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Monthly Archives: March 2017


Why Do We Fear?

In our last post, we observed that worrying is a form of negative “future thinking”. Fear can also be a form of negative “future thinking”. Fear has a purpose. It is a defense mechanism that we use to protect ourselves from the unknown. Some fears are realistic. Some are not.

 

We start learning fear the moment we are born. At birth we fear the empty feeling in our bellies or the dampness on our bottoms. We become afraid that our mother won’t come when we need her. We fear abandonment so we cry to get attention. As children, we learn to be afraid of touching a hot stove. We fear pain. We fall when we are learning to walk and we become afraid of distance from the ground. Our best friend in the fourth grade rejects us for another friend. We fear rejection. We try something new and we fail. Others who do what we couldn’t do ridicule us for our inabilities. We fear failure. The fear of rejection, the fear of high places, and the fear of failure are the most common fears that everyone feels.

 

We instantly know fear when we sense it. Our breathing and pulse quicken. The muscles in our chest tighten.. Our palms start to sweat. We want to run away from the situation. That is what is called “the flight or fight” response and for most of us, flight is the mode of choice.

 

Fear can be legitimate. Fear is a defensive protection mechanism.  For instance, when we fell when we climbed up on something high, we felt pain and we associated that pain with high places. Fear of high places kept us from going up on high places and therefore avoiding the pain associated with high places. However, this fear can prevent us from doing what we really would like to do. Because fear was designed to prevent pain, fear convinces us that if we go up on a high place, we will feel pain.

 

Fear is connected to our animal instincts. Our animal instincts are like those of animals. Like the deer, we can run from what we fear, or like a bear we can fight what pushes us into a corner. Fear was designed to protect us from what could hurt us. However, we live in a civilized society and fear’s defense mechanism is often misplaced.

Discerning Realistic Fear From Unrealistic Fear

 

Unrealistic fear can paralyze us from doing what we really want to do. Fear of rejection easily reaches the point where in order to avoid rejection, we never try anything new. We become afraid of what people think and we never do anything that we are truly passionate about. We avoid taking chances. We avoid doing anything that others don’t first approve. We procrastinate because we are afraid that we will make a mistake.

 

A couple of years ago I looked up how “fear” was used in the Bible. I discovered the Bible has basically two different words for fear. The Bible uses one fear when associated with fearing God and his divine purpose for your life. (This divine purpose is your passion.) The other word is associated with other people and is always accompanied by “not”. “Fear not others when”. . . the Bible says.

 

More of us are afraid of the rejection of other people than we are of the rejection of our creator, but the Bible says we should do the opposite.

 

 

Fear as a Cause of Procrastination

 

Fear is often a cause of procrastination. We put things off because we are afraid. We are afraid because we fear what people will say, we are afraid that we will fail, or if what we fear is related to jumping out of airplanes, the fear of high places could also come into play.

 

Therefore, if you find yourself procrastinating, you should determine if fear is part of the reason for your procrastination.

 

First you have to ask yourself: Am I procrastinating because I am afraid or is there some other reason?

 

If you have determined that fear is the culprit, then you need to ask: what am I afraid of?

 

Next ask yourself: Is this fear realistic? You’re not asking if the fear is real, because fear is always real, but what you want to know is this fear based in facts? Is this fear that the average person would be afraid to do? Is this fear that Warren Buffet would have that would keep him from doing what I want to do?

Look at the results of doing what you fear.

 

What are the legitimate positive effects of doing what I am afraid to do? What are the possible positive outcomes?

 

What are the negative effects that could occur from what I am afraid of doing? What are the negative possible outcomes?

 

Now turn it around and think about not doing what you fear

 

What are the positive effects of not doing what I am afraid to do?

What are the negative effects of not doing what I am afraid to do?

Now based on the facts that you have determined, decide whether you will let fear determine whether you will do this or not.

 

Fear is not the only reason for procrastination. Fear is only one of several reasons. Knowing that fear is not the reason for procrastination probably won’t cure the procrastination nor will knowing that fear is at least one of the reasons for the procrastination, but it can give you hints of what you can do to overcome that fear and anxiety.

 

What are you afraid of? What are you going to do about it, if anything?

 

 

Book V of the Locket Saga: In the Shadow of the Mill Pond

Now Available in Paperback with 40% discount!  Click here to buy now. Taking Preorders for Kindle Edition until May 6! Order now!

B) In the Shadow of the Millpond by Cygnet Brown

In Book V of the Locket Saga, fifteen-year-old Lacey Mayford has been infatuated with Matthew since she was a little girl. Matthew, a half-breed Indian, doesn’t see her as anything more than a little girl cousin. How can she convince him that she is growing into a beautiful young woman he should consider?

In the frontier town near the turn of the century, Matthew Thorton is blamed for Luther Hannibal’s murder after an altercation with Luther over stolen furs. Lacey defends Matthew with the help of a teacher, Felix Grackle. They look into other suspects who could have killed Luther Hannibal. Matthew’s father Luke and his best friend Jacque Pierre are looking for the person responsible for stealing the furs. They believe the thief might have something to do with Luther Hannibal’s murder.

A vigilante group seeks to avoid the imposed whiskey sales tax. The group goes to extremes; they steal the US mail and tar and feathering U.S. government officials who attempt to collect those taxes.

Will Lacey be able to clear Matthew’s name? Will Luke and Jacque Pierre find the man who stole the furs? Will the vigilantes stop the Whiskey Rebellion without bloodshed? The truth is far more sinister than anyone could imagine.

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Tomorrow Thinking

“Some people are making such thorough preparation for rainy days that they aren’t enjoying today’s sunshine” William Feather – 1889-1981, Author

In the past couple of posts, we were talking about living in the now and about ‘tomorrow thinking”. “Tomorrow thinking”  if you remember is using time today to think about something in the future. Goals for instance are a good form of “tomorrow thinking” that applies time and action today and apply it to what we want in the future. We used writing an obituary and writing a bucket list as a way of determining what our passions are and our longest term goals. Though this is a  positive form of “tomorrow thinking”, there are also destructive forms of “tomorrow thinking”. One of the most common is worrying.

Worrying is the negative side of daydreaming. Worrying is ruminating over everything that can go wrong with a given situation.

Negative things do happen and we should be prepared for those negative things. For instance, in marketing, it is a good idea to know the possible objections so that you know how to counter them. That is different from worrying. Thinking about what could go wrong and then deciding to do what you can to keep whatever negative things from happening is one thing. Worrying is another.

Worrying is getting stuck in a rut of ruminating about what could go wrong and not looking for any solutions. Worrying focuses on the problems that may or may not happen.

As noted in Matthew 6:25, here’s what Jesus Christ said about worry:

“Therefore I tell you, so not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do no sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they are?
27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? …

31 “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them!
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all of these things will be given to you as well.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

 

Of course,  bad things happen. Because of this, some people feel as though worrying is not only something they can do, it is something they are obligated to do. I know a few women who think that if they aren’t worrying about their family members that they don’t care about them. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Worrying does not make you a better person. It just directs energy into a detrimental negative pattern.

 

Do you tend to worry about what life has to offer? Have you ver tried to stop? What methods have you used to stop worrying?

The way that I keep from worrying includes:

  1. Realize that what I am doing is worrying.
  2. Determine what I can actually do about something other than ruminating about whatever it is that I am worrying about.
  3. Take action where I can.
  4. If I am worried about another person, I will call that person and tell them my concerns.. If that person doesn’t heed my advice, I will let it go. It’s that person’s life and I gave my opinion so it is out of my hands.
  5. Recognize when there really is nothing that I can do and then journal about why worrying will not do me any good.
  6. If there is nothing I can do about what I am worried about, then I take some action in an area where I can and use the energy that would have been used in worry and use it more constructively..

How do you deal with worry?

 

 

Book V of the Locket Saga: In the Shadow of the Mill Pond

Now Available in Paperback with 40% discount!  Click here to buy now. Taking Preorders for Kindle Edition until May 6! Order now!

B) In the Shadow of the Millpond by Cygnet Brown

In Book V of the Locket Saga, fifteen-year-old Lacey Mayford has been infatuated with Matthew since she was a little girl. Matthew, a half-breed Indian, doesn’t see her as anything more than a little girl cousin. How can she convince him that she is growing into a beautiful young woman he should consider?

In the frontier town near the turn of the century, Matthew Thorton is blamed for Luther Hannibal’s murder after an altercation with Luther over stolen furs. Lacey defends Matthew with the help of a teacher, Felix Grackle. They look into other suspects who could have killed Luther Hannibal. Matthew’s father Luke and his best friend Jacque Pierre are looking for the person responsible for stealing the furs. They believe the thief might have something to do with Luther Hannibal’s murder.

A vigilante group seeks to avoid the imposed whiskey sales tax. The group goes to extremes; they steal the US mail and tar and feathering U.S. government officials who attempt to collect those taxes.

Will Lacey be able to clear Matthew’s name? Will Luke and Jacque Pierre find the man who stole the furs? Will the vigilantes stop the Whiskey Rebellion without bloodshed? The truth is far more sinister than anyone could imagine.

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coffinHow do You Want to Be Remembered?

As we pointed out in the last post, we can only live one day and that day is today. However, that does not mean that we shouldn’t think about where we would like to be in the future. I like to think of thinking about the future as “tomorrow thinking.” Tomorrow thinking can help us determine what your passions are.

Do you kno what your passions are? In other words, what is it that makes you excited to get up every morning? What is it that you know you have to do in this lifetime?

Or as Pablo Picasso once stated. “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”

Goal setting is an important aspect of living today, and what goal is more important that the goal of living your life to the fullest? As an author, I have discovered that it is easier to write a book when I know how it will end. It is the same wiht life. If I know I want to live my life to end a certain way, I can more easily write goals that reflect those values that I have placed on my life because I know how I want others to preceive my life at the end of my life. Here are two exercises that I am doing to help me determine what I would like for my life long achievements.

 

 

Writing Your Own Obituary

Dream for a moment about what you want people to say when you are no longer a part of this world. Imagine that your body is in a casket and that one of your family members has been assigned to write your obituary. What would you want the obituary to say?

First, consider how you would like to leave this world. Do you want to die peacefully but suddenly in your sleep? Do you want to die surrounded by loved ones? Do you want to die at ripe old age while doing something adventurous? What age would you be when you pass?

 

Consider how you would like your relationships to be when you leave this world. Would you be married? Divorced from your current spouse? Would you be married to someone else? If so, what would this person be like? Would you have the same number of children?

 

What would you want to be known for? What would be your income level? Who have you worked for? Who would you be working for? If you were over 62 would you retire? Would you retire at an even younger age? Would you be known as a great speaker or author? Would you be a world class philanthropist? A famous person? What would you be famous for? Imagine yourself in the best possible light. Imagine the best case scenario. Would you be at the top of your company, or would you own your own company?

 

Write everything down no matter how outrageous. Now, look at what you have written. Have you learned something about what you desire? If you want to be an adventurer, does your current life reflect that? What can you do today to make that a reality? If having your family around when you pass means a lot to you, are you maintaining good relationships with your family? If you want to live to a ripe old age, are you maintaining good health habits that increase the possibility of living a long healthy life? If your current relationships aren’t working, what can you do to improve them? How close are you now to what you want to be known for? What can you do today to begin working toward that reality?

 

Writing your Bucket List

Have you watched the Bucket List movie? Definitely makes you think about what you want out of life. Writing your own bucket list is a great way to discover what you really want out of life. As you learn from the movie, what others want for you are not necessarily what you want. Discovering what you really want helps disipate real death bed regrets.

 

Now that you have written how you want to appear to others, write out your bucket list. Your bucket list if you remember has to do with what you want to do before you die. Do you want to earn six figures or more per year? Do you want to travel? Would you like to learn languages so that you can speak the native language of the places where you go? Do you want to write a book or even a book series? Do you want to teach or speak in front of a large crowd? Do you want to go bungie jumping or slide down a zipline? Do you want to learn to ski or jump out of an airplane? Perhaps you might even want to learn to fly one. Do you want to have a better relationship with your family members? Would you want to run for office? Do you want to backpack around the country? Do you want to teach a child to read? These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. Some of them I want to do, some I would not want to do. Write your own list. Try to reach one hundred items on the list.

When writing your bucket list, consider what you have written in your obituary.

 

Now go over your list. What are some of the things you could do right now? What are some things that you would love to do if you had the time, money, or whatever? What is the most important out of your comfort zone item on your list? Is there something that you could do today to begin toward that bucket list item?

Revisit These Two Lists Regularly

Revisit your obituary occasionally to see if you are getting closer to making this obituary a reality. Don’t be afraid to change something in your obituary that you realize that you don’t really want this. Perhaps you started down one path only to realize that was not what you wanted at all. It’s your life, how you want it to end is all up to you.

As you accomplish items on your list, cross them off the list.For everything that you cross off, add another item to the list. Try to keep 100 items on your list at all times.  It . has been said that you should never remove anything from your bucket list until you have accomplished it. Keeping items on your bucket list that you no longer want to do allows you to see where you were in the past and how things have changed over time. This is up to you. After all, it is your list and your life. Make the most of it one day at a time.

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Author Cygnet Brown, Donna Brown has published several nonfiction books including Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener, Using Diatomaceous Earth around the House and Yard, and Help from Kelp.

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga,  Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag is also on sale now! Her latest book Book V of the Locket Saga: In the Shadow of the Millpond will soon be available in paperback and is now available to preorder on Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XKFCPQK  She is also working on another nonficiton book: Living Today, The Power of Now.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and buy her books, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com

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If I Had Only One Day to Live

quarter-to-twelve-clock

 

If you knew that today was your last day, would you continue doing things the same way that you have always done it, or would you do things differently?

Would you treat today like any other day or would you be doing something different?

 

if I knew that the next twenty-four hours were my last twenty-four hours?, would I continue to treat today like any other day? Would I just go through the motions on automatic? Would I get up and do the same routine, go to work, come home, sit in front of the computer and television mindlessly letting the seconds, minutes and hours drift away, never to return.

 

Of course not! If I knew that today was the only day I had, I would treat it special. I would savor the day. I would savor what I had that day.

 

 Leaving A Legacy

 

I would probably be frantically trying to find a way to leave a legacy y to my children and future grandchildren.

 

This may sound morbid, but I started thinking about this topic several years ago when my Dad died and then when within the next several months my closest brother and my only sister died.

 

I finally recognized my own mortality. I recognized that none of us are promised tomorrow and that I owed my creator everything that I was assigned to do during my lifetime here on earth.

 

I felt as if I had let most of my life slip past me. I felt as though I had lived too much of my life as though I had all the time in the world to accomplish everything I knew I was destined to do. I was frustrated in my own inconsistencies and in my own procrastination and even fear.

 

I had let fear keep me from living to my full potential. I had been afraid of a lot of things and I realized that I couldn’t let fear keep me from doing what it was that I needed to do. I had to get busy. Period. My time was too limited to waste.

 

Living in the Present

 

What if you knew you only had one day to live? Would you live that day differently than every day before you found out your time was limited or would you continue doing things the same way? Would you regret that you didn’t do certain things with your life? Would you look back at your past and wish you could go back? Would you look at what happened during the past several years and wonder where it all went?

If today was your last day, what things would you do to make life easier for your family after you were gone? Would you have final arrangements made or would you leave them for your bereaving family to handle. Would you just leave your business in the hands of your family or partners or employees to flounder with or would they be stuck not even knowing anything about what you do?

One Day at A Time

loretta-young

Loretta Young

 “I believe in living today. Not in yesterday, nor in tomorrow.” Loretta Young – 1913-2000, Actress

 

The truth is, all any of us has is one day at a time to live.. Let me repeat, we only have one day to live . . . at a time. Today is the only day we have to actually live. We don’t live yesterday and we cannot live tomorrow. It is only today that we do our living, so why is is that we waste so much of our time doing things that don’t matter. Most of us either live in the past, live in the future or simply go through the motions of living.

 

 

Yet, at the same time, we are a culmination of our past, our present, and our future. We are a combination of our memories, our habits, our spontaneity, and our plans. To make our lives the best that it can be, we have to realize that each of those aspects of ourselves is reinforced or not by what we do today. We can’t change yesterday. It is in the past. We can’t live in the future because it is not here yet. We can only live today.

 

 

By living, truly living today, we create for ourselves better memories and better dreams. I may eat hand to mouth and live in a cardboard box today, but I don’t have to stay here. I can determine to improve my living conditions by what I do today. If you are able to read this page, you too are capable of improving your circumstances by determining to use the power of now to make the most every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every month of every year.

 

 

ONly today we can begin dropping old habits, creating new ones, or continue working on those that we started weeks ago. Only today we can live in the moment and make can make memories that we can look back on in our future and avoid regret for not living the life we know we were meant to live. We can also make plans for the future and build on those actions that we took yesterday.

 

But learning to deal with life from the aspect of today is not enough. We have to bring it to the point where live in the now. I will do it NOW. NOW is the time to start changing our lives. NOW is all we have to make the changes in our lives that will prevent adding to the regrets of the past. We cannot put living off. NOW is the time to take action. Now is the only time we can do anything

tony-robbins

Tony Robbins

 

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”-Tony Robbins – Author and Speaker

 

 

What we decide today matters so we need to get off automatic. If we plan for the future and take action today, where we are tomorrow, when it becomes today will be a different place.  If you always put things off until tomorrow, they will never happen unlti that tomorrow finally beomes today.

 

 

Today is the only day we can ever do anything. Whatever it is that you want to do, do it now and change your future.

Bio-Photo-edit-one_thumb.jpg

 

Author Cygnet Brown, Donna Brown has published several nonfiction books including Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener, Using Diatomaceous Earth around the House and Yard, and Help from Kelp.

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga,  Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag is also on sale now! Soon to be published: Book V of the Locket Saga: In the Shadow of the Millpond. She is also working on another nonficiton book: Living Today, The Power of Now.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and buy her books, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com

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