i wanna play

It is spring – time for spring fever. I wanna play.

Inner restlessness – inside I feel like I did when I was a kid and we got to play endless games outside because the weather was finally warm enough to stay outside until it was dark.

I can smell the fresh cut grass and I feel an itch in my solar plexus.

I want to do new things. Anything seems possible.

All that hibernation and concentration in winter seems to have transformed into energy.

Spring cleaning.

I want to paint my house – or my neon legs.

I wish I had a power washer!

I need a new haircut.

I have a serious case of shiny object syndrome.

It really is time to leave some things behind. I know what they are for me. Do you know what they are for you?

Isn’t it wonderful?

Nothing lasts forever, which is both wonderful and terrible; but not boring.

Never boring.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

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p.s. So what shiny object do you want to pursue? Want help figuring out what the old thoughts and beliefs and how to think new ones that actually serve you? If you’d like to talk about it, send me an email and we can set up a time to chat. maggie@talktomaggie.com

Practice makes awesome

So for this week, more on brain busting, and a lesson from choral singing.

Last week I talked about cognitive dissonance, that thing where conflicting thoughts and beliefs makes your head explode.

I said that if your brain gets to go around unsupervised, then it will attack the new beliefs, the ones that serve you, because that’s the easiest thing to do. Well, there’s more to the story.

Your brain isn’t doing it to hurt you, or because it’s stupid, or flawed or anything like that.

Your brain is working as designed. When you aren’t managing your brain, it follows it’s default programming.

A foundational piece of your brain’s default programming is to go for the easy answer. That means that your brain will have a tendency to search for, remember and interpret information that supports your preexisting thoughts and beliefs.

That’s called confirmation bias. It happens all the time, right? We see things through the lens of what we already think and believe.

When we are in charge of our brain, that can be intentional. (In can also be one of our blind spots, but that’s a topic for a different day.)

When we let our brain run around unsupervised, when we aren’t managing our thoughts, it’s unintentional. It’s the opposite of mindful! And our brain will use confirmation bias to take a jackhammer to any new thoughts and beliefs that might conflict with your old ones.

And that, my friends, is what self sabotage is all about.

I just thought you might want to know a little more about how it happens and why.

I want to reiterate that when it happens, you’re not broken. You don’t need to be fixed. You just need to take charge of your brain. You might need to learn how to do that. You definitely need to practice.

Here’s the lesson from choral singing:

PRACTICE MAKES AWESOME.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

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p.s. So what makes your head explode? Want help figuring out what the old thoughts and beliefs and how to think new ones that actually serve you? If you’d like to talk about it, send me an email and we can set up a time to chat. maggie@talktomaggie.com

That thing where your brain explodes…

You know that thing when you hear something that bounces off of your brain and you just can’t take it in? Or when it makes your head explode?

Or you want to believe something wonderful, but you just can’t make it apply to you? Somehow it works for other people, but you just can’t see any way for it to be true for you.

One of my clients found a great way to explain what it’s like. She has these things that she believes are just true, like laws about the way life works. But so many other people seem to have found a rift in the universe because they just aren’t held back by those laws. They can actually have, be and do what they aspire to have, be and do.

It’s just mystifying. It does your head in.

You can’t imagine how to change things…but yet you kinda can because you’re thinking about it.

That’s called cognitive dissonance. Sounds complex, but it’s not. It’s when you have conflicting thoughts or beliefs that cause mental discomfort, so your brain starts altering your thoughts and beliefs to reduce the conflict and the discomfort.

That’s right, your brain starts changing your thoughts and beliefs – without your permission. That loud sound that you hear, that’s your brain taking a jackhammer to the conflicting thoughts.

If your brain is running around unsupervised, it’s gonna go after the new thoughts, just because it’s easier. I had a boss once who would just stop doing anything – yes, anything – if it made his head hurt. He was letting his brain be unsupervised.

But what if you want the NEW thought, the NEW belief? What if they are better? What if they serve you?

Here’s the secret: You are in charge of your brain.

When your head explodes, you can choose how you put the pieces back together.

You don’t have to think those old thoughts, believe those old beliefs. You can choose to alter them, to be more in alignment with what you want. You can operate the jackhammer!

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

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p.s. So what makes your head explode? Want help figuring out what the old thoughts and beliefs and how to think new ones that actually serve you? If you’d like to talk about it, send me an email and we can set up a time to chat. maggie@talktomaggie.com

A World of Effects

I started out writing about the ripple effect, but I got sidetracked, as I often do when I play with Google or Wikipedia. I found a few other effects that really fit my topic for today, which is that you never know what kind of impact you’re going to have on the people around you, on your world or the world.

Our thoughts, words, feelings and actions can have profound impacts. Each one of these effects is a fantastic metaphor for one of the many ways we affect our world, no matter how big your world is! And they are also fantastic metaphors for making personal change, because you’re a part of the world.

The ripple effect – when you throw a rock into a lake, you can see the ripples as they spread out. You can see how far out the ripples spread outwards, from the center, and the incremental aftershocks. But when you throw a rock into a lake, the ripples on the surface fade, even though the currents continue under the surface.

The snowball effect is when a small change builds upon itself becoming larger and more full of potential – like a snowball rolling down hill that gathers more and more snow. Sometimes a small start is just the impetus we need to grow to bigger things.

The butterfly effect is when a small change in one place can result in large changes somewhere else, and the effect is pretty much unpredictable. This doesn’t have to be the premise for a disaster movie. I think of this as synchronicity – random acts of kindness that can make all the difference in someone’s day. Unpredictably magical.

The placebo effect is a psychological phenomenon where the body starts to heal itself without receiving “real” treatments. Sometimes people associate placebos with deception. I don’t. I think that placebos work because sometimes we just need an instigator – something to ignite our natural healthy state.

The goldilocks effect is attending to, living in or developing in a way that is not to simple, but not too complex. It’s the habitable zone around a star. It’s the challenge that causes growth without struggle. I like this one best of all!

I’ve been fortunate enough lately to be seeing signs of how I’ve had a positive effect on people’s lives over the past years. It’s a reminder for me to be responsible, be kind, be random and to keep going.

All of these effects have the affect of proving that you make a difference.

You matter.

So much more than you know now.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

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p.s. It’s March. Most of those new year’s resolutions have fallen away – 92% of them if you believe in statistics. Who cares about resolutions, though? I care about goals. What’s your goal? Want to achieve it? Want to try an approach that isn’t full of struggle and drama? If you’d like to talk about it, send me an email and we can set up a time to chat. maggie@talktomaggie.com

BS Files #8: You gotta get out of your comfort zone

The BS Files are kinda like the X-files – full of myths and urban legends and mysterious things. I feel that it is my duty to tackle them (occasionally). Because, you know, the truth is out there. This one may not be as popular as some of the others, because it definitely goes against conventional wisdom.

Case #8. You gotta get out of your comfort zone! Bullshit!

It seems to be SUPER popular these days to try to convince people that the only way you’re going to change and grow is if you step completely out of your comfort zone and embrace the discomfort. It’s much loved by the entrepreneur crowd.

It’s just not true.

First, there is no ONE way to do anything because there is no One Size Fits All, remember? There are many ways.

Second, this seems a lot like the very old school method of teaching someone to swim by throwing them in the deep end of the pool.

This myth is much loved by the entrepreneur crowd. Maybe that’s because they were very uncomfortable when they first started, and it worked for them, ergo it’s required. That’s a little like the “my parents used to beat me and I came out okay” logic to me. Or the “I need the pressure of a deadline to perform” logic. Or the “I have to be miserable if I’m going to change” logic. Or “no pain no gain”. I think all of that is bullshit, really.

There are other options. One I really like is balance. I like to set my feet nice and firmly in my confidence zone, set my balance and then stretch into something new. I often surprise myself with how much I can stretch if I don’t start with a wobbly foundation.

Or another one is upcycling – taking something from one area, recycling it and transforming to fit into another area.

There’s also leveraging – taking a strength and using it to help build in a weaker or less confident arena (the whole Strengths Finder thing).

There’s dancing – two steps forward, one step back. Salsa or swing or floss or….

Sure, there’s a little discomfort involved in growth, but you don’t have to step completely out of comfort into discomfort. You can choose for yourself. Even if it’s not in style.

Truth: There is no one way to grow.

Truth: Maybe you need to be uncomfortable. Maybe I don’t. We can both be right.

Truth: You don’t HAVE TO DO anything. You get to choose. You are the boss of you.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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It’s 2019. Time for a change or two. Are you living a life full of microdrama, guilt (shudder) or confusion? That is all 100% optional. If you don’t believe me, let’s talk. Email me (maggie@talktomaggie.com)if you’d like to chat. We can set you up to succeed without struggling! Believing anything else is BS!

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Have a topic for the BS files? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

“Just” a wish

There’s nothing wrong with a wish. Lots of things start with wishes.

And as you probably know by now, I believe in magic, so I believe that wishes have power. I believe that magic is stuff that science doesn’t know how to explain…yet.

I also believe that explaining something doesn’t diminish the magic. We understand photosynthesis, but that doesn’t make a sequoia any less magical.

Anyway, wishes can be the start of our own personal magic!

I was on a group coaching call the other day, led by a woman who I think is fantastic in so many ways. But she says she doesn’t believe in that woo woo stuff. I’m sorry.

She was coaching a woman who hadn’t been putting enough time and energy into her business. She said, “Your business isn’t a magic bean. It’s a regular bean. It needs dirt and water and sunshine. There are no magic beans.”

Hmmm. No magic beans, that makes me sad.

Then the woman being coached lit up and said, “All beans are magic! All they need is dirt and water and sunshine and then they grow!”

Yes! All beans are magic!

Magic happens, but it doesn’t just happen. We have to do our part!

So if we have a goal that starts as a wish, that’s fantastic. Next we have to do our part of the magic, and that’s the plan.

Another way to say it is that the plan is how we will work our magic and reach our goal.

I don’t know about you, but I’m no muggle. I want to work my magic. Part of my magic is coming up with a plan that works. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that planning is some of my special magic. Maybe it’s my wand?

What’s yours?

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

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p.s. It’s March. Most of those new year’s resolutions have fallen away – 92% of them if you believe in statistics. Who cares about resolutions, though? I care about goals. What’s your goal? Want to achieve it? Want to try an approach that isn’t full of struggle and drama? If you’d like to talk about it, send me an email and we can set up a time to chat. maggie@talktomaggie.com

Let go a little

I’ve been seeing a pattern. When I see a pattern, I can’t ignore it. Well, I can but I’ve learned that I shouldn’t…or else the message just gets louder until I really can’t ignore it.  So I guess that means I should talk about it.

Here’s what I’m seeing: We all want things. Some of us know exactly what we want, some of us are trying to figure that out.

When we finally figure it out, we begin to dream about what it will be like when we get there.

We get very specific with our vision, and we try to engineer that precise outcome.

Nothing else will do. It must be that exact vision.

We get sucked into a vortex of black and white thinking. No shades of grey or orange or any other color. There’s “exactly what we want” and nothing else.

We become control freaks; Universal control freaks (hee hee). We lose our creativity as well as our objectivity. We become blind to any other possibilities or opportunities.

Maybe you think what you want is precisely what you want. I would like to suggest that maybe what you really want is to feel how you think you will feel when you get what you want. That’s the true result you want, isn’t it? That feeling?

Maybe, just maybe, there’s another way to get that feeling. There could be, right?

Open up to the possibility a little bit.

Let go of the control just a little.

Leave the door open just a crack and let in a little bit of light.

You’ll be surprised how many colors and shades and hues appear with just a little bit of light – it’s not all black and white anymore.

I am not saying that it isn’t absolutely fabulous to know what you want – it is. And it is also powerfully effective to visualize it in great detail and make it so real that you believe in your ability to have what you want.

I just want you to dream in technicolor!

Here’s a little doorstop that you can use to keep the door propped open a little bit.

“This or something better.”

Try adding it as a tagline to your dream.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

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p.s. It’s 2019. Lots of people set lots of goals, and you know what’s going to happen in a couple of months, right? There’s a different way to approach goals – one based on starting from a peaceful foundation, which is a lot like getting a thought alignment. If you want to talk about it, email me (maggie@talktomaggie.com) or schedule a free mini session with me (here). A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about the noise that’s holding you back and what you can do about it. We can set you up to succeed without struggling! You have time!

How magical it is to be wrong!

I used to think that being wrong was one of the worst things that could happen. If I were wrong (gasp shudder) I would be humiliated. And if people were to find out – well, they would know that I was a fraud and my worth as a human being would come into question.

Do you think I’m exaggerating? I’m not. Okay, maybe just a little bit.

But I lived in a universe of microdrama (remember that word?) in which every thing I did was a struggle not to be wrong – or if I were wrong, not to be found out.

And let me tell you, that is some compound shit – as in it piles up on top of itself and crushes youI

One of the best years of my life was a good while back – the year that I discovered it was okay to be wrong. I didn’t die. I wasn’t kicked out of the human race. My people loved me anyway. But even better, they LIKED me more when I learned to say things like “I’m wrong. I’m sorry. My bad and can I fix it?”

Even more important, I liked me better. I liked my life better. I wasn’t living under the pressure of a layer of compound shit.

And from there, things really took off…almost like flying.

Once I discovered that it was okay to be wrong, so many more things became possible.

I was able to try things I had been afraid to try (because, you know, what if I’m wrong?)

I stopped arguing. It just went away.

I was able to let go of tons of mistakes I’d made in the past.

It was okay if other people were wrong.

And gradually, it has even become okay if other people are wrong about me.

How magical it is to be wrong. It’s almost like flying.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

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p.s. Saying “my bad” and walking away is only okay on the basketball court. In real life, you need to know (or ask) if there’s follow-up required.

p.p.s. It’s 2019. Lots of people set lots of goals, and you know what’s going to happen in a couple of months, right? There’s a different way to approach goals – one based on starting from a peaceful foundation, which is a lot like getting a thought alignment. If you want to talk about it, email me (maggie@talktomaggie.com) or schedule a free mini session with me (here). A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about the noise that’s holding you back and what you can do about it. We can set you up to succeed without struggling! You have time!

It’s the human touch

We have so much eLife, or iLife or digital life. A huge percentage of our content is delivered online, electronically. We converse via text and chats and emojis. We have Facebook friends. Some of them are real friends and family that are just at a distance, but let’s face it – there is such a thing as a Facebook friend that’s different from just a plain friend.

I bet you’re expecting me to go on a rant about how we should put the phone down, cut down on social media, stop texting during dinner yada yada and how the electronic era has caused us to isolate and how we don’t really connect any more. Then I’ll transition into some diatribe about the younger generation which is just a version of “GET OFF MY LAWN!”

Surprise. Nope.

I am actually fan of all that digital stuff. It doesn’t replace the face to face in person stuff, it augments.

As an introvert and an empath, I really love the fact that I can truly connect with more people without it being a huge energy drain.

And unless there’s some big electromagnetic apocalypse, it’s not going away anytime soon.

So maybe it’s how we think about it that matters.

I was inspired to write about this because I just started a real conversation with an artist and author on the Isle of Guernsey. I signed up for something on her website, noticed a typo and sent her an email because it was funny and I would want to know if it were me, and she responded with thanks and curiosity about what I do, and off we went. My world just got a little bit bigger and a little bit better.

For me, I try to always remember that there is a person on the other end. For me, that means I think about what I say and how they might hear it

There is a person at this end, too. Which means I get to decide who, what, when and where I connect. I still get to choose how big my world is.

Sometimes it’s a little easier to just hang up or delete a message from a scammer than it is to get rid of the person who is at your door trying to convert you. I don’t think that’s a bad thing…

I just want you to know that I think about you when I write these blogs – you are a real person. So am I! I love when I get an email or a comment back from you!

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Happy Valentine’s Day,

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It’s 2019. Lots of people are setting goals, and you know what’s going to happen in a couple of months, right? There’s a different way to approach goals – one based on starting from a peaceful foundation, which is a lot like getting a thought alignment. If you want to talk about it, email me (maggie@talktomaggie.com) or schedule a free mini session with me (here). A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about the noise that’s holding you back and what you can do about it. We can set you up to succeed without struggling! You have time!

Do I have enough time?

Are you in a hurry? Why? Do you think that you don’t have enough time, or that you’re already behind? Is it almost too late? Is it too late? FOMO? Catching up? Do you think most things in life are a race that you’re losing?

Sometimes being in a hurry can feel like a good thing, especially when you are eager and anticipating. Sometimes it feels like that little kick of motivation that you need to get started or to keep going.

But mostly being in a hurry doesn’t feel like a good thing – an it isn’t. You rush, you skip over things, you multi-task. You aren’t present now because you’re too focused on when. There’s an uncomfortable sense of urgency like…well, you’re driving and you’re late but you really have to pee. And it’s really, really stressful. It feels like a constant sprint to the finish line – except the line keeps moving.

What if it isn’t a sprint at all? What if you’re just in it for the long game, and you don’t need to worry about the finish line?

It isn’t a race. You have plenty of time.

How do you feel when you think that thought? I have plenty of time. Isn’t that expansive? Luxurious? Abundant, even?

We hear the phrase time is money all the time. Usually, that prompts us to go into scarcity mode. So we seek immediate gratification and false pleasure because we believe that we’d better grab it while we can.

But what if time is the ocean in which we all live?

Take care of it, yes – lovingly. Swim in it? Float, dive, play in it? Fish in it? Travel in it? Yes to all that.

If we’re in it for the long haul, we can take the time we need to make the right decisions and do the right things for us. We can seek our own evolution and long term well-being.

If we have all the time we need, we don’t need to be so harsh on ourselves. One little mistake isn’t a crisis or mean that we are doomed to failure. We have time to try something different. We have time to learn.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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It’s 2019. Lots of people are setting goals, and you now what’s going to happen in a couple of months, right? There’s a different way to approach goals – one based on starting from a peaceful foundation, which is a lot like getting a thought alignment. If you want to talk about it, email me (maggie@talktomaggie.com) or schedule a free mini session with me (here). A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about the noise that’s holding you back and what you can do about it. We can set you up to succeed without struggling! You have time!