Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fine Tune Your Life for the New Year or Any Time of Year

There’s a simple way to re-focus your time and energy to get a better start and results in a new year—or any time of year—in any area of your life. Just ask yourself the two questions offered here.

Two emails I received reminded me about the principle described below. I’d already had in mind to do a similar process, but felt nudged to really “go there” using this formula.

Maybe you’ve heard of the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 Rule. It maintains that around 20 percent of what you do each day creates 80 percent of your desired results . . . including fulfillment. So it follows that 80 percent of your time should focus on the 20 percent that creates desired results. Stated simply: Review what “grows corn” for you and what doesn’t. This applies to both business and life.

The questions are:

What is the 20 percent you do that creates 80 percent of desired results (including fulfillment—a key ingredient)?
What is the 80 percent you do that doesn’t?

This 80/20 formula applies to any area of your life. It’s a good time to revisit what these areas are.
Personal development
Spiritual development
Fun and relaxation/recharge time
Intimate and social relationships
Health
Financial health
Career/Job/Profession
Family
Physical spaces
Emotional well-being

You can look at each of the above in turn and apply the formula in a way appropriate for you, but here’s one activity that may bog you down in any area: Do you give 80 percent of your time and energy to talking and/or thinking about matters you’re not happy with rather than applying an effective 20 percent to taking inner or outer actions that can create desired outcomes—even if some of these affect you at the inner level only?

Here are some general questions you may consider applying the 20/80 or 80/20 Rule to.

What’s in your living space or closets? Don’t give away any treasures, but what do you have and don’t use (and won’t) that someone would love to have or would benefit from having—or that you might even sell?
What about what’s on your bookshelf, your desk, your sticky notes, your short- and long-term goals list?
How do you use your money?
How does this rule relate to nurturing your personal relationships?
What’s your belief-in-scarcity vs. belief-in-abundance ratio?
What does this formula reveal about your self-talk and self-appreciation?
What does this look like regarding social sites you’re signed up on? (Are you signed up because it was “recommended”—and this creates busywork, or are these sites ones you feel enthused about building community on?)
What else comes to mind that you might apply this rule to?

If you hesitate to part with any material thing, task, or behavior that doesn’t “grow corn for you,” ask yourself what may be stopping you. If your answer is, “I don’t know,” then I ask you: If you did know, what might it be?

Any time is a good time to tune up your life so you experience more success and fulfillment. Otherwise, it can be like nailing your shoe to the floor and turning in circles non-stop: you’re active (moving about), but going nowhere. Too much emphasis is placed on always doing something, which leaves little time to reflect. Time given to quality reflection and assessment about your 20/80 can make a real difference in your life, starting immediately.

A wonderful experience happens when you remove clutter of any kind from your life (thoughts, things, and tasks): you see real opportunities that were hidden behind and under physical, mental, and emotional clutter. You create time and space to look at what you have and what you really want . . . and to go for it.

When you tune up, it’s easier to tune in to experiences you really want to create.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR ON YOUR WEBSITE?

You can. Just use my bio as a complete statement.

Shift Happens. But, the shift you want can happen faster with a coach. Joyce Shafer (jls1422@yahoo.com) – You Are More! Empowerment Coach and author of Reinvent Yourself—coaching to meet your desired experiences and outcomes. Learn about the buddy-coaching discount, energy expansion e-books, and read her most recent newsletter—all designed to enrich your life experience at http://stateofappreciation.webs.com

Friday, December 18, 2009

Do We Teach People How to Treat Us?

We can teach others how to treat us, but others also reflect to us how we treat ourselves (self-value), which is often a more subtle dynamic. Do you see how this creates a loop?

Let’s bypass childhood and more extreme scenarios, as both of those are different conversations. Let’s consider you’re an adult living a non-extreme life. We want to look at the “in general” aspect for our purposes.

If you’ve ever thought about what “We teach people how to treat us” means, you may have believed it related solely to what you allow—that you stand up for yourself and/or allow only what is appropriate for you—or you don’t, or do so in a limited manner. And, that’s a valid definition. It’s also the outer approach; and there’s a variety of ways to improve this, if needed.

But, you’re more than just a physical being. A good deal of what you experience in your outer life is, indeed, a result of what goes on in your inner life. (There is a school of thought that everything you experience at the outer level is a direct result of the inner—but that, too, is another conversation.)

Let’s say you feel someone (or more than one person) doesn’t treat you as though you have value. Let’s check your Value Well: how well do you value yourself?

If you’re a service provider, do you undervalue what you offer because of this?

If you fully accepted your innate value, how might the way you experience your life be different? How might you feel or respond if anyone indicated they valued you less than you value yourself?

Does anyone not honor your boundaries? Do you honor your boundaries? When you do, what’s different about what you allow yourself to engage in or how others engage with you?

When someone treats you in a way you don’t appreciate, you have a right to respond appropriately. Then, take a moment to consider if they acted as a mirror for you . . . and decide to respond appropriately at the inner level. Whatever others “do” to us, we tend to do in even greater measure to ourselves.

I’m not saying others will change their personalities if you use this process to create inner shifts—nor is that your concern; but you will experience yourself, them, and your life differently—from a more Self Empowered place if you do. You’ll be able to respond in your best interest rather than feel controlled by what seems like random outer experiences.

Let go of any Self beliefs influenced by your past. The past is only a memory in the present moment. You’re here, therefore, you have value. If you’ve estimated your value based on what others have said about you or said and done to you, and this comes up negative, now seems a good time to see this for what it is and begin to shift it.

You are far more than you ever imagined. Give yourself permission to live it—starting with yourself.

See the latest issue of my free newsletter at http://stateofappreciation.webs.com

http://www.scribd.com/doc/23362264/Joyce-Shafer-You-Are-More (18 Thought-Provoking Articles Collective: read or download at no cost)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Create Your Order Form for 2010

This is THE time to get clear about what you want so you know what to aim at. Here’s a simple technique that helps you do this AND expand your magnetic energy.

Whatever you desire does not have to be important to others, only to you.

You know what you want in the areas of work, finance, family, personal development, spiritual development, social and intimate relationships, fun, and health. Or, maybe you sort of know what you want.

One way to amp up your energy and enthusiasm about a dream, goal, or desired outcome is to look at it more thoroughly than you may have. If you do what’s suggested below, you’ll get clearer and create an order form that inspires and guides you as you move forward, and makes your energy magnetic.

Get a sheet of paper and a pen or create columns in a document on your computer. Pick something about your life or business you want to see happen, or take each life area listed above and give them their turn.

First column: Write what you don’t want (don’t list feelings here—they have their own column).You’d write something like I don’t want less than ten new clients a month; I don’t want clients who don’t pay, don’t have a sense of humor, etc. Or, I don’t want a relationship with someone who doesn’t share my core values; is emotionally or otherwise unavailable, etc. If you really want to amp this up, write down everything you don’t want in every area of your life. Really purge here. Vent like crazy.

If you believe that positive thinking means you shouldn’t focus on what you don’t want, this is called denial. What you don’t want is rambling around in your subconscious anyway. You might as well give it an opportunity to be heard. Self-sabotage usually happens when our conscious and subconscious thoughts conflict. Get the Don’t Wants out instead of trying to suppress them.

Second column: Write what you don’t want to feel (afraid, unsuccessful, taken for granted, overworked, confused, afraid of failure—or success, unloved if you’re prosperous, etc.). Go ahead and give voice to any and every such feeling.

Third column: Write what you do want (ten or more new clients a month; meet and get to know one or more new people also interested in a relationship, etc.). If you’re inclined, amp this one up as recommended for the Don’t Wants. No limits—if you want it, write it down—anything, everything. If you’ve been holding back, now is your time to let loose.

Fourth column: Write what you do want to feel. List everything until nothing else comes up (valued, appreciated, respected, confident, on purpose, fulfilled, prosperous, safe and accepted and loved if you have more, etc.).

Fifth column: Write why you want it. Really let loose with this one. Whatever your why is, let it talk to you. When you find your why and it’s compelling, you amaze yourself with the inspired ideas and actions that come to you. If your why isn’t compelling, check to see if it’s a case of “It would be nice . . .” rather than “I passionately intend it” (wish vs. commitment).

Sixth column: Write how you will feel once you have this (fulfilled, validated, free, on purpose, etc.).

Seventh column: Write how others will feel once you have this. How will your new clients feel when they work with you as a confident, fulfilled person? How will your staff and/or family feel when they see you feeling so good? How will the person you move towards or into a relationship with feel about being around you, especially if you feel happy with yourself and your life?

Eighth column: Create a statement that helps you amp up your energy about this. You want a statement you can really buy into. If, at this time, you feel unsure about getting ten new clients a month or finding someone who wants to be in a relationship with you, writing that you have something as a given won’t work, because you’re not on board with it yet. And, that’s fine. What about this: I want to believe that I can find a way to get ten new clients a month; or meet someone I eventually share a relationship with; or feel safe about having more of everything in my life, including money. See how this is a true statement but it doesn’t put pressure on you?

Ninth column: Next actions. Maybe one or more next actions (inner or outer) come to you now or came to you as you wrote your responses. If not, not a problem. Write that you ask to be shown one or more next actions and know that because your focus is on receiving them, you will.

Before you go to sleep each night, write your statement. What you’ll notice is that your statement will change as you open to next actions and/or take them. You’ll move from “I want to believe” to “I believe” to “I can” to “I have” or “I am.”

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to Find Your Infinite Abundance

Infinite abundance is our modern-day sought-after Holy Grail. But, if you seek it, it’s because you don’t know where to look.

Let’s cut to the chase with a parallel. If you want to listen to, say, soft rock on the radio, you turn on the radio, tune to a station that plays soft rock, and—voila!—you’ve made the desired connection. However, I ask that you shift focus from the outcome to the process.

Did you create a detailed plan and strategies to follow step-by-step to tune in?
Did you believe you had to find a way to accumulate signals because you feared they’d run out?
Did you perform an involved ritual to align your energy with the signals?
Did you affirm, use a technique, or do anything to attract the signals to you?
Nope.

These are, after all, techniques proven to help you get desired results, right? You may have researched where to find such stations or asked others; but you’d still have to “turn on and tune in” to find the one that matched your desired experience and note its setting. If you’d used one or all of the above methods, you definitely would have influenced your experience. But, none of them directly relate to the Truth: Radio signals are in the air, all around you all the time, available to supply your desired experience as soon as you tune in. And, your desired experience is for songs to flow to you not to play all at once.

It’s the same for infinite abundance. It’s not only all around you, though, you’re it and it’s you—because you’re both the same energy, vibration, consciousness—whatever word you prefer. Simple, yes . . . but not necessarily easy—because most of us believe something other than what is.

Any technique you use to “connect” with infinite abundance is designed to help you shift a belief that’s opposite of the Truth, as described above. A technique helps you allow yourself to become accustomed to FEELING the Truth. As you expand your ability to really feel this—to feel non-separation from infinite abundance—you begin to realize that feeling it is your shortcut to expanding your conscious experience of it.

But, you won’t tune in as clearly and consistently as you’d like until you desire to expand your awareness of this Truth and your deliberate oneness with it as much as (but I recommend more than) you desire the outcomes you seek.

Allowing opposite beliefs to continue to run is like multiple stations playing at once. Moving from technique to technique, driven by the belief that the power resides in a technique, is like passing through lots of stations hoping the right one chooses you. This is NOT a criticism of techniques. They can be highly beneficial and even fun to use. But, peel away the “layers” and there’s one imperative underlying any technique that “works”—BELIEF.

You may intellectually accept that infinite abundance exists, that the universe conspires in your favor—whatever it is you truly want to or choose to believe; but as long as you doubt it or look for it outside yourself, it can’t exist for you as fully as you desire. Do your thoughts, especially your emotionally-charged ones, negate or repel infinite abundance (or whatever you desire) as your Truth, or do they allow it to be? If you’re tense, you’re not receptive, and push away what you want when it nears.

It seems ludicrous to Calm Down when your situation is frustrating (or dire); and, aligning your vibrations (tune in to the right station) may feel utterly woo-woo. That’s dandy to do when things are flowing in a “better” direction, but NOT when you’re feeling like this!

Yet, that’s the very time you need it. And, it takes more courage to FEEL the Truth when you need it than it does not to. This gets tangled because you want a desired outcome . . . NOW! It’s understandable why we get fixated on outcomes: the motivation behind everything we do is to feel a certain way. Extra tension is added if you feel influenced or imposed upon by the opinions of others.

Brief exercise: allow the feeling perception of no separation between your energy and the energy of everything in the space where you are (quantum physics fact). Expand this to include beyond the space where you are. Now consider this: The energy IS Infinite Abundance by its very nature.

Your conscious mind, for the specific purpose of having experiences, perceives separation that doesn’t actually exist.

Radio signals may be invisible to your human eye, but they aren’t hiding from you—they don’t go missing and have to be found or coaxed back. You can tune in when you choose to because the signals are always with you. It’s the same with infinite abundance.

One setting that finetunes your reception experience is to feel appreciation for the abundance of what is. It’s here—look around you, at the world, at the universe; though, you may have tuned into other stations and now wish to tune into a new one to have a different experience. And, please, remember the definition of abundance isn’t limited to money or tangibles only. If you choose to expand this appreciation, it not only opens you to receive, but to receive inspirations so you can also give in ways that are joyful and meaningful for you.

You don’t have to look for infinite abundance; you do have to feel its Truth as your true nature. Allow time to integrate this and for its evidences to unfold in your life. After all, you may have believed the opposite for quite a long time.

New Year ~ "New" You


If you’re someone who amid holiday and end-of-year busyness also makes time to review the passing year and your dreams or goals for the new one—the current issue of “No Limits For Me” has something in it just for you. Issue No. 34 features two of my articles about New Year resolutions (why they may not work and how to align with what you really want) and the You Are More! EXTRA with 18 select articles of mine that help you look at self-worth, abundance and prosperity, self-empowerment, and more—perhaps in new ways. You can read this issue now at http://www.nolimitsforme.com/No-Limits.html. (This EXTRA made Scribd’s Hot List within the first week it was available! http://www.scribd.com/doc/23362264/Joyce-Shafer-You-Are-More)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Is Your Wall Actually a Bridge?

It can happen when you start something new or bump into something old: you feel contrasts that seem like walls. What if a wall is really a bridge in disguise?

Someone I know mentioned a desire to start using guided meditation as part of her process not only to learn to relax but also manage and shift some of her habitual thoughts. I gave her a CD I had. The next morning she shared she didn’t think it would help. Every time the speaker instructed her to imagine something, she experienced a contrast. The contrasts that surfaced in her mind caused her to charge up negative associations. Instead of relaxing, she got more and more tense. Her initial and understandable judgment was that she’d hit a wall, or several, and couldn’t go any further.

The opportunity is she can observe where her thoughts lead her feelings to go, and which ones don’t work in her best interest or create the type experiences she truly desires—the most important bit being how she can choose what to feel—no matter what. This is a key point because . . .

What we ultimately want is a way to consistently return ourselves to the feeling state we desire when we’re pulled off center. If we think we want to change others or events that trigger reactions, we misplace our focus and wonder why our results don’t match our desired experience.

When you start something new, you’re like an untested rubber band that’s never been stretched in that particular way. You may feel constricted because of this or actually constrict against it.

When you perceive you face a wall and can’t move forward, the temptation is to believe what you perceive, call it a day, and go back the way you came. If you knew there was a switch that converted a wall into a bridge that led to a better place, would you look for it?

You may find the Power Tool I use as a switch beneficial.

I’ve divided thoughts into two worlds, and consider each as games I can “play.”

The limited world—
The power is outside of me.
This world embraces struggle, working long and hard, believing what experiences look like.
The past has more influence than this moment.
Worry and negative anticipation make sense.
Abundance, prosperity, joy, creativity, and ease are not my natural states.
What I think, believe, and feel have no effect on what I experience, because these are influenced by my outer experiences and others.
Any other form of limitation, whether inner or outer, lives here.

The Unlimited World is opposite of the Limited one.

Which of these worlds do you occupy or play in more often?

I make it a point to notice my thoughts and ask which world they belong to, which game they support me to play. This may seem simplistic, but asking myself this question has become an invaluable way for me to quickly refocus my energy and aim at my true targets. It’s a process that allows me to determine if a wall (perception, assumption, belief) is actually a bridge to a better game and experience.

You may feel that paying attention to your thoughts is like adding one more task to an already long list. But, what happens as you consistently do this is you lighten your load. All those non-supportive thoughts are like differently sized and weighted stones you carry in a sack over your shoulder. Recognize that you had to, at one time, pick them up and place them in the sack. Only you can pull each one out, look at it, and decide whether or not to keep lugging it with you.

Contrasting thoughts are not ones to avoid. If you manage them properly, you open a bridge that leads to more joyful, fulfilling experiences.

If joy, ease, and fulfillment are your desired experiences, get your e-copy of Reinvent Yourself: Refuse to Settle for Less in Life and Business today, or learn about the coaching program. Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach and author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say (jls1422@yahoo.com). Get 8 FREE life-enhancing e-books, all of her e-books at a bargain—plus a gift (Discovering Your Life Purpose), and see her services at http://joyceshafer-ebookbundle.webs.com

Friday, November 20, 2009

Are You Thinking or Processing?

Surely, the mental energy you’re giving current (or old) issues is accomplishing something, right? It depends on if you’re thinking or processing.

You, too, may appreciate this exchange between Bob Proctor and Leslie Householder when they met, before she wrote her first book that became a best-seller. He told her she was fairly balanced between right and left brain but was more of a creative type. She disagreed and informed him she was a math major, analytical, that she constantly thought about her life and everything (always in thinking mode). She admitted she was a processor. (Processing is when you hash out data and details, real and imaginary, whether to others or to yourself—more than once . . . often WAY more than once.)

Bob responded:

“You’re not thinking. You’re mind is busy; but you’re not thinking.”

Leslie said she, first, wondered if she’d just been insulted and went on to process his comment for a year. She then explained the difference: “When you THINK, you create a NEW idea.”

A new idea. Not a rehashed old one. New means you’ve never thought of this particular “something” or thought of it in quite this way, or had this idea or seen it in this new light. Leslie added that Bob knew her tendency to process instead of think was what prevented her desired positive changes from happening.

Shifting this can be a real challenge because your mind may be well practiced to replay and replay and replay—either what happened, how it might have gone (but didn’t), a worse-case scenario, moments from the past, conversations you’ve had or wish you’d had or plan to have . . . and in all that thought movement, you never once focus on a new way to approach the issue or allow in an original idea.

You might also replay core beliefs and contrasts at the same time you strive to affirm new ones. Your conscious mind may affirm: I attract/match my vibration with abundance. Your subconscious hears you, says okay, and starts this in progress. Then your conscious mind reminds your subconscious core about deep-level programs running—evidenced by what you’ve experienced (your experiences prove “something,” don’t they?)—and says things like, “But, I don’t see it. I want it yesterday. How long do I have to wait?! I never have original ideas. EVERYTHING IS A STRUGGLE!” You begin to process, based on your five senses—and past, which leads you to charge these thoughts with LOTS of emotion.

And your subconscious mind responds: “Okay; got it. You don’t see it, even if it’s in the room with you; and if IT is right outside your door, you’ll keep the door closed. If it wasn’t here yesterday, it’s never coming. You want to know how long you have to wait. Let’s find out how long because Waiting and Have It/Are It are two different programs/emotionally-charged feelings; and the one you believe more gets fulfilled first. You’re not open to receive original ideas, so we’ll replay old ones because that’s what’s available; and if we need to, we’ll borrow from others—because you Never have original ideas. Everything is a struggle for you. I’ll get to work on making sure you’re proved right—because I’m programmed to believe you are and act on it.”

A new thought or idea comes to a calm mind, a mind open because it’s uncluttered, free of the wasteful energy of processing—and (gulp) panicking. This includes transforming an old idea that pops into mind, into a new idea, then charging it up with feeling it as your reality (it really could be). If your old thoughts haven’t changed your reality experience yet, why not try new ones.

Processing is wearing; it’s exhausting, among other things. It tells you lies such as the ones listed above. I could say, “Hey, if you’re going to lie to yourself, do it in your favor;” but you’d have to release processing and embrace thinking. And, you’d have to do this deliberately every time you head towards busy mind rather than mindfulness.

One reason we struggle with this is demonstrated by a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes: “The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size.” Your inner self knows what’s described here is true. It also knows what it takes to make it true for you consistently. It’s natural to be inclined to revert to the “usual” ways. But, once you’ve so much as entertained the idea of a new, better way, old ways no longer feel like a good fit—they cease to feel like a “comfort” zone. And, the idea that if you deliberately calm down and shift your energy, you create change or a more positive experience just seems ridiculous when you’re stressed, even if you know what kind of results to expect if you follow the “usual” approach. Higher awareness applied to anything creates different, improved results.

For the rest of today, pay attention to the conversations you have with yourself (and others). If you find that you slip into processing, pause and say to yourself, “Your mind is busy, but you’re not thinking.”

If you’ve ever looked for a successful way to quiet your mind, this will help you do it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

What Is Your Core Safety Switch That Stops Your Success?

You may have a core “switch” set to keep you safe. What if self-sabotage is actually your switch doing its job? Maybe it’s time you give this a closer look.

You can apply what follows to any area of your life where you feel attaining success is a struggle, but let’s start with money/wealth/abundance—whatever your word choice is . . . because money has such highly-charged emotional, self-worth, self-esteem attachments to it.

Let’s imagine you don’t have the financial situation you’d prefer—but you really want it. You use a variety of methods to assist you: affirmations, visions, vision boards, and so forth. You read and sign up for anything about attaining wealth (or even just easier financial months), whether this is specific business or online strategies or ways to eliminate blocking beliefs about money, success, etc. Whatever the means, you put a lot of hours towards this, including thinking or worrying about it.

And you’re still not where you want to be.

Give an honest answer: What kinds of comments do you make to others and in your mind about people with money or wealth?

It probably has something to do with them behaving “badly”—even if you know people with wealth and success who don’t demonstrate those behaviors. What you probably don’t say is, “People with wealth may have other blocks, but they don’t have them about having money.”

People who behave “badly” will do so with or without wealth; so, this is a good time for you to separate behaviors from having money. The fact there are people of wealth who behave with integrity and generosity disproves such a blanket statement. Is that separate for you now? Can you see they aren’t joined?

If what’s described above is your core belief, you will never have wealth. Or, if you get it, you won’t keep it or consistently replenish it as you use it.

Because at your core is a safety switch. Its program is likely: “We (you, your family, friends, associates) detest people with money: they behave badly. They (fill in the blank).” Your safety switch will protect you from ever becoming One of Those People. No matter how much you desire it. Once you switch your switch, you’ll attract or tune in to strategies and opportunities you have head and heart alignment with; and shift and expansion will happen. It will feel more effortless than you’ve experienced before. Maybe your switch gets reprogrammed to know and allow, “Financial freedom—whatever that means to me—is fabulous, fun, and allows me full self-expression and fulfillment.”

Know that when the shift begins to happen, it will be in the way that supports your personal evolution best, whether that’s gradual or more immediate. This mostly depends on how aligned you are with the new program as your truth.

Vernon Howard said, “We are slaves to whatever we don’t understand.” One of the key things people tend to not understand about any success that is fulfilling is that it has to come from what they truly want to do (are aligned with), makes them feel enthusiastic, and yes, even fun for them.

You’re told to put focus on the outcomes you desire. That’s good advice because if you do this in the most productive way, you’re not focused on what you don’t want or have, not living in the past (or the future)—you’re living Right Now, which is where your power lives.

The well known phrase, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey,” can also be stated as, “It’s not the outcome, it’s the desired experience—in this moment (which creates the next moments).”

I know, I know. You want the outcomes; but the quality of the outcomes will shift and expand if you aim at the desired experience quality—because it takes your focus from primarily on outcomes and puts them where they belong: the energetic creative process and you as the driver of your life. You’re conditioned to believe what your experience looks like is more important than being able to consciously create experiences you desire, over and over. When you understand this, you won’t be a slave to externals—because you’ll know the power comes from you.

Check to see if there’s a safety switch that runs contrary to any of this information. And, check what your real Self image is such as
I can only live a smaller, more circumscribed life (though I desire more)
If I have more money or wealth, I’ll be one of “them” (I’ll hate me, others will hate me)
If I do what really fuels me, others will resent me (what others think is appropriate for me is more important/true than what I think)
I have to accept whatever is “given” to me in my personal and professional life (the external world has the power; it controls my experiences and outcomes)
I have to have a certain level of education, know the right people, work my backside off—be “perfect” . . . .

Do you know anyone who lives the opposite of the beliefs listed and not listed above, and is successful and genuinely happy in their life?

Consider how all that’s been presented here connects. What’s the bigger picture for you? Which core safety switches click into the On position or want to? If the switch doesn’t serve you, how will you adjust it so it does?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Do You Feed Negativity?

When negativity knocks at your door, do you recognize it and send it away? Or do you invite it in for dinner, or worse, to stay with you as long as it likes—possibly for your lifetime?

First, be clear that being the manager of negativity in your life isn’t about the fact you have negative thoughts or feelings—you will. It isn’t about eliminating negative thoughts and feelings so you never experience them again—that’s not realistic. It is about training your conscious mind to notice such thoughts and feelings when they appear, and to recognize the different “costumes” negativity wears. You can’t manage negativity until you recognize and own how you engage it.

Whatever costume negativity puts on, what’s really embodied is fear. You might call it anger or another emotion, but underlying any negative emotion is fear—the fear you’ll lose something. This has everything to do with living in your personal power.

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said, “Natural anger lasts for only about seventeen seconds.” This means the actual emotion you feel (any negative emotion) has its full-charge expression for that period of time. Past that, your conscious (and subconscious) mind takes over, usually engaging in reactions related to whatever fear was triggered.

When fear is triggered, you may project a negative future vision. You may pull up old memories to support why you feel the way you do. You’d call this justification for the reaction. What it really is, is feeding negativity—because you aren’t focused on what you can do that’s productive; you’re focused on self-preservation at any cost. Depending on your habitual reaction mode, you may close up like a telescope or let your sharp claws and teeth out.

Here are several common forms of negativity you may feed (or feed on)—
*Prejudice of ANY kind (race, religion, financial status, etc.)
*Demonstrating lack of self-respect or respect for others (if you do one, you do the other)
*Unproductive criticism (everyone needs to vent; but there’s a productive way to do this)
Replaying past events as though they’re still happening (which only triggers more negative emotions in the present)
*Allowing more “news” into your life than you really need to know (this includes any form of “entertainment” or “information” that creates extraneous negative feelings for you about anything that doesn’t have a direct impact on your life or how you choose to engage it)
*Intentionally negative “humor” or comments (sadly, the ability to slam someone with hurtful words, directly or indirectly, is considered a prized trait)
*Paying more attention to what others are doing than what you’re doing
*Telling jokes or using comments to bash others (gender-bashing is top of this list)
*Stating speculations then acting as though they’re facts (ignoring that maybe you don’t have enough information)
*Using the words “always” and “never” (or labels), especially when you assign them to others’ behaviors (which closes your mind to allowing they “could” one day be different)

You can add more to this list as they occur to you. A good question to ask yourself whenever you do one of these is, “What fear is underneath this for me, and how can I address it appropriately?”

Feeding negativity is a learned habit. You can
1. Acknowledge you engage in it.
2. Remind yourself to get your own attention about this. Author Guy Finley said, “No intention can be any stronger than our ability to remember it in the moment that it is needed.”
3. Start now to begin to do things differently. Choose to ask if your attitude, words, and actions are aligned with opening the path for a desired productive experience and outcome. There’s a difference in telling someone you feel angry and why and asking them to participate in a mutually beneficial resolution, and verbally attacking them. There’s a difference in telling yourself what you feel, why you feel it, and considering what you can do rather than entering the negative vortex.
4. Consider how you really see your authentic self. It isn’t that you have to suppress your personality or nature. It isn’t that you have to deny and keep quiet about what you really feel. It’s about what you do from there and how you do it. What do you really want to feed—as your experience and what you believe about yourself? If you don’t believe in your personal power, and right to live from it, how can you expect to act from there?

Train yourself to respond more often than you react; and acknowledge that will take conscious energy management. Reactions happen when you feel events or others have more power than you do. They don’t; that’s an illusion. They can only have as much power over you as you give them.

Any person or event that tests your personal power is an opportunity for you to pause and consider how you really see yourself: are you a volunteer victim or someone who looks out for your best interests—with integrity? If you feed (or feed on) negativity on a consistent basis, it can seem nearly impossible to feel you embody personal power.

Personal power is not a way of acting—it’s a way of BEing, even if you have to BEcome it one more-consciously-aware moment at a time.

Compare how much time you give to negative thoughts, feelings, words, and actions to the time you apply these to what makes you feel authentic, joyful, intentional, fulfilled—living on purpose.

No matter what’s going on around you, you always choose how to experience and process it. When you embrace this as a fact, you stand in your personal power. The more you do this, the more your innate power expands.

Feed negativity or feed intentional living. The choice is yours.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Say Goodbye to New Year Resolutions


No, it isn’t too early to consider this; it is exactly the right time. The very things you do or don’t do about resolutions are what you do right now. And, you can do them differently starting today.

First, it’s important to understand why resolutions you make any time fizzle out. For one, you may feel a strong desire for something to shift or change, but if your commitment to make it happen doesn’t match your desire, you’ll do what’s convenient (for a while or forever) rather than what it takes.

Another reason is maybe you aren’t clear on your why—why you really want what you say you do. The reason you think you want something may be buried under layers, hiding your real reason—which is a feeling you wish to have and keep. For example, if you want to reduce the numbers on a weight scale, what’s your why? If it’s so the opinion of others about you will be what you want it to be, that’s a formula for failure and an unpleasant experience.

Sometimes the absence of an effective plan is what causes the fizzle. What is an effective plan? It’s something you have head and heart alignment about or stated a less woo-woo way, are fully committed to and enthusiastic about. Resolution means you are resolved, intentional.

There are key steps to take in order to fulfill any desire and say goodbye to resolutions you don’t keep.

You have to have your Self aligned with what you say you want. If every day you replay images of yourself as not having your desired outcome—what it feels like to not have it, you aren’t fully open to ways you can make it happen more easily and with less effort. Whether you call this energy or attitude management, it’s important. You can’t feel hopeless and effect positive change. A small shift from “this is awful” to “there is a way” does make a difference, simply because one closes you off to inspired ideas and actions and the other keeps you open to them.

I’ve heard people state that anger is the motivation that moves them into action. Well, that is a step up from hopeless or apathetic, but actions taken from anger are not always the best ones to take. You might feed a need in the moment, but what do you intend to build long-term? How do you feel once the anger need is satisfied? It’s important to feel what you feel, but is it the best and only place you wish to or think you can act from? Is this state of being your desired one?

There are two ways to make a plan. One way is motivated by fear and/or frustration. It leads to long hours, agitated energy, and lots of activity that may not actually be productive.

The other way is to take a little time to get clear on what you really want then align your energy or attitude in a way that keeps you open to inspired ideas and actions, open to right timing, right people, right opportunities, and right resources.

You may be conditioned to believe that worry, strain, stress, frustration, criticism, and other such “motivators” are effective ways to create change, but how’s that working for you?

It’s also key that you put your attention on what really creates shift. You’ve been told you can’t succeed without a goal, without strategy, without a plan. These are tools that help you stay on track, but they aren’t what really make things happen.

Tremendous shifts happen, desired outcomes and even better ones happen, and your experience of your life is more effortlessly fulfilling when you take your main focus off outcomes and place it on the creative process and you as the creator—the inventor, engineer, or pilot of how you experience your life, at the inner and material levels.

This isn’t pie-in-the-sky thinking. When you do this, you build a foundation that is so strong, you can construct anything your truly desire on top of it . . . because what you build is self-trust, self-esteem, and self-empowerment.

Whatever you tell yourself you want through your New Year resolutions or resolutions at any time of the year, those three Self attributes are what lie underneath your reasons. You want to believe in yourself completely and from an authentic perspective, not a perspective of trying to get the approval of others—though that may happen as a side-effect.

You really do have the right to know what is appropriate and fulfilling for you and to go for it. You really can identify what would be ideal for you—the ideal relationship, business, holiday experience, self-image, and so on.

What’s probably causing you to feel fizzled-out is that you’ve never taken the time—or the courageous stand—to define what your ideals are for YOU in the different areas of your life.

How can you go for what you really want if you don’t even know what it is? A resolution is only as good as your clearly defined image of it, your commitment, your why, your enthusiasm, and your alignment with it.

Start now. It’s neither too early—nor too late.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Is Mainstream the Wrong Stream for You?


For many, mainstream is like a tailored suit; for some, it’s like a straightjacket. Are you swimming in the wrong stream or against the current?

Mainstream, in this writing, means demonstrating via your life, work, relationships, etc., an “acceptable” model or role model, as much as possible—a model that is allowed some leeway as long as it’s a composite of descriptions provided by the various prevalent social, religious, and educational systems and models, as well as family and cultural descriptions or models.

Stated simply, what you do and how you do it appeases the tribe and sub-tribes—which allows you to feel safe—considered worthy of inclusion by the tribe. It means you’re more likely to receive rewards of approval and compensation.

Be clear, please: there’s nothing “wrong” with mainstream. It has its purpose. Mainstream provides a level of order so society’s “mechanisms” work more often than not. It’s a perfect fit for many. And, mainstream and non-mainstream each have their positive/negative aspects.

Mainstream swimming is only problematic if you’ve always known it wasn’t the right stream for you. You might try to swim in it, but it’s like an obstacle course rather than a fulfilling journey or adventure. Swimming with a “fin” in each stream may be a better fit for you.

Why is this important?

If you’re a more non-mainstream type, you may still be trying to fit in, so you do what the tribe and sub-tribes say you should in order to receive the rewards of approval, compensation, and the feeling you are safe. Feeling safe underlies your motivations. And, even if you have some periods of serenity or happiness and rewards, they’re temporary and/or not as fulfilling as you desire.

If you are contemplating the leap into a stream that fits—or if you’ve made the leap—unless you’ve dealt with your fears and contrasts about being comfortably mainstream vs. fits better in a different stream, you’ll experience contrasts in your life, some of them huge. And, you may not understand why they show up—repeatedly. You may even think it’s because you’re not worthy, not really unique, actually mainstream and just fooling yourself (or lazy, as some mainstreamers may have told you).

This has huge implications if you’re a person who knows you have to be an entrepreneur so you can follow your passion(s) as this relates to the services or products (solutions) you feel compelled to share with others (but apply this to any area of your life). How might this impact you?

You may withhold rewards from yourself—because you’re running a program that says being different deserves a penalty.

Consider this: if you’re non-mainstream and have experienced less-than-ideal rewards or fulfillment while “playing” in mainstream land . . .

1) It needed to be this way so you could discover you’re better suited to a different stream, one that allows you to be yourself—or you need to create a way to merge the two.
2) You may have been penalized because you didn’t fit the mainstream model. This could include comments from anyone that states disapproval of you because you aren’t making a “real effort” to fit the model someone wants you to fit. (Some of those people who disapproved are actually non-mainstreamers too afraid to leave that stream—sort of a “misery loves company” affect.)

What’s interesting about the second one above is that if you received disapproval for being non-mainstream (maybe even told you were a source of humiliation), it more than likely started when you were a child. AND, if your life isn’t fulfilling now, it’s more than likely you’ve continued to punish yourself, deny yourself rewards, disapprove of or criticize yourself—even into adulthood.

Ahh . . . the great quandary: you are a unique individual and you found yourself in a playground where being too unique and not homogenous enough was not appreciated by the majority of your play mates. By the way, you can find or create your ideal playground.

All this is interesting, but what are you supposed to do—that’s the question, yes?

I offer three approaches to those of you who have decided you’re ready to be Uniquely You, as we’re not all playing the same game.

Life: I’m okay, you’re okay; and I can choose to let go of what others think and be my authentic self, from a place of personal integrity. And, I’m so focused on creating the life I choose, I don’t direct my energy towards criticizing others.

Law of Attraction: I match my vibrations to my ideal expression of self in every area of my life, and attract ideal people, events, and resources into my life.

Quantum: I’m an infinite being (creative consciousness) having a human experience, which means I decided to see what it’s like to feel the opposite—limited—until I decide to wake from this lucid dream and play differently. To do this, I created a playground with play mates who read the lines I gave/give them. I create(d) everything in this lucid dream I chose/choose to make sure I have this experience. I understand the true power is not in the scenery, not in the actors, not in the words, not in any material thing—not in the dream—but comes from me. I install the patterns into the quantum field, and I can appreciate what a brilliant job I did/do of making it feel real. As it feels appropriate, I reclaim energy from patterns I created, as they get my attention, and play differently.

The crux of this is, it’s more than likely your life experience isn’t what you desire if you’re punishing yourself (withholding rewards: approval, appreciation, monetary, success, etc.) for being You.

Next time you aim at a target or goal and start to create the strategies and action steps to achieve or attain an outcome, check in with yourself to see if you’re ready to receive the desired outcome or if a belief that you don’t deserve it is rumbling around at a deep level. Use the approach, out of the three offered above, that resonates most for you to move this forward.

Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach and Author in New York City http://www.kitchenforthemind.webs.com/. Email her at jls1422@yahoo.com to get information about her one-question-at-a-time and Reinvent Yourself coaching options, or to receive her free weekly newsletter. Her books, e-books, and Kitchen for the Mind Topic Bites are available at lulu.com.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Are You Attached to How Your Life Looks?

Which is more important: the structure of your life or the foundation of who you are? One individual provided an extreme example of why this is important.

A friend/coaching client asked me to help him find his footing about a work-related incident. He works in the mental health field where clients receive whatever assistance they need, as well as guidance to live as independently as possible. A co-worker is away for a while, so my friend and members of his team have each taken on several of her clients.

One of these additional clients received money to make payments, but lost it. My friend shared, “Because he lost the money, this client made a strong departure from the structure by not reaching out to us and tried to kill himself.” He used the word “structure” in several more sentences, primarily because one of many ways they assist clients is to help them create a structured process or routine to follow.

This event, this departure, was what my friend struggled to understand, as well as why this client would choose death over contacting my friend or anyone who could help him. The client told him that when he realized he’d lost the money, he simply fell into a dark vortex he thought there was no way out of. His suicide attempt was his way to stop the pain, the seemingly endless fall.

As my friend spoke, I wrote down what popped into mind: a structure, even a really good one, is not the foundation.

What I offered about this is that a structure can be torn down, redesigned, and rebuilt as many times as someone wishes or needs to do so. And, it’s always built atop the foundation. The stronger the foundation is the sturdier the structure.

The client went to an extreme end of what we might call the Personal Value Gradient. We tend to move around on that gradient or occupy a particular position on it, short- or long-term, as it relates to our experiences (our structure).

The structure in place for the client includes receiving money to pay rent and other monthly expenses and people to contact if any problems come up. This client gave us a clear demonstration, an extreme example, of how beliefs about money having more value than we do can lead us into shadowy or pitch dark inner places.

The structure helps the “wheels” of his life, as it looks, turn; but his ability to know his life has more value than money or any thing ever could, obviously wasn’t in place. This is not to be taken as a criticism towards my friend or the work he and his co-workers do. I know how much my friend cares and does for his clients.

The prevalent “policy” of many cultures, societies, dogmas, and systems is not one that supports our human value above money and stuff. And, there’s a lot of emphasis on what our physical, mental, emotional, professional, financial, and other structures are supposed to look like—with little attention towards how strong our foundation is. What we hear more often is that what we have or can get defines us, establishes our value, rather than, “Be truthful about what you really want to experience, go for it, and allow everything to enhance your experience.”

What if the place of personal empowerment comes from knowing your foundation and that it’s firm—realizing that whether by choice or by what appears as external events, every aspect of your structure experiences ongoing change from the moment you begin your life experience to the moment you depart from it.

The foundation IS you. The structure is like visiting a variety of clothing stores and trying on different styles, colors, and fabrics until you find what suits you best or what you wish to play with a while until you’re ready to try another.

One of the biggest structural flaws in place, and time, is that money defines us, has more value than a human life, instead of that it can be used to enhance our lives.

I’m not going to offer bulleted suggestions for how you can assess and/or reassess your structure and/or your foundation. You are unique. You are the one who knows your foundation better than anyone. You’re the one who can strengthen any weak areas. You’re the one who makes decisions about the structure you place on top of it—what it looks like, how long you keep it, and so on.

The right questions are often the answers. And, sometimes we have to ask for assistance when we feel weak so we can get strong again.

Get quick online coaching, without having to sign up for coaching sessions, with Joyce Shafer, LEC, Live-Answers.com Coach, and author of I Don't Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say. Learn about You Are More online coaching: 3 levels - Life, Law of Attraction, and Quantum at http://youaremoreempowermentcoach.webs.com ~ Email me at jls1422@yahoo.com to receive my free weekly uplifting newsletter, State of Appreciation. See reviews of my books/e-books online at Lulu.

Friday, October 2, 2009

How do You Grade Your Worth and Self-Worth?

Have you ever thought about how the way we’re taught to measure worth and self-worth is similar to how we got tests graded in school? There is an interesting parallel.

The school grades you received for tests measured, in a limited fashion: how well you took tests (often designed to be tricky), memorized, understood (or liked, from your side of things) what you were tested on, and—though more from your perspective than the system’s—whether or not you believed you’d have a use for the information now or in the future (felt it was applicable to your life experience or goal).

Whatever was being evaluated, your ability to conform was included, even though this measurement was subtle. There was little allowance or reward for thinking or performing “outside the box.” Play by the rules to be rewarded; failure to follow or conform received a penalty. (“Outside the box” is where inventions, innovations, and masterpieces live.)

What school grades didn’t measure was the truth of your unique intelligence and how you express it, emotional intelligence, common sense, creativity, humor, self-learning or self-adjusting abilities—and they never, ever measured your worth (as a contributing member to life) or self-worth (priceless, as you’re one of a kind).

When you consider what wasn’t measured, you can see the system was set up in a way that required you to adhere to limited and restricted criteria (rules of the game) in order to meet specific (limited and restricted) outcomes. It was never about who you really are, what you can do or flourish at or contribute, or your potential to expand at the inner and outer levels, as a unique individual.

Also, remember how obvious the restriction of high school seemed once you graduated, especially if you went to college and could schedule the classes you really wanted and at the times you preferred? You could chew gum, get rewarded for creativity (usually), and do lots of other things you couldn’t or didn’t do in that more circumscribed environment.

There’s a similar system in place when it comes to worth and self-worth, especially in regard to money. Adhering to the system is what mucks with most people and holds them back from playing a better game, the one where their worth and self-worth is a given, no matter what.

You’re taught that the number in your bank account or on your assets sheet is real and measures a particular “something” about your worth and self-worth. But, it doesn’t. It only measures how well you play that particular game; how well you conform. You’re taught you have to work certain ways, usually for an hourly or salaried wage; work an “acceptable” number of hours; and so on. Yet, we know people who do this differently and have fun and prosper. How do they get away with this?

They play a different game—because they don’t allow others to measure their true value.

Let’s presume you’re a spiritual- or metaphysical-minded person. Maybe you’re a Law of Attraction advocate (not necessary). If the number in your bank account is lower than you’d like, does that number reflect the Truth of You or does it reflect your belief in how your worth and self-worth is measured or should be—because others who adhere to “the game” told you it was so?

If you believe the latter half of the last sentence above, how does this influence or impact your ability to believe in yourself? What does belief in self have to do with success (the way you define it for you) or your ability to have a fulfilling life?

Look at biographies of some who’ve made a name for themselves in history. You’ll see there are those whose school test scores measured them as average or below average. It’s a good thing they didn’t allow this to stop them.

There’s a chance that, if you’re not doing as well as you’d like, you probably adhere to “outside” measurement standards that don’t serve you. Whatever your life (or bank account) looks like now is a reflection of your trying to play by rules that don’t fit you, especially if you know there’s more to “reality” than what you see. Two opposing thoughts/beliefs existing at the same moment, in the same space, cancel each other out.

Maybe it’s time you create your own game with its own rules—a game you win. One of the biggest wins you can have is to know your worth and self-worth, no matter the opinions of or rules set by others.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How to Be the Experience You Wish to Have

Ever have one of those moments, events, or days when it appears if it can go wrong it seems to? Were you pleased with how you managed yourself, and the outcome?

The event was one I not only looked forward to, but carefully planned for. My handouts, business cards, and artificial bonsai tree were packed and ready to go in my wheeled suitcase the day before the event. It was scheduled to start at noon and last until two o’clock; which meant I needed to be at the site for 11:30 so I could set up my table. And, I’d been told to expect about two hundred people to attend. I was ready!

The morning of the event, I went through my usual meditative routine, and included my mantra, used especially when I have to commute or travel: I’m always in the right place at the right time with the right action and the right people.

Using the subway on a Saturday means you have to allow extra time for a slower commute; for me, about an 80-minute ride to my destination. If I left by 10a.m., I’d have enough time for the ride and to walk to the site. I didn’t leave my apartment until almost 10:15. Pulling my weighted suitcase on the bumpy sidewalk, I made it to the subway station, a 15-minute walk without a suitcase. It was roped off . . . being painted is what the person I asked told me. I’m always in the right place . . .

I repeated my mantra as I quickly pulled my suitcase the eight blocks north to the next subway stop, also roped off. My brain went into gear: There wasn’t enough time for me to keep walking north until I found an open station. I didn’t carry enough cash to take a car service as far as the site, nor did I want to pay around $70 for a ride that cost $2.50. And, that was just one way. A note on a post caught my attention: shuttle bus. I crossed the street to where others stood at a regular bus stop. A woman explained what I had to do. I checked my watch; it was 10:40. The bus pulled up, I got on, and asked the driver if he was taking us to the next transfer station where I could catch the train. “It’s not running there. You have to go to the transfer station after that one.” Only 18 blocks, but to my ego, it seemed like 18 miles. I’m always in the right place . . .

I hurried down the steps to the subway platform. An express train was there and I flew through its doors and got a seat. At the main transfer station, I changed to the express train that would take me to my stop on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It was 11:20 and I was at a station in Lower Manhattan when I realized there was no express service in the city on Saturday. We’d make every local stop.

Understand I wasn’t upset or losing it, though I was bemused; then I was amused as I realized this was an opportunity to really practice what I preach. There was no way I could arrive frazzled and tout coaching to get peaceful, poised, on purpose, and empowered. I quietly laughed to myself and believed it would all be fine. I chose to have an inner and outer adventure that I’m always in the right place . . .

I arrived at 11:45, ready to get set up and meet and greet the people. The room wasn’t ready, and everyone hosting a table stood around looking not too happy. We didn’t get our room until 12:15. It took no time for me to set up, so I started helping everyone who said they needed extra hands. I was the only one there who seemed to be in a good mood; everyone else seemed stressed. I activated my clown chakra and got some of them to smile and several to laugh.

The two hundred people turned out to be about twenty; and I spoke with every one of them. No one bought any of my books, but I coached another host (I love when the “ah-ha” moment happens for a person), coached one of the attendees, distributed my handouts, met some amazing people, and got an insight. Actually, I got more than one insight, but got a great business-building insight.

At first blush, it might have appeared that lots of things went wrong. However, every time something seemed to go awry, something terrific followed it. And, I was always in the right place at the right time with the right action and the right people.

I chose to be the experience I wished to have.

Do You Possess Your Life or Endure It?

It may seem like we’re watching things crumble and tumble around us. What if we, even as and especially as individuals, now stand at the threshold of expanding our personal power and potential, no matter what? What if expanding this inner power is the very thing we should do? Are you in?

I read a line in a novel by P. D. James, “. . . preserving always the same look of puzzled acceptance of a life which had to be endured rather than possessed.” Many people probably feel this way these days; but they can feel another way, if they choose to.

In our most challenging moments you or I face, we tend to ask, “How did I get into this situation,” or “Why is this happening?” These are understandable questions, but they aren’t necessarily helpful.

Every day, each of us endures something even if it’s an inconvenience of lesser magnitude. Some people endure much more than most of us ever think about having to. When we find ourselves facing a challenge we believe we can do nothing about, we can still take possession of it. When we take possession of something, we generally take care of it or care for it; or, at least, that is the idea.

How many of us feel we are in possession of our lives? In order to feel this way, we have to also feel in possession of our thoughts, words, feelings, and actions. We have to possess or own the choices we’ve made and the outcomes they created. We have to decide if what we experience causes us to endure life or live what we desire.

There are things about our lives that only we can change. There are things we cannot change, so must find a way to come to terms with them. Whatever you feel challenged by at this time, find a way to take possession of it, even it it’s just your attitude about it. To paraphrase Ernest Holmes, fear is misplaced faith; a belief in two powers instead of one.

Though I’ve had a lifetime of successes (depending on your definition of success), several years back, I clearly saw and felt something was missing. I could have taken the approach many do and learned and mimicked a lot of external actions to produce outcomes that would cause others to call me or my life a success. I could have done that, but I didn’t. Instead . . .

I decided to expand my personal power, to see what I’m truly capable of, primarily from the spiritual perspective. I knew my path was going to cause many to shake their heads or feel frustrated with me. When challenges appeared I’d wonder if I should abandon this path and take the one more traveled. Then, I’d remind myself of my desired outcome and keep going, no matter what. T.S. Eliot said, "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." However, I feel there is no “too far” in expanding personal power in connection with Spirit and the truth of how reality works.

There were times when my world seemed to be crashing down around me; but like the Tower card in the Tarot, the seeming destruction was so a new, sturdier, and more splendid structure could be created instead.

Here is the process I take myself through to feel peaceful, empowered, and free even in times of perceived chaos.

I acknowledge that where I am is where I am and allow it. I own my part in creating it. Resistance creates struggle; and if I’m using this process, I don’t need more struggle, I need to shift it.
I acknowledge that maybe I can shift it today and maybe I can’t shift it until “tomorrow,” but I can shift how I feel now. This is especially important to me since I know that like attracts like. If I allow myself to feel even a bit better (raise my energy), I allow for things to shift with greater ease. This may sound like New Age hype, but its importance is huge and its effects immediate.
I agree to be on my timetable and no one else’s. This is my personal journey.
I remind myself that if I focus on the situation as it is, I sort of superglue it into my reality. Focus on my desired outcome shifts my energy, attracts more of what I want, and just feels better.
I ask Spirit to show me what to do, including how to open myself to feeling more of what I want to feel. “Show me what I need to do to feel (xyz),” is one of the best ways to kick this into high gear.
I look at which beliefs serve me and which ones don’t. The foundation of every conflict is a belief. Some beliefs have been with us so long, we form an attachment to them, even though they’re toxic. We may even call them “facts.” They have to go if we’re going to make a real shift. They have to be replaced with beliefs that support desired feelings and outcomes. I’ve had to recognize that my beliefs are the stories I repeat to myself. I can choose my stories.
I find some measure of truth in a new belief statement because we can’t fool ourselves. If we don’t believe it, we cancel it out.
I choose to get out of being so much in my mind and more into my feelings. Our feelings give us honest information. How we act from there becomes a measure of our greater understanding about the bigger picture and our role in it.
I affirm there is a way and I will find it, that Spirit always assists me. There’s a reason so many say to leave the how in the hands of Spirit: no one can do how better. I pay attention and take action as needed.
I focus on something else while I wait for the answer, solution, next step, or shift. It’s coming to me; it always does. I know from experience to expect it.

I am an ongoing process (so are you). I’ve learned to determine what is authentic for me even if it differs from what others may think or believe is the way things should be done, or is “how things are.” I experience how joyfully powerful and peaceful it is to take full responsibility for my thoughts and thought patterns.

If you depend on external matters to feel peaceful and empowered, you’ve agreed to enslave yourself to the whims of externals; and, you will feel fairly powerless and often frustrated as a result.

Life is to be possessed, not endured. We can choose between enslavement to externals or freedom through personal empowerment; but, they are inner experiences first. Which do you choose?

How do I Find or Define My Life Purpose?

What is your motivation to discover or define your life purpose? Is this influenced, in any way, by the opinions of others?

Someone I believe to be in her forties, shared that amid the busyness of her life, she’s trying to figure out what to do for the rest of her life (I suspect she really meant life purpose). I responded maybe she doesn’t need to figure out what to do for the rest of her life, just what she chooses to do with the next piece of it. This made me wonder at what age that question, the way she stated it, becomes the right one.

I’ve experienced, and have heard from clients, the belief that whatever we do, it needs to be something others can label grand, special, or worthy of their admiration. (A life purpose should fulfill this requirement, shouldn’t it?) This energetic imprint is all around us, including most of the email announcements I’m signed up for.

Question: What is the message ads (and email ads) bombard you with repeatedly, even if only implicitly?

Answer: You have to be or do something Big. You have to become the next guru of something, make a gazillion dollars, and you’re only a success if you do this by . . . 5p.m. Tomorrow Evening!

How’s this working for you so far? How does it feel?

Is my intention here to motivate you towards mediocrity? Of course not. My intention is to motivate you to listen to Your Self, Your Truth.

Maybe your truth is you do want to live big, bigger, biggest. Great. I hold that intention with you. However, if that path feels like a burden, like a heavy weight on your life, could it be it’s not for you? Maybe you need to define what success and purpose mean for you.

I recall hearing about a young man whose passion was military history, specifically uniforms and weapons. He’d watch contemporary war movies; and if he saw costume and weapon inaccuracies, would write to the studios. After a number of letters to a particular studio, they hired him as an expert.

We’re influenced to believe we’re failures if we don’t have the brass ring. Who decides what the brass ring is for you? What if your life is not about one brass ring, but a succession of rings, and you decide their value. Maybe your platinum ring is an inner experience like conscious awareness, of living as an Awakened being.

A question often asked by those who guide others to find their life purpose is, what did you love to do as a child? There was one thing I loved to do as a child that applies to how I view my life experience now. It was a game called Let’s Pretend. For me, this fits perfectly with how my life has played out so far and continues to progress. I now see how each stage of my life represents my imagining (or imaging) what it would be like to play a particular role and immerse myself in it for a while, even if I wasn’t aware this was what I was doing. Looking at my life this way is opening my sense of freedom, energy, focus, and personal power as nothing else has before.

What if life purpose is to choose a role, step into it, and expand it as far as we wish, until we choose another . . . but do it deliberately, mindfully . . . whether it involves a lifetime or a moment?

What if life purpose includes being on purpose today and every day, whatever role or roles you choose to play?

Do These Time Wasters Affect Your Life?

Activities we usually name as time wasters are too much TV viewing, daydreaming, or anything that isn’t a productive use of minutes and hours. Here are a few more to consider.

Gossip. What’s the point, really? Conveying needed information to the appropriate person or people is useful, but negative gossip is a misuse of time and energy; and as Gandhi said, a form of violence. Each of us does the best we believe we can to make our way through our lives and challenges even if others don’t see it that way. Unless you must tell someone something they really need to know, speak about others’ accomplishments, strengths, courage, kindnesses, and generosity. This lifts your energy and the energy of those you speak with. Manage your damage (and damnage).

Criticism. Constructive critiquing can be useful; criticism is usually just a way to vent about something we haven’t addressed in our lives or ourselves. It often reveals more about us than what or who we criticize. If you feel the need to criticize, ask where or how you feel restricted then change it so you feel better. One way to manage this habit is to consider the possibility that people are mirrors. If triggered by another person’s behavior or action, ask in what way this reflects something within you. It may appear somewhat differently or in a lesser degree in your life, but you can see it and address it. I find that when I observe behaviors in others and feel compassion, it means I’ve dealt with similar issues and appreciate what their experience might be like for them. [This works for seeing the good in others, as well.]

This also reminds me of something Wayne Dyer shared with an audience during one of his PBS specials. He recounted working with a client who went on and on about his conflicted relationship with his mother rather than address what he could do in his own regard. Wayne finally told the client to go get his mother. The client asked why. Wayne said, “Go get her and bring her here. I’ll talk to her, and you’ll get better.”

Repetitive dwelling on what others do or did. Unless your motivation is to understand or appreciate something, you can use up a lot of time (and energy) re-running an imaginary film or recording about what someone did or said. If what happened doesn’t directly impact you in a way that requires your current attention, wish them well and get on with creating the life you wish to experience. If it does directly impact you in the now, handle it then let it go. If a re-run attempts to play once you’ve taken care of it, remind yourself, “I’m grateful my memory cells work, but I’ve already managed that.”

Worry. You’ve probably heard that most of what we worry about never happens; and the things that happen, we usually aren’t given time to worry about. If you can shift something to make a situation better, do so. If you’re not sure what to do, pause until you are. If you’re unable to shift something at the outer level, shift it at the inner level by looking at it differently and focusing on what you wish to expand. Another way to shift this is to ask, “Am I dealing with this right now, where I am?” If you’re watching a movie (or supposed to be) and worrying about something else, watch the movie or get up and do something to shift what your concern is.

Choose your conversation topics. I went for a haircut several days after my father’s funeral. The hairdresser and I were enjoying our conversation. She asked if I’d had a good Fourth of July. It so happened that July 4 was the day after we laid my father to rest. I made a choice to answer yes rather than shift the energy we were sharing. There was truth in my answer: I was with my family and it was good to be with them.

Do something that makes you feel better. For some people, this includes prayer or meditation. For others, it’s exercise, a relaxing bath, or even a nap. Maybe soothing music or a funny movie will do the trick. A walk in the park or around the neighborhood may be just the thing; or a visit with a friend (but don’t have a pity party). The better you feel, the better the events and people you attract into your life are.

We all have moments when we are out of alignment, and we feel bad. You are not obligated to hang onto feeling this way, even when it seems logical. Yes, you may need to vent or cry or express your feelings, which are all healthy things to do; but you don’t have to stay in that place any longer than necessary. Nor do you need to use up your moments in the less productive and ultimately harmful expressions listed above.

What you focus your strongest feelings on, you experience more of. This isn’t just a Law of Attraction premise: revisiting negative thoughts and emotions with no intention to move forward isn’t much different than repeatedly hitting your head with a hammer.

One last suggestion is to allow that if you currently do any or all of the bolded items, it’s likely they’re learned (and well practiced) behaviors. The ones that create negative feelings have “remedies” listed that are ideals to strive for. Realistically, you’ll do them again; but perhaps when you find yourself practicing any one of them that doesn’t lead you to feel the way you desire to feel, you’ll remember that there is another way, and shift what’s going on. It’s about choice to self-empower as you go, not about never doing any of them again. Perfection is a painful illusion. Choice is a powerful tool.

Do You Keep Beating the Same Drum?

Have you found a philosophy or technique you believe will lead you where you want to go: specific feelings and desired outcomes? It takes a while to realize you can’t get there, unless you travel the path to that destination.

So much of what we do is habit we don’t recognize it for what it is. This is especially true with thoughts, words, and actions. What kinds of stories do you repeat to yourself and others? Are they ones you want to experience, to encourage? Each time you follow the well-worn path of habitual thinking, speaking, and action-taking, it’s like beating the same old drum over and over--kind of hammering it into your reality.

One particularly good thing to keep in mind about yourself is that if you do seek or have sought information that can lead you to experience more of what you truly desire, to feel about yourself more the way you know you can, you’re open to another way. That’s always the first step towards any destination.

Robert Scheinfeld has this significant paragraph in his “Busting Loose from the Money Game” book, which actually refers to the Human Game (note the second to last sentence):

Then, one day, after applying The Process extensively to those fears, I had a revelation when my Expanded Self said this to me in a mediation: “As long as you understand about breathing your abundance but don’t actually start breathing, you’re saying ‘My Infinite Abundance isn’t really there,’ or ‘It may not really be there’—and you continue to feed power into your financial limitation eggs. At some point, you’ve got to make a decision about what’s real and what’s not, draw a line in the sand, cross it, and never go back. You can’t stay in no man’s land and fully open to your Infinite Abundance.”

Don’t limit this to just abundance. See how it fits lifting any limitation and moving into the fullness of who you are. Also, as I kept seeing the words Infinite Abundance, it registered for me that money was only one small piece of what that meant. I now use Infinite Creative Consciousness, for my personal satisfaction, instead.

As Robert goes on to explain, and is important to remember, it may take a while before you’re ready to draw a line in the sand and cross over it about a significant inner shift or desired way of being. It makes sense, really. Maybe you or someone you know decided to start a health or weight-reduction program, a program that involved going “cold-turkey.” We know how well that works.

It’s just that it can be or feel easier not to take the steps. After all, the old way is the one you know best, even if it doesn’t create the outcomes you desire. If you’ve ever experienced an important inner shift then tried to return to the old way, no matter how uncomfortable or disquieting the new, unfamiliar way was, it didn’t work. The old way no longer fits. You can feel you’re in a virtual limbo, not sure where to land. If you can allow this as part of the moving-forward process, you’ll move through it more effortlessly. Limbo is not a negative place to be. It’s a place where you can ask yourself questions you maybe never asked before.

If the old answers don’t really work for you, ask new questions. While you await new answers, maybe stop beating the same old drum.

Be True to You at Your Crossroads Point

Have you ever stood or are you standing at a crossroads now, not positively certain which path to take? What technique do you use to choose?

You may turn to family or friends for their thoughts and ideas. This is one tactic if you’re looking to brainstorm for ideas, methods, and techniques to consider. Some who are well-meaning may say, “Let me tell you what you ought to do,” or they use the dreaded word “should.” When this happens, nod politely, but stay true to yourself.

Crossroads are opportunities to aim at the target(s) that help you create your desired reality, even if it’s just to do something different and you aren’t quite sure what yet. That happens. Such times may cause anxiety; but that’s usually because somewhere at the back of your mind or deep in your heart, you wonder, “Can I or should I really go for it?”

If you have a dream and you share it with others, you risk hearing opinions that fall anywhere on the gradient between highly useful and not at all useful, depending on who you speak with. Nor can you let anything anyone says from their own perspective (and fears) cause you to question your worth or the worth of your dream or goal. Not everyone will feel excited about or share your enthusiasm, because it’s your dream, after all, not theirs. Sometimes you have to amp up the power of your dream by staying silent about it until the right moment. And, you want to put your energy into taking action, not talking about taking action.

One fear you may have is of (pardon the repetitions) coloring outside the lines or thinking and acting outside the box. But what if your unique way of doing something, or the way you’d like to but hesitate about, is exactly what some are waiting for?

Here are some questions to ask when you’re at a crossroads (answer them in order, and don’t limit your answers with logic—be honest with yourself):
Who would you really like to interact with? This could be clients, customers, readers, team players, group members, etc; but who would your favorite “playmates” be?
Why them?
What about them or their lives will be different as a result of engaging with you?
What are the ways you might do this with or for them? Which of these ways really jazz you? Which one could you begin to develop and move forward on now?

You cannot live your life trying to mold yourself to opinions or expectations of others. They may be happy if you do, but you’ll be miserable. A dialogue line in a movie called “The Movie Hero” is, “...you can either die trying or die wishing you had.” Of course, you can succeed while you live. It’s also a success to go for your dream, whatever the outcome. Better to say, “I gave it all I had (and enjoyed every second),” than, “I never gave myself the chance.”

It’s best to ignore anyone who believes you can’t get there from here. There’s always a way whether it’s a metaphorical jet, boat, car, or your feet. If you have a dream, don’t just wish it, intend it. Commit, be flexible, and stay true to yourself.