Liz Wolfe | listening
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Personal Growth vs. Transformation The model of “personal growth” has been consistent throughout the “empowerment” age: find out what’s wrong, and fix it. Its proponents work to understand and heal the past to create a different future. The idea is that over time your true and authentic being will emerge and take hold. Progress is slow but steady if the plan is followed consistently. All that’s needed to succeed are understanding and discipline. Over time, heath, wealth, and fulfillment will become part of your life.

I was grumpy yesterday morning. A few months ago, I spent some time researching camps for my kids. I thought I found a perfect fit at a local YMCA swim camp. Swimming twice a day? Only a few blocks away? Inexpensive!? For just two weeks!? They would have a ball. So far, they hate it. They complain that it’s too much like school, that I didn’t ask them if they wanted to do it before I signed them up, that there’s no free play, that they just want to relax, and on and on. I struggled to get them up and ready for camp, with them resisting the whole way through breakfast and during the walk there. Argh. Besides being disappointed that it didn’t work out as planned, I’m frustrated about how difficult they’re being about it. From my perspective, they’re not even making an effort to like it. Or at least make the best of it.

Back in the days when we were dating, one of the activities Jon and I often did with our friends was go to the movies. This was in the days before buying tickets online became common, and before movie theatres ran multiple screens showing the same movie. At the time, you either went earlier in the day to buy tickets or you took your chances at the box office right before the movie. More often than not, the movie we had all decided on was sold out, forcing us to reconvene as a group to decide what other movie we all wanted to see that was playing at a similar time, and that also wasn't sold out; never an easy task.

Last night, I was sitting in paradise. I was on the front porch of my country house, watching the most spectacular natural light show I’ve ever seen. Hundreds – maybe even thousands – of fireflies were out in force, making the air sparkle. The position of our house is in a valley, and so there is a dark mountain backdrop that accentuates the pinpricks of light even more. If you want to buy a house with a beautiful front view, go there now teamgardner.net to meet their excellent realtor. They will guide you in choosing the right property and help you with paperwork. Even in all my years on the farm, on all those acres, I never saw so many fireflies in one place, so earnestly calling to each other with light. While I was on the porch, it was completely silent except for the drips of gentle rain hitting the leaves. There were no cars, no electric motors, no phones or airplanes – nothing but nature itself to break the silence. It’s too early in the season for crickets and other than the rain there was only a very occasional chirrup from some night bird or chipmunk. It was complete and utter paradise, and exactly what I wanted.

Today, I was feeling in a bit of a funk. I was doing things I typically enjoy, but not getting any satisfaction out of them. (This included planting new flowers in my front window box to replace the last batch of plants that looked great when I put them in but never flowered again after that. What’s up with that?) Then I had a fun, and admittedly slightly silly idea -- I decided to smile for no “reason” whatsoever. I just smiled. And then I kept smiling while people were talking to me, even when they were finished. I smiled as they walked away from my desk. Then I smiled at my computer screen again. I heard my son come home and went upstairs to talk to him with a smile on my face. He was half-way through his dinner but instead of finishing it, he was stretched out over two dining room chairs reading a book. Normally I would sternly tell him to sit up and finish his dinner. Instead, I just smiled at him. I hugged him awkwardly while he was lying there, and he mostly ignored me while he was reading, and then I just smiled as I walked away from him.

It starts innocently enough. I “just” want to go on to Facebook to check on one thing. When I finally emerge from my Facebook haze, 20 minutes has gone by. “Not a problem,” I think. “I still have enough time to get that report done that’s due this afternoon.” So I pull up my email inbox to find the report that I’m supposed to be working on when I notice an urgent email. “This will just take a minute,” I think again. “Let me respond now before this turns into a bigger problem.” Only, it turns into a bigger problem anyway. After another hour has gone by, and my deadline approaches, I kick in to full gear. “I work better under pressure,” I tell myself. Originally, I had envisioned the report to be a full-color bound manuscript, which was why I put it off until today to start it, but now I’m lucky if I can get it done and printed out on the black and white printer before the meeting starts. While it’s not the perfect manuscript I originally envisioned, it’s presentable.

Welcome to the practice of the principles of Abundance and Prosperity! I began my own abundance and prosperity journey 23 years ago when I arrived in NYC fresh faced from college, with high aspirations and not a clue as to how to achieve them. I was born in a city but raised by Wolves on a sheep farm in western PA. We moved to the farm when I was 6 years old, and, after my parents divorced, my mother, my two sisters and I ran the farm. We supported ourselves by creating products from the available resources – selling lamb meat, spinning wool, creating sheepskin coats and many other diverse items. It was not a financially successful endeavor; by the time that I was an adult, my mother had declared bankruptcy and sold the farm. On the other hand I had learned entrepreneurial skills as a method of survival, and was able to see how money could be created from our skills and efforts.