Friday, January 27, 2012

Why Being and Feeling Authentic Can Be Challenging Especially These Days

Mark Twain said, “The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.” Whatever you pursue in your outer life will never fill the inner void created by feeling inauthentic; you have to fill it yourself, and first.

“Sam” was so distressed and confused that he’d pretty much shut down; and even told me he almost didn’t want to do our coaching call. What happened to Sam was that he’d recently entered a new career field and believed he’d found the ideal company to work with. What he soon discovered was that his values and theirs didn’t match. He’s about listening to clients and providing service that meets a client’s needs; the company is about closing the deal, even if it requires falsehoods and pressure be used—tactics they teach. Though he’s had successes since he started there, without using these “tricks of the trade,” a co-worker told Sam that he’s considered a “failure to launch.”

Sam is a person who’s clear about his values and knows he must stay true to them or he goes out of harmony with himself and his life. He succeeds at whatever he does, in accordance with his definition and parameters, no one else’s. He was out of balance and couldn’t figure out how to get back in harmony. This was a new experience for Sam—not being able to return himself to inner harmony, and he couldn’t figure out how to lift himself out of this mire so he could feel he stood on solid ground again.

Because he’s still in a learning phase and needs a support system while he adjusts, he had true inner and outer turmoil going on. On the one hand, he was being asked to compromise his values for profits. On the other hand, he was being referred to as a failure because of how this “request” was affecting him. Anyone who’s just getting started with something new is eager for the day they feel they can trust their skills completely, and feel and be strong because of it. This skill strength was, understandably, still missing for Sam. So he dwelled more on self-doubt than on what was really happening.

Sam felt immobilized, and he felt alone, which is frightening. Engaging and meeting challenges and accomplishment are two of his values, so he hesitated to leave the company; but how could he willingly assist clients in the way the company insisted? He can’t; and he had to come to terms with this self-truth. He also needed a few good next steps, which we achieved. By the end of our session he said, “I can actually breathe again. I’ve been losing a lot of sleep over this.”

Being authentic is about knowing yourself and self-acceptance that supports and nurtures you, and helps you thrive. Self-doubt, which is about not being in a strong relationship with yourself, clouds many issues, as well as any process, decision-making or not, you move through. It’s difficult to see the real you or a what the real issue is in a clouded mirror.

Authenticity comes from discovering what your Values are then living from them, knowing that not doing so takes you out of integrity and diminishes your life force energy. Values are what help to create and sustain feelings in you that make you feel alive, enlivened, inspired, and in integrity. They can include accomplishment, connection, creativity, family, fulfillment, humor, honesty, inspiration, spirituality, personal development, service, adventure, abundance, and more.

When you know and live your values, you have a better chance of being and staying in harmony with yourself and, therefore, a better chance of being in harmony with others and life, as well as being more selective about who and what you choose to associate yourself with. When you live this way, prosperity and abundance take on greater meaning. Though you may have both as outer level experiences, in whatever degree that is, it becomes, ultimately, about your experiences of them growing deeper and richer at an inner level first.

These days, messages come at you and me from many directions that tell us what we “should” be and have so that no one has a reason to consider us failures or sub-standard. That’s a lot of people to please! And, many of these messages have nothing to do with our values or helping us stay real with ourselves and others. It’s pretty darn frustrating for a lot of people. What’s additionally frustrating, as it was for Sam until he saw this, is we aren’t always sure what exactly is frustrating us; so, we assume it must be about us not measuring up in some way.

You aim at improvements for yourself and your life, perhaps not always feeling certain about what you’re doing (and, certainty isn’t always required, just action on a next step that moves you forward), and along comes someone (often in an email) telling you that you don’t measure up unless you have or do XYZ. Even if you feel at your core that XYZ is not a good fit for you now, or ever, you might take on this belief (especially if you’re in a challenging phase in an area of your life), which causes you to doubt your abilities or not believe in yourself. You may even start down a path you know in your intuitive gut is not going to lead you where you want to go, but you believe you need to receive a better “measurement” in the eyes of… who? When you find the path doesn’t work for you, because it never was supposed to, you might jump into self-judgment, when you should check in with your values. Anytime something feels off or as though it doesn’t fit you, check in with your values.

In order to believe you’re less than what you truly are, you have to view yourself and life primarily through the lenses of ego and intellect, when the truth is that you and all in existence are so much more.

I ask you to begin paying attention to any message that causes you to feel less, diminished, judged… and question or dump it. Sometimes messages need to address a certain situation in order to open a discussion or thought process, and to let you know that something can be done to improve it, but this can be done in a way that speaks to or with you, not down to or at you. If a message doesn’t inspire you, that is, breathes life into you in some measure, question it.

No one can define who the real you is except you. No one can tell you what being authentically you is about except you. No one can deepen and enrich the relationship you have with yourself… except you. Like Sam, you might get some assistance, but it all comes back to you: what you allow, and what you embrace.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, January 20, 2012

Three of the Biggest Blocks to Manifestation Fulfillment

There are three main (typical) ways you block manifestation. Learn what they are so you learn what to do about them.


The first block to manifestation is not asking for what you want at the start, or if you do ask, not asking in the correct way. Many spiritual disciplines provide versions of “Ask and you will receive,” but there’s more to this, as you’ve probably discovered, and which I’ll explain.

Okay, we get that we need to ask; but what usually happens is we think about what we want or need then jump into making a plan or take massive action, often because others expect us to or told us this is the way to act, or to appease the ego. We rush around, exhaust ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally, and feel frustrated about minimal results, or the absence of them. Also, thinking something “to death” or worrying about it is NOT asking.

An old adage says, “Sharpen the ax before you go to the tree.” Ask in the right way first. Examples: “If (insert your request) is in my highest good and the highest good of all involved, I ask this to be fulfilled, and I trust that it will be. While I wait to receive results or guidance about this, I’m going to be happy and/or serene now, rather than wait to be happy or serene if or when I receive this or something even better. I am truly thankful for all that fulfills me and is fulfilled for me.” Or, “I ask that the right (clients, customers, resources, monies I need) be sent to me. While I wait for these to show up and trust that they will, or for guidance about this, I’m going to be happy and/or serene now, rather than wait to be happy or serene if or when I receive fulfillment of this request. I am truly thankful for all that fulfills me and is fulfilled for me.”

I know that many action-driven people might disagree, at first blush, with the above paragraphs. We (and they) have been taught that strategies and systems and actions are what “responsible” and “successful” people do, but we’re seldom taught how vital it is that we strengthen and trust our relationships with our Infinite Selves and Source… above all. Yet, these relationships are what are needed as our foundation, are where real inner power comes from and where highest-good fulfillments get created and put into motion in our lives. Too often, much too often, we attempt to do everything on our own, without the assistance of our Infinite Selves and Source. I’m not saying you aren’t to take action, I’m saying get aligned with your Inner Energy before you take action, so that your action is Source and Life Energy-driven, not fear-based ego-driven.


This leads to the second biggest block: Strife. Notice that “happy and/or serene” were included in the requests shared above. Strife is a really big problem when it comes to manifestation because the vibration or energy of fulfillment, the vibration or energy that allows and supports fulfillment, is serenity. There’s no way around this. Judging is strife. Anxiety is strife. Anger is strife. Stressing is strife. Anything not supportive or serene – anything not a positive vibration – is strife.

We often call what we do “striving to succeed” or, perhaps even, to survive; but we’re really “strifing,” which will never result in the full success or fulfillment we desire. Strife blocks requested manifestation fulfillment, and creates more of what you don’t want. If your ego wants to disagree with this, just consider your typical experiences and results. You can ask and ask (or plead or demand); but as long as strife instead of serenity is present, the energy of strife will push away the very results, resources, or people you wish to have in your life.

By the way, serenity doesn’t mean you’re so mellow you can’t function; it means your actions or non-actions, your words, your thoughts and feelings are centered and fueled via your connection with your Infinite Self and Source, instead of spiking out and poking people’s eyes out… energetically speaking, that is. This is the Catch-22 it’s so easy for all of us to find ourselves engaged in. This may help: Think of a sailboat. Is sailing smoother, faster, more effortless on calmer waters or on stormy seas? Effortless manifestation is a form of sailing in life, and is worth doing what’s required to know you can do this consistently; but, it is way more about first Being than Doing.


The third biggest block is doubt. Make your requests to Source free of doubt and self-doubt, free of any doubts about your self-worth and what you deserve. Source supplies freely. Source doesn’t supply you or anyone based on what’s deserved, but will honor that you believe this, until you don’t. Doubts of any kind come from the ego that’s been affected by limiting beliefs, and are contrary to the truth of Source, your Infinite Self, and how Source set up the Creative Energy to work for and with you.

Some manifestations are instant because everything is set up and ready to go – as soon as you ask and allow it. Others are not in your highest good, so never happen. And some requests require a bit of time because more than just you is involved. While you wait, occupy yourself and your mind with positive and productive thoughts and actions. Do what you need to maintain states of serenity and happiness, which are the “attractive” energies, literally and metaphysically. Do this despite what appearances are. Remind yourself of how you felt when something or something even better happened before. State, as often as you need to, throughout the day that you believe or know that Source is at work on this in ways for your highest good.

You cannot expect what you ask for to manifest fully if strife is driving your life and doubt is what you entertain. You don’t even have to believe or practice metaphysics or spirituality for this to be the truth. Life, through the creative quantum energy, responds in this way no matter what your belief system is or isn’t. The more strife and doubt you stop practicing the more serene you’ll be. Obvious, but we miss it more often than we see it. To do this requires dedication to develop your strife-free, doubt-free inner power, and to practice daily self-discipline about this, so that you shift away from ego’s insecurities that cause you to engage strife and doubt. If life or particular life areas don’t seem to be working out for you, it’s likely you’re allowing strife and doubt to clutch you in their grasp instead of you holding serenity and trust at your core.

Begin to practice looking at your blocked life areas to reveal whatever strife or doubt you may be engaging in. Ask for what you want, in the right way. It is your choice to either wear yourself out while you try to do everything yourself or to follow a path with Source as your companion that leads to more effortless manifestation and greater serenity, fulfillment, and joy.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, January 13, 2012

Maybe It Is All in Your Mind

Where do you experience most of your life? Is the majority of activity outside of you or inside your mind?

I was with a person who, as other times before, talked about what’s perceived as wrong in her life, wrong with others, and recounted past events shared from a negative perspective. Yet, I didn’t have the same experience of this as I’ve had prior times. Instead, I was serene, which allowed me to listen and observe differently (rather than absorb that energy). In fact, my all-round participation was different. It was like being in freezing temperatures, but staying warm because there was a heater hidden in my energy field. While the person complained, I felt cozy inside and out, with no need to engage or judge her “it’s miserable” perspective. Eventually, my inner flame warmed her, as well.

Granted, our time spent together was limited, but when I thought about this, I realized that what I usually experience with this person is not the person herself as much as it is that I experience myself, that is, my perceptions, my judgments, my expectations, and my ego’s inner dialogue that likes to run on and on. It’s called mind chatter, which is one of the biggest wastes of life force energy we self-indulge in.

Mind chatter takes up mental space, which means there’s little room for inspiration, creativity, and intuitive information to communicate with you and lead you along a more joyful, productive, and fulfilling path… one of genuine connection with yourself, Source, others, and your life.

We, understandably, believe we are fully present with others, or with life matters, but we aren’t really as “there” as we might like to think we are. Instead, we’re inside our mind, usually listening to our insecure ego that is busy sniping about how it wants everything and everyone to be a certain way. This bumps us right out of being fully present, where we can be responsive in a productive way, and makes us less prone to remember we are spiritual beings with an inner power more dynamic than we usually allow it to be for us; a power that waits for us to remember it’s there and “plug in” so its energy can flow to us and through us.

Sometimes we get so full of mind chatter we spew it out, believing we’re having a conversation or being productive, when we’re just informing people in which ways we feel out of control in our life. Mind chatter happens; and if you let it have its way, it’ll have you upset more often than not, and possibly doing battle with people in real life or on the battlefield created in your mind.

So, how did I get into and stay in that more serene inner place during that time? I decided to hold silent power, to pay attention differently, to be with the person and the energy instead of in the mind chatter of my ego… kind of like watching a film, or being okay with a minor role instead of being the star or competing for top billing (not always easy, but doable). I allowed and reminded myself to stay connected to the truth of my inner power, as much as possible.

My experience included asking myself questions like: Do I choose to be aligned with my power enough to provide appropriate energetic and other support to this person so she won’t feel so insecure, or worse, judged because of my ego’s as yet unresolved issues? Am I listening with more than my ears and ego? What and how do I choose to engage, and will this engagement be fueled by my personal power and connection to Source… or my ego?

Sometimes the way you can best support or engage yourself and others is through silence; but this requires the energy of serenity from higher understanding and awareness so that your silence isn’t underscored with negative mind chatter and the ego’s resentment about you choosing to keep your mouth shut.

Stuff happens, and we get triggered. Personal power helps you stay stable. If you’re not engaging your power, then anything, even small stuff, can rattle you and you find yourself following your emotions wherever they lead. There are at least two typical ways you might deal with mind chatter, which include either going with it, which puts you in a bad mood you then “share” with others, or self-deprecation because you have the chatter going on, so you tell yourself you have to stop this, which frustrates you if you don’t have a way to do this that works. What’s working for me, as soon as I see this happening (or sometimes before it starts), is I use a few genuinely empowering-for-me statements and repeat them like a mantra, to remind myself to more deeply connect with my personal power and what it really means; and to re-dedicate myself to this every day.

You cannot be strong in your personal power if or when your emotions are out of control. Mind chatter keeps you out of control because you choose to let the needy ego run amok rather than do what it takes to build up and stand in your power.

Personal power requires self-discipline, or self-management, if that’s an easier term for you to accept and allow. Without this, your life is disorganized, messy, and therefore, unfulfilling; and this is true for any area of your life. Any emotional, and even physical, “mess” in your life indicates a weakness in your connection to your personal power, in partnership with Source, and that ego is running the show. Messes are a declaration by ego that it either believes it can make a mess and others will clean it up or that it’s too “special” or “justified” to concern itself with such details. The more you follow either of these paths the more ego will control your life; and, you won’t appreciate the results, including how this affects your confidence, your ability to put your attention and energy towards what you really desire to experience, and your level of success and fulfillment.

If your life or a particular area of it seems out of control, look first at what you’re allowing to happen in your mind. Consider what you’ve read here and put some or all of it into practice, and you will begin to build your life force energy and personal power. This may happen quickly or may feel slower than you’d like; and the building speed may be different for the affected areas of your life. Your progress depends on your practice. Whatever it is that you think you want, personal power and life force energy are what you really want because they are what support you to experience your life the way you really desire to, inwardly then outwardly. Whenever you’re ready, get out of your mind chatter and into your true power. You’ll find Source is ready to assist you.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

Monday, January 9, 2012

How Do You Clear Your Inner Space?

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to point at and click a Delete button at what clutters your inner space? Our days would be so different if we could.

When I turn on my computer each morning, I go through a 3-step ritual. First, I use a program (which interestingly has the word Aware in its title) that identifies unseen attachments that came from outside my computer. The program quarantines the items, and I hit the Delete button to remove them and their potential or actual influence. This first step has an added benefit: Using it lessens how many of the unseen attachments get sent to other people’s computers through emails I send. Second, I go to Temporary Files and delete those. Third, I delete files in the Recycle Bin. This ritual lets my computer run faster and better. If my computer starts to run a bit slower and less efficiently, I repeat the 3-step process. Sometimes, this is necessary to do several times a day.

It would be so convenient to have similar features installed in ourselves to deal with negative attachments so we could just point and click and be done with them. Instead, we actually have to Pay Attention to our attachments and do the work ourselves. But, there is a benefit to this: we can evolve from this type of attention; our computers and their programs can’t do this, not without our help.

The ritual is important, if I want a better performing computer. But, a ritual is only as good as the self-discipline to use it. And, rituals, just like program updates, need updates over time because we change and life changes. When it comes to personal rituals, flexibility fueled by dedication to yourself and your life is a must; but you want rituals that support you, not encumber you.

It’s been said repeatedly, and proven, that a ritual of some kind, used in the morning or at night, for even a few minutes if that’s all you have, makes a difference. If, as part of your ritual, you identify and target even one attachment to pay attention to that day so you can do something different about it, that action may have a huge impact. And, maybe you’ll pay attention so that you don’t “share” the energy of your negative attachment(s) with others. I think you know the type of energy I’m talking about.

Our Temporary Files are matters we haven’t made a decision about, matters we haven’t taken action on, and matters we know are just clutter but we haven’t made the effort to organize or delete them from our inner list.

Our Recycle Bin holds attachments, grievances, and limiting beliefs we’re hanging onto, deliberately or not. There are lots of files labeled “Past” stored in that bin, more often than not. But, unlike recyclable physical items that can be used and be a benefit to others, our “emotional clutter” benefits no one, least of all us; it just takes up inner space that could be used in better ways. However, just as some recyclable items can be reformed or converted into something that does benefit others, there are ways to use your emotional stuff to help others. That’s just not the way it’s generally used.

And there’s the need to self-monitor throughout the day, when you notice you’re not feeling or performing the way you’d prefer to as an individual. This doesn’t always feel as easy as it might seem it should. We like to think we’re doing everything right or as best as we can. When we see this might not be the case, we may pull some attachments out from one of those three areas and basically add more fuel to the fire.

Let’s face it, we’re not computers. We may think we’ve deleted a negative attachment (sometimes we really do), yet, abracadabra, it shows up again, and again, and again. But with awareness, we can lessen its influence each time; we can lessen our reactions when such thoughts reappear. We can look at the three parts described here (attachments, temporary files, recycle bin) to see which one we’re stumbling around in and identify what we can do to clear an attachment from our inner space, as much as possible at that time.

One way to do this is to choose and use one word like Serenity, Beauty, Peace, Love, Trust, Abundance, Prosperity… any word that conveys energy opposite of the energy the negative attachment holds over you, and repeat that word throughout the day. One thing: You have to mean it for it to create an inner shift that leads to an outer one. This practice may seem simplistic, but it’s effective. Add this step to your Awareness ritual and see what happens. Just know it takes more than one go at this. Use one word (or up to five) every day for a week and let me know what this experience is like for you.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer