Friday, December 30, 2011

Are You Engaged in Effort or Struggle?

When you feel disempowered, you engage in struggle. What’s the way back to personal strength and power when this happens?

Based on how you feel in your life right now, you know if it’s effort or struggle you’re engaging at this time. Here’s a bit more information to help you gain greater understanding about this.

Effort is what moves you forward mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, financially, and in all other ways. Effort means you take action as needed, either inner or outer or both, without trying to force results, all the while paying attention with your senses and intuition to the smaller and bigger pictures so you can make needed adjustments or alignments. Struggle indicates a lack of Self-understanding and an attachment to lack that creates yearning. It’s rife with negative emotion, and tries to force results.

Effort is natural, struggle is not. Effort performs best when a sufficient level of supportive organization is involved. Struggle breeds and results in chaos and overwhelm.

Effort involves a level of simplicity. You start where you are and expand in right timing, with appropriate-for-you actions you may adjust, add, or move beyond along the way. Struggle wants instant gratification; and if it gets it, wants even more. Effort feels honorable, struggle does not.

Effort helps us manage our energy in a way that supports and empowers us; struggle has us running amok at the inner level, always, and often at the outer level, as well. Effort liberates, struggle imprisons. Effort leads to fulfillment and may provide fulfillment while we make the effort. Struggle is a burdening ego need for self-indulgence on some level. Our frightened ego wants its cravings fed. Our spirit is fed from within and from our relationship with Source; and when we’re in this inner place, we feel guided and in flow about our efforts. We understand that trust is the way, the path.

People often believe their primary struggles are with issues about money, relationships, and careers. At the heart of any issue is the struggle for acceptance; yet, the only acceptance that really matters is you accepting yourself as an empowered spiritual being. Non-acceptance of Self reveals we’re operating from ego, even though we usually think it’s the other way around.

Nearly two decades ago (1996), Stuart Wilde wrote: “With the explosion of mass media and the information highway, glamour, hype, and showing off have replaced true worth.” If this statement was accurate then, and it was, just think about what this really means and in what ways this may have affected you consciously and subconsciously, particularly as this has only expanded since then. Think about how often you compare your true worth with what others do and with what they say is in their bank account and should be in yours. These days the money-equals-true worth philosophy is driving many individuals down a very bumpy Struggle Road that is a slippery slope for many.

Effort is what helps you fulfill your purpose and passion, and strengthens you in some way, whether that’s obvious to others or not; and, their opinion can’t concern you, as it’s your power involved. Money that results from such effort is an energetic exchange of appreciation derived at a deeper level. Money that results from struggle, if or when that actually happens, tends to adhere to another statement by Wilde: “Money doesn’t give you real strength; it just keeps you comfortable while you experience your dysfunction.”

Here’s one reason the pursuit for money, based on a desire to feel strong “once you have it,” may create struggle: Your spiritual self likely has a different target in mind for you; perhaps, an inner result is required before an outer one is delivered, like realizing your true strength is inside you. Money, power, or celebrity won’t cause the inner strength or personal power you hope it will. That has to come from within; and your spirit may be trying to communicate this to you by not fulfilling your disempowered ego’s desires… until you get this and begin to live it. No amount of Law of Attraction type practices can influence your infinite spirit to operate in a way that’s not in your favor or for your highest good. It wants you to know that your spiritual strength and personal power are what you are to rely on, and NOT on outer manifestations or others to affirm your true worth. And, it has infinite patience to wait for you to get on board.

We’ve gotten confused by hype. Granted some people who’ve made a name for themselves did so by letting go of struggle and moving into effort regarding their purpose, and continue to do so without hype. But hype causes those starting out or in the building phases of life or business, and definitely those engaged in any kind of struggle, to enter a competitive mindset. That is, they compare themselves, not to others (who they usually don’t personally know, not that that matters either), but to the hype. This might result in feeling superior, but it most often results in feeling inferior, which is false and a waste of personal power and an individual’s unique creativity and gifts.

If you’re on a path of passion and purpose, or just want to feel stronger where you are right now in your life, follow through with your inner and outer efforts and don’t compare yourself to anyone. Aim at results, but learn and grow by how you process your inner and outer experiences along the way to results. Understand the process is also filled with results, ones that feed and nurture you long after any goal is met.

Effort supports you to expand who you are, not what your frightened ego needs to feel secure. The ego’s purpose is to keep you alive. However, if you feel it wobble or quake, that’s a signal you’re believing something other than the Truth. This is the time to remind yourself that your true Self is eternal, immortal, universal, and infinite; and all that you are has beauty and strength. That feels solid rather than frenetic and fragmented. You won’t struggle when you feel solid. You’ll open to flow and feel guided about your efforts, including sometimes doing nothing until you know what to do, either of which you’ll do with calmer energy and trust in your personal evolutionary process.

If you’ve been or are engaged in struggle, the first thing you can do to shift this is get quiet and tune in to your inner strength. Stand in it. Let go of any beliefs you’ve absorbed from positive or negative hype, from anyone at any time in your life, and Stand In Your Strength, perhaps in silence, while you reconnect or deepen your connection with your true Self. Do this, and you build your personal power. Practice assessing whether what you feel, think, say, and do supports struggle or effort. Life doesn’t have to be a struggle if you supply appropriate effort to standing in your strength and strengthening your personal power before you apply any outward effort toward your life, purpose, and endeavors.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, December 23, 2011

Everything Has a Reason and a Season

Trees don’t try to keep their leaves when autumn arrives, nor do they resist new growth in the spring. But, that’s how we sometimes approach our lives.

Life asks, insists really, that we engage a continuous shedding and new growth aspect. Maybe you’re trying to hang onto something it’s time to let go of or trying to change something not ready to shift just yet.

Everything that comes to us really does have a reason; and difficult as it sometimes is to perceive or believe, that reason fits into what I’m comfortable calling a Plan of Divine Continually Self-Adjusting Order. Even some of the most painful, frustrating, and scary moments have eventually made sense at some later time… show some purpose in my life and in the greater tapestry I’m a part of. Like when a personal or professional relationship ends, only to see days, months, or years later that what happened was actually order demonstrated within what felt like chaos initially or even for a while longer.

Every change that’s happened in my life is eventually revealed as an intricate, integral piece of something larger… something only a Higher Hand could orchestrate with such precision and wisdom. Pain and struggle felt after events have happened, felt that way because I temporarily disconnected from absolute trust in Source, a trust that has been demonstrated as worthy and worth it more times than it seems it should take for an individual to finally accept and allow that everything has a reason.

Everything also has a season. How often have you relied on something for a while only to see it diminish or begin to show signs of this—and you tried to cling to it as though it were permanent or should be? When something is shed or removed from our life, it means that something else is coming our way; something desires to open, expand, renew, or be created.

Look at your life right now and notice what—as the Native American phrase goes—has stopped “growing corn” for you, or you’re aware that it’s heading that way. I’ll bet you can think of at least one aspect of your life this applies to, just as I can. Sometimes we think we are obligated to hold on, when we are really obligated to let go in order to look after our best interests and well-being, or towards where and how we are to grow next. People, things, and events come into our life for a reason and a season, though the season may be brief or long and the reason unclear until it’s time for us to understand it differently.

When you see that a season for something in your life is approaching its end, that’s the time to envision the next phase or realize you’re at a crossroads, and that it’s time to give what’s next real consideration. Often, because we tend to hang on to things when their season is waning, or even over, we ignore the fact that we’re being nudged or kicked in the backside, to not only embrace the fact of forthcoming change but get involved with it so we have as much influence as possible about how we experience what comes next.

Whenever the stream or streams you rely on show signs of drying up, for a reason or a season, you can consider one of these approaches:

Is it time to find a new stream? Perhaps you’re being nudged towards growth and newness, and a new right-for-you stream is elsewhere. You need to go there, where you find fresh, flowing waters. The reason your stream dries up is because you might not make the move you need to unless this happens. You may feel like you’re being punished or penalized. You aren’t; you’re being motivated to grow.
Maybe there’s a better way, an innovation, you haven’t thought of or tried yet. One tweak or even a small shift in one direction or another may make all the difference.
Maybe it’s about looking for what blocks the stream, like limiting beliefs or negative thinking, so you can begin a process that lets the waters flow again.

Sometimes we attempt to make a change happen before its time. This can feel frustrating, like we’re spinning our wheels, when we’ve simply showed up for our appointment a bit too early. It’s like getting to the restaurant far earlier than you can be seated or before other members of your party arrive. The wait feels different than if you arrived on time or together.

There’s another aspect to this. Have you ever had the feeling that something you’re about to do isn’t as “right” as it might be, or you feel hesitation? That’s your intuition communicating with you. If you’re headstrong or so focused on easing a fear, pain, or frustration with an action, you may ignore that inner nudge. I’m not saying I get this right every time, but I more often than not get that nudge and pause… like when I’m about to send an email I’m eager to get out and that twinge comes to me. I have to be willing to trust that my inner wisdom and guidance wants me to pay attention to something; and when I listen I see why the signal was sent.

You’ve heard it before: A vacuum is created so there’s room to fill it with something else, or something better, but always something that contributes to our life experience in a meaningful way. How quickly we open to seeing it this way has all to do with how long we struggle with the transition. This doesn’t mean we are obligated to “like” all change that happens; but just as forgiveness is really about setting us free, understanding this reason-and-season fact can help us find serenity that results from trust in Source when inner storms happen.

Maybe it’s time for you to give thought to which streams in your life supply you, which don’t, and which need adjustment so they flow smoothly and abundantly again. Put this kind of consideration into practice and see where or how it leads you.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Your Commitment to You – Now and in the New Year

I encourage you to tweak your thoughts—the way you’ve been thinking—so that you move through the holidays and approach 2012 with as much vision and commitment to follow your path of personal accomplishment and fulfillment as you can have at this time, as well as be willing to move to the next level or phase, instead of focusing as much as you might have been on what you believe needs to be changed, fixed, or improved about you or your life—or, stated another way, focused so much on what’s “wrong.”

I ask you to really feel inside your intuitive self what author Lynn Serafinn says about abundance: “Abundance isn’t about what you have; it’s about what you feel.” Many people feel discontent right now and have felt that way for a long time when it comes to abundance, as well as about other areas of their lives.

I think our biggest reason for the discontentment so many of us feel right this moment is that we feel disconnected, and is not actually about any temporary or perceived scarcity. How can real connection ever breed scarcity? I ask you to tune in to the following questions and your own self-awareness to see if they have any relevance for you…

How connected or disconnected do you feel with Source?
How connected or disconnected do you feel with your authentic self?
How connected or disconnected do you feel with the work you do or the service you provide, and who you provide this for or to?
How connected or disconnected do you feel with your personal values and what would really feel fulfilling for you or does feel that way?
Ask this question about anything in your life and see what comes up for you.

In an audio I recently listened to, someone said that all the interruptions in our lives and the fast-food mentality that’s everywhere are causing us to feel as though we have A.D.D., if we don’t already have it. I don’t know about you, but I feel the truth of this at a deep level. Think of all the ways we’re interrupted when we work and when we relax. Is it any wonder people feel like hamsters on a wheel, or exhausted, or lack clarity or serenity? This may be an aspect of your life you want to look at. You may say you’re connected through technology, but the fact may be you feel disconnected to genuine connection.

People look for formulas as solutions—because of these reasons (and, yes, I’ve used the word “formula” myself and find I don’t like that “buzzword” any more, which I’ll have to shift in my materials and vocabulary over time):

You want a formula because you feel disconnected from or distrustful of your own unique, natural magnetic attraction and ability to connect genuinely with others. This applies to many areas of your life, if not all of them.

Certain issues have been with you so long or have you so frustrated, you want a quick-fix. A quick-fix seldom happens. Maybe a temporary fix, but not a long-lasting one. I think you know this, as well as I do. Yet, it’s so tempting to believe a quick-fix formula promise about anything you perceive as a scarcity in your life.

Maybe you’ve been trying to fit into a mold when you really need to stand out in your interesting, distinctive, authentic way. Put a sparrow inside a box and it can’t fly.

A formula is about mixing specific “ingredients” in a specific way to get specific results, and to get the same results each and every time you use it. That works for cake baking, but no way does that fits you—or me—as individuals; and that’s why formulas don’t always work for us, if they work at all, and why you can feel “off” when you use them. This is why deliberately going for your authenticity can’t use a formula to get there. Getting “there” will be as unique and ever-changing as you are.

I encourage you to give what you’ve read here some thought, as well as to get out of your thinking and into your feelings about this. What do you want for yourself and your life? If what you’ve been doing hasn’t created results, it’s time to re-assess this.

I sincerely appreciate that you let me visit you at home or work each week through State of Appreciation. I sincerely appreciate how publishing SOA lets me BE and play in ways that feel good for me. I appreciate when you let me know that something I did or said let you feel heard or inspired.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and New Year, and holidays and a New Year filled with wonders,

Joyce Shafer
You Are More! Empowerment Coach & Author
Publisher, State of Appreciation

P.S. ~ Here is information about my $1 e-book special I’m leaving open until Dec. 30, so you don’t feel rushed about considering this or making a decision, unless you know right off, that is. I’ve put my offerings into categories, with brief but I hope enough description, so you don’t have to figure out which area of your life they belong to. Also—if you get one or more of these offerings, please choose another one as my gift to you.
If you don’t feel my offerings might support you as you’d like, I encourage you to find another author or coach whose work will. You deserve to feel, be, and live strong. And, none of us do this completely alone.


I Don't Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say (New Edition): It’s a one-hour read that invites you to give new consideration to everyday matters we all deal with, as well as invite the bigger picture of life into the mix. This is done through a fictional story about a conversation held between two individuals. Feedback from readers has included they read it more than once and write heavily in the margins, because the messages speak to them. I will share that the Universe guided my hand in this one.

Reinvent Yourself: Refuse to Settle for Less in Life & Business--The eCourse: This includes information I received and worked with when I did additional training with Coaching From Spirit. It provides methods that do work to help you manage your energy, plan your day from a more spirit/intuitive-centered approach, give voice to what you want and don’t want in life, tap into your creativity—and it does offer ways to intuitively, energetically connect with people in life or business—but if you’re looking for a business-related offering, I recommend you check out that category. Some information found here and there is repeated, though expanded in the business offerings. This one can help you manage yourself and emotions through the holidays. The reason “eCourse” is in the title is because I originally created the content for a coaching course I did.

Law of Attraction Alchemy: Change Lead Thoughts into Gold: If you are on my special list to receive uplifting messages Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, you’ll recognize that those messages (though tweaked at times) come from here. However, the e-book has an introduction that explains a bit about Law of Attraction (enough info for newbies and a good reminder for others) and my own experience of using the statements in a specific meditative way.

Amp Up Your Awareness: Reflections on the Go: This is a collection of some of my articles that deal specifically with areas of life that concern us emotionally and energetically. Inkstone approached me to create this collection, but I arranged it to serve you in a way like angel cards: pick one and let it speak to you for the day or the moment.


How I Dropped 35 Lbs. in 2 Months the Healthy Way!: Weight gain is something that is on many people’s minds during and after the holidays. I really did do what I include in this e-book, and I really did shed 35 pounds in 2 months, and I really did feel and look healthier as a result. I included a tummy flattening exercise that, in this case, really is quick and easy and seriously effective.


How To Get Your Spirituality-Based and Practical "Ducks" in a Row Before and After You Become a SoloEntrepreneur: This one’s foundation is from Reinvent Yourself, but expanded. This is why you don’t need both, just the one that better fits what you’re looking for or feels like a better fit right now. What’s true for both e-books is that they offer you methods that do allow you to discover how to be you in your business and in your connection with potential and existing clients or customers.

Spiritual Entrepreneurs: Design, Plan, & Live Your Ideal Life and Business: I got inspired to tweak and expand the information, but this is, at its foundation, what you find in the e-book listed above, just slanted towards people starting a business and struggling to keep spirituality in the mix. Again, feel the title that speaks to you, if this is something you feel drawn to explore and expand in the New Year.

How to Create a Basic Business Plan (Probably the Simplest, Most Straightforward Format You’ll Ever Use): Back when God made dirt, I kept trying to learn how to do a business plan. I went to several classes given by professionals. I heard a lot of info, but never learned how to actually create a plan. When I decided to create a print newsletter way back when, I was determined to put a plan together so I knew what I was doing—at least, as much as I could. A year or so later, my before and after plans (before I experienced the reality of publishing, and after publishing the first issue taught me some things), Gale Research published my before and after versions in their handbook. This is the standard format plus a bit.


Write, Get Published, and Promote: An Easy e-Guide for New and Aspiring Writers: I put this one together because I kept being asked some of the same questions by aspiring writers, plus, there were questions they didn’t ask and needed to. The publishing industry changes each week, it seems, but this was designed to help anyone who wants to write but hasn’t, or is new to writing, including articles. It’s a “foot in the door” level of information, based on experience.

PIPPI'S AND PIPER'S OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: If you want to encourage a child, grandchild, or students ages 4-8 to read, improve reading skills, and enhance their thinking processes, this e-book inspires these skills with a tale of 7-year-old twins (brother and sister) who have interesting conversations with a beetle, a lizard, and a grasshopper on the first day of summer vacation. Includes fun clip art images to support the story and connect images and words. If you’re an educator, you have my permission to print copies to share with your class as they read it or follow along as you or someone reads it aloud to them.

If you wish to order from my e-book selection for the $1 special, here are the instructions:
*Go to
*Go to Send Payment
*Type in my email address –
*Copy and paste the title(s) you want – remember to include which title you’d like as a gift.
*$1 for each title (except the gift, of course)
*Include the email address where you want them sent
*Once I see the notice, I’ll email your selection to you. That’s right, this isn’t automated. This may change in 2012, but for now I’m okay about being like “the little shop around the corner” where you engage with the proprietor, when I offer specials like this one.
**If you believe immediate download will make a difference, you can get your selection(s) at the link I provide here, though, they’ll be full price. If this is your choice, please forward your emailed order confirmation/receipt to me and list the e-book you choose as your gift. The link is

I have just one more thing to do before I wrap this up, and that’s to share four other ways I may be able to assist you:

1. Do It Yourself: Get the easy-to-follow Order Form and Activation Letter format to the Universe for $17. You find the Order Form, but not the letter, included in Reinvent Yourself and the similar e-books in the business category—because it’s effective. But if you just want the process and not all the other information, you can get that and the letter here. Order today at
2. Coaching to Create and Activate Your Order Form with the Universe: Get the form, the letter, and me as your life coach to assist you with either a 30-minute coaching call or up to 3 comprehensive emails to discuss your form and letter. $97 ~ Details are at
3. Fulfillment Is an Inside Job! ~ This is especially beneficial if you’re at a crossroads point in your life, which is a precarious time. When frustrated or desperate for change, you may jump—or be tempted to—onto the “Flashy Things” wagon and be taken for a ride that uses up time, money, and energy without leading to desired results, plus ignore your intuition… because you want to end whichever fear or frustration has a grip on you. This coaching course lets you take a journey through discovery about who you are, what you find fulfilling, what your strengths and talents are, and deepen your connection to yourself and your life. Details about this 8-week online course are available at
4. Standard Life Coaching: The “rules” say I’m supposed to remind you about your pain (as though you need reminding) then tell you the benefits you’ll get, and never ever tell you what coaching is about—yet, how very many people tell me they don’t have a clue about it. So, I’m going to tell you about coaching, and what I will tell you is from my own experience. When I want to vent, I contact my friends. When I want to go deeper and/or move something forward I’m stuck on or perceive as an obstacle, I talk with my coach. I save these conversations for my coach because we went through the same training. We know how to listen with a coach’s “ears” and intuition, how to not believe each others’ stories, how to ask better questions so we help each other do the work, because we choose to get out of that mental/emotional space and into a better one. People want to not just be heard, but feel heard… want to feel they aren’t being judged by someone as they commit to moving through what has them feeling stuck. If this sounds like something you want to do for yourself, you can see more at

If you made it all the way to this point, WOW! And, thank you.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Does Trying to Be Positive Ever Annoy You?

Trying to be positive when that’s not how you feel is kind of like being hungry with a plate of food in front of you, but allowing yourself only a few or no bites. And then there’s the guilt, right?

Sometimes it can feel frustrating to me to practice what I preach: Look for and aim at the positive aspects and a positive attitude in each moment for your own peace of mind and harmony in your life. Why is this? I think it’s because I, and maybe you, too, aim at the desired end result too close to an experience and forget there’s a process that has a purpose that fits right smack in the middle of those two points. That process includes feelings we may label as negative, but they need to “eat” too.

I believe I’m a spiritual being having a human experience, but sometimes I slip into judgment about the human part of that equation, as though it has less value than the spiritual part, instead of being the yang to that yin, or to say it another way, the other side of a whole coin. When I do this to myself, I get onto a merry-go-round that spins a lot, but takes me nowhere. When I disregard my human aspect in this way, it puts me into the mindset of denying my emotions and feelings, as though they are faulty burdens or flaws rather than tools that are also gifts that inform. And, that doesn’t feel good either.

When we feel negative, how obligated are we to feel better fast? I think part of our confusion about this is that we try to respond to such times according to what others expect or we think they do—so, we think that’s what we also should believe, rather than let our human and spiritual aspects act as the partners they are so they can take us through an experience and move us beyond it. This is one reason some of our issues stay unresolved for such a lengthy time: we don’t hang out with them long enough in a way that allows us to be self-informed enough to make firm decisions about how to make an inner then outer shift. However, being “too comfortable” in negativity means identifying with it, as though it has you rather than you have it.

When any of us deny an emotion that asks for our attention, we deny its right to be heard. It’s like feeling the sting of a splinter in your finger, yet insisting it should be ignored in favor of a “higher” approach. It’s a fact that if that splinter finds its way deeper into your body and travels, that ain’t good. That’s what happens with denied feelings. Instead of being fully present with what’s going on, we judge ourselves for having anything going on that’s not totally positive… like insisting our coin always land heads-up and never tails-up. It’s just not realistic.

If you also believe you’re a spiritual being having a human experience, why do you think that is—what I mean is why come here to be in a body? I think we do that to feel, including feelings—like instead of watching a movie, we become actors in it so we experience it. Yet, this seems to be the very thing many of us try not to do inside our lives. With all the things we feel annoy us in life, this denial of our whole self is a really big one we annoy ourselves with.

Here are some of my personal annoyances. Maybe you share one or more:

There are times I don’t like what my human “mirrors” show me about myself. It annoys me to have a gripe about someone and have to face the fact that I do what I’m griping about them doing, in some way, shape, or form. If I don’t want to see it in them or be triggered negatively when I do, I have to shift it so I’m not doing my version of it anymore.

It sometimes annoys me to realize that thinking about “can’t’s” and “won’t’s”, as in what I can’t do and what I don’t have, will NEVER create desired results, that I really do have to direct my thoughts onto what I can do and what I do have if I want desired experiences and results. This one comes from those early years when we’re taught to compare ourselves to others, but with a negative comparison instead of a positive one, a habit we tend to continue as adults. Imagine Mozart self-judging because he wasn’t something other than what he was. He focused on what he did best, and which fed his spiritual-human self.

It annoys me to be in a bad mood and it annoys me to think I should never be in a bad mood. This is some part of me “dissing” my human aspect because, after all, as someone who’s in the self-improvement arena, I “should” always be in a good mood, right? No. I prefer to be in a good mood, so I know I’ll eventually make the effort to go in that direction or hit that target. But the fact is that sometimes it feels GOOD to be in a bad mood just for a while. Whether I inflict that on someone else and to what degree, is another matter altogether.

I know that wallowing in any emotion doesn’t benefit me, and I know that wallowing and experiencing are not the same things. I know that denial of my emotions doesn’t feel good, but neither does letting them rule me like an unruly child. I know that self-judgment never improves a down or bad mood, but denying that this happens sometimes, puts me on that merry-go-round.

I do appreciate how quickly a not-great or even bad mood can flip in a flash. I value those moments. When this happens it’s usually because someone stated appreciation to me in some way or I chose to do or say something that made another person smile or feel appreciated. Maybe we ought to re-assess and re-value how valuable appreciation is to us and others.

You may grasp and accept that everything happens for a reason, has a purpose, and has perfection in the bigger scheme, but it takes true integration before you behave like a calm, wise sage when something affects you and your life. The sage still feels, but has applied him- or herself to doing the process that leads to expanded conscious awareness, by taking themselves through contrasts brought to their attention through emotions and feelings. This process done consistently for however long it takes is what allows them to more quickly close the gap between upset feelings about an experience and true spiritual understanding and at-one-ment, which leads them to manage themselves in the way most of us aspire to do.

Life is about looking for and traveling in the direction that leads us along our path that takes us from one point to another. But, it’s our path to walk. However, we can choose who we engage with at times and how. We can choose to talk to friends, a life coach, or a counselor or therapist. We can be aware there are three forms of communication. There’s complaining while being closed to feedback and productive action steps, which energetically drains the complainer and those who listen to it. There’s venting, which is about tea and sympathy; it asks for a gentle listener who cares and will support you. And there’s discussion, which is a way to brainstorm ideas and possible solutions. Sometimes, we do all three in one conversation. But you can aim at the same target performers do: Whatever happens during the performance, end well, because that’s what people remember.

There’s an art and science to using negative emotions in our favor. We can choose to put this into practice just as soon as we decide it’s time to stop being or stop enjoying being annoyed.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer
See the 4-day $1 sale on all my e-books at

Friday, December 9, 2011

Do You Practice This Mega Energy Zapper?

You may use some of the usual ways to increase energy like rest, diet, supplements, etc., but finding a way to remove or shift this energy zapper will make a huge difference in every area of your life. It’s so commonly practiced that we hardly see it for what it is.

Imagine you’re in the third grade and the teacher hands you your math test, showing you got eight out of ten questions correct. Imagine the teacher being sincere in his or her praise of how well you grasped those eight questions. Now imagine the teacher working with you, pleasantly, to help you grasp the other two so you can feel even stronger in this skill, that what you both look for is what will “connect the dots” for you about these two questions. How supported would you feel? How do you think your self-esteem and self-confidence would be? What kind of self-talk would this approach create; and how would you, then, engage with others?

I used a school example, but we have to include home life, as well. What’s described above is the opposite of what usually happens in both environments. What usually happens is the huge energy zapper of what’s-wrong thinking is put into practice. This kind of thinking is taught to us, and to those who teach it to us, through criticism. What happens when criticism rather than instruction is used?

Criticism causes people to fear making mistakes—a necessary aspect of learning, evolving, and taking calculated risks that result in success. Criticism doesn’t ask good questions, it gives opinions. It focuses on the past; it makes people feel defensive instead of opens communication. It affects learning negatively instead of inspires it (fear of making mistakes); it lowers energy instead of feeds it. All of this combined sets up an environment inside a person to focus on avoiding pain, even if that causes more pain, rather than aim at the pleasure of desired results. They may even give up trying.

There are four energy forms: Physical, emotional, mental, and creative. It’s important, vital actually, to realize that all four forms are interconnected. Deplete or enhance one and the other three are affected, as well.

So, the top energy zapper you use on yourself, others can use on you, and you can use on others is to ask, imply, or focus on what’s wrong, which is criticism that’s often mistaken as solution finding. Sometimes it’s phrased as these questions: What’s wrong with you?! What were you thinking?! Who do you think you are?! Why did you do that?! Why is this happening?! Notice the deliberate use of the interrobang punctuation, named well because it really conveys the “Wham! I just hit you with a ‘What’s wrong with you’ question (that’s really a statement of my personal perspective) right between the eyes.”

Actually, it hits the solar plexus, our energetic area of personal power and security, as it relates to fear and anxiety (not immediate survival threat), which in certain modalities is linked to the adrenal glands and adrenal cortex: Adrenals influence the performance of all four energy forms. Once this Wham! happens, it’s likely we (or others) wear (inside and out) the feeling of “something’s wrong with me” or “this person sees only what they perceive is wrong with me.” Maybe we wear the feeling all the time or just when we get around certain people, depending on how we internalize it.

Whatever the question or statement form, it puts you and them into a negative mind loop. Whether on the giving or receiving end of this, thinking is likely to stay in the good/bad, right/wrong judgment mode. This closes off any input from our intuitive mind that connects our feelings with our thoughts, including empathy and compassion, and very important—curiosity. Something to be curious about is what does a person have to tell him- or herself to make the choice or decision that was made? Think of a recent choice you made, positive or negative: what did you tell yourself in order to make it?

We consider, and even label, someone who’s focused on what’s wrong as negative. Actually, it’s really about how they were influenced to think—that is, to analyze, assess, and process information. And this influence leans far or very far to the side of judging in strict terms of good/bad or right/wrong.
This kind of thinking, because it’s done while on the negative mind loop, may cause a person to do one or all of what’s listed below—and any of us can enter this loop if we aren’t watching out for it:

●Resistance or panic when change seems on the horizon or happens, instead of looking for any value the change may bring.
●Nothing is learned from new or past events, because focus is on what’s wrong, and questions based on what’s wrong get asked; and this also makes the what’s-wrong-filled present and future feel scary.
●Personal strengths or the strengths of others are ignored or forgotten, and focus and emphasis is on perceived weaknesses.
●Negative internal and external thoughts and behaviors are repeated, even though these have yet to produce desired results, and may even have made a situation worse.
●The what’s-wrong approach lowers the emotional energy of everyone involved, which then affects the other three energies.
●“Facts,” as interpreted from the negative mind loop, are gone over and over, rather than look for what’s right and how to do more of that, or a right question that could open the opportunity for improvement, an inspired idea, or a solution to arrive.
●Focus is on mistakes, or fear of making them, rather than on desired results that may take time and ongoing reassessment and adjustment.

If you have any knowledge at all about Law of Attraction, the importance of self-talk, what you see IS what you believe, or any proven truism akin to these, what does what you’ve read so far tell you a person’s life or life in general will feel and be like if “what’s wrong” is the foundation of how they (or you) think? If you pause and consider what’s going on in the smaller and larger circles of life, it’s pretty easy to see what kind of thinking is prevalent at the foundation of family life, society, and education.

This part is tricky, but key: We cannot judge something negatively about ourselves, others, or a situation and change it at the same time. That’s two contrasting visions being held at once. It’s like saying to the Universe (or ourselves), “I want the soup. No, I want the salad. No, the soup… the salad… the soup… You stall either of them from coming to you and sit in hunger, which grows, until you decide and get served the one you choose. Let’s face it, judgment happens. But at some point, if we want something different, we have to let go of judgment and train our vision (thoughts, words, actions) to support our intended result.

Is it time to start using an approach like the one described in the supportive classroom example with yourself and others? If yes, allow a learning curve and adaptation time. You and those you interact with may have a mindset entrenched in what’s-wrong thinking, and it may not be as simple as you’d like to move into a new model—but it’s worth it. Put this new way to focus into practice and you’ll start to experience how it enhances your physical, emotional, mental, and creative energies and that of others around you.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce Shafer is a Life Coach, author, and provider of Fulfillment Is an Inside Job!, an 8-week life-changing online coaching course, and publisher of State of Appreciation, a free weekly online newsletter that blends practical & spiritual approaches to enhance personal power and self-realization through articles and free downloads, when you subscribe at

Monday, December 5, 2011

Number Your Days and Name Your Blessings

Do your days feel ordinary? Do you feel there are too few blessings in your life? Maybe you’d like to shift this.

Let’s look at the second part of the article title first. We tend to put a lot of energy into naming what we want (often stated as “don’t haves”) and not a lot of energy into naming what we have. We are surrounded by people and advertising—obvious and subtle—that promote this as a natural or expected way to be and feel. The result is that we wake each morning, go about our days, and go to sleep with very little appreciation for what we have and may, in fact, dwell on the opposite.

We believe—which is really mimic others and repeat behaviors we learned—that it’s natural or responsible to focus on what’s “wrong” with us, everyone else, and in certain areas of our lives or life itself. This is so prevalent that we miss or discount what is right in us, others, and life. We learned to think about what’s “wrong.” We learned to complain (rather than occasionally vent) to anyone who’ll listen or happens to be where we are, maybe about the same things over and over. We’re so focused in this way that often our perspective about “what is” gets skewed, and our ability to be creative about solutions, resolutions, or improvements gets diminished.

Kurt Wright explained in his book, Breaking the Rules, that we use our rational minds to judge, to assign value as right/wrong, good/bad rather than use that part of our mind as it was designed: To convey “facts into and back out of our intuition,” so that we use our whole-mind function rather than just the analytical mind, which has been scientifically proven unable to discern fact from fiction. The result is that we disallow “good judgment” to happen. Judgment, in its most beneficial form, is there to help us figure out what fits and doesn’t, in an ongoing, ever-evolving assessment of a desired ideal. When we go straight into right/wrong, good/bad judgment, we block our intuition’s ability to respond to beneficial questions like, “What else might be going on here? What might the bigger picture be? What feels appropriate for me, or inappropriate? What would have to happen for me to feel head and heart alignment about this?”

Recognizing what you have doesn’t mean you aren’t aware of what you’d like to shift so that you have more desirable experiences and results. In fact, the greater your appreciation for what you have, the greater your ability is to solve, resolve, and make productive shifts. We want more “blessings” in our life, but do we notice (name) the ones we have? To those who have appreciation, more to appreciate is given.

One way to name your blessings, as wisely stated by Joel Osteen, is to as often as possible, exchange the words HAVE TO with GET TO. Think about what this really means in the greater scheme of life around the world. You don’t have to go to work, you get to go to work (you’re able to receive income). You don’t have to do your studies, you get to do them (education is available). You don’t have to wake up, you get to wake up (you’re alive another day, with its opportunities). You don’t have to interact with your children or other family members, you get to (your loved ones are still with you). You don’t have to work with clients or customers, you get to (people want what you provide). Recall the last thing you said you had to do and use “get to” instead of “have to”. How does that feel? Example: I have to grocery shop vs. I get to grocery shop, which means I get to walk into a store and easily reach for what I want or need rather than have to grow, raise, process, or preserve all of it.

What else in your life do you say you Have to do that, with a perspective shift, you realize you Get to do? See? Hear? Breathe? Feel? Think? Love? Appreciate? Pay for products and services that benefit your life? Use your limbs? How many things do you experience that go unnoticed or unappreciated by you?

This leads to the first part of the article title: Number Your Days. The quote comes from the Bible, Psalm 90:12 – “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” This is about appreciating each day. It’s about realizing what author Dan Millman realized: “There are no ordinary moments.” I add: only ordinary perspectives.

We are so involved with our thoughts about matters and things, mostly negative thoughts, that we miss the fact that every moment we have is extraordinary—and numbered. None of us know the number of our days or the days of others. It’s not that we’re to use this as our motivation to behave better, but to let awareness of this motivate better behavior and deeper appreciation—to place greater value on our moments and blessings than we have been. I’m not saying we should appreciate anything that’s intolerable or inappropriate (though, we can appreciate that we can discern this and make a choice in favor of our well-being); this is about the gifts in our life that we don’t recognize and name as such.

You woke up today. It’s likely you were able to get out of bed without assistance—same for going to the bathroom; or if you needed assistance, it’s likely you had it. It’s likely you showered or bathed inside, with water you could adjust temperature-wise to suit you. You probably had coffee and food in your kitchen or easy access to someone who provided them. Maybe you drove, rode a bike, used public transportation, or walked to work—even if that’s in the next room. Maybe you interacted with a loved one or will during the day. The list can go on and on. It’s up to you to practice naming your blessings, small and large. It’s up to you to practice seeing your days and moments as numbered and, therefore, not in the least ordinary.

Today, and everyday, take time to appreciate what you have, especially what you usually don’t think about, or often take for granted. Consider the habit of not getting out of bed until you find at least one reason to feel deep appreciation, rather than start your day with grumbling. Make a moment to state appreciation to someone—it matters. It makes a difference—for them and for you.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Greatest Challenge of Enlightenment?

Enlightenment can be challenging; at least, that’s been my experience at times—mostly because of what we have to let go of in order to let it in. But, is there a particular challenge to be aware of? Let’s see.

There’s a passage in the Bible that says what the result of planting a seed of faith is has all to do with where the seed is planted and whether or not it takes root. Think of all the things we’ve been told that matter when it comes to manifestation and Law of Attraction, things that make it work and what might prevent it from working. I believe there’s something at the heart of this, or in this case, at the root: I believe it starts with the seed.

You may plant the seed of trust, faith, or belief in Truth—and this may show itself as a seedling above ground; but until it takes root in your very being, the first wind (challenge, trial, or tribulation) that comes up may up-root it. Also, many of us grew up in an environment that’s more like a seed planted among thorny bushes, in the soil of worry, fearfulness, and struggle. This is why worry, fearfulness, and negative thinking seem to run in our veins; and we may even feel we can’t get rid of them, despite our efforts to think and act the opposite. We’re confused about what to do to shift this. This leads me to . . .

The passage that states those who have will be given more; and those with less will have more taken away, which makes sense when you think of it in terms of trust in the Truth. If you start with even a small amount of genuine trust—not lip-service to it, you’ll be given even more reasons to trust. You’ll receive personal evidence that demonstrates that your trust in Truth works; and your trust (rooted in the good soil of receptivity) will grow even stronger. Those with little or no trust in the Truth receive personal evidence of what is in their hearts and minds: fear, lack, worry, and so forth. They’ll experience more reasons not to trust—until they renew their thoughts based in Truth, that is, plant a better seed in better soil.

This doesn’t mean the person who trusts never has “trials and tribulations,” it means they don’t have the same after-the-fact thoughts a person who doesn’t trust or trusts little has. It’s like the quote Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar that’s been revised to something like, “A coward dies a thousand deaths, a courageous man but one.” Those who are rooted in trust may have an initial shock when something happens, and react to it; but that person then turns to trust in Truth to remain strong, while they trust the purpose and outcome, as well, despite temporary appearances.

Those with little or no trust at their roots “die many deaths,” because of the numerous “why me” conversations and negative “possibilities” they envision, along with the great number of negative, fearful comments they make to themselves and others.

Please understand that there is a difference between an initial, understandable emotional reaction to something that happens that may even require healing time vs. choosing to wallow in emotions that make our reaction to a situation worse—through our thoughts about it—when we can choose to follow a path that helps us learn something about ourselves then rise above what happened and move forward.

One prominent example of shaky or thorny “seeding” is through The Great Detractor—the seed of money fears planted in us. We, indeed, cannot serve two masters: Spiritual expansion through trust in Truth and money fears; though, it’s the same for any fear we carry in our thoughts such as self-worth, among others. The twist to this is that if you chase money or allow it to be a demanding master and you its slave, especially with fear and worry attached to that pursuit, money AND spiritual expansion will elude you.

I use spiritual expansion here, but really it’s about the thought seed. Someone not especially spiritual or spiritual at all may have a healthy thought seed about money, so never experiences money as a real issue or doesn’t experience a temporary money issue the same way someone with a fearful money seed does. It’s the same for self-worth, self-confidence, and so on. Their personal truth is different, so their experiences and results are, as well.

This is a lot of chat about Truth. What is it? You know it when you feel it. It’s consistent. It lets you find serenity, even in a storm, because it’s shown you before that you can trust it, that you can always trust it. It lifts you out of ego and into greater awareness about a particular matter. Discovery of the Truth is the most personal journey you’ll ever take; and clues have been left for you over thousands of years. Even if you study with a master, no one can make this journey for you.

The greatest challenge of enlightenment may very well be the foundation of trust in the Truth—the strength of the root structure that takes hold in the “soil” of your self—that supports everything that comes after you plant the seed. I still experience trust lapses at times; but as soon as I remember what I know, what I’ve learned, and return to trust, how I experience a situation that arises shifts. It took a while for me to realize my inner shift was even more important than any outer one.

One way to put this into practice is to recall a time when you did trust, when you replaced fear with trust in Truth, let’s say in the Universe, God, or whatever word you use. Recall how letting go of all the negative mind chatter that served only to stir up negative emotions, left you feeling more at one with yourself instead of fragmented. Hold that feeling. Step into it. Memorize it and call it up when you need to. If you say this has never been your experience, you may choose to consider if you’d like it to be.

It’s easy, and understandable, to think a method is “the thing” when it comes to not only getting desired results, but also in how we feel about ourselves and life overall. And our pursuit of numerous methods is like planting many seeds and hoping for better results than the others we’ve planted. But, until we plant the seed that produces the fruit we desire, and plant it in receptive soil that we consistently nurture, we’ll continue to try to figure out how to get apples from a pear tree or why our apple tree won’t grow in the desert.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce Shafer is a Life Coach, Author, and provider of Love Who You Really Are, Go for What You Really Want—an 8-week life-changing online coaching course that lets the real you come out and play (you know you want to!), and publisher of State of Appreciation, a free weekly online newsletter that blends practical & spiritual approaches to enhance personal power and self-realization through articles, and free downloads, when you subscribe at

Friday, November 18, 2011

Do You Know Where Your Manifestation and Energy Leaks Are?

You put real effort into improving areas of your life; yet, desired improvements don’t happen as quickly as you’d like or not at all. Could it be that there are one or more leaks you aren’t aware of?

A family member moved her travel trailer from the desert, where it seldom rains, to a location that gets more rainfall. That’s how she discovered a few leaks in her trailer she didn’t know about. My comment to her was, “Nothing like rain to show you where your leaks are.” That’s how life works, as well. It’s not always about an isolated leak big enough to get our attention, it’s sometimes about the ones we don’t “see” for what they are or that we’re so used to that we ignore them, but do see or feel their effects.

Here’s the biggest leak I believe most of us have in common:

In our subconscious mind—and even partially in our conscious mind, we believe our reality is “supposed” to be a certain way. And, that’s exactly how it is. Really think about what this means. What do you actually believe… you know… those thoughts of yours that are prevalent no matter what else you tell yourself? Do you wake every morning and think most of the same thoughts throughout the day, as you did the days before? This is like painting the same landscape on a new canvas almost exactly the same way every day—then wondering why the scene stays the same or when it will ever change.

You—and you’re in good company—likely visualize (think about) what you don’t want or don’t like, with lots of emotion involved… and you get more of what you don’t want or don’t like every day, in some measure. It’s like a dog chasing its tail and griping about the view it believes it “has” or is “forced” to look at.

I’m not religious, but I appreciate the first line of Psalm 96: “Sing to the Lord a new song” (and to yourself and others)—not the same old song you’ve been “singing” every day. Become aware that you amplify any problems or challenges with your perspective about them, which affects your attitude, which affects your words and actions, which determine how you travel through your day and life. Going back to the painting analogy, keep in mind that how you’ll change the scene on the canvas happens first as what you envision in your mind then decide on then follow through on.

In a moment, I’ll give you an effective way to mend energy and manifestation leaks so you start changing the landscape of your life, but first...

Since the holidays are upon us, let’s look at a possible leak-mending “opportunity” that often results in stress: family gatherings. What I’m about to share may help you ease up on yourself and others during such times. I’ve seen several attributes for the following comment, though I first heard it attributed to Ram Das. This comment is brilliant and on target: “If you want to know how enlightened you are, spend a week with your family.” I offer this to encourage you to, hopefully, chuckle at a “common” condition. If you notice any stress during gatherings, just thinking of this statement may lighten your energy. Also, keep in mind that energy flows in both directions: if you find it stressful to be around certain people and their attitudes, you can bet they find it stressful to be around you and your attitude.

The “rain” in our life can be anyone, not just immediate family members, or events… it’s anyone and anything that triggers us, including ourselves with our thoughts. When we’re triggered, we tend to get annoyed at whoever or whatever triggered us, the Universe, and ourselves for “still” being able to be triggered no matter how long we’ve been working on our personal enlightenment. One reason we get triggered about some of the same things repeatedly is because we rely on our thoughts and beliefs to inform and guide us instead of what we KNOW, “know” meaning the Deeper Spiritual Wisdom we’ve gained by paying attention differently. The less you realize you KNOW indicates that you could pay more attention in a deeper way.

As promised, here’s a way to begin to paint your landscape differently, as well as mend leaks you know about, or show up, or before they happen. It’s ancient, proven, and powerful. You can use it during meditation, while you shower, while you drive, or anytime during the day or night.

Think of one or more empowering statements, something that’s a sincere intention for your day or your life. Here are a few I suggest:
●I am always in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, and with the right action.
●I am attuned to my intuition and follow it effortlessly.
●I always have plenty of money to do everything I want and need to do.
●I have all the energy and enthusiasm I need to accomplish whatever I need and choose to today.
●Something about my experience with (fill in the blank) shifts in a positive way today.
●Something wonderful happens in my life today, and everyday.
●Today, I feel deeper appreciation for what I DO have and know that even more waits for me to receive it.
●Today, I allow myself to receive my Good, which comes in many forms and from any of the Universe’s infinite resources.

It’s best if you say your statements aloud and alone, but you can do this in your mind if you’re with others. The process is as follows: Make one of your statements. Then make the “Ah” sound—aloud and sustained (and strong, not wimpy), until you run out of breath. Think about your statement as you make the sound—feel the positive effects of your statement on you and your life. Do this twice for each statement, the first time aloud, the second time to yourself, one statement at a time. As you do this practice, you allow that what you state will or “could” happen or improve in the way or ways you desire, or even better.

Maybe you’ve learned effective methods like the one I provide here. And, maybe you used them for a while then stopped. Have you ever wondered why you do that?

We want different results, but expect them to come from our habituated behaviors—because those behaviors are routine to us—we don’t have to consciously think about whether they create desired results or not. It’s okay if you prefer to “do life” as it shows up for you. You only need to concern yourself with inner and outer shifts if you are discontent. But, if you do want a new (improved) you or experience of life, you have to be aware of, not dwell on, the “old” aspects that no longer serve you, you have to hold a vision of the new version—and most importantly, you have to RENEW the new ways every day—meaning put into practice each day, your improved thoughts, feelings, intentions, and ways you speak and act.

You will continue to find new leaks in your energy and manifestation process because that’s how the human process goes. You can mend new and long-standing leaks so that you don’t experience them again—or ever again experience them the same way as you have been. I’m not saying this is necessarily easy, just doable.

The question is: Will you put this or any other effective method into daily practice? “Life is easy when you do it the hard way and hard when you do it the easy way.” To me this quote means we can be consistent with our proven personal empowerment methods and let life feel and be more effortless, or we can take the “easy” way of not putting effective methods into consistent practice and deal with the results, which is usually life feeling and being difficult, frustrating, or a struggle. Which leaks will you notice and mend this week?

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce Shafer is a Life Coach, Author, and provider of Love Who You Really Are, Go for What You Really Want—an 8-week life-changing online coaching course that lets the real you come out and play (you know you want to!), and publisher of State of Appreciation, a free weekly online newsletter that blends practical & spiritual approaches to enhance personal power and self-realization through articles, and free downloads, when you subscribe at

Friday, November 11, 2011

Are You in Drive or Reverse?

Are you traveling through life or are you on a journey? Are you looking forward or at the past? Your answers reveal a lot about the direction you’re going in and what kind of experiences you’ll have.

Maybe you can relate… It was a major life change for me to move from New York City to my hometown in the deep South, for reasons you might imagine and others you might not. I was on board with it, though: My father had died and my elderly, legally-blind mother who has health issues had friends here, but no family. The decision to move and the moving process was quick and intense, and kept me so focused that I had little time to consider all of my feelings. I was fully committed to the move, so didn’t look back… until I was in my new location. And then I found my focus was more on the rearview mirror of my life than the windshield.

That can happen with any minor, but especially major life shift. In the presence of the unknown and as yet undefined present that contributes to the future, the past offers the comfort of the familiar, even if it contains painful times, as all pasts do. This moment in time can cause us to feel we have a foot in both the past and present, and to forget that our lives are a journey. We may find we move, instead, as travelers who feel pressured by tasks and schedules, as well as real and self-imposed needs for speed. We may feel rushed to get settled, and momentum going in the new life, with more tension than enjoyment or enthusiasm.

We’re told the Universe loves speed; but I think a disclaimer should be added: When the Universe sends us an inspired idea or an opportunity that’s appropriate for us or is one we requested, we are to respond immediately. It doesn’t mean we are required to speed through every moment of life in order to get a nod of approval from the Universe, which will then provide what we need and desire, because we’ve proven ourselves as willing perpetual-motion machines. In fact, that approach can block our energy because we aren’t in flowing give-and-receive mode, we’re in ‘gotta do” mode.

Here’s something relevant Old Bill said to A.J.: “When people are just travelin, they start out with the notion they’re gonna end up someplace by a certain time. They get together what they think they’ll need and head out…. they’re on a schedule. If a detour comes up on the highway or there’s a traffic jam, they get upset. A person on a journey prepares the basics as well, but doesn’t have a schedule–not as such. That person is willin, if not enthusiastic, about enjoyin every second. Might create detours just to see what’s there. Maybe pulls over to watch a sunrise or sunset. Might get out in a rain shower to feel the cool drops on their skin–taste the rain. That kind of person will stop along the way just to talk to people, have a new experience. You can tell a lot about how a person moves through life by how they travel.”

Whenever you have a major life change—or are in need of one, you know that whether you’re prepared for the change or not, you’ve got a lot of feelings going on; and maybe you have time to process them or you don’t, though, eventually they’ll demand some of your time. Even if the change is positive, there’s a level of mourning involved—for the positive aspects that no longer exist and for the comfort the familiar once provided. If we allow ourselves to go overboard with this or to linger in this type of thinking too long, we find ourselves in Reverse instead of in Drive, no matter what we may do to move forward.

An automatic part of any change is setting-up and adjustment time—in a new job or career, relationship—with a new partner or child—or now alone, a new home, or geographic location; and sometimes some or all of these happen at once. This time is more often akin to traveling rather than being on a journey. There’s so much to think about and take care of that demands your attention, all while your feelings and emotions are adjusting, as well. You may find yourself “stopping to smell the roses,” but as memories of the ones you left behind by choice, or not, rather than the “roses” on your new path. If a change is sudden and unexpected, the last thing you may want to do for a while is contemplate what the changes mean in a positive way for you and your life. But, at some point, you must. It’s the only way to find and plant seeds of happiness and fulfillment.

We can understand this type of response is common for many, and we can decide to honor our feelings then invite the potential and possibilities ahead of us into our state of mind and being and lives. That is what life is about, after all. And this may happen for you gradually or in a flurry. Neither way is wrong or right. It’s always best to know yourself, and it’s a good idea to nudge yourself if you stay still or look in the rearview mirror too long.

I invite you to pause and consider, as I did, in which direction your attention is focused, and if your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions behave as supportive fuel to get you where you desire to BE next. Are you traveling with rigid rules so you stay on your or someone else’s schedule, or are you on a journey with adventures and slow times, two-lane detours and major highways, rock and rose gardens? Do you take time to notice and smell the roses, or perhaps to seek out rose gardens—or plant your own? Which practice feels more like the one you truly desire?

[Content in quotation marks excerpted from I Don’t Want to Be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say.]

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce Shafer is a Life Coach, Author, and provider of Love Who You Really Are, Go for What You Really Want—an 8-week life-changing online coaching course that lets the real you come out and play (you know you want to!), and publisher of State of Appreciation, a free weekly online newsletter that blends practical & spiritual approaches to enhance personal power and self-realization through articles, and free downloads, when you subscribe at

Friday, November 4, 2011

Do You Struggle with Feeling Authentic?

Do you carry the feeling of not being your authentic self or living authentically, and a fear of doing so? If your answer is yes, here are two significant causes for this you need to be aware of.

What I consider the first cause—a genuinely significant one—is that we, for the most part have been socially “disconnected” from our whole-mind self that requires our intuitive skills be included in any thoughtful, creative mental processing. Developing and using this aspect of who we really are will assist us out of the negative effects of the other cause, which I mention in a moment, and into living as our authentic selves.

Years back, Dr. Roger Sperry conducted a surgical experiment that disconnected the logical part of the mind from the intuitive part. The result was telling: Without the intuitive abilities, the logical mind is unable to discern true from not true. This is a primary reason to keep in mind that genuine intuition never lies to us or steers us wrong.

The brain is a computer, and like a computer is programmable. Our initial and most prominent programs originated outside of us: they came from others who conveyed to us what is to be judged good or bad about ourselves, others, events, and life. We continue this pattern when we don’t turn to our intuition for more information.

The fact that a bigger picture beyond isolated incidents always exists is seldom included in our early childhood programming; nor is the fact that we have a whole mind, not just a logical mind, nurtured and developed. Society demonstrates a higher value is placed on logic than on intuition, as though we only have one and not the other, or should. Even if we believe or know differently, and even after evidence of what a whole-mind approach can create, we still generally fear expanding this, much less owning it as a fact of our human nature and design.

This means we struggle more often than not, even with matters that could be simpler to resolve, because we rely on logic that says matters are “black and white” or “good or bad”—defined as such for us first by others; and this results in our accepting untruths from others about ourselves and life. We accept these untruths with no further exploration such as using a “What else might it be” approach, often because non-acceptance of certain untruths—or questioning what we were told—resulted in some form of penalty. We adopt and adapt in hopes of being awarded acceptance.

Because high value is place primarily on logical thinking and behaving, we remain mostly disconnected from our authentic whole-mind selves. We know something is missing, but we look in the wrong direction to find and improve this.

This misdirection causes us to put more focus onto perceived weaknesses rather than genuine strengths—our own, as well as others’. And this leads to the other cause of feeling inauthentic: Living defensively. Defensive behaviors are a result of low self-esteem caused by feeling unable or uninformed about how to self-determine our worth or value separate from what others expect of us or “should” on us. We’ve been programmed, and have bought into the belief that we must meet others’ expectations in order to be assigned personal worth or value—by them, which is untrue. So, instead of exploring and discovering who we are and using our whole mind to do this, we spend our lives trying to please others, or at least, to not draw negative attention to us.

No one wants to feel embarrassed, humiliated, or considered a failure; and in our attempt to avoid this, we live defensively—sometimes in the extreme. But we have to realize that defensive living is motivation, energy, and life purpose in reverse. There’s a high cost paid when we practice defensive living. Here are several costs, though you maybe could list more.

Cost 1: Fear of embarrassment or humiliation impedes our ability to hear constructive feedback; and some either go ballistic or wither if any kind of criticism is given, including constructive. This fear hampers our ability to productively resolve issues and conflicts that come our way.

Cost 2: It’s exhausting to try to keep our weaknesses hidden from others. We put so much energy into this that we sacrifice a great deal of our creative, productive energy that leads to desired experiences and results.

Cost 3: Belief that we have to fix what’s “wrong” with us or with others or with our life locks the “this is broken” pattern into place, and we experience feeling we and life are perpetually broken, and possibly beyond transformation, instead of focusing on what and how and the truth that improvements can happen.

Cost 4: Defensiveness creates a negative, limiting magnetic field around us and “more of the same” comes our way, even if “new” issues are variations on a very old theme. We imagine defensive living will shield us from what we fear, but it just leads to what’s often called self-fulfilling prophecy (“That’s exactly what I was afraid or knew would happen!”).

Cost 5: It’s exhausting to try to identify and rid ourselves of what we believe are our every weakness; plus, we often find our “list” of top weaknesses may have the same items as 5, 10, or more years ago—we feel unable to break the pattern. This is because our time and energy are almost solely focused on perceived weaknesses, rather than on using strengths and building upon strengths.

Cost 6: It impedes our ability to accept responsibility for ourselves and our lives—we’re terrified to make a mistake. Or if we make a mistake, we behave as though the worst has happened—because that’s how we feel, and sometimes were made to feel. We disregard the fact that everyone makes mistakes, that mistakes can truly be used as opportunities to learn and improve, not as reasons to be punished or self-punished.

Living defensively isn’t living. Defensive living based on what’s been described here is depleting. If you focus on your strengths—using them and building upon them—you’ll find you engage your creative, inspired, intuitive aspects. This is energizing. Recall a time you were in your creative groove. No energy depletion there! This is why problem-solving based in intuitive, creative whole-mind processing gives you energy for more and for better. Intuition is able to give you inspired information that your logical mind can then take action on. This is our natural design and how we can perform at our best.

What might happen if you put into practice the application of your strengths, intuition, and creativity towards whatever may need a solution or resolution? You’d listen to and follow your inner compass instead of taking detours and misdirection prescribed by others. What’s more authentic than that?!

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce Shafer, Life Coach, Author, and provider of Love Who You Really Are, Go for What You Really Want—an 8-week life-changing online coaching course that lets the real you come out and play (you know you want to!), and publisher of State of Appreciation, a free weekly online newsletter that blends practical & spiritual approaches to enhance personal power and self-realization through articles, and free downloads, when you subscribe at

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

One Reason Your Nagging Issue Seems Hardest to Resolve

This particular reason keeps the same problem or problems around far longer than you ever imagined they would be. It’s also what contributes to your feeling stressed, exhausted, frustrated, and why little to no lasting progress is made, no matter what you do.

Think of one issue you’ve been personally struggling with for a while, say, five years or longer. It might be money, weight, health, business or career, or something else (more about what the real issues may be in a moment).

Here are three approaches you might have chosen regarding your issue, maybe even all three over time, depending on your frustration levels. I ask you to suspend any judgment you might impose on yourself or others as you read them.

1. You sincerely want to improve this issue and have tried one or more (or many) systems, invested a lot of yourself into more information and numerous attempts, but the issue just isn’t shifting in your favor; or, any shifts you do make don’t last, much less expand into more of what you desire.
2. You make halfhearted efforts at improvements.
3. You make no effort beyond complaining to yourself and others.

Whichever approach listed here has been the one you’ve taken—or all three, the reason, which I’m about to share with you, contributes significantly to why the first approach doesn’t lead to desired results, as well as why you might choose the second or third approach. The reason has two parts.

Part 1

Let’s say you sincerely desire to improve your issue or situation, so you begin to focus on this, maybe make some headway, then find yourself pushed or slammed backwards… the old one-step-forward, two-steps-back pattern. What’s happening?

When some desired shift of an issue doesn’t happen despite our efforts, there are many considerations we could make that include alignment with right purpose, right location, right this, right that… all significant aspects that deserve genuine consideration. For our purposes here, I ask you to focus on any issue you know CAN be different, but none of your efforts lead to what you ultimately desire, or you find your ability to act on your behalf is hampered at the inner level, which of course hampers your outer-level actions and results.

Let’s use a specific example. Say you’ve recently (or for longer) been feeling and telling yourself that you’re a failure, in some measure. Question: Do your behaviors (thoughts, feelings, words, and actions) match the idea in your mind of what someone who is a failure thinks, feels, says, and does? Now, substitute “failure” with any word that best fits what your primary struggle currently is or continues to be and consider the question again, and keep it in mind as you continue to read.

If you’ve long perceived yourself as a failure (or whatever), your behaviors will support how a person who’s a failure “should” behave. Notice I didn’t use “would” behave, I deliberately used “should.” There is no rulebook for this, just best guesses and what you’ve been conditioned to believe. Your analytical left brain is programmable and has programs running about what failure should mean to you, how you should behave according to your program, and what should happen if you try to abandon the program that’s running.

If you decide to shift from “failure me” to “successful me,” and you begin to behave in ways that don’t match how you believe a person who’s a failure should behave (thoughts, feelings, words, actions), the part of your mind responsible for monitoring program settings, still set on “failure,” will attempt, and succeed, to get you to return to behaviors that support what you believe a person who’s a failure behaves like.

Part 2

You can see how that program creates a vicious vortex. This vortex spins even faster when you attempt to follow a path supported with a thought like “I’m not a failure.” This is because the word “not” is ignored (it’s the same for the word don’t). Go to your Internet browser and type in “Recipes Not Italian” or “Don’t give me Italian Recipes.” Which recipes will come up first and for quite a while? Italian, of course, because the computer ignores the word “not,” just as your brain ignores it, and just as the very literal quantum fulfillment field ignores it, too; and all three “computers” strive to fulfill the other words included in your request.

This means that when you attempt to shift from perceiving yourself as a failure by trying to perceive yourself as (not) a failure, this runs a double-negative through your brain. This is why nothing or little changes and why you feel stressed and exhausted. It’s like trying to run up a down escalator that adjusts its opposing speed when you do.

How many of these double-negatives are running in your life right now? If you want to identify them, just look at any area you’re struggling with, especially if you’ve been struggling with it, or them, for a while. However, I ask you to look at what really may be going on. If your answer is money, the underlying stressor cause may be an issue of self-worth, self-value, or self-identity. If it’s weight, the underlying stressor cause may be self-image or self-acceptance. If it’s taking action, the underlying stressor cause may be a deep fear of criticism which keeps your self-critic active. Find your word and ask what the underlying stressor cause may actually be.

Fortunately, your intuitive big-picture right side of the brain is trainable, rather than programmable, and can be retrained. Here’s a way to do this that also leads to a realistic resolution for your lingering issue. Using “failure you” as an example again, swap it with “successful you.” What do you believe, perceive, or imagine that you, as a successful individual—according to your ideal image of this, not that of anyone else—would think, feel, say (to yourself and to others), and do action-taking-wise? (Notice I didn’t ask what “successful you” would have, but who you would be.) Make a list for each category, such as: How Successful Me Knows to Think, etc. Instead of judging which items on your list you haven’t done or don’t do consistently, pick one or two a week and integrate them as a way of being successful you. These are actually strengths you already possess that just need to be built up and upon.

“The law of floatation was not discovered by contemplating the sinking of things,” Thomas Troward said. Any person who achieves or accomplishes desired improvements, goals, or dreams says, thinks, feels, plans and takes action differently than someone who consistently doesn’t achieve desired results. Perhaps it’s time to consider what you’ve been putting into practice and start putting something positive into practice instead.

You may want to rush toward desired outcomes to ease painful emotions, especially if you’ve been struggling, but start by putting your attention on the inner practice described here, which will extend itself naturally into your life and create a strong foundation for desired results to be more effortless to accomplish.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce Shafer, Life Coach, Author, and provider of Love Who You Really Are, Go for What You Really Want—an 8-week life-changing online coaching course that lets the real you come out and play (you know you want to!), and publisher of State of Appreciation, a free weekly online newsletter that blends practical & spiritual approaches to enhance personal power and self-realization through articles, and free downloads, when you subscribe at

Friday, October 21, 2011

What Personal Power Really Is

What does personal power mean to you? It’s something we all want more of, so maybe if we’re sure what it is, we’ll know where to go from there.

Personal Power can mean many things to us. Maybe you think it means better use of Law of Attraction, more money flowing more consistently in your direction, influence, self-confidence, and so forth; and, possibly, all of these and more. Whatever it means to you, what personal power really is, is as much a result as it is a means to desired results.

Here’s a nifty way to understand what personal power really is: Personal Power equals Effectiveness. And, we can do things that either expand or deplete how effective we are. I give you a few significant examples of each of these ways in a moment.

Something you may find helpful to keep in mind is that you can shift your focus from increasing your personal power to increasing your effectiveness. This applies to whatever personal power means to you. This perspective puts a different slant on how to expand your power; maybe this even makes it feel easier, doable, and less ambiguous. This pathway opens you to inspired ideas, and to pay attention to what works and creates improvements, rather than on what you judge as broken or on what you perceive as wrong with you.

Let’s look at ways you may deplete your effectiveness:

*Time, Energy, or Money is put towards something your heart really isn’t into.
*Make choices that are not in your best interest or are not appropriate for you.
*Thoughts, self-talk, and actions aren’t focused on desired results.
*Add steps that are not really needed to get desired results.
*Allow time-draining tasks then get used to engaging in time-draining activities.
*Focus is placed on too many goals or improvements at once, which results in being scattered or overwhelmed.
*Make disempowering choices, which makes making disempowering choices easier and easier, even if the results are undesired.
*Have a to-do list without priorities, direction, or purpose.
*Give time, energy, or money to anything that doesn’t provide a return in some measure, whether that’s of a spiritual, emotional, or tangible nature. This includes foods and beverages, people, volunteer work, studies, activities, etc.

Let’s look at ways you can enhance your effectiveness:

*Put time, energy, and money into what feels worthy to you and that your heart is into.
*Trust that consistent small improvements, rather than massive action, are more effective and lasting; understanding that the very thought of massive action may cause you to never get organized, much less get started.
*Plan and take some effective action every day.
*Recognize that although learning is an action and is effective, real effectiveness happens when you put what you learn into practice, and modify as needed.
*Exchange what slows or holds off desired results for what creates or moves toward desired results.

Although Personal Power can take many forms, three elements support it: time, energy, and money. When you deplete one, you deplete the other two. When you enhance one, you enhance the other two.

You have all the personal power you need. It’s a matter of directing it better and deliberately. Here’s how you can put this into practice: Pick an area of your life that you want to improve. Use the depleting and enhancing information offered here as a guide for one week. Look at ways you know are effective in a positive, productive way and use them. Try new ways on and see how they work, with no concept of failure involved, just research, testing, and assessment of results. Maybe pick one of the three elements to focus on: better time-usage choices, better choices that support your energy, or better money choices. Keep notes about how your actions on one element affect the other two. Notice how the three elements work as a team.

If you’re ready to increase your effectiveness, start at the inner level, especially with deliberately supportive self-talk and thinking; it will ripple outward into your life in ways you appreciate. Put improved effectiveness into practice, and enjoy feeling more personally powerful in your life.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer
This week’s State of Appreciation is live!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Belief, Faith, Knowing: What’s the Difference?

Others and I have used the words belief, faith, and knowing interchangeably, but I’ve realized there’s a difference. It’s important to use the right word to arrive at the desired state of mind.

Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” In my experience, Knowing is fed by Faith, and Faith is fed by Belief. This means Belief is the first “rung” on that particular ladder. And that means you get to Knowing through the ability to believe in a particular way—and putting it into practice.


Desired Belief—the ability to believe something positive and in our favor—is tricky for many people. We’re so practiced with doubt and worry, that landing on Belief can be challenging. Belief has its own ladder; and this is why you have to be honest about which rung you can comfortably put your foot on, in order to climb it. Say you’ve struggled with weight for years. You may say you’re going to lose 50 pounds and keep it off, but not really believe it. However, you may be able to say and believe that you know how to lose two pounds a week and that you will do what it takes to make that improvement each week until you reach your desired weight, and maintain it.

A quick way to get into a Belief state is to feel, as a possibility, “Why not?!” Why not allow that your desired outcome could happen? It takes as much energy to believe it can’t or won’t happen as it does to believe it could; but could feels better and opens you to a greater chance of fulfillment. Here’s how a typical mental conversation might go: “It could happen, so why not?! Well, maybe I don’t deserve it.” Consider people who have what you might desire and whose deserve-quotient you might question. Does “deserve” really fit? No, it doesn’t. Deserve is an imposed perception, not a rule; and what you believe about what you deserve opens or blocks receiving. The creative energy doesn’t judge whether you deserve, it supplies what you believe.

Belief happens through repetition—positive or negative—mental, verbal, or repetitive actions. This is why we can fool ourselves and stay with the surface appearance rather than go deeper, where Universal Truth is found: We are what we think. Fortunately, we can decide to choose what we think; though, we may choose to ignore this truth and its inherent potential to influence life in our favor. We can also choose to improve what needs improvement at the outer level, which builds self-belief. “I believe I could improve this” is a good “lower rung” if “I will improve this” feels out of reach initially.

Belief that what happened in the past Is What Is, affects your power to believe in what’s possible now or in the future. Decide to stop letting the past prevent you from receiving your present and future. Here’s a tip that works: Each night, repeat three times to yourself: “As I sleep, I have one or more dreams that cause me to…” Work on only one desired result at a time; but you can ask to feel happy, confident, inspired, to be attuned to needed resources—whatever you feel would benefit you most at the moment. Keep it simple.


When we deliberately practice influencing what and how we believe, and do this in our favor—and make it a point to observe small and large evidences of this working, we build faith that what we believe influences what we receive and how we experience life.

Faith is the absence of doubt; but, how to do you get to that place? You can start with “Why not?!” and call up one or more memories of times you believed something good would happen in your favor—and it did. This deliberate way of thinking connects you with the feeling you had when something worked out, maybe the way you hoped and maybe in a way even better than you imagined—or even if that meant it didn’t work out, and that was in your favor, too. Faith comes from connecting to the feeling when your best interests were met and deciding to trust they’ll be met in your favor again… and again.


Knowing is an intuitive connection to the flow of creative energy. It’s when your desired result or experience is in harmony with the bigger picture—and you feel, with faith, that something wonderful on its way to you. I love these moments. Sometimes they seem to just happen, but most times it’s because I deliberately moved myself through belief and faith memories to stimulate the feeling of knowing that I’m part of—a participant in—something larger, and in partnership with the creative energy that always works in my favor, despite appearances at times. Sometimes I know something specific is on its way, and sometimes I just know something for my good is on its way.

At every present moment, we know only a part of the bigger picture. A state of Knowing feels easier to enter when you allow this as a fact; and because of past experiences, you release every thought or emotion except one: trust. The creative energy loves appreciation and it loves trust that puts you into a state of knowing that the energy works in your behalf at all times.

Just like the weight example in the Belief segment, you may need to start with one matter at a time rather than frustrating yourself by attempting to be in a state of belief, faith, and knowing at all times. Allow yourself to grow each of the three, as needed. This way of thinking—in order to reach these states of mind—is a practice; and those who feel them fully more often practice them more often.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer
This week’s State of Appreciation is live!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Power of a Firm Decision

Whatever you believe is involved in improvement or success, the power of a decision is key. It will help if you understand what this really means.

A firm decision is one without discord, or one that transmutes any discord that makes an appearance. A firm decision is made and a knowing exists—that, without doubt, what’s been decided will happen, even if you have no idea how, at the start. A knowing, faith, or belief supports firm decisions to become reality. Without a firm decision and belief, all you have is a wish. A firm decision has power, a wish doesn’t. This is because a firm decision has a level of clarity and focus about a desired result, even if aspects are unknown and are discovered and managed along the way.

If you’ve ever found yourself struggling in any area of your life, which is very different from facing and meeting challenges, it’s because a firm decision has not been made. If you think of times when you made a firm decision to do something—anything at all—you did whatever it took for however long it took to get it done, whether that’s de-clutter your closet that took a weekend or complete a course of study that took years.

Everything begins with an idea. The idea to, say, clear out your closet seems to move straight into the action of doing the task. But, there is a middle step: the firm decision. Many firm decisions happen quickly. They are often so subtle you don’t even recognize them as what they are. Firm decisions move you from inspired idea to productive action. Reflect on the most recent time this happened for you, even if it was to refill your coffee cup, and you did. Allow yourself to feel what that middle step—firm decision—felt like for you, so you become familiar with it.

I watched a brief video about The Reality Architects. They mentioned an elderly woman who, for decades, has won every contest she’s entered. I asked myself what had to be in place, at her inner level, for this to be her reality. My answer was a firm decision with no discord. Discord is a contrast that points out one or more doubts exist. How many buy lottery tickets or enter contests with some discord whispering doubt in their minds, and either silently or aloud state, even before the action is taken, “I knew I wouldn’t win”? How many times do we make what we believe is a firm decision, yet have in our minds some doubt that we’ll succeed, instead of a steadfast commitment to do so?

The discord aspect needs our attention, doesn’t it? You’ve made firm decisions before, without discord; and you’ve experienced desired results. Discord does not mean a firm decision wasn’t made. It does show us bumps and potholes on the inner road that we need to smooth out. Inner discord can be lack of confidence, which can be assisted by increasing competence. It can be flawed self-beliefs about what you deserve, or what you should want or should not want in life. These flawed beliefs may have been given to you by your family, friends, religion, culture, and from anyone who has intersected with your life since you were born.

When results seem to take a long time to arrive—and we aren’t witnessing real progress along the way that demonstrates we are moving in the right direction—it’s a good time to check in on the firmness of the original decision. This is where the feeling that goes with a firm decision comes in: if you don’t have that recognizable “knowing” or “belief” feeling, you need to revisit your decision, your belief level, or why you made the decision you did.

A firm decision is fueled by determination, even when challenges appear. Napoleon Hill, in his book Think and Grow Rich, uses the words—Definite Burning Desire. If you think about it, whether it’s to finally straighten a cluttered closet because the clutter has you exasperated or to pursue a certification or degree so you can practice something you feel passionate about, a definite, determined desire is there.

But, how many times, while growing up, did one or more people constructively instruct you about having a definite burning desire, what that might encompass, and what the rewards might be for acting on it? More than likely you were instructed to do what it took to fit into the mainstream, maybe even to be seen and not heard. If this has been your experience, it may have caused you to create to-do lists, but not Definite Burning Desires lists.

You may have heard “Name it and claim it,” but you may fear what others will think if you name and claim your definite burning desire, whether they’re still alive or not. You may even fear naming it, much less claiming it. The very idea may cause statements from the past to rush to mind like a storm wave onto the shore: Who do you think you are? What makes you think you’re so special? If you can’t do something right (perfectly the first time), don’t do it at all. Don’t risk it; go with a sure thing. That’s just stupid; no one will pay you for that! Why do you have to be different? What will people think? I’m sure you could add more statements you’ve heard from any number of people who didn’t know better than to repeat what they’d been told.

Sometimes, you make a firm decision, yet also find how you feel strengthens in firmness over time instead of feeling the “wallop of knowing” from the start you have at other times, like moving a dimmer light switch upward, gradually increasing the illumination. When this is your experience, you notice a shift in how you think about what you want and how determined you feel. You notice any discord that surfaces, but choose to focus more on what will work rather than what might not or hasn’t. Clarity about focused actions gradually sharpens as clarity about your desired result begins to take form. You seek more-specific information. You find that ideas about how to make your decision a reality increase in frequency—and in quality. You even begin to notice assistance coming to you from the universe, or whatever you call the creative source, through a variety of resources. You notice an increase in focused attention and a decrease in fretting.

A firm decision, even one that firms over time, is the “green light” to the creative source and to your own inner power source, to support you fully. A desired outcome realized is the result of a firm decision fueled by belief and unflinching determination. Could you benefit by putting this into practice more often… or right now?

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer
This week’s State of Appreciation is live!