“What now?” versus “What next?”

You know how sometimes you seem to just know what to do, and other times planning goes sideways? The harder you try to get clarity, the murkier you feel?

Sometimes when we seek clarity in the moment, we innocently confuse ourselves by looking too far down the road. We confuse fortune-telling with listening for guidance. If you find yourself spinning as you contemplate what comes next, play with allowing your mind to quiet and asking, “What now?”

Not, “What are the next three things I need to do?” But simply, “What now? What’s showing up right this moment?”

Look for yourself

You don’t have to believe that asking “What now?” will work better than “What next?” Just let yourself to notice if there is something about this that sounds or feels right. If there is, allow yourself to be inclined in the direction of that feeling. The value isn’t in the words or the formula; it’s in that feeling you get of being somehow more connected.

Let me know what shows up. As always I welcome your comments, questions, and push back.  And if this has been helpful, please share it with friends and colleagues using the social sharing buttons on the left. ♥ 

For deeper engagement with your own knowingness, check out The Art of Living

The Art of Living is a 12-week virtual mash-up of teaching and group coaching. In a small group (maximum 12), we will tap the deeper intelligence available to every human being, the intelligence that will guide you in the creation of what you want in life, whether you think it is possible at the outset or not. The intelligence that provides the answers, regardless of what questions you ask. 🙂

Starts November 9, 2017Click here for details.

Overwhelm is optional (really!)

Overwhelm is optional—really

If a surfer riding the crest of a wave obsesses about the last six waves or the next six waves, she’s certain to wipe out.

Yet human beings do this all the time when we (yes, me too!) innocently generate overwhelm.

The illusion of overwhelm

Most of us live in the illusion that overwhelm comes from overwhelming circumstances. We think that our jammed mental circuits, tight shoulders, irritability, and confusion are inevitable and natural consequences of the situations we face.

But that’s just not so.

Overwhelm comes to us courtesy of thought, not the world

Overwhelm is the product of overwhelming thought, not overwhelming circumstances.

Consider surfing.

If overwhelm were the natural byproduct of circumstances, every surfer would be utterly and completely freaked out by the ocean all the time.

I mean really, what’s more freaking overwhelming than the ocean and wind?

Successful surfers only focus on one wave at a time

A surfer who succeeds isn’t thinking about yesterday’s waves or tomorrow’s weather. She succeeds and improves to the extent that she pays attention right here, right now, and allows herself to be educated by the experience.

The surfer who stays in the moment learns naturally and organically on multiple levels as she gains experience. If she overanalyzes that experience, she’s going to gum up the works, stop learning, and perform poorly. (In golf this is known as the yips.)

Overwhelm arises from using the small personal mind to do a job it isn’t designed to do

Overwhelm arises when we try to think our way through situations that we are designed to live our way through.

When we live in the moment, life educates us in exactly the ways we require to meet whatever life is serving up. Like babies learning to walk and talk, life invites us to whole body, whole mind, whole spirit learning.

So long as we come back to the wave we are on right now.

Talk back

Play with this. Reflect on your experience. Where do you notice you or someone around you learning and growing organically? And where do you see you or someone else gum up the works by trying too hard or getting hung up on the past or the future? Play with the possibility that you are designed to do life with less mental effort than you may think.

Let me know what you notice in the comments at the bottom of this page, or email me.

Check out The Art of Living

How would it be to really see that you are perfectly designed to do life? If that sounds good, check out The Art of Living. It’s starts November 9, and three of 12 places are already spoken for.

How to rock the game of life

This video is a bit longer than usual. It’s all about the freedom we have to make up whatever game we choose to play in life from what matters to what we create to how we keep score. We can’t control the outcomes, but we have infinite choice over the inputs. When we shift our focus from outcomes to inputs, we see that rocking the game of life is more like making art than it is about winning races. Along the way I touch on choosing to work on a gift basis and marrying The Charming Prince. I enjoyed sharing this ride with you, and I hope it leaves you with a good feeling for how much freedom, possibility, and joy are available to you. ♥

Step into miracle

In January, 2016, I wrote:

Miracles begin when you do.

So often we look for the right place to begin. And like trying to figure out how to get out of bed or how to write, looking for the place to begin is precisely what keeps you from doing so.

The beginning is here and now with you…. If you want miracles, start by noticing that you are one.

Perhaps you recognize truth in that, but right now you need to pay the rent, find love, or get clients.

It’s a lovely idea, but you’ve got problems to solve before you can lounge around grooving on yourself as a miracle.

I get it.

Me, too.

Some days stepping into miracle seems like denial, delusion, or avoidance

Problems can look so compelling that, while we would dearly love a miracle, we’re pretty sure that looking for one would be a phenomenal waste of time and a diversion of energy from doing what has to be done.

But ah! I’m not talking about looking for a miracle

There’s a gigantic, spectacular difference between looking for a miracle in a “Please, Universe, get over here and save my freaking butt” way and stepping into the miracle that underlies everything, including us.

Stepping into miracle is not passive. It’s not the desperate act of a delusional victim seeking rescue from a cosmic magician. It’s a turning toward the creative source of all innovation, beauty, and love and taking step after modest step in response to the inklings, insights, and ideas that arise in each moment.

Stepping into miracle is eminently practical

Artists do it all the time. So, in their way, do the best scientists, physicians, athletes, and parents. They feel their way, drawing from an energy and intelligence that can’t be adequately captured in words.

We’re actually already there

In reality, there is not stepping into or out of miracle, there is only realization of what is already here. But stepping into miracle can be a useful metaphor, because it reminds us to act. To engage. To step into life.

Insight reveals miracle

The deep miracle that permeates life is invisible to the intellect, but insight makes it palpable. If you’d like to see and feel and dance with miracle in your life, join me for The Art of Living, Rediscovering Magic and Meaning in Life and Work. We will be exploring the Principles behind miracle so that you can see it at work and lean into it. The Art of Living begins Wednesday, July 5th, and I would love to have you in the group. Click here to learn more.

 

Here’s what others have said about The Art of Living

Molly’s guidance broke me through some long-standing blocks that had been frustrating me in life and business. Now I feel that I have a new set of references, and I’m on a whole new ball game. She is a wonderful, generous teacher and guide. Twelve weeks was a perfect span to make essential changes. Deborah Clare Proctor, New Ways of Being Me

I am writing my first book (never having got past an outline before). If you are at a crossroads or have some part-buried creative aspiration that you’ve always found reasons to suppress, then this course can open things up in ways you can’t predict. Juliet Fay, Writer, coach and social entrepreneur

 The Art of Living starts July 5th

The Art of Living uses the Zoom conferencing platform, so you can participate from virtually anywhere in the world.  Click here to check it out.

Why you never have to worry about making a wrong turn

Each of us has an inner guidance system, a sort of GPS. Most of us know this on some level, yet we second guess ourselves. What if we misinterpret the information our GPS is giving us? What if we make the wrong turn? It turns out that those questions really don’t matter. Your inner GPS is capable of recalibrating and recalculating no matter what move you make. You can rely on that and worry less about getting it “right.”

Wonder: the key that unlocks state of mind

State of mind is the key to accessing contentment, resilience, creativity–all the things we seek by manipulating our circumstances. It looks like we will feel less frantic when we manage our time better, but the reality is that we manage our time better when we are less frantic. It looks like we will feel more peaceful and contented when we master our clutter, but the reality is that when we are peaceful and contented, we deal with clutter organically in whatever way suits the moment.

What, then, is the key to being in the state of mind from which peace and contentment naturally arise? As you may have discovered, trying to change your state of mind by effort or analysis doesn’t work. It may seem to work occasionally, but that’s an accidental coincidence of a natural shift in state of mind with the strategy du jour. There is a correlation, but no causation.

What causes state of mind to shift is insight. Some might call it grace. And while insight and grace can’t be achieved through effort, there is a way to court them: cultivate wonder.

Wonder has many flavors ranging from wide-eyed curiosity to honest doubt. What they all have in common is an open mind and the willingness to see something new. The degree to which your mind is open and the amount of willingness you have may be vast or tiny; it makes no difference. As long as you wonder honestly and with some degree of open-mindedness and willingness to see something new, you are hanging out where insight happens.

Neither this nor anything else I say is something to take on faith. It’s something to wonder about, to resonate against your own experience. I would love to know both what makes sense to you and what simply doesn’t match your experience. Please use the comments to share your perspective or feel free to email me.

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