anyone. 

5. What matters above all else is what people think of me. 

6. Other people and outside circumstances are responsible for my happiness and/or misery.

7. I don't deserve anything good because I am not worthy.

8. Sacrificing myself for others makes me a good person with great character.

You can imagine how this kind of thinking effected my life. No wonder I was a mental and emotional wreck all the time!

Luckily, right before I was about to self-destruct, I happen to stumble upon an idea that was life changing. I can't remember or find who said it, but the message was one that stuck with me. 

"Once you realize that what you KNOW is more important and powerful than what you were TAUGHT TO BELIEVE, you will be forever transformed."

I

I took this sentiment as a challenge back then, and I immediately began to tackle the hidden beliefs that were holding me back. And in the end, I was indeed, a completely, different person.

Unconscious beliefs that are programmed into our heads as small children by our parents, culture, religion and society can have a massive effect on how we live our lives as adults without us even realizing it. 

Changing our limiting, negative beliefs and replacing them with empowering, optimistic beliefs, immediately starts to effect our happiness and success in all areas of our lives. 

So how do we change a limiting belief that we have been carrying around for years? The following is what has worked for me. I hope it helps you too!

How to Overcome A Limiting Belief

1. Take some time a really think about what beliefs might be hiding just below the surface and make a list. Thinking about your parent's beliefs, your friend's beliefs, your spiritual beliefs and your cultural beliefs may help you gain some clarity. Then, choose one belief from your list that you want to change. 

2. Determine how this belief is effecting your life in a negative way.  If I believe, for example, that "all the ideas are already taken", then I may not pursue song writing, and this would significantly limit my creative expression, as well as any future career I may have in music. 

3. Next, think of how it would feel and how you would act if you believed something different, like "There are tons of new song ideas out there!" 

4. Create an affirmation of the new belief you want to embrace, like "I am filled with new ideas and I am writing amazing new material everyday!" 

5. Write this affirmation down and say it out loud several times a day, over and over, for 21 days. 

6.

 Use the new affirmation, or an abbreviated version of it, as a mantra in your daily meditation.

It is completely ok and totally normal if you don't wholeheartedly believe what you ware saying at first. Over time, the writing down and speaking of your affirmation will start to re-program you subconscious mind. After you expose the subconscious mind to the repeated suggestion over and over, it will start to see it as fact. It will become your new belief. 

As Wayne Dyer says, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change".

Some ideas for empowering beliefs and affirmations: 

1. I am a good person and I'm getting better everyday

2. I am changing the world in a big great way

3. Anything is possible

4. Everything always works out in the end

5. I ask for help when I need it and people love helping me

6. I am writing everyday and I am filled with new ideas and inspiration!

7. I am awake and living my life on purpose

8. I am taking my power back I am no longer a victim 

9. I am responsible for my own happiness

10. I trust others and they trust me

11. I have more than enough time, energy, health, wealth and love.

And that is what I was thinking about today. 

Thank you so much for reading!

With love and gratitude,

Annie 

Why It's Not Too Late To Re-Invent Yourself!

Why It's Not Too Late To 

Re-Invent Yourself!

June 13, 2016

Fauja Singh was born on April 1, 1911 in India and did not develop the ability to walk until he was five years old. He struggled with his weak, thin legs and his lack of co-ordination throughout his childhood. 

When Fauja grew into his 20s however, he grew stronger and decided he wanted to become a runner. He ran and ran and ran. He loved it, but after a few years, the practicality of life took over. Responsibilities of work and family

required all his time and energy, and he ceased running entirely.

The years passed by, decade after decade, until one day when he was 81 years old, he decided it was time to try again. He threw himself into training wholeheartedly and 8 years later, ran his first marathon at the age of 89!

When it was all said and done, Fauja ran 8 marathons, the last of which took place in London in 2012 when he was 101 years old. 

Sponsored by Adidas, he became the oldest man to ever run a marathon and was even featured in an advertisement alongside David Beckham and Muhammad Ali. Not bad for a guy who didn't start training until he was 81.

Fauja famously said, "The secret to a long, healthy life is to be stress-free, be grateful for everything you have, stay away from negative people, stay smiling, and stay running." 

If we want to make a change or try something new or go on an adventure or change the world or re-invent ourselves in some way, 

it helps for us to get clear on how we feel about our lives, in ALL areas. 

If you have a moment, I encourage you to go through the following list and rate each category from 1-10 (1 being the least satisfied and 10 being the most). In addition, it is also helpful to write an emotion next to the number, like "bored", "lonely", "proud", "unfulfilled", "over the moon!", "ok", "crossroads","fed up"….etc.

Rating these categories can give us a snap shot into our lives, like a personal balance sheet. If we ask ourselves which categories are assets and which ones are liabilities, we can get a good idea of where we need to focus our attention. 

Personal Balance Sheet Categories:

1. Meaningful Work/Career

2. Artistic Self Expression

3. Romance/Love

4. Spirituality

5. Physical Health and Well-Being

6. Mental and Emotional Health and Well-Being

7. Personal Growth and Learning

8. Family

9. Money

10. Friends/Community

11. Contribution/Giving Back 

Now, I want you to consider this post to be your permission slip to re-invent yourself in any of these areas, as soon as possible!  Even if you are not ready. 

In fact, it's even better if you are not ready! 

I love the quote, "Jump and find your wings on the way down" because nothing happens until we decide to take action. And then when we are forced to find a way, WE FIND A WAY. 

I mean look at these baby ducks!

Change can be scary and often feels dangerous and unsafe, when in actuality, it's just unfamiliar and different. Here are some suggestions to encourage you to re-invent yourself and transform any area of your life in which you are not completely fulfilled.

A Few Encouraging Thoughts For Embracing Change:

1.

Start small. Just one little action taken in the direction of your dream is forward progress and that is all we want!  Send an e-mail, do some research, write an outline, or ask a question. Small things add up to BIG things. 

2.

Celebrate any progress you make!

3.

Look at your re-invention like an exciting adventure, not something you are trying to "fix" about yourself or your life. 

4.

Remember that action, even in the wrong direction, is better than standing still.

5.

If you are bored, set a bigger goal. 

6.

 Question the way it has always been! Don't settle!

7.

Whenever you feel discouraged, remember Fauja Singh. He re-invented himself and decided to chase a dream at 81!

In 5 years you can be 5 years older, or you can be 5 years older having learned the guitar, created a website, improved at jiu jitsu, started a business, or written a book! Think about that! 

And when you feel the fear of change, when the forward motion feels unsafe, remember what Mark Twain said, "I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened."

It's time. Let's do this!

And that is what I was thinking about today.

Thank you so much and have a great night! 

See you tomorrow!

What I Learned From 3 Weeks of Writing!

What I Learned From 3 Weeks of Writing!

Day 21

June 11th, 2016

Today marks the 21st day of my quest to write every day for 3 weeks, and, to be radically authentic, the only reason I followed through on this is because I made the commitment and told everyone I knew I was going to do it. 

If you are someone like me who has trouble following through on things, I would encourage you to try this approach. Making a commitment liberates you from ever entertaining the thought of quitting, and frees up time and energy that you desperately need to accomplish what you have set out to do. 

Beyond the value of commitment, I also learned and re-learned, discovered and re-discovered several other important insights: 

1. When I got discouraged, bored or uninspired during this 3 week commitment, I gained strength when I was able to shift my focus away from "poor me" and towards "How can my message help others?" 

2. I received a lesson in releasing my need for approval. I had to accept the fact that I had no control over whether my posts were liked, ignored, mocked, or hated. 

 3

. I learned it’s easy for me to write a blog post filled with great advice on how we should live our lives, but that going out and living those principles was a different story. I was reminded everyday of the importance of good practices and habits.

4. 

Doing this 21 days of writing required me to let go of trying to make my writing perfect, and often, because of the time constraint, I had to post something of which I was not particularly proud. But as Petra Kolber says, "Your imperfect voice is better than your perfect silence." 

5. I re-discovered that when we get clear on what our values are, it’s easier to make decisions that are in alignment with the person we want to be.  As Nico and Vinz say,

"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything"

. My values kept me on track and helped me stick to only writing about what is important to me. 

6

. When in doubt, we just need to keep throwing ourselves into the arena. Something always comes of it. At the very least, we get comfortable being uncomfortable. 

8. I learned that reaching out to people, expanding my community, and collaborating with others leads to new ideas, new opportunities,and lots of love and support.  

9. I was reminded of the power of faith. "Trust that everything always turns out ok in the end and if it's not ok, it's not the end." 

10. I discovered that a grateful mind is a powerful mind.

11. I re-learned to focus on what I want (the solution), not on what I don't want (the problem). 

12. I re-discovered that enjoying the journey in a state of sufficiency is as important as getting where I want to go. 

13. Martin Luther King once said "Peace is not merely a distant goal, but a means by which we arrive at that goal".  The same is true for staying present in the moment.  I learned that mindfulness is a practice and a goal. 

14. At every fork or obstacle in the road The Force, the Collective Soul, God, my Invisible Ally, whatever you want to call it, was always there waiting for me to reach out. I was never alone.

Those are some of the things that came out of this for me. Thank you so much for reading! I hope you got something out of it too!

Love, 

Annie