On Saturday morning, I found myself sitting beside the small pool where my kids have their weekly swimming lessons. Typically, in times like these, I would have fed my Instagram addiction or creatively fiddled with my iPhone, but recently, I’ve realised that there are too many occasions like this where I am less than present. So I stopped and took the time, in this brief thirty minute window, to observe my amazing young lion cub learn not only to swim like a little fish, but also learn an additional, unexpected life lesson that will teach him so much more than the obvious end goal.

Knowing that Jesse was a little tired and sensitive prior to going into the pool, I reminded him that whatever his teacher suggested would be offered with the sole intention of helping him learn to be a great swimmer. We then also discussed what his own motivation was for being there, so as to align his own personal commitment in wanting to be able to surf unaccompanied by an adult, with that of having to be in a small, overly-heated pool with three girls who can all swim faster than he can.

So as I watched Jesse swim freestyle up and down the pool in the same go-fast, erratic and very powerful style that I usually swim with, his fantastic teacher repeatedly stopped him to remind him to slow right down, to stop lifting his arm out of the water until he had completed the whole stroke and to stretch toward the direction he was heading, instead of getting caught up in how quickly he could get there. Who needs a life coach when you can watch your kids’ swimming lessons, right?

It made me think of just how often we do things without having really clarified what inspires and motivates us to do them. Most of the time, we are passive participants, either ‘there’ out of obligation or habit, which then usually means that at some point, we will be complaining or resenting the fact that we are ‘there’ without any choice.

Which leads me (and you!) to Part 1 of our second MMQ Studio Live and Learn series. Unlike the last MMQ Studio Live and Learn challenge, this series is about not only manifesting the life you most want in the future, but also exploring the day-to-day life skills and mindfulness needed to align your big picture life and legacy goals with that of your daily actions.

This week’s video post and complimentary worksheet are all about choosing what you want, understanding why you want it and then exploring when and what needs to happen today to align your present vision with your future reality. It is about looking for learning in every opportunity and finding what it will take for you to be committed and inspired to take responsibility for making life the way you want it to be.

Watch this week’s video and print your very own worksheet to learn how to clarify your focus, set clear intentions and put the structures in place to have your day-to-day actions align with your long-term goals. Try to complete at least 3 – 5 Worksheets so as to begin training yourself to use this basic but literally life changing process!

Here’s the video link:

Click here to print off my Worksheet, fill it out and post it on the blog for feedback…

As usual nothing but love…

 

  • Daria

    As I am reading/watching the latest of what you have to share with us, teach and encourage us, I have one eye and ear on my 3 1/2 year old who is creatively trying to get my attention. As I read the first paragraph, a wave of guilt comes over me, as it often does whenever I sneak in a peak at instagram or facebook or am catching up with a friend on the phone…so, I will be revisiting your blog post and printing the worksheet later on tonight, when my mini me is in bed and I can be true and ‘all in’ as I refocus and commit to the worksheet getting the most out of it. This way, she has all of me right now, and I can take all of her in, because I know these moments are so precious. xo
    Daria F.

  • Kristin

    I am haunted by where I find myself lately. It’s like a sinking feeling in the bottom of my stomach. A transition stage for sure, although; I recognize that I’ve made the choice to not make choices. Life has become routine…unexciting…lifeless. I have not taken the time to clarify or discover what motivates me or why I’m doing what I’m doing. My daily routines leave me feeling resentful…like I didn’t have any say in the matter! I’ve already printed several copies of the worksheet. Thank you for the much needed inspiration. Good stuff.

  • Carolyjavi

    Thank you Vashti for sharing. When I try to think about all you say I always think that I am not able to write or think about the things I would like to change or where I want to be in the future, what will be the legacy I leave. Well it is a bit difficult for me to express it in English (in fact it is difficult in Spanish as well) but I know that I have to take time to relax and go inside of me because I have always known that I have many fears that don’t let me live life to the fullest, even having a job, health and a beautiful family…but maybe it is the thought of losing them what stops me. I try to be positive and think What if i continue working, what if my son grows healthy, what if….everything is all right…. Well now I will print the worksheet many times to write as many things as possible. Nothing but love dear Vashti you are an inspiration for all of us. Kisses from Spain

  • Jenny

    Thanks for facilitating this! I would like share the first one I’ve completed. I’ve dubbed myself “not a morning person” when what I truly want in my ideal lifestyle requires me to be one. I’m tired of being tired in the morning and not accomplishing important things in my life due to the excuses I make about being tired/getting a later start. So….my outcome is to have more energy and willingness to begin my day in the most proactive and positive way possible. (For example: I will begin my day energized and excited to participate in the events and career I’ve chosen and be positive and open about the ones I may not have chosen). Why: I want to have the time to begin my day early with the daily meditation I practice, have time to include exercise and feel ready and put together for the day while feeling energized. What: I will go to bed earlier~by 9:30 and rise earlier at 5:30. When: Every week night. How: I will set my alarm. I will create a schedule that allows me the freedom to go to bed earlier (no late night appointments during the week, lunches made earlier, no caffeine later in the day and a quiet post dinner ritual that includes reading/relaxing). Thanks for any feedback:-)

    • Maybe McQueen

      Thanks everyone for your feedback so far and to you J for getting started…What you have written is fantastic, especially the way you have made your intentions so clear and the outcomes and benefits you most want, so specific.

      What follows are some additional suggestions on how you could rephrase and restructure a little, to implement a little more accountabilty for yourself..

      Outcome: To be able to passionately and honestly describe myself as ‘morning person’!!!

      Why: This really needs to be a statement that inspires you to commit to the outcome!

      …E.g. So as to have created a daily morning structure and practice, that not only has me feel 90% more aligned, energised and open to what is actually possible in my life, but also has me feel like I am really honouring myself, instead of making excuses to not have me at my best and missing out on what ALL of my life and I have to offer!

      What: I will put something, funny, silly or inspiring by my bed that will support and inspire me to get out of bed and meditate.????
      I will go to bed at least 5 nights per week ~by 9:30 and I will set my alarm to remind me. I will create a schedule that allows me the freedom to go to bed earlier (no late night appointments during the week, lunches made earlier, no caffeine later in the dayand create a wind down structure that helps me to feel sleepy at that time. Eg. 9.15 Herbal tea, book bed, sleep ritual, until my body starts to expect it and it is habit….no caffeine later in the day and a quiet post dinner ritual that includes reading/relaxing).

      How: I will put all the necessary structures in place to support me following through, mentioned above. I will create some kind of accountability structure for myself that allows me to see and feel the benefits from becoming a morning person. I will keep a diary over the next 4 weeks and write a few lines on how I feel when I do and don’t honour my commitment to myself! ……

      Nothing but love ….

      • Jenny

        Fantastic feedback! Thank-you Vashti! I really love the suggestions especially the diary (accountability) and the more accurate wording of the outcome/why. Looking forward to implementing these strategies and starting in on the next one! ~Jen

  • Daria

    While on paper things seem to be ‘right on track’ for me in life; I’m in my early 30′s, married to a kind and caring man, mother to the most amazing 3 1/2 year old girl who I have had the opportunity to be a full time, stay at home mom to (having previously worked for a decade), have a great family and friends at my side…etc. I can’t seem to find a place of contentment. And although I’m grateful and thankful for what I have, I don’t feel happy or that I’m living a Full life. Usually when I do my soul searching, I can’t pin point one thing that would finally satisfy me. I feel there are many things I can change or improve…However, this exercise made me realize that although there may be a ton of things that I want to experience or change, I come back to one specific one that always seems to be the necessary “beginning” to everything else I may want in the future… OUTCOME: To find a Job/Career that allows me to (successfully) balance being away from home, with being a Mother, and that will bring in much needed additional income to our family. WHY: While I have loved every minute of being with my daughter, appreciated having the peace of mind of knowing she is with me and safe, now that she is older and it’s time for her next chapter which is pre-school, I feel it’s time to get back the part of ME that has been tucked away. All my energy, all my thoughts, every step, has been about taking care of my daughter ( and our home) and providing her with all the tools she needs to learn and thrive. And all that I was prior to becoming a mom faded a bit…like an old pair of jeans. And quite frankly, living on a single (not so large) income for the past 3 1/2 years (in NY) hasn’t been easy. And a ton of stress comes from that alone. I also want to have the comfort of knowing I can support myself (and my daughter and husband) no matter what life throws at me (us). And having more adult conversations on a daily basis wouldn’t hurt either!
    WHAT: The first step is researching pre-schools and having all the information (hours she will be there, price). Figuring out what role my husband plays in this equation and establishing what hours I can commit to a job. Once I have all that information I can start researching job options. WHEN: In the next few weeks start looking at pre-schools for a Sept 14′ start (they fill up fast) and hope to start working in Sept. soon after she starts school. HOW: The how for me is really going to be a matter of allocating some time to do what needs to be done. In between play-dates and classes, writing in some time for myself to do the research needed to get the ball rolling. I may have to stick some post-its on mirrors and walls as a reminder for the day.

    It feels good to have this on paper. It gives me something to be excited about, although there is fear too. It’s going to be a little scary going through the process of finding a job after being out of the work force for nearly 4 years.

    Thank you, Vashti, for all your time and all that you share!
    Daria

    • Carolyjavi

      Hello Daria, I am sure you will find a job that allows you to be with your beautiful daughter and that will make you feel good. Go for it!!!! Kisses from Spain

      • Daria

        Thank you for the kind words :)

    • maria

      Hi Vashti,
      My name is Maria and I live in Tomball, TX. I am a mother of three beautiful children and I have been married for 31 years. I wanted for a while now to tell you how much I admire your strength and your love for Andy. I too love my husband he is the one I lean on for everything. This coming Thursday I will be undergoing brain surgery and I am so afraid. My friends and family all tell me that God will take care of me and that everything will be fine. In my heart I do believe that he will be by my side, but I just don’t know why I still feel the fear. I guess what I am trying to say is you are so strong do you have any words of encouragement that will help me to focus on something other than what is coming up.
      Thank you for you blog I read it a lot and always look forward to the next posting.
      Maria

      • Maybe McQueen

        Maria hello… thank you for your honesty and for contributing so much by sharing…

        Whilst I am not a religious woman, I believe with every part of my body, heart and soul that TRUST is the key in letting go of fear.

        However it is absolutely necessary that you allow yourself the space and time to verbalise what it is that frightens you most, because when we do share and speak those fears, they usually start to break down and become less of a focus. It is very important that those around you allow you the space to speak them.

        Also think about the fact that it is not the surgery you are fearful of, it is what may or may not follow.

        Understanding what you fear is key….

        Life was,for Andy and I, a crazy adventure, Making babies, falling in love, moving to Australia, becoming an actor… a parent, finding cancer, facing the unimaginable…. its all part of life lovely lady….

        TRUST in yourself Maria and the journey you are on and perhaps consider that your surgery this Thursday is just another incredible chapter in the amazing story of your life. Which is to be continued.

        Nothing but love!

      • Maybe McQueen

        Maria, hi….

        It is ok to be scared……

        For me it is all about being open to what it is you most fear and being willing to observe that fear, without actually letting it define your reality! Thursdays operation is really just another chapter in your life so far, it is the meaning that you place on it, that makes it frightening.

        I know it might sound like existencial babble and I hear that you are scared, which is completely expected …but it is up to you, to TRUST IN YOURSELF and your capacity, your power and your inner strength, to let be, WHAT WILL BE.

        So I am sending you nothing but love and admiration and inviting you to focus on your passion for being here now and the determination you have inside you, to share yourself with the world for many more chapters to come!!!!

        Vashti Whitfield x x x

    • Daria

      Vashti, thank you so much for your feedback!!!
      I will take all your suggestions, regroup and rework the worksheet. One thing that I have a hard time doing is expressing exactly what I’m thinking or feeling in words (on paper). Something I really hope to improve….but having said that, I feel like you almost read between the lines and got a pretty good idea of the place I’m in.
      I do tend to feel like I have to explain myself, why I want or deserve something and I believe that it comes from my past….maybe that’s why I keep looking back. It is something I am working on. And will work on being more in the present and looking to the future.
      I really love the Idea of writing a letter to my daughter. I have already considered opening an email for her and writing her letters that she will read when she is older, this will be such a great time to start.
      Thank you so much for the time you take and all that you share :)
      Daria

    • Jenny

      Hi Daria! Just want to wish you well with this chapter of your life. I can relate as I am a mommy who balances work with children and sometimes finds myself wondering if my part time work choice is fulfilling enough (it’s a balance and sometimes a sacrifice with other gains). I hope this journey is exciting and you can feel the fear without letting it control your path (something I’m striving for too). Lotsa good wishes from here!

  • Rivke

    This one I will sit on for a few days. I am still going strong with many of the Series 1 worksheets. After crossing off 3 of the ‘Five things I did that changed my life’ from Week 8 on the previous worksheet series, at the end of 2013, I added another 2 immediately. Whilst I am happy I am changing my world in regards to achieving my goals, right now I am exhausted mentally and my soul is just struggling to breathe. I am still moving and pushing and working my goals but it is almost like Im just on autopilot. Ive become quite isolated and there are a few issues that cant be resolved if I wish to continue achieving my goals. I understand that in life we must make sacrifices, and in the grand scheme of things my issues are really nothing, but nonetheless they are taxing on my soul and it is just hard to be anything but numb.

  • lucyfr

    Hmmm, not sure I am quite ready to fill this out yet… In a bit of an existential crisis with living in the now as we don’t have the future and so putting plans out of my head and shooting them down, very frustrating…!! But of course I can’t spend my life like that, can I?!! Haha

    • Maybe McQueen

      Hey you are talking to the queen of existential!!! This tool is all about being in the NOW. Doesn’t have to feel like a project plan..
      example:
      Outcome… To feel like I am being true to myself
      Why: To feel like a more inspiring woman, parent, friend and partner
      What: Learn how to say NO to the things, people and aspects of life that have me feel compromised. Spend time getting clearer about what my core values are and playfully explore how to honour them on a daily and moment by moment basis.
      When: Today I will begin by saying NO at least once a day and practice choosing what I WANT everyday.
      How: Write a description of how my life looks and feels, if I am truly honouring myself. Keep a diary of insights as to when and what it feels like when I actually listen and act according to my needs.
      Fill out a daily MMQ worksheet with the context of making my, ‘living in the moment’ align with my big picture.

      Nothing but love ….

      • lucyfr

        Thanks Vashti. I have always had very core spiritual beliefs and never feared death, etc at all but now it seems it is a time to have them put very much to the test…! My fear comes not from death but life itself, how to fill the time between worlds meaningfully… Everything I am doing now feels selfish when it is not spent helping people. I think I needed to have this conversation and help from you, when you struggle the most sometimes you find a teacher appears ;) This will give me a framework to pull myself out of this.

  • Susana Matos Nunes

    Once again you are right on top… Hit the spot of my very last days.
    I found myself everyday, being a housewife and a full day mum, but… Just not used to it and it’s like I don’t know how to do it. I know I must find a job, not just for my mental health but for the money. I have two kids now and in Portugal we have little profit by our sweat. And at this point, being unemployed, the unemployment benefit almost halved! And if I stay much more time, enjoying my 6th month baby, people will thought I’m lazy, so…
    My concern is: in my area (as some other) no one needs anyone and I love my job; but I know I maybe will not do it again…
    On other hand I have the chance to start over, have a very new life! But where? Doing what? Where I check they ask for someone experienced…! Really?! I’m a driver instructor over 10 yrs! How can I be experienced on something else?
    I want to work, I love teaching, I love knew chalenges, I need the money, I want to enjoy and be more time with my baby and… I feel I want to move to another country but my husband and daughter are not at the same page and I don’t have no conect do to it anyway….
    Aaaarrrgggg…. Can’t focus on anything or even find myself… Really need some inspiration…
    Thank you V.
    Big kisses for you guys, with all my love as always
    Susana

    • Susana Matos Nunes

      But I’ll try to exercise despite a lack of concentration and perhaps link…
      Why? Because I’m a proactive woman with a need to be everywhere, doing everything for everyone (and for me? At this point just want to be in bed doing nothing…)
      What? Teaching, knowing people, working with in team, being lider
      Where? Anywhere where I feel welcome and at home
      When? Yestarday, hehehe

      Does it make any sense? Ooohhh, feeling so confused!….

  • Stephen

    Hi Vashti, Thank you for giving us (me) this chance to manifest my outcome. Here’s what I’ve come up with and would appreciate any feedback.
    Outcome: To obtain a full-time job with benefits, that I will be excited about and enjoy.
    Why: It’s a necessity to live and earn a living.
    What: I will monitor my job search progress every day, keep all emails and correspondences in a filing system.
    When: This is a difficult one because I was hoping that I would find a job sooner rather than later.
    How: Diligence and Persistence, networking, and applying for jobs in any way I can find.

    Gratitude for any feedback Vashti
    My best to you and your family.
    Stephen

    • Maybe McQueen

      Hi there and as always thank you for your contribution!

      Firstly I am not sure if you are familiar with them, but here is some great info explaining the three principles, which is a philosophy of thinking that I am 100% aligned with which I believe very clearly, would assist you in achieving your goals.

      http://www.threeprinciplesmovies.com

      So onto feedback and suggestions so as to have your work sheet be more about manifesting what you want versus inviting in what don’t!!..

      Outcome: On my way to the job that I love, which supports, inspires and honours my needs and wants!

      Why: ….this needs some focus S. Why is your motivation, which is key in having you make it happen and the fact that it is a necessity sounds like you are dragging yourself through mud??

      Why: has to be meaningful and purposeful……. I leave this up to you…

      Before I go any further, it really feels like it would benefit you to go back to manifesting what your ideal job,vocation, purpose is! Perhaps use the worksheet for this.

      Nothing but love ..

      • Stephen

        Vashti, always a pleasure in hearing from you. I appreciate the informative feedback. I will have to go back and review my thoughts. Gratitude to all your thoughts, principles, and sharing of experiences.
        Hugs
        Stephen

  • Sally T.

    Outcome: I will realize my life-long dream of writing a novel by completing a draft of my first book (young adult, fiction) and querying 3 literary agents by the close of 2014.

    Why: Having identified myself as a writer since my teenaged years, I want to (finally!) develop my own story, in my own voice and align my vision of myself as published author with that reality.

    What: I wil schedule time in my day to write relative to this project only (part A). I will research literary agents who are inspired by the art of storytelling and who will invest time to help me develop my work (part B). I will trust in my point of view and work to ensure the goals I set for myself become a priority in my life.

    When: Writing sprints are scheduled daily from 9-9:30 am. Outlining, skeletal chapter text and completed character development by end July, 2014 and full rough draft completed end December, 2014. Extra time allotted to writing as need to achieve deadlines.

    How: For daily writing sprints: I will set my alarm to indicate start and end times. I will schedule appointments and other work around writing for my book so that it becomes a priority in my schedule. I will silence my phone and take emergency calls only (no texting/social media or other work during this time frame). I will not allow perfection to impede progress. And in my daily work journal, I will note areas of progress/completion and where more attention is needed relevant to my deadlines.

    (Thanks, Vashti!)

  • Si

    I totally understand what you say Vashti. I have recently ensured i take time out to do what i want in life. (i am loving the time spent in the fields with my dog) taking time out to chill with my daughter and days out with my husband. But i still have a habit of looking over my shoulder to see what the rest of the world is doing and questioning?
    Social networking can be detremental to you especially facebook, twitter, when you are wondering whether walking the dog in the sunshine is what you should be doing and enjoying or are you just turning into a middle aged mum too early. Should i be partying still? Whats normal? Am i dull? Arghhh too many questions!!
    I really do know that happiness comes from within. And the tools you give to us to use can help to work out our what we want in life and a way to achieve it. But for a start time always gets in the way (and i know that is an excuse for many of us) and the guilt too.
    I thought it was hard with young toddler children but as your children reach teenage years there worries become yours and sometimes it becomes over whelming. They need you less but want you more. There social lives become another task.
    Sometimes i feel like i am on a train and just heading to the final desitnation with the windows closed to busy to even look out ticking off tasks on a list. So i do get it. I know opening the windows and seeing but most of all enjoying the view is what i need to do. But it is hard when you really are unsure what you want in life and have lost who you are now.
    My main worry is that although i know i have worked out some of what i enjoy to do. I cram so much in that it becomes another addition to the list and i am so busy trying to complete my list of activities or tasks. I am not just living for the moment.
    How can we do this?

  • fiorella

    I love to follow I feel identified with many things you say, but particularly me is being very difficult to achieve the objective, being a mother of two, wife, I do not work I’m at home I’m participating in political activity that I love but will rest time with my family and claim me all the time, so I’m between what I want to be and what I can, in this country third world where I live the cost of living is very difficult and sometimes would do so much, have so much, really I am not in this good company I am very discouraged a big kiss and I’m still forever You are a light to my