Friday, August 30, 2013

Tell Yourself a Better Story

Every day, we tell stories from and about our life. Much of what we believe about our stories is based on perceptions. If we are honest with ourselves, we realize that our perceptions are not always based in fact; and we’d benefit from a shift.

How we relate to stories people tell us and we tell ourselves and others affects how emotionally involved we become. When we become emotionally involved, we tend to lose objectivity. Objectivity is where solutions and resolutions reside and is where the power of passionate detachment comes in handy. But what does that mean?

We associate “passionate” as being fully engaged with something or someone, and “detachment” as disengagement, perhaps even apathy. Not necessarily. Passionate detachment allows us to care deeply, yet release our attachment to emotional involvement that influences us in ways not always in our best interest or the best interest of others.

Life coach training teaches future coaches to practice passionate detachment, though it isn’t called that. This practice is vital if coaches are to assist clients to move forward and attain the outcome they desire. We listen to their stories, but only for so long, in order to gather information. We honor their emotions as genuine responses to their stories, as well as true for them; but if we buy into the stories, we falter in our ability to ask questions that help them explore options and make conscious decisions.

That is passionate detachment at work, and so is this: Coaches care deeply and are compassionate, but our role is to not accept that “nothing can be done” or “it’s too difficult” as is sometimes the complaint of clients—and our own complaint at times as individuals having our own personal challenges (and is why coaches have coaches). A coach’s role is to assist clients to go beyond challenges and to learn and grow from them. This approach is not limited to coaching. Any one of us can apply this to our own perceptions about our own experiences and about others’ experiences. But the fact is that it’s often easier to practice passionate detachment regarding others’ stories than with our own.

If your story is negative and you “feed” it or feed on it, if you allow it to be your reality in total, it's like nailing your shoe to the floor and turning in circles. You move around a great deal, but you go nowhere. Imagine that instead of saying, "I had a horrible childhood," you say, "My childhood was one of experiences that encouraged me to look within and clarify who I choose to be in life. Because of my experiences, I am who I am today and am proud of how I address challenges and grow from them. I may falter at times, but I’m a survivor, as well as someone who intends to thrive." The latter story can be just as true as the former. It's called Reframing. Or as American Actress, Shelley Winters, humorously said, "I'm not overweight; I'm just nine inches too short."

Why would anyone need or want to reframe their stories? Reality is what it is, isn't it? Is that always the case? We know that how we perceive things is how we then experience them. Sometimes, this means we ignore the obvious, perhaps make excuses. Other times, it means the story we tell ourselves causes us to feel bad rather than better, roiled rather than serene, or alone rather than supported by others—and always by Source.

During the course of a day, or a lifetime, we tell ourselves a lot of things. Maybe we say we can't be happy, confident, peaceful, or whatever we want to feel until we lose 20 pounds, have a certain bank balance, someone behaves a certain way, or we reach whatever destination we place out ahead of us. Will we attain our goals and dreams faster if we delay feeling the way we want to, until we accomplish what we aim to or others do what we want them to do?

Not according to Law of Attraction and many other ancient teachings. We waste time and energy, and delay results, waiting for circumstances and ourselves to be perfect or ideal so that we can feel good, instead of feeling that way, or at least a bit better, now. Yes, I know…this is not always as easy as it sounds here, for any of us, including me. But it works. We just have to find head-and-heart alignment about this. We have to take each incident and address it as it comes up. We may have to remind ourselves about this more than a few times.

A good time to reframe is when an outcome or experience is less than we expected or hoped for. Times such as these may be disappointing or frustrating but are not "failures." They are valuable information-gathering experiences. You can choose to make every outcome or process work for you rather than against you. This may not feel natural or simple, but if you do it, you'll move forward rather than stand still. That is the real power of reframing.

Reframing takes us out of the mono-vision we can get locked into. If we look around, we see lots of people enjoying themselves in ways we're putting off “until” or “when” or “if.” Do you know anyone who is not a millionaire but is happy? Do you know any men or women without “perfect” bodies or appearances who are in happy romantic relationships? Do you know people with health issues or physical disabilities who not only get around but enjoy a fulfilling life? One thing can be assumed about such people: they are reframing experts. They tell themselves different stories than what someone else with similar challenges may tell themselves.

Pick something you're putting off feeling better about until you reach a specific outcome. You can choose to feel good about you, just as you are, and good about life just as life is in this very moment. This doesn't mean you don't honor what you feel or don’t still aim at your target or desired outcome or experience; it means you give yourself permission to enjoy yourself and your life starting now, which can be facilitated with reframing your stories so you tell yourself something better or more meaningful.

If you can change your stories, you can change how you experience your life. You shouldn't deny that you have the emotions you do about your experiences, but you can use them to your benefit if you create a new story and find a way to relate to its truth, as in the examples above. Passionate detachment gets you there because it allows you to make conscious choices instead of emotional ones, and to decide to release whatever holds you back. It lifts the nail out of your shoe so you can move forward instead of stay stuck.

Is your story an Aesop, Grimm, Fairy, or Reframed tale? It's your choice. Reframing is not playing Pollyanna; it’s about not taking life solely on the terms of your ego-based perceptions but on the terms based in your spiritual awareness and personal power. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

Mind Your Own Business

Mind Your Own Business
By Barbara Berger

(Excerpts from Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life)

The number 5 cause of suffering and unhappiness is minding other people’s business.

Having healthy boundaries
When you mind your own business, it is a sign that you understand what it means to have healthy boundaries. When we have healthy boundaries, we understand that I am me and you are you and that each of us has a right to be here and to be who we are. It also means that each of us has the right to make choices for ourselves and then to experience the consequences of all our thoughts, words and actions. When we have healthy boundaries we understand this and respect everyone’s right to be or do what feels right for them (and experience the consequences).

As a result of having healthy boundaries we respect other people’s rights and we expect other people to respect our rights. This means that when you tell someone how they should think or feel or what they should say or do when they don’t specifically ask for your advice, you are not respecting their boundaries and their right to be them. And it works the other way too. Which means when someone tells you how you should think or feel or what you should say or do when you don’t specifically ask them for their advice; they are not respecting your boundaries and your right to be you. Either way, these are examples of boundary violations and feel uncomfortable when they arise. So minding your own business means to respect other people and not tell them what to think, say or do unless they specifically ask for your advice or opinion.

When you start to understand this mechanism and begin to notice what you’re doing, you’re probably going to find that a lot of the time you’re everywhere except at home with yourself. If this is the case, don’t despair. Becoming aware of this mechanism is in itself a powerful impulse for transformation. And it works automatically because as you start to see what you are doing, your natural inclination will be to pull back your ideas and suggestions as to what you think is good for other people. Your natural inclination will be to let them decide for themselves. Because as you wake up, it becomes obvious that you can’t know what’s good for them anyway. In my experience, thinking that you can or do, causes nothing but pain and personal anguish.

So all we’re left with is the question – whose business are you in? Theirs or yours?

Read the rest of Mind Your Own Business by Barbara Berger on Guest Articles page at

Barbara Berger is the best-selling author of The Road to Power – Fast Food for the Soul (published in 30 languages) and The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind. Her highly acclaimed book, Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life (already published in 14 languages) is being released in the US and the UK on August 16, 2013. The books can be ordered on For more about Barbara Berger see

Changing Your Past, Recreating Your Future

Changing Your Past, Recreating Your Future - Part Two
By Jim Sel

Excerpted from a webinar series.

As this Shift of Consciousness unfolds, there are many, many events that are being stripped from your consciousness and your memories. The first Wave* clears away beliefs in your past that have been projected into your future. These sets of beliefs say, "This is my truth. This is all I have ever been, and this is all I am ever going to be!"

In the third dimension, the past is experienced in the mental body and the emotional body. But in the fourth dimension the past is observed, not experienced. You don't run your past through the emotional body. When you can stand in the fourth dimension present-time, right now—and decouple the emotion from the thought, you can simply perceive the past, "I was yelled at, abused, and insulted." You can decouple the strong emotion that went along with it and simply observe that, "In my past, my father abused me; but I'm not in my past. I'm standing right here and I do not have to be the result of my past if I do not bring the painful emotion with me present-time. 

The minute the emotion is coupled with the information or thought, you drop back into the third dimension and relive that painful past again in this moment. Your past can be viewed as simply two distinct components: A piece of information that once had an emotion attached to it. When you can separate the emotion from the thought (the information), the ability to perceive your past will change instantly. Everything that you have believed about how you're "not okay" begins to release its hold on you. You may have participated in events and you may have experienced outcomes that you didn't desire, but you've never failed at any part of the lesson. It's when you can separate the information from the emotion in this present-time moment that the old charged memories are cleared from your past. You are changing your past! That pain from the past that has been projected into your future is also being cleared at the same time. It is a very big deal how the Shift is taking away everything that is not you!

Now, that is why remembering and practicing your tools, skills and strategies is so important right now. One of the most important skills you can develop is the ability to determine what is your concern and what is simply Shakespeare's theater surrounding you. The Rose tool, which I have referred to in webinars and articles, is designed to allow you to identify that space from the Rose to you is who you are; and from the Rose away from you is Shakespeare's theater to entertain you. Incorporating this simple, significant tool into your daily life will allow you to instantly rearrange how you understand yourself: "This is me here, and that is the theater that has nothing to do with me!"

Keep reading Changing Your Past, Recreating Your Future - Part Two by Jim Self on Guest Articles page at

Jim Self ~ Featured on the Virtual Light Broadcast in 2009 and 2010 and a co-creator of the 10-10-10 Event, "The Next Convergence - Spirit into Human" with Steve Rother, Jim is often introduced as a teacher’s teacher and a healer’s healer. He has been leading seminars and teaching healing, clairvoyance and higher dimensional energy management tools throughout North America since 1980. As an author of Spirit Matters: Down-to-Earth Tools for a Spirited Life, Jim's Spectrum column includes excerpts from this book, his free tele-classes, seminars and his second upcoming book.

Since childhood, Jim has had a conscious awareness and ability to remember his experiences within the sleep state. Over the last ten years, this awareness has expanded into relationships with the Archangels, Ascended Masters and Teachers of Light. The tools and information presented in the Mastering Alchemy programs are co-creations of these relationships.

Jim walks with a foot in both worlds. At the age of twenty-six, he was elected to his first of two terms to the San Jose, CA City Council and later became the Vice Mayor. Before completing his second term, he was asked by President Jimmy Carter to be the Director of Governmental Operations for the Dept. of Energy. As an entrepreneur, he has successfully built and sold two corporations, and is the founder and current Board Chairman of a third.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Uncomfortable Law of Attraction Truth

“Witness” by poet Wendi Romero

"Oh, to spread
my wings,
rising with the tempo
of my own

rhythm of rebirth."
  Read the entire version of Witness” by poet Wendi Romero on Guest Articles page at

Investigate Your Stories

"Of course the worry club has different levels of membership. Some worriers practice daily and are true experts, while others only use their worrying skills on special occasions! But all in all, it’s the most extraordinary club, because it’s a totally useless association, which does no one any good."
Read the rest of Investigate Your Stories by Barbara Berger on Guest Articles page at

Changing Your Past, Recreating Your Future

Available to read online through August 29, 2013:
"The truth is that the beliefs we hold about our past rarely happen the way we believe they did! But when a strong thought is coupled with a charged, negative emotion, the combination drives our reality."

Read the entire article Changing Your Past, Recreating Your Future - Part One by Jim Self on Guest Articles page at
**After August 29, you can get Part 1 in the quarterly archives available in October 2013. Or, you can find Jim's article online. Part 2 available at the SOA page on August 30, 2013.

Friday, August 23, 2013

What Do You Do When Others Affect Your Mood?

Do others influence your mood? There’s a scientific aspect of this that reveals how and why this happens and why it’s more you than them. And, what you can do about it. 

Have you ever given your full attention to someone who was speaking about something unpleasant, something that caused their brows to furrow, their mouth to turn down? As this went on, did you notice your own brows furrowed, your own mouth turned down? Did you notice how you felt or began to feel? More than likely your mood altered, even though it’s their story not yours. What might this really be about?

I recall sitting with and listening to someone stream one unpleasant story after another, and noticing my facial features felt as though they might collapse inward. The muscles of my face were mirroring the person’s face that was set in a scowl that grew even more “scowl-y” with each negative story. After a while I said (nicely), “You might want to find and tell stories that don’t make your face go like this (I demonstrated the face) quite so often.” My comment made the person pause, but some habits (or addictions) die hard. Just as there are times we don’t recognize that we’re being more negative than is good for us or for those we’re with, it’s the same for others. On the flip side, if the person who’s speaking is smiling, you likely smile as well. You likely feel good in their company.

Feelings follow the face (and posture), which is why smiling and straightening posture are recommended as immediate mood elevators. Imitating facial expressions is something every infant does naturally. We just don’t realize this is carried forward into adulthood, or know the cause of why this is natural to all of us, starting from birth. We also are influenced by the tone and volume of others’ voices. We may find ourselves identifying with some of their word choices, as well, whether at the conscious or subconscious level.

What caused my facial expression to mimic the person’s—as well as everyone’s tendency to have this experience—is a result of what neuroscientists call mirror neurons “that subconsciously prompt us to mimic the body language and vocal patterns of our companion. And when we ape the behavior of others, we begin to take on their emotional state, a phenomenon dubbed ‘emotional contagion’.” This is according to an article in the September 2, 2013, issue of First for Women.

Now before we get into a muddle about this, these mirror neurons can also assist us to feel greater compassion, empathy, love, and any of the more positive or supportive emotions. However, since we can’t control what others say or do, we can do a few simple things to ease the negative mirroring that starts up in us, when we find ourselves in such situations.

Years back, I recall reading that if you wanted anyone uncomfortable with communicating to feel more secure about doing so, it helped if you either were busy doing something that didn’t require full attention (any simple task you can do by rote) or if you sat side-by-side rather than sat across from or looked directly at them, which can and does cause such hesitant communicators to feel challenged, insecure, or unsafe. Something similar to this the article suggested is called “reverse mirroring,” not for the purpose of making the other person comfortable about speaking, but to avoid letting your mirror neurons lock you into an undesired altered mood.

This reverse mirroring helps you to not catch the negativity “virus” from them, or at least to lessen its impact on you. This side-by-side positioning lets you be there for the person, without getting a frontal onslaught of their negativity via your own neurons. You might still feel their negativity waves, but not to the same magnitude as if you mirror them. The reverse works as well: if you feel low, sit across from someone who’s in a good mood, or watch a video online of someone happy, and allow your mirror neurons to work in your favor.

Here’s something else the article suggested: Cut the invisible bonds. The technique is to imagine a string or cord running between you, and imagine snipping that string or cord with scissors. According to Dr. Judith Orloff, this allows you to reduce the impact of mirror neurons. What I’ve done and do that’s similar, whenever I’m with someone whose energy is beginning to affect me in a way that’s uncomfortable or unpleasant, is do something while I still listen, like fiddle inside my purse as though looking for something. This type of buffer for your energy is something that isn’t considered rude or insensitive by the other person, say, like texting or checking e-mail on your phone would definitely be. You’re still listening and responding, but not mirroring and therefore not taking on as much of their negativity as you might.

A University of Oklahoma study recommends an emotional-regulation technique called “attentional deployment.” You can use this whenever someone is e-mailing or talking in a way that, even if unintentional, is a downer for you. Say the person put their negativity in an e-mail or text message. You can pick something to pay attention to, like how many words they misspelled. If they drone on and on in a negative way, you might count how many times they use a particular word. Again, it’s not that you don’t hear what they’re saying and respond appropriately, just that these techniques can quell your mirroring their written or spoken emotions and energy to the degree you otherwise might. In kind, notice if someone’s facial expression or mood is mirroring your own and decide if that’s really what you intend, or if you prefer to raise the energy by relaxing your face, or smiling, if appropriate.

People we call empaths have to, first, realize they are empaths and, second, learn how to manage and protect themselves from their sensitivity to others’ emotions that they can mistake as their own, which is another form of mirroring—an energy-based form. Introverts* also have a different energy experience when around others than extroverts do. And all of us are subject to our own mirror neurons. This also explains why watching TV programs or movies can influence your mood. These occurrences beg the question: How much of what we experience at the inner level is ours alone and how much is a mirrored experience? It’s something to consider.
*Check out the article online “23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert”.

Being sensitive to others’ feelings is worthy—and necessary, but not at the expense of your own well-being and at the expense of what you attract more of into your life by virtue of your own vibrations matched by Law of Attraction. You can be appropriately compassionate and empathetic and loving, but not be overrun by another person’s emotions, which can sometimes (or often) happen when we don’t know how to self-protect in such instances. Their emotions transmit one level of energy; our mirroring their emotions amplifies this in a way that doesn’t have to happen, if we know what to do about this. Pay attention to when you begin to mirror another. Be deliberate about what you choose to mirror, whether as the receiver or the sender. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate. 

[Note: As complementary information to my comment about empaths, introverts, and mirror neurons begging the question of how much of what we experience is ours, you can read best-selling author Barbara Berger’s State of Appreciation Guest Expert article about the No. 4 cause of suffering and unhappiness (“Investigate Your Stories) in this week’s issue, available online through Aug. 29, 2013. Barbara’s article is excerpted from her book, Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life.]      

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, August 9, 2013

Do You Plan for a Bad Day?

Who would deliberately plan to have a bad day, you ask? Anyone who doesn’t set themselves up for a good or better day, that’s who. Which one do you plan for?

Honestly, there are days that go “bad” and there’s nothing you can do about the events that happened. When such days occur, you have to do what you can to manage yourself through them as best you can. But for our purposes here, I’m talking about the “average” days, the days most of us wake to and experience. The reason such days are not as good as they might be is because of how they are put into motion by default.

Here are some ways we set ourselves up for a bad day by default, ways we might not perceive as obvious when we do them; they’re more like habits than conscious decisions. These include:
·         Not getting enough sleep, whether this is one or a few nights each week or every night (or day, for those who work nightshifts), when you have control over this, that is
·         Reviewing problems, issues, or life in general in a negative or hopeless way prior to going to sleep
·         Not preparing for the next day the night before, or not planning for enough time in the morning (or whenever) that you need to get ready for your day
·         Not establishing your priorities for the day then following up on them so you feel a sense of accomplishment
·         Not taking even a few minutes in the morning to meditate, or state appreciation, or set positive intentions for the day
·         Letting complaints or criticisms fill your first moments of the day because you aren’t filling your mind or fueling your energy with positive, constructive, supportive, appreciative, or empowering thoughts
·         Too many foods or beverages that throw body chemistry out of whack, or not eating enough of the foods that support your well-being

The opposites of the above are also obvious, but what about the inner ones, the ones that are more subtle? How can you set up a good or better day at the inner level, especially when you aren’t aware that you aren’t creating that set-up or that you can? You can use one of these paragraphs below upon waking and as needed during the day. Of course, you can add to these in ways meaningful to you.

If you’re metaphysical-spiritual, you might say:
I am thankful for this day. I am thankful for each blessing that comes my way and for each time I can be a blessing to others. I am thankful I easily see blessings for what they are. I am thankful for the gifts I possess that I share and can share. I am thankful that I am guided to be lovingly appropriate and appropriately loving to, with, and about others and to, with, and about myself.

If you’re religious, you might say:
This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad. I ask that the heart, mind, and hands of each person I engage with be blessed so they are a blessing to others and themselves. And I ask the same for myself so I may be a blessing, as well.

Another Way We Can Plan for a Better Day

A question we might get asked or give thought to ourselves is, “How did your day go?” Our answer usually includes what happened and how we feel about it. We don’t usually answer with how we managed ourselves or lessons we were presented with and what we did with them. We don’t usually say, “I was short-tempered” or rude, unloving, unkind, self-absorbed, lacked integrity, stingy, unappreciative, etc. Who’d want to make such admissions?! Some might be willing to do that, but it might be uncomfortable to do, willing or not. You can practice ahead of time to be and behave better, as well as in the moment. You can practice the paragraphs offered here or create your own, both the saying of the words (with meaning and feeling, not just as a chore) and put what the words represent into practice. 

Here’s a secret: three seconds of sincere, pure appreciation has more power than ten minutes of meditation where your mind keeps drifting off to what you need to do or what you’re upset about, or ten minutes of stating or writing affirmations, when this is done by rote—because you’re supposed to do it—or while contradicting or doubting the affirmations.

One reason we tend toward “bad” days is because we don’t practice planning for good ones. Each time we don’t use one of the paragraphs above or something similar to them to support a more positive mindset and energy vibration, each time we only criticize others rather than compliment or validate them as well, each time we complain and not balance this out with appreciation, we practice the opposite of what we desire: a better experience of ourselves, others, and life.

I say that practice makes progress, which is a statement of a fact. A lot of what we might call failures or lacks of success or frustrations in our day-to-day experiences is primarily a result of not practicing what leads us out of that wilderness and into the oasis of better thoughts, words, and actions that attract or get matched by more of the same. Practice means you do whatever that inner or outer activity is, often and repeatedly. Seldom does a person have just one thought about something, say, approaching a difficult person or issue more constructively, and from that moment on do it correctly each time. Practice is deliberate. Practice is for your own sake and in your best interest.

Is your practice a bad attitude or is it an open-to-learning-and-evolving one and on how you might be a blessing? Is your practice one of always being right (even when wrong) or one aimed at expansion of conscious awareness? Is your practice one of feeling denied in life or one of appreciation and counting your blessings? Is your practice only about what you can get or receive or also what you can give? If your days feel worse or less than better, check what you’re consistently putting into practice. It’s a good practice; one you’ll appreciate.    

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

Friday, August 2, 2013

Are You or Anyone You Know Too Easily Offended?

Being too easily offended is a form of self-victimization. Ouch! What are the symptoms of this mindset, and what can be done about this?

We don’t always recognize an imbalance in our mindset for what it is. We experience the results of it, though, and that’s where we tend to place our focus, which leads us to completely miss the cause. When we miss or ignore the cause of a mindset that doesn’t serve us, effecting a change is darn near impossible. As Albert Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

Anyone of us has times when we feel offended, and perhaps rightfully so. But there are some who are caught in a loop where they seem to be offended more often than not, and in a way that seems illogical to others. If you are or someone you know is too easily offended, this stems from a core thought that has a core emotion attached to it, which causes a specific action to be taken. Every action ultimately comes forth from a desired response or a conditioned one. A core thought may be, “This should not be happening,” and a core emotion might be, “I’m unsafe (whatever form that might take).” The usual, primary desires are to feel safe, valued, and fulfilled. Any of us, but especially anyone too easily offended, may believe if we feel these, caused or provided by others, we will feel happy.

People who are too easily offended are seldom happy and seldom considered happy by others. Some may feel they’ll never be happy for reasons that seem justifiable to them. And those in their lives who attempt to provide what will help them feel happy find it an ongoing and oftentimes futile effort.

What are some symptoms of being too easily offended? Please keep in mind that what’s listed here was somehow part of an individual’s conditioning. They (or you) may not actually want to do what’s listed, but they do practice them, because they’re stuck in a mindset and will remain there until they decide to become unstuck. Also keep in mind that wherever we are on the scale of this, we can all benefit by paying attention to the cause-and-effect factors of these symptoms.

·         People easily offended are consistent (or compulsive) complainers. Some complaining is natural to all of us, but they may take it to an extreme level. Those locked into extreme expressions of this may not realize they seldom engage in real conversations, that is, conversations about things not negative in nature or not focused on them and what they consider their problems.
·         They blame how they feel on others. Whether they use the statement or not, their mindset is, “If this would happen (If you’d just do what I want you to do), then I’d be happy.” Even when someone does what the person wants, they aren’t really happy. They may feel self-satisfied—temporarily—when they get what they want, but that’s quite different from happy.
·         They don’t tend to enjoy or appreciate what they do have because they focus on what they don’t have or believe they have to have, or on what others “need” to do or aren’t doing, in order to feel good about themselves or life. They don’t realize how they victimize themselves, while believing it’s others doing it to them.
·         Easily triggered, they tend to assume and presume rather than seek facts or seek to understand others’ motivations or the bigger picture. A practical or logical approach about issues that come up may not be used, because their first and foremost goal is to eliminate the pain they feel when triggered into feeling offended. They often believe lashing out is the quickest, most effective way to ease the pain. Possible short- and long-term consequences of this action are not considered.
·         Their relationship with what-is is tenuous. It’s likely the same for their relationship with Source. Their personal and/or spiritual growth is impacted because inner work is not foremost in their minds; getting others to adjust their behavior is.
·         They are more often than not angry, bitter, and unforgiving.
·         They may actually be generous and display generosity, but are often viewed as selfish—and often behave this way when triggered. This selfishness arises from insecurity. Insecurity stems from needing validation from others rather than relying on it from self and Source. When they don’t get this validation, or feel they don’t, they demand it in some form or another. Survival (according to their interpretation) rather than personal development seems to occupy their energy.
·         This insecurity causes them to be negative most of the time, always expecting the worst. This makes them miserable, within themselves and to be around. (Law of Attraction is not something they’re aware of, or if they are, isn’t paid attention to.)
·         All of this blocks the plan for their life, blocks their inner wisdom from expanding and working for them.
·         They are trapped in anger and conflict, having not learned that they can pick their battles in life. They feel everything is a battle, not realizing the most significant battle goes on inside them.
·         They see life and situations as always either/or, black or white, them against others, rather than that all are and everything in existence is interconnected, which may cause their thought process to be more mechanical than organic.
·         They relate to reality quite differently than those not as easily offended.
·         They tend to seldom be relaxed or calm, or to deliberately step mentally away from issues for a period of time each day. It isn’t easy for them to have fun or enjoy ordinary moments, or even special ones in the way they might. They may even get angry if others around them are enjoying themselves or are calm. Rather than raise their vibration to join the merriment or serenity, they’ll do or say something to bring others down to their vibration.
·         Their happiness is incumbent on others.

The book How to Have What You Really Want (An Easy Guide That Can Take You to the Next Level in Any Area of Your Life) has this to say about being happy: Happy is not an emotion, it’s a state of being, as is content, secure, and so forth. If you believe that you won’t be happy or feel secure until others do what you think they should, you’ve given your personal power away. If you do this, you’ll continue to try to get from others what you should be giving to yourself. This is one reason many of us lead quiet, or not-so-quiet, lives of frustration. We believe anything we want must come from outside of ourselves. If you accept that what you really want is to feel a certain way, then you have to accept that the only way you reach that feeling is by choosing to—and by looking out for your best interests and honoring the best interests of others.

What can be done about this? The first thing is to see if a health issue is involved. Someone in poor health or in pain, or who is exhausted, may experience some or all of the symptoms listed above. A chemical imbalance or mental illness can cause anomalous behaviors, as well. If either of these is the case, the first thing to do is address it through medical means to provide relief. But appreciation can still be a choice to assist you or the person to experience the self and life from a better perspective, rather than have a when/then mindset. Even one or several small segments of time given each day to appreciation will make a difference.

Here are several questions taken from my iPEC coach training manual that can help you, if you’re easily offended, or someone else you know who is.

1.     Let your inner Wisdom speak: what is the reality of your situation/story/belief?
2.     What do you suppose is really going on here?
3.     Which part of you is talking now?
4.     What do you think is the inner thought here?
5.     Which part of what you are saying is a story and what is the truth?

If you are too easily offended or know someone who is, recognize that although feeling triggered may be justified by an event, another story is running simultaneously, one that will block rational, practical, or even spiritual approaches. A circle will be traveled, one that goes nowhere, but deepens the emotional pain. All of us have a story running underneath everything else that goes on in life. The story is comprised of core beliefs that influence us in every way. The good news is that beliefs change but Truths never do. It’s a matter of discerning the difference between the two, as well as which one you listen to and follow—a belief or a Truth. It’s a matter of identifying beliefs that don’t serve you and replacing them with ones that do, as you move closer and closer to Truths that empower you in positive ways.

It is helpful to know what the cause of how we feel is, but getting stuck on that cause rather than asking “What can I do about this at my inner level that I will do?” isn’t going to get us where we want to be. Question 5 above is a significant one. We tell ourselves stories all the time—and we believe them. That’s the voice each one of us has in our head that chatters on. We can recognize that emotions follow thoughts, which creates a loop, which means we can be deliberate about guiding those inner conversations. We can engage new thinking that allows us to choose better thoughts that serve us. It’s a good practice; one you’ll appreciate.  

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer