Posts Tagged ‘music’

Fountains have long been a feature of human habitation, and are a central feature in gardens in many cultures. The sight and sound of flowing water is refreshing and inspiring. Water features are an important element in Feng Shui as a means of enhancing energy flow. Ever and yet never the same, water is a symbol of the Way of the Universe in Taoism.

We bathe in water, and drink it to sustain our life. Perhaps water calls to our oceanic origins, or simply resonates well with the senses and the body, itself being 60% water. With the brain being composed of 70% water, and the blood more than 80% water, it is no wonder that we speak of the water of life.

Flowing water both enhances and entrances us. The sound of water rings like chimes in the wind, and is perhaps nature’s finest music. We return to water to feel renewal in the quality of flow. We can also look for active ways to participate in the flow, particularly in enhancing the flow of ideas.

Thoughts in flow

Deepak Chopra, MD and author of books on spirituality and mind-body medicine, says that while scientists claim that we have around 65,000 thoughts a day, 98% of them are the same thoughts that we had yesterday. While repetitious thoughts may be necessary for repetitive tasks and routines, it also suggests that our thinking is almost completely caught in a closed loop.

Assuming that there is at least some room for improvement, and that for the sake of our well-being it is worth exploring new mental territory, what can we do to break the cycle of sameness and stimulate a fresh flow of ideas? A constant flow of ideas can help you tap into new fountains of thought, wisdom, and youth.

Here are a eight things you can do get your thoughts in flow. They are inexpensive and accessible, and will keep your thoughts flowing like water, rather than frozen in stone.

  1. Water. Engage with water every day. Bathe in it, drink it, and enjoy the sight and sound of its flow. While this may seem to be something that you already do, chances are you can do it with greater mindfulness and appreciation. Don’t dry out before your time.
  2. Music. We are blessed with greater access to music than ever before, higher fidelity recordings, and portability, and even opportunities to learn and produce music ourselves. Music can refresh and stimulate your brain. Don’t let it slip by unnoticed.
  3. Walking. To get your blood moving, exercise your whole body, give you a change in perspective, and wake up your brain, there is almost no finer way than walking. If your ideas are not flowing, trying getting off your seat and onto your feet.
  4. Writing. Put your thoughts into words on paper, where they can be read and shared with others. Whether you write at a keyboard or in a notebook is not as important as whether or not you write at all. Many people avoid writing because of negative associations picked up at school. However, it is still one of the best ways to get your thoughts moving and your head clear.
  5. Reading. Books are food for your brain, and can nourish it if you read selectively. It isn’t the number of books you read, or how fast you read them, but rather the degree to which you interact with them intelligently. Read thoughtfully, take notes, and vary your reading speed according to content and purpose.
  6. Questioning. Children ask hundreds of questions a day, adults ask few. Questions are fine food for thought and good conversation starters. Keep a written list of questions and don’t let it gather any dust.
  7. Sketching. Many children draw daily, while most adults do not draw at all. Sketching and doodling stimulate the brain, helping you to visualize and remember abstract things. Don’t worry if you lack artistic skill. Drawing icons and sketching stick figures can be even more effective at stimulating ideas than making detailed realistic drawings.
  8. Laughing. Not only is laughter the best medicine, it is the shortest path between ideas. Laughter is the body’s way of processing things which don’t easily fit in one part of the brain or another. When unlikely things suddenly come together in a surprising or entertaining way, that makes us laugh. This leads to sudden insights and fresh perspectives.

You can download a Mandala Chart here with self-coaching questions to help you get your THOUGHTS IN FLOW.

Why more ideas?

F. Scott Fitzgerald said that, “the true test of a first-rate mind is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time.” The way this is done is not by holding them at all, but rather by juggling them in a balanced pattern that keeps the ideas in flow. Ideas move people and catalyze change. New ideas are not always welcome, particularly when change is perceived as a threat to the status quo. The only dangerous idea is the idea that all other ideas are dangerous.

If you want to change yourself, you need to change your thoughts. If you want to change others, you need to influence their thinking. If you want to change your environment, you need to find new ways of engaging with it. Change starts when your thoughts and ideas get into flow, and it comes about when that flow is powerful enough to get other things and people moving. Time for a change? Prime your mind for a constant flow of ideas.

Flexible Focus #17: Determine your destiny

by William Reed on September 2, 2010

Do you believe that you can determine your destiny? A lot hangs in the balance of how you answer that question.

Destiny is a word often associated with fate and inevitability. Destiny is how you face up to that which you cannot control. But it is also your destination, the place where you are destined to go. It is both your lot and your luck,  but how it works out in the end depends on your attitude and focus.

In this series, we have compared the Mandala Chart to a lens. Flexible focus is not just for clarity and perspective, it also applies to concentration and action. A magnifying glass can concentrate sunlight into heat and burn a hole through paper. The Mandala Chart is like a lens that can focus your mental energy to get results.

In fact, it can add a new dimension to the Law of Attraction, one which is practical and action-oriented. Start small to gain focus in getting things done, meeting a deadline, or start a new project. Determining your destiny need not begin on a grand scale. Though your destination might be far away, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Whereas wishful thinking is aversive to action, flexible focus enables you to reach out through the mist and make use of all of the resources you have at hand.

We are far from having explored the limits of the possible. The history of human experience has shown time and again that when the mind can visualize it can materialize. The important thing is to give shape to your thoughts. Write them down, sketch them out, speak your dreams and make them happen.

The attitude for this is known in Japanese as kokorozashi (志),  literally the soul (心) of the samurai (士), and all that it implies in terms of courage, calling, and conviction. The biggest thing that stands between you and your destiny is not something outside of you, but the fear, uncertainty, and doubt in your own mind which saps your energy (迷), literally the loss (辶) of energy (米).

Regardless of how many reasons or resources you have, if you lack the energy to determine your destiny, then everything will come to nothing. Energy is the great multiplier, and the real measure of your strength. You cannot have enough of it. If you have a surplus, then share the wealth. It is one of the good things in life that is contagious.

If your energy is low, there are a number of things you can do to increase it.

  • Motivate yourself with music. It keeps your attention, tells a story, taps into memories and emotions, and is ever enjoyable. Here are some great resources you can access online to get you started.
    • Make it Happen, by Mariah Carey (lyrics and video): Mariah moves Madison Square Garden, and she can move you. Read the lyrics too.
    • 40 Motivational Songs for Goal Setting: Incredible playlist of music videos by artists who have rocked the world. Watch them all.
    • Runner’s World’s Music for Motivation Playlists for Runners: Playlists of top world runners which you can download from iTunes. Give them a run.
    • Tap videos from my own favorites at http://blip.fm/willreed: Top artists of Tap will get you grounded and ready in rhythm. Put energy and finesse in your footwork.
  • Get your body moving. Once you get on your feet, whether you choose to walk or run, you can gain inspiration from the marathon. The change of pace and environment, the fresh air and sunshine, the sheer momentum of moving your feet will generate enough energy to put the process in motion.
  • Eat properly. Food is your basic fuel, providing your body with the ingredients it needs to stay alive and healthy. But eating too much of the wrong kinds of food can not only sap your strength, over time it can kill you. Food can make or break you. Get the facts, find what works best for you, and eat properly.
  • Get coaching. Sometimes we need a catalyst to get moving. Whether you are looking for clarity, focus, or motivation, the right coach can be a key partner in your success. Personal chemistry is critical in choosing a coach, but first inform yourself of the many options and approaches, and select the one that fits you best.
  • Put life in perspective. When you lack perspective then all of the reasons why turn into reasons why not to take action. Procrastination is the thief of time. After getting the broader picture it is easier to return to the field with conviction on the most important question of all, Why are you here?
  • Declare your commitment. The desire for internal consistency is very powerful. No one likes to lie to themselves. If you have a sincere commitment, then declare it to others and watch how this puts positive pressure on you to keep your word. Don’t take your promises lightly, or you may stop believing in them yourself.
  • Read for inspiration. Well-selected reading gives you access to a vast library of ideas and approaches that can fire your imagination with inspiration. Read for emotional and practical motivation, for new ideas, and for pleasure. Whether you read books and articles, or dip into the digital world, make sure that your environment supports a pleasurable reading experience. This will encourage you to come back for more.
  • Get traction through action. The most powerful and persuasive factor in determining your destiny is taking action. When your actions are in alignment with your destiny, then you carry the torch which will light your way.

Eight ways to increase your energy and determine your destiny. Consider them in combination by downloading the PDF file Mandala Chart DETERMINE YOUR DESTINY.

From the lyrics to the song by R. Kelley, I Believe I can Fly

If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it