Hell, Hope & Feathers

Shift Your Spirits - Wish

May people with power get good sense, may people with good sense get power, and may God give patience to the rest of us in the meantime.
—Julia Sugarbaker

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
—Ernest Hemingway

Most of life is Hell. It’s filled with failure and loss — people disappoint you, dreams don’t work out, hearts get broken … and the best moments of life, when everything comes together, are few and fleeting. But you’ll never get to the next great moment if you don’t keep going. So that’s what I do. I keep going.
—Elaine Barrish

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
—Emily Dickinson

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Image credit Darwin Bell via Creative Commons on Flickr

Change Your Life in 3 Months

image - time

You can reprogram your thoughts, habits, and behaviors in 30 days.

But, to tell you the truth, I never plan anything around a single month.

I don’t even look at my business on a monthly basis — I only analyze quarters.

I don’t schedule creative projects on a monthly basis — I plan those as quarters too.

My blog also has an editorial schedule built around quarters.

Within a quarter, there’s usually a sucky month — looked at by itself, it would just make me miserable for a month.

And there’s always the one month out of the three that picks up slack for the others. Analyzed together, it all evens out.

A single month can speed by, and the following month can creep up on you. It’s more practical to prepare for them in advance, in blocks of three.

With goal setting, it’s easy for most of us to go hard for that first month.

But what if you lose momentum in the second month?
A lot of people call themselves a “failure” at that point and give up.
Why? You’re 6 weeks in, holding down 5/6 — that’s actually pretty damned good.

If you have a third month, you have a chance to lose momentum, suck for a bit, beat yourself up for a minute, rally, and still finish strong!

So, I’m wondering:

What happens if you apply business-style quarterly planning and assessment to other areas of your life you want to improve?


The real simple version:

  • Perform 3 actions each week that move you closer to your goal.
  • Do this for 3 months.
  • Assess only as a 3-month block of time.

That’s really it!

Want to test my theory?
Write me back or comment on Facebook. Keep me posted!

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Image credit h.koppdelaney via Creative Commons

The Year End Review Post that Won’t Make You Feel Like Crap about Yourself

Optimism Getting Dressed

2016 will go down in history as one of The Worst. Years. EVER. It’s true. You are not alone. (If you escaped, congratulations. The rest of us cannot relate to you.)

The bizarre thing about 2016 — the facet that has been the hardest for me to resolve — for all that was awful about this year, the few high points were really high. The exceptions were major. The good was some of the best I’ve ever known. I guess it had to be, for balance.

Just so you know, before we go too much further, I am not going to make you read a list of my “accomplishments, milestones, and successes.”

I keep reading these year end review posts, where the author shares all the gleaming, glittery, wonderful things they did — and some part of me commends them, I really do…

But no matter what I’ve accomplished — and I honestly have done tons of shit — there’s something about the whole “Here, sit down, let me get you a cookie and a cup of tea while I talk about myself” … It just bugs me, man.

It brings out this bitter, sarcastic voice within me. It does. I’m admitting it.

So, anyway, one of these wonderful posts — by someone I truly admire, by the way, because I would not have been reading it in the first place — challenged me to actually make a list of what went right this year.

I was busted.

I needed to humble myself and start with some basic gratitude reframing. I did.

And so the part of me that is generally lit up, lit up, and was like:

“Do this.”

I did it.

And I had them — the accomplishments, the milestones, the successes.

They looked different in print. I was impressed, seeing them there like that. How in the hell could I have ever failed to acknowledge this much? How did I forget?

But, as tempted as I am to shove those accomplishments, milestones, and successes in your face and scream “Ta-dah! Look what I did!”

I’m not going to do it.

Because I’m assuming you might find that as annoying as I do.

What I will do is challenge you — encourage you, truly, wholeheartedly, without an ounce of bitter sarcasm — to make that list for yourself.

What went right for you this year?

If nothing went right for you at all, list everything you’re grateful for.

(I know. You’ve heard this a million times. All the unicorn people preach about it. But have you really actually literally sat down and made that list yet? This year? Do it. It works.)

Bonus Exercise:
This ain’t over. We’ve still got three weeks before we bury this year, and there is time to end strong.

Pick one thing — just one — from the list of things you wanted to accomplish this year and never got around to.

Pick the one likely to have the most impact. Do it. Just the one.

You won.

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Image credit “Optimism Getting Dressed” by h.koppdelaney via Creative Commons

What Happened to the Ascension?

levitating original sin

Wasn’t humanity supposed to be ascending?
Weren’t we collectively waking up as a species? More and more of us becoming conscious, empathic, self-aware? Age of Aquarius and all that…

If it’s true, then why are we seeing a shift — across the entire globe — toward right-wing ideologies and religious extremism?

We’re not observing the derailing of humanity’s ascension, but the shedding of humanity’s skin. The old, rough, tired and worn out way of dealing with fear in the world.

You know how, soon after death, the body can violently reanimate?
Jerks, convulsions, seizures…

Right-wing fundamentalism and separatism has already died.

This is the ugly moment where the bile and blood come up, the bowels are released, and the corpse starts moving like something out of a horror film.

Hang on tight through the death throes.

It’s ugly. It’s scary.

But it’s an illusion of life and resurrection.

It’s not coming back.

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Image credit Simon Pais-Thomas via Creative Commons on Flickr

Who do you want to be when you meet the love of your life?

Soul Mates

Your ex is getting married.
You saw the engagement pics on Facebook.
You’re internally beating yourself up for having such a petty emotional response.

“Even that asshole has someone … really?”
“There must be something profoundly wrong with me that I’m still alone, while…”

It’s entirely human to have this internal conversation; but while you’re at it, ask yourself:

“Who do I want to be when I meet the love of my life?”

Prioritize becoming that person.

The better you know yourself, the more likely you and your potential mate can recognize one another.

It’s not about finding them; it’s about finding you.

Focus on a passion that has nothing to do with anyone else.

Alone or partnered (or something else) it’s a win in all potential scenarios.

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Image credit h.koppdelaney via Creative Commons on Flickr

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