Get Out of Your Rut: Three Keys to Reimagining Possibility And Creating a Juicy Life You Love!
By Maureen Fahey Knutson
In the first article in this 3-part series, we talked about the 1st key to reimaging possibility and creating a juicy life you love and some tools you can use to start moving you forward. So before we jump into the 2nd key, which is the focus of today’s article, let’s review Key #1 – CLARITY. Use intention setting to create empowering outcomes in your mind you can aspire to. Tap into your passions to inform your intentions and be completely honest about what you want and give yourself permission to have it. Consciously stating what you choose to create in your life produces clarity and is the first step to reimagining possibility and moving toward manifesting it. So, let’s move on to KEY #2: FOCUS
One of the most life changing lessons that I have learned has to do with focus. Where you focus your attention has a lot to do with your quality of life. Has anyone heard “Where your attention goes, energy flows?”, or noticed that “What you put your attention on grows stronger in your life”? Think about it. Obviously, anytime we want to achieve something, we focus our attention on it, whether it’s learning to ride a bike, get an education, find a partner, choose a home, take a vacation, or change careers. And you’ve no doubt noticed that we are most effective at getting what we want when our attention expands beyond just thinking about it to taking actions that move us in those directions. And, when we are focused on what we want, moving forward and seeing our results, our world of possibilities opens up and that feels really good and exciting.
And, have you ever noticed that there are times when you are not feeling so great. Maybe feeling a bit contracted or shut down and unable to see possibilities because you are focused on the negative people, conditions, or situations around you which drain your energy and bring you down? Haven’t we all experienced that at one time or another? And have you ever noticed that there are some people who find themselves in this distressing state more often than not? My heart really goes out to people like that because I used to be one of them.
What I have come to realize is that most people don’t purposely choose to be unhappy yet they sometimes make choices outside of their conscious awareness about where they focus their attention that often doesn’t serve them well. And, without awareness, it can become an automatic reaction or an unconscious habit of choosing the glass half empty. I know that was true for me until I became aware of my choices, decided to let go of that habit, and learned to be more deliberate about where I focused my attention.
For example, when I was an unhappy engineer, I spent a lot of time focusing on the things in my life that I didn’t like, didn’t want, or wished would go away. This left me feeling trapped, anxious and stressed out. And, worse, in this state, when confronted with uncertainty about how a situation might turn out, I would often choose the downward spiral. It makes no sense to me now, but at the time it wasn’t a conscious decision. I guess at some subconscious level it seemed somehow safer to assume the worst rather than to assume the best and risk disappointment.
And, I can see how choosing the downward spiral was a symptom of a flawed perspective that I call “black and white thinking”, something else that I used to suffer from. Fortunately, with the help of a coach, I was able to see my tendency to view possible outcomes in one of two ways, either black or white, which in my mind meant either disaster or perfection. Somehow, I was blind to the fact that there always exists a spectrum of potential outcomes with an infinite range of possibilities. And, when I became aware that black and white thinking had been my dominant tendency and a giant source of limitation in my life, I was able to start thinking differently and to see I had many more choices than I had previously considered.
I remember one time several years ago when I caught myself starting to spin a disappointing and distressing story. My husband had been gone on a business trip for several days and was coming home late…I’d already gone to bed but heard him come home. I think it was probably around 11 pm on a weeknight. I thought to myself, “I’m going to pretend I’m asleep since I need to get up early the next day.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I was glad he was home, I just wanted to get a good night’s sleep. As I lay in bed, I started wondering…you know how traveling is…maybe he’d need to take some time to unwind, maybe drink some wine, watch some YouTube music videos, stay up way too late, come to bed and want to “let me know how much he missed me”, not want to get up early and walk with me…
Fortunately, I became aware that I was falling into an old, tired habit and put the brakes on. Somehow, in that particular moment, the epiphany came to me that I had a choice. Rather than choose the downward spiral, I could just as easily choose to spin a story about surprise and delight that pleased me, so I did. I wondered to myself, hmm, what would be ideal would be for him to come straight to bed and go straight to sleep. So which of those 2 things do you think he did? Yep, he came straight to bed and went straight to sleep!
That incident also helped me realize that spinning the downward spiral wastes a lot of energy that could be put to more productive uses. From that day on I began a practice of reminding myself to deliberately choose the upward spiral on a daily basis. And, it’s a practice that takes awareness and repetition to turn into a habit. And, it is easiest to do in conjunction with Tool #3.
Tool #3: SHIFTING YOUR ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU LOVE AND ENJOY Tapping into my passions helped me get clear on what I love and enjoy. It gave me something else to focus on and allowed me to see outside the box of negativity that had previously been the focus of my attention. By learning to consciously shift my attention away from what I didn’t like, didn’t want or wished would go away and to stay focused on what I love and am passionate about, miracles started happening in my life. When I train my attention there, I feel inspired, excited, energized and alive! And that is the power and beauty of tapping into your passions! Coupled with deliberately choosing the upward spiral, I create so much more possibility in my life. And the good news is that you can use these tools to do the same!
In the area of focus, there is one more interesting point I want to cover. Our ability to see possibilities is also influenced by the ways that we tend to motivate ourselves. Typically, we are motivated in one of two ways: to move toward pleasure to or move away from pain, in other words, we are talking about the carrot or the stick.
When we are motivated to move away from something painful, we tend to produce inconsistent results because we can get far enough away from the pain that we think we are safe and we can sometimes slip back into our old patterns and end up back where we started. A prime example is when people manage to lose weight only to gain it back. And this brings us to tool #4.
Tool #4: MOVING TOWARD WHAT YOU WANT A more powerful form of motivation is to move toward something you want and this produces more consistent results because when we move toward things we value and love that bring us pleasure we are more likely to be inspired by our vision, achieve results and to sustain our efforts.
The mentor who taught me this principle illustrates it with a story about himself and how he struggled with his weight for years. Ultimately he realized he needed to change his way of looking at his situation and shift his motivation from moving away from something he didn’t want to moving toward something he did. When he got clear that what was really important to him was not simply dropping excess weight so he could look good, but rather to be vibrantly and radiantly healthy and feeling good, he was successful in making long-term lifestyle changes that allowed him to shed 80 lbs and keep it off long term.
Let’s review Key #2 – By making the conscious and deliberate choice to:
• choose the upward spiral when confronted with uncertainty
• keep your focus on what you love and want to create more of in your life
• motivate yourself by moving toward what you want, you increase your joy and fulfillment while growing your vision of new possibilities in your life.
In next month’s issue of the newsletter, I will wrap up the series with Part 3. In the meantime, if you are wanting to reimagine possibility for yourself and create a juicy life you love, and are ready to take action, then my upcoming Passion Quest work shop is perfect for you! Especially if you are a seasoned professional who outwardly looks like you have it all but secretly on the inside you know something is missing. Or if you feel like an imposter or like life has lost its sparkle.
Discover the clarity and tools that will move you powerfully forward in creating the positive change you are seeking in your life. In this 2.5 hour workshop, you will be guided through a process of self-discovery and exploration. Using the Passion Test book by Chris and Janet Attwood, you will:
• Gain a tool to help you be as successful and fulfilled as possible
• Get clear on what you love and is most important to you
• Shift your perspective in ways that create more possibility in your life and open new doors
• Create a juicy vision of your ideal life and the steps to start living it right away
• Get excited and energized
The Passion Quest Workshop includes a copy of the Passion Test Book, a Personal Passion Quest Workbook and three hours of coaching with Maureen in a comfortable group setting. You will leave with your Top 5 Passions, a deeper understanding of what makes life juicy for you, and how to focus your attention so that you can consciously create the life of your dreams. Next Workshop Date & Location:
Vancouver Yoga Center
1101 Broadway #216, Vancouver, WA
Saturday, June 27th, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm
Cost $197 (bring a friend for free!)
Space is limited to the first 20 participants so grab your seat today!
Please RSVP to: Maureen Fahey Knutson at Fireworks Transformations by phone 360-773-6057 or email Maureen@Fireworkstransformations.today.
A recovering engineer turned entrepreneur and jewelry artist, Maureen is now the CEO and Founder of Fireworks Transformations as well as Fireworks Jewelry. Maureen is a dynamic leader, teacher and presenter who has worked with hundreds of men and women from all over the world. Her mission in life is to inspire transformation and grow prosperity. One of her greatest passions is helping people reimagine possibility in their lives. To this end, she teaches people how to use simple and powerful principles to bring their thoughts, words and actions into alignment with their purpose and the fulfillment they desire so they can create and live a juicy life they love.