One day our neighbors came over and asked to be on our podcast. So we recorded them pretending to be me and Kelly. It went something like this, “Welcome to the Popular Podcast. I’m Kelly. I’m Jessica. We ride our bikes a lot. And wear helmets, because we’re really safe. If you don’t wear a helmet, you’re going to die. And we’re minimalists. And if you want to have a bumpin’ party at 9am, come to our place.”
We were SO FLATTERED. Today it’s the minimalism I’m focusing on. Cut the weeds out of your life and you’ll have more space to plant the things you want to grow. Cut out the extra food, the extra observations, the external pleasures, the worries, the past and the future. What you’re left with is heaven, and it’s happening right now.
1. Count calories.
Dare I give diet advice? While everyone has different dietary needs and beliefs, the one thing that has always helped me feel better about food is counting calories. It’s just like a money budget–instead of conscious spending, it’s conscious consumption. After I’ve had my allotted calories for the day, I have to move on and find another way to feel good, instead of constantly looking for something else to eat to give me a mood boost. So much time is freed up when I’m not walking to 7-11 for snacks! And holy cow, we had money left over in our food budget from October.
2. Try this mantra: “It’s just me and this __________.”
Sometimes when I’m hooping, I think to myself, “It’s just me and this hoop.” It helps pull my attention into the Now, and imbues the Now with importance. It’s just me and this computer. It’s just me and this bowl of chili. Deep, right?
3. Feel happy with nothing.
Happiness is independent of circumstance. It’s a choice you make in every moment. Kelly and I recorded a new audio discussion going into detail if you’d like to check it out here.
4. Want to feel better?
Fill out an “I Want to Feel Better” worksheet. Last week I was feeling sick, and I said to Kelly, “All I want is to feel better!” She commanded me to fill out the worksheet immediately. I resisted at first, but then took her advice. I filled out the prompts in my head. “What’s on your mind?” I feel sick. “What do you prefer?” I’m perfectly healthy. “What does the new version feel like?” Celebrating! The worksheet helped me focus on what I want instead of what I don’t want, and I started using the mantra, “I’m perfectly healthy,” while feeling celebratory. The next morning, I woke up feeling loads better. Today I’m totally healed, and I’m celebrating!
5. Be a warrior.
Sometimes I get scared riding my bike everywhere. If I was driving a car, I would feel safer. But then the adventurous, life-loving part of me speaks up: “I’m a warrior!” Every moment on my bike is a chance to feel like a dare-devil in a movie. Instead of safe and comfortable, I’m powerful and strong!
6. Draw your life.
I found myself getting irritable and bored the last few days. I realized it was just my mind chattering away like a maniac. I was doing my silent counting but felt frustrated, because I know in the Now there is not even room for counting. I want to be able to stop thinking and be in the Now! I’ve had my fill of writing and recording meditations and talking. So I asked myself, “How do I want to express myself?” The vision of a sketchbook came to mind, so I opened one up and began scribbling away with my non-dominant hand.
After a few minutes I became wrapped up in what I was doing right here, right now. The drawing was the Now. I could hear myself think–and then return to the Now with the drawing. Using my non-dominant hand seemed critical, because when I briefly switched to my right hand, I started rushing and restraining myself.
As I drew, pulling myself back to the Now again and again, I remembered the truths I try to live every day. There is only Now. There is no thinking in the Now, only experiencing. And today if I choose to draw my life, I am here.
Last week, Kiriko Kikuchi inspired me to start analyzing my waking life like a dream. This was a particularly titillating concept for me, because I love lucid dreaming but haven’t done much of it lately.
Lucid dreams are so exciting. I’m awake in the dream! I can do anything! I can fly. I can start and stop fire. I can make things appear. My wishes are granted. The thing is… waking life is the exactly same way, except for that whole time buffer between asking and receiving.
Think of yourself as dreaming, right now. Tell yourself, “So I was dreaming that I was reading Jessica’s site…” Instantly your mind should search for the symbolism or significance of the event.
You don’t have to figure out what it all means when you are living your lucid life. Imagining that you’re dreaming helps you be present and in the moment. Ready for anything. And ready to ask for what you want in the moment, because you’re lucid! You have the power!
It gets my creative imagination going as well. I say to myself, “I’m dreaming about doing the dishes. And then the plates started floating into the air!” I start believing that reality can be just as squirrelly as a dream, and I start enthusiastically testing my lucid powers.
Seeing waking life as a dream puts me in the present, constantly creating new desires based on my current circumstance. I become so engrossed with whatever is happening right now that I forgot the desires I had a minute ago. And then my wishes come true.
I love channeling. To me, channeling is slowing my mind down enough to connect to infinite intelligence, and let it speak through me. I channel when I record my video meditations. I channel when I write myself “Dear Jessica” letters. When I stop thinking and let life do the talking, there is only truth.
Today my big announcement is that I’ve picked up a new form of channeling! I started reading The Power of Your Other Hand, which is aptly subtitled, “A Course in Channeling the Inner Wisdom of the Right Brain”. This book is mind-blowing!
The premise is that the non-dominant hand holds all of our deep dark secrets. Everything associated with the left hand is considered weak, wrong, shameful, passive, and untrained. Which makes it the perfect place to ask about our troubles!
You can write a question with your dominant hand, and then answer it with the non-dominant. If you’re having a health problem, use the non-dominant hand to speak for the problem. It will tell you everything!
I was mega-excited when I realized I could address the contrast in my life with left-hand channeling, but when I started drawing with my left hand a whole new world opened up.
When drawing with my left hand, I am transported instantly to the Now. My thoughts stop. And I can connect instantly to my higher self–the version of me who already knows all there is to know.
As I draw, my right-brain, or higher self, talks to me. My right hand wants to hurry. It’s so impatient. It wants to take the pencil from my left and slap it. But my left hand will say, “You’re so impatient. Just slow down and let me show you something.” And then it reveals a spectacular image that I had not preconceived–it just comes out!
I can’t speak highly enough for creating with your non-dominant hand. You simply must try it yourself. Also, using your non-dominant hand for activities you normally do with your dominant hand is a great way to be in the Now too! Try brushing your teeth or eating with the non-dominant hand. It’s complete beginner’s mind!
The image above I began with my right hand. I wanted to create something that reminded me to focus on the big picture. I wrote “The Big Picture” and “Just Listen” with my right hand. Then I started drawing circles and remembered to use my left hand. The beautiful drawing that emerged was topped off with the only big picture message I needed to remember: “Just don’t worry!”