Friday, April 27, 2012

Is Law of Attraction Just a Way to Get Stuff or a Way to Live?

The crux of Law of Attraction is that to get desired results, we have to be, not just behave, a certain way. However, we tend to focus on “the get” more than the BE aspect, and this creates contrasts for us and our lives.

Most Law of Attraction buzz is about how to use it to get more of whatever. But, wouldn’t we have a much better life experience and demonstration of the Law if we looked at it as a way to live? And if we live it, what might the results be?

Law of Attraction – Like Attracts Like – has been provided to assist us to identify desires and preferences then fulfill the ones that benefit us and others (in some way or, at least, “do no harm”) simultaneously. Brilliantly included in the principles is another level, the level that takes us beyond just acquiring desired tangibles and happenings to that of expanding our personal and spiritual development, so that we experience both sides of this “equation” rather than just one or the other.

We’re bombarded these days with what’s almost a mandate that our lives look a certain way more than be a certain way. Honestly, which one of these holds your attention more at this time or more often: have more to feel good or feel good to have more? The latter is how Law of Attraction is designed to work best in our favor. Source has a reason for everything, so there must be a good reason for this design.

Learning to use the Law as a way to live may require a nearly complete overhaul of how we think, speak, feel, and act. Understanding this, how much do we still really want this or feel willing to do what’s required? We’d have to retrain ourselves. We’d have to be deliberate and consistent in our practice. We’d have to shift from doing and being a whole lot of stuff that’s familiar and convenient, even though ineffective or even destructive.

Ernest Holmes wrote: “…the more completely the mind turns away from lack, the more completely the thought stops trying to figure out how the demonstration can be made, the more completely it refrains from will power, and, strange as it may seem, the less it tries to concentrate, THE MORE POWER IT HAS…. The gardener does not will potatoes and cabbages into being, but he has a willingness to comply with the law of nature, and provides the conditions which make it possible for this law to produce them.”

Let’s look at some shifts we’d have to make to prepare or condition our inner gardens so our outer gardens produce desired experiences and results:

*We’d have to actually choose to choose to feel better – to deliberately raise our energy vibration – more often than we might do now. We’d have to figure out when and how this is appropriate for us and do this, likely, each time we face it.

*Our addiction to staying with (staying with, not just having, which is natural) negative feelings like grouchy, self-righteous, judgmental, revengeful, and so on – all opinion-based, would have to be replaced with preferences, discernments, and REASONING (observe and gather enough information to consider all sides, aspects, and the bigger picture). Instead of being locked into struggle and limitation by our opinions, we’d have to expand our conscious awareness through reasoning.

*We’d have to believe Source always has our back, despite perceptions about appearances at times, so we stop believing and acting like we are a solo-act or that Source (the Universe) is ever against us. We CAN ask source to show us what to do, to connect us with its resources, instead of trying to figure everything out ourselves. We may have to make, “Source has my back,” the first thing we say when we wake each day. We’d definitely know it, once spiritually awakened.

*We’d have to allow joy and fulfillment to be our prime motivators, and understand all the other “stuff” is about exercising our choices for how to have and live these.

*We’d have to abandon the premise that we’re not good enough or are undeserving, and allow the same for others.

*We’d have to match our words to our higher intentions instead of inflict pain with them or try to be clever with criticisms to and about others. We’d have to become genuinely curious rather than accusatory, when contrasts in personality and beliefs arise. We’d have to seek to understand, as well as to be understood.

*We’d have to check in with whether we’re resisting or allowing our good; whether we hold our desired vision, or focus more on the perceived lack that prompted the vision or desire in the first place.

*We’d have to choose a vision or purpose (many, actually) instead of waiting for Source to send us a cosmic telegram that reads “Do this: XYZ.” We’d have to grasp the truth for ourselves, others, and our world that “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” to remind us to choose the direction we desire to go in then get going, and use reasoning to guide us. We’d have to watch for signs that we’re going in the right or true direction for us and adjust as needed.

*We’d have to stop wearing our emotional wounds as our identity and stop using them to control others. We’d have to appreciate and use our strengths and be creators and collaborators, for the good of ourselves and others.

*We’d have to pay attention to our feelings and energy vibrations instead of letting our emotions rip and rip apart, and do this in a way that still honors our emotions and feelings - our most valuable inner GPS.

*We’d have to allow our experiences to be mirrors so we could adjust our vibrations as needed – to use our vibrations to promote desired results, instead of trying to use will power or coercion or force regarding experiences, falsely believing such approaches will cause us to feel more of what we desire.

*We’d have to stop blaming others for what we are, do, and have and do what we are empowered to do, on our own behalf.

*We’d have to put stress and worry on a strict diet and nourish trust in Source and serenity. Research says that 87% of all illnesses are related to incorrect thinking. The symptoms are real because the body responds to the mind. We are not designed to do stress and worry 24/7; but we have to recognize how much of our stress and worry is self-imposed and what this can or will do to us and our lives and relationships.

*We’d have to realize that trust in Source is not about always having the answer immediately. Sometimes we get an answer and sometimes we get an opportunity or a result. Sometimes we get a right question to ask. Nor does trust mean we don’t take action; it’s that we take inspired or well-reasoned rather than frantic, premature, or thoughtless action.

*We’d have to accept that we control what we believe, and not absorb the beliefs of others that diminish us and our integrity and our innate ability and desire to contribute. We’d have to realize we’re here to create and contribute, not just accumulate.

*We’d have to allow experience to teach us and not take Everything so seriously or personally. We’d have to lighten up to be enlightened.

*We’d have to be deliberate about what we feed our minds, imaginations, and feelings instead of ingesting without regard for how what we ingest or allow in will affect us and the vibrations we transmit. This is not about censure; it’s about knowing and nurturing ourselves.

*We’d have to think, feel, and say good and accepting things about us to ourselves. We’d have to allow ourselves to stumble and get back up with supportive rather than unsupportive commentary; and do this with others.

*Just as we’d move away from a bad smell, we’d have to choose to allow ourselves to move away from situations, thoughts, beliefs, words, and actions that contrast or conflict with our well-being, inner truth, and the larger Truth – whether right away or after our efforts to help improve something shows it’s time to let go and move away.
Listed above are a number of situations we all contend with in our everyday lives. If we look at them individually or as a whole, it’s really about choosing to be deliberate about how we are, what we do, and what we have – and the Why. Be deliberate about living a Law of Attraction life, where like attracts like, and you can’t help but expand your state of appreciation in every area of your life, starting with how you appreciate you and what you really are capable of creating and accomplishing, for you and for others.

Practice makes progress.

© Joyce Shafer

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Are You Holding Grudges or Are They Holding You?

Holding grudges is a heavy burden to bear. If you’re holding them, are you aware of what this is really doing to you?

It’s probably correct to say that most of us have held one or more grudges at some point in life. Some are about significant events and some are petty. Sometimes we’re able to let grudges go either within a reasonable amount of time or eventually. Sometimes we hold onto grudges for a very, very long time. When this happens, resentment we carry can or does turn into bitterness.

Ernest Holmes wrote that the mouth speaks from the heart, and therefore it’s impossible for us to conceal who we are… rather than as we wish to appear to be; and that “…the mirror of life cannot help reflecting back to us that which we really are.” You can easily add: life reflects back what we really believe; and, we behave based on what we believe. Imagine what it means Law of Attraction-wise if we hold resentment or bitterness in the heart, especially if we believe they belong and should stay there.

It’s been rightly said that forgiveness is not about – is never about – saying what someone did is okay, but is instead a way for you to put the heavy burden of resentment down. This is so that you can enjoy life, including the abundance you already have in every area of your life, which then invites more in. This makes sense to do when you think about how Law of Attraction responds to and matches your energy vibration in every moment. Your emotions tell you what you’re attracting.

Something to keep in mind: if the person, or we, had had the consciousness to do better at any given time, he/she/we would have. This fact applies to all of us, and it’s something we meet in every moment. We all have the opportunity to raise our consciousness even one degree, to make better choices than ones we might make strictly from an ego perspective. This is not always as easy as we’d like, but it is doable.

Let’s look at what happens to us when we hold grudges against others, and even against ourselves.

*We keep “records,” our own mental list of every “wrong” we experienced or perceived that we experienced (or did). We not only visit these records repeatedly, but will include one or more past entries in the present, when triggered into frustration, anger, or fear. We do this either with a person we hold a grudge against (including us) or we tell others. We don’t do this as part of a process to heal ourselves, but to drive the nail or spike of our own perspective in deeper. If we talk about these things from a commitment to release them and free ourselves once and for all, that’s altogether different, and encouraged.

*In our retelling of these wrongs to whomever, we paint ourselves as in the right and the other(s) in the wrong. Any wrongdoing or inappropriateness of ours is usually left out of the story. If bitterness is in our heart, we act from a victim or martyr-like mindset, which means the majority of our conversations become ones of complaining and seldom ones of healing or about learned wisdom, or what we intend to create or contribute in a productive way going forward.

*We think of life as a serious business. We place “serious” emphasis on all that we perceive as needing to be done, including busywork. If anyone doesn’t share the same serious attitude, if they dare to be lighter-hearted or even to have fun or be calmer than we feel, we get angry.

*If anyone we hold a grudge against has good fortune, our resentment is amplified at them… maybe even at Source.

*While others enjoy life and serenity and abundance in greater measure than we do, we sit outside of these experiences, stewing or wallowing in resentment.

We feel we have every right to our grudges and to hold onto them; but who pays the greater price for holding onto them? We do – because our perspective cannot help but warp under so much tension and strain. Ernest Holmes wrote: “Man’s experience is the logical outcome of his inner vision; his horizon is limited to the confines of his own consciousness. Wherever this consciousness lacks a true perspective, its outward expression will lack proper harmony.” Stuff happens; but an affected perspective will take nearly everything personally or as a personal attack.

You cannot control what another individual does or thinks, but you can control how you choose to respond or behave. And, yes, even how you think about what others do. When we hold a grudge—large or petty, we restrict any expansion of perspective. This restricts what we can learn and how we can grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. We may complain that nothing and no one ever changes, while we stay exactly the same or worsen. We never punish others with our grudges, our resentments, and our resistance to a more reasoned perspective as much as we punish ourselves.

Effects of grudge-holding show up in our bodies, our behaviors, our finances, our relationships. This can cause us to be on alert for slights of any kind, as though everyone – and even Source – is against us. We may be too upset or distressed (or habituated) to even contemplate how we affect Law of Attraction, what kinds of “instructions” we send to it. We become a house divided against its Self, and hold others or Source responsible.

Our grudges cause us to focus on fragments instead of the whole, to be fragmented ourselves, instead of whole. We seek, even crave, wholeness. But grudge-holding keeps us from seeing that wholeness comes from and can only come from within.

How can you release a grudge? First, you have to sincerely desire to do this for Your Own Sake! You don’t ever have to like or approve or okay what happened, but you can choose to stop letting your grudges consume you and your life. You can choose to say: It happened. It’s over. I’m going to trust there was a reason, even if just to show me how not to be, or was an opportunity to raise my conscious awareness. My focus now is on how to feel, act, and be better and better. My choice is to now focus on the present, which is creating my future, as well, right now.

You can know that the more you put this into practice, the easier it is for you to enter a state of appreciation – for yourself, your life, and the Source of All That Is. You can free yourself from the bitter bile of resentment and its repetitive negative influences on you and your life. You can apply this to old grudges and potential new ones. You can watch how this shifts Law of Attraction to work in ways that fill you with joy and enjoyment… and allow you to more easily connect with the true blessings in your life, and inspire you to be a blessing in the lives of others.

Practice makes progress.

© Joyce Shafer

Friday, April 13, 2012

How Do You Really Feel About Yourself?

Self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-love and acceptance are about the level of belief you have in yourself, which comes from knowing yourself. If these are low, there’s a good reason: your true identify was messed with.

When anthropologist Margaret Mead gave birth to her daughter, she expressed eagerness to discover who her daughter was, rather than impose who she expected her daughter to be. That’s not how it usually goes. Usually, there are expectations – low, average or high – already in place of and for us, and from more than one person as we move through life.

What happens for a lot of us as a result is what we commonly call an Identity Crisis: we grow up uncertain about who WE really are or how to discover this in a way that isn’t punishing or disapproved of, either by others or ourselves, led by others’ examples about this. After such a start in life, it may feel scary to make the journey of Self discovery.

An Identity Crisis affects your general choices and decision-making. Amid expectations of those around you now and from the past, it can feel intimidating to get to know yourself authentically, and even to love and accept yourself, or trust yourself to act in a way that keeps your self-approval and self-integrity intact.

An Identity Crisis can lead to trying to be perfect, which is impossible, stressful, and pulls or keeps a person off track and out of joy. Or, it may cause a person to feel immobilized about going for more than the basics in life. Perhaps, even some of both. When you have an Identity Crisis in any degree, you feel out of harmony with yourself and with life and even with All That Is. But, that is a perception; and you can change this.

An Identity Crisis causes us to look at what others are doing and compare ourselves to them. It leads to jealousy because we feel intimidated by the gifts, talents, and results of others, and by those who express greater belief in themselves (and All That Is) than we currently feel or demonstrate. We may try to imitate others in order to fill this void. But, when we try to be like someone else, we can’t be ourselves.

You might be able to name one or more people who were involved in any theft or disruption of your true identity, but you reach a point in life when it’s time to realize that if you have inappropriate expectations for yourself – or few appropriate expectations, you’ve become the thief or disruptor of your true identity. And this is where Law of Attraction needs to enter the picture, because this Law will match confusion and clarity equally. Law of Attraction responds to your thoughts of both what you want and don’t want – as though they are requests of equal measure.

Can you see how the effects of an Identity Crisis can affect how the Law of Attraction works in your life? Every thought, word, or action – supported by what you really feel – is a vibration you transmit that the Law of Attraction picks up as a request to be matched and fulfilled. Whatever you feel about yourself right now, you must pay attention to the vibrations of the feeling-based energy you transmit.

If you aren’t sure what it means to pay attention to the vibrations you transmit, think of it like this: what you attract is based on your perceptions, which cause you to feel a certain way. It’s about how you perceive yourself and others and life, and how you perceive your relationship or interactions with yourself, others, and life. You could say that if you want to adjust what you attract, monitor and adjust your perceptions so you monitor and adjust how you feel.

Other words for perceptions are beliefs, attitudes, expectations, anticipations, assumptions, presumptions, perspectives, and conclusions. Every attraction and therefore result in your life is set into motion by Your Perceptions, starting with how you perceive yourself. You must start with how you feel and think about you, if you want to influence any vibration you transmit to the Law of Attraction for a desired outcome.

Listen to your self-talk and what you say about anyone and anything – because there ultimately is no separation between your perceptions about yourself and perceptions about anyone or anything else. It’s all connected. We are all connected, all one energy, but many expressions of it. And though we may not like it, we cannot perceive something outside ourselves that doesn’t exist, in some measure, within us – negative or positive. We can either judge our “mirrors” or we can further hone our Self identity because of what we observe.

Who you really are is a unique, individualized expression of and participating contributor to All That Is. You’re not your body, your bank balance, your wardrobe, your car, your home, your job, or any other physical representation. And it isn’t how these “look” that represents you or attracts manifestations, but HOW YOU FEEL about how they look that does. This feeling is what Law of Attraction picks up as orders to fill, and is why a state of appreciation is so important.

Your identity is intimately linked to your experiences. You are ever unfolding, evolving – choosing! Your experiences play a significant role in assisting or allowing you to define and clarify your identity. And how you perceive your identity plays a significant role in the choices you make. Your identity is NOT based on outcomes, as society would tell you, but on what you do about and with your experiences, how you grow from them and what you learn about yourself and your relationship with All That Is through them. Outcomes are manifestations of your inner processes that can show you if you’re on target or need to take better aim with your energy.

When you clothes shop, you know what’s you and what isn’t. Approach anything and everything the same way. You don’t have to know all of your preferences or defined aspects by tomorrow; in fact, that’s not how this physical experience is set up. You’re meant to discover preferences and identity aspects, including through contrasts, and to do so until the moment you exit your physical form.

The greatest treasure you can have is feeling good, including, or especially, about yourself. This affects how you feel about everyone and everything else. This is why it’s important that the first thing to realize about your identity is that you are a beloved expression of Source. Everything that follows that is just a path of exploration, discovery, and expression. If you feel you only partially know who you really are, admit that, at least to yourself, and start where you are about this, in this moment.

Get excited about what an adventure this can be, what an adventure it was always meant to be. Your personalized adventure is a main reason you came to this physical experience. Maybe it’s time to make the most of it. Maybe it’s time to let go of worrying about how others will see you and focus on how you choose to be in partnership with who you know yourself and discover yourself to be. Practice appreciating or honoring every facet of this adventure because there’s a treasure hidden inside each facet, flat surface, gap, twist, and curve.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

Monday, April 9, 2012

How in Control Are You?

Control is something we tend to battle with, whether it’s self-control or control of others or circumstances. Maybe if we better understand what we are meant to be in control of, we can shift from battle to more harmony.

A good question to start with is, What are you supposed to be in control of? “You are here to CREATE the world around you that YOU choose, while you ALLOW the world – as others choose it to be – to exist, also. But while THEIR choices in no way hinder YOUR choices, your attention to their choices does affect your vibration, and therefore your point of attraction.” (Abraham-Hicks. The capitalized words should be in italics. The changes are mine for publishing reasons.)

You could take the first part of the above statement to mean we are meant to be in this world, but not OF it, which has been said before. We are meant to understand we are more than we tend to believe we are. That we are spiritual in nature and therefore empowered in ways we’ve forgotten and now desire to re-Mind ourselves of, even if we don’t know to identify what we feel as being this.

But what about this: We are here to create the world around us as we choose AND allow the world as others choose it to be? Seems like a complicated contrast, at least to our ego self. Well, what if we are meant to create and control our INNER world in relationship with how we experience others and the outer world? This circles back to being in the world but not of it, to remember we are eternally spiritual beings and only temporarily physical.

To further this awareness and your desired results, it is VITAL that you become aware of the connection or relationship between YOUR thoughts and feelings with YOUR experiences. Until you do this – pay attention in this way – you and your life will feel out of your control. Can you look back and readily find examples of this? I certainly can. And, once you can look back in this way, you can also direct your thoughts forward with more awareness.

Then, there’s the last part of that quote about putting our attention on the choices of others and how this affects our own attracting vibrations. This is a matter of control on more than one level. I discuss a few aspects of how we tend to focus this way in the next paragraphs.

We tend, more often than not, to think and feel in response to what we PERCEIVE about what we see or hear from others, since others are usually involved in the circumstances we experience. If we perceive something as good, we feel good – and it’s the same for the opposite. When we perceive something as negative, we can believe we have little to no control over how we feel at that time – because we feel we are not in control of events or others. Our desired inner world contrasts with our experience of the outer world created by one or more others or us. At such times, we make our desire to feel we control what’s external to us more important than controlling what’s going on at the inner level.

What often happens when we feel out of control about events is we then try to control as much of the world, our environment, and others and their choices as we can or can get away with. We do this to RELIEVE the unpleasant or even painful feelings we experience, rather than looking at and learning something about ourselves by looking at our feelings and what they transmit as our energetic vibrations (and their effects), and then doing something about this - first.

Trying to control circumstances (instead of collaborating with life, starting at the inner level) leaves us perpetually frustrated because there will always be another circumstance and another and another. We are meant to be in control of our inner world, not the outer, which is a shared creation and experience; though, control of the inner influences the outer. We, and only we, can always and are always in control of our inner world. We just tend to forget or ignore this, especially in the heat of a moment that stirs our emotions in response to any resistance we feel. This happens, and we can shift it.

We are gifted with the ability and the right to influence our own lives and experiences, not the lives and experiences of others. Our egos find this especially painful when contrasts happen in our closest relationships, or what feels close to us about our desired experiences and results. This is because we also tend to forget that just as we are here to create and have our own experiences, so are others. If we make what they choose and do ours emotionally (though, we can be empathetic and provide assistance), we abandon pure focus (vibration) on what we desire. We can look for ways that what we desire for us and for another or others overlap, without infringing on their right to their (or our) personal evolution.

In any relationship – intimate, professional, or social – you are always in control of how you participate. Your ego may not like events at times, but when you choose, with conscious awareness, how you participate, you will experience the self-control you desire. And, you will feel better about yourself and your participation in this physical experience that is always unfolding, always shifting, in response to your vibrations and the vibrations of those you share this physical experience with.

It is also important to look beyond what-is. What-is is only the result of past vibrations. What-is-possible is always available to match your improved vibrations. We’re told to face facts, but “facts” are only the results just mentioned, as well as perceptions. There are as many perceptions as there are people perceiving. But, something, whether inner or outer – but especially inner – can always be shifted about what-is.

Our need to feel in control relates to a desire to feel successful in any moment and area of our lives. Success can be tricky because – what does it really mean? It has as many meanings as there are individuals to think those meanings. But, why do we, ultimately, want success of any kind? To feel joy!

We’ve been swayed in our perception about what success is because of how success and worth have been linked. Is a miserable person of wealth really more successful than a truly happy person of modest means? Isn’t the ideal to FEEL abundant and joyful at the same time, whatever this looks like? Yet, how often is success presented to us in this way? The world’s interpretation of success has caused us to feel not in control of ourselves and our lives, unless we match some ambiguous image of what success in any area of our life “should” look like, instead of what it means to us individually.

Feeling out of control about circumstances is a flashing signal that lets us know we have “unplugged” from Source’s stream of well-being (as Abraham calls it), not that Source has unplugged us. We just need to plug ourselves back in. Abundance and joy are meant to be ours, not as a result of struggle or deserving, but as a result of harmony and flow that comes from understanding that Source always supplies and never denies, and how Law of Attraction works, and using it.

If you really want to feel and be in control, aim to be in control of your inner world first. Re-set your success standard to one of feeling as good as you can, as often as you can, and joyful and in a state of appreciation as often as possible. This, after all, is the transmitted vibration that you desire to have Law of Attraction match, in as many ways as it’s able to, which is more ways than you can imagine. This desired feeling is what motivates your every thought, word, and action. Feel this way by choice first so that your preferences can connect with you with less or no “static interference” between you and what matches your vibration.

If your primary mode of operation has been resistance, this new mode will take practice. But, it’s a practice that will result in you feeling and having more conscious control over your choices and therefore your experiences and outcomes.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer