We call them heroes

We call them heroes

They’ve helped people evacuate devastating firestorms across the state. They’ve helped save animals and property from destruction. They carry packs weighing more than 40 pounds and they’ve done it in temperatures over 100 degrees.

There’s a reason why we’ve had no loss of life in the Colorado wildfires this summer: the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us.

When we run from problems, they run to them. They’re first responders and we owe them a lot.

Please take a moment to thank our firefighters–wherever you live.

Advertisements

Image

Do what you love; love what you live

 

It’s a state of being most of us are unfamiliar with–that sublime experience of doing exactly what you love.

I’m not necessarily talking about a profession or a career. Instead, this is living from your intuitive and impulsive center. This is the freedom of allowing yourself to follow your gut and do those things that feel good. This is honoring yourself by taking a risk and trusting that your inner instincts will lead you to the most productive, inspirational and value-filled place possible.

Some would argue that you can’t trust that part of yourself, that voice that says, “I want to go to the beach and collect seashells.” But when you allow yourself the liberation of that voice and follow it through with action, you’re automatically affecting the world in positive ways. You may never know the value you’re bringing to the world with your “selfish” actions, but trust that you are benefitting the world and yourself by doing so.

A small but obvious example

A bee has the instinct to collect pollen and nectar. In many ways, he is inspired to do so and lives what he loves. He spends his days hopping from flower to flower to flower to feast on the delights of nature and share with his growing family. He delights in the task, not looking at it as a chore or survival, but because he wants to do so. In his exuberance, he is helping flowers pollenate and grow beyond their boundaries. In our example, he may actually help new flowers bloom several miles away. You may discover those flowers next year and appreciate their beauty, brightening your day. You may also use honey in your tea that was collected from the bee’s honeycomb. Several outstanding and necessary–positive–events out of one act of selfishness.

Not for artists and musicians alone

In our monetized society, we often mis-label musicians and artists as the only subsets of society that do what they love. “They’re the lucky ones,” we say, noting how they spend their days and nights engrossed in inspiration. We may secretly yearn for the same kind of existence, then quickly think to ourselves, “I could never do that. I’d never make a dime.”

Here’s the good news: doing what you love–whatever it is–helps both yourself and the world around you. Some people like to cook. Some people like to garden. Some people actually do enjoy things like analyzing spreadsheets or making speeches. When you enjoy your work or even your free-time activities, you’re setting into motion a wave of probabilities that positively affect the rest of the universe.

It’s when we cut ourselves off from our inspirational love that things start to sour. Doing things because we “have to” or “need to” may be a necessity for many of us (like trying to make a living) but we need to see that when we move out of that mindset, we actually open the door to new opportunities. It’s a scary thought for most of us to simply do what we’re inspired to do every minute of the day. Our ego-based minds can’t understand how that could possibly lead to anywhere good.

Small steps

So instead of quitting your job or walking out on your family, try a smaller experiment. Allow yourself the freedom to do whatever you want for 30 minutes a day. Set aside time to do this and don’t schedule anything during that special time. In the moment, ask your inner self, “what do I want to do right now, that would make me happy and feel good?” If you’re inclined to plug in your iPod and play air guitar in the basement, go ahead! If you want to take that walk on the beach and collect sea shells, go ahead! If you’re inspired to take a nap, that’s okay too. The point is to start allowing your ego some flexibility and helping it understand that following your passions will lead to success.

As a society, we’ve trained ourselves to mistrust our inner urges. We use our intellect and ego to destruct all of the reasons why we can’t or shouldn’t do something. We believe that we’ll do something harmful to ourselves or others. This is why it’s important to start training (or re-training) our conscious thoughts into allowing the fulfillment of spontaneous impulses. Even if it’s just for a structured time of the day, you’ll soon realize how liberating it can be.

Trust

This process, this trust in the self and the universe, is key to the theory of fulfillment. You may never know or understand how following your inner inspiration leads to the fulfillment of others, but it’s important to have the trust that it does. Our own individual and collective impact on the world is staggering and is too difficult to describe. So accepting the theory that you are impacting the world in positive ways can help release your ego and allow it to turn to the creative pursuits you desire.

When you feel one of those impulsive hits, think of our friend the bee. Stop your inner watchdog for just a moment and allow yourself to emotionally feel what it would be like to allow your impulse. Even if you can’t engage in your activity right then and there, make yourself a promise to do so when you have time. Stop for a moment, close your eyes and emotionally feel how good it will be to engage the impulse. Trust it, trust the desire and trust that you’re inner self is speaking to you in clear language.

You, and the universe, will be glad you followed through.

You don’t have to know how

Butterfly and rocks

Go ahead: dream big. Big. Big. BIG. But don’t get wrapped up in the details of how, that’s for the universe to figure out. It’s not your job to know. When you identify those things in your life that you want, allow your spirit some breathing room. Trust that the universe is on your side and will help you meet your goals. Have faith that all you need to be successful will come to you. Once the request has been made, turn your concentration back to how good it’s going to feel when you meet your goals. Let go. Catch a tailwind. Enjoy the view and let your spirit soar.

The center of your life

The center of your life

All emotions are born out of love. When we feel other emotions such as hate, disappointment, envy or fear, we’re focusing on the distance between where we are and where we want to be–bathed in pure love. There’s nothing wrong with experiencing these other emotions. It’s when we constantly focus on the gap between our “now” and “love” that we get in trouble. Other emotions allow us to return to love if we give them their due. Experience other emotions, let them be for a bit, then set them free. Soon you’ll find yourself returning to a state of love for both yourself and others.

Image

Slowing the momentum

Did you ever play spinning contests as a child? The kind where you close your eyes, spin around as fast as you can for a minute or so, then open your eyes and see if you can walk in a straight line? If you have, then you remember how hard it is to slow momentum and keep your composure. You usually stumble around half sick, half laughing and end up falling to the ground.

As a child, playing with physical momentum can be a fun game. As an adult, we often plague ourselves with a different kind of momentum, that of unconscious emotional and mental momentum. And as an adult, it’s no fun at all. I saw this in action recently with a co-worker. Steve came into my office looking rather flustered and proceeded to unload his feelings about a high-level meeting he had just attended. He was mad at the world, finding fault with every policy, person and action he could name in a few moments. The energy in my office became tense and swirled with negativity.

After I finally shooed him out of my office, I felt a calmness float down on my workspace and returned to my project. But a few minutes later, Steve was back with more things to complain about. I watched, now with interest, how his thoughts and emotions were gaining momentum and propelling him toward something big. To even the untrained eye, he had reached a point of no return. His anger at the world was reaching a fevered pitch and he was bound to explode or collapse. Thankfully, neither happened and Steve decided to go home early for the day.

What happened to Steve happens to all of us and I’ve noticed it happening a lot more frequently. It’s easy to blame these types of incidences on the economy but that seems to be the scapegoat for a lot of people with out-of-control emotions and thought patterns. As the economy has slowed, people have been feeling more and more powerless in their work world, forced to put up with more stress, more work and less fun. The economy aside, a lot of folks are feeling new stresses on their lives. Technology, politics, time (or more specifically, the lack of time), relationships, and money are all big stress-inducers for many people and when they go unchecked, they can build stress to an unmanageable level.

The most discouraging thing about getting caught in negative emotional and mental momentum is that we usually don’t realize we’re caught in it in the first place. Without realizing, we continue on the same path, gaining more and more momentum until we finally crash head first into some kind of brick wall. That wall shows up as a health challenge, emotional outburst, a broken relationship or the loss of a job.  When we finally hit the wall, we suddenly see that the path we’ve been on is less than desirable.

How do you slow the momentum of negative emotional and mental constructions?

Become conscious

This should be obvious but for most of us, it’s not. To slow down or even to change direction, you must first become aware that the path you’re on is not leading you to the right place. You’ve got to wake up from your unconscious behavior and unconscious thinking and see yourself from a different angle. Like someone snapping their fingers in front of your face or waiving smelling salts under your nose, you need to change your focus to the present moment.

Becoming aware of your thoughts and emotions won’t automatically change them, but it will alert your conscious mind that a change is needed. The earlier you catch negative momentum building, the easier it is to slow it down and turn it around. But even if you’re charging full steam ahead into the abyss, it’s imperative to catch yourself in the act. If you feel yourself being taken over by your emotions, see if you can view yourself as a friend would. What would you tell him or her?

Please note that I’m not talking about an emotional outburst that may be justified. It’s best to allow your emotions to run through your system than to try and stop them. But many times we’ve fallen into the trap of repeated negative emotions and we’re simply adding to the heap of negativity that’s already there. If you’re experiencing recurring emotions and circumstances, it may be a sign that you need to try a different approach.

Acknowledge where you are

Becoming conscious alerts you that you’re on a path that doesn’t feel right. You may not know exactly where you want to go at this stage, but you’ve already identified that you want something different.

When you acknowledge where you are in this present moment, you honor that part of you that has been screaming for attention. The negative, hurtful or destructive emotions you’ve been caught up in can now be gently acknowledged and patted on the head. They’ve served their purpose: to get your attention. Now, it’s time to consciously choose a new direction for yourself.

Change your thoughts

Slowing down a train from 100 to 20 miles per hour takes a bit of energy. So does changing your thoughts. This stage of the process is the most important in slowing momentum, as a change in thoughts is a signal to yourself and the universe that you intend to do something different.

The actual new thought isn’t as important as the fact that you’re willing to change your thoughts. Get creative and try some on for size. You’re not trying to be Pollyanna or convince yourself of something that isn’t true, but you can identify some general thoughts or emotions that may help shift down your gears.

At this stage of the game, generalized statements may seem more realistic and more attainable to your inner self or your ego. For example, Steve may have said, there are some things happening around here that I don’t agree with but not all of these decisions affect me. I’ll choose to be concerned with the ones that do. It’s a small step, but an important one. He’s telling the universe that he’s willing to let some of the negativity go in exchange for a concerted effort in some other areas. In other words, he’s picking his battles. Some other examples:

I like knowing I’m employed.

I’m glad I have people that will listen to me when I’m overwhelmed.

If I take a walk, I can clear my head for a few minutes.

I can choose to think about this later when my emotions are calm.

There were some good things that happened to me today, such as _______.

Again, the important part of this step is to make an effort to think a different thought. In effect, you’re distracting yourself from the fast train you were on and you’re giving yourself some time to orient yourself toward your new goals. Even a slight change in direction can help you see a new possible direction.

On the right track

Becoming conscious, acknowledging where you are and choosing new thoughts are the start of a wonderful new journey. By taking the time to perform these steps, you take energy away from the negative thoughts and emotions and allow law of attraction to start finding new, positive ones in their place.

If, however, you find that train speeding toward your hopes and dreams, ride it all the way to the end. Positive momentum feels good to the ego and the conscious mind. And do a few spinning circles, just for fun.

Keep your head in the clouds

Keep your head in the clouds

Allow your creativity free reign. When you think imaginatively about what you want, you help activate the creative universe into bringing your dreams to life. Put no limits on your daydreams. Experience the emotions of what it would feel like to have whatever you want. Feel the excitement in your body. Put a smile on your face. Bask in the glow of having whatever it is that you want. Then, when you’re done, forget about it. Know that a few moments of pure, unrestricted imagination is setting into play some very concrete and exciting things. Don’t check for results…enjoy the knowing that it’s coming to you and you can wait patiently for the results.

Image

Shift your expectations

Expectation is one of the most maddening belief structures you will ever encounter. At its best, expectation helps us easily, and transparently, manifest our beliefs in a variety of ways. At its worst, it stands in the way of conscious creation and blocks the creative universe from delivering our dreams in fun and exciting ways.

We speak frequently of having “high expectations” of people, places and events. We talk also of having our expectations dashed when they’re not met. But what is expectation? In terms of conscious creation, expectation can be thought of as a conscious belief that you anticipate will come to fruition. It’s usually a belief you don’t give a second thought to coming true.

You convince yourself that a particular belief is set to play out and you wait for the universe to deliver it. For example, you believe that the sun will rise every morning; therefore, your expectation is fulfilled when you see the sun crack the Eastern horizon. Expectations are formed primarily by surface beliefs and are the property of the ego. The ego wants to protect and advance the self and then sets rules around the way the world should work.

If the universe doesn’t deliver our beliefs to us in the way we expect, we become frustrated. We blame others and ourselves. We question our expectations and wonder where we got off course. Thoughts such as what did I do wrong? or why did she do that? come into play when expectations aren’t met. In these cases, expectation seemingly works against us and causes frustration, sadness or anger.

Years ago, the first lesson a spiritual teacher suggested to me was to drop all expectations. When I asked why in protest, she told me that expectations would always let us down and that we couldn’t rely on the universe to deliver things to us exactly the way we want. Talk about an expectation! While I appreciated the idea behind this teaching, it didn’t sit well with me. I thought there must be a way to incorporate expectation into everyday life that makes sense.

Expecting the worst

Expectation of negative events is a sure-fire way to make sure they come true. And in this sense, expectation can at times act as hypnosis if we’re not careful. Think about winter and the dreaded cold and flu season. Your coworker walks through the office sneezing and coughing. “Great, now I’m going to get sick,” you wail to your coworkers. You have just expressed expectation that you’re going to get sick and more often than not, you will.

Another example is seen frequently when you hear of a celebrity death. How many times does news break about a famous person’s passing when someone mentions the “rule of three,” that fictitious rule that says that bad things will always come in threes? We expect it and then watch the news waiting for two more people to drop dead. We search for the verification that this expectation will be fulfilled.

Negative expectations are sometimes hard to catch as we’ve conditioned ourselves into believing that “it’s just the way it is.” And it’s this kind of negative expectation that can hurt us the most. We’ve been brought up believing that bad situations will always get worse before they get better. We believe a bad economy will negatively affect our abundance. We “plan for the worst and hope for the best” and in the process find ourselves faced with expectation’s actualization, giving us exactly what we thought we’d get.

Fearful expectations cause us to look at the world through a different filter, a fearful filter. That filter then causes us to reorganize thoughts around fear, creating more fear and eventually causing a big manifestation of fear. It’s a viscous cycle and can set up some difficult challenges in the future.

Setting high expectations

The other main area where expectation trips us up is when we set ours too high. I am guilty of this frequently when I go to restaurants. I expect good customer service when I go out to eat. When my expectations aren’t met, I’m upset and bewildered. It took me a long time to even think about adjusting my own expectations or even shifting them to a different perspective. To my untrained eye, I was simply at the mercy of uncaring workers.

When we expect other people to behave in certain ways—positively or negatively—we’re in for an awakening. It can be a rude awakening or a pleasant awakening. True, law of attraction will generally bring us those things that match our vibration and our beliefs. However, it’s sometimes the hidden beliefs that attract others and their actions and those hidden beliefs often get attached to expectations.

Here’s an example using my restaurant expectations: I expect good service at a fancy restaurant. So when I sit down, I’m prepared for exceptional service. If expectation was the only criteria and I believed it fully, I’d get good service. But what if I have a hidden belief about being worthy of good service, a belief I’m unconscious of? A small, hidden belief that says I don’t really deserve to be treated well at all. That smaller, corollary belief then attracts its own reality, which may manifest as bad service. If I remain unaware of the underlying belief, I think my expectations have failed me.

So what good is expectation?

As I’ve thought about this over the years, I’ve discovered the benefit of expectation is to apply it generally without getting too specific. Trying to control the specific outcome of any situation or person can be wrought with difficulty and frustration, so ratcheting back to a more generalized approach helps frame our expectations in a more positive light.

Structuring expectation in a positive, general way can help train your conscious and subconscious mind to look for evidence of your expectation and diminish frustration if it’s not met. Consider these types of positive expectation statements:

I expect to learn something from every situation.

I expect to find the best in this.

I expect that no matter what happens, I’ll be safe.

I expect that everything happens in the proper time/space sequence.

I expect that anything that happens to me is in by best interest, even if I can’t see it now.

Similarly, becoming mindful of our negative or fearful expectations and then eliminating them can help move us in the right direction. Watch out for these damaging expectations:

Things will continue to get worse before they get better.

The economy is going to affect my bottom line.

No one cares what I think.

People are bad drivers.

It will take me forever to get through security.

Some of these statements can seem over generalized but you can appreciate the sentiment behind them. Rather than eliminate all expectations, let’s shift them to a more positive, generalized belief and allow ourselves some space to let the universe work it’s magic.

Previous Older Entries