Monthly Archives: August 2017

Open mind

Open Mind

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There’s an old saying that I have heard over the years, and it goes like this: “Minds are like parachutes. To work, they need to be open.” I have always tried to remind myself of this little tidbit over the years when I come across new information. We have been living in the Information Age for a while now and often find ourselves being introduced to new information.

Although we frequently hear it said that “Knowledge is power,” it can also be overwhelming and tricky to decipher. The hardest part is knowing what needs our attention and what doesn’t, which is difficult when information is being forced upon us from all angles. It helps to prioritize and to know exactly what it is you’re looking for. It’s also important to exercise good judgement and critical thinking. When I research things, I find points from both sides of the coin and facts that support more than one side of every story. In my experience as a consumer of information, I’ve learned that the two most powerful strategies we have are keeping an open mind and trusting our intuition.

When you come across facts that contradict themselves or find evidence that fits more than one puzzle, you really have to rely on what you resonate with. Just because information is something you haven’t heard before doesn’t mean it’s false.

Often when we hear information that is beyond our education or experience, we tend to dismiss it and deny its existence. We don’t always allow space for things we haven’t learned or been exposed to. When we close our minds to new ideas we may miss very relevant or helpful information. The mind is such a powerful tool. We can use it to help us—or to shut out opportunities.

There is much we simply do not know. It appears to be impossible to learn everything we need to in our culture and education. Especially with technology and science advancing so quickly. As things progress and advance, we learn things we didn’t know before and many times we prove the things we thought were true actually aren’t. So if you are stubborn with your facts, knowledge, and information, you may very well be misinforming yourself.

Our brains are designed to download information into our subconscious. So it can be very difficult to learn and unlearn new things. However, when you can keep an open mind when you come across information that changes or challenges what you know (before your first instinct kicks in to deny or argue against it), you allow room for more understanding.

I find myself exposed to quite a bit of new information every day. It does challenge what I know so far in this game, but if I don’t approach it with an open mind, I miss out on newer and better things on the horizon. Not all new things are necessarily better for us, but without being open to weighing the options, we miss out altogether on ideas that may help us better our lives.

I find often when browsing social media that it seems we are quick to argue with another rather than first fully listen. Then there may be an opportunity to learn or look further into it. Once we have given respectful attention to a subject that may be important for us, we can share our perspective and understanding. I feel if we can approach our conversations and interactions with an open mind, we can come to understand one another better. We may not always agree on every subject, but you can allow love and growth in.

Sharing is caring. Just because you have been introduced to information you haven’t encountered before does not make it right or wrong. The first step is discovering a bit more. Perhaps the information is something you know very little about. Or maybe there have been better advancements and understandings since you’ve studied and learned it. It could even be a lack of experience from your own perspective. No matter the reason, it may be helpful to remember that none of us know it all.

Since life is in constant motion and always changing, our information and technology will most likely change as well. I think it’s our human nature to be innovative and strive for better results and findings. For us to move forward and progress as well, the first step is opening our minds!



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Imagine you are sitting in front of a calm, peaceful stream. You are surrounded by nature and all its stunning beauty. The warmth of the sun shining down upon your face. The smell of fresh air penetrating your lungs. You can see the vibrant colors of the flowers and trees. No noise from traffic or the city. No phones ringing and buzzing. Just you and these tranquil surroundings.

You pick up a rock and skip it across the river and watch the ripples multiply as it expands. Taking in this marvelous and peaceful flow. You can appreciate how one small rock creates this change in movement. The juxtaposition between stillness and flow. Imagine feeling peace, calm, and tranquility. How often do you feel harmony throughout your day?

In our river of consciousness, our thoughts, feelings, and words are stones causing a ripple effect in our lives. We don’t always pay attention to the power of our stones we are tossing in. When we aren’t intentional with our thoughts, words, and deeds, we may have created negative habits that are rippling in an unpleasant direction. We notice them daily, but not how we may have contributed to that energy and momentum. Our thoughts, words, and actions are powerful stones.

When we can slow down our busy thoughts, actions, and noise, we can experience the present like tossing the stone across the river in nature. We can be more intentional and mindful of our choices. We can get caught up too often in our distractions of our busy lives missing our ripples.

It can be very beneficial to find a few moments in your day to experience some quiet moments and stillness. A disconnect from the frequency waves of stress and worry. A moment to take a few deep breaths and connect with the river of stillness within. This small amount of time can help you aim towards more harmony to infuse in your daily life.

We often wait until we have days off or a vacation before we immerse in what makes us feel tranquil. We don’t always have large windows everyday for what we may consider relaxing. We can steal moments to inject ripples of peace and joy into every day. Often it’s the small moments that make the big impacts when we create a little space for them.

The simple act of finding a few quiet moments somewhere in your day can manifest a ripple effect to penetrate your louder, busier times. Intentionally incorporating some harmony can carry you through your day more joyfully. It can buy you some space to notice how you are using your thoughts, words, and actions and give you some tools to calm down the chaos in your life. In this space, you have the opportunity to choose what stones you want to ripple in your life. Gaining the clarity of what you choose to say along with directing your thinking more, you will directly affect the kind of experiences you prefer to have.

The more you can choose your thoughts and words with awareness, the more you empower the captain in your life—which is YOU! We can give too much of our power away outside ourselves. We give it away to expectations of others. We give it away when we don’t tend to our emotions. And we certainly give it away when we allow too much noise from others and from social media that moves us away from our inner selves.

I encourage you to empower your stones that ripple through your life. When you choose little stones of peace, calmness, happiness, and joy, you ripple those into greater amounts in your life. Those small ripples turn into large ones expanding into the world. Be mindful of your stones and ripples. We are all contributing individually and collectively. We are aren’t only navigating our lives, but we are planting seeds and painting our world together!



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Too often I hear people refer to rest as if it’s only for the sick. Suggesting rest as a term of defeat or a 4-letter curse word. The importance of rest to enhance your stamina and perseverance is too often underrated, simply because many of us are taught to rest only when we are done rather than to rest along the way to fuel the momentum to our ends and goals.

I’ve listened to many motivational teachers over the years, especially in business trainings and seminars. Sayings I’ve heard most often repeated are “You can rest when you’re dead,” “Hustle is 24/7,” and one that makes me giggle the most is “Suffer now or suffer later.” If the only path towards your dreams is suffering, no wonder so many people are terrified of failure and going after their dreams. Now I’m not against motavation. I just think we may have been hammering it a little too hard.

I’ve found in reflecting on my successes that I’ve gotten where I am by being patient with my goals and hanging in there during the journey. The times I have tried the hustle approach, I have either run out of steam or crashed and burned. It took me a much longer time to get back up than if I would have learned better rest and balance along the way. Every time I tried to push my way to to my goals, I was ignoring the signals coming from my body, mind, and spirit. A few times my health even crashed to a scary place from too much hustle and grind.

The message I would like you to consider is taking care of your body, health, and mind to help you rise to your successes and goals. We have many successes and failures in life. At least if one grind doesn’t work out, you didn’t pay for it with your health and sanity. Every grind doesn’t pay off the way we may have planned. You can recoup and keep moving better when you have rest and balance added to your journey. If you fail or fall, it’s a bit easier to get up rather than experience much suffering and defeat.

Here is an example. Let’s say you want to drive a long distance trip to an exciting destination. Before you arrive, you are most likely going to stop for gas, stretch your legs, and maybe get some sleep. If you try to drive straight through the trip with no rest or refueling, you certainly can increase your chances of danger. Studies have shown if you drive long hours without sleep, you deprive yourself of your mental clarity, possibly causing a wreck or falling asleep at the wheel. Also, how far will your transportation go without the fuel? Just like pushing your vehicle too far and breaking down, you can push your body and health to the point of breaking down.

I’ve learned when I incorporate more rest and balance in my life and activities, I engage with much better clarity and momentum. I last in the long hauls better. Valuing my own reserves for fueling helps me set the boundaries I need to succeed to the end. I see so many people running out of steam trying to push through the expectations. Rather than including rest and restoration, they burn their adrenals, causing stress, high blood pressure, and many negative health effects. Once this has taken place for a period of time, coming back from negative health can be a harder journey, often causing even more major problems.

As another old saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It may be better phrased as “All work and no play makes Jack a tired, sick boy.” I think the larger message is that there seems to be a time and place for everything. Balance can keep you from tipping your scales towards negative consequences. Even athletes understand the power of nutrition and balance to reach their heights. Work should be no different.

Perhaps a good reminder to keep you moving forward with greater balance is to think to yourself, The harder I work, the harder I need to rest— and the less you have to try to force yourself to do things your body and mind are simultaneously resisting. Learn to listen to your internal navigation system. It is designed to help you. Allow rest to launch you to better heights. Be an ally to yourself, not an enemy.