I’m making some changes in my social media repertoire. I’ve been on LinkedIn for a real long time, but I’m not feeling it is worth my focus any longer. I began to feel recently like it was time to let it go due to feeling rather uninspired there and kinda like it was a chore.

This is different from when I exited Facebook in 2010. That was due to general irritation with what I perceived as a black hat way of doing business. That combined with a general icky feeling anytime I logged in to check my timeline. It got too icky to ignore so I checked out.

I didn’t really have any plan in mind when I deleted my LinkedIn account. I figured I would just stick with my favorite, Twitter. Keep it simple, you know, update things here at my blog more often and tweet. That, I suppose, was the extent of it.

Enter GoodReads. It seems once again that as soon as I let go of something that is kinda feeling haggard, it makes room for something more lovely to enter the picture. So for the last several days, I’ve been getting involved there and I think I may have found my people. Book people, of course! Why didn’t I see that sooner?!

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031-istock-origAstrology is a tool that offers leaps in understanding when embraced as a symbolic language. I look at it as one tool in the toolbox. Like, “I’m gonna pick up my screwdriver now and work on this project.” Or for astrology, “I’m going to pick up my natal chart now and see what insights I discover.”

I’m not a fan of using astrology for every single question. It is wonderful for seeing potential life lesson insights, though. It can help bring clarity quickly. As Steven Forrest wrote, “Astrology’s principle advantage is speed.” Astrology offers a way to focus on insights for certain areas of life and help you problem solve at any given time too.

You are probably familiar with your Sun sign even if you haven’t ever done much work learning the symbolic language of astrology at all. For example, you most likely know you are a Pisces or Taurus.

Sun sign descriptions are a nice way to open the door to a little bit of the language and symbolism of astrology. There are a lot more pieces that can be added to tap into the useful information to consider for practical relevance to your life. Whole paragraphs can be added such as, in general: how others tend to see you, what you are best known for, how you learn best, how to best nurture yourself, what makes your heart soar, what you are spontaneously willing to take action on, information about your life purpose, and many other useful pieces of information to consider.

Astrology can reveal new ideas for solutions that you have not thought of before. Then you try the new approach in your life and find out for yourself if the idea worked. I love to use astrology in this very practical way.

Because of the law of attraction, always take descriptions offered to the high side for ideas to consider going forward. For example, low side keywords to consider for Aquarius include detached, unpredictable, and arrogant. Whereas high side keywords include visionary, altruistic, perceptive, funny, and unique. You can find many more examples of keywords for all of the 12 signs to consider online. There are multiple potential interpretations for every piece in astrology. Remember to focus on the positive as you go.

The place to start is to get a copy of your natal chart. It is all done by computer software. You can get a free natal chart online at astro.cafeastrology.com. Just click on “Birth Chart” once you get there. You will need your birth date, birth time, and birth place to generate a chart.

Then you can look at a cheat sheet such as this one or, my long-time favorite, this one.

One of the first things I look at when I look at a chart is the placement of the north node by house and sign. Which gives the big picture idea of hints into life purpose. North node placement can help you sync up with a way of being that can help move you forward towards everything that you want in life. It’s a very big picture view, and it’s a lifelong journey. But you can know that as you lean in the direction of that north node, you’re heading in a good direction for personal growth. The insights and clarity from taking a look at that north node can be priceless.

Next, I often look for the Sun and Moon sign and placements. Just these bits of info provide inspirational ideas to consider and synthesize for self-growth.

Did you know that there are things to look at in your natal chart that can give ideas to consider for career too? At the top of your chart will be a sign that indicates what others quickly recognize about you. When you combine that info with your moon sign and your Mars sign you can gather some helpful ideas that can point to practical steps to try in your career.

And you can gain insights about yourself in all kinds of relationships too. For important partnerships, such life partners, look at the 7th house cusp. So, if you have Aquarius on the 7th house cusp of partnership and identifying with others, lean into being altruistic, perceptive, and funny in relationships…or any of the other high side keywords for Aquarius that resonate with you. Consider that might be the type of person you attract as well.

Now if you want to take a look at how you can take it to the high side as a parent, look at the 5th house cusp and see what sign is there then take the keywords to the high side again, see which ones resonate with you. With siblings look at the 3rd house cusp. With co-workers, look at the 6th house cusp.

I truly believe positive astrology work can result in clarity and life-enhancing ideas to try as well as a deepening of self-understanding.

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There are powerful people around us all the time. People who either help us create the next part of our life story in a powerfully positive way or people who help us rehash our old story. Relationships are about the potential of the next part of your story. Through your relationships you become more of who you are. Much of the juice of life comes from interactions with others too. Different teachers and mentors come into our lives through our relationships. Even as we live our lives and have our experiences, we can maintain a fundamental view of others as people with the potential to connect meaningfully with us. Through times of connection, we all learn something new about ourselves.

It’s human nature to look to others to make us feel good. One of the best feelings ever happens when we look into someone’s eyes as we laugh with them. It’s so easy to appreciate the moment when that happens. But remember, no one else is responsible for how you feel. Would you even want them to be? I don’t care to be that dependent on anyone. I don’t control how others feel and no one but me is responsible for how I feel. Remember that. Maybe it will help you as it has me. We all can steer our emotions in a direction that feels good. To do so, we must monitor what we are thinking about and focusing on and exercise intention and discipline in that regard.

You are worthy, and your perspective is valid. You have a unique point of view and it matters. You matter, whether anyone else recognizes that in any moment or not. Do not be dependent on other people’s opinion of you for your own happiness. That being said, strive to make appreciation the whole point of your interaction with others. That appreciation will strengthen you, even though at first glance it might feel like something you are doing for someone else.

Your Surprising Responsibility

Of course, you can see the benefit of everyone being happy. You can certainly focus on how you would feel if everyone were happy. You can even intentionally notice happy people. You cannot, however, assist a single person to feel different unless he or she allows it.

You have the best chance of enjoying your relationships if you focus on one main priority: Your number one responsibility is to feel good. Feeling good is powerful. That is the place you must start for improved relationships. You are a positive influence and a force for good when you feel good. You will bring people up all around you when you are feeling good, and people will benefit from being around your positive energy. But remember, they are not your priority. They can, and likely will, come up to meet you at your higher vibe. That’s superb, but it must not be the main priority. Put on your own oxygen mask first!

You can be an example of a person who focuses on the positive as you go through your life feeling good and in your personal power more often than not. You can act on your inspiration. You can send positive vibes to people who are unhappy. You can intend a better life for them. You can trust in their ability to find happiness the same as can for yourself. You can know that it’s possible for all people to find their way to some happiness at some point. You can help others notice something positive to focus on if they choose to cooperate but remember you are not responsible for how others feel.

Feeling good is a natural way of being. You feel bad by focusing on something that makes you feel bad. Now that you know this secret to a good life, take notice when you are feeling bad and intentionally change your focus.

Let Them Create

When we blame others as the reason for our unhappiness, we can quickly lose empathy for them. Once that happens, we subconsciously give ourselves permission to treat them badly, or just generally have a negative vibe concerning them, and a cycle of negativity begins. This is not a good foundation for enjoyable relationships or connection with others.

Instead, realize that other people are simply having a different emotional experience, and that is to be expected. Everyone is coming from unique perspectives. We all have challenges that take time to recognize and to learn from. Instead of pointing out the idiocy you see in others, change your focus. Don’t comment on it under your breath or encourage others to focus on something negative. Free yourself up to focus on something you do like. That is the beginning of something powerful.

We can learn to be more patient with ourselves and with others.

You can’t change others, but you can change your thoughts and feelings about them. You must clearly understand that you cannot control how others feel. Why would you want to? Don’t push against them when you can be doing something so much more beneficial to yourself. When you release them to their own creations, you free yourself up to focus on yours. There is no more joy in this world than focusing on what you want and creating it.

Control Your Focus

It is imperative to be disciplined about where we focus in order to have satisfying relationships.

Don’t let your mind wander to those things that you find annoying about them at the moment. Instead, cut them a break. Have a general statement at the ready when you begin to go off in a negative direction about someone. Say to yourself, “I’m sure they’re doing their best,” or “Easy does it, focus elsewhere.” The important thing is to release yourself from going on a long dialog about how they suck.

Control your focus to feel good. It’s the only thing you do have control of. You can’t control others or at-the-moment situations you find yourself in, but you can control what you think about and give your attention to.

You can create a new and improved experience with people you consider yourself “stuck” with too. Just start a new habit of appreciating their strengths. Notice and remember what you liked about them when you first met them. Get clear on what you want to see in them. What you like about them. Look for the smallest indication of it and truly appreciate it.

Believe in those around you. Believe in the best of them to see more of it. Do the same for yourself, and do that first! Every accomplishment and thing of beauty comes about because somebody believed in somebody.

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Life Improved: Health

Can you appreciate the idea of wellness as a natural state of being? Remind yourself throughout the day to relax, allow, and enjoy.

What can you appreciate about your body? Even as you are out and about working or having fun, there is so much your body is taking care of without you needing to direct it. Your heart beats, you breathe, your muscles work, your feet take you where you want to go. Your eyes see, your ears hear, and on and on. Your body is amazing!

Your needs are unique. Maybe what is promoted to the general public will feel great for your body, maybe it won’t. That doesn’t mean anything is wrong or amiss with your body. It just means that now is the time to learn what works best for you. Some factors to consider – sleep, diet, exercise, stress, fun. Most importantly, when you identify something you can do that helps you feel good, stick with it! Integrate it into your daily self-care ritual. Make it a habit that runs on autopilot for you.

Often unhappiness about body appearance comes about after comparing ourselves to others. So don’t play that game. To do so is to take the first step toward the portal for an ego trip that turns anxious mind loose. Instead of starting off down that dark rabbit hole, remember, you are unique, incomparable even.

Whatever you like about yourself, appreciate that specifically and often. The most important thing is that you feel good. Take it easy on yourself. Pay attention to your emotions and do something about it when you notice you aren’t feeling good — change your focus! Be open and expansive about allowing yourself to feel good.

You Are Where You Are

Your old story may not be helping you. What do you repeat in your head about yourself and to others? Are you thinking and talking about what you like about yourself? Are you retelling stories about your struggles? If so, now is the time for a new, more positive story.

It’s not easy to let go of how you’ve been thinking but if you want different results, it’s worth the effort. You are where you are, but at anytime you can start again. It doesn’t matter what happened before. What matters is what happens next, and your results going forward are directly related to feeling good now.

The easiest way to improve your body is to accept where you are with an understanding that all can be better. Stop beating up on yourself. Be hopeful instead. It doesn’t have to be a struggle. You can move forward with inspired steps pulling you through instead of by pushing yourself forward with the force of will alone. You can feel good about what you are doing, and the improvements you are making. Try it. The difference will astound you!

Create habits of thinking where you catch yourself feeling unhappy then say to yourself, “Things are as they are and feeling down doesn’t help me.” Then proceed to talk yourself up, or visualize yourself up to a happier feeling, or imagine how you want to feel. Most importantly, know that things are improving. Feel enthusiasm regarding the good feelings coming to you.

Know that more health and wellness is coming to you when you can feel good even if only for a little bit at first. Each time you practice you will become better and better at feeling good and recognizing inspiration to take the next step towards what you want.

Die Only Once

Let go of anxiety and worry. It’s not motivational. Instead, it tends to stop any momentum you do have. Worry, anxiety, and fear don’t help. There are far better ways to spend your time and energy.

Often changing your outlook makes all the difference. Much more is good than is not good. Keep your mind on the good and what you are creating going forward. Do your best to change your thinking so that you can feel good to great most of the time.

Most of us have been taught to ignore our emotions, or to control our emotions, or that emotions are uncontrollable. Unlearn those ideas! Tuning into how you feel is crucial. Use your emotions to adjust your focus to feel better. Emotions point us to what we are thinking and where we are focusing. That’s it! Don’t give emotions much more meaning that that. They simply let us know to change focus when feeling bad, or to focus on more of the same even figuring out how to bump it up a notch when feeling good. There is always another level.

Feeling better is always the goal. What you are thinking influences how you feel. What you focus on and how you think about it directly affects how you feel. So periodically throughout the day, take note of how you feel. Doing so is like taking a measurement that helps you adjust your focus and your thinking so that you feel good…and feeling good is of utmost importance.

Simple Tools and Tactics

  • A happiness collection can be helpful. Make your own scrapbook of happy things which can be an actual book or a web-based collection, such using Pinterest or Evernote. Gather your favorite music, poems, song lyrics, pictures, and videos. Write out or speak reminders of your happiest memories and visualizations of good things to come. If you notice you are feeling down, go to your happiness collection and pump yourself up a notch or two. It can be a great distraction that can help stop negative momentum and maybe even turn it around.
  • Realize that feeling overwhelmed is often due to thinking too far ahead or thinking about things you can’t do too much about right now for whatever reason. The cure for overwhelm is to reign in your focus. Switch to a general knowing that it will all work out. Allow yourself to feel comfortable and confident about where you are now in the process. Recognize your achieved progress as persistent small steps in the right direction at the right time.
  • Feel the future, it’s so easy! Imagine the flow. Feel the momentum and the perfect timing. How do you want to feel in 10 years? How about next year? How about tomorrow? How about now?
  • Make a want list. There are many beautiful things all around you. Lovely things to want, lovely people to meet. Did you know that it is good to want? Life would quickly become boring if you had everything you wanted all at once. Keep making your want list, it pulls life through. You still have stuff you want, and that’s good, great even! What we want comes to us in stages throughout life. So make your list. Keep track of all the things you want to experience. While you are at it, list how you want to feel too. All that you want is on the way to you as long as you can feel good about what you want. Careful that you aren’t aching for what you want. The challenge is to enjoy wanting. Make the want list game a daily practice and you will find yourself feeling good more often and life improving. Be patient and let all that you want come to you and have fun choosing along the way. Care enough about yourself to control your focus. Imagine how you will feel when you have what you want and choose to feel that now. Get jazzed about all the experiences you want to have and what you want to create and go with that feeling as long as you can for a few minutes each day.

Improved health begins with knowing it is possible and believing you can tap into that kind of abundance. Then move to some visualization. See yourself in those shoes and feel it in your body as if you were already there. Daydream just for fun. It’s so fun to play with ideas of what you can choose, what you will create going forward. Enjoy dreams of all that you want. Savor how it feels to play with those ideas. It’s good work for improving health! Play with these ideas daily to establish good momentum for improving health and wellness.

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Life Improved: Career

Want to feel good about your career? Many people desire a satisfying career, and with good reason. A career that fits well is a luxury that enhances life overall. In addition to monetary resources gained through work, a good-fitting career fuels self-development and self-confidence. It is a main avenue for continued learning and development. Through the work you do every day, you demonstrate where you are willing to focus. Finding work to focus on that meshes superbly with your inner nature and what you want to experience maximizes your personal power, creativity, and freedom.

Sometimes people are surprised to realize what an inside game career development is. Magic happens once you plan ahead to feel good about your career and begin to include your work seamlessly into the fabric of your life experience. Building a satisfying career begins with knowing it is possible and believing you can tap into that kind of abundance.

People who have found their perfect work are passionate and proud of the work they do. They exude a special type of joy and zest for life. I wish that for you. Dive into your career development one optimistic step at a time. Follow what appeals to you now as an indication of your intuition at work.

A career is more than one job, a progression of jobs, or even a certain task or title. It’s your life’s work and may include many areas of focus, some paid, and some not (such as schooling, volunteer work, or being a stay-at-home parent). Finding a larger perspective like that can make the significance of the immediate day-to-day more palatable, especially if you are currently in a job you hate. The job doesn’t feel so bad when you take the bird’s eye view. What you are doing now is just one step on the path.

If you can find a big perspective and lean positive with your outlook for the future, you suddenly find yourself with more patience and room to maneuver. It starts to feel like it is possible to make small changes that get you closer and closer to discovering the sweet spot where work feels like play. That’s what happens when you find the flow. You realize you are working on something or for something that feels significant to you personally that uses your best skills and provides the right amount of challenge for development. Add to that the feeling that your work fuels you with purpose and your career begins to feel very sweet indeed. Below are a few ideas for your to consider as a basis for creating a career that you love.

Be selfish. Embrace and pursue your own path.

Sometimes people feel pressure to choose a career based on what someone important to them expects. Often it is easy to turn away from our interests because of what those around us would think. But remember, you are the one putting in time and attention to whatever you choose for your career. You are the one noticing every day how you feel about your work. So be selfish in your career development planning. Intend for your work to enhance your life. Those you care about will be glad that you are happy in the end.

Building a career is an ever-evolving process, not a one-time choice. Each day you learn and gather new skills, meet new people, and gain important insights and info about yourself and what interests you. Through self-analysis and experience, you become more knowledgeable about yourself, what it is you do best, and how to present that to others. You learn more about what is a good fit for you and you become better able to match up with opportunities.

Follow your interests without concern about what other people think. It doesn’t matter if others notice what you are doing or what you are interested in, but when you fully engage with your work without the need for their attention, everyone will notice. You can feel confident knowing that people recognize you for what you do best as soon as you own it and keep working on it.

Begin by focusing on how you want to feel about your work. How does it feel when your work is easy and enjoyable for you? What feeling are you mainly wanting from your work at this time? Feel it now. Feel what it is like to do what you want. Make it a daily practice to visualize and feel that money comes to you without struggle and that your work is a joy.

A fulfilling career is built upon natural strengths that enable you to work with ease and to gain expertise faster. Strengths are activities that you enjoy doing, that you do well, and that you don’t mind doing repeatedly, as defined by Marcus Buckingham, one of the first strengths researchers. Once you find your top 2-3 strengths, I suggest you build your career around them ruthlessly. Work with a career counselor or coach to help make them the hub of your life’s work. Use them to communicate what distinguishes you from others in your cover letters and resumes and in important conversations with hiring managers, bosses, colleagues, and mentors.

Build on your career keyword and your strengths.

Your career keyword can provide clarity in understanding what you want recognition for and likely what will be easily recognized in you by others. Once you have it, you can integrate it with your strengths to use as a guiding light in your career decision making.

Identifying a career keyword is an exercise in big picture thinking. It is kind of like choosing a theme song, but in this case it is one word that describes what your career is about at its core. What is your career keyword? Get quiet for a few seconds then ask yourself, “what is my career about?” See if your intuition supplies an answer. If not, choose one for now and change anytime you find a word that fits even better. Your career keyword will resonate with you. You might feel proud, excited, or confident when you hit on a good word for you. Here are some example keywords.

administrating • art • beauty • bravery • building • challenge • communicating • compassion • competing • cooperating • creating• dancing • defense • diplomacy • efficiency • empathizing• enforcement • exploring • fashion • foreign travel • harmony • hedonism • healing • honesty • images • imagination • independence •
innovation • leading • movement • music• negotiating • nurturing • perfecting • performing • persistence• philanthropy • philosophy • physical stamina • power • problem solving • protecting • relating • religion • research • sales • science • self-expression • service• social reform • spirituality • storytelling • teaching • team building • technology • transforming • writing

Plan ahead to enjoy and focus your mind as you go.

Have you decided that work is a “grind?” Do you leave your workplace already dreading returning tomorrow? If so, it is no wonder work is difficult. When you notice and talk about what you don’t like, it is so easy to continue focusing in that way. If you want different results, then you need to establish a new thought pattern about your career. You simply must find a positive perspective about your work to ensure that your career enhances your life.

Even if you already think your job is good and you enjoy your work, you can give it more juice. Try this strategy. Go to work looking for something to like during your day. Maybe it’s a certain feeling in the air or special people you involved. Maybe it’s that you have a lot of time to think while you do a repetitive task. Maybe it’s that moment when you help a customer and they genuinely appreciate it. Maybe it’s noticing how someone else seems happy or is a pleasure to be around. Maybe it’s the precision with which things are getting done. There is always something positive to notice, find it. Then talk about it, and notice it again tomorrow.

Plan in advance to enjoy your work in the immediate future (as in today), short-term (as in this year), and long-term (ten years from now). What does it feel like to know satisfaction about a job well done, a position you are proud of, and a well-developed career? Feel it all now. Let your body feel the visualization as if it were the real thing. Use your imagination to your advantage to raise your vibe by intentionally feeling like you already have all that you want in your career. Do it daily and notice the differences. The positive differences you notice are your “wins.” Focus on them and make a big deal of it. Things are changing for the better!

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