(Are you still) arguing for limitations?

In an instant, I changed my future with a simple press of the “delete key” on my computer.

If that sounds a tad dramatic, it’s meant to. It’s dramatic because in that moment, I realized one of my long-standing—and often unconscious—actions that I indulge in on a daily basis: arguing for my limitations.

In this blog, I write a lot about the process of conscious creation: defining your intents, clarifying up your beliefs and setting out to purposely become aware of all of your thoughts. Then directing those thoughts where you want then to manifest. Part of the hardest part of conscious creation is keeping on top of your thoughts and realizing when you’re straying off course.

Conscious creation, however, goes way beyond your thoughts, beliefs and imagination. Yes, thoughts are the impetus toward creating a new, better life for yourself; they are the driving force behind your beliefs and eventually the reality you experience. Thoughts and beliefs are reinforced with action, which results in changed behavior, such as the words you speak and write as well as the physical acts you preform each day.

When I was emailing back and forth with a coworker last week, I was acting on autopilot. We were speculating on some rumored changes at work and we were in what I would call full-tilt conspiracy mode. We talked about unconfirmed reports on changes in policy and personnel and started wondering what the ramifications of those changes would be.

On one particular issue, she asked me an innocent question: “what’s the worst that could happen?” That’s when I found myself typing a seven-paragraph response. I brought up fears from the past and combined them with paranoia in the present and projected them straight into the future. I was literally writing a negative version of my future and it was staring at me from my computer screen.

That’s when I felt unease in my gut. Thankfully, I paused long enough to have a true “moment of reflection” when I could look critically at my response. Up until this point, we were feverishly writing back and forth but now I took a few minutes to re-read my response with fresh eyes because it didn’t feel right.

Right there on my computer screen, I realized what I was doing. I quickly (and elegantly) outlined exactly how I would be affected by any of the probable actions I argued for and they weren’t pretty. I used dire language and honestly made things bigger and harsher than they needed to be.

I was arguing for my own limitations—again.

Since becoming introduced to the concept of conscious creation, I’ve become much better at filtering my thoughts. I’ve gotten good at quickly realigning my thoughts in directions that better fit my goals; but, I often neglect to implement one important thing: change in my actions to align with those new goals.

I’m hardly alone in this. I see it quite frankly in many postings on Facebook, social media and in conversations with friends and family. Talking about our limitations seems practical after all; it’s the way we’ve been raised. In the Accepted View of Reality, talking about and focusing on problems is seen as the way to solve them.

We take comfort in sharing our feelings of fear and distrust. We frequently get sympathy from others when we have these kinds of conversations, hoping the other person will remind us that things aren’t that bad or that we’re speaking out of line. Unfortunately, however, we’re so attuned to this kind of behavior that half the time, we don’t even know we’re doing it.

Sometimes we become conscious of what we’re doing and make the decision to have these kinds of limiting conversations anyway. Maybe we believe that releasing the fear through words and actions will help the universe mysteriously solve the problem. Maybe we don’t really believe that change is possible. Maybe we’re just lazy.

As I read over my response to my coworker, I did become aware of my language. I realized that I was planting very powerful thought and belief seeds in the moment point and instantly realized that the fruits of those seeds would be the very things I didn’t want in my life.

This type of conscious creation action is so automatic, so practiced, it takes a sharp mind and quick thinking to catch it in time. We think we’re soothing our egos and analytical minds by “telling it like it is,” but in fact we’re simply keeping ourselves stuck. Talking about “what is” keeps us stuck in “what is.” It keeps us from moving forward with our development and fulfillment.

Commissary feels good because, as a society, that’s the way we’re used to bonding. Author and spiritual pioneer Caroline Myss calls it “woundology” – sharing our troubles with others in an effort to feel included and to soothe our aching psyches. It’s also a form of one-upmanship: “my troubles are worse than yours.” In short, it’s another way of keeping us stuck right where we are.

Lately I’ve realized how practiced I am in the art of “telling it like it is.” I complain to my coworkers, bitch to my friends, and tell my troubles to my family. And yes, there is value in venting, recognizing when you’re feeling a particular emotion and trying to remove it from your awareness.

But once that initial recognition is made, it becomes even more important to realize the positive choices that are then available. Understand that you have a choice in the way you act next. That means switching gears and performing a new action, whether it’s making a new statement about the way you want things to happen or talking about your hopes for the future. It can mean emailing a friend something positive about your day or quietly thanking the universe for having already set into motion the magical steps that will solve your challenges.

In my case, I looked at what I had written to my coworker and immediately deleted it. I responded: “I had a long list of things to add to this conversation but realized I am simply arguing for my limitations and I don’t want to do that.” She understood (some friends are sharp like that) and we dropped the whole thing. I then took a few moments to clear my mind, identify my limiting thoughts and start the process of inserting new ones in their place.

That one small act of action in the present moment helped set into motion a whole new set of probabilities that are more in line with what I want to experience. The choice, although different, felt good overall.

Creation always happens in the “now.” It’s the only time you have to shape your future. Your past thoughts and actions have brought you to this very moment right now and now is the only time you can effectively begin to change course. Recognizing your habitual thoughts, words and actions takes practice and awareness but if you find yourself arguing for limitations, the present moment is the only time to begin changing them.

Think a new thought, speak a new word, or react in a different way. Make sure your thoughts, beliefs and actions are in keeping with your desired results. Argue for your success. Make a case for your happiness. It’s a great way to Honor Your Spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To (not) kill a hummingbird

 

Can you hear it when the universe speaks to you?

Can you hear it when the universe speaks to you?

The mid-air collision looked fatal.

I was watching one of the most spectacular air shows I’ve ever seen and it was taking place just several feet from me on my back deck. These weren’t antique airplanes, dazzling spectators with aerial acrobatics. Instead, I was watching two male hummingbirds, fiercely fighting each other with such bravado that I had to move out of the way several times to keep from getting hit.

I grew up around hummingbirds; they are seasonal visitors to Colorado. On occasion, I’ve seen the birds tangle with each other, scaring each other off of the little plastic feeder that hangs under the eaves. With immense speed, they can quickly turn in almost any direction and buzz out of the way or right into each other.

These two were a different story. They were after each other and it looked serious. The two would speed toward each other with such force that you could actually hear the impact of their bodies colliding even from inside the house. At times they’d even bounce against the screen door with such force it would rattle the frame.

After watching for a while, I went inside to concentrate on some affirmation work when I heard the two causing a ruckus again. I looked up and saw them squared off from about 10 feet apart. They accelerated and headed straight for each other. The impact was instantaneous and the thud was loud as both birds fell to the ground.

I ran outside in horror and looked out from the deck. Within seconds, the two emerged from the wildflowers below the window and resumed their fight. I exhaled, feeling good that there were no fatalities. But then my attention was drawn to another scuffle, this one between two squirrels about 15 feet away.

The ground assault was as unrelenting as the air attack overhead. The squirrels would tangle, jump at each other in mid-air and wrestle each other to the ground. Their chirping and squeaking was so loud you could hear it throughout the mountain valley below. I watched the two in amazement, stopping only to get out of the way of the fighting birds as they zipped around my head.

That’s when I sensed that the universe was trying to tell me something–I just couldn’t understand what.

My momentary revelation about the universe quickly vanished when two of my favorite friends stopped by. Right ahead of me in the Aspen tree were four Grey Jays, each looking at me eagerly for a handout of day-old bread. The birds visit me whenever I’m at the mountain retreat and are so well trained I can hold a piece of bread in my hand and they’ll land confidently to pick it up.

It’s a small treat for me, which equals a lot of treats for the birds. I look forward to their visits, even if it means frequent trips to the kitchen to get more bread. They circle the house in waves, each waiting for a handout. They’re always pleasant if not persistent but today things were different.

A pair of the birds landed on either side of me on the deck railing. As I held out my hand, they both hopped toward me as they always do. But this time, they lunged at each other, signaling that they each wanted the bread for their own. The two flew off and badgered each other in-flight, just as the hummingbirds had done all day.

I sat back in my chair and closed my eyes to continue reciting affirmations when I was aware of someone staring at me. I opened my eyes to see the other pair of Jays looking for a handout. Once again, I stood up and extended my hand as one bird flew from the branch above me. Quickly, the other intercepted and fought him off, snatching the bread at the same time.

“What the hell is going on today?” I wondered aloud.

Once more, I sat down and closed my eyes, determined to get five minutes of affirmation work done without interruption. As soon as I began reciting affirmations in my head, I quickly became aware of all of the fighting going on around me once more. The hummers were at it, the squirrels were at it, and the Jays were at it—everything in the forest seemed to be at odds with each other.

The feeling that the universe was speaking to me directly filled my awareness. The events were out of place for a relaxing day in the hills. Taken individually, I wouldn’t have thought twice about the occurrences, but when looking at them wholly, I felt something significant was trying to break through to my consciousness.

I slumped down in the chair, feeling frustrated over the affirmation work. This “work” involves purposely giving yourself positive suggestions in areas of your life that you’d like to see some kind of change, however slight. I’ve done affirmation work before and had limited success. The overall goal is to help you change your thoughts by chipping away at negative, ineffective or outdated beliefs. It takes an open mind, concentration and persistence. I had none of the above.

My thoughts kept wandering into dangerous territory. I repeatedly found myself thinking, “why isn’t this working?” only to realize that in itself was a limiting statement. I immediately replaced it with another, more positive counterpart. The whole process felt exhausting—and that’s when I finally “heard” what the universe was telling me.

Symbolism was all around me, focused into the pairs of animals that were fighting each other. Each of the animals were equals—two hummingbirds, two squirrels and two sets of Grey Jays. Looking at each pair, you’d be hard pressed to tell each of them apart. I realized then the connection to beliefs. Beliefs in and of themselves are neither negative nor positive. It’s only the value we place on them that make them productive or counter-productive to our own development.

I spent the better part of the day in a battle with myself, pitting opposing ideas against each other for a place in my deeper consciousness. Every 20 minutes or so, I was purposely “trying” to do affirmations and I realized then—when the universe revealed it to me—that I was trying too hard. I was trying so forcefully to imbue new beliefs into my psyche that I was actually pushing them away with the effort. The animals helped me see it clearly.

A smile appeared on my face and I caught myself making it. It was a smile of “knowing” that the universe was on my side and it was telling me to take it easy. Once I relaxed and let the information come to me, it was hard to dismiss. There’s nothing quite as reassuring as the understanding of your own connection to the divine.

So I relaxed and sat in appreciation of my new awareness. I dropped the affirmation work for the day and instead turned my attention to the sound of the Aspen leaves rustling above my head. I soaked in the atmosphere of the mountain air and breathed deeply and assuredly.

One of the Jays plopped out of the sky and landed on the railing in front of me. I grabbed some bread from the table and reached my hand out in a peaceful offering. He flew to my hand and sat on my thumb for several seconds, staring at me deeply before grabbing the food and flying away. As I watched him soar above the meadow, I noticed there were no more fighting squirrels. They were each quietly foraging the ground for their own food, unaware of each other or of the human watching them from above.

As I turned to go inside, I glanced at the hummingbird feeder. Each of the males was perched on a separate plastic flower, sipping on the sugary nectar inside. Their differences settled, the two sat and peacefully coexisted. They weren’t fighting anymore and neither was I.

 

 

 

OS:You

Now is the right time to upgrade your personal operating system

Every few years, the big guns in the computer world (read: Microsoft, Apple, Droid), come out with new operating systems (OS)—the software that runs your computer, phone, tablet, or mobile device. As technology advances, changes to the operating system are necessary to help your computer work better and more efficiently. Running primarily in the background, the operating system is the “brains” of your computer or device—processing information and directing all the pieces of the computer, hardware and software, to communicate efficiently.

You, personally, have an operating system, too—albeit a bit more complicated and sophisticated than anything you can buy in the store. Your operating system allows you to operate in the physical world. It controls a large part of your existence, everything from helping you digest food to make the decision to buy a new home. Your personal operating system works within the larger framework of the universe’s operating system—an even bigger and more complicated mechanism that creates life as we know it.

Your personal operating system is built and maintained by you, not by some really smart computer programmer in an office in silicone valley. Your system is tailor-designed for your hardware (your body) and for the software you use every day (your daily choices). Your personal OS feeds information to both your conscious mind and body as well as to that giant universal computer that generates the results you seek.

Computer programming 101

Operating systems are designed primarily around a simple concept: the “if: then” principle. If a certain outcome or action is desired, the OS directs the various parts of the computer to make it happen. If you want to open your email program, then the computer executes the request and finds the computer code that opens the program. The same applies to your own system.

Let’s use an example: if you want to find a new job, then your operating system begins to execute a series of operations. It helps activate your brain to begin thinking of ways to look for a job, reminding you to look in the want ads or to update your resume. It also activates your emotional network. How do you feel about looking for a new job? Are you scared? Excited? Dreadful? Beyond the self that you know, your operating system is also sending information out into the universe that lines up all of the chance encounters and incomprehensible actions that put you in a position to see announcement for that new job.

You don’t need to take a computer-programming class to upgrade your own operating system. You simply need to become aware of how your operating system is created. Then, you can make changes that allow it to work better and better for you and your goals.

Your operating system, because it is so unique and developed just for you, is built upon your personal beliefs and assumptions. Some of these assumptions you acquired during your youth, most likely from your parents. Other beliefs and assumptions you have made yourself based on your life experience. The tricky part with these assumptions is that once they’re initially made and subsequently reinforced daily, they begin to operate in the background (we aren’t aware that the operating system is responsible for directing other parts of our lives).

These assumptions are also strengthened with the addition of emotions. Strong emotion quickly solidifies beliefs.

I’ll give a personal example. I grew up never playing card games; it was something we just didn’t do in my family. When I was a teenager, some friends asked if I wanted to play poker (you can already see where this is going). I listened as they explained how to play the game as well as the rules. I didn’t quite intellectually get it, but played anyway. I lost big. In fact, I lost so badly that they made fun of me for weeks afterword. I felt humiliated.

In that moment reinforced with emotion, I developed a belief about my poker playing ability. Since I didn’t examine the belief, it has since become an even bigger assumption. The belief (I’m a bad poker player) is now an assumption (I’m bad at all card games).

This example should show you why it’s important to identify and know your beliefs, assumptions and expectations. Your beliefs program your personal operating system and thusly, run the show. Your assumptions about yourself and the world affect the way the universe responds to you and helps form the life that you experience.

Why some software doesn’t work with your OS

Many people, when faced with a less-than-desirable situation, whether it’s a chronic health condition, bad finances, unfulfilling relationships or personal dissatisfaction, attempt to change conditions by adding what we could call “new software.”

This software, using computer terminology, comes in the form of the many methods available to help you change your life: things like “Affirmations 2.0” software or the ever-popular “Positive Thinking App.” These additions are great in and of themselves, but unless you address the underlying directions you give to yourself and the universe, they aren’t as effective.

These methods are a great adjunct to—and reinforcement of—the work of the personal operating system. Positive thinking and affirmations work so much better when you address the underlying mechanisms that allow them to work and that happens through re-programming your personal operating system.

How to program your operating system

Unfortunately, you can’t just go to the store and buy a new personal operating system. To upgrade your OS, you need to think like a computer programmer and consciously choose a new set of directives that will govern your life and the “if: then” instructions to the universe.

In other words, you must consciously choose a new set of assumptions that allow you get more out of your life and the universe. The new conscious directives you desire come about through a change in your conscious beliefs, which over time will become unconscious and work in the background on your behalf.

This is no quick task. It does require some soul-searching and conscious evaluation of your life. To upgrade your life experience, you need to become aware of the things that are working and the things that aren’t working and recognize the beliefs and assumptions that make those things possible. While this is an intensely personal process, there are some basic assumptions that you can start to include in your “OS:You” upgrade.

New assumptions to consider

If you find dissatisfaction in your experience (in whatever areas you identify: money, relationships, health, overall life), try consciously inserting some of these new assumptions about yourself and the universe:

You program your life through your active thoughts. If you accept this premise, then you are already starting a fulfilling journey. Once you accept the fact that your thoughts direct your experience, you can begin to purposely change your thoughts to better suit your desired outcomes. This simple act gives you power. It puts you in charge. One note to keep in mind: some people argue that it’s our “subconscious” thoughts that cause experience. But for purposes of this reprogramming exercise, realize that “subconscious” simply means you haven’t actively and knowingly analyzed your thoughts. Those thoughts are there and available if you look for them.

When you take responsibility for your thinking, you can no longer blame others or the universe for delivering unwanted experiences.

All of creation—all of it—happens in the “now.” This is a hard concept to understand and certainly there are some great teachers on the subject, such as the Seth Material/Jane Roberts and Eckhart Tolle. So for this quick tutorial, take the statement as truth and realize that the present moment is the only time you have to make changes in your life. Your thinking is always in the present moment even if you’re thinking about your past or imagining your future. Once you realize that thought and creation happens in the “now,” you can see the importance of addressing any sloppy thinking right here, right now. There’s no time like the present because there isn’t any other time. Stop telling yourself, “I’ll work on my thoughts tomorrow,” because that’s the situation you’ll keep recreating for yourself.

The physical world always gives you the chance to evaluate your programming. This statement is based on the first point above, that you form your world with your thoughts and assumptions. When you accept the truth of that statement, the world becomes one giant mirror, reflecting your thoughts and assumptions back to you. This is one of the best features of your new OS, because it allows you to shift and change your thinking at any time. It’s like hitting “spell check” on your word processor and seeing if there are any details you need to correct.

If you like what the physical world reflects to you, congratulations! You’re on the right track. But if you’re not pleased with the reflection of the world, you now know that you have the ability to change your experience by adjusting your thoughts and expectations. Since this process is constant, you always have the ability to check your results.

Change is a constant and necessary part of existence. No matter what we think to the contrary, things don’t really ever stay the same. They may, at times, appear the same to us, but nothing in this world is static. Because creation happens in the “now,” our universe is in a constant state of change. That constant change is what drives the universe; it is the ingredient that allows for expansion and growth. Why should you care? Because when you realize that nothing stays the same, you always have a new opportunity to change things as you see fit. Even if you like the direction your life is headed, change allows you the chance to make it even better. Conversely, that constant change means you don’t have to stay stuck in an existence that isn’t fulfilling.

You are always safe. This is a hard pill to swallow, I admit. It’s only been through a thorough education in the concept by teachers such as Seth and Lynda Madden Dahl* that I’ve come to believe and appreciate this idea. In terms of your personal operating system, this is a new, necessary component to install. Remember, your personal operating system is giving directives to the universe and to yourself in the way you want to experience physical reality. So if you take it on faith that you are always safe and always protected, then that is what the universe will respond to. Decisions based on the assumption of safety yield much more beneficial results than those based on fear. It may take some time to change this belief/assumption about the universe, but it’s imperative that you try.

Everything is always working out for you. “Yeah, right.” I can hear your response to this one. “Tell that to my spouse who just lost her job,” you tell me. “Or to my friend who was just diagnosed with cancer.” I understand this is another one of those New Age concepts that only seems truthful to the chronically happy. But there is truth to the statement. The universe, God, your inner self…all of these forces are working on your behalf. These forces are always leading you to your greatest development. So when you base your thoughts and actions on the assumption that everything is always working out for you, you are able to see your growth clearly. It’s only when you assume that things aren’t working out for you that growth and fulfillment seem like a pipedream.

When things aren’t to your liking, or when life seems to deal you a tough blow, it’s there to lead you in a new direction. If you’ve integrated the assumptions above, you’ll remember that (a) you direct your experience and (b) creation happens in the present moment and (c) the world will reflect your thoughts/actions back to you. Don’t beat yourself up for having created something unwanted. Instead, see it as a signpost, one that reminds you to change course. Then realize you have the option of adjusting your thoughts and beliefs to form new assumptions that are more fulfilling.

Personalize it

Your personal operating system is just that—personal. It took time for you to develop the old version and it will take some time to write your new and improved version. And as noted above, it is always in a state of change. So as you learn to work on and with your operating system, be on the lookout for assumptions that need addressing. If you’re not happy with your finances, look to the underlying assumptions you have about money and then write some new ones. If you aren’t lucky in love, check your thoughts and beliefs about love and your ability to attract a partner and write some new, positive assumptive beliefs.

The more you work on your personal operating system, the better it performs. Upgrade now.

*If you’re interested in learning more about the safe universe concept, I highly recommend two books. First, “A Seth Book, The Personal Sessions, Book Three of the Deleted Seth Material,” by Seth/Jane Roberts and “Living a Safe Universe Vol. I and II” by Lynda Madden Dahl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re so impressive

Chances are, I’ve never met you and yet I can still stay with 100 percent certainty that you are impressive. Really, you are.

Actually, all of us here on Earth are impressive but probably not in the way you’re used to thinking about the word. In conscious creation terms, you impress the universe with your vibrational signature, that unique combination of thoughts, emotions and beliefs that are uniquely yours.

What you think matters; what you feel matters; what you believe matters. And when you get a hold of that concept fully, you can start to take conscious control over your day-to-day existence in a much more meaningful way.

So what does this mean to you, personally?

It means that you’re never at the mercy of an uncaring universe. It signifies that others don’t have the control over you that you think they do. It means you have control over your experience in ways you’re not even aware of. Most of all, it means you have a choice in the way you steer yourself through this thing we call “life.”

Without going all quantum physics on you, think about your existence in some simple terms. You are consciousness. Consciousness is energy. You come from and are a part of that great energy. Some people call this energy “God,” others call it “source.” The terms aren’t important. But what is important is understanding that you are a part of all existence because you are made of it and you help it grow with every thought and action you perform. You are co-creating the universe right now.

Your thoughts are made up of electrified, coded information. They literally send out “imprinted” information into the universe, stamped with your intent. As those thoughts go forth into the universe, they seek out similar vibrational patterns that eventually form the “real,” physical world you experience. You’ve heard this referred to as Law of Attraction or Law of Creation. The important part to remember, however, is that your imprint—your imprint—is what forms your reality.

That’s some pretty trippy stuff, I understand. But if you agree to it—whether or not you understand the mechanics of it—you begin to get a sense of why it’s important to direct your conscious thoughts in constructive ways.

You are impressing the universe in every moment of the day and night, literally. So you can understand why taking a hold of your unwanted, negative or distrustful—even sloppy—thoughts is important. Your beliefs and expectations are formed through habitual thought patterns and those beliefs and expectations are the biggest driving force of the reality that you know.

What does all this mean in practical terms?

It means “waking up” to yourself. It means becoming aware of your thoughts when you can catch them. If your thoughts and beliefs are serving you well and you’re happy with the life you’re living—keep at it! But in those areas where you’re unhappy, dissatisfied or simply want change, you must become acutely aware of what you’re doing. What are you thinking? What do you tell others? What do you daydream about? What do you believe? What outcome do you really expect? If you catch yourself focused in negativity, judgment, and criticism or if you’re holding onto bad memories of the past, make an effort to change. Change the thought, rearrange the picture, choose a different word, walk a different path. Do something to interrupt your habitual imprint.

This isn’t easy work. In fact, it seems to fly in the face of what we’ve been conditioned to believe about the way the world works. We’ve been taught that if you have a problem, you should concentrate on it, keep a hold of it and analyze it to death. In the world of conscious creation, you become aware of a problem, realize it’s the result of your past thinking and then make a conscious choice to move your thoughts in a new direction.

Sounds simple on the surface, doesn’t it? I admit, it does take effort to become aware of your thoughts. It takes courage to face those thoughts directly and it takes willpower to change them. It does get easier as you go along.

The goal is not to be Polly. Or Anna.

I’m not suggesting that you become one of those people who won’t say a bad word about anyone or anything or that you deny your experience. You must allow your creations their due. What I am suggesting is that you familiarize yourself with your vibrational signature. Remember that your signature imprints itself on the universe and returns to you the physical world you experience.

When you consciously understand your role in creation—the point that you mold your physical experience through the action of your thoughts, beliefs and expectations—you become more aware of your choices. You come to believe that it’s important to direct yourself in carefully chosen directions. You also then come to experience the world in a new way, one that is more fulfilling, creative and exuberant.

That is pretty impressive.

 

Bearing witness to the lessons of nature

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 11.04.01 PMI admit it: I’ve been a bit of a voyeur this past week. A friend sent me a link to Explore.org, where you can watch one of several webcams strategically placed for an unobstructed, secret view into nature. My productivity has suffered as a result of this find but my spiritual satisfaction has definitely improved.

The Brooks Falls Brown Bear & Salmon Cam allows us to peek into the hunting habits of bears in Katmai National Park in Alaska. It’s really quite incredible. For hours on end, these magnificent creatures wade into the cold water to grab a bite to eat. If you’re a nature lover, I highly recommend a look.

After hours of study, I’ve come to recognize specific bears, each with a unique identity and personality. It’s fun watching their hunting tactics: some sit on top of the falls, waiting for the spawning fish to jump up into their mouths while others prefer the deep recesses of the bottom falls, trying to dive in and catch a mouthful of the Alaskan delicacy.

There is something deeply spiritualistic and fulfilling watching this spectacular sight.

The bears are not encumbered with the same spiritual concerns that we are. They don’t create vision boards with pictures of tasty Salmon. They don’t create daily goals for how many fish to catch and I doubt they spend much time sitting quietly visualizing a successful hunt. I also have serious doubts that they spend even one minute of time examining their beliefs about attracting abundance into their lives.

Obviously, there are differences in the types of consciousness of humans and bears so we have different priorities. And I’m not bashing the very spiritual tools that I write about so frequently. Instead, I think there are some things we can learn from these furry creatures that apply to our own conscious creation efforts.

Expectation

Bears know where the Salmon are located. One look at the webcam and you’ll see exactly where the spawning fish jump up the falls. Once they get into the river, the bears know they’re in the right place. From there, they simply expect that they’ll catch a tasty morsel. They’re not thinking about what happens if they don’t catch any fish. They’re not concerned about whether their hunting methods are better or worse than their friends’.

Expectation is an extremely important and necessary component of conscious creation. Our expectations create the very reality we experience. So when we want to become deliberate creators, we must drop a lot of our preconceived ideas about life, the environment, and ourselves.

Instead of lack, we must expect abundance. Instead of failure, we must expect success. Instead of roadblocks, we must expect cooperation. It’s time to stop judging others and ourselves and time to turn our minds in the direction of the things we desire. It’s not easy to do, but it’s imperative that we learn this crucial lesson.

Expectation runs in the background of your mind, so it can be tricky to readjust it if necessary. Upbringing, past experiences and beliefs all contribute to your expectations so it’s important to first become consciously aware of your expectations and determine if they are serving you well or holding you back.

Patience

It’s hard to be patient when you’re hungry—just don’t tell the bears. Patience is another crucial ingredient in the conscious creation mix and it’s one of the most common reasons we don’t reach our goals. Impatience is a focus on lack, specifically on the lack of goal achievement.

In conscious creation terms, we become frustrated if something doesn’t manifest when we want it. And when we don’t get that treasured “something,” we feel like we’ve done something wrong. In absolute terms, we’ve stopped expecting that we’re going to receive what we desire and begin to doubt the process.

Expectation needs patience in order to work. A patient mindset tells the universe (and yourself) that you know you’re going to receive your desire. But when you introduce impatience into your reality, you’re telling the universe that you doubt it will deliver the goods. And thanks to the law of attraction, your new thoughts of doubt and lack will bring you more of the same.

Patience keeps your thoughts on par with your goal and allows the universe to set into motion all of the necessary ingredients that are needed to manifest that goal. Don’t get caught in the trap of becoming impatient. It will happen.

Impulses

Impulses come from deep in the psyche. They are the driving force behind our daily lives—urging us to action on anything from eating a sandwich to picking a different route home from work. Unfortunately, we’ve trained ourselves be distrustful our own impulses. We’ve come to rely primarily on the intellect to guide our actions and all too often we ignore the very basic and primal calling card of the inner self.

It’s hard to see on the webcam, but our bear friends rely on impulses, too. Watching the bears, I am fascinated by one sow in particular. She stands in a part of the river with fish jumping up straight in the air in front of her. With little effort, she can easily catch plenty of fish in a five-foot circle around her. Yet frequently, she stands up and moves to another part of the river that doesn’t look as active. Within moments, she’ll dunk her head under water and pull up a big catch.

In the animal kingdom, we refer to this as “instinct.” We label the bears’ ability to successfully hunt as an unconscious assimilation of evolution and intuitive know-how. Yet the bears are simply following their own impulses—a deep urge to move to another part of the river. They don’t second-guess those impulses—they act on them. Impulses are designed to lead you toward your greatest fulfillment, so learning to recognize and act on impulses takes you one step closer to successfully reaching your goals.

Living in the present moment

Have you ever absorbed yourself so fully in something that you lost track of time? If you have, then you’ve had a taste of living fully in the present moment. Living in present time doesn’t mean you need to stop and meditate, although it’s a nice, refreshing thing to do. It means giving your attention fully to the task at hand, whether you’re washing the dishes, paying your taxes or feeling at one with the universe.

Our bear friends are masters at this, hands down. Watch them and their attention to the hunt. For extra detail, pay close attention to the sea gulls that circle the bears while they hunt. The gulls gladly clean up any discarded pieces of fish and they frequently walk or fly within inches of the big furry creatures. Yet the bears are not distracted. They look intently into the river, placing their attention on the fish below, patiently waiting for the right time to act.

Enjoyment & Gratitude

In between meals, it’s not uncommon to see the bears playing on the riverbanks. Sometimes they’re splashing around in the shallow water, other times they’re rolling around playfully with each other. It really looks like they’re having fun and that’s an important takeaway.

Life is meant to be enjoyable. It’s the intellect and the ego that usually cause us to cease having fun. We become encumbered with too much thought. We get caught up in thoughts of the past or worries of the future and we miss the opportunity to have fun in the present moment.

When you set your intention to have fun no matter what you’re doing, you set up a vivacious environment for yourself and the universe. The world can’t help but respond with more things to enjoy—perhaps even more fun than what you’re doing right now.

Finally, an attitude of gratitude seals the deal on that wonderful environment you’re experiencing. Gratitude broadcasts a feeling of thankfulness, peacefulness and abundance that the universe then sends right back to you. Gratitude is a given for the bears; their contentment from a great day of fishing is natural. But when we as humans lose our own natural sense of gratitude, it’s important to take a moment and reconnect with it purposely.

For now, I’m grateful to this wonderful website for allowing me to watch these fuzzy creatures splashing around in the wilderness. It’s like Salmon for the soul.

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Your are the inner circle

You are at the center of it all.

You are at the center of it all.

It may seem egotistical to say, but you can admit it: you really are the center of the universe.

Your life is built upon your thoughts, emotions and expectations. You literally create the world you experience. The physical world, then, serves as a mirror of your inner state, allowing you interact physically with the subjective thoughts in your mind. It’s actually quite a cool process when you think about it because you can adjust your thoughts, change your emotions, or adjust your expectations to create the reality you want to experience.

Some people (myself included) have a hard time wrapping their head around this concept. How is it possible to create the world around me? Doesn’t that make me God? In some ways, yes it does. But you’re not alone. We all create our own individual worlds, which then interact with one another, helping ourselves and everyone else evolve and grow. “God” is within all of us and we are all within God.

If creating the universe seems like a hard concept, try substituting the word, “attraction” instead. You attract things to you: people, events, interactions, rendezvous, and physical objects. Your thoughts create an environment where you draw to you those “things” that match your subjective thoughts. Thoughts of poverty and lack will bring bills and an empty wallet. Thoughts of war and violence will attract protests and fighting.  More importantly, thoughts of peace will bring peace. Thoughts of love will bring love.

Yes, this is law of attraction but it’s also so much more. It’s having the conscious knowledge that you create your world one thought at a time. It’s knowing that you have the power and ability to change your thoughts to bring about different results. It’s realizing that you are the center of the universe and the director of your own experience. Pretty cool, huh?

So go ahead and own up to it. Realize the world is predisposed to you and you alone. Realize that the universe wants nothing more for you than your own fulfillment. And when you experience less-than-desirable results, remember that you have the ability to change things.  After all, you’re in the center of it all.

Are you ready (I mean REALLY ready) for change?

Prove it with the HYS Five-Day Reality Challenge ™ Contract

realitychallengecontract_photoIn grade school, my parents insisted I take violin lessons. I had no interest in the violin. The lessons were, shall we say, painful. I couldn’t produce one sound that even somewhat resembled a musical note. To be quite blunt, I sucked.

After several weeks of lessons, we finally discovered the biggest stumbling block to my lack of musical ability: I didn’t know how to read music. I panicked whenever the instructor asked me to play a note—I didn’t have a clue what I was looking at on the sheet music and would randomly place my hands on the instrument and hope for the best. After discovering my inability to read music, I was off the hook.

There is a point to this story, I promise. After I finally learned to read music and selected a different instrument—one I wanted to play–I became a better musician. As I progressed in school and joined the band and orchestra, I spent more and more time practicing my instrument, learning scales, challenging myself with new music and enjoying the process much more.

What’s this have to do with conscious creation?

Before I was exposed to spirituality and specifically the concept of conscious creation, I often wished for a better life. Overall my life was fine but, like everyone else, there were things I wanted to change. I yearned for a more fulfilling existence, great relationships and, of course, material things.

But without knowledge of spiritual principles, I was simply repeating those damn violin lessons. I hoped to make beautiful music with my life when all I was doing was annoying the hell out myself and everyone else. I didn’t have the tools I needed to change my life effectively; I was going about it the hard way.

Many years later, I would acquire the knowledge, skills and tools needed to help transform my life. I got excited about the prospect of change. I read a lot of books, studied the principles and talked about them with my friends. I was ready for a complete transformation of my life.

And so I waited. And waited. And waited. Why wasn’t my life changing in leaps and bounds?

The problem, of course, was that I wasn’t practicing. That’s like someone pointing out where to place your fingers on a saxophone and expecting you to immediately join a jazz ensemble. It takes more than reading music and understanding your instrument before you become adept at making beautiful music. Learning how to use conscious creation to your benefit requires practice, too.

Old habits die hard

The principles of conscious creation often sound really simple. Think about what you want and you can make it happen. Change your thoughts and change your life. Focus on the good things in life and you’ll get more of them. The list goes on and on. You can read a lot about these principles in the archives of the Honor Your Spirit blog.

However, reading about and understanding conscious creation is one thing, living it is another. When you set out to change your thoughts and beliefs, you’re pushing against a lifetime of learned and practiced behavior. Unbeknownst to you, you have practiced yourself right into the person you are today. So when you want to change that person, you’ll have to push through a lot of self-imposed resistance.

This is proven to me frequently whenever I talk to my best friend on the phone. Despite knowing and studying conscious creation, we often find ourselves replaying the same conversation over and over again. It goes something like this:

Me: You won’t believe what happened at work this week! It was such a bad week and I’m tired of all the bullshit that goes on there.

Bob: Oh I understand. I’ve had to work 14-hour days for the past six days in a row and I’m not convinced they’ll ever hire anyone to help alleviate the situation.

Me: I know I should be thinking positive thoughts but I’m really tired of living this way. Can’t I just win the lottery?

Bob: Oh I hear ya. Sometimes I wonder if this stuff works or not.

You can see how even well versed and well-intentioned spiritual seekers can get caught in the undertow of old habits and thought patterns. The moral of our phone conversations is this: we know better. We know how important it is to direct our thoughts toward what we want. We know it’s important to focus on solutions, not challenges. We know that staying stuck in complaining mode is disastrous to the spirit. We know those things and yet consciously choose to keep going down the familiar road.

After one such recent phone call, I decided a firm commitment to change was in order—real, honest, palpable change. I needed a change in my thoughts, actions, and beliefs. In short, I needed to walk the talk I espouse to on this blog.  Although I’ve made great strides in my own spiritual development in the past several years, I could see where my own blocks were staring me in the face and it was time to knock them down.

Guidelines to operate by

I decided I needed to write a contract with myself, one that would spell out some of the basic conscious creation principles I try to live by.  The contract would serve as a visual reminder of the basic things I feel are important to crating a better life. This will be fun, I told myself.

And then I started to panic.

There were an awful lot of things on the list, certainly too many to remember, let alone accomplish. I looked at what I had written and felt like it was too much to tackle all at once. Changing my life would have to wait. That’s when I realized what my ego was up to. It had already jumped ahead and decided the plan wasn’t going to work because it (my ego) didn’t want to change. It was comfortable where it was. It likes to complain and to gripe and keep me in the same thought patterns because it finds them comfortable. That’s when I knew I was on the right track.

To help appease my ego, I decided to put a time limit on the contract: five days. That way, if I gave my absolute best to the process and really worked hard, five days should show me that I’m either on the right track or I’m full of bunk. I know five days is barely scratching the surface when it comes to changing beliefs or behavior, but everyone has to start somewhere so I decided a full-on commitment to my spiritual principles for five days was the least I could do to honor myself.

Share the wealth

Why limit my excitement (or my fear, for that matter) to just myself when I can invite my blog readers to join along with me in changing their lives? Activities that are challenging to your body, mind or ego (like exercise or skydiving) seem to be a little easier when you have others joining you.

The Contract

If you think you’re up to the challenge, start by downloading and printing the form at the bottom of this post. You’re going to pick five consecutive days to start and end your Honor Your Spirit contract. You’ll see on the contract itself that there are two categories: things you WILL DO for the next five days and things that you WILL NOT DO for the next five days.

The items are relatively self-explanatory. In essence, you’re attempting to first observe and then adjust your thoughts accordingly. Some points may be easier than others. For example, I’ve become very good at following my impulses when I can recognize them but I find I still must consciously work on not complaining…that’s a skill I’ve honed over many, many years.

It’s important to remember that you won’t be 100 percent effective at your new thoughts and behaviors. You’re aiming for a noticeable change in your behavior/thoughts/beliefs. It won’t be easy but keep at it and if you fall off the horse, so to speak, get right back on and adjust accordingly. The willingness to undertake this challenge shows your inner self that you’re serious about making positive change.

In addition to the listed points, feel free to add one or two items of your own. These are things that honor your spirit, things that fuel you at a deep level.

They can be spiritual, physical or mental items—whatever helps accelerate your own spiritual development. For example, I’ve decided to make breakfast for the week since I usually don’t eat until lunch or dinnertime. You may wish to include things like exercising, stretching or calling your siblings.

Paging Mr. Power, Mr. Will Power

Let’s be honest. If it were really, really easy to change your life by changing your thoughts, you would have done it a long time ago, right? Even with the best intentions to change deeply ingrained thoughts and beliefs, you will most likely find yourself struggling with some of the ideas presented here.

It’s hard to break old habits like complaining, ruminating and focusing on problems. They are simply old habits. They need to be kicked to the curb and out of your life so you can make room for more positive arrivals. Because of this, you may have to search deep inside for willpower. Your will is your intent—you want to change your life. Use some power with your intent to try these activities for five days. Reason with your ego and/or your conscious mind. Remind yourself how much you will gain from doing this exercise. And, remind yourself that if you don’t see the slightest bit of change in five days, you can chuck the whole thing.

And remember the biggest conscious creation lesson from our friend Seth: “You get what you concentrate upon. There is no other main rule.” That means if you keep telling yourself over and over how hard it is to do these things, you’ll get more hard work coming your way. If you exclaim to everyone that you can’t do these things, you indeed will not be able to do them.

It’s time to write a new script for your life and the next five days can provide the space and time to write your first draft.

Share your experiences

If you decide to participate in the HYS Five-Day Reality Challenge, I’d love to hear from you. Simply use the “reply” button on this post and let me know how things worked or didn’t work for you. You can also chime in on my Facebook page.

Download the contract below

HYS_fivedaychallengeform

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