Get Out of Your Rut: Three Keys to Reimagining Possibility
And Creating a Juicy Life You Love! Part 3 of 3
By Maureen Fahey Knutson
In the first 2 articles in this 3-part series, we talked about the 1st 2 keys 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 3rd key, which is the focus of today’s article, let’s review Keys #1 and #2.
Key #1 – CLARITY. If you don’t know what you want, how can you move forward? “When you are clear, what you want will show up in your life and only to the extent that you are clear.” ~ Chris and Janet Attwood
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
Key #2 – FOCUS. Where you put your focus has a lot to do with your quality of life. “What you put your attention on grows stronger in your life.” ~ Chris and Janet Attwood
Put your focus on:
• Noticing your thinking patterns and choosing the upward spiral
• Shifting your attention to what you love and enjoy
• Motivating yourself by moving toward what you want
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, and motivate yourself to moving toward what you want, you increase your joy and fulfillment while growing your vision of new possibilities in your life.
Now, it is time to talk about Key #3 – MINDSET.
In my experience, I have found that a mindset that fosters possibilities begins with the first 2 keys we have already discussed, clarity and focus. So in this way the 3 keys build on each other. But what is mindset? The dictionary defines it as attitude, disposition or mood. And what affects our mindset the most? I know for myself that my mindset is determined by the thoughts I think. Happy thoughts, happy mood. Grateful thoughts, grateful mood. Worried thoughts, worried mood. Hopeless thoughts, hopeless mood. You get the picture.
So if our thinking affect our moods, let’s back up a second and look at what affects our thinking the most. Nothing affects our thinking more than our beliefs. Beliefs are powerful because they are the basis for the rules we live by, what we “allow” ourselves to think and what we consider possible in our lives. Beliefs also tunnel our perception and zero us in on only the evidence that supports our theories, like a self-fulfilling prophesy. Think about it. When we believe something whether it is a conscious belief or not, we tend to look for the evidence that supports our belief and ignore, rationalize or discount the evidence that refutes them.
One way to look at beliefs is to use the analogy of tinted sunglasses that we’ve forgotten we are wearing. Now does wearing tinted sunglasses have any effect on what is before us or do they just affect “how” we see it? Here’s a corollary, how many of you have heard the Henry Ford quote “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”? Again beliefs color how we look at life. Is the glass half empty or is it half full?
Now, here’s another interesting point about beliefs. Most people believe that we have to “have” certain things in place before we can start being who we want to be and having the feelings we want to have. For example, I have to have the perfect partner before I will be happy. Or, I have to have a college education to feel worthy. These are examples of limiting beliefs that hold us back. When in reality it works the other way around, how we are being and feeling tends to dictate what is possible. For example, when we are being happy first we are more likely to attract that perfect partner. When we are feeling worthy first, we have greater self-esteem and are more willing to invest in ourselves.
So, if beliefs shape thoughts, what can you do to direct your thinking in ways that and make us feel good and cultivates a mindset of possibility? And this brings us to Tool #5.
Tool # 5: CHOOSING EMPOWERING BELIEFS, THOUGHTS, WORDS AND ACTIONS
By understanding that what we think, say and do is what we grow in our lives, we can choose to grow intentionally by first getting really clear on what we want and then putting that desire into empowering beliefs, thoughts, words and actions. And that is what we’ve been talking about throughout this series of articles. So, let’s break this down.
Ok, once we’ve gotten clarity about what we want to create in our lives through intention and tapping into our passions, learned how to focus our attention on the upward spiral, what we love and enjoy and want to move toward, and become conscious of our thought patterns, we are better equipped to choose beliefs and thoughts that support us in achieving our dreams.
For example, before I tapped into my passions, I was unaware that I’d had a limiting belief that I couldn’t have a life I loved. When I was finally honest with myself about what I wanted and gave myself permission to dream up an ideal life, I could see that this was the obstacle that had been holding me back. When I became aware of it and how it was not serving me, I was able to let it go and choose the empowering belief that I could have a life I love. You know, in the past, I’d hear some people say “I’m living the dream!” And, I used to feel envious and wonder why I wasn’t. Today, I’m happy to say that my motto is I’m living the dream and I want that for everyone.
Working with beliefs is a fascinating process that we could spend a lot of time on. But in a short article we can only cover so much. So for now, let’s look at other ways to move forward with thoughts, words and actions that support a mindset of possibility. What I’d like to do now is introduce you to another practice that can help you to supercharge your results.
And that brings us to Tool #6: BE THE PERSON OF YOUR DREAMS
That means learning to choose how you want to show up moment to moment. Because it’s a choice. Similar to choosing the upward spiral. This practice also helps create a shift in your state of being. Acting with awareness, you can consciously choose to embody the states you want to create in your life. And what I really love about it is that you can go from pitiful to powerful in a moment. By noticing when things are not going ideally for you, you can choose to shift to what is ideal for you. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or concerned, ask yourself, who would I like to be in this moment instead of who I am being right now? Make it juicy, then inhabit that being. Using this practice is one of the most empowering ways I’ve experienced to move me from a contracted state to a more expansive state that allows greater possibility in my life. Besides, it is fun!
There are many teachers that promote this practice. One of my favorites is Mike Dooley. Have you heard of him and his Notes from the Universe? This is the Note from the Universe he sent out on January 2nd of this year and I’d like to share it with you.
“Today, BE the person of your dreams.
See life through THEIR eyes.
Make decisions with THEIR mind.
Let every thought, word and action come from THEIR perspective, as if you had already arrived, and just watch how 2015 warps into the kind of year you talk and laugh about forever and ever and ever…
Peace, love and green M&Ms ~ The Universe”
I want to give you an example of one of the many ways I use this practice myself. One of my greatest passions is creating, sharing and enjoying beauty in the world. And one of the ways I do that is by making jewelry. Now, it is so easy and effortless for me. But when I was a stressed out engineer, getting up at 4 am and going to bed at 11 pm and only getting 5 hours of sleep, making jewelry was not always easy. I didn’t have much time to do what I wanted to then and so when I could carve out a few hours, I’d tell myself, “you must make something beautiful right now or not waste this precious time”. I would put so much pressure on myself that it really crimped my ability to relax and allow the creative process to flow. That is so not me anymore. Now that I have given myself permission to have what I love and have hung up my engineering career, my artistic expression is really blossoming. And, when I sit down to create, I consciously step into that creative artist that I know I really am and trust that my intuition will serve me in creating amazingly beautiful works of art, and then I do! And I use it for anytime I start doubting myself. Which is happening less and less these days, because using this practice is working so well for me.
Not only is this really fun, it can have some interesting repercussions. So, here’s some food for thought. We already understand that beliefs shape thoughts which drive our mindset and behavior. That makes sense and is consistent with our experience. Well, I’d like you to entertain the notion that this chain of events can work in the reverse. When we first change our behavior patterns by consciously choosing to act in alignment with the person of our dreams or choosing how we want to show up moment to moment doesn’t that send a message to our inner observer that we are behaving in a manner that is out of the ordinary? To make sense of this change, the inner observer first realizes that this new behavior is incongruent with existing beliefs that drive ordinary behavior patterns and then is lead to look for reasons why that lead it to new conclusions that can shape new beliefs? I think this may be the operating principle behind “fake it til you make it”. So, play with it and just notice what happens. I think you may be surprised at what you find.
As I touched on earlier in my discussion on focus, we are most effective when our attention expands beyond just thinking about what we want to taking actions that move us in those directions. And, the good news is by taking action and trying new things we boost our belief in our ability to succeed. Haven’t we all gained new found confidence when we have had the courage to try or learn something new and practice it until we are proficient or comfortable with it? Remember when you learned to ride a bike? It seemed scary at first but once we got it, wow, that felt so good! Then maybe we took another baby step like letting go of the handles, “Look, Mom, no hands.” Then riding a bike became an easy and natural thing like being a fish in water. Trying new things can be scary and challenging and yet the rewards can make it all worth it. All we ever need is a little encouragement. So, can you guess what Tool #7 is?
Tool #7: Taking Action and baby steps are ok!
And, when it comes to taking action, baby steps are ok! Or even half or a quarter of a baby step. I know for some of us, our risk aversion increases with age. And sometimes we imagine things are riskier and scarier than they really are and so we give up without even trying something we are really drawn to or think would be fun or fulfilling. So my advice to you is to take a tiny baby step outside your comfort zone and see what happens. Take that feedback and use it to formulate another tiny baby step. Rinse and repeat. Pretty soon you are saying, “Huh, that wasn’t so hard. If I could do that, then I can do this.” And before you know it, you will look back in retrospect and say to yourself “Wow I am a quantum leap ahead of where I was before!” And that is an empowering feeling! And with feelings of greater confidence and empowerment, we are able to allow our vision of what is possible to grow and multiply.
I know that is true for me in my life. As I’ve pursued my dream of being an entrepreneur, I’ve realized that it’s not going to happen without risk taking and stepping outside of my comfort zone. I think also that with age, at least for me, it’s easier for me to see that there really isn’t anyone or anything to be afraid of anymore. Not that I don’t have fear sometimes, that’s part of life. Rational fears can protect you. I’m talking more about irrational fears. Fears like, if I really let somebody see who I am or what I stand for, they may not like me or my opinions. It’s easy to play small when we’re fearful but it doesn’t serve us or anybody else. This is something I have learned from my business coach. She has been pushing me out of my comfort zone for the past 18 months and holding me accountable to my commitments. Without her encouragement and guidance I would still be at home behind my computer hoping that my business would grow organically without any real effort on my part. And because I have stepped out of my comfort zone, I have been achieved things that have surprised and delighted me. A few of these things include being featured on a business success panel, a Bolder Business Women’s podcast and a radio interview, I’ve been doing public speaking, workshops, coaching, and self-staged events. I’ve been invited to be a key note speaker for a couple of local events this summer and fall. Eventually, I see a book in my future, and perhaps even host of my own radio show. And as I continue to make progress, more doors open and greater possibilities come my way.
And, here’s another benefit of taking action. Sometimes we think we are clear on what we want and until we take action, we don’t realize that our intentions may be misinformed. This usually happens when our intentions are based on what we think we “should” be, do or have, meaning we haven’t been honest with ourselves about what we really want or are afraid to give ourselves permission to have it. Taking action always yields feedback that can be used to gain even greater clarity about what we really want and allow us to make course corrections on our journey.
So let’s briefly review Key #3 – MINDSET. Attitude, disposition or mood; it has a lot to do with conscious choices.
You can cultivate a mindset of possibility by:
• Understanding that beliefs shape thoughts; we look for the evidence
• Choosing empowering beliefs, thoughts, words and actions
• Choosing who to be moment to moment
• Stepping into the person of your dreams today; change behavior, change beliefs
• Taking inspired actions and boosting your confidence
Before we wrap up I have a couple of closing remarks. Basically, in this series of articles, I am sharing with you the practices I have used to assist me on my journey and that have allowed me to do so much more than I ever imagined was possible in my life. Without this knowledge and information, I would not have had the courage or audacity to be where I am today. I’m on a mission to bring this knowledge to those that need it so they can step into their power and create the kind of life and happiness they are yearning for.
Isn’t it great to know that you can be the person of your dreams if you are honest with yourself about what you want and give yourself permission to be who you yearn to be. You can reimagine possibility in your life like I have. I’ve done it and keep doing it. I can show you how you can, too. And the first step is to put this knowledge and information that we’ve talked about tonight to work in your life.
I know there are some of you that want to go farther. So what about those next steps? You can come to my next workshop that’s on Saturday, June 27th at the Vancouver Yoga Center, or you can go through the Passion Quest process by working with me 1-on-1.
If you have taken the time to read this series, it’s likely you are interested in reimagining possibility in your life and you want to thrive. Actually, I believe it is in our nature to thrive! I have a friend likes to say, “Don’t wait, feel great!” Well, if you’ve waited long enough, isn’t it time to feel great? So do yourself a favor, come to the workshop and start thriving! Here is the information on the workshop:
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.