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.