Friday, May 30, 2014

Is It a Breaking Point or a Turning Point?

There are crossroad moments in life, but there are also moments that have a stronger dynamic than that. These are moments when you face major decisions about giving up or giving out or going forward in life.

"A crisis only becomes a breaking point when we fail to use it as a turning point," wrote Guy Finley. Most of us have had a moment when we faced, or may now face, this truth. Depending on what’s going on, we can feel weakened, either momentarily or for longer; and we may have to dig deep for the courage and self-love to head toward the direction of a balance point. Along with this, it takes an act of courage to reach out to others when we feel weakened so that we can get strong again, as author and motivational speaker Les Brown reminded us. That’s not always easy or comfortable to do, especially if you have self-worth issues about your deservedness or a belief that you have to be perceived as perfect, which means you erroneously believe you must never have or demonstrate feelings other than those of empowerment.

Sometimes, what gets us to feel we’re approaching a breaking point is a series of events that seem to pile up. Sometimes, it's one event. Sometimes, it’s both, which has been my recent experience. Either scenario can make us feel that we're going to break open or break apart. That's why I was especially appreciative to reread Finley's and Brown’s words. I’ve had to reach out to select others lately, in order to stay strong during a particularly challenging time. I’ve had to look at my role in the dynamics and own it, which has been painful but transforming; but doing this empowers me in many ways. What I've been facing can be viewed as a problem (breaking point) or as an impetus (turning point) to do something that's needed to be done for quite a while. In its specific way, my situation is a signal to turn and aim my life in a direction that is more appropriate for me, as though I can hear the words whispered on the wind, "Your life is calling you." Along with the emotions I’ve experienced, I’ve also been able to see the gifts and the hand of Source at work for my and the highest good.

It's somewhat frightening and exhilarating to stand in this place. Like that phrase that refers to leaping and finding you can fly. The encouraging words of support and love that have been coming to me from family and friends, and messages sent by Source in its very special way, help me remember how blessed I am in my life, how much I have to appreciate. And I realize one of the biggest blessings is that I can recognize this.

I haven’t popped right into "positive energy and emotions only" mode as yet, nor will I put that unrealistic demand or burden on myself: There are still things to resolve and healing work to be done. I know that staying in an agitated state won’t fix anything and is potentially damaging to the body, as well as every area of life. Einstein's words come back to me, "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." I can't keep doing the same things and expect different results; none of us can. And I can tell you that making specific changes has not been received well by one and all, though, support for the needed changes is strong from others; though, that shouldn’t be required in order for any of us to take strength in any choice we make that’s in our best and highest interest. In fact, making specific changes has set other dynamics into motion, as is wont to happen; but I completely trust Source to continue to support me, as well as act for the highest good of all involved.

Why is it that we sometimes feel compelled to wait to make changes until we have to? I'm one who believes everything has a purpose, so there's no judgment in that question. I can think of lots of reasons we might do that. Sometimes the reasons include being a kind, caring person who doesn’t like to give up, which means the person also doesn’t know that necessary endings are natural and, well, necessary, whether that’s a complete ending or ending only what doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s because a co-dependent (toxic) relationship has been formed, whether personal or professional, and any number of fears get in the way, preventing a needed shift from happening. Sometimes it’s because we live from the outside in rather than from the inside out, which puts the quality of our life into the hands of others instead of in our own hands and in partnership with Source. Sometimes it’s to get our attention onto an inner healing that is needed, which of course could result in any or all of the above reasons I listed here. I'm certainly now aware of my reasons, and I'm directing my energy in a way that lets me move forward, however this challenge unfolds.

If you experience a moment, or are in one now, that feels like a breaking point, what might you do to make it your turning point? It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.           
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce L. Shafer

Friday, May 23, 2014

What’s Your Inner Game?

Accomplishing what we desire for ourselves or our lives is sometimes or often a struggle. Strategy is important, but your inner game has all to do with it, as well. Maybe it’s time to review yours.

Coach Jeanna Gabellini offered a free e-book with the intriguing title, “10-Minute Money Makers.” So of course I wanted to see what she had to say about this. It was not exactly what I expected—it was better. She addressed practical matters in her usual excellent fashion, but Jeanna reminded readers of something vital in order to create desired life experiences: your inner game is more powerful than any strategy.

As I read through her e-book, I made notes and added my own thoughts. In particular, I made notes to read each morning to get my inner mental and emotional game going. I’d like to share some of my notes with you, because although they can apply to business and finances, as Jeanna addressed in her material, they absolutely can apply to everything.

  • Mindset matters. It creates a smooth path or detours and bumpy roads.
  • If what you’re doing feels ploddingly hard or difficult, STOP. This means that timing is off, or your strategy is not aligned with your values, or you’ve got to shift a belief so you can move forward.
  • The best results happen when you’re grounded and confident.
  • No looking at your past “reality” as though it is likely to or will repeat. You’re creating your present and future right now, perhaps based in part on what you learned from past experiences, but mostly from the vision of your desired now and future.
  • No beating yourself up about the current state of any area of your life you intend to improve. Just start taking steps to improve it.
  • Let go of “trying hard” to find a miracle solution for any issue that has your attention. Tune in to your inner guide AND tell Source you ask for and allow yourself to receive the right solution.
  • Never sell your soul to create or receive anything you desire. Work with and trust Source to assist you in appropriate ways.
  • Attach your energy to providing service, making a difference, and prosperity and abundance.
  • Do what you can, and feel good about it.
  • Don’t diminish yourself in any way, for any reason, especially not out of desperation.
  • Baby steps create momentum. Once you take a first or next step, trust the momentum, without any attachment to results. Attachment to results pulls you out of creative power. Your happiness does not depend on results.
  • If you constantly worry, about anything, you’ll create behaviors based in and on fear. You’ll establish neural pathways in your brain that take you down paths (or ruts) that lead to more of the same. Create better pathways for your brain to follow. Working with and trusting Source helps to do this, as well as letting go of old stories and envisioning new, desired ones.
  • Decide to receive what you desire. You don’t have to know the how for this decision to be effective and to attract what you desire to you. The how will reveal itself to you or surprise you, at the right time.
  • Check on your relationship with, rather than to, life. What is your vibe about life: fear or enthusiasm?
  • Stop trying so darn hard and have fun!
  • Identify and assess anything and anyone misusing and or depleting your resources of time, energy, or money, as well as what kind of ending may be needed.

That last bulleted item is a big one. Dr. Henry Cloud reaches into the heart of it in his book Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward. And he gets to the crux of the matter right at the start of the Preface when he states this: “In your business and perhaps your life, the tomorrow that you desire and envision may never come to pass if you do not end some things you are doing today.”

The good cannot begin until the bad ends, as Dr. Cloud clarifies. This includes pruning whatever it is in your inner game that holds you back, as well as any outside influences having a negative effect on you and your life; though, he recommends that sometimes even the good has to be pruned to make way for the best. This may feel like one of those “easier said than done” bits of advice for anyone who has not learned how to do this pruning in the right way, perhaps fears it, or has yet to realize how significant pruning can be to any form of sustainability of your time, energy, and money—your three top resources. Your inner game needs to include necessary endings, which are a natural part of life, as well as whatever supports and strengthens your mindset. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.          
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce L. Shafer

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Number Your Days and Name Your Blessings

Do your days feel ordinary? Do you feel there are too few blessings in your life? Maybe you'd like to shift this.

Let's look at the second part of the article title first. We tend to put a lot of energy into naming what we want (often stated as "don't haves") and not a lot of energy into naming what we have. We are surrounded by people and advertising, obvious and subtle, that promotes this as a natural or expected way to be and feel. The result is that we wake each morning, go about our days, and go to sleep with very little appreciation for what we have and we may, in fact, dwell on the opposite, that is, what we perceive as the negatives.
We believe, which is really mimic others and repeat behaviors we learned, that it's natural or responsible to focus on what's "wrong" with us, everyone else, and in certain areas of our lives or life itself. This is so prevalent that we miss or discount what is right in us, others, and life. We learned to complain (rather than occasionally vent) to anyone who'll listen or happens to be where we are, maybe about the same things over and over. We're so focused in this way that, often, our perspective about what-is, as well as what can be, gets skewed, and our ability to be creative about solutions, resolutions, or improvements gets diminished.

Kurt Wright explained in his book, Breaking the Rules, that we use our rational minds to judge, to assign value as right/wrong, good/bad rather than use that part of our mind as it was designed: To convey "facts into and back out of our intuition," so that we use our whole-mind function rather than just the analytical mind, which has been scientifically proven unable to discern fact from fiction. The result is that we disallow "good judgment" to happen. Judgment, in its most beneficial form, is there to help us figure out what fits and doesn't, in an ongoing, ever-evolving assessment of a desired ideal. When we go straight into right/wrong, good/bad judgment, we block our intuition's ability to respond to beneficial questions like, "What else might be going on here? What might the bigger picture be? What feels appropriate for me, or inappropriate? What would have to happen for me to feel head-and-heart alignment about this, or at all?"

Recognizing what you have doesn't mean you aren't aware of what you'd like to shift so that you have more desirable experiences and results. In fact, the greater your appreciation is for what you have, the greater your ability is to solve, resolve, and make productive shifts. We want more blessings in our life, but do we notice (name) the ones we have? Do we embrace them? To those who have appreciation, more to appreciate is given.

One way to name your blessings, as wisely stated by Joel Osteen, is to as often as possible, exchange the words HAVE TO with GET TO. Think about what this really means in the greater scheme of life around the world. You don't have to go to work, you get to go to work (you're able to receive income and perhaps perks). You don't have to do your studies, you get to do them (education is available). You don't have to wake up, you get to wake up (you're alive another day, with its opportunities). You don't have to interact with your children or other members of your family, you get to interact with them (your loved ones are still with you). You don't have to work with clients or customers, you get to (people want what you provide). Recall the last thing you said you had to do and say "get to" instead of "have to." How does that feel? Example: I have to grocery shop vs. I get to grocery shop, which means I get to walk into a store and easily reach for what I want or need rather than have to grow, raise, process, or preserve all of it; and I have the means to do this.

What else in your life do you say you Have to do that, with a perspective shift, you realize you Get to do? See? Hear? Breathe? Feel? Think? Love? Appreciate? Pay for products and services that benefit your life? Use your limbs? How many moments do you experience that go unnoticed or unappreciated by you?

This leads to the first part of the article title: Number Your Days. The quote comes from the Bible, Psalm 90:12 "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." This is about appreciating each day. It's about realizing what author Dan Millman realized: "There are no ordinary moments." I add: only ordinary perspectives.

We are so involved with our thoughts about matters and things, mostly negative thoughts, that we miss the fact that every moment we have is extraordinary—and numbered. None of us know the number of our days or the days of others. It's not that we're to use this as our motivation to behave better out of a sense of obligation or guilt, but to let awareness of this motivate better, more joyful behavior and deeper appreciation, to place greater value on our moments and blessings than we have been. I'm not saying we should appreciate anything that's intolerable or inappropriate (though, we can appreciate that we can discern this and make a choice in favor of our well-being); this is about the gifts in our life that we don't recognize and name as such.

You woke up today. It's likely you were able to get out of bed without assistance. Same for going to the bathroom; or if you needed assistance, it's likely you had it. It's likely you showered or bathed inside your residence, with water you could adjust temperature-wise to suit you. You probably had coffee and food in your kitchen or easy access to someone who provided them. Maybe you drove, rode a bike, used public transportation, or walked to work, even if that's in the next room. Maybe you interacted with a loved one or cherished friend, or will during the day. The list can go on and on. It's up to you to practice naming your blessings, small and large. It's up to you to practice seeing your days and moments as numbered and, therefore, not in the least ordinary.

Today, and everyday, take time to appreciate what you have, especially what you usually don't think about or often take for granted. Consider the habit of not getting out of bed until you find at least one reason to feel deep appreciation rather than start your day with grumbling or trepidation. Make a moment to state appreciation to someone—it matters. It makes a difference, for them and for you. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.          
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

Monday, May 12, 2014

Slow Down and Take a Rest from the Rushing Self

By Guy Finley

Key Lesson: The more you identify with some imagined place -- or time -- where you will at last be able to slow down and rest, the faster you rush to get there.

Start Stepping Out of Anxious Thoughts and Feelings

The following key lessons are taken from 365 Days to Let Go. Use their insights to help you start stepping out of anxious thoughts and feelings...

There is no worry so great, no anxious rush for resolution so strong, that these terrible twins cannot be taken up, reduced, and returned to their basic nothingness by that mind brought back into its native quietude. Learning to be still is not just the remedy for our self-wrecking states, but proves to be their permanent cure.

If anxious thoughts and feelings had any power to help us reach some place in life where, finally, we'd be released from the pain of always feeling rushed... don't you think we'd have reached there by now!

If we want to understand why we feel troubled as we do, we need only "tune-in" to the parts of ourselves we're listening to. All the "sounds" of life are revelatory, but none are perfunctory; so, if we keep hearing discordant thoughts and feelings within us -- whose vibrations disturb us -- it isn't because life sings this song. Our unrest continues only because of an unseen interior choice, and to see the truth of this is to realize one of the great keys to the Kingdom of Heaven: as goes our attention, so comes our experience.

This article is excerpted from 365 Days to Let Go.

Guy Finley is the best-selling author of The Secret of Letting Go, The Essential Laws of Fearless Living, and 35 other works that have sold over a million copies in 18 languages worldwide. His work has been featured on hundreds of radio and TV networks including NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, NPR, and PBS. Guy has spent the last 30 years showing individuals the authentic path to a higher life filled with happiness, success, and true love. Finley lives and teaches in Merlin, Oregon where he is Director of non-profit Life of Learning Foundation.

Perspective and Power

By Lisa Meade, Ph.D.

Everything contains its own unique energy. Even our perspective. Sit with that for a moment and think on this ... if perspective is energy, what do I want to give energy to? If we invest our time, attention and energy into something we are a proponent of as opposed to something we are against, imagine the results we could manifest!
Being against something or someone can generate an energy that is infused with a negative essence. Your perspective will be impacted by this as you move through your day. BUT if you can shift in the way you are viewing the situation, the relationship or circumstances to a positive perspective, the energies are impacted in kind.
In the shamanic realm, energies can be generated quite quickly and spread with tremendous potency. Knowing this, positive energies that are rippling out and spreading from our thoughts, our actions and our words will have a far more healing and healthy impact in the end than if we place our focus on something we are not in alignment with.
This is not to be confused with going through life with rose colored glasses, but instead making choices that are grounded in the intention of well being, support, healing and growth. The stronger these energies become in my life the more they crowd out and take over the room for the negative aspects of life to be allowed in.
It takes awareness and being in the moment. It takes conscious thought and attention. But the more it is practiced, the readier my mind, body and soul are to enter into that space. Not being in this alignment feels uncomfortable and unfamiliar now. Whereas living a life seeking the power of a positive perspective and focusing my attention and energies there feels rich and vibrant. It becomes an easy choice to make.
Copyright ©2014: Lisa Meade, Ph.D.
Having facilitated at numerous women's empowerment programs, women’s spiritual retreats and shamanic offerings, Lisa Meade brings a unique style of leadership to the community.  She offers a wide range of services so that her clients are able to choose what works best for their needs, whether in person, by phone, online, in a group setting or one on one. Lisa is an avid writer and many share her Spirit Blog. She has also served as a contributor to various online magazines, and hosts several social media pages. Creating global connections through the variety of these relationships has allowed Lisa to bring her service as a Shaman and Spiritual Life Coach and Soul Mentor to clients internationally as well as close to home. Lisa takes great pride in helping those that she works with see the potent energy to be found by being present and in the moment, to tap into the beauty of the gifts and lessons that are brought to their day and how to bring their soul and its wondrous energy to each thought, action and word spoken. To learn more about Lisa Meade and her offerings visit

Whenever There’s A Storm, Open Both Doors (Negative Emotions)

The article title is not advice for inclement weather, but for times when life brings inner storms into our experience. It’s advice to keep in mind for good reason.

A character in the PBS program “Call the Midwife” was a former prisoner of war and was talking with a midwife who’d been put into an internment camp when she was nine years old and had to watch her mother and sister die gradually of various abuses and starvation. He realized the midwife was harboring ghosts of her past in her present, and told her that his mother always opened the front and back doors of their home when it stormed. The reasoning she’d given him when he was a child was that this way, any misery from the storm couldn’t find a home there. It would blow through.

This made me think of how much debris from prior and current negative emotional experiences we hold onto, mostly because we aren’t taught to open both “doors” so the debris doesn’t find a home inside of us, by others who also never learned this or never figured it out for themselves. Because of this, we tend to let these negative- or traumatic-emotion squatters take up residence within us. We harbor them like the criminals they are. We feed them as though they are paying visitors rather than the intruders they are on our joy and peace. We’re the ones who pay for letting them stay.

Most of us are familiar with the quote “This too shall pass,” but we usually consider this to mean the experience will end eventually. We can enhance this and decide to let it also mean we are to allow our negative attachment to the experience pass through us as well. Otherwise, the experience doesn’t really end for us, does it? We keep it alive. We repeat the story of it to ourselves and others, perhaps over and over. We dredge it up or it rises to the surface whenever we’re triggered in a particular way, as though a thought we have rushes to a filing system to call up supporting evidence for why we have a right to feel as we do, when in fact, what it means is that there is a wound that needs to be healed.

How we treat ourselves as a result is we don’t love and approve of ourselves as fully as we ought to. We feed low self-esteem or false arrogance and or behaviors that don’t serve us or bring us joy or peace or fulfillment. We feel less, so expect less. We don’t feel whole. We wear our past like a garment—we brush our teeth with it—rather than embrace our present and anticipate our future from a positive perspective, mindset, and state of being.

How we treat others as a result is often with an undercurrent of anger, frustration, or fear. We react to them more often, perhaps, than we engage and make real connection with them. We don’t trust ourselves, which we project onto them. We don’t trust them, because they project ourselves back to us, whether we realize this and are discomforted by the mirrored image or we don’t realize it and we blame them for how we continue to feel, sometimes long after a negative experience has happened.

How we respond to life as a result is we don’t trust life. We don’t believe or allow ourselves to believe that life loves and supports us, and this mindset prevents life from fully reflecting love and support back to us as our experience. We don’t or we hesitate to take calculated risks and stretch ourselves so we can learn and grow and expand our consciousness and our experiences. We hold ourselves back from our authenticity and fulfillment.

In Dave Markowitz’s book Self-Care for the Self-Aware: A Guide for Highly Sensitive People, Empaths, Intuitives, and Healers, which, by the way is an excellent book for anyone who needs to deal with grief and negativity, he includes a technique called the Keyhole. It’s a technique akin to the prisoner-of-war character’s open-both-doors philosophy. Dave realized that when we find ourselves in the midst of negative energy, or know we will, the energy will enter us energetically (he explains why energy shields are not as effective as we’d like or expect). That energy then gets trapped inside us.

This is not far-fetched. Just think of the last time you were with someone negative and how you felt during and after that interaction, possibly for a long while. Their negativity was absorbed and carried around by you, unless you used an effective technique to prevent this or to release it. Dave even states it’s important to not let the negative energy touch the sides of the Keyhole—that is, touch you in any way. The negative storm moves through your Keyhole without touching you, without any of it glomming onto you. That’s an image that’s valuable.

In life, “Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.” So many around us practiced holding onto and allowing emotional suffering to take them over that we couldn’t help but to absorb this as a natural way to be and behave. We feel bad about ourselves or feel we’ll be judged a bad person if we don’t do life this way, until of course, we learn better.

Perhaps this image may assist you. Do this the next time you’re triggered, or you might deliberately choose some emotional energy you want to be rid of now. Imagine that emotional energy as a bit or pile of debris on the floor in the hallway that connects to the front and back doors of your home (your inner self). You go to the back door and open it. You go to the front door and open it, standing aside. You invite the Great Breath of Source to blow every bit of that debris out through the back door and up into the ethers, which Source is delighted to do for you as an act of total love and support for you. Every bit of that hallway is now sparkling clean and fresh. Your ideal experience, and maybe it will take more than one such cleaning, is for what once triggered you or held you back to be a mere memory that no longer holds your attention for more than a brief second, if that. 

I realize that this is good advice but not necessarily easy to practice, especially if you’ve had a life-long habit of taking negativity in and not knowing exactly how to deal with it. It’s especially challenging to remember when you’re in the midst of an emotional storm. But, just as it’s a good idea to remove clutter from your living and work spaces, it’s a good idea to remove clutter from your inner home, so that you can move around in there with the same ease and grace and constructive, productive function you desire from your physical spaces. Such openness leads to inspired ideas and an inspired life.

And when you know a storm is coming, or suddenly find yourself in one, if you can remember to open both doors within your energy, do so. If you don’t happen to remember this at the time, remember to use a technique as soon as you can or it feels appropriate for you, to clear any residual negative energy so that you return your inner home to its true beauty, joy, and peace. It may take time, patience, and practice. But… It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.         
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

Monday, May 5, 2014

Are You Leaning?

By Barbara Berger

When you start becoming aware that you’re not in control of very much, you will probably discover many things – one of them is that you’re ‘leaning’. (Leaning goes hand in hand with the control game.) Now what do I mean by ‘leaning’? Leaning is when we exert a whole lot of effort to achieve or do something over which we have no control whatsoever. Things happen or they don’t; but when we lean, it’s because we want a specific outcome. We want something to happen or not happen. The problem with leaning is that we’re using so much energy yearning and striving for results and outcomes that are quite beyond our control. For example: You start a project and hope for success. You begin an assignment and hope your boss will like the job you do. You dress up pretty for a nice date and hope the guy will like the way you look. In every case, ‘leaning’ is going on. Why do I say that? Well because there are two parts to each of the above statements. Let’s take a look at what I mean:

1)    You start a project and hope for success. The fact is you’re starting a project. Period. That’s what’s going on. You are going to do this or that to the very best of your ability. And you do. That’s what’s within your control. As for the results of your efforts, well forget about them. Results are way beyond our control. When you worry about results and success, you’re leaning. Which isn’t good for your peace of mind. The wise course is to do the best you can and leave the rest to the universe. Because that’s the way it is anyway. The reality is that it’s beyond your control no matter what you think or do. You have no control over any of it and by thinking you do, you cause yourself so much stress, worry and anguish.

2)    You begin an assignment and hope your boss will like the job you do. Again, if you want to live a happy life, do the best you can and forget the rest. Don’t worry about whether your boss will like what you do or not. Do your utmost and forget it. You have no control over what your boss thinks or doesn’t think; and if you use a lot of energy worrying about the results and hoping for approval, you are leaning and wearing yourself out for nothing!

3)    You dress up pretty for your date and hope the guy will like the way you look. Again, this is like howling at the moon. Dress up as pretty as you can for your own pleasure and leave the rest to the universe. The guy is going to like/love you (or not like/love you) regardless of whether you’re wearing eye makeup and your best dress. So if you want to enjoy your date, stop leaning and leave it to the universe. And remember, there’s always another party going on somewhere in town.

Practice not leaning
All joking aside, is it possible not to lean? And if it is, can we practice not leaning? Yes I think it is possible, and like everything else in life, it’s all about becoming more aware of what we are doing. It’s a process. It’s about waking up and in this case, it’s about learning to let things be. And here again I’d like to point out most emphatically that this has nothing to do with being passive or not caring or not doing your best. You should definitely do your best! You should definitely constantly check your intention and motivation. You should definitely go for the highest you can envision. But once you do your part, let it go. In other words, release the outcome instead of wanting and straining for specific results. Because this is where the struggle grinds you down. You could say it’s a balance act, which involves doing your best and not wanting or caring about the results at the same time. Rather do and let go. Do and let things be. Is this possible? Of course it is! But it does take awareness and practice.

When we act, no matter what we do, we set in motion a chain of events. That’s just the way it is. So if we act with the best possible intention and work for the very best we can envision, what more can we do? We’re not running the show, even if we’d like to think we are. We’re actually just here for the ride, and it can be a very pleasant ride if we’re not so attached to the results.

Success or failure, who cares? It’s more about resting in yourself. She loves me, she loves me not, who cares? It’s more about knowing your own worth and letting her go to find the love of her life (which might be you). My boss likes my work or he doesn’t, who cares? It’s more about showering your brilliance wherever you go and leaving it at that. If you win the prize, fine, if not, who cares? Brilliance is the way of it anyway.
Just as long as you let go, you’ll be fine. It’s the caring and worrying about outcomes that grinds us down.

So keep your intention pure.

Go for the gold and leave it at that.

This is a sure way to bring yourself back to this now moment and live a happy life.

Barbara Berger is the author of the international bestseller 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) was just released in the US and the UK. The books can be ordered on For more about Barbara Berger see

I Have the Perfect Teacher

I Have the Perfect Teacher by Lisa Meade, Ph.D.

I am counting my blessings. I am filled with gratitude. I am celebrating the beautiful lessons that I am given each and every day. All this is presented to me by my perfect teacher.
I have had many different mentors in life. I have read an unimaginable amount of books by the wisest of healers and spiritual visionaries. I have had the glorious opportunity to practice many different ways to connect more and more fully to my soul's calling.
Over time I have learned that my perfect teacher insures that the very lesson I need to be learning, the very insight I can find within myself and the very longing my soul is reaching to is the lesson of the day.
What is the best lesson my perfect teacher has taught me? All the situations and circumstances of my life, the big and the small, the powerful and the insignificant, are there to teach me exactly what I need to be learning.
Who is this perfect teacher? How is it that they are so accurate and timely? My perfect teacher is my life. This beautiful, changing, expanding and evolving life! My life makes certain that my path is crossed with people who will bring into my day offerings and needs, challenges and trials, wisdom and grace, all to enrich the experience of what my life lesson is in the moment.
My life is my classroom. The situations, the relationships, the experiences and more all add to the day's lesson. It is within this classroom that I practice patience, love, awareness, presence, gratitude, and compassion. It is within this classroom that I learn my strengths and my weaknesses. My teacher makes sure that lessons are balanced and full.
I make sure to fill my heart with gratitude each day for my teacher. I awake every day with the honoring of all the possibilities that will surely come my way. I remember that this perfect teacher has brought me so far down this amazing path, even when I had my doubts or dared to have fear. My teacher stayed true to me. My trust is steadfast that my life has all the answers that I need to be my fullest, my most brilliant, my best Self.
Copyright ©2014: Lisa Meade, Ph.D.
Having facilitated at numerous women's empowerment programs, women’s spiritual retreats and shamanic offerings, Lisa Meade brings a unique style of leadership to the community.  She offers a wide range of services so that her clients are able to choose what works best for their needs, whether in person, by phone, online, in a group setting or one on one. Lisa is an avid writer and many share her Spirit Blog. She has also served as a contributor to various online magazines, and hosts several social media pages. Creating global connections through the variety of these relationships has allowed Lisa to bring her service as a Shaman and Spiritual Life Coach and Soul Mentor to clients internationally as well as close to home. Lisa takes great pride in helping those that she works with see the potent energy to be found by being present and in the moment, to tap into the beauty of the gifts and lessons that are brought to their day and how to bring their soul and its wondrous energy to each thought, action and word spoken. To learn more about Lisa Meade and her offerings visit

Friday, May 2, 2014

Do What Is Right or What Is Easy?

We face numerous choices each day. Some of them, perhaps more of them than we realize, ask us to choose between what is right and what is easy.

I’m a Harry Potter fan. I know that some people think it’s a book and movie series to be avoided, but I’ve found many gems in both formats (don’t get me started on the brilliance of giving Harry the choice between pursuing Horcruxes or Hallows, a classic example of choosing between what is right and what is easy). At the end of the “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” movie, when it’s known by some that Voldemort has returned, Dumbledore tells Harry: “Soon, we will face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” In this fictional instance, the difference between the two is obvious: the choice between aligning with good or with evil, and facing what may and will be required as well as potential consequences of each.

Some choices between right and easy that we face are just as obvious (and we readily know which we’ll choose), but not all of them. Why is that? I think Barbara Berger addresses this in her book Are You Happy Now? quite well when she states that every thought, word, and action, which, in my way of thinking as it relates to this topic, means every simple or complex choice, has consequences. So, perhaps it isn’t as much about not knowing the difference between what is right and what is easy, but about our thoughts or fears about possible or probable consequences. Some of our own confusion about this stems from what Barbara calls our uninvestigated thoughts and stories. She’s also right (and wise) in saying that every choice we face awaits our stamp of integrity; and that the intention underneath our choice is what ultimately matters. Here are some choices that many of us have in common.

You feel stressed so reach for something sweet to eat or drink (or maybe you’re one who reaches for something salty with crunch). I saw a social site posting that explained this well: Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Is it right or is it easy to choose sweets (or any other substitute) to help cope with stress? The answer seems obvious, but is it? Could there ever be a time when choosing something to help you cope at a particular stressful moment might be the right thing to do? Is it a matter of how often this choice is made or if no other choice is ever made? What thoughts about yourself do you have after you make your choice? All of these are personal choices that only you can make based on your inner guidance and self-love and self-approval. Self-judgment is harmful, so what is your choice, including what you choose about self-judgment in this matter? You can see how personal it really is in this example, and in the two that follow; but for now, what is for your highest good about your choice here?

You pick up a contagious ailment, let’s say the flu. Do you go to work or school or out in public as though nothing is wrong? What will others expect of you? What do you expect of yourself? Should you allow such expectations to influence you? Will you harm yourself or others more if you stay home or if you go about your business as usual? Can you afford (on one or more levels) to stay home? Can you afford (on one or more levels) not to? What is for your highest good about your choice here?

You’re in a relationship that you know doesn’t work for you or isn’t appropriate for you. Do you get involved with someone else at the same time, or use alcohol or drugs (even prescribed ones) to help you stay in the relationship? Are you afraid of change, of being alone, of being thought of as a failure at relationships (maybe again)? What is for your highest good about your choice here? I could continue with examples, but so could you, because who knows you or your life and experiences better than you do?

Not all choices are black-and-white; there will be some with many shades of gray, demonstrated by something I heard on National Public Radio years back: “Paper or plastic? Hmm... Cut down trees or pollute the earth?” Granted, some people began to use cloth sacks to carry groceries, but you see what I mean about how some choices between what is right and what is easy are not exactly clear and simple, because of the potential consequences and what may be required of us.

So, it seems that every choice is a matter of realizing there will be consequences. There will be a matter of personal integrity. There may be a matter of fears to be faced and addressed. There may be a matter of inconvenience, great or small. There may be a matter of other people’s expectations, real and or imagined by you. You may also be someone who finds it difficult to ask for assistance, so try to do everything on your own. You may forget that Source is your greatest and eternal assistant, so you are never alone and never without assistance if you are open to asking and receiving it from Source, including about making a choice.

Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Why might this be true? If you don’t know yourself, you’ll find certain choices challenging to make. You may find the choice between doing what is “right” or doing what is “easy” daunting. If you don’t know yourself, how will you know which of your feelings to trust or which of your stories to not let sway your decision? If you don’t know yourself, you’ll find it difficult to be assertive on your behalf, and will either go into passive or aggressive behaviors, or alternate between the two. You may cause yourself to believe you are responsible for the happiness of others, so you’ll people-please at possibly great cost to you and your life; you’ll make choices based on what will satisfy others rather than what will fulfill you.

If it’s right for you (appropriate for you, for whatever reason) to say “no” to a demanding person, how easy is that for you to do? This question can be applied to any choice you face between what is right and what is easy. What can happen as a result of facing this or any choice is that you’ll see whether it’s your spiritual self or your shadow self that stands out more at such a time (or all or most of the time). Is it your personal power or your inner wounds making the choice?

As difficult as it may be to contemplate this, it’s possible that when you’re miserable, especially if you’re miserable a good deal of the time, most of the time, or all of the time, your wounded self is making the choices, and the choices are likely about what is easy (or more familiar) rather than what is right (which may require you to stretch and leave your comfort zone, and do something different or differently). Please don’t be discouraged as a result of becoming aware of this. What this means is that your inner wounds are bringing “emotional infections” to the surface so you put your attention on healing them rather than continuing to suppress them. This can be frightening; so rather than doing what’s right, we’ll do what’s easy, even if it causes us to suffer. And that is often a matter of repeating what hasn’t worked and doesn’t work, as though this time it might. The result is usually intensification of the experience(s) we wish would stop, and to stop by our wishing it so rather than our making a choice to change ourselves.

What sometimes blocks clarity between what is right and what is easy is concern about what others will think. What is right for you is a personal matter and it helps to consider, as I mentioned earlier, what will be in your highest good, whether for that particular moment or matter or longer-term, or both. You could say that when it comes to what is right when it involves others, that this should be taken into consideration—and there’s merit in that—but it will still, ultimately, come down to that stamp of integrity and that matter of intention Barbara Berger wrote about.

This is because you are the only one who has to live with your choices in such a deeply personal way, no matter who else is affected, though, that will give weight to your decision. Ultimately, it’s not only a matter of what you can live with, but how you’ll be able to live with yourself. Granted, there are people with psychological disorders who can live with choices those without never could, but I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about people without such disorders that skew choice-making, people whose choices often or sometimes happen to be influenced by inner wounds.

There’s no right or easy way to address the choice between doing what’s right or what is easy all of the time. It’s a moment-by-moment, choice-by-choice experience, with possibly much to consider. Not only does this present you with the opportunity to discover who you are, but to decide who you are as you move along the path of your life. Know you will falter at times. When this happens, leave self-judgment or self-condemnation out of this and focus on what you can learn that will help you make a better choice the next time. Focus not on the stumble or fall but on getting back up, dusting yourself off, and continuing to learn and grow as you go.

Your choices are founded on the intention that supports your choice, and integrity, whether in their favor or not, whether you’re aware of this or not—though, now you are aware of this. You have the power, and the right, in each moment to decide who and how you want to be, based on your intention and integrity. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.        
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer