If Habits Are Just Thoughts, Then………..

Habits – they’re everywhere!  Good habits, bad habits, habits we want to change, habits we want to create.  They are extremely useful, yet are we aware of them?  Do they serve us or do we serve them?

Let’s take a deeper look at habits from a “Come to the Edge Today” point of view.

There are two types of habits – action habits and thought habits.

Have you experienced this?  It’s early morning.  Your toiletries are scattered on the counter.  You remove the top of the deodorant container, raise your arm only to discover you have already put it on, totally unaware of having completed the task just a few seconds earlier.  (I do this frequently, by the way!)  A habit of action.

How about this?  You begin driving and “wake up” to discover you have arrived at your destination, literally driven there by habit – unaware of the details of the drive.  A habit of action.

Have you listened to your mind chatter?  Example:  The mind talk that goes on when you look at yourself in the mirror?  “OMG.  Ugly.  Old.  Fat.  What’s wrong with me?  I should be thinner….. (on and on and on…)”.  A habit of thought.

Another example:  “My family does not approve of me or my life choices.  I can do nothing right in their eyes.  It must be me.  I must change for them to earn their love.”  A habit of thought.

Both action and thought habits are tools.  Our life can be richer because of them. Because action habits originate from thought, we will focus the remainder of our time together upon thought habits.

Thought habits are nothing more than repeated, practiced thoughts.  (Any thought can be practiced into a habit; they can come from anywhere and do not have to show proof of legitimacy.)  A thought habit is only a thought that is thought and thought and thought until we become so familiar with it that we think it is “true”.  It becomes “a given”.  When we forget this and think we are bound by it, the habit now controls us.  It is what keeps us “stuck”.  Not only do we unknowingly think they are “true”, we often think these thoughts are who we really are!

Examples:

  1. The habit of seeing yourself as unworthy.  This is only a habit of thought!
  2. The habit of seeing yourself as lacking in money.  A habit of thought.  (And, since you get what you think about, guess what is showing up?)
  3. The habit of seeing others as being judgmental with you.  This habit shows itself to you as people always seeming to judge you.
  4. The habit of playing the victim or martyr in relationships. This too, is a habit of thought!

WOW!  If thought habits are nothing more than repeated, practiced thoughts, then the above examples can be changed to:

  1. The habit of seeing yourself as loved and worthy!  A new habit of thought!
  2. The habit of seeing yourself as abundant in all areas of your life (remember, you get what you think about! $)
  3. The habit of allowing others to hold their opinion of you.  Because you have developed the habit of believing you are worthwhile, it doesn’t matter what they think.  You become free of their opinion – favorable or not!
  4. The habit of believing you are loveable and respected and worthy of love in return (no more need for martyrdom)

Today’s “leaping” exercise:   How are habits changed?  Not by breaking them.  Breaking a habit only focuses more attention upon what is unwanted.  Deliberate, new habits are created.  This happens beautifully and powerfully by:

  1. Becoming aware of your thoughts!  Keeping a notebook of what you are observing is very helpful.
  2. Clearly deciding what you want your new habit to be (Be specific. Name it.  See it.  Feel it.)
  3. Committing to change.  Commit to your new creation.  This means committing to observing habits of thought, creating  new ones through focus and using diversion techniques** (see below) to mold thought. This means committing to it every hour, every day.
  4. Focusing solely on the new habit!!  By focusing only on what is wanted, the old habit will quickly lose its steam and soon the new thought will become a habit that serves you!
  5. Using your imagination and creativity.  Have fun developing and expanding this new idea!   Allow yourself to imagine becoming the “new you”!
  6. Persistence, persistence, persistence!  The current thought habit did not come overnight and the new one will take a little time.  Like getting in strong, physical shape, it comes with persistence and time.
  7. Being patient and enjoying the process!  Remember that living life is about enjoying the journey!

**The diversion technique:  Diversion is a fabulous tool for creating a new habit.  Have you observed a clever parent remove an unsafe toy from a toddler?  They do not yank it away, they use diversion: “Here, honey, look at this new toy – isn’t it wonderful?”   The same tool can be used by us.  Focus on the new thought and its advantages, not on the old one that is no longer serving you: “Here mind-of-mine, let’s play with this new thought!  Let’s just experiment with it, ok?” (If it works for a 2 year old, it can work for our clever little egoic minds that always want to stay busy.)  Works like a charm once you play with it a little!

Life at “Come to the Edge Today” is filled with deliberate, life-giving and freeing habits, and the beauty of it – YOU get to choose!  – Joan Kappes

Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

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How to Experience Joy- Everyday!

Don’t you just love moments when you experience pure joy and aliveness?

Recall a moment when you felt totally at peace and alive. Remember the feeling of it?  The joy and Oneness of the moment permeated your whole being!  You felt (and were) totally alive!  This feeling – this reality, is what we strive to experience everyday.

Living our days with the intention of experiencing joy is a powerful way to live.  It is a top priority here at “Come to the Edge Today” because it is where “the good stuff” lives!  It opens doors that struggle and worry can never open.

For me, music is the quickest, most effective way to open the “joyful pathway”.  It changes the lens through which we view the world and leads us to a new, higher vantage point.

  • “There’s nothing like music to relieve the soul and uplift it.” – Mickey Hart
  • “Music is well said to be the speech of angels.” – Thomas Carlyle
  • “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo

I offer these songs (below)  as a portal.  A portal for experiencing the joy of your life!

Today’s “leaping” exercise:  Listen to the following music with the intention of connecting with your joy (or use one of your favorite joy-filled songs).   Before playing, bring to mind something that gives you joy – something you greatly appreciate.  Keep this in the back of your mind as you experience the tunes.  Allow yourself to “get into it” – sing, dance, move your feet – whatever moves you to experience more joy!  Repeat daily.  Why?  Because one joyful experience leads to another.  (Thirty days from now your “joyful pathway” will be beautifully expanded and will lead to experiencing even more joy!)

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Michael Buble – ‘Feelin’ Good’

 


Shania Twain -‘Man! I Feel Like A Woman’

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Lovin the joy-filled path at “The Edge” –Joan Kappes

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Listen. Trust. Act. – A Heart’s Invitation

“Ask yourself, “What is the dream of my heart?”  Listen to your answer, then trust and act.”

When was the last time you asked yourself what you REALLY want to experience in this lifetime?  When was the last time you had a real conversation with your heart/soul?  When was the last time you listened?  When was the last time you acted?

For years, my friend Mary has dreamt of being a nurse’s aid.  Each year, she briefly opened her heart’s door allowing this passion to peak its head out.  With room to soar, this dream would blanket her with unmistakable warmth and energy; Mary reveled in its hope and possibility!  Soon however, excuses, logic and fear would once again stuff the dream back into her heart.  These dreams, belonging only to her, would patiently wait for another opportunity to be heard and trusted. Finally, after 15 years, she allowed her dream to fly free, once and for all!  As a result, the timing, logistics and yes, even the money were manifested perfectly.   She exclaimed “Now I have a reason to get out of bed in the morning!”

We know our passions exist, don’t we?   We also know where they live.  They patiently wait for us to  open our heart’s door.  When we dare to listen, trust and act, we will be on a new pathway – one that will make us jump out of bed!

So, take time to listen.  Dare to allow your dream to be put into words.  Write it on paper!  Trust that you are guided.  Trust that you are worth experiencing this passion that can only be yours.  Know that you will be guided to act.

The first move is yours.

Today’s “leaping” exercise:  Allow yourself 15-30 minutes of uninterrupted time.

Breathe deeply for 3-5 minutes, allowing your mind to be quieted.  (This exercise is going to come from your heart center, not your mind.)   If it helps, play soft, gentle music.

Either in your journal or at the computer, ask yourself the following questions:

What do I REALLY want to experience in this lifetime?

What is my passion?  (What can I do 24/7 with energy to spare?)

What are my lifelong dreams?

Write these questions on paper or computer, then stop and listen.  Listen with your eyes closed.  Literally focus your attention on your physical heart area.  Breathe.  Listen.  Breathe.  Listen.  Breathe.  Listen.  This may take a little time; know that the answers are already present. When you feel prompted, begin writing the answers.  Continue to listen to the answers rising from within.  Acknowledge them.  Allow them to become real to you.  Focus only on the answers.  (If any logic, excuses or mind chatter creep in, notice they are there and lead your thoughts gently back to the answers on the page).

Then, write the following:  “Thank you, dear Heart and Source-of-All for helping me acknowledge my dreams and passions.  Thank you that you have patiently waited for me to open the door.  From today onward, I allow this dream to fly and to become a reality in my life.  I allow You the freedom to create the circumstances, people and events to manifest this into my life.  I trust You.  I trust Me.  I will act when inspired to act.  Thank You for creating this dream with me.”  Read this daily for at least 30 days.

This is life at “Come to the Edge Today” – experiencing the bliss of finally listening to our sweet, inner voice of wisdom, surrendering to it, trusting it, acting upon it –

Joan Kappes

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What is YOUR Word?

Today’s “leaping” exercise is a word game.  It’s interesting, insightful and unique – so play with me, ok?

I discovered this exercise while reading “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert – a wonderful book about a woman taking her leap, answering the invitation to “Come to the Edge”.

Elizabeth is living her lifelong dream –adventuring in Italy, India and Bali.  As the scene opens, she is engaged in a conversation with her Italian friend, Giulio:  “Giulio asked me what I thought of Rome.  I told him I really loved the place, of course, but somehow knew it was not my city, not where I’d end up living for the rest of my life.  There was something about Rome that didn’t belong to me, and I couldn’t quite figure out what it was…”  “Giulio said, ‘Maybe you and Rome just have different words.’  “What do you mean?”  Then he went on to explain, that every city has a single word that defines it, that identifies most people who live there…”  “Giulio asked, ‘What’s the word in New York City?’  I thought about this for a moment, then decided.  “It’s a verb, of course.  I think it’s ACHIEVE.  (Which is subtly but significantly different from the word in LA which is also a verb:  SUCCEED.  ….”  Giuli asked, ‘What’s your word?’  “Now that, I definitely could not answer.  It’s not MARRIAGE, that’s evident.  It’s not DEPRESSION anymore, thank heavens.  My word might be SEEK.  Over the last months in Italy, my word has largely been PLEASURE, but that word doesn’t match every single part of me.  In India, my word might be DEVOTION.  I don’t know the answer, and I suppose that’s what this year of journeying is about.  Finding my word.”

What a great question!

What is my word?  It’s amazingly revealing to consider what “my word” is currently and what it has been in the past.    It once was MULTITASK.  I was defined by it.  It was helpful and I did enjoy it for a time.  A few years ago, my word became SEEK.  My current word embodies my year long journey at “The Edge”.  My word is a verb: FLY.

The beauty of this game …there are no rules and no judgments to be made.  Ask yourself:  “What is my word?”  (A notebook is helpful at this point.)  Listen for the immediate response.  Your Heart will reveal the word, if not immediately, then soon.  Allow yourself to sit with the word.  How does it feel?  How has its path shaped you?  Reflect on some of your words from years past.  (All of us will have many words in our lifetime!)  Enjoy reminiscing on how and when the word changed and how you have grown from it.  Are you enjoying your current word’s path? Notice it.  Feel it.  Know that you can, if you choose, change your word and its path.

Isn’t this wonderful?  Thanks Elizabeth Gilbert for sharing the three words from your experience at “The Edge”:  Eat.  Pray.  Love.

And thanks to you for sharing your word with all of us (see comment section below)!Joan Kappes

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Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

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Thanks For Being In My Circle

This month is my one year anniversary of “Come to the Edge Today“! THANK YOU  for  sharing this amazing journey with me!   In honor of all of you fellow “leapers”, I’d like to share with you a favorite poem (author unknown):

THE PEOPLE IN MY CIRCLE

 When I was little, I used to believe in the concept of one best friend.

Then I became a woman and found that if you allow your

heart to open up, God would show you the best in many friends.

One friend is needed when you’re going through things with your man.

Another friend is needed when you’re going through things with your mom.

Another will sit beside you in the bleachers as you delight in your children and

their activities. Another, when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt, joke, or

just be. One friend will say, ‘Let’s cry together,’ another , ‘Let’s fight together,’  

another, ‘Let’s walk away together.’

One friend will meet your spiritual need, another your shoe fetish, another your

love for movies, another will be with you in your season

of confusion, another will

be your clarifier, another the wind beneath your wings.

But whatever their assignment in your life, on whatever the

occasion, on whatever the day, or wherever you need them to meet you with their

gym shoes on and hair pulled back, or to hold you back from making a complete

fool of yourself…Those are your best friends.

It may all be wrapped up in one person, but for many, it’s wrapped up

in several.. One from 7th grade, one from high school,

several from the college years, a couple from old jobs. On

some days your spouse, mother or father, on some days

your neighbor, on others, your sisters or brothers, and on

some days, your daughters or sons.

(And, for me, some days it is you, dear readers, journeying together at “Come to

the Edge Today.)

Thanks for being in my circle.

With Gratitude – Joan Kappes

Photos courtesy of TinyPic

If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated, inspirational posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”).  Please share these inspirations with friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc!  Let’s “soar’ together!

Love – The Reality Under Our Nose

“Get real.”  “It’s time for you to face reality.”  “Stare reality in the face.”

OK.  ……….but, which reality?

There is no need to spend our time together reviewing the typical realities we experience each day…..you know –  the routine tasks of life, the problems, the financial, health, relationship realities (most of which are viewed as negative).  We are all very familiar with this view.

What if, right under our nose, there is a reality just as real (and more stable) than the typical one we experience each day –  a reality that leads us to the quality of life we are searching for:  A “Come to the Edge Today” reality.

Let’s look at the reality that Jesus, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr. and other “greats” focused upon.  What was it they knew?   What caused them to live the kind of lives they did?  Clearly, they saw and claimed something different, something more.

Whereas, the typical human mind’s focal point is the mole hill (problems, the certainty of knowing how something will unfold, judgments about another, etc.), these “greats” saw the mountain.

What, then is this mountain standing in plain view for all to see?  It is the ever present, power and energy of Love.  It is what binds everything together and makes it Whole.  It is the “stuff” we are made of.  It is the energy that creates worlds – unending, ever present, ever flowing Love.   Always available and desiring to be used, we often don’t see it.  We are trained to use another lens.  These “greats” focused on Love; they knew the mole hills of life (we call them mountains) were temporary at best, and ultimately led to the experience of the true reality – Love.

At this point, I invite you take some time to absorb these life-changing words!  The word ‘Love’ has been so watered down and tainted that millions of us have missed its power and pervasiveness.  So, I repeat:  What is this mountain standing in plain view for all to see and use?    It is what binds everything together and makes it Whole.  It is the “stuff” we are made of.  It is the energy that creates worlds – unending, ever present, ever flowing.  Love’s power and presence in our lives is THE reality of realities!  The rest is just a mole hill.

Mother Theresa knew this underlying reality – this pervasive, all-encompassing Love.  She prayed it, studied it and committed to using it, allowing It to flow from her and to her.  She professed it and lived it.  Perhaps this is why so many of us respect and admire her.  Her life story was much more than tending to the poor (millions of people tend to the poor too).  The difference:  She Knew and Lived this Love and professed it with all her Being.  It is this that we admire.

Can I show you a pathway to experiencing this reality of Love?  No, because each of our paths is unique.  I can say, however that this amazing reality of Love is in you and through you right now – this moment.  All you need do is let go of the “what is” lens and allow yourself to begin using the lens of Love.  It may seem impractical, irresponsible and odd at first, but once you form the habit of  viewing your life through the lens of  Love, you will experience an aliveness never before experienced.  You will feel the energy of the universe creating life with you and through you! You will experience, among other things, that which we are all striving to remember, the worthiness of who we already are.

Love is the stream which carries us.  Love is the blanket surrounding us.  Love is the connection joining us.   It is more than just a comforting phrase or gesture.  Love IS life.  It is who we are.

Today’s “leaping” exercise:  Begin the habit of seeing through the lens of Love by first noticing what you are seeing using your current lens.  Notice your thoughts. Example:  “I noticed just now that after looking at my bank account, I became angry and fearful of the small balance”.  Or, “I feel angry after noticing that I am the only one in my family suffering from poor health.  I got stuck with a ‘lemon’.”  As you notice this, begin creating a new habit using your Love lens.  Notice (not judge), then gently replace with 1.  Something to be thankful for in this moment (it can be anything large or small.  Choose something that you genuinely feel gratitude for  2.  Allow yourself to breathe and be filled with Love.  Send Love, through you, to that thought.  3.  Repeat this prayer:  “I am now, at this moment, consenting to seeing through the lens of Love.  I am allowing the power of Love to flow through me and to me.  I am grateful for seeing it more and more each day.”

This is a habit.  Be patient.  Be persistent.  Be committed.  Be expectant!

“Love is the most powerful energy in the universe – it’s ok to experience it and use it” –Joan Kappes

 

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“Life and Change” Quotes (Pt 2) Inspiration For Our Journey

Welcome to Part 2:  “Life and Change” Quotes – Inspiration For Our Journey!

I received such positive feedback from Part 1 of ‘Life and Change’ Quotes – Inspiration for our Journey, I thought I’d share even more of these inspirational gems – what I call “food for the heart”.  Following are 49 additional quotes about Change and Life.  Use those that inspire you.  Allow them to touch you and support you as you live your life at “The Edge”!

Today’s leaping” exercise:  Purchase notecards (cut them in half for easier transport).  Read each inspirational quote once each day for 1 week.  Then, copy those that ring true for you.  Carry them with you.  Post them at home, at work, in the car, etc.  Read them at least 3 times each day for greater effect.

QUOTES ABOUT CHANGE

“I am where I am and it’s ok.” – Abraham-Hicks

“How to approach life change?  With gratitude, appreciation, expectation.” – Joan Kappes

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” – Buddha

“Courage is not the absence of fear – it is inspiring others to move beyond it.” – Nelson Mandela

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future.  When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past.” – Unknown

“You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.” – Jan Glidewell

“Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor:  Hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.” – Hafiz of Persia

“No matter where I go, the place is always called “here”. – Unknown

“Trust yourself.  You know more than you think you do.” – Benjamin Spock

“Throw back the shoulders, let the heart sing, let the mind be lifted up, look upward and say to yourself…Nothing is impossible! – Norman Vincent Peale

“You are never alone or helpless.  The force that guides the stars guides you too.” – Shrii Anandamurt

“The more you loose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.” – Norman Vincent Peale

 

“Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could.  Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely.” – Emerson

“What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment.” – Unknown

“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart.  Sing anyway.” – Emory Austin

“The journey is from here to here.  And the only time you can arrive is now.” – Leornard Jacobson

“The journey is the prize.  The destination – icing on the cake!” – Joan Kappes

“Just because you can’t see a tree growing, doesn’t mean it isn’t.” – Notes from The Universe

“Hear blessing dropping their blossoms around you.” – Rumi

 

“You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.  You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.  You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss

QUOTES ABOUT LIFE

“While eating your appetizer, don’t be concerned with dessert.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

 

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

“When you stop waiting for things to happen, you notice that they already are.” – Colleen Zaruba

 

“I am worthy of this moment.  I am worthy of living the life of my dreams.” – Joan Kappes

“When you stop waiting for things to happen, you notice that they already are.” – Colleen Zaruba

“You are in integrity when the life you are living on the outside matches who you are on the inside.” – Alan Cohen

“Life is like riding a bicycle:  To keep your balance you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

“You are more than you know.  Make it your life’s quest to experience your wisdom, your clarity, your worth, you love, your l-i-f-e.” – Joan Kappes

“You are a child of God, the Joy of heaven and the Hope of the universe.” – Kathleen Rossi

“Whoever travels without a guide, needs two hundred years for a two-day journey.” –Rumi

“As we appreciate life, we become more valuable…Both to ourselves and everyone around us.” – Pinar Akal

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

“Be happy for  this moment.  This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam

“Slow down and enjoy life.  It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” – Cantor

“Listen to your life.  All moments are key moments.” – Frederick Buechner

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” – Emerson

“Seek to know the power that is within you.” – Joseph Campbell

“Be fully in the moment; open yourself to the powerful energies dancing around you.” – Unknown

“Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.” – Unknown

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The principle business of life is to enjoy it.” – Samuel Butler

 

“Tis better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else’s perfectly.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

“You were born with wings.  Why prefer to crawl through life?”  – Rumi

“I took some time out for life.” – James L. Brooks

“The grass is not always greener on the other side.  It’s greener where you water it.” – Unknown

“Weekends don’t’ count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.” – Bill Waterson

 

“Your life is too valuable to waste being distracted.” – Joel Osteen

“Listen to the Music of the Moment, people….Dance and Sing!” – Jason Mraz

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Click here for additional quotes about Change and Life – Part 1

“Life” looks SO good on you– Joan Kappes

Photos courtesy of TinyPic

If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated, inspirational posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”).  Please share these inspirations with friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc!  Let’s “soar’ together!