Friday, May 27, 2011

What Else Can Your Negativity Cost You?

You are aware of some costs to you from being negative—too aware, likely. But there’s a new way it might cost you, and it’s not on the horizon, it’s happening now.

How easy it is to slip into negativity, especially when we’re frustrated or disappointed. That kind of approach to life situations is all around us. When we do this, we believe we’re being practical, logical. And we get burned by it each time we do it. When we do this, we’re saying that Spirit does not exist in every individual, every event, every moment. It’s an amnesia that takes hold of us for as long as we tell ourselves whatever keeps that discomforting feeling alive in us.

When we do finally allow a “calm serenity of thought,” as Ernest Holmes wrote, we notice that changes take place, positive changes or shifts that evolve into something for our benefit. Life events calm down, a solution or resolution arrives, something inevitably shifts—most especially us.

Maybe you’ve had this experience and, like me, you shake your head and wonder why you couldn’t or didn’t get out of negativity faster. Why is it that we slip out of gear so easily? Because it’s what we and many around us often practice. We confuse it with being proactive. Interestingly, there are those in the world who now pay attention to this in ways we, perhaps, didn’t anticipate.

The CEO of a company told an interviewer that his due diligence, when he considers hiring a new employee, is to research each person’s social sites. If there are occasions of negative postings but the majority are positive, they’ll discuss what was going on for the person at such times. If all postings are negative, or the majority are, they will not hire the person. He clarified that there’s a difference in having an opinion and being negative; that opinions well stated are acceptable, but not incessant negativity. They also look to see if the person’s personality is revealed, as well. The thought behind this is that people would rather be invited into a workplace where who they are is accepted by their associates from the start.

This kind of puts a damper on the value society has placed on being cynical and negative as a way of life or as a form of cleverness (unless you’re a well paid acerbic comedian), and asks us to reassess our responses, reactions, and behaviors. If what this CEO does catches on, an addiction to negativity may cost us in more ways than ones we’re familiar with.

Most of us carry learned negativity; and what we learned has become our first response or reaction when we’re triggered. We believe so many things that hold us back and keep us negative. Holmes stated what we must do to stop this cycle: renew the mind—as often as it takes; and it may take a lot of renewing. You might even say we need to re-knew or re-know the mind—retrain it, that is.

Re-knowledge your mind with what you know is true about spiritual laws. You use them all the time, even if you aren’t conscious of it. Don’t aim at never having another negative thought or feeling—that’s not the target—and thinking it is will create unnecessary inner turmoil. Nor is it healthy to believe you can’t vent. Just choose where, to whom, and how you vent with more conscious awareness.

Aim at re-minding yourself of the truth a bit sooner each time you’re triggered. Re-mind yourself to pay attention to your thoughts and transform them as needed. As the saying goes, this is simple but not necessarily easy. But, it will get easier the more often you remind yourself to use what creates the inner and outer experiences you desire. And remember that you always have to start with the inner.

Not doing this has already cost you. Don’t allow it to cost you even more in the future, in ways you’ve yet to anticipate.

Practice makes progress.
State of Appreciation (Issue 130) is now live at

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Interview with Yvonne Perry, author of Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You

JOYCE: What is an empath?

YVONNE: As you know, “empathy” is the term used to describe putting ourselves into the situation of another person in order to feel for them or to empathize with what they are going through. Some people are so empathetic that they actually feel with or on behalf of another person. We call these folks empaths or highly sensitive people. Empaths are often found doing volunteer work and may serve others through emotionally demanding careers as childcare givers, medical professionals, hospice workers, midwives, and such.

Thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are a subtle form of energy. Empaths are so energy sensitive that they easily become over stimulated by the energy of other people. Many are unable to be in public without feeling drained because they take on the burdens of complete strangers.

When a tragic world event occurs, empaths may feel the sorrow, loss, and despair of those in another state or country as if it their own family had been affected. Some empaths sense the physical pain, and even the illnesses, of others. Feeling too deeply can cause depression, fatigue, and unexplainable mood swings. Therefore, this intuitive ability is life disrupting for some empaths.

JOYCE: Why do some people have this gift if its side effects are so damaging?

YVONNE: The true purpose of this gift is for humans to be able to transform detrimental energy into beneficial energy and keep the planet in balance. If we continuously live aligned with our ego instead of our higher self, we have a problem. Rather than transmuting negative energy and allowing it to flow through us, we absorb it and it sticks to and combines with lower vibrating frequencies (anger, resentment, shame, guilt, codependency, etc) that we have within us. Thus, we collect stuff in our field, which can cloud our judgment, cause mood swings, and even make us physically sick. Many times the fields of empaths are so cluttered they are unable to identify or separate their own energy from that of another person.

You’ve been around beings who spread cheer or “light up a room” so to speak. If an empath is clear and living in alignment with spirit/higher self, they are filled with Love and Light, and can act as a filter. Any detrimental energy around them is automatically transmuted and darkness is exposed as an illusion of the ego. The unwanted energy moves through in the auric field and subtle bodies a non-resistant manner. If any low-vibrating energy does get stuck, the trained empath can quickly clear it before it become a problem.

From birth to death to afterlife, we are mysteriously connected. Because we are connected, everything we think, say, or do affects all of humanity and ultimately our planet. The awakened empath who employs a practice leading toward spiritual ascension will find their intuition stronger and more reliable. Most empaths also have some healing abilities that become keener as the gift is developed. Without even realizing it, a conscious and clear empath is constantly releasing the karma of others by bringing in and anchoring higher frequencies in the Earth plane.

JOYCE: How common is this empathic gift?

YVONNE: We are seeing more and more people—especially children—awakening to this gift as the Earth is shifting into a higher realm of consciousness. Between fifteen and twenty percent of the population have an excess amount of sentient ability. They tend to become overloaded with the psychic energy of others to the point of compromising their own well-being. Yet, most of them do not know they are empaths, much less what to do about it. Currently, most medical doctors and counselors do not recognize empathy overload or know how to treat people who are suffering with this energy-related condition.

If an empath does not understand what is happening he may think he has some form of mental distress or disorder—especially if he hears, sees, and senses things that other people do not. Some empaths have been misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

JOYCE: Please tell us about your book, Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You

YVONNE: This guidebook has more than two dozen proven and effective ways to clear your energy field of clutter. This is very important to energy-sensitive people, who have been unknowingly carrying energetic burdens that belong to someone else. The book teaches empowering, proactive techniques to manage your personal energy and the energy coming to you from other people. It also contains a list of resources that includes books, classes and groups, practitioners, quizzes and tests, radio shows, videos, CDs, and DVDs to help empaths take the next step in developing their intuition.

In the book you will also find the following:
• Tips to distinguish your own energy from another person’s
• Practices for raising your personal rate of vibration
• Ways to shield yourself from the detrimental energy of others
• How to have compassion without allowing external energy to wear you out
• A fresh perspective on the psychological aspect of empathy and intuition by Dr. Caron Goode
• How to use your intuitive ability as a tool for guidance without paying a personal price

JOYCE: Why did you write this book for empaths?

YVONNE: Like most empathic people, I have always wanted to help others avoid suffering. As strange as this may sound, the one way empaths do this is by taking on the problems of others and suffering on their behalf—kind of like a surrogate for affliction. The other person feels better, but the empath feels worse. This is done in ignorance. Empaths have no idea why they feel so bad or have such emotional mood swings so much of the time. Many are diagnosed as bipolar or having some other mental illness. Medication is often prescribed rather than dealing with the underlying cause, which is energy-related.

I had been an intercessor at church for many years; I was the one people called when they needed prayer, and soon I found myself praying for hours each day. I didn’t realize I was picking up the burdens of others and carrying them as a way to release their karma. I knew nothing about staying clear.

I was at the point of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion when I turned forty. My life as I knew it fell apart and I was circling the drain about to go under with depression. I intuitively knew my condition was spiritually related because when I prayed for others, many times they got well and I began to feel whatever discomfort they had been struggling with. Something had to change.

I had no idea where to start, but I knew that my marriage and my religion were not the answer. They were causing me even more distress so I left both of them and began searching other belief systems. I was drawn to Earth-based healing and energy medicine. Thankfully, I found herbal remedies, as well as visualizations, meditations, prayers, etc., that brought me to a path of emotional maturity (using the gift of empathy wisely without paying a personal price). I ended up getting a bachelor’s degree in metaphysics as I researched and tried all kinds of things to alleviate empathy fatigue—not really knowing the term for the kind of “backlash” I was dealing with.

It occurred to me last summer that I needed to share what I had learned about being an empath. Since writing is my forte, I started writing a blog ( about some of the spiritual practices and protection tips that I use to keep my energy field clear and balance my chakras. However, it wasn’t until a psychotherapist friend of mine, Dr. Caron Goode, suggested I write a book that I decided to gather all this information into a guidebook that could be used to help the millions of energy-sensitive people set boundaries and manage the overload of energy they pick up. Caron provided insight on the psychological aspect of empathy and I wrote about my personal journey through the empath wilderness and how I learned to psychically protect myself as I moved toward wholeness.

JOYCE: Where is your book available?

YVONNE: The printed book is available at The electronic version is now in Amazon's Kindle Store where it may be downloaded to Kindle Readers, iPads, iPhones, and other digital book readers.

JOYCE: What other books have you written?

YVONNE: The Sid Series ~ A Collection Holistic Stories for Children was inspired by my grandson, Sidney, who started demonstrating spiritual gifts at an early age. As a toddler he was clairvoyant (seeing in the spirit realm), but as he matured, he began getting psychic information through dreams. He still hears in the spirit realm. I was concerned that he might also be an empath, and I wanted him, and others kids like him, to avoid the needless suffering I had endured.

The Sid Series is a collection of stories that emerged during the adventures Sidney and I had together, but the stories also deal with topics most adults tend to avoid with children: death, afterlife, ghosts, healing, racial diversity, caring for others, meditation, and spiritual insight. The book is entertaining to children, but it also teaches parents how to open a mature dialogue with them.

More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories About Death, Dying, and Afterlife ( is designed to provide comfort for those who are dying, as well as for the caregivers and family who are left with questions when their loved one passes. When I wrote that book, I had a lot of disembodied spirits coming to me. I didn’t know why ghosts were visiting me, but I felt I was supposed to help them. Writing that book helped me find answers not only to know what the ghosts needed, but for protecting my energy field as an empath. So, the book not only deals with spirit visits after the passing of a loved one, it also covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process and sheds light on euthanasia, suicide, and near-death experience.

JOYCE: What other project do you have going?

YVONNE: I am currently planning an event, “Empaths Shifting into 2012: A Telesummit to Help Energy-sensitive People Understand Their Spiritual Role on Earth.” There will be a panel of eight experts who will speak about how the Earth is shifting to bring in more divine feminine energy and how this is affecting lightworkers and empaths. Our counselors, well-trained empaths, and holistic practitioners will help people develop the gift of empathy and give tips for getting free from detrimental energy. We will teach how to become empowered as an empath walking in oneness with all creation so everyone can help facilitate the Earth’s shift into higher consciousness.

This free telesummit will be conducted by phone as everyone calls a specific number and enters a pass code to join the conference. People will be able to ask questions during each of the four calls, which will be offered all four Tuesdays in September. I will present a session titled “There are No Victims! Helping Empaths to See Themselves as Empowered Beings of Light” and speak about why forgiveness is so important to empaths who want to stay clear of negativity and align with higher frequencies in order to accomplish their life’s mission. These calls will be recorded, so if you can’t make all four calls, you can listen to the replays.

People can register now so they will be sure to get a reminder closer to the date of the telesummit. They can go to and comment with their contact information so we can send them more information.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Is Your Mental House Divided?

You know so much about Law of Attraction, you could teach something about it to others. But, living it in faith consistently? That’s another matter.

After all my experiences of the Universe working in my favor and doing what I know works, I still bump into times when old program tapes can be triggered to run in certain situations. At such times, I momentarily forget I know anything about Law of Attraction or that I have a lifetime of proof that the Law works—All The Time.

I was going through one of THOSE times recently, and something became obvious to me: my mental house was divided. The negative internal gremlin became quite a chatterbox; and I bet you know what I’m talking about when I say I was uncomfortable… big-time. Whenever we step away from faith (absence of doubt) in how the Universe works, it hurts us in more ways than one.

No matter what we know about how Law of Attraction works or admit to the fact it’s never not working, we can still get trapped into finding our faith limited by paying more attention to what’s happened in the past than on what is really and truly possible right now. At such times, our conscious mind is affected by our subconscious expectations (learned levels of faith), and we block better experiences—and more often than not, get what we subconsciously expect.

Ernest Holmes wrote:

“A sense of separation from good causes us to feel restricted; while a sense of our Unity with GOOD changes the currents of Causation and brings a happier condition into the experience….Man’s individuality enables him to make such use of the Law as he desires. He is bound, not by limitation but by limited thought. The same power which binds him will free him when he understands the Law to be one of liberty and not of bondage. The power within man can free him from all distasteful conditions if the Law governing this power is properly understood and utilized.”

When you find yourself in a funk and off the path of faith that the Universe works in your favor, how do you get back on it? That’s a real question I’m asking. How do YOU get back on it? You might be triggered by others or events, but no one and nothing can make you lose your faith, just as no one and nothing can get you back on track. You have to agree to get off and agree to get back on. You’re human—you’ll get off the path at times. Getting back on is a process that requires consistent practice.

Think of a cup filled with murky water. You could dump the water out, wash the cup, and refill it with clean water. Or, you could pour a stream of water into the cup and know that over time only clean water would fill the cup. It’s like this with negative thoughts both obvious in the conscious mind and buried in the subconscious mind. It isn’t very often someone is able to simply empty, wash, and refill when it comes to negative programming. The process for most of us is usually more like the second option, where we consistently add new, better thoughts that eventually flush out the murky ones. The thing is that we have to do this until it makes a difference, then keep doing it to maintain and expand our positive results.

What often messes with us is our impatience caused by tension. It can’t be emphasized enough: Stress and strain block energy and flow of good things to us; relaxed and trusting allows energy to flow and work as it should—in our best interest.

Keeping the faith may be a challenge at times, but we know that Faith + Relaxed = Desired Results (and even better ones).

Practice makes progress.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Do You Provide the Consciousness?

This morning I was feeling low—apathetic even. I knew I needed something to lift me out of this funk I was in. And, something did.

I reached for my copy of The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes and found this:

“We do not create. We use the Power of the One Mind, which creates for us. Law of life is a law of thought—an activity of consciousness—the Power flows through us. The Spirit can do for us only what It can do through us. Unless we are able to provide the consciousness, It cannot make the gift.”

What a powerful truth that last line is! It’s also one I know and one I can so easily forget when I slip into identifying more with effects I don’t like than how I caused them…especially when I don’t manage my thoughts as I should.

Then I listened to a recorded program given by Ann Taylor. She’s known as a healer for some of the big names in the motivational and metaphysical genres. I borrowed from what she did—she does an unusual kind of prayer on these calls and for her clients—and created my own.

I’d like to share mine with you, and I invite you to repeat it out loud to yourself each morning—or write your own and repeat it out loud each morning.

“Thank you, Creator, for imprinting my DNA and my conscious and subconscious mind with the Truth of creative energy and laws, and the faith to live them every day.
Thank you, Creator, for imprinting my DNA and my conscious and subconscious mind, going back seven generations, with the Truth of creative energy and laws, and the faith to live them every day.
Thank you, Creator, for removing any lack of faith in the Truth of creative energy and laws from my DNA and my conscious and subconscious mind, going back seven generations of my lineage, so that I live the Truth, in faith, every day.
Thank you, Creator.”

Challenges happen. But when they do, we have to remember what Holmes wrote: “The Spirit can do for us only what It can do through us. Unless we are able to provide the consciousness, It cannot make the gift.”

Practice makes progress.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Does Your Subconscious Insist That You Resist?

Resistance is an automatic reaction to undesirables in your life. Resistance may seem natural, even right, but some instances of resistance cost you big-time.

Resistance creates more things to resist. It creates a constant stream of negative thoughts that lead to negative feelings expressed verbally, physically, or internally through health imbalances and uninspired life experiences.

Look at anything you resist in your life: status of relationships, finances, career, etc. If your desire is strong for anything to NOT be what it is, you are in Resistance. No matter what you do or say about it, this resistance will cause what you do not want anymore of to continue and possibly expand.

Note: You have a right and responsibility to NOT engage with anything or anyone you know you are better off without (negative people, news, events, etc.) when you can choose otherwise. And, as challenging as it may seem, you really can choose what you feel and therefore think, say, and do.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." — Richard Buckminster Fuller

You can choose to release your insistence that something or someone in your life be different (insistence really does not work) and take action(s) required in and for your best interest, without being tense (tension does not shift anything). Doing this is a way to get your subconscious programming aligned with your conscious choices and actions.

One big resistance that may challenge you is to NOT include or allow any past experiences in the NOW. This is a challenge because your subconscious will play back tapes of previous struggles and will do this with lots of detailed images. This causes you to recall, focus on, and feel specific past struggles, as though they are happening in this moment. They are not. You may have present-moment matters to address, but past ones are over. They only affect the moment you’re in now if you allow them to.

As long as you believe those old tapes are your current reality—or react to them as though they are, you resist any positive present-moment shifts: “I HAVE to fear and feel THIS because I once (or more often) experienced THAT.” This approach blocks your good, and serenity, from coming to you. Your release of resistance gives the Universe permission to deliver your good; it allows serenity in.

You learned certain aspects of resistance from others who learned them as well. It is the tape your subconscious plays in its belief that this will help you survive. Your subconscious focuses on what helps you survive; your conscious mind focuses on what helps you thrive. You want them to work as a team, which means you have to NOT listen to old, negative tapes when they run. You want to create new tapes and run THEM.

Ernest Holmes wrote: “Healing, then, is accomplished by uncovering, neutralizing and erasing false images of thought, and letting the perfect idea reflect itself through subjective mind into the body. When one realizes that everything is Mind and that nothing moves but Mind . . . he will see that nothing can permanently heal unless it be accompanied by right thinking.” Healing can refer to anything in your self or your life or your business that you feel is not whole, healthy, joyful, and fulfilling.

Pay attention to when and how often you run such tapes and put right thinking into practice until it becomes natural to you, whatever time that takes. Practice self-observance rather than self-judgment as you move through this process. Self-judgment is a form of resistance. Practice makes progress.

Release the belief that you will (eventually) never repeat old patterns. Maybe that will happen and maybe it will not. Belief that you must never repeat them is . . . Resistance. It is more important you observe when you resist so you can consciously choose to embrace what you really want rather than emotionally engage what you don’t want.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How Well Do You Manage When Your Routine Changes?

Small and not-so-small changes in your routine can create either a speed bump or a bumpy road effect on your life. What do you do when that happens?

Quite a number of people I know experienced major life changes just before 2011, and after the year began. Were you one of them? Significant shifts and lesser ones create something in common: a change in routine of greater or lesser degree.

Often, we struggle a bit (or a lot) with even one small or moderate change to our routine. We become used to or complacent about our routines, even ones we are not necessarily happy about, or ones that may even cause us to feel miserable about ourselves or our lives.

Routines FEEL easier because they are familiar. They can be followed practically by rote, like how an experienced driver vs. a new one focuses on the act of driving and doing other things at the same time. Some routines help us stay organized and on time. Some prevent spontaneity in our days and lives, cause us to be inflexible. Some create negative or unpleasant outcomes.

Routines are why New Year’s resolutions are forgotten, or if not forgotten, not fulfilled. Sticking with even one change to a routine can feel difficult, even if it is desired. It can take a while before the new behavior feels and is as automatic as the old one was. It takes persistence and consistency to arrive at this point.

My relocation move and temporary dwelling eliminated nearly all of my routines. Unlike vacations or family visits where your routine being temporarily interrupted is a welcome change (hopefully), I had to accept and allow there was no return “home,” no return to most of what was familiar ahead of me. I’m fortunate that my arrangements were as favorable as they were. Others have had to start over after significant, devastating losses. My understanding of what that must be like for them has deepened.

The metaphysical or spiritual community often mentions surrender. When significant change occurs, how well you manage becomes a matter of how well you surrender your resistance to what now is, and go forward from there. It is a matter of surrender or suffer if you insist on resisting.

I realized the best approach for me was to surrender to the fact that so much of what was familiar and routine no longer existed; to observe what creates frustration and to look at that with self-honesty; and to notice which changes actually improve or enhance my daily and personal experiences. This requires self-honesty as well. It could be so easy to return to many of my previous routines (or reject new ones; temporary or not); and some of that, frankly, could easily block positive opportunities and desired outcomes from coming to me.

I pay attention to how much of my former routine should be included as I move forward, and how much of whom I’ve believed myself to be, as a result of my former routine, needs to be kept or discarded. It’s important I be true to my nature; but I need to be clear what the differences are between my true nature and my programmed beliefs or habitual routines. Keeping this in mind is helping me to manage myself through this transformative time. I also watch the stories I tell myself and use tools that I know work, to help me adjust my attitude and perceptions so that I open to desired opportunities and experiences.

Whether or not you are going through a change in your routine at this time, how you manage yourself through such a time is worthy of a few moments of your consideration. It can make the difference between being in flow or being stuck in resistance.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

Monday, May 2, 2011

Do You Yell at the Movie Screen of Your Life?

If you find you don’t like a movie, you don’t yell at the screen to change. But, is that what you do about your life?

I’d decided to use the Ho’oponopono method to work on old program tapes that run in my subconscious. If you’re going to aim at a target so you can hit it consistently, you need to practice and more than just a few times.

This can be uncomfortable because it means you have to face some unpleasant situations and treat them as the practice opportunities they are. You see, increasing consciousness isn’t so much about adding something as much as it is subtracting something. It’s about letting go of what holds you back. What usually holds you back is that you don’t see that what you’re doing holds you back.

A practice opportunity came when I spent two hours visiting with someone who complained the entire time. It was a non-stop negative stream of past hurts and how this person did that or didn’t do this. Nothing I offered made a difference. In fact, my efforts seem to amplify the situation.

During the two hours, I struggled with the Ho’oponopono technique, but kept repeating: I’m sorry, Divine, for whatever is in me that created this. Please forgive me for the image I hold of this person and of myself. Thank you for helping me to heal these images and for transmuting them into love. I love you and trust you to assist me with this for the highest good of all involved.

For the rest of that day and the next two days, every time I caught myself replaying that visit in my mind or memories of similar conversations, or complained to myself about the person, I’d stop and do the four statements in abbreviated form: I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

It was genuinely astonishing to see how often I had to stop myself and repeat the four statements. I’d do this, and within seconds more tapes would start to run. After a while I said aloud, “Oh my God! I’m doing exactly what that person does.” The reflection wasn’t pretty.

It became clear that I was a projector running a film in my mind about the person. I cannot change the screen the film plays on, though that’s what I attempted during the visit; but I can deliberately decide not to play the film, especially over and over… and over.

All of this took real effort on my part. It took willingness to understand my part in all of it and a sincere desire to see what I was doing so I could do something else.

Think of some of your own challenges. What films are you projecting? Are they of struggle; ones that say you’re undeserving, unlovable, that life has to be difficult or that certain people have to be difficult? How often would you have to play these films before what you see on the screen is what you prefer to see? Right. It will never happen, if that’s how you address this.

You have to run better films if you want to see better images on the screen. You have to stop expecting the screen to change. This may not be easy. What is easier is to yell at or about the screen. It’s painful but easier than owning that we see the films we run.

Create and run films you prefer, even if you continue to modify them to improve them. Allow that it may (or may not) take a while for your projected image to get into focus and run smoothly on the screen. Watch that you don’t run a new film once then complain that this doesn’t work. Consider how often you run the negative ones and the results. This alone is evidence that it does work. Practice the same consistency with running better films as you have negative ones.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer