About AffirmingSpirit

Since the mid-80s, I've been tapping into the incredible power of affirmations. I'm now helping other see that no matter what their experience with affirmations...if you do them properly, you will be AMAZED with the results. To learn more, visit http://www.affirmingspirit.com

Becoming a Magnet for Your Ideal Clients

magnetWouldn’t you LOVE to be a magnet for your most ideal clients? Last February, I led a Rock Your Business the LOA Way call at Good Vibe University to teach people how to do just that. The topic of the call was creating Strategic Action Plans that Work for You!

If you aren’t familiar with Strategic Action Plans, they are the subject of the book Attracting Perfect Customers: The Power of Strategic Synchronicity by Stacey Hall and Jan Brogniez (2001, Berrett-Koehler Publishers). You can find this book and others that I recommend on my Recommended Reading page.

These do-it-yourself plans are an excellent tool for anyone, especially the LOA savvy self-employed who want to regularly zero in energetically on their desired outcome(s).

You can think of a Strategic Action Plan as a combination of a Pray Rain ideal client / project list and an affirmative list of positive aspects on a single piece of paper you can carry around. It’s a tool to keep you grounded in what’s important for you and where you have decided to focus your attention.

Bring Out the Magnet!

Since everything is energy, we naturally expand energetically where we focus our attention. The more we do, the more we become like a magnet to the experiences and object(s) of our attention. I’m sure you can think of many positive ways you might want to focus on growing and sustaining your business.

To learn how to make your own Strategic Action Plan, download my call notes (right-click the images below):

For more in-depth material, you’ll want to invest in the book (linked above).

As you develop your own Strategic Actions Plan(s), they will continually change as you grow in consciousness and develop new preferences. I find myself editing the list almost daily, and by the end of two weeks, I use the new information to create a fresh new Strategic Action Plan to work from.

Keep in mind that you are not limited to just one Strategic Action Plan…you can make as many as you’d like, for any aspect of your business and/or your life. Play with them, see what works best for you and have fun with them!

Have you worked with Strategic Action Plans before? If so, share your experiences in the comments below. If you haven’t, download the instructions and give them a try.

 

Image Credit: Barry-Jansson & Associates
using images from olivier26 and nataliagesto

Connecting the Spiritual Dots with Your Business

connecting

Connecting the spiritual dots with your business is essential, but many business owners are oblivious to its power. Does this sound familiar to you…

You understand the Law of Attraction, but have never made the leap to manifesting your desires with your businesses or career.

How can this be? The Law of Attraction is ALWAYS working. Always. No exception. So, how is it that you “understand” the Law of Attraction but are not reaping the benefits?

The answer is that you already ARE reaping benefits!

You are reaping the benefit of continously energetically de-cohering with (repelling) your desire(s). Nothing seems to improve in your business or career because you are reaping the same benefits over and over, and they are not the benefits you say you prefer.

Just a side note about saying we want something and then refusing to shift our energy in the direction of our desires. I’ve done this, and I bet most people have at one time or another, so I’m stating this from personal observation.

To me, this behavior shows that the person is not (at that red-hot moment) truly ready to make the energetic shift. Sometimes humans have to wait for problems to get so bad that they can no longer endure them before they will do the inner work.

 

Of course, you can always consciously choose to opt out of things getting really bad before you begin making energetic changes.

 

One of the benefits of contrast is that is often pushes people to go within and deal with long-standing issues they might otherwise have ignored.

 

So, if you find yourself in this category, just be aware of it. Release self-judgment and embrace your curiosity. Awareness and curiosity have tremendous power for helping us release what’s not working and move forward.

 

Connecting The Spiritual Dots

In order to align with our desires, we have to be willing and ready to start connecting the spiritual dots, and doing it the sustainable way takes some time and retraining of the bodymind (mind and emotions).

In physics-speak, the Law of Attraction means like vibrations cohere and unlike vibrations de-cohere. That is, we draw to us what we’re aligned with vibrationally (energetically), and repel what we are not or no longer aligned with vibrationally.

Change begins happening quite quickly when we finally connect those energetic dots and shift our own energy. It’s never too late to start (unless you’ve already decided it’s too late for you). Having a great mentor or counselor can help people see where they’ve been blocking themselves.

Here’s the most important part to understand: Connecting the Spiritual Dots requires an INTERNAL SHIFT. Nothing changes in your external world until you shift internally, both mentally and emotionally!

Source Leads the Way

In their many books, videos, and workshops, Abraham has repeatedly said that the moment consciousness comes to a new perspective, a new preference, Source immediately BECOMES the new preference.

Whether consciousness is a one-celled amoeba in the ocean, cells in your body, or a thought about your business, Source is immediately responding and calling you vibrationally toward your new preference(s). We feel bad when we do not answer that energetic call from Source.

The angst we feel is when we resist the calling of Source.

We feel angst when we argue for why we can’t get what we prefer.

We feel bad when we’re constantly telling the opposite story of our preference(s) and wondering why our preference hasn’t shown up.

We feel frustration when we focus more on ‘what is wrong now’ versus our new preference.

We feel uneasy at best, worried and fearful at worst, when we try to figure out HOW to accomplish our new preference before we are energetically aligned with our preference. We’ve put the energetic carriage before the horse: Get into alignment FIRST.

Can you relate?

Alignment Connects the Dots

Part of connecting the dots is getting into agreement with your preference. We call this aligning or alignment. The process of aligning may require retraining our bodymind, patience, and consistent decisions to stay focused on our new preference(s).

Here are a few practices to begin the process of making the internal shift by getting into alignment with your preferences:

• Practice Being Quiet – Whether you meditate on your breath, watch the clouds float by, or get into a deep state of Pure Awareness, the regular practice of being quiet rewires the brain and allows us to better hear our own inner guidance. Think of this as the gardener prepping the landscape for the new seeds.

• Practice Noticing Your Responses – Use your natural ability to observe to become aware of your response to your new preference(s). No judgement or correction, just notice them. For instance, consider something you’ve been wanting to improve in your business for quite a while…notice your response to the idea that you can begin experiencing this improvement today or tomorrow, or next week. Your response lets you know how you really feel at a deeper level.

Once you have become aware of your responses, you can always choose a new response. The timing is up to you. Think of this as the gardener pulling the weeds so the seeds can grow better.

• Practice Noticing Your Counter Intentions – This is a big one! At least it has been for me. For instance, you say you want more clients, but you find yourself not wanting to work with the potential clients who show up. What’s really going on here? A counter intention (maybe more than one!) is splitting your energy by pulling you in the opposite direction of your preference. The result is getting nowhere, fast. Think of this as the gardener extracting the whole root on those really deep-rooted weeds, so they don’t come back.

Notice and clear your counter intentions, and watch your world shift!

• Practice Working with the Four Mighty Ones – Neville Goddard wrote about the Four Mighty Ones of the Imagination in his book, Seedtime and Harvest. They are the producer, the author, the director and the actor in the drama of your life. Practice each of those roles in relation to your preferences. (Click the link above to learn more.)

Think of this practice as the gardener planting seeds with the really powerful organic fertilizers.

• Practice Believing in the Possibilities – Take a few minutes every day, first thing in the morning or just before bedtime, to write down your preferences, why you believe you can have / experience what you prefer, and ways in which you might be seeing glimpses of it already. Some people prefer to have a separate journal for this, but pieces of paper placed in a binder can work just as well. Don’t be surprised if one day, you no longer feel the need to write it down because it’s so *obviously possible* to you!

Think of this as the gardener watering and lovingly nurturing the plants.

• Practice Affirming Your Preferences – Think and speak in ways that affirm what you prefer. Create your own powerful customized affirmations that speak directly to your unique preference(s). Write them on beautiful cards you place around your home, car, office and purse / briefcase to remind, uplift, and inspire you.

When you think and speak affirmatively toward your preferences, it’s like the gardener creating the ideal environment for the best possible crop!

What has helped you connect your spiritual dots and shift from just ‘understanding’ the Law of Attraction to experiencing regular manifestations? Share your experiences below in the comments below…

Image Credit: Barry-Jansson & Associates
working with images from huntthomas and teerawit.

Marisa Peer Can Teach Your Mind to Believe

Marisa PeerIf you’ve been struggling with your business success for a while, there may be unconscious ways in which you are blocking your success. A few months ago, I stumbled across Marisa Peer’s 2015 talk at MindValley’s Belief Hacking Event in Costa Rica. Marisa is an internationally known and respected Hypnotherapist who helps people develop positive beliefs and improve their life experiences. After watching the video and following along with the exercise, I immediately was impressed by what she shared and knew it could help many people.

Shortly after sharing the post on my AffirmingSpirit Facebook page and at Good Vibe University, I began receiving numerous comments and emails thanking me, sharing the AHAs each person had experienced. This particular video hits the nail on the head for many people who have felt like ‘no matter what they do, it’s not working’. They have been in their own way for a long time, but don’t see it.

Marisa Peer: How to Teach Your Mind That Everything is Available to You

Take a moment to watch this powerful video and follow along with the short guided exercise that will help you teach your mind that everything is available to you…

As children, we often received messages of lack, struggle, difficulty, and ‘not enough’ from our care givers. Some of us were constantly told, “no, you can’t have what you want.” It may have seemed that we never could have what we wanted or asked for from our guardians. No question, the care givers in our lives were doing the best they could with what they had.

As adults, other than extreme cases of abuse, we might look back on our experiences with compassion and understand what our ill- informed guardians were trying to do—and how they thought they were preparing us for the “Real World”. But as children, we often internalized those experiences to mean that there’s not enough, we’re not enough, we’re not capable of having what we desire, and that what we desire is not only out-of-reach…but not even available to us.

You Are Supported!

Marisa Peer makes it clear in this video that the Universe that created you, and gave you all of your amazing talents, will support you in EVERYTHING—everything that you want.

You are fully supported in your success and well-being. Author Chellie Campbell calls the Universe is a “Big Yes Machine”—happy to give you the essence of whatever you request. However, if your mind does not know this, and your thoughts / words / actions do not support this understanding, that split energy could be holding you back.

Not feeling supported, and not feeling enough—capable enough, talented enough, knowledgeable enough, resourceful enough, strong enough, smart enough, etc.—is at the heart of a lot of business (and life) dysfunction.

When your mind, body, and spirit feels supported and ‘enough’, there is a sense of inner peace, calm, and relaxation that replaces the constant need to fill the void. If you followed along with the guided exercise in the video and recognize yourself in Maria’s talk, you might want to begin affirming your support and enough-ness.

Below are three short generic affirmations inspired by Marisa’s talk which you can begin saying to yourself when you wake up, throughout your day, and as you fall asleep at night.

By regularly repeating (saying and writing) these affirmations, you will flood your mind and spirit with the realization that the Universe is supporting you, everything you want is available to you right this moment, and you are always ‘enough’.

Any affirmation, but especially generic affirmations like these, are most effective when we’re relaxed and not contradicting the affirmations. So, make sure you are breathing deeply and slowly, and feeling no tension in your body when you repeat these affirmations to yourself. When you say them, notice how your body feels when you know the truth of these powerful statements.

What did you think of Marisa shares in this video, and the guided exercise? I’d love for you to share your AHAs and thoughts below in the comments.

Image credit: mindvalley and Barry-Jansson & Associates

Enjoying Your Ongoing Journey

journey

Whether you are new in business, or a veteran business owner with the stories to prove it, there is great benefit in recognizing the ongoing spiritual lessons that are part of the entrepreneurial journey.

The Ongoing Journey

In fact, the women business owners I serve who most-quickly accept and enjoy their entrepreneurial journey as a delightful adventure also tend to be most successful.

From an energetic, Law of Attraction point-of-view, it’s easy to see why these business owners are most successful: Their energy is lighter, more relaxed, and trusting that everything is all working out well. They carry a natural humbleness AND a great sense of humor. They can find the humor in almost every situation and laugh at themselves while learning new skills. The upswings in business do not disorient them or distract them from their core mission, and the downs become sacred opportunities to grow…the fertile ground for the next upswing.

Your business will show you where you (personally) can be more patient, more accepting, and more compassionate.

You will be confronted with any underlying money, health, and relationship issues you may have. If you thought you could avoid those personal downfalls by throwing yourself into your business, think again.

Your business will also show you when and how to set boundaries, and when to hold them firm. You’ll discover strengths you didn’t know you had, along with your weaknesses. You’ll quickly learn to  either overcome each weakness or hire others to handle those aspects of your business.

One of the first lessons that I learned was that no business is successful in a vacuum. As business owners we are dependent on the connections with our vendors as well as our clients and colleagues.

Connecting with other business owners via my local chamber and networking group not only kept me up-to-date on local business news but also put me in touch with potential clients and vendors. It also gave me a reason to set my work aside, get away from my office, and interact with other people.

When you love your business, especially if your business is mostly online and you are a solopreneur, you can forget the importance of socializing and connecting with others in-person!

The more I connected with others, helping others along the way, the more my business flourished. Still, I didn’t realize my business would lead me even further down a spiritual (not religious) path, and that it would benefit from ongoing conscious self-improvement.

It Gets Easier

If you are at the beginning of your business journey and feeling a little daunted by the emotional and spiritual demands of your business, know that it does get easier over time.

It’s like compound interest: What you learn about yourself this week, this month, this year, builds upon itself and will continue to serve you as you move forward.

Learning what spiritual tools work best for you, and practicing them like it matters, will not only make you happier in business but also enrich your ongoing journey. At this point in my journey, regular meditation, affirmations and visualization are all part of my processes. When I am emotionally drawn into a situation, I know it’s time for me to do my inner work.

As it turns out, your business is NOT just business, it’s personal!

 

Image credit: juliasv

The Magical Power of Anger

magical

The magical power of anger

That’s right: magical! There’s magic in our ability to transmute our anger, not just for our business but for all aspects of our lives.

Personally, I don’t know any business owner who doesn’t, at least occasionally, experience anger in running their business. One of the hot spots are tricky experiences with vendors.

Ideally, vendors support you in your business so you can fully support your clients and customers with ease. You rely on your vendors, and they become part of what makes you and your business successful.

In worst case scenarios, though, difficult vendor experiences can actually harm or derail your businesses. I don’t need to list the potential difficulties for you…and we don’t need to dwell there, either.

In your anger and frustration with the situation, your instincts might have you making rash decisions you’ll regret and send you scrambling to find alternative providers.

LOA savvy business owners know that is a trap: ‘what we resist, persists’.

Any action you take will reflect the energy with which it was taken. The angry journey reveals an angry result.

If you don’t clean up the anger with one vendor, you’ll just experience similar energy with the next, and the next, and the next. Worse case, that anger will seep into other aspects of your business and cultivate more resentment.

However, when you embrace the magical power within your emotions, you’ll gain understanding of your limiting beliefs, and get clues to resolving not only the current issue, but any future issue, as well!

Navigate tricky vendor relations

The most reliable, and sustainable way, to manage difficult vendor relations is by understanding the energy of your emotions and the magic that is within.

This past week, I was pondering various topics to write for my next blog post, and then I received a gift of an intensely frustrating vendor experience. Don’t you just love when your real-life business hands you such opportunities?

OK, for some of you, that sounds like a ‘trick question’. It’s really not! Aware and savvy business owners learn how to manage their energy and transmute the difficult experiences into growth opportunities.

Now, I don’t go out of my way to seek anger, but over the years I’ve learned about that it’s worth my energy and attention to transmute the anger. Below is yesterday’s story broken down into the steps that helped me do exactly that: Transmute the anger into magic!

The time it takes to work through these steps will depend on your situation, and how long you’ve been practicing these skills.

STEP ONE: FEEL IT, FULLY

When you notice you are angry, give yourself a moment to really feel it in your body. This serves three purposes: 1.) Increases your awareness of your own emotions, 2.) Allows the limiting beliefs and stories (which hold the emotion in place) to surface, and 3.) This is the starting place for transmuting the emotion.

Feel the emotion doesn’t mean dwell there. Or stop there. Or let it derail you. It means allow yourself to feel what you really feel, including all levels of anger and sadness, before you continue with your inner work. Without giving yourself a few minutes to really feel your emotions, you might stuff them and the magical transmutation never has a chance to start.

So, here’s how I applied this step. Late on Monday, I became aware that a vendor had charged me for services I never requested for the second month in a row….and was only just finding out about it. It was too late in the evening to do anything, so I decided to deal with it on Tuesday.

I was so angry about it that when Tuesday morning rolled around, I was ready to fire them on the spot, and see if they had broken industry regulations by not notifying me sooner. The anger in me was so intense that I felt vengeful. I kept wanting to pick up the phone to chew someone’s face off. But each time I started to dial the number, I realized my energy was too intense and I needed to step back before going any further.

STEP TWO: NOTICE THE ‘STORY’

When we’re angry, odds are pretty high that we have a ‘story’ in place that made us angry and keeps us stuck there. In some cases, it’s not just one story, but several ‘stories’…past, present, and even future ones!

Once you’ve properly given yourself some time to feel the feeling, start noticing what story is playing in your head about this situation.

Admittedly, I was so angry yesterday, that I wasn’t able to do this after I became aware of my feelings. In fact, it wasn’t until after I ordered myself to calm down, that I eventually heard myself rehashing the ‘stories’ I had going on: They are really pissing me off! This is so wrong—I won’t let them get away with it! What makes them think they can take advantage of me? I’ve been a good client for them for years, I don’t deserve this! This cannot be legal…I should report them! What kind of slimy business are they running? How many other people are they abusing?

Spot the stories? I had already concluded that they had willingly wronged me and were doing it to others. Feeling victimized. Ready to get revenge! They were running a slimy operation.

Yeah, it was the last one that got my attention. Extremes often show up in ‘stories’ that keep us stuck in anger. In the past, I would have sat down and made a list of these crazy stories so I could address them, one-by-one, but having done this so often…I took mental note and quickly moved to step three.

STEP THREE: QUESTION THE ‘STORY’

Or (multiple) stories. Question them. In my case, I did The Work: Is this really true? Can I absolutely be sure this is true? How do I feel when I think this thought? How would I feel if I didn’t have this story? Turn it around.

For me, the first story being questioned looked like this:
They are really pissing me off!

Is this really true? YES!

Can I absolutely be sure this is true? YES!

How do I feel when I think this thought? UGH! It makes me even angrier!

How would I feel if I didn’t have this thought? I might not be so angry, or I might not be angry at all. I might be calmer and thinking more clearly.

Turn it around: I am pissing them off!; I am pissing myself off!

Oh, yeah…there it is! Truth prevails.

As soon as I stated the second ‘turn around’, I immediately saw how I was the one who was creating my anger and I was blaming them for making me feel angry. No one can make me, or any of us, feel anything unless I/we give them the power to do so.

Just questioning the first story made it easy to de-escalate, and calm down. I started laughing at how I had frothed myself up in anger without having all the details or information. I was already feeling better as I sailed through questioning the other stories that propped up my anger.

STEP FOUR: LET AWARENESS BRING CLARITY

The transmutation was in process! Once I had calmed down, gained awareness by questioning my stories, it became really clear to me: When it came down to it, I didn’t have the full story. I was only seeing ‘my side’ and needed to communicate with the vendor to get the full story.

All I had was a statement showing that they had billed me for non-requested (and un-received) services, and I had allowed myself to stir up my own feelings of anger.

What do I really want to experience? I wanted to speak to the vendor to get the full story, to have my account corrected, and monies refunded.

I grabbed the statement and a piece of paper. At the top of the paper, I wrote the date, the vendor’s name and phone number. Under that, I wrote 3 words to describe how I wanted the situation to unfold:

Calm, Smooth, Easy.

Then, I wrote my objectives:

  • Ask about the statement.
  • Get the account corrected.
  • Get any refund, if applicable.

The magic was activated and ready to launch!

STEP FIVE: TAKE ACTION WITH CLEAN ENERGY

By now, I’ve felt my full emotion, noticed the stories, questioned them, and gotten clear on what I want to transpire and set my intentions. I felt so much calmer, relaxed, and at ease. Knowing that this was all going to work out, I picked up the phone and dialed the number. While it rang, I reminded myself: Calm. Smooth. Easy.

The first person I spoke to couldn’t answer any question and seemed confused. He was reflecting some of my earlier wonky energy. I knew it was time to get my energy clear: I silently re-affirmed Calm, Smooth, and Easy.

As soon as I did this, he transferred me to a second person. I re-explained the problem, and this second guy had answers for ALL my questions! His voice was pleasant and helpful as he pulled up my statement on his computer, saw the charges, then researched the requests which triggered the charges. In a calm and helpful tone, he saw the error (another client’s charges were showing up on my statement), and began apologizing.

“Let me fix this immediately. I am so sorry for this mix-up, and so glad you called!”

A computer error — that explained a lot! Immediately, in just a few minutes, he fixed the error, refunded monies automatically charged, corrected my balance due, asked if he could do anything more, and cheerfully wished me a good day.

Talk about a magical experience! I never had to raise my voice, and was easily able to remain calm during the entire encounter. The experience was smooth and easy, just as I had written down while I was getting clear on my preferred outcome. Doubt that would have been the case had I called earlier in the day when I was so angry!

STEP SIX: REST AND REVIEW

I was smiling when I got off the phone. I had been on quite the magical ’emotional journey’, going from vengeful white-hot angry to calm and satisfied, in just a few hours.

After taking a break, I came back to my office and took stock of what happened. (That’s when it became obvious that writing this post was the next step.) Take the time to learn from your experiences. If you could have done better, take note. If you did a good job, acknowledge yourself.

Without a doubt, I did a REEEAAAAALLLLY good job of feeling my feeling fully. (giggle) Although, it might have served me to notice the stories sooner. Giving myself some ‘space’ so I could, finally, notice the stories…essential to this whole process! So glad I didn’t take action when I was really angry. Very happy that I questioned the stories, and was able to laugh, before getting clear on what I really wanted. Making the call with clear energy and intentions completed the anger-to-magic transmutation.

Come to think of it, if this vendor hadn’t made the mistake to begin with, I wouldn’t have gone on this emotional journey or learned so much about myself in the process…let alone, been able to share it with you. For that, I am very appreciative of that vendor and their mistake. Bless them!

Did this post give you some insights into transmuting your own anger? Or how to work through a sticky vendor, client, or employee situation? If so, share your insights below.

Image Credit: fergregory

Energy Lessons from Dogs

dogsIf you’ve been reading my blog posts about the power of our energy and our influence on the world around us, but it’s still not making sense to you…please to direct your attention to dogs.

Yes, you read that right. Dogs!

Energy lessons from dogs

Dogs are pack animals who look to the ‘Alpha’ in their pack for energetic cues and direction. This makes dogs a perfect reflection of their human’s energy.

If you’ve ever watched Cesar Millan work with dogs, you’ve seen countless times how an out-of-control dog calms down when the energy is corrected. In any of his shows, The Dog Whisperer, Leader of the Pack, Cesar 911, or his new show Dog Nation, you’ll see in real-time how Millan teaches the humans to better manage their energy and their dog responds!

Below is just one video clip of a couple who had a dog who would constantly initiate fights with other dogs. In a few minutes, he helps these humans see how their dog responds to their energy…

How does a relaxed dog behave? They are calm, happy, and more sociable.

Most problems with dogs occur when their humans are not taking the Alpha aka Leader of the Pack role. The dogs, in their desperation for a pack leader, take on the role themselves and havoc ensues.

The Universe is a lot like a dog

Just like a dog, the Universe is responding to your energy.

Your energy is instructing the Universe, via the law of attraction, which life experiences and people to send your way. Whatever signal you are sending, the law of attraction is lining up similar energy. Like energies cohere (come together) and unlike energies de-cohere (repel).

When your signal to the Universe is mixed, just like when you give a dog mixed signals, the results are equally mixed. When you only observe ‘what-is’ around you, and refuse to focus deliberately, you are relinquishing your creative powers to others around you.

When your signal to the Universe is clear, deliberate, and consistent, you will see that reflected in your results.

LOA savvy business owners know it is important to keep their own energy clear, deliberate, and consistent. They actively engage positive and uplifting people, media (including movies, audios, podcasts, and books), and they deliberately focus their attention on their businesses, too.

When you’re actively and deliberately focusing your energy in positive and uplifting ways, your business and your clients / customers will reflect that energy back to you. Don’t take my word for it…try it for yourself!

So, now it’s your turn: What are you willing to do to keep your own energy clear, deliberate, and consistent? Share in your comments below…

 

 

Image credit: Still from Cesar 911 video

Sharing Is Caring

sharing
Today, I’m talking about sharing. I mentor women who are creative and healing entrepreneurs, so this is a topic I see all too frequently. Bear with me as I look at this important topic from several different viewpoints.

Let me first point out, that none of us create success in a vacuum. It’s impossible, since life is not a vacuum but an interweaving holographic energy experience. The most successful people understand how important it is to support others.

Even if you have not dealt directly with your potential clients, they feel you on an energetic level through your website, social media interaction, resource materials, products, services, and by how they observe you treating others.

My second point is that creative entrepreneurs (artists, designers, writers, etc.) get the word out about their skills by sharing their work online through their website and social media. The value in sharing is having people find out about them, contact them, visit their site, and ultimately, buy their work.

So, when others share a creative’s work online, it can potentially help get the ‘word out’.

That’s a good thing, right?!? Well, it depends!

Sharing is (Not Always) Caring

Once creatives upload files to their portfolio, website and/or social media, the file is then picked up by search engines for dissemination. The creative’s contact information is lost, and sometimes people download the image to share separately and fail to credit the artist.

The creative only benefits when people make a conscious decision to also share the creative entrepreneur’s contact info (web, portfolio, or social media link/s) when they share. Otherwise, it’s just another random file with an unknown source.

The internet, particularly social media, has made it very easy to blindly share visuals without crediting the artist or providing links back to the creative. The excuses for not giving credit are many…and they are bogus.

The image at the top of this post is a perfect example.

Artist, Martina Hoffmann created this gorgeous image of the hummingbird, and she shared it on her facebook feed. It also appears on her website portfolio. Search engines picked up her image, and people who saw it began sharing the image.

You can see why: It’s gorgeous, great colors, beautiful flow, nice composition, many layers of meaning embedded in it, has a hummingbird, etc. It’s easy to see why people would love and be drawn to this image!

Problem is, without sharing who created it, the artist has no way to benefit from the sharing. No one will visit their site, or refer others, and no one with know where or how to buy the image. The link between the creative and the work is lost, and the point of sharing the image is invalidated!

It would be best for all involved to become aware of this issue, and take the time to credit the creative whose work they share.

Insult to Injury

When professionals PROMOTE their own services, products, and/or professional image share a creative’s work without crediting them, it really adds insults to injury. They are receiving a benefit by sharing the creative’s work (catching people’s attention), but then failing to give credit where it is due.

Now, some would say this is a legal offense, but I would go further to say this is an energetic offense: How can you expect people to VALUE YOU and what you offer, if you are not willing to VALUE OTHERS? That is energetically out of balance, out of integrity.

I first saw this beautiful hummingbird image by Martina on a social media feed from a “spiritual teacher” who was promoting her ‘love is all that matters’ image and way of seeing the world. The image caught people’s attention, and they flocked to LIKE and comment on her post, visiting long enough to read what this teacher had to share. I know, because was one of them!

Then, I dared to ask: Who is the artist? Because that information was not disclosed.

What ensued was…the reason I am writing this post:

The “spiritual” person sharing the image said they had no idea who created the image. I found the answer in less than 30 seconds, and shared the information in the thread. Rather than immediately ADD that credit information to the post, the “spiritual teacher” said they just didn’t have time to find the creator of every image they shared.

I privately messaged her to consider what message she was sending by failing to honor the person whose work she had grabbed for free to promote herself.

She then deleted her post and blocked me. I guarantee you that the people who witnessed her unwillingness to credit the creative, even after given the information, realized something about this “spiritual teacher”…and energetically, the message was not a good one.

Interesting, isn’t it?!? That a person who teaches connection and love and kindness flatly refused to take 1 minute, or less, of her time to honor the creative (credit the work shared), wouldn’t even do it after she was directly provided the information, then blocked someone who suggested she *walk her talk*.

Now, you may say: “It was on the web, so it’s fair game.” NO. It’s only on the web because a search engine crawled the file on the web. Humans download and share without crediting the originator, so the original source is lost…unless someone goes looking for it.

“Does it really matter that we credit creatives?” YES. Creatives who can’t make a living doing their creative work have to stop, and work somewhere that pays them enough to survive. They have bills to pay, too. It is worth a minute or two of your time to ensure that a creative is properly credited for work you are sharing, whether it’s for the joy of sharing or because the work catches people’s attention long enough to hear/read the message you have to share.

Found an image or video you like, but not sure who the creative is? Here’s where to start your search:

REVERSE SEARCH IMAGES
Either of these sites allow you to upload an image or point to a URL. Facebook image URLs appear ‘hidden’, so you must download the image first, then upload to the reverse engine search. Here are two to bookmark:

Google Image – often the fastest, but not always the most accurate. Click on the camera in the search bar to upload an image or point to a URL.
TinEye – will show you the FIRST time it was crawled on the web, and where, which gives further clues.

Using one of the above links, the VAST majority of the time, you will find the creative source in less than 1 minute, but occasionally you need to do further searching.

For instance, I found an adorable GIF animation, but when I searched I couldn’t find the origin of the original art. A still from the animation proved that the art came from one creative and the animation came from another.

SEARCHING A VIDEO
Facebook allows people to grab another person’s video and post it as their own. This is why so many are now putting their URL and/or logo directly on the video.

Start, first, searching the subject of the video in your search engine. Those who take videos sometimes rename them according to the subject versus the original title. You may see several variations of the video, and have to check dates and length to determine which one is the original. Once you find the earliest version, look in the description box which often contains the creative’s original contact information.

I’ve found videos shown on Facebook that originated on Vimeo, and Vimeo videos that originated on YouTube. Be patient, and focus on the subject. You’ll be amazed how much information you can find when you bother to look!

Just Ask!

I am not saying to forever stop sharing beautiful images and videos that you like. What I am saying is: CREDIT the creative when you share! LOOK for the creative’s contact information when you want to share the image. Take one minute to reverse-search, if necessary. Once you know who the creative was, CREDIT THEM in your online posts.

When someone else shares it from you, make sure that the creative’s credit goes along for the ride. (Add it in your comment to the share.) Look out for creatives the way you would want someone to look out for your creative efforts.

Creatives want to get the word out and share their work online. If you ASK THEM for permission to share and credit them, most will be THRILLED and happy to let you share! Many will even, if needed, provide a higher resolution of the file you are requesting. I’ve never had a single person turn me down, when I’ve asked and offered to credit them.

This is what I have done with the image above. I saw it unfairly shared without credit. The person who shared it was not willing to credit the creative. I reached out to the artist and asked permission to share in this post. Permission was granted, she told me which link she preferred, and then I wrote this post about this topic. The creative is benefiting, now, correcting the wrong that was previously done.

Energetics of Sharing

When you honor and value others, you send a message to the Big U that you appreciate honor and value. When you give credit where it is due, people remember to credit you, when it is due. It truly is a give and take, and the Golden Rule in action: Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.

Sounds like karma or ‘what goes around, comes around’, and it is…and it is also about personal integrity. YOU know when you are not in integrity. Your lack of willingness to honor, value and give credit will ensure that you are not honored, valued, or given credit.

Whether you bought a royalty-free stock image (majority of images on this site are bought, others are created by me, or used with permission of the creative) or got permission to use a creative’s image, give credit!

If you care enough to share, care enough to credit the creative!

If you are a creative, ask people to credit you and provide them the links you want them to share—social media, site, portfolio, etc. Give them one that will point to the others.

Appreciate everyone who credits you and other creatives. If you see others sharing work that is uncredited, ask who created it. Increase awareness that the best practice is crediting the creative when sharing their work. If they don’t know and you have a minute, search and share the information, yourself.

While the one situation I shared above was an exception, MOST of the people with whom I share the creative’s information will immediately amend their post to include the credit.

This is how we share with integrity, and creatives support each other.

Image credit: Martina HoffmaNN

Preparing for the New Year

New Year Transition

It’s that time of year again.

As everyone finalizes their holiday shopping, and settles into the final few weeks of the year, business owners start to contemplate what the new year has to offer.

Some business owners view the future with excitement, a light heart, and joyful anticipation. While some are overwhelmed with fear, doubt, worry, and trepidation.

Why is that?

For centuries, business experts have recommended ongoing planning and forecasting as a part of running a successful business. Basically, they believe that a whole lotta focus on ‘what is’ will help improve business. Deliberate Creators, however, understand that left-brained what-is-focused business planning has its limits. Fire up your spreadsheets and business data, all you want, but there’s more than *facts* deciding outcomes.

How Our Energy Affects Our Business Planning

Energetically, all businesses reflect how the business owner feels (thoughts + emotions) about all aspects of the business, products/services, clients, working conditions, employees (if applicable), and so forth. If there are employees and business partners, then their energy is also a part of this mix.

Because I know this, I consciously make business planning a relaxed, easy, and joyful experience. As I take action on those plans, the results will have that same relaxed, easy, joyful energy.

Every 90 days or so, I take some quiet time for a planning and forecasting session. I review my business targets and imagine what I’d like to experience moving forward. It won’t surprise you that the majority of time during these sessions is spent getting into the feeling place of ALREADY experiencing my targets.

During these planning sessions, I have candles lit, relaxing music playing, my kitty cat slumbering nearby, and ensure I’m in a relaxed and appreciative energy for pre-paving my future. This way, my mind is open, clear, and most receptive to good ideas.

If I’m not sure about my targets or what I want to create, I spend a few minutes doing Pure Awareness meditation to still my mind and raise my vibration before I remember how Source views me and my business. This is enough to put me in a fabulous energy field for imagining my highest excitement for my business.

If I only focused on the left-brain data and planning for my business, I might get stuck in What-Is-ville —never seeing a viable way out of quagmires.

My Silent Business Partner

new yearOver the years, I’ve learned that the energy with which I make decisions and take actions is mirrored back to me in the result.

Like that time when I was not sure what a design client was really looking for, and spent most of the project time swimming in doubt as I questioned all my creative choices, only to have the client question me with the SAME DOUBT (verbatim) when she reviewed the project!

GULP.

That’s when I remembered that the energy that creates worlds is always my silent business partner (and yours, too!). That experience taught me to get clear about being of excellent service, being guided to the right choices, and opening to the intuitive knowing of my client’s unspoken needs. When I do, the resulting work thrills the client! (That has been my secret to ‘exceeding client expectations’ all these years.)

So…once my environment is set, and the planning session begins, I start answering these questions:

  1. What do I appreciate most about my business? (I milk this)
  2. What would I like to expand in my business? (I reach for what feels better)
  3. What am I ready to release in my business? (I follow my guidance)
  4. What am I willing and ready to receive help with as I move forward? (ditto)
  5. How do I expect to feel once my business has expanded (2, above), I’ve released what no longer serves (3, above), and I’ve received help (4, above)? (paint the picture)
  6. What can I do now to feel that way (5, above)?
  7. After spending a few minutes feeling the feeling of 5 and 6, above, I ask: What additional inspired actions come to mind? (Write it down)

Number 1 puts me in appreciative energy. Number 2 – 4 provides my next quarterly ‘targets’, and 5 – 6 help me tap into that energy. Finally, Number 7 is actually ongoing. Whatever information comes to me in the session, I write down, and take the action that feels like the next logical step.

Hours, days, or even weeks later, additional inspirations will spring up in my awareness. Some may feel completely unrelated. Like calling a friend. Or going grocery shopping. Yet, by following the inspiration, I will meet, talk with, or discover something that helps improve my business.

Your turn! What do you do to prepare for the new year? Share your comments and suggestions below…

Image credit: (top) Barry-Jansson & Associates
(mirror) ttatty

Embracing Your Seeds of Opportunity

seeds

Seeds germinate in the darkness, and push their way up through the soil until they finally see the light of day. Nature is constantly showing us the value of going within, and working our way through the darkness toward the light.

None of us escape the experience of pain, physical or emotional, within our lifetimes. In fact, the more we try to avoid it, the more likely we will attract more of it. (What we resist, persists.)

Abraham calls the opposite of what we want to experience (our desires) ‘contrast’. Why would all of us experience so much contrast if, as I often say, we are living in a benevolent universe?

All contrast, all pain has a purpose and a value.

Seeds of Opportunity

Think and Grow Rich author, Napoleon Hill, is famous for his statement that, “Every nhill_seedsopportunityadversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” This is also a common mindset of successful business owners.

While many people get stuck in and on the problem, and stay there, successful business owners look at the problem as an opportunity to shift strategies and try something new. The clue to the solution is often within the problem, itself.

Here are a few clues to consider along your journey:

  • Get into the vibration of the solution. The vibration of the problem(s) and the vibration of the solution(s) are at opposite ends of the energy spectrum. So, we must first let go of the idea that a problem is permanent or unsolvable, and open our mind to all the opportunities and benefits that our contrast contains.
  • Embrace each experience. The seeds of our growth, expansion, and prosperity lie within the ability to embrace every experience that our business has to offer, from the successes to the failures, and see the opportunities. Shake off the anger, resentment, and frustration because those keep you stuck at the vibration of the problem.
  • Train your eyes to see the opportunities. If you don’t currently have eyes for the opportunities, you can train your mind to look for them. Positive, powerful, and focused affirmations train your conscious and subconscious mind to look for the positive, powerful, and focused opportunities all around you.
  • Know which opportunities are right for you. You will know which ones are right for you by how they feel. If if feels exciting, fun, interesting, intriguing…light and good…then, check it out. If it leaves you feeling heavy or depleted, it’s not for you (at this time).
  • RELAX! I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: When we are relaxed, everything from our brains to our body functions better, and solutions come to us more quickly. Don’t know how to relax? Here’s a good place to begin: Get some rest and activate your joy list.
  • Use your knowledge to serve. After you’re rested, and have reaped the benefit from your contrast, use all the knowledge you gained from the experience to help others. In some cases, you will be paid to do this, as many healers and creatives are paid to help others. In some cases you might not, as when volunteering or when it can benefit humanity. The important part is making sure the value of the experience is harnessed and passed along to benefit others.

OK, now I want to know: How have you embraced your seeds of opportunity? Share in the comments, below.

Image credit: ipopba

The Key to Better Decisions

decisionsMaking good decisions is a big part of being alive, and has an even bigger role for the self-employed. Wouldn’t you love to know that you can easily improve your decision making skills while also improving your health, reducing your stress, and having more fun?!?

Sounds amazing, right. It is!

Relax Into It

As I’ve written before, there is tremendous power in relaxing on a regular basis. Research is showing us that when we’re relaxed, we think clearer. Solutions come to us quicker when we’re not stressed. Our DNA relaxes, too, opening up access to receptors that allow us to heal our body. The list of  benefits goes on. Plus, we’re also a lot more fun to be around when we aren’t stressed out of our mind.

Decisions Come with Ease

Marc Allen is a successful composer and the multi-millionaire founder of publishing house, New World Library. (He originally founded Whatever Publishing with Shakti Gawain, which later became New World Library). In this wonderful 2011 interview with Lilou Mace, Marc candidly and humorously shares his personal journey to creating and sustaining his successful business.

If you haven’t watched this before, grab your favorite drink and enjoy this inspiring conversation. (Even if you have watched it before, it’s fun to watch each time.)

Marc has thrived the most when he made regular time for relaxation, with his attention on appreciation and his custom affirmations…and struggled when he forgot his practice. As a result, he’s learned to build some serious relaxation time into his business, beginning with his unique work schedule. Marc works Tuesday through Friday, after 1pm only, and part of Saturday. The rest of the time he reserves to ensure he has plenty of time to rest, relax, and watch clouds float by. His business flourishes when he makes time for this important practice.

His examples shows that you can start a great business with little money, and grow it successfully with ease. Here’s his favorite affirmation:

MarcAllen_financialSuccess
After watching this video, and learning how relaxation, appreciation, and affirmations can improve your business decision-making, what are you inspired to do next? Please share your thoughts below in the comments.

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