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The A to Z Guide to Life - Letter "A" Monday December 7, 2015

"A" reminds me of a new friend, Karen. Karen is known as "The Energiser Bunny".She's dynamic, electric and fun to be around. Of course, she runs on batteries! In her case AAA batteries.

These three 'A's can energise us too.

For me, they stand for "Awareness" and "Association" and "Action". There is a logical flow to this for me.

Firstly, we become aware. Aware of an opportunity. Aware of a new way of thinking. Aware of something that needs to change. And there, on many occasions, we can stop.

Of course, if you need three As for the battery to energise your bunny, and you've only got awareness, it's all going to go a bit flat, isn't it?

So what stops us? Well, a distant awareness, like watching something on a TV documentary or reading a self-help book, can remain dissociated - disconnected. It's like a thick glass screen between us and the change we want to be. We need to move through the glass and become deeply emotionally associated with the change we desire.

Like a modern-day "Alice Through The Looking Glass", the magic of an emotional attachment needs to give us motion - motion towards what we've become aware of.

We need positive associations with what the change would mean to us. And that meaning needs to mean more than staying in the state we are in at the moment. Let's not resist emotion - as the right emotional association can become energy in motion or energy for motion.

Let's imagine that we've become aware of a new way of thinking or behaving. We've added the energy of an emotional association to this. We're still in danger of fizzling out. We need the third A to make up our AAA.

The third and final A is Action. It is purposeful action, action directed by new awareness and positive associations with the desired result.

Nothing happens, no power flows, until we take action. Belief without corresponding action is ineffective.

Fancy powering up your energiser bunny today? Shift your awareness. Wrap it in positive associations with a better result - how your life will be better if you act on this new awareness. And take action.

I believe there is some awareness, some opportunity, that you've been meaning to act on. I think you even know what action you could take. What may be missing is a strong enough associated emotion to get your voltage flowing. Focus on the "Why" - the benefit of the change - and let's see what miracles can happen today.

A Moodscope member.

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Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 5:08am

Hi Folks, Audio here:

LillyPet Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 8:32am

Morning Lex!
I like this triple A idea. I can see how positive emotional attchment can motivate me into taking action.
If there's something I feel I "should, ought, must, have to" do there's already a reluctance there! Sometimes if I remind myself of what I "want" from doing it, I get that little spur of energy to act on it.

Thanks for motivating my Monday morning Lex! Energised and looking forward to see what positive emotional attachments I can create for myself today! LP :) xx

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 8:54am

Hi LillyPet, thanks for taking time to encourage me! Interestingly, on the Today programme...'erm Today, they were interviewing German employers who were setting up apprenticeship schemes for Asylum Seekers. Their point was that these young folks were massively motivated - because they had a huge emotional attachment to the outcome - their future. Have a lovely day, LP xx

LillyPet Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 10:00pm

So often the case for people who are not used to the way of life in countries where we are used to expecting more. LPxx

Melanie Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 9:18am

Thank you Lex. This was brilliant this morning - gave impetus to me taking action on something already today. :-)

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 3:39pm

Well done, Melanie... I hope you rewarded yourself beautifully? L'xx

Mary Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 9:42am

Thank you Lex. This reminds me that my batteries will come back to me one day! Still sitting here with emptiness where the power supply is normally, but I'm sure my rechargeable batteries are somewhere, hooked up to the socket, renewing their power. Once back in I will be restored to normal (and irritating to others) bounciness! Yeah - you all can't wait - can you? (spot the sarcasm there!)

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 3:40pm

I know you're returning, Dear Mary, I know. You are invincible in your innermost being. I believe in you. L'xx

susan Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 9:44am

Hi Lex, you've really got me thinking about the 'action' part of this. Even with a strong emotional incentive, i, like Lillypet, often balk at action that has a 'should, must' etc. aspect to it until it becomes critical...or until the fear of NOT doing it outweighs the more orderly positive approach. Where does this inertia come from? Is it fear of failure or some kind of inner rebellion? Is it a built-in human tendency that everyone has to fight against, or is it mostly associated with depression? To become emotionally engaged and to act quickly gives such a boost to our self-esteem, effects positive change and triggers more motivation. So fizzling out is disappointing. I'll be thinking a lot about this today so thank you, Lex, for another great motivating blog. xx

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 3:45pm

Hi Susan, so glad you've found this motivating. I think we've accepted a lot of 'stuff' that has nothing to do with being authentically human. Who invented accounts and ironing? The pure joys (I loved the "Count Your Blessings" blog from Mike on Sunday), are natural pleasures. This is why I think we must bolt on some higher natural rewards when we have to wade through some man-made 'civilised' boring tasks to achieve a goal. I'm certain you're right. Fears play a part but so does rebellion. If you're in the mood to dig deeper, Seth Godin shares some great material on "The Lizard Brain" - the bit that resists our natural tendency to be artists and to shine. I do not underestimate the power of depression either to literally 'depress' our positive motivational drive. I suggest we all gang-up on the bullies of fear, the lizard brain, and depression and kick 'em out of town. Thus says the Sheriff, Amen! L'xx

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 3:46pm

susan Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 5:33pm

I'll be part of your posse, Sheriff. Let's get those brutes. Thanks for your great reply and the lizard reference Lex. xx

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 5:53pm

What's New Posse Cat, Wow Wow Wow Wow... song idea! L'xx

Leah Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 10:27am

I am wondering whether you already have another 25 letters of the alphabet planned? Thanks for giving me something to ponder.

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 3:36pm

Hi Leah, it's been a very helpful exercise... so, "Yes" - some are in place but I have to say the responses from the Community are so inspiring, some of the letters may get new partners!!! Hope all is well with you. L'xx

Alice Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 10:42am

Dear Lex, thank you for your Monday morning inspiration. There every week and always helping. As you can imagine I liked the allusion to Alice Through the Looking Glass and because of that it made me think even more than usual about your message. LP has put her finger on the key issue - positive emotional attachment! But equally important is motion leading from emotion. These are my big motivators (remember Mr Motivator?) the only way up from when I am down. I think we all have our own strategies but sometimes, just nothing seems to work and that's when for me the batteries are just plain flat and nothing works. Worn out I think! Thinking of you Mary and sending loving energy to help you out of your flatness and emptiness. Wishing everyone a good day today. Alice xx

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 3:38pm

Hi Alice, all my references to Alice/Wonderland/Looking Glass... are with you in mind! I share my birthday with Lewis Carroll, and so have perhaps an unrealistic association with his work! Now why does Lycra spring to mind when you mention, "Mr Motivator"???!!! Keeping travelling through Wonderland my friend. L'xx

Hopeful One Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 12:10pm

Hi Lex- a thought provoking post particularly the first A.

It brought to mind what Andy Puddicombe had to say about it in his book 'Get some headspace' On page 107 he says 'Awareness can be applied to everything- no exceptions' ... he continues on page 108....'What you will notice when you start applying this approach to situations is that it has a very soothing effect on the mind (quite literally living life to the full)'. And with calmness comes clarity. You begin to see how and why you think and feel the way you do. You start to notice the patterns and tendencies of of the mind. And what this does is to give you back the choice of how you live your life. Rather than being swept away by undermining or unproductive thoughts and emotions you can actually respond the way you'd like to'

Mrs Jul A Non Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 2:19pm

Hi Lex and Hopeful One. What exactly does it mean to be aware? How can I be aware so that I can choose how I live my life? if being aware does what Andy Puddicombe suggests it will do (and I believe him) and that is Rather than being swept away by undermining or unproductive thoughts and emotions you can actually respond the way you'd like to'" I really need to take the first step of Lex's blog and make myself aware but I don't understand what it means in real life,to be aware.To be aware of what?

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 3:54pm

Hi Mrs Jul A Non... I'm looking forward to Hopeful One's more experienced insights (for I too am a Puddicombe fan), so I'll just share the little I know. Awareness involves a little bit of inner distance. It's the You observing the rest of You! And, yes, I know that sounds weird. It's a slight sense of pause, poise and detachment. So rather than fighting the thoughts that are coming, it's more a question of sitting back quietly and going, "Well, that's interesting... please continue." It's like an inner dialogue with yourself that is not judgement nor laden with emotional flavour. We observe our patterns of thinking, and learn. We allow them without encouragement or discouragement, without endorsement or condemnation, and in the process we realise there is a deeper or higher self over, above and beyond the noisy chatter of knee-jerk reactive thinking. It's the Holy of Holies, where no-one but you may shine... but peaking out from the curtain, you can hear and see the traffic in your soul, your Holy Place, and then out into the outer courts where everyone else is busy bustling. I cannot yet achieve this healthy detachment unconsciously; I have to calm myself to do it, but it gets easier and easier. I am more than my thoughts; the inner 'I' is more than my feelings; I am certainly more than my past, my beliefs and my previous experience. Hope that helps... Andy's material is very accessible and the Headspace site is uber coolio! Lovely to see your words here today. L'xx

Mrs Jul A Non Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 7:42pm

You are a gem Lex for replying in such a helpful way. I have been out and just back. I felt awful really questioning this aspect of your blog but it intrigued me and then Hopeful One's comment came up which gave me hope and so I needed to clarify how I might achieve that awareness. I get it now. Thank you very much Lex. You sparkle. Julia x

susan Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 8:28pm

Hi Julia, I loved your question! And I think the reply from Lex is a perfect little blog on its own, just superb. Thanks both. xx

Hopeful One Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 8:58pm

Hi Lex- I don't think I can better your explanation of awareness or being aware except to add that it becomes most obvious during meditation. In meditation one is either distracted i e unaware (caught up in one's thought stream) or undistracted i e aware (of the thought stream)but remain separate from it.

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 10:19pm

Grins to all my Hopeful Ones, Susan and Julia. Sparkles you are x*x*x

The Gardener Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 1:40pm

Using today to thank LillyPet for her helpful remarks on yesterday's replies. All that can be done is being done - real crunch point is Mr G will not give me any peace - dangerously short of sleep and the suffocating feeling of not being ones 'own' person anymore. Even a baby sleeps and you can say 'I've got an hour to do x and y'. My 'action' plan according to psychiatric nurse is to ignore Mr G when he nags me every 5 minutes. HO above talks about the 'choice of how you live your life'. I'm not harping on my own difficulties - but there are many people who are totally responsible for another - then, when the slightest opportunity arises to do something you hope that your energising batteries are charged. Lots to be active about - will wrap Mr G in rugs, ignore grumbles, and paint hydrangea heads white to mix with plants for my enchanted forest. Might be ready by Christmas 2016!

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 3:56pm

Dearest Gardner, do you remember, and were you a fan of "Thunderbirds"? If so, I might have something that will help protect you from Mr G's nags. Just let me know. L'xx

LillyPet Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 10:07pm

You are so welcome TG. I will hold on to hope that you will find a way of catching some much needed sleep.LP Xx

Maria Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 1:56pm

Hello TG. I am always inspired by your strength amidst your ongoing adversities. Wishing you a lovely day in your garden.

Thank you Lex for your thought provoking and inspiring message today. I have been anxious about completing numerous errands before traveling. A new mindset has me anticipating all the positive outcomes...spurring action now. What a great start to my morning :) Thanks again!!

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 3:56pm

Fabulous, Maria, Fabulous. You know it'll all be worth it 'cos you're worth it! L'xx

The Gardener Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 5:56pm

You can tell my generation - always mix Thunderbirds with Star Wars - if you can help me with selective deafness would be handy, and patience plus 'riding above'. First Doc 'be kind', 2nd Doc 'you're in for a tough time' (how right) and the third 'your husband will become selfish and demanding (refused to believe that - but sadly true). I play Mozart's Requiem a lot - crazy idea that however odd people are, and life being pretty sad, these unhappy people have given us lasting beauty. The toughness of no kind word, no acceptance that there are good things left in life is SO difficult for my character to cope with

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 6:15pm

Dearest sad that your days are filled with these difficulties now Mr TG is home. Please know that we all offer kind words here and goodly thoughts for you both and your family and you are thought of daily, perhaps that may help get you through these long, difficult days. Love Bear x x x

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 10:17pm

Thunderbirds it is then... I'll work something up for you then post a link. L'xx

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 6:11pm

Been away for a few days then this morning I was spurred into action!! Been doing my energiser bunny act...whizzing about like a whizzy thing on a whizzy day:
Awareness: I want to put our chrimbly decorations up, but to do that I know I have to clean! Or else I'll be spraying silver glitter on the cobwebs!
Action: have been cleaning; the ironing has been caught up with (til the next lot of washing is done tomorrow!) Dog has had his two walks and am just about to do dinner.
Assiciations: the wonderful Christmassy associations and happiness that comes with them have spurred me on and now I can say the Action box is ticked...I've felt like Action Woman rather than the bunny but confusingly I am one happy Bear...and tomorrow the decorations can come out of hibernation! Yay! After a cuppa ree and a sit down, I read your blog, Lex...think this has fitted me like a glove today! Bear hugs x

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 10:10pm

I'm lovin' those Bear Hugs... ...although "Huggy Bear" also brings back happy associations! Sleep well beloved bear! xx

The Gardener Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 7:51pm

Dear Bear - spray those cobwebs - just been looking at a decor magazine - crazier things are done, and people pay good money for them. Just read the 23rd psalm, looking for comfort, light, acceptance (another A for Lex) if you don't accept you're in conflict all the time.

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 10:13pm

What a comfort that psalm has been over the centuries, dear Gardener - words that have gone on and on growing fresh crops of hope in from generation to generation. I pray you find all that you are looking for and more in them today (and whenever you need them). Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow... L'xx

Lex Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 10:16pm

Wasn't quite sure what the 'rod' and 'staff' represented but found this in a commentary: "The sceptre of thy kingdom, or thy power protects me, and thy support upholds me, and so both minister to my comfort." Rather liked that... xx

LillyPet Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 10:33pm

It's so true TG, my biggest struggles are when I don't want to accept.
Mr TG may not be capable of a kind word or seeing the positives in life, but we are here full of acceptance and admiration for all that you share with us. Xx

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