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What Does It Mean to Live in the Moment?

To live in the moment, or in the present, refers to a state of being aware, conscious, alert, in tune with your senses, and focused on what is happening at that particular moment in time. It is the opposite of “automatic living”, that is, just going through the motions.

More importantly, the present is a time during which we stop dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. We are able to enjoy the here and now.

Our Mind Creates Our World

Our mind is a powerful thing that processes all of our life’s experiences, and is also the instigator of our actions. However, most of the time, we are not even aware our own mind and its full power and potential. We lurch from one thought to the next with no rhyme or reason, and often feel the world is external to us, outside ourselves, and that we have no control over it.

The truth is that living in the present can help you gain the skills you need to take control of your life, through focus and concentration.

We Value What We Pay Attention To

When we concentrate our attention on the present, we focus on the task at hand, such as washing the dishes, gardening, or spending time with a loved one. We are not just sitting next to them on the sofa, with both of us fiddling with our cell phones. We are making eye contact, speaking, listening, and perhaps being affectionate. We give our full attention to what we are doing and we let go of the rest.

Being Mindful

The practice of living in the moment is referred to as being mindful – in other words, paying attention. Being mindful when we eat means we enjoy our food more, because we are not wolfing it down. Being mindful as we walk through the park means we can enjoy the beauty of nature, such as the flowers and birdsong. It is about quality not quantity, brief moments in the present that take us out of our busy day. We can stop running around propelled by stress and take a short “mini-vacation” through mindfulness practice.

How to Start Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness practice starts with observing things more closely, and then trying to describe them. Imagine washing the dishes. Think of the sight, sound, smell, touch and so on. What does it feel like? How do you feel when you are doing it?

For most of us, this is a dull chore, and one we usually do on autopilot without thinking about it. But thanks to mindfulness, it can become interesting and even fun.

Stopping to reflect on one or two of our actions throughout the day can help us discover the beauty and wonder of all we do. We stop taking things for granted.

We also start to feel more positive energy because we are being less dragged down by the baggage of our past, and are giving ourselves more and more permission to enjoy ourselves and have fun. We are creating special little moments, and through those moments, can feel confident we have more like them to look forward to.

Live Every Moment Like It Counts

Life is too short to sleepwalk through it. Adding mindfulness as a daily practice can help you truly appreciate all you have. You will notice your work improves, your relationships get better, and everything starts to feel more effortless and less stressful. It does take practice, but the result is a happier, healthier you with a rich life full of meaning.

 

 

What are some of your techniques to live in the here and now?  I would love to learn from you.  Let’s chat…

Introvert… Who Me?

One of my friends and I were talking about personality traits and he sent me the video below. Take a look and I’ll continue my thoughts afterward.

 

This video freaked me the hell out!

 

OK, it wasn’t nearly that bad but after reviewing it a couple of times, some things about me made perfect sense…at least in explaining it to people in the future. Below, I’ll put the things that really stood out to me:

 

  • Needing to recharge after spending time with people

 

I really like to spend time with folks but after I’m done, I need recuperation time – quite a bit of it! Many of my friends and partners over the years did not understand this part of me – heck, I didn’t understand it myself.

 

If I don’t get that time to re-set myself, I feel out of balance and I’m not as nice of a person as I know I can be.

 

  • Being calm during fights

 

I try not to get into arguments much but over the years I’ve always heard, “You don’t care,” or “You’re so nonchalant about this…” I never tied that into a trait related to me being a loner.

 

It’s not that I don’t care – again, it takes me off balance and I don’t like that feeling.

 

  • Being kind towards others

 

This one has gotten me into trouble. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, even when they piss me off. Unfortunately, many view this as a weakness in today’s society and they try to push you to see how far they can get. Most times, especially since I’ve gotten older, they’re not allowed to push very far at all.

 

What do you think of the video? Share your thoughts and whether anything stood out to you about yourself or someone you know.

Bloomberg‘s Apology Is Political Theater

I have scrutinized the “apology” of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the Stop and Frisk practice and frankly find it to be a sad, wretched act of political theater.

 

Suddenly, Mr. Bloomberg finds it in his heart to extend a half-assed apology when he was just endorsing the practice earlier this year?

 

I can’t speak to his way of thinking at the time.  In the early 2000s, there was a distinct mode of thinking when it came to combatting crime.  Since then, research has shown that the practice of Stop and Frisk devastatingly affected  people of color.  End of story…

 

This speech does not clear Mayor Bloomberg in light of his recent defense of the practice.  He should put his money where his mouth is and endow programs that engage in battle against the new Jim Crow policies of policing today.

 

As they say, “What have you done for me lately…”

Ten Ways to Use Facebook Live to Market Your Business

There are so many ways to use Facebook Live to market your business that it’s hard to stop at just ten. As you read these ideas, it’s likely you’ll think of even more ways. When you do think of ideas, write them down in a file so that you can try them out.

1. Host an Affiliate Contest – Your affiliates love contests. A contest will get any launch or refresh of a product off to a great start and keep it going hot throughout the contest. Start mentioning what’s happening in your affiliate group a week before your launch, then conduct a live every day during the contest to announce who’s winning and to give tips for them to promote more effectively.

2. Host a Customer Contest – Go live and then invite your customers to go live in your group or on your page. Tell them you want to hear about how they use your product or service, and what a difference it’s made for them in their lives or business. This is a great way to get testimonials that can even go viral. Whichever live gets the most likes, wins.

3. Host a Round Table with a Panel of Experts – Bring in some experts about your topic and host a round table. Allow viewers to submit questions in advance so that even those who watch the recorded version can get their question in. Then let the panel offer their advice on the question. You can have many questions or just one question, weekly or monthly.

4. Participate in a Viral Challenge – Even though in some cases it’s not relevant to your business, it can still get the word out about your brand. Sometimes they have robot challenges, ice bucket challenges, and lip-syncing challenges. Going live doing one of these, then sharing the video result, is a great way to go viral.

5. Host an Open Question Hour – You can go live at any moment and let people ask questions while you’re live. You can give your people a warning via email and announcement or by scheduling the Facebook Live, but you can also do them last minute.

6. Create Private Content for Your Group – An effective way to use Facebook Live is to create content only for your private group. Announce it on your page, market it through your email lists, and blog – but require them to join the group or membership to get the content. You can even make this another income stream.

7. Share a Day in the Life – You get four hours to stream, so you can host a working session where you work live while everyone can watch. You can talk about what you’re doing, share with them how you do what you do, share your screen, demo what you’re doing and so forth during the live stream.

8. Share How You Decide What You’ll Do Today – Start the morning off with a motivating five-minute live video talking about your plans for the day. You can get on and say, “Today I’m going to knock out this website, upload the 30 blog posts I purchased Friday, add CTAs to them, and rock this day. What are you doing today?” Then invite them to respond to the video below. Of course, you’ll add some reasoning and some information. Facebook Live usually needs to be longer than five minutes to get more viewers, but in this case watching the recording can be energizing too.

9. Host an Open Live Critique Hour – This will work for many different niches, marketing experts, content experts, logo designers, coaches, and so forth. Invite people to be in the hot seat and get critiqued for something that you can normally fix if they hire you.

10. Conduct Regular Training – You can train people how to do things via Facebook Live. It doesn’t matter if it’s knitting, creating spreadsheets, cutting hair, doing makeup, or cooking. Think about the things you know how to do that’s relevant to your audience, and show them how to do it.

If you try any of these ideas, keep track of the results. How many conversions do you get? How many people watch it live versus watch the recording? What ways did you repurpose the content you created and what were the results from that? In marketing, data is important and can help you figure out what your audience likes most, and what delivers the most value to them and adds to your bottom line.

What do you think?  Share your thoughts in the comments…

Regret

Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t regret anything that’s ever happened to me because it made me who I am today…”?

 

Well, between you and me and the four corners of this blog – I think that’s a load of crap.  Who can honestly travel life’s journey and not feel regret about anything whatsoever?  Maybe someone who doesn’t understand what the definition of regret is?

 

Regret (Noun) – feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened

 

I don’t know about you but there’s plenty of “stuff” that I have some form of regret for over the span of my lifetime.

 

I think the single major thing I have regret for is not working on forgiveness towards my father.  I won’t delve into why there would need to be reconciliation, but I can certainly share that my not working on it has caused tremendous pain for me over time.

 

While I believe that I’ve turned out to be a pretty decent guy, I couldn’t work on my feelings of abandonment and depression until recent history through therapy/counseling.  That wasn’t fair to me, first, and it wasn’t fair to the people I was in relationship with over the years – whether family, friend or significant other.  I would either be all in or placing that wide-open space because I just knew that if someone that helped in my creation could make me feel that way, why wouldn’t someone else do the same?

 

I truly have remorse for this.

 

Has it stopped me from growing?  Absolutely not but I can recognize my own failings and continue to learn and grow with each passing day.

 

I guess you can say, “I’m a work in progress…”

 

Is there something you have regret for in your life?  Have any thoughts for me that you can share?  Give your advice or what worked for you in the comments.

 

Thanks for reading this rambling entry!

The First 40 Years

I turned 40 years old back on October 11, and I’ve been trying to think of a way to mark that occasion here on the blog.  Would I start a new series of posts or reflect on a variety of things?

 

I think the answer is – Yes, both please!

 

I’m not even sure why I’ve put as much significance on this random birth marker, but I have…so I’m going to go with it and use it for some content!

 

Author’s note:  Remember, I’ve just started this blog so there will be quite a bit of experimenting here – and I promise I won’t delete the failures.  After all, I may look back one day and decide this blog entry should go into a future book or something…

 

What I’ve learned in my first 40 years

  1. Drink plenty of water – it will keep you hydrated and make you look younger than your years (See my picture on the home page)
  2. Friends will come and go – the ones who are worth longevity will still be around through it all. That’s not to say there won’t be times that there is a lull in the friendship, but they will be there when it counts.
  3. Life happens – there’s going to be curve balls for sure! You can’t let it destroy you.  You either keep living and roll with the punches or not.
  4. Do good in the world – to your ability, not what you think will get you the most attention.
  5. Learn to say, “No!” I’m still working on this one…
  6. Take time each day to move – try Pilates or yoga. I love Pilates and the added benefit is that it makes my thighs and ass look good.  Just saying…
  7. Don’t be afraid to get counseling – we all go through stuff on this journey and sometimes we need to release it, or it will make us not enjoy what we have.
  8. At the end of the day, you are the only one that has to live with you – it’s OK to talk to folks to get their advice but only you have to live with your decisions (Note: I’m a single guy with no kids…)
  9. Don’t be afraid to laugh out loud!
  10. Keep living…

 

So, what do you think?  I would love to read your comments below.  While you’re there, can you share some things you’ve learned along the way?  I’m still learning myself…

 

Thanks for reading!

I Write Because…

Desk

“That is why I write — to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance.”
— Paulo Coelho

 

When I sat and began to mull over the reasons why I wanted to start The Libra’s Balance, it all came down to the quote above.

 

I would consider myself to be a loner, except for when my creative juices begin flowing.  When I write a speech that I must deliver, something stirs within me that changes my entire nature. I compare it to the stories I’ve read about comedians.  From what I understand, they’re always thinking and are calm in most instances – except for when they’re on the stage. That’s when their behavior explodes!

 

That’s what it’s like for me when I write.

 

When I became an “adult,” I became engrossed in developing my career and didn’t take as much time to creatively write for the joy of writing.  Writing instead simply became a chore of what I did to earn an income – causing it to lose the excitement I once held for the art.

 

I wanted to regain that pleasurable sense so for my 40th birthday last month, I decided that I was going to sincerely make every effort to creatively write again!

 

What better way to do that than to have a blog?

 

I can connect with folks of every stripe and publicly hold myself accountable to rehabilitate the desire needed to run this marathon.

 

Hopefully, I can get your help!

 

So, what do you think?  Is your story like mine?  Why do you write?  I’d love to learn…

 

Ten Reasons for Going Live on Facebook

Using Facebook Live is almost a no-brainer for business owners today. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have. You could be a Mommy blogger and make use of Facebook Live. You can also own a bakery. It will work wonders for you. Let’s look at several reasons to go live on Facebook so that you can get started.

1. To Create Buzz on a Project You’re Starting – One way to get your audience excited about what you’re working on is to talk about it as you work on it. Tell them what you’re going to name it and tell them what it’s going to include. Get their feedback on what they think so you can perfect it and make it what they want and need.

2. To Explain a Difficult Concept – When you have something you want to explain to your audience, something that is hard to demonstrate with only text, video can do wonders. You can teach the proper way to mix a cake, how to code something, or how you organize your files. If it needs visuals, going live can help.

3. To Answer Questions You Got in Email – If you get regular questions in email, on social media, or in your help desk that you think would be great to answer on live, do it. You can go live for just one question at a time, then add the recorded videos to your help desk.

4. To Launch a New Product or Service – If you have finished creating a new product or service and you’re ready to make sales, use a live event on Facebook as part of your launch. You can even record yourself clicking to make the site live. This is a great way to get people excited, especially if you offer a special launch coupon code.

5. To Conduct a “How To” Webinar – If you need to teach something to your audience, Facebook Live is the perfect way to do it. The stream can last up to four hours, so you should be able to teach a lot to your audience in that time frame.

6. To Host a Panel Discussion – Hosting a panel discussion with other experts is a great way to boost your own credibility, plus give your panel a platform to teach something to your audience. Your audience will be thrilled that you brought them experts too.

7. To Broadcast an Event – Are you at an event that’s relevant, or at an event and you thought of something relevant to share? Even if you’re just taking a walk and think of something important to share with your audience, it’s always a good time to go live.

8. To Stream a Relevant Interview – If you plan to interview someone for a blog post, an article, or a review, a great way to do it is to interview them live for Facebook. Later you can transcribe the interview and repurpose it more easily.

9. To Cheer on Your Affiliates – People like to be praised and encouraged. Use Facebook Live in your affiliate group to talk about who is making the most sales, and to give tips about how to make more sales.

10. To Announce Breaking News – A wonderful use of Facebook Live is to announce breaking news. Selling more than ever before? Tell the world. Find out some juicy industry info going down? Go live. It’s fun to be on the cusp of exciting news.

Which one are you going to try first? Remember, you can always delete it. If you want to practice, set your settings so that it’s only showing to yourself, or create a small group of friends to help you practice. Once you get the hang of it, you can go live whenever you want to share something with your audience.