Thursday, February 7, 2013

Banish the Anxiety — Focus on the Fun!

How do we stay in the flow when we’re in the middle of advertising, promoting, and otherwise selling our creative darlings? How can we banish anxiety over the barrage of numbers: views, sales, tweets, friends, follows, et al!?

The solution applies a lot further than publishing. In fact it can help all of us keep having fun, no matter the circumstances.

This comment to my latest post, Starting 2013 Off Right - January of Abundance!, on Melody Fletcher’s Law of Attraction blog, Deliberate Receiving, started me thinking.

A slightly paraphrased version of the original comment

I know we have discussed that it is all about the journey. Yet, it’s imagining and expecting the destination with utmost faith that keeps us going on our journey, right? At least that is what I find. When I get stuck somewhere, it’s usually because I allow the stuff happening around me to depress me, when I shouldn’t. Makes total sense, but it takes practice to get there.

Besides the wonderful creatures you rescue, what else do you do to feel good, to set you up for staying in the flow? I have found that only by feeling good and excited, everything comes into alignment. Then I lose the flow, and have to get back to that frequency. How do you personally get back to having fun?

Paying too Much Attention to the Numbers

I've bumped up against exactly this problem in the last few days, and it took me awhile to feel my way through. What happened was that I started focusing on how many people retweeted my tweets, how many people visited my blog, etc. I wanted tangible results in exactly the form I wanted them to come in. Arggg! Even though the numbers were generally good, I started to get anxious.

Join their Facebook page.

Before, it had felt wonderful visualizing opening a shelter for puppies and old dogs, the main reason I’d like to sell a bunch of books. I imagined the yard, and the cute doggie beds, and all the volunteers. All of it felt fantastic, and in my heart I know it's all just around the corner. Lately, with too much focus on HOW to get there, ie the numbers, the dream started to feel more anxious too.

Getting Back to Having Fun

What brought me out was when I realized that it's names that matter, and not numbers. Each retweet was the action of a person, someone real and alive that was connecting with me! How amazing is that! The whole purpose of all of everything, for me, is connection, connecting with people and connecting with dogs. Whether I help them, or they help me, or we just share space, it's all good!

Savoring the Human Connections

As soon as I felt again the human connection behind all these hours at the computer, everything felt good again. The dream of the shelter is back, clear and strong. The difference is that now I just KNOW it's going to happen, and I don't think about the picky details, like money and land and legalities. When they become relevant, they'll resolve, maybe through my diligent inspired action, maybe through a different agency.

Since working all this through, my energy has stayed consistently high. I can look at the numbers now, laugh a little, get excited when they're really good, and laugh some more when they go down. I've remembered that the numbers don't matter, that every connection is precious, and that makes everything fun again.

How to Recognize Inspired Action

It can be hard to know whether something you want to do is truly inspired action, or whether perhaps you want it because of prior conditioning. I’ve followed a lot of ‘dreams’ that turned out to be me living out someone else’s (generally my Mother’s) dreams. Even here in Mexico, the vision of a dog shelter is evolving by fits and starts.

One way to recognize inspired action may be by looking at how hard you are willing to work for the dream, and by whether that work feels like a chore toward an end, or whether the work itself is truly joyous. Promoting my books is so fun and absorbing, I’d do it even if there were never a penny to be made.

A non-publishing example, brought up by the same reader, is a decision whether to incur university debt. The student wants to keep going. The parents are saying, 'No!' The friends are saying, 'You're crazy!' We all know university debt can become crushing, and I certainly understand parental fears. I have one daughter who loves studying – loves it! She’s finishing a masters degree and moving on to a PhD. Who knows if she’ll ever recoup the money, but she’s doing what she loves most in life. Every course excites her. And she works her butt off!

To me, the deciding factor is the joy. If the dream that gives you greatest joy is to buy your own home, maybe you need to give some thought to working and avoiding debt. If what gives you greatest joy is learning, and you could care less about your accommodations, keep studying!

That's not to say you can't have both the house and the degrees. Of course, you can. But if one is a passion and one is a should, you need to be clear in your heart about which is which. When you know and follow your true joy, emphasis on Your. True. Joy., the Universe will align with you. And, rather than an elusive target, staying in the flow will be a given.

How Do You Keep Having Fun?

How about you? How do you keep from focusing so much on the details, you forget the fun? How do you keep yourself floating when you’re in a sea of scaly, demanding alligators? How do you know when your action is inspired? Please share your thoughts. I look forward to our conversation.

Huge hugs,


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