Friday, December 31, 2010

Announcement of my move

I’m returning to the South, to the land of moss-draped oak trees and where life moves at a more relaxed pace, though imbued with its own creative and productive energy.

I find it interesting that the best day to let you know about my move is on the last day of this year, which also happens to be my birthday. It’s something of an ending and a beginning wrapped into one.

It’s been an adventure living in NYC. Since landing at LaGuardia Airport on Sunday, September 17, 2000, I
• Worked for a “Nose” who determined the scent of everything from deodorant to Dior. At the start of the fourth month there, I developed a serious case of pneumonia. It was a hard hit, physically, and I had to resign for an extended recovery time; and it also exacerbated a pre-existing condition I still contend with.
• Worked for three years at a non-profit created by the actor Paul Newman. He was delighted when I told him I was from where he’d filmed “The Drowning Pool,” and he shared stories of his time there.
• Experienced September 11.
• Watched NYC Marathons just a few blocks from my apartment instead of on TV.
• Trained as a life empowerment coach with iPEC, met and made friends with some truly amazing people, discovered how much I love the powerfully transformative coaching process, and how working with ideal clients enhances both our life experiences. Happily, because coaching takes place on the phone, I’ll be able to resume with clients as soon as I am established in a new residence.
• Assisted new writers as a freelance developmental editor, to create their first fiction or non-fiction books/e-books (and other projects). My copies of their books are definitely going with me. My genuine enjoyment of this work makes me appreciate the Internet and how easy it is to do everything online. Client testimonials about working with me feel really good (okay, great!). **Clients whose manuscripts are scheduled to be started on in January: as soon as my computer is set up and running on DSL, we can get started. I’ll email you (please keep reading to learn about the possible time frame).
• Wrote and published my first book (still receives outstanding reviews), followed by a second one and a series of e-books.
• Was invited by the then-editor of United Press International’s Religion and Spirituality Forum to become a weekly columnist after he read my first book. This began my weekly online publishing process on their site and others. It’s a thrill (and an honor) when a site owner or newsletter publisher emails a request for me to become one of their site’s regular article writers, or to receive an email from an appreciative reader.
• Started my own weekly newsletter, read by people in so many countries it surprises me (and fulfills me). Creating each new issue is a highpoint of my week.
• Made friendships and associations that enhanced my experience (and created potential opportunities that, happily, aren’t affected by my move—the Internet, again), and had some incredible times with remarkable people. I leave with a treasure trove of memories.
• Saw some truly gorgeous areas of the Northeast.
• Received a life and self education I could never, and in some instances, would never have planned—though each was a valuable part of my experience.

A friend sent me Chris Guillbeau’s book, “The Art of Non-Conformity.” I found this quote in his book that relates to my feelings about this major moment in my life: “Perform an instant gut check: yes or no? If you have a bad feeling about something, say no. If you feel slightly intimidated but also excited, say yes.”

Making this move has been on my mind for months. Then a dear, long-time friend made an offer on the morning of Christmas Eve that I not only couldn’t refuse, but knew was sent directly from the Universe or Source, or whatever word you use for the Infinite. My soul/spirit/gut knew I was making the move—the right move. It took a few more days for my ego-mind to get on board and for my mouth to utter “Yes,” even though I began a rigorous de-cluttering process that day. There are even moments when it all feels crazy.

Just as Source planted the seed that took root and propelled me quickly to NYC a decade ago, I’m being propelled even faster back South. I don’t have the exact date, but I should be heading back or already there by mid-January.

I’ll be staying at my friend’s house, while I look for and set up my own place. It could take a month, or either side of that, to get settled in and set up. This means State of Appreciation will be on vacation until that time, and it’s the same for my other business activities. However, you can keep up with progress reports on my Blog at or connect with me on Facebook. I’m certain I can use someone’s computer to check email as often as possible, but my usual activities will be on hold or limited, and resumed once I’ve gotten everything arranged.

Obviously, I’m going to be busy getting everything organized between now and the departure date; so if you contact me and I don’t respond right away, that’s why. Email is best, as I type a lot faster than most phone conversations take. Time is at a premium now. Email will be checked daily until I pack my computer.

I repeat: thank goodness for the Internet! I will miss my close and closest friendships here (and the pups that I am an auntie to). Phones, emails, Facebook, and emailed/mailed photos will soften that separation somewhat—but only somewhat. At the same time, I’m returning to family and dear friends, including some new friends there I’ve met online only and will now be able to meet in person.

I will miss the stunning view from my windows, the convenience of being in short walking distance to anything I need, and especially the warm evenings shared with my dear friends on Winnie’s porch—the best porch anywhere. I’m grateful to my friend who created an image (that is going with me) of Winnie’s wonderful house and porch.

I welcome how much easier it is to get certain things accomplished where I’m going. I welcome being in the same place as my friend who is in all ways my dearest sister.

A number of my friends are making big moves in their lives at this time. I’m in good company, as we all move into a new year, new decade, and next phase of our lives.

I wish you a wonderful New Year and a new year filled with wonders,
Joyce (Or, the Universe may surprise me and reveal I just needed a real good declutter session and I'm to stay here... but I think that's unlikely.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Do You Focus on Being Positive?

Who wouldn’t like to be in a positive state of mind all the time?! How’s that worked for you so far?

Despite your best efforts, it’s likely that staying in a positive state of mind all the time hasn’t been your reality. Here’s an important tip about this: it isn’t realistic. So, you might want to ease up on yourself about this.

A good reason to ease up about it is that if you focus on forcing yourself to be positive all the time or believe you should be, it actually means you perceive yourself as mostly NOT positive, which means you energize being in a negative state. This creates inner struggle and self-judgment that shows up in your outer experiences as less-positive moments and events. This is just not fun! Self-judgment or beating up on yourself is NOT the vibration you want Law of Attraction to match. It also means your focus is on how you think you should be rather than on what will move you forward, which is like nailing your shoe to the floor and turning in circles. You do a great deal of spinning in place, but go nowhere.

Too often, spirituality-based people believe they shouldn’t experience the full scope of our human emotions. How authentic is that, really? You don’t have to run amok; but you aren’t supposed to live in denial either. There is something you can do when you’re in a negative state: you can use a proven method to shift this a bit or a lot. Even a bit is better than none. An attitude improved even a small amount opens your mind and life to possibilities.

This is especially important if you feel any sense of strain or stress in your life and/or business. You can use one of the six methods offered below any time you feel your energy needs to be calmed, smoothed, soothed, or charged up. You’ll find the following methods are great ways to open your mind and get head-and-heart alignment about what the next step is in any situation. It’s important to start from where you are so you can figure out where to go next. The foundation of Self Energy Management is to know you CAN manage it.

Six Methods to Shift Your Energy and Emotions

1. Write the story of what you feel is happening. Scale how triggered you feel, with 1 being “Not much at all” and 10 being “Completely overwhelmed.” I used this with an angry friend. She said she was at an 8. Next, we scaled what had made her angry, with 1 being “Somewhat inconvenient” and 10 being “Completely devastating”. She ranked it a 3. She was giving level 8 energy to something she ranked a 3. Her expression was a Kodak moment.

2. What do you think is working now? Why is it working? What’s not quite right yet? What would make it more right? How do you want to feel? What might your next action be, to feel more of how you want to feel?

3. Create a statement that allows you to move closer to how you want to feel. Think of this as a bicycle you’re walking along a path. When you find the right statement, you’ll be able to put your foot on the pedal and hop on. “I feel better,” may be too much too soon. “I could feel better” may work or may still be too much. It’s okay. You’re looking for the statement that let’s you get onto the bike and ride it. What about, “I want to believe I can feel better”? Maybe, “I want to believe I can believe I can feel better,” is the one where you feel your foot on the pedal. Remember, no judgment. Honest answers allow you to create the first shift.

4. Ask questions like: What do I intend to do in this moment? How can I help myself do this? What can I do for myself right now? What are my choices (inner and/or outer levels)? What can I learn? How can I grow from here? What do I feel right now? How do I prefer to feel? What stops me from feeling this way now? In everyday matters, what usually stops you from feeling the way you prefer is your choice to do so. And, check to see if you’re giving level-8 energy to a level-3 issue.

5. Write down what you don’t want (I don’t want to be undervalued and underpaid; I don’t want a partner who doesn’t listen to me). Some might say that if you practice Law of Attraction, this is not the thing to do. However, your DON’T WANTS are floating around in your mind, so you might as well give them the voice you’ve been denying them. Get them all out, every last one of them. Next, ask yourself what you don’t want to feel (afraid, insecure, etc.). Let loose. Write it all down. Now, what do you want (getting new and repeat clients to be effortless, meeting my ideal partner to be effortless, etc.)? Write and don’t censor. Next, what do you want to feel (in flow, abundant, successful)? Last, write a letter and tell Spirit what you want and why. Ask Spirit to show you how to open to receive this or what your next step is.

6. You suffer over most matters because of a belief. Often, the belief is, “This shouldn’t be happening.” “Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.” What core belief do you have about your issue or situation? Does this belief serve you? How does this belief manifest in your life? How do you feel about this? Ask yourself if you feel okay about making even a small shift now. Think of a similar time when you had a similar feeling (it doesn’t have to be a similar matter or situation, just that you felt similarly then to how you do now), and it worked out. How did you manage yourself or work that one out? Maybe you used an inner process, an outer process, or both. What worked then and how can you use what you did then now?

You now have a better idea of why you don’t want to try to force a positive state or why it’s important not to feel less when you do not feel positive. But you do want to pay attention to how often you use negative statements, even as a form of humor. The Universal Quantum Field doesn’t get that you’re trying to be funny through sarcasm. It takes each and every one of your comments as an instruction to fulfill or a feeling to match.

Shifting your energy allows you to shift your vibration so you attract something else, something better. When you are in a positive state, enjoy and make the most of it. When you aren’t, as soon as you’re ready, shift it.

Just remember to ease up on yourself. Recognize realistic expectations and goals and unrealistic ones. It’s healthy and natural to challenge yourself to grow. It’s self-defeating to expect yourself to always be in a positive state of mind as you move through your process of inner and outer growth. You will, however, experience positive shifts if each night before you go to sleep, you repeat five times, “As I sleep, I have dreams that cause me to have energy and enthusiasm, financial serenity and abundance, and freedom from stress, as my way of life. And so it is.”

[Excerpts from: Reinvent Yourself: Refuse to Settle for Less in Life and Business, available at Lulu.]

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Which Expectations Did You Inherit?

You know it’s important to identify and shift limiting beliefs, but how can you more easily identify the more subtle ones you inherited? One sure way is to look carefully at your expectations.

As a child, and even now, you learn and absorb beliefs about everything, limiting or not, by hearing them, through observing the actions of others, and energetically . . . because we ARE able to perceive the subconscious energy patterns of each other. And, you deliberately and successfully shift some beliefs. All beliefs become expectations; and many of them are quite subtle. They make their appearance, often in a flash, and are likely dismissed by you just as quickly.

In discussions about Law of Attraction, you are told desire is a key element. You already desire a great many things you still do not have. If desire alone did it, you would have it. One reason you do not have some of these desires is because what you EXPECT blocks them. Desire IS important, but expectation is far more important.

Let’s get something significant covered: there is a greater plan at work for you and your life that your soul has a commitment to fulfill while you are here. If you try to avoid your soul purpose or aim at something that will not fulfill it, you will bump into proverbial brick walls set up to get you back on track, however long that takes. We too often follow what ego craves, or expectations of others, rather than what our soul came here to do. When a desire isn’t fulfilled, it’s important to discover if this is because it does not match your soul purpose or because of expectations that block its fulfillment.

You can assist your soul purpose and create more desirable experiences by getting clear about the expectations you carry. Desire is a form of energy: a mental exercise. Expectation is creative energy in action. Expectations come in two flavors, so-to-speak: What you really expect to happen and the expectations you hold about yourself, both of which are likely, primarily subconscious.

You can uncover negative expectations by stating what you desire, or an affirmation about it, and pay attention to what your inner voice says immediately afterwards. The voice will either support or refute the possibility of what you desire ever happening. This voice repeats what you learned and absorbed from others about how life works, or how life for someone of your social-, income-, or education-level (gender, age, etc.) works.

Then there are the expectations you hold about yourself. These come from comments, observed actions, and energetic beliefs others held about you that were communicated to you and then carried by you into your experiences, past and current (and future), and have more power over you than any affirmation or action you take.

Set aside time to list expectations you’ve carried about yourself and about your life. Example: If you’re a woman, and depending on your age, you may have been raised with the expectation that your husband would support you financially; and, maybe your reality is that you either have to or have chosen to support yourself. Can you see the potential contrasts and conflicts that could come up for you about this and how they may defeat your success and joy in doing this? If you’re a man, what expectations were placed on you about making a living and making a life, or expected behaviors?

Contrasts that create current confusions can be found in your personality blueprint. If you carry expectations that demand you feel and do things that are not in your blueprint, you will feel like you’re on a hamster wheel going nowhere, or not far, or even backwards. You may be expected by others, or may expect yourself, to be someone who goes into the world like a powerhouse and does things in a particular way; yet, your blueprint may show that to succeed and be fulfilled you need to follow a very different path; or the reverse may be true for you. This and other such contrasts create tremendous stress, frustration, and feelings of being a failure that do not have to be your experience.

"Every decision you make - every decision - is not a decision about what to do. It's a decision about Who You Are. When you see this, when you understand it, everything changes. You begin to see life in a new way. All events, occurrences, and situations turn into opportunities to do what you came here to do." - Neale Donald Walsch

Walsch’s quote reaches into the heart of the matter; though, I’d add knowing the foundation of who you are needs to be included. Your blueprint can be your soul-felt guide about your true nature and expression, what works best to lead you to success in every area of your life. You can enhance choices, decisions, and how you fulfill your life vision and purpose by shedding negative expectations you carry and trusting what you discover or already know about how you can best express who you authentically are and came here to be. You can become comfortable and confident “in your own skin.”

You don’t have to start the new year with expectations that have not served you so far. Give yourself some time to list as many expectations as come up for you. Pause when they surface and look at them. Ask yourself how they influence your choices, as well as how you feel about yourself and your life. Feel your truth and write these truths down so you can refer back to them.

Go through your blueprint to see where contrasting self-expectations show up and what is revealed about your truest form of expression in all areas of your life, and let this guide you and what you expect. Compare your blueprint with that of your spouse or partner to discover subtle contrasts and what to do about them, and shift unsupportive expectations imposed on each other. See what the blueprint of your child or children shows you about how to help them grow into fulfilled, self-reliant adults. Expand appreciation of yourself and significant others in your life.

Appropriate supportive expectations create desired results.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Reveal what your soul wants to express through Your Personality Blueprint. Joyce Shafer (, You Are More! Empowerment Coach, author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say & other books/ebooks. Benefit from empowering articles & Extras in her free weekly newsletter; see more about Your Personality Blueprint profiles & coaching; & get How to Have What You REALLY Want free when you subscribe at

Friday, December 17, 2010

What Are the Differences Between Soul Needs and Ego Needs?

We are souls in physical form, and we have an ego that is meant to serve us in specific ways. Frustration happens when we get their needs confused (or ignore them) rather than have them work together.

Let’s look at some ways to differentiate between ego needs and soul needs.

Ego serves us in ways that move us to take actions in our daily lives, actions meant to keep us alive and, hopefully, thriving. Ego seeks to feel a certain way, often motivated by material demands that originate outside of our soul desires; and this need leads to good choices and not so good ones. It follows logic, sometimes self-logic that desires to avoid pain at all times, rather than our emotional heart. It speaks to us in ways like, “Gotta make a change!” From ego, we may sometimes be forceful in striving for and achieving our aims.

Soul does not respond to force. It recognizes that painful or unpleasant emotions are facets of all we are capable of feeling, like needed colors in a rainbow. Soul knows we are always in flow, that our experiences have purpose for us; and its aim is for us to thrive as whole beings within the bigger picture of life. It asks us to pay attention to everything we think, feel, say, and do or don’t do. It asks us to seek what fulfillment means for us in all things, to listen to what our emotional heart tells us. Soul speaks to us through our emotional heart using intuition and positive and negative feelings. Negative feelings are as much a part of our soul-self’s communication system as positive ones.

Mainstream dissuades us from remembering that our emotional heart is another form of intelligence we possess, one that knows us intimately; whereas logic focuses on what the (usually fearful) ego wants. Ego wants to fill any void with whatever it believes will make it feel good or better. Soul wants us to empty out what no longer belongs inside us and to feel our way to what it is that truly needs to occupy that space as what will allow us to express our true selves. What fills our ego needs may not fill our soul needs. What fills our soul needs takes care of our ego needs.

Ego believes power comes from winning, from creating and having positive experiences. Soul knows the truth of our power and seeks to integrate our inner and outer power through learned wisdom into a desired collaboration between soul and ego as a way of life. Soul knows nothing is lacking, and it strives to remind us of this through sadness, frustration, depression, serenity, and joyful appreciation . . . so that we seek the truth and live from it.

Ego says, “Get rid of any negative feeling immediately.” Soul says, “Be with your feelings in a gentle way so you can get quiet and hear my message.”

Ego pushes us to look outside ourselves to define who we are. Soul asks us to know ourselves and to fearlessly reveal who we are to others through our words and actions, our talents and abilities, our visions and goals. Ego says, “I don’t love who I am, so I have to pretend to be what I believe will be acceptable.” Soul says, “No pretense ever lasts. Be who you are, who you came here to be, just as you are now and are becoming.” Ego says, “Fake it till you make it.” Soul says, “Start where you are and evolve deliberately.”

Ego wants emptiness filled in a hurry because it cannot tolerate it. Soul knows that the fastest way to fill emptiness is to allow emptiness, to surrender the ego needs about it when it shows up, and appreciate whatever value and guidance it presents. Your soul knows that appreciation of what is, is always responded to with more to appreciate. Balance of soul and ego happens when we align our inner perspective with ego’s ability to take action that’s in our best interest and for our higher evolution.

As you move through this holiday season, and as we approach not only a new year but a new decade, consider exploring how to create collaboration and alignment between ego and soul, with thriving as their common goal for you, and see what gets created from it.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

You are welcome to reprint this article as long as you use my bio as it is published here.

Reveal what your soul wants. Order Your Personality Blueprint today from Joyce Shafer (, You Are More! Empowerment Coach, author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say & other books/ebooks. Benefit from empowering articles & Extras in her free weekly newsletter; see more about Your Personality Blueprint profiles & coaching; & get How to Have What You REALLY Want free when you subscribe at

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Do the Gurus Confuse You?

If you desire or feel desperate for change, you may seek out one or more gurus to help you move forward. But what if their message creates a contrast for or confuses you?

I like to listen to what the gurus have to say about . . . nearly everything! I’m curious and a committed life-long learner. However, sometimes aspects of their messages (especially about success) are quite different from each other, or something in me, and I wonder if this is confusing for other listeners.

The other day, I listened to a well-known, well-respected success guru whose information was valuable. Then he said to succeed we have to work day and night and weekends. This really tweaked me because working that way contrasts with my physical reality, and as I know, is not in my personality blueprint. Been there, done that, got ill from it.

I thought, “What about others who have less natural energy than his advice requires? How will they feel when they hear this?” They’ll likely feel like failures or lazy, when they’re not. It’s also what could be called a masculine approach. You can find online my article “Does Gender Influence Prosperity?” to see how a masculine approach to life and business can negatively impact women’s lives and health (and even some men).

Another success guru I listened to the next day said her business and life improved dramatically as soon as she stopped working as much as she had been, and began to give herself three days off each week. I thought about those people whose blueprints are high energy and how this kind of approach might frustrate them, and the relief (permission to be) it might bring to those with less natural energy.

Which guru is right? Did you resonate with one more than the other—not just agree, but really resonate? There’s a reason for this resonance.

Each of us has a unique blueprint, which means your core nature is what it is. Frustration happens when you attempt to go against your core nature or believe there’s something wrong with how your core nature needs to be expressed.

The two gurus mentioned here don’t intend to confuse anyone; they have their own blueprint natures, and they’re going to share with others what works for them. Here’s a valuable tip: any strategic information a guru offers is what you want to pay attention to. Any advice anyone gives that contrasts with your blueprint (your true nature) is something you need to give a different level of consideration to.

However, even strategic information needs to take your blueprint characteristics into account, because if you do what’s recommended in a way that isn’t natural for you . . . yup, more frustration, more of what makes you feel like a failure . . . and is preventable, if you know what your unique blueprint requires.

How you work best; how you relate to others in your closest, social, and professional relationships; your natural level of energy and more is revealed in your blueprint. Some of what’s there, you’ve already discovered or are aware of on some level and has been made obvious through your life experiences. And it’s likely you’ve tweaked certain characteristics to make them more compatible with your life.

When you need ideas and solutions for life and/or business, it’s a good idea to research and give other people’s strategies a chance. You already know there’s a great deal of information available to you, enough to confuse you, in fact. So, when it comes down to how you apply their strategies to experience your life or which ones to choose, it’s best if you refer to your own soul’s blueprint, the most accurate foundation of your being.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Reveal what your soul wants. Order Your Personality Blueprint today from Joyce Shafer (, You Are More! Empowerment Coach, author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say & other books/ebooks. Benefit from empowering articles & Extras in her free weekly newsletter; see more about Your Personality Blueprint profiles & coaching; & get How to Have What You REALLY Want free when you subscribe at

Friday, December 10, 2010

Do You Feel Empty or Full?

Perhaps you have certain feelings or longings that are vague, or sharp. These are callings from your soul, drawing attention to areas of you that need to be filled.

At one time or another, you may feel one or more of the following:
-Depressed or at least that you could feel happier
-Desirous of more meaning in and for your life
-As though there is a void inside you and you don’t know how to fill it
-Disillusioned about life and relationships
-(Your own longing here)

Just as a desire (different from a wish) to do or be something means you have the capacity to achieve it, so does feeling a sense of longing mean your soul craves fulfillment and full expression. You, as so many do, may look to satisfy this longing from outside of yourself with more of something: money, material objects, sex, control, a perfect job, a perfect relationship, and so on. Perhaps you get these and discover you still feel empty. There’s a reason for this.

We’ve confused meeting our soul’s needs with solving what we call problems in our lives (more money, material objects, sex, control, a perfect job, a perfect relationship, and so on). Somewhere along the way, we’ve brainwashed ourselves (with the help of others who are also brainwashed in this way) that a proper life is problem-free, perfect. You are a soul having a physical experience, and you did not come here to have a problem-free, “perfect” experience. You came here to expand the depth of who you are; and to do this you must move through a depth of experiences and glean from them the value they hold for you so you can expand how you feel about your experience of being.

Your soul (your true nature) is a quality as much as it is an entity, so it (you) seeks experiences to enhance the quality of your life—the one you live inside your self. You can expand your understanding of this if you think of what the term Soul Food means: food that nourishes and pleases your physical and emotional senses, your sense of community, your memories. Soul Food provides a specific quality of experience. You go to a Soul Food restaurant deliberately to have such an experience. So does your soul enter a physical life for the same reason.

We confuse ourselves with the belief that life would be what it’s “supposed” to be if it were free of what troubles us. Yet, inside each trouble, problem, or issue is a message from our soul and the answer that will satisfy it. We rush to get rid of anything we label negative rather than look at it, which would help us discover more about ourselves in a way that would further nurture and feed our souls. This exploration and its positive results, rather than denial, is a primary reason life coaching is now such an integral part of our society’s evolution. Coaching doesn’t dwell on issues, but dives into them just long enough to find the root and pull it up painlessly. Trimming weeds never gets rid of them; you must deal with them from the root, give them a relatively quick yank from the soil. Not addressing troubling issues that hold our attention is a form of soul deprivation.

Let’s look at the feeling that your life isn’t as meaningful as you believe it can or should be. That emptiness is your soul’s message to discover what IS meaningful for you and to include it in your life. An empowering question to ask about this or anything you feel you lack within is, “Can you feel a desire for more meaning (or whatever) WITHOUT feeling disempowered?”

We tend to latch onto the feeling of disempowerment when facing issues. But are we ever truly disempowered? No. And, what do we avoid when we feel disempowered? We avoid experiencing more of what would fill us: more often than not, giving and receiving more love and care to ourselves and others. “I’m discontent so I HAVE to be rude (or some other negative expression of our discontented, fearful selves),” is how we justify certain behaviors that never bring our ultimately-desired results.

You cannot have light without shadow or darkness. You can shine light into shadows and darkness in order to see what’s really there. More often that not, what we find there is a BELIEF that we can’t deal with or won’t want to see what lurks there. A belief is not a solid thing, though it creates real experiences in our minds and oftentimes in our lives. What you entertain or thrash in your mind is what your brain believes is actually happening, and it responds with either good feelings or bad ones that create good experiences or bad ones, first at the inner then eventually the outer levels.

What can you do for this symptom of the soul? Be fully where you are rather than in a regretful past or anxious future. Choose to live each moment with an open mind and heart, trusting that you can adjust as needed, trusting that you are always empowered just by being. You can live your moments differently, deliberately, which can bring you through any situation with conscious awareness and the ability to see and use the soul value of it.

Denial is how you alienate yourself from your life and the fullness you might create in it. Denial keeps you from discovering your true nature and its strengths and beauties, then expressing these in your life. What does any level of suffering reveal to you? The answer will never be found in avoidance, only in a caring conversation with your soul self.

This approach not only can enrich your life and soul experience, but you can offer this to others as well. What will support you is to accept that you (and others) are in progress at all times. Let go of the belief that you are supposed be perfect. That isn’t what your soul seeks. Listen to your soul’s whispers and shouts for what needs filling, address these in the moment you’re in, and you’ll begin to feel emptiness being filled.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

You are welcome to reprint this article as long as you use my complete bio.

Shift self-sabotaging behaviors & discover your authentic self through Your Personality Blueprint with Joyce Shafer (, You Are More! Empowerment Coach, author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say & other books/ebooks. Articles & Extras in her free weekly newsletter; more about Your Personality Blueprint profiles & coaching; get How to Have What You REALLY Want free when you subscribe at

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Big Question for Many: Who Am I, Really?

It seems a minority of people feel genuinely at home in their skin, know who they are and how to go after what they want, and live as their authentic selves. Why is this?

Let’s look at where things go off track for the others. We have a perplexing set-up as human beings: We come into our lives to be individualized expressions of our unique selves AND are completely dependent on others to meet our basic needs, for a period of time; and hopefully they meet more than just the basics. After a certain age, we still need others to fulfill the various aspects of our lives.

As we grow up, we find we have certain likes and dislikes and certain feelings, all or some of which are either supported or discouraged by others, who are initially our caregivers; then others are included as our circle of others expands. It’s either implicit or explicit that if we want acceptance from particular family members or the family unit (and beyond that unit, i.e., schools, places of religious worship, work environments, etc.), we are to demonstrate certain behaviors, even if it means suppressing what we genuinely feel and who we genuinely are at times. Sometimes, even the exploration of who we really are is discouraged. A minority are encouraged to explore who they really are and to create a way to have a fulfilling life according to who they know themselves to be.

Because we realized that social environments function better if we seek to collaborate and tolerate each other within a range of what we call acceptable behaviors, we aim at ways to accomplish this and adjust these relationships on an ongoing basis. But a conflict exists: We feel driven to explore and express ourselves as unique individuals and also driven by our need to conform (within an acceptable range) to standards of behaviors.

The point to be made here is that just as any structure has a foundation arranged a certain way, no matter how the interior and exterior walls are painted or decorated later, so do you have a personality blueprint that is your foundation, no matter what else you decorate that with or how many times you change, adjust, modify, or try to force the outward bits—what you show others about who you are.

Aspects of who you are, which you may have believed or that others may have told you are foibles, flaws, or character failures can show up as part of your blueprint, meaning they are part of you and your life for a reason, for a purpose; and no pep-talk is ever going to change the fact of it, though you may be able to modify these aspects so they work in your favor. Knowing and accepting this, can act as a form of permission for you to be you.

It is enormously frustrating to know something about yourself and either believe it’s wrong to be that way or that there’s something wrong with you. I’m not referring to serious psychiatric matters that do need attention, but rather the issues many deal with on a daily basis that cause self-doubt (and self-disapproval) to be so rampant. We do this to ourselves, and we do this to others.

• Self-doubt (and self-disapproval) is going to happen if your blueprint is one of low energy and others are insisting that you have to be high energy or higher than you naturally are.
• Self-doubt (and self-disapproval) is going to happen if you are more like the tortoise than the hare about making big decisions and one or more “hares” are saying there must be something wrong with you.
• Self-doubt (and self-disapproval) is going to happen if what you really believe would be a fulfilling career and life for you is being touted as too small by bold, adventurous types or too risky by those who need safe plateaus.
• Self-doubt (and self-disapproval) is going to happen when you feel and behave one way when you’re with others and it’s never or seldom how you behave on your own, and you believe something is wrong with you for being this way.
• Self-doubt (and self-disapproval) happens when you feel or know yourself to be one way but have been convinced by yourself or others that you HAVE to (should) feel or be another way; and this avoidance or denial of your authentic self rubs like sandpaper against your soul’s desired expression.

From the moment we’re born, there are a number of people telling us what we should think, feel, say, do, believe, and be like. And it continues long after childhood. It’s far too seldom that anyone asks, “What do you really feel (think, believe, have to say, want to do)?” Is it any wonder so many people are confused and even afraid to explore who they are, despite craving this?

A good place to start is to ask your self what YOU think and feel. You don’t have to necessarily act on it right off; just agree to be honest with yourself about anything you feel in conflict with about who you know yourself to be. It’s pretty darn difficult to aim at a fulfilling, successful life when you don’t have a clue what that means for your authentic nature, and are afraid to explore this.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

You are welcome to reprint this article as long as you use my complete bio.

Shift self-sabotaging behaviors & discover your authentic self through Your Personality Blueprint with Joyce Shafer (, You Are More! Empowerment Coach, author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say & other books/ebooks. Articles & Extras in her free weekly newsletter; more about Your Personality Blueprint profiles & coaching; get How to Have What You REALLY Want free when you subscribe at

Friday, December 3, 2010

Why Is Positive Manifestation So Darn Difficult?

We’ve got negative manifestation down, right? So why do we struggle with positive manifestation? It’s about Frequencies and Circuitries.


I learned a fact in 1985, used it often, and then forgot I knew it.

Okay, I didn’t actually forget it; after a while I just forgot to recall that I knew it AND forgot about the positive experiences it creates when used deliberately and consistently. I think a lot of us do that: Learn something really beneficial and effective, use it a while, then shelf it when we get busy and we think we Just Don’t Have the Time. But best results happen only if we make the time.

If you do affirmations or visualizations while your brainwave frequencies are in the Beta range (15 cycles per second or higher), you’re in the Ego-Logic Brain State (Left Brain). Basically, you’re talking to yourself. I’m not saying Source isn’t listening (that’s not true), but Source provided us with a creation field that operates at a certain frequency, so we need to match it (and we certainly can). Kind of like, “Tune to Channel 14 for optimum, static-free creation communication.”

If you want to communicate and do your most productive “work” in the creation field, you have to be in the Alpha brainwave frequency or below (14 cycles per second or lower). There is MUCH evidence about this being the effective channel (or as Jose Silva, creator of Silva UltraMind called it, Effective Sensory Projection level), which we all can access, and do when we

• Start to fall asleep
• First wake up
• Brush our teeth
• Shave
• Daydream
• When we enter Right Brain activity, like when an artist paints and is in the zone
• Aim our eyes 45 degrees upward (as though looking up at a traffic light, or when we want to recall information)
• Meditate properly

At such times, your mind is in a more relaxed state, not actively or frantically moving thoughts around in the Left Brain-Logic field. You’re in the creative energy field . . . and you will get far better results at this frequency than in Beta.


Brain circuits used most often are trained to be the ones traveled with the least resistance. We build these very real neural pathways with our thoughts. If you train your thoughts to be negative or positive ones regarding events that happen, words you hear, or what you observe, that’s the feeling pathway you’ll follow first or more easily when triggered by a particular happening. This is why it can be a challenge to shift from negative thinking to positive—the positive pathways haven’t been constructed or are still under construction. You can’t wish for this construction to happen, you have to deliberately build it, one thought at a time.

Jose Silva wrote in one of his earlier books that the brain is more energetic When Less Active. This aligns with the fact that your potential to manifest (or whatever word you like) is optimal when your brainwave frequencies are at 14 cycles per second or less; in other words, less active (not in busy mind state). When you stress and strain mentally and emotionally, your body perceives this (as it was designed to) as a threat to your survival. It goes into fight-or-flight mode; and this mode will never ever be receptive, creative mode—only attack or run mode.

You can go to the Silva UltraMind website and scroll down to the options they offer. One option is to have nine free lessons emailed to you. You also receive guided meditation audios that bring you into the Alpha frequency that you can download and use every day.

I’ve been using other meditation methods, and not every day. But when I listened to the centering audio SUM sent to me, it took me back to 1985, when I learned the Silva method. It also took me back to how life felt and was when I went “into level” at least once a day, but usually twice . . . how easily information used to come to me, how I could see how events would go ahead of them happening (i.e., meetings, etc.), how I used dreams to get ideas and answers, and the many, many other benefits this method provides.

I did the 25-minute audio twice the first day, and I WAS relaxed! When I looked in the mirror the next day (after my morning meditation), my face and my countenance was smooth—because I was relaxed. That night, I stated I would have a dream that gave me needed information about something, and that I’d easily recall the information. Boy, did that work! I was shown a piece of paper that had these words written on it: “Your desire for change is what’s creating all the drama.” I was being told, “Relax, already!” Any time we strain or stress for a desired change, we get more of what we don’t want and block receiving what we do. Like many of you, I know this. Like many of us, it’s easy to forget we know this.

How would it feel to deliberately, deeply relax one or more times a day or receive significant information that benefits you rather than struggle for it?

The crux of this is that we have a brain that interacts with our mind. We can deliberately use both in our best interest, or not. One method leads to more serenity and positive experiences in life; the other leads to more struggle.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, November 26, 2010

Does Guilt about Money Block Receiving It?

Guilt about money or anything (held long past a specific event) blocks you from receiving more of what you desire. Why? It is an opposing thought to what you really want to experience.

People have been looking for, studying, and putting into practice any number of ways to attract more money into their lives (or love, success, etc.). One thing that gets a lot of focus time is the impact of those pesky limiting beliefs, but what about money-related guilt?

Guilt is meant to draw our attention to the fact that what we did or did not do could have been done differently, or not done at all. Then we are supposed to make amends, as needed and if possible, and not repeat what we did, and, hopefully, make better choices as we move forward.

But we hang onto guilt; and quite often, especially in regard to money, we do not realize that although limiting beliefs affect our experiences and results, unrecognized guilt is doing even more to impact us and our results.

Here are some forms of money-related guilt that may be present in your life.

-You connect your self-worth to money. There is self-judgment or guilt about not being and having enough. There are people with bundles of money, or what you would consider satisfactory for you, who still do not feel about themselves they way they desire to. Evidently, self-worth and a bank balance are not reliant on each other. Think about how linking self-worth and money affects Law of Attraction.

-You believe money can or should come to you only one way or only in certain ways. If you’ve had a financially challenging time and someone assisted you, or maybe you had to sell some things, or use reserved funds, this can lead to guilt feelings. Think about how limiting HOW money comes to you applies to Law of Attraction.

-You have a debt problem. Whatever resolution or approach you take about this, you may feel a level of guilt about it. This can lead to all sorts of self-judgment. Think about how this impacts Law of Attraction.

-You feel you misused the money you’ve had. Well, if you feel that way, you likely have a good idea about what not to do anymore. But also ask if it really was misuse or if other beliefs and blocks are causing you to feel and think this way, such as a belief in lack and scarcity that is stronger than your belief in infinite abundance. If you stay attached to the belief that you misused or misuse funds (and in lack and scarcity), think about how this applies to Law of Attraction.

-You feel guilt about having limiting beliefs and how this has affected your life. Think about how this influences Law of Attraction.

Yes, you may feel guilt about one or more of what is listed above or something not listed, and it may be justified; but how long must you carry that? How contrite or guilt-ridden would you have to feel in order to BE and have what you desire? If the Law says what you feel is what you experience more of, then no amount of guilt or any form of negative self-judgment, justified or not, is going to flip results in your favor; or, at least, not as wholly as you would like.

You cannot serve Source, yourself, or others fully if everything you do or attempt is tinged with guilt and self-judgment. You may, indeed, make headway and seem to move forward even with these feelings, but it will likely feel like (and be) a struggle; you may receive money and success, and still feel undeserving; and you may find receipt of money and success is not sustained, much less expands. You cannot feel, speak, act, radiate expansiveness at the same time you feel guilt or self-judgment . . . not about money, not about anything.

One thing is certain about guilt carried long past what caused it: it does not nurture, support, or encourage self-love. If you hold such a grudge against yourself, it is likely you hold similar feelings towards others and even towards your life. Think about how this applies to Law of Attraction.

If you did something wrong, it is in the past, even if you still experience the effects now. The important and necessary focus is: What are you going to do and how will you grow from here?

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Do You Focus on the Opposite of What You Desire?

Focusing on the opposite of what you desire is like aiming at a tree rather than at the target then feeling frustrated that you did not hit the bulls-eye. You know, we all do this at times.

How often we say we desire something then put a great many of our thoughts on what is opposite of what will help us achieve, attain, accomplish, allow, or open to receive it more effortlessly.

I wrote receive it more effortlessly because we create quite a struggle for ourselves when our repetitive thoughts and feelings are aimed at what we do not want rather than on what we desire. Ultimately, what we desire (I know this is repetition) is the feeling we expect to have when we have what we desire. We must aim at and hit the desired feeling first so that everything that comes after the feeling connects us with our desired outcome. Understand that as your ultimate desire is a specific feeling, you want to allow leeway in how what you say you want shows up because it may not be exactly what you imagined, but something even better.

Mother Teresa understood this concept (truth) when she said she would not march against war, but would march FOR peace. Esther Hicks said that when you say NO! to something, it is important that you realize this is the same as saying yes to more of it because it is where your attention is more strongly placed. So, what can you or should you do about all those negative, opposite thoughts that enter your mind?

You would make yourself crazy trying to control the tens of thousands of thoughts that pop into your mind each day. Thoughts happen . . . because you are always processing a lot of information, old and new. It is what you choose to do with or about any unsupportive thoughts after they happen that is important. And, how you start your day contributes to how you manage yourself the rest of the day.

A while back I noticed an odd habit each morning once I got moving: my first thoughts of the day were not positive; they were complaints, concerns, fears, and mostly focused on what I did not like or want any more of, often some of the same old stuff morning after morning. All such thoughts were opposite of what I desired. Of course, this got my attention.

I understand how Law of Attraction works, and that what I think leads to what I feel, and what I feel influences my choice of words and actions or non-actions, which influence my results. Understanding these truths is one thing; putting them into practice is another.

Allowing negative thoughts to continue means I choose to focus on the opposite of what I desire: good feelings (feeling enthused about my day and my life) and more positive experiences during the day. Also, best if we are realistic and recognize that you and I are not required to always be in Super Positive Land in order to move forward on desired outcomes. We will enjoy ourselves more if we are, but it is not required in every moment, in order to take action that will lead us to our goals.

Focus on what gets us to our goals IS required (aim at the bulls-eye instead of something to the left or behind you). Part of what leads to negativity and frustration is that we are not hitting our desired goals or hitting them as easily as we would like. Increase your odds of their attainment, move closer to them, and you start to feel lighter and more enthusiastic to go for more.

So, what did I do about my morning tendency toward negativity? I decided to choose my thoughts before I get out of bed each morning. The thoughts I have chosen are ones of appreciation, genuine thankfulness for a new day, new opportunities, new things to learn, and the blessings that I have in my life and those on their way to me. And if a negative thought tries to wiggle its way in, I remind myself of what I truly desire and move into that feeling space (as many times as this takes). Opposing thoughts cannot occupy the same space. One of them has to win. I CHOOSE which one I want to win.

Nor do I try to fool myself into believing I will never have negative thoughts (fears, concerns, criticisms) because I know that is unrealistic, and believing I have to be that way all the time will set me up to self-criticize. Knowing I can shift such thoughts if I choose to is empowering. Actually doing it is personal power in action.

What are some of the ways we focus on the opposite of what is desired?

• This is too difficult vs. How can I make this more effortless?
• I am not happy with my bank balance vs. How can I deeply feel and appreciate the true abundance in my life so I stand in that vibrational frequency, which will open me to ways to improve this and to receive even more abundance?
• I lack what it takes to succeed vs. What can I do to start from where I am and learn and grow?
• I am fearful about (XYZ) vs. What can I do to allow and expand trust in myself and especially in Source?

Do you desire more abundance but constantly go over a mental list of what you feel is lacking in your life, or criticize or envy those who have what you desire?

Do you want a better relationship but consistently focus on what you think is wrong with your partner rather than what you appreciate about him or her?

Do you wish your relationship with your children (or anyone) was better, but more often than not you focus on catching them doing something wrong rather than doing something right?

Do the majority of your thoughts (and actions) lead you to what will help you attain or accomplish your desired outcomes?

Keep in mind that it is not about never having negative thoughts . . . you will; it is about making the choice to refocus yourself when they happen. Do this often enough and it becomes a natural part of you.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, November 12, 2010

What Is the Language of Manifestation?

Oh, for a magic word or phrase that would make this manifestation thing easier! Is there a proper language you can use? Absolutely.

We would appreciate if manifestation of what we truly desire was as easy as uttering (or shouting) Abracadabra! Interestingly, that word is derived from Avra Kehdabra, which means, “I will create as I speak.” You’ve likely heard or read this so many times already: The source field matches, as a manifested experience, what you communicate to it. What deters, alters, or repels what we want is if we don’t use the language properly for the Law of what we would call Desired Manifestations.

Of course, most of us know we speak to ourselves and others in a number of ways: with words, actions, facial expressions, hand gestures, conscious thoughts, subconscious thoughts, and state of mind. Just as we can improve our communication skills we can train ourselves to communicate better or properly with the field of manifestation that Source created for our use.

No matter how many systems about attraction or manifestation you study, to be effective, you must communicate in the right language; and that language is a specific feeling. You can use words to write it or say it, but unless you really FEEL it, you are not communicating it. Not really feeling it is like sending a signal that travels so far then stops before it reaches its destination. You may call this feeling gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness, or something else that matches the specific idea of this; but this is the language that will send what you truly desire into your frame of reference. I say frame of reference because everything you desire is available. It is up to you to believe it is yours to receive and to receive it.

Any feeling opposite of gratitude, appreciation, or thankfulness communicates belief in lack rather than in availability, which causes non-delivery or delivery of less than what you want. This opposite supplies you with exactly what you communicate: I say I want this good thing, but most of my behaviors and thoughts communicate the opposite. By my own ways, I oppose delivery of exactly what I say I want or something even better.

But you know this. So why is it so darn difficult to just do this? You are well-practiced at communicating in negatives and doubt instead of in positives and faith. You are a master of fear, worry, and perceiving and speaking scarcity and lack. The way to build your communication skills and become a master of desired manifestations is to catch yourself when you begin to feel the opposite and remember what works; that the Law works to fulfill what you communicate. Find something, anything, to appreciate. Each night or each morning, make a list of 5 to 10 things you appreciate in your life, and really feel the appreciation. Train yourself to get into the habit of feeling appreciation.

You are conditioned to believe you have to wait for something to show up or change to your liking to feel this, but the truth is you have to feel it first so that something can show up or change to your liking, to match what you feel. The feeling is your heartfelt invitation for what you desire to become your experience. When you feel anything else, it is like not sending an invitation or not opening the door, or more accurately, not accepting the invitation sent to you by Source to receive what you request. This has been repeated by the masters over thousands of years. It has always been a truth, and the only way you can create the shift in your life that you desire is to first create it in you . . . despite appearances. Appearances are the result of what caused them. And any appearance can shift when you reframe how you perceive it.

Yes, clear mental images complete your deliberate communication, but genuine gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness for What Has Been, What Is, and What Can and Will Be starts and completes the conversation. This type of conversation allows you to be at one with Source’s desire to fulfill any request and with the Law of Manifestation. This may be your greatest challenge: to realize this as truth and to live it in trusting faith. It may feel difficult to do this and do this consistently, but you will get better at it with daily practice.

Appreciation shifts you from thinking and feeling opposed to what you want. Appreciation opens you to feel trusting faith, whenever feeling that is a challenge to you at first. Appreciation conveys that you are thankful, and this translates into you allowing more to appreciate to come to you. When you genuinely value what you receive for all it provides or teaches, you receive even more to appreciate . . . because you GET what IT Is All About and what you are truly capable of. A related example is when you send a gift to someone and never receive an expression of appreciation. If this happens repeatedly, you stop sending gifts. In the case of manifestation, you, not Source, are both giver and receiver. Source empowered each of us in this way.

Start from where you are today. Appreciate that Source provides a way for YOU to manifest and that you are aware of how it works. The quote, "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime," is a good example of what Source created for us: an infinitely abundant manifestation ocean, the tackle (tools) to fish with, and awareness of how to use these tools. Let go of thoughts such as, “I hope I can catch a fish,” or “I never catch any fish,” or even, “I really need a fish,” and hold onto, “I know that all I have to do is drop my line in and in right timing the fish I desire is/are mine.” Note: If you want a bigger fish, you have to use a bigger hook. In manifestation this translates into asking more largely.

Appreciation is an integral part of your asking.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, October 29, 2010

Are You Aware of These Ways You May Sabotage Yourself?

There are a number of methods to use to get clear about what you want and what actions will help you attain, achieve, and accomplish. But are you aware of these ways you may use often that sabotage getting what you want from yourself, others, and the Universe?

You certainly don’t want to sabotage your efforts, but you may have learned these behaviors and practice them consistently, without realizing what you’re doing. What makes it especially challenging to break the habit of them—and even to begin to notice when you do them and course-correct—is that so many around you do them, the media does them; you’re literally surrounded by people who practice one or more of them. And, the ones you practice arise so automatically in you from habit, you feel justified to use them.

Here are six such ways, though you may think of others.
●You use sarcasm instead of saying, “This doesn’t work for me” or “This makes me feel (angry, bad, frustrated, sad, etc.).”
●You use direct insults rather than expressing (or even feeling) a genuine desire to understand what’s going on for another that caused them to behave a particular way.
●You sulk or rant rather than be solution-minded.
●You use statements at a restaurant or elsewhere like, “Can I have . . .” rather than saying, “I’ll have” or “I want,” as though it isn’t your right to state what you want.
●You talk about or dwell on what you’re afraid might happen rather than manage current matters as best you can.
●You complain rather than look for and take positive action in order to manage or shift a situation you’re not happy with.

All of the first parts of the above behaviors are ways you sabotage getting what you truly want. When you do them, you live and re-live what you don’t want rather than what you do. When you do them, you are not clearly communicating what you really want to others and also not acknowledging that you have a right to a more fulfilling experience and a right to ask for it. When you do them, you place what you don’t want into the field that matches your vibrations and get more of what you don’t want, and can’t figure out why nothing improves. And, even if you only THINK them, you create the same result.

Wallace Wattles said, “No thought of form can be impressed upon original substance without causing the creation of the form.”

You may have read or heard this direct quote or some version of it, and you may even admit that it’s true. Wattles also said that holding the thought or vision of what we really desire, of maintaining positive thought and belief, is the hardest work we will ever do. You’ve probably noticed this fact. Wattles explained this struggle is because of appearances. The biggest challenge is how to hold the right thoughts despite what things currently (temporarily) appear to be. If you think about it, every appearance eventually changes into something else. And you do have the power to influence that change in appearance. If you believe you don’t, you’ll prove yourself right. If you believe you do, you’ll prove yourself right.

If you go through the process to get clear about what you want, and hold the vision, and affirm or whatever method you use to energize it, stop yourself if you begin to think or say or do any of the first parts of the six behaviors listed above. Find something to feel genuine appreciation about and hold that feeling. Maybe even feel genuine appreciation for the fact that you know this information and can use it. This can shift you out of negative thought or feeling because you cannot hold two opposing thoughts or feelings at the same time.

Sometimes just the act of not doing one or any of the six, and just allowing the inner space created by its absence, is a good enough first step to create the right shift that opens you to receive and expand your right to receive all your good.

You are not to deny what you feel. Feelings are natural, and there are productive ways to address them. Staying in negative feelings sends clear signals to the field—original substance—and they are followed through on as instructions directly from you—your order placed in the cosmic restaurant. This is how it is for every thought, word, and action that comes from you.

A Babylonian scholar wrote that our thoughts become our words, our words become our actions, our actions become our habits, our habits become our character, and our character becomes our destiny.

You may agree with Wattles that this way of behaving won’t feel or be easy, but the more you put it into practice, the more natural it will become for you. And you’ll see your desired results expand in your life.

Here are two powerful questions you can ask yourself when you notice your thoughts, before you speak, and before you act: Does this feel restrictive or expansive? Will this tear down or build up?

You are what you practice.
Terrific articles and extras in this week’s issue of State of Appreciation now live at

Friday, October 22, 2010

Is Your Life Purpose Your Priority?

So many people are seeking to learn what their life purpose is so they can feel . . . on purpose. What if there’s more than one way to look at this?

Some believe life purpose is that One Ultimate Reason they’re here, that is, the one thing they are to supposed to be doing; and some believe they have more than one life purpose, that it’s okay to focus on one until they take it as far as they choose, then focus on the next one. Both beliefs are correct because we are not all alike, so one size (way) does not fit all.

Another definition of “purpose” is “intention,” meaning, what you intend (are determined) to experience and live.

Many like to think the “burden” of choice about life purpose comes from elsewhere, that God, or whatever word they or you use, assigns our life purpose to us. Maybe. But what if your life purpose is what you intend it to be—that the right to choose was given to you? What if your life purpose is your heart desire or desires—known by Source, God, etc.—and what you need to fulfill it or them is supplied to you by Source, God, etc., including skills and talents fueled by your desire to express them—and the intention (determination) to make them your experience and reality is up to you? This would mean your life purpose is to make use of this gift of life and decide what you desire to experience—what would fulfill you (as many experiences as that includes), set your intention, and take action.

If you think of purpose as chosen intention (and determination) and this feels challenging, here’s a question: How are you currently using your time and energy?

"In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it." -
Robert Heinlein

Heinlein’s quote has merit; and we can call that trivia “busywork,” which may be important stuff but not the most important stuff, and is different from productive work, which is actions on goals that produce desired results. Daily trivia happens, but it isn’t our life purpose. Doing what we detest or staying unhappy isn’t either.

Here’s something that might simplify this. What if the quote read this way instead: In the absence of clearly defined PRIORITIES, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it?

Does that create an “Aha!” vibration in you? It’s just a word, but sometimes a different word can create a needed shift. The word “goal” (and even “purpose”) can feel intimidating to some, whereas the word “priority” perceives and addresses the desired outcome and the steps that lead to it as two parts of one significant whole—a purpose.

It’s far too tempting to believe filling our time with busywork activities that don’t create our most desired outcomes must mean we’re being productive or on purpose. But productivity creates desired results for our priorities. We have something to show for our effort and time investments. (This “false productivity” also applies to spending more time and energy talking about what we want, or complaining, rather than taking right action.)

Is there any busywork or trivia you can (or should) eliminate? Routine stuff has to get done; but does it have to get done instead or ahead of your priorities—your purpose—set for each day? Prioritizing your actions to accomplish your intentions can apply to anything—work, relationships, etc.

Perhaps post that quote on your wall, with “priorities” instead of “goals” in it, and glance at it whenever you are about to aim your attention at something and ask, “Is this a priority of my purpose, my intention, or is it trivia? Is doing this now the best use of my time and energy?”

When you take focused action on what you intend, Source is more easily able to supply what helps you make it happen—because this demonstrates you’re ready to allow your desired outcome to come to you. Your action quotient amplifies your attraction quotient. This doesn’t mean you work 24/7, it means you take appropriate focused action. Prioritize and focus deliberate segments of time on what you truly desire. You want to receive desired outcomes, not more trivia. This allows you to set yourself up to get and live what you intend.

Instead of seeking what your life purpose might be (you already know which skills or talents make you feel alive), aim at your chosen intention to use these in ways that fulfill you. You’ll feel on purpose.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, October 15, 2010

Do You Practice Scarcity Thinking?

Scarcity . . . sounds like what it creates—Scare City—because this kind of thinking keeps you living in fear. Would you like to shift your thoughts about this?

Problem: You lose something you rely on (like steady income from a job, or a relationship). They’re important but are each only one funnel of money or love coming into your life. You’re always connected to Source, which is an infinite funnel of resources, not scarcity—it can create anything. Yes or no? Saying you believe this but not putting it into practice, not allowing it in your life, doesn’t bring you the results you want, does it? Labeling events as “problems” is directly related to scarcity thinking.

Joseph Sugarman said: "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."

Do you see only the “problem” or do you allow there may be and look for and act on opportunities available through the “problem”?

Do more of your thoughts and words support scarcity and lack, or abundance and prosperity—harmony or discord, stress or serenity?

Are you a news addict? Does what you listen to or read lift you into a positive state of mind (creativity, enthusiasm, appreciation, or even relaxation) or drag you down (affirms what’s “awful” in life)? How and what you feed your mind is what you “nurture” and grow in your life.

Scarcity thinking is rampant. Just notice how often scarcity, in its many forms, comes up in conversations. There is no scarcity—not really, just scarcity thinking.

I understand the challenge if you’re having a tough time, but it Can Be Temporary if you look for and move forward on opportunities, and get your thinking straight. Scarcity, lack, and problems may appear but are more often states of mind, and definitely have to be your states of mind before they continue to behave as your reality past when they happen. Instead of “I don’t have,” try “How might I attain”? Think of someone you know who has an abundant life. Is their state of mind scarcity or acting on opportunities?

You can try different strategies, but it’s your thinking that must change first in order to create real and lasting transformation, for any and every area of your life. Old thoughts do not create new results.

You may get caught up in worry, fear, and thoughts of lack—all forms of negative thinking. Even if you don’t pull to you all the experiences that match these thoughts (fortunately!), you manage to experience the emotions as though the experiences were real. That is just NOT fun or healthy. Kurt Wright was correct when he said commitment is a magnet. Scarcity thinking acts as a commitment to have less—and you get it. Choose the thoughts you would want to become your reality the same day you think them, and know that you fuel attainment of your desired results with your Determination to have them.

This kind of thinking takes commitment. Will this be easy to do? Perhaps not at first, if you’ve practiced scarcity thinking for a long time; but it will get easier with practice. Then it will feel more logical to do this than not. Your desired results may or may not be instant, but your right results will be yours if you stay with this. If scarcity thinking hasn’t improved your life so far, maybe it’s time to shift this.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, October 8, 2010

How Is Your Mind Set?

My dictionary defines mind-set as “a fixed mental attitude formed by experience, education, prejudice, etc.” The word “fixed” indicates something can’t or won’t be changed. But you’re more powerful than that.

Mind-set means your thinking mind is set in a certain way. I like the word “set” because it means you place something in a particular spot or way, like when you set a vase on a table. If you can set it, you can set it differently or in another place or direction.

Here’s how I’d re-word the definition of mind-set: a mental attitude inclined in a direction based on what you tell yourself that anything means, which means you can tell yourself anything, depending on how you decide to or prefer to set your mind about anything and everything.

You may believe events and others cause you to feel or think a certain way, but no one but you can set your mind about anything.

But . . . “Some things are real,” you may say.

Many things are what they are—usually because of what leads up to them, but we often tell ourselves way more than what’s actually going on. And then we believe what we tell ourselves . . . and then, because misery loves company, we set out to convince others as well.

Here’s an example. A workshop presenter shared that she had to learn to “fix” her face. When she wore no expression, her mouth’s natural shape was turned down, which made her look as though she was frowning, when she wasn’t. You can imagine the chatter about her that likely included, “She’s always in a bad mood,” when she wasn’t. Once she realized this, she began to practice deliberately shifting the corners of her mouth up just a bit so people wouldn’t judge her as angry or unfriendly. You could say the corners of her mouth are fixed in a downward direction, but she chose to fix this—in order to have different experiences and results. And others had fixed in their minds an opinion of her that was inaccurate.

One of the daily emailed quotes I receive came from The Talmud: “If you add to the truth, you subtract from it.”

If you have a result or experience you don’t like or want, look at the choices or actions that led to it so you know what to shift, and don’t add to it with comments like, “I’m such a (whatever negative you might say about yourself)” or any other version of that about life or others. When you add such criticisms about yourself (or life or others) rather than look at what is and what can be done differently, you diminish the truth of yourself in your mind. You set your mind against your Self. What experiences and results might you expect if you do this?

You can choose to keep an attitude fixed, but that is a choice (remember that clever phrase “hardening of the attitudes”?). I’ve heard people say things like, “I’m too old to change” or “It’s too late to change it now,” and even “That’s how God made me.” What’s between the lines is, “This behavior (or mind-set) meets an immediate need for me. It creates problems for me, but it’s a lot easier for me to repeatedly butt my head against this familiar wall than to risk facing what scares me or admit that my behaviors create some of my problems.”

How is your mind set about these?
● I have to be perfect, OR My significance is inherent and not dependent on being “perfect”.
● Who I am is not enough, OR I’m the only me there is so I enjoy and make the most of it, and expand who I am in the ongoing process of my life.
● Every day is difficult, OR Some things challenge me, but I’ve been meeting and going beyond challenges since God made dirt. If I allowed this to be easier, what would I do differently?
● Money worries are like a shadow I can’t shake, OR Every day I find a way to increase my contribution to others and feel great about the compensation that’s exchanged.
● People with money are to be belittled (and simultaneously envied), Or Having all the money (and even wealth) that supports my life feels right.
● I HAVE to be stressed, OR Sometimes I feel stressed about certain events, but I can decide if they are events I need to take action on, and take it, or whether it’s my thinking about events causing the stress, and shift this.
● I don’t have what it takes to be successful (work, relationships), OR I choose success and nothing less, and allow myself to have it.

When you get into bed to sleep, how is your mind set?
When you wake, how is your mind set?
When you do anything at all, how is your mind set?

You can meditate, affirm, and use all the techniques you know, but if your mind-set is not aligned with what you truly desire, and desire to be and experience, you’re butting your head (and life experience) against a too-familiar wall.

Specific mind-sets create matching experiences and results. How is your mind set?

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, October 1, 2010

Have You Thanked Your Money Today?

“It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” Great quote, but what does it have to do with thanking your money?

A while back I published an article titled “Set Them Free.” In it I wrote, “How can you expect your relationship with her to be anything other than what it’s been as long as you have her fixed in your mind as capable of only certain behaviors?”

I didn’t then envision the person the way I’d like her to be, I chose to just let her be…that is, be who she is. After all, she could surprise me in remarkable, positive ways; and indeed, since I made that choice, this person has. This also freed me to reflect on and appreciate all of the good moments we’ve shared during the years, and there have been many. Every time a good memory flashes in my mind, I give her a quiet, heartfelt Thank You.

It occurs to me we can do this with money as well. We can recognize that money is actually a form of energy we exchange; and though we enjoy it, use it, and seem to usually want more of it, we may never actually thank it for all it’s done and does for us. Sometimes we treat it like the quote and curse it (in a manner of speaking) however it shows up in our lives—generally by wanting more but holding a negative expectation of it showing up in the way we’d like. Better to light an inner candle to illuminate ourselves differently about it.

Try this: deliberately pull up money memories that are goods ones: A purchase that either made you feel really good or served a purpose; a gift chosen carefully, knowing how delighted the recipient would be; an enjoyable dining experience or form of entertainment; a donation that really made a difference; and of course the everyday exchanges that help us move through life. Take a moment to thank money for making these things possible since money exchange is what we use in our 3-D world.

Thank it for showing up consistently or as a surprise, in expected and unexpected amounts (including coins on the ground that I hope you pick up and then affirm abundance). Thank it for helping you learn a good deal about yourself and others. Apologize for ever restricting it because of learned negative or limiting beliefs.

Is it time for you to set money free from “behaviors” based on your beliefs and limited expectations? Start by genuinely feeling core-level appreciation for what it’s done, does, and will do to enhance your life experience.

You are what you practice.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why and How Focus on Attracting Is Misplaced

“Attract” is one of the primary buzz-words used to explain how manifestation works. Whichever word you use, you may be putting the “cart before the horse.”

I’ve seen and used the words attract, magnetize, match vibrations, alignment—and others. They’re all good words that represent a specific action or dynamic; and it really is only one action being represented, no matter which label you use.

But, this action (and therefore the words used to describe it—attract, etc.) is the EFFECT of something that comes before it. Attraction is not the cause of manifesting—it IS one of the “mechanical” dynamics involved to facilitate it, but the CAUSE is something else. Struggle happens because we usually place focus more on attracting—believing it’s the key action step—rather than place our focus on the actual cause of every manifestation.

If you’ve ever had something pop into your reality very quickly, say, within a short time after the thought of it, it’s likely that you didn’t engage your thoughts or feelings about it according to any system. In fact, you probably had the thought while you were doing something, paused long enough for the thought to register—if you paused at all, then kept on with what you were doing. You didn’t construct affirmations, didn’t align your energy with having it, didn’t do some of the other things you’ve learned to do. You very simply allowed it to show up with none of the usual inner dialogue, discussions, or arguments you often have with yourself.

I am NOT saying such tools are a waste of time. They absolutely provide benefits such as clearing out mental and emotional clutter, transmuting negative thinking into positive, etc. We carry these learned layers of limiting beliefs, so we need tools that help us whittle away what isn’t needed or useful.

So here’s what you’re waiting for. The CAUSE of manifestation: You have a thought about something and you ALLOW it as your experience. Stay with me while I explain further.

Allow is the “horse;” Attract is the “cart,” or at least a wheel.

You might ask, “Doesn’t that mean the idea is the cause?” No. An idea is definitely a ripple in the field, but how many ideas (thoughts) do you have that never show up as real—and thank goodness, considering how you sometimes use your thinking! A thought is your conscious or subconscious ego tossing around ideas of what to include (or not) on the menu. What you call intuition is your infinite self sending you a telegram about what IS being added to the menu.

Important Note: Your ego self will choose and allow what it perceives as pleasurable, and cannot fathom that it/you would ever choose anything other than what is pleasurable to experience. Your infinite self will choose and allow what it knows is purposeful, knowing pleasure or pain are perceptions. Your best tactic is to deal with each of these differently and appropriately. For the purpose of this writing, we’re dealing with the ego aspect of consciously making choices and, hopefully, taking the shortcut of Allowing, so desires can more effortlessly show up as experiences.

If you could consistently engage Allowing with knowing how the field works, and that you’re never not using it, that would be ideal. That’s a terrific target to aim at. In the meantime, if you apply yourself to reducing all the stuff—the self-arguments and doubts and negative mind chatter—you’ll have far less stress and delays involved in your manifestation process.

You’ve heard others say a manifestation component is to allow yourself to receive; but I thought you’d appreciate playing with the energetic that Allow needs to precede Attract, rather than follow it in the scheme of manifestation. You can attempt to Attract out the wazoo, but if you’re not on board with Allow . . . frustration, strain, struggle, stress, delay beyond right timing, and more are yours.

Try this “chronology” for day-to-day desired results:
Imagine it (then keep it or toss it).
If you keep it, Allow it so you can more easily . . .
Attract it.
Receive it.
Enjoy it.
Appreciate it, and how the process works.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, September 17, 2010

Need to Amp Up Your Motivation and Commitment?

Can a simple statement really get you motivated to start, do, or improve something you’re putting off? Let’s find out.

Think of something you desire to be different, or feel challenged about following through on. See or feel it in your mind’s eye. Really connect with it. Now, say to yourself, gently and truthfully: “I can do better than this.”

First things first—remove any critical self-judgment from the picture right now. It isn’t useful.

Second, do you believe there’s some truth for you in the statement that you can do better than what you’re currently doing? Is there even one thing you can do differently that would get you closer to your targeted goal or dream, or make an improvement?

Third, watch out for two typical self-entrapments: You aim to start too big and you attempt to reach the outcome—or think you have to—without taking the steps.

Let’s say you don’t like how your body looks (or, use a current issue of your own). You might be tempted to do the following in this order:

1. Look in the mirror and not feel happy with what you see, and begin the verbal self-abuse. That’s always effective, right?
2. Say, “This Is It!”—plus, more verbal self-abuse.
3. Choose a stringent diet program and an exercise program not appropriate for you, or you start at too high a level (and you increase the verbal self-abuse).

I’m not going to keep going with the numbered steps, because how this example, or whatever you’ve started and stopped over the years (or never started), plays out (including creative endeavors) can be filled in by you as well as me. But maybe you feel, perhaps subconsciously, that the way to improve is to first punish (unsuitable, unsustainable diet and exercise programs—or whatever relates to your issue), rather than find what supports you, then start small and grow into it.

We live in an age of Instant: coffee, foods, information. It’s no wonder instant gratification tugs at us so forcefully. But some things, the really important or significant things in life, are usually not instant.

However, it isn’t just instant gratification you’re dealing with these days; you’re also bombarded with emails from people about their “instant” successes, results, or outcomes. When you aim at your targets, if you don’t mirror the so-said instant success of others—or what you believe you’re “supposed” to achieve, you feel like a failure.

Maybe you want to take the temperature of this in your own life. Many times, these people have their “instant” successes after quite a number of years (or hours, days, weeks) of effort that led to their “overnight” success. Some even tell you this, but that information is easy to ignore because you’re fixated on a big number (or whatever) flashing like a neon sign in your mind; and what it takes, or might, to achieve this is virtually ignored.

Tony Robbins said something to the effect that small improvements made daily create compounded enhancements. Don’t attempt or believe you have to attempt to produce the final outcome five minutes after you decide what it is. What do you really want to go for now, or next, that will improve one or more areas of your life? Write this down—writing it really does matter.

Whenever you start to be hard on yourself about any area of your life you’re not satisfied with, rather than giving yourself the verbal self-lashing you may do or perhaps giving up altogether, gently say to yourself, “I can do better than this.” Then take some action each day. Let your daily improvements weave your larger tapestry.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, September 10, 2010

Is Your Thinking Higher or Lower?

You either think from your situations or think from your possibilities. You can tell which you’re choosing by looking at what’s happening and how you feel.

Beliefs about life challenges can lead you to forget how and why thinking from possibilities (higher) works better than thinking from situations (lower). An example is, “How am I going to pay my bills?” (situation) vs. “How might I manifest an extra $X this month?” (possibilities). The first one leads you to stay in bad feelings: fear, worry, non-action or non-productive action. The second one leads you to open to inspired ideas and productive action.

“To learn how to think is to learn how to live . . . . This is not done by holding thoughts, but by knowing the Truth.” Ernest Holmes

Simply put . . . If you can imagine it, it can be yours. If you imagine it, it is yours.

I wanted a friend to read something I wrote and give feedback; but her computer didn’t have the right program installed, so she couldn’t open the document. This reminded me of how many of us are similarly programmed or not set up to open certain “mental documents.”

We learn ways to think, feel, and react or respond usually long before we learn anything about Law of Attraction. If our receptivity-to-better-ways program is not installed, we have to find another way or exist without access to certain programs and features.

Alchemy was believed to be the art/science of turning lead into gold. That’s exactly what shifting negative vibrations caused by negative, limiting, doubting thoughts, words, and actions into positive “magnetic” vibrations is about.

Beliefs come at us from the moment we’re born  from family members who carry beliefs from one generation to another, educational systems, religions—people who, for the most part, mean well. The premise is protection; but it doesn’t work for many of us. In fact, it creates fear in us and we pass up opportunities and experiences because we aren’t taught our true power or true nature.

One big obstacle is the How: “How am I ever going to be able to ___?” If you’ve used Law of Attraction even in small measure, you’ve seen the How gets taken care of when you get out of the way or don’t concern yourself with it. In fact, how things get done or manifested is usually a remarkable event or unfolding as ones we never would have thought of ourselves  if we don’t impose negatives beliefs, that is.

I’d manifested parking spaces, furniture and furnishings for my apartment, books, people, money, and lots of other things. However, I noticed there were, what I considered “large ticket items” (not always material) that I struggled with. When I paused to consider this, I asked myself what was different.

One difference was my statement about getting something was matter-of-fact. Another difference was I had no concern about the How attached: where, when, who, what, how much.

The most important difference was complete absence of doubt about getting whatever. I simply didn’t think about it. I didn’t consciously apply Law of Attraction. Getting “it” was effortless. The quantum field had no restrictions imposed by me on it, so it popped these things into my life, sometimes within minutes. I also had to learn to trust that some things were not right for me, and learn how to read the clues and move on.

When you think from situations (lower) rather than possibilities (higher), this is the “frequency” you broadcast into the field of probabilities and to others. Brainstorm to shift this: write down every logical, practical, silly, and farfetched idea that comes to mind about how to resolve, solve, or shift a situation. Something will spring forth from this.

Energy, like water, seeks its own level. What or where is the level of your energy? You can ignore your power but you can’t escape it; you might as well use it in your favor.

(Based on my e-book, Law of Attraction Alchemy: Change Lead Thoughts into Gold)

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, September 3, 2010

Is It Time to Clean Your Mental Filters?

Next time you feel stressed ask yourself if it’s actually an event or situation, or your thoughts about it causing your stress. More often than not, it’s time to check your mental filters.

Every thought you have about everything that happens in your life is processed through your filters: your learned beliefs, assumptions, presumptions, and past experiences. Unless you’ve shifted this—cleaned or regularly clean your “filters,” you likely experience every moment through a slightly—or maybe more—grungy filtering system.

When you assume, you act as though something is 100 percent true or will happen (or not)—when that may not be the case. Your thoughts, words, and actions stem from this assumption. Assumptions are a good way to set your self up for disappointment, frustration, and anger. Facts and clear communications work far better. You may still feel one of the emotions listed, but let it be for the right reason.

When you presume, you take something for granted—whether or not you should. You may not question your right to presume—about others, events, or even yourself (negative self-talk). You may take for granted that your limiting beliefs, especially self-beliefs are facts, even if they aren’t—and you may act as though they are. Just because you repeat them in self-talk or action doesn’t make them absolutely true.

You may believe you have every reason to filter your thoughts and feelings in this way because you can list past experiences to support this mental processing method. However, many of your past (and current) experiences show up because of your learned beliefs . . . which attracted more experiences like your past ones, which are what you believe life (or you) are like; and you stay stuck in a quagmire of unsupportive beliefs, thoughts, and feelings. Nothing seems to improve and you can’t figure out why.

You might feel like the dog chasing its tail and never catching it!

This circular activity and experience will never move you forward. Events will happen. People arrive with their personalities. Fortunately, you usually have the opportunity to select who you spend time with or not; but in some cases, like with family, that’s not as easy a choice as with associates.

Once an event happens, it’s happened; and, people never change unless they choose to. But you can change how you manage yourself through events and with others—because the common thread in every aspect of your life is YOU.

Let’s take a complicated relationship with someone significant to you, or not. You may feel it’s justified to say that person “always” behaves a certain way—and maybe they often do. However, you possibly or probably repeat how you engage and interact with them. The situation can never shift until one of you shifts. If you wait for others to voluntarily change, you may wait a lifetime. People spend a great deal of precious time and energy trying to remold others or life situations rather than remolding themselves around and through what challenges them.

Let’s take another example of having several tasks to do, some of which you don’t want to do but have to, or perhaps make you skittish because you doubt yourself. You might spend hours thinking negative thoughts, engaging in negative self-talk—and nothing gets done. Or you may start to take action on a task and engage in negative self-talk through most of it.

You are chasing your tail when you do this. You waste energy and time, and cause yourself to feel really, really bad about yourself or whatever the situation is. Let go of thinking about what you need to do and just do it. Feel good about accomplishing and completing whatever it is, or at least moving it forward.

I’m pretty sure you’ve watched others you’re close to use these behaviors: it’s painful! You want to tell them what they’re doing to themselves, their life, and those they share life with. It’s just as painful for others who watch you do this to yourself.

Stuff happens that doesn’t feel good; but after something happens, it’s our thoughts that keep those feelings going—and even growing.

It may not be easy or immediate to shift your thinking, but the solution is a simple one: choose better thoughts so you experience better feelings, which lead to better experiences. USE what you know to do. It will make a difference.

Be mindful rather than rely on faulty mental filters.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer