Archive for March, 2010

Thalia, Melpomene and Spirituality

Spirituality relates our soul and mind to other people, communities, nature and divinity.  The soul is the internal principle by which we think, feel, and will.  The soul animates our bodies, and the mind makes the activities of the soul the subject of our consciousness.  Spiritual practices like contemplation, meditation and prayer can offer inspiration, orientation and development in life.  Understanding spirituality and expressing spirituality isn’t always easy.  Sometimes we need help understanding ourselves and expressing our “inner person”.  Many people correlate art and spirituality, because art moves the “inner person”.  Art can help us to articulate our perspective and it can help express how we interpret other points of view.  Art can help us to drift away from the things that pre-occupy us and transcend our situations.  Sometimes art can also reveal something about us from an outside perspective.  You’ve heard music that moved your soul, you’ve seen art that made you ponder, and you’ve seen a show that made you cry.  These examples relate inwardly, but have you ever attributed these expressions to spirituality?  Have you thought of comedy as being spiritual?  Consider Thalia and Melpomene as an artistic attempt to demonstrate my point.  Thalia is the muse of Comedy in greek drama and is shown as a laughing mask and Melpomene is the muse of tragedy and is shown as a crying mask.  Comedy easily demonstrates a picture of how we are and the situations we face.  Through comedy we can take comfort in an outside point of view and soothe our emotions by making light of our characteristics or actions.  More importantly, comedy can uncover the accurate perception of self in a light-hearted way, without traumatizing us by what we see.  On the other hand, tragedies can really mix up our emotions.  Sometimes the trauma of a tragedy is too much to handle and it becomes the drama that get’s you stuck in an emotional state.  Hmmm…. Maybe that’s why the drama queen/king rides from one emotional roller coaster to the next.  Whether art is expressed in the comedy of  Thalia or tragedy of Melpomene, it helps us to relate our lot in life, deal with stuff and gain awareness.  Never the less, our perceptions of the inner-self predict how we see and behave in the world around us.  We have great potential to take control of the way we think, feel, and will.


Get Motivated, Get Busy, Get the Goal!

Guarding our thoughts to protect our emotions is a necessary game of life.  We should replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts ASAP to pull ourselves out of a slump before it gains momentum.   Having predominantly motivating thoughts helps us to focus on the task at hand and neutralizes negative thoughts.  Never the less, thieves lurk just outside our ears awaiting for opportunities to still our attention and kill our motivation. 

The first motivation killer is a lack of confidence. When you only think about what you want, your mind creates explanations for why you aren’t getting it. This creates negative thoughts.  We can overcome this thought pattern by expressing gratitude and appreciation.  Also think about fun times and the great experiences when you impressed yourself.  Repeating positive things you already know can improve your mindset.  The mind distorts reality to confirm what it wants to believe.  The more positively you think, the more examples your mind will discover to confirm that belief.

The second motivation killer is a lack of focus. Avoid focusing on what you don’t want and don’t have.  Rather be thankful for your accomplishments and what you do have.  Set a realistic goal and see it through to completion.  Beware because we often think in terms of fear and lack instead of confidence and abundance.  The problem with this type of thinking is that fear is confusing and it causes us to avoid things and not take action.  We have to overcome fear because it feeds on itself and drains our motivation.

By focusing your mind on a positive goal instead of an ambiguous fear, you put your brain to work.  Your brain would rather be happy, and devise a plan for your success, instead of worrying about the future.  When you have a realistic plan you start to do something about it and your emotions follow along in harmony.  You gain momentum, confidence and energy.  When you act on your plan, you focus on goals.  Those actions are the direction of your day-to-day strategy for success one hour at a time.  A lack of direction kills motivation because without an obvious next step we give in to procrastination.  We need a constant reminder to avoid procrastination, because it’s easy to waste an entire day.

When my motivation starts to fade, I check my thought process for overwhelming negativity.  I redirect my thoughts to positive affirmations and think of positive actions that I can do immediately.  The first one is a small task I’ve been meaning to do, like make an important phone call and the second moves me toward a bigger goal that may be more intimidating like monitoring my forecasting budget.  I immediately do the smaller task.  This creates positive momentum and inspires me to take the first step towards achieving the bigger goal.  Sometimes I go back and forth from small to big and from big to small and from small to small to big to small periodically to get out of a slump, create positive reinforcement, and get long-term plans moving.

Even still most of us have periods of low energy and even the occasional attempt that is off the target.  Always remember our main objective is to consistently move toward our goals.  In order to have a consistently positive mindset we have to discipline our minds and be on guard against the top three motivation killers.  Fight against lack of confidence, lack of focus and lack of direction as you would fight against a burglar trying to rob you of your gold.  Keep them at a distance and don’t let them catch you off guard.  You have the potential and the tools to protect your motivation and boost yourself to success.  We all can be goal getters!