Friday, December 19, 2014

Don’t Let Resistance Run Your Life

Resistance is an automatic reaction to undesirable experiences in your life. Resistance may seem natural, even right, but some instances of resistance cost you big-time.

How can resistance cost you? Resistance creates more things to resist: like attracts like. It creates a near-constant stream of negative thoughts that lead to even more negative feelings expressed verbally, physically, or internally through health imbalances and uninspired life experiences.

Look at anything you resist in your life: Status of relationships, finances, career, success, etc. If your desire is strong for anything to NOT be what it is, you’re current address is on Resistance Loop. Resistance will cause what you do not want more of to continue and possibly expand, most especially, any unpleasant feelings and emotions you have about whatever caused you to feel resistance in the first place.

You have a right and responsibility to yourself, to NOT engage with anything or anyone you know you are better off without (negative people, news, events, etc.) when you can choose otherwise. And, as challenging as it may seem, you really can choose what you feel and therefore think, say, and do.

And there will be times when you find you’re in a situation with no easy out or solution. This is truly the time to release resistance and ask, “What can I do that I will do?” This puts your conscious mind to work in your behalf. You may not be able to alter the particular situation, but you can shift what you feel, think, say, and do, and do this in a way that leads you to perform with personal integrity and grace.

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete," said Richard Buckminster Fuller.

You can choose to release your insistence that something or someone in your life be different—insistence, just as resistance, really does not work as desired—and take actions required in and for your best interest, without being tense. Tension does not shift anything, except, perhaps, your blood pressure and your ability to get proper sleep and rest. Adjust your thinking and approach in this way to get your subconscious programming aligned with your conscious choices and actions.

One big form of resistance that may challenge you is to NOT include or allow any past experiences in the NOW. This is a challenge because your subconscious will play back tapes of previous struggles and will do this with lots of detailed images. This causes you to recall, focus on, and feel specific past struggles, as though they are happening in this moment. They are not. You may have present-moment matters to address, but past ones are over. Past matters only affect the moment you’re in now, if you allow them to.

As long as you believe those old tapes are still part of your current reality, or react to them as though they are—which is precisely what the brain and then body do when old tapes are played, you resist any positive present-moment shifts: “I HAVE to feel THIS way now because I once (or more often) experienced THAT.” This approach will block your good, and your serenity, from coming to you. Your release of resistance gives the Universe permission to deliver your good—what is in and for your highest good. This release also allows serenity in, which is a feeling you desire anyway, underneath all the other stuff you believe you desire.

You learned certain aspects of resistance from others who learned them as well. It is the tape your subconscious plays in its belief that this approach, habit, or practice will help you survive. Your subconscious focuses on what helps you survive; your conscious mind focuses—or can—on what helps you thrive. You want them to work as a team, which means you have to NOT listen to old, negative tapes when they run. You want to create new tapes and run THEM.

Ernest Holmes wrote: “Healing, then, is accomplished by uncovering, neutralizing and erasing false images of thought, and letting the perfect idea reflect itself through subjective mind into the body. When one realizes that everything is Mind and that nothing moves but Mind . . . he will see that nothing can permanently heal unless it be accompanied by right thinking.” Healing can refer to anything in your self or your life or your business that you feel is not whole, healthy, joyful, and fulfilling. Ultimately, it’s always your feelings and thoughts that need to heal.

Pay attention to when and how often you run such tapes. Put right thinking into practice until it becomes more natural to you, whatever time that takes. Practice self-observation rather than self-judgment as you move through this process. Self-judgment is a form of resistance.

Release the belief that you will (eventually) never repeat old patterns. Maybe that will happen and maybe it won’t. Belief that you must never repeat them is . . . Resistance. It’s more important that you observe when you resist so you can consciously choose to embrace what you really want to feel, rather than emotionally engage what you don’t want. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce L. Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce L. Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say” and other books/e-books, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at

Friday, December 12, 2014

What Does Being In Flow Really Mean?

“Get into the flow” has been a catchy phrase for several decades. We think we know what it means: good stuff happens, right? Is that all it’s about?

If you’ve ever been aware that you were in flow, you know how good that feels. We’re actually always in the flow, but the fact is we don’t always feel it or, rather, we’re not always aware of it. The “flow” is a stream of consciousness and energy that is always in motion, always evolving. It’s the All That Is that we are part of. We’re in the stream at all times, but it can feel as though we aren’t. Why is that? Since we’re always in the stream, we can only feel or believe that we aren’t, which means any perceived separation from the stream is just that: a perception, not a Truth. So, to be in flow is often, but not always, a conscious choice, and to be out of flow is always a subconscious choice (who would consciously choose to be out of the flow?). Whichever our choice, it then becomes our state of being and an experience.

I was contemplating what it means to be in flow and these words came to me: “You have to trust, to be in flow; and to be in flow, you have to trust.” The words clarified the process I’ve experienced: Each requires and results in the other. When you trust Source to act in your behalf and trust that all your needs are always and in all ways met, you’re in flow. When you’re in flow, you trust that Source always and in all ways meets your needs and acts in your behalf. And that trust leads you to feel serene, open, and receptive. But, of course, there’s more to this—there always is.

There are aspects of being in flow. One aspect is non-resistance to what-is. This doesn’t mean you have to like or “want” what-is; you just have to release your resistance about it. This includes anger, frustration, self-doubt, and trying to force your will on others and or the situation. Non-resistance does not mean you allow improper behavior or abuse or don’t do what you need to do to affect improvement. Non-resistance means that rather than wallowing in negativity, you find a way to get your awareness back in alignment with trust in Source, which puts you back into the flow so that right solutions come to you and or happen for you. Again, there is more to understand about this, which I’ll get to. Just know that release of resistance is a key that opens a door to a magical realm within you and in your life.

During one of my morning meditations, I looked at something I’d been saying: “It is Truth that my abundance, prosperity, and well-being are always and in all ways supplied by Source.” A realization caused me to adjust that statement to “It is Truth that my abundance, prosperity, and well-being are Source.” Many of us, despite what we know or practice, still tend to perceive Source as something separate from us, and that our abundance, prosperity, and well-being are also separate from us. But, this is not so. There is only Source. Everything in existence is Source. We are individualized expressions of Source. Just as we are always in the stream, everything and everyone we interact with is Source, which includes us. This is something to wrap your mind and understanding around. It may take a while.

Maybe you know how to get yourself—your awareness—into the flow and maybe you don’t. Maybe you’d like some tips on how to do this quicker and easier. There are some things to consider about this first, because the things to consider are also tips.

For example, what about when you ask or pray for something? Do you feel in flow at such times, or do you feel outside of it? One way to get into flow at such times is to understand that the ultimate prayer or request and the ultimate answer are the same, or should be—if you truly desire to be in flow: “Thank you for always and in all ways acting in and for my highest good and the highest good of all involved, and always in right timing.” For you to be fully on board with this and trust it, as your own practice, there’s something you need to understand: sometimes the answer may feel like it’s anything but the answer, until the moment you realize it is.

One personal example is this: I had a serious, debilitating experience going on for me and nothing I tried worked to shift it. After struggling with this for a Very Long Time, I finally realized I was addressing the situation through resistance, even though I believed I was trying to be constructive and productive in my attempts to affect a solution or resolution, also known as trying to control everything and everyone involved so I could feel better. So I said, “Source, I’m leaving my ego’s need to fix this the way it wants it fixed out of this and I’m turning this matter over to you, because, frankly, I don’t know what the hell to do about it. I trust you to act in and for my highest good and the highest good of all involved.” And, I meant it. I was flat-out frustrated, and I knew frustration was not the path that would get me where I wanted to be.

Well, a lot of shift had to hit the fan first. And, yes, there were many moments (days during a several-month period) when I was anything but serene. Then something happened: What was needed showed up, or, rather, unfolded, in its right timing. I soon realized how everything that had happened had been necessary, and how utterly brilliant it all was. There was no way I could ever have accomplished the inner and outer outcome on my own, and I really mean that. The design plan was flawless. Only a consciousness that had all the information could accomplish that outcome. What was needed was provided, even if it felt at times like I was in hell or at least purgatory while getting there. 

I realize that not everyone thinks about these things the same way I do. For some, they perceive only what they see and never go deeper. I see beyond what appears evident (eventually, and because I look for it because I KNOW it’s there): I see the cosmic tapestry where all the threads contribute to the bigger picture, if you will. And sometimes what I perceive about events could or would make some people feel uncomfortable or even angry and absolutely ready to dispute my interpretation.

An example of this is a friend who had to say goodbye to her elderly, failing, beloved dog. That’s a heartache that only someone who’s been there can empathize with. About a year later, she and her husband had their first child, and the child, it turned out, was allergic to dogs. As painful as losing her dog had been, imagine the heartache that would have happened had she been forced to face the situation that could have arisen. Every living thing has its time and purpose. And, there is a higher-level communication between all things that is going on at all times that we are not consciously aware of, until we see the evidence of it, if we use our “eyes” to see it with. This kind of awareness is another form of being in flow, as are moments of intuition.

Another form of being in the flow is to realize the truth that “No man is an island.” Just as we often perceive Source and our good, our resources, as outside of us, we can also perceive ourselves and our resources as separate from others. The no-separation Truth ties in with another statement I make during my morning meditation: “Thank you for my ongoing unlimited increase in Mind, Wisdom, Mindfulness, Intuition, Serenity, Money, Energy, Creativity, Spiritual Realization, Well-Being, and (something private to me that also serves others as well as me).”

Each of the aspects I listed are obviously good things to have and experience, and perhaps you can see why anyone would want them to be part of their being and life. But one morning, the realization came to me that not only do these things serve and benefit me, but that they also allow me to serve and benefit others in ways appropriate for them and for me—and are meant to do so. No man is an island—ever—except in his own mind and or heart.

Suddenly, my statement had an entirely new texture and I had an entirely new understanding and feeling (realization) within me. To be in flow means we have to realize that it’s not a one-way street that flows into our life and stops there. This may seem obvious, but is it really integrated as your understanding and way of thinking, feeling, and being? Whatever we desire or need and receive and have is meant to flow to us, for us, and through us in some way, at some time, and in some measure. That awareness, that consciousness, that realization is another form of being in flow.

If you’ve had any level of struggle in your life, it’s possible that your primary focus has been on receiving; and you may have felt that as soon as you have extra to give or share, you’ll give or share it. Apply my list to this, as though it were your own, and see what comes up for you. Here’s the list again: ongoing unlimited increase in Mind, Wisdom, Mindfulness, Intuition, Serenity, Money, Energy, Creativity, Spiritual Realization, and Well-Being. Can you feel the benefit to you and to others, if these are your experiences? Can you perceive how life is richer for all involved when they overlap?

In times of struggle, appreciation is definitely a form of putting yourself back into the flow. Say money is a bit tight, but there are things you need to take care of that require money. Maybe a lump sum shows up for you or maybe various amounts show up at different times, and what you experience is each need being able to be met at the right time—maybe not ahead of time, as your ego aspect would prefer, but in the right timing. Any moment when you can genuinely appreciate how this is working out for you is a moment that puts you—through your awareness—back into the flow.

Being in the flow, where you receive what it is you desire and need is wonderful. But being in the flow where you understand the greater give-and-receive loop that feels so good is even better. It’s a higher level of being in flow. When we practice being in the flow, we truly do not have to seek what we need and want, it comes to us in expected, unexpected, and wonderful ways, and often with a promptness that is astonishing, as Dr. Ernest C. Wilson stated. It’s the ultimate way to work smarter, not harder. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce L. Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce L. Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say” and other books/e-books, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Simple Meaning of True Magic

When we get Law of Attraction to work the way we prefer, it feels like true magic, doesn’t it? Here’s something that puts what really makes it work, what our true magic is, into practical perspective.

Trying to figure out how to make Law of Attraction work for us, in our favor that is (it is always working), and feel confident about our skills is something a lot of people focus on, and often. I had a dream where five critters had been presented to me in a certain way, to get my attention. At first I had no idea what it meant, until I thought about the critters and realized they were represented in some material I have: Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson. So I picked up the book and read about each critter. Then I found it—a phrase that said it in a nutshell: “. . . magic is no more than a change in consciousness.” If you know anything at all about metaphysics and Law of Attraction—and even if you just think of magic tricks, you recognize or realize that the statement is absolutely, undeniably correct. Similar statements have been made by many others, but sometimes it’s a matter of reading or hearing the right one for you, at the right time.

This connects to something else I read just a few days before I looked at the medicine cards. I was cleaning out a chest of drawers, getting rid of stuff I no longer needed to keep, when I came across one of my TUT messages from 2008 (TUT is a site where you can sign up to receive clever, uplifting daily notes from The Universe, aka Mike Dooley). This was the message:

“Tell me, when you think of taking consistent action in the general direction of your dreams, (your name), do you imagine discipline, stamina, work, sacrifice, monotony, courage, and strategies, or are you thinking adventure, discovery, new friends, excitement at the crack of dawn, magic, surprises, fun, laughter, and, on occasion, the Macarena? P.S. Your chosen perspective changes everything.”

Wow! Read that every morning, before you start your activities for the day and before you start any and every project—or anything you’re going to do (and maybe every night), and how do you imagine you might feel and perform? What and who do you think you’ll attract to you? Which version do you usually choose? Which version would you prefer to choose? Yeah, I prefer to choose the fun version, as well. Okay, there will be times when you read that message, if you choose to practice this, and you’re aware that your energy is a little lower than you’d like. This tells you that your thoughts about conditions are influencing you. I say more about conditions in a moment.

When we practice the first version in that message, we suppress the true magic that is innate in us, which means we block it from ourselves and our lives. Then we likely do all manner of machinations to try to find a way to put the magic back in, while we continue practices that don’t and will never allow the magic to perform for us as it’s designed to. We are the spiritual magicians in our lives; all we need to do to experience the magic—our magic—is to shift our consciousness so that the innate magic can work for us. Easier said than done, you say? Is that a fact? Only if we decide it is. Yes, you may have to apply yourself to this, but practice makes progress.

Why do we struggle with shifting our consciousness? Because the mindset we’ve operated with for so long is a habit and who the heck likes to shift a habit? This would mean we’d have to work at it. We want it to be easy, to just happen (and happen immediately); plus, we don’t like the word “work.” This would mean we’d have to really see ourselves—our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions that we often let control us and sabotage us and our lives—then do something about them, for crikey’s sake! It might really annoy us to see how often we practice anti-magic thoughts, feelings, words, and actions, and who the heck wants to admit they’re ever wrong, or worse—doing it to themselves? And, this would mean we might not enjoy the process, and who wants to do more of what they won’t enjoy (but this is true only until the moment you begin to experience desired results, of course, then, you’re in, even if it takes a while for you to really jump in with full commitment and enthusiasm).

Ernest Holmes wrote in The Science of Mind, “To rise above the contemplation of conditions is to enter that field of Causation which makes all things new in our experience.” If we look at the TUT message again, we see how when we practice the first part of that message, we do so because we are focused on conditions. If we practice the second part, we rise above conditions via our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. And this will cause conditions to shift and improve or, at the very least, will improve our perceptions, which can lead to serenity, even when life feels stormy. We gain new, preferred experiences rather than repeat old, worn-out ones because of what we practice, as well as, likely, gain deeper understanding.

To paraphrase and add to something else Holmes wrote, all our experiences represent the different phases of our beliefs, which means we can give ourselves over to the Truth and the good magic as easily as any other belief, if we are confident in and or one with our spiritual realization of Truth. Why we may not find this as simple as we’d like ties in with what I said about why we struggle when it comes to shifting our consciousness. To realize our responsibility makes us uneasy. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes…and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” Another relevant quote comes from Ralph Marston: “Concern yourself more with accepting responsibility than assigning blame. Let the possibilities inspire you more than the obstacles discourage you.”

Then we have to face another fact: All of this is not about our thoughts alone, but about the feelings we have underneath our thoughts. This is why you can affirm or practice something out the yin-yang, but until you find a way to believe what you’re saying and thinking—to find some measure of Truth in your statement that you align with and feel as truth, you’re basically spinning your wheels. Never confuse activity with productivity. This includes mental activity, especially mental activity.

We struggle with the fact that the Law of Attraction is subjective. Holmes explained it this way: The chief characteristic of the subjective Law is that It is sensitive, creative and can reason only from a deductive viewpoint. Being the very essence of sensitiveness It is compelled to receive the slightest impression of thought; being creative, It is compelled to act upon this thought; and being deductive, It cannot argue back or deny any use of It that may be made.

It isn’t that once you reconnect with your magic everything will be perfect and life will be challenge-free. In fact, to have that idea or belief is just another way to focus on conditions we don’t prefer. Challenges assist us to focus on possibilities and to hone our magic skills, if you will. And we can use our magic to buffer the effects of challenges that show up as we strive to deepen our understanding of ourselves and of how the magic works for us. What we can also understand is that a challenge may lead us to initially feel like the first part in the TUT message, until we adjust our consciousness to one that supports the second, possibility-driven version.

We make tremendous strides the moment we realize we don’t acquire our magic; we awaken to the fact that it is already there, and then we apply it to the physical universe around us with more conscious awareness than subconscious default practices, practices you can change through your conscious choices and practices. This is when we rise above group consciousness that may be influencing us and instead express our lives in an individualized way, in a strengthened, trust-in-Source-and-ourselves way. When we do this, we realize the Truth that our magic IS no more than a change in consciousness. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.                   
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce L. Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce L. Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say” and other books/e-books, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at