Friday, August 27, 2010

Is It Your Strategy or Your Thinking That Is the Issue?

Maybe you’re looking for T.H.E. strategy that will create the shift you desire in your life. But if you’re using Stinkin’ Thinkin’, you’ll stay frustrated.

“Just show me the strategy that will create my desired outcome!” you say.

Here’s a question: Have you fully decided to succeed, win, shift, be happy—whatever your wording is here—or have you decided to embrace struggle?

If that question sounds counterintuitive, I ask you, what are you feeling and experiencing right now? Is it aligned with a successful outcome, or struggle and frustration? If you aren’t aligned with success or your desired outcome, by default you are aligned with struggle.

You may not know every step to take, but you know a good number of steps right now; but lets put steps aside for now. If nothing is shifting, it’s because of how you’re thinking. You can follow the world’s most foolproof, sure-thing strategy or method, but if your thinking, your focus is about failing, you haven’t decided to succeed. And be clear: this decision is not energized with struggle, etc. It’s positive and empowered by this.

If you’re frustrated, confused, stressed . . . maybe you need to get angry—not massively, just a bit will do . . . just enough to pull yourself out of mental and emotional stagnation. Just enough to say, “Maybe I don’t have all the answers right now, but I decide NOW to align with what I truly desire rather than what I don’t.” When you are 100 percent aligned with having it, it’s yours.

Lynne Forrest says in her book, Guiding Principles For Life Beyond Victim Consciousness: “The more we resist something the bigger it gets.” She suggests we question our thoughts and beliefs rather than trust they’re true. Even when we kind of know to do this, we still let negative thoughts that create negative feelings go unquestioned, unchallenged.

If you’ve been running around in mental circles trying to figure out what you can do about something, or you’re taking action of the busywork kind rather than action that leads to your desired outcome, how about if you just stop for a short while. Why stop? So you can relax enough to see how you are embracing struggle and are standing outside of your true power . . . so you can question a few thoughts and beliefs that don’t support you.

Running around like crazy (especially in your mind) is not powerful. It depletes your power and energy, as you already know.

Here’s a T.H.E. type of thing that many are not using as a strategy: Having Fun—more fun with your life, fun with your business, fun with your relationships, fun with whatever you do during your day.

Maybe you don’t take real time off each week. When you have non-working moments, what are you doing? You’re Stressing! During your working moments, what are you doing? You’re stressing!

Stress, struggle, frustration are not what you want to direct Law of Manifestation to send you more of. And it really, really won’t argue with you. It will just follow your energy as instructions as what you expect more of—and it’ll obediently send it your way.

Venting is something we all need to do so we can hear what we’re thinking, and so our feelings can be validated (we hope) by others who care about us. Complaining is not venting; and the more you repeat the same material to yourself and/or others, the more you get to experience more of the same. The Law of Manifestation works that way. There is no way around that.

If you’re wondering how you can possibly feel happy when your life or some aspect of it is not where you want it to be, get a little bit angry—just enough to move yourself up a notch from where you are now, if that’s what it takes for you to make a better choice. Whatever is going on is going on. What you’re thinking about it is up to you. Find what works for you to get into that happier inner place, which is the energy that attracts manifestation of desired outcomes.

Look at your thoughts and beliefs, and if one occurs like, “Geez, I haven’t been . . .” regarding what you could’ve been doing but haven’t, shift it to, “I think it’s a very good idea to now . . .”

Make the decision: Struggle or Success? Commit. Be flexible. Have fun. Relax. Rest. Challenge your Stinkin’ Thinkin’ more than it challenges you.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Do You Push When You Could Ride?

It happens to all of us when we desire to fix, change, or shift something: we push when we could ride. What’s that really about?

Years back, the guy cutting my hair told me about a conversation he’d had with a co-worker. She had complained that her father had used the push lawnmower on their acreage when he could have used the riding mower. He told her, “That’s how you live your life.”

I had a couple of days when I was trying to figure something out—something I wanted to change, fix, shift . . . whatever it took. On the third day, during meditation I thought, “I’ve confused myself. Show me.” What I heard in my mind was, “Stop looking and I’ll be able to.”

I got it! Though, I already knew it, but temporarily forgot what I know, in favor of returning to old behavior patterns. Looking for, searching for, seeking solutions are actions, but not the right actions when your energy is worried, fearful, or fretful. You have to get calm. It’s like that saying that an open hand can hold water; a closed one can’t. It’s no different for energy.

The rest of the day, when mind clutter tried to start up again, I’d think: “Practice Empty Mind. Flow. Listen.” Nothing intuitive could communicate with me as long as I was doing all the “talking.” The time to look, search, or seek for ways to implement solutions or next steps happens once you are clear what they are. Inner first; outer follows. But, this may feel counterintuitive to you because aren’t you being irresponsible if you don’t panic or fret when you need a solution or next step? You already know that never solves anything and that it feels awful to be in that kind of process.

When you’re not open to receiving—especially inspired ideas, because you’re worried, fearful, or fretful, you won’t receive what will benefit you. Your intuition (your receiver and guide) will stand aside and wait patiently for you to return to your senses—however long that may take. You have to trust that—as a coaching client’s mantra states, “I don’t know how it’s going to happen yet, but everything will work out.” This doesn’t mean she doesn’t take action; it means she lets go of fretting and acts as soon as inspired ideas come to her (with desired results, I add).

Maybe you’ve had a similar experience, or not, but when I ask (the right way) for something, empowering “stuff” starts showing up. Like two Abraham (Esther Hicks) videos I found on YouTube: The Stream and Rampage of Invincibility. I recommend you look them up and watch them in the order I listed here.

In case you don’t . . . The Stream discussed the fact that we tend to row upstream or cling to the bottom rather than “flow gently down the stream” (my phrasing in quotes). One reason is because we’re told we “should” do that, that we are rewarded for pushing upstream. We get “trophies” for doing this. That’s what others expect of us—because that’s what they do.

Of course, you really have to figure out what this means for you personally. I take it to mean if I’m not doing what fulfills me, I’m rowing upstream. If I’m not researching and planning how I can do what fulfills me, I’m rowing upstream. If I’m expending more energy feeling awful about What Is than on Where Can I Go from Here?—I’m rowing upstream. What does it mean for you?

Push, row . . . or flow.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer
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Friday, August 13, 2010

What Do You Want and What Stops You from Having It?

During the final moments of your life, you aren’t going to review what title you held or your bank balance. You’re going to review what you feel about how you experienced your life.

This is your opportunity to answer the following questions with no limitations, no judgment or criticism of your answers. This is between you and you. Remind yourself that at the end of your life, you want to know you found a way to let the splendor within you express itself.

Deep within you is the kernel of your purpose—the essence of what it is that is your ultimate gift to be given while you are here. (Your true ultimate gift is to be your authentic self.) So, how do you define or find your life purpose? You do not define your purpose as much as you distill it. The way to get to a one-sentence statement that accurately expresses your purpose is to start with the questions—

• What makes you feel truly alive? (You do know what this is.)
• What is it that you feel in those moments when you’re doing this?
• In what way does this allow you to believe you are being of service to others in a manner that is appropriate for you?
• What might you do to make this a part of everything you engage in?

It’s best if you write your answers then distill them into one concise life-mission statement. Making people laugh or feel better IS considered a life purpose. How you do this is up to you.

You may have many things you would like to do. Make a list of them and mark through them with a high-lighter as you accomplish them over the course of your life. For now, select the one very important thing you want to focus on. This can involve career, family, education, spirituality, or any area of concern—whatever is important to you.

What I’d really love to do is . . .

Now, describe it in even more detail. Really make it come alive here. What does your life look or feel like, on all levels, as you live this reality?


Will you have to confront negative beliefs about yourself? Give up some spare time or rearrange your routine or schedule to develop your plan and take action? Give up some anonymity, time with family, or fears? Really think about this.

If you’ve stumbled over or sabotaged your success in life, ask yourself if there was ever a moment when someone said something to you that caused you to believe success, especially financial success, came with a penalty. Does any person or event come to mind? You may be holding a feeling of needing to punish yourself (guilt if you do well) or punish another (which punishes you). Becoming aware of this block is the first step to removing it from your life.


What will it cost you, personally, if you don’t do this? Will you deny your life’s purpose or see yourself as not deserving better? Will you remain in a self-imposed prison without bars, possibly based on someone else’s opinions or fears?

It’s possible you’ve already paid this cost long enough. Set yourself free from it.

(Partial excerpt from How to Have What You REALLY Want)

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, August 6, 2010

Two Ways Solutions Are Not Always Obvious

There are two ways (or maybe “times” is a better word) a best solution might not be obvious: Before—when we need one and After—once one is in effect.

Way 1—Before

(This is taken from “The Prisoner in the Dark Cave.”)

A man sentenced to death is placed in a dark cave. He’s told there is a way out and if he finds it, he’s free. The only light source is a hole above him where food and water are to be lowered to him for thirty days; but after thirty days, this will cease.

The man sees the hole where the light comes in as his only way out—because it’s obvious. For days he stacks every rock he can find, believing if he can get the pile high enough, he can climb up and lift himself out. The ending is that this tactic doesn’t work (he runs out of rocks) and he dies. He’d focused so much on the “obvious,” he never explored where he was. Granted, it was dark in the cave, but had he felt along the wall, he would have found a tunnel that led to freedom. The “obvious” way led to his death.

Standing in a state of indecision can feel very much like standing in darkness. We want to take an action and we want it to be a right action—not just any action. But maybe we take any action only to discover we wish we hadn’t. We may take the most obvious action because it’s so uncomfortable to feel unsure or we believe we must, right then. (Others frown on being unsure, don’t they? Aren’t you supposed to always know exactly what to do about every single thing?) Ultimately, it’s the difference between a response and a reaction.

Notice in the story, the man was given a clue about the way out: he had to find it, which meant there was something he needed to look for. Yet, he didn’t look beyond what appeared obvious to him.

If you think about decisions and choices you’ve made, sometimes the obvious was the right way and sometimes it wasn’t. The obvious can seem to be the easy way out of a situation, so we don’t take even just a little time to search and research, in case there’s another or better way.

Maybe you’re in a situation at this time, looking for a solution. Set aside some time to allow yourself to consider what you’ve just read. Allow head and heart alignment to “speak” to you so you respond appropriately rather than react now and pay later.

Way 2—After

The solution came to you and you took action, or maybe the solution seemed to organically appear in your life, and what was making you crazy or worried before is now improving. But, are you acting as though things are improved or as though they’re still in their former state?

Think about that for a moment: A situation improves or is improving, but you’re still acting as though it’s still “wounded.”

Here’s a good example most people will be able to use as a parallel. Let’s say your child (or your dog) has some need to heal and you have to take certain precautions with Jack or Jill, or Jackpot—for a certain period of time.

Let’s say the desired healing and improvement happens and Jack or Jill or Jackpot is ready to begin to resume a normal active life. Will you, as caregiver, still feel cautious, or will you be as ready and raring to let s/he or it get back into action, even if gradually—because the situation is better than it was?

It’s understandable if you treat solutions and improvements as though nothing’s changed if you’ve had to cope with or manage a challenge for a period of time. We see it most typically in a person who loses weight but isn’t able to relate to their new size, only the ghost image of what was.

You know the 3-step method for manifestation: Create a rich image of what it is you desire, feel it as though it’s yours, let go of thinking about it and go do something else.

Maybe the key to releasing the past once a desired improvement is happening is to
*Create a rich image of What Is—that which is improved or improving;
*Feel how much you genuinely appreciate it and how joyful, fun, or fulfilling it is; and
*Give yourself permission to allow the improvement is present, and allow it to expand, trusting that you always know how to look after your best interests with integrity (rather than flipping your thoughts back to What Was).

Notice today whether an obvious solution or path is really the best one or if you should do some research (have you received any clues?).
Notice today whether you’re treating improvements (or healing) as though it hasn’t happened, then flip that thought/emotional process.

You are what you practice.
© 2010, Joyce Shafer

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Joyce Shafer is the You Are More! Empowerment Coach and author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say, as well as six more books/ebooks, most easily found online at ( Check out the terrific freebies and articles (and more) found in her free weekly online newsletter at