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Two Sides of the Stick

Amy V. Strong, ScD shares how we can embody a more positive outlook.



Every now and then, I’ll listen to an Abraham-Hicks audio clip. I’m not sure where you are on the spectrum of believing in mediums who translate the thoughts of infinite intelligence, and I’m not sure where I am either. But I do know that wherever the Abraham-Hicks teachings come from, I’m always 100% on board with them.

In one recent listening, Abraham was talking about the fact that every single aspect of life can be represented by a stick. You can pick up the stick of your health, your relationships, your self-worth. And every stick has two opposing sides. On one side, you find all the negative facets of the thing, for example, your relationship. Your marriage is crumbling, your partner barely sees you anymore, you can’t think of the last time you laughed together. 

But there is also, always, that other side of the stick. The positive side. Your partner rubs your shoulders when you look tired. They pour you an excellent martini whenever you ask. They’ve known you for ages and can tell when you need some space or a hug.

Chances are, for any stick topic, your life exists somewhere in the middle of the two. Rarely are you in the most perfect probable state. But likewise, it’s unlikely you are experiencing the worst of all possible moments at all times. 

And here’s the thing. When you think of your life, you can choose which side of the stick is up. And yet what do we do? We pick up the stick and look at the crappy side. We inspect it, every splinter, every piece of crumbling bark. We perseverate on all the things that are wrong or could be. 

Isn’t it just as easy to dawdle on the other side? 

Try this. The next time you notice a negative thought in your head, write it down. Sit with that thought, without judgment, and ask yourself some questions. I love Byron Katie’s take on this, in her book Loving What Is

  • Is this thought true? 
  • Can you absolutely know it’s true? 
  • What happens (how do you feel) when you believe in that thought? 
  • Who would you be without that thought?

That last question is liberating, isn’t it? Did you just feel the weight of the world lift from your shoulders, when you imagined yourself without the burden of that negative thought?

Then Katie tells you to turn the thought around. Which is just like looking at the other side of the stick, right? I take the negative thought and I write down the exact opposite statement. Write it on a post-it (I even like to get those 2’x 2’ gigantic ones) and slap it on your bathroom mirror. Or on your car dash. Read it daily. Say it out loud. Your brain is a very funny little computer, and it will believe pretty much anything you tell it if you say it often enough. (There’s science behind this, but that’s for another post.)

Here’s an example, from my own life. My struggle bus lately often has this thought aboard: “I am not doing enough to build my business.” I write that down, ask myself the questions, and it goes like this:

  • Is this true? Well, yeah, I thought I would have X clients by now and I only have Y.
  • Can you absolutely know it’s true? I mean, I guess having Y clients is a good start. Whatever I’ve done up to this point was good enough to attract Y people. But it’s still not enough.
  • What happens (how do you feel) when you believe in that thought? I feel like I’ll never get my business off the ground. Like I don’t have what it takes. Like I should just quit now before I waste any more time. Like success will never come.
  • Who would you be without that thought? I would be liberated from the pressures of judging myself as a business owner and coach. I would be free to enjoy the work I do with the clients I have. I would look forward to opening my laptop each day and finding new ways to help people.

I don’t know about you, but I like that person in the fourth bullet a whole lot better than the one in the first three. So, I put a Post-It in my office that says this: “I have powerful business instincts, I have a gift that truly helps people, and my business is growing into everything I want it to be.”

Here’s a little secret: I DO NOT actually have powerful business instincts.

And that’s ok. When we look at the other side of the stick, we embrace parts of our life that are not true YET. I write down this thought anyway because this is where I am going. This is the direction my boat is sailing. I set my course in that direction, knowing there’s a long way to go, and the only way to get there is to pick a star in the sky and sail towards it.

The other side of the stick, the negative thought turned around, is your star. Go stare at it for a while and see the powerful effect the other side of the stick can have on your life.

Amy V. Strong, ScD is the founder of The Solver Space, a virtual strategic planning business. She helps high-performing professionals create strategic plans for their lives and organizations so every precious minute in their crazy busy day goes to building a richer and more fulfilling life and business. Dr. Strong has almost 15 years of experience in strategic planning at all levels of government and the military.

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Creating an Empowered Relationship with Your Past, Healing, and Money with Finnian Kelly

Finnian Kelly teaches us to create an empowered relationship with our past, healing and money.



Finnian Kelly

Finnian Kelly is youthful thirty-six years old and if you didn’t know this little fact, you’d think he was three decades older with all his accomplishments, business ventures, professional accolades, and educational pursuits.

Finnian and I open with discussing his early life as a young adult and his decision to join the military. This is curious pin on his winding life journey was interesting to me and I wanted to understand more about this decision point. Finnian shares how he grew up in a family of doctors like many of us–Finnian’s family valued the hierarchical societal stature physician’s held and the implied respect and honor they received, by just being a medical doctor.  He was conditioned to believe this was the life path and was encouraged from within his family to pursue medicine.

Finnian decided to reject this clear, predetermined path and he enrolled in the military for seven years. He states the hindsight of that experience showed him that no one should be willing to give that much time of their life away in a single swoop of a signature. Secondly, that its not good to make decisions in opposition of our early life experiences or the people who are trying to lovingly guide us.

We do however have to choose for ourselves at some point, Finnian says. To look in the depths our being and ask with assurance and confidence “What do I want?”  Then take deliberate action in the direction of what you want and how you want to feel (which is how Finnian describes intentionality).

After departing from military life and having earned three degrees Finnian followed an intuition about cultivating a career in finance. This is where he hit his stride and on paper he had clicked all the boxes one can in terms of perceived success. Scaling up multimillion dollar businesses, creating financial security and stability, living a life of pleasure and leisure on the ski slopes, and finding a life partner.

Finnian’s life began to unraveled and he endured setbacks that rippled across various areas of his life.

It was in the aftermath of this experience that he really found himself and began to develop an empowered mindset around happiness and success. Finnian says that he truly believes each one of us chooses our lives; the suffering, pain, happiness, joy, all of it. Losing our way helps us return to the truth of who we are. It’s a recalibration. A spiritual level set. That compassionately brings us back to center.

Coming back to center, Finnian has poured his focus into intentionality and living from a place of love instead of fear. He’s using his gifts helping people as a business mystic and finance guru to align their spirituality into their businesses. He’s teaching people that we don’t have to parse out our spirituality in business, it can be there front and center and drive the mission and vision of our organizations. He goes a step further to say that living from this authentic aligned professional space can elevate our work to be more conscious, altruistic, and create ripple effect across our global economies.

My last question for Finnian revolved around the work he does helping people become more financially literate and releasing old beliefs and conditioning around money.  There are a lot of variables that can go into our perception about money, whether it is good, bad, or indifferent. What you “should” do with your money. What it means if you have a lot of money.  How your parents talked about money. How you were or were not shown how to manage money.  And if you directly correlate your worth to your net worth?

The list is endless.

Finnian takes a compassionately empowered approach, by first allowing the listeners to let go of old narratives around money. You know, the stories our parents told us about money. Those are their stories. Their relationship with money has nothing to do with ours. “We can be controlled by money by letting the beliefs cascaded to us to continue to control or we choose to live consciously with money.” Finnian states.

He then asks the listeners to bring in awareness about the stories we tell ourselves about money and decide today to take 100% responsibility for how we will change that story and empower ourselves to write a new story. And chart a new course for our relationship with money.  Like many things in life, money only carries the charge and intention we put behind it. Yes, we have challenging situations throughout our life, Finnian reminds the audience–this is not a practice in bypassing the reality of not having a high paying job, or being unemployed, or having slower sales this year from previous years. He is calling attention to the thoughts that creep in when we interact with money, whether it is in times of lack, abundance and everything in between.

“Money is a spiritual tool. It’s something we’ve all agreed to, its the thread that flows through everything. Money isn’t bad in itself, it’s our relationship with money and our energetic vibration that we connect with money. Money is a way for us to exchange value.”

Finnian goes onto to say “If you are a spiritual person and you are delivering some form of value and one way for that to be recognized and to create an equal relationship is to receive money back for it. If we don’t receive the correct amount money, we lower ourselves and we don’t value ourselves.  That means we are putting a low energetic-vibration-connection connected to our work and this plays out a cycle.”

Finnian articulates that our spiritual work is helping the collective rise, it has a butterfly effect because when we help others they go out into the world and help others as well. Our work changes everything, so let’s start by setting our value financially and spiritually in alignment with the highest good for all involved.


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How to Be Spiritual in the Real World with Kim Porter

Life and Business Coach Kim Porter shares how to bring your spiritual practice into the chaos of the real world.



So you’ve been deep in flow with your highest self, but it’s time to do some “human responsibilities.” How can you bring back key elements of your spiritual practice as you navigate the real world? Life and Business Coach Kim Porter shares some easy ideas.

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I Am Letting That Sh*t Go with Nina Purewal

Co-Author of “Let That Sh*t Go” Nina Purewal shares how we can be present and powerful.



I AM Series is an Instagram Live series that highlights wisdom and insight for your now moments.

Co-Author of the international best selling book “Let That Sh*t Go” @nina.pure.minds shares how we can begin to quiet the mind, find more presence, and step into your most authentic self.

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