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.

Finding Value in What You Offer

value

On Monday, I led a Business and Career call for Good Vibe University on the topic of Making Money Doing What You Love (Become a GVU member so you can have access to the recording.).

One of the questions on the call was, “How do we find value in the work we do?”

Since their work comes so easily to them, many creatives struggle to find the value in their art, music, dance, etc. They fail to see how much non-creatives value their fresh perspectives. Creatives open minds as well as hearts, inspiring and uplifting others.

Likewise, healers struggle to articulate the value of their offerings. Healers help those who cannot help themselves, often teaching new ideas about well-being along the way.

Just because what you do feels ‘easy’ for you doesn’t mean it has no value. In fact, the ease you feel is more likely an indication of your calling, and therefore, an even greater value to others.

If we’re unaware of our own value, it’s time to cultivate it…

    • Focus on past successes – One of the ways I was able to find value was to remember all the successes I had experienced in the past, from school, college, and all the jobs I held prior to starting my business. The last job I had before I started my design business was very similar, so I was able to find many examples. Make a list of the ways you’ve been of value to others, whether as an employee, self-employed, or as a volunteer.
    • Track appreciation – If you haven’t already started a warm-fuzzy file of positive remarks from bosses, co-workers, or clients, this is a good time to start one. You could also add it to your daily work journal. Find a way to start tracking the positive comments and responses all around you. What you focus on will expand, including the positive comments from others. In the process, you’ll begin to see your own value.
    • Go within and FEEL it – Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for decades, one thing all of us can do is…get quiet, go within, connect with Source, and FEEL our intrinsic value. All of us have a unique gift that only we can offer the world, which means we ALL have value, if we’re willing to see and feel it. For some it’s how they interact with people or objects, while others are exceptionally good at communicating, or creating something new from scratch. By going within and dwelling on what makes us unique, we prime ourselves to become more aware of and capable of expressing our value.
    • Affirm it every day – You’ve heard me say that EVERYTHING we think, speak, and write is an affirmation. We are either affirming what we want, or the opposite. (HINT: If you don’t want what you are thinking, speaking, or writing to be true, then it’s a clue that you’re creating what you don’t want.) Create your own unique and powerful affirmations. Affirm your value, affirm your skills, affirm your uniqueness, affirm your capabilities, affirm what you like about yourself. The more you affirm about yourself, the more your subconscious is impressed with the message and begins finding ways to mirror the affirmations back to you.

Affirmations work really well for right-brain dominant creatives. However, left-brain dominant analytical thinkers often struggle with affirmations. For the latter group, I recommend Afformations – affirmative questions, such as: “Why do my clients find me/my services so valuable?” “Why am I so unique and capable?” Why am I so skilled and appreciated?”

    • Keep your ‘Value Pipeline’ filled – The Universe is a BIG YES MACHINE, mirroring back whatever we believe about ourselves. Any of the tools mentioned above can help you get in touch with your own value. When you look for proof of past successes, track your existing successes, cultivate the feeling of value within, and affirm it (and/or afform it) regularly, your value will be mirrored back to you.

Once your pipeline is primed, and you are feeling your value, a lot of people stop…they get sidetracked…their connection to their value dips, and they have to start all over again. Prime your Value Pipeline and keep adding successes, meditating on your intrinsic value, and affirming. When contrast comes along, you’ll find the primed pipeline helps support you emotionally, and makes you mentally stronger.

Are there other ways that you have been able to feel the value in the work you do? Share them with us below in the comments…

Image credit: rangizz

All About Affirmations

affirmations[This article about affirmations first appeared in the AffirmingSpirit Newsletter in 2004. It has been revised and updated for the enjoyment of blog-readers.]

Regardless of what we want to accomplish or experience in our lifetimes, we need to have, and know how to use, the right tools. The proper tool not only assists you in doing the job right, it makes the process much easier. So it is with daily affirmations—a powerful tool to shift your attitude, energy level, and motivate you to make life changes.

The Origin of Affirmations

The exact origin of affirmations is unclear, although only the priests and elite members of ancient societies had the ability to read and write. It is believed that illiterate masses were taught snippets of scripture or prayer to repeat while doing their chores throughout the work day.

We can affirm a positive or a negative, so for the sake of this post, I’m referring to positive affirmations. What we focus upon, we expand…and affirmations allow us to consciously choose our focus.

In the 1800s, Émile Coué (French psychologist and pharmacist) became famous worldwide for his life-changing ‘auto-suggestions’. He was noticing that, despite being given the same medications, some of his patients were healing more quickly than others. As he talked to his patients he discovered that those who healed the quickest were very positive about their health and had very positive self-talk. Those patients in poor health spoke mostly about their problems and disappointments. Noticing this discrepancy, he wondered if he could teach his patients with poor health to have better self-talk.

Coué developed one simple affirmation, that he called an auto-suggestion, which he gave to all his ill patients along with their prescriptions:

Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better and better!

It soon became very clear which patients were using the affirmations, as they were the ones who recovered. That affirmation has become one of the most famous and often quotes. Mr. Coué went on to write and share his idea of auto-suggestion, which today we call affirmations.

Like any tool, affirmations work best when used properly and regularly.

The Most Powerful Affirmations Are:
1. Written in the present tense
as if what you desire has already appeared in your life.
2. Contain positive wording and do not contain words like no, not, don’t, can’t, won’t, etc., or words relating to what you are choosing to leave behind.
3. Evoke joy or an uplifting emotion when you read them. If they make you smile or giggle, that’s good, too!

Every human being is unique, so I have found that the best affirmations are those that are customized for each person’s interests and emotions. Are there some generic affirmations that feel good to read? Sure. But, they easily become ineffective because they stop producing a positive emotional response. If you have been doing affirmations without seeing a result, check to see if they adhere to the three guidelines above.

Here are the 5 ways that daily affirmations can be most effective:

1. Focusing/refocusing your attention
You attract into your life what you think about, and yet life in the 21st century is so fast-paced that we are constantly bombarded with conflicting messages. This is why so many people have chaotic lives. How can anyone stay focused on positive thoughts? Properly crafted affirmations help you stay focused upon, or refocus your attention upon, your consciously-chosen subject(s). Saying, reading, or thinking your affirmations every day will keep you on track, or get you back on track, with ease.

2. Shifting your attitude/energy
Scientists tell us that the world is made up entirely of energy, and that we can impact that energy with our thoughts. The energy you carry in your body can either be stressful and unhappy, or it can be joyful and uplifting. These thoughts that evoke emotions trigger the release of hormones that alter the chemical make-up of your body. The good news is that we get to choose which energy we want to carry, and we get to choose how we respond to external stimuli. Affirmations that evoke a positive or uplifting feeling are the perfect tool to ensure that you are carrying the kind of energy that makes you happy. The longer you use such affirmations, the more your body and mind will become accustomed to that energy. Over time, being joyful and happy will become a habit you won’t want to break! The next time you are feeling blue, start saying some of your favorite affirmations and you will see how quickly your energy shifts!

3. Releasing old thoughts that no longer serve you
All of us have, at one time or another, experienced something we’d rather not have experienced. As a result, we may have developed some thoughts or attitudes that keep us stuck in that past experience. For instance, someone who was not popular in high school may have convinced themselves that they don’t deserve appreciation or admiration from others. Of course, this is not true, but a past belief—so embedded into your mind that you don’t consciously think about it—can be dictating your present choices and attitudes. Such a person could begin with affirmations like… I naturally attract relationships with people who appreciate me…Everyone I know and meet loves to interact with me…People naturally enjoy my company and I enjoy being myself!

4. Creating new possibilities for happiness
Abraham, as seen in The Secret, has said that when you focus on what’s wrong in your life you only create more of what’s wrong in your life. However, if you momentarily ignore what you see around you and consciously focus on what you’d prefer to experience, you will, in that moment, begin opening the door for the new possibility of your preference. The mind does not know the difference between reality, a past experience, or imagination. Affirmations allow you to use AffirmingSpirit Affirmation Cardsthe power of your imagination to create new possibilities for your future happiness. Some people consider this praying, and in fact, it is believed that affirmations were first created when simple prayers were memorized by illiterate churchgoers. Worry and anger is praying for what you don’t want. Positive affirmations are praying for something you do want.

5. Attracting consciously rather than by default
Most people are taught that life is hard and everyone has to struggle for everything from happiness to money. This is just a past thought that has been passed along through the generations. As a result, most people expect to be miserable and have problems, and they attract just that. When you write your own affirmations, you get to choose how you want to feel and experience your life. That conscious choice, and the effort you make to say your affirmations regularly, means you are no longer living your life by default—tolerating whatever comes your way. Instead, your attention, energy, and thoughts are all focused in the same direction toward what you have consciously chosen to experience. That is a powerful and effective way to create a life you really want to live!

6. Establishing a Daily Affirmations Practice
Like any exercise for the body, affirmations are most effective when used daily. Most people cringe at this thought—until they put it into action and experience the results. Initially, you may need to read your Affirmations. But, soon, you will begin to know them by heart. At that point, you can say them while you are driving to or from work, during quiet times throughout the day, and while you are exercising.

It is not uncommon that when we first say an affirmation, it might feel awkward. Some people resist affirmations because they sound like a lie. We might not feel well, or be struggling, so affirming that we’re doing well in that moment can be a stretch. But as we continue to repeat an affirmation that lights us up, our consciousness will expand to include the idea the affirmation evokes. Repetition is important for this reason.

Author and speaker Chellie Campbell likes to do hers while she brushes her teeth. That way, she’s sure to have time to do her affirmations every day! I say them throughout the day, while exercising, driving, cleaning/tidying, and whenever else I feel inspired.

Find a time that works for you, and begin your daily practice. You may be surprised how easy—and effective— doing daily affirmations can be!

7. Taking Baby Steps Versus Quantum Leaps
If you are struggling from paycheck to paycheck, it may seem strange to say affirmations like I am a joyous multi-millionaire! While it absolutely is possible to make a quantum leap from being broke to being flush with money, if such an affirmation feels wrong to you on every level, then it won’t work. It’s very important, as Abraham constantly points out, to pay attention to how you feel. Affirmations are most powerful when they make you feel happy and uplifted, or at the very least: expansive.

It is important to note here that affirmations help us expand our consciousness, and that process often does FEEL awkward at the beginning. By the time an affirmation feels like it is already happening, that is an indication that your consciousness has expanded to incorporate the new idea. So, when you commit to an affirmation every day for a few weeks, and it still feels awkward, you might be trying to take a quantum leap in consciousness before you are ready.

For those who don’t quite feel ready for a quantum leap, their best approach to affirmations might be to make baby steps using ‘bridge’ affirmations that move you incrementally toward your desire. Instead of I am a joyous multi-millionaire!, start with a baby step—from where you are to where you want to go—that feels better and more doable. In this example, imagine yourself living comfortably off your current income, having money left over, and receiving raises that allow you to live even more comfortably. Good affirmations might be…Every day I am feeling better about my income!…My paychecks are lasting longer and longer!…My income is growing every day…Money flows easily to me, and I enjoy receiving extra money! Soon, you will find your mind can easily expand to accept ideas that previously seemed too extreme.

Afformations, made well known by Noah St. John’s book by the same name, are also helpful for people who struggle with using traditional affirmations. Afformations are affirmations in question form, often starting with ‘Why’. They work because they bypass the conscious thinking mind while triggering the subconscious mind to find the answers. Examples might be…Why am I feeling better about my income? Why are my paychecks lasting longer and longer? Why is my income growing every day? Why is money flowing easily to me?

Also, repeating a single word or a few words, rather than a phrase, can also help you tap into a higher vibration while bypassing your conscious thinking mind. For instance, you  might take the words ‘health, love, prosperity’ and repeat them slowly, mindfully for a few minutes several times a day, or during a meditation or while doing chores. When I do this, I find myself becoming aware of the health, love, and prosperity already present in my life.

Follow Your Intuition
The bottom line is that YOU know which affirmations feel best for YOU. Yes, you really do! When something is right for you, it feels good…joyous…oh-so-right! Focus on the choices that feel really good, let Source speak to you, and follow your intuition to your perfect path. Whether they are quantum leaps or baby steps, customizing your affirmations to your level of joy is key to their effectiveness!

Need more help with your affirmations?
Trust your own feelings, as they are your personal guide to what is best for you. If you still feel you need help, download my free Six Steps to Powerful Affirmations eCourse which will guide you to write your most powerful affirmations. Feel free to share the link with your friends, too!

If you’re still needing help, I am happy to offer paid mentoring to help individuals overcome their unique blocks to getting the most from affirmations.

Have some positive experiences with affirmations? Share them with us in the comments section…

Q&A: Help Me Fix this Nightmare Business Partnership!

BadPartnership_croppedToday, I have a Q&A to share. The question is long and the response is, too, but bear with me if you are in a similar situation. My intention is that it helps the questioner and many others.

As many of you know, while I support many people with my AffirmingSpirit teaching and mentoring, those who are most likely to hire me are creative and healing business professionals. I field questions on an on-going basis, and like to share those that could apply to a wide range of business owners.

Today’s question is this:

I don’t know how to manifest a positive outcome. I’m trying to reframe this situation in my mind and I am having such a hard time, so here it is unfiltered:

– my husband became 50/50 partners with what we now consider to be a bad person (I honestly tried to hold a vibration that he was a good, logical and reasonable person and truly feel that I was creating resistance by not accepting “what is” at the time…)

– In an ill-attempt to save money, they never hired a lawyer to formally draw up their contract, so the only thing that proves they were 50/50 owners is how they have run the business the last 8 years (which I do feel adequately proves that)

– in January, they verbally agreed on a buyout settlement amount where his business partner would pay my husband for his 50% of the business (this was an incredibly conservative and reasonable number that a trusted 3rd party came to based on company valuations that we agreed to because we wanted to get the hell away from him and his bad vibes).

– After this buyout settlement, we sold our home and moved 3hrs away, going into significant debt to make it all happen…all while waiting for the buyout to complete (it was never expected to not be settled by March-April timeframe)

– Since then, his business partner has dropped the amount and keeps adding bills/fees to the equation (which of course even further lowers the amount)

– As of last night, he now literally wants us to PAY HIM to take full ownership of the company. I literally can’t think straight because I cannot even begin to comprehend what is going on in his mind. This was a thriving business mind you, and my husband already transitioned his clients over to the business partner in good faith.

I just feel all the wrong things right now. I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I feel like he is trying to royally screw us and I guess I am just wondering…if this were you, if you found yourself in this situation, how would you manifest a positive outcome?

Most business owners will admit that, at one time or another, they’ve had an experience where they “trusted someone” in relation to their business and the situation did not work out as they thought it would. Now in my 21st year in business, I am no exception to this.

However, as a business teacher and mentor, my job is not to commiserate with you, but to help you gain a new, more helpful, perspective. So here is my take on this question, which could apply to many business owners who have an on-going issue with business partners or vendors or clients, or all of the above.

• First, I’d like to invite you to imagine that this situation, in all its drama and he-said/she said, is actually a HUGE BLESSING in your life and your business. Are you willing to open the door to that possibility, even if you don’t exactly see how to get there right now? If not, then go relax and come back when you can.

As someone who has been through this process many times, I can guarantee you this situation (and this person who is involved) is a wonderful gift—even if you cannot see that right now. When you’re ready, let’s see how that could be so…

• Secondly, it’s good in these red-hot moments to remember: Nothing is ever set in stone. Whatever we’ve created, we can re-create, because energy is always responding to our intentions. This is true for everything, including our businesses. We can conjure new emotions, new attitudes, new perspectives that replace the old ones, and we can practice the new long enough that the old begins to fade away from our experience.

If you and your husband are willing to take the time to heal the underlying issue that created this and work together to create a new, more empowering outcome for all involved, this could be one of the experiences that improves both your relationship and your financials moving forward.

Let’s begin looking at the question itself: The first point that stood out for me is the mention of the business partner long being considered a ‘bad person’.

Conscious business owners understand that everything is energy, and that the Universe is always mirroring back what we send out via people, situations, and events. We call this mirroring effect “The Law of Attraction”. Catherine Ponder calls it the Law of Radiation and Attraction, to explain the energetic round trip.

Situations like this are the way a business owner shifts from the mainstream business of “us against them” world, to being a conscious business owner who understands the role of energy in creating results.

Whenever we observe something we don’t like, and label it (in this case: business partner is a ‘bad person’), that label and the energy behind it becomes the *signal* that we are sending out to the Universe. The label is, itself, a repetitive affirmation!!! The Universe can only mirror back to us what we send out.

What kind of mirror can Universe provide if you’ve decided that the other party is a ‘bad person’? That’s right: Universe will show you ALL the ways that it’s possible for the other party to behave badly! Sounds to me like your affirmation of ‘bad person’ has been working like a dream! (And to think people tell me they can’t get affirmations to work for them…yet they forget about all the negative affirmations they are using that overpower the positive ones!)

Remember, the Law of Attraction always makes us *right* by mirroring back to us energetically what we are sending out. Is now the time to begin sending out a different signal?

This is also how a conscious business owner discovers what energy they are REALLY sending out. Issues with business partners, vendors, and/or clients is just *information*…letting you know where your energy is coming from on this subject. Change your energy, and the world around you must shift. By law (of attraction), it must.

Ignoring this information, or blaming the other party, makes you a victim and shuts down your ability to take control and create something different. You’ll remain in deadlock until you energetically regain your power by taking ownership and taking the next-steps.

In my experience with this, the initial *sting* of taking responsibility is soon followed by a deeper understanding of why I created this experience (usually to heal a previous trauma) and then, surprisingly (!) a deep appreciation for the other parties involved for helping me *see and heal* the previous trauma. In the end, taking responsibility is freeing and leads to many good things.

• The Questioner wrote: I honestly tried to hold a vibration that he was a good, logical and reasonable person and truly feel that I was creating resistance by not accepting “what is” at the time…

Is it possible that the real source of the resistance was labeling and affirming this business partner as a ‘bad person’ while simultaneously choosing to feel good about them?

This is not about ignoring what is…as ‘what is’ is only an energetic reflection of what you’re sending out. What you are describing is actually a great real-life example of counter-intentions: Affirming one thing (‘bad person’) while simultaneously trying to force yourself to feel good about this business partner. The energies are at cross-purposes, splitting your energy, leaving you feeling the resistance. Until you pick a side and commit to that, your split energy will create a feeling of resistance within.

• The next few segments of the question focus around the legal issues. I won’t comment directly on those, except to ask a question…

What would cause us to choose to put ourselves and our businesses in a situation that could make us vulnerable in the future?

This is an important question because it might actually help us understand how this situation is really a blessing! If you cannot answer this question immediately, then just hold it lightly, as we continue to move forward. The answer will come to you, when you are ready.

As I see it, both you and your husband have an opportunity to heal yourselves, improve the situation, and strengthen your own partnership through this situation. Are you beginning to see how, then, this situation is really a gift for both of you?

• The Questioner wrote: …all while waiting for the buyout to complete (it was never expected to not be settled by March-April timeframe)

In this next part of the question, it sounds to me as if you and your husband took some calculated risks based on the decisions you had made with your business partner…aka the ‘bad person’. Calculated risks are common for business owners. The energy behind calculated risks is more important than the actions themselves. Like any part of life, if you are more vibrationally aligned with your intentions, the actions taken will likely result in a positive outcome.

The good news is that it’s never too late to become vibrationally aligned!!!

So, now that you’ve created and repetitively affirmed the ‘bad person’ business partner, and the Universe is lovingly mirroring that back to you, showing you how many ways they can be bad…was the risk of moving and starting over calculated from a place of empowerment…or from fear and ‘we’ve got to get away from this bad person?

I don’t know about you, but having my entire financial future resting on the completion of the buyout, that I never set up legally, could potentially put me in a place of desperation, victimization, with a strong attachment to the outcome in a specific timeframe.

• The Questioner wrote: I literally can’t think straight -and- I just feel all the wrong things right now. I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I feel like he is trying to royally screw us

These statements (affirmations) are another clue about your vibe…and of course, when your vibe is low, you will NOT be able to think straight. No one can. It’s physically impossible for the brain to function clearly when our vibration is that low. So, when you feel this way, don’t even try to find solutions because you are not vibrationally in the vicinity to receive them.

Go find a way to relax. Take a walk. Take a nap. Take a hot, aromatherapy bath. Cuddle with your pet(s) or children. Call a friend and get your mind off the ‘problem’ for a while. Do whatever it takes for you to find a better feeling place on this subject.

For what it’s worth, when I feel like this, a nap is often the fastest and most efficient way of releasing the energetic kink. Before I drift off to sleep, I’ll invoke ‘Easy World’ by stating, “I live in Easy World where everything is easy, including creating the best possible outcome for (fill in the blank).” Many times, when I wake up after doing this prior to a nap, I am in a much more clear space to think how I’d prefer to experience this outcome.

If this were me, this is how I would re-create this situation:

I’d start reframing this situation by having my husband and myself acknowledge our individual roles in creating the situation, because that is the place where your power to shift the energy resides. Until you do, you remain victims.

I’d remind myself that…

Abraham tells us that the greater part of us, our Inner Being, will only side with the viewpoint of Source Energy. Source sees love and appreciation in every situation. Source know the blessings abound, even in the midst of what we perceive as contrast. So anytime we are focusing in a way that Source Energy would not perceive a situation, it leaves us feeling the negative discord between our viewpoint and that of Source Energy.

…and ask myself how Source might view this situation, and how I might be able to see it the same, someday soon.

Healing Past Traumas
To heal whatever allowed us to set up a situation like this, I’d have my husband and I do the following exercise on our own…and compare notes afterward.

This is experiential, so don’t just read it. Do the following in this order…

1. Put your hand on your heart, and take your conscious, thinking energy (hovering around your brain) inside your body to the area around your heart.

2. Ask yourself how this entire situation feels emotionally to you. The descriptive words are less important than the actual physical feeling. Fully allow yourself to feel that feeling in your body.

3. With the feeling in your body, ask: “When was the first time that I felt this feeling?”

4. Usually, an immediate answer will come to you. If it doesn’t, stay with the feeling and the question until you know. Don’t be surprised if tears of relief show up upon realizing the emotional connection.

5. Once you remember the situation that felt the same, ask yourself: Based on what I know now, how could I *see this previous trauma differently*?

Allow yourself to acknowledge that you previously did not have the skills or strength to heal this trauma until now, feel the emotional charge release, let yourself cry if tears want to flow, and internally know how you would handle it differently.

This does take some self-awareness, but any adult can do this. Often, we are only provoked into healing a past trauma when a crisis makes it necessary.

6. Know that this whole situation and the person(s) involved are here to help you heal THAT situation. Without them, you would not have had the opportunity to review this previous trauma from a more adult point of view!

(If either of you are like me, the original situation happened earlier in your life when you were either too young or too inexperienced to know how to fully process your feelings. So, those feelings became energetically stuck in your unconscious for healing at a later time. Like right now!)

7. When you feel the charge lifted, appreciation is often the result. Silently surround the situation and parties involved with white light and love, then thank all involved for showing up ‘as the bad guy’ so that you could review this earlier life trauma from a more enlightened, conscious point of view. Feel the appreciation in your heart and stay with it as long as it feels good.

(This is the point where I often feel DEEP appreciation and am humbled that someone would be willing to play the ‘bad guy’ role in order for me to heal. Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage,” and I see us as the writer, director, and primary actor of our whole life, with others playing the supporting roles. Also, I see this as a HUGE blessing…how about you?)

Now is a good time for you and your husband to share your discoveries with each other. You may each be surprised that the emotional trauma was different for each of you, but they still *brought up emotions that needed to be healed* in relation to this situation.

In the past, when I’ve done this process, I’ve discovered parts of me that felt unheard or unappreciated or unsafe. The moment that I was able to connect emotionally to a past trauma, I realized that the current ‘crisis’ was not about the other person, it’s ENTIRELY about me recreating past trauma!

Nothing ‘out there’ can ever hurt us. Our true source of suffering is our faulty beliefs we have going on inside of us. A Course In Miracles (ACIM) tells us that the outside world is an illusion, just a reflection of the meaning we’ve applied in our inner world. When we shift our inner world, the outside illusion will also shift.

After taking responsibility and healing my past trauma, my energy becomes remarkably clear. From this space, I’d begin re-imagining the preferred outcome. (If you have not read Neville Goddard’s approach to changing the past through ‘re-visioning’, check it out in Chapter 3 of The Law and the Promise.)

This ‘re-visioning’ is an exercise that you and your husband can work on together. (Hint: If you’re stuck, start by writing everything you don’t like on separate lines, then next to each write the opposite of each item. The ‘opposite’ of contrast is pointing you toward what you prefer. Take the bounce!)

I’d also begin making a list of how this experience was a blessing, starting with:

1. The situation allowed me to acknowledge a past trauma I had forgotten
2. A chance to heal that past trauma and see it with new eyes
3. An opportunity to create something better through transformation
4. (keep adding to the list, as the blessings show up)
5.

I’d call upon the ancient Hawaiian technique of Ho’oponopono to further clear my energy around the subject, and infuse it with love and appreciation. Not only have I found this to work, but I find that it is very pleasant to experience.

Florence Scovel Shinn said something like, Divine Love is the most powerful chemical in the Universe, dissolving everything that is not of it. Wow, that’s powerful. For that reason alone, I’d find reasons to energetically flood all parties involved with Divine Love, including myself!

In my experience, when I felt that I needed to deliver a message to someone but knew they would not be open to hearing it from me, I envision them receiving the message from someone else from whom they would be able to receive the message. I don’t need to be the one to deliver it, and I don’t need to dictate who will deliver the message, as long as the message is received.

Or, I’d visualize my higher self speaking to their higher self, sharing the message from a loving and kind place.

So, I might see my business partner receiving the message that assets and liabilities are always divided equally, and that there can be no charges (liabilities) added where there are no assets also added. I’d envision that, despite the lack of a legal agreement, everyone involved chooses to be treated fairly. I’d envision this partner receiving and acknowledging that is how they would also wish to be treated, feeling encouraged to take the first steps toward correcting this situation.

Despite past appearances, or actions, I’d envision an outcome where all involved are treated fairly and honestly.

I’d envision everyone walking away with a smile and a good feeling in their heart.

I’d see the checks to pay off all debt easily being written, placed into envelopes, and mailed (or see myself paying off the debt online).

I’d feel and milk the relief of having all the debt paid off, and knowing that the energy is cleared between myself and the other parties.

I’d revisit these visions and feelings every day, perhaps several times a day, and every time I thought about this person or situation, I’d review my list of blessings until I felt an emotional shift. Then, in this better-feeling place, I’d revisit the positive outcome visions again.

I’d milk all the positive emotions in other aspects of life and business. Despite how we might feel like everything is going to hell in a hand-basket, the truth is that often 80-90% of our life is going really well. We’ve just been focusing on the 10-20% that’s off and letting that define our life and business! Crazy-making, huh?!?

In my experience, when I’ve taken the steps above, positive shifts take place first within me, and then they are mirrored in the world outside. How long it takes depends on me, and how committed I am to the ‘new story’ and ready to let go of the old one (including those old affirmations).

Thank you very much to today’s questioner for being vulnerable enough to ask the question, and willing to let me share this publicly on the blog. I can easily imagine that this is helping them as well as many others!

Is there anything else that you would say to this questioner? If so, please take a moment to share it below in the comments…

Image credit: elisanth

Watch Those Labels!

plane_with_label_trimmed

Do you find yourself observing life and labeling what you see as good, bad, or otherwise?

When most people think of affirmations, they think of POSITIVE affirmations. However, we can affirm a negative as easily as a positive. Whatever we focus upon and tell ourselves, or others, is a form of affirmation. How we FEEL inside when we say an affirmation gives us a clue whether it was a positive or a negative affirmation.

If a statement feels light and good to say, it qualifies as a positive affirmation. If a statement feels heavy and low vibration, then that would be a negative affirmation.

In fact, if you are often depressed or struggling to think positive, it is very likely you affirm more negatives than positives. Try reminding yourself to state more positives than negatives, and you will find yourself feeling better. Positive psychology research shows that a 3 to 1 positive to negative ratio is the tipping point for feeling happier¹.

We also affirm, either negatively or positively, when we apply labels to our situation.
This matters because our sub-conscious is ALWAYS listening and acting on what we are saying (aloud or to ourselves). The good news is that we can change what we affirm and change the outcome!

For instance, recently I arranged for a friend to take me to the airport so I could attend my mother’s funeral back East. I scheduled him to pick me up so we would arrive at the airport 90 minutes before takeoff, and I set my alarm 3.25 hrs before the pickup time.  Through a series of events about which I will not elaborate (I’ve learned not to expound on the frustrating stories), I managed to oversleep my alarm AND not hear the phone calls my friend repeatedly made when he came to pick me up. With the time to leave for the airport passing, I suddenly heard my phone ringing downstairs and it finally woke me up.

As you can imagine, I was in a state of panic and very vulnerable to labeling this situation a disaster when I realized I had overslept by 3 hours and could miss the plane if we didn’t leave as soon as possible. My friend is a Veteran, so his military training kicked in when he finally got me on the phone and realized I had only just woken up. To the degree that I was losing it, he was calm and collected.

He quickly parked his car in the culd-a-sac, and reassured me over the phone that we would take it one step at a time. My friend came in to help me take out the garbage, and lock up the suitcase before taking it out to the car. In my panic, shoving things in the suitcase, he suggested I postpone all non-essential actions, and put on my makeup while he drove to the airport.

When he took my suitcase out to his car, the local police were giving him a ticket for his back tire being more than 18 inches from the curved curb of the culd-a-sac (it didn’t look that far away, but I was still freaking out, in a hurry to get to the airport). This was just an unbelievable series of setbacks. My friend wouldn’t even had to park if I had been on time, so I made sure I gave him the money for the ticket.

Between my lateness and my friend dealing with the police, we were running 35 minutes behind getting to the airport.

As a side note, I am so *blessed* that I had opted for my friend to pick me up rather than a commercial car service! The latter would have called me once and left when I didn’t answer the phone the first time. My friend had patiently and repeatedly called and emailed over a 20 minute period. He even tried contacting me through Facebook, hoping to reach me. So, my best decision by far, in this scenario, was having the forethought to ask my friend if I could pay him (a single Dad) to take me there.

I hope you can imagine how frantic I was feeling, knowing how important it was for me to catch this flight. Fortunately, my friend was newly introduced to the teachings of Abraham. So, as we drove off toward the airport, he picked up on my efforts to positively label and affirm the situation.

Our conversation went something like this:

Me:(as my friend hands me the keys to my locked suitcase and starts his car) OK, we are going to get to the airport on time! (positive affirmation)

Friend: We’ll make it. (positive affirmation) Good thing you had mostly everything pre-packed. (supportive positive affirmation)

Me: Yeah, I did everything I could do in advance last night. Of course, I expected to have 3 hours to leisurely take care of the rest this morning. (based on the emotion I was feeling while saying this, it qualifies as a negative affirmation…this would have been better left unsaid)

Me: Time is malleable…it changes according to our beliefs about it. (determined positive affirmation reminding me why this was going to work out)

Friend: That’s right, it is! (supportive affirmation)

Me: I’m going to make this flight! (positive affirmation)

Friend: When is it your plane is taking off?

Me: 90 minutes from now.

Friend: Oh, then we’ll be fine! (positive affirmation) I’ve caught flights before with only 30 minutes to takeoff! (supportive affirmation)

Me: You have?!? Wow…ok, then I can relax! (supportive positive affirmation)

I must admit that as soon as he affirmed that he’d made flights with less time, I immediately felt the relief…and regained my ability to breathe normal.

And, indeed, I did get to the airport in time!

As I checked my bag, Security was to the left and past that, my gate was the first one on the right…and they were already boarding. I caught the flight, despite waking up so late, and I know that our positive focus is part of the reason why.

In my panic at the realization of how late I was, my brain wanted to label this a hopelessly BAD disaster. I was very vulnerable to falling into a trap of believing that all hope was lost, and letting my ‘label’ override other thoughts and drive other actions. It would have been easy to agree with ‘what is’after all, I *did* woke up 3.25 hours late.

But I am savvy enough to know the power of labels and affirming what I prefer rather than what is. I know that situations morph in seconds when we affirm with true feeling and conviction, and hold that truth in our hearts even when ‘what is’ is contradicting.

Keep in mind that I didn’t develop this skill overnight…I’ve been practicing affirming new stories for decades, and I’ve had many experiences where the seemingly *impossible* came together for me after I committed to affirming my preference.

Since our labels become affirmations for our life experiences, it’s good to pay attention to what you have been labeling good, bad, right, wrong, solution or problem in your life. There’s good news here, as labels and affirmations are not set in stone.

If you notice where your labeling has been holding you back, make the decision to change the label and begin affirming your preference over the appearance of “what is”. You’ll be amazed how quickly things morph when you recognize the need for a label change and consciously choose to affirm what feels better to you!

Do you have stories of where you changed your label of a situation, and things worked out well? I’d love it if you shared it below for others to enjoy.

P.S. While I was on the trip, I found myself telling the *story* of what went wrong with oversleeping and the police. After feeling the negative energy of that, I made the decision to drop the ‘what is’ negative story and refocus my attention on what went right.

When I returned from the trip, my friend confided that he really thought I had missed the flight, but he didn’t want to say that to me. Despite his *doubts*, he was willing to play along with my positive affirmations and even added comments that brought relief. I didn’t know he had doubts, though, so his support bolstered my own belief and alignment. Just goes to show, only one person really has to *believe* it’s possible!

 

Footnote:
¹Barbara Frederickson, PhD. coined this the Positivity Ratio. Learn more at http://www.positivityratio.com/

 

Image Credit: (tag) macgyverhh and (plane) Kirill Cherezov

Embracing Your LOA Rituals

Embracing Your LOA Rituals

‘Tis the season when I ponder which rituals I will embrace to appreciate the old and celebrate the new.

The word ‘ritual’ has always been a loaded one for me. Being a recovering Catholic and deeply apologetic Christian, that word used to be synonymous with seriousness, control, and fear.

Let’s face it, while there are rituals that are very fear-based, that doesn’t mean all rituals must be fear-based. The good news about Law of Attraction is that you can choose, from day-to-day, year-to-year, the rituals that feel best to you.

Rituals are whatever intentions, thoughts, and/or actions that you decide to implement at certain times. We usually start them because doing so feels meaningful to us.

Meaning is what makes our rituals matter. And we are the ones who create and apply meaning to our intentions, thoughts, and actions. We get to decide what rituals we want to partake in, and what meaning we choose to give those rituals.

Some rituals are cultural (think seasonal, sports, and national pride). Some rituals are fun (trips to the beach, picnics, going to the same ice cream shop every year with friends), and some are more deep and somber, while others can be both. For instance, I love putting up lights and lighting candles during the winter holidays. Doing so feels “light” (no pun) and joyful, and yet…I’ve had some pretty deep and introspective experiences sitting quietly by the soft glow of lights and candles.

Some of us celebrate the cultural ritual of Thanksgiving by eating turkey with family and friends, while others enjoy adding gratitude lists to their yearly ritual. My son doesn’t like turkey, and it makes me very sleepy (hello, tryptophan) so when he was younger we opted instead to make Lasagna, garlic bread, and salad part of our Thanksgiving ritual. (Yes, this was my pre-Paleo days – now I’d grill grass-fed steak with some great veggies sidedishes.) While dinner was baking, we’d make our gratitude lists, and share them during our meal.

Law of Attraction experts teach many different processes that can easily be interpreted as rituals, and the more you do them the more meaningful they become. Abraham-Hicks have 22 of the most well-known LOA processes listed in their classic book, Ask and It Is Given.

We create the meaning and magic of rituals in our minds. Whatever we decide an intention, thought, and/or action will do for us, it will do first on a vibrational level then on a physical level. The more often we practice a ritual, the more meaning it will have for us.

The only right is what feels good to you and the only wrong is what feels bad or wrong to you. When a ritual stops feeling good to you, that’s the sign to choose a new ritual to embrace that feels better. Anything that feels light and opens your heart is a good one to choose.

light+openHEART_640x480At the end of the year, many people…

A. Declutter. Get rid of the old to make room for the new. Mothers might sort through their family’s clothes and donate what no longer fits. Business people often clear out old files, put new files in place. Men may clear out their garages. Women often revamp their clothes closets.

B. Make lists. Get clear on what you want to embrace and what you want to release. Express your appreciation for the past year and send thank you notes to key people. Some write out intentions for the new year. Others write out their priorities for the year ahead.

I do not recommend resolutions, though, especially if you view them as something you always fail at completing. Set yourself up for success by creating intentions to feel better about yourself and your life.

My local Unity asks us to write a letter to God asking for what we want and letting go of what no longer works, then the letters are burned (released into the energetic field). They have a separate service for selecting a white stone to represent your intentions for the new year.

C. Create new affirmations. Based on those updated lists, you can begin writing your new affirmations for the year ahead. If you need assistance in creating your affirmations, go download my free Six Steps to Powerful Affirmations eCourse and audios.

Feel free to share with friends, too, either virtually or in person. One client told me that a group of girlfriends downloaded my eCourse and made a sacred party out of creating and writing out their new affirmations together. Whether you do this in a group or by yourself, do something to make it special.

D. Create Your Own Ritual. Letting go of the old and embracing the new can come in many forms. Choose the ones that feel good to you.

Someone recently mentioned that they use the end of the year to forgive anyone they previously haven’t forgiven. I know other people who think forgiving is admitting something was wrong. Still others give thanks for what they’ve learned through trial and error.

E. Practice. Rituals grow in power as they are practiced and felt in the heart. Whatever you feel in your heart, you are broadcasting to the world. What do you want to broadcast?

The last week of the year, between Christmas and New Years, is the time when I am most quiet and introspective. I appreciate all I have learned in the year past, and establish my intentions for the coming year. I meditate daily and ask for Inner Guidance. I follow my inner nudges for visualizing and affirming. This time always feels sacred and serene to me. On New Year’s Eve, I relax with an aromatherapy bath and relax my way into the new year.

What are your favorite LOA rituals? Share with us in comments what works best for you, and have a happy new year!

Shutting Down Your Gremlins

Gremlins gargoyles_TomMartin_Flckr

Recently, a deliberate creator asked for advice on shutting down gremlin thoughts (aka the inner critic) in an effort to “control” the vibe.

Gremlins?

Often when we talk about releasing gremlins, those yucky mean and nasty thoughts that seem to run rampant in our brain, in order to get to a better feeling place, we are talking about getting OUT of our brain and into our heart space. As you feel better, your vibration naturally increases and it’s easier to connect with better feeling thoughts. That is very helpful, when you can do it.

What about those who are finding it hard to even FIND a better feeling thought?

I just listened to Joan Borysenko, Ph.D in the HayHouse Summit explaining that the frontal lobe of our brains is not only the executive center but also the center of our awareness. That awareness, for example, is the part of your brain that ‘notices’ the emotional patterns…

‘hey, why is it that I keep thinking negative thoughts? Why do I keep doing that, even though I keep pivoting to a better feeling thought? Hmmm (silence, during which a thought from the past comes to the surface)…wow, where did THAT thought come from? I haven’t thought about that in ages! (feels a twinge in the body).’

Pay attention to the thoughts that surface with a physical feeling in the body! Those thoughts were stored in your cells, from a previous time in your life, waiting for a time when you could consciously be aware of them. Once you give your full attention to those thoughts, the physical tension associated with them will release. As you release more, you’ll notice your body feeling lighter and it is easier to navigate toward better feeling thoughts.

What I also found interesting is that Joan said our AWARENESS function in our brain’s frontal lobe has the ability to activate a hormonal drip onto the amygdala (the old fight or flight ‘lizard’ brain, center of fearful thoughts) that actually quiets and deactivates our gremlin thoughts!

How COOL is that?!? Love it! We really do have everything we need to thrive.

According to Joan, here are 3 ways to trigger awareness:
1. Regular meditation – even 20 min 3x a week for 3 weeks can rewire the brain!

2. Affirmations – that tap into the deep emotional meaning behind the words, (not just the words alone, but something that feels GREAT to say it). Even a SINGLE WORD that has a deep meaning for us can work as a shortcut ‘slogan’.

3.
Mindful Breathing – breathe in slowly through the nose, out slowly through persed lips as IF you are breathing out through a straw. This slows the breathing way down to 4-6 breaths a minute, and I noticed that after I release all the air, there is a delay before the next natural breath. (Men might find that they hold between the intake and exhale.) One to two minutes of this breathing is enough to trigger the hormonal drip that calms your fear circuits as you become more present. Joan calls this Gear-Shift Breathing because it short circuits the negative thoughts and puts us in a mindful space that opens us to Divine Guidance. (To me, this is also a form of meditation – similar to Vipassana Meditation.)

In my experience, the more you are used to consciously choosing and thinking supportive thoughts, the more likely you notice the not-helpful thoughts – they stick out like sore thumbs. Of course, when you are feeling good, it becomes more obvious when you are NOT feeling good! Be self-compassionate as you release the unsupportive thoughts and make room for new more supportive thoughts. After a while, you’ll see much more of the supportive thoughts and less of the unhelpful ones.

What do you think about this? Share your questions, comments, and examples of shutting down your gremlin thoughts below.

Image credit: Tom Martin, Flickr

To Resolve or Not to Resolve

It’s official ~ Happy New Year 2014!

NYRsFor some folks, that means making New Year’s Resolutions. Yet, the vast majority of folks who make New Year’s Resolutions fail at accomplishing them. In fact, many MAKE them knowing full well they will never keep them.

Personally, I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions years ago. Instead, I review my year in the week between Christmas and New Years, and open mind to the possibilities for the New Year.  I am constantly reviewing and renewing my goals based on my newly updated discoveries and preferences, and setting new intentions. As the intention becomes clear, I write down my ideas and develop my own powerful customized affirmations.

As I accomplish a goal, I retire the affirmations and create new ones. I don’t wait for a New Year to retire old affirmations and create powerful new ones, or even to tweak the ones I am using. As apen-only result, by the time the end of the year rolls around, I have a lot accomplished by the end of the year.

What about you ~ what works for you? Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Do you write them down or declare them out loud? How successful have you been making and keeping them? Share what works for you in the comments below.

Manifesting Moods

Manifesting Moods

What do you think about when you think about ‘moods’? When I think of that word, I usually think about the negative ones, but in The Law and the Promise, mid-20th Century author and speaker Neville Goddard wrote eloquently about consciously using POSITIVE MOODS to actually *invite* positive outcomes.

In chapter 7, Neville writes…

Men regard their moods far too much as effects and not sufficiently as causes.

Moods are imaginal activities without which no creation is possible.

We say that we are happy because we have achieved our goal; we do not realize that the process works equally well in the reverse direction — that we shall achieve our goal because we have assumed the happy feeling of the wish fulfilled.

Think about that for a moment: by consciously choosing to feel GOOD, you are activating your imagination to create positive shifts. LOA enthusiasts will immediately recognize this truth, but how many of us have understood it from the term “moods”? You may recognize the term “wish fulfilled” from one of Wayne Dyer’s recent books. Dr. Dyer was reinterpreting Neville’s teachings.

If you have ever watched The Dog Whisperer or Leader of the Pack with Cesar Milan, you’ve seen him INDUCE a positive mental attitude in dogs simply by changing the dog’s physical position. By forcing a dog to lay down, the dog’s body begins to naturally relax and as the body relaxes, so does the mind. By experiencing a different physical posture, the dog is able to find peace of mind.

The principal which Neville writes about is very similar concept, but using imaginal moods ~ moods conjured in the imagination ~ versus physical postures.

In The Law and The Promise, Neville shares this inspiring story which is well worth repeating. Read it and see where you might apply this suggestion in your life:

The lady in the following story so successfully felt the feeling of her wish fulfilled, she made her mood the character of the night — frozen in a delightful dream.

“Most of us read and love fairy stories, but we all know that stories of improbable riches and good fortune are for the delight of the very young. But are they? I want to tell you of something unbelievably wonderful that happened to me through the power of my imagination — and I am not ‘young’ in years.

We live in an age which believes in neither fable nor magic, and yet everything I could possibly want in my wildest day-dreams was given to me by the simple use of what you teach — that ‘imagining creates reality’ and that ‘feeling’ is the secret of imagining.

“At the time this wonderful thing happened to me I was out of a job and had no family to fall back upon for support. I needed just about everything. To find a decent job I needed a car to look for it, and though I had a car, it was so worn out it was ready to fall apart. I was behind in my rent; I had no proper clothes to seek a job; and today it’s no fun for a woman of fifty-five to apply for a job of any kind. My bank account was almost depleted and there was no friend to whom I could turn.

“But I had been attending your lectures for almost a year and my desperation forced me to put my imagination to the test. Indeed, I had nothing to lose. It was natural for me, I suppose, to begin by imagining myself having everything I needed. But I needed so many things and in such short order that I found myself exhausted when I finally got through the list, and by that time I was so nervous I could not sleep. One lecture night I heard you tell of an artist who captured the ‘feeling’, or ‘word’, as you called it, of ‘isn’t it wonderful!’ in his personal experience.

“I began to apply this idea to my case. Instead of thinking of and imagining every article I needed, I tried to capture the ‘feeling’ that something wonderful was happening to me — not tomorrow, not next week — but right now.

I would say over and over to myself as I fell asleep, ‘Isn’t it wonderful! Something marvelous is happening to me now!’ And as I fell asleep I would feel the way I would expect to feel under such circumstances.

“I repeated that imaginary action and feeling for two months, night after night, and one day in early October I met a casual friend I hadn’t seen for months who informed me he was about to leave on a trip to New York. I had lived in New York many years ago and we talked of the city a few moments and then parted. I completely forgot the incident. One month later, to the day, this man called at my apartment and simply handed me a Certified Check in my name for twenty-five hundred dollars. After I got over the initial shock of seeing my name on a check for so much money, the story that unfolded seemed to me like a dream. It concerned a friend I had not seen nor heard from in more than twenty-five years. This friend of my past, I now learned, had become extremely wealthy in those twenty-five years. Our mutual acquaintance who had brought the check to me had met him quite by accident during the trip to New York last month. During their conversation they spoke of me, and for reasons I was not to know (for to this day I have not heard from him personally and have never attempted to contact him) this old friend decided to share a portion of his great wealth with me.

“For the next two years, from the office of his attorney, I received monthly checks so generous in amount they not only covered every necessary requirement of daily living, but left much over for all the lovely things of life: a car, clothes, a spacious apartment — and best of all, no need to earn my daily bread.

“This past month I received a letter and some legal papers to be signed which provide the continuation of this monthly income for the rest of my natural life!” …T.K.

How have you consciously used your moods to materialize positive change in your life? Share your comments and stories below!

 

image credit: Barry-Jansson & Associates

Share the Power of Affirmations

Below are sharable graphics to remind you how to tap into the power of affirmations…each sharing a key idea to get the most from working with affirmations as you retrain the neural pathways in the brain.

I haven’t posted in a while because nothing has inspired me to share. That was, until today, when I felt inspired to put these all together in one place for easy sharing!

Each graphic also links to the free Six Steps to Powerful Affirmations eCourse so you can share that link with the graphics that speak to you.

01AffirmingSpirit_PowerOfAffi02AffirmingSpirit_POA 03AffirmingSpirit_POA 04AffirmingSpirit_POA

How have you harnessed the power of affirmations? Thank you for sharing these graphics and sharing your affirmation experiences below in the comments.

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