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"Blog 16"

Expire The Old Stuff Over the last few weeks we have looked at the superpowers of a True Believer – and this culminated with our deep dive into the power of productivity. Refer to

There’s no denying that life can sometimes offer up some harsh blows. When you delivered the news that you have brain cancer it is impossible not to feel the presence of extreme negativity. “Why me?” “Why now?” “Why is life so hard?” I have discussed that one of my coping mechanisms is ‘living in the bubble’. However this is not for everybody. If we can adopt the superpowers of belief, conviction and commitment we are one step towards insuring against the hard stuff. Moving forward means realizing that we may need to put an expiry date on old stuff. Just as John Farnham no longer sings Sadie he still rocks the enthralling crowd with an enviable array of iconic songs.

Like the expiry date on our passport or driver’s license or the use by date on grocery items, there are areas in our lives in which we need to renew or replenish, or throw things out that have expired. When something is no longer working to support you to lead the life you want or there is no longer satisfaction guaranteed, it’s time to accept that the expiry date has arrived.

Being around so many inspirational people in my weekly meditation group I have observed that those who put an expiry on their old ways of thinking or behaving take the greatest steps forward. They expire habits, practices and mindsets that don't support where they want to be in life. Things like:

Essentially they put an end to the old beliefs, habits or relationships that no longer serve them and move forward to make way for a new and fulfilled life. Belief, conviction and commitment become the bridge between the two.

Even though we don't want to live in or dwell in the past, before leaping forward don't miss a crucial step taken by the highly successful – those celebrating past success. It’s time to reflect on what the past can teach us, as this is where little clues lie that have a big impact on creating memories worth holding on to.

Reflect on your last 12 months – how did you go with your health, your relationships and your life. Which areas did you rock and which need more attention? Reflect on the good, the not so good and all that went in between.

Ask yourself where did you invest:

What makes a big impact is how we use the little clues from the past to guide us on our journey. We need to take responsibility and be active by celebrating what worked and acknowledging what didn't. This helps us to know where to invest our time, energy and health. Using this formula we can create a destination of our own choosing and not let time and opportunities pass us by. Success does leave clues for those who reflect and learn from the past to invest in their future. You can choose to be clued in or clueless!

We all have patterns of behaviour – some serve us and some don't. Sometimes our patterns of behaviour can lead us away from fulfillment. The solution is to ramp up those behaviour patterns that serves us and sever those that don't.

We can get so caught up in the day that we exist almost unconsciously – unaware of how our actions are knitted into patterns.

Consider the last decade and become aware of how your behaviours of the past have affected you in the following areas:

We will be going more into each as the week’s progress but before we do complete a timeline for the last 10 years to consider your patterns of behaviour. Recall the times when you were fulfilled – when you were feeling motivated, purposeful and moving in the right direction. What were your patterns and habits and more importantly, are you still carrying them? Ask yourself if these patterns are helpful or hold you back.

Much of our day is pattern driven so it’s helpful to be aware of our unconscious actions. What patterns are draining or sustaining you? It’s time to decide – will you release negative patterns and replace them with positive patterns – the habits that help? What are you prepared to do to break those patterns that aren’t supporting you to live a great life? Ramp up your positive patterns and create a life you truly value.

For those that know me I am pretty much a clean freak so it is no surprise that I see removing the clutter as an essential productivity tool. Live with clutter and you live with obstacles. It is important to de-clutter quickly emotionally, psychologically and physically. It’s time to pave the way to success by spring-cleaning the clutter in your life. When heading in a valued direction, you need to clear the path.

Constant noise is not good for our wellbeing. Meditation is often recommended as both a prevention and treatment for stress. While few would dispute the benefits, meditation is not widely practiced in the Western World. Slowing down and sitting in silence can be challenging. I’m no guru, but I know that the more we practice the better we get. It took me a long time to get the hang of it and now I love it. It is the weekly ritual I look forward to the most

Mind –body advocate Ian Gawler lists the benefits in his book Meditation:

Each new day is a chance to celebrate your very precious life. When we wake up each day we have a choice to either focus on what is or what isn’t. When we stop being a victim to what isn’t and start being grateful for all that is – life gets a whole lot better. I promise. Getting back to John Farnham, I couldn't get myself to go early to an event yesterday – A Day on the Green. It was raining and I was thinking of my health. My friends were teasing me about my indecisiveness and the fact that we missed Richard Marx. Now I didn't really know who he was but after seeing the one and only Whispering Jack I remarked, “lets just focus on the enormous fun we have had.”

Being grateful is the first step to keeping what you want to keep in your life. If we focus on what we have at the start of each day, it has an enormously positive impact on our day ahead. The best option is to practice gratitude daily and see a better world around you. The bonus is the world gets to see you a whole lot better for you. Keep the gratitude coming all day long and share it openly with others. Gratitude is contagious – just another reason to be grateful. Gratitude for what you have each day – rather than what has not worked well in the past – is a key step to expiring the old.

Being in drama about what has gone on in the past can prevent you from moving forward. Being in drama uses up time and energy and can also prevent the growth required. All of these negative behaviours of playing persecutor, victim or rescuer, keep us focused on what has gone on before – even be it within minutes that have just passed. To expire the old stuff we must be aware of when we are in drama and change the focus quickly to move out of drama.

Once we discover how much time is wasted on thoughts of what has happened to us or to others in the past we can consciously focus on our vision. But we are often fixated on an issue or an event that is in the past but is still consuming our thoughts. Take a moment to consider:

This can be a heavy load to carry.

Four ways to move the focus from the past to a vision for the future are:

1. Consider what poor quality thoughts are stemming from an issue you are caught up in 2. Accept whether this situation can or can’t be changed 3. Choose to unhook those poor quality thoughts 4. Focus and take action towards making your vision a reality

By changing focus from the past to your vision for the future you will be hooked on good quality thoughts. But awareness without action accomplishes nothing. Practice these steps daily and expire the old stuff. By focusing on my purpose of providing psychosocial support to those with cancer and their associated loved ones, I moved from an extreme downward spiral to a True Believer.

What is your life story? When we expire the old stuff we can write a brand new chapter. What’s your next chapter?

Next week we look at ‘how’ we bring this to life via body, mind, heart & soul.

What we can achieve with those who believe, has no limits!

Love & Peace


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