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A Good Use of Time

Making the Case for Goofing OffMost of us are trained that time is a scarce commodity and that hard work is a virtue.
That’s why many try to use time efficiently by getting as much done in as productive a way as possible.
For these folks, goofing off is a bad thing and being called a slacker would not be a compliment.
Conscious creators know better.
We know how we feel is way more important than what we do.
Thanks to Abe and others, we know the reason we want anything is because of how we think we’ll feel when we get it. And we know that how we feel is actually the mechanism of creation.
(Our vibration is a siren song to Universe that returns more of the same.)
Which means that feeling good is what really matters.
So far so good, right? You know this stuff.
And yet …

  • being willing to let work wait while we prioritize a good time
  • learning how to relax without guilt
  • knowing how to let the busy world swirl around while we enjoy our tea

… these are skills that even the savviest creators can struggle with.
Partly because we might not fully trust that feeling good leads to good things. (We might still believe we’re supposed to struggle our way to success.)
Maybe because we worry what others will think when they see us enjoying life instead of paying our dues.
Or it might be that we feel guilty being happy while so many others aren’t.
Or maybe we’re just that highly programmed in the old ways.
Whatever the reason, it’s worth getting over.
Because, as Abe says, unhappy journeys don’t have happy endings.
That’s why learning to enjoy yourself now leads to an even more enjoyable life. Not working your butt off, not proving yourself worthy, not making it happen.
But relaxing. Enjoying. Laughing. Releasing.
That’s how we get what we want.
And that’s why I want to ask you about the last time you goofed off … when was that? And how did you feel about it?
Because goofing off (as defined by shirking “work” in favor of something more enjoyable) is a highly desirable manifesting skill.

Something to remember: having a good time and feeling guilty about it isn’t actually a good time.
Taking an afternoon off only to stress about all the things not getting done – that’s not a real day off.
Going on a vacation that leaves you feeling tired or overwhelmed defeats the purpose of taking a break.

And that’s why sometimes the best use of your time might be the very things you’ve been avoiding: curating baby goat pictures on Instagram, chatting with a friend about nothing special, bingeing on House of Cards.
If you enjoyed it, it was the best use of your time.
What trips some of us up is judging our manifesting habits by muggle standards.
Don’t let that old programming spoil your good time.
Learn how to slack off like a pro. Stop apologizing for having fun, and know that anything that makes you smile is taking you to more good stuff.
So if you’ve got problems or stalled-out dreams, consider that what’s called for is not to figure out why that’s so or to make an action plan for serious progress. But rather to amp up your laugh time, upgrade your enjoyment factor, and polish up your relaxing skills.
We get what we vibrate.
And that’s why goofing off on facebook might be the solution to all your problems.
If you enjoy it, you’re using your time well.
And if you’d like more reinforcement about why relaxing is such a highly underrated yet powerful life skill, I’ve got you covered.

  • November 1, 2016

How to Lighten Up

how to lighten upAbraham’s consistent advice to us is to relax, chill out, and get happy.
They tell us to find more reasons to laugh and not to take life, ourselves or this manifesting stuff too seriously.
Sometimes that can seem easier said than done.
For those challenging moments, here’s a short but effective tip list on how to lighten up. Use when you find yourself getting too serious or making life too hard:
1. Take a deep breath.
Teal Scott says when we breathe in, our higher self fills us up with its focused energy. I once heard that it’s through the breath that our angels speak to us.  However you think about it, breathing fully reconnects us with the energy that strengthens our alignment and reconnects us with inner/higher wisdom.
2. Remember the big picture.
Sometimes we’re so mired in a red hot moment of contrast that we lose sight of the big picture. Ask whether whatever you’re uptight about will matter 10 years from now. Or simply remind yourself what really matters (whatever your personal answer is). Just redirecting your attention this way can help relieve angst.
3. Hang out with lighthearted folks.
Young children and animals are great mentors for taking things lightly! (It takes a lot of years of training to get as serious as some of us adults are.) Make a point of connecting regularly with someone who’s already dialed in on genuine fun and good times.
4. Let go of what’s not working.  
Instead of struggling to make something happen or change the unchangeable, release whatever feels like effort, conflict or an uphill battle. Remember: it doesn’t matter what you do; it matters how you feel. The world is responding to your vibration, not your action. Let go when things aren’t working.
5. Flex your laughter muscle
How often do you laugh? The average adult laughs 20 times a day (compared to 300 times for babies). This laughter scientist found that laughing is truly contagious (it actually shut down a school), so it’s easy to amp up the giggles by pushing play on your favorite laugh-inducing photos and videos.
6. Engage a medical mood lifter.
When I asked Good Vibe U members their tips for how to lighten up, Stephen reminded us of this reliable move: ingest your favorite pleasure cocktail – whether chocolate, chamomile, valerian, a vitamin B shot, a glass of wine or a cold beer – doobies count, too, right? (Are they still called that?) At any rate, chemical elements can help when nothing else does!
7. Prioritize enjoyment.
Work less, enjoy more. It’s hard to lighten up when the majority of your time is invested in joy-killing activities. Instead of glorifying productivity and accomplishment, make a to-do list that’s centered around what you love most in life – then honor it!
8. Simplify.
Lightening up your physical environment is a sneaky way to improve how you feel emotionally. It’s been said that you can’t change your home without changing your life and vice versa. That also applies to your physical being, as well. Whether you work on your closets or your colon, it turns out that lightening up physically can do a lot for you mentally.
9. Meditate.
I don’t practice this one regularly myself, but from what I understand, meditation helps with virtually anything gone sideways. So it seemed like it should be on the list.
What are your tips for lightening up? We’d love to hear what works for you in the comments …

  • March 15, 2013

The Art of Not Getting It Done

the art of not getting it doneMy commitment to not living busy means a lot of stuff doesn’t get done in my world.
My inbox has year old emails patiently waiting for my attention; my voice mail gets played once a month when the mood hits; and the garden is sporting almost as many unintended plants (aka “weeds”) as intended ones.
But I’m all caught up on Big Bang Theory reruns (just discovered that delight this summer!), my Pinterest boards are looking mighty fine these days, and I haven’t missed a weekly lunch with dad more than once this year.
In many circles, that’s considered an irresponsible way of living, because we’re supposed to work hard first to earn the right to relax, right?
The problem with that plan isn’t just that the hard work never ends and the relaxing never happens, but also that it isn’t a very fulfilling way of life. At least, not for me.
I wouldn’t suggest that we all eat dessert first or skip work to catch a matinee with the kids, but for anyone who recognizes that fun and enjoyment are further down on their priority list than they prefer, I wanted to share two tips for getting comfortable with not getting things done:

  1. get clear about what really matters to you (so in that sense, you are taking care of the “business” that you care about)
  2. and know that practice makes perfect.

I’ll elaborate …
Clear Priorities
Once I honestly began honoring my core value of “Enjoyment,” I discovered that 30 minutes of watching the cat sleep in my lap is more rewarding to me than cleaning house or checking email. I learned that diving into another showing of Moonstruck is more satisfying than networking at local events, and that laughing at damn-you-autocorrect posts adds more happiness to my day than catching up on laundry.
Letting joy lead me through the day showed me that the world doesn’t come to a halt when I focus on having a good time, and that it ‘s actually a shortcut to the purpose of everything I want anyway – which is just to feel better.
Perfecting the Practice
Some people may be able to make dramatic changes in their “busy” habits overnight, but I found it was more realistic for me to take the slow poke approach. That’s where you start with replacing just ten minutes or so a day of a “responsible” activity with some sort of goofing off.
Over time, as you learn to trust that incorporating more enjoyment in life actually works really well, then ten minutes eventually grows to an hour, an hour turns into a couple, and pretty soon you have a whole way of life oriented toward what you love rather than following the rules that don’t serve you.
get off the hamster wheelWhether you’re down with releasing all your tolerations in your daily schedule or not, I think it’s worth remembering this:

When the world wants more from you than you care to deliver, know that overextending yourself doesn’t do anyone any favors.

If you’re stressed out, you’re not doing your best work and you’re not creating anything with positive energy in it.
You – and everyone else affected – really are better off chilling out and only engaging the “business” of life when you feel like it.
And if you never feel like it – well, I can’t imagine a better thing to eliminate from your life to-do list.
When I’m tempted to believe something is important and has to get handled asap even though I’m not keen on it, I ask myself, “What matters?” That simple question prods me to recall that my priority isn’t to get it done, but rather to enjoy myself. And if I can’t enjoy myself as I get it done, then enjoyment trumps done.
Deliver what you feel good about, and let go of the rest. It really is okay to let yourself have more fun with life!
Update: as inspired by this post, Matt & Phil invited me to their show to discuss this topic. Catch our “Wise Man Does Nothing” recording here.

fun over done

  • July 13, 2012

LOA Success Secret #2: Chill Out

LOA Success Secret #2: Chill Out
This is secret #2 from our Law of Attraction Success Secret series.
When we learn how to manifest what we want, it’s not unusual for us to work hard at getting our thoughts turned around and engaging endless law of attraction processes and exercises.
But in doing that we’ve just turned old  habits of taking relentless action into hard core “make it happen” manifesting efforts.
And working hard – whether we’re doing it through action or trying to align our thoughts – isn’t the best way there.
The best (swiftest, most effective and enjoyable) path is to relax, let go of the struggle, release the tension and anxiety, and just appreciate the journey.
In short – chill out.

This quote from Abraham helps me make this point with clients:
“Everything that you want is downstream.”
The downstream journey is easy, relaxed, and it doesn’t involve work, struggle or effort.  It’s effortless because the stream takes us there.

But when we’re making it a big deal, studying everything we can get our hands on to learn this manifesting stuff better, and working hard to get our vibration aligned, we kink the vibe.
It really is easier than we make it out to be sometimes.
Just relax a little, don’t take it too seriously, and give yourself some breathing room … which gives Universe more opportunity to play with you.
That’s when you’ll see things come together much better than when you were working hard for it.
For tips on how to relax when the pressure is on, check out these related posts:

… and please share your favorite “chill out” remedies in the comments, if you can do that without taking it too seriously.

  • June 6, 2012

LOA Success Secret #4: Don't Make It Important

This is secret #4 from our Law of Attraction Success Secret series.
manifesting secret: relax about itYou’ve noticed it, too, I’m sure. How the things you don’t care about too much come together easier than the “big deal” desires of life.
It’s why the email from an old friend pops in the day after randomly thinking about them, but the phone hasn’t rung in weeks after interviewing for the dream job.
It’s why we can manifest a free lunch in the blink of an eye, but dropping the extra weight seems next to impossible.
People ask me regularly why the stuff they don’t care about happens so quick, while the things that really matter take forever.

* It’s the difference in the energy. *

When we make it a big deal, it might seem like that would light a fire under Universe to deliver it faster.
That approach might have worked with mom when we were little (which is probably why we default to it), but Universe doesn’t work that way.
That’s because when something really matters to us – when it’s a really big deal in our life, it’s common to have a “charge” on it that isn’t conducive to true vibrational alignment.

Feel it out for yourself … when something is really important it’s not unusual to feel a slight tension or anxiety, right? It’s a stress signal that tells Universe all is not well here, that we’re on a little bit of edge. Which is why it can’t deliver the goods since we’re not lined up for good news. Rather, we’re lined up for tension, anxiety, more stress.

How do we get past that in order to let the “big” stuff manifest just as quickly and effortlessly as the “little” stuff?
law of attraction success secret: don't make it importantThe answer is to find a way to feel easier about it. To lighten up. To relax a little. To treat it like the big deal it ISN’T.
Dropping the “charge” doesn’t mean giving up on the desire; it just means don’t make it a ‘life or death’ matter.
Because if your happiness or satisfaction is conditional on this result, you’re signaling Universe for a delay. You’ve got to get happy/relaxed/peaceful/fulfilled first, then it can send in the goods.
I chill out a big deal desire in a couple of different ways:

by appreciating what’s already going right, and reflecting on all the things I already enjoy about my life. That helps me release the “need” for this next thing to manifest. Life is already REALLY good! This will be icing on the cake, but I don’t have to have it in order to feel satisfied.

Sometimes I just remember that Universe might have an even better plan than I did, so while this thing might seem like a fabulous next step in life, I’m open that there could be something even better. Thus, I don’t feel as attached to my idea.

Another way to replicate that aligned energy is to practice thinking of the big desire like it’s a small one. I remember how I felt about something that happened really easily which helps me conjure up that “no big deal” feeling, and then practice feeling that way about this desire.

Sometimes I just remind myself that everything is easy to Universe. There’s no difference between a huge pile of money and a good song on the radio. A healthy body is just as easy as a smile from a stranger. We’re the ones making some things harder than others. And we can change that.

When we stop making things a big deal, when we remember that it’s all the same and that we don’t need anything to be happy anyway, we become much more powerful manifesters.
There is a way to make something a big deal that doesn’t kink the vibe. That’s when we have strong belief or expectation and little attachment. So it’s not that we have to never have another big dream again – it’s just a matter of making sure the energy is lined up.
Even if it isn’t the desire that we make such a big deal, some of us put pressure on ourselves to prove our deliberate creation skills. And that’s more energy that can kink the alignment, so let’s not do that, either. <wink>
I’d love to hear how you let go of “big deal” anxiety to create stronger alignment to your desire, as well as examples of how something manifested after you stopped caring so much about it …

  • May 12, 2012

Time for a Life Sabbatical?

the benefits of doing nothing: taking a sabbatical from lifeHow hard is doing nothing?
Harder than doing something, it turns out.
At least for me.
When my coach prescribed three days of doing nothing other than just being with myself, I thought that wouldn’t be too far off from how I already did life.
Until I had to say goodbye to everyone on facebook. And couldn’t read or post at GVU. Or write or respond here. Or check emails.
Holy hannah, that’s unplugged!
I also ignored the phone and doorbell (except when Michele Woodward called – I mean, come on, I’m not Superwoman), and the only appointment I made was for a full body massage, which seemed appropriate for the self-connection intention.
But the other hurdles were managing strong inclinations to clean, organize, read, watch tv, exercise, garden, play with the dogs, brush the cats, … anything but sit quietly with myself.
Apparently I’m more outwardly focused than I realized.
Which I wouldn’t have guessed. I mean, I’m the one who makes fun of my boyfriend for habits of always plugging into to something in order to avoid the “quiet.” He doesn’t drive in the car without music, he prefers a tv on in the background, he doesn’t know how to slow his own brain to get to sleep at night and flat out refuses to try meditating.
In my opinion, my sweetie is a bit of a wreck on that point – but I’m good at this. I can spend hours on end just by myself, doing nothing.
Or so I thought.
Doing nothing isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Doing nothing is not a vacation. It’s not goofing off. It’s not “following your feel good.”  bsscorpio8 says that “although ‘doing nothing’ may sound simple,it actually requires discipline” for activity-obsessed Americans.

But Americans aren’t holding the market on this goal oriented living. Sid at Flow Psychology observes that many cultures consider doing nothing to be lazy and irresponsible.
So why is it worth practicing?
Personally, I wanted to be as good at being with Me as I am at being with others. I wanted to master the art of presence. I wanted to better embrace the truth of myself.

(Plus my coach told me to.)

But the benefits of doing nothing are widespread, including (click the links for great articles):

(Regarding the importance of reflection and creativity, on a recent episode of Project Runway a designer complained that even while she knew she was going down the wrong path with a particular dress she was working on, because of the time constraints of the challenge she never “came up for air” to realize it, and to reassess and redirect. That’s one thing when you’re screwing up your dress on reality tv; it’s another when you’re doing it to your life.)

the benefits of doing nothing: taking a sabbatical from lifeMore arguments for practicing nothing: Dr. Adizes believes doing nothing is the prerequisite for change. Joann Davis writes that “Our souls need time to think, dream, and reflect. We benefit from doing nothing, from going out to play, from giving from the heart and spending time in nature.”
Doing nothing for three days also helped me truly know what I missed (writing, creating) and what I didn’t (obsessive facebook checkins, jumping from one activity to another).
I think doing nothing works best when you do nothing without an agenda – otherwise you’re actually probably doing something after all.  But regardless of how or why you play with it, I highly recommend you do, because there’s something very powerful about getting quiet, getting to know yourself, and making some extra room in your mind and your life.
I’ll close with a quote from the very wise Pooh:
“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

  • August 5, 2011

Slacker Manifesting with Abigail Steidley

On her monthly Good Vibe U call, faculty member Abigail Steidley introduced us to slacker manifesting, which we loved so much we begged for a guest post.  Here’s Abigail:
frog in alignment, effortless manifestingI have been a life-long tryer. Whenever I wanted something, I would really go for it, chase after it, make it happen, and generally put forth several million watts of energy. I’m not sure there’s an English language word for what I do, so I’ve coined the word, “over-efforting.” Over-efforting could be defined as:

Trying really, really, really hard to make something happen by using way more energy (both mentally and physically) than is necessary while also putting huge amounts of pressure on one’s self to do whatever it is “right,” perfectly, or really extremely above averagely.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered the law of attraction. What? Here is this natural law in place that brings things to me? I don’t have to chase after them? I can just sit back, align my energy into a place of peace, and they show up?
At first, I tried to apply my usual over-efforting approach to the law of attraction. That was a little counterproductive, to say the least. Trying and being peaceful don’t exactly co-exist. It was kind of like using a flame-thrower to lightly toast a slice of bread. A wee bit of overkill.  On the very rare occasion, I have a tendency to do that. (Insert husband rolling his eyes, here.)
In case you’re thinking of trying the over-efforting law of attraction approach, let me assure you right now that it is a giant waste of time.
I quickly saw that I’d need a whole different approach to manifesting. This coincided with me realizing I’d need a whole different approach to life. I was experiencing a level of fatigue akin to what one might feel after swimming across the English Channel, twice. I imagine, anyway.
My over-efforting was taking its toll. You wouldn’t think mental over-efforting would be so exhausting, but it truly is. I was trying to think, analyze, and intellectually figure out everything in my life. It was awful.
It was time to start letting my inner wisdom take the lead.
I began to practice trusting my intuition, gut feelings, and instincts. From this was born a completely new way of being. Instead of forcing my mind to work hard, try, and think, think, think, I started the radical practice of lying down and doing nothing.
I started doing nothing first thing every morning. Sometimes I did nothing by lying on the floor and breathing. Other times I did nothing by walking or doing yoga. My only nothing requirement was that it involve a deep awareness of my body, because the body is the conduit for inner wisdom.
For a perfectionist and over-efforter, doing nothing was a really unusual experience. Luckily I was so tired that doing nothing was kind of all I could do. Thus, I stuck with it.
It didn’t take long before interesting things started to happen. Stuff started showing up in my life. As in, things I’d been trying to manifest. In fact, in my state of “who cares” exhaustion, I was pretty much ignoring everything, and pretty much everything was flourishing. (Except, I will admit, my houseplants. I think those need actual water.)
Maybe it was just the visceral learning that happened from this experience, but I started to really catch on. The more I un-tried, the better things worked. It felt a bit like falling backwards on a giant trampoline, arms and legs totally relaxed, and finding it not only supported me, but bounced me delightfully upward.

I used this image (falling back on the trampoline) in my mind anytime I wanted to manifest something. I would fall back into nothing, and ignore whatever I was hoping to manifest. Then, when ideas and inspiration came out of the nothing-ness, I took physical action on them.

This is the interesting twist to slacker manifesting: it’s actually mental slacking more than it is physical slacking. If I want to, say, write a blockbuster blog post or informative ebook, it starts with doing nothing. Then I ignore the project.  Eventually, a slew of ideas flows in, which I write down. I keep up this cycle until one of the ideas is to start actually writing. I physically sit down and write, but everything I need is already there, mentally speaking.  I move my fingers, but my mind is doing nothing. It’s the easiest thing in the world.
I use this approach with everything (albeit not perfectly, mind you! Sometimes I forget and start over-efforting).

  • Do nothing.
  • Ignore it.
  • Listen for ideas.
  • Take action on the ideas.

It’s the recipe for instant manifestation. I have learned not to put one ounce of mental or physical effort into anything until I have done nothing, ignored it, and listened for ideas. Yes, this is the exact opposite of everything we learned in school.
Recently, I’ve really gotten the hang of this. It’s the who-cares, whatever school of manifesting. It’s strangely relaxed. I’m always quite delighted when I do manifest things, but I’m also oddly detached. I feel like a partner with the universe, which always delivers amazing and completely unexpected treats with each new manifestation. For example, I slacker manifested around a group coaching exercise I was leading a few weeks ago. I wanted it to be really fun and useful, so I applied the slacker techniques. Did nothing. Ignored it. Listened.
On the day of the group exercise, I took action on all of the ideas that had surfaced. I felt pleasantly calm. I trusted that the ideas would lead somewhere great. My mind did absolutely nothing. In the end, several people went away weeping, laughing, and utterly transformed from this experience. I could not have figured out, planned, or orchestrated anything that happened during that group coaching exercise. I was just the listener and the doer of what the brilliant universe concocted. I was blown away, too, and I was the facilitator.
I have this experience pretty much daily – sometimes in small ways, other times in big ways. I am happily manifesting all kinds of fantastic things both in my personal and business life. I’m having so much relaxed fun with this that I plan to continue slacking into the indefinite future.
Abigail Steidley, slacker manifesterYou can find Abigail doing nothing, ignoring things, and listening for ideas regularly at www. thehealthylifecoach.com.
She is currently ignoring a new website design and giant new audio product about the mind-body connection, due out … well, whenever the universe says so.

  • July 27, 2011

Resistance to Relaxing?

Is it curious that even though we know that “what we resist persists” …
… and that allowing is the best way to let in good stuff,
… that we still get anxious at the thought of giving up “hard work” and struggle in favor of doing what feels good?
I continue to be amazed at how many people ask for help getting over anxiety at letting go of struggle.
Are we that strongly programmed for struggle?
I have to admit I know the routine, though …
Years ago in corporate world I hated not just my job but my entire life.  Rather than stop doing what I didn’t like I drove myself to a mini-meltdown in the backyard.
That’s what it took for me to let go of what wasn’t working – a mental collapse.
Only then did I honor what my heart and soul screamed for: an end to the work I hated, an end to pretending everything was okay, an end to trying to keep it all together.  I let it all go in one feel swoop as I retreated to the bedroom for good.
When I tell this story, I credit a short scripting session (where you talk about what you want as if it’s already happened) as the trigger for a turnaround, but I underemphasize the importance of doing nothing in bed for four days to allow a transformation.
Giving it all up like sounds extreme, doesn’t it?  It seemed so to me, anyway.
But relaxing and letting go of resistance doesn’t have to be that dramatic.
If you want to baby step your way there, you can begin by just taking a deeper breath right now.
Already there’s less resistance.  That’s how easy it is.
You can also loosen your shoulders right now, too.  Soften your eyes.  Unfurrow your brow.  Maybe roll your head gently to relax a stiff neck.
The body is a great tool to kickstart the releasing of resistance.  (Thank you, Abigail.)
Then perhaps you can let this tension-releasing process start to spill into other areas of life, little by little.

  • Maybe by relaxing boundaries.  (So you’re a few minutes late for your lunch date?  It’s be better than showing up stressed and on time.)
  • Or maybe it’s to strengthen a boundary with a delicious “no thanks” where a reluctant yes would ordinarily prevail.
  • Perhaps it’s to reconsider an old habit.  (So what if all the dirty clothes aren’t in the basket before bed?)

Whatever you’re wound up about, consider loosening up a bit.  Notice what that extra room does for you physically and emotionally.
Contrary to popular opinion, I predict your world will not come crashing to a stupendous halt when you give up the struggle of hard work and that rather the opposite will unfold:

you’ll recognize it not only feels fabulous to release the resistance but also realize how nicely it opens doors for cool things to manifest.

Spouses get sweeter, traffic gets smoother, cashiers are friendlier, great deals pop up, good news is announced, lost items reappear, new job offers come in, surprise money appears, and more smile-inducing things unfold.
So if you find the thought of only doing what feels good too impossible to embrace, start small.  A deep breath, relaxing the body, and very soon the Universe will meet you in the sweet spot you’re headed.

  • January 26, 2011