Category Archives: asskickery

Stop if your heart is not on fire.

hellyeah

Stop if your heart is not on fire for something. I have been kind of in a slump lately and I’m pretty much re-evaluating everything. My friend and writer, Laura Probert, wrote an excellent post for Huffington Post, (link at the end.) She was inspired by Marie Forleo who said if it’s not a “hell yeah,” then don’t do it. It got me thinking about my own life and it’s been a while since I truly felt a “hell yeah” about anything.  Life is more like “meh.”

When I do things I don’t like to do to earn money (and that is the only reason,) I feel like a vague shearing sensation in my chest. It occurred to me that’s what people do; they spend a lifetime doing stuff they don’t like and then end up with heart disease. What is the greatest killer today: heart disease. I don’t know the statistics on how many people hate their jobs, but I suspect it’s a hefty percentage.

We created this mess. The kids are funneled like cows to slaughter through a school systems that does not work, to learn stuff they will never use. But stay in the fold for when you grow up, kiddo, you will or must have a job or you will be an outsider, and you will be poor.

I suppose a boring job is not the only cause for heart disease, and doctor’s will tell you it’s the food you eat, but I believe it’s a lot more than  that. It is based on deep misaligned emotion.

When we force ourselves into a shoe that doesn’t fit, we feel uncomfortable.  We know it’s wrong for us, but we force ourselves out of fear or out of lack of ideas for something better. School never encouraged you to think for yourself.

The forced and unhappy behavior will create disease in the body. You’ve heard it before.

People sometimes say that whatever disaster they went through was the best thing that ever happened to them, because it changed the course of their life. People who have had an awakening can’t go back to the old  mindset. It’s like society in general hypnotizes us into a humdrum existence and it takes something drastic to shake us up enough to see that we act like sheep.  We work like sheep and play like sheep. It gets very old.

My point here: What gives you fire in the belly? There is no time to waste. Screw humdrum, screw fear. It’s time to wake up and do it!

I have done a lot of passion inspired things in my life but right now I feel kind of “meh.”  I’m hoping life is taking a new turn soon, because the sense of “been there done that” is overwhelming. I can’t wait to get excited again. I don’t like that shearing feeling in my chest when I force myself to do things I don’t like. Hello anxiety.

What to do? Take stock of your emotions and pains in your body.  When you think of your job do you feel excited or full of dread? If you have no clue what makes you fired up with excitement, do some excavating of dreams and desires, the ones you shoved under the carpet, maybe?  It will take action to get out of the status quo, but everyone can do it with some effort. I know it’s possible.

For more ideas, read Laura’s article HERE.

xo

Maria

P.S. for some free art how to videos, check out my YouTube channel HERE.

Success coach Karen Strunks.

Hello lovely people,

I have the honor to introduce you to British success coach, Karen Strunks. She inspires people all across the world and has been a successful online business entrepreneur for over nine years. I have learned a lot from her and gained some well-needed asskickery in my own business.  Here is the interview about smart time management and focus!

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1. How important is time to you?

Time is one of the biggest assets we all have. What we do with our time determines what we achieve and succeed at. I love this quote by Carl Sandburg:
“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.”

We have the luxury of time, but it’s not limitless. Squander time and we squander our lives.

2. Do you try to make the best use of your time, if so how do you do that?

I try to make the best out of every minute of the day! I plan ahead and decide how I would like to spend my time.

I love productivity ‘hacks’ and use a lot of them. For example, I don’t operate in ‘reactive mode’, jumping to every ping of my phone (actually it’s on silent) or email notification (I check in a
couple of times a day when I’ve scheduled it). I take charge of my time and my day and I don’t spend my time doing anything I don’t like to do, in my life or my business, and that includes who I spend my time with too!

I use Google docs to keep track of what I’m doing and when it’s got to be done. It acts as a kind of to-­do list. If it needs to be done, it’s goes in my diary. You have to create, or schedule, the time for the things you want to do and not just hope that it’ll get done one day.

3. How many hours a day to do you work and how is that broken down?

Well, I’ve recently made some huge changes in my working hours and I now work 16-­20 hours a week. That’s a huge drop from the 80­-100 hours I thought I had to do to run my business!

I made the change by simply deciding how many hours I was willing to work in my business and how I wanted to fill those hours. I cut the ‘busy work’, focused on the things that bring me the biggest results and I fill my time at work doing only the things I love. Well, except for admin I have to admit!

4 hours blogging/writing/video creating ­ which are most of the things I truly enjoy.

4 hours creating content for my online courses.

4 hours of coaching calls on Skype.

2 hours of admin/emails.

4 hours of marketing.

1 hour of connecting with people (could be new people or people in my network.)

That’s it!

We can ALL do more work in less time and create FREE time if we get a razor-sharp focus on what we love doing and what works for us.

4. What else do you like to do with your time and how do you fit that in?

So, apart from my 20 hours work week, I focus on my self­development. There are always ways to improve and learn. I love films and writing and just getting creative. That could involve  coming up with new things I’d like to  try in my business. It’s all easy to fit in now that I’ve cracked the ‘code’ for running my business and using my time really efficiently!

5. Tell us a bit about you and your business.

I help daring, go-­getting entrepreneurs create a life of freedom. Their work, their life, their way, completely on their terms. We throw away the rule book! It’s totally possible to have a life of freedom. We can have so much more than we realize, if we just take action and go out there and demand more of ourselves.

I made my escape from the rat race and I refuse to march to the tune of someone else’s drum ever again. Now I’ve got 9 years experience in running my own businesses, I’ve helped 1000s of people with their business and life success. I’m a qualified life coach and NLP practitioner.

I work with dynamic and driven people who are ready to go FULL OUT in creating a life and business on THEIR terms!

Are YOU ready to play it BIG? You can read about it in my e-book; 8 Secrets To Playing It Big In Life & Business. Get your copy HERE.

To find out more about Karen’s available online programs, please visit her website at KarenStrunks.com

Thank you so much, Karen! I know I have to be more focused and aware of how I spend my time…

xo

Maria

How to know yourself better.

How to know yourself better?  What do you have to do? It is an infinite question for sure, but while we’re living in 3-D dimension there are a few things we can do that give us an idea of where we’re at.

You probably figured this already: it’s all about stretching boundaries.

1. This sounds simplistic, but try something that scares the sh*t out of you. I’m talking about doing something HUGE, like speaking in front of a big group of people, or jumping out of an airplane. Everyone has a different fear level of course. Shock yourself out of inertia.

You probably wonder why scaring the pants off yourself would show you about yourself. It does, though, because you don’t know exactly how you’re going to react. From your reaction you’ll know your strengths and your weaknesses.

Something that once was scary becomes commonplace, and then you move on to the next big stretch.  You don’t have to walk a tightrope across Niagara Falls…. unless you want to.

2.  Become less concerned about what people think and do more of what you love.  Yes, another obvious piece of advice, but how many people actually do this??  Again, it’s about boundaries. Every day has its own boundary: get up, drink coffee, shower, dress, go to work…..come back, chill, undress, sleep. This does not change unless we DECIDE to change. Stretching the boundaries of your routine could be to get up one or two hours earlier, do some meditation, walk in nature, journal, or doing something that makes your spirit soar, whatever it is. Talk about getting your day off to a good start!

Problem is, the rut gets deep, and it’s hard to change the groove, but it’s doable. With determination and a desire to change, you will do it.  Don’t let life get so bad that change is the only choice.

3. Listen to your heart.  Is it whispering about kicking out the discontent of your life?  Are you feeling a great deal of discontent? Well, do something about it!  That inner urge is not wrong, you know. Your sh*t-o-meter is working overtime and trust me, it knows what it’s doing.

Life does not end if you have to change careers, the opposite, in fact.  When you do something that is more aligned with your soul, you will find your joy sky-rocketing.

Fear will be there of course, but stretch those boundaries!  There is a perfect place for you, just as there is for me. Fear of the unknown is a drag, but by doing something different, you learn about yourself.  You might find that your capabilities are amazing! Wouldn’t that be worth a change? Kick the fear aside and do that thing you always wanted to do!

4. Learn something new all the time.  Yeah, that is an easy way to stretch boundaries. One thing leads to another and before you know it, you have a whole new set of tools to use.  Be an insatiable learner!  Many people stop where they think they are experts / teachers, but a true expert keeps on learning.

What would you love to learn today?  You know, THAT THING.

5. Help others. Serving at a soup kitchen is one thing, but how many times have you really listened to the person who needs help?  We tend to barge in and try to fix the problems, but lending a sincere ear is sometimes more difficult than serving up soup.  It means you have to engage with the person on a deeper level, and it can be confrontational. It’s a good way to learn about true compassion and stretching boundaries on a whole other level.

It can be painful to hear about other people’s difficulties, but you learn about yourself in the process. You might not like what you hear, but you gave the other person a chance to be heard. There is a huge lack of that in our society.

Stop being all about yourself.  For starters, begin listening to an important person in your life right now. No excuses.  Is it uncomfortable?  Feel the pain of your boundaries and then get over it.

6. Decide that now is the time to begin.  What is the very first thing you can do right now to improve your life and work on  getting out of the rut?

Do that now.

Then improve the next one.

What boundary can you stretch by taking action now?  That’s where you need to concentrate the most for now.

As you evolve, stretching will become easier and easier.  Ultimately, you look forward to the next challenge.

Go for it.  I know you can do it if you decide to do it. Give a sh*t about your life.

xo

Maria

P.S. I have a new e-course titled Meet Your Intuitive You.  You can read more about it HERE.

Because of layers.

You never truly know yourself because of  layers.  Sure you’ve heard it before.  Like with an onion you peel off one layer and find there’s another one underneath, shiny and glistening and mocking somehow.  But, an onion does not worry about its layers!

At the core we are all one, but if we look at the “baggage” there are any number of variations of bullshit that we think is important.  Let’s excavate and release!  But….

I don’t think it works that way.  You can work with layers, but where you end up is not perfection.  You can never get to the bottom of the layers, but you can experience the river of perfection that keeps you alive.  Forget about the layers; they lead nowhere.

Here’s a painting / mixed media I just finished.  It’s a good example of putting ON the layers instead of taking them off.

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Broken Dreams 12×12″ mixed media

I started out with no idea at all.  I sprayed some paint on the canvas , rubbed it around, and let it dry.  Added some more layers, but I couldn’t see a picture emerging at all, so I glued on some papers (the only one showing now is the crinkly tissue paper in the corner.)  The papers led to nowhere, so I decided to just paint a face.  Faces are always tricky because you never quite end up where you plan to end up.  They take on a life of their own.

This one ended up with a slightly disdainful expression, but also with lots of inner power, so I accepted her.  Then I couldn’t get anything to stick on the right side.  I painted birds, leaves, a big flower.  They all looked wrong, so I scraped some paint over the whole and buried them.  All the layers add energy to the painting, so nothing is lost.

I have been into square shapes lately, so I added some of those.  At that time I had some dreams broken in my life so I “saw” them there.  I had to add a solution so there is an exiting square in the corner that says Let Go.

The art didn’t turn out like anything I envisioned, but I allowed it to emerge.  These kinds of paintings are tricky.  I never know if I like them or not.

The point is:  With every stroke of the brush, or any addition of paper, I altered the course of this piece of art. I didn’t know if it would work, but I could only move forward until I felt it was done, but far from perfect.  I had to accept it.

It is what it is.

What does that have to do with layers in life?  How can you know what will emerge as you remove layers?  Is it even possible?  Aha moments can come, and they often do, but what do they change?  On a good day, we might walk in a different direction and leave something behind that burdened us.  That is all good.

But, basically, isn’t it enough to accept ourselves exactly as we are today?  Trust that you are enough. Connect with your inner flow and just “BE YOU?”  When you do, something good emerges, the authenticity and power of who you are, layers and all.  Who gives a shit about layers?  Maybe psychoanalysts do, but I say, go for it, warts and all!   Be authentic.

Be your frigging AWESOME self, right now.  I have stopped trying to change or fix myself and there’s a lot of peace in that.

Peace out,

Maria

P.S. I often look at my paintings and think aliens painted them. When we allow flow, something much greater than the little self (shrouded in layers) comes out to play.  It is a path of mystery and curiosity.  If you want to try some art journaling, please sign up for my art newsletter for a primer and a mixed media tutorial.  CLICK HERE.

When life sucks donkey balls.

When life sucks donkey balls don’t jump from the nearest bridge or do something stupid.  If the world has thrown so much crap at you that you can’t see a way out, just say “I’ve had enough of this shit,” and do something about it.

You are not powerless!

rosietheriveter

(google images)

You don’t have to live in awfulness. I’m sure the Powers That Be never intended for us to be unhappy.  We live in a very complicated society and we’re brain-washed to the enth degree to start with.  We are smart; we can say enough is enough.

First you have to realize you’re brainwashed.  That is why it’s so difficult to see a way out.  You have to forge new pathways for the new to imprint on the brain.  Living the life like it used to be does not work in the new you /world.

There is a superwoman and superman living under the mundane suit of armor.  Rip the suit off and claim the superpower within!

How do you do that?  It’s hard to shift immediately from mediocre to superhuman, but everyone can take ONE step toward something more fulfilling in life, like an interest, or caring for something or someone other than oneself.  Helping others brings you out of the bullshit.

Figure out where you want to be in, say, a year.  What is gnawing to be heard inside?  Listen to that and take one step today toward the new you.  Within a year, you will have shifted completely, or maybe even faster than that.

Learn everything that needs to be learned to attain the goal. Sometimes we have to become nerd-like, sitting in a corner learning all kinds of computer BS to get somewhere.

But it feels good when mastered!

Set ONE goal.

Do something today toward it.

Do something tomorrow and the next day. Write down some doable steps and DO them.  Before you know it, you have created a new neuro pathway for the new you to form.   The old crutches you held on to so strongly will be gone and you wonder why you held on for so long.  You might doubt you’ll ever succeed, but YOU WILL.

Freaking one goal.  Just do it already.  Stop the blaming and the excuses.  If you want to live a new life, you have to take consistent action.

Even if you don’t feel like it.

…because life happens NOW!

Or stay the same and be miserable.  It’s your choice.

I’m for sure taking steps every day.

xo

Maria

P.S.  If you’re interested in art check out my YouTube channel for some free tutorials.  CLICK HERE.  Sign up for my newsletter for more freebies, CLICK HERE.

Stop being that way!

Hey you,

Stop being that way!  I can feel all the frowns coming at me, but seriously, I have come across several people lately who complain about their lives, but they don’t want to do anything about it.  To change, we have to take some risks and explore new territory.  Why are there so few people willing to change?  You rather live in misery?  None of my business, right?  True, but I can’t help but say, hey, don’t complain if you don’t want to change your life.

The only ones willing to change are those who have been up against the wall with serious health problems or other stressful situations.  Why wait until crisis strikes?  Life is frigging short!

Fear is what holds people back, but being a coward never got you anywhere.  Fear of money, fear of other people’s opinions, fear of the boss, fear that you’re-not-good-enough.  Fear of taking one step toward change.

There is only one person like you, and you have gifts to share.

Why waste in on mind-numbing TV?

What is your passion right now?  What could you do that would light you up?  You know that old hobby you shoved to the back of the closet… that’s the one.  Or the classes you’ve been wanting to explore.  NOW is the time.

Stand stronger in who you really are every day and feel the fierceness and longing take hold and carry you onward to something so much more exciting.

I’ve never lived a conventional life. I can’t say it has been easy, but I could never conform, not for any length of time.  Truth to tell, I’m not a rebel at all, but I’m thoroughly sick and tired of the conventional world, the gossip and the chit-chat, the greed and the selfishness.  Activities that lead to nowhere.  Where is the meaning?

I spend a lot of time alone since it feeds my soul. I listen to the silence, and it’s enough for me.  That’s not me, you say.  What are you then?  Stop the numbness already.  Be or become that person who lives from within with passion and purpose.  It’s all in there.

Bring that gift to the world!  We need it.

That’s what I’m doing –to the best of my ability.

Rant over,

xo

Maria

P.S. If you’d like some FREE art inspiration, a whopping 37 page PDF, sign up for my newsletter HERE.