Since we’re heading into 2012, which is supposed to be all about change, Mayans and maybe (r)evolution, I figured the incoming new year is a perfect opportunity to talk about some of the life-changing techniques I’ve learned from other members of the majority gender.
In a Google Chat conversation I had with my IBFF (Internet Best Friend Forever) and fellow interweb writer, Marianna, we discussed giving ourselves life makeovers. As of right now, Marianna and I are both within a forty day range of our next birthdays. Holler if you would like to give us presents of beer, baked goods or baked goods. Anyway, I think the annual return of the sun to the place it was at a person’s birth is a great time to initiate change, and reestablish focuses. Our specific desire for a change is also partially due to the present economic climate’s abusive relationship with our bank accounts.
Okay, I know a lot of people read “makeover,” and likely groaned. Eyes are probably rolling at this very moment! The word makeover has this boring, Band-Aid connotation to it. Well, I’m talking about updating my approach to life; renewing it, refreshing it and making it over. I’m talking about some existential, new age enlightenment. This is some, be the change you wanna see, shit. Honestly, I think the word makeover is kinda cute. So, life makeovers for all! Tiny American flags for others!
I want to talk a bit about creating. This new age we’re headed in to is filled with all sorts of opportunities! I’m not interested in letting my friends and I walk into 2012 with the last age’s neuroses on. I suppose, as a reader of this, you’re now counted as a friend. Wanna play a game of Words With Friends and watch Golden Girls when this is over?
Now that we’re all pals, let’s talk about where to start in this creation. Some good places to begin this journey into the future are forgiveness and gratitude. Many smart, respectable ladies have told me that their roads to success included learning to forgive and offer thanks. One woman told me that telling someone that you appreciate them opens at least ten doors of opportunities for them. I find that meditating on these concepts, helps, too. Told you this was gonna be some new age shit!
Learning how forgive others and ourselves puts us in a position where we spend less time judging others, self-blaming and hanging on to resentment. Taking time to be thankful for what we have, the people around us and the things we are capable of doing, opens doors and possibilities. Also, that positive outlook stuff works effectively with concrete goals and at least a little bit of focus.
If I’m going to be making anything over, I’ve got to figure out what I want to be made over into and how to maintain focus on it.
After figuring out what I want to be, I must embody it. It’s just like they tell people in any basic leadership class, the first step towards getting that promotion is acting like the job is already yours. Just fake it ’till you make it. So if my goal is to be a professional writer, I must be that in my mind right now. Not in a conceited way, just in a fashion where I look at the world from a different lens. Since I’m not 100% Age of Aquarius fluff and existential rainbows, I also know that I have lots of work to do in order to accomplish my goals. While I’m working on all the pain in the ass steps required to actually become what I want to be, this mindset helps me stay focused, and difficult tasks seem a little easier.
One fun thing I’ve done for this life makeover of mine is create a vision board. Okay, that sounds extremely hokey, but I did it, and it’s awesome. Two of my good lady-friends, Kri and Hettie, created a vision board for their U.S. music tour, and put it in their kitchen. They worked really hard on all the details of the tour, and actually used the board as a map of where they were stopping along the way. Their vision board really helped them stay focused, and their tour was a success.
A vision board is a collection of clippings from magazines, newspapers and maybe pictures printed off from the Internet on a sheet of paper or cork board. It is also a lot more than that. Setting a good intention before picking out the things to stick to a board really makes a difference. Is the plan to go on a road trip? Maybe getting a promotion? Perhaps the goal of the vision board is just to have a reminder of motivational things in a space where work gets done.
Having a visual reminder of what my goals are, and how cool it’s gonna be once I reach them, helps me stay focused. I mean, Oprah’s website has directions on how to make one, so it’s gotta be some real stuff, right? My vision board represents my career and life goals. I put some inspirational people on it, a map of places I want to visit, and some key words and phrases to keep my ass on track. Simple strings of words such as, “Stay grounded,” and “Seek the truth,” can be really incredible for me when I’m in one of those emotional artist moments where nothing seems good enough.
The phrase, “Make it happen,” is something I have said for a long time, and it’s usually my response to someone who sounds super motivated about doing something. If the tools to do it are within reach, and it’s something worth doing, then make it happen. A wise woman once told me that human beings are powerful creators. You can easily create whatever future you want for yourself. Just close your eyes, envision the scent, sound and emotion of your future, and make it happen. In all practicality, wishing stuff into existence alone is a bunch of bullshit, but putting our minds in a place where the things we need and dream of are possible? That’s some powerful stuff.
I find that the things I don’t accomplish are often things I didn’t think were possible, or I talked myself out of believing I could do. The phrase, “Put your mind to it,” really speaks volumes for the whole creating your future thing. We need to speak to ourselves, and let our minds know that we can accomplish something without saying, “Ah, it’ll never happen. The odds are against me.” Once you doubt, you’re out. Support yourself, and surround yourself with people who will do the same whenever possible.
In regards to my personal life makeover, I really want to focus on making myself happy, rather than making money. That’s actually rather stupid, considering how broke I am. Doing fun creative stuff is more important to me right now than an immediate financial return. Is it selfish to think I deserve fulfillment? Hell no. Everyone deserves to find emotional fulfillment and satisfaction at their job. I think that it’s the rigid structure of our society that adds to how miserable we are, and our belief that we must accept being miserable in exchange for money.
Maybe I’m way off base, but I think that human beings can do anything, particularly us members of the majority gender. With a healthy amount of actual work along with some positive thinking, anything is possible.
I’m really interested in hearing what kind of changes you want to make in your life. Wanna come to my birthday party, new friends? Is there any new age stuff you do regularly in your life? Do you have any tips on how to accomplish goals?