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

Getting Into Agreement With Your Business

agreementWhat does the term “getting into agreement” make you think as a Conscious Creator of your business?

I must admit that when I first read that term, I got the impression of agreeing to disagree and forcing oneself to agree even when we don’t want to (or it doesn’t feel good). The idea, itself, was not appealing.

Getting into Agreement

Several days ago, I was looking in my library for a particular book that remained elusive as I came across Catherine Ponder’s classic Open Your Mind to Receive. Flipping it open, I came to the chapter entitled, “Your Gift of Agreement”, where the author references the ancient saying…

“When you agree with life, then life agrees with you. Always there is ground for agreement. Agree and withdraw in peace.”

Even that quote left me wondering if she intends for us to ‘stuff our feelings’ and go along to get along. If you don’t dig deeper, though, you could also be left with that incomplete impression.

Reading through a number of stories about how agreeing with their disagreeable circumstances allowed each person to succeed, I realized the connection between choosing to ‘agree’ and posts I’ve written about embracing every experience as a blessing, softening contrast, and being discerning about the labels we choose.

All of those posts were based on some profound personal and professional experiences that showed me how we *morph* the energy field around us in real-time as we shift our own energy and allow ourselves to see/feel good, no matter what is happening around us. I’ve literally experienced very dark experiences shift AS I made a conscious choice to see the good in the experience, then watched circumstances shift to reflect the good I was consciously choosing to see. Some would even call them miracles, although Conscious Creators would recognize Law of Attraction in action.

Agreement in Your Business

At some point in every business, you’ll have an experience with another person (vendor, employee, client, customer, etc.) or situation where this idea could not only make it much CPonder Agreement Quoteeasier to navigate, but allow the outcome to be pleasant for all involved.

Many who are not Conscious Creators are unaware of how the simple act of deciding we have a problem keeps the “problem” locked in place. The moment we begin to decide we are blessed, and that this situation is proof of such blessings, we’re opening the door to experience the blessings embedded in the problem—and to watch the solutions reveal themselves!

We have the power to free ourselves almost from the moment of acknowledging our belief that a problem exists.

Ponder encourages her readers to agree with the good in an adverse situation, even when it’s in the past: “When you agree with a situation by pronouncing it good—whether it seems to be good for you or not—you are agreeing with the unseen good in the situation. You are opening the way for it to appear.”

Your Business Is Listening

As you open the way for good to appear, you will notice opportunities, people, and solutions that elude those who are focused on the problem(s). This is the Law of Attraction revealing itself to us in every part of our life and business! Decide you have a problem, and you do.

The more you decide your problem cannot be solved, the less likely you’ll become aware of solutions. Decide that you are blessed, that there is good abounding in your situation(s), that everything and everyone is serving your highest good, and likewise you’ll be proven right!

Henry Ford was believed to have said, “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.”

Ponder shares a number of stories where people came together in agreement for the benefit of all involved, but she also reminds us that we can do this on our own by ‘speaking our agreement in our own heart’.

I’ve experienced this firsthand on many occasions. One time, I was dealing with a very difficult and abusive client. She was quarrelsome and constantly changing the specifications and scope, although she seemed unaware.

In the middle of her project, when I was not about to quit, this client called me and began insulting me over the phone. Instead of responding in kind (which anyone would have said I was justified in doing), I let her speak as I opened my mind to the idea that she was a blessing. I silently spoke Ho’oponopono to myself, and she began to calm down then excused herself from the call.

Although I was shaken from the experience, I also knew that if I didn’t clear my own energy, the difficult situation with this client would prevail. Then, completing the project would be even more difficult!

I stopped where I was in my office, put my hand on my heart, and took several deep breaths as though I was breathing through my heart. (This is the way HeartMath teaches first responders to calm themselves in the middle of crisis.)

From this centered place I thanked this woman for being a blessing in my life and business. I asked for white light and angels to support this woman in whatever crisis she was facing, and I gave thanks for the unseen support I was receiving. In just a few moments, I felt calm and clear, and ready to finish the project for this client.

From that point on, every time I dealt with this client she was congenial and easy going as if she was a different person! Yet…I had not said a word to her about her abusive behavior toward me. We had not experienced any of the drama that is normally involved in confrontations. The project was completed successfully, and everyone was happy.

Difficult clients can be declared a blessing, and frustrating business scenarios can be named a success. By opening the door to seeing our most difficult business issues as a blessing, we take our focus off problems and the universe responds. Even if you don’t know what the future holds for your business, you can start now by labeling your business a total success. Today, and every day.

Ponder also shares a story of a business woman who found herself in the presence of a man who talked lack, poverty, and limitation which left her feeling impoverished. This negative focus affected her own finances, and soon she was blaming this man for her failing business. Can you relate?

At some point, she remembered the power of agreement and chose to reverse her thinking, look past his negative attitude, and agree with the well-being in her situation.

She said to herself: “This man is in my life for my good and for my prosperity.”  Soon after, through this man, she received a lucrative business referral. Then, he faded out of her life by moving to a distant city. Nothing changed for her until she changed her own attitude, and declared the good in this man and her situation.

Recognizing our power to agree with the current circumstances, imagining it working for our benefit, we soon realize there is no such thing as failure. Even the most difficult experiences teach us something about ourselves and others.

Where can your business benefit from declaring success, and seeing the good?

Image credit: Composite created by Barry-Jansson & Associates
from images by Igor Goncharenko (sky) and rawpixel (people).

Staying Inspired in Your Business

staying inspired

For me, it’s not enough to just ‘get inspired’. Staying inspired in my business is very important to me.

One of the tools I use, and find very helpful, is to look for the inspiration I see in others – not because I want to do what they’re doing, but because I enjoy observing their energy, their inspiration which then boosts my own.

When we feel inspired, either on our own or through watching someone else, that is the signal we are sending out to the universe. Likewise, the Universe will mirror back that feeling of inspiration in other parts of our life and business.

Staying Inspired

It’s been said that we are the sum of the 5 people we hang around most. What if you don’t have business examples around you to find unique inspiration? Look for them in the greater world. Thanks to the Law of Attraction, the more you look, the more you’ll find!

Here are a few examples of who I take inspiration from:

Pete Nelson, ‘The Treehouse Guy’– If you’ve ever seen Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters, then you’ve witnessed this guy’s infectious enthusiasm for all things trees and treehouses. We’re not talking dinky little kid-only treehouses. He designs, then builds with a team, the kind of ideal-for-all-ages treehouses that make your jaw drop. Many include indoor plumbing, heating, internet/wi-fi and full electrical…and amazing views. It’s not hard to see why Pete is so enthusiastic.

What fascinates me is that Pete has a degree in Economics, but his heart had never grown tired of treehouses. His creativity and enthusiasm would not be contained. In a leap of faith, he and his wife decided to start a business based on treehouses . They built a few on their property for an event center and overnight retreats, and taught workshops on building treehouses. They also sell the supplies for making treehouses. Pete has written a number of books about the most amazing and beautiful treehouses all across the globe. That was many years ago, and now with the TV show where he custom designs and manages the building of treehouses all over the U.S., their company is reaching even more people.

I cannot imagine him doing anything else, and it’s addicting to watch the sheer joy and delight he delivers with each project. At the end of each show, he leaves his viewers with lesson from life he’s learned from the trees.

Even if you have invested in a more conventional education, but your heart is calling you to do more creative work, listen to your heart. If Pete and his wife could create a viable business out of treehouses, you can create one doing what you love, too.

Oprah Winfrey, ‘OWN Network’ – I have to mention Oprah, who has inspired millions of people for different reasons. The reason she inspires me? After 25 years of a highly successful TV show, Oprah didn’t owe anyone anything. She could have retired early and lived out a comfortable life as a billionaire. No one would have faulted her for doing so.

Instead of retreating or retiring, Oprah also followed her heart by starting her own television network that would feature unique shows others networks wouldn’t offer, such as Super Soul Sunday, spiritual conversations, and the stunningly beautiful series Belief, exploring how different and similar our beliefs are across the globe.

Starting a new network is not for the faint of heart, and Oprah had many doubts and fears. She did it anyway, because that is where her heart was calling her. She was willing to risk her fortune to make it happen. She was willing to walk her spiritual talk. Along the way, she’s healing herself and others.

If you have a cushy job and bank account(s), it can be scary to step away and try doing something that hasn’t been done before…or currently isn’t being done…to follow your heart’s calling. Yet, when we do, it just feels right…to us. Even if it doesn’t feel right to anyone else.

Neville Goddard, ‘New Thought Author and Lecturer’Neville Goddard is the first example here who is no longer alive, but still an amazing inspiration to me. He lived and worked in the 20th century, and died in the 1970s. There have been a LOT of people in the last 150 years who have been New Thought authors and/or lecturers, but (to me) very few have the ability to express metaphysical concepts so eloquently as Mr. Goddard. There is something about his writing that literally transports me AND allows me understand the concepts at a very deep level.

I’ve lost track of how many times I have sat in awe while re-reading Neville’s writings, realizing that I am understanding the material NOW at an even deeper level due to his phrasing and stories. In those moments, I am simultaneously filled with deep appreciation for his work as a metaphysical teacher AND inspired by his communication skills. It is my full intention to help others the way that Neville has helped me.

Neville didn’t set out to do this work. He was called to it by his own teacher, a Christian Mystic of Arab descent who recognized Neville as the one he was to teach the esoteric mysteries that had been handed down to him. They met when Neville was ‘inspired’ to attend a talk given by the man who would become his teacher. It took a while for Neville to recognize this calling, as well. Once he did, however, he never looked back and the world is so much better off for it.

If you haven’t found your calling, don’t despair. Stay curious and open to possibilities. Allow inspiration to direct you on your own path. It might be a path that you will have to create. Or, you might be creating a new branch from someone elses path. Trust that you are in the right place, with the right people, at the right time.

There are countless people who inspire me, and these are just a few. The ones who inspire me have followed their heart, despite their education and/or background. They excel at what they do, and their ‘heart’ shows in their work. I am inspired as a business owner by these people because they are showing me that I can follow my own heart, excel at what I do, and show my heart every day in my work.

It’s your turn: Who helps reignite inspiration for your own business? Share your insights in the comments below…

Romancing the Struggle

romancing the struggleIn my work with creative and healing business owners, I’ve noticed that some people really enjoy experiencing struggle. Where none exists, they’ll create some to ensure there is plenty to go around.

For these people, struggle makes them feel more alive, satisfying their need to complain, push against someone/something, and ‘have an enemy’ to confront.

Some are wired this way, and those who are not have subconsciously succumbed to the belief that there is no other choice—and they don’t question that thinking. Fighting amid the struggle allows them to justify the belief that nothing good comes without a struggle.

Romancing the Struggle

I know because a while back, I was among the unconsciously struggling group. I didn’t enjoy the struggles, but everyone around me was parroting that ‘life is hard’, ‘making money is a struggle’, ‘we all have to settle; no one can get what they want’. I listened to and believed their complaints and worries and fears, and never once did I question those thoughts.

At the time, I didn’t even realize I had a choice! I didn’t realize my own power to create struggle or create ease.

It took me a long time to realize that life was merely mirroring what I claimed to be true. I not only had a choice, but I could question the ‘life is a struggle’ thinking, and I could make room for ease and flow in my business…and every area of my life.

Bottom line: Your life and your business are only as difficult as you decide they are.

We decide each time we observe ‘what is’ and label it ‘the way it will always be’. Or observe others in struggle and claim ‘that will happen to me, too’. We can decide something different at any point, but only we can do it for ourselves.

If you enjoy romancing the struggle, then I’ll leave you to it. This post isn’t really for you, so you’re excused..carry on and have fun.

Ready to Start Romancing the Ease?

Here’s what you can do if you are ready to experience more ease and flow:

1. Decide to let go of your struggle romance. – Nothing can change until you decide you are ready to let that go. Write your struggle romance a break-up letter. Thank it for what it has taught you, and tell it goodbye. Then, get ready to make a new commitment. From time-to-time, you may benefit from re-committing to this decision when you find yourself slipping back into bad habits of struggle.

2. Make a new commitment. – Intend to experience more ease, flow, fun, and joy. Some people find it supportive to craft and use affirmations every day reminding them of that ease, which helps them move forward. Become a regular visitor to Easy World. Visualize the ease you’d like to experience. Tune into how you’d like to feel when all is said and done.

3. Question your thinking. – Once you’ve made the decision and commitment, start consciously choosing to shift your thinking into alignment.

What’s ‘in alignment’ mean?
• Thoughts that feel good are in alignment with committing to more ease and flow.
• Conversely, thoughts that feel bad are not in alignment with committing to more ease and flow.

When you find yourself spinning on a subject, getting caught in struggle, look at the underlying belief and apply The Work: Is this true? Can I absolutely be sure it’s true? How do I feel when I think this thought? Who would I be without this thought?

4. Increase your awareness of the physical feelings in your body. – The body compass can tell us way more than our mind, if we’re willing to listen to the messages. If you are stuck in your brain, chances are very good that you are obsessing rather than resolving your struggles.

Get still, become aware of your breath, feel your arms, hands, legs, feet, chest. Notice your heartbeat. As you sense your body, the thinking centers of the brain turn off. Notice where the tension is, and let it go. Notice where you feel tight, or have sensations like aches or pains or itching. Awareness of these sensations is not only healing, but opens space for old, stuck issues to come to the surface. This is an ongoing practice.

5. Find time every day to meditate and relax. – Brain science shows us that our best thinking happens when we’re relaxed, not when we’re stressed. Just 5 minutes a day of relaxed awareness on the breath begins to rewire our brain to be less reactive. There is a reason some successful companies require their executive staff to meditate regularly. You will be amazed by the health and mental well-being benefits of this one step, alone!

6. Look for ways to romance the ease already existing in your life. – Some people find it helpful to keep a gratitude journal, or an evidence journal, or a hybrid of both, to record the good, the ease, the miracles showing up in their life…and it’s a good way to become more aware of the ease already flowing.

7. Talk, Write, Think, and Act As If. – Put your new story of ease and flow into practice. Talk about the ease in your life. Write about the ease and flow. Think about (and give thanks for) the ease and flow in your life and business. Walk, drive, eat, and behave like a person who is immersed in ease. Be the business owner who embraces ease.

Now it’s your turn: Are you ready to let go of the struggle and begin romancing the ease? Have you already made the shift? Share your stories below…

Image credit: niserin

Managing the Naysayers

Managing the NaysayersHas this happened to you: Feeling good, joyfully setting and working toward goals that delight you when, seemingly out of nowhere, appear the naysayers discouraging your efforts.

Naysayers are the people in our lives finding fault with our decisions, questioning our ideas, and unable to believe in new possibilities.

You can tell a naysayer because they limited the possibilities in their own minds, and are convinced what is true for them is also true for others. They are known for generalized statements such as:

The field is over-saturated.

It’s impossible to succeed.

No one makes money doing that.

You’re going to fail.

I wouldn’t bother, if I was you.

You can’t afford that…

Sound familiar?

Naysayers

Those comments, by the way, are a sampling of what I was told after starting my presentation design business in the 1990s.

It was easy for me to dismiss them because I could really feel in my heart that this was the way to go…and the right time to do it.

Turns out, there was a great need for the services I was providing, and clients sought me out. The first year I replaced my corporate income and the second year I was earning six figures.

I remembered this 18 months later when I envisioned myself buying a new home and found that my real estate agent was, in fact, a naysayer. She didn’t believe in my ability, as a self-employed single parent, to afford a home of my own. Rather than help me find something in my budget, she gave me a map highlighting to the worst part of town (with houses ready to be demolished).

The Blessing in Naysayers

As with all contrast, there is a blessing in having naysayers in our life. They show us what *we* believe. If we are discouraged by naysayers, that reveals how we are not believing in ourselves. Even an inkling of worry or doubt in us will become triggered by the naysayers.

However, if we truly believe in what we are doing, then we cannot be dissuaded no matter what anyone else says or does. Naysayer comments will seem empty or almost comical because we know what we want, and we already feel the strong momentum of our success is underway. Like someone telling a builder it’s impossible to build a building when it’s already framed up and ready to finish.

If we recognize the naysayer for who they are, a person projecting their own fears, doubts, and limited beliefs, then it is easier to forgive them and move past their comments. This is what I did with my naysayer real estate agent.

Rather than argue with her or try to convince her that she was wrong, I recognized that she was just not with the program I had embarked upon. She didn’t see or understand the magic that I was already creating in my life. I mentally patted her on the top of her head, forgave her for not seeing the magic, and went around her to get approved by a mortgage lender and find the property I wanted to purchase. Then, I contacted her again to finalize the purchase.

Some people might have skipped that last step, and found a new agent who believed in them. Because I knew this agent personally, and knew she needed the sale (naysayers often live a difficult life), I wanted to help her out. I also wanted to share the magic I was creating, so she could open her eyes to new possibilities.

Tips for Managing Naysayers

  1. As always, it starts with you: Get clear on your decisions before you discuss them with others. When you are solid in your knowing, clear on what feels best to you, comments from naysayers will not bother you. In some cases, they might even amuse you.
  2. Be choosy. Chances are, you are aware of some naysayers in your life right now. Unless you enjoy conflict, be choosy about who has the privilege of discussing your business decisions with you. Not everyone in your life needs to know every business decision you have made.
  3. Naysayers who are closer to you: Significant other or a business partner, and/or both, who are naysayers really challenge our commitment to our choices. Managing naysayers who live and/or work with us requires us to really be in touch with how we feel, and be willing to own our power to make our own choices. When you know what is important and which decision feels best to you, you’ll be better able to detach yourself from their comments.If your business partner is constantly naysaying, despite your business decisions always working out well, it might be a good idea to renegotiate how you interact. Perhaps you can agree to each make certain decisions without each others approval. Or you might want to find a new business partner.
  4. When you are your own naysayer it is time to go within and figure out what’s going on. If you cannot trust your own ideas and decisions, it’s time to work on your self-love and self-esteem. There is no room for success and well-being when we lack trust in ourselves.
  5. Use the naysayer triggers to look at your own doubts and fears. When someone elses naysaying bothers you, it’s a good indication that you harbor some of those same feelings. Otherwise, their comments wouldn’t trigger you.
  6. Bless the naysayers. Yeah, you read that right: Mentally thank and appreciate the naysayers for either showing you your own doubts and fears, or for revealing how solid you feel on the topic. Either way, they are providing a valuable service, and that deserves some appreciation!

How have you dealt with naysayers? It’s your turn to share how you’ve dealt with the naysayers in your life…comment below so we can all benefit.

Image Credit: pixelbliss

Step Into Your True Power of Creation

5644742_s_standInPower_cropped

Dear Business Owners,

My deepest wish is for you to realize, and step into, your true power of creation.

Why is it that you think nothing of creating products or services for your clients—out of nothing more than sheer inspiration—yet you don’t realize that you have the same ability to create success in your business?

You are a powerful being capable of amazing creations and accomplishments. The ability to create success is your birthright. You may have forgotten it, but you can never lose it entirely.

Over the years, I’ve received countless phone calls and emails from you complaining about what is going wrong in your business and your frustration in how to fix it, yet the power to do so has always been within you from the time that you were born. In fact, you’ve (unconsciously) created your problems in the same way you can also create your solutions!

In order to create solutions, though, you first need to become conscious of, and step into, your own true power of creation. This is imperative for your business to grow and thrive.

Here is what you might be doing to block your own power:

Ignoring your inner guidance (intuition). You own inner guidance will always direct you in the right direction. When a decision needs to be made, know that the answer IS inside of you. Get quiet, know the right answer is present, and listen for it. Assume and feel that your Divine Self / Christ Consciousness is at work within you finding the perfect solutions, then be in that energy and listen. Be ready to take inspired action.

Doubting and questioning yourself. The more you question yourself and ask others, instead of listening for your own guidance, the more you are blocking your own intuition. Some take this so far that they end up stuck in the pit of victimhood. You are also sending a signal to the Universe that you don’t know of and are unaware of any solutions, which will keep them vibrationally elusive until your energy shifts. Release the bad habit of doubting and questioning yourself, or seeing yourself as a victim, and make a conscious choice each day to affirm and know that the perfect solution is coming into your awareness. Then, get ready to receive!

Chronic complaining, to yourself and to others. Do you remember a time in your life when you didn’t complain? For most of us, that was back when you were much younger, before you had developed a bad habit of complaining. Many of us grew up learning that the only way to relate to others was through complaining and fault-finding. Complaining is a habit that is a form of negative affirmation—which limit you and block you from receiving anything positive! The Universe is always responding to the signal you are sending, and complaints just tell the Big U to send you more that you can complain about! The good news is that you can replace a bad habit with a new better habit…like letting what annoys you point you in the direction of what you prefer, and appreciating your new preferences. Abraham calls that ‘Taking the Bounce’.

Getting caught up in the ‘outside world circumstances’. This is what I often hear: “But you don’t understand, this (fill in the blank) is my problem and as long as it exists, I’m screwed!” With a belief like that, you surely are! And yet, you are infinitely more powerful than any circumstance that comes your way…if you believe you are. The outside world is a reflection of what is going on inside of you, and nothing changes outside until you change yourself on the inside. This concept took me a long time to understand, and now Quantum Physics is showing us how this happens. Bashar has said, “Circumstances don’t matter. Only state of being matters.” When we’re so focused on ‘the problem’ being our roadblock, the Law of Attraction can only line us up with more of that. You are the only one with the power to create problems or solutions in your world. I know…that seems like a lot of responsibility. Take a deep breath! Take a few deep breaths. Taking full responsibility is the hardest part of the process, for most people, but doing so makes everything else much easier. What you created, you can begin anew and create differently from an upgraded perspective!

Resisting or refusing to create an environment for your success. I get it. It seems easier to stay where you are and keep doing what you’re doing. If that’s your preference, then keep doing it. But you’ll also have to let go of your expectation of improvement because that will require creating a different environment for your success. That might include changing how you talk to yourself and others about yourself and your business, who you spend time with, where you focus your attention, expanding what you believe is possible, using your imagination to focus on positive possibilities, and caring enough about how you feel to set strong boundaries. If your (internal and/or external) environment has been nurturing failure, then it’s up to you to change the environment if you expect a better outcome.

Here is what you can begin doing to unblock, and step into, your own power:

• Honor your inner guidance (intuition). No one has your back like your own inner guidance. Connect with and listen to your inner guidance on a regular basis. Doing so will make you very sensitive to how your guidance communicates with you. Over the years, my inner guidance has developed a shorthand that I know instantly what is right or not-so-right for me. I listen for it, feel for it, receive it, and honor it by taking appropriate actions based on the guidance. And yes, I ‘thank’ my inner guidance on a regular basis!

• Consciously choose to trust yourself. Ask your inner guidance. If the answer isn’t immediate, trust that your guidance will show up in some way. Perhaps it needs to come through another person or another situation that has yet to happen. Feel your higher self / Christ Consciousness working on your behalf, feel your appreciation for the support, then relax and focus on something that you enjoy. Sparks of insight usually occur when we are in a relaxed state of mind, often focused on something unrelated.

• Affirm, meditate on, and visualize your good. Everyday. As often as possible throughout your day. Let every thought and feeling (thought + emotion) you have focus on what feels better to you in any given moment. Train your mind and heart to lean toward the positive. In the beginning, this might take a lot of concentrated effort (depending on how long you’ve wired your brain to do the opposite), but after you’ve been doing it, it becomes easier and easier. Until, one day, you notice that it has become your ‘new normal’. Like a train (of thought) gaining momentum as it hits the summit and begins the route downhill. The cells of your body are like cells in a petri dish—affirming, meditating and visualizing your good not only uplifts your mind but also benefits every cell in your body. Your whole body will begin to vibrate at a higher level, attracting people, opportunities, and resources that you previously could not access vibrationally.

• Take full responsibility for your state of being. Let me restate: You are infinitely more powerful than any circumstance that comes your way. Everything changes (in a good way) when you take full responsibility for consciously choosing a positive state of being. Not just acquiring a positive state, but learning how to return to that state when an experience knocks you into the (vibrational) bushes.

• Nurture your success. Value yourself enough to consciously upgrade your self-talk (cultivating your own affirmations is a great way to do this). Choose your words carefully when speaking with others about yourself and your business, as you are creating what you think and speak. Be discerning about who you spend time with, be conscious of where you focus your attention throughout the day and as you fall asleep. Open your heart and mind by expanding what you believe is possible. Using your imagination to focus on positive possibilities, and caring enough about how you feel to set strong boundaries. If your (internal and/or external) environment has been nurturing failure, then it’s up to you to change the environment if you expect a better outcome.

But wait, you say…all of your recommendations is about ‘inner work’!

That’s right. 🙂

BLOG_InnerWorkThe most important part of business success is the inner work you do before you take any physical actions! Once your energy is positively aligned with the inner work, every action you take will be the ‘right one’ for you and your business. Therefore, your inner work is more important than, and bears a greater influence on, any other business actions you take!

Too many business owners take actions from a defeated feeling of failure, a mindset of doubt and mistrust, an unwillingness to imagine a better outcome, and end up nurturing their failure. Then, when the outcomes are poor, they observe what they’ve created and then have more proof of their failure, frustration, doubt, and mistrust. It’s a vicious cycle.

Rather than take full responsibility for their power, the unconscious business owner will blame others, the economy, or ‘circumstances’, completely unaware that THEY are the ones who created all of it!

Here’s the good news: It’s never too late to become a conscious business owner and step into our true creative power. Whatever we’ve created, we can begin anew and create differently.

By honoring our inner guidance, consciously choosing to trust ourselves, affirming/meditating on/visualizing our good, taking full responsibility for our state of being, and actively nurture our success.

That is how we step into our true power of creation as a business owner.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. Give it a try for yourself…and keep in touch. If you are struggling, I am here to help. If you’ve already been doing this inner work for a while, share below in comments what you’ve experienced so others may benefit.

 

Image credit: hjalmeida

Who Needs a Coach When I Have Friends?

Boy, this is a topic I have been meaning to write about for a while!

Whether you have voiced it or not, I am betting a number of you think talking to your friends is just as good as hiring a coach.


I know you think this way, because I used to think this waythat was, until I hired a coach when I was launching AffirmingSpirit.

It’s NOT the same – at least, not when you hire a good coach!

Over the years, several of my clients have been truly surprised to find coaching much more helpful than just speaking to their friends. There’s some good reasons for this.

A FEW IMPORTANT WAYS THAT COACHES DIFFER FROM FRIENDS
You might be friendly with your coach, but your coach has a much different relationship to you than a friend. A coach is your partner in moving forward and their only agenda is your ultimate success. Coaches know how to advocate for your best interest, even if you haven’t been willing to do that for yourself. The same may not always be true of friends.

Regardless of what they say, friends have a vested interest in you staying exactly the same as you are right now. Don’t be surprised if your friends try to talk you out of taking a risk, or pursuing a dream. If you grow, that might throw off the balance in a friendship, so friends, by their nature, are there to support you *where you are* but their agenda is not always in your best interest.

Friends are more likely to agree with you when you complain. While it might feel good momentarily to have someone agreeing with you, it doesn’t help you grow and it keeps you stuck in victimhood. A good coach will hear where you are coming from but also won’t let you get stuck there. They will show you new perspectives,  challenge you to envision something bigger for yourself, and encourage you to use your pain as your fuel in following your dreams!

Coaches will help you go farther than friends alone. You will get open, honest and direct communication from a coach. Your friends might be afraid to tell you what they really think. People who hire coaches are not only more productive, but they also have the encouragement they need along the way. Friends can be encouraging, to a point. After that, you are usually on your own.

Friends get tired of being your sounding board. If your friends are starting to avoid you, or have suddenly become too busy to spend time with you…it might be a hint. Coaches are trained to distance themselves so they can be your best ally. It’s like having your own helicopter guide scoping out the terrain ahead of you en route to your dream and showing you all the best routes.

You might not want to discuss some topics, even with a very close friend. This is especially true if you are starting a business or making a big change in your life. At times like these, the confidential relationship between you and a coach is invaluable! Do you want your friends to know all the issues you struggle with or minute details of the business you are launching? Didn’t think so!

ENJOY FRIENDS, HIRE COACHES
Friends and coaches each have their place, and don’t get me wrong: Friends are great ~ I highly recommend them! I have a whole bunch of them, myself. I just don’t go to them for coaching. That keeps my friendships in a positive place where we can focus on having fun and light encouragement.

Coaching is most often time-limited. When you are done with the coaching process, you may still stay in touch with the coach and might even revisit coaching at a later time, but the coaching relationship ends until you are ready to move forward again. Let’s hope your friendships are not time-limited!

If you think talking to a friend will save you the cost of hiring a coach, consider how you value your friendships. Is it worth losing friends to get some occasional advice that might not serve you in the long run? It’s a much better investment to work with a coach for a set period of time, and leave the coaching out of your friendships.

I’d love to know what you think of this topic. Share your comments below…

Effective Solopreneur: Trusting Into Not Knowing

Twenty days into March and this is my first blog post. It’s OK, though, because I’ve been actively practicing fully trusting into not knowing.

I fully trusted that when it was time to write a new blog post, I would know.

I fully trusted that life and business would deliver me subjects to write about as long as I stayed relaxed in not knowing.

I let go of demanding that I write a blog post just for the sake of writing a blog post.

There are probably Marketing Coaches writhing with frustration reading this post right now because they believe that every business owner needs to write a new blog post every 2 or 3 days. That may be a nice rule of thumb, but if you’ve read my blog for any period of time you know I don’t write fluffy posts about nothing just so I can meet a blog writing quota. I won’t do anything for my business that doesn’t feel aligned just to meet a quota because I understand the power of vibration in creating! If we aren’t positively aligned when we take action, then the results also won’t be positively aligned with what we desire.

Many successful entrepreneurs have a keen sense of intuition and an ability to quickly follow inspired action. We all know what it feels like to just *know* inside of yourself exactly what steps to take next and what is the right choice for you. You may even have read my blog post about this important business resource.

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you know very well that there are also times when you just don’t know. It can be frustrating and unnerving. Especially if you are used to *always knowing* exactly what you want to do next.

The vibration of frustration, though, is not conducive to receiving quality inspiration. Fighting anything, including the not knowing, actually puts us in a place of resistance rather than a place of receiving what you desire. Being in resistance manifests more experiences to feel resistance. So, how does one trust into not knowing?

It starts with letting it be OK to not know. For some, that means extra self-love. For others, it means addressing their impatience. Still others might really need to learn how to relax. Only you really know what emotions not knowing brings up for you. Learning to trust yourself, trust your guidance AND trust your not knowing are essential to being an effective solopreneur or business owner. For that matter, it’s essential for living a peace-filled joyful life.

When you allow yourself to be OK with not-knowing, even in a place of inner peace, some magical alchemy begins to happen: The fully allowed not knowing transmutes itself into a gentle understanding, and then into fully knowing. Gradually, your trusting energy is rewarded. You find it easy to allow what’s most important to bubble up to the surface, and soon the not-knowing shifts to knowing.

This morning, after spending nearly twenty days in not-knowing, I woke up knowing exactly what was most important to share at this time. Once again, I was reminded how relaxing into wherever you are can be one of the most helpful tools a solo business owner can possess!

What are your experiences in trusting into not-knowing? Share them below in the comments so we may all learn from each other.

Power Couple: Appreciation + Relaxation

We all know how great it feels to relax, right? Turns out relaxing in one of the most powerful things that a Deliberate Creator Solopreneur can do to be in a vibration of allowing.

Last week, I listened to a fabulous call on Good Vibe University lead by Abigail Steidley. The subject of the call was BodyTalk, tapping into the wisdom of the body to induce relaxation which aids our other manifesting skills, including inspired action. Earlier today, I was reading Jeannette Maw’s blog post about relaxation and the human tendency to resist it.

By now, you know that I see appreciation as essential to creating a life you love. It turns out that combining appreciation with relaxation is a powerful formula for health and success! Science now has some compelling reasons why you will want to begin consciously combining appreciation with relaxation.

Gregg Braden talks about this in his wonderful DVD, The Science of Miracles. It is one you will want for your reference shelf!

Here are some highlights from this DVD:

  • Scientific experiments conducted by the U.S. military have shown that human DNA responds to our emotions in *real-time*, not bound by time/space, as would normally be expected.
  • The HeartMath Institute studies have shown that when humans are in a state of appreciation, love and compassion, our DNA *relaxes* by stretching out long. Relaxed DNA enhances our immune response, making us healthier and better able to cope with the stresses of life.
  • Conversely, the HeartMath Institute found that when humans are in anger, rage, hate, jealousy, DNA tightened up into a knot, essentially shutting down and depleting the immune response.
  • We have the power, on demand, to shift the shape of our DNA and therefore our immune response, simply by choosing to feel appreciation and love.
  • Many ancient civilizations knew this, and told us how to use it in our daily life. Why is western civilization only now learning about this? Twice in human history, western civilization lost this information, whereas the eastern civilizations retained the knowledge.

Add to this knowledge Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s discoveries documented in his ground-breaking book, PsychoCybernetics: Humans are more likely to receive inspiration and find viable solutions when their mind and body are in a state of relaxation. Furthermore, all of this contributes to our overall sense of well-being and happiness.

Now can you see why it’s so important to go for that walk in nature, and spend time with your beloved pet(s), and consciously choose to look for reasons to appreciate your current life experiences? Together, appreciation and relaxation are powerful partners in controlling your DNA, enhancing your immune system, managing stress, connecting with inspiration, finding solutions, managing stress, and contributing to happiness and a sense of well-being.

OK, now it’s time to share what you’ve been thinking as you read this article. Have you already been combining appreciation and relaxation? If not, what will you do today to start?

Effective Solopreneur: Energy Management

Why Worry?Almost 20 year ago when I was going through a particularly frustrating period of my life someone gave me the Why Worry? graphic [see right].

At the time, I was going through a difficult divorce while raising a not-yet-diagnosed toddler with Asperger’s Syndrome, working full-time at a Silicon Valley company and spending a great deal of my time worrying about WHAT IFs. No doubt, all that worrying was a colossal waste of what little energy I had available.

My analytical left-brain appreciated the statistics about the pointlessness of worry. I’d read it to remind myself, but before long, I’d find myself worrying…again. Why was that happening?!? More importantly, what could I do about it?

Even though I could logically see that worry was a waste of time and energy, my creative right-brain had become quite dependent upon worrying. You see, I had trained myself (over many years) to worry… about everything. I was really good at it, too! That’s why my creative thoughts immediately went *there* time and time again.

My brain defaulted to worrying, and I was so stuck in that rut I didn’t know how to train myself to use my energy more productively. The sad truth is, most people who are addicted to worry do NOT know how to use their mind to focus consistently in more positive ways. Worrying requires incredible creative skills and use our imagination to think of the WORST possible scenarios so our mind can spin on them.

Since the Law of Attraction ensures that we attract into our experiences whatever we give our attention, you can see that worrying attracts more things to fret and worry about.

Imagine being able to retrain yourself to harness your creative energy, and use it in an empowering way!

> What would you be creating more of, as a result?

> What would you be creating a lot less of?

> How would your life and business benefit?

 

Is WORRY your default energy or attitude? Share below what you have done to manage your energy better…

PS: If the graphic helps you, too, just right click the image at right to download and print the PDF reminder for yourself.

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