Transforming, reinventing, repurposing the mind, spirit, and thoughts.

Tricks For Learning a New Language

My American Sign Language (ASL) Barbie doll, currently up for sale on eBay, has her fingers shaped in the sign for “I love you.”

I tried to learn sign language in my younger days.

Didn’t use it much. It didn’t “take” and I did not advance beyond the basics.

I tried learning Spanish.

It didn’t take.

Ask my former co-workers who speak Spanish. They found it quite amusing that the only things I could remember and say well was, “The apple is red” and “Where is the bathroom? Pronto, pronto!”

I tried learning French and German.

Didn’t take.

The transformation of my life required changing my “thought” language.

Uh oh.

It did take, because I used some of the same tricks for learning a new language and applied them to changing my thought patterns.

WHY = MOTIVATION = COMMITMENT

Recognize why you want to learn a new language and make the decision to be in it for the long haul. No one needed me to communicate with him or her in sign language, Spanish, French or German. There were no plans to travel to different countries. It sounded fun and that wasn’t enough motivation to make a lasting commitment.

Changing the language of my thinking and thought patterns improves my life and moves me closer to my dreams. I wanted to learn and made the commitment.

TALK TO YOURSELF & RELEVANCY

Experts say talking to yourself is a good way to practice pronunciation. Hear yourself speak aloud and build confidence to speak to someone else. Focus on useful, every day, practical words and phrases.

When transforming thought patterns, it is crucial to listen to yourself. Words and phrases highlight where negative thinking is a conditioned response. Write them in a journal or notebook. The process may trigger additional thoughts or emotions, write those down too.

HAVE FUN & THINK YOUNG

Play with the language, have fun with it and be willing to make mistakes. Adults tend to give children and youth more leeway to make mistakes. Give ourselves (and other adults) permission to let go of perfection and embarrassment. If we use the wrong word or phrase or pronounce it incorrectly, someone will likely point it out. Thank them for their help while you are getting the feel for the language.

Many of our beliefs come from childhood teachings. Give yourself permission to question those beliefs and the resulting thoughts and behaviors. Explore if they are right for you and the life you desire. For each negative thought, give yourself the gift of discovery. Like a child, you are starting fresh and getting the feel for something new.

PRACTICE & REMEMBER TO BREATHE

Practice every day. Speak the new language, write it, think it, sing it. Use it. Feeling frustrated? Take a deep breath; ask for help. If you are learning from recording and written materials, take a class or find someone fluent in the language and ask to practice. People love helping people, especially when you are motivated to learn.

Practice changing your thought patterns by going back to what you wrote in your journal or notebook. Take each negative and turn it in to a positive. If you don’t know how, search for the word or phrase online, research self-help books, ask a therapist or psychologist for help.

When you hear yourself (verbally or inside your head) using a conditioned thought or response, take a deep breath, acknowledge it – my therapist taught me to say “Hum, interesting” – and redirect to your positive words or phrases.

Pay attention to what fears are blocking you from believing the positive words or phrases. Until you release the block, positive affirmations will not work.

Thank the CEO of the Universe® for help with removing blocks. “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4 KJV)

Give yourself a treat; learn a new language. Improve on the beautiful person you already are and remember to tell yourself everyday “I love you.”

© 2013 – 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Hum, something has gone amiss with the seasonal decorating on my front porch.

Busy with selling my doll collection on eBay, I overlooked buying the orange and yellow squashes that herald autumn and enhance the front of the house.

Wanting to get in the spirit of fall, yet not in the mood to dig out the Halloween décor, I substituted canned pumpkin for my usual decorations.

Pumpkin Decorating Canned vs Real 10-7-15 © 2013 - 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved ABlueSquash.com

After all, pumpkin is pumpkin, right?

It gave me a laugh and a thought, “Sometimes there’s no substitute for the real thing and isn’t that just the way? I get too busy, sidetracked and settle for less than the best.”

In the past, I settled for:

  • inappropriate relationships because I was lonely.
  • jobs I didn’t like because they paid the bills.
  • dispiriting thoughts and behaviors because they were familiar and all I knew.

To find your best, instead of waiting for the New Year and all those soon-forgotten resolutions, start now with a daily mind, spirit, body program (think in minutes not hours).

Settle for improvement by:

  • committing to releasing fear bit by bit and doing the work of excavating your real self.
  • finding and trusting your Higher Power.
  • learning to calm your mind.
  • never comparing your program, growth, pain or joy with another person’s experience.
  • loving, approving and respecting yourself in every stage of development.
  • taking baby steps that lead to evolution.
  • getting inspired.

When first starting a daily program, my mind bounced, bubbled and boiled with thoughts darting all over the place. It was difficult to get even thirty seconds of peace. After countless baby steps, taking classes, reading books, watching videos and doing the work every day, I am harvesting a wonderful life.

What’s wrong with this picture? Absolutely nothing – depending on your perception. Libby’s canned pumpkin is my favorite to cook with; however, I like the “real thing” to decorate my porch.

So instead of posting another doll on eBay, perhaps it’s time to take a quick break, go to the store and pick up a couple of pumpkins.

Or better yet, I’ll ask my family to join me for some quality time at the Andelin Family Farm Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze here in Sparks, Nevada. It is a treat to enjoy my family’s companionship and that is the real thing too.

© 2013 – 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.

Careers & Homemade Cookies – Three Similarities

October 1, 2015 is National Homemade Cookies Day. Besides starting with the letter C, what in the name of sweet chocolate do careers and cookies have in common?  I believe what we do to earn a living can bring us as much joy and delight as the taste, smell and sight of a homemade cookie.

GIFTS & EXCHANGES

Have you ever attended a cookie exchange? Cookie swaps are very popular, especially during the winter holidays. When you walk into the event, the smells of sugar, vanilla, and chocolate scent the air.

Guests bring enough cookies for the total number of invited guests, extras for samples and copies of the cookie recipe. The host hands out containers (brand new paint buckets are my favorite) and everyone fills their vessels with the cookies on display.

You can keep the cookies for your family or give them as gifts.

The emphasis is on exchanging or swapping. Exchanging cookies, recipes and fellowship.

Careers are exchanges too. Exchanging time, talent, and skills.

We bring our “gifts” to work and exchange our energy for money. Sometimes we swap our energy for knowledge or experience.

At times in my career, I found myself in distress when I lost the emphasis on exchanging and remembering to use my gifts wisely.

Becoming too invested and with escalating commitment to the work or company, I ignored work-life balance, my health, my ability to make life-enhancing choices and veered off my dream career path.

Now I regularly remind myself:

  • it is okay to save some energy for myself and stop exchanging an overabundance of energy on a job.
  • it is okay to let go of the investment (time, resources, effort, pride) when it no longer meets my needs and it’s time to change direction.
  • it is okay that a position not be long-term when it strays off my career path’s focus.
  • it is okay to view money as my servant, not my life force, life’s blood, or divine master.

TRY SOMETHING NEW

Chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal and sugar cookies are classics. People light up when they see and smell them. Their familiarity is comforting.

Classic flavors are just plain good and stand the test of time. Savoring a warm cookie, we can feel that all is right with the world.

However, even classic cookies get stale.

We can be good, even great at what we do, yet in every career path, there are times to step outside our comfort zone. Be a smart cookie and try something different, learn something new.

The top professionals and producers in their fields are constantly learning. Continually updating and refreshing their skills. I’ve met some of the finest salespeople who take basic training annually. The goal? Come away with at least one technique they have forgotten to use and commit to taking action with it.

I was in the staffing industry for 18 years and constantly “repurposed” myself. Holding various positions and learning new skills kept me fresh and helped me uncover what I loved to do, which made me more effective.

Have you heard “cookie-cutter employees = cookie-cutter solutions?”

Taking refresher courses, new skill training and joining groups that impart fresh viewpoints and perspectives helps prevent a “cookie-cutter” staleness.

TOUGH COOKIES

Have you worked with a male or female “tough cookie?”

I don’t think the word “cookie” is gender specific. I have heard many employees say about supervisors and managers, “Boy, he is one tough cookie!” And there is the story of the “Gingerbread Boy.”

People earned the title in one of the following ways because they were:

  • strong enough to deal with difficult situations.
  • an athlete demonstrating endurance.
  • rarely showing emotion and not easily hurt by people’s actions or words.
  • hardened and very strong-willed.
  • well, um, just plain difficult to work with.

I’ve admired and respected a few tough cookies. Thinking there was something to be learned from their competence, they were icing on my career path.

However, when a tough cookie stops respecting me, I feel like I am not being heard, and their behavior becomes “my way, or the highway,” I will choose the highway every time.

If I can’t get to the highway soon enough, like a tray of tough baked cookies, I avoid them. Unless it is late afternoon, I am hungry and nothing else is around. Then I’ll dunk them in coffee until palatable.

That my friends, is how I perceive the cookie crumbles.

Click here for my favorite homemade pumpkin cookie recipe.

© 2013 – 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.

Time Bandits – Who or What is Stealing Your Time?

Time Bandits is a funny, adventure-filled 1981 fantasy film by Terry Gilliam. Dwarves, previously employed by the Supreme Being to repair holes in the spacetime fabric, want to use the spacetime map to steal riches.

The “time bandits” this blog refers to are thieves and pirates of peace, energy, and effectiveness, especially the ones tied to “living the dream.”

Do your time bandits look like mine?

Working Too Much

I am a workaholic. Give me a job and I’ll give you 110%. People who say it isn’t possible to give more than 100% of anything, might not have heard of “extra credit,” consistently sustained benchmarks, or are mathematicians. Some say the only way to give more than 100% is to be on anabolic steroids.

In the hyperbole sense, I function on “super achiever steroids.” Desiring to be THE BEST, I keep going and going and going. Striving to build achievement muscle to accomplish beyond what is required until my brain is fried and I’m dropping in my tracks.

Ignoring a balanced life, valuable energy is stolen on working harder, not smarter because I’m too overwrought to think straight. And when I do work smarter, my flawed thinking says, “Wow! Now I can perform even MORE!”

This behavior begs the question, what’s my motivation? Are attempts to be THE BEST concealing a craving for approval? The fear of disapproval? Feelings of unworthiness?

Relaxing Too Much

Burned out from super achieving on the job or in volunteer efforts, I have a tendency to plant my rear on the couch and R.E.S.T. Reading fiction and non-fiction books (including business success and motivational stories . . . sigh . . . don’t I ever give it a rest?), watching movies, playing video games, and thumbing through food magazines and cookbooks.

Spending quality time on my personal goals and dreams diminishes. Having fun seems like a much better way to spend my ebbing energy. After all, I’ve got to have some energy left to gear up for my job where I need to be THE BEST.

Emotions, Fear & Negativity

These unseen time bandits come in countless forms. I’ve been robbed of peace, energy, and effectiveness by paying attention to gossip, hate, anger, old hurts, revenge, anxiety, depression, and remembering experiences long after they should have been put to rest.

Focusing on my fears, anything negative, competition, and trying to control other people and their issues or behaviors has sucked the life right out of me, leaving me too wounded to move forward.

Here are four codes . . . well; they are more like guidelines that are working for me on how to ward off time bandits and pirates.

Warding Off Time Bandits Pirates Thieves Code 1 © 2013 - 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved  

“The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27 KJV)

I have tried handling everything on my own and floundered. There was so much I did not “get.” Affirmations would not stick and ah-ha moments were rare.

What was missing?

  • Reconnecting with and really listening to the CEO of the Universe.
  • Letting His gift of the Holy Spirit work on my heart.
  • Being open and receptive to peace, which develops a calm mind and spirit.  (Philippians 4:6, 7 KJV)

BTW: There have been times I was so angry and wanted justice so much that I blocked peace and the Holy Spirit’s power. Letting go isn’t easy. Experience has proven when I stop barricading myself behind the need to be right; I can see and accept the CEO’s direction.

Warding Off Time Bandits Pirates Thieves Code 2 © 2013 - 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

I heard this and ignored it a gazillion times. After reading Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s Your Erroneous Zones, an understanding of how awareness works smacked me up the head. It really is all about me, who I want to be, and my responses to any situation.

Questioning my thinking patterns and beliefs was and is HARD WORK. It’s time well spent and totally worth it.

I try to be conscious at all times of what I am doing and thinking. Focusing on peeling back the layers of old habits one at a time then releasing them to the Divine allows me to make enlightened choices. Instead of energy being stolen, it is my gift or option in how I use it.

Warding Off Time Bandits Pirates Thieves Code 3 © 2013 - 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

What a waste of time! I was never going to get “there.” No one does.

I was so busy trying to be THE BEST that I forgot to focus on making a difference in the world and what value I could bring to the table without killing myself.

Fear of disapproval and approval-seeking results in energy loss and imbalance, especially when worth stems from being or seeking to be THE BEST. This time bandit embezzles energy so severely that over time it empties the self-vault, which can cause serious illness.

It was a difficult lesson (almost costing me my health) that being my best was not about pleasing my family, friends, employer, co-workers or community. Now I work for the CEO of the Universe and life is much more fulfilling. (Colossians 3:23, 24 KJV)

If you think this is a “modern” dis-ease, check out Exodus 18:13-24 – even Moses had to learn this lesson!

Warding Off Time Bandits Pirates Thieves Code 4 © 2013 - 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

Judge not, that ye be not judged. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (Matthew 7:1-5 KJV)

We are all flawed. Sometimes we just “flaw” differently and it has irritated the living heck out of me.

I have been immobilized by people’s behavior. Expected things to go my way, placed blame when it did not and tried to control outcomes. I have judged and labeled people as bad, wrong, mean, critical, etc., instead of seeing their actions as just “existing.” It just is and cannot harm me unless I allow it.

There is only one way I can fight and win with this pirate of peace.

Turn everything over to Divine guidance. I ask if I can change or improve something and if it is any of my business. I pray for my heart to see my imperfection (since in my mind I just know I’m acting sooo much better) and if there is something I can learn, influence or transform.

If not, without the wish for revenge, pain or justice I do my best to leave it alone and sail on.

© 2013 – 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

Timely Thoughts & Images

My husband is a wrist and pocket watch enthusiast. Rich is fascinated by the history, functionality and beauty of timepieces. Needless to say, we HAD to go (think Toyland at Christmas) to a regional Antique Watch & Clock sale sponsored by local chapters of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors (NAWCC). It was open to the public last Sunday at The Nugget Casino and Resort.

We spent hours browsing booths and displays. While Rich carefully scrutinized each item like a treasure hunter, I was eyeing the room like a reader looks at a blog – “What’s in it for me?”

As a tableful of gilded clocks began chiming at different intervals, I remembered a quote, “Time is the thing given in equal measure to every human.”

From kings and queens to the poorest of the poor, we cannot change time. It is what it is. We can change the time on a watch or clock, however we still have the same twenty-four hours allotment in a day. How we use time sets us apart from each other.

Based on my three favorite images from the sale, here’s my quick take on using time:

Waltham Parts Size 16 Watch © 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved   POCKET WATCH PARTS DISPLAY

This glassed display of every part that makes up a size 16 Waltham pocket watch is fun and enlightening. Just like people, an outer skin conceals the complex inner workings. It takes time and patience to find out what makes us tick, discover our hidden jewels and work through issues to transform into a more effective thing of beauty.

Victorian Walnut Shelf Clocks © 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved   VICTORIAN WALNUT SHELF CLOCKS

With pendulums swinging together, these clocks reminded me of a choir. Standing tall in rows and dressed in majestic robes of burnished wood, they ticked in musical rhythm. Time spent working on or toward your life’s dream(s) is energizing, fulfilling and can make you sing. If you’ve been entertained by the choirs in Sister Act 1 & 2, Joyful Noise and Glee, you can understand the goofy grin plastered on my face as these clocks softly rocked the house.

General Electric 1928 Monitor Top Refrigerator Clocks © 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved   Circa 1928 Refrigerator Clocks

Aren’t these adorable? The General Electric Monitor Top Refrigerator Clocks and playing cards were reportedly given away as premiums upon purchase of the Roaring Twenties latest ultra-modern fridge. Advancements in refrigerators have come a long way from those days, yet the spirit of the kitchen stays the same. It remains the heartbeat of a home. Taking time to gather in the kitchen to tell family about the day’s adventures, chopping vegetables for dinner or helping wash the dishes (or load the dishwasher), gives us nourishment for our souls. If you are single, find a large family to “adopt”. After several visits, you might or might not have a greater appreciation for your quiet times.

The next regional show in our area may not be for another four years. If you want to purchase a piece of history and chat with some super friendly collectors and buyers (like Jagger Chase, actor/writer with whom we had a lovely visit), consider going to the Ventura Watch & Clock Sale at the Ventura, California Fairgrounds February 19, 2016. Say hello if you see Rich and me there.

© 2013 – 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

Gone With The Wind

For sale on Craigslist is my Gone With The Wind doll trunk and ten ensembles that fit the Scarlett O’Hara 15.5” doll. Franklin Mint no longer produces them. It’s time to let them go to another GWTW fan who appreciates the fashion doll creations that replicate the beauty of the originals.  Does anyone else remember the first time you saw Gone With The Wind?

4 Scarlett Fashion Doll Ensembles    Oh, those dresses! Right?

It was the late 1960’s on a Saturday night that I first saw GWTW on the big screen – theatre – big screen televisions were in a very distant future, far, far away.  Being just a wee babe, okay, okay, a wee pre-teen, I was captivated by the characters, the gorgeous gowns and … swoon … when Rhett carried Scarlett up those stairs.

The following week I checked out the book from the library. Immersed in the Deep South, the War of Northern Aggression, and Scarlett’s manipulations, I spent days on end imagining me in those humongous hoop skirts. Yards and yards of imaginary fabric swayed and swirled, whispering against the floor.

Franklin Mint For the Love of Tara Ensemble for 15.5 Inch Scarlett O'Hara Doll    Swish, swish, swish.

Anyhooo, back to the point of this blog, when lifting the heavy trunk and removing the contents to photograph the empty space, it triggered a comparison. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could clear my mind like that too?  Take out and remove the old heavy hurts and concepts. Start all over. Begin fresh and form new thinking patterns and beliefs.

?????????????

Is it possible? YES! Like inspecting the gowns for flaws after removing them from the trunk, it takes time and patience to discover buried beliefs and examine them for defects. Here are five guides I’ve used to decide what hangs in the closet, goes into the drawers and on top of the shelves of my mind.

  1. PRAY. Ask the CEO of the Universe for guidance. He knows everything about each one of us. Read Psalm 139. He can shine a light on the attitude, view, or emotion that we need to work on first.
  2. YOU ARE WORTHY. A formidable soul-sucking barrier; feeling unworthy will stop you in your tracks when choosing new thoughts. Repeat #1 above and ask what is blocking you from feeling worthy and how you can change.
  3. BE OPEN AND RECEPTIVE TO CHANGING YOURSELF. You and only you are in control of your thoughts, actions and emotions. No one can make you do or feel anything. Even the CEO of the Universe, the most powerful being in existence gives you free will. It is up to you how to use it.
  4. MAKE LIFE-ENHANCING CHOICES. This can be a tough one when you aren’t familiar with stopping anger, hurt, shame and negative thoughts. Practice, practice, practice. Ask yourself if what you are thinking improves, boosts, develops or enriches your life. Repeat #1 above for guidance on how to change your thoughts. Louise Hay’s “The Power is Within You” and Dr. Wayne W. Dyers’ book “Your Erroneous Zones” (click on title for YouTube audio version) helped me immensely.
  5. MIRROR WORK. Oh boy, this one is an eye-opener. If you’re like me, it will have you in tears – the breakthrough kind! “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay includes directions on how to use this powerful tool.

Through prayer, meditation, grounding and aligning my chakras (more on that in another blog) I’ve cleared several pieces of muck out of my mind. Some I wasn’t even aware I was thinking or believing! It was by NO means easy. There were times when I just wanted to stop working so hard to improve and quite frankly didn’t give a damn. Yet once started, I could not go back and I am so much happier now that those wasted viewpoints and attitudes are gone with the wind.

© 2013 – 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved

Working for the CEO of the Universe Every Day™

My relationship with God has been one of those on-again, off-again kind of things. Completely attracted to Him, yet after living with the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ idea of the Big Guy I didn’t trust Him. At all.

Thinking He was mad at me, disappointed in me and fed up with me because I couldn’t be perfect no matter how hard I tried, I gave up pursuing Him. I packed up my spiritual bags, slammed the door on religion and took a bus straight to Hell on Earth. Give me a few more blogs and I might loosen up enough to tell the whole story and not leave out any of those dark corners where the skeletons play and the cockroaches roam.

I danced in the devil’s roadhouse and employed the wrong attitude and views for far too long. After years of flinging myself at a brick wall of emotionally unavailable, troubled, distant and moody men, I finally asked myself “What the heck are you doing?” Lost and sick at heart I was worn out from trying to find happiness through other people. Ashamed of my arrogance, my ridiculous need to compete with other woman and a stubborn hardheaded need to be right, I wanted to quit existing. I was miserable. Peace and joy were words used only during the Christmas season and did not register as real emotions in my heart.

Many posts on this website will share the story of how I transformed my life. How I returned to God bedraggled, worn out and “homeless.” My entrepreneur’s soul was tired of working for me and failing. The years spent far away from Him were filled with classes and studying hundreds of books on corporations and organizations. When it came time to knock on the CEO of the Universe’s door, I spoke to Him in the language of business. I begged Him to take me under His wing, be my mentor, and teach me how to live well every day. Whew! What a long divine process it continues to be – I’ll be revealing what transpired and would love it if you come back to read more about Working for the CEO of the Universe Every Day™.

© 2013 – 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved