Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Extraordinary Life

You’re an extraordinary person!

Choose an extraordinary life - whatever that looks or feels like for you, including how it expands into even more.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Extraordinary or Ordinary Life?

What kind of life do you choose?

As an expression of the Infinite, you have everything or have access to everything needed to live an extraordinary life.

Choose an extraordinary life… even on days you feel ordinary.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Your attention, please . . .

You know how to focus your attention; and I know it feels great when you complete action steps that lead to your desired outcomes.

Cheering you on!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Do You Feel You Lack Direction in Life, Business, or Retirement?

When you feel you lack direction in life, business, or retirement, it’s frustrating. It doesn’t have to be this way, if you have two things clear in your mind.

You feel you lack direction if you don’t have a destination point envisioned in your mind. A destination point, in this context, is a specific desired result—a vision of what that ideal result is. There are several things that hold people back from putting time into their vision for life, business, or retirement:
They’re afraid to look at what they really want because they don’t believe it can happen, or because they fear they don’t deserve it, or they allow others’ opinions to influence them—so they don’t allow clarity about what THEY want.
They feel thwarted at playing with their vision because they let current reality intrude on this playtime. They may glue current reality into place with their present money situation and flawed money beliefs. They forget—or don’t know—that amazing things can happen when you don’t attach limits to a vision.

Let’s say you decide to take quiet time to play with your vision. Here are recommendations:
Be uncensored with yourself.
Be honest about whether you’re aiming at a too small or a too large vision. You want what feels like an appropriate fit for you, not based on the opinions of others.
It may feel more comfortable to play with an Ideal Vision AND a Next Level Vision. This can help you aim for and reach one level at a time on your way to your ideal. Note: What is your Ideal Vision you may have been too afraid to entertain, especially if you believe others may not approve or believe it can happen? I suggest creating two visions because anyone who’s felt or been limited or restricted long-term or for an extended period due to circumstances can feel intimidated (or forced) by a vision that feels too far “out there” at the start; and this feeling can shut them down.
A Vision includes where you live; what you do as a career, vocation, or as a volunteer—where you do it and how many hours; how much vacation and holiday time you take and where you spend it; what your social life is like and who you share it with; what your family life is like and who this includes; hobbies and activities you enjoy and how often; and what your health, appearance, and wardrobe is like. Here’s an important twist: Leave money out of your vision. This goes against what many advise, but leave it out so it doesn’t dam the flow of your playing honestly with your vision. How much money you want and need is a goal, not a vision.
Whether you create just an Ideal Vision or a Next Level Vision, or both, write a description of what a “normal” day is like—what you’d ideally want it to be like.

The other factor in having a Direction is your Why. To get to your Why, you have to know what it relates to. Imagine someone who knows and likes you really well is in a restaurant booth next to yours, with one or a few people. None of them knows you’re there. You overhear your friend say about you, “(Your name) is such an on-purpose person, and his/her purpose s/he lives and breathes to fulfill is (fill in the blank).” What do you REALLY want to hear your friend say your purpose that you feel strongly about right now is? Tip: Let go of aiming for the Big Life Purpose here and allow the purpose that pops into mind at this moment to be the one you focus on.

Follow these next steps:
Write down your purpose as a statement, starting with, “My purpose is to…”
Complete the following statement: “This purpose is important to me to do because…”
“And, THAT is important to me because…”
“And, THAT is important to me because…”
“And, THAT is important to me because…”
“And, THAT is important to me because…”
Blend your purpose statement (My purpose is) with the final “And THAT’s important to me because” statement.

How does this new statement feel when you read it silently or aloud to yourself? If it feels inauthentic, re-do this process and be uncensored with your purpose statement. Your purpose must come from the core of who you are in this present moment or you’ll head in a direction inappropriate for you. Note: You can use this Purpose-and-Why technique for decision-making, as well.

Your Next Level Vision will show you the direction you need to travel to your Ideal Vision and help you get there—and you can adjust either vision any time to make them a better fit for you. Your Purpose-and-Why statement will fuel your journey to your Next Level Vision and Ideal Vision destinations. You may want to put your P&W statement where you can read it every day, preferably each morning and before you go to sleep. Your vision is your ideal result; your why is your ideal experience.

Direction to a vision fueled by your purpose and your why helps you make better decisions about what to put into practice every day, and can help you rev up your motivation if it needs an inspiring reminder.

[This article influenced by PJ McClure’s book, “Flip the S.W.I.T.C.H.”]

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What is your dream or goal worth to you?

Today’s Empowering State of Appreciation Message…

What is your dream or goal worth to you?

Anything that has worth to you is worth what it takes to attain and maintain it for as long as it is appropriate to do so.

Joyce Shafer, Publisher
Rewire your beliefs about you

Monday, September 19, 2011

How to make better choices

Today’s Empowering State of Appreciation Message

Use this simple formula to realign your energy about making choices . . .

Ask yourself if a thought, word, action, feeling, person, event, or moment Increases or Decreases your energy and enthusiasm, and respond appropriately.

Joyce Shafer, Publisher
Rewire your beliefs about you

Friday, September 16, 2011

Do You Know What the Trinity of Self-Realization and Authenticity Is?

Do you ever feel inauthentic, like you wear a mask over what you believe you know, or fear, about who you really are? The trinity can help you follow the path to your authentic-self destination.

I read Flip the S.W.I.T.C.H. (How to Turn On and Turn Up Your Mindset) by PJ McClure, The Mindset Maven, which he gives away on his website. I don’t want to spoil your experience of reading PJ’s brilliant book by recounting his content, nor is this a review. But, he did get me thinking about what I consider the trinity of self-realization and authenticity: Attitude, Mindset, and Personal Truth.


Our attitude reflects what we feel, unless we pretend otherwise. We display and use outward factors to demonstrate attitude: facial expressions, body language, comments and specific words, and perhaps actions. An attitude adjustment isn’t just about the outward expression of it; that doesn’t approach what’s underneath it.

A problem arises when anyone attempts to adjust or improve attitude simply by behaving “better” because the improved behaviors may have nothing to do with how they really feel. We can fake a positive attitude or a neutral one to cover negativity, but the result feels inauthentic because the layer underneath that doesn’t support the surface. An attitude that’s consistent—meaning presents itself more often than not—shows others and us what’s at our foundation. To know the foundation, we have to look deeper.


Now I will include something from PJ’s book, but I promise it won’t spoil your read. PJ listed the dictionary definition of mindset as a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations. When I read that, I circled the word “fixed” in my mind, which was backed up soon by PJ stating mindset is definitely not fixed. His definition is that mindset is the programmable subconscious framework, which filters input so the conscious mind can respond.

He stated that mindset is made up of the six Elements of Personal Choice and added one more element that features in each of the other six and in the bigger picture of your life that all seven form the foundation for. Your mindset is, ultimately, what you tell yourself about these elements. Your mindset absolutely affects your attitude and your outcomes. Whenever you struggle with success in any area of life, adjusting your attitude won’t create long-lasting, effective shifts; adjusting your mindset will. But sometimes even mindset needs a little something else.

Personal Truth

Your personal truth is revealed through finding your head-and-heart alignment about anything and everything in your life that asks for your attention in a particular, even profound way. It’s where you use critical thinking to go deeper into dynamics and motivations rather than stay on the surface of thoughts, words, and actions—of others and your own.

Personal truth is where no conflict between head and heart exists about a particular matter; it’s where integrity lives. It’s where you look at values—what’s most important to you, as well as look for any unspoken or unidentified “rules of engagement” you’ve attached to your values. These rules usually appear as something like, “Validation is important to me. In order to feel validated, I need…” This one is worth working deeply enough to reveal whether your fulfillment needs are realistic or unrealistic. If a need has unrealistic rules attached, life—or certain areas of it—may feel severely emotionally painful for you.

The Trinity in Action

Your personal truth supports your mindset, and mindset results in your dominant attitude. Many people linger in the realm of attitude and seldom venture into the other two realms. If you don’t explore your mindset, you may live in a state of attitude fueled by emotions, and may even feel nothing ever gets resolved—and, indeed, little might. You may live the frustrating life of a reactor, or one immobilized, instead of a responder much of time. PJ’s book, worthy of more than one read, explains mindset and more, if exploring your own feels right for you at this time.

Personal truth is the realm where you must shed the influence of others to look at who you are at your core. Mindset is where you look at what you believe and why. Attitude is how you display who you are and what you believe—or what you pretend to believe, or what you think you believe. Without connection to your authentic mindset based on personal truths, you risk living your life based on what you were taught and absorbed from others; this includes negative and positive beliefs. You may have noticed you sometimes have a contrast with both types of beliefs. There’s a reason.

Each of us experiences a negative attitude from time to time—it’s called being human. Stuff happens that doesn’t feel good and happens faster than we can even give a thought to mindset. But when a negative attitude rules, there’s a faulty mindset at work, which is good news because mindset can be explored and improved. And when mindset needs exploration and support, personal truth gets included in the mix.

The trinity of self-realization and authenticity is how we set up our lives to feel good or bad as the main theme of our existence. As much as we might like it to be based on external factors, it isn’t. It’s internal, and our internal trinity influences our external experiences and how we experience externals.

If you’re not used to looking within with much depth and with a genuine desire to “know thyself,” it can feel daunting, even tiring, to do so. But, if you put some level of exploration and discovery into practice each week, you not only get to the heart of matters, but to the true you. You realize who you really are without seeing yourself through the filters of others’ beliefs and opinions; and you begin to feel and be authentically you.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer
This week’s State of Appreciation is live! How to Lose It All and Never Miss A Beat By PJ McClure; The Dreaded Time Buffer By Jeanna Gabellini; Secrets at Dawn By poet Wendi Romero:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Is It Time to Simplify?

Could a lesson from Super Nanny apply to you and your personal and professional life? If you feel stressed and overwhelmed… yeah.

The parents Super Nanny Jo Frost went to help were well-meaning—they wanted to give their children the best head start in life. Unfortunately, this meant not only school and homework hours for each child, but LOTS of additional activities to help them be well rounded individuals, as well.

Super Nanny pointed out two things:
Making their children engage so many activities meant the parents’ involvement with their children was minimized. Activities instead of TV were the babysitters. There was a real lack of quality time as a family.
The children were stressed out from being overburdened, which affected their behavior in a negative way.

Super Nanny did something that really drove point 2 home: she made a pile of objects that represented all the extra activities each child was enrolled in. There were books, drums, ballet shoes, sports shoes and equipment, and so on. The parents were instructed to put all the items that matched a child’s activities into each child’s arms. The children were instructed to make every effort to hold everything they were given. The visual effect of the children struggling to hold so much stuff that looked more like clutter than creativity was poignant. Finally, the little girl said, “I can’t keep holding all these!”

Super Nanny’s solution was to have the parents choose one activity they felt very strongly their children should engage and each child was told to pick one activity they really wanted to keep or to pick a new one. And, the parents were instructed on how to better engage as a family.

Your arms might be bigger than the little girl’s, but how would the load look that you may be trying to carry? Is it comfortable, stacked past your chin, straining your arms, falling from your grip? The parents had encumbered their children with extra activities without including choice in the mix. In your life, at least some of what you expect yourself to do is imposed by you and no one else; but you also want to consider who’s put what onto your shoulders and why.

How might this Nanny lesson apply to you?

You’re probably as well-meaning as the parents and really want to give yourself what you “believe” you need (in your opinion or that of others), possibly, whether your soul self really wants it or not.
You may have made yourself so busy that there’s little time for you and other parts of your life to get what’s needed for your personal and soul-self benefit.
You may have so many things to do or believe need to get done, your relationships suffer—the most important one being the relationship you have with yourself. Too much to do is one way many use to avoid looking at what’s out of balance in their life.
You may be so stressed or tired that you’re cranky or worse.
You may struggle to keep everything “in your arms” and fear dropping something or everything, and are possibly concerned with how you might appear to others if you let go of some things that aren’t working for you rather than how letting some go might enhance your life and well being.

Marcus Aurelius said, "Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’” Super Nanny isn’t super because she does a lot, but because she focuses on what’s important so she can be effective and effect improvements that change lives in a positive way.

The gift download on my website, “focus: A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction,” is one I’m pleased to provide because it ties in perfectly with Super Nanny’s point about the need to simplify—not solely from the too-much-to-do syndrome, but also the issue of multiple distractions that pull us off focus, not just on work but also on the other areas in our lives. The author of “focus”, Leo Babauta, wrote about overwhelm and addiction created by our new technological age, and how so many of us don’t even realize the impact on our lives because of it. Even if we don’t see it, we do sense it.

This week, maybe pay attention to when you feel stretched or stretched too thin. What’s causing this feeling? Is it a fact that you’re overburdened? If so, what solution are you willing to engage? Is it that you burden yourself with too much thinking rather than productive action? Over-thinking is a great avoidance tactic: It allows us to believe we’re being productive when we aren’t.

Eliminate and manage any distractions and extra tasks you can, and that make sense to shed, to simplify your life and reduce overwhelm, if that’s your choice.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer
This week’s State of Appreciation is live! Gabriella Kortsch-“Entering the Now Moment by Leaving Unawareness Behind”; Guy Finley-“Stop Fear Before It Gets Started!”; “In the Mist” By poet Wendi Romero:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Inner Strength

To be strong every day . . .

Value yourself, look out for your best interests in every moment, and do so with integrity.

Staying strong requires daily attention, just like anything that requires regular attention for it to be maintained. Everyone has moments when they feel weakened by one or more events. When this happens, know and trust that your inner strength has not left you—it may transform how it appears, and transform you, but it’s always inside you.

In such moments, remember the truth of you, remember to take care of yourself, and remember to manage yourself with integrity.

My father once said, “It’s not always about how you solve or resolve something; but what is important is how you manage yourself through such times.”

Your inner strength is as much a part of you as every cell of your body. Believe in it. Trust it.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Is fulfillment of your dream or goal just around the corner?

Trust right timing as you aim at and hit targets that expand your life experience in ways you choose.

There is an old Zen adage that says, "If you want to know where you are supposed to be, look down at your feet."

Now each of us could come up with a reason, story, or question to dispute that adage—and we’d feel righteously justified about arguing with it; but if we truly want to live in a state of awareness and enlightenment, we’ll allow that there’s truth in that statement.

We can assist ourselves if we deliberately choose to not dwell on the timing we believe is right and instead focus attention on envisioning our desired end result and feeling now what we believe we’ll feel once it’s ours, which feeds our motivation.

We also need to be aware that “It’s the journey, not the destination” is true, as well. Maybe part of your right timing includes something you need to learn about yourself, like a particularly limiting belief you need to see for what it is and go beyond it, or improvement or addition of certain skills.

When you have a dream or goal, which you have full intention to create and passionate commitment to fulfill, right timing has your foundation underneath it that says, “…however long it takes and whatever it takes.”

Consider some of the most famous creatives and inventors who believed in their desired outcome, even while it took longer than most of us might have had patience to wait… Colonel Sanders with his fried chicken recipe, Thomas Edison with his light bulb, J.K. Rowling with her first and subsequent Harry Potter novels, and so many others....

Try to imagine them giving up because “success” wasn’t happening fast enough. Also recognize that none of them focused on becoming successful; they did, however, want to succeed at creating what they believed in… let me repeat that: what they believed in. An unintentional by-product of their efforts is what they taught us about passionate commitment and persistence.

What goal or dream do you have that you believe in—enough to trust right timing for its fulfillment?

Wishing you a wonderful day and a day filled with wonders… and, right timing for dream fulfillment!

Friday, September 2, 2011

How Many Ways Do You Pay Yourself?

How Many Ways Do You Pay Yourself?

A wise strategy is to pay yourself… first. But, are you aware there may be more than one way to do this?

You’ve heard that it makes a difference if you pay yourself first—not just in an increase in the amount in your checking or savings account but also in how you affirm that you value yourself, which gets conveyed to others through your energy.

You’ve also heard that, if oxygen masks are needed in flight, put yours on first because you’re no help to anyone if you’re unconscious… or worse. Let me explain how the oxygen mask ties in to ways you might pay yourself.

During a coaching call, my client—who’d recently heard the “pay yourself first” comment—said she feels our calls are a form of paying herself. I literally stopped moving for a moment when she said that… because her statement was profound and brilliant! It’s a valuable lesson to us all: It isn’t always about dollars and cents; it’s also about what makes sense for us—like putting your oxygen mask on first so you can keep breathing, and fulfill your purpose.

What are other ways you do or might pay yourself for meeting challenges (good ones, tricky ones, and more serious ones) every day—ways that feel like an oxygen mask in your life? What about…

You give yourself “you” time every morning (or at least once a day), whether it’s to meditate, read something inspirational or motivational, not think about anything and just be, get organized and feel on purpose about your day before you start it.
You get the rest and relaxation you need so you have energy for your life.
You trust your inner knowing about what’s fun and fulfilling for you and follow this.
You know and trust what’s appropriate and inappropriate for you and you honor this—guilt-free and with no need to explain yourself.
You value and honor your time.
You regularly clear clutter from your living and working spaces. NOTE: Creatives “do” clutter differently.
You take walks or walk in nature or engage in some activity or inactivity that helps you relax.
You give yourself a few moments, or longer, to celebrate and appreciate when you complete or accomplish something, rather than rush to the next task. You give yourself the “attaboy” or “attagirl” you’d love to get from someone else.
You turn the computer off and have a real evening (day off, weekend, or holiday), whether a quiet one in your own company or with family or friends.
If it fits your budget, you pay an appropriate someone (or barter) to take care of certain tasks like yard work, house cleaning, bookkeeping, or whatever—which may be long-term or once a month, when you want that time for self-care or self-nurturing or to focus on a project.
You plan and enjoy coffee and conversation with a friend, or some other type of outing.
You watch a favorite program or movie or read a novel—without apology.
You enjoy a SPA day at a salon or create your own at home.

Many more bullet points could be added, but you likely get the drift of what my client meant. For her, our calls and what their results are in and on her life not only bring rewards into her life but lets her feel rewarded for the energy she gives to her process—on her behalf—between the calls.

Give thought to what feels similar to you—something you really couldn’t put a price on because it provides something invaluable to you as the unique individual you are.

Maybe you might pick one thing you feel is like the oxygen mask but you’ve, perhaps, not been giving to yourself often enough or at all—and put it into practice this week.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer
This week’s State of Appreciation is empowering! Gabriella Kortsch-“Do You Dance? Are Joy & Happiness Major Components of Your Life?”; Jeanna Gabellini-“Do You Believe in Easy?”; “On The Edge” By poet Wendi Romero: