Untrained Mind, Beautiful Mind: Running as a Spiritual Practice (with free coaching audio!)

IMG_8116

There are so many beautiful things to discover (both in the world and within yourself) through running.  Here’s a shot from one of my recent runs around the lakes on Notre Dame’s campus.  
Hello Beautiful People!
Today’s installment in the Untrained Mind, Beautiful Mind is a bit different.  
A dear friend recently was telling me about how she wants to like running but isn’t sure how to make that happen.  I also hear from people all the time about how they wished they loved to work out like I do, because if they did, then they would do it regularly.  
Whenever I hear this, it makes ME wish I could spend a week walking (or running) this person through their workouts.  I wouldn’t teach them running techniques, but I would teach them how to train their mind to love to exercise – because this is the way it should be.  Our bodies are MEANT for movement, they are designed to move and they truly do love even the hard work.
So, what I really want you to know is that  learning to love to work out is completely possible, realistic, AND it just might be one of the best things you will ever do for yourself.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can become someone who loves to workout every single day, and thus become someone to whom all the immediate and long-lasting physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of exercise comes naturally – with ease and strength, rather than emotional struggle and suffering.  
I really, truly do love to work out – most days – but it isn’t an accident.  There was a time when I absolutely dreaded hard workouts (running included) and I still occasionally have my days when I dread it as much as the next person.  
But I now look at these “dread” days as flukes, hiccups, and not who I really am.  What I’ve taught myself is how to coach myself – mind, body, and spirit- into a place of loving it so that I am able to do the difficult physical work without the mental strife and emotional exhaustion.  I’ve coached myself into the belief that I am a soul athlete and that exercise not only feels great but does incredible things for my mind, body, and spirit.  I’ve coached myself into being a “natural athlete.”  
And I know, beyond a doubt, that being a soul athlete and a natural athlete is possible for you as well.  Not only can you get your body into the best possible shape of your life, but you can get your mind into badass, elite warrior/athlete shape as well so that it can do the work of your soul.  
Today’s post is just the beginning of an answer to these things (bear with me as I’ve never tried to train anyone who isn’t actually right with me at the moment!).  Again, I am absolutely, 100% positive that if I could move in with you and do all your workouts with you, coach you (meaning YOUR MIND) through them step-by-step, that we could make some big leaps in getting you to love working out as well.  I hope this audio will give you some of those same ideas and tools.  
So, please help yourself to the  35 minute coaching audio below.  Again, this is for those of you who want to want to run, those who are already running but don’t really enjoy it, or those of you who already love to run but want to pick up some ideas on how to break a PR or how to use running as a way of training your mind.  
I believe anything can be a spiritual practice and a spiritual training ground – and running is no exception!  Running, in fact, is an excellent place to practice training your mind to become a stronger, healthier, more clear channel for your soul, because, if you’re running hard enough, it will bring up absolutely everything that’s been holding you back…so that it can be released.  Pretty soon, you’ll be running so strong and steady that that negative thinking won’t be able to keep up with you. ;)
If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you!  You can email me at leah@leahcb.com or post a comment to my Facebook page.  
Here’s to you, my friends – may you get your dreams off and running! 
XOXO-
Leah
IMG_8117

The Untrained Mind, The Beautiful Mind: All IS WELL with your heart

IMG_8124

“Live Outside the Lines”
latest in my Milagros mini-paintings series
available for sale here

 

Hello, Dear Readers-

I have written and rewritten probably five different posts for today.  None of them were bad, any one of them would’ve done, but, to tell you the truth, I feel like I am on some kind of cusp – not just with this blog, but with my creative work in general- and what I really want is to give into whatever’s wanting to happen and to go over that edge, take that leap.

I’ve had some ideas of what moving beyond the cusp means for other areas of my life (coaching, poetry, art), but frankly I thought I’ve been stymied as to what that would look like in the context of my blog.

The truth is, I think I’ve known exactly what it looks like for my blog, but I just haven’t wanted to go there…

Tonight, though,I had a little intuitive hit, just a twinge, as I was writing an email to a friend about something that happened to me this weekend and the intuition was that I should just share that story here – without trying to edit it to make it pretty for the blog and without trying to explain everything.  In my heart that’s how I know I want the writing on this blog to be – heart to heart.

Heart to heart.  Like writing a letter or an email to a dear friend.  Heart to heart is how I work best, that’s how I live best, but I think I’ve been reluctant to “go there” because a blog is such a public space and it’s also my “professional” space.  Some of my neighbors and people who actually see me and know me read this, for pete’s sake!  (You know who you are. ;) )  And while I’m glad they read (kinda), and I’m glad YOU read, oh lovely anonymous reader who I don’t have to run into at church or at the grocery store or at school pick-up, whose judgment remains at a safe distance…there is still big parts of me that hold back here because while I love to work heart to heart with clients who I’ve already met, be that way with friends and family, the blog is just different.  In a scary, exposed, naked way.

But I also feel like the other way – the self-conscious way in which I’m very aware that this is public and that people who don’t know me well will read it and make judgments- is so awkward and not really me.  And, more and more, I just have less and less tolerance for doing things that aren’t really me.  I don’t want to be always just toeing up to that cusp, wondering what it’d be like to go over.  I don’t want to be so stiff and formal.  I just want to dance right over the edge.  I want to go all in.

So, it’s a wild experiment, we’ll see how it goes, but it feels better already…

This little story ties into my series about Untrained Mind, Beautiful Mind so well because to get to the place where I could hear this message I had to really quiet my mind, tune in and listen in a very different way than what we are accustomed to do – and in a way that I was never taught but just came upon (first years ago in all that free and private, quiet time outdoors on our family farm) but have worked to cultivate more intentionally as an adult.

The Untrained Mind believes it is the source of all wisdom and beauty.  And it won’t be quiet long enough to ever experience REAL wisdom and beauty, but just talks about how it thinks it already has it all day long.

The Beautiful Mind knows better AND it knows how and when to shut up and listen.

Anyway, that’s what this little story I was writing to my friend is about…being still and
listening.

“So, I was laying on the floor yesterday when the whole house was quiet and just breathing, meditating, praying, and asking for guidance and help.  Asking my soul, asking God, asking my angels.   And not long after what came to me first was:
 
All is well.
 
What came next was:
 
All IS WELL with your heart.
 
I can’t quite convey the shift that happened inside while I took that in.  The words themselves don’t come close to doing justice to the powerful energy conveyed.  I felt like my heart broke and cracked open a few times (in a good way), it felt like a few layers of armor dropped away…it felt so, so good –  like a literal healing, like a miracle – that it made me realize how clamped up my heart has been, I have been – how protective and how defensive…and it showed me what freedom and trust and “all is well” truly, deeply feels like.  And it completely arrested me when I realized that this is what is possible every day.  
You know this isn’t the first time I have “heard/not heard” something in the way these things come – not audible but still in words but also energetic.  But nothing with quite the physical rearranging of my insides has happened since a few years ago in a dream that I will never forget because it was a dream that was actually an experience that changed my life…”

So there it is my friends.  Train your mind so it can get out of the way and all manner of good things can rush in and help heal your heart.

Goodnight and thanks for reading (even if I do know you in real life)!

Love,

Leah

Kind words about a commission & Small Business Saturday Sale continues today!

IMG_7997a close-up of my latest painting

 

Hello bright and shiny people!
It’s been a beautiful one here in South Bend – temps rising (into the forties, anyway), and my day started with a family snuggle-pile in bed, then I got to take a 90 minute yoga class (challenging bliss is one of my favorite kinds), followed that by a trip to the Farmer’s Market to buy wreaths and some gorgeous little succulent ornaments from my favorite farmers there.
After that I came home to see an email with this super-kind testimonial a customer and friend sent about my most recently completed painting (you can see more photos here)- a piece he commissioned and then surprised his wife with as a way of commemorating and celebrating a very significant event in their lives:
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Could not be more happy with your painting, it was even better than expected.  The pictures posted online don’t come close to doing it justice.  The painting will be used to forever remember an important but altogether happy moment in our lives.
-friend and extremely happy customer 
IMG_8018
So, needless to say, I’ve had an extremely good start to my day!  How about you – what’s on tap for your Saturday?
If it includes any shopping of Small Business Saturday, I wanted to let you know that my offer for discounted gift certificates for commissions continues today.  I’m offering 15% off gift certificates for original commissions and if you’re interested, you can read more about that in yesterday’s post.  Also, please feel free to email me (leah@leahcb.com) for more information or to place your order (I can then send you an invoice you via PayPal).
And remember…
IMG_7994Love always wins.
So whatever you’re doing this weekend, I hope you put your whole heart into it! 
Gratefully yours, 
Leah

“Fill Life with Beauty” : And a special Black Friday/Small Business Saturday Sale!

 

FillLifeWithBeauty angel, jpeg, Sept 13, 2013 copy

“Fill Life With Beauty”
Leah Campbell Badertscher, 2013
original sold, but print and canvas reproductions available through my Society6 shop

One of my core mantras and life purposes is this:

Fill Life With Beauty

- me ;)

I love that this season of love, joy, peace, light, and miracles provides us with so many opportunities to do just this – to be the carriers of beauty to the world.
Every breath is a new opportunity to do just this- with a thought, a calling back of your spirit to the present moment, a smile to someone who needs your warmth and brightness, more tenderness and gentleness and more beauty than is “required” – but that, I believe, all our hearts are silently calling for.
I love to think that we can call our spirits back from the tendency toward the frenetic and stressed energy of the season and instead anchor ourselves in silent depths and peace of the season with intention that, with the giving we choose to do, we can do it from a this place of peace, abundance and a desire to fill the life of the other with beauty, love, and a special, sacred even, meaning.
In this spirit, I’m having an art sale this Friday and Saturday.  No frenzy, no chaos (no traffic, no lines!)… just lots and lots of good and gentle energy, beauty, and ease.
Here are two ideas I have for how you can give the gift of art this season…
First, if you would love to give the gift of an original, commissioned piece to someone special (or to yourself)…and, pardon my lack of humility here ;), but if you want to knock their socks off (think “BEST GIVE EVER!!!” kind-of-status and reactions)… for this weekend only I’m offering a limited number of gift certificates for 15% off an original commission (on pieces 12×12 up to 48×60 and all sizes and shapes in between, excluding S&H since I don’t really have any say in that, unfortunately!).
You can use a gift certificate to either commission a piece and surprise the recipient with someone created in their honor and inspired by their spirit (and you and I will work to come up with something special for them), or you can give them the gift certificate and then they can play an active part in the creation process.
My current (non-discounted) rate for commissions is $2.15/sq inch and I only work on a few at a time, so if you would like to take me up on this offer and perhaps even get a painting started and in the que, please email me at leah@leahcb.com.
If you’re interested, you can see an example of my latest commissioned piece and learn a little more about my process in this recent post:
http://www.leahcb.com/may-your-life-have-wings-a-brand-new…/
Also, if you are looking for a beautiful, high-quality reproduction, my Society6 shop is having a big sale today! $10 OFF $30 | $15 OFF $100 | $30 OFF $150 + FREE Worldwide Shipping Today (Black Friday Only). There are framed and unframed prints, wrapped canvases, phone covers, and beautiful stationary cards. This is such a good offer, I will be stocking up myself for gift-giving and future shows!
Here’s the Society6 link if you’d like to take advantage of this sale:
http://society6.com/leahcb
Please let me know if you are interested in a special commission, a gift certificate, or if you have questions about the Society6 shop.
Even if you aren’t in the market for art this season, I would LOVE to hear about your intentions for filling this season with beauty, warmth, and maybe even a touch of magic!  Please leave a comment below or you can start a conversation on my FB page.
Blessings for a Beautiful Season-
Leah

The Untrained Mind, The Beautiful Mind: Wrestling with the Angel

Hello You Beautiful People!
Thank you for being here for this week’s installment in The Untrained Mind, The Beautiful Mind series!
The past few weeks I’ve written about becoming the expert of our negative thinking patterns as well as concept that we are not our thoughts.  Last week I left you by asking you to consider who you are if you are not your thoughts.  
This week I’m coming at these same issues (and a few others) but from a different angle.  
So often much of our suffering is generated by our resistance to difficulty and pain.  And the cause of our suffering is the way we think about difficulty and pain.  
In this post, I wanted to share Ranier Maria Rilke’s “The Man Watching” as a way of offering you a profound alternative to the way we usually think about the struggles in our lives.   
Reading and understanding the messages in this poem have helped open my mind and allowed me to surrender during difficult times and thus be transformed by the gift of the experience – instead of resisting the angel because it came disguised in shadow and pain.
“The Man Watching”
I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can’t bear without a friend,
I can’t love without a sister
The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.
What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.
When we win it’s with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestler’s sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.
Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.
 It also helps in struggle to know that you are not alone.  Whoever you are, wherever you are, I believe that if you found this blog, somehow our souls are hanging out and high-fiving.  Whether I ever meet you or not, whether I work with you or not, my soul is made for rooting for those souls who are out there, doing their beautiful work in the world and who, even and especially when they are knocked down and feeling beaten up, just keep coming back at it.  
Bringing our dreams, our visions, to life is what we are made for; this is how we grow, so we might as well do it together and with love (life is MUCH more fun that way! ;).
With love and high-fives, 
Leah
P.S.
If you’re a soulful visionary and whether something is whispering to you that 2015 is the year you finally take that dream inside of you and make it a reality, or whether you’re already well on your way to living your dreams and now you’re looking for world class support on your continued journey, then I’m your coach.  
It’s my vision to be the best coach in the world for soulful visionaries and, beginning in January, I’ll have openings for 4 more clients who want a personal champion for themselves and their dreams, someone who will be by their side every step of the way, from start to finish, for an entire year. Cost is $25,000 for 12 months and includes highly customized, “haute couture” coaching, 3 weekend retreats where you will have VIP treatment, stunning, beautiful experiences designed to restore and empower you in mind, body, and spirit (these will be utterly amazing, on all levels!), 24 scheduled private sessions, a bank of “I need to talk to someone right now!” calls, unlimited email support, plenty of surprises along the way (the very best kind! ;) ) and results you’ve only dreamed of…until now.   If you’d like to set up an appointment to discuss whether this is the right program for you, please email me at leah@leahcb.com.

The Untrained Mind, The Beautiful Mind: You are not your thoughts, You are not your doubts or negativity

Hello, dear readers!

I hope you are having a beautiful Monday!  It’s snowing here in South Bend, so although it seems a little earlier and a tad bit ominous (considering the extreme polar vortex we experienced last year), I’ve done some writing, art, worked with one client today, and now am writing to you as the snow continues to gently fall, so it’s actually kind of cozy…so, onto today’s post!

I told you last week that I have two things to spell out for you this week that are nothing less than life-changing…if you spend some time taking them in and letting reside in your consciousness for awhile.

In the very first post, I quoted the line from A Course In Miracles which states,

“The untrained mind can accomplish nothing.”

One characteristic of the untrained mind is that it believes that we are our thoughts.

The beautiful mind, however, knows this to be true about all humans – that we are a soul and not our thoughts.  The beautiful mind knows this to be true:

You are not your thoughts. 

The beautiful mind knows that we are deathless souls having a human experience and that thoughts are a function of the body we get to experience, but thoughts are not who we really are.

It’s easy to say, harder to do, but if you set your heart and your sights on knowing who you really are, then life will open up and begin to flow.  Things will start to make more sense.

And you can begin to understand who you are by becoming crystal clear on who you are not.  And who you are not is your thoughts.

If you are not sure who you are and if you’re being weighed down more often than not by negativity, I’d suggest beginning by meditating on this:

I am not my thoughts. 

Another way I’ve come to frame this first for myself and then for my clients is as this:

Do not take your doubts and your negativity personally.

Once you reflect upon these two things, inevitably the question will arise:

If I am not my thoughts….then who am I?

I would suggest not “trying” to answer that question, but just asking it, wondering about it, and notice what comes to the surface.  Nothing may come or a thousand things may come.  The point right now is not to find “the answer” but to create and experience the opening that the question evokes, and to just hang out for awhile in that wide open, “don’t know mind” space.

I’ll be back next week to expound on these points, so if you have any thoughts, questions, reactions to these statements, I’d love to hear from you in the meantime in the comments below or on my Facebook page!

Here’s to your beautiful minds and all the beauty they will create in the world!

XO-

Leah

 

May Your Life Have Wings – A Brand New Painting!

IMG_8018original painting, Leah Campbell Badertscher, copyright 2014
30×40 acrylic and ink on canvas

“The man who has no imagination has no wings.”
-Muhammad Ali

Better brew some fresh coffee or pour a glass of Cabernet (that’d be my choice if I were joining you on this cold, snowy night in South Bend!), because this, my friends, is one heck of a long post…

But, good news! It’s pretty much all pictures!

I didn’t have a chance, just because of the logistics this time, to take this one into a professional photographer, so the photo quality isn’t outstanding (it’s my iPhone), but I hope you get a feel for the painting.

The pictures are of my most recent painting- which I can’t tell you the title of yet because this was a very special commission and I’m afraid that  revealing the title would give it away for the intended recipient (and it’s to be a surprise!).

I can tell you, though, that it was very much an honor to create this one.  And from the very clear, vivid Inspiration that informed it to the way things just seemed to come together in this piece, I was  also grateful for the Guidance and Help in the creation process.

Speaking of commissions, I’ve had more and more inquiries about just how my commission process works, so excuse me while I give you the brief overview.  I paint intuitively, which means I don’t begin with a set idea or outcome in mind.  What I do with commissions is to get a lot of information from you about the intended recipient(s) and the reason you want a painting – for yourself or for someone else.  And then I let all of this steep, I do my ritual and prayer of asking God to let me remember that I am the vessel and not the source, and then I go to work.  Painting is tremendously spiritual, mystical, work for me and so the entire time I’m painting I’m also working to remain open to whatever Inspiration and Guidance arises.   I do try to get a sense for what is needed energetically and translate that into this medium, but I also try to stay out of my head and in a creative flow that is so much more than me.  Woo?  Yes, but that’s really how I do it.

As for the non-woo details, my going rate is currently $2.15 a square inch for paintings with dimensions 12×12 or greater and I ask for half-down at the beginning, the remaining 50% (plus S&H fees – I work HARD to keep those as low as possible!) payable at completion.  So, for example, if you order a 48×48 (which is a stunning, gorgeous size, in my opinion!) the total cost would be $4,953, plus S&H.  A 24×12 = $619.

If you have any questions whatsoever about a commission, please just send me an email at leah@leahcb.com.  I’d love to hear from you!

Now, on to the photos!  :)

 

IMG_7987

 

 

IMG_7988

 

IMG_7989

IMG_7990

IMG_7991

IMG_7992

IMG_7993

IMG_7994

IMG_7995

IMG_7996

IMG_7997

IMG_7998

IMG_7999

IMG_8001

IMG_8002

IMG_8003

IMG_8004

IMG_8005

IMG_8006

IMG_8007

IMG_8008

IMG_8009

IMG_8010

IMG_8011

 

IMG_8012

IMG_8013

IMG_8014

IMG_8015

IMG_8016

IMG_8017
IMG_8019

IMG_8020

 

I look a wee bit dorky in this picture, yes I do.  I was half-dazed from staying up late to complete it and then getting up in the wee hours with a baby with an ear infection!  (not that I’m never dorky when I’m operating at 100% either…;)  But staying up to paint and take care of a baby – really, blessings on both counts. And I am so thrilled with how this one came about and turned out!  I can’t wait to hear what the new owner thinks!!!

I went back and forth about whether to point out certain details and explain symbols and imagery in this painting (and I’d never give anything away that was personal), but in the end, I decided to let your imaginations play with it and create their own stories and meaning.  If something speaks to you, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Let your imaginations loose my friends, and let your lives take flight!

Thank you for reading!

With love,

Leah

Untrained Mind, Beautiful Mind: Become an expert on your own negativity

Hello, dear readers!

I apologize for my absence the last week.  Between family events (including sick children and traveling across a few states with said sick children!), finishing up a couple commissioned paintings, and working with new clients, I decided that the blog had to be bumped for the time being.

And now I’m back,  so let’s get started with our Untrained Mind, Beautiful Mind series!

Last week I asked you to monitor your thinking and, particularly, your self-doubt.

The reason this is so incredibly important is that in order to have a mind that supports and serves your creativity, your genius, your highest purpose, you must first become so awake and so aware of all the thoughts, all your limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns, that do NOT align with the best version of you.

If you are not currently getting the results that you want, if you are not currently living as the best version of yourself most of the time, then negative thinking is running the show.  The first step toward creating change by training your mind is to train the mind to become aware of of your thoughts.

So, this week, I’d like you to do the what you did last week, but this week we are focusing particularly on becoming an expert of your own negative thinking.  I realize that may sound counterintuitive.

“Won’t focusing on my negative thinking just attract more negativity?” you may be wondering.

It depends.

If you focus on your negative thinking in an indulgent way, and by that I mean you are BELIEVING your negative thoughts, then you will absolutely attract more negativity.

But if you bring an attitude of curiosity and compassionate understanding towards your thinking, paying attention to the negative thoughts you have can set you free and on the road towards tremendous empowerment and change.

For this week, to aid you in moving from the Untrained Mind to the Beautiful Mind, I want to suggest the following:

1.  First, I want you to not only pay particular attention to what self-doubt thoughts you have, but also to all negative thoughts (of which self-doubt is one flavor).

2.  Second, I want to suggest you assume the following orientation:

Become an expert on your own negative thinking.  

How would an expert approach the investigation of a subject about which she/he is passionate?  They would study it, but with fascination and objectivity (because, clearly, judgment and the self-loathing that results from identifying with your negative thinking are biases that would definitely undermine the study!).  They would take copious notes (i.e., journal, write down your thoughts as clearly as you can), they would look for patterns, they would be awake and alert to those thoughts that move so quickly through your mind that they hardly seem to have existed, and yet these can totally color your day with their potent toxicity.

Become an expert on your own negative thinking.  

Becoming an expert on your own negative thinking will give you tremendous insights into yourself and into exactly how powerful you really are.  You’ll see that your negative thoughts have been creating your less than desirable results!  This is good news!  If your negative thoughts have been creating negative results, your mind is in perfect working order!  You aren’t broken just because you have self-doubt or negative thinking, nothing’s gone wrong – in fact, you’ve been getting exactly what you’ve been believing!

Again, negative thoughts do not mean that you are broken.  Any thought, positive or negative, only has power if you believe in it.  

Again, we’ll get to turning this mind around in coming weeks, but it is imperative that you do not skip this step and that you do not try to skip right ahead to changing your mind by just thinking better thoughts.  It won’t work – in fact, without an awareness and acceptance (yes.  acceptance!) of your current negative thinking patterns, you’ll be working against yourself.  And when it’s you versus you, you’re perfectly matched – no one wins and you deplete and exhaust yourself.  

So begin, with extra heaping doses of grace and self-compassion and loving-kindness, to pay very close attention to what you are thinking, because:

You cannot change what you do not understand.  You cannot free yourself from that which you do not understand.

What we are doing here as a first order of business is the deeply sacred work of getting to know our inner-workings.  Approach this as holy work and also approach this will a robust sense of curiosity and adventure!  You are like an anthropologist on an adventure to unearth lost and buried cultures and riches – your own untold history.

I’ll be back next week with a couple things that we’ve touched upon already, but I’m going to spell them out loud and clear.  These two things are complete game-changers…life-changers, really.  So, in the next week, do your homework of becoming an expert in your own negative thinking and check back next week for the next installment in Untrained Mind, Beautiful Mind!

In the meantime, I’d love to hear about how this process is going for you.  What comes up for you when you examine your mind and monitor your thoughts?  I think it can be particularly helpful to do this work with another person or a group, so I’d encourage you to find a friend or you are always more than welcome to share here on on the Facebook page – I promise to be a compassionate witness to your sacred work.  Thank you so much for being here!

Have a beautiful week!

XO-

Leah

 

 

A Beautiful Mind Mondays: Cultivating Awareness of Self-Doubt

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
-Slyvia Plath

 

Good Monday morning, my friends!

And since it is Monday, we’re going to be talking about befriending and training the mind! You can read about the introduction to this series about minding your mind here. I’m still trying to come up with the right title for this series though this title – A Beautiful Mind Mondays- is also inspired by my Mom, who not only is a beautiful person with a beautiful mind, but also because she’s been taking the master gardener course.  Gardening holds so many beautiful metaphors for cultivating a beautiful, health inner-landscape, that I like that association between being a master gardener and someone who is working to cultivate a master’s mind, which I envision as a very beautiful, healthy space.

Last week’s topic was on focusing your mind on your dream and today we’ll pick right up where we left off.  I had asked you to begin at the end by calling to mind your vision for your life or some very important goal you have and giving your mind the task of focusing on that goal.  

If you’re human and have a brain (and if you’re reading this, chances are both apply!  Halloween’s over and I’m not aware of having a zombie following on this blog… ;) ), then, given those two things, it’s likely that you’ve experienced some self-doubt in relationship to those dreams or goals.  And I’d say it’s exactly 100% likely you experienced self-doubt if you not only focused your mind on those goals but then also began to take action!

Self-doubt is the #1 paralytic of creatives and the reason most dreams die before we even give them a fighting chance.

But this does NOT have to be the case and it WILL NOT be the case if you train your mind.

The very first thing I want to say is to not wait for the moment when you are finally doubt-free to begin!  I’ll say more about this at the end of the post, but this is incredibly important – you can have self-doubt AND your dream AND be actively creating your dream.  Note the self-doubt and lace up your shoes, get out the door, and hit the ground running anyway.  Self-doubt will only have the power you give it, and if you begin to move on your dream, it will eventually be no match for your steady, humble, everyday devotion.

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
-Vincent van Gogh

So, while you continue to show up everyday for your dream and your highest-self, I also want to offer you ways in which you can train the brain so that self-doubt ceases to be such a potent source of struggle and toxicity.

This process begins by heightening your awareness of what you are thinking.  For today’s post, I particularly want to focus on you noticing how much attention you are currently giving self-doubt because  - I promise you! – developing an awareness of the role self-doubt plays in your creation process and the way you show up in the world will change your life.

Remember the quotes I gave you last week?

“The untrained mind can accomplish nothing.”
-A Course in Miracles

“The mind can be a wonderful servant,
but a terrible master.”

-Zen saying

These become extremely important to keep in mind as we discuss self-doubt because it is imperative to begin by acknowledging that the mind is incredibly powerful.  As the saying goes,

Energy flows where attention goes.

In other words,  your powerful mind WILL help you create what you focus on.

This is not to say that doubt is a bad thing.  In fact, I think it’s incredibly useful to think of doubt as “neutral.”  The only power it has is the power you give it (more on this next week).  In fact, as a constructive critical thinking function, doubt can be extremely useful if it helps call your attention to facts or intuitions you want to consider as you make decisions that move you closer towards your the life you want to live.

However, for the untrained mind, doubt is too often a destructive pattern we’ve allowed ourselves to indulge in, most often because we weren’t aware that we had a choice.

For many of us, the untrained mind, the one left to its own accord, will feast – GORGE itself- on doubt.  The mind as master- with you believing you’re at the mercy of its every whim and fancy- will use doubt to flog your confidence and beat your dreams to death.  Or maybe doubt just keeps you locked up, afraid to ever begin or, maybe you go through the motions of going after that life you want, but you’ll always, secretly, be holding back, never really risking, never really putting your whole heart and soul in the service of your dream or vision.

The trained mind and the mind as a wonderful servant, on the other hand, is very familiar with doubt, expects it, knows how to deal with it and still manages to maintain these sort of bi-focal focus on the big vision and also the very next step.  This kind of focus – locking your inner vision into alignment with both big picture and also the very next step – is something that I personally refer to as “The Clear Line.”  Anything other than “The Clear Line” is noise, and, in my opinion, for anyone who is following a dream that they really are about, most of the noise will be all about self-doubt = the reasons you can’t, won’t, will never, should never, do the thing the deepest, truest part of you absolutely is dying to do.

The way you can know the difference between whether you are running the show versus whether your mind is binging on doubt as a way to keep you safe or keep you miserable (or both), is to look at the results you are currently getting in your life.

If you are deeply satisfied with these results and you have a sense of trust and confidence about the path you are on, how you are walking it, and who you are becoming on the way to create those results, that’s a great indication that your higher self is running the show and that you aren’t letting doubt drain and derail you.

If, on the other hand, you aren’t satisfied with your results and you feel like you spend more time locked in struggle than getting anywhere and doing anything meaningful – and meanwhile you don’t like who you are becoming or how you are living along the way – I’d be willing to bet that your mind has been subsisting on a steady stream of doubt – or some of its many variants.

If this latter scenario is the case and train your mind so that it aligns with and supports your highest self, rather than chronically wrestling in doubt which drains you, here is what I’d encourage you to try for the next week:

Pay attention to what you pay attention to. 

There is so much more to say on this topic, but it is so extremely important that you really get this first step, that you realize you have an awareness and you realize that it is always focusing on something – either because you direct it or because you fail to direct it.

Again, the exercise for this week is simply to heighten your awareness of where you direct your precious and powerful attention.

You can do this by just noticing – with kind, curious fascination and without judgment (because remember, we are befriending our minds, not trying to loathe or beat them down!) – what thoughts you give the most attention to.

Pay particularly close attention to how much energy you are giving to your doubts….

versus…

how much energy you are giving to what you want and your belief in your ability to get the results you want.

This is so, so important because the more energy you give to your doubts, the more likely it is that you will create doubtful results.

Likewise, if you focus (and refocus and refocus….a thousand times, with kindness and trust!) on your vision of what you DO want to create and who you DO want to become, then your results- immediate, short-term, and over the long haul – will be ones that create feelings of deep satisfaction and will inspire greater confidence in yourself.

So, this week, pay attention to what you pay attention to, and then write it down.

If you want to do the MASTER MIND version of this exercise, I’d suggest the following exercises for this next week as well:

1. Every day, write down the three thoughts you think most often.  Also, if you suddenly are aware of certain thoughts that surprise you in any way, also add those to your three most common thoughts for that day.

2. Begin to notice how you feel when you think these thoughts.  Write those feelings down as well (and try to keep the feeling description to 1-3 words, at most).

3. Keeping in mind how these thoughts make you feel, notice what you tend to do when you are feeling any one particular feeling.  Write down the actions you take when experiencing a certain feeling.

4. Bring these observations back next week for the next post in the Master Mind series and I’ll show you what’s next!  If you have questions in the meantime, please leave a comment below or start a conversation on the Facebook page – I’d love to hear from you and what you’re noticing when you pay attention to what you pay attention to!

Also, I’d be fascinated to hear what your experience with self-doubt is.  What are your most “doubting thoughts” about yourself and how are you currently continuing to work towards your dreams in spite of those thoughts?

And that question is very much related to the last thing I want to leave with you today, if you take nothing else away from this post, please know that self-doubt does not have to “go away” or you do not have to “rid yourself of self-doubt” in order to begin and continue working towards your dreams!  DO NOT WAIT for the elimination of self-doubt before you begin.  That is one of the most dangerous and tragic mistakes I see people make.

Know that you are big enough, vast enough, to hold both self-doubt, note it, and keep your eyes on your dream and take that very next step, and then another, and then another.  Keep your head up and your feet moving, your heart open, keep creating, and self-doubt will eventually not be able to keep up!

To your dreams and your beautiful mind!

XO

Leah

PS- It is totally possible to work through self-doubt without hiring a coach and I want you to keep on keeping on!  Also, in my own experience, I believe I have dropped a decade – or a few - from being mired in self-doubt  by hiring the right coaches and mentors.  I now invest in myself and my dreams this way on a regular basis because I believe it is so important to my ongoing success and also just the health and vitality and effectiveness of my spirit.  If something is calling you and something is also calling you to work with me, I’d love to hear about these dreams and intuitions!  You can schedule a free twenty minute consultation by emailing me at leah[at]leahcb[dot]com.

 

 

 

Love What You Love Friday: REIN Juicery

IMG_6209Giving yourself what you love is like jet fuel for your spirit.  It’s is an excellent way to draw out your muse and evoke your greatest potential.  Hence the candles, colorful painting (my own!), live plant, my favorite kind of journal, and one of my favorite juices from my favorite South Bend business – REIN Juicery!  

I am a big, BIG believer in reaching for what you love and what is going to nourish you in mind, body, and spirit.  In fact, that belief is the impetus for this Friday blog series “Love What You Love.”  My intention is for you to become fascinated about what it is you love and then to give yourself permission to explore and give yourself those things – and then stand back and watch as your life begins to grow and flourish!

Nourishing yourself does includes giving your body nutritious, delicious food and also, for me, means deliberately filling my day with encounters with people who have a lovely, uplifting, healthy energy –  which brings me to the subject of today’s Love What You Love post….

IMG_6207

REIN Juicery!

(Located in the beautifully bold lime green little building on South Bend Ave., right next to The Breadsmith, address: 2035 S. South Bend Ave)

In my humble opinion, REIN Juicery is one of the most awesome things to happen in South Bend in recent history. :)  I love to see creative energy and entrepreneurship come together in a way that brings goodness and vitality to a local economy and community and I think they are such a great example of this.

Their product – delicious, fresh, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and an amazing coffee drink (my recent favorite!), their store, and they as people embody so many things that I love.

From the colors of their juices (their line-up of juice looks like a lot of my favorite palette for painting!) to the way they source their ingredients locally whenever possible, to their bright, shining, authentic enthusiasm and passion for what they do to the vibrant, clean, healthy way their juice makes you feel…all of these things make them an obvious choice for a Love What You Love post!

If you haven’t stopped in yet and you live in South Bend, you definitely should!  My favorites are the Peariffic Smoothie, Gangster Green juice, Purple Rein D-Tox, and the Kuppa Koffee (coffee blended with grass-fed butter and MCT oil= delicious and also incredible creative fuel!), but I’ve tried many others and they are all amazing.  I’ve even picked them up for clients to try and will definitely be treating friends and clients that come to town to visit.

I’m so excited to have this kind of place and these kind of people in South Bend!  Their energy is fresh and so kind and, whether it’s them or the juice, I definitely feel healthier, more energetic, happier every time I stop in.

How about you – do you have any businesses in your area that you adore?  And, what in your mind, makes them so special?  Is it the product or do you believe, as I clearly do, that the energy with which you serve, create, and contribute makes worlds of difference?  

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or on my Facebook page about the products, businesses, services you would promote shouting from the hill-tops – and just what it is, in your opinion, that makes them tops?

Have a Happy Halloween, a Blessed All Saints Day, and a BEAUTIFUL weekend!

XO-

Leah