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.